The recent furore over helicopter flights for the rich and famous from NYC to the Hamptons – it costs around three to four grand for the 40 minute trip – highlights perfectly the gulf and rift in today’s society between the 1% and the rest of us. The contested routes, which have seen traffic increase 40% this past summer, severely affect the downtime of mere mortals so The Masters of The Universe are not inconvenienced by the extra 10 minutes it would take to fly further out over Long Island Sound. Poor souls! To add to this bs the airport in East Hampton is open 24 hours so our celebs, financiers and such are not inconvenienced for a single minute of their privileged lives. Meanwhile Joe Shmoe on the ground can’t get the kids to sleep. Is there anything or anybody in this country that is not measured or purchased by the aptly named Almighty Dollar. Sleepless in Southampton.
In an economy that is increasingly influenced, if not yet totally dependent on, the “service industry” isn’t time Americans learned came to terms with the fact that most of us will have to “serve” at some time in our lives. It seems that at the moment the gulf between the the givers and receivers of whichever service you choose is a bit like the dichotomy between when you are behind the wheel or on the sidewalk. You are two different people. Driving, every walking person is an inconvenience to be harassed at the intersection but, especially in NYC, when you are walking you take every opportunity to stick it the non-pedestrian. You are the same person for goodness sake! Similarly there often seems to be open warfare in stores between shoppers and associates only avoiding serious consequences by the need for a wage packet on the one side and the desire to take home the purchases on the other. What happened to civility and understanding? Better adapt guys ‘cos it ain’t going to change anytime soon.
Dom, writer/retail, Midtown
Men Explain Things To Me
This is addressed to that certain person (male) in every office or staff meeting (but especially ours.)Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware that I was in the presence of the smartest person on Earth. Or perhaps you’re an all-knowing guru? The reincarnation of Christ? You must be one of the three if somehow you are 100% right about everything. Your favorite way to start a sentence is, “Well, actually…” You have an uncanny ability to speak for extensive periods of time. And, basically, there’s no point in arguing with you because you’re an expert on every topic. Tell me oh-great-one, how do you do it?
Melinda, publishing intern, Flatiron.
Listen guys, we girls might be dumb but believe me we’re not stupid. You and your girlfriend literally just broke up, and you’re already asking me to “hang out.” I mean, you might as well tattoo “rebound” on my forehead. To be fair, I don’t know the necessary waiting time between relationships. In some distant fantasy world, your eagerness is because I’m a hot commodity and you don’t want some male model or an up-and-coming actor to whisk me away. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that you’re hurt and hoping that I can provide some quick comfort. It’s shitty and selfish of you. Sorry, but you’re going to have to look elsewhere. Suzy Q (not), barista, Queens
I work as a nurse at a local hospital and I also work part time at a retail clothing store. I am an only child and I am very close to my family. I go to church, live with and support my parents. I graduated, I have a full time career and have pretty much done everything right in their eyes. However, they do not know that I am gay. My parents are very loving and supportive but it still terrifying for me to admit who I am. It seems very childish but when I am asked about my personal life, I use vague pronouns like my boo or my date. I have even attempted to date women that I am not at all interested in. All of my coworkers are very kind and encouraging but it’s still hard to come right out and say it. I never even told them, they had just assumed and I never denied it. During the week, it can get very stressful and overwhelming. It’s difficult to keep up the charade. When I work on the weekends, I can feel free and more like myself. My coworkers are the ones who keep me going. I can appreciate that at least when I have their support, I feel at home.
Roger, nurse practioner,
Brainless Prejudice (tautology?)
I am pretty open minded with the people I date. I am not looking for marriage, just someone cool to hang out with. However, recently I went on one of the worst dates I have ever experienced. I had met him through his roommate when I visited their apartment. His room was filled with things he had gotten from studying abroad and lots of different books and movies. He seemed very artsy and cultured or at least I thought he was. On our date, we talked and I learned that he was a graphic designer who spoke three languages. When he was asking me about myself, I told him that my parents were immigrants from Honduras. He then told me that he felt that Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and the others in that area were all pretty much the same country. How can you assume six countries all have the same cultures, beliefs, and people? Then, he said I did not look like the “typical” Central American. What the fuck does that even mean? I don’t understand how anyone could even say that out loud. How do people think that something like this is appropriate to say? All his talk about being so cultured and free spirited was all bullshit. If you are just getting to know me, don’t try to put me in a category that makes it easier for you to figure out who I am. I would have respected him more if he was upfront about what an ignorant idiot he was. Jennifer, designer, Kips Bay.
Women lie all the time, not verbally, mind you; but through the image we project into society. Cosmetics, high heels, push up bras, they’re all enablers. And while those are subtle adjustments we use to alter our body, they’re also material. We can put them on, take them off, even throw them at people when they piss us off. But
I recently observed a couple dining out (I’m an actor but filling in as a server!) where the female intentionally made the duck face, pushing her lips out to make them appear fuller and more voluptuous than they really are…THE ENTIRE DATE! While that’s impressive, who’s that desperate to do that? Consciously pursing your lips to impress a guy is a new low. If you believe you have to physically alter your facial structure to capture a guy’s attention, you need to seriously evaluate your life.
Joanna, actor, Chelsea
Money Shouts Loudest
The small but disproportionately disruptive number of people who abuse the use of cell phones in public places is evidenced by the overwhelming amount of eye-rolling and hostile stares that target those abusers when they reach for their equipment. Most of us don’t want it. So why, when the vast majority opposes it are we about to get cell phones on airline flights. The answer is sooooo American. Money. The airlines and the whole cell phone industry – carriers, manufacturers, retailers, advertisers – can all see the pot of gold. We the public -like the suggestible pawns that we are – will of course provide them with it. (Notwithstanding the fact that we manage so well without this service right now.) Okay so far so good, everything is working in the time honored fashion. But what happens when the passenger next to you wants to talk for the whole of the six hour trans- continental flight. Or worse the overnight redeye. There’s no escape. Don’t tell me the flight crew will monitor it. Just like the train crew does on my commute every day. How many flights are going to be endangered or diverted because of out-of-control passengers. Because as you all know, once we’ve got it, however much we deny it we’ll get ‘mission creep’ and all bets will be off. It will be another one of those ‘inalienable” rights we refuse to give up… or even amend! Ritchie, Ice cream man, Herald Square.
Crie de Couer
Currently, I am a fairly mature student (another story) as well as a server in a popular Cuban restaurant. The hours are long, stressful, and the pay is sometimes shitty. My life consists of working, sleeping, going to school, and eating (when I have time for it). I hate having the need to explain myself to women I am interested in. I have been supporting myself since I graduated high school all those years ago so I do not have much of a social life. On the rare occasion when I do have free time, I sleep in and get errands or homework done. When I do have the energy to ask someone out, it is usually late at night when I am out of work. I am tired of women thinking I am asking for a booty call. I am only asking you to get a drink or to come over after 11 because that is actually the time I get home. I don’t have a full schedule of women that I see throughout the day, I’m at work. Sometimes, I just want someone to hang out with. I’m not an asshole and It is not a female thing to not necessarily want someone to try to get in their pants (sometimes). It’s companionship. You would think someone would cut me some slack for being independent. Geoffrey, server, Astoria.
Friends without Benefits
Friends that flake. You know, those people in your life who you
genuinely enjoy spending time with–that is whenever you actually see
them, of course. You always invite them to events, big or small, on the Hail Mary of a chance that they’ll show up. Which they almost never do. To quote Anchorman, “60% of the time, it works, every time.” Even when they initiate plans with you, they always bail. Whether it’s the day of or only an hour prior to go-time, you can basically predict the text that reads, “Hey, sorry, I totally forgot (insert bullshit excuse here). Can we raincheck?” And when they first flake, it’s no big deal, because
hey, shit happens. But once they drop the plans you both have had on your calendar for weeks for what seems like the millionth time, it’s time to re-evaluate how much you value this person in your life. For those of you that are like me, the people that invite these oath-breakers out of sheer courtesy, start to ween them off your guest list. You’ve made it clear that you want to seem them. Let them prove how much they want to see you. They’ll either get the hint, or they’ll step into that lack hole that contains everyone and everything you’ve forgotten since you were 5. You get your friend back, or you move on with your life. Win-win Paula, songwriter, Clinton.
La Pétomane in Shining Armor
Women enjoy the perks of having a vagina,; getting free everything at bars, driven home chauffeur style, and foot massages on command,
However back in the real world – usually in the cold light of day – we are achieving equality. Back in the medieval through the Victorian period, men needed to court us to win our favor and hand in marriage, which meant they could FINALLY get in our pants. But the sexual revolution revolutionized (as revolutions often do) how women view their minds and bodies, which directly affected how men started to treat us. We were no longer ladies and princesses, merely equals. The incentive to impress and woo us was lost amongst the protest and picket signs, instead replaced by going “Dutch” on meals and farting on us under the covers. There is indeed a price to be paid for everything in this life and I’m not entirely convinced endless courtesy and smelly farts necessarily equate. Ruth, gallery manager, UES
Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge
The other night I was out at a bar and the friend I was meeting with was getting flirty and into a deep conversation with the bartender. Not wanting to infringe on anything, I picked up a conversation with the guy next to me to pass some time. Totally not my type, frat-boy that just moved here who talked really loud and used sarcasm terribly. As he was leaving he asked for my phone number. Anymore, not wanting to bother with feeling bitchy for not answering/responding to guys I’m not interested in, or cheesy/misleading for being nice, I gave him the wrong number. Then he called me right away as we’re still sitting there?! Why? This makes the situation so freaking awkward. At least if he were to wait until the next day to realize it was wrong, he could entertain the idea that he misheard me or he would at least be in his private space… not in front of his friends that now see me reaching over and pressing end on his phone myself.
Mollie, sommelier, Tribeca