Tag Archives: LARP

The Guy Who LARPed, Part 2

(Continuation of The Guy Who LARPed )


The second time I went out with the LARPer (because oh yes, there was a second date), he showed up wearing what can only be described as shower shoes. You know those blue, waterproof Adidas sandals you wore in the shower at sleep-away camp, that by the end of the summer would be completely worn in, torn, slightly moldy, and smell like garbage?

He wore those.

I don’t even usually notice men’s footwear, but I swear to god these were emanating a stench that rocked me to the core. I thought about them the entire night.

I thought about the shoes as he ordered himself a cosmo in a Mexican restaurant (so you know that shit came with a tiny umbrella), and I thought about them as he regaled me with stories of his LARPing adventures (“I haven’t always played the monster, you know“). I thought about the shoes as he told me he makes a living by subletting his apartment to foreigners for 3 seasons out of the year and sleeping on his mom’s couch. “Why not in the summer, too?” I asked. Because in the summer he likes to be near Central Park.

For the LARPing.

I still thought about the shoes as he chewed with his mouth open and told me he doesn’t own a credit card (“Why would I?” he asked, as bits of cosmo-soaked guac flew from his mouth into my eye).

I thought about the shoes as he told me about his best friend, Leonard.

Leonard is a cat.

But mostly I thought about the shoes as he walked me home, stopped at my awning, and tried to kiss me goodnight. The doorman happened to be standing outside. He caught my “For the love of god, help me!” signal, but rather than doing so, he leaned against the wall of the building and essentially pulled out a bag of popcorn and a fountain soda.

The scene was as awkward as they come. He stopped and clumsily fished for my hand, which I attempted to hide in my pockets– only to discover, regrettably, that I didn’t have pockets. Then he went for it. I did the half turn, letting his lips land simultaneously on both my cheek and mouth. This had happened one other time in my life– when I was 13 and ran into my 60-year-old rabbi at the mall. We each went for the wrong cheek and ended up weirdly half-mouth kissing. It was mortifying and terrible.

But in this moment, I found myself missing Rabbi Weinberg.

Post-“kiss”, he attempted to say something, but I giddy-up U-turned for the door and ran inside. Literally. I ran. I ran like there was free Chipotle and I was…well…me.

Then, as I’m in the elevator, I get a text.

“I can do MUCH better than that kiss, but the doorman was killing my mojo.”

Oh, LARPer. Everything about you was killing my mojo, including your use of the word mojo. You literally could not have made yourself any less attractive in the past 3 hours, and no girl with any self-respect would even think about responding to this text.

I think we only went out one more time after that.

The Guy Who LARPed

“Well,” he said casually, sipping his beer, “I’m a writer. But I’m doing an anthropological study on LARPing. So right now, I’m in the research phase. Pretty much just LARPing full time.”

I’m sorry. WHAT?

It was the weirdest response I had ever gotten to the dependably benign introductory first-date question: “What do you do for a living?”

So when my date, Jason, answered with the above statement, I stared at him, briefly stuck in that awkward space where you’re not sure if you’re an idiot for not knowing what someone is talking about, or if what they’re talking about is completely obscure. I decided to lay my cards on the table, because I pretty much always assume the former, and I couldn’t even make an educated guess as to the definition of “LARPing” to try to play it off. So I asked the question that I now understand was a completely normal one to ask:

“Um….what is LARPing?”

He laughed. I was clearly an uncultured simpleton. And by uncultured simpleton, I mean regular human who does regular human things.

“You know, Live Action Role Play,” he said casually, as if that explained everything.

“I do not, in fact, know. No.” I replied. He rolled his eyes. Clearly my ignorance was driving this sophisticated LARPing connoisseur to the point of exasperation.

I don’t remember his exact answer to this question, but in the interest of making sure that we’re all on the same page, here is how Wikipedia (source of all FACTS) defines LARPing:

A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters’ actions. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world while interacting with each other in character…Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play.

Sooooo, in other words, this:



“So, like…you get dressed up and put on plays every day?” I asked, struggling to understand and wishing I had drugs.

“Oh my god, no.” He reassured me. “It’s not a play.”

Oh. That was actually the part I was sort of on board with.

“When you’re LARPing, you’re not performing for an audience. You’re playing a role — a consistent role— in a made-up society.” He went on to explain that he had seen some LARPers LARPin’ away in Central Park one day and became curious. He looked into the art of LARPing, and the concept fascinated him. So he decided to study the LARP culture first-hand and write a book about it.

“Little did I know,” he explained, with an air of sophistication that was completely uncalled for given the topic of conversation, “that I would become enthralled with the world of LARPing and want to pursue it full time. I LARP almost every day now.”

I had to admit— this was weird, but a) I like weird and b) I was kind of intrigued. I was genuinely curious how one goes from average layperson to LARP-junkie so quickly. There must be a cool story here— was he given a powerful role in the LARP world? One that allowed him to explore and discover a side of himself he didn’t know existed? Did he get to live out heroic fantasies that he always wished he could in real life? Was there some kind of latent therapeutic and psychological component to all this?

“So what’s your part? Are you a lord? A duke? A prince? A knight?” I asked, getting more and more excited with each impressive-sounding role I conjured up, temporarily forgetting that he wasn’t actually any of those things in real life.

“Monster,” he said, with a straighter face than anyone should ever have while saying the word monster.


“Well…not, like, a main monster,” he said, reassuringly.

Oh, ok. Phew. (I think? I don’t really know WHAT is happening at this point.)

“A sideline monster.”


“Should, for any reason, the main monsters not be able to fulfill their monster duty, I would sub in.”

“Wow, that sounds like a lot of pressure,” I stated, deadpan.

“I know, right?” he said, 100% earnest.

So you can guess how this story ends– he paid the check, we said goodnight, and I decided he was hands-down the most random weirdo I had encountered in NYC yet.

And then we went out again two days later.