We’re seated with a marvelous view of the stage where a live band is playing along to Taylor Swift’s "Shake It Off." This is the first of four times we will hear this song. A frenzied 42-year-old Ukrainian Anne of Green Gables takes our order before she joins her colleagues on stage for a vigorous dance spectacular followed by a conga line led by a man with half his head shaved. We opt out of the conga line, but there will be others.
The vibe is intoxicating, and so are the excruciatingly sweet $20 Bahama Mamas -- rum, Malibu, banana liquor, fresh orange, and pineapple juice with grenadine on top -- we’re now drinking out of penis cups. Twenty minutes later, we confirm to the pushy, pushy beer girl that yes, we would like the $15 pitcher deal that comes with a free T-shirt.
A girl comes by and makes us balloon hats. I lie to Balloon Girl and say we're visiting NYC from Montreal, partially because I think innocuous and spontaneous untruths are adorably appealing on first dates, but also because I might be embarrassed to tell her I live 20 minutes south on the Q train.
Our chicken chimichangas and sizzling steak fajitas arrive. I read somewhere on the Internet that the chimichangas are a must-have, which is why I ordered them. But the Internet has let me down: they taste like a microwaveable frozen burrito/leftover egg roll hybrid. Peas might be involved. The mouthfeel is not satisfying. But I didn't come to Señor Frog's to eat -- I came to find love. And to partake in an "anything goes" atmosphere.
Matt and I agree on many things. We both hate scary movies, we both unabashedly love Carly Rae Jepsen, we both think first dates are hard because expectations are very rarely aligned, and we both visited Disney World as 11-year-olds and found it gauche. I’ve never liked people in costumes, particularly this giant Señor Frog who just hopped past our table.
Matt also has two older siblings who are 10 and eight years older than he. Mine are 11 and eight years older than I. I’m beginning to think we’re soul mates. “Do you think we’re soul mates?” I ask. He thinks maybe. At least that’s what I hear. I’m having a lot of trouble hearing over these smooth Bowie interpretations.
“Who ever knows what this song is will win a free hat!” “Under Pressure!” we yell. “Under Pressure!” we yell. “Under Pressure!” we yell. We are ignored. Our bond grows stronger every passing minute.
But hats are a hot commodity here, and won with ease. I win a lime green trucker hat for knowing that Neil Diamond sings "Sweet Caroline." The woman at the next table openly expresses her anger to the MC that I have won this hat and she has not. She is not a good sport. I exchange my balloon crown and wear this hat backwards the rest of the night. I think it looks pretty good.