I have captivated all of my friends and family for many years with my dating and daily life stories. Thus, this blog is my opportunity to share these amusing and ridiculous anecdotes with anyone who is interested, bored with their life, passing time or just has the awesome, shit ass luck to run upon it by chance. If nothing else, you will be entertained…
I just spent two weeks in the SF Bay area and, upon returning, the contrast to NYC is stark. When I first arrived in SF, I was struck by how many homeless people there were. I have rarely been afraid in NYC during the almost 13 years in which I have lived here and I must admit that I had a few moments during my first 24 hours in SF when I was genuinely afraid. I think the homeless people in the area of my hotel significantly outnumbered the non-homeless population. I was staying near Union Square on the borderline of the Tenderloin – a name that I found odd at first but it really somehow suits the area and it painted the landscape a bit for me. However, as soon as I returned to NYC last week I noticed a couple things. There are fewer homeless people in New York City but the people who have homes are much more mean than they were in SF. Most people are extremely friendly and tolerant in SF. People SMILE in SF (I love to smile and do so as often as possible). Not so much in New York (apologies to my few dear wonderful NY friends). New Yorkers take pride in walking down the street and not looking one another in the eye. Head down and walk. NYC Mantra. The climate in SF is more friendly to all it seems especially at this time of year and it appears that the laws are much more homeless-friendly. Their signage is also extremely innovative – eg. “I’m not going to lie, it’s for booze.” I don’t know about you, but I am more inclined to pony up a few coins to someone who has put some effort into their marketing campaign.
When I left my house the first afternoon after getting back to NYC, my first interaction was with my dry cleaner who had torn my dress. Rather than apologizing he said “nothing lasts forever.” Really? Way to retain your customer. Thereafter, I got in a cab to go see the Allman Brothers and the driver screamed at me because I didn’t know the exact address. What is confusing about west 70 something and Amsterdam or Columbus? There are many, many more stories but tonight really hit home and made me realize that I do need to let others derive entertainment and pleasure from my crazy every day/night life.
I went to a networking event after a conference that I didn’t attend. Needless to say that I’m trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up but lately I have not been in any mood to network with folks in a business that I have no idea how I fell into. Back to that later but the event was good. Met some cool folks and ended up at a dinner. I have a small bladder. Goddamn it is all I have to say. I have learned more from bathroom visits than perhaps I have during my every day life. If any of my colleagues from dinner read this please remind me about the market research reality television show idea – it has to do with the ladies room.
So I went to the bathroom and therein began the rest of my evening. While I was in the restaurant bathroom I heard the absolutely most awful screeching sound from behind the wall behind me. It was an extremely high-pitched woman’s scream that almost surpassed my English Bulldog’s screech as I drove him from Phila to NYC after his total knee reconstruction. I walked out and asked the restaurant manager what that noise was. Busy on his iPhone he said he was too busy to deal. Instead of going back to my table, I turned around and walked into the hallway of the hotel that was, unbeknownst to me, attached to the restaurant and saw a crowd outside of the bathroom. I asked if these people knew what was going on. “No” in unison. “Are you her friend?’ “No” again. Why isn’t anyone doing anything I thought as I entered the bathroom honestly assuming I was about to walk into a horrible domestic violence situation but still in I went.
The screeching continued and I quickly walked into the last of three stalls on the right and saw a young Asian woman crouching on the floor to left of the toilet with the middle finger of her right hand stuck in the hole that you press to flush the toilet. Screeching. Blood. Running down her wrist a bit. Holy shit I thought. I have always had the ability to be calm in a crisis. Any crisis but my own that is. I screamed for the manager while I rubbed her back and repeatedly told her everything would be ok. A young guy came in with the maintenance man for the hotel who tried to pull her finger out. Super screeching from said girl. No this is not going to work I thought and said out loud. “Call 911 and get the fire department here!” So much for my networking dinner. I told the maintenance man that he needed to unscrew the front so we could look inside. He followed my instructions.
For the next 20-25 minutes, I sat on the floor and reassured this young Japanese girl that she was not going to lose her finger. The only two things she cared about were whether she was going to lose her finger and the fact that she couldn’t pay for the medical bills that might ensue. I still haven’t decided if this was a reflection of what foreigners think of our American health system or if she was just a very conscientious twenty-something tourist Japanese girl. That said, these were the only two somewhat understandable English phrases this woman could utter. Over and over. “No lose my finger” and “can’t pay for hospital” and I got it. And was on it. I am a make-shit-happen sort of person. I have built a career on this characteristic alone. God knows how many people heard her screeching – that is truly the only way to describe the sound and no one helped. Humans are so perplexing to me. I have never understood people who aren’t doers but are watchers. They sit on the sidelines and never make anything happen and perhaps that is a blessing for them. I wish I could be one of those people at times but I can’t just walk on by.
I continued to rub her back and reassured her that she wasn’t going to lose her finger while I yelled at the slow-as-a-glacier staff to get the fire department in there to cut the metal around her finger. She thanked me over and over. I just didn’t want her to lose her finger. She was pretty and young and god knows this was a vacation she would always remember. Finally the police department arrived and then the fire department. I was asked if I was a relative. I solicited a staff member of the hotel to get one of the female colleagues that I didn’t even know at my table and instead in walked my new favorite person of the night. Greg. At least I have a witness to the weirdness that my bathroom trip had turned into. Long story longer….I almost got arrested for just trying to help. The girl kept her finger and was taken away in an ambulance while her bizarre friend asked for my card, thanking me profusely. Thank god I didn’t have one on me. Where was she when we needed her?
I went back to my table where everyone had continued to eat and have some sort of pleasant conversation I am sure. No one on my end of the table had any idea of the night I had just had and I think they were a bit overwhelmed by my brief synopsis of the story. They had finished their dinner. My elevated pulse and the fact that I couldn’t get the martini that I really wanted and had to settle for really bad, warm chardonnay really sealed the deal. In reality, I am glad I spent the night in the bathroom and I helped someone that no one else would help. And that makes all the difference to me. I am now sitting on my floor having that martini while I write this however….
So this is my life…and this is just the beginning.