Are We in Kansas Yet?

I once did the math and calculated that, on average, over the last five years of my life, I’ve dated four men a year.

It makes sense when you think about it. If you date only during midterms and finals of a two-semester year, you get four dates a year. It’s kind of fun that the statistics bear out my observation, but not surprising.

So, I mused, curled up in my papasan chair in my very own vermin-free one-bedroom apartment in a pleasant, crime-free neighborhood with a large grassy park in view of my window: would I swap this OOT quality of life for four dates a year?

Yes, I know. Every guy has the potential to be the one guy I need. It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. But the truth is the quality hasn’t been so great either. A third of those dates were OnDs. When the arcade screen of my NYC dating life blinks “Continue? [2 tokens]” I feel little inspiration to pursue it, and a strong urge to use my tokens on the pinball game instead.

There’s another appealing thing about the OOT dating game. When OOTers visit New York, they date four people in four nights—if not in three or two nights. Now that is efficient. Instead of spreading my four guys over 12 months, I can bang them out in a week and can spend the rest of the year happily pretending to be a contented single—and sometimes even fooling myself.

There’s only one problem: lining up those guys. Because I’ve been in Brooklyn since Tuesday night and haven’t even seen an unpaired human with a Y chromosome, let alone dated one. Clearly, there’s more to this OOT-style dating than just sporadically visiting from OOT.

When I lived in Brooklyn, I kept hearing about guys who wanted OOT girls. But it seems that merely living OOT doesn’t imbue you with the OOT mystique that brings the gentlemen flocking to your NY address.

Granted, I still lack that country charm. I still walk faster than anyone else in my new town. But I have gone native in some other fundamental ways. And I can prove it.

Just the other day, I was walking down E 13th Street near Avenue J when I happened to make eye contact with a fellow pedestrian. And would you believe what I did? I’m a little embarrassed to admit it. But I greeted him. He gave me a blank look and continued past while I blushed at how I’d completely forgotten myself.

But a few blocks later I did it again. Same response, understandably. I was mortified by my gaucherie and disregard for the local customs. What next? Chatting with the checkout girl? Welcoming strangers in shul? Cow tipping?

Or maybe (just maybe) four dates in a nights?


19 thoughts on “Are We in Kansas Yet?

  1. I wish I had the patience to dig through your archives and compare quotes right now. 🙂 You may know exactly the post(s) I’m remembering…

  2. In your defense, I happen to live in a NY area and I greet people on weekday, and Shabbos, and THEY SMILE AND GREET ME BACK. It’s not specific to OOT, don’t cha know.

  3. Ezzie – I still think it’s stupid to greet everyone, but I do it so I won’t be the rude one. I still remember a security guard in an OOT location getting all hurt on me because he waved from 70 yards away and, not recognizing him, I didn’t wave back. This was on my second day at work. So now I’m careful, even if I honestly couldn’t care less. And it helps, I think. Because now I know that all the other smiling cheerful “how are you” people also really couldn’t care less. At least NYC is honest.

  4. Possibly work situations are different. In offices you’re supposed to be super-smiley and greet everyone who looks vaguely familiar. i guess to build a “positive working environment”?

    And hang on if you’re back in NY what about an ice cream meet-up? It’s been a while…

  5. When you start driving like an OOTer in New York, then you know you’ve reached the point of no return! I mean that is assuming you were a “real” ITer to begin with. 😛

    Personally, I once did the opposite, four dates in four nights OOT, and I can say it really doesn’t live up to the hype.

  6. only 4 dates a year? so youve been dating for 5 years and have only went out with 20 guys? wow… i know guys that go through 4 dates a month.

  7. I also went on at least one date with about four guys a year, and could go many months without any setups at all. Of the 21 guys I dated in my five years of dating, I met six on my own (all at Shabbos meals), so only 15 setups, or 3/year. (I married #21, with whom I was set up, but overall I had a significantly longer median dating period with guys I met on my own.) The long lists that guys seem to have mystify me.

  8. I still remember a security guard in an OOT location getting all hurt on me because he waved

    Because now I know that all the other smiling cheerful “how are you” people also really couldn’t care less

    Somewhere in between those I lost you… 😉

    I’ll tell you what’s really bad, though. Waving to people at baseball games. I once got someone kicked out of a great seat by doing that, because they then came over to say hi, and apparently they weren’t in the right section.

  9. 😛 Okay, most of them. There are exceptions. Like those people at the baseball game. If they were real NYers they wouldn’t have cared unless they would have gotten something from you.

  10. LM – It doesn’t. I haven’t been in Lakewood in about five years, bli ayin hara. Surely you don’t believe that I put up personally identifying details on this blog? Or that I would move to Lakewood?

  11. I was rather surprised that you would move to Lakewood – I was sure I read that on here somewhere, but I guess I must have made it up.

  12. i think i would only consider it OOT from NY if you had to get on a plane and fly to your destination
    car trips of +8 hrs would count too. otherwise it would just be a suburb of NY
    that in my opinion would be the distance you had to go from NY to get away from those non happy non waving pple

  13. +8 hours:

    So Baltimore, Boston, and Buffalo aren’t OOT? What about Wilmington, Wilkes-Barre, and White Oak? Or Pittsburgh, Providence, and Philadelphia?

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