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?