“I have a huge single unit.”
“My room,” Greg repeated, “it’s a HUGE unit.”
I am on a date with Greg Yolen ’04 and you better believe that he has a huge unit.
When this whole “date” idea was proposed to me by my editors, I figured that Greg and I had, week in and week out, been laid out right next to one another (in the paper) — we may as well actually go out together.
The truth is, of course, that Greg and I had been eyeing one another for quite sometime now. In the dark, lonely world of journalism, it’s hard to find a friend. Greg is that friend. We check each other out on Thursday evenings during “edit.” We understand one another — the burden of being public figures, the burden of being funny. This date was going to be the birth of something beautiful.
The location of this late night tryst (OK, fine, it was 5:30 in the evening) was Istanbul Cafe. How exotic.
Greg is a pretty exotic guy. How do I know this? Well, the first thing that gave him away was that he showed up perspiring like Anna Nicole Smith after two flights of stairs. He told me it was because he had run over at neck-breaking pace to meet me, and on the way, had seen his life flash before his eyes. He had almost been killed by a woman opening a door directly in his path. Luckily, he had avoided disaster by spinning away using the smooth agility of a Russian ice-dancer.
OOOOH. Nothing turns me on more than a man who laughs in the face of danger.
And ice dancing.
So there we were, Greg and I, I and Greg. The hostess seated us in a prime time location. We were VIPs because we are famous columnists known in elite Turkish writing circles.
That’s a lie. We were the only people at the restaurant.
Thus, the date began.
“Why did you bring me here?” I asked Greg, thinking that as a New Haven native, he knew something of the area’s Mediterranean delights.
(As a side note — I think I am a Mediterranean delight.)
He gazed at me passionately from across the table, “You make me crazy like a crazy headless turkey.”
Little did he know, he had me at hello. He didn’t have to pull out lines from his Rico Suave annals.
First dates follow a sequence. They are formulated much like a car show. You, of course, being the car. In a perfect world, you would stand on a rotating podium, all oiled up, wearing a flattering color (black), while an announcer rattled off all the wonderful things about you. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. There are no announcers, and there is no one to oil you up before first dates (well, now that I have a single there isn’t; when I lived in a double it was a whole other story).
What do you do? How do you showcase all of your best features like a brand new Chevy?
You revert to the Go-To. The Go-To is that part of you that is reserved for kick-off situations with a soon-to-be-significant-or-insignificant other. Everyone has their own particular Go-To formula.
For most, there is the Go-To first date outfit. Mine, for example, is black knee-high boots (sexy) worn with jeans (casual) and a black sweater (cosmopolitan) with an understated accessory (classy). Greg’s Go-To outfit consisted of a forest green shirt unbuttoned to the middle of his chest (gangsta) and swanky brown shoes shined to meet the standards of any army general (military). If you ask me, a rather paradoxical combination.
The Go-To of course, does not end with the outfit. It extends far beyond that. Each person has the Go-To Conversation. The GTC consists of two main parts. First, it is necessary that one direct the conversation toward one’s own interests. This is complicated, as it must be done in a way that creates the illusion you care about the other person, only to revert back to the best things about yourself. You have to show the other person that you are funny. That you are intelligent. That you are spicy (like Turkish food). Secondly, the GTC encompasses the Go-To anecdotes. There are a few Go-To anecdotes that stand out in my mind as most important. They are the following:
1. The Go-To High School Story. Once you finish high school this reverts to the Go-To College Story. Either way, this story encompasses who you were in high school — jock, drama queen, artsy-fartsy — while describing your battle with teenage angst.
2. The Go-To Drunk Story. This is used to indicate to the other person that you are a fun and cool kid to be around. It starts with something exotic, like, “One time I was so WASTED in Guadelajara when–” and it goes on to talk about how you met peasants in the jungle and you all hung out and played the travel version of Yahtzee.
3. The Go-To Ex. This is quite possibly the most important Go-To story. It is also one that needs to be handled with most care. You cannot have the other person think that either you or your ex is particularly crazy (which you both are). You discuss your ex rationally and make it seem as if you had a healthy relationship that just “somehow” went wrong.
If these three Go-Tos prove successful, you will be lucky enough to slip in that Go-To CD back at your place. It’s the album that always helps you score. Like the Braveheart soundtrack. Or LL Cool J.
Greg and I never got to the CD. We did, though, have a delightful dinner filled with fascinating Go-Tos. We also topped off with a round of Turkish coffee.
Turkish coffee is particularly potent and particularly bitter. It is served in a miniature cup (like espresso) but, when you finish the coffee, there is a sludge that remains on the bottom. Legend has it that if you turn the cup upside down, the sludge on the bottom forms various shapes indicative of your future. (I swear)
In my cup, right there, when I glanced inside, was none other than a huge unit. And not the kind you might find on the fourth floor of Entryway C in Pierson College.
We’re talking the kind you find on a guy with size 16 feet and a mean jump shot — just like Greg Yolen.
Natalie Krinsky ’04 hails from Sasquatch, Canada and currently squats on the Upper East Side.