Dear Uncle Steve: I met a really good looking guy two weeks ago when I was bar hopping. It was dark, late and the bottles were flowing. We exchanged numbers after talking for about 30 minutes. Soon thereafter, we began to text and developed a playful chat relationship. After about a week or so he asked me out on a date. With all intentions of meeting up, I told him “yes.” After our plans fell through, I decided to make it up to him by asking him to be my date to my friend’s birthday party. One slight dilemma, I have no idea what his name is. Could you suggest a good way to figure out “John Doe’s” real identity without letting him know I’ve been calling him Mister Downtown for the past two weeks?
Sincerely, Up with Downtown
Dear Up with Downtown: Club people have this problem all the time. When I started working for Steve Rubell at the Palladium, he told me it was going to be impossible to remember everyone’s name so not to try. Just remember their social status and call everybody “buddy” or “beautiful”. Immediately say things like, “You look great,” and “I love your shoes,“ to distract them. This works to a point. Women who date me are quickly aware that I say hello to hundreds of people when we go out. I tell them I’m a gentleman, and I’ll always introduce if I know the glad hander’s name. I ask them to jump in after a few moments of no introduction and say, “Hey I’m Laura. He’s being rude. What’s your name?” Problem solved. Every so often you get cornered like you are now. What works almost all the time is, “How do you spell your name?” Invariably he’ll answer g-a-r-y or s-t u-a-r-t and you quickly bang in with a “No silly, I meant your last name.” If they call your bluff and say something like, “You don’t remember my name ?” Come back with, “It was loud that night and I only remember your eyes looking into mine and the way your hand felt as it touched mine.” You can get more graphic if you’re desperate, but you get the idea.
xoxo, Uncle Steve
Advice from a Girl: To ensure that it’s a problem-free recon mission, call one of your girlfriends who will be at this party and explain the situation. Either ask her to meet you two for a drink before you get to the party or outside. Coordinate that when she arrives, you’ll either be in the bathroom, or on a “work call” and she can do the dirty work for you.
Dear Uncle Steve: My boyfriend and I have been dating for six months. I’m completely head-over-heels in love and have never been happier, but there are some pretty serious “problems.” First of all, I live in NYC for school– he lives in another state for work. He’s much older and we’re in completely different stages of our lives. Job and school circumstances will prevent us from living together (in the same state, let alone the same city or apartment) for the next few years, so it is difficult to imagine us staying together long term, and yet I’m completely willing to try it. Am I crazy?
Sincerely, Far and Away
Dear Far and Away: Been there, done that. I met my second 12 year relationship on her last day of summer vacation. She went to U Penn and I, of course, was busy in NYC being king of the clubs. Even though it looked really awful on paper, I couldn’t get her out of my mind and other relevant regions. She came up to the city as often as she could and I Amtraked down when I could finagle it. The time and distance made our increasingly frequent meetings fabulously lustful affairs. We talked of sex constantly on the phone and we were graphic and adventurous. When we finally met, we exploded. The next school year had me commuting every day. I maintained a small room in my friend’s apartment as a New York closet and shower. When she went to grad school to get her JD/MBA in Boston, I graduated from trains to shuttle planes. Eventually she stopped schooling around and we moved into a NYC loft with dogs and such. If you’re talking about Philly, I say go for it. If this dude is in Ohio or some other inaccessible place, I say see him when you can. Keep in touch through the zillion ways that people communicate, but date other people and have an understanding that you will. You’re very young and unless this is straight up Romeo and Juliet eternal love kind of stuff, move it along.
Xoxo, Uncle Steve
Advice from a girl: I say you’re crazy. I’m not of the school of thought that college is the absolute best time of your life and it all goes downhill from there, but it’s a period of opportunities that you’ll never have again. Focus on school and yourself, traveling, enjoying and expanding your social network, not on traveling to see some dude. Sure, you’re in love, blah, blah, blah. But if he feels the same way about you, he’ll want you to enjoy this time. If he objects to letting you go at it on your own, I’m betting he’s a selfish man and he doesn’t have your best intentions at heart. Or he’s just a douche who likes having the power to date college chicks. Either way, bad idea.