when last we left our maudlin heroine (me), she was down and out.. choosing to spend her few pennies on diet coke over food (I’M A SLAVE TO MY ADDICTION!!!!).
times were tough. i probably couldn’t have booked a gig being the in-costume CHICAGO flyer girl in Times Square (1 inch character heels and all! #razzledazzleem).
out of the clear (grey- NYC in January is a drag) skies, i got an email from Ryan Lambert and he included Alex Jensen. it said a little something about each of us (by way of introduction) and how we were connected to him. then he went further to say,
I have no idea if the two of you will hit it off, but I figure that you are both accustomed to atypical “Utah Mormon” lives.
You both have something in common, in that you grew up as BYU fans (sorry Al, the truth hurts).
Anyhow, I am happy to make the intro and let you two fine people take it from here.
to which i replied:
Alex, you sound impressive but busy right now- let me know if you swing thru to see the Knicks/Nets. I also may be back in town some time in February for some production meetings on a tv show I’m developing . Let me know what’s happening with you. xo
a while later (the man is NOT interested in any type of social media), Alex replied:
Natalie, your story sounds like and impressive one. We play the Knicks sometime in late February. I’ll let you know and hopefully we can meet up. If you are in Utah before then let me know.
neither of us cared.
meanwhile, still starving, i decided to try this new fangled app that my friend Cami told me about: TINDER.
Cam is always a go-to reliable source for all things fab so when she told me that everyone who is anyone in San Francisco is on it cause they’re too fabulous and too busy changing the internet to be bothered with an in-person hunt for love (i mean, she met the paypal founder on Tinder for heaven’s sake!) i ask, “how high (should my Louboutin’s be)?”
ok, ok….. i needed free meals- and if nothing else, it would be GREAT fodder for blog stories. it’s all for you, babies. i will put myself in the line of fire, danger, and boredom for a great story. y’welcome.
so i signed up….. for 5 days. lemme tell you, the swiping was pretty fun- PEOPLE SHOPPING! but the dudes i chatted with and the ONE i met (Christian, stock broker, educated, interesting in print) were total pigs. like, total pigs. maybe it has changed since then, but the Tinder scene in NYC 2014 was a slutty one. after the stock broker, i decided i was finished with dating. really finished. i came home to my friend Angela’s house (still couch hopping and homeless…) in hysterical tears and swore my heart and allegiance to Netflix. he was the only boyfriend i needed and my last foray into technological “recommendations.”
days later, i had to fly to utah to teach a workshop. i had promoted the hell out of that thing on the facebook, and the instas, and the twitters, and basically anyone on planet earth knew i would be in Utah on those dates in February. this presented a problem for the girl who just swore off dating…. see , i had promised a date with a friend of a darling “blend” (blog friend) who would be in town on that weekend and i was worried that Ryan Lambert and Alex Jensen would see that i was planning on coming. if i didn’t plan on meeting him, i’d look like an ungrateful jerk… which i was. i did not want to go out with ANYONE. soooooo, i decided that these would be my last two dates ever! until the end of time! my attitude was SPECTACULAR!
1st date- “blend” friend
i had SUCH a bad attitude (and didn’t want to waste his time) that i wouldn’t go on a proper dinner date with him. i invited him to drive to Heber to return a keyboard to Michael McLean (where is the tears laughing emoji on that one!). what a jerk. this guy was rad. so handsome, and kind, and funny, and fun, and we had a great trip up and back and i told him i just wasn’t feeling it at that moment (cause i didn’t think he was totally “ready”), but that i was thrilled to have met him. .. and let’s keep in touch… something like that….
i had perfected the art of being brutally honest on first dates. if i could size them up- and i always could- i would tell them exactly what i was thinking re: the future. usually, i’d just say, “you know, i think you’re really _________ but i’m not feeling a ‘love connection.'” honesty was the best policy. i think this guy appreciated it. i appreciated him and, i’d say, until i got married, we still had a really nice friendship. and i continue to have loads of respect for him. i actually attempted to set him up with a few choice women.
2nd date- Alex Jensen
after i told him when i was coming & added my phone number,
i think he text messaged a little that night and said he’d call the next day. he did. what a gent.
i was skiing “solace” at Deer Valley when he called (that’s why i was booked till 6-a girl has priorities!). i paused for a moment, put my headphones in, and chatted with him while i hit the bumps. his voice was surprising. it was gentle yet direct. there was a lot of texture and color, which surprised me. and he was funny! like, witty funny. i don’t know what i expected, perhaps i thought he’d sound like a thick-tongued jock? i don’t know. but i remember thinking that his speaking voice was totally unexpected and really inviting.
he told me he dislikes textual relationships (holy cow! a grown up!) and wanted to make things easier by calling. we decided that i would come to the Jazz / Celtics game on February 24th and we would meet after the game in the family room. he asked if i’d like to bring someone and i remember thinking, “mom and dad have been thru it with me, the LEAST i can do is get them Jazz tickets.”
so i brought my mom and dad on our first date. rather, the first half of our date.
on February 24th, i text messaged the Celtic and told him i would be there that night. he was surprised that i was in town and told me that i should say hello near the locker room after the game. i didn’t then realize that proper ladies don’t hang round locker rooms and the general “stigma” surrounding NBA players- that they don’t need more platonic “friends”- is there for a reason. but we were pals. nothing more.
when mom, dad, and i arrived at the game (again, insert cry laugh emoji), we sat in Alex’s seats and scanned the bench looking for him. i had googled his name once on the way to the game just to know who to look for. the first pic was an awkward college bball mug shot and he looked like a young, angry Russian. i decided i would not further google and rely on in person chemistry… and not really caring if we had it or not. i was now starring in APATHY: the musical.
he looked like a dad……
Nalex | part 3….. next week.