Um...there...I wanna live there...I don't care if there are Vampires, Witches, Werewolves and Werepanthers (What the hell are Werepanthers...that's just stupid!) always killing people; the men are hot and underwearless (you can keep the breasts)!!!
But I digress...
So this weekend, I was at Vlada, a dark, trendy gay bar in Hell's Kitchen that is known for their house-infused vodka (I recommend the ginger...helps with the next day's hangover!). We went in celebration of our visiting Brit's birthday. In attendance were the members of The Gay Assembly: Sparkles, Dr. D., Pretty and Young-Man and of course...yours truly!
While sipping smart cocktails and shots that tasted like puke (thank you Young-Man) Dr. D. shared that he found a boy at the bar, attractive. Dr. D is shy. He rarely chats up a guy that he finds attractive (unless they are an under 21, under-cooked, local college student...but I digress). Knowing that Dr. D. would never approach said attractive boy, Sparkles decided to intervene; calling over the hot as hell, barely dressed waiter, he inquired about the gentleman in question. HaHBD Waiter shared that he was there alone and drinking Hendrick's and tonic.
So...Sparkles ordered a drink to be sent on behalf of Dr. D...the drink was delivered with a message of interest...and...NOTHING!!! I repeat NOTHING.
The attractive boy barely looked up from his phone, let alone came over to thank Dr. D for the (very expensive I might add) drink.
I was horrified.
As I looked around, while my friends and I were laughing and drinking, he was not the only one lost in his phone. Anyone who was there alone, was nose deep in some text conversation. In the world of Grindr, Manhunt and Facebook, we've lost our ability to flirt. There is something exciting about going to a gay bar in the city for a drink, solo. You sit down, chat with the bartender and make a few new friends...or perhaps find a date.
Part of that experience is buying someone a drink...or being bought one. I've never not accepted one, and always said thank you; even if I wasn't interested in the sender.
With so much accessible via our phones, we've built up walls. We don't have to be open and available. We can sit there and text our friends or find a guaranteed hook-up, rather then be open to the possibility of putting ourselves out there to finding a new friend...or to be rejected.
"You can't see me and I can't see you, so you can't reject me" seems to be the mindset behind this trend. What that also seems to mean is that we don't have to acknowledge others; acknowledge their fears and insecurities. We're losing our ability to manage basic politeness and with that, our humanity. We've extended the "ignore" and "block" features of a social media app to everyday experiences.
I would have cost him nothing to look up, smile and mouth a "thank you." He would have been opening himself to nothing more than a smile and a "you're welcome" from Dr. D.
It's time we regain our humanity. It's time we put our phone in our pockets, look up as we walk or sit at the bar and smile at people as they come and go. It's time to remember those basic lessons we learned as a child:
- Say "please", "thank you" and "you're welcome"
- Do unto others and you want done to you
- If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.