Saturday, May 23, 2009

Case in point

I had drinks with a couple of my account directors from our media buying agency the other night. I had always thought that the guy, J, was gay. Nothing in particular suggests it apart maybe from his collection of almost exclusively pink shirts ...

Anyway, my gaydar is clearly failing me quite spectacularly as he spent most of the time rubbing my back and even, much to my horror (as I don't like him in that way), touching my hair. At this stage I was still really hoping he was gay, but the conversation we proceeded to have proved me very, very wrong.

He asked me if I was dating and I said "kind of". Then he asked if I was in love and I could not help but burst into laughter. I told him that I had given up on New York men as potential serious relationship material a long time ago. He asked me why and I explained that when you've been seeing someone for a month as I have and yet are seriously considering asking the guy if he may already have a girlfriend*, you know that you have spent too much time in New York already ...

He seemed perplexed and I explained that a lot of men here seem to have a "don't ask, don't tell" attitude in that unless they are specifically asked they can quite casually go on without mentioning a small, insignificant detail like being in a relationship already. At this point, J reached over to me, touched my leg and said "I'm not like that", only to be interrupted by the other account director who exclaimed "J, you not only have a girlfriend but you also live together!" ... to which he replied, completely undeterred, "yeah but I'm not married!".

Case in point indeed.

* I asked. He doesn't.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I went to my lovely friend F's birthday party at the weekend. She had picked an Irish pub, primarily because she is of Irish descent but also because the birthday girl gets to drink for free there and her guests for half-price. I must say that it wasn't exactly my kind of watering hole (large TV sceens, wet floors from all the alcohol spilled) but we had fun and danced to incredibly cheesy tunes while singing at the top of our lungs until the early hours of the morning.

What struck me about the evening however is that I felt I was on the set of a wildlife documentary ... F had invited some of her girlfriends but primarily a lot of her gay male friends. A couple of the girls in particular seemed frustrated about that - complaining to me that they were never going to find a man if they hung out with gay guys all the time. It's at that time that my friend K turned up and came over to give me a hug and say hello.

It's like the atmosphere changed in a split second. I had brought with me the only single, straight guy to the party! Not only that but one that also happens to not be bad looking and can actually string two intelligent sentences together. The two girls in question immediately asked me who he was and whether we were seeing each other - turning before my very eyes into what I can only describe as predators. I explained that K and I are just good friends and the hunt started to unfold with both girls trying to get some alone chatting time with him.

K and I spent most of the time hanging out together and I could feel the predators getting increasingly frustrated ... their evil stares at me turning into full blown sulking from one of them towards the end of the evening. I wasn't trying to get in the way at all and in fact made a conscious effort not to, but K and I get on well and were happy to catch up.

I unwittingly delivered the coup de grace when K and I left the party together to share a cab as we both live on the West side. I could almost feel imaginary knives being thrown at me as I turned my back to walk away.

K and I chatted about it on the way home - about how as a single, straight guy in New York, you can sometimes feel like a prey. Not that he is complaining about it much though but I get the feeling that it does get a little tiring after a while.

Have I ever felt like a prey? I'm not sure I would even realise .. most of the time I am blissfully unaware that I am even getting chatted up in the first place unless the guy makes it blatantly obvious - it's one of my quirks that my friends find highly amusing when a typical exchange after an evening out might go "Steph, that guy was hitting on you" - "Really?! I thought he was just being friendly!!!".

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I recently realised that most of my life can happily be lived within a 5 block radius and that I don't have to walk for more than 10 minutes to get everything I want or need.

I think this illustrates the notion of neighbourhood I have often referred to better than words.

Click on the flags and move the map around for descriptions.

View My neighbourhood in a larger map