Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Overheard In Manhattan

Yesterday I met E. for lunch to celebrate my birthday (which was April 26th. Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends). We went for sushi in the Flatiron district, in a restaurant conveniently located near two buildings where I once toiled in the publishing and advertising industries.

Our tiny table put us shoulder-to-shoulder with two publishing people in their 20s and early 30s, who were meeting for the first time. After the preliminaries ("Did you have a hard time finding the place?" and establishing they both had parents who grew up in the Bronx), the elder asked the younger, "Do you really think TV sells books?"

The younger responded with an anecdote about a book she'd worked on that had been featured on Today (I'd seen the segment but didn't buy the book).

Then the elder went in for the kill:

-How old are you?
-Do you have a boyfriend?
-How long have you been seeing him?
-Do you think you'll get married?

Such a strange line of questioning, particularly for a first meeting! Particularly for a business meeting. Trust me, the two guys sitting to my right did not mention their love lives. After having a laugh about one guy's two-and-a-half hour commute to Manhattan, they talked about getting customers, keeping customers, and making money. At no point did Wally inquire of Sam, "Do you have a girlfriend? Do you think you'll marry her?"

And I doubt that if Wally were lunching with the younger woman (who we learned will be 26 next month), he'd ever subject her to questions about plans for marriage. He would have been pegged a creep.

At one point, the older woman (who could not have been older than 31, if that) lamented that she wished she'd taken more time with her wedding. I'm not sure if she meant the event or the union.

Perhaps, when she was just a tender sprout, some woman (or gang of women) made her sit through inquisitions about her plans for marriage. Maybe she couldn't take the heat. Maybe she jumped too soon.

I really wish women would stop pressuring each other about this crap. Half the married couples in the world are bored out of their minds, so what's the hurry? Better to take your time and marry a guy you can have a laugh with.

Later on, E. and I popped into El Rio Grande for margaritas and spotted columnist Liz Smith. She's over 80, but you'd never know it. She looks exactly like her picture.