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This Week's Time Out New York Column -
Let Them Eat Shoes: The Case Against Dinner Whoring

My very sweet Ex bought these for me in Paris two years ago.  What can I say?  He pretty much ruined me for any other not-ridiculously-generous man.  And you know what?  I'm okay with that.

This week's Time Out New York issue (Summer Concerts) is sold out all across town.  Or, uh, at least at the two newsstands I asked randomly (spot check, suckers!), so you'll have to click HERE to read the column I shall forevermore lovingly refer to as "Buy Me Shoes, Damnit!!"  (Well, it was either that or "I'll Do You for Shoes!!"  which is not entirely true.  It's more like "I'll Cocktease You for Shoes!!"  Just strivin' for journalistic accuracy here.)

Anyway, it's not that there's anything inherently wrong with "dinner whoring" - I don't personally understand it (boring, calorie laden, did I mention boring??), but I'm not against women who like going out to nice meals paid for by ... not them.  If that's your (doggie) bag, baby, then go for it.  ha.  (Dear god, that was the lamest pun ever.  Sigh.)

Personally, after almost three freaking years of these dinners, I can't take it anymore.  So I put my foot down (ha. pun again!) in this column, and well, what do you know?  I didn't get a pair of shoes ... per se ... but I did get an extraordinarily creative first date this past Sunday with a guy who had obviously read the column and, uh, gotten the point. (creative dates = happy Julia)

Herewith, a short(ish) summary.  It won't seem short, I realize, except that the date was 12 hours long, so honestly, this is the abridged version.   And, sorry, it's G-rated.  Because that is how we rolled.  8th Grade New York Tourist Style!

Instead of aimlessly ingesting food within the safe confines of Manhattan, we took the N to Astoria (!!) to visit the Museum of Moving Images, where you can make your own flip book (!!!)  Which is pretty much the most awesome way to commemorate a first date, aside from, you know, getting knocked up.  Although that's really an option I'm not much interested in right now.  Then we caught their screening of a 1957 Western called "Forty Guns," which I thought was going to be a disaster (the whole "Guns is Part of the Title" thing) but turned out to be rather ... hot ... for some reason.  You'd be shocked how steamy old films can be with just innuendo and loaded weapons.  (I swear to god, the following was an actual bit of dialogue --- Woman: Can I see your gun?  Man: Sure, but it's a big one.  It might go off in your face.  Woman: I just want to hold it.  I like big guns.)  I mean, that's unbelievable.  Much better than Spiderman 3.

But we didn't stop the date there!  In fact, we decided to get all ATHLETIC with a half hour at batting practice, right around the corner (Queens has everything!).   I would like to happily report that avoiding all sports-like-activities for my entire, well, life, more or less, did not stop me from hitting the shit out of several innocent baseballs.  He was impressed/scared/possibly turned on.  Anyway, after searching Queens fruitlessly for edibles we decided it would be totally ironic (we said it in italics) to jump back on the subway and eat at that bastion of fine Times Square dining, Hawaiian Tropic.  Although we had come too late to vote on the hottest server in that evening's "beauty contest," we asked for (and received) leis, as well as excessively fruity alcoholic beverages from our tiara-wearing bikini-clad server (she had won the contest, obviously.  Only get served by Winners, that's what I always say).

And still, the date refused to end!  Following that, we walked down to Gotham Hall, where we attempted to crash a wedding (a "Sunday Styles" wedding, we were informed by a disgruntled nicotine-patch-wearing bridesmaid), and then walked a few blocks south to the Empire State Building, where I unsuccessfully tried to get our tickets for free (c'mon, everyone knows there're no such things as real press passes!!).  I surrendered my Amex for the tix, and all of a sudden we were at the top, admiring the lovely mini pink-for-girls & blue-for-boys Statue of Liberty figurines in the gift shop.   Who knew tchotchkes were gender assigned now?  And, yeah, we checked out the view too.  Although there were some rather thuggish guys who brought their portable iPod docking station and were blasting rap, killing the Nora-Ephron-esque mood slightly.  They did not respond favorably to my glares, so we made out to spite them.  Also, because it was sorta romantic.

The whole thing was so much better than your average three-vodka-tonics-nice-to-meet-you-uhhh-what's-your-name-again bar date, right??

Although I still haven't given up on a world where men purchase women shoes every week or so.  Mmmmm.  We all need a fantasy.

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