Saturday, October 31, 2009

Public displays of expectoration

When did people (besides truck drivers) decide it was acceptable behavior to spit in public?! This has always been a pet peeve of mine and, down south in redneck country, it’s more common than I care to admit. But I did not expect it to be more common still in New York City! It’s even equal opportunity, with the women spitting in the street as much as the men! Unabashedly! Please - blow your nose loudly next to me, let your dog piss on every surface in sight, fart, I don’t care - just do not hock up a lugie in my path. It is Revolting with a capital R and you should be ashamed of yourself.


As you may or may not know, “dating” these days doesn’t often involve physical speech. It’s become a series of one-line, usually deplorably spelled, text messages such as “Hey, wat’s up?”, punctuated by the occasional in-person meeting. This apparently reduces the amount of time invested in a new person and the amount of accountability you have toward the person if you meet someone else or decide to just blow them off. I mean all you know about them anyway is that “Things are good” and that they’ve “Been busy” – easy to take or leave, right?

Well, the stranger phenomenon I have encountered in NYC is the ease with which these guys will feign what I like to call “text affection”. Many of the guys I’ve met here like to sign their texts with X O X O or some variation thereof within the first couple of back-and-forths! Last time I checked, virtual strangers don’t merit hugs and kisses. But I guess that makes me and my friends who agree on this point “emoti-prudes”. We are not willing to give away valuable X-Os to just any guy we meet! What are we, text whores?! You wish, guy I met once drunk in a bar. Do you think that if you are immediately text affectionate, I will physically put out once our relationship gets to the stage of forming 10 complete sentences?! Think again. You may get a winky face out of me (usually because I am making a joke at your expense and find the whole situation fairly ridiculous), but do not expect virtual hugs and kisses until we have had several dinners and at least two real hugs and kisses. If that makes me an emoti-prude, so be it! One of us has to have a little class.

Avoiding the ex

The most utilitarian thing about NYC is the luxury it offers of never having to bump into the ex at the bar because, unlike where you come from, there are more than half a dozen decent bars in operation at once. In fact, there are so many bars at your disposal, you could bar hop with every guy you make it past the texting stage and actually out on a date with, and you’d still never have to go to the same place twice. Don’t underestimate the value of this, even you married people! Nothing quite mixes like alcohol and seeing someone for whom you have unresolved or angry feelings - this is almost always a winning combination. I cannot count the number of times I have inadvertently caused a scene because some asshole killed my buzz. Of course, this risk increases the more exes you have, and the casualties worsen in direct proportion to the amount of alcohol you have consumed. The other side effect is that, often, these little run-ins impel you to drink even more and that can lead to a myriad of additional problems, for example, meeting your next future ex. Best to just move to NYC now and keep a running list of all of the bars you’ve been to with a date and, thus, expended forever. Walk a block and repeat.