Thursday, May 21, 2009

Me, anti-social?

A party organizer is not something that anybody who knows me would think of when  thinking of me. Yet when I first got hired I got thrown into an after-work 'position' which most of my co-workers called 'the social chair'.  I threw parties and got people out for drinks once a week in the evenings. When I moved to NYC, it all stopped. Last week I'd to rise out of my ashes to organize a sendoff for one of the guys I worked with for the past year. 

Once we sat down I found myself immensley bored. It didn't help that they were all guys and after a couple of drinks I started hearing statement like, 'The best things in life are cigars and  good whiskey. And women.' It also didn't help that that particular statememt was uttered by at 24 year old munchkin who just got weaned off his feeding bottle. 

Recently I've been hanging out with/hosting a grad-school friend, an Aussie who moved back home and is now back for a short visit. He commented that New Yorkers are impossible to talk to for more than 5 minutes. He said he keeps meeting very interesting people but the conversation always ends just when it gets to be interesting. I was going to make fun of him and ask how he makes his interst be known at minute 5, but the truth be told, yeah ... conversations are breif in Manhattan. They're like business cards. Nobody wants the details. Common questions are where do you live? What do you do? Your name? And if you're really more curious you can ask leading questions to figure out the age of the person by asking how long they've been in NYC and where they came from. You conclude by, 'Do you like it here.' You'll get an enthusiastic affirmative, which you acknowledge by shaking your head vigorously and smiling, 'I know! It's an amazing city isn't it? So full energy ... ' Then abouts you look for in a distance at a person you know but most likely have alraedy talked before and raise your glass (or bottle, or just empty hands) as you turn to your new found company and say ... 'Well, it was good talking to you. I'm going to say hellow to a friend over there' and you take off. If you don't do it, the other person will do it.  As you walk off, you conveniently fall into another conversation with a new person crowd. Repeat cycle. Really. This is my thought on Manhattan conversations. So my Aussie friend legitimately asked, 'How do people date in this city? How do they get to know eachother.' Beats me! But it reminds me of an evesdropping I read at that went along the lines of:

European Man: New York girls are strange. They don't like it when a man holds a door open for them. 
European Woman : New York girls are either want to slap you or sleep with you, but nothing in between. 

As a female, of course there're many things i could take offense in with this exchange, but there is an element of truth on Manhattan interactions. 

As I approach my second year in this city, I really am nowhere near ready to leave this town  any time soon. But there are certain things that I just don't care to be a part of .. such as shmoozing New York style. I've no patience.

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