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Olive You, In NYC!

Just in case you didn't know.

I guess I feel the need to talk about VD right now. Everybody is talking about it. If you don't talk about it today, when will you talk about it?

I guess I can say that I'm VD free! That's something to be proud of, right?

I think there are a lot of New Yorkers who feel the same way that I do. That is, we are dealing with being single and not really feeling conscious of it until a day like today comes along.

There are unique demands to being a single in NYC. Everyone is looking for that perfect person.

It didn't used to be like this. People would graduate high school or college, presumably with their sweetheart, and build a life together. It would be a struggle, maybe one would work while the other would take more courses or they'd both work... but whatever the logistics of it all, they functioned as a team to get where they wanted to go.

Nowadays, people are much more focused on moving into a "favorable situation." There is no "working together." It's "I have this, you have that, and you are playing on my level." It almost is like India's famed Caste system. The tax brackets don't intermingle.

This is especially intense in New York, where floor space costs by the square foot, designer duds don't come from a wholesale outlet and a cheap meal out means less than one hundred dollars, fifteen percent gratuity included.

Isn't that the problem? Isn't this part of the reason divorce is so easy? There is no "teamwork" anymore. It's [You] and it's [Me] and we want our separate stuff and we want more from our partner, to enhance and embellish our lives. The "struggle," the achievement of success is neither desired nor existent! And if you aren't enhancing and embellishing the way you should, bye-bye!

NYC creates the need for a lot of strange situations. Odd jobs, odd living arrangements, the rare choice between space and location. Would you rather live in a dark studio apartment on 90th off of Lexington or a two bedroom place on 190th just north of the George Washington Bridge?

Forget the show "Are You Hot?" The real judging around here is where you live and what your place looks like! Do you own or rent? What's your maintenance fee?

Not very romantic, is it?

I never really thought of NYC as "romantic." Maybe that's because I grew up here and know the ins and outs. But maybe it's because it just ISN'T. Most of the romance of the town was created for film. But for every "When Harry Met Sally," there's a "Taxi Driver." Just keep that in mind.

It's not a put-down! New York does have an image. Tough, urban, unfeeling on one hand... caring, comforting, strong on the other. But only so many people can fit, you know! And there are people who either buy into the romance or are looking to create it.

Our lack of connection doesn't help. It seems so much harder to connect with people on a face-to-face level anymore! Are we losing our social skills? Has the internet really spoiled our ability to relate to real life human beings?

I'm overdramatizing (I think!) but the facts: personal ads are making a comeback. People are paying relationship counselors to set them up on dates and there are endless party promotions going on. Who can party that much and still have time for work and sleep? Only a single person who isn't going to be in a relationship for a long, long while.

We are a little crazy from the terrorism. I have to say there is an influence about that. 9/11 is there as this constant reminder that anyone could be anywhere and be a victim. The idea is to get a level of success, get to a point where you have the flexibility to get out quickly and enjoy what's going on while you have it, because tomorrow could be really ugly.

Even our Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, has residences all over the world... London, Jamaica, a place in the Napa Valley, a ranch in Colorado. He is a bachelor billionaire, in charge of the world's most famous city, and even he's having trouble dating! Does that tell you something about the state of love in NYC?

But, that's all general and has nothing to do with my personal New York story.

Truthfully, I almost had a good Valentine's Day once. I was taking one of my film courses a few years ago and I was sharing my thoughts about things with a classmate. She was really intelligent and always had some brilliant counterpoint to what I had to say. Sometimes we'd disagree about things, but even in the debate there was a great sort of respect happening that I know we both enjoyed.

My problem was I didn't have a clue as to how much she liked me. So when she asked me out for a date, I was totally shocked and unprepared. I politely turned her down, not realizing I was being a rude idiot. Chance blown. Maybe if I could have seen that element everything would have been different. But then again, I wouldn't be here writing this.

I guess we are meant to experience different things. It makes us who we are. The idea is to maintain your humanity, and your hope.

So what. Valentines. Charlie Brown survived and he was perpetually stuck at that age when it really aches to not get a card. It's only as big a deal as you make it.

I'm not even working a gig tonight. So, I'm going to spend the evening with my mom. No romance, but at least, love.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2003 11:10 am (UTC)
Awww... it always sucks to hear when things aren't going as well for people as it's going for yourself...

Valentine's Day is my equivillant to Christmas. I LOVE to celebrate LOVE.

Even though I met trsdos at work, I found out that he was single because he had a personal ad out there. I recognized his picture. I responded to the ad. I had already enjoyed talking to him, but I didn't know he was single at the time.

I hated meeting people out in public with absolutely no clue as to who or how they were. I'll admit it, I was a big fan of online personal ads. It gave me an outlet in getting to know people before I went to meet them. And I wouldn't meet them usually until months had passed, and there was always a dialog going.

It's not that there was anything wrong with my looks or personality - it's just because for the most part, I am a modest person, and I have shy tendancies. I was constantly asking Michael out, and he was constantly turning me down. I'm glad that things changed after a year and he was the one to start asking ME out all of the time.

Once we got together... we haven't been apart.

I've been engaged 3 times. I turned down 4 other offers. All because those people didn't feel right as it does now. Michael was married once before, but that didn't work out for him (thankfully!).

Dating is one thing. It's difficult, it's a pain in the ass, but once you actually DO find the person you want to be with, and it all feels right... it really makes all of that living hell SO much worth it.

Happy Valetine's Day to you. There's a lot of love to go around.
Feb. 14th, 2003 11:38 am (UTC)
Yes, it's Christmas for lovers, that's certain!

You raise an interesting point about shyness and social skills. I think a lot of people of my generation were taught that being shy was cute (or at least weren't taught how to be more open among our peers). This is a spaceagers topic, and relates to this hidden generation between the Baby Boomers and the Gen Xers.

It's so great that you found someone, despite all of the obstacles.

Yes, I think there is a "feel right" response... but that's always a two way street in order to make it work. I'm just mentally preparing for not having that meeting.

Thanks for the wishes!
Feb. 15th, 2003 04:08 am (UTC)
It wasn't so much that being shy was cute. I was shy because I was scared of other people that I didn't know. When my parents would have their friends over, I found myself diving behind the couch, and I wouldn't come out until they were gone.

Thanks for the link to the community. I'll definately be joining and checking it out.
Feb. 15th, 2003 10:21 am (UTC)
Yes. I wonder about the fear of people. I really think this is more universal for our generation than you are aware. I'm not entirely certain why, though. Was it because our parents didn't help us through it, was this a social issue stemming from children seeing the Vietnam war on the nightly news or were there other issues?

I was an only child and had to deal with adults more frequently than kids of my own age. But there were definitely times when I felt better about being alone!
Feb. 14th, 2003 11:26 am (UTC)
*putting on my cupid outfit*

Ya know...I have this really nice, semi normal, SINGLE friend that lives in NY!!!

What's your stand on really odd blind dates??
Feb. 14th, 2003 11:44 am (UTC)
Ah ha!

Well, I've been on exactly one blind date in my life. It was sort of a wash. We liked each other, but we weren't each other's types and we went our separate directions after spending about two hours together.

As for dates... eh. But I am up for meeting people socially... not necessarily for love, but for talk, coffee, film, etc. I'm looking to meet everyone on my LJ list someday!

So, Cupid... what do you think now?
Feb. 14th, 2003 11:47 am (UTC)
Hmmm...a causal meeting I might can arrange.

This one should be interesting to explain to her...I know him but I dont really know him, no I have never actually talked to him but I read him a lot *L*
Feb. 14th, 2003 12:14 pm (UTC)
Hey, no pressure. Give her my lj address and she can read too! I'll be none the wiser.
Feb. 14th, 2003 12:29 pm (UTC)
*plucking on my little cupid harp*

I did that about 3 months ago *L*
Feb. 14th, 2003 12:50 pm (UTC)
Ack! Sneaky!
Feb. 14th, 2003 01:00 pm (UTC)
batting my eyes all innocent like at you
Feb. 14th, 2003 11:32 am (UTC)
Well said, Dean. There's also an additional stigma if you're (godforbid) part of the evil B&T crowd, even if it's just because you have no alternative but live there. In other cities, there isn't that kind of weirdness of 'Oh, you're from the suburbs, you have cooties". Unfortunately anyone living on Long Island or New Jersey is immediately stereotyped as a uncouth big haired loud mouth with no sense of culture whatsoever. Granted, I've known enough people like that myself but not all of us are. *sigh*

I understand about lost opportunities too. It took me about 5 years to realise that one of the guys I had a big ol' crush on in high school actually felt the same way about me. He asked me to hang out with him more than once but he was a stoner and I wasn't so I thought he was either a) just setting me up to make fun of me or b) only wanted me to come by his house and do assorted nasty drugs with him (and at the time in my life I was squeaky clean to the point that I could have been considered "straight-edge"). Ah well, maybe next time around on the karmic wheel, eh?
Feb. 14th, 2003 11:58 am (UTC)
Spin That Wheel!
It's true. The outer regions issue is just another way to judge, and it only prevents a lot of potential relationships from happening.

The key is to select parents who have the wherewithal to provide financial or proper training to accomplish the task!

I guess we always look at the "one that got away" as a negative, but the truth is, we'll never know, so it's pointless to regret it, though it seems, especially on a day like this, difficult if not impossible!

I don't know that there are always opportunities available. I have to wait for the universe to make the next move. Then, I'll be able to see.
Feb. 14th, 2003 12:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Spin That Wheel!
My parents often regret moving out of the Bronx to the Island instead of moving into Manhattan but that's where the jobs were and so that's where we went. What can you do? I really don't see that kind of city vs. suburbs snobbery to the same extent in other places -- definitely not in Philly or Boston or Chicago. I can't swear to anywhere else.

I have a few "ones who got away" but usually it was just that things didn't work out. With Russell, it was totally a case of missing the signs. Not that it would've been the Greatest Love Story Ever Told but it might've meant my HS experience might've been better. And he supposedly straightened out after he graduated (or so he told me the one time I ran into him over the years). Oh well, what can you do?

Personally, since all my romantic opportunities have been few and far between over the years, I think my ticket may have run out. Oh well, if I'm destined to be the eccentric old single lady, so be it.
Feb. 14th, 2003 12:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Spin That Wheel!
Yes... I think more than for other generations, the decisions that our parents made... things we had absolutely no control over, had a profound effect on our lives. I don't mean to say we were victims, because that isn't fair or accurate. But I think our experiences would have been so much more rewarding with the right moves made by them.

I know how you feel about the ticket running out. I feel the same way. But I'm getting used to it.
Feb. 14th, 2003 11:52 am (UTC)
I'm overdramatizing (I think!) but the facts: personal ads are making a comeback

Have you ever seen a really excellent documentary filmed in New York in the mid to late nineties (by an Englishman) called "Unmade Beds"? It's worth a look if you can find it. Not only do I love documentaries in general, but I find the topic of personal ads and dating agencies very interesting. In fact, someone made me a copy of another documentary about people trying to find love on the internet but I haven't watched it yet.
Did you once mention a book or video called: "Living or dating in New York" or something like that? Sounds like something I might want to watch.
Feb. 14th, 2003 12:09 pm (UTC)
I believe I heard something about "Unmade Beds" when it first came out. Never saw it, though...

But, yes! There is a weekly series called "To Live and Date In NY," and it paints a somewhat accurate picture of what the people who are looking to get "that situation." The first season, one of the groups they followed was this league of women who proclaimed themselves "The Barracudas," just to give you an idea about their mindset.

I think Lifetime may be showing reruns of that season... but our Metro Channel has moved on to season two, with a whole new set of singles freaking seeking out their dates.
Feb. 14th, 2003 01:01 pm (UTC)
add in some brotherly love straight outta flint, michigan!

Feb. 14th, 2003 01:42 pm (UTC)
Right on, DJ!

And right back 'atcha!
Feb. 14th, 2003 01:03 pm (UTC)
Well said Deano, and from me,
happy valentines day.
Feb. 14th, 2003 01:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks, and Happy Valentines to you too, Theda!!
Feb. 14th, 2003 03:37 pm (UTC)
I'm doin the mom thing as well tonight.

Hey I picked you as one of my valentines' on that silly LJ valentine thing, but I don't think mine ever worked, so you might not have known someone picked ya(me) :)
Feb. 14th, 2003 04:00 pm (UTC)
I didn't know! I sort of breezed past the whole concept, that first page was confusing so I didn't bother to register or anything, feeling the way I did about the whole concept. But if I had, you would certainly have been on my list!


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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