October 22, 2014

The Top Ten Things You Need to Know If You're Moving to a City

This is me in a city.

Some of you (Mom) will be pleased to know that my alternative walk route yesterday avoided any dubious men in mid-length trench coats.

It did, however, lead me across a homeless woman whom I did not recognize.

Now, the sad reality of a city is that some people are homeless. Some of the homeless people are relatively pleasant and you really wish you could help. Some are aggravatingly pushy about wanting your spare change.

Others are batshit crazy.

Now, I'm normally not quick to judge someone as being batshit crazy when I myself have done some pretty unspeakable things under the influence of hunger. So maybe, when this woman started screeching at the top of her lungs while shaking a sleeping-bag clad fist at me to, "STOP LOOKING AT ME, BITCH. THAT'S ASSAULT YOU KNOW," she was just hungry.

Then again, maybe she was just batshit crazy.

What was most surprising about this incident though is how little it affected me. Sure, I was shaken up for a second when I realized that I was the alleged assaulter. But the reality is, there are a lot of crazy homeless people in DC. It's not uncommon to be eating lunch on a park bench with a man screaming threateningly at the tree next to you.

It's not pleasant, but at least it's the tree being victimized.

And that's the thing about cities: if you're going to live in one, you've gotta know that you are signing up for the occasional unwarranted threat from a lady in a sleeping bag. Because as much as I love cities, they're not all glamour and deep dish pizza.

So I thought today I would share with you the top ten things you need to know if you plan on moving to a city.

1. If you think you can stop the subway door with your arm, you are wrong.
2. You should only consider driving your car if you have mastered both Tetris and Frogger, simultaneously.
3. Some places offer more than street parking, and it will cost you roughly your first born male.
4. Some places offer in-unit washing machines, and it will cost you your first born female.
5. Pigeons are your nemesis. Also, don't feed your nemesis.
6. Pigeons are not courteous. Pigeons will not yield to oncoming traffic. Pigeons will not yield to your head. Pigeons will not yield to irate snow boots trying to kick them out of the way, at least not if there is a french fry involved.
7. Do not move here if you have a strong aversion to the smell of pee.
8. Always carry an umbrella.
9. This is how crosswalks work: When you see a red hand, you can cross the street but there are no guarantees that someone won't run you over. When you see a white man, you can cross the street but there are no guarantees that someone won't run you over.
10. Some people are just batshit crazy.