I was working at the Gagosian and he [Tom Sachs] called for my boss. I took the call and immediately—it was so bizarre—I thought, wow, that guy is just so cool.
He was like “Oh, you’re new” and we chatted. I knew about his work, but I didn’t know what he looked like or anything. I tried to play it really cool—obviously on my first day of work I wasn’t going to flirt with the artist!
Three or four weeks later we met in person at a gallery party uptown. I was like “Oh, I’m So and So's assistant, I think I helped you on the phone". I thought he was so cute and cool but we stayed business friends only. About a year later I was at the Beatrice (the crappiest, dirtiest bar possible—it was awesome) and he was there. It was the first time I had hung out with him outside a work environment. We had the best time and he asked me out.
I was like, “Ah, I don’t know how to answer this. Will I get in trouble? It feels kind of weird." But I genuinely liked him, and my job is very social so I was hanging out with him in a lot. Eventually, eight months later, I was like this can’t hurt I’ll go out with him. We went to Balthazar. My husband’s studio is in Soho; and he was there before Balthazar opened. So he took me there because it was a very special place for him; it was his fancy restaurant, you know.
He was like “You can order anything you like.” So we ordered the seafood tower and champagne and both got steaks…And then he forgot his wallet.
So he goes “I can either go to my studio, which is one block away and we get my wallet, or you can pay now and I’ll pay you back.” I thought he was trying to get me to go home with him or something so I was like “I’m not going up to your studio, I’ll pay for it.” I was not at all in the financial position to be taking two people out to dinner—I was 22! But I paid for dinner. And then he took the leftovers home with him! (Which there were plenty of—we were so nervous and talking all the time, you know when the date is so great and you never touch the food.)
I was like “WTF! What a weirdo. I guess we’re not going out again, that took a weird turn.”
And the next day I was at my desk telling my friends the whole story. “Oh my god I went on a date with Tom Sachs but it was really weird...” when the front desk buzzed me. He sent over steak sandwiches made from all the leftovers, and he wrapped them in this fake MacDonald’s packaging that he'd had made. I called him and said, “I was questioning you when you took the leftovers but it’s all forgiven. You’re awesome, that was really cool.”
And, yes, he paid me back in the end! He snuck the cash into the sandwiches.