The Third Time’s a Charm

I’m in a bit of a pickle when Date #3 calls me out of the blue, announces he’s off to Smith and Wollensky’s for dinner and invites me to join him.  Geographically speaking, everything is fine.  I’m just around the corner when I get the call, availing myself of the last Center City Sips Happy Hour of the summer with a friend and her co-workers.  Physically speaking, everything is also fine.  I’m dressed, if not beautifully, at least tolerably.  I’ve got my lip gloss and my foundation and since I’ve been crying all day due to a minor professional crisis, I’m rocking the smoking eyes look without even trying.  Emotionally speaking, everything is not fine but when Date #3 calls and says, “Kat.  Hey Honey, it’s me,” I feel as though things will be fine in this last department, eventually.

So why the pickle then?   Because I’ve already been to Smith and Wollenskys.  Because I’ve already been to Smith and Wollensky’s this week, as fate would have it, and because it’s only Wednesday, I’ve already been to Smith and Wollensky’s within the past 38 hours.  And no, I was not there with Date #3.  I was there with the rather perverted sugar daddy who spent the duration of our “date” attempting to ascertain my suitability for the role of Center City Mistress and Afternoon Plaything.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, we were the only ones in the bar on Monday afternoon.  Of course the bar tender noticed us.  And of course that very same bar tender is working tonight when the enigmatic barrister invites me to meet him for dinner and—surprise, surprise—he’s a client of Date #3’s and no sooner have I taken my first sip of Chardonnay than Date #3 is saying, “Miss Richter, may I introduce you…”
I wonder what you’re supposed to do in this sort of situation.  Maybe you’re supposed to slip the bar tender a twenty dollar bill with a meaningful look that says, “No, I was NOT here the day before yesterday with another man.”  Or maybe you’re supposed to just trust that the bar tender is a man of discretion; I’m hardly the first prospective mistress to cross the threshold of Smith and Wollensky’s and I know I certainly won’t be the last.
Still, I’m afraid to excuse myself to use the restroom, lest the bar tender avail himself of the opportunity to enlighten Date #3, especially because I’m starting to really like the man. 
It was total Hollywood when I walked into the bar.  Date #3 spotted me across the room and I spotted him and he just stood there, grinning like an idiot as I made my way towards him (and to be completely truthful, I should report that I was grinning like an idiot as well).  We order lobster and truffles or truffle oil or something equally fancy in the form of an avocado flatbread pizza (the lobster) and baked macaroni and cheese (the truffle-whatever-it-was) and we grin and laugh and grin some more.  When he at last suggests that we head to Parc for dessert, a fancy French restaurant I’ve only ever dreamed of stepping foot in, I slip my hand through his arm and follow him into the night.    
Half an hour later, when the dizzying combination of Chardonnay, profiteroles and Date #3’s blue have rendered me completely intoxicated, my elbow slips from where I’ve been leaning it on the bar.  “Pretend you didn’t see that,” I tell Date #3, trying to regain my composure.
He just shakes his head and smiles.  “You’re so lovely.”  Then, lowering his voice, he adds, “I’d love to kiss you right now.”
But I don’t want our first kiss to be in Parc, I want it to be in the park—in Rittenhouse Square—so after he pays the bill, I lead him back outside.
The paths, once teaming with children, their mothers and their baby brothers and sisters in pastel colored strollers, are now nearly empty.  The musicians have gone home for the night and the only sound is that of the sprinklers, pitter pattering their twilight reverie upon the sidewalk.  This is the soundtrack to which Date #3 finally wraps his arms around my waist, and this is the song to which I press my lips to his.    

… Kat


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