Friday, May 19, 2006

In defense of New York men, sort of

I'm kinda piggybacking Ali here, no homo, but I have to defend the men of New York from them girl bloggers and their commenters who badmouth us (edit: mostly their commenters). Don't get me wrong - I sympathize with them, but if I have to hear/read how fucked the men in New York are one more time, I'm going to start hopping couches.

Ali is right to an extent when he calls New York, "America's biggest post-college college town". It's a city where you are what you want to be, and I've felt no shame trying to work a 20-year-old, just as I wouldn't think a girl who's 6 years my senior to be an "older woman". Essentially, we're all living on campus together.

But I think there's a simpler reason: it's a big fucking city.

New York's full of people and consequently, also full of assholes. And because you're meeting more men and taking longer to settle down, you're more likely to come across said assholes than elsewhere in America. That is a statistical inevitability.

Ladies, let's take a moment and break things down. There are basically six kinds of guys you could possibly end up with, if everything was perfect or enough alcohol were consumed:
  1. The Taken One
    He's attractive, charming and caring. Essentially, boyfriend material. And sure enough, he is someone's boyfriend. Duh.

  2. The Nice Guy
    He says all the right things, he's there for you when you need him, he might even have the hots for you. Too bad you think he's too short for you. Or he's living in his mother's basement. Or has really horrible b.o.

  3. The Guy With Issues
    You like him. He likes you for more than just your vagina. But maybe he had a horrible relationship with an ex and he's afraid of getting hurt. For whatever reason, it's difficult for him to dive into an adult relationship. So he's afraid to open up and keeps you at arm's length. It could work out, but you don't have time for bullshit. He means well, but he can't help but come off like an ass.

  4. The Asshole
    You like him, at least initially. The thing is, you like him because he understands the game and he's playing you like a PSP. He's just a Dutch boy looking for a hole to plug and he's not above deluding you into thinking he's more than just a hookup. After all, he's not going to deal with the aftermath.

  5. The Meh
    You kinda like him. He kinda likes you. It's okay. Meh.

  6. The Right One
    Like #1, but unattached. Or #2 with a bigger penis. He could potentially become The Guy With Issues after you're done with him. Whatever the case, he wants to be with you and he's not going to just up and leave when the sheets aren't even dry yet.

Chances are, you're narrowing yourself down to The Guy With Issues, The Asshole and The Right One. So even though The Asshole represents a minority, it seems like more just because The Asshole composes a larger chunk of your dating pool.

"But isn't that the same in every city? How would it be different here?" you ask. Because it's New York Fucking City.

If you didn't live in a big city, you'd probably be married by 25. If you're single at 28, your parents start to get worried; after all, they sent you to college to find a husband. And subconsciously or otherwise, you understand that your window of opportunity gets smaller by the year.

So what happens? Once you decide the guy you're seeing is half decent, you say, "Okay, I can marry him." So what if he has issues? Or he's a little pudgy? Possibly mildly retarded? You'll deal with it.

The guy's thinking the same thing so he drives down to the mall and plunks down 2 months' salary at Kay Jewelers. You say yes of course, because hey, you're not getting any younger. You pop out out a couple of kids, get fat and live happily ever after, more or less. If you're lucky, you get hitched before The Asshole's turn comes up.

Not so in New York Fucking City. You have choices, dammit. You have a smörgåsbord of men to choose from so you can afford to be picky. No one judges you for being a single 30-something so there's no rush. You don't even consider The Nice Guy and you never get to 3rd date with The Meh. So naturally, you're going to go through more men and encounter The Asshole. And The Asshole is going to pop up more often because he's more aggressive than the rest.

Think of it like your living situation - if you stayed in the Midwest, you'd probably be living in your comfortable but boring house with a backyard and a two-car garage. In New York? You're moving from apartment to apartment, putting up with junkie roommates and roach infested kitchens until you find that perfect recently renovated 1BR in a pre-war building. You put up with the 5th floor walkups and the leaky bathrooms because if you wanted that house with a yard, you'd be back in Bumblefuck, WI. You came to New York for the fire escapes and the rooftops.

So ladies, remember that,
  1. One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl, and
  2. You're meeting these assholes partly because you have more choices and ironically, your standards are higher.
I'm not telling you to lower your standards, mind you. Just recognize that the assholes are part of the bargain when you don't have to settle for "okay", but they are by no means the norm. Move on, because there are more good guys out there than bad. They're just a little bit harder to find.

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