Andi Dorfman was looking for love in all the wrong places — like on national television.
Dorfman pulled off a reality show coup, appearing first on “The Bachelor” and then on “The Bachelorette.” While each featured plenty of manufactured drama, Dorfman delivered plenty on her own.
Having sex with two finalists tends to do that.
Dorfman wound up engaged to one of them. It lasted seven months and produced her first book, the best-selling “It’s Not Okay.” Her latest effort, “Single State of Mind,” arrives Tuesday.
She’s still looking for love, although by now she’s narrowed her search to the men of New York, a city complete with its own complications.
Dorfman shares (or over-shares) all of it, as she finds an apartment in the West Village, darkens her wardrobe to Manhattan’s all-season black, develops a new group of girlfriends and plunges into the dating pool.
Much has been made — after an excerpt ran in a magazine — about her decision to freeze her eggs. At 30, with no true contender for a father of future children in sight, it’s hardly a surprise.
Far more revealing are her accounts of boozy nights on the town. It’s a nightlife scene where clubs are “filled with thirsty girls. You know the type, the ones with bodies made for swimsuit ads, faces made for radio, and shamelessness made for sex tapes.”
One evening, after many hours of drinking, she leaves the club with a cute guy. Soon they’re in a hotel room, rolling around the bed in various states of undress. When he popped the question, it wasn’t the one she expected.
He asked her rates.
Dorfman grabbed her clothes and fled.
“It was the first time I’d ever felt dirtier than the grimy leather seat of a yellow cab,” she says. As her taxi sped away, “I gazed out the window as one word flooded my mind. Hooker! He thought I was a f—ing hooker!”
Far from working in the oldest profession, Dorfman inhabits one of the newest and strangest — that of an instant celebrity, making a living “attending events that I really have no business attending, and getting paid to post on social media.”
And she’s parlayed that fame into the books.
It wasn’t like Dorfman didn’t have a life before the single-rose ceremonies.
An assistant district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., Dorfman first left Atlanta to become one of the many vying for the bachelor’s attention. She quit mid-season and returned to work.
Later, she quit the law and starred on her own season of “The Bachelorette.”
The new book begins with Dorfman leaving her family in Atlanta for a move to New York City. She needed to find an apartment, and like everyone else who moves to New York, experienced the rude awakening of how much it costs to get so little.
Like so many star reality show celebrities, she has a cheerful tendency to live out loud and in public. Dorfman’s book is about the quest for love, and she takes readers through it — one lousy date with a hot new guy after the next.
Among her conquests are three professional athletes, although here she shows a little discretion. She mentions one guy’s team — the Yankees — but doesn’t name names. A muscular athlete with a spectacular apartment? That doesn’t narrow it down much.
After dating for a bit, the duo engaged in a texting tiff that signaled the bottom of the ninth for their romance.
The subject: whether he would pick Dorfman up at the bar where she was, as she preferred, or if he would send a car for her, as he wanted.
She also fell hard for another unidentified baseball player in Seattle who unceremoniously dumped her, saying he didn’t want to be in a relationship.
It probably would have hurt less if his next girlfriend didn’t immediately move in.
And there was the Canadian hockey player, completing her hat trick of failed relationships. Dorfman makes an international booty call, but it turns out his only goal is sex.
Apart from that, he’s cold as ice.
So why put up with these guys? She is genuinely looking for the right man and knows that starts with a first date.
“Long ago, in my early twenties, I didn’t mind dates so much because they meant a free meal,” she confesses.
Dorfman confesses to suffering through a few painful Friday nights in the past for a “a complimentary buzz and a juicy medium-rare steak.”
But things change. Perhaps, she wonders, it’s the 26 first dates she endured on national television. Or maybe her improved finances.
Whatever it is, she’s now as fond of date No. 1 as she is of a root canal.
Consider this painful meet-up: The guy who’s seriously late, drunk and coked up, then flirts with the bartender, ignoring her.
Other adventures were more involved — like this one.
Dorfman accepts a trip to the Kentucky Derby, where she and a pal get wasted. She meets a couple who live part-time in New York. Turns out they want a ménage à trois, which she discovers after accepting a ride on their private jet.
She’s texting with her friend, who Googles the couple and says the woman is a Hollywood madam who “sells girls as sex slaves to rich millionaires.”
It’s not clear exactly how she makes it home unscathed but Dorfman concedes she now understands why her mother warned her against taking rides from strangers.
More self-aware than many reality contestants, Dorfman realizes some people sneer at them.
She sneers right back.
Those shows get her invited to parties, where the paparazzi snap her photo. She’s outraged when people snub her, like the Fashion Week publicists who won’t give her a free ticket because “we don’t really do reality television stars.”
“Who do you think is buying your s—?” Dorfman counters. “People who watch reality television.”
She then went on a tear and ditched all of her Olivia James apparel, even though she liked them. Although Dorfman was invited to other shows, she later admits that Fashion Week isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Still, walking various red carpets, even Dorfman wonders what exactly she’s famous for.
“I’ve gotten so used to this it kind of freaks me out, like, who the hell am I, and why am I still relevant enough to be walking a red carpet?” she asks. “I shouldn’t question it, though, because sooner or later, everyone is going to catch on.”
She works hard at becoming a New Yorker (though someone should warn her that crying on the subway is not something tough city women do).
Dorfman embraces New York wholeheartedly and is so determined to live her version of Carrie Bradshaw’s life that she even thanks New York in her acknowledgments.
Her love of the city is apparent from the beginning. How many people go through LaGuardia Airport “nearly skipping,” as she describes her arrival?
Dorfman continued to love it despite a first whiff of New York that smelled “a tad like garbage, with a hint of urine and maybe a note or two of sewage.”
Dorfman keeps searching for love until she has her Dorothy-from-Kansas moment — and realizes what she was looking for is something she had all along.
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