The Underling

24 Sep

Aside from my high school boyfriend, there was another fashionable male I had a run-in with during Fashion Week.  A guy named “Luke” had asked me out about a month earlier.  He texted me on the day we arranged to meet saying that he had to cancel because he had a migraine.  We rescheduled a week later, at which point he canceled again– this time because he was trying to launch a blog in time for Fashion Week.  Just as I was beginning to wonder what he was hiding underneath his chinos, he commented on our shared interest in an old punk band from my youth.  Apparently it was one of his favorites and he had a band-related tattoo on his calf.  OK fine.

The night we met, he wanted to go to a hipster-y bar around the North Williamsburg area.  I changed venues to The Turkey’s Nest to test him out.  For those unfamiliar with The Nest, it is a favorite amongst Williamsburg old-timers, who try in vain to ignore the invasion of hipsters that trickle in as the night progresses.  If you go to The Turkey’s Nest on the right night at the right time, there are sleazy country songs playing on the jukebox and patrons are naked in the bathroom or sleeping on the bar.  All the bartenders are friendly and beers are served in giant styrofoam to-go cups.  I arrived first and parked myself at the bar between a Tim McGraw fan with a “RIP” tattoo, and an older man who was asleep sitting up.  I purchased a large styrofoam cup of beer, reapplied my lipstick and waited for my date to arrive.  When he did, I have to admit he exceeded my expectations.  He was cute, tall, and more masculine than I had anticipated.  His luxurious loafers, necklace, and perfectly folded pocket-bandana threw me for a loop, but I tried to look past his obvious affinity for accessorizing.  After playing a couple rounds of pool, we went to another nearby bar where we sat and chatted about blogs.  He was excited to launch his street fashion blog– it was all he could talk about.  I told him where I work and his eyes lit up.  I also broke one of my rules and told him about my blog.  Aside from his obvious love of fashion, he seemed pretty normal so I decided I wasn’t going to write about him.  He had never heard of people blogging about online dating before and was intrigued by the idea.  All of a sudden, as if out of nowhere, a pot of fruity lip gloss appeared.  And we aren’t talking a stick or even a tube.  A pot.  The kind that one must apply to their lips via fingertip.  It smelled like Hawaiian Punch and I was instantly jolted from my quasi-drunken euphoria back into sober skepticism.  For whatever reason, he decided to fondle my cell phone, and when I picked it up, it was covered in greasy fingerprints from his lip gloss!  Oh god, I spoke too soon I thought to myself– Instantly regretting divulging details of my blog to him.  En route to the train, he said “Well, I hate awkward goodbyes so…” then proceeded to pin me against a building and lay a kiss on me.  I counted to five in my head and pulled away, my lips coated in a fruity gloss that I (a female, mind you) would never wear.  We walked to the train and said our goodbyes.

Several days later I received a text from Luke asking if I was working at my store for Fashion Night Out (a party leading into Fashion Week where stores have drinks and giveaways, etc).  I hesitantly told him yes, to which he responded that he was going to bring his “blog team” by to “snap” some pictures.  What had I gotten myself into.  The night of Fashion Night Out, I wasn’t really looking forward to this individual I had met once (and accidentally made out with) coming to my place of employment with his “blog team,” but I forgot about it at some point during my ten hour work day.  I was working the door when Luke arrived.  His “blog team” consisted of himself, a mousy girl and an equally petite dude with a camera.  Luke’s outfit left me speechless for nearly a full minute.  He was wearing salmon-colored pants that were cuffed at the ankle to reveal just the right amount of skin, the same luxurious loafers as before (I’m not kidding I think they were velvet), a blazer over a black shirt, and a necklace.  It was in the 80s and close to 100% humidity that night, and I was stunned by his foppish attire.  But what made me want to board the next plane out of the country was the reincarnation of his perfectly folded bandana from a few nights earlier.  In his breast-pocket, a black and white polkadot silk scarf was situated into a little blob, like a scoop of whipped cream atop the fruitiest of sundaes.  His sidekick asked if they could take a picture of Luke and I, to which I politely declined– offering up the humidity as an excuse.  I could hear my coworkers snickering behind me as the blog team departed.

A few days later, Luke texted me to let me know that his blog had launched and he would love for me to check it out.  He also asked if he could take me out for drinks again (“before I forget what you look like!”)  I checked out his blog when I got home from work that day and found a post he had written about his Fashion Night Out excursions.  The tone of his blog is very snarky and wanna-be pretentious.  In the “About Us” section, Luke wrote that women swoon in his presence… but to catch his attention they should buy him a drink “without making eye contact” and then HE will approach them “if satisfied.”  The girl wrote that she gives men orgasms just by stepping on their toes with her designer heels.  Ugh.  In Luke’s post, he compliments my company for throwing a good Fashion Night Out party… but refers to me as a company “underling” while referencing the staff.  I had to glance through the post a second time to make sure I read it right.

For future reference: If I tell you I’m not going to write a blog post about you and then you insult me in your blog… all bets are off, buddy.  The bets were already close to being off when you smothered me with tropical lip gloss, but I was trying to be civil.  Either you are a moron and used a word you didn’t understand, or you are an asshole.  He texted me a day or two later, wondering when I was free to go out with him and also about the runway shows I attended.  I didn’t respond.  He texted me again a few days after that asking if I was watching the football game that was on.  This time I responded: “Yep, the Bears are certainly the underlings in this game.”  I don’t think he got it because he wrote back “It’s def a turn-on when girls talk sports.”  I wanted to write back “are you sure it’s not the men in tight pants?” but I didn’t.

Now I know I have written a multitude of unflattering things about men on the internet.  The fact that he called me an “underling” doesn’t really bother me… But the fact that he said that and then continued to try to go out with me is what blows my mind.

I wish him the best of luck with his blog… but maybe he should spend a little less time in the closet.  Literally, that is.

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