Low Standards for the New York City Dating Scene
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
I subscribe to the New York Post’s Metro news feed with my feed reader. The reason why I only subscribe to the Metro feed is because the rest of the New York Post (save for the opinion section) fails to deliver much value. By restricting my content consumption to the Metro section, I am able to read the valuable parts of the Post while skipping the nonsense (note, however, that sometimes there is a very thin line between the two). However, occasionally the nonsense gets through. For example, on the morning of August 4, 2022, I found an interesting article in my feed reader: Australian woman explains why NYC men have the best dating game. This piece of hard-hitting reportage, authored by Ms. Jana Hooking, is not an original New York Post article. It was syndicated from one of News Corp’s Australian properties (News Corp is the parent of the New York Post, Fox News, the Daily Mail, and a number of other international outlets, primarily in Australia and the United Kingdom).
(For some strange reason, the Daily Mail, which is UK-based, often has longer-form versions of NYC news articles that appear in the Post, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Normally, I would pass on reading an obviously nonsense article in my feed reader. I live in New York City and have lived in New York City for a long time. While I am not up-to-date on the dating scene, I see enough while walking down the sidewalk to question whether the men of New York City reign supreme as “dating game” practitioners. Are all these men who dress like 12-year-old children and talk unironically about pie charts and theories really that superior to all the other men of the world? (This is not to say that the women who seem to think that the world is their yoga class and say “like” way too often are any better, mind you.) Against my better judgment, I opened the article.
It did not take me long to not only confirm my bad feeling about the article (gleaned from its headline), but also to confirm that it was actually more inane than I had even imagined it would be. Rather than subject you to the full content, I will instead quote the part of the article that made a part of me die inside. First, Ms. Hocking explained her first impression of NYC men after she arrived in our standingwater-filled city for vacation:
While there, something really stood out to me: New York blokes got GAME! And not in a bad, f-k boy kind of way, more in a charming, ‘Hey, why not give it a shot’ kinda way.
I thank Ms. Hocking for self-censoring her profanity. As my New Leaf Journal colleague Victor V. Gurbo once famously (in New Leaf Journal history, at least) established, The New Leaf Journal is a family website. Censored profanity aside, I tried to imagine what she had seen to prompt this glowing introduction of New York City men. Surely, she must be in possession of anecdotes to disabuse me of my original views of the state of manliness in America’s biggest city. I did not have to wait long to learn the basis of her positive impression, Ms. Hocking continued in the very next sentence:
As I perused a shop, I watched a very stereotypical NYC bloke caught eyes with an attractive shop assistant and boldly said: ‘Hey baby girl, what you doing later?’ BOLD.
What in the world? I was promised stories of New York City men flirting with women in charming “why not give it a shot” kind of ways. What I found instead is a pickup line that could have just as well been dropped on a minor (I hope that this shop assistant was at least 18). Do adult women really like to be referred to as “baby girl”? I thought “baby girl” was reserved for Mr. Maury Povich’s hard hitting investigations into the identity of “the father.” According to Ms. Hocking, this one shop assistant was impressed enough to giggle and exchange numbers with the ineffably classy gentleman. I hope this shop assistant did not give “Mr. Hey Baby Girl” her real number, but we shall never know (unless the story ends with a New York Post article, which would be a bad thing).
(I recently read the Babylon Bee’s “11 Pick Up Lines For Libertarians To Use If They Ever Meet A Girl.” Despite the fact that the entirety of the satirical list was devoted to making fun of libertarian men, all of the pick-up lines – including “Hello, I am wearing deodorant” – were genuinely better than “hey baby girl, what you doing later.”)
Ms. Hocking would soon experience her own fiery New York City romances. For example, a man held the door for her at Starbucks. That is clearly an example of New York City men being BOLD and flirtatious and not basic common courtesy, something that I will note is not often-enough practiced around here. She has alarmingly low standards, almost as low as the woman who needed to seek assurances as a threshold matter that her date had never been incarcerated. While I understand as a general matter Ms. Hocking’s complaint that men in her native Australia are too passive, I cannot imagine that the situation is dire enough to justify the impossibly low bar she sets in her article.
Ms. Hocking was also impressed when another man “struck up a flirty conversation” with her on the subway. Are we sure Ms. Hocking is still with us? You do not make eye contact with much less talk to random people on the subway. Especially not when you have a charming Australian accent who talks about “perusing” shops and drops words like “bloke.” This is how you get labeled as an easy mark. Ms. Hocking has not convinced me of much about New York City, but perhaps Sydney is a kinder and gentler place.
While I hope to not see too many pieces of this ilk in my New York Post Metro feed, I will concede that this one gave me a good laugh. I worry a little bit about Ms. Hocking if she stays in New York City for too long, but I do suspect that if she plays up her Australian accent and colloquialisms, she will have some decent dating luck without needing to rely upon the “kindness” of subway strangers (please don’t do that).
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