I had an early appointment downtown this morning so as I waited to cross 79th Street I watched an older man I actually knew, jump in front of a well-dressed woman to steal a cab. This sadly is common behavior during rush hour but what got my attention was the way the woman handled it.
She didn’t get mad.
I recently wrote how my friend Camille almost had a stroke when an aggressive guy did the same thing to her but this lady, unlike Camille, was ‘cool as a cuke,’ another thing my mother would say.
I noticed she saw me looking at her so I called out, “That was very nice of you to let him get away with that.”
“He was old,” she said, waving him off like a big fly. This made me laugh because if Dr. P. ever heard her call him old he would have had a fit. He always tells me he’s still a young man at heart. Yeah, yeah, meanwhile he has posture like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and insists my name is Helen but hey, it’s how you feel right? I bet he didn’t even see her. He tends to run around like a horse with blinders on. God help his patients.
I’m just saying.
She then told me a quick story of how one day a young girl ran in front of her just like the doctor did and said, ‘Please I need this cab, my mother’s dying.”
“That had to be a lie,” I immediately said. (New York has jaded me.) “What did you say?”
“Well, I turned to her and said, honey, I really hope your mother’s not dying and you just want the cab. Have a nice day.”
I liked her so much for that. Imagine humanity and humor all on the same street corner in New York City; such a rarity. The truth is, morning rush hour is always every man, not to mention girl and doctor, for himself.
A semblance of etiquette doesn’t return till way after 10.
She then told me she liked my black dress that I had somehow forgotten to zip all the way ..la la la…
one of the hazards of living alone.
Another woman stopped to ask if she could zip me up.
“Yes, by all means,” I said realizing now I was running 20 minutes late.
It occurred to me, maybe I should grab a cab.