|Where is the love in New York?–credit|
I’ve also, by the way, been on a lot of job interviews in New York —
fortunately on the hiring side, as my company’s go-to recruiter of new talent.
I bring this up (the job bit), because both first dating and interviewing have
led me to the same conclusion: I say a lot of the same things, over and
At work, I talk up the office with the same upbeat details (“Our last party was
Moroccan themed — it had a hookah!”), inspire applicants with the same employee
success stories, and crack the same jokes about our zany clients. It’s a little
boring, but it gets the job done — and, eventually filled.
On dates, though, it sometimes feels like my dialog is just as scripted. Just
like describing my place of work, when it comes to summing up myself, there’s
quite a lot to get through.
I must, for example, tell him
about the time my old apartment’s ceiling collapsed in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
It’s hilarious, and a smooth way to mention that I don’t currently live in such
dire straits. Go me! After recovering from said ceiling incident in a
two-bedroom on the “Bed” edge of Bed-Stuy (this is the better side),
I recently moved into a studio in Fort Greene, also in Brooklyn. Here, my
biggest problem is resisting all of the restaurants and bars at my fingertips;
the ceiling, on the other hand, appears secure.
| Now, even if my ceiling does fall in, I can just hang out on my awesome deck!
share my take on e-cigarettes vs. e-readers; it’s clever, and can help me
figure out whether Bachelor #1, like me, is romantically attached to carrying
around a 600-page hardback over a Nook. (As he should be.)
Just to put things in perspective: Throughout my New York years, my commute has
ranged from 30 to 75 minutes each way, including as many as three subway
transfers, and the thought of owning an e-reader has never crossed my mind.
Even when I flew to Sacramento from JFK’s super-cute JetBlue terminal, I lugged
the fifth Harry Potter book, which I was then rereading, to California and back.
But anyway… I think you get
the point. I have shall we say, a spiel.
After I went on my first couple of dates, I caught myself repeating the same
stories, down to the phrase, and I wondered: Is this OK?
On the one hand, it’s practical. Just because I told my ceiling collapse story
to a dude last week doesn’t mean some new guy can’t hear it. It’s still a great
story. When it comes to Craigslist-found New York apartments, I’ve heard my
share of horror stories (gas shut off, mold growing on walls, creepy roommates
who won’t share their Wi-Fi passwords), but my old ceiling’s encounter with the
floor always seems to take the cake. It’s not every day that a ceiling
collapses while living in the Big Apple.
small talk on a brand new man. (Especially when he’s cute.) This guy deserves
fresh dialog. But — oh! — How I want to tell him my ceiling story. He’ll love
that story! It’s so me!
Counter-counterpoint: What if I come up with something really clever on a date with a guy
who doesn’t pan out? Must I condemn said awesomeness to the catacombs, just for
the sake of integrity? Seems unfair.
I mean, I guess I’m exaggerating a little. On dates, as is the case during job
interviews, much of the conversation is determined by the person on the other
side of the table. And, as a perfectionist, I am forever optimizing my standard
quips, not to mention adding new stories to the mix as they emerge. But still,
it gnaws at me — the awareness of repeating myself.
The one saving grace here, maybe, is that first dates and job interviews are
not 100% similar. Whereas with a growing company, you should expect to be interviewing
on a regular basis; the goal of every first date, to an extent, is to never have to go on a first date again.
By the time I reach date #45563 with the same special guy, of course, it won’t
really matter whether he was the first — or 45563rd — to hear my ceiling
collapse story, but for now I guess I’ll just have to try and strike a balance
between staying and straying on-and-off-script, respectively.