Monday, April 1, 2013
A SIDEWALK HIT-AND-RUN WITH A SUITCASE
When I told my daughter Dorri about the following experience, she said, "Mom, that's a perfect story for The New York Times column 'Metropolitan Diary.'" So I sent it in, and it was published today. Here's the story:
Walking along the crowded lunch-hour sidewalk on Madison Avenue in January, I felt something unexpected on the top of my right foot. I looked down at a "wheelie" rolling off my shoe, being pulled along briskly by a well-dressed woman, eyes straight ahead, oblivious of where her suitcase had just been.
Like hit-and-run drivers who don't notice the bump of the person they ran over, she hadn't noticed the interference in her bag's progress.
She rushed along. I walked at a slower pace, limping a little, but a block later we were next to each other at the traffic light. I turned and said pleasantly, "You might want to keep closer track of your suitcase. It ran over my foot."
I expected, as she saw my gray hair and the evidence that I had about 30 years on her, "Oh, I'm so sorry, were you hurt?" Silly me.
What I got was this stern reproof: "You need to watch where you're walking!" Barely taking a breath, she asked, "Were you behind me or in front of me?" "Behind." (I had been next to her until she elbowed her way in front.) "Well," she said, clinching her case, "You need to be more careful. I don't have eyes in the back of my head!"
"You're very good at not taking responsibility," I said, and was amused when, taking this as a compliment, she said, "Thank you." And the light changed.
When the young man next to us raised an eyebrow in her direction, then rolled his eyes and grinned at me, I enjoyed sharing this moment with a stranger and was reminded why I love New York.