Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Girls and their Pearls

In my business, I get paid to think outside the box. However - oddly enough...I never applied my creative thinking skills to my dating life until now. I have signed up to spend a ton of time in a place where no men are allowed. None at all, in fact. No - I haven't become a lesbian....I just became one of the latest card carrying members of the New York Junior League. That's right...the 100-year old organization of socialite do-gooders that serve soup to homeless people while still wearing their pearls and who are known just as much for throwing a good party as they are known for helping the communities they live in. The Junior League has its headquarters in a mansion on the Upper East Side and getting in was nothing short of costly and time consuming. Between all the fees I had to pay, the letters of recommendation I needed for my file....and attending not one - but seven training sessions in addition to the orientation and three soirees thrown by our group leaders, getting in to the Junior League was not terribly different from getting into a sorority, but without all the hazing and the keg parties.

My plan was essentially to meet men through women - mostly married women. I am sure that most of their husband's have at least one single friend...and why not set them up with me? The girl who is tutoring underprivileged youth in her spare time? The girl who is so dedicated to helping the poor? And the girl...who is cute, nice....and yes, married Junior Leaguers - is totally single! My plan however...though well intended, did not go off exactly as I had imagined.

For starters, there was a clear divide between the new members of the Junior League. Those who were married and those who were not. The married women were mostly my age and either had a young child or were hoping for one soon and all they wanted to do was bond with women like themselves. The other half of the group were the young and unmarried - average age about 24, many of whom were from the deep South and they were freakishly happy to have these big "ladies only" get togethers. After the married group clearly wanted nothing to do with me, I was welcomed with open arms by the 20-somethings in a sort of "big sister" type role.

What on earth had I gotten myself into? They all had Facebook pages, they were still wearing their college sweatshirts on Sundays, and each and every one of them lived in a studio apartment, very reminiscent of the dorm rooms that they had vacated in the not too distant past. Don't get me wrong - these girls were as sweet as could be, but unless one of their Dad's was single...I wasn't exactly sure where my newly formed friendships would take me in the contexts of dating here?

And so it seemed my two new best friends - who were ten years my junior - had all kinds of plans for us....starting with an all girls brunch; then an all girls dinner; then all girls "movie night" to see what else? A chick flick! Annie was a bushy tailed assistant to an assistant at Christie's auction house with a wardrobe of an 80-year old woman and Marina was a teeny-tiny, Ivy-educated, world traveller from Long Island who is "currently in between jobs." I did have a brief moment when I thought they could be used as bait to lure in men, but both Annie and Marina were so respectable looking for their tender ages - that there was nothing very "come hither" about them. I suppose I could always try to get them into something slinky and see if me....surrounded by them...could work? Or maybe I'd just end up looking like a chaperone to my young nieces having a night on the town?

I might have barked up the wrong tree with this whole Junior League plan. Or not? Time will certainly tell. In the meantime, I have to reply to a slew of text messages now. That is how the youth of today prefer to communicate - in case you didn't know!

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