Beloved and I have great friends who are very involved with the American Ballet Theater, and every year they invite us to join them for the gala, and occasionally for a performance throughout the year.
A few weeks ago we were invited to join them for Romeo and Juliet, with the prima ballerina, Alessandra Ferri, coming out of retirement for the occasion. It was spectacularly beautiful, and afterwards, as we joined the throngs of people moving slowly out of Lincoln Centre, I overheard a distinctly English accent saying he was going to get the train to Westport. I turned to see a rather handsome, elegant man, with swept-back grey hair, in a very smart suit. He looked very interesting, this debonair man from my town, and I was intrigued.
I turned to Beloved. “Shall we offer him a lift?” I said, suddenly all alert and excited. I went up to him and said, “Excuse me, I am so sorry, but I couldn’t help overhear you’re going back to Westport. We’re actually driving there ourselves, and would love to offer you a lift.”
We had a lovely brief chat, during which time my suspicions were confirmed: he was English, he was interesting, and he was surely destined to be my new best friend.
As it turned out, he declined our offer of a lift, so I cyber-stalked him the next day, with great success as I quickly found him on Instagram. He looked very smiley in pictures, and had photographs of interesting-looking people at all my favorite restaurants in town.
I left a comment underneath a smiley photograph, saying that I hoped he got home safely and we were sorry not to have had his company, but looked forward to seeing him around town. Of course he then responded, and by the time the day had ended, we had a plan for he and his husband to come for drinks.
I was ever so slightly nervous. Exchanging messages on social media is one thing, but a cosy foursome for drinks is quite another. What if we had nothing to talk about? What if we found we had nothing in common whatsoever? Clearly, this was not without risk.
They arrived, walked in, and within about five minutes, we were roaring with laughter. This continued for the next couple of hours. They were both an absolute hoot, and we had the nicest time we had had in ages. We went to their very beautiful home for drinks this week, bringing with our friend The Editor, who has been visiting from London.
Next, we are bringing them out on our pontoon for a cocktail cruise. It is all going swimmingly, and I have decided that picking up strange men at the ballet is my favorite new hobby, and one I shall be practicing as much as I can.