Between time with my family this past week and traveling back to NYC on New Year’s Eve, I’ve been a bit too busy to come up with anything interesting to say about the new year of 2014 (but if you missed my Thanksgiving and Christmas posts, anything I’d write now would be in a similar vein). So instead, here’s an anecdote from last New Year’s Eve.
I’m a friendly person. This sometimes means I’m one of those people who strikes up unlikely conversations. On New Year’s Eve 2012, my unlikely conversation happened in the bathroom at Penn Station. I’d just gotten off a 7.5 hour train ride and was about to get on the subway for nearly an hour to get home, so I was willing to make the time to stand in the bathroom line. The woman in front of me, a slightly shorter than me (harder than you’d think) woman about my age, looked at me, and I made the mistake of smiling. I’ve been in NYC for years now and I still haven’t mastered the cool, indifferent gaze.
Encouraged, she asked me if I was in the city for the ball drop at Times Square. I managed to swallow my real response (“No chance in hell”) and instead mentioned that I live here. She was going to Times Square and was a little worried about the crowds and her own safety. I reassured her that there must be a fair amount of police presence and then asked if she was meeting friends. She wasn’t. I said something vaguely reassuring, the line moved, and that was that. Here’s hoping she enjoyed herself. You couldn’t pay me to go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Okay, maybe you could. But it’d have to be a lot. Because not only is it crowded, it’s cold.