I love riding the train in NYC and as a people watcher – is there anything better?
And, let’s be honest – as a single woman appreciative of attractive men – is there anything better?! (ok, yes, there is a lot better, but work with me here….)
I was on my way home from a networking event. Which, when you’re kind of an introvert, aren’t all that exciting. But it was hosted by my college and included some people I knew and people in my profession, so interesting enough.
My ride home was about 45 minutes, buoyed by 2 glasses of cheap wine and some cubed cheese. It was a Tuesday or Wednesday night, I had work the next day, I had a lot on my mind and was doing that stare-into-space-slash-people-watching that makes my hours of subway riding enjoyable bearable.
Around 23rd st. I noticed him – leaning up against the wall at the front of the car, dapper in a tailored suit. But, attractive men – NYC does not lack.
And attractive men of NYC, I am not afraid to make eyes at.
(because…. why not? In a city of 8 million, what are the chances you’ll see them again?)[Ed. note – with some, turns out the chances are quite high]
In any case, I alternated between reading my book and checking out dapper-man. And slowly realized that he was checking me out too. It went something like this…
I look at him, him look up, I look away. Time passes. I look up, catch him looking at me, he looks away. In those brief moments of catching each other’s eyes, brief smiles started to be exchanged.
As we got closer to my stop, we caught each other’s eyes and he mouthed to me ‘next stop…’. Without too much thought, and shaking hands, I grabbed my journal and wrote out my name and phone number. And got up and walked up to him.
My face was burning, my hands were shaking, but I handed him my phone number. He smiled and said ‘you have a great smile’ and grinned at me. I blushed, said thank you, and looked away. His stop was coming up, my face was burning, my hands were shaking and we just stood there grinning at each other. in the midst of that, we exchange names, his – Nixon, his accent Nigerian, his smile – beautiful.
He got off the train moments later and I smiled to myself the rest of the way home, proud of myself for giving him my number, feeling beautiful and powerful.
An hour later, as I was about to go to sleep, he texted. We texted back and forth a bit, but let’s just cut to the chase – after time he asks me if I am in a relationship. I think to myself – uh, no, obviously or I wouldn’t have talked to you.
But, turns out that is not the way everyone works.
Because – it turns out he has a girlfriend. And still wants to meet up with me for tea.
Um, thanks, but no thanks.
I end the conversation saying, ‘well, take it as a compliment; I have never given a handsome man my phone number on the train.’
It turns into a fun story that I share with my girlfriends, and it is an ego boost, for sure. It’s good to feel attractive, and to catch the attention of such a handsome man, but also it feels good to be grounded in knowing that I want a man who is going to show up 100% with me, who wants to be with just me.
Months pass, I don’t give Nixon another thought.
A few months ago, on a crowded train, I realize I am standing next to him. I have my back to him slightly and don’t make eye contact, though it does make me laugh – that of course I run into him. Nothing is said. Anyways, I was checking out another really cute guy on that ride home (no phone number that time).
Then, a month ago, I get a text from him – asking if I want to hang out. I have to ask – ‘you’re single now?’ I don’t get a response right away, but finally he writes and says ‘no, but want to get tea?”
No Nixon, no I don’t.