Sounds kind of like we are playing, ‘Let’s find out our porn star names’ or something, right?
While that would actually make a pretty cool porn star name, I did not grow up on Jaded Lane and my middle name is not Trust…
(It is a wonderful existence when you make yourself laugh so frequently. I never feel the need to watch comedians on TV. My crampy sides and bruised knees are self-inflicted humor wounds.)
(Tell me when you get the ‘bruised knees’ reference. And 3…2…1…Yes! KNEE SLAPPER! I kill myself. Honest to God, I do.)
Anyway, this post actually has zero to do with all of my ramblings above. In fact, I’m not even sure how to do a segue.
Although, to be honest, there is a connection. The truth is that, as you can see above, I am not a very cool person.
I am eager: The people closest to me in my life are here because I put myself out there and made it (ahem, abundantly) clear that I wanted them in my life.
I am honest: I believe this is evidence enough.
I am dorky: If the words above don’t prove it, I believe this story does.
I am trusting: This is obvious from this little tale. (Alright, this points more to the fact that my husband is trusting, but I am too. I swear.)
(I also swear I am going somewhere with all of this. Stay with me.) And I feel comfortable stating these characteristics because they don’t seem complimentary, necessarily, just factual. The same way I feel comfortable telling you that I was born in Maine or am right-handed. Or, like, I feel comfortable telling you that I am drop dead gorgeous.
In any event, the purpose of describing these personal characteristics is because I think we are, culturally, losing some of these traits. I know I, too, often realize that my reaction to something or someone is completely jaded and harsh. That sometimes my first instinct is NOT to trust. And maybe some of this has to do with where I am currently residing. I think New Yorkers can admit that as a whole they (We? Not sure I feel like a New Yorker yet.) can be pretty jaded. I mean, have you ever met an 8-year-old New Yorker? The word ‘precocious’ doesn’t even do them justice.
But a few incidents, in particular, since moving to New York have really highlighted the fact that people often don’t trust one another. Don’t have faith in each other. Assume the worst.
And this has, in turn, made me look at myself and try to analyze where I stand. I started to see that my edges were rusting with distrust and skepticism. Mind you, a healthy dose of skepticism is, well, healthy. But I tried to reel myself back to generally trying to see the good in others and give people the benefit of the doubt, because I was starting to lose that part of myself.
Okay, back on track, Annie. Back on track!
So, those stories…
Alright, so, other day I was about to head out on a road trip with my sons. Well, actually, it was technically a business trip, since I was traveling for one of my other endeavors. (Different from my blogging endeavor in that it is PAID! Wow!) I stopped to get gas before we got on the high way and realized that this station was one where you had to go inside in order to swipe a credit card. Well, I obviously wasn’t going to leave my sons alone in the car while I did that. (I said I am trying to remember to be trusting, not to be idiotic.) So, I took a twenty dollar bill and asked this other customer if he could please bring it to the clerk for me. He looked at me quizzically, so I explained that I had two babies in the car and didn’t want to leave them.
The man totally looked around behind me and into my car to check if I did indeed have any kids in the car. He saw the carseats (and some flailing legs) and gingerly took the money from my hands, still not looking certain and definitely not smiling, or responding verbally, other than to say, “Okaaaaaaaayyyy” with hesitation.
The whole time I could see his wife in the car looking at me with confusion and certainly as though she thought I was up to something.
But, I mean, what I could be up to? I just gave you twenty dollars, hoping that you don’t pocket it. And you have car seats of your own in that minivan. And a cross hanging from the rear view mirror. Can you really not comprehend being a mom alone in this situation? Are you really that cynical?
The more I thought about this scenario, the more it made me realize just how detached from humanity we have become. As I reached out for help and as I entrusted them with my money, their reaction was to assume I must have another agenda. I am not judging this couple in particular, but I think this says something about ALL of us. Because maybe I would have reacted the same way. Who knows?
The second incident occurred this winter when I was about 7 months pregnant. Because you have probably already used up your entire hour-long lunch break reading this post, I will try to shorten this story.
So, I had driven down to have lunch with my husband. After lunch, Carlitos and I walked back to the car, where it was parked on a pretty busy downtown New York City street. As I put Carlitos in his car seat he reminded me that I had promised him I would read him a story when we got back to the car, so I sat next to him (he was in the middle and I was in the seat behind the driver’s seat) and started to read. It was cold, so I shut the door. (Foreshadow much?)
Well, after I finished reading to Carlitos we were ready to head home. I went to open the door and realized I couldn’t. I tried and tried and tried. Suddenly I remembered.
Child safety locks.
You have got to be kidding me!
Well, I will just go over the seat in front of…Oh, hello there Xavi! You sure have created quite a large abode for yourself there! Alrighty then. There is no possible way I am fitting over this seat and into the driver’s seat. Oh, how embarrassing. I can’t believe people just saw me try to fit my fat arse and belly over this seat. (Yes, I even tried taking the head rest off. I eat disgusting amounts of food carry big while pregnant, okay?) Oh, wait. Nobody saw because nobody is looking. Thank goodness!
So I sat there and racked my brain. I couldn’t think of a single friend that was free and could come down and get me out. I considered calling 311.
I’d like to report a pregnant woman locked in the backseat of her car. …..Well, not an emergency, per se, I mean, that’s why I called 311, not 911. But yes, I think you should send someone to help her. Her blood sugar is probably low as well. Bring donuts.
This is going to be embarrassing, but I guess I have to. Let me just grab my…You’ve got to be kidding me! Hello phone. In my purse. On the floor. In the front of the car.
And while I am looking at the front of the car…is that orange paper I see? Are you freaking kidding me?? A ticket?!
Yes, obviously my meter ran out since I COULD NOT GET OUT OF THE CAR TO PUT IN MORE QUARTERS!
So, plan C.
I start knocking on the window. Just a little tap tap. I am sure someone will come right over and open the door for me from the outside. I mean, a lady and a baby in the back seat of the car. You’d help them out, right?
Wrong. So, so wrong.
If I remember correctly, I had to knock on that window for THIRTY + minutes! And by the end it was not a little tap tap anymore. I was banging on that window as hard as I could and looking eagerly out of the window, trying to make eye contact with everyone that walked by.
The worst part? Many, many people heard me knocking (I was about 2 feet away from them, so this isn’t shocking) and looked right at me and KEPT WALKING!
Oh, here comes a nice little old lady. Hi! knock knock knock Hello! Oh, you see me! Great! (mouthing the words) Please open the door! Please! Why aren’t you stopping?! Come back!
Men in suits. Young kids. Nuns. (Okay, no nuns walked by.) Other moms! (They really did walk by.)
Nobody stopped to see what was wrong. Why I was frantically banging on the window.
Nobody even stopped to laugh!
The only emotion I saw on peoples’ faces, if they even looked at me, was that of distrust. Like I was laying in wait for some fool to come help me and then was going to arrest them for being nice.
Finally someone saw me and actually paused. A young guy, and I have to admit, not exactly who I assumed would be the one to stop and help. And then he smiled at me. It was a nice smile, not necessarily creepy, but I realized that he thought he was helping some damsel in distress that might then give him some digits.
Until I got out of the car. Two-year-old in car seat. Wedding ring. Gigantic belly.
I don’t think it is exactly what it looked like from the outside.
In any event, he kindly opened the door from the outside, freeing me. And he was totally nice even though I turned out to be the farthest thing from a possible future date.
But back to that 30+ minutes of banging on the window and pleading with people…yeah, THAT is kind of crazy to me.
The story is actually hysterical. I couldn’t stop laughing once it was over. Who locks themselves in the back seat?! While pregnant?!? And wildly tries to get strangers that are mere feet away to help her…to no avail?!?
But if you really think about it? It is 100% messed up that it took so long for someone to trust that I was actually someone in need of help and not some crazy person trying to trick them somehow.
So, I would like you to keep all of this in mind the next time some lady trusts you with her cash or is banging on the inside of her car windows, with a frantic, crazed look in her eyes.
It is okay to trust people sometimes. Honest. They might even thank you for it.