Incestuous Hoboken

The massive cellar disguised as three bedrooms morphed into a microcosm of Hoboken.

On one queen mattress there was Greg and Trista, on another John and Suzanne, and on a third Rich and Kerry. No one seemed to notice the one-degree of separation that was once again occurring within the group. More amazingly, no one seemed to care.

Without confusing the reading audience, Greg used to hook-up with Suzanne, while John and Kerry once dated for a few months. Rich and Trista had a thing earlier in the year, but that fizzled without a fight from either party. It should also be mentioned that Greg also had a drunken tryst with Kerry, while Rich and Suzanne had the same only three weeks earlier, even though Rich still cared for Suzanne, but she wouldn’t mind getting more serious with Greg. .




Is this an anomalous, completely morally bankrupt crowd with little regard for basic decorum?


They all just happen to live in Hoboken…the Northeast version of West Virginia in terms of incestuous intra-group relationships…except without all that messy family tree stuff getting in the way.

After watching these familiar relations unfold from the start of the summer through New Year’s, I thought back to the same incestuous scenario that played out on 90210 that involved the main cast of characters before the show really began to suck (dubbed “The Noah Years”). .

Life imitates art: Kelly and Steve had sex in the prequel. The self-righteous Miss Taylor also slept with Brandon, Dylan and probably would have violated David if he didn’t become her half brother. The same almost went for Val, conquering Dylan, David, Ray “How do you talk to an angel?” Pruitt and Steve-O (the latter allegedly occurred during the Kelly-gets-torched fire episode, but one would assume matters didn’t stop at heavy petting if both were seen putting their clothes back on when all hell broke loose).

As for the guys, Steve-O did fairly well intra-cast (Kelly, Claire, Val). Dylan was equally as active: Brenda, Kelly, and, of course, Val. In the end, the group became so intertwined that Brandon and Dylan proposed marriage or a trip around the world, respectively, to Kelly, to which she replied to both in arguably the greatest moment in TV history, “I choose…me.”

The exception to this group was Brandon (outside of Donna Martin Graduates, who, like me, held out in losing her innocence until Season 9). Intra-group Brandon was only with Kelly, but made out with Val once and likely would have slept with her if she didn’t get him arrested for leaving pot in her car when he borrowed it in the classic Palm Springs two-part episode.

Brandon was the only one who mainly went outside the group, and in the process landed Susan Keats from the college newspaper, Emily Valentine (who snuck him a roofie), his professor’s hot wife, and Emma the newswoman. Unlike his core group members, Mr. Walsh participated in non-psychiatric and alcohol-abuse related extracurricular activities, thereby opening up more opportunities outside the troupe.

I then thought of the dating prospects within the Peach Pit that is Hoboken. At first glance those prospects seem plentiful: After all, Hoboken is 1.3 square miles, and within that radius sits a population of approximately 39,000 people. According to the latest census figures, 34,000 of that 39,000 are not married.

That said, one would think Hoboken’s ringless cluster of 34,000 would offer enough occasions to date new people in town on a weekly basis. But because of the Seinfeld rule that states that 95% of the population is undatable, that number suddenly shrinks to about 1,700.

That 1,700 continues to shrivel when age requirements are added to the equation: For instance, if, say, a 30-year old girl will only date guys one year younger and no older than 35, that 1700 figure is cut by about 60 percent. So even though 34,000 people in the town are available, the Seinfeld rule, plus age requirement, arbitrarily lowers that quantity to about 600.

Oh, and then there are the citizens who are technically single but involved in committed relationships. Let’s say those couples make up about 50 percent of that 600; that lowers the number of datable people, within age range, and unattached, to about 300.

Another item to consider: If you are age 30 and have been dating post-college for eight years, you likely went out with an average of five people per year, give or take a few if trapped in a long-term relationship for one or two of those years. To that end, an estimated additional 40 people have vacancies that are no longer available to you, lowering the number to about 260.

“Don’t forget about the gender aspect,” a friend of mine reminded me after I gave her a preview of the column. “That cuts the number by about half again.”

Well, at least 130 people in the dating pool in Hoboken is better than the number of datable people in, say, Moonachie (3) or North Arlington (1, maybe).

To ensure I wasn’t missing any other requirements, I visited a strange and foreign web site called to view some priceless profiles. After shockingly seeing two girls that I knew on the first page of my search (and sending out a mass email to anyone I have ever met to share this gem of information) I learned there were other prerequisites I hadn’t considered.

Smokers are generally frowned upon.

Those who aren’t making a decent salary are also shunned.

A lack of a sense of humor is a big no-no.

Divorcees and single parents are as embraced as A-Rod batting with the bases loaded in a tie game after the seventh inning.

And you better be in decent shape…

Although not scientific, I’m hypothesizing that the number of datable people in Hoboken is now down to about 40.

Making Incestuous Hoboken suddenly comprehensible…

Beach and ski houses are the primary way incestuous social networks are built. For those that participate in both summer and winter shares, the network can expand to about 40 people who suffice as an entire social universe, with most of the members being from the city or Hoboken. One girl in my ski house even joined two beach houses last summer as a half share in each just to meet more guys, er, people.

Staying in on a Friday or Saturday night is never an option as long as this network hums along courtesy of eVites to seemingly weekly birthday parties, holiday parties, housewarming parties, Apprentice viewing parties, brunches, ski weekends, and, of course, beach house interviews for 2006. This constant interaction naturally creates bonding, a unique trust, and a comfort level between genders in these groups.

Through the wonders of human nature, some couples begin to form within the bubble, as if shipwrecked on Gilligan’s Island with no way of getting off (no pun intended). But because most of these people have already established friendships first before going a more physically affectionate route, the jump from platonic to passionate is invariably an awkward and risky one. If said jump isn’t successful, and oftentimes it is not, the breakups are surprisingly civil. Know this: neither party involved in an intra-group breakup wants to be ostracized from the unit; so amiable splits are the norm in these situations.

Cordial intra-group splits then lead to others in the bubble not feeling apprehensive about pursuing each another since deep feelings don’t appear to be involved post-breakup. One rule to remember in these situations: If a member of a former couple is pursued intra-group, permission needs to be asked intra-gender from the potential pursuer to ensure toes and egos are not being stepped on. If done tactfully, the person being asked permission has little option but to accept to new pursuer’s wishes.

A week later the aforementioned six from the beach brothel mentioned in the beginning of this column are out to dinner on a weeknight with five others from the group, totaling 11. At first glance, you would never know the ardent crisscrossing histories of any of them, of any of the pillow secrets they shared, or what their feelings for each other truly are.

The night would move to Willie McBride’s, where 150 other people outside the group drank and danced. But to the 11 in the group that night, nothing else mattered but each other. They might as well have been alone in the room. Any interaction outside of Gilligan’s Peach Pit seemed almost against protocol.

So the next time you wonder why it’s so hard to meet someone to be compatible with, don’t fret. It’s not because you’re doing anything wrong…

…It’s because, despite living in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, we’ve somehow almost run out of people to date.