Daily Archives: 11/11/2002

Brick House meets Immovable Object.

It’s a bizzaro heat and rain day today. Now, I love the humidity, because I’m a weirdo from the south. And I love the rain, because it’s wet, and breaks up the humidity, and it washes the streets clean, and it scrubs the air, and I’m a geek, so I love knowing how the water runs through a watershed when it rains, and I love knowing that reservoirs are filling and wetlands are forming, and acting as giant sponges. I love all of that. I don’t so much love being in NYC during the rain.

Today I was heading back to the office with my lunch, and this little man with an umbrella nearly as wide as he was tall was walking towards me. His umbrella was so large, and so red. He was chattering on his cell phone, and as I came abreast of him his umbrella whacked mine. It whacked it! I spun around and stared after him. There weren’t many people on the sidewalk, and I guess I could have moved aside for him, but I must have underestimated the small mans size.

Then I thought as I walked away, I should have yelled! Shouted! Yelped! I had a full body flinch, and it’s a known fact that in NYC the silent killer is umbrellas. I react sharply and suddenly to my cell phone going off in my pocket (well, it vibrates, and it startles me!) and I should cultivate that sudden reaction for when people whack me (and my umbrella) as we walk past each other in the street.

But then I imagined what it would look like if I did yell – it’s raining, not too hard, and tall me (with my little pocket sized black umbrella), walks past short man (with his huge, red, red, red, umbrella). We pass each other. He whacks me with in the umbrella as he talks on his cell phone, and continues walking down the street. I reflexively wince away from him, and yell. Maybe I’ll yell a word, maybe “hey!” or “ouch!” or maybe it would just be a loud “aaaah!” noise. I’d stop short, spin around. And stand there yelling at him as he walked on down the street. Maybe the person on the phone with him would ask what that yelling noise was – and maybe they wouldn’t.

See, I’m invisible here in NYC. It’s hard for me to understand why, I think I’m a pretty obvious person. I’m just over 6’ tall in my shoes. I have wild red hair. I look people in the eye. I have a pink and white face. My hair is so wild that I must repeat myself: I have wild red hair. But no one ever looks at me, unless it’s summer, when my clothes are skimpy and I encounter the “privileged male gaze.” They walk right into me in the street. I can be on a crowded sidewalk, walking towards a group of people 2 or 3 abreast, and they won’t move but will walk into me. But, that’s ok. Once, in high school, some guy walked into me. He bounced off of me and landed on his keyster in the middle of the hallway. You see, I’m a brick house. Yaow.

Last night Matt and I had our very special anniversary dinner – we had great Italian food, and then he gave me the best present ever: the Crossroads DVD. It’s my first DVD even! He’s got a real knack for finding things that I secretly want (cowboy hat, Britney Spears movie) but that I wouldn’t really buy for myself, and getting them for me. He’s so awesome. AND, he watched it with me! And sang along during the special “Sing along with Britney” karaoke feature at the end! If I weren’t in lurve before…