Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Overrated: Being Nice to Strangers in NYC.

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After seeing the movie Flight 93 about a week ago, something came over me. Pathetically enough (and I’ll have to say this quickly), IfeltlikeIshouldbenicertopeople. Wow.

You know how it is when you see a movie wherein people are dying without saying goodbye to their loved ones? You accidentally put yourself in their positions and thus, accidentally become compassionate. Even more—you accidentally feel guilty. That’s kind of how it was. I started speaking to myself as if releasing some inner-Existentialist, whom I didn't even know existed:

-“Why am I so rude to Construction workers? They’re people too.”
-“I shouldn’t get so stressed when someone cuts me off on the sidewalk.”
-“It’s okay that bums pee outside of my door every morning. They have to pee somewhere, right?”
-“I should call my mother more often, and my grandparents and my sisters too.”
-“I should pray…or at least start thanking someone for my nice apartment, my job and natural wit & charm.”
-“I should be more humble”

So anyway, I followed these thoughts with an old mantra I used to chant to myself (I put the mantra in storage after moving to New York): “It’s easier to be mean than it is to be nice. Challenge yourself.”

Being a bitch truly is a cop out; it’s the road most traveled in New York. This movie compelled me to take a leap of faith into the unknown. To make a sacrifice. To challenge myself. Hell, to be nice.

So, I tried it. I said hello to a stranger in the supermarket. I let someone else go through the turnstile before me at the subway station—although it was obviously my turn—and I was polite to the snot who works the checkout counter at Zabar’s (to date, my biggest feat).

Then came Saturday. I was walking down one of NYC’s extremely crowded sidewalks behind a family of 4 who insisted on walking in a horizontal line. Slowly. I couldn’t take it. I yelled, “Why must you insist on creating a moving wall?!”

It felt so good that I’ve decided to give up the nice thing. Sometimes people just need to be told where they can shove it. I’ll still call my family and give thanks and all that, but you won’t catch me being polite to strangers who are being inconsiderate of me. After all, that chick who went through the turnstile ahead of me? Umm, yeah, she was cutting in line. Bitch.

5 comments:

angelina said...

oh, thank God you came full circle...for a mintute there, you had me. you had me real good.

Gigi said...

I would never let you down darling! Bitches unite...

team gingerbread said...

Yeah, I've tried being nice, but working in the world's biggest mall takes its toll on anyone.

I've taken to just strutting through the middle of family photo ops because let's face it, my time is more important because I'm on my way to work, and not taking a picture of a pirate ship/bridge/baby penguin/whathaveyou

Slinky Redfoot said...

did they react, or were they just looking up at the buildings, all those wonderful, big, big buildings....

bufflo said...

Gigi is nice in real life. She only plays a bitch on tv (the internet).