There's nothing quite like the sight of a joyously happy couple galloping down a sunny, leafy brownstone street, hand in hand, accompanied by their equally jovial golden lab, laughing hysterically at some perfect joke he made in bed that morning before he stops her in the street – because he just has to -- pulls her close, tucks a strand of inexplicably flawless hair behind her ear and plants a movie worthy kiss on her gorgeous little face.
Doesn’t’ that just fill you with hope, promise and faith in all that is good in the world?
Or, like me, does it make you break your previously comfortable stride, rob you of your entire will to live and spark a sudden urge to trip them over, steal the dog and flee the scene cackling the bitter, hysterical laugh of a tyrannous witch?
If your answer is the latter, then I’m sure you will join me in a loathing for the PDA epidemic throughout the city this summer.
Every corner I turn, every cue I join, every subway I take, there they are, smooching, fawning and often cuddling – which in this heat is beyond comprehension – like teenagers who have completely lost the run of themselves. Do they not realize how offensive this is to the mass populous of New York who are single and full of hatred for everyone anyone who isn’t?
To call on a cliché, I hearken back to Sex and the City movie number one (the less painful of the two) and Carrie’s insufferable assistant who has moved to New York City to “find love” - how adorably naïve. Not only does she fail, but she has to move back home to an old boyfriend in order to find this “love.”
What is the lesson here, ladies? Unless you’re willing to setting for Mr. Big and his infuriating insecurities, you may as well just pack it in and jump ship.
Last weekend as I staggered through Williamsburg, dizzied by dehydration and in dire need of an iced tea, I stumbled upon a charming café with inviting outdoor seating.
Mopping sweat from my brow and picking up the pace, I trotted forwards like a camel towards the hallucination of a lustrous oasis, tongue lolling out the side of my mouth in anticipation – painting a pretty picture, as always.
Just as I reached the awning, I was stopped in my tracks. Clutching my stomach in a suddenly induced state of nausea, I watched in horror as a skimpily clad blonde “chick” straddled her (presumably) boyfriend on a seat right underneath the shady canopy that I had set my sights upon.
I looked around wildly for a member of staff who should be shooing these hooligans away, batting them with a giant broom and calling upon God to bless and save us all. She was quite literally upon him and their arms swooped all over each other like the inner workings of a drive-through car washing machine.
How they even had the energy to perform such an exhausting routine baffled me. I stood like a lemon unable to peel my eyes away from the scene until a line of cars on the street beside had pulled up and started tooting their horns, heckling the grotesque pair. I turned in delight and began to clap wildly as the horns bleated loudly, and cheered as the drivers and passengers laughed along with my apparent shock. Thankfully, I was not alone.
Like the first time you notice a bleeding finger-tip, this pain continued to resurface throughout the week. Couples fully enveloped in each other seem to flank every moment of my existence, serving as constant reminders of my meaningless “dates” and providing sharp pangs of missing what I had at home.
While I would never have engaged in what can only be described as erotic performance art at a public restaurant, these outlandish displays of “love” still serve as a crippling reminder of the affection I no longer receive. Hence the fury, aggression, and rage – a weak, if obvious means of expression.
Unsurprisingly, as my number of “first dates” continues to grow, my number of “second dates” remains zero.
While Mad Man occasionally resurfaces with a semi-attentive message, it seems like nothing more than acknowledging that I still exist should he ever be so inclined to revisit what he called “pretending I’m still in my 20s” – how vile.
I can only imagine the string of girls my age he has peppered throughout the city. Although, he makes me laugh in spite of myself and if he was to ask to see me again I would probably drop everything.
One final attempt at a first date will happen this Wednesday. A “Brooklyn-based photographer” (of which there are hundreds / thousands) who claims to be half Irish, half Scottish – we’ll see about that.
Actually in his 20s and safe from the grasps of the Midtown ad world, he is a far cry from the Mad Man and seems to be a real gent. Of course, as a friend pointed out about these blind date situations, “What if he takes you into a forest and kills you like that guy on Craigslist?” If you don’t see a column next week, perhaps that is the fate I have met.
For now, I cling to my remaining shreds of hope and am shamelessly studying contemporary photography so that I can have something to contribute to the conversation other than my favorite filter on Instagram.
All things going well, there will finally be a second date – but I will never join the band of grossly enamored couples romping around the city. Call me old fashioned, but it stops at hand holding for me.