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Saturday, April 26, 2014


Greenwich Village, 1958. 

by Annie Tanya (mother of Ruby's friend, Sophie)*
**(and a television writer)

“When we were little, Gary Daddy-o used to give me piggyback rides around the apartment and if Sophie was there, he’d give her one too. Maybe she wanted a daddy but just figured it would never happen.” –The Beat on Ruby’s Street

Dating. Yuck! Did I say “I date when I want” in my first note to you? I was lying if I did. I date when I'm asked and I hope it'll be fun. But lately, it's been the opposite.

My dates make it into my comedy sketches now and again, but I keep the best/worst stuff hidden. It may be funny, but I’d cry watching it.

Like this one: Guy picks me up in a Lincoln Continental Mark II, of all things. I’m dressed to the nines and starving. Turns out he just ate.

How do you eat right before you go on a date with someone? Where did I meet this guy?

My friend Linda threw a party last week and I was in red, ruched in all the right places. I call it my Marilyn dress. He was cute, I mean cutey-pie cute, with dark hair and green eyes, just a hint of 5 o’clock shadow which I like. And he’s looking and looking, and finally comes over.

We chat a while, and in a few minutes I have him laughing, which I always do with guys because that’s what I do. He asks if I want to go out next Saturday and I say sure, and here we are.

So no dinner and I’m ready to start munching his dashboard. He wants to go to Brooklyn (why?!) – and says he wants to walk on the promenade, so that’s what we do. (Why do guys always assume they get to decide?)

We walk and talk and then sit on a bench. Three seconds later and I’m not kidding, three seconds may even be too long, he’s all over me like white on rice. Kiss-kiss, slobber, honey, baby, wandering hands and “You’re really built, you know?”

I push him off me. “Yeah, that’s what they tell me.”

“What’s a matter, baby, don’t you like me?”

“I’d like you better if you weren’t such a groper.”

He rears back like some horse offended by a bridle. I decide to ignore this and press on.

“You want to get some coffee somewhere?”

He doesn’t reply. Just puts his elbows behind him and stares at the sky.

CaffeReggio in my neighborhood’s pretty nice,” I tell him. “Or we could find something around here.”

Nothing. Nada. Dead air, as they say in television.

“You gonna talk to me or what?”

Finally, he deigns to look at me. “When I take a chick somewhere, I’m the one who decides where we go.”

“Oh yeah?”

“And I’m not a groper.”

“What are you, then?”

“I’m going to take you home now.”

Forty-five minutes, all told. At least I finally got to have my dinner. Big bowl of pasta, home-made tomato sauce. Wolfed down two bowls of chocolate ice cream and wouldn’t eat my spinach. Sophie didn’t have to ask how it went; seeing my face, she already knew.

Now here's the kicker. He calls the next day to apologize, says he really fell for me and knows I fell for him too. Wants me to meet him at Coney Island. I tell him one night in Brooklyn is enough and if he wants to see me again, it better be the Rainbow Room.

Click. He hangs up.

Sometimes I think I shouldn’t have divorced Sophie's dad. He was a slouch, but I make enough for any three people and he was a decent-enough guy. At least I wouldn’t have to spend time with the jerky ones.

Why do I always meet the jerky ones?

Should I give up? Or is there someone out there (like my producer Max says) and I’m just not finding him? But how do you find him?

And unless you’re a gorgeous beauty like Ruby’s mom… how does he find you?

Meanwhile, it's two days later and I'm still hungry. Sophie thinks we should have breakfast for dinner and even says she'll make it (sigh). Why not?

--Annie Tanya

*whose idea it was to list the author of the post (so you know who wrote it)

** so you know I do other things besides being Sophie's mom