Kvetch in the City
By Carrie Mills
My new favorite initials…WJH.
What Just Happened.
I feel like my whole life, and life in general these days can be summarized in those three little words.
Along those lines…stay with me here...I discovered a long time ago, that I am inclined to build castles in the air and then expect everyone around me to move in with me. I guess you can call that living in a fantasy. I try to counteract that tendency by living in the moment, in reality. It seems I’ve not yet mastered that ability, and anyway, everything is so WJH, the evening news is horrible, politics are insane, so on and so forth. To heck with staying in reality!
However, living in a fantasy does not bode very well, especially when it comes to dating. For example, when I reconnected with an old songwriting friend, let’s call him Joel for anonymity’s sake, on a dating app of all places, while up in NYC a few months ago, I whipped up a castle in the air so fast, all that was left to do was decorate.
We met in a coffee shop on the Upper West Side and initially I had a wonderful time reconnecting. We talked easily for a long time and then walked through street fairs and street markets. Before I left, he asked if I’d like to write a song together next time I was up in NYC, which was two months down the road. I happily said. “Of course!”
As soon as we parted ways, I sent him a note saying how great it was to see him and he responded in kind. I was immediately flying high in my castle in the air. He was a little older than me, single, Jewish, creative, lived on the Upper West Side. We talked easily for hours. I knew him. He was cute in a disheveled intelligent kind of way, and it was great that he was familiar to me and we had somewhat of a past history together. It was all so encouraging as far as the road to Mr. Right was concerned. My castle was almost complete. All that was left was to decorate.
And then. Nothing. I mean nothing. Nothing. As in no communication. Not a peep. Not a hello, not a how are you. Weeks passed. Nothing. It became clear, he knew nothing of my castle in the air which involved him being in it.
I was just letting go of my little fantasy, when boom, Joel texts and wants to know if we are still on for the song writing session when I come to NYC in July. Hello? Why yes! Off I went right back up into my little cloud imaging his asking to song write as really an excuse to take me on a date, write hit songs together, get married, move into his/my dream NYC pre-war apartment, and live happily ever after.
Fast forward to the day I go to his Upper West Side apartment. Here’s the reality check, here’s the evening news…here’s the WJH. I arrive at the appointed songwriting time at his building. Let’s just say it was not a beautiful Upper West Side brownstone, or pre-war classic. Reality started to set in. He opened the door to his apartment. Let’s just say he lived in a very, very, very, very bachelor pad environment. And in that I mean, no one seemed to be tidying up or scrubbing floors for a very, very long time.
Let’s just say, even with all that, I looked around and kept thinking, “I could make this place great in no time.” Let’s just say, I sat on the one surface that seemed doable, a wooden chair. I tried my best to stay present and stay focused on the songwriting task at hand when I realized this was not a date, regardless of the fact that we connected on a dating app. As far as hit songs go, we couldn’t even get an iota of an idea started together. We talked, played each other songs and let’s just say, nothing clicked. No brilliant top 10, no hint of romance. And then about 90 minutes in, he turns to me and says that he has to kick me out, he had to take a nap. He actually used the words, “kick me out.” WJH.
Off I went, like some forlorn princess, into the humid, 95-degree day with all my castle in the air dreams melting like a much-anticipated ice cream cone, dripping all over my beautifully decorated palace. Of course, I tried not to take it personal though I knew it would take some time to work through that very adult process.
And while my glorious castles in the air and reality have yet to meet, the REAL delicious vegan NYC ice cream cone I had that day bridged the gap for the moment.
And that my friends, is what just happened.