Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ready To Run

Yesterday, I ran twice while wearing nice shoes, a dress, and carrying two bags.  I ran to first catch the bus and later the subway.  An adult running to hop on public transportation may seem ridiculous anywhere else in America, but it’s a completely normal and daily occurrence here.  We sprint to catch buses, trains, cabs, rickshaws, or anything else with wheels.  We’re left with no choice when competing with hundreds of other people or relying on someone else to get us where we need to go. 

I once said that I would never run.  A lady only walks (and, I’m definitely a lady).  Except, now, I could probably enter field day at an elementary school and leave the kiddos in the dust. 

My morning routine is as follows… I briskly walk to the subway to warm-up for the energy I’m about to exert.  I get on the subway.  I step off the subway and immediately start to run to the bus stop.  I usually steamroll a few children, but can’t stop.  There’s no time.  I then fly around the corner of the subway entrance at a deadly speed.  I hit about 50 feet of open sidewalk and sail past storefronts.  Skirts, dresses, or high heels don’t slow me down. 

Penn Station is the running Mecca of New York City.  Businessmen with briefcases, fancy women in stilettos, and tourists toting suitcases run.  It’s total chaos at times.

I’ve watched Ben sprint two blocks in a suit to make the train.  I’ve had goodbyes cut short because the bus came early.  I’ve instinctually left family behind upon hearing an approaching rumble on the tracks.  I’ve seen elegantly dressed couples exit performances at Lincoln Center and dash toward the subway.  I’ve witnessed parents dragging their children down the street in attempt to make it on the train before the doors closed.  Nobody is immune to the need to run. 

So, consider this a friendly reminder for your next visit. Pack comfortable shoes and be ready to join in the races.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Ballad of the Country Girl

Last month, I thoroughly cleaned our apartment.  I rid our apartment of clothes, shoes, books, old paperwork, unused kitchen utensils, ripped wallets… I think you get the picture.  I ended my purging spree with two stuffed trash bags.  Not bad.

I left the bags behind the bed for two weeks to see if I changed my mind about anything.  And, I didn’t.  Ben only snatched one thing out of the bags – an old pair of camouflage shorts from college.  I wonder where he plans to wear them since foliage is pretty scarce in these parts.

I then hefted the bags to the Salvation Army store about a half a block from our house.  When I got home, I saw that one particular item had fallen out of the bags and didn’t make it to the Salvation Army… a risqué Country Girl Halloween costume.

I’m sure you’re thinking… where would I get a risqué country girl costume?  My mother.  And, my mother got it from, oh yes, my father, who, naturally, ordered it off the Internet for her.  Of course, the moment my dad gave it to my mom she hid it under the bed until she could pawn it on me during my next visit. 

I brought the Country Girl costume to New York where Ben enthusiastically received it.  Typical.  Except, when I tried it on (embarrassingly so), it didn’t fit.  So, I tossed it into the give-away bag. 

Magically, though, it slipped out.  The Country Girl costume just wouldn’t go away.  Did the same culprit who saved the camouflage shorts also save the Country Girl costume?  Hm.

Still, the Country Girl costume had to go because it took up unnecessary space in the closet.  I placed it in a plastic grocery bag and decided to drop it off at the Salvation Army on our way to church on Sunday.  I figured we could quickly sneak it someone else’s box and no one would ever know. 

Except, the Salvation Army was closed on Sunday.

But, an adorable old man was accepting people’s donations and reselling them outside the locked front door of the store.  Ben and I stood close by and quietly debated what to do.  I didn’t want to take the Country Girl to church (the picture on the front of the package made it pretty clear what it was), but at the same time, I didn’t want to give it to a sweet, elderly man trying to make a little extra money.   As we conversed, the old man shuffled over to us and gently asked, “Do you have a donation for me?”  To which, Ben and I replied in surprised awkward unison, “Yes!” 

I passed the bag to Ben (to lessen my part in it), and he handed it to the man.  He took the bag and walked away.  I started to say, “It’s for young people on Halloween…” But, then stopped.  Better to leave before he realized exactly what was in the bag.

After church, Ben and I walked past the old man busily selling stuff to an older lady.  Maybe, she bought the Country Girl costume.  Who knows?  Hopefully, someone, somewhere in New York City appreciates the rural-provocative-Country-Girl thing.  And, for his or her sake, I hope it works.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Feelin' It

Ben’s enthusiasm for things is initially intense, but then the enthusiasm quickly fades.  For example, whenever we make chili, he exclaims, “I love chili!  We should have it EVERY week.”  When we make meatloaf, he says, “I forgot how great meatloaf is.  Let’s make it EVERY week.”  Each time we do laundry, he says, “We should never wait to do laundry.  Let’s do it EVERY weekend.”
“… I love having no dishes in the sink.  Let’s do dishes after EVERY meal.”

“… My beard looks good.  I’m going to grow one EVERY winter.”

“… I enjoy getting up early and having a cup of coffee.  I’m going to do it EVERY day.”

“… I feel great when I get plenty of sleep.  I’m going to bed early EVERY night.”

“… I love your face wash.  I’m going to use it EVERY morning.”

Several Saturdays ago, Ben went for a run in the park.  He returned home and cried, “I feel fantastic!  I’m going to run EVERY day.”  Uh-huh.  I nodded encouragingly, but secretly doubted that he would run again within the month.  (And, I was right.)

Ben declares an undying allegiance to something new almost every week, and it’s always short-lived, which is fine with me.  I find it very entertaining. I pointed it out to Ben, and at first he denied it.  But, he caught himself exuberantly proclaiming his love for things so often that he finally acknowledged that I was right. 

He then exclaimed, “I can’t help it.  I’m very passionate about things. I’m a passionate person.  I’m going to passionate about something EVERY day…”