Sunday, March 21, 2004

Last month, I found myself at Nine West trying on “comfortable” shoes for work and I walked out with nothing but some 3-inch spiky/pointy black patent leather knee-high cockroach killers. Absolutely the most impractical thing I’ve ever bought, but I loved them and I had to have them. And besides, they were on the clearance rack…. What more could a girl ask for?

A couple of weeks later, Charlie and I decided to go on a date, so I got all cute in my cockroach killers and realized as I walked down 14th Street to the movie theater that something had definitely gone wrong. I woke up the next morning and realized that my ball of my foot was in a little bit of pain. I didn’t think anything of it, until I woke up Monday with places to go and realized that I REALLY injured my left foot.

I proceed to make my way to work on Tuesday – filled with loads of complaining and crying about my foot and how I can’t stand on it and how I can’t walk on it and how it JUST HURTS REALLY BAD! My store manager became quite concerned because well, even though I’m dramatic about EVERYTHING - as the day wore on, I didn’t want to talk or help customers because that meant having to walk around the store. She then knew something was definitely wrong.

A few days later after I couldn’t take the pain anymore, I decided to make an appointment to see a Podiatrist. But not just any Podiatrist…. I made an appointment with a Podiatrist who is the most obsessed dog lover on the upper east side of Manhattan. And any animal lover - is a (best) friend of mine!

Even before she examined my foot, she asked me my symptoms. And she concluded that I probably cracked one of the sesamoid bones in the ball of my foot. I ask her if this happens a lot, to which she informed me that it’s very common for women in New York City to crack this exact bone because of the shoes we wear. She explained to me that the pavement in Manhattan is so uneven that we don’t realize that the shoes we wear while walking are very important instruments to making our feet healthy and “comfortable.”

I put my shoes and socks back on and said goodbye as she smiled and said my $20 fee was waived because I was Munchkin’s (her Lhasa Apso) friend. I knew loving animals would get me somewhere in New York City!

It’s a couple of weeks later and thankfully my foot is getting better, but I’m not supposed to wear heels for another month. Of course by then, it will probably be too warm to wear my knee-high boots. And even if it isn’t, do I really want to wear them? Do I want to chance the fact that I might crack the bone again if I do?

You bet your sweet cockroach killers I do!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Just when I think it’s finally getting warm, Mother Nature comes to kick me in the ass.

I grew up my whole life in a town where the threat of snow turns every person into a complete raving lunatic. When the weatherman says three inches of snow in Virginia Beach, he means a dust of snow that melts by the time the day is over. But that doesn’t stop the idiots who are at the grocery store stocking up on fifty gallons of water and cans of food. As soon as that weather man on the 5 o’clock news hints of snow, emergency flashing lights pop up on the television screen. All the public schools in Hampton Roads are cancelled. Everything is shut down. The people of the Hampton Roads community are prisoners in their own home because well….. It MIGHT snow tomorrow!

Now, I just live in a city where there are lunatics no matter what the weather is. But that is beyond my point.

When it snows in New York City, it really really snows. And it just doesn’t snow….. it SNOWS! No one (other than Charlie) can fully understand how miserable I was back in December for my first New York City snowstorm. I learned back in December that when the weather man says it’s going to snow nine to twelve inches in New York City, it doesn’t mean it’s going to snow three inches (like it would in Virginia Beach). What he really means is it’s going to snow 15 to 18. I learned this the hard way when I didn’t prepare for a snowstorm in New York City.

It’s now three months later and do you think the snow has gotten any easier? NOPE! There is snow on the ground and it still pisses me off. It pisses me off so much that when I saw a rat in on the tracks today, I muttered to myself “dirty rat!”

Last night, the weatherman said, “Accumulations up to one inch!”…. What he really meant to say was “Expect three to five.”

And unless you’ve lived here, you can’t understand how the snow just swirls up into your face. You can be wrapped up with NO PART OF YOUR BODY showing, holding an umbrella…. but when you take off that coat, somehow, someway, you’re clothing is wet! How does this happen? Can someone please explain to me how the hell this happens?

Even worse are the lakes of water/slush/ice at every street corner that just “happen” to blend in with the color of the street. You are walking along, minding your own business, getting ready to cross the street, when all of a sudden, you step in the biggest puddle of your life and not only are your shoes and socks soaking wet – you’re wet all the way up to your knees!

The snow from the entire winter just melted here last week. There was no evidence any snow had fallen here. I was ready for spring. But this morning, I found myself putting on (yet again) a scarf, gloves, hat and my heavy coat with a long sweater underneath for extra warmth - ready to battle another fucking snow storm.

And the weatherman says to prepare for snow again on Friday.

God help me.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I’ve seen cats. I’ve seen dogs. Unfortunately, I’ve even seen a cockroach on a subway train. But nothing prepared me for what I was about to see on the subway car a few weeks ago as Charlie and I got on the C train to head home from dinner after eating on the upper west side.

A pigeon.

That’s right! A New York City pigeon was riding on the C train. I swear – only in New York do you see this kind of thing. I have no idea how the pigeon got there. I have no idea how long he was a passenger. But he was there. And he was cute.

The cats I’ve seen on the train have mostly been kept in pet carriers. Although, I have had a reoccurring meeting with a cute little orange tabby who is always with the same crazy homeless man. The dogs I’ve seen have been with owners who hold them in their arms or even in backpacks. I saw a cute little dog with a gay couple a few months back and they couldn’t stop talking about how great the dog was. The cockroach on the other hand, was not such a pleasant experience. I was reading a magazine when I saw something out of the corner of my eye (on the seat) moving towards me. I looked down, and I swear I practically shit in my pants. It was my FIRST sighting of a cockroach in NYC. Since then, I’ve seen many more – but that’s another post all together.

Being the animal lover I am, of course I had to save the poor bird. I told Charlie that we were going to get off at the next stop so we could put it outside where it belonged. Charlie looks over at me and says – “Are you crazy? It’s a dirty New York City pigeon! I’m not touching that thing!” I look at him and said – “This is New York! If we don’t save it, it’s going to be someone’s dinner!”

I decided that we would wait until our next stop, scoop up the dirty bird, and bring it outside. I thought this was a good idea, until – somehow – the bird found its way to the door of the train and just hopped out of the subway car. Everyone on the train cheered as if the bird had done something miraculous. Of course, I couldn’t just let the bird stay on the subway platform! I was determined. This bird would be saved!

I get up and hear Charlie say – “Leave it alone. It will be fine!” I scream, “No it won’t be fine! It’s going to get hit by a train!” We jump out of the subway car and there I am chasing the fucking bird on the platform. You can just imagine the looks on people’s faces as I’m chasing a bird in the subway station.

But I caught it. And as I’m holding the bird with two hands - I walk through the train station. Charlie stayed on the train’s platform (I think he was embarrassed.) At one point, a man looked at me and started busting out laughing – he must have been thinking I was some crazy girl trying to make a pet of a New York City pigeon. I looked back at him and tried to explain – “I found him on the subway car! Can’t you believe that?!” He didn’t look amused.

And as I made my way out on to Spring Street to free the pigeon from my hands, all I kept thinking was…

(This line is for normal people): “You won’t be anyone’s dinner tonight unless a cat gets a hold of you!”

(This line is for my mom): “Read my beak…. No more birds.”

Monday, March 08, 2004

Laundry. Quarters. Elevators. Three things that have coincided with each other that have pissed me off today.

Washing clothes is a chore no one likes to do, but unless you want to walk around smelling like you haven’t taken a shower in months, then dirty clothes must be washed. Charlie and I realized yesterday, as we look over at our heaping laundry basket (clothing piled so high that it was just falling over on the sides), that it was time to put some clothes in the washing machine.

To wash clothes, you need quarters. Of course, no one just has $10 worth of quarters just lying around at any given time JUST to wash laundry. So you go around, trying to find a store that will give you quarters. I swear that the people in these stores make you feel like you’re a bum asking for drug money. I don’t get this. It’s not like you’re stealing quarters from them! You’re giving them money!

Next, you find yourself at the grocery store to get a roll of quarters in which they charge you an extra $.50! I have always found this quite amazing. Why does the grocery store get to make a profit when you have to wash your stinky clothes? So not only are you pissed that you have to do laundry that you haven’t done in over two weeks. You’re also pissed at the fact that you have to pay the assholes at the grocery store extra money for a roll of quarters!

After begging the corner store to give me 8 quarters (not even enough for 2 loads of laundry), Charlie and I go put our clothing in the washing machine. Woohoo! FINALLY!

And this is where it gets good.

Lately, my apartment building has been having problems with the elevators. We have two elevators in our building and they NEVER work at the same time. One of them is ALWAYS out of commission. If it’s not one, then it’s the other. I’m not lying when I tell you that I yell at the maintenance men at least once a week about this problem. They run when they see me. They must know I’m going to bitch about SOMETHING. And the truth is: Do you think they even understand a word I’m saying? NO! (Please see previous post about non-English speakers.)

We put our clothing in the washing machine and were waiting for the elevator to come bring us up 8 flights (we were in the basement). And we were waiting a VERY LONG TIME. Come to find out - BOTH elevators are broken! Of course, this is AFTER we already put our clothes in the washing machine! One of the maintenance men then informs us that both elevators aren’t working and it probably won’t be fixed today.

I look at the guy and I say to him… “Didn’t I yell you once already today?”

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Everything you do in New York City is harder. Little things you would do in another city, something you would think is so simple, is a huge freakin’ production.

Among these little things is going to K-Mart. Going to K-Mart in New York City is an absolute pain in my ass. I have just gotten on this kick to start working out my arms and as I know I probably don’t need it, why not get in PERFECT shape before summer comes? So I decided the way to start working the small bit of flab I have is to go buy some five pound dumbbells. No big deal, right? WRONG!

I have to take two different trains to get to K-Mart. It takes 40 minutes to get to K-Mart on the subway, which I must admit is a big improvement to my four trains I take to work. I have to inform you before I get into this huge conversation about the pain in the ass it is to go to K-Mart…. that the people that work at the K-Mart at Herald Square is even more of pain in my ass. SPEAK FUCKING ENGLISH, people! THIS IS AMERICA! Ok… enough of my anger with the non-english speakers.

K-Mart is 3 floors in New York City. Yes, 3 floors! The place is absolute chaos. Shit is everywhere. You can’t find anything unless you go up and down the escalator 5 times, and even then, you can’t find what you’re looking for! And as I’ve said above, “me hablo no ingles” or even better, is…. “yo, datts upstayas.” WHICH UPSTAIRS?? The top floor or the middle floor, asshole?

So I go to K-Mart, not only to buy dumbbells, but to purchase some girlie odds-and-ends that I need. (You can probably see where I’m heading with this.) When I’m finally done picking up everything, I realize…. I don’t have a car! I have to take the subway home! WITH ALL THIS SHIT! You must remember…. I was getting 5 pounder dumbbells. I already had 10 pounds of weight on me even before all the girlie stuff! And it doesn’t end there……

Herald Square = Penn Station. And it’s 5pm.

I must have been an absolute ignoramus to think that I could go shopping during the week at K-Mart and go home 40 minutes on two different trains. Just know… people here don’t give a shit whether you are carrying a handful of groceries, let alone two 5 pound dumbbells and some shampoo. People here aren’t giving up their seat on the train for NOTHIN! And if you know New York City at 5pm, it wasn’t like I was just standing up… I was shoulder to shoulder with other people who were standing. You can’t tell if someone is grabbing your ass on the train at 5pm. It’s that crowded.

Needless to say, going to K-Mart is, again, a royal pain in my ass. But you know, sometimes you just need a little work-out.