So now that you live here, you’re probably realizing that everyone around you entertains the same illusions of grandeur that you do. Whether it’s the girls in your NYU dorm who are pestering you about what Condé internship they should apply for or the guy in the apt under you who is also trying to ‘make it big as a musician’ and really thinks ‘this year is going to be his year’, people here are ambitious. This is a good thing. But because you are actually more ambitious than your cohorts as evidenced by your visiting this site, you must hide this ambition. This is very important.
Dreams of Grandeur
There is nothing that displeases more than desperation (this website reeks of it, for instance). One should not aspire, one should just be. One should never have to convince another about one’s superiority; it should be evident. When speaking to one of a higher social status, it is very important that you hide your naked ambition behind a veil of casual malaise through which you hint at your accomplishments, like casually mentioning the time you spent at Oxford or the handbag line you used to design. The more vague you are about these periods in your life the better.
When at the party you’ve been planning to go to for weeks, make sure to mention how boring the scene is (you have seen it all; you’re jaded; having fun is both boring and beneath you). If it’s some sort of a benefit in an UES hotel’s ballroom, complain how the host is trying too hard to make the evening seem plucked from the 19th century. This always, always works. Also things you might want to discuss are books that you have never read nor intend to read but were reviewed in the NYTimes; your partner, like you, has not read them either but they will pretend to the death (see Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding).+10 when reviewed by Michiko Kakutani. At the end of the evening, loudly announce that you need some fresh air (it’s so stuffy in there, isn’t it) and offer to go to the bar/restaurant down the street which you say is the onnnly thing around even if it is sooooo 2005.
Note: Regardless of when a restaurant opens or how much buzz it is getting, ALL restaurants in New York are so 2005. If your companion actually admits to liking said restaurant (rookie mistake), even better; they will start to feel insecure about liking it and will consider your cultural superiority. Unless it is owned by Thomas Keller in which case, it is mother’s milk to you. Be sure to causally mention that while his restaurants in NYC are greaaaaat, you got spoiled after going to Yountville last summer.
If you, for some reason, are here because your bus broke down at the Port Authority and lack aforementioned ambitions, make ambitions up. It is just as important to have ‘goals’ as it is to bury these goals in a veil of malaise so as not to seem like one is ‘trying to hard.’ If you can’t do this, move to Bushwick immediately and/or go back to Indiana and beg your old boss for your waitressing job back.
Capote: Patron Saint of Social Climbing