For example, when someone is walking slowly in front of me and I have somewhere to be (like my living room, in preparation for The Biggest Loser), I sometimes have to bite down on the inside of my cheek to keep from stepping on Slow Walker's heel, causing his/her shoe to fall off, and then picking up said shoe and hurling it to the other side of the street if only so Slow Walker will be forced to cross the road so I can cut a direct, speedwalk-friendly path to my couch.
Sometimes, after a really bad day, I envision myself in streetfights with various Manhattan cliches: Staten Island girl is going down because her earrings are too easy a target for ripping. Beautiful model won't have the energy to deflect my blows anyway due to malnourishment, but I'll avoid her bony elbows/knees by going for the face, which she's sure to protect at any cost.
Due to the social code, however, I refrain from acting out my rage. Today, however... Today, the day was MINE. At the gym, I signed up to mount an elliptical trainer at a prescribed time because my gym is small and fascist (but cheap). When my time rolled around, though, someone was still using my allotted machine. Now, I hate this scenario because it's always awkward. If I'm the one doing the scolding, I always hate having to initiate an unpleasant confrontation for something that the offending party should have been aware of anyway (namely, a clock and/or the concept of "time"). If I'm the one being scolded, I'm always a little miffed that my time has to be cut short because the person who went before me was an inconsiderate asshole who stayed on beyond his allotted 30 minutes. But I digress.
I trudged up to the elliptical trainer to look my foe in the eye. But, wait! This wasn't the usual Johnny Gymgoer I encounter at my decidedly unfancy Midtown gym. It was a former sorostitute, in the flesh. How did I know? Because she was WEARING A T-SHIRT THAT HAD HER SORORITY LETTERS ON IT. Phi-Beta-Gamma-Kappa-Whateva. Inside, I grinned an evil grin. This would be fun.
Conveniently, I was wearing a pink top so she couldn't be mad at me because for all she knew, I had been a sister myself. I plastered on my best Midwestern cheerleader smile and planted myself directly in front of her, "Hi!," I said. "I've got this one at 6:30."
She peered down at me from beneath a blond ponytail, her flawless moon face clearly displeased. "At 6:30?"
"Yep!" I said, smile intact, and I stood my ground -- stood right there so she would back away from the elliptical as soon as humanly possible. Oh, she got a few more revolutions in, all right, but she left, and I was happy. It was a small victory in the great New York war of entitlement vs. hard work, of lemming vs. thinking I've created in my head.
Moral of the story: If you've lived in New York long enough to be the proud owner of a second-rate gym membership, you should know not to wear your sorority letters anywhere in this town.
She didn't deserve to walk these city streets, let alone commandeer an elliptical trainer.
P.S.: I really liked this blog entry today. (via Gawker)