Dick and I went into Manhattan last weekend. Let me describe to you the anomaly that was this trip:
1) We walked across our lawn to our neighbor and asked him for a ride to the train station. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t asked someone for a ride since high school. Note here too, that our method of request involved no texts, no emails, no face-booking, no chats, not even phone calls. No, it was an 18th century method of inquiry called face-to-face conversation
2) We took the train in, avoiding the stressful two hour ride swirling around the city looking for parking
3) When we exited out of Penn Station, we walked the 15 blocks (me in my 4″ wedge heels, mind you!) rather than hailing a cab to the restaurant
4) After dinner, we roamed the streets of midtown and walked into the first Irish pub we found – instead of the swanky rooftop bar-lounge that we had originally planned – and I didn’t use Yelp once. I should note that the singing guitarist playing that night was really talented
5) We stayed at a friend’s place, rather than having booked a hotel room
6) We packed 2 toothbrushes, a chapstick, and 1 contact case – instead of the usual overnight weekender bag. Dick used the contact case caps to store his lenses, I used the bottom part, and we effectively split one case into two.
7) I borrowed a t-shirt from my friend, Dick slept in his boxers, and we learned the true meaning of what it meant to “crash” on someone’s floor
8) The next day, we grabbed bagels instead of the seated post-drinking late morning feast of omelettes, bacon, french toast, corn beef hash, home fries, coffee and juices
9) When we finally got back to our home train station, we were disconcerted to find there were no cabs. So what could we do, but walk… home. Walking in NYC is one thing but walking in Jersey is quite another. Ok, so home was only 2 miles away, but did I mention I was still in my 4″ wedge heels? Once we accepted our fate, the trek home was not only bearable but dare-I-say fun? We had quite the adventure. We examined the vegetation lining the long road home. We scurried across the off ramps trying to avoid getting hit by cars coming off Rt 195 at way too high speeds. We speculated about the origin of random objects strewn along the ground. We held hands. I made-up songs about our day. We searched for little houses hidden by shrubs, trees and fences out of view from the busy road. Before we knew it we rounded the final corner and saw home.
I felt freer than I’d felt in years. There was no pain of lugging around luggage (see where the term comes from?) or the hangover of having had spent way too much on a night in the city (these measures had easily saved us several hundred dollars). All of these “unusual” things may not seem unusual to you at all. But some of us have become way too comfortable and used to luxuries, confusing them for necessities. So far, I’ve been having a blast learning how to get back to the basics of real living. I’m kind of looking forward to my next adventure.