I have always been the most insecure around other girls, especially pretty ones who’d make eye contact and some sort of sexual gesture at my significant other. You know how it goes – you’re at a bar with your man and a girl comes up and starts talking to both of you, but you know by the way she’s leaning toward him that she’s there for one reason: to play. And she wants to win the game. How does she win the game? By making you feel jealous and angry enough to storm out of the bar so she can eventually snag his number and feel as if she’s beaten you in the challenge.
Holly's "Luv" Letters
Luv Your Life
I have always been the most insecure around other girls, especially pretty ones who’d make eye contact and some sort of sexual gesture at my significant other. You know how it...Read More
Vegas is Sin City. New York is Cynic City.
Many (probably most) of us New Yorkers cringe at the idea of saying hello to anyone or even making eye contact with a total stranger. There’s no time to waste on each John/Jane Doe we’ll probably never see again. The only people we owe a smile are those interviewing us for the big jobs we need to pay our two-grand-a-month rent and our Whole Foods bill. We just don’t have time for non-important people. We are uptight Manhattanites. To us, most of the time, life really bites.
God forbid we’re without our headphones or smart phones — anything to immerse us in our private, myopic worlds outside the over-caffeinated, over-crowded streets of Manhattan. We’re among millions of humans, yet in many ways we deny that anyone else exists. It’s the paradox of living in a big city.
But something changed in a number of us when we boarded the crosstown bus. Yesterday, when I hopped on at 86th and Columbus, the driver, a sweet 30-something-year-old Latino, said, “Welcome to the party bus” and encouraged each passenger to smile at the person next to them. He asked if anyone was celebrating a birthday, and led the entire busload in a chorus of “Happy Birthday.” He said that life is too short to be taken seriously, explaining that we should all allow ourselves to be silly every now and then.
The driver proceeded to ask trivia questions, such as, “Can anyone tell me ten body parts that have only three letters?” He said he’d give a free transfer to anyone who could name all ten. A number of people rolled their eyes. I bet they were thinking of ten four-letter swear words they could shout at him. But I know I wasn’t the only one enjoying myself on this ridiculous ride. Several people on the bus joined in the fun and shouted out body parts — “eye!” “ear!” “arm!” “toe!”– even the 80-something-year-old curmudgeon sitting next to me played along, the lines of her crows’ feet becoming more pronounced when she laughed.
Many New Yorkers who at one moment were eager to get off the bus and not make eye contact were laughing and exchanging friendly glances with the people around them. It was like magic; like nothing I’ve ever seen. Especially not in this city.
The ride of life is already bumpy, and, as the driver put it, “This bus’ll teach you how to dance,” i.e. to keep your balance while in motion. We all need to make the most of this sometimes bouncy, sometimes bumpy life, and to enjoy each other during the trip. Because after all, it can be fun. And if we’re feeling lonely, we must know that we are never really alone. If I learned anything from Columbus to Lexington, it’s that we’re all on the ride together. We’d might as well laugh.