Thanks For Last Night by Lauren Blakely

Her Prologue


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Experts tell women some crazy shit.

Like this gem—when you hit twenty-nine in New York City, the creep sets in.

The dating creep.

Sounds like a catchall category for all the jerks and jackholes women learn to avoid, and if you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor—they are never worth it.

But no. When lifestyle gurus say “dating creep,” they mean your dating prospects will—supposedly—slow to a molasses-speed trickle. If you listen to these experts, you should just box up your stilettos and take up your knitting needles.

Sure, twenty-nine is still technically young. But it’s only one year from—shudder—thirty. And in Manhattan, where there is an influx of perky college grads flooding the streets every freaking June, the big three-oh is a deal-breaker for some dudes.

So, chop-chop. Get moving, ladies.

The only glance you’ll get from guys in bars is on their way to checking out that pretty young public relations strategist next to you, or the quirky-cute book editrix and her friends, all less than a quarter-century old.

The only solution is to lock a man down while you can!

Because soon, you can forget the idea of an adorable, glasses-sporting hottie chatting you up while you’re reading travel guides in a cozy indie bookstore in the cutest meet-cute of all, maybe one where you drop a stack of papers and he picks them up, while casting love eyes at you. That is an under-thirty-only scenario.

Are you scared yet? Desperate and ready to settle for less than love?

Don’t be.

Don’t buy into the madness, ladies.

I’m rapidly approaching thirty-three, and I say, bring it on, calendar. I’m not afraid of birthdays, nor am I afraid of being alone.

I like my own company.

I’m that woman. The woman in the red dress, strolling down Lexington Avenue, AirPods blasting pop music, pink handbag swinging sassily from her arm—because where else would a lady carry her mace?—without a care in the world.

Maybe that’s not a daily event, but it’s the single-in-the-city montage unfurling under the opening credits in the romantic comedy flick of my life. It would have a kick-ass girl-power soundtrack too.

And as for the closing shot? No spoilers here, because there are zero guarantees that more than one person will be riding off into the sunset. Because I refuse to accept a Hollywood Ending requires romance.

I’m living proof.

I’m the happiest kitty in the borough of Manhattan, and I don’t need a man on the reg to enjoy the catnip of life.

Catnip tastes fabulous when you’re single.

Even if a smidge more Tinder swipes go left instead of right now that I walk on the—gasp—dark side of thirty.

But I don’t let this evaporation in the dating pool bother me, because those men don’t know what they’re missing.

I’m the woman who knows how to have a good time.

I don’t mean like that—wink, wink—though I do, also, mean like that.

Mostly, I mean this—I like fun and games. I like going out. I like trying the smorgasbord of things this fabulous city has to offer.

So, if and when the dating creep kicks in, I’ll do what I usually do.

Say “No, thanks,” and walk on by.

But here’s what dating experts don’t tell you.

You’ll have to fend off your friends the most when you’re over thirty.

Once they all fall ass-over-elbow in love, they will have zero self-control when it comes to their new favorite hobby—matchmaking.

Once attached, everyone becomes a cupid.

They want everyone to be as happy as they are, and they can’t resist aiming their arrows at your heart—yours and those of whatever single guys they know.

Lately, my coupled-up friends have a particular target in mind and are champing at the bit to pair me up with him.

Ransom North.

Stud hockey player. Dry sense of humor. Laid-back attitude.

We’re the holdouts. The last single people in our group, so natch, we should get together—the happy-go-lucky social media strategist and the chill NHL all-star.

Maybe in a parallel universe, we might have been a good fit. It would certainly be convenient for our circle of friends—until it wasn’t.

In this world, that’s the issue when it comes to Ransom and me.

My friends are my family.

I don’t want to take a chance of ruining the only family I have by messing around with someone who joins us for brunch, Ping-Pong, paintball, laser tag, and so on.