Friday, July 2, 2010

I don't feel bad about BLOWING you OFF, because you're FUCKING NUTS

It was 2001 and I had ventured to the east coast for summer school at NYU. I had wanted to live in New York City since I was a ten year old obsessed with The Babysitter's Club. Okay, so everyone knows those books took place in the fictional town of Stonybrook, Connecticut--- but Stacey McGill (the club treasurer) was from the NYC. Stacey made Manhattan sound so cool and ever since she left the city for the suburbs, I was hooked on leaving the suburbs for the city.

I was a total fish out of water my first week in New York. I was living with girls from NYU who'd been friends for years and I was the virtual stranger that showed up at their door to live with them. My hair did not do well in humidity. I couldn't keep up with all the walking and the crowds of people. Stacey McGill never mentioned how overwhelming the city could be, but I was only in New York for seven weeks, so I had to acclimate fast.

First, I got my nose pierced. Then, I took up smoking. Normally, I'm like a walking surgeon general, but I wanted to meet new people and I knew that cigarettes were the gateway to conversations with strangers. Then, I decided to put my social anxiety to rest and be as outgoing as possible. The three things made for a deadly combination. One night, when my roommates didn't feel like going out, I decided to go across the street with my cigarettes and hang out at Union Square by myself. After a few minutes, this cute boy approached me to bum a smoke. My plan was working like gang busters!

We hung out in the park for the next couple hours. His name was Moishe, he grew up in Brooklyn, and he was a quintessential NY boy (ie no beating around the bush). He kissed me and when I told him I was only going to be in New York for two more weeks, he said he wanted to spend everyday with me. When I went to sleep that night I thought it could be the perfect romantic end to my summer "abroad."

The next morning, it didn't seem that romantic. I had become really good friends with my roommates and I wanted to spend the next two weeks hanging out with them--- not with some random guy. I crossed my fingers he would blow me off and forget to call. He didn't. He called five times in one day. This was before I had a cell phone, so he could only reach me on my land line in the dorms. When he finally called again, I answered-- planning to gently blow him off on the phone--- but he told me he had come into the city to see me and he was at the park. Oh God, I was going to have to dump him in person and he wasn't even my boyfriend.

I met him in the park and we went to coffee. I told him that I really didn't think I was going to have much time to spend with him before I left and that I wanted to devote the next two weeks to my friends. I figured he would play it cool, say that he understood, etc etc. But no. What followed was an excruciating break up conversation between two people who weren't even dating. He said I lied to him, that he felt used, that he'd never felt so betrayed. It was so extreme and over the top that I almost started laughing a couple of times. Who was this guy? As if that wasn't bad enough, we ended up on the steps of Union Sq Park, still having the same "break up" conversation. Finally, I got so annoyed and basically told him he was CRAZY. He yelled at me and stormed off. And I think he expected me to follow him, but I didn't. It felt like....well, at the risk of being totally stereotypical, it felt like he was the girl and i was the boy in the situation.

But ultimately, I was glad he acted like such a nut job. If he was sweet and understanding about it, I would have felt guilty. But he was a complete psychopath, so I didn't feel bad at all. I felt great...and I quit smoking. Cause forget about cancer, the real surgeon general warning should be: smoking leads to meeting psycho stalker boys.

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