[oh my goodness. I still have a feeeew NY posts in the backlog, and now it’s including 2 new things from my trip. So I gotta get on it, but I thought I’d do this old one first.]
Ah, my confusing love affair with New York.
If you asked me right now about differences between NY and LA and if New Yorkers are rude, I’d be like “heck yes! They are meanies! Oh my gosh. They are so weird and suspicious and everything about New York is weird!”
And while generally I haaaaaaate(!) to talk about dating, I realize I’ve been talking about it a lot since sexual assault guy – both in private and on this blog. And so if we happened to be in a place where were were talking about dating, I would be like, “UGH. Dating is SO different in NY and LA. It suuuuuck in New York. It’s so weird and stressful. In California, it’s so fun and easy and there are men everywhere and you just wanna have this great time. In New York there are all these secret rules and it feels so much more serious, like I’m a contestant on the Bachelorette or something, like even chill things are so “real.” Like, the kind of dates I’d expect to be going on like maybe 5 months in, in California is a second date in New York. And spending the night seems to be a much bigger thing here for some reason. And it’s just like “oh good lord, can we all settle down for five seconds here? Holy goodness.”
I talk about how hard it is to meet people (not even for dating, but just like any human), ’cause it feels like nobody wants to talk to you.
And on and on and on, my complaints.
So, I have this just like awful, awful taste in my mouth about New York now. But the question is – how much of that is real?
If you look through my blog (or had talked to me in real life) before I did the “big” move – if you hear me talking about living here for bits and pieces at a time for shorter jobs, or visiting here, I was like “New York is the greatest city in the world! It’s so friendly! You can meet people everywhere!”
Did it change? Did I change? Am I just throwing expectations at it so hard that I’m willing them to come true?
My first few months here, it was literally – spend all my time every moment of every weekday either working, doing school stuff, or dealing with stuff from moving across the country last minute. And every weekend it was fly home to Los Angeles to wrap things up there (what’s happening with my apartment, getting my stuff, just generally tying up any loose ends with work or school or friends, etc.). And then as soon as weekends freed up, I spent them working as an elf at Macy’s for the fun of it. And then, boom. We were into January and sexual assault guy happened.
It felt like the blink of an eye from getting to move out here to that happening. I can’t begin to explain how busy I was trying to juggle everything. I had not settled in. I had not explored. I had not had a chance to make any true opinions on the city as all I could do was focus on the thing in front of me and keep trying to get through to a point where my job was mamangeable and I had a bed and just all that stuff…
So, to some extent, I realize my opinion sort of formed a bit around sexual assault guy.
Part of the reason I talk with such anger about dating in New York (instead of it being like an exceptionally mildly funny comedy bit (probably not even really worth doing at an open mic night, but still that should be the gist of it – pointing out the silly, not having a panic attack)), is because that guy just kept trying to explain to me that dating is different here, and basically I need to get on board – for all these things I’m really not ready for.
Have any of the other guys out here made me feel SO pressured or like I must spend the night? No. (To some extent, I’ve been the culprit, because for a small time I didn’t even have an apartment here and stayed with a dude for like a week! It is not all the fault of NY men. I have rushed things sometimes whether it be being between apartments, or quite honestly just trying so so hard to get the proverbial taste out of my mouth of sexual assault guy that I go in too hard with someone else.
Is it generally true that there’s a difference in dating between NY and LA? Yeah. I have enough friends who’ve switched coasts, we relate. But can I maybe get used to some of the differences without it being the worst thing in the whole world? Can I accept that some dates will be different/have different expectations and not cling SO hard to what I know? I probably should be able to. Can I also still set boundaries of things I am not comfortable doing (such as having a man to my apartment until I’m good and well ready, if ever)? Yeah, of course I can. Dating might be different, but I don’t think all New Yorkers are rapists. I know I struggle with things and have PTSD, but I’m still not Donald Trump over here calling a whole group of people rapists based on where their from…
I should be able to potentially understand that whole dating is “different,” it’s not automatically abusive… It’s different in some of the ways sexual assault guy made it different but also many of the things that felt different were just the difference of the level of abuse he was giving. That has nothing to do with New York. That has to deal with being in an abusive relationship.
I suppose – maybe sort of like pretend for a second that dating in Los Angeles is like nachos.
Of course even within the nacho family, there’s all different types of nachos (so many options – from vegan to covered in meat, different types of cheeses, whatever – just as dating in LA covers a looot of different experiences. But ultimately, it’s all in the nachos family still. If you and a pal are out for nachos, you generally know what you’re getting. You’re all on the same page, even if not everybody likes the exact same toppings, so ultimately some people don’t wanna eat nachos together, you’re coming with the same kind of base understanding…
Whereas you get to New York, but now everybody is having chicken wings. They’re still eating an appetizer. You’re kind of familiar. It can still be delicious (especially the vegan ones at Native Foods) – even though, they don’t have Native Foods in New York, but that’s beside the point.
And it can be kind of confusing, when you first get here. You’re so used to eating nachos, but people don’t really do that here. They eat chicken wings, full stop. No nachos.
The first plate of chicken wings you get in New York makes you VIOLENTLY ill. I’m talking violently. Like, spend 11 days on your bathroom floor, maybe even have to go get an IV because you are so dehydrated you can’t keep anything down. They have made you SO sick.
It would be easy to be like “What on earth?! Why does everybody eat chicken wings here? They are AWFUL. They are so awful! Holy goodness. I do not ever EVER ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever [lots of evers said fast repeatedly] EVER want to eat chicken wings, again, my goodness. BLEGH.
And like, you don’t have to. You probably don’t die without them. There are other things to do with your life (so, I guess other things to eat, in this scenario).
But you like eating appetizers. It’s fun to dress up and flirt and be liked and like in return and be taken out and to have sex and fun conversations and share things. Having nachos was a really cool fun beautiful brilliant experience (overall). And the New York version is chicken wings. And it might be ultimately just as fun (taste just as good?), just in a different way.
Chicken wings and nachos will indeed always be different. I can’t expect New York to give me nachos if the appetizer they have here is chicken wings. The texture is different. It feels different, it’s different. But even though chicken wings will always be different than nachos, they will not always make you so ill. They won’t always be poison chicken wings.
You’re comparing the difference between non-poison and poison food. It just to happened the second one was chicken wings. You won’t be poisoned every time.
I don’t know if that made any sense. But that’s what I’ve got for now.
And tomorrow I’ll be doing part 2 of this.