Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but it had one young New York City man feeling left out in the cold.
Jason Riemer, 26, spent the holiday weekend by staying in the city—even though everyone else he knows left to go somewhere else.
“I didn’t think sticking around was so taboo,” said Riemer, an accountant. “I figured, there’s always something going on in the city. I was wrong.”
Riemer quickly learned—the hard way—that when everyone you know leaves the city, there isn’t much left to do. Riemer’s loneliness was a result of not planning ahead and thinking he’d get to experience things around the city that he usually doesn’t.
“There are so many things I want to try but there’s always some obligation getting in the way,” Riemer explained. “With three days free, I thought I’d finally get a chance to try some new stuff that I haven’t experienced yet here.”
Unfortunately, that didn’t work out the way he envisioned.
Riemer lamented, “I miscalculated. I didn’t realize there’d be no one to actually do stuff with. I mean, I’m not gonna just go to Central Park by myself.”
The young man’s friends and family spent the holiday weekend all over the eastern seaboard, enjoying the nice weather, barbecues, and the beach.
“Let’s see…some of my buddies went to Atlantic City, but it’s so crazy expensive for those dumpy hotels and I never responded to their emails when they planned it,” said Riemer. “My family was in Maine but that’s so far away, you know? I don’t have a car and I can’t just like, take a train from Manhattan to Maine.”
With every girl in his circle of friends decamping for the Hamptons, Riemer hoped he’d meet some new ones this weekend. With the city less crowded, he’d surely have opportunities to separate himself from the pack and approach the opposite sex outside of the typically competitive bar and club scene.
“It’s weird, I thought a calmer city would mean more laid back conversation and more relaxed interactions,” Riemer groaned. “But girls thought something was wrong with me! They’re giving me dirty looks like I’m a freak because I didn’t have anywhere to go. I’m like, whatever, they’re still here too! So what does that say about them?”
His failed attempts at romance aside, Riemer did learn the value of being in a relationship, as several of his friends and their girlfriends embarked on weekend getaways to cabins upstate, beach houses along the Atlantic, and cities like Boston and Washington DC.
“I’m realistic. Fourth of July is only six weeks away so there’s obviously not enough time to strike up something meaningful before that,” said Riemer, who’s maintaining cautious optimism. “Maybe Labor Day, though. I think it’s reasonable to meet a girl this summer, and if we get along well, we could go somewhere for Labor Day.”
As his friends flooded back into New York on Monday with superior tales of rest, relaxation, and holiday weekend whimsy, Riemer kept his head held high despite the pervading condescension towards his “stay-cation.”
“Do I wish I went somewhere? Yeah, kind of,” admitted Riemer, who insists he’s at peace with the weekend that was. “But this is still a great city, and it’s really accessible on holiday weekends. The lines at bagel shops were really short, it was easy to get a cab, and the elevators in my building came right away. Sure, it’s a little ghost town-y, but it was kind of nice, and not having to travel made the weekend feel longer.”
No matter how tolerable his weekend in the city was, one has to imagine that Riemer has already started making arrangements for our country’s birthday weekend, as not to be the outcast he was this time around.