Sunday, November 08, 2015

That Time Anderson Cooper Hit On Me

Picture it:  New York City, June 2001, Gay Pride weekend.

To set the time, in 2001 Anderson had just left this job reporting on 20/20 (before he began hosting his own show on CNN).  Back then, he was wearing thick black cable turtlenecks, leather jackets and hosting "The Mole", a reality show on ABC. In those days, I rarely watched TV.  I had joined a gym about a year and a half earlier and as my new body developed, so did my social life.  It wasn't too often that I was home in the evenings, so I was not up-to-par on the latest television shows.  I was young, fit, and tan.  I basically had it all going on.

So I had opted to go to NYC with some friends for my first NYC Pride Weekend.  It was LOTS of fun.  We skipped around to a few parties the night before, woke for brunch the following day and had a blast watching the biggest gay parade in the country.  It was fun, frolic, and ridiculousness.  And once the parade ended, we followed the mass migration to Pier 26 and the infamous Pier Dance.

The four of us stopped on the corner at Franklin and Varick Streets.  My three friends slipped into a bodega to buy some waters and I stayed across the street just to watch all the revelers go by.  As I stood there, a man a little shorter than me approached me and said hello:
Him:  Hey there.
Me:  Hey there back.
Him:  How's it going?
Me:  It's going well, thanks.  How about you?
Him:  I'm good.  We're heading to the Pier Dance, are you going there?
Me:  Yeah, I have friends in the store across the street, so I'm just waiting for them.
Him:  Okay, I was going to invite you to come with us.
Me:  That's very nice, but I got a gang, so...
Him:  Okay, well maybe I will see you there.
Me:  Yeah, we can dance!
Him:  I'd like that, look for me.  I'm Anderson.
Me:  I'm Dop
Him: What is it??
Me:  Dop.  D-O-P.
Him:  I like it.  I'll key an eye open for you.
As soon as he walked away, my three friends returned, one of them practically on fire over what he had just witnessed.  "What was THAT all about?"
"Some guy asking me to go to the Pier Dance with him."
"Some guy?  You do know who that is, don't you?"
"He told me his name, but I forgot it already."
"That's Anderson Cooper.  He's a Vanderbilt.  He's Gloria Vanderbilt's son!"
"Oh yeah??"
"Yeah."
"Well, he's too old for me."
"He's a year younger than you; he's just graying prematurely.  Let's go find him!"
So we all went to the dance and my obsessed friend tried in vain to find Anderson, but to no avail.  We ended up having a great time dancing on the pier and culminating our weekend with fireworks and great music.

So was it a missed opportunity?  Eh, maybe.  I mean I met him one-on-one and thought he was handsome and nice.  And I could have easily asked him to wait until my friends came and we all go together.  But something told me not to do that and to let this moment pass.

I had no way of knowing it at the time, but the universe was telling me to wait on this one - that another prematurely graying younger man was in my future.  I didn't always make the right decisions back then, but THAT time, I did.  Patience won out on this one.  And so did I.  He's MY "360".