"Update" NYC

3, 2, 1 Contact

As kids there was little show in the 80’s that was geared toward teaching children the fundamentals of science, it was called, 3, 2, 1 Contact. Personally, I never cared for science; it simply goes way above my head. However, I got to thinking over this past weekend about human contact. Science is something that continues to evolve with time, however, with all our modern day science and its miraculous discoveries, I couldn’t help but wonder in this human race if we are actually making any progress making contact with one another or if we are actually  going back in time.

Last week the city had finally seen its first glimpse of summer. The weather was improving, we actually felt sun on our skin and it felt amazing. So, when I was meeting with some friends on Tuesday for a much needed catch-up session, I was more than ready to sit outside, have wine and see some friendly faces. We all met at, Medi Wine Bar, in Hell’s Kitchen and as I sat across the table listening to my friends tell me about how magnificent their lives were running, I couldn’t help but have a wonderful sense of a contact high from all of their positive energy. After we finished updating each other on our personal lives, things changed over to me and my brand. Yes. My brand. We discussed taking UpdateNYC to the next level and the wheels are in full motion even as I write this entry. Gimmie Graphics, www.gimmiegraphics.com, is an amazing company and will be responsible for helping me take this blog to the next level. Hire this agency because they are amazing! After we said our goodbyes and I walked home, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of happiness and it was because these people are on a very bright future ahead.

The next day, I had a date scheduled for that evening. I had met the guy from OKCupid and we had talked on the phone and exchanged several text messages over the past two weeks. I had the place all picked out and he was constantly sending me messages about how much he was looking forward to finally meeting. While I was at work, late in the afternoon, I received a message from him canceling. It said, “Hi. Sorry to do this. I am not feeling well. Rain check.” This message is the oldest one in the book. I know the real meaning behind his message and that was, “I am not interested and best of luck.” I responded with, “Ok,” and I left it at that. Most people would believe the message that he was genuinely sick and wanted to meet but I knew what the real meaning was and that was fine. I guess the bigger picture is that I didn’t waste my time or money meeting someone that wasn’t interested. I knew I had made the right choice to not give him a second chance because the next day, I sent him a message hoping that he was feeling better and I got back, “Thanks.” I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by the message because I was actually looking forward to meeting him based on his phone calls and messages alone. It’s funny, how the only contact with this person was all behind some screen whether that was my screen on my phone or my laptop but sometimes we build up things a little too high only for them to crumble.

After I got the message, I went back to work and then I received a message from a little blast from my past, The Engineer. Our history was simply put that we had a few nice dates, he pulled away, I got tired of chasing and every now and again we meet up for a friendly glass of wine. My self esteem had taken a bit of a beating and so when his message came through asking me what I was doing that night and if I wanted to meet up…I took him up on his offer. I quickly ran home, changed, freshened up and met him at this pub in Midtown East called, The Public Box. He was seated way in the back corner but I noticed he had a friend with him. I was completely fine with it because it took the pressure off of the evening and it feeling like a date. As I sat there drinking red wine as if I never had a glass before, I was really beginning to see just how socially awkward The Engineer is. Even his friend said he lacks some serious social skills when The Engineer had excused himself to use the restroom. Once we were done at the pub, the friend went home to his boyfriend and it was now just The Engineer and I. I was well into my buzz phase from the wine and so when The Engineer suggested we take a walk and go to Grand Central Station, I decided that it couldn’t hurt. I have no need to ever go to Grand Central Station but once I was in there, I actually forgot how beautiful it really is. We sat at a bar and began talking about life, us, our past and our future. I told him that there is no future for us but we should just focus on what we are doing now and that is having a nice drink over looking all the people rushing to make their trains. He then kissed me and while it was nice to have human contact, I knew that I was completely disconnected from him. We said goodbye, I got into a cab and I haven’t heard anything from him since.

Thursday was in full swing, I was banging out future articles for work and then I saw my phone light up and it was from a number that I didn’t recognize. Normally, I never answer the phone when I don’t know the number but something told me that I should and I am glad that I did. It was from some agency that was claiming that I lived in Brooklyn and had an outstanding balance due from last year. I was totally confused and told them that I haven’t lived in Brooklyn since the late 90’s and that I had never even heard of the address that they are claiming I lived at. I wrote down every bit of information I could from this agency and immediately called the bank that was claiming that I owed money to. When I got in touch with them, they said the only thing I could do to get this balance removed from my name was to claim identity theft through the police. I couldn’t believe it, as if my credit wasn’t screwed enough from my own doing, now there was someone out there having fun with my name and I didn’t even get to participate in any of the fun. The rest of the day was spent speaking with collection agencies, banks, pulling credit reports and gathering as much evidence as I could so that I could take my case to the police station the next day.

Friday and I couldn’t focus on writing at all, all I could think about was the fact that I thought I was building my credit back up meanwhile it was getting more screwed up like an episode of The Kardashian’s. I decided that if I can’t focus on work than I should just go to my local police station and get this case started.

In my mind and I am sure a lot of others out there, you think that being inside a police station would be like the TV shows, Cagney and Lacey or Law and Order. Well, there is a big reason why they glamorize those shows on TV and that is because the cold harsh reality of being in a police station is an experience that cannot be described unless you are actually in it yourself but I am going to do my best for you all. It was pouring down rain on Friday and I thought that by going to the police station at the conservative hour of 2 p.m. that it would be calm. I would have no such luck and so as I entered the police station on 54th Street and Eighth Avenue and was greeted with a harsh woman telling me that I needed to sign in, take a seat and she would call on me when she was good and ready. There was only one seat left and so I had no idea how long I was going to be there and so I sat in between some rather interesting characters. To my left, there was a woman that was rather disheveled and she looked like she was longing for her crystal meth pipe, she smelled and she was missing several of her teeth. She was waiting to be taken into custody. To my right, there was a man that was in shackles also waiting to be taken into custody, however, he was certainly not in the right state of mind because all he could do was yell out the word, “Property.” He didn’t say anything else, he only yelled out the word, “Property.” He did this for one solid hour. I sat there as case after case went before me and all I could think was, “This is 2 o’clock in the afternoon, how is all of this happening in the middle of the day?”

Finally, it was my turn to speak with someone. I was greeted by one of the rudest women I have ever came across in my life and that is saying a lot from someone that has lived here a long time. She asked me why I was there and I told her, “I am a victim of identity theft and I am here to file a formal complaint.” With a big heavy sigh, she grabbed a form and began asking me all the personal questions such as my address, phone, email, etc. Finally it came to the question of my ethnic background. I wasn’t expecting her response at all toward me but she asked, “Are you black?” At first, I was confused by her question. All I could respond with, “Do I look black?” She didn’t say anything and just stared at me. I should also mention that this woman that was doing all the question asking has a beard. Yes. You read this right. She has a beard and not only did this beard have major stubble but it was also had a whole salt and pepper coloring in it. This woman actually has to shave her chin. So, once I told her I was not black but that I was Latin, she then said, “What does that mean?” I couldn’t believe how long we were stuck on my ethnicity so I said, “I am Mexican.” She gave me a dirty look, rolled her eyes and put my answer down on the report. After she filled out all the questions she gave me my case number and told me to call back the next day. I was confused and my patience had long since left the building, I was now annoyed at how rude and cruel I was being treated, not to mention the cast of characters I was subjected to. So, with a nasty attitude I told her, “Aren’t you forgetting something?” She goes, “And what would that be?” I replied with, “THE EVIDENCE! Here is a copy of my credit report, a letter from the collection agency and a copy of every single address I have lived at in New York, proving that I never lived at the Brooklyn address.” She took the copies, apologized for not asking me for the evidence and then shouted out, “NEXT.”  I left the police station in the pouring rain and quickly canceled the plans I had that night with some friends. There was no way I was in the mood to be social after that entire experience.

When I woke up on Saturday morning and noticed that the sun was shining when the forecast had predicted rain, I got up and ran to the gym. I completed some errands and then met up with my very first boss that I ever had when I moved to New York City. We reconnected over Facebook and had arranged to meet at the wine bar, Ardesia, since he had just moved to the neighborhood. One of my very first jobs when I moved to New York was working at the most luxurious and famous stores in the world…Bergdorf Goodman. I had left Bergdorf’s back in 1999 and didn’t keep in touch with any of my old coworkers but I was rather excited to see my very first boss. It was a nice time and after two bottles of proseco later, I realized that I was going to be late meeting my friends in Chelsea. So, we said our goodbyes and I walked to my friend’s apartment in Chelsea to determine what our evening would consist of; it was also a night where we would be saying goodbye to a friend that was visiting from London.

We agreed to start out at Maryann’s for some margaritas while we waited for another friend of ours to arrive. After the margaritas, we all went to Gym Bar for some beers and then we all decided to grab a cab and head over to, Omar, in the Village. The drinks were incredible but I realized that it was getting rather late and so we all said goodbye and I shared a cab with a friend that lives in my area.

Yesterday was hands down one of the most perfect weather days we had seen in quite some time. My original plan was to have one date at 1 p.m. and a different one at 5 p.m. but based on all my recent dating events, I only had energy for one of the two dates and so I rescheduled the 5 o’clock one for next week and kept the brunch date. This date I was looking forward to because he was extremely good with communication, he spent years living in Hawaii and he teaches blind children how to function. I was rather fascinated with his life and wanted to know more about him. We also met through OKCupid and so I was simply going off of a few photos and our text messages. We met at this place called, Traffic, for our brunch and the minute I saw him my dating gut instincts told me that this is going to be boring. Sure enough, we sat down at exactly at 1 p.m. and we were settling the bill by 1:40. When we sat down he said, “I hope you don’t mind. I am not a big drinker so I am going to order iced coffee.” Strike one. I decided to make the most of this situation and began asking questions about Hawaii, his job and while he answered all my questions, he never once asked me a question about myself. I was counting down the minutes till I finished my salad; in fact, I don’t think I had ever eaten a salad so quickly in my life. When he asked me what I was doing after we finished our meal, I told him I was heading into Brooklyn to visit some friends, which wasn’t a lie. When you date this long in New York City, it is extremely important to have your back-up plans in order just in case you find yourself on a terrible date. I wished him all the luck and onto a subway toward Brooklyn I went.

My friend was having her first BBQ at her home and I was more than delighted to have been invited. While it is always nice to see her, she was not my real reason for coming. It is her 11 month old son. The minute I walked in and just had to take a deep breath of that baby skin. There is nothing like it. The baby and my friend were both happy to see me. The entire rest of the afternoon was spent drinking, talking, getting to know new people and discovering that while I have yet to make a contact for a potential relationship, the contact that I have with my friends here, in New York cannot be compared to anything else in the world. By the time we all noticed that the sun was fading and it was much later than we all thought, we helped clean up a little and a friend of mine and I shared a cab back to the city.

As I mentioned, 3, 2, 1 Contact, was a show that taught children the fundamentals of science, if only as adults there was a show out there that was able to teach us about the fundamentals of life. They say the most important thing in a relationship is the big C word: Communication. But there are so many other C words that need to be used for any relationship to succeed. C words like, Commitment, Compromise and now I am throwing my own C word in there: Contact.

While we live in a world where we all can hide behind a computer screen, including myself, it is extremely important to never lose that feeling that we had before the world became digital and that feeling is the human contact. Actually connecting with someone on a deeper level and having that desire for that special contact, taking a risk in life knowing that things might not actually appear as they do on our screens is a big risk. But life without risk is not living at all.   

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4 Comments

  1. I have a theory that some of these people have fake profiles using other people’s pictures on OK Cupid, and then when you agree to a date they have to cancel on you, because they’d be found out when they show up looking like a totally different person than their photos.

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