You probably know by now that I hate people who don’t conform to the sorts of etiquette rules that keep society running smoothly, such as waiting for me to leave the train before you enter and giving a friendly wave when I let you turn ahead of me in heavy traffic lest I ram my front end into your brand new BMW.
My big pet peeve as of late are people who walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk. I used to assume, to keep myself sane, that all of the people doing it were from countries where they foolishly drive on the wrong side of the road, but I eventually realized that it’s just a product of living in a city where there way too many people who think they’re too important to follow the crowd and leave space beside them for people to pass.
Kamran thinks I should give couples more leeway when it comes to taking up the entire sidewalk on some of NYC’s teeny streets, but he and I always make a single-file line when we see someone coming so as to not rub it in their face how happy we are holding hands as we walk to the grocery store and how pathetic and meaningless they are as unattached folk. But no. I do not give them more leeway. And I actually hate them more than single people on the wrong side of the sidewalk, because between the two of them, one should have the decency to move aside.
Anyway, I’ve begun implementation of a new method to combat the sidewalk-hogger. I call it The Heedless Gape. When I see someone coming at me on the wrong side of the sidewalk, I simply keep walking at my desired pace and look off into the distance as if I see something so fantastical and all-consuming that other passersby don’t even register with me. Eventually, and usually with an angry huff, the offender will move aside so I can continue on in gawking glee.
I’ve considered what will happen if ever someone refuses to get over, and I’ve decided I’ll just patiently stand my ground until the other person gives up. And you know he’ll give up before I do, because the one advantage to being a very unimportant person in a city full of important people is that I have nowhere to go.