People have got to stop urinating on my street. And no, I’m not talking about homeless people and I’m not talking about drunk college kids either. I’m talking about normal people like you or me, people who, in their proper state of mind, have made the decision to step up against a building, zip down their flies, and urinate in public. And I live on the Upper East Side. What’s worse, just the other day I saw a mother stop her car, remove her little boy, and instruct him to piss on the side of my building. In broad daylight. And he DID. Look, we’ve all had those moments where we have to pee so badly that our teeth hurt. But we live in New York City. It’s not like it’s 5 miles until the next rest stop. There’s a Starbuck’s on a corner. There’s a restaurant across the street. Hell, my building has a lobby bathroom for Christ’s sake, use it, I wouldn’t mind. I don’t think I’m asking for too much. Let your puppies pee freely, just do me a favor and curb yourselves. Thanks.
Esther, risk analyst, Upper East Side.
Why am I getting naked? I don’t think this is an inappropriate question to be asking. Why are you making me get naked? I get it, you’re a doctor. This is a doctor’s office. Cool. But I’m getting a tetanus shot. All you really need is my arm and if I do suffer from some rare allergic reaction I’m pretty sure you could rip my clothes off quickly enough – I’m wearing a T-shirt. Or I was, before you made me get naked, put on a hospital gown, and walk past the waiting room a hundred times while you shuffled me from room to room. This, I feel, was unwarranted. I’m not downplaying the importance of your profession, but they give flu shots at the drug store. And I’m pretty sure getting naked in a Duane Reade is a chargeable offense.
Daphne, server, The Ironbound.
There is too much money going to the salaries of athletes and entertainers. Seriously. It needs to stop. It is DISGUSTING to me when I hear how a baseball player has ‘accepted’ a contract worth two or three million less than he wanted because he ‘wanted to stay’ with such and such team. Or when I see a team bidding up multi-million dollar contracts to catch the attention of a basketball player, or whatever. It’s almost worse than celebrity pay. And it really gets my back up to realize that I’ve fallen into the same trap as so many of us – when I first hear a number that should blow my brain, I shrug and say ‘yeah, sounds about right.’ But it shouldn’t be right. They’re not worth that much more than engineers, doctors, or scientists – all of whom get paid so little in comparison. And Jesus do we need to change that.
Dylan, sporting goods, Astoria
You need to get over this ‘non-date’ dating. I’m not looking to hang out with you. If I was looking to hang out with you, I’d have made friends with you at somebody’s party, or at some mutual activity. I’m not looking to meet your parents on the first date, but I’m also DEFINITELY not looking to join a bunch of your friends at some pub you’ve made yourselves regulars at. I’m trying to figure out if you’re someone worth dating, not watch you and the guys make asses of yourselves in front of a football game on a bar TV. I don’t care if we go to dinner and a movie, but I’m NOT going to put up with a last minute text in some sort of guy code trying to trivialize what should be the start of a relationship into beer with the buds. I don’t care if you don’t like talking on the phone; you’re not 10. Pick up the damn phone and ask. Me. Out. Make a day out of it – we can walk up and down the same street twenty-five times just talking, it’s fine! But make it a date! Because if you want to date me, you have to put some effort into it or you’re never going to be worth my time. And you sure as hell aren’t getting laid.
Isla, secretary, Upper East Side
There are two types of people in this world: Those who have frizzy hair and those who don’t. I was the only one out of my group of friends blessed with extremely pouffy hair. Lately, I blame my nonexistent love life on the fact that when we go out, all men are always attracted to my friends with sleek and straight hair. This is a gene, guys. I can’t help that my hair has a little volume to it, and hate to break it to you, but I’m not going to spend 12 hours making it perfectly straight for you. And how dare you think that we should spend 12 hours turning it into something it’s not. Perhaps if you at least have a conversation with me you may, god forbid, look past it.
Jane, Fashion, Cobble Hill
When you wear those shoes I want to die. And I’m not speaking in hyperbole, I mean I really truly want to throw my body into the road until I’m run over by a big rig or a city bus. What are those, sneakers? Hiking boots? A clever combination of both? Wow, that’s great, because I’ve been looking for the appropriate shoe for my mountain climbing/cross training excursions. And thank goodness you wore them on 28th St., lord knows the sidewalk outside the Dunkin’s can be pretty damn treacherous. You don’t deserve to breathe, and I’m really angry that my vote counts the same as yours. Thanks for ruining democracy, jerk off.
Tommy, forge worker, Jersey City
I’m really hungry and the sandwich place around the corner only takes cash but I only have debit. Today is super hard. It’s like dating someone when you’re a complete narcissist. I didn’t realize I was until recently I went on a date and forget shortly thereafter what the guy looked like. Sure, I remember laughing and drinking, but mostly I remember talking about myself and being hilarious. Which is horrifying. Surely this man had something to contribute, but I was on a roll with my one woman show and wouldn’t be stopped. Can someone please find me someone as funny as I am to get me out of my own head? Or really, just tell me how to score a second date, because people seem to fucking hate me.
Mary, writer, Fifth Ave
Stop screaming. You’re indoors. It makes me very anxious. We fully understand that the train has stopped. We’re all riding on it. So please keep your comments to yourself so we can maintain decorum on this cramped subway car. When you scream things, don’t you see that no one is responding? So why do you keep talking? If everyone took a note from your book, we’d all start screaming out of frustration, and then things would get violent, and then there would be bloodshed. Do you want this train car to erupt in bloodshed? No, you don’t. You just want the train to move like everyone else, so please stop screaming and keep your opinions to yourself, I just need to get to Union Square in one piece, ok? Thanks.
Art, singer, Astoria.
Ah, the mysterious big black bag. You may have wondered why so many women are stooping under its weight and scrounging around in there all the time. What do they have in there, anyway? If men can make do with two pockets, it seems a little silly that women have to carry around something the size of a house that they can never seem to find anything in. To debunk the bag, we must first separate its contents. First we have the essentials: wallet, phone, keys. Those you should be able to understand. Then there is the second round of essentials: water, book, pens, hand sanitizer, chapstick and feminine supplies. Then there is the third round of essentials, i.e less comfortable shoes, sweater, last night’s leftovers, small dog, etc.
Palak, banker, Park Slope
Whatever happened to ‘eat, drink and be merry?’ In America, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol and a shit economy happened, okay. We don’t need Maslow to lecture us on the importance of food for survival. We’ve come to view food as the enemy, deprivation and restriction the weapons to combat it and exercise the punishment when we lose the fight against it. So, while we binge on low-fat foods, opt for sugar-free alternatives, diet perpetually and indulge in guilt-free food porn to make up for the pathetic bowl of mixed greens for dinner, the war against obesity rages on. So, what are we doing wrong? Somewhere between sugar substitutes and crash diets, it is clear that Americans are missing the mark when it comes to proper diets. Meanwhile, based on life expectancy and obesity rates alone, the French and Japanese seem to be doing something right. With books like Mireille Guiliano’s French Women Don’t Get Fat and Naomi Moriyama’s Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat, they seem to think Americans can learn a thing or two about healthy eating as well, and maybe it’s time we took the hint.
Sammy, yoga instructor, Washington Heights