My god, can it be: trouble in paradise! :)
In two years, I really don't recall ever getting more than slightly peeved with the city, until this past Tuesday.
My out-in-public day Tuesday only lasted 4 or 5 hours or so, but it involved doing a lot of crap-stuff in the pouring rain in preparation for my upcoming only-temp-job for a paranoid financial company: a lot of walking and waiting and getting tired and wet and pissed off (and, speaking of "pissed"---literally pissing).
First the fingerprinting. I left my apt. an hour ahead of time for my fingerprinting appointment, but once in Manhattan, got lost and so had to call the woman-in-charge-of-temp-fingerprinting on my cell phone to get me re-directed. I ended up being 15 minutes late, which I hate. The other temp employee who was being fingerprinted at the same time had been so kind as to e-mail the night before: "Since we don't know each other, give me a call when you get there and we'll go in together." Since I was rushing around late the next morning, I didn't call him. When I finally got to the building late, it turns out that he hadn't called the woman in charge because he was waiting for me to show up first and call him! I was hot and sweaty from running around being lost, and I felt terrible about being late for the woman in charge, and now I felt terrible about being late for this guy, too.
Once inside the building to be fingerprinted, turns out the company had the guy's records, but had lost mine. So he got to get out of there quickly, while I had to sit around in a waiting room. With the woman-in-charge, who was nice but also, I could tell, irritated that she had to hang around.
While in the waiting room, the "Maury Povich" show was on the TV. The topic for that morning happened to be "sex crimes." I was sitting around with 3 or 4 other people, male and female, and we all couldn't help but watch actual videotape of (1) a pimp graphically "beating down his ho"; and (2) a couple of mutilated dead teenaged girls. SIGH. So I personally felt the need to get up and go to the guys in the fingerprinting room and say: "Um, 'scuse me... Sorry to bother you... I feel really uncomfortable watching the TV in there... I don't really want to see dead women." It annoyed the shit out of me that I had to act all "female" and apologetic during my quest for a job (and that I had to look at that shit during my quest for a job).
The guys in the main room were, thankfully, extremely professional and nice: "WHAT? That TV should be turned to CNN or Fox!" One guy immediately got up and went to change the channel in the waiting room.
Pretty soon after that, got the damn fingerprinting done (though I still felt embarrassed and troublesome for having to ask to change the TV channel).
Then I walked the 10 blocks to my temp agency to deliver the fingerprint paperwork and pick up more paperwork to go and have the drug/pee test done. The drug/pee center wouldn't be open for another hour. So I aimlessly started to stroll in that direction.
I hadn't had a haircut in over 2 months, and on this rainy day, every frigging store window I passed showed me what a bad hair day I was having... Since my regular place "Chelsea Styles" had closed for good at the end of May, I started to stop into random places during this free hour to ask about appointments and costs. After two places that were dead empty and charged $70 and $80 for a haircut, I came across a nice-looking place that had a "special" going on... $30 for a woman's haircut, plus $15 for the blow-dry. (The blow-dry cost here in NYC remains highly bizarre to me. In all my years of getting my hair cut in Texas, I'd never heard of an extra charge for the blow-drying!)
I hadn't had my hair cut in over 8 weeks not just because I was poor and jobless and my old regular shop was closed, because I was intentionally growing my hair longer. I wanted to keep my long bob, but with a sweeping bang in front. I asked the stylist for a book of pictures, so I could point out what I wanted. I found pictures and showed her. She nodded amiably.
And then... The woman completely layered the fuck out of my hair! It didn't quite descend into "shag" territory, but it came mighty close. At one point, I was watching, wide-eyed, at the INCHES being taken off my hair and protested. She protested back: "Don't worry, don't worry."
What I had in mind, and what I showed her in the pictures, was something like Diane Baker's do in "Strait-Jacket." A classic long bob with a sweeping bang. What I got instead was... something that doesn't even look like anything I can describe! Not horrible, but definitely NOT what I'd asked for.
The Tuesday continues... With my semi-embarrassing semi-shag, I wandered back onto the rainy streets of Manhattan in search of my 12:30 drug test location. No real drama there. Just peeing in a cup. (Had I ever once been intellectually opposed to workplace drug tests? Yeah... but... I hadn't even smoked pot since the 1990s; my test was going to be clean; I was desperate for work. I didn't let the one-time intellectual dilemma interfere with my desperation. Geez, hope I'm not driven to become an honest-to-god SCAB in the future!)
After peeing into the cup, I was done with my tasks for the day and exhausted from walking around and being fingerprinted and peeing and having a bad haircut and protesting about Maury Povich.
Just wanted then to make my way back to the Port Authority (at 8th and 42nd) and catch my bus back to Weehawken, and grab a burger or something along the way. It was around 1:30 in the afternoon. It was raining and miserable, and even my new haircut didn't look good in store windows. All I wanted was a quick McDonald's burger or a Popeye's strips meal before I went home. Nah, not to be. Whenever I stepped into a McDonald's or a Popeye's, the lines were insanely long, all the tables were filled. I could have waited in a line, but I would have had no place to sit and eat.
It was at THAT point that I had my first sense, in two years, of utter irritation with NYC. All the walking back and forth during the day for ridiculous purposes. And then to not, at the end of it all, be able to simply sit down and have a fucking generic burger.