By and large, I live on an island of attractive people. Whether it's natural or affected, whatever the source of a New Yorker's beauty, a good one-fourth of the population (appx. 2 million people) are easy on the eyes. Being pretty or handsome here might get you a base, but it won't score you a homerun. (Amazing how many people still think it will.) Anyone who's lived here longer than a year should have noticed by now that just around the block, there's always a woman prettier, curvier and with a smaller waist and a bigger booty and a man with bigger muscles, a more chiseled jaw and a larger salary. In order to stand out or leave an impression or make it even semi-big, you have to be about more than just a pretty face or a dope body– you need a personality or at the very least a skill or a hobby. A guy I had just met insulted a frenemy. I'd met him -sort of--four years prior when I was just starting as freelance writer. He was my editor at a music magazine and he'd assigned me lots of work over the years. We'd e-mailed, texted, and phoned a hundred times, but had never met face to face. He has a unique name so when I was at a party and I heard someone say it, I asked my girl to introduce me. She did. Although, I hadn't written for him in a bit, he remembered my name and my work and he--who has a rep for his ego--was very sweet to me. He ran down some upcoming projects and said he'd be interested to get me involved. We exchanged new info.
The frenemy, also a writer, approached him after he and I had parted ways. He wasn't so nice. He tersely suggested she send him her clips to review and summarily dismissed her. The difference in his reaction to us.... Well, it made the frenemy feel not so nice.
Months later, after the guy and I have worked together a few times and become pretty cool face-to-face, I asked him about the incident. A true journalist, he remembered it in detail. He didn't see anything wrong with what he did since he didn't know who the hell she was.
"She's a pretty girl, you could have been nicer," I insisted, trying to convince him of the error of his ways.
He scrunches up his face. "She was okay, but even if she was cute, do you know how many pretty girls there are in this city? Pretty ain't nothing special, D. You gotta be more than pretty to make someone care."
I'm at dinner with a very attractive platonic male friend a couple weekends back and he spots yet another beautiful woman in the restaurant. Like the others, she's adorable too. *Big shrug.* He tries to catch this one's eye a couple times and she's polite but not eager. This piques his interest a bit. She smiles the next time she walks by (she's a hostess) and he thinks he has a chance. Finally after this little flirtation goes on for a few more moments, he pulls her aside to speak while I zone out and listen to the loud band playing in the corner.
They chat a little more until some more people come into the overcrowded, loud establishment to be seated and she has to go back to work.
"She's going to Newark tomorrow," he says as she walks off. He gives what would be a smitten sigh if a woman did it, but I'm told men don't sigh.
I look at him like he's stupid. "You're impressed because she's going to Newark?! Have you ever been to f***ing Newark?"
"What? " He slams his Corona on the table and now he gives me the you-can-not-be-this-stupid look. "She's going CANOOEING!!!" he yells over the music.
"Oh!!!!!" Pause. "Canoeing?" I turn around and look at her again, then turn back to him. He looks lost and love struck. "Interesting," I add and take another sip of my chocolate martini.
"I know, right?" There goes that non-sigh again.
I roll my eyes and laugh.
I'm on the train yesterday morning with the guy I keep running into. We're up to seven unplanned bump-intos in ten days. (Someday he'll figure out that I barely talk not because I am mean or shy or stuck up, but because: 1) he has the most gorgeous profile ever and I can't pay attention to what he's saying for all the warnings I send myself to stop gawking and resisting the urge to bite the tip of his nose (I think it is sooooo cute); and more important 2) he is a low-talker on a loud train and I can never hear what he's saying and I hate to sound stupid as I keep saying "what? huh?") Anyway, we strike up a conversation and he's telling me about how he ran a marathon last year and how he only does it every other year because it takes so much out of him and... Hold, up! He ran The Marathon, twenty six-point-whatever -tenth miles around and through the city? A Black man... who runs marathons?
Now, I'm giving him the same cheese-y grin that my boy made over Canoe Girl. I run daily and I have no desire to run all damn day ever. (Did you ever see the pics of Diddy's post-run feet on that MTV Diddy Runs the City show? His toenails turned black and fell off!!!) But that's not the point. The point is Bump-Into-Guy is now beautiful and not run of the mill, evidently. I was always attracted, now I'm interested to know more. I actually want to hear what this gorgeous man with this cute-tipped nose has to say. I guess he picks up on this switch in perceptions (I am, after all, grinning at him with my head cocked to the side) so he asks what I'm doing later. Maybe, he suggests, we can actually plan to get up instead of just bumping into each other randomly all the time?
You already know my answer. ; -)