As cheese de la cheese as the spoken lyrics to that circa 1999 song Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) may be, I do agree with a few lines in particular. Amongst the “Floss” and “Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly”, there is one that really stands out: “Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.”
Alas, I fear that time for this farm girl has already come. And it has never gone. I’ve become a tad rough and rugged around the edges. Now when I go to visit Connecticut it’s like traveling to a foreign country where I don’t know their customs.
(To clarify once more, I did not grow up in that snob-ridden Fairfield County, but rather that gloriously pastoral bubble of the Northwest Corner, fondly known to locals as the NWC.)
Oh, I’m sorry, did that cashier just smile at me?
Did I just see a grin instead of a glare from that perfect stranger?
Was that an “Oh, I’m so sorry, excuse me!” apology someone muttered after bumping into me with their shopping cart?Wait wait. Am I hallucinating? Sans creepy music, did I just enter - gasp - the Twilight Zone? Oh, no no. I’m just not in in New York City anymore.
After nearly three fabulously draining, utterly unforgettable years in Manhattan – in which I’ve paid my life away, sold my soul to Mayor Bloomberg – I've become that person in Baz Luhrmann’s song, the one he told to leave New York City before it makes me too hard. But I will give credit where credit is due and for all my bumping into people and ignoring of panhandlers, there is one thing that I always, always, always do.
That is, simply, to hold the door open for the next person. Really I don’t understand why people cannot wait two seconds, literally two seconds…maybe even one-and-a-half seconds, to hold the door while someone walks through. It’s mind blowing. Baffling. And so very, very rude. And yet it happens everywhere. The lack of door holding is omnipresent amongst my fellow city-dwellers. And to them plead on bended knee: hold the door. It's simple! Are you really in that much of a hurry? Really?
It happens at Starbucks, at the office, at the gym, at the grocery store...OK well not the grocery store, what with their automatic doors. But everywhere else in this brusque, brute-ridden, churlish city. It happens in the pouring rain, in the blustering snow, in the hot, hot sunshine when you're crossing the Sahara that is SoHo, looking for air-conditioned salvation...BAM, someone slams the door in your face. It happens on your birthday, on the weekend, in the a.m. rush. It happens on Christmas!
All I ask dearest peers, most esteemed comrades, is that you hold the door. It's simple. But more importantly it's right. So dear ones, do the right thing. Hold the door! You'll feel so much better about yourself.
Maybe Baz should update his lyrics to include "hold the door for people even when you live in New York City". I'll have to have my people get in touch with his people.
Can you BELIEVE it's been eleven years since that song came out? Shit yo!
And if someone holds the door for you DON'T forget to say thank you. It will make them want to hold more doors.