Written by Greg Mania
I’ve broken the most sacred commandment so many times at this point I’ve stopped counting.
Thou Shalt Not Date Anyone Off of Your Subway Stop.
I can’t go to the grocery store without fear of seeing the dude I felt up at a deli a few months ago because he bought me a bag of Tate’s cookies; he never spoke to me again after that night because he ended up getting engaged a few weeks later. I’m constantly prepared to stop, drop and roll out of CVS in case I see the guy who ghosted me because we weren’t astrologically compatible. I can’t even write this column in my favorite neighborhood coffee shop because I know, I just know, that I’ll bump into that boy I tongue-jousted with at a local bar who later told me I reminded him of his brother.
Why, boy who rejected me because we both prefer to bottom, did you have to move 0.23 miles away according to one of my geographically based hookup apps? I understand the appeal of living off of this particular L train stop—the outskirts of Bushwick are cheaper and there’s two train lines in one station— but C’MON. All I want to do is pick up my antidepressants from the pharmacy without putting the effort into dressing like an incognito celebrity which, by the way, have you seen me? I’m six-foot-two with blond hair that looks like it was combed with a grenade -- going unnoticed is about as effective as arguing with your friend’s right-wing aunt on Facebook.
My general rule-of-thumb is to date someone no fewer than three subway stops away, but no farther than an entire borough. It’s optimal because if things to go south, you don’t have to experience that wave of panic when you encounter your ex and their new beau at your bodega and then fake getting possessed by a demon and have it become a whole thing. You can leave your house feeling hungover as fuck and looking like a soggy pile of newspapers without the dread of running into that guy who lives two blocks away and dumped you because he’s allergic to your cat.
So what do I do now? Fake my death and assume a new identity on a remote island off the coast of Greece? Tempting, but too much effort. Move to another neighborhood in Brooklyn? WAY more effort than faking a death and starting a new life under a new name in a foreign land. Grow up, hold my head high and politely say hello like some rational-thinking, socially couth human? GROSS. There are no happy endings to this story -- it’s happy endings that got me in trouble here in the first place. I guess there’s only one thing I can do: accept it, learn from my mistakes, and move on.