Sometimes, when you’ve been single for (years) a bit, you begin to develop close relationships with the males in your life who are the most steadfast, loyal, and dependable. Those men you can count on in a pinch, who have exactly what you want when you want it, and don’t ask for much in return: namely, your local *bodega owner. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise, that I’ve been in a wonderful, healthy relationship with both Sharif (of JJ Deli Café) and Abdul (of Delhi Express Deli) for over a year now! And by relationship, I mean one where only I know that we’re in a relationship, I have never mentioned said relationship to Sharif or Abdul, nor have Sharif or Abdul agreed upon said, consenting relationship. You know, standard relationship stuff!
Now you may be wondering, “Ari, how is it that you’re so successful at relationships that you can maintain two rock-solid ones with such incredible, loving men?!” Great question! Well firstly, my apartment is exactly one block south of Delhi Express Café and one block north of JJ Deli Café – so that question BASICALLY ANSWERS ITSELF. You may also be wondering, “how do you KNOW IN YOUR HEART that Sharif and Abdul are as committed as you say they are?! They are the OWNERS of their own BODEGA, so clearly they’re being sought out by women just as charming and effervescent as you?!” Solid point. I will answer YOUR question with my OWN QUESTION. How could Sharif and Abdul NOT be my EXCLUSIVE boyfriends when…
1. They’re always buying me presents! And by presents I mean sometimes I roll up to Delhi Express Deli at 4am super drunk, wanting a grilled cheese sandwich, and I realize I don’t have any cash on me, so I try to get my debit card out to use the ATM only to realize that I left my debit card at the last bar and so I start to cry because I’m drunk and frustrated and was really craving grilled cheese so Abdul gives me the grilled cheese sandwich for free and says to please remember to pay him next time. I mean, if that’s not a PRESENT FROM YOUR BOYFRIEND I don’t know what is. And hey, it’s a lot more than I can say from my *ex (Michael, of the Starbucks on 23rd and Lex).
2. They’re always saying nice things to me! Sharif is always telling how I’ve lost weight! Which is great because I stop in atleast once a day and without missing a beat, he’ll mention it! And he’s right. I have lost weight! Every day! I’ve been losing weight every day for the past 2 years and he’s noticed! It’s not something that he’d lie about, guys!! He also tells me, “It’s so good to see you!” and “Do you want your bagel toasted?” I mean, you’re not going to say THAT to someone unless they’re your SERIOUS GIRLFRIEND.
3. They come over whenever I call (and will be there in 15 minutes or less!). Can you say the same for YOUR boyfriend? All I have to do is call (the number for JJ Deli Café), and Sharif will be waiting at my apartment doorstep in no time! It’s super romantic. I’ll open the door, and we’ll stare at each other for a really long time. I’ll ask if he remembered to get the “good” OJ and he’ll say he doesn’t know what that means and I’ll laugh. Then he’ll say he has to go and I’ll get all sad and pouty and he’ll be confused and then he’ll leave. Not like other guys that don’t know when they’re overstaying their welcome! Sharif just GETS me.
4. They’re always working long hours to “bring home the bacon” to their girl (me)! Did you know that Abdul works at Delhi Express Deli from 5pm to 10am six days a week! That’s over a 100 hours a week, guys! No way Abdul would be working that hard unless he was trying to make a LIFE FOR US (or supporting his existing wife and two kids). That’s why we still haven’t technically been out on a date yet. He’s just really busy at work – and who can fault him for that!
So, dear reader, I hope that MY question helped answer YOUR question about Sharif and Abdul. There should be no doubt in your mind that I’m currently in two fantastic relationships with two fantastic men (that I’ve never been on a date with/told my parents about/touched in any significant way/had a meaningful conversation with/made a mix-tape for that includes a playlist of songs indirectly revealing all of my true feelings and yearning about our future together). Um, by the way, Sharif and Abdul don’t actually know about each other. So if you could just keep that on the down low, that’d be great.
*For those non-new Yorkers, a BODEGA is “New York Speak” for a DELI. You can find one on any block and each bodega sells your assorted deli items plus fun random items too (like du-rags, dinosaur silly-bands, or pickles in a pouch)!
*I have never “technically” been in a relationship with Michael from Starbucks – according to HIM.
“Kim Jong Un: I Totally Forgot You Helped That Old Guy Escape With All Those Balloons! That Was Awesome!”
Dear Old Man Who Loves Jesus, Holding Angry Signs at the Union Square Subway Station,
You seem really tired. I just feel like you could use a solid nap. I mean, you could do it right here by the 4 Train – nobody’s going to steal your “Burn in Hell” sign, I promise. Also, your “I Hate Fags” sweater is looking a little gnarly – maybe toss it through the delicate cycle when you get a chance.
Dear Girl Wearing Those Feather Strips In Your Hair as a Fashion Statement,
Did you fall asleep inside an actual bird? No?! Well, how else do you explain it?!
At what point were the youth of today asking for their favorite songs re-sung by stupid kids? ‘Cuz I don’t remember that actually happening.
An Open Letter to Cathy Rigby: The Legendary 58 Year-Old Actress (once again) Reprising the Title Role of “Peter Pan”
Dear Cathy Rigby,
So I guess this is where I say… congratulations? After 20 years of playing everyone’s favorite boy who refuses to grow up, you’re back at it once again! Flying through the air, fighting pirates, having an uncomfortably close relationship with a 12 year-old girl whom you visit late at night in her room. Okay, yeah, wait a second. I have some questions for you.
Question #1 - Who the hell is supposed to be at the casting call for the role of Peter Pan? Are we talking about a room full of 12 year-old boys who look Justin Bieber or a room full of older women who look like lesbians who look like Justin Beiber? Furthermore, in WHAT WORLD are older female and young male roles so easily interchangeable? You don’t see 10 year-old boys being cast as Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Or Gertrude in “Hamlet”. Or… wait. I actually really want to see that. Point is - if there is a 12 year-old boy crying into his pillow because he thought he nailed that Peter Pan callback only to LOSE THE ROLE TO AN OLD WOMAN, you better be ready to explain to him WHY you’re the more appropriate choice. And fast, Cathy – ‘cuz he turned down a solid non-equity tour of “Billy Elliot” for this… and you RUINED IT.
Question #2 - Now maybe some people are going to suspend their disbelief that you’re not, in fact, an old woman pretending to be a young boy - for the purposes of enjoying “Peter Pan.” I, on the other hand, will not. To me - you are, without a doubt, an old woman flying into my bedroom. Late at night. Unannounced. Which can only mean a few things. Are you homeless and looking for a place to sleep? Are you a “mom-wizard” flying in to check my bed is made (late at night)? Or straight up, are you trying to rape me?
Which leads me to my final question. Cathy Rigby, are you actually THIS woman?
“In 2008 Patricia Dye, an Ohio woman, pretended to be a 14 year old boy so she could have sex with an underage girl. Neither the girl nor her parents had any idea that her “boyfriend” was, in fact, a 31 year-old woman.” - ONNtv.com
I think the evidence speaks for itself.