Friday, September 30, 2005

Hiding from the Bodega Man

Everyone has that favorite lunch hour go-to spot. Maybe even two or three, so you mix it up depending on your mood that day. There's the gourmet buffet spot C and I go to on occasion, because it's far and away better and cleaner than any other I've seen. There's a Chipotle down the street from my office, just perfect for those 'real meal' days that are usually precluded by a hangover. And then there's the deli I go to for soup and sandwiches.

This deli is the all about Real. Real chicken soup with the schmaltz, like Grandma used to make it, and roast beef sandwiches you can barely put your mouth around. Lots of mayonnaise. No skinny-minny wraps with a sliver of meat inside. No 'low-carb' fare with strange-tasting salad dressing. This is my kind of deli, like the ones I grew up with, before the Paxes and Guy & Gallards moved in and changed the gustatory landscape of lunchtime with their ersatz deli fare.

So what's the problem? The cashier guy creeps me out. It began with small talk, whenever he rang up my orders. But now it has progressed to him giving me almost-loving looks, as he asks me more and more questions to the point of being intrusive. My name, where I'm originally from, what I'm doing over the weekend, etc etc. It’s like he's keep a dossier on me. In spite of my flashing the sparkler on my finger, either he doesn't know what it means or he's in denial. Sometimes, he clutches my precious sandwich in its bag, feverishly asking away, while I squirm and think "Dude! Gimme my sandwich!" Once he cedes control of the bag I scamper off, having paid my dues for the wonderful lunch I'm about to have.

Other women I know experience a similar problem. By virtue of patronizing a lunch place regularly- because they really like it - counter staff start having delusions of grandeur. They become overfamiliar, sometimes flirting, and sometimes...thus crossing the parameters of what's acceptable...sometimes touching the woman in question.

As a general rule, New York women do not like strange men touching them. The fact that you know what kind of dressing they like on their salad every day does not justify physical contact. But I know of one girl who will silently cringe as she allows the counter guy to kiss the back of her hand, because the Cobb salad is that good.

I don't kid myself that I'm special. I know my deli guy has to hold as many women possible for conversational ransom, using their lunch as bait. He's got to maximize that advantage that lies within the sour pickles and egg salad sandwiches. I could just be playing my part in contributing to that little bit of joy he gets out of this. It could be totally harmless, while my comfort level is being tested for the sake of a satisfied stomach.

But then again - ever see the movie One Hour Photo?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The early bird gets the germ

As I get off the train into Herald Square station, I see a lady in front of me holding a tissue. The way her hand is angled, I'm thinking "Ew." She looked like she was holding snotted up tissue. But a moment later I realized the true purpose of that tissue - to act as a barrier against germs, as she wrapped her hand in the tissue and held the railing as she glided up the stairs.


Let's think about this. Really seriously think about this. Given the amount of sneezing, coughing, spitting, hacking, not-washing-your-hands-after-the-bathroom, and all other unsavory germ-spreading activities that take place in this city of 8-million+ people, you're gonna have germs. It's inevitable.

Unless you plan on wearing a space suit to ward off all that bacteria, you're in the wrong place, sister. That itty bitty piece of Kleenex means nothing to New York City germs. Especially the ones from Staten Island.

Monday, September 26, 2005

This is just not an option

Hell hath no fury like me when I'm hungover. You could be packing heat and I won't care - if I'm even just a bit hungover, stay out of my way.

This morning, I'm hazily walking along the street with my shades on, having managed to make my muscles move me up the stairs from the subway. My destination point is Au Bon Pain for an Iced Coffee and their considerable displays of carb-laden delights. A lady is standing very importantly right in the middle of the sidewalk on her cell phone. With a luggage trolley. In the middle of morning rush hour. Big no no, as I warn all out-of-towners and newcomers to this city. She stretches her arms out to make some point to a friend, who is smartly sitting on a bench off to the side, and gets me in the face.

That's it.

I turn to her and roared: "Right in the middle of the sidewalk!!!" and before I can turn away, I see the horror spread across her face. I stomp off with a big smile on my face.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My man, the Crusader

I'm Jewish and C is not. Since my parents (namely my dad) want a Jewish ceremony, we're meeting with a cantor on Saturday about officiating for us.

My dad is very excited about this, and wonders constantly if he and my mother should come with us. With C not being Jewish, my father called me yesterday on his way to work, asking me, "Does he know we don't do idol worship?" Last night, I received another call at home: "Does he know the messiah hasn't come yet?"

I'm on the phone with my mother about whether they really need to come with us and she tells me, "You're both grown adults. As long as C doesn't hit the cantor over the head with a cross, he'll marry you."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Slamming doors

While I stood there being fitted into the dress, the pins felt like they were pricking my soul.

Monday, September 12, 2005

That sinking feeling

My mother likes to wipe the kitchen sink dry. Not just once or twice, but several times a day. It's a stainless steel sink and she doesn't like it when water shows on it. ??? It's a sink. That's what sinks do. They get wet.

No matter how many times in one day my dad or I walk up to wash some fruit, rinse our plates, or put dirty mugs in there, it's been wiped dry again afterwards. Over time, I have started to feel guilty for putting anything in that sink. For all the dedication and elbow grease she uses in keeping that sink dry. But it is kind of odd. I mean, maybe she walks around the house muttering to herself, "Gotta keep that sink dry, can't have it being wet, gotta keep that sink dry" and we don't notice it. Or the second I turn my back, little elves jump out and start swiping away at all the water drops. I really don't know.

But I do know I'm in trouble when I start doing the same thing in my home. That's the legacy my mother will leave me. Dry sinks.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

British dogs got no love

"Ah, you look like a very tasty American indeed. I shall pick my teeth clean afterwards, with one of your ribs."