Yesterday, my trusty coworker Alex g-chatted me to say he was certain I looked like Peppermint Patty as a kid. He’d never seen young photos of me, but after I sent him one that was both adorable and cringe-worthy, he turned it into this:
Scary, right? I had the bangs, freckles, pale skin, orange hair, and pageboy cut and everything! I looked pretty happy for a kid with giant teeth (that’s no longer the case due to all my overnight grinding and clenching), perhaps because I knew I’d have braces in a few years. I didn’t particularly like my look, but it’s hilarious how much I resembled the dorky Peanuts girl for so long! Not anymore, I hope:
After Alex put together the side-by-side pictures, my day started getting even weirder. I kept waiting for it to rain, as the forecast included thunderstorms and torrential showers, but NYC only got some sprinkles. On my way to my work happy hour, which I never ended up attending for reasons that will soon become obvious, I found myself in three bizarre situations involving passersby.
My umbrella in hand on the sidewalk, I tried to navigate around a large crowd of people surrounding a bar in Chelsea. None of them would move, and I accidentally swatted a lady with my umbrella as such. Turning around to apologize, I got a close-up of the victim: a snarling short woman who couldn’t have been more than 5″1. I’m much taller, but about as intimidating as a snail. I was in trouble.
“You bitch!” she screamed, drawing stares from everyone around us. I gulped, preparing to enter full apology mode.
“I’m so, so, so sorry. It was an accident, I swear,” I said, trying to understand her frustration. I’d be livid if someone nearly took my eye out on the damp, muggy streets of NYC.
Once our eyes met, her expression softened, as if she could immediately see just how much of a non-fighter I was. I may get riled up a lot on this blog, but I oppose senseless violence more than almost anything else and would lose miserably in a physical altercation. I was willing to just take a verbal beating and get going.
Suddenly I was surrounded by the men outside the bar, and for a second, I worried they were all going to gang up on me for my faux pas. Just then, a pit bull, who apparently belonged to the woman, emerged from the doorway, seemingly curious about its owners shouts. I glanced at the lady’s face, which appeared unscathed, before continuing my journey to the bar. I didn’t want a spat or to make a scene. I just wanted to relax with my friends/coworkers, so I took off.
After that, I was in a weird mental place, not to mention nervous about going on a movie date later on, so I chose not to attend my office happy hour. I’d only be able to stay for ten minutes, and I hadn’t eaten anything, so I walked from 9th Avenue to 2nd Avenue in the light rain, my dangerous umbrella in hand.
I’ve been known to have weird luck with umbrellas, so it didn’t surprise me when the odd situations continued piling up that night. When I walked by Penn Station, two men sang their own version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” to me, belting out, “Can I stand under your umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh, under your umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh.” I laughed, but almost immediately after that, the wind picked up, so I had to hold tightly onto the umbrella and the bottom of my dress. It’s not easy to do, but I’ve reached the point in which I honestly don’t care who witnesses me flashing Manhattan anymore. Go ahead and laugh if you see my underwear. It’s the story of my life.
When I was ten minutes away from the theater, another random guy pointed at me and yelled, “OH MY GOD! IT’S TAYLOR SWIFT!!!” She sure pulls off the tall, lanky blonde look well, so a T-Swift comparison is always fine by me:
By the time I made it to the east side, I had fifteen minutes to spare before meeting up at the cinema. I hadn’t eaten in hours and knew I would be grabbing drinks later, so I decided to buy something small to snack on. I’ve never been a huge pizza person, so I went with Dunkin’ Donuts, where I ordered a chocolate sprinkled donut and banana, both of which cost less than $2 total. I don’t know what compelled me to do this, but next thing I knew, I was inside DD’s single bathroom stall, which didn’t have a lock, desperately trying to stuff my face.
“How did I get here?” I said aloud, too grossed out by the puddles of water on the ground to actually go near the toilet.
Who ever told me it was socially acceptable to scarf down a donut in a Dunkin’ Donuts restroom ten minutes before a date? I said at the beginning of June that I knew I had a weird summer ahead of me, but never in my wildest dreams had I envisioned myself stooping this low.
And yet, I managed to outdo myself seconds later. I had to urinate, so even though there was no lock on the door and I feared being walked in on, I chose to take the risk. Naturally, a man opened the door in the middle of it all, but I couldn’t find it in me to feel violated or freak out. Maybe that’s what living in NYC does to people: they stop worrying about exposing themselves at their most vulnerable, disgusting, or primal state. After telling him I needed another minute, I took two large bites out of the donut, checked my face in the mirror, and ran a hand through my hair.
“Please tell me tonight is going to be better than the last hour,” I mumbled to myself, not expecting much.
But it did improve. “Monsters University” is hilarious, and what do you know, a short film called “The Blue Umbrella” played after the commercials ended. Given my umbrella luck of the day, the last thing I wanted to see was one of the ineffective, deadly contraptions, but the movie was surprisingly cute. If you can make audiences root for an umbrella and create an adorable “parapluie” love story, you’re definitely going places.
So yeah, the weekend has been peculiar so far, and I still have a Times Square ladies night to look forward to this evening! Wish me luck, but more importantly, hope that it doesn’t rain, because I just can’t take any more umbrella drama. I just can’t.