How to Bag a Big Daddy in the Big Easy

Month: March, 2012

Beware the Six Figure Man

When Vinny said he sold Japanese water machines to famous people, I knew we’d never fall in love. His last relationship ended, he offered, because they’d wanted different things out of life. She, a picket fence. He, a castle with a moat around the bed and a fireplace that would make Zeus’ forge look like a cub scout’s campfire.When I wouldn’t come to his hotel room, he texted: “No, I meant come to the roof. Ladies have to earn their way into my bed”. And there was the time when, shutting his laptop after a hard day’s work on god-knows-what, he proclaimed, quite sincerely, “Everything I touch turns to gold”.

All signs point to small penis, but there was another, more important question Miss Mischief and I wanted to know: Was Vinny a bona fide Big Daddy? He said he was a consultant. The kind of evasive answer you’d expect from mobsters or the unemployed. But, he was handsome, well-dressed, and could afford to stay in a four-star hotel for several months. He was mysterious, if not eligible. Certainly he was good enough for sport.

As we’d come to discover, Vinny suffers from a specific inferiority complex. He’s a Six Figure Man. He earns at least $100K but less than one million. He doesn’t make 7, 8, 9, or 10 figures. He makes 6. And to his mind, thank god it’s not 5. That’s what liberals make.

Lest people think I’m a heartless, golddigging wench, let me be clear: I’d sooner entertain the advances of a man with a Louisiana Purchase Card than I would a Six Figure Man. Six Figures is the middle ground where a man has enough disposable income to appear wealthy and important, but none of the class, discretion, largesse, or poise of a man who has rock solid money. The Six Figure Man longs to be Gordon Gekko.  He’s upwardly mobile and inwardly insecure. He won’t lavish you with jewels, lapdogs, or custom finery – the lasting heirlooms of a love affair.  Rather, he’ll give you iPhones, Groupon getaways to Vegas, and other such unsentimental garbage, if anything at all. More often than not, the Six Figure Man isn’t looking at you when he’s talking, he’s looking at himself in the mirror across the room, over-enunciating to take in the full beauty of how his little red mouth forms the words “I closed a five million dollar deal today”. And never forget that you’re there mostly to make him look good.  Don’t even think about wearing flats or accidentally farting in front of his associates. You’ll never hear the end of it. How do you spot a Six Figure Man? Read on, ladies, and save yourself some valuable time.

1. He’s a Braggart Who Won’t Shut Up About Work

The Japanese Water Machine

Not always, but often, Big Daddies earn their millions and billions doing things that I find mind-numbingly boring and morally wrong. I just don’t want to know. I certainly don’t want Big Daddy to talk to me like one of his business associates. It’s his job to cultivate a sexy, romantic, and stimulating atmosphere when he’s out with a woman.

The Six Figure Man doesn’t care about your interests or understand much about creating desire. He’d rather boast about his fledgling career, telling you about the time when he fired his own boss, or the time when he delivered a kick-ass power point presentation explaining how the company could fuck its employees to save more money. Even worse than bragging about his job, he might treat you like one of his clients. Take Vinny, for example, who in the beginning, tried to sell me one of his Japanese water contraptions.

He’d been coming down to the bar for dinner and hot tea several times a week for about a month. One night he brought me a glass of water, made from his magic machine. As I drank, he told me of its healing properties, that it would balance my pH and make my skin beautiful, although I didn’t need help with that of course, he said, for I was “so fucking hot.” That night I was sober, but sparkling with laughter over the antics of my coworkers.

Vinny returned. “Did you feel a sense of euphoria after drinking that water? I forgot to tell you that you might feel a little buzz. It shocks your system the first time you drink it.”

That was mildly frightening. I had already been feeling that I was living Alice in Wonderland, entangled in the dramas of New Orleans’ unpredictable lunatics. Now I’d gone and drank from a suspicious vial labeled “Drink Me”.  Did my mother teach me nothing? Was it time to go to AA? I drank from an unsealed cup that a stranger brought down from his hotel room. Then I thought better of my self-chastisement. I didn’t buy all of Vinny’s malarkey about balancing my pH and adding two decades onto my life, but I did believe in my buzz. If he had spiked it, whatever it was, it was good. And meanwhile, I was still alive, wasn’t I?

The next time I came into work, Vinny had left a blue gallon jug for me labeled “APRIL”. I kept it behind the bar and had him refill it three times over the course of that week. “What the hell you got in there?” Mikey – an old bartender who you will meet in future posts – asked. “Vodka?”

Vinny returned again, and this time asked if I felt sick. No, I said, I felt great. “Oh, because, a lot of people forget that I tell them about getting sick.” A lot of people “forget” because he never told them.

“Yeah man, after four or five days of drinking the water, you’ll get really sick. See, the water’s bringing all of those toxins out of your body and balancing your pH and you’ll get sick, like really sick. Like the flu —”

That was the end for me with the Japanese water, and it was the end of Vinny. Until Lent, when most Big Daddies go into hiding, and I thought perhaps there was something there I could work with…

2. He’s an Entitled S.O.B.

After a late night outing at Harrah’s where Vinny promptly lost $200 at the poker table because he thought it was blackjack, we had cafe au laits at Cafe Du Monde. In The Rib, he always had the bad habit of ordering espresso drinks when we were busy. And then our trip to Du Monde had put the idea of cafe au laits in his head, even though, like the poker table, he didn’t quite understand what they were.

“This time could you make it without the foam?” he asked me one day at work. “And can you make it like they do at Café du Monde? The last one you made wasn’t very good.” I explained that Cafe du Monde makes their cafe au laits with chicory coffee, which we didn’t have, and that, by the way, there was no foam on the last one I served him. Naturally, he had the gall to argue.

Vinny draws too much attention to his cigar and brandy. A real Big Daddy doesn’t have to remind you he has refined taste.

In the back,  I steamed the milk malevolently and bitched to Miguel, one of the servers. “Does he want to have sex with me? Because if he does then he shouldn’t insult my cafe au lait. If I bring that douche a cup of gasoline he should drink it with a smile on his face. He’s lucky I don’t take a shit in this.”

“He’s probably got a small dick,” Miguel assessed.

Then it dawned on me what he didn’t have: a million dollars. Yes, that was it. Vinny didn’t have a solid million. But he wanted people to think he did, that he had that kind of power. And where is the easiest place for people who have no power or money to pretend they do? Bars and restaurants.

It was the first indication that Vinny had a sense of entitlement – that he gets things just for being himself. He started asking security to let him up to the rooftop pool after it closed. When another security guard who wasn’t in the loop, asked him to leave so they could lock up, Vinny threw a tantrum. “I spend fifteen grand in this hotel man, and you’re telling me I can’t go on the roof and smoke my cigar?” The next day he called the management and told them to make it right, and if that weren’t enough, complained to a restaurant manager, asking him to double check it wouldn’t happen again. Vinny returned to the bar. “Give me another glass of brandy. I’m going to take it up to the roof.” I told him he’d have to take it in a plastic cup – it was a safety issue. No pool that I know of allows glass. “I’m not drinking out of a plastic cup!” he snorted. A gentleman would never ask me to jeopardize my job by breaking the establishment’s policies, and a genuine Big Daddy,  who is relaxed and accustomed to being filthy rich, won’t get a bee in his boxers over drinking a mediocre brandy out of a plastic cup.

3. He Talks About Money

A depressing room at the Red Roof Inn. Unless he’s negotiating with a Saudi prince over the price of an oil barrel, beware the man who haggles. What’s to stop him haggling with you? Before you know it you’ll be thanking him for picking up the tab at Applebees.

A real Big Daddy doesn’t have to tell the staff how much he spends or makes – they know. After some sleuthing I found out that Vinny spends nowhere near $15K at the hotel, and in fact, had tenaciously haggled to get a room rate that would be comparable to those at the Red Roof Inn.

The Six Figure Man will tell you how much he makes, but never in sum. He’ll say, for example, that he made ten grand that week, but fail to mention that’s all he can expect to earn that month. It’s likely he’ll ask how much you make. Such as Vinny, who asked how much I brought in a night in tips. Never indulge a man, or anyone, in casual money talk. Not only is it supremely gauche and disrespectful, but it’s the mark of a man who has no class, and, you guessed it, no money. Even a hayseed who’s won the jackpot won’t ask how much you make or brag about what he’s got in the bank. Why? Because he has so much it just doesn’t matter anymore. Speaking of the lottery, it should come as no surprise to the reader that Vinny purchased lottery tickets one night because he felt lucky. I wonder how that’s working out for him.

Epilogue

In the end I found out what Vinny really does. He’s a motivational speaker for companies who want to brainwash their employees to work more and follow stupid rules for less money. He dispenses bracelets that say “No Negativity Allowed”. When I pointed out that it was a negative statement, not to mention creepy, he countered by saying that I was being negative. No, you’re just an idiot, Vinny. And you probably have a small dick, too.

Vay Jay Ess

Jean Noel is the owner of a vineyard in Napa and naturally, a Big Daddy. Despite being a winemaker, he doesn’t have a drinking problem. Rather, he meditates on mountaintops, and goes on yoga retreats. No complaints here, but my ideal Big Daddy has a more gunslinging, cowboy boots, and double-Dewars approach to life (with an opera-loving side and a New Yorker subscription).

I met Jean Noel a couple weeks before Mardi Gras at a certain krewe’s party at the Foundry. He zeroed in on me before I’d gotten a chance to sidle up to the bar, my first order of business. I have that effect on older men – they forget all about their heart condition and run to buy me alcohol – but also, on a humbler note, I was one of only a handful of women under 60. Party time.

The bar was stocked with his wine – VGS – which stands for “Very Good Shit”, because when people would visit his winery they’d ask for the very good shit and that is what he gave them. Several glasses and group photos later, we were outside, ready to move on to Delachaise, when he snatched my friend Brittany’s go-cup of wine out of her hand.

“Vat eees zees you’re drinking? Let me smell eeet”.

He needed only a cursory whiff to ascertain that she had been drinking not VGS, but VBS.

“Vat esss zees SHEET? How could you put zees in your BO-day? Life ess too short to drink SHEET.” In one dramatic but authoritative flick of the wrist he tossed the wine onto the street in this way that I imagine only a French or gay person can toss liquid from a glass. Here’s hoping he reenacts it one day for a commercial.

Way to be, Big Daddy. Life is too short to drink shit.