When I first moved to New York I was astounded at two things – how many rats were in subway stations, and how many pizza places are on every street. If you’ve been in New York for longer than two hours, you’ve probably been to a pizza place. If you’ve been here for longer than two years, you’ve probably been to your fair share of them. One thing I’ve gathered from my visits is the better the pizza, the less seating there is.
New York has this romantic way of finding ways to let people know they want their business, but don’t want their company. So when you find a place of heavy inflow, there is usually minimal to zero places to pop a squat.
When I first moved here that was the bane of my existence. Always feeling rushed, uncomfortable, out of place, and never sure what to do with my hands or where to put my coat. 4 years in and the site of tables while I’m trying to get a quick slice is the first sign to run.
But I can’t help but wonder if I’ve taken the “don’t make yourself at home” message, home.
If there is one thing I’m good at, it’s not over staying my welcome. At restaurants, at parties, and especially in relationships. In reality, most of the time I don’t even get passed the doormat with those. I’ve developed a comfort in leaving. There has never been a more pleasing word that has left my lips than the “Alright…” you say right before you give that pretend sigh of disappointment that you better get going. And that’s just fine when I’m politely scooting myself away from small chat with a coworker I ran into on the subway. But what happens when my “alright’s” start excusing me from conversations that get too deep, feelings that get too personal, people that get too close?
I’ve had my fair share of…hopefuls. And by hopefuls I mean guys that I either hoped my mom wouldn’t find out about, hoped would change for me, or hoped I would change for. But with each and every one of them, no matter how hard I tried, each one still ended with me gathering my things and finding something new to hope for.
The number of males who have told me that I will end up some lonely old maid cursing the day I walked away from their mediocre love affair isn’t exactly countless, but it would take me at least ten minutes to jot down the whole list. Yet I still can’t decide if it was me who is the leaver because I enjoyed walking away, or was it them who left me, when they refused to pull out a chair for me, giving me a place I felt comfortable to stay?
In my 2am thoughts, I wander into the vacant parts of my heart and wonder if to an outsider, it looks like a pizzeria with tables up to the chest with the circumference of a beach ball, with not a seat in sight. And if it does, I wonder why that’s such a bad thing after all.