My boss and I drive up to New York City from Baltimore quarterly for work. I dutifully visit my accounts, talk strategy and sales, accompanied by a little entertaining and showing my appreciation. I love our customers up there. They are nice, humbled, intelligent. By far my favorite customers to visit are in The Big Apple.
But New York City…
It’s windy, smelly, crowded, dirty, dingy. I haven’t mastered the art of hailing a cab. I can only walk a few steps in heels. It’s scary, threatening, unforgiving. The people are cold, sullen, hard-faced.
So my boss and I trudged along together, me trailing a few steps behind as we made our way through the city for 2 days visiting clients. We talked business 9-5 and socialized 5-?. We ate at Del Frisco’s (Amazing lobster mac and cheese), went and had laughs at The Comedy Cellar (comic thought I was a Russian Spy lol!), and saw Of Mice and Men (I Love Lenny forever) on broadway.
I’m old enough to know what my drinking capabilities are, and young enough not to care. That middle of the road age where tolerances change and responsibilities take over. I should have known that I could not drink the same amount of alcohol as my 200 lb. man partner in crime. The hours grew fuzzy, the alcohol went numb, and everything was funny.
The next morning we had an hour drive through New York that ended up being a 2 and half hour drive. It could have been the booze from the night before, it could have been a spring flu, it could have been car sickness, but, it was the booze. I started feeling REALLY sick. We were on the parkway now, no signs of a place to pull over if need be, no signs of a restroom, break station, nothing.
I’m that girl who has never burped, farted, or pooped in my entire life (I know, I know but it’s true).
“I’m going to be sick,” I told my boss. He looked at me like I might be joking, as if the humor of the night before hadn’t quite dissipated from the air around us. I told him he needed to pull over with a sense of urgency that only a person who is about to throw up knows.
“There’s no where to pull over, we are on the parkway.” He said calmly, only what I really heard was, “You’re screwed, don’t throw up in the cup holder please.”
I circled around in the front seat of his sedan nervously, green nausea coloring my once perfectly powdered face. He was pulling off on an exit now, but my mouth was already watering. I knew this wouldn’t end well. I rolled down my window and covered the outside of the door with remnants of whiskey and red bull. For a moment, I was mortified. Only momentarily. Cars had stopped in front of ours and behind, and I thought perhaps we had caused an accident.
A man ran to the car with a roll of paper towels, another woman with an unopened bottle of water, all asking if I was ok and how could they help. I was shocked by the kindness of strangers. They were strange, foreign, scary…and kind.
They restored my faith in humanity that morning. They didn’t know me, would never see me again, didn’t expect anything in return. Just a nice gesture. A kind act on an absolutely miserable morning, that I will never forget. So what you don’t know about New York, is despite the miserable, hard, knock-your-lights-out front they put on, it isn’t entirely true.
P.S. I still have my job