Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's Not Having What You Want, It's Wanting What You've Got

Another casualty of the economy - romance. An old friend of mine confided over a beer a little while ago that he's having issues with his significant other. It's best categorized as existential confusion - "do we have to like the exact same things? are we meant to be with each other forever? is something missing?" I was disappointed that they are struggling but not surprised. Given that money is the most frequent subject of arguments, and men's professional self-esteem issues spill over into their dating lives, it's no surprise that many long-term relationships are showing cracks or have ended. To some degree, my last long-standing thing collapsed under the weight of job anxiety, as did those of several friends in the past two years.

It's easy to project frustration onto an SO, in particular if their work situation is better. In tough times it's also natural to navel gaze and consider options in life. In New York City this seems amplified, where the selection is large and everyone seems perpetually on the lookout for a better choice. (digression: could this be symptomatic of our large finance d-bag population where seeking a better trade and bigger deal translates off-hours to acquiring a trophy partner with bigger tits, larger bank account, and better bedroom skills? Discuss.) These two concurrent forces can make for a lethal combination. It may make us feel better in the short term to take out frustrations on someone close to us, it's an easy target, but we need loved ones more than ever to lean on as we limp through a rough patch. Many men especially seem to lose sight of this, as the stress response tends to be curling up into a ball or lashing out on others, including those who may provide relief. Short of severe effed-up-ness (drugs, cheating, abuse), the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. As New York magazine found in their review of the Sex Diaries, the abundance of choice can end up paralyzing and anxiety-inducing. As exciting as it can be to pick partners like chocolates in Dylan's Candy Bar, one may agonize overs the choice and thus end empty-handed (or not, for that matter ;) ).

Believe you me, I have been very much taking advantage of my single status in the past six months ;), so this is not meant to judge anyone who wants to prowl around. It's fun, temporarily exciting, and relieves stress. The attention from multiple people makes a person feel desired, special, appreciated. It counteracts the lack of love felt from layoffs and no raises at the office any day. That rush can be quite tempting for those in a relationship going through hard times. Truth be told, though, I'd much prefer to open my apartment door and find the same person on the other side day in and day out, to enhance experiences from sharing them, and yea, from the regular sexy-time as well. If it ain't broke, don't break it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


In the past two weeks I've ventured twice to the latest and possibly largest beer garden in town, Studio Square. Being located three blocks from the 36th St stop of the R train is a bonus, although cabs are few and far between in the wee hours, even on Northern Blvd. What's great is that there is so much space, about three times the outdoor and ten times the indoor seating of Bohemian. There was enough room for my drunk idiot friend T t throw me over his shoulder to teach me a lesson that I can't recall, with me squirming and kicking and only hitting him. It is a bit more of a dress-to-impress scene, and the staff wear geek-chic t-shirts of an S squared. Part of me years for the distant surliness and stick-to-your-ribs eastern European fare like pierogi, although having bratwurst, awesome fries, sushi, and mini cupcakes available in the same place isn't too shabby.

In short, I'd go again with friends, maybe not for my birthday. Next stop on the beer garden tour - either Fette Sau or Fatty 'Cue.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


My parents have been married for 39 years today. Their wedding song was Perry Como's "It's Impossible." I think that says it all.