Sometime, during my recent New York trip, I ended up on a street corner in the rain, an hour late for a lunch meeting, clutching a broken phone, and crying.
What happened next, wasn’t pretty either. I stole a cab from some old women. Swore at a cab driver and then had dry chicken salad (read: four thin slivers of chicken laid out on seven lettuce leaves) at a fancy restaurant where women wore pastel and winced at me through botox-laden cheeks.
This is where I tell you that I hadn’t eaten since 7pm the night before. I was running on four cups of coffee and righteous indignation. And when I finally got into the hotel room, ripped off my spanx and rebooted my phone, I sobbed into the scratchy hotel bedspread. Working at home with a toddler (who refuses to toddle) is nothing compared to keeping your eyeliner on all day.
The next day, when I told this story to an editor over a very hearty lunch of Mexican food and booze (thanks, Brian!), he said, “Congratulations, you are a New Yorker.”
But, I think I’m just a putz.
Two days later, I was back in my spanx, my phone working, and eating breakfast with strangers. I, then, shared a stage with some really lovely, high-profile women. After that, I heard Katie Couric speak and I met an awesome dude, who regaled me with stories of making movies with Spike Lee. And I felt redeemed. I was back. This was it. New York, you don’t suck so much after all.
So, I took a break to check on my eyeliner and a friend, who had accompanied me to the bathroom, told me I had something in my teeth.
I grimaced into the mirror. There were four small black seeds dotting my lower front teeth. Sesame seeds. Sesame seeds from my breakfast. Sesame seeds vintage 8am.
“WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SOMETHING!” I shouted smacking her in the arm.
“I thought it was tooth decay and I didn’t want to embarrass you.”
I rinsed out my mouth. And walked out the door to try again. And then, again.
New York is that pretty girl who is mean because she can be. Because she can break your heart and leave you on a rainy sidewalk with a broken phone, broken umbrella with your eyeliner running down your cheeks. She can make you drop the F-bomb in front of babies and steal from old ladies, but ultimately, you forgive her, because you look up and she takes your breath away.