A few weeks ago, I struck up a conversation with a man who seemed unnecessarily rude and aggressive. Jerk-like. We bantered back and forth, until I made some crack about it. He responded with the non-answer, “I just fucking moved here from Soho.”
Oh, dear! Such effort evidenced by your want to impress a stranger! Such inelegant execution in your use of unnecessary profanity! Don’t you know that effortless bitchery is the hallmark of the New Yorker?
So, I asked him where he was from, which was effortlessly bitchy [See?], as it disregarded his implication of being from NYC. It turned out that Mr. Soho is actually from the suburbs of Chicago. It’s always the non-New Yorkers who wear their New Yorkness on their sleeves. Real New Yorkers keep that fact on the DL, quietly reveling in their inherent superiority.
Why not just be upfront? Take a lesson from a former colleague of mine, who obnoxiously held his RISD pedigree over my head. He didn’t have to listen to anything I said, because he’d gone to RISD. RISD, RISD, RISD… Years later, I found that he had not attended RISD, nor any design school, and that he’d learned his trade, as it were, in the skin trade — as a paste-up artist for a porn magazine. You want to impress me? Tell the truth!
So, Mr. Soho, if you had just been honest with me, we might be friends by now. You could have said, “Hey, how’s it going? Actually, I don’t care because I’m a jerk.” I would have appreciated your candor and might have even wondered if you’re a New Yorker [Ha!]. I would have gladly given you a tour of this fine city. We could have commiserated about Cincinnati’s many quirks! I could have helped you navigate questions such as, “Please?” and, “Where did you go to high school?” [Say “Elder”]. Instead, you asked me some tiresome questions about Cincinnati, and I did my best to give you the worst advice possible [effortlessly, of course]. That’s how it’s done, jerk. Stop giving New Yorkers a bad rep.