Sunday, March 12, 2006
From the Simple Street Meet to an Audience With the Dating Hermit
Walking up Broadway last night, I ran into a friend of mine. She was with a friend of hers, and after my friend L. introduced me to her friend L. (I swear, they're both Ls) as "the world-famous singles columnist Esther Kustanowitz" (immediately proven untrue by her friend saying, "I never heard of you"), we struck up a conversation about dating. And just like always, I had no answers to her questions, which didn't stop me from talking for about 20 minutes. But still, I had no direct answers, because I'm not sure there are any. Her main question: "Why aren't people meeting each other?" Now, there's no real way to answer this. Firstly, because there's no way to prove that people aren't meeting each other in general. It's too general a question: somewhere, people are meeting and even marrying. I know this because I get the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times and because I keep getting wedding invitations in the mail. But the question could be: "Why aren't people meeting on the Upper West Side?" "Why can't I meet anyone?" or "Where do I go to meet someone?" It could even be "Will I ever meet anyone?" or "What the hell is he/she thinking?" or "Why am I always confined to the Friend Zone?" And I don't have the answers to any of these questions, because, for f*ck's sake, I'm still writing this blog and my column. Are there questions about dating that actually have objective answers? Or is anyone claiming to have "the answer" (this means you, Rules ladies and He's Just Not That Into You) a liar by definition? Isn't it all subjective? And even in any objective study of dating and relationship patterns, aren't we all just asking "Why is it taking me so long to find love and when will it finally happen?" What do you guys think? Say you've climbed to the top of a mountain in the Andes, where lives a dating hermit with all the answers to any questions we might want to ask about the courtship process...and say you're allowed two questions...what do you ask? And what kind of answers would you expect?