Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Coffee and mascara

The coffee shop where I edited The Final Paper this morning is, I realized maybe an hour in, a gay pick-up joint. Two hours in, I realized this is not so surprising, seeing as it's on Gay Street, as in, that is the street's official name. Never have I felt so slow on the uptake. In one corner was a couple indistinguishable from Yossi and Jagger (although only the Jagger one was actually Israeli). Then the guy from Hedwig stopped in to use the bathroom... alone, I should note, given the cruisiness of the establishment. (Not sure if he got a drink though, tsk tsk). Aside from these more noteworthy sightings, there were a whole lot of men at tables pretending to read something but just staring at the other men. In a way, this is really the perfect setting for me to be in when revising a paper. It's like I was invisible! The skeevy coffee shop men sufficed for one another, for once, and left the female patrons alone.

New topic: that article about 20-something non-bankers living in NYC. I found it refreshing, but everyone else, including people I don't know, hated it. The consensus is a great big, boo hoo, not helped by the fact that one of the 'struggling' city kids owns a whopping 18 boxes worth of clothing. (No doubt all New York Jewish-type ladies breathed a sigh of relief to see that this was not one of our own.)

After my initial endorsement, I thought of a few gripes, among which is the obvious: they're all white. This, too, must have contributed to the 'oh, the poor babies' sarcastic responses, but I didn't comb through the Jezebel comments enough to see if anyone mentioned their pallor. Plus, there's the fact (mentioned, I did notice, in the Jezebel comments) that every grad student ever is better at budgeting than the people profiled. Dinner cooked at home can cost so much less than $6. That, and none of the people profiled seemed to have kids, be married, or be in a live-in relationship. I guess this was to confirm everyone's suspicious that 'kids these days stay kids till 35,' but really, we don't, the subjects of this article don't necessarily represent anything.

But I still think there was something potentially worthwhile about, if not the article as it exists, then what it might have been. Some frustratingly selective editing of the audio portion of the piece made a big deal about this one woman spending a lot on mascara. When everyone knows that there is no good or bad mascara, there is just mascara, so generic's the way to go. But everyone's spending seems unjustifiable when looked at under a microscope. Which is to say, I spent a bit over $300 on boots. Months ago. And have worn them every day since, weather permitting. And it's still completely ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

Isn't there a French proverb that translates something like: The more things change, the more they stay the same?

I recall back when I was a twentysomething that the press was full of articles about how self absorbed we were. How bad we were at everything, and on and on and on. In fact, we're now lousy parents and we've screwed it all up (well, that one is a little hard to argue, unfortunately). I also remember listening to my high school teachers rag on us about what cruddy students we were so talk about self fulfilling prophecies.

So, I am sorry to say. Get used to it.

The only thing I can apologize for is the whiteness of the article. We should know better by now.

Fortunately, my kids do.

Anonymous said...

This is a different anonymouse than above - But Phoebe - Just as a nyc historical aside, that street was named that long before that became the new meaning of the word. It's now just a coincidence.