Laurie Penny: A date? How American ... why not hop into bed to see if you have anything in common?
ROMANCE in New York City is a blood sport. In most bookshops, there are entire shelves of fiction, memoir and poetry dedicated to the mating rituals of the young and preposterous in the five boroughs. The problems are well-rehearsed: the dearth of eligible men, the irresistibility of ineligible ones, the fact that brilliant women eventually leave with your heart, your job, or both.
Of course, the real reason that there are all those books is the same reason there's all that angst: there are simply too many writers in this city. Every café is lousy with them, hunched behind their laptops with suspiciously well-groomed hair, waiting for the love of their lives to blow in over a macchiato.
I wanted nothing to do with it. But after a little too much Scotch one night in Brooklyn, I accepted a friend's challenge: for once in my life, I was to forego picking up strangers at squat parties and go on what she called a "real date".