Some strange things have happened this week. A cab driver didn't harass me for using a credit card to pay my fare—and then held the door open for me upon departure. An employee at Shreve, Crump & Low (I was there only to replenish my stationary, sigh) gave me a hug when I told her I’d just cried after seeing one of the Marathon memorials. Passengers quickly ambled out of their seats during rush hour on the T and offered them to anyone else who might want to sit down. And even though it’s a pet peeve of mine, I withheld accusatory glares toward Hubway bicyclists who rode freely down the sidewalks, stepping aside and allowing my annoyance to pass instead.
This is the silver lining of tragedy: we feel the urge to reach out, to connect, and to be kind to one another. And that is a wonderful thing.
How long these exemplary attitudes last, though, is another matter. Boston has a notoriously gruff temperance—and while we may be Boston Strong, we’re not always Boston Nice. Need an example? Just visit your closest bar to witness at least one person waving a bill while clamoring desperately for a bartender’s attention, a group of bros in Celtics jerseys, and a heated argument over who’s paying what portion of the tab.
The question is, can we love that dirty water and clean up our acts at the same time? I spoke with three experts to find out.
How we choose to grieve and reflect during a difficult time is an individual choice. Socializing in the wake of tragedy might seem like a strange and foreign thing to do; it might even seem wrong. For some of us, it can be helpful, whether it's by fostering our sense of community or through the simple act of being around other people. It can even serve as a welcome distraction in the midst of information overload.
Below is an ongoing list of events created by local organizations to benefit the Boston Marathon recovery efforts and the victims affected by Monday’s bombings. If you'd like to include your event, please email the details (and links) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our city may be on the mend, but its spirit remains unbroken. Boston, we love you.FULL ENTRY
The “blind date”: does such a thing exist anymore? With the advent of online dating (and the subsequent profiles that breakdown users’ likes and dislikes into neat, compartmentalized quadrants)—not to mention Facebook, Twitter and that black hole otherwise known as Google—there’s no limit to how much dirt we can dredge up about a potential partner before even meeting them face-to-face. And, still, blind dates tend to be the most nerve-wracking kind of dates, because even the most cooly-worded introductory email can’t predict real-life chemistry.
But that's the nature of the beast; and as the saying goes, you can't win if you don't play. Before you head out with your next match, be (s)he from a dot com or with a friend-of-a-friend, consider some of these blind date "To-Do's," all of which keep the pressure at a minimum and offer an easy exit strategy if you're finding your signals are more mixed than steady.FULL ENTRY
Before you gripe about the cost of your last night out, be glad—maybe—that you’re not living among our pals down under: financial behemoth Deutsche Bank just released its “Cheap Date” index, and per the banking giant, Australia reigns as the number one most expensive place to go on a date. By taking into account the cost of standard date stuff—you know, like bouquets of roses and pizza—Deutsche Bank was able to rank major metropolitan cities according to how much it costs to plant seeds of romance in each. Not surprisingly, New York City is high on the list, as is London, where the pound-to-dollar conversion rate is nothing short of laughable.
Don’t worry; Deutsche Bank didn’t forget about us. In fact, we’re on a special, supplemental list: apparently, it’s very expensive to buy cigarettes in Boston. Which is something to think about before you take that special someone out for fair-market-value slice of pizza.
April showers might bring May flowers in other parts of the country, but in this neck of the woods, the lurch forward can feel like a nasty trick Mother Nature’s playing at our expense. Sure, the days are getting longer (and the rays that peek through my blinds on Sunday morning do feel awfully bright), but save for a few instances, the winter-like temperatures haven’t budged—which means that this Bostonian has felt perfectly content to stay settled in her cold weather consumption habits; namely, by way of the three B’s: burgers, bourbon, and brunch.
Not that there’s anything wrong with a burger now and then (and if you’re going to indulge, I highly recommend the one served up at the Franklin Southie, where I may or may not be a regular), and a well-crafted Manhattan can soften the edge of a stressful week. But just as those self-esteem-eroding notices plastered all over my gym have reminded me, spring—and, soon after, summer—is literally just around the corner. We’re encouraged to shape up and clean up; why not do the same with our social lives?FULL ENTRY