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Panty Banter
by Karen Russo

Part 1: The Non-Date

After indulging in a sybaritic gluttony of pork loins, lobster and red wine, my friends and I moved to a late spot for a drink on a recent Friday night. By 2 a.m., I was exhausted and left my half-full Coleman (Maker's and Coke) and friends at the bar. But when I stepped outside, the air awakened me and I did what any good, single New Yorker would do: keep going.

I met my friend, Evan, at a club that I am confident was cool when I went there for the first time two years ago. Evan was in prime form, barely standing, inhaling bourbon, but still adorable as always. He moved his preppy-boy face dangerously close to within kissing distance of mine, but there was no intent by either of us to proceed.

For some odd reason, I was in a very anti-dating mood that evening. Perhaps its because I'd left a crush at an earlier bar or perhaps it was because I was enjoying Evan's friendship. Regardless, it was one of the only nights that I can remember when several men hit on me and I had zero interest. At one point, I found myself surrounded by eight guys, eager to buy me a drink. Each time they asked, I used Evan as my cover. "Oh, sorry, but my boyfriend just stepped away for a minute. He's coming right back," I said. Of course, Evan was off flirting with women, but they didn't need to know that.

Eventually, Evan and I arrived at our third watering hole, where my cover story got me into trouble. It's now 4 a.m. and I'm sitting at the bar, chatting with an extremely good-looking Latin American Izod-streamlined type guy who wants me to leave Evan and join him at a late-night jazz club. I give him the line about Evan being my date and me feeling bad leaving with someone else. At this point, his friend leans in and asks, "Are you sure he's your date?" and motions to Evan, who is working three women just a few feet away. She alludes to the fact that he has already hit on her. Game over.

"When did we start dating?!" Evan screams at me when we get outside the bar. "We're just friends! When did we start dating!?!" I tried to explain, but he didn't care. By then, the bar had closed so Evan, Izod, Izod's French-speaking female friend and some annoying tall guy from Boston who was wearing a golf visor and I walked to Evan's apartment. My anti-dating stance was weakening just as my final moments of clarity were upon me. I remember slipping my business card into Izod's jacket pocket before I climbed into Evan's bed; I hoped he would outlast Annoying Tall Guy, who would not leave me alone despite my outright asking him to leave. Unfortunately, when I lifted the covers, both ATG and Izod were gone. Even worse, I had awoken to Evan kissing French girl in the bed next to me. I dragged myself out of his apartment and walked home in the pouring rain at 7:30 a.m.

Later that day, I told my cousin about the evening. She berated me for not getting Izod's number. My only hope is that he will find my card.

stay tuned for more next month.....




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