New York City is the 5th most visited city in the world, so I think it’s fair to include some sage advice from a New York native every now and then.
What makes one a native, you ask? It’s when you reach this moment of realization described by John Updike: The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.
Also, I’ve lived here for just a little over 16 years. Admitting that makes me feel really old.
New Yorkers have a bad reputation for being rude, cold, direct, unfriendly, and blunt. Which is true. But mostly it’s only true because you’re in the way and we’re in a hurry. It’s also not true and here’s a great example of why.
Yesterday, I got off the subway and headed toward the gym, heavy gym bag slung over my shoulder. It was a bit rainy, but nothing serious. I was wearing these boots that are a bit slippery–although I will never understand why any shoe maker would make BOOTS that have a slippery heel, aren’t boots meant for inclement weather?!
So a bit of rain, plus my slippery boots, plus my head in the clouds resulted in me first slipping on the wet pavement and then me tripping gracelessly over my own feet until I came crashing down so hard on the pavement that I literally bounced. Bounced!
As my gym bag went flying off to the right all I heard behind me were loud gasps of “OH MY GOD!” and “OH NO!” I could even imagine what I must have looked like falling for absolutely NO REASON. Thankfully I was wearing a large puffy jacket (I’m so over you, Winter) and it somewhat cushioned my fall. Somewhat.
As I was attempting to pick myself up off the ground as quickly as I could, two teenage boys (that looked like the kind of kids that would be shot in Florida) stopped and immediately tried to help me up, and were all, “You okay, ma’am?”
“I’m okay, I’m totally fine…thank you so much, I’m fine,” but I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide forever. And also, when did people start calling me ma’am??
I instantly decided that the gym was just not going to happen, and changed direction and started walking home instead. A really nice, older homeless guy started walking down the block with me and said, “Honey, don’t be embarrassed, we all fall down sometimes…you’ll be okay.”
I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry, I probably did a little of both. Then I went home and ordered Thai food and watched really really bad tv.
See, New Yorkers, they’re nice people. When you fall, they pick you up and they tell you it’s going to be okay.