Friday, December 29, 2006

Crowd Control

I am sick of all the damn people that have flooded my town for the holiday week. After yesterday, I am convinced that it is, in fact, the TOURISTS that are the rude people in NYC. Locals are quite nice and accommodating and only get riled up because some damn out-of-towner was acting like an IDIOT!

I worked a half-day yesterday, and took off at lunch to hang out and run around with my parents and sister for the afternoon. They got in on Tuesday and left today, so it was my last chance to spend time with them. I met my parents and Bubba at Rockefeller Center because they wanted to see the Big Tree, and then we were going to do a little shopping, maybe stroll up to Bloomies to look at their after-Christmas-ornament sale. I beat them to the rendevous point, which was the concourse level of 30 Rock, where they have some lunch places and a Starbucks and lots of tables like a mall food-court. It's also the way to get to the skating rink entrance. I figured I'd just plop my large-overly-pregnant self into a chair and wait for them, then we'd be on our way. There were GOBS of people already looking like they needed a nap from their stressed-out demeanors and sour they'd be doing this for HOURS. I realized that there was no way I'd be able to get a whole table for myself, as there were lots of other table-stalkers, so I started looking for just a CHAIR to sit in, thinking I don't need a table at all, I just want to take a load off and sit my body down for a few minutes. I start heading to a table that looks like they're getting up, when I get elbowed out of the way by a couple who then said 'WE WERE HERE FIRST!' I almost fell down, but managed to say "I just wanted a chair, take the damn table, and I hope you get heartburn for making a great-with-child preggo lady stand up! A pox on you AND your children!" Well, I didn't say that, but I really wanted to. I just shrugged at no one in particular, because no one was paying me ANY mind, and waddled over to the wall. They don't let you sit on the floor in Rockefeller Center, and I know this, but I though 'WTH, I DARE anyone to come and get me up!' So I slid to the floor, got out my cross-word, and proceeded to wait for Bubba and the 'Rents. The 2 security guards glanced over at me a few times and started heading my way, then realized the 'state' I was in and left me alone. Finally they both came over and asked if I'd like to find a seat and I said, in my sweetest voice, 'I'd LOVE to find a seat, but good luck getting anyone to give theirs up for a pregnant lady!' He kind of nodded sympathetically, told me to stay there, and he headed off. Bubba calls about the time the guy shows back up with a chair, and I tell him thanks, but I really was just waiting for someone, and he helped haul me off the floor.

Now, on my normal, everyday commute and trek through this great City, I usually have no problems with this pregnant state that I am in, and it's quite easy to get around (although it can be quite tiring). People on the subway can be kind of oblivious when hooked up to their ipods, but for the most part, when I say excuse me, they all hustle to get out of the way of the Big Giant Belly that is headed their way. And I will usually get a seat on the subway. I've even had offers from people to carry my bags, but I'm not that desperate. Yet. Bottom line, most locals that I see on a daily basis are all sympathetic to a pregnant woman trying to get around, and don't huff and puff that I'm going to slow, or glare at me as I try to move over so they can get by my huge belly. MOST of them give me a glance and a small, knowing smile, and the really brave ones ask when I'm due and wish me luck, etc. It's quite pleasant, really.

So, back to my original point of rudeness. The tourists seem to walk around the city thinking they own the place. That they are entitled to act this way because everyone else seems to. They fail to grasp that those of us who live here manage quite well by SHARING the limited space we do have! For example:

  • They bump into you on the sidewalk, when it's clear that I really CAN'T get out of the way without stepping off the curb into on-coming traffic, then they glare at you for the disruption, even though THEY were the ones walking 4-across on a crowded sidewalk!
  • They race for the seats on the subway, or if there aren't any, they REFUSE to move into the car and away from the door so others can get in! It's like they think they'll not be able to get OFF this crazy train once they are ON!!!
  • They stop on a dime in the middle of a crowded sidwalk, and then get irritated when you run into them.
  • And my favorite: they give you the look of death when you ask if they need directions somewhere. How dare I assume they don't know where they're going?! Like I'm going to steer them in the wrong direction just to amuse myself, or this is a diversion and my super-stealthy partner is currently picking their pocket!
Actually, that last one isn't a bad idea.

It's time for the rude tourists to leave and give me a last month to enjoy my city, albeit slower than before, before I become a mother and have a whole separate list of complaints about how people with babies/children are treated.


Bubba's Sis said...

That actually sounds like crowds anywhere - my first thought was Disney World. We have met the friendliest - and RUDEST - people there! They do all the things you listed. My biggest pet peeve is stopping right in front of you to look at a map, or whatever, and getting mad when you run into them!

You can teach Baby B! to pick their pockets while you give them directions.

tallgirl said...

I bet when you have the baby everyone will be super nice. I was really surprised how well people took care of me when I traveled with an infant. I don't remember any special care when I was pregnant.

C-Shock-N-Awe said...


Maybe you should go to work for the NYC tourism board. :)

I promise to do my best to not do any of those things when their in a couple of days.

C-ya then.