Hidden Treasures

Written By: Emily O’Neill

What are friends for if not to help facilitate breaking and entering?
Last week, I received an email marked urgent to my inbox at work. My
best friend, Liz, went home with a stranger and left her amethyst
cocktail ring on his bedside table. She didn’t even know the guy’s
name.

This is where you play detective and help your friend retrace her
steps to a pre-war building in Union Square and knock on the first
door to your right on all five floors. In searching for a man with a
British accent, you are disappointed to encounter only a handful of
born-and-bred Americans. Driven by desperation, your friend scribbles
a brief note addressed to no one, providing her phone number and a
plea for the jewel thief to please return the ring at once. She then
sticks it under door 541.

Despite my love of playing detective, my life does not have a Miss
Scarlet-in-the conservatory-with-the-wrench appeal to it. That’s for
amateurs. The femme fatale of my version of Clue would undoubtedly be
Miss Emily in the hallway with the bobby pin. Well, how apropos that
the Brit’s mailbox was opened just enough for someone to maneuver a
small object inside. Using my bobby pin, I attempted to expose the
name of Liz’s one-night stand by plucking a message from the slot.

Remember Ashton Kutcher’s popular celebrity prank show, Punk’d? Well,
I felt like the victim of candid camera when, just as I had retrieved
the letter and felt confident that I was straight out of an Agatha
Christie novel, the Brit came cruising through the door. I was caught
red-handed.

This is one of countless misadventures that women in New York come
face-to-face with. The home of Bernie Madoff and A-Rod is undoubtedly
a place of enormous opportunity. But any woman in the five boroughs
will tell you that with a surplus of choices comes the option to never
commit. For those with the XY-chromosome, moving from job to job and
woman to woman is the norm. And although we are normally endowed with
a smidge of common-sense, honking horns, deafening bar music, and
pre-recession stock-market cheering have left women with an inability
to hear the voices in our heads, much less pay attention to them.

Well, whoever said that the hardest person to trust is an addict
wasn’t living in Manhattan. Those living within the five boroughs are
well acquainted with the fact that the hardest person to trust is the
man next to you. It’s a strange thing, dating in New York. For those
in the serial monogamist category, feeling abandoned and humiliated is
the norm. And just as trends start in New York, the craze to avoid
being emotionally connected to other people is spreading to other
cities, as well. In New Orleans, Christine has resorted to having an
affair with her married boss. Devastated by her boyfriend’s decision
to leave her for a recent SMU graduate in his home state of Texas,
Holly quit her job in DC and headed for Austin. And in New York,
constant rejection has prompted Liz to replace men with drugs and
date-nights with late-nights frequenting warehouses in Brooklyn.

Of course, there are some success stories—or, as “He’s Just Not That
Into You” would call it— the exceptions. For instance, Andrew and
Jonathan— my two gay friends living in Boston— just announced their
engagement. And after years of playing the field, my friend Chris—now
thirty-five– has finally proposed. Just last week my one non-single
girlfriend told her boyfriend that their relationship lacked passion,
only to have him reply with “I have passion for you.”

If parting is as sweet a sorrow as Juliet once said it is, then there
should be a nectarous rhyme to the reason that my personal Romeo of
11-months keeps turnings on his heel. Until I figure that out, I
continue to search for missing treasures.

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