Oh Hello Jo — the State of Dating in 2019…

Jo Rosenthal

…and 600 Other Things I’ve Been Thinking About

If New York was a song, it would be Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. A symphony that tugs on your heart strings, makes you think about how vast and complicated the city is, and a feeling of hope that gives you the idea that you really can do anything, even play piano. Lately, I can’t stop humming the melody from part of the song because it reminds me of someone special who gives me butterflies. If you’re reading this, hi, it’s you.

Isn’t it special when a song or smell reminds you of someone who makes you feel like bees actually have knees? The other day my best friend Will was telling me about how every time he smells this one aftershave it reminds him of his childhood when he would spray Old Spice on his Godzilla figurine because it was the only good use he felt like it had. If that’s not a visceral image, I don’t know what is.
Anyways, I constantly find myself listening to this song because it takes me 14 minutes to get to my apartment from the Williamsburg Bridge and the song can range anywhere from 7-17 minutes depending on how much patience you have.
Patience=my thoughts lately! And 600 other things, of course. Some people say that everything they wanted to happen in their life happened overnight, but that’s never happened to me so I should learn to be as patient as I can. When I was in high school and I went through my most angsty phase (I think it’s still going) I drew all over my walls (I’m still sorry for that, mom) because it felt like I was rebelling against something. Eventually, when we moved apartments, I think we ended up having to pay a fee because the building was not pleased that I wrote on the walls with Sharpie. Right near the door I wrote in huge letters LEARN PATIENCE. It’s hilarious to me how something I wrote six years ago still feels relevant.
I have a hard time with patience because throughout my life, I feel like I’ve become overly hopefully to the point of losing all hope? Try: My grossest hardship with patience are the lofty hopes I develop, waiting and waiting. Forever, particularly with dating or friendships, and incidentally with food. Have you ever waited thirty minutes for a souffle and when it arrives it’s either too chocolatey or nearly incinerates your tongue? You may think there is nothing wrong with a soufflé being too chocolatey, but there is if your impatience led you to an impulsive chocolately snack you weren’t craving as much as you’d hoped.
I think that’s one of the reasons it’s been hard for me to date. In addition to the bully-induced trauma, leaving me like a certain broken dorm room mirror (if you’re a mirror, hi, it’s you), I juggle this frenetic impatience. The lack of validation I received in my youth makes me need it twice over now, making it impossible to sense if someone likes me, and causing a restlessness. I just wish that whenever someone is interested in me, they’d go ahead and say so. And, that I can begin a relationship with my snacks quicker.
Hey! It’s 2019.5 and the time to play games is over. If you want to engage in consensual kissing and laughter, it shouldn’t be this hard to do so. I can’t read what your eyes are saying when you stare at me. For all I know you could be staring back at me lovingly because I have a delicious looking crumb on my face.
We are all afraid of being vulnerable, we are all afraid of having our heartbroken and we are all afraid of liking someone too much that it hurts. But if we don’t at least try, how will we know? I don’t want to have to be the seven billionth person on the planet to say some stupid bullshit like that you shouldn’t be afraid of falling in love. I don’t even know if I wrote that to myself or to someone else, but it feels good to write down. There are worse things in life, like TOMS shoes, shoes that look like TOMS shoes, me not getting booked for TOMS, and the geopolitical climate.
If the world ended tomorrow, what would you want your day to look like? Extremely stupid question to ask, but I already know I’d spend all my money on food, put on my favorite outfit and kiss or think about kissing while blasting the 50 most beautiful operas. Living in the world that we live in, there is no time for second chances. There is no time to stay in a job or relationship that makes you incredibly unhappy. If you’re unavailable for something or someone, make that clear and if you want to take a chance or make a huge move, you should do it. Or you should do everything in your power to make these things happen. There is no time to waste. Every second that goes by is a second you could use to notice something nice, help someone or something who is struggling or give a listening ear to the world around you.
Although my impatience has amounted to fruitful motivation at times, I don’t want the vestiges of my shitty high school life to ruin my end of the world, and sense of gratitude. Emotions are temporary, and while evaluating our saddest moments and sizzling surpluses of soufflé can equip us for the next, the time we pay towards our shared experience now and beyond can significantly improve the quality of life. Call me a hypocrite because I love being sad, but I know that for every frown there are 200 smiles. As Maurice Sendak once said in an NPR interview, “live your life, live your life, live your life.” And don’t forget to do it in your most fabulous pair of shoes.

“I have a hard time with patience because throughout my life, I feel like I’ve become overly hopefully to the point of losing all hope?”

Recap: While we all have reasons to be impatient, remember to be mindful of time and how you invest it. Go on a date, tell someone you like them, save up for a really nice trip or something you’ve been eyeing. There’s so many ways to mend a broken heart because each day that passes is a little less painful than the one before. If you’re questioning whether something in your life feels right, chances are it’s wrong. Don’t lie to anyone about what’s in your head and most importantly, don’t lie to yourself.
The funniest short story I’ve ever read: 50 Shades of Greyhound
Current fashion obsessions: June Nineteen jewelry, Poche Studios hats and anything that makes me look like Diane Keaton in the 70’s.