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House Arrest

May 28, 2010

I was set up with Matthew by a very dear friend. This friend has incredible judgement and wouldn’t just set two single people up just because they were both single, as my mother would do.
“But mom, she is 57 and he is 28?”
“You don’t think he would like her? She’s nice.”

I knew that Max wouldn’t steer me wrong so I agreed to be set up and was kind of excited by the prospect. Max used all the adjectives one wants to hear about a blind date to describe Matthew. Max was a tough crowd to please, so I trusted his judgement completely. According to Max, Matthew was a good-looking, successful guy who lived in Tribeca but was born and raised on the upper east side of Manhattan which meant he would have that semi-dysfunctional side which I find endearing. I was slightly concerned that he was 39 and never married but I agreed to go out with the bachelor.

We set a date at a great restaurant downtown, one of my favorites. He asked me if I would meet him at his apartment for a drink before the date. It was one block away from the restaurant. Translation: my apartment is amazing and i’d like to impress you with it. I figured I’d let him have his moment of glory, and afterall, he wasn’t a complete stranger so I agreed to the pre-dinner impress you cocktail.

Matthew opened the door. He was handsome, by anyone’s standards. (Yay Max! ) I walked into Matthew’s apartment which was certainly swank. A 5-star renovation. I sat down on the couch ‘make yourself at home Darcy’ I think to myself, and he offers me a drink. I glance down at Matthews feet. He appeared to be wearing…motorcycle boots. How very 1990 of him. Luckily for him, he had the high heels, I mean motorcycle boots, paired with an old beat up t-shirt from a nondescript hotel only a very select bunch know about. It had that “I am too cool to talk about it, but I will wear this t-shirt so you know I know about it but don’t really care” look. It worked for him.

Matthew opened a bottle of wine and places two glasses on the table. The bottle is neatly placed in a wine bucket. I decide he is gay. It’s all way too smooth.
As we are drinking our wine I notice a guitar in the corner of the room.
“Do you play?” I asked.
“I tried to learn, but it’s very hard. Do you?”
“Cool, want to teach me something?”
This date was turning cheesy fast, but i can’t resist a little jam session so picked up the guitar and showed him the easiest chord for him to play.
“This hurts my fingers,” Matthew whined.
“You need to develop proper callouses” I say. I quickly realize I would be the man in this relationship.

After our music lesson, he brings me into the living room.
“What do you think of these fabrics?” He asks.
Matthew had a variety of fabrics laid out by his decorator for the chaise that was being upholstered. “The pink is a little too Huffman Koos” I say. I pinch myself quickly. Darcy, wake up! Are you on a date with a man or a woman? Stay cool Darcy, it’s a man. Phew. With womanly interests. Sigh.

A couple of glasses of wine and two hours later I realize we haven’t yet headed out to the restaurant. I am suddenly starving. My stomach must have roared a terrible roar.
“So Darcy. We need to feed you.”
Phew, we are going to be leaving the love nest.
“Shall we order in or go out.” He asks.
“Oh, we can go out. What’s near here?” I want to scream ‘WEREN’T WE GOING TO THE RESTAURANT ON THE CORNER AND THAT’S WHY I MET YOU AT YOUR HOUSE????’ But i think it silently.
“Well, we were going to go to Nobu. Let’s order in sushi.” He says.
I die inside. I am fully trapped for life. I picture, years later, to be sitting as an interviewee on Oprah telling my tale:
“well Oprah, when they finally discovered me chained to the acrylic Jonathan Adler chair, I smelled like Chai tea, and he only fed me things that were organic. I was forced to learn words like wheat grass and kashi. It was terrible.”

Is this a joke? I glance down at his ankle to make sure he wasn’t wearing some type of house arrest bracelet. I glanced down at my ankle. Maybe I was wearing one.  At least if I was I could run out of the front door and an alarm would sound and they would come to take me away, and by they, I mean anyone else at all.

Matthew steps out of the room for a second. Was my mind playing tricks on me or did the lights just go dim? FK. IS THAT SADE PLAYING? HELP ME JOHN QUINONES! When he comes back he smells like mouthwash and he leans in to kiss me. Um? WTF!? It was very quick and very awkward. I pretended it didn’t happen. I change the topic to something about Matthew, I don’t even remember what because in my head I am secretly singing ‘food waiter,waiter waiter food waiter, waiter,’ and I am too distracted to really pay attention to the conversation. Damn you Darcy, why did you have to be so cool and teach him how to play the guitar. Note to self: be a little more lame next time.

Matthew tells me he dated a German woman for a long time who was very rigid and organized. something he really liked. I tell him i am the complete opposite. Almost like a walking tornado. My next thought is that it is creepy that he found a rigid german sexy.

The food comes. I thank jesus and promise to donate canned goods to the next food drive I see.
“Lets eat in the kitchen Darcy. I just got a new rug in here.”
Yup. I am still the man of the house.
I picture how quickly Bear and I can destroy the rug.
“Okay” At least we were getting out of the Sade infested romance den. I follow Matthew through his home. It is like a museum of sorts. Beautifully decorated for a couple, creepy for a single man. It had a very Sleeping With The Enemy vibe. I was dying to peek inside his cabinets and see if all the cans were turned with the labels facing outwards. I was able to control myself, only because I wanted to get to the table and eat two hours ago.

While we were eating Matthew is trying to kiss me. I tried to take the chopsticks and build some type of wall between us, but there were not enough of them. As dinner is winding down I decide it’s time.
“Its time for me to get going” I say. I had been in Matthews house for four hours too long. Our first date felt like our 100th date. Or at least our 100th hour of this date.

Matthew seemed surprised I was leaving. The thing about Matthew is he wasn’t a bad date. He was a good date. An excellent date. It was just a lot of date in his house very quickly. I don’t know that a love connection was made, but someone learned to play the guitar, and canned goods were going to be donated, so the world surely became a slightly better place that day.

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