Dank and Dreary, but …

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Slice - 1
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So, it’s a dank, dreary, damp, day near dusk (yeah, I like alliteration, so sue me). I’m heading out to the local bar to meet some friends. I’m cranky because I have the start of a cold – a bad, mean-spirited, won’t-let-you-go-without-a-fight cold – I can tell. I’ve had longer relationships with colds than many boyfriends.

Being a typical New Yorker, I have no patience for red lights. So, I’m peeking around a van parked near the crosswalk to see if the traffic has slowed enough to allow me to cross without getting squashed like a big cockroach. Cars, cars, trucks and taxis: No crossing without impending death for me right now. It’s cold even through my gloves and coat, and I swear this is the world’s longest red light!

A woman comes up on my left and also peeks around the van. Then she glances back at me and says, “Oh, I’m so sorry.”

I give her a quizzical look as she hasn’t stepped on my feet or so much as brushed against me.

“I didn’t mean to cut in front of you,” she says. “Are you trying to hail a taxi, too? You were obviously here first.”

I am speechless for a moment. Who the hell is this woman? This polite woman. Polite, considerate and didn’t even shove pass me. She’s gotta be from out of town, but savvy enough to know the cab-hailing process in New York. A tourist with a really good guidebook, I decide.

“Are you crazy?” I ask. “Nobody asks that in the city.”

“Well, I do,” she says with a smile – and I’ll be darned if that isn’t a distinctly Brooklyn accent, now that I’m paying attention.

“I’m not waiting for a cab,” I tell her, “and thank you for being so incredibly polite.  Have a nice night.”

We smile and wave to one another and I finally cross the street.

I never wish people “a nice night.” What has this woman done to me?  I almost forgot about my chest cold.

UPDATE: It was recently reported by a travel guide that NY is NOT the rudest city in the country. Los Angeles is! Ha! Take that you plastic people in La-La Land.

  1. Ray Dangel says:

    My Grandma always told me if I couldn’t say something nice I should keep my mouth shut. If we could restore civility in Congress, a lot of troubles might vanish. Our family remedy for a cough, if you get one from your cold, is equal measures of lemon juice, honey and scotch or whatever hard stuff you have available, taken just before bedtime. Always works for us.

  2. alexadem says:

    Even if I weren’t sick, that sounds fab! Thanks, Ray.

  3. You spotted the elusive polite newyorker! Tell me, was it the common red-crested or rare blue-haired variety? As for colds, zinc works for me!

  4. Jenn says:

    Is this site Chicken soup for the soul? I’m kidding.

    I never knew people are rarely polite in NY. I’ll start practicing being impolite now. Wait, I don’t need practice for that.

    • alexadem says:

      Actually, there are many polite people in NY, but we get a bad rap for being rude. I was exaggerating a bit. Glad to know someone out there doesn’t buy into that cliche. 😉

  5. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Thanks!

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