You tell people you’ve lived in NYC for five years and you feel their attitude towards you shift. There’s a new level of respect, sometimes a palpable feeling of admiration, and always the look of “this bitch is tougher than she looks if she’s lasted that long.” It’s similar to the feeling when you tell people you’ve had a blog for five years. They start to take you seriously thinking, “Hmm, I should check that out” as opposed to, “Yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts.”
That I can claim both, let me tell you, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.
So much has changed in five years. Five years ago today I was getting ready for a first date. My first date in New York. My first date as an adult. My first date that he planned and paid for everything. My first date that ended with an awkward kiss outside the subway. My first date where I freak out over what to wear. My first date with a stranger. A stranger I met in Central Park on my very first day in New York City.
That meeting was the perfect start to New York life. It was also the perfect start to this blog. It seemed the perfect start to my quest for love. In a way it was. Read what I wrote five years ago, it’s interesting to see how my style has changed. Funny to read how oblivious I was to what today I see so obviously as a pick-up. Here’s the blog post I wrote about my first full day in New York: Picked Up on A Park Bench.
I learned so much from that first relationship with Central Park Guy. I learned that if a guy says he’s not looking for a relationship, you will never change his mind. I learned to have this attitude towards men: asshole until proven innocent. It was a crash course in NYC dating, one with a man who was all wrong for me. A type of man all too common in the New York dating pool: The Nice Guy Turned Asshole. A guy who treated his last girlfriend like a princess only to be cheated on; now he seeks revenge on the entire female sex.
But that is wisdom learned from 5 years of dating in New York. On May 31, 2008 I knew none of that. I only knew I had a first date with an intelligent, age appropriate guy who wanted to take me to the MoMA. I had no idea we’d date on and off for 5 months. No idea that during one of the “off” periods he would get tattoos on each forearm. One reading, “NO SHAME” the other, “NO REGRET”. A clear broadcast of his extensive emotional baggage. No idea that I would allow myself to be treated poorly.
I thought perhaps I would fall in love with the first guy I met in New York. I never dreamed it would actually take five years to find my first love. But more about that on Monday.