By Randi Crawford
Recently, my family flew to New York to spend the holidays with my in laws. The instant we stepped off the plane we were freezing cold. I don’t mean a little chilly, I mean the kind of cold that cuts through your clothes and goes straight to your bones cold. We knew this trip would be a challenge with the weather, but we had no idea what we were in for.
Our first “taste of the East Coast” happened when we arrived at our hotel. It was around 11:30 p.m. and we were all hungry. Our plan was to check in, feed the kids and go to bed. Unfortunately, the hotel’s computer system went down earlier that afternoon, so there was a 45 -minute line to check in. Yikes! The kids and I found the hotel’s steak house and when we arrived, the host informed me that the kitchen was closed (it was around 11:45 p.m. at this point). So we went back to find my husband, standing in the line at reception.
That’s when we met “Angry Guy.” This guy was on his phone, taking all his frustrations out on whomever was on the other end of the phone in the angriest tone I’ve ever heard. He was so enraged about the wait to check in that we thought his head was going to pop off his body. The next morning, when I ran out to grab Starbucks, “Angry Guy” was standing in the lobby smiling as if nothing happened. I explained to my kids that people just get crazy living on a small island crammed in with 8 million people.
We finally get to our room, it’s after midnight and we are all starving. We open the room service menu and were about to order a couple of cheeseburgers until I saw the price. Am I cheap, or does a $34 cheeseburger sound like a lot? We got smart and ordered a pizza that was delivered to our room.
Fast forward to the next day. We rented a car to drive to Connecticut. My husband called the garage and the guy that answered hung up on him. When he called back, the guy on the other end, who barely spoke English, grunted and told my husband not to call back. I know I shouldn’t be laughing, but I was. My husband doesn’t get angry often, but he stormed out of the room to go deal with the car situation – and when he arrived at the garage it didn’t get any easier. As soon as he paid for the car and tried to leave the garage and walk across the street to grab a cup of coffee, the attendant wouldn’t let him go without taking the car. Then my husband tried to buy the attendant a cup of coffee and that didn’t work either. Does this sound fun so far?
Later that morning, we drove to Connecticut, which normally takes around two hours. On this day, between horrible weather conditions and traffic accidents, it took us close to four-and-a-half hours and by the time we arrived, I thought we were all going to kill each other. This next one takes the cake. There’s a pizza place in Connecticut that people love, so we made plans to meet his sister and her family there for lunch. This place is so popular that we had to wait in line, in the freezing cold rain for 30 minutes, and then go inside and wait some more. All of this just to eat pizza? Never in my life would I wait in line, in the freezing rain to eat pizza. But apparently that’s what people here do because, as my husband says, “Randi, it’s not all about immediate gratification.” Is he kidding me?
I’m so thankful to live in a place where I don’t have to work and fight for everything, including simple pleasures, like eating. I had no idea how spoiled we were living in So Cal until I visited the East Coast. They put up with traffic that would drive a sane man to the looney bin, hellish parking, horrible weather, and “angry guys” who are just angry. The next time I complain about paying the sunshine tax, I’m going to re-read this rant and thank my lucky stars!
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