I got to Grand Central a little late yesterday morning, and there were a few too many people crowded on the platform. I took my place behind them and pulled a magazine out of my bag to take my mind off the heat and, you know, my loathing of all New Yorkers, when this girl not much older than I am walked right up and crammed herself and her giant duffel bag into a space in front of me that should’ve fit no more than a quarter of her. I let it go for a moment, not wanting to break a sweat, but when the train pulled up, I realized I wasn’t going to get a spot if I didn’t act fast. So I took one step to the side and one step forward and then outright pushed the girl back to make room for myself. She let out a huge scoff, I half-turned my head and smiled in victory, and she moved to a different line of people to try her luck there.
Later at work, I called a deli to order food for a training class that was taking place in the office and asked, “Can you have it here no later than 11:45? I won’t be available to sign for it after that.” The woman assured me it was no problem, and I got a call from the deliveryman that I should come to the lobby and sign for it at 11:44. Pleased that they were true to their word, I imagined myself thanking the guy for his promptness and giving him an outrageously large tip. But when I got downstairs to the lobby, there was no one there. And I realized that the guy had called me a few minutes ahead of time, figuring it’d take me a while to get downstairs, NOT REALIZING THAT I HAD A LUNCH DATE 80-SOME BLOCKS UPTOWN AND NEEDED TO ACTUALLY LEAVE ON TIME. So when he arrived, I didn’t smile politely, I didn’t thank him, and I slashed that tip to a shell of its former self.
Then yesterday evening, I was walking toward the exit of CVS when this very large woman stepped right out in front of me from a side aisle. She was wearing a huge orange tunic that screamed, “I am fat! Pay attention to me!” I sped up a step to pass her, but she cut me off and then walked as slooooooooooooowly as possible down the aisle, listening to her iPod and pretending not to notice that I was patiently waiting for her to git goin’. Finally, she stopped and turned to look at something on one of the shelves, and I took my opportunity to rush past her, being careful to brush against her bag and sort of push it off her shoulder. She said, “Jesus!”, but I kept on walking in my seersucker dress, swinging my white leather clutch and generally feeling superior.
But then I left the store and thought, Maybe these people don’t see me as the Robin Hood of Rudeness that I am. Maybe they don’t understand that I’m robbing from the rude-rich and giving to the rude-poor. (Namely myself.) Maybe they think I’m just being plain obnoxious like I think they are. Maybe they’re trying to teach me a lesson.
But surely not, right?