Many of you have asked, both in comments and emails, why and how I ended up in New York City of all places the week following Mother's Day.
And I promise I'll tell you.
Still seeking clearance from higher-ups. Please be patient. Your virtue will be rewarded.
But that does not preclude my telling you funny and/or interesting stories about my relatively short visit.
On the morning of the last day I and my traveling companions spent in New York, we left our hotel -- Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, remember? -- at about nine o'clock.
We were going to Manhattan for the day. First stop Grand Central Station, where we were to have breakfast. There are all sorts of neat places to have breakfast at GCS but I highly recommend Junior's.
Anyway our escape route took us across the street, through a small park named Columbus, then underground to the subway.
The sidewalk in front of the MBB is a trifle bustly at all times of day, but especially in the morning.
I can't remember if I told you this or not but as our little group walked hither and yon in The Big Apple, I was always dead last.
No, I do not dawdle and I will thank you not to snicker.
It's just that, while of completely normal height and relatively nimble for my age, I'm not exactly long-legged.
And I like to walk! I even like to walk quickly, and often do, for excercise.
But I dislike trotting through the mean streets while all prettied up. I'd rather stroll, with frequent stops, plus dreamy stares for effect.
Think Holly Golightly minus the tiara and yard-long cigarette holder. Or any cigarette holder, or any cigarette.
Minus the cruller too, come to think.
But on the day in question I was unquestionably clad in black!
So as I sashayed out the door of the MBB and turned left, following my group, bringing up the rear as it were, I heard a whir.
Turned out there was a lady coming up behind me quite rapidly compared to my pace, dragging a medium-sized suitcase on wheels.
Hence the whir.
Which whir very suddenly stopped as the lady stopped -- also very suddenly -- about a second and a half after she passed me on the left.
For some reason I looked down at her feet when she stopped. I think it was because she herself was looking down at her feet.
And why was she looking down at her feet? Because there, on the sidewalk, lay her skirt in a puddle around said pedal extremities.
Yes! You read that correctly. The poor lady had lost her skirt mid-stride on the sidewalk in front of the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge.
Now, you'll be happy to know the lady was wearing a trench coat all buttoned and belted against the matutinal cool. Her unfortunate and very public wardrobe malfunction did not leave her standing there in the altogether.
But there was still the problem of her skirt being on the ground at her feet in the middle of a New York City borough.
Instinctively I got between her and the street. I could shield at least one side of her from view!
She very good-naturedly reached for her fallen waistband and began pulling and tugging to get her lower-half garment back in place.
I wanted to be an encouragement since I do believe that is my calling and my ministry.
At any rate it beats working.
You must've lost a lot of weight recently, girl, I observed in a conspiratorial tone punctuated by my trademark deafening grin.
The lady got the biggest kick out of that! She threw her head back and laughed uproariously, flashing all of her teeth to the sky over Brooklyn.
Oh girl, I must've lost some weight! She cheerfully agreed.
Now you need to keep a few safety pins on hand if you plan to wear your bigger clothes, I suggested.
She repeat-concurred, grabbing my arm while we laughed and carried on together right on the sidewalk. She promised she had some pins and would make good use of them.
Well I sure hope they're in that suitcase, I said, resulting in a whole new fit of giggles.
Before we parted I felt moved to tell her, misery-loves-company fashion, about the time not so long ago when I was shopping at Dollar General. I was wearing a knee-length skirt and it was a bit tight.
I hear those snickers and I will not warn you again. You've done the same and you know you have!
But anyway, as I shopped at DG that day I was constantly under the impression that I had to tug on my skirt.
My mama used to slap my hands when I was little for tugging on my clothes, but she wasn't there so I tugged and pulled.
When I got to the cash register and was paying my money, I felt something funny around my knees. I looked down and saw most of my black half-slip hanging out from under my skirt, its lacy hem nearly brushing the tops of my shoes.
Clinging around my knees was the elastic of the slip's waistband.
When I told a friend about this incident later, she told me she would've walked right out of that slip like it wasn't even hers.
But that solution never occurred to me. For one thing I'm not rich and I can't be so cavalier about leaving my lingerie in the floors of retail establishments.
I reached down and took off my slip and balled it up and shoved it into my purse.
Then I left and I stayed away from that DG for a good month or so.
Anyway, a short while later on the day the lady's skirt fell, at the Grand Central Junior's I enjoyed a full repast of eggs with hashbrowns and sausage and wheat toast slathered with butter and marmalade, washed down with coffee plus cream with two refills.
Is it any wonder my clothes are tight?
Before leaving I stared dreamily at thirty-five-dollar cheesecakes in the Junior's bakery case.
And of course I took lots of pictures which you by now know because you've been looking at them as you've read this post.
I leave you with a sage observation you've no doubt heard before, i.e.: Nothing's real until it's personal.
Why do I point that out? Because right after I got home I began noticing this commercial wherein the poor well-intentioned flash-mobster is not on AT&T's 4G network and therefore is not aware that the urban happening has been moved to 12:30 ...
... and it dawned on me:
That's GRAND CENTRAL STATION! I WAS THERE AND I TOOK PICTURES OF THAT CLOCK AND THE STAIRCASE AND THOSE LIGHTS AND THE FLAG AND ... AND EVERYTHING!
It looks exactly like that.
Truth be known, iconic Grand Central Station is possessed of a grandeur I hope you someday have an opportunity to see with your own eyes, if you haven't already.
But please keep your clothes on! Or at the very least, be armed with safety pins and the 4G network.