When Alyssa met Billy. Some thoughts.

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Hey, Billy. 

May I call you Billy?

Honestly, so many names have been flying about the place this afternoon in relation to you, it’s hard to keep track.

I’ll stick with Billy. I know from Alyssa’s date with you that you prefer when you’re the focus of a conversation.

Oh, Billy. Billy, Billy, Billy.

There’s so much I want to say, so much I need your help with.

I’ve brought along a copy of that charming dating piece featuring you and Alyssa, just in case you needed to refresh your memory on anything we discuss today.

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Photograph taken by Maya Kosoff

I have to say Billy, I’m…worried about you, mate. A bunch of us are. I know you’re looking at me all confused right now like an over-pampered Upper East Side boy in an Outback Steakhouse, so I’ll cut to the chase.

I think we know why you’re struggling to find love. 

You say it’s due to your busy schedule. I don’t doubt that’s part of it, Billy. All snark aside, actors have to hustle. Endless auditions, networking, researching roles, rehearsing…it’s a grind. I hear ya.

But then…that’s pretty much everyone, Billy. Everyone has ‘stuff’ that takes up their time. Everyone from the high-flying executive to the parent on welfare. The teacher. The binman. The retired postal worker. The social worker. The mechanic. Possibly even the waiter, who you apparently used some Jedi mind trick on to make him fetch a steak for Alyssa that was to your liking. So much stuff, swirling around.

Endless.

Yet…many of these people, stuff and all, can find love one way or another. So perhaps we need to set your acting career aside for a moment and have a look at what else is going on.

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Pass me the breadbasket, Billy. No, not a breadstick, the basket. I’m going to need a whole load of carbs for this hi-intensity burst of Truth-squats I’m about to lay on you.

See, a bunch of us are real confused right now, Billy. We didn’t expect to feel such a visceral reaction over a dating fluff piece.

It’s Wednesday.

It’s hot.

We were thinking about how many more minutes we have to haul our asses though until the weekend, or whether to get Vietnamese tonight, or whether our roommate’s managed to drag a sponge over four days’ worth of dishes yet, or what the fuck’s taking Game of Thrones so long. Talk about burning through time, amirite? Like, set Dany’s big scaly babies loose on this whole month, I need my Tormund Giantsbane fix yesterday.

The young singletons of New York didn’t ask to be scared away from modern dating forever, as if they weren’t one foot towards the hills already. Those of us who’ve been out of the dating game a while now, well, we didn’t ask to be grabbed by the spleen and javelin-tossed backwards into those turgid memories of encountering baffling, self-confidence annihilating...individuals like you.

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See, I was going to call you a name, but I’ve called you plenty already today as it is. I’m not proud of that. I usually keep off the Twitter bandwagon until I’ve heard both sides. In this instance, however, I’m not entirely sure there’s anything you can say to redeem yourself after your encounter with the lovely Alyssa.

And she is lovely, y’know. Lovely, kind, conscientious and warm, according to many reports.

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Photo courtesy of Maya Kosoff

You claim that Alyssa didn’t ‘bring the goods’, but you then go on to say you had a nice conversation and she complimented you a lot. You say she was always sweet, always smiling, and it seems she took a genuine interest in you as a person. It’s fascinating that so many of Alyssa’s attributes that you apparently found tedious would rank pretty high on the ‘must-have’ lists of countless guys (and girls) in New York, and indeed the world.

Do you ever wonder why this is?

Perhaps your next move should be to take yourself to a nice, lonely bench, sit down and have a real good think. Call me crazy, but I can see many, many lonely benches in your future, Billy. But then, I also think people are entitled to have their steak reduced to ash if that’s what makes them happy, so what do I know?

Lots of people have rallied around Alyssa, y’know. People who know her, people who don’t, people who never will…but I’d go as far to guess that all of them know you, or at least different variants of you.

See, people like you, Billy…they’re everywhere.

They’re just not usually so foolhardy as to put their damage out there for the whole world to see. They usually have a small, urgent voice at the back of their skull. A voice that whispers… “Don’t do that. Don’t verbally lacerate some sweet girl in a newspaper just because she didn’t meet your impossibly high standards. People won’t respond well to that.”

Perhaps this was some quaint attempt at exposure on your part. Even bad press is good press, right? I can see that.

If I was your agent however, I think I’d  be in a bit of a pickle. I fear it’s going to be difficult to pitch you for a romantic lead now, considering the fact that a whole swathe of New York’s female populace now find you utterly repulsive.

I’m not knocking you for not being attracted to Alyssa (beautiful as she is). Physical attraction a largely unconscious response that you have no control over…but considering that so much of a person’s worth has so little to do with what you would have seen in those first few seconds Alyssa was in your life, I’m not entirely sure you have the correct definition of ‘goods’.

Just to make clear, I don’t think this behaviour is exclusive to your gender. There are plenty of douchey, superficial and immature girls out there in the dating scene, too. You may have been out with a few of them, or grew up with them. They may have said some things – or not said some things – that still linger with you today.

Could this be why you’ve created this…almost Hans-from-Frozen-esque veneer of reptilian contempt you seem to possess for sweet girls who dare to run five minutes late in New Fucking York? That’s not really my question to ask – I’m no psychiatrist, after all – but it is intriguing, don’t you think?

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If someone once made you feel so small and inadequate, that you now resort to walls of ice to keep you safe from any kind of emotional vulnerability at all, then…that is truly sad

…and I’m sorry.

I really am. 

I know from personal experience that hurt people hurt people.

When you’re wounded inside, that can so distort and discolour your view of the world, of those around you. It can make you dismiss kind people, warm people, smiling people who like to explore your hopes and dreams and light up at the thought of ice cream. Like a mantle of thorns, it keeps you safe, untouchable, and ultimately the one who bleeds the most.

All this aside, Billy, I really hope we can put much of your folly down to youth. I hope this is something that individuals such as you can overcome. This is a sharp world, a hurting world.

We need humans with full hearts, not walking wounds, and who can find love because they know what love is.

You are, however, correct. Alyssa is not the girl for you. She’s the girl for that guy who’s sick of boys like you, and knows that the true goods of a woman aren’t found in her panting scurry through some hoity-toity restaurant doors.

The real goods of a woman are found in a place that right now seems sadly beyond your reach.

Rest assured, young Billy. Alyssa will live her life, and she’ll live it well.

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