Alone in the city, I had very few friends outside of my roommate and the people I worked beside for nearly thirteen hours a day. We were all under some sort of mutual agreement that this same unit couldn’t also comprise our complete social cycle. In search of some sort of camaraderie outside of work, I subjected myself to some new things.
The first was a Bible study. Everyone (from my account) in the city was Jewish. Mazel tov? I guess I should also mention that there was also a segment of the population who more or less considered themselves nominally religious. Something somewhere out there made Times Square light up, Central Park green, and placed a Tasti D Lite on every corner. I think I found a church on Craigslist…or it was at least near the top of my google search. I attended a few Sundays in a row. After being exhausted by the heat (church’s do not pay for air conditioning in the city and I prefer to shower before-not after- church), I resigned to streaming ‘my’ church from home every Sunday morning for the rest of the time that I lived there. For the record, that’s nearly 50 pod casts. Feeling a bit lazy, I decided I should give it a go and enroll myself in an adult Bible study for some community and some friends during the fall.
I walked nearly forty blocks after work to my destination on the Upper West Side. I talked to my mom the whole way about my hopes of meeting friends, and she commended me on my boldness to just show up. I never think about things like that; I consider myself socially fearless. When I showed up, a young woman in scrubs answered the door and welcomed me in. About ten pairs of very tiny shoes were lined neatly in the entry way. Cue my first piece of the puzzle. I took off my ridiculous snakeskin shoes and tried to mentally prepare myself. I breathed in the familiar air that I can only liken to two things: Chinatown and Pei Wei. I was greeted by a roomful of warm smiles- and scrubs. I later learned that each person was not only Asian, they were also all graduate students at Columbia University. Trying to explain ‘what I do’ while dressed like a mad-dash fashion shoot and a red Afro seemed of great interest to them. I shared my concerns with the group when asked to do so, though I’m sure they assumed my life was the biggest issue.
When I left that night, I learned a few things…1) My size 7.5 shoes looked gigantic 2) The smell of sushi is hard to shake and 3) No wonder people in NYC put it all out there. Perhaps I should have posted my own Bible study request looking for ‘single white females who’ve recently moved from the midwest and are pursuing a career in the so-called fashion industry. Plus: size 7.5 shoe’ That’s how specific this group was, making every outside variable I had all the more ridiculous.
They sent me facebook messages inviting me to join in their social activities in the coming weeks, but I just couldn’t get myself to return. A young twenty-somethings Bible Study and not a single African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander?