Volume 21, Number 39 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | February 6 - 12, 2009
Sex, politics & memories as V Day approaches
By Ben Krull
I met Karen on JDate, the Jewish dating site. Her picture showed a woman with long dark hair, blowing on a flute...oh, the Freudian implications!
She said she was a 40-year-old drummer in a jazz band, living on Long Island. I’ve always had a thing for bohemian types, so I agreed to meet her for brunch.
She was a knockout! Looking into her sparkling blue eyes that sat above high cheek bones, as she laughed at my sarcasm-laced jokes, I thought that I had met my soul mate.
For our second date I went to Long Island. Karen, not her real name, picked me up at the train station and drove me to her house.
While she showed me her bedroom, I noticed a string of Ann Coulter paperbacks on a bookshelf. As a Democratic activist, I was momentarily overcome by a wave of nausea.
“Do you like Ann Coulter?”
“My mom gave those books to me. I read them to stay informed.”
Could a jazz musician really be a right-wing crazy? No, it could not be.
Despite my misgivings about Karen’s literary taste, I was able to look beyond politics to see Karen the person. More specifically, I saw her curvy, athletic figure.
We made out on her bed, my hands all over her.
“No!” she said. “I promised myself that I would be a good girl tonight.”
We ate at an Italian restaurant, where she told me about her last relationship, which had ended three years before.
“I’ve been too devastated to date anyone, but after three years of acting like a nun, my hormones are raging.”
I nearly choked on my baked ziti. Could I really be so fortunate?
We kissed passionately, as she dropped me off at the train station. On my ride home I was pulsating with desire.
The next weekend Karen drove into the city. I bought tickets for a movie and made reservations at a romantic restaurant.
The movie was “Darwin’s Nightmare,” a documentary about African fishermen who were exploited by European corporations. As we sat down for dinner after the movie, I asked if she liked the film.
“I hated it,” she said. “I’m sick of liberals telling us how to think.”
“I thought it made a good point.”
Keep cool, I told myself. Don’t blow a sure thing to score a debating point.
“The mainstream media just shows one side of every issue,” she said. “Like the way they cover the Iraq War.”
I could feel my heart racing, as I lost control of my senses.
“We have no business being in Iraq,” I said.
“You want us to lose,” Karen said. “Your part of the blame-America-first crowd.”
By this time we had nearly finished a bottle of wine, leaving me buzzed. “If you weren’t so cute I would throw my glass at you,” she said.
We both laughed, lessening the tension. I started to think that I could salvage the evening.
After dinner we walked to where Karen had parked. As a gentleman I could not allow her to drive after drinking so much wine. It would be incumbent on me to suggest that she sleep off her intoxicated state at my apartment.
“I can’t find my car,” Karen said. “I’m sure I parked it here.”
Looking around I noticed a No Parking sign by the empty space. We hailed a cab and rode to the N.Y.P.D.’s car pound, where towed vehicles are kept.
After Karen paid her fine, we sat in a drab waiting area, with several other disgruntled-looking couples. By the time we got the car the effect of the alcohol had worn off. Karen drove me to my apartment, my hopeful evening ending with a peck on the cheek.
I concluded that events worked out for the best. After all, what if things had gone as planned and we became a couple?
Our differences over Iraq and all the rest would surely have driven us to violence — she playing my skull with her drumsticks, me burning down her house, after flames spread from the bonfire I made from the Ann Coulter books. So I was surprised when she called me the next morning.
She thanked me for going with her to the car pound, which I saw as an opening to ask her out for another date. But as she spoke, instead of a dark haired beauty, I imagined I was speaking to a shrill, leggy blonde in a little black dress. We never spoke again.
I have yet to find my love match and sometimes wonder if I gave up on Karen too soon. Maybe we could have learned to disagree without being disagreeable, sort of like James Carville and Mary Matalin. But if the promise of sex was unable to make me put politics aside, I am probably a poor candidate for a bipartisan relationship.
Ben Krull, an attorney in Lower Manhattan’s Family Court, is a freelance writer.