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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Yorker? Not Yet

I have lived in New York City for about a month and a half now.

The hierarchical years of service metric claims that I still have about seven years and 10.5 months until I can claim official "New Yorker" status, but I'm a fast learner, and until I've earned my stripes I'm at least taking note of what it will really take to be one of those geniuses who knows how to navigate the subway without using a map.

Here's how I know I've got a little ways to go:

I smile at passers-by - "Oh how courteous of you, Skylar." Wrong. This is not okay. People are uncomfortable when you look at them at all. Years of living in Kentucky (where the Kroger greeter met you with a, "Well hi there my darlin', how yew?") and Northern Virginia/DC (where passing a random yogger would at least get you a breathless "hey" plus head nod) completely ruined me for New York social interaction. The only person who wants to tell you how their day is going is the homeless man missing toenails on the 3 a.m. E Train and my friendliness stops there.

I buy too many groceries - In a technical sense, this is not true. Just as I've always done, I shop for enough food to get me through the week, although the added bonus of not having my car here means I buy enough to fit into two bags that I then get to carry a mile home. Apparently, I'm supposed to completely forgo the grocery list and eat all of my meals via Seamless. Why this is such a difficult transition for me to make I have no idea, because if living the American dream isn't getting a meatball parmigiana sandwich delivered at 1 p.m. and then again at 1 a.m. I don't know what is.

I wear color - My closet is color coordinated in rainbow order and is a collection of predominantly red, blue, and pink. I own three black tops and a black cardigan. That's all. New Yorkers don't wear color, primarily because of occurrences like the toenail-less gentleman above being a run-of-the-mill thing. If I'm wearing a bright yellow sweater and I sit down in the seat that he occupied not five minutes before, who really thinks that the layer of sidewalk on his jacket won't make it onto my clothes? Never mind a little dirt on my back, I might also be pregnant. All black errthang is the way to go.

I say "very" - It's "mad," e.g. "That bagel place is mad busy on Saturday" and "Girl your hair is mad long, whatchu use, Argan oil?" (unfortunately the latter has been taken from recent events and was said by a straight dude.) I sound like an idiot when I say anything even remotely slang-y, which is why, wish as I might, I could never move to Boston because I would be the weirdo painfully trying to work "wicked" into conversation. Same applies here.

I never see anyone I know - In NoVA, I couldn't go to a Target 45 miles away from my house without seeing an old soccer coach or the girl from my high school photography class who overplucked her eyebrows (and was still suffering the consequences). In a population of just over 2.5 million people, that's not ridiculous, but it's also kind of ridiculous. I live eight miles away from Midtown in a population of nearly 8.5 million people and I never recognize a soul. I do have friends in the city, but I'm pretty sure most of them are avoiding me as a polite way of saying, "I never actually liked you, bitch" which I totally respect and understand. As far as new friends go, the "psychic" down the street who always sees something in my aura when I walk by and I are like this.


I don't care about baseball - Mets, Yankees, it really doesn't matter to me. There were grown men crying over Jeter's retirement and I didn't even know it was his last game until the day of. I've been told I need to pick a team and devote my life to it, but at a recent trip to Citi Field I didn't even realize the game was over until it was over (and the Mets lost, if anyone wanted the biggest shock of their life). I am a Giants fan through and through, and while I own a Knicks jersey, I would scrounge for Nets tickets in a heartbeat if they led to a potential sighting of Queen Bey. Unfortunately I just don't see myself ever genuinely caring enough about the Mets/Yankees rivalry. Not even sorry.

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