Wednesday, May 21, 2008

just let me finish

One thing I've noticed is almost a general trait among New Yorkers- their keen ability to be what you might call "active listeners", if you were nicer than I am. I can't stand this about New Yorkers.

Let me explain- it is next to impossible to tell a New Yorker anything longer than three words without him/her trying to figure out what the rest of the story is. "So I haven't finished this project yet-" "oh, because it is pretty complicated and confusing?" "um, no, I just had to work on something else". I have met a few people, natives even, who don't succumb to this weird east coast phenomenon, but by and large it is definitely an epidemic.

I think it has something to do with the general feeling of hurriedness here. I even get sucked in- I could have an hour to get to my train in Grand Central, but as soon as I step foot in that building, I become just another part of the throngs who are hurrying to their tracks- and the minute anyone is going too slow in front of me, it's like a personal insult, and sighs and sidestepping have become a natural part of my daily routine.

Maybe I am a slow talker or maybe I have really boring things to say, but I have experienced this weird tendency in many New Yorkers time and time again. I think I have actually agreed with the incorrect conclusion they come up with on more than one occasion, just out of a feeling of sheer absurdity. "So then I went back to my apartment-" "And a giant alien was waiting at the front door, with a message from Mars saying that you were to be taken back as a human specimen, but then when you got there the Martian king fell in love with you and married you and you had seven Martian babies, three of whom grew up to be successful Martian attorneys, who then argued your case to return to Earth, and then you did, only to find that only ten minutes had passed in Earth time?" "Yes, that's exactly what happened. How did you know?"