Strange Carousel: Relationships, Sex, Social Ties

Life in NYC, and How To Survive It

by Vienna Boa  

It seems that no matter how interesting a place is or how beneficial it can be for you at a certain moment in time there’s always a downside creeping up steadily, until you can no longer tolerate your status quo, and have the aching feeling that it is time to move on.

In New York, we feel this pull and thrust quicker, more acutely, more powerfully, than other cities.  A certain glamour exists in the sentiment that each moment cannot last forever. There’s always be someone new to discover, always different opportunities, friends, jobs, lovers, or apartments, and rooms.

 In New York we get used to change and we learn to eventually accept that jobs, homes, people, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends - even pets - come in and out regularly, forming an ever turning menagerie of color. 

You can even go by different names depending on the crew you’re hanging with, for you know that some social tribes just do not cross, and it can be fun playing dress up with your life.  This city is a place to try on new clothes, people, relationships, talents, slight of hand, etc…Or is it?

Should it surprise you when suddenly you find yourself in the grip of the rare relationship that just won’t let go? 

You know who I’m referring to. That one person you keep running into. That guy you assumed would be a two-week fling unexpectedly becomes part of your social canvas. They frequent the same places, or maybe know someone on Facebook who is actually your friend in real life.

Somehow, whenever you see or hear from this person, your feelings change, and you can’t help but wonder why.

In this town, if you’re not having fun, or making important strides, it’s best to just move on.  What do you do when someone’s energy seems to cling to you?  Or worse, when you begin to cling yourself?

Maybe it’s a friend you thought you’d have a fun relationship with, but becomes a grueling influence on you., or your entire life story begins to unfold into some kind of microscopic narrative for said person to rip apart and tear asunder.

We all know someone who makes us vulnerable.  They put all your wits to the test, acting as your emotional funny bone - a painful little reminder that you are exactly who you have always been, the same kid you were in high school, with the same illogical hang ups and uncertainties. 

A good thing to remember about these irreplaceables is that they are your funny bone. That’s to say, you can laugh and become strangely enamored by their overwhelmingly double-edged spell. 

In order to preserve the social fabric of New York, where anyone can pop up into your life any day of the week, proceed graciously with these people. You never know when they will appear next or how long they’ll stay. 

This teaches us a very good lesson in life: don’t burn bridges because you never know when your past can come back to haunt you!

Whenever you are chosen for anything in this town, don’t take it for granted.  I know we’re all Hella Bad Bitches, and we do what we want. But it really does take a team effort to get anything done, and the only way you’re going to make your rent, or make it in that movie, is if you show honest appreciation for your good fortune. 

The thing with New Yorkers is eventually they all have to mean it. 

With any relationship you find yourself in, it’s important to recognize just how valuable or worthless something is. Time moves too quickly here, and there’s no room for vast wastes of it – hence, the ever-revolving carousel of characters.  People are just too busy doing their own thing.  How can anyone, or any two, ever possibly stick around long enough to continually benefit one another? Impossible!!

Friends don’t last long. Unless you’ve reached a level of maturity and you understand how important it is to maintain those relationships, how friends can actually keep you sane. 

What happens when your friends stop benefiting you?  It doesn’t have to be in terms of social climbing, but honest to goodness feelings of personal growth and self worth.

I had a “friend” once who I realized made me feel bad every single time we hung out.  It seemed that no matter what move I made, this person was in direct opposition.  Hanging out was always like going into battle, and I was always on the defense. 

In New York especially, where your energy is the equivalent of your capital, you must wisely handle such grueling situations and ask yourself if the relationship is really worth the effort.

This applies to dating people as well.  Most of us tend to have a few people orbiting us at any given time, and when one drops out or becomes too hot or too cold to “inhabit” we continue onwards with the next wave of relationships. This is normal in New York, and once in a while, we do encounter someone who we feel is a “good match” for us.

What to do when that person is actually human and comes with her or his own set of baggage?  It’s like having a dog that won’t go when you bring it outside to walk.  And remember, this is all happening on your time. People challenge you.  How do you know when it’s real?  Is it really worth the trouble?

In this city it’s easy to forget someone and move on to the next, especially if you’re no longer getting what you want or need out of the situation. 

The social experiment never ceases here. I know a few people who have made it past the relationship rollercoaster and now have children.  Whew! What a world to inhabit!

Concocting a future family is almost like trying to predict what clothes you’ll be wearing a year from now, after you’ve sold everything you own on Bedford Avenue during the summer in order to make extra money. 

The person you thought you were in love with a month ago might become that one you randomly see at your friend’s party and now have mixed feelings of wanting to run from and at the same time, hook up with again.  Or someone you clearly didn’t like all of a sudden has gotten in shape, and even looks a little taller than before.  He’s improved his posture, and with it, his sexual magnetism!

These things happen.  Don’t be surprised if one day you move in with a new room mate only to find your ex-lover visiting her (or him!) on a regular basis.

New York can be a socially dangerous place.  People pop up and around, so beware!  Like some enchanted forest, where good wizards can turn bad if put under a sorceress’s spell, or bad fairies might help you out because you possess the sorcerer’s stone they’ve been looking for.

That old feeling of wanting to move on will keep making cameos, and my time tested practical advice is: proceed with tact. 

No one has to be a hypocrite here, but eventually, you start seeing all the connections. There’s no room for being a social disaster.  Time reveals all, even here, in New York. 

Choose your pony wisely on this strange carousel, or maybe elect an old fashioned seat, as you go round and round.

Eventually, no matter where you choose to sit, we’re all orbiting the same center of gravity. Carousels are meant for fun and entertainment, though creepy some may be. 

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