Recently, FAB went on a date. In Westchester. With a gentleman who LIVES in Westchester. It was all very genteel and nice: dinner at some quaint restaurant on a quaint Main St. of a quaint upon-Hudson hamlet followed by a regional musical theater production. When we first told our friends of our plans, the reactions ranged from lighthearted disbelief ("Wait, seriously?")to downright incredulity ("Who do you think you're kidding? Who are you pretending to be?"). FAB has long rejected potential suitors who live anywhere other than Brooklyn or Manhattan (I'm looking at YOU, far flung parts of Jackson Heights and Hoboken).
I'd always assumed this was a mere bit of narrow-minded geographic pragmatism on my part. I mean, let's be honest, it's not exactly a breeze to get from downtown Brooklyn to pretty much anywhere in Queens that isn't Long Island City let alone reversing the trip at, say, 8am on a Saturday morning in a pair of 4 inch heels. Or whatever. And Hoboken is in New Jersey, for God's sake.
And if our friends and local color feature reporting by the New York Times are any indication, we are far from alone in this kind of attitude among New Yorkers. In fact, it's probably one of the most well-worn tropes among the 25-40 single demographic. But I think fewer of us are willing to publicly go on record as saying that I won't date you who lives in [far flung borough/far flung part of our own borough], or God forbid, the suburbs, not just because it's incredibly inconvenient, but because I think your choice of neighborhood says something about who you are, your financial prudence (apparently I only hang with the deeply financially imprudent), and who you want the world to think you are. And lacking any additional concrete input about you, I judge you. And I judge your neighborhood.
So back to the aforementioned gentleman suitor. By graciously accepting this evening of suburban non-debauchery, was I making an official statement of sorts that I've finally become one of those "real" adults who is ready to settle down into a more staid and family-having lifestyle with a backyard and 2.5 dogs (or is it 2.5 kids?), or was I simply engaging in a little aspirational self-delusion? I have to admit that the next day, while strolling through one of the lovely yet likely unattainable neighborhoods that fronts directly onto the Long Island Sound, rubbing elbows with handsome young families with their 2.5 dogs and 2.5 kids in their Sunday best, I couldn't help but feel more than a twinge of longing. And jealousy. Definitely jealousy. So, judge me. Please. Clearly, we have lost our way.