Personal Day

I admit that I often get quite nostalgic for Brooklyn, though I’m never really sure why. Was it the city itself? The apartment living? The long commute to work? The crowds? mmm… the restaurants? Nah, we have really good restaurants in Portland, so I’m not missing that.

Whatever it is, ultimately it represents an important part of my life. My early-mid 20’s. I had my first real jobs, my first real life outside of my family, my first real relationships. Big stuff. All in Brooklyn.

Naturally, it wasn’t all great. In spite of that, I have a tendancy to gloss over that whole period of my life. “Wasn’t it so great? I was young, carefree, everything was fun and pretty and wonderful and easy, etc.” When in reality, it was just as difficult and sucky and stressful and ugly as every time in life can be. My job was awesome, yet also drained my soul day by day in the way that working for a huge corporation will do. I loved riding the subway, but I also couldn’t wait to not have to ride the subway anymore. (I’m remembering in particular the woman who was essentially spooning me one afternoon while also holding my hand on the pole instead of just the pole. That sounds more sexual than it actually was. It was really that she just had no concept of personal space and was insulted when my friend asked her to get off of me. Good times.) Anyway, thank god that’s how my memory works. Mix up the good and the bad, and what comes out at the end is mostly just the good. And the funny.

So when I read things about NY, like about the tornado that touched down in Brooklyn yesterday, it brings me right back to living there. Cassie said it well, days like this are hell in the city. When you’re on the train and it suddenly gets stuck, all you can think about is how you want to get off that train. And that’s exactly what the other 150 people in your car are thinking. Only, you’re all stuck together. And some of you smell. And others of you are eating chicken salad out of a baggie with a plastic fork.

The best scenario is when the train gets stuck and you haven’t gotten on it yet. “Oh, mass flooding? Bummer. Guess I’m going to be late for work. I’ll call that in.”

“Hi, boss? Yes, it’s Tonya. The F train is down and I don’t think it’s coming back up any time soon. I’m going to try to find a cab. I’ll be in as soon as I can.”

Only then, everyone in the city is trying to find a cab and you realize that instead of elbowing your way through a crowd to fight for a cab, what you really ought to do is just take the day off. Yes, that’s what you’ll do.

“Hi, boss? Yes, it’s Tonya again. Looks like it is going to take forever to get in town today. I could come in, but it probably won’t be until at least noon. What’s that? Yeah, I agree. It might be better to just try again tomorrow. I don’t have any meetings today anyway. All right then. Yup, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

And thus, the personal day was born. And all was good.

2 Responses to “Personal Day”

  1. neil Says:

    The problem when you’re your own boss is that whenver you want to call in, the line is always busy. If only you’d get off the phone so that you could get through to you to ask for a personal day!

  2. Clementine Cassie Says:

    Remember standing on the packed subway, the feeling of the sweat dripping down your back and legs, and realizing you have 20 more minutes until you get to work?

    Yeah. So glad not to have to do that anymore.

    Plus, at least your spooner was a chick. ‘Nuff said.