He’s sprawled out on the bed wearing only his cornflower blue boxer briefs (his description, not mine… In the time we’ve dated he’s switched from boxers to boxer briefs which must be a milestone- from boyhood tighty whities to adolescent boxers to, finally, adult male boxer briefs?- because he’s made a big deal about it. To the point of identifying the exact shade of his underwear. Yeah. Definitely one of those kinda cute in the beginning, kinda weird by the end things. Also as something so uncharacteristic of straight males, it did, in vulnerable moments following this story, make me want to condemn him to stereotype: Gay! even though I know he’s not.) In the back of my mind where the lessons of my liberal arts education and the wisdoms of my best friend (a self-described feminist who minored in gender studies) lie I consider the machismo nature of his pose, the male dominance his body language is begging me to acknowledge. He’s looking at me.
I can’t do this anymore.
I listen to the phrases fall out of his mouth, aware I’m responding to several but I am completely not in this scene. I am having an out of body experience where I’m watching myself in a poorly written, badly acted, made-for-tv movie:
It’s not you, I think you’re great.
We come from too (two?) different places.
We want different things.
And I think I’m the New York cliché?
Had he said “It’s not you, it’s me.” I would’ve laughed uproariously in his face. But he didn’t say that so it didn’t end in peals of laughter, it just ended. The finale of my Central Park Guy saga. It was a fun episode for the most part, an interesting introduction into the perils of dating in Manhattan. “No shame, no regret”. Those aren’t my words, those are the words the guy has tattooed, one phrase on each forearm. Insignias he did not have when I first met him in the park. Now they are permanently etched in his flesh and in my memory, a trivia fact that makes a brilliant ending to his story arch.
It really came down to “We want different things” – the only line that didn’t raise my bullshit! flags. Yep, like so many of the men and women of New York, we wanted different things.
If you’ve seen the Sex and the City movie, you know women come to New York looking for two L’s: Labels and Love.
I came to New York not looking for the labels I knew I couldn’t afford and not looking for love but rather to figure out what the hell I wanted. Well it’s six months later and after this Central Park Guy experience, I have a much better idea of what I want. Carrie Bradshaw had it right all along. Yes, here I am- single, fabulous (exclamation point), lusting over a pair of Chanel eyeglasses (I tried them on at Lenscrafters just for fun- big mistake), and looking for love in the big city (and apparently in danger of becoming the cover sleeve blurb of a chick lit novel. Still, it beats “It’s not you, I think you’re great”).
Now the problem as I see it, and Carrie neglected to say this, is that while women come to New York for those two L’s, men come for two F’s: Food and Fucking. Both of which are available on many a street corner for a price far below any kind of designer duds. Even the most decadent meal and a high class hooker? Still cheaper than one high end handbag. (And yet men make more money than women? WTF)
We want different things.
And so the task is to find someone whose wants match up with mine (and whose weirdnesses mesh with mine annnnd about 100+ other things). The odds are against me, but when aren’t they in this city and when isn’t that half the fun?