Writing — for me — is therapeutic. Sometimes it feels like the only way I can get over something is to simply put it out there in the universe. Get it off my chest. Which is probably why I’m such a fan of social media. I can express even the tiniest frustrations and observations, and start to feel at least a little bit better in the process.
I recently wrote a guest post on my buddy Dave Murray’s blog about shifting perceptions. I used a specific example from my life, which centered around the perception I had of New Yorkers before I moved here, and the impression I have now that I’ve been a resident for almost five months.
Long story short: I used to think these city dwellers were gruff, aggressive, no-nonsense kind of people who would step on you to get where they were going and not think twice about it. I can tell you now, however, that, largely, I have not found that to be the case. I’ve seen seated Subway passengers stand up and offer their spots to the woman and her young child who just hopped on, strangers who hang back to hold the door for someone else, and many other examples of good behavior.
This story, however, is an example of a New Yorker behaving badly.
Moving right along to the narrative…
My handsome hubby and I had spent an entire afternoon securing a dog hotel for Mona the bulldog to stay in during our visit to Michigan next week. We had traversed from the Upper West Side to the Upper East Side, comparing facilities and checking availability.
After a late lunch at a quaint UES eatery, we decided to grab a cab home. What we didn’t anticipate, however, was a seemingly limited supply of them. If you’ve been to New York, you know you typically can’t spit without hitting one of these yellow guys.
We stopped at several corners to try to hail one, and after having no luck, decided to move to a more high-traffic area to try again. Along the way, we walked by a young couple, who also appeared to be trying to hail a cab, but so are hundreds of people at any given point in time, so I didn’t think much of it.
As the hubby and I stood on our newest corner — which was a full block from our previous one — I saw the same young man walking toward us. I’ll paraphrase what he said:
“HEY. You saw we were trying to hail a cab back there, and you just jump ahead of us like that? Not cool. Not cool at all.”
I laughed out loud. I thought he was joking. But he was dead serious.
I should mention that he couldn’t hang around to scold us much longer, because he had to rush back to the street corner he had been standing on, where his girly friend was already hopping into a cab. Funny how that worked out.
My hubby didn’t respond to the guy, and about 10 seconds later, we hailed our own cab and headed back to the Upper West Side. The more I thought about it, though, the more annoyed I became. A few things to note:
- There are literally thousands of cabs in New York City. Even in low-traffic areas, you might have to bounce around a bit (like we did), but your wait time will never be longer than 5 minutes.
- I could understand his point of view if we had stood right next to him, but a few feet closer to the approaching traffic. That would be a ballsy move, and it actually happened to us along the way. In this case, we moved a BLOCK away.
- At what point does it stop being sneaky of us? If we had moved two blocks away, would that have been sufficient? What about the other random person three blocks away; is he being malicious, too?
- Bro, I’m sorry I’m not sorry that you’re too lazy to move yourself to a more desirable location in hopes of snagging a cab.
- I hope your girly friend thought you were really brave and tough for standing up against this cruel injustice.
I really shouldn’t let it get to me. Maybe the guy was just having a bad day, or maybe everything else in his life has always gone his way, except in this one moment. Regardless, I thought it was very poor form.
Karma, dude. Karma.