A couple of years ago, for our anniversary, Jeff and I went to Amsterdam. I had been having a particularly lonely time, and was between jobs, so I did what I had to do: I applied for any shitty opportunity I could find, and I had started accepting Facebook friend requests from Nigerian scammers. Before I continue, I’d like to elaborate on the latter: Nigerian scammers make for very devoted friends. They fall in love with you the minute you start talking, and if you can get past them constantly interrupting your train of thought to ask you to send the fucking money already, they're actually pretty fun. They tell you you’re as beautiful as the sun/a rose/planet/sky etc. (which is sometimes all you need to hear) and, if you get them on a good day, they might even write you a poem. If you’re ever feeling down, I highly recommend a Nigerian scammer. Here is some photographic support for my argument:
Anyway, around that same time, Jeff and I were also living for 90 Day Fiance and were both heavily mesmerized by Jesse Meester so of course, when we got to Amsterdam, the first thing I did was text Jesse in the event that this man who had never met me or heard of me before might actually want to jeopardize his safety and meet us - I attribute this delirious courage to being high off a job interview that had gone well the day before, a high that superseded any high I could feel from any Dutch pot shops, so my plan for the weekend was to stay sober and just enjoy the sight-seeing.
I kept my phone handy in case I would hear back from the job placement agent or Jesse Meester, but it kept lighting up with “You there baby?” and “Please say you love me too” from neither of them but rather Buzz Scott, the DEFINITELY CAUCASIAN AND FINANCIALLY SECURE stock photo shipping off to the Navy and desperately seeking payments for child support to his daughter who happens to be in Lagos, Nigeria on a school trip.
We had walked through several cozy canal neighbourhoods, taken a boat tour on which a freshly divorced geriatric madam and her decrepit cocker spaniel made a pass at Jeff, and were enjoying a little Danish bun when I received a reply from Jesse. I put my bun down and looked at Jeff, and we read the message: “I’ll be at the central station in 20 minutes. Let’s meet.”
“I can’t believe this!” Jeff screamed as we ran. I couldn't either. Suddenly, everything I've heard from people who enjoy life was opening up to me, too! I would be meeting a real life celebrity, on Monday I would get that job I’ve always wanted, and Jeff and I would kick off our third year together on the best.note.ever. This was all so incredible, I had to tell someone. At that moment, Buzz Scott had attempted his twentieth video call of the day, and you know what, I picked up because I just had to tell someone what we were about to do.
Unsurprisingly, Buzz Scott didn’t care too much that we were in Amsterdam, but also didn’t seem too concerned that he looked slightly different in real time than in his photos. Lighting makes a lot of difference I guess.
As we ran past the rows of bicycles, I laughed into the phone to him: “We are about to meet someone famous!” …only then did I realize I had blown my cover (OKAY FINE YOU HAVE TO ALSO PRETEND YOU ARE SINGLE. OKAY?) as Jeff waved into the video chat, and Buzz hung up, spelling the end of our friendship.
Here, a few of our better moments, from when it all began..
To getting to know each other better...
To when things got a little heated...
We arrived at the central station, hearts racing, and waited, and waited some more, and then suddenly a message from Jesse: he couldn’t meet us. He was actually very busy.
Few things make you feel as pathetic as realizing you’ve been waiting at a train station for a famous man who literally wants nothing to do with you, or perhaps took a look at the two excited sweaty perverts awaiting his arrival, did a u-turn and walked off.
We tried to reason with each other that of course a famous person would never want anything to do with us, as we walked out of the station and past rows of shockingly attractive prostitutes in brightly lit red windows. At least we still had this charming city, with its rich history, whimsical canals, and cute little -
then an email notification popped up on my screen.
It was from the placement agent. The job went to someone else.
This was a job that boasted a salary ten thousand Euros below what I was making before it.
A job that called for a horrible commute.
And it too, was out of my reach.
No job, no Jesse, no Buzz.
We went into a coffee shop where, to put it in the words of a dork I met at a party when I was sixteen:
“The lady did toketh”.
I smoked away my unemployment, my rejection, and yes, to an extent, my memories of Buzz Scott, who was, in all likelihood, beginning a new mission with a new caucasian woman.
First stop: get yourself some slime
a few hours in, go look at aliens at Ripley's Believe it or Not
We played chess and, as I attempted to mouth the words “I’ll never find a job” through scattered fits of laughter and tears, outside our window men lined up (some with groceries, some with canes) for their turn with the gorgeous ladies of the red light district.
Later that evening, as I had become a new woman (unrestrained, having accepted her fate of forever being an unemployed, rejected loser), sitting on the street curb, we ate smoked hot dogs. It was the kind of eating where you can’t remember if you swallowed the last bite and there’s mustard up your nose and you hope the police don’t come and arrest you for eating the hot dog because you are so stoned and paranoid.
(also get yourself some big meringues)
Once I had made sure I had in fact eaten my entire hot dog and that it hadn’t rolled off and down the street as I had suspected for the last twelve minutes (or maybe 11 but better say 12 just in case the police ask), I remembered the box of donuts we had bought.
Banana cream - the way a donut should taste. We ate them too, forgetting they existed the minute they were gone (again, disappearance trail to be confirmed), and as I wiped the mustard/banana situation off my face, my phone lit up again:
“I can meet you guys after all, if you're still around. Central station.”
Jeff and I looked at each other and I don’t remember why, but this was so, so funny to us, and once again, we ran and ran and got to the station, and there he wasn’t, again. Except this time, even that in itself was so ridiculously funny, that we just turned back and started walking out, with me planning the way I would surprise Jeff with the idea of getting more donuts.
“I’m in the burrito shop” - Another text from Jesse.
Jeff looked at me with eyes like little red currants, and we both keeled over screaming at the thought of, well, everything.
If you’ve never been to Amsterdam, you should know the central station is huge and probably has loads of burrito shops, but the one we walked by happened to be the one where, in that moment, Jesse Meester sat, eating a burrito, as promised.
He told us about Darcey, about his PhD in “All of Psychology”, and about his coffee business where he, for God knows what reason, is coming out with a line of espresso. I tried my best to remember what he was saying, and not stand too close, and not talk too much but also talk enough so as not to rouse suspicion (you know, all the things you think about in a normal conversation), and I couldn’t wait for it to end so I could ask Jeff if he could EvEn BeLiEvE ThIs WaS hApPeNInG To US?
And then it was over, because we said we had to catch a train because we wanted to seem cool, and Jesse said Aw really? We can keep chatting, and we said something I can’t remember and then we were back out walking on a chilly Amsterdam night, me, jobless, Jeff screaming “Can you BELIEVE it??” and somewhere out there, my hot dog rolling down the pebbled walkways of Central Amsterdam.