Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The people I interacted with on my #selfdate

After much hemming and hawing, I took myself on a #selfdate* on Sunday. It was a day that could easily have been spent entirely at home, immediately following an exciting but busy Fourth of July, and with a Netflix disc (yes I still do that) in waiting and an infinity of internet to watch. What got me out of the house was the fact that is was closing day for Wolf Hall on Broadway.

Seeing Wolf Hall meant giving up my entire Sunday because it's a two-parter: Part One was offered as a 1pm matinee and Part Two as a 6:30pm evening show. Plus, a desire to pay as little as possible meant getting to the box office at 10am to wait in line for $39 rush tickets (which turned out to be unnecessary as there were plenty of empty rush seats at both performances).

There were two large holes in my day (11am-1pm and 4pm-6:30pm) which I passed looking for food and eating food. With one exception (a friend who happened to be at the show), everyone I spoke to on my self-date was a stranger, which made Sunday a very different day than most. Here are the people I interacted with, in order:

  1. Arriving at the line for rush tickets, I took my spot behind a young woman I would later learn is named Jane. In fact, she introduced herself to me with her full name, which I've now forgotten but wouldn't have posted here anyway. We didn't start chatting until after her friend Sara(h?) arrived and then left to get tea. I think the impetus for our conversation was my obvious struggle to make myself comfortable without letting my ass touch the sidewalk. After that we had a pleasant conversation about Broadway, books, and life in NYC.
  2. Sara(h?) and I didn't interact much. After announcing to Jane that she was going across the street to Mcdonald's to fetch some tea, I almost asked her to get me a sausage biscuit or fries, but we hadn't broken the ice yet so I stopped myself.
  3. There was an older woman behind me who was a true New Yorker: happy to help her fellow citizen but not extremely interested in talking to a stranger. We started talking when she offered me a page of her newspaper to sit on (my struggle was apparently obvious to all). I asked her name and she gave it, but I've forgotten it. After a brief discussion about rush tickets and lotteries, she went back to her newspaper, not even speaking much with the man behind her, whom I'd assumed was her companion.
  4. The rest of the day passed largely without human interaction, with the exception of quick transactions with restaurant employees, Starbucks baristas, and theater ushers. The next person I spoke to for more than a few seconds was June, a theatergoer who joined me in my box for the evening show (you get BOX seats for $39 when you rush, which is ludicrous and wonderful, as long as you don't want to see one half of the stage). We talked all about Wolf Hall the book and the TV series, and then branched out to A Man For All Seasons the movie and the play, which is the only other Tudor period play I've seen.
If I realized I was going to be writing a blog post about this, I'd have tried to talk to more strangers, but I guess this post is long enough.

*Hashtags appear to be useless on Blogger, so allow me to link you to the blog post where I first saw the term "selfdate."

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