I’m GLAD You Were Bitten

Filed under living in new york sucks so hard, my uber-confrontational personality, super furry animals

I was on my way up to Kamran’s apartment last night after the first meeting of my bowling team. In the elevator was a guy about my age with one earbud and a Chihuahua on a leash.

(I have to mention the leash part, because people in Kamran’s building love to let their dogs loose in the elevators, which I of course find extremely fun but Kamran finds kind of annoying, as he’s allergic to anything cute.)

Across from me was a slightly older woman who reminded me of an even uglier version of the detestable designer Ivy Higa from this season’s “Project Runway”. They were both looking at the floor. The Chihuahua came to sniff my jeans, and I said, “Hello!”, which usually inspires dog owners to chat with me, but this guy continued to stand quietly.

We were still waiting for our elevator doors to close when the elevator across from us opened up, and an elderly lady and her dog stepped out. It seemed like some sort of Beagle mix to me, small and kind of dopey-looking, and it made a beeline for the little Chihuahua. The lady let out her leash a little so the dog could come over to us, and the two pets sniffed each others’ noses adorably for a second until . . .

The icky woman across from me suddenly said, “Okay, I need to fucking GET OUT OF HERE. I can’t handle this,” and began jabbing at the button that closes the doors. The older lady quickly gave her leash a tug, and the two dogs were pulled apart.

I thought maybe she was in a real hurry or something, but even so, I was pretty grossed out by her display. As our doors began to close, I said, “Woooooooooooow. That was really . . . angry.” The woman just stared at the floor.

The guy with the Chihuahua said, “She was bitten by a dog.”

I said, “Oh, you two are together?” in what I’ll admit was a disgusted voice, and he said, “No, but she just told me that.”

I had no idea how to respond. I mean, I can be the queen of irrational fears when it comes to spiders and weird things at the bottoms of swimming pools, but I couldn’t help thinking this woman was dumb. It’s one thing to be afraid of some rabid 80-pounder baring its teeth at you, but this was a CHIHUAHUA politely sniffing things. GET A GRIP and go get yourself another elevator.

We got to the guy’s floor a second later, though, and I cheerfully said, “Goodnight!” as he exited, and he completely ignored me, so maybe it really is me who has no idea how to act in public.


  1. Jack says:

    Actually, Chihuahuas are known to have a bad temperament and do attack when pissed off. Although, apparently, according to Wikipedia this can be resolved with proper training (no duh!). It sounds like this guy’s Chihuahua wasn’t too territorial and anti-social though, if it came over to sniff your jeans and seemed to get along with the other dog.

    But yeah, you don’t really have a good understanding of how to act in public. I mean, you greeted with a “Hello” and then parted ways with a “Goodnight”? Who does that??

    • Wow, I had no idea you were such the dog whisperer.

      I love that when you mouseover that link, the very cutest baby Chihuahua imaginable is shown. Thank you for supporting my case.

      I thought my Ohio sense of decorum had rubbed off by now, but I guess I still have 1950s notions of how people should act in elevators. The guys in “Mad Men” always make polite conversation, even with the office tramps.

  2. Bob Dole says:

    So, how long have you been living in NYC, and you’re still trying to be friendly to people in elevators?

    Honestly I love dogs, but I can totally understand people not liking them. And I don’t think it’s fair to assume people do like them… So what if you decided to boot it out the elevator?

    • The problem is that 1/4 of the people in NYC are from Ohio, so 3/4 of the time I get dirty looks that make me feel horrible, but 1/4 of the time, people are so friendly that I forget how mean the other people are. I’m the sort of person who responds to rewards like that way too well.

      I don’t exactly think it’s fair for people to assume everyone likes dogs, either. In fact, it genuinely makes me a little bit mad when people go crazy petting their dogs in the elevator and get animal germs all over Kamran. However, when the dogs are just quietly standing nose-to-nose, you’re a real tool if you get upset.

  3. Serial says:

    It’s not like the ugly lady had to touch the dog or anything. She was inconvenienced, for a moment.

    And as the owner of an asshole dog who tries to bite people and children all the time, I have to attest to the fact that not all dogs can be saved by good training. Like people, some dogs were just born assholes. Some very good parents have raised jerks. And some well trained dogs will still have issues.

    And yes, that mouseover chihuahua is edible. Mmmmm

    • I would love to see how much of her ankle that little guy could’ve fit in his teeth.

      It’s funny that no matter how many bad things you say about your dog, I still have this fantasy of him really liking me and therefore find his shenanigans totally charming. I picture him as the sort of cool but sometimes-assholish friend everyone either loves or hates.

      Just like when I knew I was going to meet Kamran’s friend Dustin’s cat, Puff, and was told that she hates everyone. I just knew she’d like me, and then she came right over to me and let me pet her, and I was like, “Boo-yah, bitches.” And then Dustin came over a second later, scooped her up, and locked her in his bedroom. Turns out she hissed at me without me even noticing as soon as I opened my mouth.

      • Serial says:

        Yeah, she probably would love you. She loves *most* women. It’s dudes (especially those with beards and hats) and children who freak her out. Also people in motorcycle helmets, but those are so scary she doesn’t get aggressive, she just sprays fear stink and runs away.

  4. Michael Madden says:

    Awwwwwkward! Also, Ivy really IS detestable — good call.

    • So who ARE you into?

      I want Mondo to win just because he’s so cute, but I think Andy and Valerie are probably the best as far as my taste’s concerned.

      • Michael Madden says:

        I like Michael Drummond because he’s adorable and I’m a sucker for that… I’m totally shallow like that. (He reminds me a lot of Keith Bryce from season 5, a.k.a. Hottest Contestant Ever. He’s like Keith’s less-masculine little brother.) I like the other Michael too, mainly because everyone else keeps dumping on him, and he keeps winning despite that, which gives me a thrill; I love an underdog! Design-wise, nobody is really standing out for me this season, except possibly Andy. And, of course, Gretchen is evil incarnate; the best moment EVER was when Tim Gunn brought the hammer down on her. Mondo just kind of creeps me out.

    • Ryan Cordle says:

      I hate Ivy.

      • I’m sure it’s all in the “editing”. This show always produces a high-strung, know-it-all Asian villain, because its producers’ grandparents were victims of the Pearl Harbor attack.

        Or something.

  5. Jessica R. says:

    That’s strange. I usually find people with dogs (especially dogs on leashes) to be very friendly. Maybe his chihuahua recently acted like BG’s and barfed on his bed.

    • Exactly! People here–especially older, lonely people–usually jump at the chance to talk about their dogs, and I’m happy to give it to them.

      I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and consider the barf, though.

  6. welfy says:

    I’m surprised by the guy being a jerk, too. Cat people are often weird and sometimes jerks, but dog people seem really nice for the most part.

    I’m glad you act nice to people. I think after reading your posts I sometimes get scared that if I go to NYC people will be mean and I’ll cry. :^P I like to think I’m tougher than that though. I constantly have people pissed off at me at work–probably because I’m taking their money from them for fines. Today I had the kind of guy who made me glad we have a glass window between us because I thought he was going to reach through and strangle me!

  7. No. It is NOT you.

    (You know I’d tell you. I love to instruct people on how they should behave.)

    Everybody in this story except for you, the old lady and the dogs acted like an jackwagon, to quote R. Lee Ermey.

  8. Tracey says:

    You KNOW how I feel about dogs (and the idea of being in an elevator with leashless ones makes me too tense for words), but this lady’s Ivy-ness makes me agree with you that bad things should happen to her.

  9. Cristy says:

    I think you did just fine, and I would love to have you as an elevator-mate if Abby and I lived in that building. She’d probably be too active for some antidog folks, but she’s completely (overly) friendly.

    That lady sounds like she just flipped a switch. Wow.

  10. Ash says:

    When I was a kid, I one time got SURROUNDED by dogs all barking loudly at me and then got bitten by one of them. Most dogs don’t get leashed in the Philippines. They run around looking for tiny 6 year olds to terrify. So I used to avoid certain streets because our neighbors decided it was wise to leave their dogs out on the street. What’s weird is that I thought this was completely normal, since I was used to this kind of thing. What’s even weirder is that, as you know, I LOVE dogs now. So maybe that woman really just needed to get over herself.