It took me an hour and a half to get home from West 23rd Street. Ninety minutes. But before I recount that part of my day, let me back up.
I met Eileen, Annisha and Gina B. for brunch in Soho at noon. We stayed there for four hours. I love how conversation at brunch has no rules. We talk about anything and everything. It's so refreshing, frequently hilarious and always a good time. The bartender, a friend of Annisha's and obviously entrigued by our incessant laughter, pulled up a chair for awhile. I learned that he lives just five blocks from me. The waitress brought out a pitcher of sangria on the house, and suddenly it was 4 p.m.
After brunch Annisha dropped Gina off on Houston and me at West 23rd, and then she and Eileen drove back over the river to Hoboken. I had my eyebrows threaded at Unique Threading Salon and then went to The Container Store on West 19th Street - my haven. I find a sense of meaning and purpose in there that I should find in a church. It's the immaculate organization.
I bought a 12-cube organizer for my closet, two air-tight Tupperware boxes and a sandwich-shaped container since I've started making sandwiches for lunch at work (trying to add whole grains to my diet).
On a crowded uptown 1 train from West 23rd Street, I was able to get a seat at 42nd Street. A man put his bag in the seat next to me instead of sitting down or offering the seat to another passenger. At 59th Street an older woman - but by no means elderly - got on the train. A few moments later she asked me if the bag was mine. The man turned to her and said curtly, "Ma'am, you look twice my age. Do you want to sit down?"
She smiled, trying to mask her shock and surprise, and said, "I am twice your age! Thank you!"
She sat down next to me and pulled out a Blackberry. When the man moved to the other side of the train, I said to her, "I don't know how old you are, but you don't look twice his age. You look fabulous."
And I meant it. In fact, as I said it, I wondered privately if she had had any work done. Her skin looked great. Her makeup was well-applied, and she had on a furry hat and an outfit that looked expensive.
She smiled back at me and said, "He was a might rude, wasn't he? But aren't you so cute. I'm glad I got to sit next to you."
She exited the train at 103rd Street and flashed me a fabulous smile.
At 125th Street, the train was delayed. After half a dozen announcements regarding a smoke situation at 145th Street and FDNY investigations, I lugged my stuff off the train and waddled with my bags to the bus stop. I waited through two buses since they were full of fellow subway rejects.
When I finally got on a bus, I rode it one stop before I became irritated by all of the pushing and shoving. I stepped off the bus and walked the rest of the way to my apartment. It was less than a dozen blocks that I normally wouldn't hesitate to walk. With my heavy load, it was a struggle; however, I paced the bus block for block all the way to my building because of the delays caused by the overcrowding.
Now I'm in my apartment and relieved that Eileen, Annisha and Gina had already decided to bail on a birthday party that we planned to attend in the Lower East Side. I had been trying to think of a decent excuse to back out, but the bitter cold made a good enough one for all four of us.
Instead I will spend my evening organizing my shoes and vegging on my couch. I hate to admit that nothing would give me more joy tonight. It's a Saturday night in New York City, but I get a weird adrenalin rush creating organization in my life.
I'll blame it on the weather so I don't feel as lame!