My answer is simple: bloody marys. I call my friend Frankie.
"Kat it's only 4pm!"
"Yeah and my date starts at 8. I'm running out of time," I plead.
"I'm not drinking today."
"Dude bloody marys aren't drinking. It's practically health food."
"Ok," she sighs. "See you at the Commodore in an hour."
I ride over and meet her in the courtyard. We chain smoke and I down three cocktails.
"I don't know," I say. "Is this my life now? My attached friends setting me up on dates with their other tragically single friends? Am I that much of a charity case? Like, really? What's next? Internet dating?" I poke my straw violently against the bottom of my glass, trying to stab the olive I know is down there and desperately want to eat.
Frankie raises her eyebrows. "It's just a date man, don't stress. At least you're getting some."
I shrug my shoulders and push the ice around my glass in search of the olive. And then, success! I beam at Frankie, proudly holding out my straw to her, the stabbed green olive bobbing at the end. She laughs. "That's my girl!"
Before I leave, Frankie talks me into chugging a can of beer. I chug the beer. Fuck. I'm drunk. I stumble out of the Commodore, somehow find my bike, momentarily worry that riding is a bad idea, decide I'm not going far, pussy out and walk it even though I'm already half an hour late.
I get to Zebulon decidedly drunker than when I left the Commodore (physical activity equals alcohol-laced blood pumping) and the moment of truth is upon me. I lock up my bike, totter to the door, struggle to open it, and sway into the room. I see him sitting at the bar and before I have a chance to change my mind, he turns around and sees me.
He smiles as he catches my eye and the first thing I think is, "Shit, God damn! He's way cuter than the pictures Erin showed me." The second thing I think is, "Wow, I really need to pee."
I sidle up next to him at the bar and make my confession. "I'm so, so sorry. I accidentally got really drunk."
He laughs, "Me too." Something tells me this is going to be a good night.
We continue to drink, and I wish I could tell you what we were talking about, I really do. But I don't remember. I'm pretty sure he grew up in New Jersey and has a brother. Something, something, something, might be in a band and probably Jewish? All I really know is that we're having an amazing time because some White Russian comes out of my nose while laughing.
At the end of the night he kisses me in the street. It's a weak at the knees kiss, and if it wasn't for all the drunkards lurching past us on Bedford Avenue, it would have been a little bit romantic. My knees are so weak I ask him to come home with me.
Now a lady doesn't kiss and tell, but if you ask my roommates you'd hear about how no one likes to be woken at 3am on a Monday night by giggling and grunting. Twice. Bah, who am I kidding, I'm not a lady... it was the best sex I've had in New York City. A night of firsts indeed!
He left in the morning without waking me (or so he thought, I was so awake, just doing my best sleep-acting) which made me like him even more. THEN he texted me almost right away (come on New York, no more of this three-day rubbish, if you like someone you like them, don't be a pussy about it), so I'd say my first blind date was a complete success.
[Ed. note: Hopefully not that successful, for the sake of this column.]