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A city of love (?)

September 3, 2012 - Carrie Olson
I have idealized NYC. The romantic movies that I have watched over and over again show one thing: This is the city of love. It blossoms from something messy and confusing, sprouts into an undying symbol of unity. When the credits roll, I turn off the movie, sighing — hoping that one day, I, too, could encounter such romance. Never once did I think, “this is really good writing.” No, instead my thoughts were, “If this many romantic comedies take place in New York, there has to be some truth to it all.” Yes, that is what I thought.

Okay, I have grown up a bit since then, and realize that movies sell for a reason (especially to idyllic young women). But I still want to imagine that my younger self wasn’t completely wrong. This city is a place for dreamers. Young actors and singers arrive in droves to fulfill their wildest fantasies. Partly due to all those stories of “making it” in NYC, and partly due to the small truth that it does happen for some individuals here.

In any case, I’m still waiting to witness a Meg Ryan moment in this town. When I’m out strolling around, my main job is to people watch. A couple having a witty conversation out on a bench at Central Park. Two people walking with their hands clasped together while out in Manhattan. A guy quietly brushing the hair out of the girl’s eyes as her gaze matches his. You know, that sorta thing.

Instead, I have witnessed many fights and arguments. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen enough people hardcore making out in Central Park as parents with children walk by (hurriedly, might I add). But seriously, screaming matches. One sticks out for me. A married Russian couple in their thirties. Although I don’t understand Russian, I do know body language. He was three benches away from her, sitting straight forward, his face tomato red as he looked away. She, on the other hand, was facing toward him, pointing accusatory and yelling and crying. It was a mess. You couldn’t look away. It was obvious that she thought he had done something wrong, and he wanted more than anything to get out of the conversation.

The subway has been another eye-opener (in so many ways, but going to stay on subject). Couples seem to take the opportunity around many strangers to unleash their anger on each other. I have eavesdropped on many upset arguments (don’t judge me).

So I can imagine my younger self being quite confused about NYC. I just didn’t take into account that sometimes with love comes the downs and outs of relationships. Some work out, some don't, and others continue to hang on by a thread, so unhappy. And while real life doesn’t completely resemble a romantic comedy, those movies aren’t all hearts and roses. There is always some kind of break up or moment of sadness before cupid’s arrow takes flight.

Maybe I will witness that sappy kind of love here. I mean, the autumn leaves haven’t begun to fall and the Christmas season is still months away. Well, anyways, a girl can dream …. :)


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