Tomorrow marks the twenty-first anniversary of my first date with my future husband and the fourteenth anniversary of our wedding. We got married on the seventh anniversary of our first date. Marrieds, all together now: awwww. Singletons, puke at will.
But today holds a special significance for me as well. Twenty-one years ago tonight, I was hanging out with my friend Christine near South Street Seaport, chatting excitedly about my upcoming date. We were in a little seating area in front of a bank on Fulton Street, and there were many other people enjoying the night air around us. Those seats are long gone. The topography of that street has changed many times over.
As was usual in the late 1980s, there were scads of yuppies getting drunk in the open air of the Fulton Fish Market. Two of them stumbled up the street and decided they would pick us up. I suppose we should have felt lucky that they chose us. One of the masters of the universe was red-faced and wavering as if the sidewalk were a balance beam. The other, slightly less soused, did the talking.
Christine and I were not in the mood for this interruption. I’m not sure how the conversation devolved to the point where I invited him to “whip it out,” but it did, and he generously acquiesced. Unfortunately for him, whiskey dick cuts across all social strata. His penis drooped between thumb and forefinger like a sad little mushroom cap.
This was too amusing not to share, so I turned to the others sitting there and said, “Look at this! This guy’s showing us his dick!”
I should mention now that Christine had the kind of throaty, bawdy laugh that made all heads turn. It ground activity to a halt in restaurants, blotted out the dialogue in movie theaters and made people fervently hope they were not the target of her mirth.
So at this particular moment, she let loose with a boomer that echoed off the surrounding buildings. This caused everyone around us to crack up as well. The poor guy had at least a dozen people laughing at his diminutive manhood. Wisely, he put it away.
At this point, I advised him that it wasn’t so bad because I was sure he wouldn’t remember any of this the next day at his cushy Wall Street job. He replied, “I’ll make a thousand dollars tomorrow.”
And then I uttered one of the best lines I have ever said: “Oh, yeah? A thousand dollars a day won’t make your penis bigger.”
Needless to say, the gentleman was none too pleased with my statement. He looked for a moment like he would lunge at me. I was trying to gauge his drunkenness. I knew I could easily knock down his friend, who continued to sway, smiling dumbly, apparently thinking things were going well.
Instead, the guy called me a f**king c**t. I find it thrilling to be called that. When a man (or woman) unleashes that word, I know I have hit my mark. My grin must have caught him off guard. After a little more salty language, he lurched away, pulling his friend by the arm. Neither one spilled a drop of the beer in their plastic to-go cups. A few minutes later, a cop walked by, too late to witness the tableau, too late for me to press charges. While carrying an open container of alcohol and flashing is illegal, being a bitch is not. I love this country.
Years later, I related this all to my mother-in-law, finishing with “…and that’s the last penis I saw before your son’s.” She laughed. True story.