Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sidewalk talk and city-girl smarts

Today’s entry, I fear, may be a little on the short side. You say, I’ve got a biggish interview here shortly, requiring that I get in touch with my “soft-voiced, meek self,” as I told Poster Boy. His advice: “Go submit thyself to whatever male authority figure you find.”* Lucky for me I’ve at least toned down the shock-n-awe.

Not that this seems to be diminishing male interest in me. If anything, I suspect that swearing off dating has somehow ratcheted up my mojo in an unexpected way.

So yesterday I make the mistake of slightly overdressing for the day — in terms of the weather that is. It keeps getting cold, and I was headed for a friend’s bridal shower. Unsure of what to wear, I don the stylin’ black pants that helped Lickwit re-fall at the Morrissey show, and a rather shapeless short-sleeved peasant top, worn over sheer red shirt in case it’s cold out.

Of course it’s not, and I spend the rest of the day sweating and wondering if somehow I can take off the long-sleeved under-shirt without flashing strangers and generally making rather a scene. Unsure my skills are better than Jennifer Aniston’s in trying to smoothly slip off her bra in a comic Friends scene, I pass on this idea and choose to sweat it out instead.

Hours into this ordeal, I am finally on my home, hair up in pigtails to cool me off some. Waiting on a subway platform, I decide to squat as is my habit (close to sitting but it doesn’t involve a dirty subway bench and besides, it gives my quads a brief workout). As I settle in, however, I realize my pants sit low enough, I might showing more than I intend. Men on the platform have already been giving me slightly shady looks. So I put a hand back there, just to keep myself well-covered. Soon enough the train comes along and I bring my little “workout” to a close.

Two stops later I exit and start walking along the platform toward the subway gate. I hear this weird whistle halfway between a catcall and some rather tuneless humming. I half look behind me in case I’ve dropped something but see nothing. The whistling continues, but I ignore it. Besides, what catcall would last this long?

I make my through the turnstile. The whistling continues in these intermittent bursts. As I start climbing up the steps, I happen to glance down to the left where the platform view peeps through an opening. The whistling stops and a strange balding chap with a hand-carry gives me a wink. Then later as I hurried through the dim street to my bank I pass another guy on his smoke break outside a Divey dive bar. “That’s a pretty shirt,” he says (though he must be squinting hard).

“Thanks,” I reply.

“You’re welcome.”

A man on the next block gives a faintly hungry look as I hurry past him as well. Is it just that I’m a woman or that it’s me, the sexless spinster with red sleeves? Earlier in the day I saw a man whose shirt read, “Would your BOOBS please stop staring at my EYES?”

Nearly home, I finally reach the bank to run my errand. You see, while dashing off to the bridal brunch, I had a bit of train hell. In the midst of this confusion, I hastily purchase train tickets … making the swipe with my WaMu ATM card. The card for the Washington Mutual bank account that boasts sixteen cents in the balance. As it has for weeks.

“Shit!” (There are no men around to look askance.) Visions of a $30 overdraft descend.

Since the tickets cost $6, this was a Sunday, and I had a $10 in my wallet, I hoped I could simply deposit the cash in time and avoid the massive fee. So on my home I stopped at the nearest bank to give it a go.

But once inside, I realized I had no writing implements. And the bank, though stocked with bright lights, a phone to their service center, and cheery disco Muzak … had no ink in chains.

What to do? I knew I wouldn’t be up that early in the morning. I didn’t feel like another phone fight with the customer service people. This was clearly the best time and place to make my deposit.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when I hit on reason #594 that it’s great to be a girl. For we have makeup bags and eye-liner pens. And I am now, it can be said, the sort of flighty but resourceful chick forced to write the deposit info with a purple eyeliner pen. Oh yes.

What’s in your wallet?

*A joke, in case “thyself” didn’t tip you off.