Talking to Strangers: New York, NY
Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.
By Lina Canney and Libby Rumelt
Has bartending ever gotten you laid?
No. It definitely could have, but I don't do that.
So you're in a relationship?
Yup. We've been together for four-and-a-half months.
How'd you meet?
I yelled at him at a bar. A girlfriend of mine was bartending and this dude walks in and sits down next to me. He asks for a beer and a shot and she says that'll be whatever amount and he looks at her and he's like, "You're charging me for the shot?" I looked at him and I was like, "What did you just say?" And he was like, "I come here a lot and they never charge me." And I was like, "Who the fuck do you think you are?" He was drunk so he kept stumbling over his words, but in reality, he's the nicest guy ever. He was just being drunk and stupid. So I just berated him for an hour.
Is being aggressive a good tactic for meeting men?
I've never done that before. I was wasted and he was just such a sweet-looking kid, so I just started teasing him.
How did teasing him transition into exchanging phone numbers?
Well, at one point, he was like, "Why are you being so mean to me?" And apparently — I don't remember this — I was just like, "Don't you know I'm flirting with you?"
So you've been together for four months?
Yup. We're engaged. Yeah. He moved in with me three days after we met and then we got engaged about a week after that. We haven't spent a single day apart.
Wow! What was your dating history like before you fell head over heels for this guy?
Every guy I dated was a straight-up asshole. Skater dudes, in a band, alcoholics, drug addicts. Every guy who didn't want to let anyone in, I dated. It was always casual sex and nothing more. I tolerated such bullshit, I guess because I didn't think I was worth more. But thankfully, I found one who's amazing. He's a Southern gentleman and treats me so well. He's beautiful. I love him.
You got engaged really quickly. Have you received any negative feedback about it?
Well, I moved out of my parents' place when I was very young. They aren't really a part of my life. My friends who I consider my family are very much on board. Everyone loves him; he's the sweetest guy in the world.
Have you started planning the wedding?
Well, I don't know if this is going to happen, but I roped my friend and old bandmate into getting ordained so she can marry us. But as far as anything else, I'm not really concerned with a traditional wedding.
If you aren't into tradition, why get married at all?
It's actually funny, because we both didn't want to get married or have kids before we met each other. And then I met him and everything changed! I don't want to have some crazy gala, but it just seems right to fully dedicate myself to him in front of my friends.
What do you see for your future with him? Do you want babies with him?
Well, we're getting a car and road-tripping to Vegas to see my friend, and then we're going to try to get jobs out there and make a shit-ton of money. Then we're back to Hawaii, where I lived for a long time. We're going to put our roots down there. And then, I guess, have babies! It's so crazy because I never, ever thought this would happen for me, but I want him to be the father of my children.
What do you do?
I work as a waiter and I write. I do a lot of blogging, but I'm trying to do more literary stuff in the future.
Have either of those things ever gotten you laid before?
I guess, in the sense that being a writer is who I am, so if someone is attracted to that, writing is getting me laid. That makes sense, right?
Sure. How have you not gotten laid as a waiter though? Come on!
I've never slept with a coworker! I've only been doing the waiter thing for about three months —
Oh, it'll happen.
Tell us about your love life.
It's nonexistent. There's this girl I've been trying to get together with, but there's always something, I'm working or she's working. We were supposed to go to a concert a while back, and I sent her an email about tickets, and I was just showing it to my buddy here when you guys showed up —
You and your male friends obsess over the subtext of emails? I thought only girls did that.
Yeah, I've definitely stayed up nights freaking about saying the wrong thing or punctuating something with the wrong emoticon. The horror! Because an email is permanent — you send it out there and you wait for a reply, but you can just keep obsessing over it forever because it isn't going anywhere.
And we all know we're on the internet all the time, so it's like, what the fuck? I know you've checked your email in the last ten hours.
Exactly. It's all a game.
Do you play a time game?
Um, I like to think I don't. But I can't respond right away, so I guess I find myself unintentionally playing the time game.
What would happen if you responded immediately?
You don't want to come off too into someone else, but you also aren't really attracted to the person who's very obviously into you. You always want it to be a balance. You never want to feel like the other person is grasping onto you like you're the last person on earth.
I have a friend who just started dating a girl last week, and they've already been on three or four dates.
Well, it's cool if they're both into it. If I met the right girl, I'm sure I'd love to hang out with her all the time.
Have you ever been in love?
I've thought I was in love early on in a relationship. But after those first six weeks went by, I realized it wasn't love. I was just infatuated. So sadly enough, I guess, I haven't been in love.
Tell us about your emotional baggage right this second.
[Laughs] For some reason, I guess I've always felt like the guilty one in the relationship. Not because I'm cheating or doing something wrong, but I guess because I was probably always less involved in my relationship than my partner. So I guess that made me feel bad, like I was taking advantage of the situation or something. Feeling like I was leading them on.
Have you ever said "I love you," and not meant it?
Oh, no. No way.
You're good. So what's your move? How do you get laid?
Well, recently, I just don't get laid. So, there's that. Sometimes I pretend to be deeply intellectual, like way more than I am.
Like you pretended you've read all of Proust?
I did, actually!
I did! I pretended to have read Proust to impress some lady. I'm not sure how much she believed me, but I tried anyway.
What do you do?
I'm an actress and a waitress to pay the bills.
Has that ever gotten you laid before? Either one?
Waiting tables, yes. Being an actress, not yet.
Do you have any horror stories about going home with customers?
No, but I have horror stories about going home with coworkers. That was a poor life choice.
That is always the truth.
I had a rule about not giving out my out my number to people who ask for it, because I get asked for it all the time. I'll just say you leave me if your number if you want to get into contact with me. But I did give out my number once, and we went out, and at first it was good, but then he was just an ass and it was pointless, so whatever.
How was he an ass?
He made plans and then broke them and then got mad at me for being upset that he broke the plans. He would be like, "We didn't make real plans, Dina," and I'd be like, "No, we did."
I feel like the recent trend is guys saying, "Oh, let's hang out."
That just happened to me this weekend!
So when's the last time you went out on an actual I-am-going-out-with-you-with-a-plan date-date?
Oh, two or three weeks ago. We went to dinner and got ice cream and then we watched a movie at my apartment. We actually got through it. I was surprised.
I can't tell you the number of half-movies I've seen. I'm always like, "What happened at the end of that?"
Seeing the first twenty minutes is enough.
Did you have sex with him?
Yeah. We'd been seeing each other for a couple weeks. The sex was amazing.
How did you meet?
Like all female New Yorkers: online. This is a table full of women dating online.
What made the sex amazing?
It was just good. I didn't have to tell him anything. He just knew. I didn't have to give him any instructions.
What did you not have to give him instructions on?
Okay, candidly? The first time we hooked up, he went down on me for an hour.
Excellent! That's what you need to do!
And I was like, "Oh, yeah? Well, okay." I just let him keep going. He was happy as a clam down there. He was very content.
What are your deal-breakers when it goes to guys?
Lying. There's just no point. I'm brutally honest. The last guy I was with, it went on and off for a year. Neither of us was seeing anyone else, but we didn't have a label. And then all of a sudden, he was seeing someone else, and I was like, "You thought I wouldn't realize that?" He thought he could play it off like he wasn't, but I'm not a fucking idiot. He was spending every night with me and then all of a sudden he wasn't. He was sleeping with someone else.
What kind of guys do you date?
It's been fluctuating. Right now I'm really into guys with tattoos. The guy who blew me off was covered in them. Actually, the last three guys I dated had tattoos, but, come on! It's Brooklyn! It's part of the dress code.