A cocktail and a cougar

What sort of man hits on a woman in front of her husband? Only in New York!

After last’s week’s post, Give me a drink and I’ll shut up, I continue with the nightlife of New York City.
How does a man blatantly come on to a woman in front of her husband? Buy a cocktail as a conversation-starter, add two straws, and attempt to share it. This happened recently.
It was date night. My husband Michael and I were in one of our favorite restaurants downtown where we often eat at the bar. It was packed, and seats were tough to come by. We managed to squeeze into the corner where there was a small, low table in back of our two stools. Although we felt cramped, we sat sipping our wine before moving on to dinner, and hoped the crowd would thin out shortly.
A gentleman walked in and stood to the right of me, where he ordered a cocktail. He obviously knew the bartender well, as we did. Due to the close quarters, the stranger and I were almost touching. At first, we had no conversation, other than a nod or a polite hello. In a New York minute, he had an exotic drink in front of him, and we were making small talk.  
My significant other of 13 years was sitting on the other side of me. Next I noticed the two straws. I tried not to jump to conclusions, but how could I not? This creature was smooth, like the Electric Iced Tea he ordered. I thought he opted to share his drink with me, and I thought right.
“It’s incredibly strong and I can’t drink the whole thing. Please have some,” he said. “No thank you,” I responded. “I’m drinking wine and I shouldn’t mix.”  He went on, “It’s delicious, and I won’t finish it, really.” I thought the gesture was harmless enough, so out of curiosity, I sipped the wild rum concoction out of the second straw. Then it dawned on me. This unknown, cocktail-sipping guy was actually hitting on me in front of my husband! Who does this? Obviously, tall, dark and handsome men in Manhattan do it well and without shame.
After the failed attempt, he sat casually at the low corner table in back of us, only to consume a Beef Carpaccio in four minutes or less, after which he bolted out the door. He never looked at us, or bid farewell after our intimate drink-sharing experience. What was that about?
Was he mortified when he noticed the ring on my left hand, and realized that I was married? Or was it the look of threatening disgust on Michael’s face that lit a fire under his seat for the quick escape? I guess I’ll never know the truth. We went on to eat our tricolor salad and wild mushroom fettuccine, while the man with no name slipped off into the night.
I‘ve found gentlemen in this town to be a tad more aggressive than in the other places where I’ve lived prior to my New York life. These boys are obvious about the flirting, eye contact, and whistles. It’s not uncommon for a man to look a woman up and down on the street in Manhattan.
Guessing games aren’t the norm here, so if a guy is interested, a girl will easily know it. This may be due to the ratio of males to females. Inevitably, a few good men will be left out in the cold without a Saturday night squeeze. The game is always on, even if a woman is taken.
Since the incident, I am officially known as a Cougar. This is a word that I have never understood outside of the wild or a zoo, but then again, New York is both of these. And now, Michael seems to love me just a little bit more.

For more stories like these, follow me on twitter , or on Tracy’s New York Life.


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