Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Monday, January 26, 2015

RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS --- a bit behind but the spirit is still there

Ms. Cranky was honored one night to be on a subway platform at Bay Parkway waiting for the “F” train, with views so spectacular of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines that she went to the end of the platform in the very dark.  She was the only one there waiting and Ms. Cranky is scared of, like, just about everything.

The new World Trade Center which Cranky usually loves to hate, was spectacular, shining, shining and the old Empire State as always lit up and, then, building after building on each side of the river was bright and right below where she stood, were the memorials rising up to the sky of one of the most beautiful cemeteries Cranky has ever seen, a very old Jewish cemetery.   Oh, and did Cranky forget to tell you of the small slit of a moon just sitting up there in the very cold?--- Cranky finds skies so spectacular in the coldest weather though her knees climbing those old old subway steps weren’t doing as well as the night sky.

Then, a few days later Cranky went into Manhattan on a brief outing, conveniently forgetting how intense the ‘Christmas crowds’ would be even after Christmas.  She had a few errands to do, and, then, hoped to grab a decent cheap lunch and walk through Bryant Park.

It was really hard getting through the crowds, very claustrophobic but all could be handled and went all-right till Cranky couldn’t find the reasonably priced Irish bar where she’d had a great sandwich once and, since Cranky does not eat breakfast, she was getting weaker and weaker and wandering up and down side streets searching and searching --- ‘it’s gotta be the next block, etc.’ getting, more and more, err, ‘cranky’ so she, finally, dove into a dark diner (unusual in itself, she should have ‘realized’) and quickly ordered a turkey burger, the cheapest thing on the menu. 

That’s when she was pushed by the waitress to order ‘deluxe’ which she didn’t want. And, in time, Cranky would find out that if you didn’t pay extra for deluxe, at least in this joint, you weren’t even allowed a pickle on your plate! 

The waitress had her so upset pushing for ‘deluxe’ --- “You won’t get lettuce and tomato and fries” she kept repeating and Ms. Cranky would more-or-less-patiently reply that she didn’t want ‘deluxe,’ this went on and on and, then, the barren turkey burger with not a teeny thimble of over wrought slaw nor a pickle, arrived, and, for some reason had a second roll on the plate, which Ms. C. found strange but was too hungry to ask about it and started to eat.  Anyway, she couldn’t do another ‘deluxe’ conversation.   Cranky does admit to munching a bit of the second roll --- who knew a turkey burger came like that --- and, why?

So, when she went to pay her bill, Cranky was all excited and in a good mood to tell the tourists who had arrived in the shop some places to go, where window displays were still on, etc., Cranky loves pushing the delights of her city as you might guess.  But, when she got to the counter to try to get a check, the stalwart deluxe-pushing waitress had over-charged her for her very plain old turkey burger and, then, added on $1.45 (!) for the extra roll Ms. Cranky had never ordered.  Is that a lot of money for a roll???

When Cranky asked the waitress about all this, the woman started screeching --- ‘you get a menu and check the charges, you cheat, you cheat’ and went on and on about Ms. Cranky ordering a second roll.  There went the tourists sitting there, Ms. Cranky hoped to chat with.  This was not the Xmas, New York City spirit Ms. Cranky loved.

Cranky, per the menu, changed the wrong charges on the bill to correct ones, crossed out the aforesaid horrid roll not asked for, multiplied everything by 9% tax as 8.75 was too hard for her rusty math brain to handle.  She left the money at the counter near the cash register with the corrected receipt and even left the screaming waitress a tip on the table, not as big as usual, but a tip.  

Then, Cranky sadly exited the diner without her usual pep talk to the eager tourists as she was too humiliated and found herself out on the street, still really hungry and not in too pleasant a mood.  This was not what she had planned but, then, whatever is?

So, stalwartly determined to ‘start again,’ Cranky walked up the side of the NY Public Library building towards the beautiful Bryant Park with it’s even more lovely tiny Christmas shops and great skating rink at this time of year, still upset from the dim no-pickle diner experience.

As Cranky was walking up a stairway holding on to the railing on the right side (the correct side to go up) a woman sent her son, actually pushed him to that particular side, ‘the wrong side’, where he hit Ms. C. but did not totally topple her.  The boy was about 10 or so but pretty large and the mother who had pushed him and seen it all, came laughing behind him as Ms. Cranky tried to pull herself out of harm’s way.  Ms. Cranky was not having a ‘great day in Manhattan’ so far.

Cranky rarely gets mad enough to speak up but this time, high on the tails of the turkey burger, extra roll, overcharge incident, she shouted back to the mother --- ‘Thanks for sending your son to push me down the stairs’ --- but the mother just kept laughing.  Cranky’s words fell on, well, not ‘deaf ears’ but huge thick purple ear-muffed ears.

But, just as Ms. Cranky might finally give in and feel a sorry for herself, just then, as she re-arranged herself at the top of the little stairway, came a family of four --- an older couple ahead, then, an teen-age boy and, next, probably, his mother.  

Ms. Cranky would have thought nothing of this group except for the fact that the younger woman, bringing up the rear, was crying and as Ms. Cranky stopped to notice, the woman began actually sobbing hard --- right there walking along, coming up from the beautiful park.  That stopped Ms. Cranky in her tracks, literally.  

No, she hadn’t found the cheap Irish bar hard as she tried, she had a barely decent sandwich in a diner and had been mis-charged, then verbally accosted for the mis-charge and certainly didn’t have ‘deluxe’ treatment, then, trying to approach the beloved park, had a large child hurled at her by his laughing mother who kept on laughing even as the boy fell into Ms. Cranky.

It hadn’t been a great outing but Ms. Cranky was not walking behind her family and crying, not even a little bit.  She quickly forgot her own minor woes and felt very sorry for this woman. 
Cranky approached the low white wall of the park which she so loved, where you could look out all across.  

She had finally arrived there and blessed herself as was her old way and stood silently praying for the poor sobbing woman, wishing she could stop whatever was hurting her, hoping the woman’s pain would go away real, real soon.

Ms. Cranky, sometime after Christmas, 2014Thanks for stopping by, love to hear any of your Christmas stories, sweet and bitter.  Please come again, writing more now.