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April Awakening: Day 17

I romanticize this city a lot. I grew up hearing about how my parents met in a butcher shop on 9th avenue that’s still there to this day. It was happenstance for them both ending up there at the same time. My mother walked in in a large muskrat coat. It caught the attention of my father, who was with my future godfather at the time. He turned to him. “You see that woman over there? I’m going to marry her,” he told him. He approached my mother, who was intrigued by the large video camera that was in his possession. My mother was an actress and at first thought about getting some gigs. She also thought he was a handsome guy, but a lady’s gotta think of herself first. My dad ended up giving my mom his number only, and a few weeks later, on a whim, she called him. Eight years later they officially tied the knot, and I followed soon after. It’s a lovely story that I always felt would happen to me at some point; Some man would see me and just fall head over heels for me. There was a lot of back and forth between them for sure, but they eventually got each other. I still would love for that to happen to me.

But it’s a little difficult when everyone’s head is buried in his or her phone.

I get it. We’re all attached to our smartphones. It’s where all our stuff is. It’s where the entirety of the world lives right now. Never leave home without it. I would just like to see it less at the forefront. There’s no chance of even making eye contact when the focus is ever downward. It just feels impossible to make any sort of connection with the millions of people in this city when they’ve already made one with the glowing screen before them.

I can’t say I don’t ever be on my phone. I’ll listen to some stuff as I walk to barre or the gym. But when I’m doing mundane tasks, like waiting for my pizza slice or sitting in Columbus Circle, I don’t need my phone as my entertainment. My patience kicks in and I’m just there in the moment. Being off Twitter this month has really made me appreciate that, as I don’t have to update everyone with how I’m feeling in a particular moment, or relay what’s going on around me at any given time. I can’t say the same for my fellow New Yorkers. The phone is always out, even when folks are out at restaurants together. It’s can’t be that boring to have a nice meal with someone you like, can it?

I just don’t get it, and it’s looking more and more like my urban fairytale will be nothing more than a myth. Whenever I used to feel down about dating, my mom would always relay her meet-cute story with my father. “I walked into a butcher shop and there he was,” she’d say. And I still love thinking about it. But I’d always throw it back at her, saying people just don’t do that anymore. There’s too many distractions they’d rather take instead of opening up their eyes to see what the world around them has in store for them.

I’m trying not to let cynicism win. There’s always a way. There’s always the chance I’ll become a focus one of these days. After all, I wouldn’t be here if these two didn’t want to make it a real thing.

Mom and Dad and the muskrat coat

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