Who’s Zooming Who?

Initially, I felt that everyone just seemed friendly towards me. Maybe I was a new face in an old bar in a crowded city where socially, frazzled folks welcomed adding another phone number to their already heaving, long lists.

I have always been told it’s rude to stare, a notion I still subscribe to. So why does it seem acceptable, in this, a crowded, downtown New York bar?

Just into my first, beautifully crafted glass of refreshingly chilled wine, I realised that all and sundry were looking at everyone else.  At no other time has the phrase ‘checking them out’ been more apt.

The blonde in the slim jeans tucked into boots, seemingly the uniform of the moment, was checking out the all-American denim guy. The all-American denim guy was checking out the petite Latino lady. The petite Latino lady was checking out everyone taller than her.

Who’s Zooming Who? I like the way the old Aretha track put it; literarily everyone seemed to be looking at everyone else.

I’m hoping time will prove me wrong and this is just the cynic in me and perhaps this behaviour is just prevalent in certain bars in particular neighbourhoods, but it smacks of desperation when everyone is looking over shoulders to see if anyone better has just walked in. What are they missing out on? Could they be the person of their dreams? Could they be missing out on a chance of happiness?

Yes, I know I would have had to been looking myself to have observed all this strange behaviour but I am a new face in a new town – just curious, innocent people-watching on my part.

Other than a couple of obvious Queens, with whom I exchanged cursory glances and delightful banter with, this was the West Village after all, I was here solely to be acquainted with one person.  I gave up just a few hours of my life to be here. I have the other 164 hours in the week to see other people, do other things, go other places.

Is it too much to ask of New Yorkers to concentrate on one person at a time?

Published on Dating New York Style

November 9th 2008

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