There’s a woman in my neighborhood I really can’t stand. She’s nosy and snooty to be avoided at all cost. Jane, I’ll call her, is like a thundercloud in perpetual sportswear. Even in winter she wears white shorts and polo shirts as if she’s either coming or going from Palm Beach. She also thinks of herself as quite stylish.
Did I mention she’s a tad critical?
“Susannah, isn’t it time you invest in a new Barbour jacket? I can see those holes a block away.”
“I have a new one Jane, I just prefer this one.”
“Why don’t you let your hair grow out a little. Bet it will make you look younger.”
“I like my hair short and feel length…like yours Jane…ages a girl.”
Yes, I lob it right back over the net, but it’s very exhausting since it’s as if she’s out gunning for you.
But one day I really got her good. It was pouring out. I was sitting in Starbucks waiting for the rain to ease up. Who do I see coming out of the dry-cleaners but Jane, wrapped in a plastic bag, looking like a big, soggy sandwich.
She stood on the corner of 78th and Lex trying to hail a cab which, when it rains, is almost impossible. It’s as if they purposely go off-duty so you’ll drown in their absence.
This was my chance, to get even for all those catty cracks I’ve endured over the years.
I crossed the street heading right for her. She pretended not to see me, but I knew, who was she kidding…nothing escapes her.
“Jane, wow…you seem distressed. Anything I can do?”
“No, I’m waiting for a cab,” she said, trying to act calm.
“Wonder why they’re not stopping,” I said innocently.
“It’s pouring out Susannah…you know how hard it is to get a cab in the rain.”
“Oh, I never have that problem. They always seem to stop for me.”
If looks could kill I would have been DOA at Lenox Hill.
Before turning to go back home I said with a big smile, “You know Jane…who would have thought, but you look really great in plastic…it seems to suit you.”
Sometimes a girl, for the sake of her soul, just needs to get even. We’re only human after all.