Monday, June 09, 2008

A Ketchup Moment

When I was 20 or so I worked at a famous four star restaurant as a reservationist and cashier. Everything Anthony Bourdain tells you is true. It's a disgusting environment and it's a hard core business but the people are fabulous and the food is delicious. Ladies in my job (we were all ladies, girls really) had chances to chit chat with all the different folks who worked there. I met a lot of really lovely guys but unfortunately I was living with someone at the time.

One of those guys was a waiter. He was older than me, it felt at the time like he was much older but I suspect he was 27 at the outside. He was an architecture enthusiast, he might even have been a grad student or an architect-in-training, I can't remember, but I know he was big on architecture because he told me about the buildings of New York City and the people who designed and built them. I also don't remember his name. I don't even have a glimmer. Mike? Dan? Sergei? Probably not Sergei but possibly Ivan. Let's call him Dan. Dan was maybe 5'7", 5'8", sandy hair, round face, light skin. He was attractive but not hot. He had the penetrating stare of an attractive intellectual going for him, though. You know the type. They sit in the corner at parties and just look at you until you approach them.

One day I was on my way to work while Dan was on his way away from it. We met on the hill between the subway and the restaurant in front of a warehouse. Why do I remember that? I remember what I was wearing, too. I had this dress with a straight black skirt and a tailored, collared cream bodice with medium sized black polka dots. I miss that dress. There were heels involved I think. I was wearing a scarf, too. It was the late 80s/early 90s it was a scarfy time and I took full advantage of it. That day I was wearing a long, rectangular, sheer black scarf with deep red cabbage roses on it looped once around my neck with the long ends falling down the front of my dress.

Dan crossed the street to meet up with me and called out, "You should be careful wearing your scarf like that."

And in all my 20-year-old slow uptake naivete I glanced down at the scarf and said, "Why?"

He said, "Because someone might to this." Then he grasped the tails of the scarf, tightening it around my throat just enough to immobilize but not to hurt, stepped in to me and kissed me.

I wish I could say I remembered the kiss. I was even planning to reconstruct the kiss based on probabilities just to have a logical progression but the truth is the kiss didn't matter. OK, it mattered. If it had been horrible I would have remembered it. The fact is, though, that any guy who has mastered the lead in like that isn't going to kiss badly. He'll probably even be an above average face sucker but apparently this one wasn't enough above average to last the 19 some-odd years between then and now.

I remember those brief moments before, though, in vivid, dream-inducing detail. I still have the scarf and I'm pissed that the dress is missing. What would I do if I had it? Try to re-create the moment?

If only that were possible.

Image credit, Google Images - The Woolworth Building


  1. That is a GREAT story. Movie-worthy, even. Nothing that fabulous has ever happened to me...

  2. I love those "I'm living in a movie" moments. :)

  3. The other night, Mr. G. and I were watching a movie called The Family Stone. At the end of the movie, one of the male characters chases a bus in order to tell a woman on the bus that he loves her. Mr. G. said, "Why do they always have the guy running scene at the end of the movie?" I told him because every woman dreams of being chased...every woman wants that moment where she is dramatically sought-you describe one of those moments.

  4. I so know the penetrating stare type of which you speak.

    But my guy turned to be less of a good kisser, and more of a mean stalker...

    I'm glad your story had a happier, scarfier ending!


  5. You just did recreate it dear.
    And thank you for sharing it.
    Watch Because I Said So... Diane Keaton and poka dots. Will make you feel good.

  6. "Scarfier" heh. Love that.

    It was a bit of a movie moment. I feel like I've had a couple of others, rarely the running after the bus kind, but some sort of like that. I'll try to do a little recall and post them here for fun.

  7. There are no four star restaurants. Three is the maximum number of stars and there are four in the United States.

    - The Society for the Prevention of Star Inflation