Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Long Distance Relationship

Went to see my Manhattan this weekend. It’s been a while. I wasn’t sure if the chemistry would still be there. Wasn’t sure if he would still want me. I had three days to find out.

...and to see my friends, to fix my teeth, to sublet my apartment, to go out with that boy I’ve been e-mailing for the past two months, to meet up with my sponsees…

Well, my Manhattan didn’t disappoint. Weekend moments worthy of note, include:

Z’s Birthday: My good friend Z celebrated her birthday this weekend. We all met at Pastis wearing strappy sandals and summer dresses, hugging sweaters to our chilled frames to keep out the creeping cold of the not-yet-summer New York night. The girls sipped cocktails and I threw down four Diet Cokes to keep my drooping eyes from ruining the evening.

My favorite bartender was working. The one I met over the winter when his parents were visiting from Birmingham. I kept them company on a late Thanksgiving night while their son worked the preening crowd of pretentious pretty people, obnoxiously waving twenties in their hands to try and get his attention. I recall letting his Dad pinch my cheeks and his Mum hold onto my arm while she laughed into a Guiness.

The bartender must have remembered as well, because when it came time to pay the bill we looked down at a blank check. A fantastic way to begin our evening!

Off we all went, navigating the cold cobblestone streets in our tiny heels and bare legs. I had one hand guarding the slit of my Diane Von Furstenburg wrap and the other hand protecting my perfectly coiffed beehive from blowing down against the side of my face. Neither worked efficiently, so skirt around my neck and hair flattened down against the side of my face I was happy when we arrived around the corner at Florent Diner.

Florent is the most wonderful way to celebrate a friends birthday. Six of us squished around the mix matched chairs and selected from the exquisite French offerings on the menu. Six 'Steak Frittes' later, we played old maid and UNO until they dimmed the lights and brought out two chocolate cakes affixed with flaming candles to celebrate the passing of another year in Z’s life.

Beautiful Z, always the most fashionable, always with a smile, always accepting of those around her, tastefully blew out the candles that remind us of the friendships and follies of another year past.

Horrors: My sisters play Iron Fist on Sunday night was excellent. Refreshingly, she performed the entire series of small plays entirely clothed and without simulating any sexual acts. Bravo!

The cast did an excellent job illuminating a series of gory, one act plays that bled out mans less talked about fears. The fear of being alone, the fear of not being seen, the fear of never escaping the influence of you mom’s parenting skills, the fear of doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, the fear of feeling your feelings.

I’m biased, but my favorite was the one with my sister talking to a stuffed rabbit she affectionately called ‘Dirty Bunny’ and a plastic plant. She ran through a litany of emotions trying to get the plant to talk to her and spring forth some fruit. Her acting skills really had a chance to shine. The skit bitterly reminded me of my own failed attempts to ask people for things they are not capable of giving, and the resulting fear that perhaps I wont get what I want.

It was a great show. Made better by the company of that boy that I’ve been crushing on since January. He agreed to accompany me and the titillation of his proximity made the show that much better.

Until he told me that he didn’t like women who liked him. Standing outside the Subway entrance (where I believe the most interesting couple conversations in NYC occur), I believe the actual words were, “I’m repulsed by women that are into me. I know this is unhealthy and that these women are offering me the maturity that I so crave in a relationship, but It’s just a turn off. You know?”

If it’s as strong a turn off as hearing this story, why then yes!

You see, I like the boys who like me. So this potential has just vanished. And there it was. As quickly as the sight of his smile made my ears warm, the thought of his unrequited affections left me cold and wanting to jump in the first available taxi to get the hell away. I guess I have a new friend. Oh well. Next!

Dodging a Bullet: Last week, I found out that my contract was extended for two more weeks in our Nations Capital. Great news for my career, bad news for my apartment in New York City. I decided to search for a short term sublettor and placed an ad on Craigslist.

Got a call from a woman suffering from logorrhea with a voice like Fran Drescher. She used a lot of words, and talked about things that were none of my business and which I didn’t care to know. Unsolicited details about the quality of a strangers day and/or details about said strangers job are frankly, a waste of my time. She wanted to see the apartment and I set up a time for her to view it with a guy friend last Tuesday.

At first pass, she didn’t show. My friend still showed her the place when she called a few days later. After she viewed it, I sent her an e-mail asking if she was still interested and if she had some references I could call. I heard nothing back. No expression of interest. No list of friends and former employers. Nothing.

So imagine my surprise when she phones 6:00pm Saturday to inform me that she is ready to move in. I tell her that maybe we should begin by meeting and exchanging references. She shows up ready to get the keys and I show up ready to see if she is the type of woman I want living in my apartment. She wasn’t. Something about her made me uneasy. Something about her made me nervous.

She pushed a few names across the table at Starbucks. Two ex-boyfriends and the CEO of the company where she had been employed for the past two weeks. It seemed fishy. I had already checked out her MySpace profile to discover she had a pretty pink background, a Beyonce theme song, used the word 'thingy poo', had a photo of her in her panties and one friend. A man.

I left the coffee feeling apprehensive. After discussing the issue with a few friends, I decided I didn’t want to rent to her. I knew I had made the right decision when a girlfriend called to say she needed a place to crash and could she stay at my home for the next two weeks. I would much rather help out a friend then get myself into a sticky situation.

I was scared to call Ms. Thingy Poo. At 3:00pm Sunday afternoon, I mustered the courage and got the response that let me know I had just dodged a bullet.

“You can’t do this. We had a verbal agreement.”

The friend standing next to me shook his head and rolled his eyes.

“I hope you know you put me out on the street and left me with nowhere to go in NYC.”

“Thingy Poo, we met for the first time less than 24 hours ago. And I didn't make any promises. No money was exchaged. No deals were signed.”

“But I could have been looking since then.”

“I’m sorry.” Then I scolded myself for apologizing to this looney.

“Well you should be. Don’t hang up this phone until I finish. You need to know what you have done. For someone who prides themselves on their honesty, you need to know that you are a liar. You have totally fucked me over and I hope you suffer for this. This was a done deal based on you checking my references. And I know they would have checked out.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way. Good luck with your search”

I felt bad for her. But I had done nothing wrong. And the bad I was feeling was not half as bad as I would have felt having to deal with this woman living in my home. My friends told me to shake it off.

The friend who showed her the apartment offered, “Jane. She’s a freak. I’d fuck her, but I wouldn’t rent her my apartment.”


God I love New York. As generous with its supply of crazies as it is with its kind of heart. As apt for adventure as it is to break you heart or leave you stranded. My Manhattan never fails to surprise, entertain and dazzle me. A month apart is just simply too much.

Don’t worry honey, I’ll be home soon.

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posted by Pop Culture Casualty @ 5/02/2006 12:34:00 AM |


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