Here’s another one of those New York things that I’m not sure if people in other places can relate to. I’m sorry if it’s too New Yorky. It’s hard for me to tell.
I was on a date recently and the guy was telling me that he’d recently moved to a new neighborhood. Well, where he moved to is not that far from where my family is from (where my mom and dad both grew up, and where I lived when I was very little). So I mentioned that and how much that part of the city has changed. And then he asked me a follow up question and the next thing I knew he said two of the most condescending things I’ve heard in ages: “you’re a working class girl” and “you’ve come a long way”.
Now in his defense, though why I’m defending him I have no idea, this guy is a total leftie (which I knew) and he was saying these things with a tone of admiration in his voice. He’s from a pretty privileged background (from what I can tell). Kind of a limousine liberal. And people like that tend to romanticize hard work and crappy jobs and not having enough money.
He wasn’t entirely accurate. I’m from a very typical middle class background. My parents were from crappy neighborhoods/poor families but they worked hard (dad went to a city college, blah blah blah) and we moved out to the ‘burbs and things were actually pretty easy for me. Never cushy, but easy. But just the fact that I have people in my family who didn’t go to college, or lived in an apartment in a not so great part of the city when I was a kid is a big deal to someone like him.
Anyway, it’s a strange thing but dating in New York can sometimes feel like class warfare. I’ve always made a concerted effort to not date guys from “good backgrounds” and “good families”. I feel like I can’t relate to them or them to me. I don’t really care what someone’s doing now, or what he’s earning, but a guy from a wealthy family is usually a big turn off.
And so, back to my date. He said that. And I smiled and said yes and then changed the topic. He’s a nice enough guy. I think I might like him. I might even go out with him again, just to see what happens. But I already know that I could never take him home to meet the family. Never. Everyone would hate him immediately and with good reason.
Tags: date, New York City