Move to New York directly after graduating from college with a triple major and a slate of extracurricular activities from re-building pueblos in Santa Fe to hosting Thai culture night at your college filling your resume. Bright-eyed and sure that all of these accomplishments will wow any employer, apply to several companies who will ultimately never even acknowledge the receipt of your resume. Three months later, when your parents will no longer support your $400 a month bedroom in a 16 person house in Bushwick, finally settle in as a hostess at the Olive Garden in Times Square. Resign yourself to the cold hard truth that you won’t even be getting the extra tips for pushing the appetizer sampler because you have no previous serving experience. Sigh each night as you throw your apron on top of your diploma, abandoned and collecting dust in your corner. At least you’ll always have an unlimited flow of breadsticks. Comfort yourself that this is much better than the unlimited coffee pods your friends with 9-to-5s complain of.
Once upon a humid Manhattan night, after a long shift where every guest seems to order the all-you-can eat pasta bowl, jump for joy as the clock strikes midnight, setting you free to truly begin your night. Throwing your regulation black water resistant restaurant shoes caked in clam sauce into your too small clutch, strap on your 4 inch F-ouboutin heels, the red paint cracking off the bottom and sprint onto the N train to meet your friends in the East Village. On the train, make eye contact with a young man dressed in a perfectly-tailored suit who, surprisingly, isn’t furiously typing away on a Blackberry. Get so lost staring into his deep blue eyes that you don’t even worry about the homeless man’s pants grazing your leg as he walks by or the creepy overhead announcement about sexual harassment. Moved by this Prince Charming’s good looks or maybe it’s just the lack of oxygen in the swampy summer air…skip off the train with a wink to show this Winkelvoss doppelganger just how spunky and loveable you are.
Spend the rest of the night knocking back vodka shots and pretending you can moonwalk and/or teaching people how to dougie. When the bartender offers you a shot of Limoncello at 4 am, insist on taking 3 just to show the Olive Garden who knows Italian. The next two hours are a blur of cabs, meat lover’s pizza, and a failed attempt to scrub off a thick layer of eyeliner.
Three hours later, wake up to the blaring of your alarm. Follow the scent of stale garlic and meat sauce to the corner of your room to find your bag. Tearing through the stale breadsticks and crumpled receipts to find your ill-fitting regulation black khakis and polo, you’re startled to find you only have one shoe. Rack your brain. Did you wear shoes at work yesterday? Did you use your shoe as a prop in a dance move last night? Coming to the conclusion that although likely possibilities, neither of these clues solves the case of the missing shoe, it slowly dawns on you that the extra hop in your step as you winked goodbye to New York’s most eligible bachelor most likely bounced your shoe out onto the crusty floor of the subway. As you’re updating your Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts to mock yourself for the loss of your shoe with posts like “OMG, crazy night! Anyone find my shoes?!?!” and “Going to be a one shoe wonder at work today #embarassing,“ it dawns on you that your social network’s step sibling, Craigslist, could offer a glimmer of hope for a rescue. Log on to the lost and found section for New York with trepidation. As you scan past headlines like “^~!#**~~**LoSt KiTTy KaT**~~**#!~^“ and “Found Ur <3 ,” a beacon of hope screams out to you when you see: “Prince Charming Seeks the N Train’s Cinderella.” As the page opens, the photo becomes visible line by line (you can’t expect speedy internet when you’re “sharing” it with the coffee shop at the end of the block). When half the photo is loaded and you see the signature stain on the toe of your kicks from when you knocked a vat of shrimp scampi on the kitchen floor, you jump for joy.
Although you’re unsure if the poster will be the man of your dreams or the star of Lifetime’s The Craigslist Killer, as you stare at the milk crates you’re using as a dresser and your mattress on the floor, you decide saving the cost of a new pair of shoes is worth the risk of meeting the star of True Life: I Have a Foot Fetish. Agree to meet your mystery shoe-saver that afternoon. When you arrive, breathe a sigh of relief when you spot your prince charming smiling in the corner holding a Morgan Stanley tote bag, you’ve picked a winner!! As you walk over, he gets down on one knee to slip the shoe onto your foot. When you step in and it feels a little big, his eyes are crestfallen that you’re not “the one”…until you bashfully admit you had to buy your shoes in a size too big because your feet swell up from running back and forth refilling those god damn unlimited pasta bowls.
Ride off blissfully across the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun sets behind his Aston Martin, happy to follow this prince wherever he goes…as long as you’re back in time for the dinner rush.