Date ‘Concierge’ Helps Busy New York Couple Plan Manic Pixie Dream Dates

Illustration for article titled Date ‘Concierge’ Helps Busy New York Couple Plan Manic Pixie Dream Dates

It takes a lot of effort (or at least attention) to plan dates that don't revolve dutifully around Amazon Prime, far too much effort for overtaxed young professionals in New York to do it themselves. So, while couples like 27-year-old Bianca Caampued and 24-year-old Aaron Small set about becoming paragons of capitalistic hustle, their date planner Brenndon Knox, who's ordained himself the couple's "Secretary of Date," orchestrates rendezvouses that seem like they're straight out of a vapidly quirky Focus Features romantic comedy about a workaholic PR-something and the unemployed amateur roller hockey player with a brain tumor she's fallen for.

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According to The Daily, Caampued and Small found themselves entrenched in a new relationship without time to plan the sort of complex dates that would be worthy of their attention, dates like those you'd maybe see on a reality dating show — making gourmet tacos, donning prom outfits and meeting in Whole Foods, or ice skating with the elusive snow dolphins of Central Park (snow dolphins are not what a strictly literal person would call "real"). Rather than simply give up and, you know, start dating when they actually had a little brain space to devote to the enterprise, they posted a craigslist ad for a date planner who would arrange their meetings for $12.50 an hour.

Instead of being sold a moldy mattress or being ritualistically disemboweled by an internet savvy cult, the couple found Knox, who started strategizing their dates with all the tenacity of Rommel in North Africa. (Caampued also brought a Wisconsin college-student named Holly on board to help with some logistical details). Caampued and Small insist that the goal of hiring a date planner is to help enliven their dates and dream up activities take them "out of their comfort zone." As if to prove just how far out of their comfort zone Knox is willing to lead his overworked clients, the Secretary of Date sports something that we might call a pompadour mohawk, and happily sends the Caampued and Small to foreign films bereft of subtitles or out into the park to distribute flowers to strangers, while all the while the hapless daters are forced to ask themselves, "Are we in love now? How about now?"

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Secretary of Date [The Daily]

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DISCUSSION

Bah, all you need to have the perfect manic pixie dream date is to a) be crazy, and b) be cute enough or have your date desperate enough to go along with it.

I met this guy at a cafe once (originally on CRAIGSLIST) and he was nice and sweet but terribly boring, and I was feeling a mite sadistic, so I told him to go run through the fountain by the art museum (the fountain is about 30 yards long and perhaps 6 inches deep) barefoot. In October, right before they would turn the water off because it would freeze. And he did it, me laughing hysterically and him giggling nervously while trying to massage the life back into his feet.

Then we ended up having a race to the next section of town; we stopped in a Korean restaurant just to sing a song on their karaoke machine; we serenaded everybody and then ran out. We ate Chinese (the perfect Manic Pixie Dream Food because it's just so damn portable!) under a bridge as it began to rain. I read him poetry out of my notebook; we talk about philosophy (with me bullshitting all of it because I was, like, 17 and didn't know anything) and talking about our finest memories. Around midnight, I walk him to the bus stop. I cross the street and start walking home. His bus rolls up and I wave at him. He looks at the bus, and then at me, and then back at the bus! and then at me! And then runs across the street. He stamps up to me and kisses me (horrible; just horrible, like scrunched-up slices of roast beef sliding over my mouth). Then he steps back, looking terribly pleased with himself. His bus goes by.

"Okay," I say, nodding. "That was nice. I'll call you."

"... I missed my bus. It's the last bus," he says.

"Yeah," I reply, wiping my mouth off with the back of my hand. "Good thing you're only in Oakland."

And then I walk away. The funny thing is, that poor soul went out with me a few more times.

It's not MPDG, but it's more like RLMPDG: Real Life Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Or rather, RLMPNG. You can guess what the N stands for.

That's partly why I hate that trope so much. There is no real-life equivalent of that beautiful girl who sees hope and love in everything and is spontaneous and adventurous and adorably fucking quirky, who is one of the guys and at the same time, unlike anybody you know or will ever know—who is NOT certifiably batshit insane.

You want a girl who will drop everything to take a road trip to a Transformers convention with you in the middle of the night (and of course, you're going to have to break into a motel room when he's too tired to drive) and then earn the money to go home by fixing broken furniture people left out on trash day and then selling it on Craigslist in fucking OHIO? (True story.) Well, you've got her, but check this: she's craaazyyyy. There's no, "Oh, the Smiths! I'm so tragic/beautiful, let's dance in the rain and eat only waffles and lay in meadows all day."

Non-crazy people have to go to school. And work. They have commitments, and they kind of sort of definitely have to keep a large percentage of them. As a now borderline crazy/normal person, I understand this. Sigh. This was a large, rambling post. I'm sorry. I just hate this trope so much, and anybody who needs to have someone plan spontaneity is missing the point. I suppose that one sentence I just wrote could have been a better post than everything else I've written today.