Thursday, July 06, 2006

Spilled Milk Factory

When I started this little blahg, I decided that I was not going to write about dating. Not only is the subject exhausted but why would I want to air my personal laundry on the Internet? Well, it would be artificial, in this blahg that I use to store my New York observations, not to talk at all about dating in New York—dating being such a large part of living in this city. So I’m only going to do this once.

When Zac and I met up on Saturday night, we greeted one another with a hug, before he informed, "Watch out, I just got my tattoo retouched!" I apologized for hurting the band of three, vertical, green lines on his left shoulder.

He took me to this place that only a native Manhattanite would know about: a secret bar, but not a speakeasy, attached to a sushi restaurant. This bar is stunning, with tall windows looking out onto the city, offering not a panoramic view, but just a different view of New York, and the static clientele straight out of a Wong Kar Wai film. The cocktails are like desserts and, at $18 a pop, meant for sipping, not chugging. I ordered a watermelon vodka something-or-other and we proceeded with the getting to know you chit chat.

I wanted to know all about what it was like to grow up in Manhattan. Raised on the Upper East Side, with Manhattan as his backyard, did he have a nanny who walked him to school every day? Did he go through a rebellion period during his teenage years and hang out with the kids from Kids? How many antidepressants is he on?

He shot down most of my sweeping generalizations (the only survivor being the antidepressants) and, after mentioning a sister, I asked him, "I thought you were an only child." I couldn’t really produce a reason for this assumption to which he responded, "No, I mean, I was an only child until the age of thirteen, but now I have a half-brother and a half-sister."

Oh, OK.

“What about you,” he asked, “How many boyfriends do you have?”
Thinking he was joking, “Just six, what about you?”

Turns out that this charmer is in an “open relationship” with his ex-girlfriend, i.e. they are still sleeping together, after breaking up a year ago.

At this point, I looked down at my half empty watermelon cocktail and downed it in one quick gulp. “What, you're not OK with that?” I ordered another watermelon cocktail and helped him try to see my point of view.

He failed to understand why I would not want to see him again, if he is still with his ex-girlfriend, who he screws twice a week, why I like to date only one person at a time, and why I never believed in backtracking with exes. He called me "possessive and judgmental," accused me of being "oppositional." He thought maybe it would help if I knew the ex-girlfriend's name.

The way he put it, it’s his sex drive that pushes him to need more than one girlfriend. This guy masturbates three times a day. "What are you, a 16-year-old? How do you even have the time for that?" He told me he has his own office at work. He made it seem like he was doing me a favor by telling me about his arrangement with his ex, because, you know, he didn't have to, and isn't he such a nice guy? And what, I still wasn’t interested in going home with him?

Now again, what in the hell is going on around here? This guy was out shopping! He made me feel like he was looking for dinnerware at Bed, Bath & Beyond, like I was the Fiesta set on the half priced rack-- kind of funky, only functional for a couple months out of the year, why not throw it in the cart?

You could have a different date every night of the week in this city, if you chose to do so. I once heard that waiters here don't really care which customers they are nice to throughout their shift because they know, that out of 8 million people, they are going to get their tips eventually. It's the same with dating: for every guy there is a girl, for every girl there is a guy. And for every girl there is a girl and for every guy there is a guy, they just can't get married yet.

Yet this guy sitting across from me, this nowhere man, claims to be single. Nope, he's just lazy. When I first arrived in this city, I noticed that couples tend to stick together either for six years or six weeks. Now, I am learning that it is not uncommon for people to carry several on relationships at a time. Have a couple crushes at once, fine, but having a couple girlfriends at once, these people cannot be serious about relating to one another. Is this a New York thing? I took an informal poll last weekend and some friends said that it was a New York thing, get used to it; while another friend, a dude, said, "No, it’s not a New York thing, it’s just an asshole thing."

Dating is one thing, but what about all these long term relationships, these couples who live together for six years in these confined little apartments? I really like to fall in love and I’m quite good at it. But how do people manage to do that in this place, where there are varying degrees of “open relationships” left and right, and carnal human contact is so readily available? With all of these different schedules, this congestion of humans, and with that, choices, how do you carve out the time to truly get to know someone? This city is, for lack of a better word, fucked.

The waiter shows up, asks if we would like another drink, my free loving companion says 'No thank you' and I say, 'Yes please, I'll have another watermelon vodka thing; it's on him.' So I downed that sucker, gave my new acquaintance a few more pieces of my mind, told him it was a pleasure, among other things, and went home.

Later, when relaying the story to my dad (who has been married to my mom for 32 years), we both got a kick out of it. "Where did you find this creep?"

"Oh, you know. We met at a party last weekend; we were making eyes across the room all night and then finally started talking."

"Next time you’re out," my father told me, "wear sunglasses."


Anonymous Greg E. said...

Your dad's comment is cute. =)

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tobela, I fear for the man who has to sit across from you after three cocktails, no matter what flavor.

3:06 PM  

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