Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where's the tape recorder?

After enjoying "Frost/Nixon" (highly recommended!) and doing some grocery shopping at Fairway Market at Broadway/74th, we hopped on the No. 1 subway to come home last night. After about 30 seconds, Mary was wishing she had a tape recorder.

Two groups struck her as particularly rich fodder--for a novel, for a play, or an updated version of "Reality Bites."

One pairing was a couple of young girls who rode the subway only for 3 stops. One was telling the other that she had recently attended a "Be Yourself" party, where the goal of the evening was just to be, and give yourself credit for just being, and to talk about ways you have rewarded yourself for just being.

Ah, OK.

She gave an example of a guy who was 29 and feeling guilty because he really didn't have a clear career path yet, he didn't have a "real" job, and he just felt down on himself. His reward, he explained at this "Be Yourself" party, was to skip a business function one evening and spend the time hanging out at home, instead. Taking it easy.

Ah, OK.

And wouldn't you know, said this young woman, the next day, he got offered a "real" job.

Is this "The Secret" rearing its ugly head? Mary believes you reap what you sow, but not in the same way that Oprah et al. believe--just can't go there, sorry.

The second group of young people was a little more ... colorful. Three of them: all white, all seeming to have some money (thought not rich rich), one guy, two women (one of them thin and pale, one of them large and pale), all wearing lots of black and a few well-placed piercings. Nose rings being the popular choice.

After listening to them talk from 72nd Street all the way up to Dyckman--trust us, that's a long time--we asked ourselves, "Do they ever have anything nice to say about anyone?" They talked about their slutty straight girlfriends, their slutty lesbian girlfriends, their skuzzy guy friends ... loudly and a tad drunkenly. It was torture to listen to but would have been great on tape!

We have a book titled "Overheard in NYC." Think it's time to write our own version.

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