Monday, November 16, 2009

The Worst of Both Worlds

I'm trying out something new. When people ask me where I live, I am going to stop qualifying my response with, "but we live three doors away from Port Chester" and instead just say "Greenwich." If someone chooses to imagine me in a 5000 square foot mcmansion with stable, so be it. In fact, people might be nicer to me if they thought I had an obscene amount of money, and I think one of those self-help fads suggests that you act as you would like to become and given I would like to become a person with obscene wealth, perhaps this is the first step.

However, admitting to others that I live in Greenwich catapults me to a demographic to which I never thought I would gain entry: B&T. I am now a member of the Bridge and Tunnel class. I must take a bridge to reach Manhattan. This was clear to me on Saturday night when devoted partner, Amy, and I finished dinner at Melon's and we walked to our parked car to return home. Not because we had to drive home - when we lived in Manhattan we would frequently take the car to Brooklyn - but because of the manner in which we hailed the cab for Amy. Back when I lived here, I was very conscientious about cab priority. I tried to never intentionally poach another person's cab because of the batshit crazy it made me when someone poached mine. And who were the frequent poachers? Bridge and Tunnel people, smacking their gum and teasing their hair while they wedged their spandexed behinds into my cab. There was a fine cold mist that had developed between downpours and the cabs were hard to come by. We staked out a corner so that we could find a cab going in either or two directions, and we waited. When a cab saw us, we heard the people across the street to our south yelling for it, and ignored them. When the cab pulled up, we ushered Amy into it.

This might seem normal to you. However, in my old life, I would have known whether or not the people to my south had been there before me and if they had, I would have given them my cab - call it my nod to karma. But now I just didn't care. I needed to get Amy into the cab so we could get into our car and get home. I couldn't tell you if we legitimately hailed that cab, or if we were cab poachers, but I do know that Manhattanite Yelena would have know the difference.

As I stomped around the neighborhood of my youth on Saturday, I realized that I did so with a sense of ownership coupled with the sense of disregard so often displayed by the visitor. I was the worst of both worlds. Unconsciously I was behaving with aloof entitlement (not to be confused with behaving as one or the other, which I am guilty of frequently), and this made me realize that transplants could be the most dangerous demographic of them all.

Imagine someone who knows where she's going and what to expect when she gets there AND doesn't care about making local enemies in the process because she doesn't live there? It's really a fearsome thing. I always attributed the rudeness of the out-of-towners to their indifference of how they were perceived BECAUSE they only came in once a week and the people they were rude to one night would never be people they saw again, whereas we who lived here ran a greater risk of running into our victims daily. But I don't live here anymore. I don't have to worry about running into people at the dry cleaners. I'm not sure this is a power I'm ready for.

Nopropos: first morning of singing civil disobedience was super satisfying, triggered by the third loud phone call in my train car.

No comments:

Post a Comment