If I was the type of person who believed in love at first sight, I’d have fallen in love a thousand times living in New York City.
Fortunately, for my own sake, I’m not. My life isn’t a fairytale and it really wouldn’t behoove me to run around this city like a damsel in distress, seeking the prince I fell in love with across a crowded Second Avenue Q train.
So instead of a love story, here’s an ode to every person I’ve ever made eye contact with and found attractive but didn’t smile at because, well, we’re New Yorkers.
Perhaps the only romantic notion I am susceptible to is this one: potential. Every man I see but don’t meet has endless amounts of it.
Isn’t it almost better that way?
Dear Attractive Guy on the Subway,
We locked eyes briefly over the throng of morning commuters. The car was too crowded and we got jostled too much to maintain our connection, but I had hope I’d see you again on another morning commute soon.
But woe is me, for having a flexible work schedule that allows me to go into work at varying times each morning, and for preferring to mix up my route so I don’t even take the same train every day, let alone at the same time. Enjoy your coffee, alone.
Dear Bae Walking Down the Street,
I only knew you for half a block, but that was all it took. I could just tell that you loved your parents, would take me to hear bands I had never heard of, and would make a mean omelet.
There are only so many seconds to make a first impression, and yours involved sunlight and a sexy walk. How did I pass you right on by?
Dear Hot Bartender,
I know your job requires you to give attention to people, but I think there was a spark when you took my drink order. There was definitely an extra splash of whiskey. And I appreciate it.
If only that liquid courage had inspired me to write my phone number on my receipt.
Dear Cute Boy in my Office Building,
I was thrilled to see you in my lobby the other day. Finally! A stranger in a location that I frequent every day! I will see you again!
Except...I didn’t. There are too many elevators in the lobby, there are too many floors in the building, I come and go at too irregular of intervals. Next time we have an all-building fire alarm evacuation, I’ll look for you.
Dear Open Mic Night Man,
Oh, how you made me laugh! And you appreciated the good natured commentary I provided from the audience. It’s live comedy; why wouldn’t I participate?
I hope the anecdotes I shared make their way into one of your sets some day. And I hope a girl in that audience listens to your joke, laughing, and develops a little crush on you, too, just like I did.
Dear Endearing Boy at the Laundromat,
You were reading a paperback copy of Catcher in the Rye! In a way that seemed genuine!
You accidentally chose the squeaky, annoying dryer and looked embarrassed as the other patrons turned to stare. You put your headphones in. If you couldn’t hear it, maybe it wasn’t being loud. (It was. But I still want to coordinate my laundry day with you.)
Dear Handsome Man I Accidentally Swiped Left On,
Your profile photo was the perfect mix of preppy and hipster. Your location was within the easily accessible five-mile radius. You actually filled out your bio. If this app calculated compatibility, ours would be high.
But alas. My muscles betrayed me. My heart went right, but my thumb went left. And that, as they say, was the end of that.
Dear Struggling Musician at That One Concert,
I’m usually not attracted to the tortured artist type, but there was something about the way those drumsticks looked in your hands. You looked at me over the hi-hat and gave me a nod.
I ignored every other instrument for the rest of the set. Who needs vocals? What are guitars? You and your drums were the only sounds I could hear. If only I knew the name of your band so I could add your tracks to my whiny indie pop Spotify playlist.
Dear Dude in Line at Duane Reade,
I like the way you acknowledged the awkward necessity of the toilet paper you were buying in a single smile. Those who cannot laugh at themselves will never find themselves laughing with me.
If only the cashier hadn’t called out, “Next guest, please,” before one of us could bring up the weather.
Dear Good-Looking Guy I Lost on the Dance Floor,
Man, did you have moves. And not in the uncomfortable grinding-on-you-too-close kind of way. You rocked out to ‘90s throwbacks like no one else in the bar.
But then you left to get a beer, or maybe I accompanied my friend to the bathroom, and by the time I returned to the center of the dance floor, I was dancing alone.
Dear All the Men in New York I’ll See but Never Meet,
One glance and you could be the next love of my life. Except neither of us will acknowledge the frisson between us, because we’re not so swayed by pheromones as science would like us to believe.
But you know what? I like the potential of our undiscovered love stories—if we never meet, they’ll never end. And I’m okay being my own hero.[Feature Image Courtesy People.com]