It is a sad fact that if I’d been head pilgrim, we’d all be huddled around Plymouth Rock to this day. Actually, that’s not true; we’d simply have stayed put until AAA opened, and I could get them to Triptik the journey west. I like maps. I like plans. I like being CAREFUL. Carolyn and our travel mates? Not so much.
Exhibit A.) Our dear friend Darla, who quickly became pack leader of five women with cameras. Not only did Darla drive an SUV in NYC, laying on the horn when necessary, she strode around Manhattan like a native, crossing on red lights, skirting Taxis while making sure we were all still with her and hollering, “Hey! We’re walkin’ heah!” at the traffic. She was fearless. And focused. The rest of us were more easily distracted. “Herding cats,” I heard her mutter on several occasions as she kept us moving through Times Square. Thank you, Darla.
Exhibit B.) Carolyn’s last post re: the subway turnstile issue. She left out a couple of wee details. True, the rest of us looked worried as she attempted to hurdle into the subway– because half a dozen NYC residents were hollering, “NO!” at her. “Carolyn, you can get arrested for that,” someone in our party pointed out. (I forget who…someone law-abiding. Su? Ginger?)
Here’s where Carolyn’s recollection of the situation and mine differ slightly. She remembers attempting to follow the rules, behaving like the proper small-town wife and mother she is. “Forgive me, officer, but I must squeeze ever-so-sweetly past your barrier here.” I remember her responding to the you-could-spend-the-rest-of-your-vacation-behind-bars caution by growling, “Oh yeah? Well bring it, NYPD! Bring it! I spent my last 2.50 on that ticket; I’m getting on that train. Hold those doors!!!”
She was intrepid. She became a New Yorker before my very eyes. I was so inspired by Carolyn and Darla, I decided that I, too, want to embody that New York state of mind. Typically, I stand politely in line, await my turn, let others push ahead. I am my mother’s daughter. Now I have a young woman of my own to raise. We put a premium on politeness in our house, but maybe we’re a little too…soft. Shapeless. Plus, I’ll be fifty in October; it is high time I become bold.
For my personal NY epiphany, I chose…flippin’ the birdie. It’s not exactly tearing up Manhattan in a Pathfinder or jumping turnstiles while challenging, “Bring it, NYPD!” but it is a start. I used the birdie many times–always in our hotel room and always with great zeal. “Su, baby, you needs the blow dryer? Well, so do I, here’s a birdie for yuz!” “Ginger, I’ll take that extra pillow from ya, sugar. Birdie, birdie, birdie!” The girls didn’t seem to mind; they realize I have a long way to go. And, no, I do not intend to teach my eight-year-old the birdie. But I do hope to lead her through the streets of NYC someday, bold as brass, just like her aunties.
Su, Darla, Ginger, Carolyn–thanks for NY!!!!!