Friday, December 22, 2006

new yorkers: cold and hard

i walk into cosi this morning to get a bagel. i see a man standing back from the counter, looking like he's already ordered.

i step up to the counter, the girl asks me what i want. "asiago bagel, toasted, lightly buttered please." then she looks at the man and asks for his order. i look at him and say, "oh my gosh, i'm so sorry, i thought you'd ordered!" he steps up, tells me not to worry about it and orders the same thing. the problem? i got the last asiago bagel.

so at this point i say, "listen, have mine. i'm so sorry." still friendly as hell..."no! it gives me a chance to try something new! i'll have a whole grain bagel," he says. i can't understand why he's being so nice...

i apologize another ten times and he's cheery as can be about it all.

stunned, i leave the store thinking how that would have played out if i was in the guy's position instead. had i been there first and someone had tried to order i would have said, loudly, "um, excuse me, i was here first." i would have been an absolute bitch to anyone trying to cut in line.

and it's times like these that i notice how i've hardened in the last five years living here. how easily impatient i've become. how many dirty looks i give to people who don't understand when to cross the street or that they shouldn't wear backpacks on the subway because they hit people with them. that i run into people (or that they run into me) and i give a glare or just keep on moving, never stopping or apologizing. how rarely i smile at anyone anymore. or even, when something happens that does put a smile on my face, how quickly i notice it and put my "leave me alone" face back on lest i look like a dopey tourist; wide-eyed and grinning, begging someone to rob me while pedicab drivers attempt to get me into their cart.

but i haven't hardened to the core quite yet. because i actually felt bad AND i apologized. that, in itself, means the coldness hasn't completely set in. hopefully i can hang on to the small amount of civility i have left for a little while longer.

but don't expect me to say sorry to the next skinny bitch that runs me down at bloomingdales. i'm still going to call her an asshole under my breath and secretly plot to elbow her "by accident" if i happen to catch her in the next department.

a girl can only take so much...

6 people who played with me:

Blogger omar said...

This is a great story, Jas. (Except for the part where you stole that nice dude's asiago bagel.)

12/22/2006 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! I'd have to live in NY for a long time to unlearn my "holding doors open for strangers" habit.

I'd get mugged daily.

12/22/2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger The Stormin Mormon said...

No shit. Seattle is so friendly it's AMAZING that anything gets done. It's like Canada light...

12/22/2006 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think you'll be okay as long as you're still smushy at heart.

was it a square bagel?

12/23/2006 3:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous makes a very compelling sales pitch.

12/23/2006 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Joefish said...

Chicago is a little like that too. Keep to yourself. Don't look at anyone. Don't smile.

12/25/2006 1:54 AM  

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