Tag Archives: awkward story

I Went to the Statue of Liberty in Pajamas

So, remember my trip to New York last August that got aborted by Hurricane Irene? Over Memorial Day, I decided to attempt the trip again. And this time, things went much more smoothly! No hurricanes or tropical storms, although there was a bit of rain that prevented me from doing a couple of things I’d wanted to do (didn’t get to go to Coney Island). But for the most part, it was a great trip. Here are some of the highlights from it:

  • I got tickets for Mary Poppins at the Times Square ticket booth and ended up with second-row seats for 40% off! The show was great, too. Mary Poppins was like the movie of my childhood, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it—years later, my mom told me that she was so happy my sister and I liked it because it’s long for a kids’ movie, and whenever she and my dad wanted a break, they’d put on Mary Poppins. The plot was a lot different from the movie, and only about half the songs came from the movie, but it was pretty awesome. The “Step in Time” scene, which is my favorite in the movie, was awesome on stage, too—Bert even dances on the ceiling at one point!

  • I wandered around Fort Greene in Brooklyn and found the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument, which had made an appearance on Ghostwriter, as well as the street corner where the bodega used to be!



  • I went to Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.


  • I bought some pink and purple M&Ms at M&M World and looked around the Disney Store and FAO Schwarz (because, at heart, I’m five years old).


  • I had some great pizza, bagels, garlic knots, and desserts.


  • I went to the Museum of Natural History, where I went to the planetarium and saw the dinosaurs (I know there are plenty of other things in the museum, but again, I’m five).

  • I hung out in Central Park for awhile, reading a book on the grass.

All in all, a very fun trip! But of course, I wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t an awkward moment in there.

On the second day of the trip, I had tickets to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and the boat left at 9:00AM. When I’d left the day before, I’d been wearing a nice dress I’d gotten for my cousin’s wedding last year—I know you don’t have to get dressed up for the theater, but I like to. I’d planned on wearing jeans when going to the Statue.

Except—oops. I’d forgotten to pack the jeans, and I hadn’t brought any other pants. I looked frantically through my bag, but no sign of them. Crap, I thought. It’s only eight in the morning and I have to be on the boat at nine—where can I get something to wear at this time of day? I don’t want to wear this dress and get it dirty!

I looked online to try to figure out if there were any clothing stores in the immediate area that were open, but no luck. So, wearing the shirt I’d planned on wearing that day, pajama pants, and sandals, I headed down to the lobby of Hotel 17. I explained the situation to the guy at the front desk and asked if there were any clothing stores near the hotel that were already open. He didn’t know of any. “Why don’t you just wear what you’re wearing?” he asked.

I glanced down at my navy-blue pants with lighter blue fish printed on them. “They’re pajama pants.”

He shook his head. “Yeah, sorry,” he said. “That’s never happened to me!”

Well, of course it hasn’t. YOU’RE A GUY. Most of you people wear pants every day!

I checked a couple of Duane Reades on the off chance that they sold shorts or something, but no luck. I didn’t want to miss the boat, so…I got on the subway and left.

And that is how I ended up at the Statue of Liberty in my pajamas.

Attack of the Vodka Bottle

Last night, vodka almost killed me. And not in the way you think.

So, it’s Restaurant Week in Boston, a misnomer since it actually lasts two weeks. Julie and I decided to go out to Tremont 647, a restaurant neither of us had been to. I was wearing a cute red dress from ModCloth for the first time. The food was excellent, and afterwards we decided to go out for some after-dinner drinks. I had been to a South End martini bar called 28 Degrees for a Boston Bloggers event last summer (there’s another one coming up soon, and I’m looking forward to meeting some new people!) and I wanted to go again for a normal night out.

Julie and I went to 28 Degrees, which is a very nice, lounge-y bar that also has a DJ playing. We were delighted to secure seats at the end of the bar, near the wall. I ordered a Ginger Snap Martini and Julie had a Cranberry Sour. We were sitting there drinking and talking and having a lovely Friday night.

Then all of a sudden there was a gigantic crash and my new red dress was absolutely soaked, and the bar in front of me, my purse, and my lap were all covered in shards of glass.

What the hell?

My first thought was that someone behind me was either crazy or somehow offended by us sitting there drinking and talking and had thrown a drink at us, so I turned around to see who was there, but the people behind me looked as bewildered as I felt. The bartender was apologizing profusely, so then I thought maybe he’d broken something, but then he told me what had actually happened: on the shelf on the wall next to me, the vibrations from the music had inspired a big vodka bottle to start dancing, and it had shimmied its way off the shelf to its spectacular demise on the bar in front of us.

Seriously. Aside from being very lucky that it was something clear rather than red wine or something else that would ruin my brand-new dress, I don’t know how we weren’t hurt. And what if we had been? Can you imagine being killed by a falling bottle of vodka? I just finished Six Feet Under, a very weird but sometimes touching show, on DVD, and someone dies at the beginning of every episode, often in a very strange manner. Death by vodka bottle seems like something that would fit right in on that show. And can you imagine calling my parents if I had been hurt? “Hello, Mr. and Mrs. H., your daughter was injured at a bar. No, she wasn’t drunk. No, she wasn’t in a bar fight…she was just hit by a falling vodka bottle.”

And dying this particular Friday night would have been especially tragic. Not only would I have not gotten to accomplish the rest of the items on my bucket list, I would have missed the return of Mad Men and the Hunger Games movie!

To be clear, though, I still definitely recommend 28 Degrees. The staff was very nice and found us two new seats at the bar. They also gave us all our drinks on the house and threw in some bread pudding as a we’re-so-sorry-please-don’t-sue-us gift. Julie, I’m sure, will be blogging about our Friday night desserts soon!

So, that wasn’t the way I would have chosen to get free drinks, but, hey, I’ll take what I can get.

The Wallet Story

I have a feisty independent streak, and while sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it makes me forget that I can ask for help instead of doing everything myself. After I moved, I had a bed from Ikea delivered, and when I mentioned it to a friend, she said, “Oh, if you’d told me I would have driven you to Ikea so you wouldn’t have to pay the delivery fee!” Then this past Sunday, our Internet went out when our modem committed suicide, and my roommate (a grad student who had a paper to research) and I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how we were going to deal until Tuesday when the new modem came. Six hours later, it finally occurred to my roommate that, duh, we could just ask the next-door neighbors for their Internet code (we live in a duplex, so we didn’t even have to leave the front porch). Juno the dog is officially smarter than both of us. If one human won’t pet her, she tries to get another one to do it– if she were a person, she’d definitely do the same thing with the Internet.

Which brings me to another awkward-moment story from this past summer. I’m on my office softball team, and one day after work, we had a game, which we carpooled to. It was a cloudy, rainy day, we started late, and the game was pretty long. So when it was over, rather than heading to the Southie dive bar we always go to for beer and free pizza post-game, we were all tired and didn’t feel like staying out any later, so instead, we all piled into cars and headed home. I got into a car with four other teammates, hoping the ride wouldn’t take too long since, like the rest of us, I’d had a few cans of Miller Lite during the game and really needed to pee.

We got to Central Square, where we dropped one guy off, and by then, I knew I couldn’t make it the rest of the way home. I asked to be let out of the car, dashed into the nearest ice cream shop, and used the bathroom there, figuring I’d take the T home from there.

When I got out, I thought, “Hey, since we didn’t get our free pizza tonight, I should go buy a couple of slices.” So I walked to a nearby pizza place and ordered two slices of pizza. I reached into my purse for my wallet so I could pay, and–holy shit.

My wallet was not in my purse.

I was about 90% sure that it had fallen out of my purse at my desk at work, since I’d definitely had it when I left for work that morning and didn’t remember seeing it during the game. It was either that or someone had stolen it out of my purse at the field when the entire rest of my team wasn’t looking, which was unlikely.

Now, I need to emphasize how unfortunate it was that the one time I left work without my wallet, it was this day. On any day where I didn’t have a softball game, I would have taken the T home and realized when I got to the T station that I didn’t have my wallet and, therefore, my T pass, and would have headed back to work to get my wallet. And if we had gone to the bar like we usually did and I’d discovered when trying to buy a beer that I didn’t have my wallet, I would have just walked back to the office (pretty close to the bar) and gotten it.

But no. This was the one time where I both didn’t take the T home and didn’t go to the bar. And on top of that, I was in Central Square- THREE MILES from home. So instead of discovering that my wallet was gone in the comfort of my home, I was stuck with no T pass and no money to buy a new one. I had no choice but to walk those three miles home. (Luckily, it had stopped raining by that point.)

So that solved that problem, but then there was the matter of how I was going to get to work the next day with no T pass and no money. I looked around my room once I was home and spotted the penny rolls I’d made but was putting off taking to the bank. I had five or six rolls of 50 pennies each– enough to buy me a $2 one-way T pass. A quick glance at bank opening times revealed that none of them opened until 9:00 AM, the time I needed to be at work. What to do?

Then I remembered Coinstar, which I tend to avoid using because they take a percentage of the money you put in. There was a Coinstar at a supermarket a mile from my house, so I decided that I would get up early, walk to the supermarket, put my penny rolls into Coinstar, and use that money to get a $2 T pass to get to work.

And that’s exactly what I did the next day. When I got to my desk, I located my missing wallet and the rest of the day went on as planned.

By the next weekend, the whole situation seemed funny, and I told the story to some friends at a birthday party. I was feeling pretty pleased with my resourcefulness at finding a way to get to work with my limited resources.

Until someone said, “Why didn’t you just ask your roommates to borrow two bucks?”

**record scratch**

Uh, yeah. Or I could have done that.

How I Ended Up in NYC on the Eve of Hurricane Irene

Okay, I need to follow up that last post, which was very serious, with something lighter. So here’s a story about me being an idiot to lighten the mood.

How much of an idiot? I went to New York City the day before Irene hit.

Yeah, the more I think about it, the dumber I think I am, so I’ve only told a handful of people about it. But what is blogging for if not for celebrating your own idiocy? (Hell, I’m even doing karaoke on my blog now.)

So, remember when I made a list of things I wanted to do over the summer? I actually managed to cross quite a few, but not all of them off of the list. I went to the beach, the Boston Harbor Islands, the Arboretum, the zoo, Castle Island, and Portland. The rest I’ll have to accomplish some other time.

But I was really, really determined to get to New York this summer. I wanted to enjoy the pleasure of my own company and do all the touristy things that actual New Yorkers roll their eyes at. I had it all planned out:

o I would depart in the early afternoon on a summer Friday, when I only work half a day.

o I would take the Bolt Bus from South Station.

o I would go directly to the Times Square TKTS booth to buy tickets for a musical that night, preferably Mary Poppins or Avenue Q.

o I would check in at Hotel 17, which Rebekah had recommended to me as a nice budget hotel in Manhattan.

o I would get dressed up and go to the theater.

o Saturday morning, I would wake up and utilize my tickets to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

o Then I would take the subway to Coney Island, where I would ride the Cyclone, etc. and then head to a bagel shop to get some Real Brooklyn Bagels.

o Sunday morning, I would head to Central Park, where I would go to the zoo, take a lot of pictures, and relax somewhere comfortable while reading whatever book of The Hunger Games trilogy I was on.

o For lunch, I would grab a big slice or two of New York-style pizza.

o Then I would head to a museum near Central Park, perhaps the American Museum of Natural History.

o And then I’d get back on the Bolt Bus and be home in time to shower and get a good night’s sleep.

Decent plan, right? DAMN YOU, IRENE.

So at the beginning of the week, rumblings about Hurricane Irene began. Gradually, people started mentioning that it could hit New York City as a hurricane and FLOOD MANHATTAN OMG THE WORLD WOULD COME TO AN END.

Around Thursday it started to occur to me that this hurricane might mess up my plans for this trip. Should I reschedule? But…but…I already have tickets to the Statue of Liberty! And my hotel is booked and I can’t cancel it now! And I bought my bus tickets! Can’t let all that money go to waste, right?….Okay, maybe I should cut the trip a little bit short, as it looks like it will be raining all day on Sunday. Central Park is probably not a good idea, as I’d probably get soaked. Coney Island probably isn’t, either. Damn. That’s a few items on my travel goals list I won’t get to check off. Oh, well. At least I can still go to a show and see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I’ll just head home Saturday night, I guess…

So I changed my bus ticket to Saturday night. Bolt Bus had actually cancelled all their bus trips on Sunday, but the weather report was showing that the rain wasn’t supposed to start until Saturday. And Friday was supposed to be the classic calm-before-the-storm day—eighties and pleasant, not a cloud in the sky, all that.

Then I checked the Statue Cruises website and discovered that the tours of Liberty and Ellis Island had been cancelled for both Saturday and Sunday. You’d think that would be the moment where I decided that the trip was not a good idea, right? Yeah, you would think that.

So, work got out on Friday. One of my coworkers was leaving the company and it was her last day, so a group of us took her out for lunch. During lunch, I mentioned that when I left the restaurant, I was heading to South Station to take the bus to NYC. My much-smarter-than-me coworkers pointed out that there was a hurricane about to hit NYC, to which I replied, “Yeah, but I’ll be out before it gets there…I think…”

It was beginning to dawn on me that this was probably a mistake. But my list, guys! And my other list! And my hotel reservation! And this was really the last weekend I’d be able to do it for awhile! If I didn’t do it that weekend, it would be a long time before I’d be able to!

So I hopped on the Bolt Bus, read Catching Fire, put in earplugs to drown out a loud conversation in some European language that I didn’t recognize, made a mental note to buy Mockingjay at a bookstore in NYC. Just as we got to NYC, I got a text message from Bolt Bus saying to check my email for some important information. My phone has basic Internet—I can check email and do some basic Web browsing, but I wouldn’t trust it for normal Internet function like a smartphone has. So I logged into gmail from my phone and looked at my latest email.

“Dear Valued Customer, Due to the approach of Hurricane Irene to our service area, we are cancelling your schedule for Saturday, August 27, 2011 with Boltbus,” said the email.

Oh, crap! said I.

When I checked the Bolt Bus website on my phone (while I could check on my phone, buying tickets via the web on my phone wouldn’t be a good idea), I saw that all the buses for earlier in the day on Saturday were sold out.

So there went my one remaining plan still in place—the Broadway show—as my priority now was getting to the hotel, getting online, and buying tickets via another company. So I got to the hotel, waited for some anxious foreign tourists to stop talking to the desk clerk about the impending hurricane, got my room key, tried to figure out how to open the door to the old-fashioned elevator (if I’d been in a better mood I probably would have thought the elevator was cool), got to my room, and frantically tried to get online and search for bus tickets. Oh, my God, I have to be at work on Monday for my performance review, I thought. How on Earth am I going to explain this? “Oh, sorry, I got stuck in New York because I decided to go there as a hurricane was coming?”

Luckily, there was space on the 9:00 AM Fung Wah bus. I tend to avoid those buses if I can because sometimes they blow up, but I figured I had a better chance of getting stranded in a city four hours away from home than of blowing up on a bus. I had to beg the front desk to let me print out the tickets right away (thankfully, Hotel 17 was very nice and only charged me for one night when I’d reserved the room for two).

So…what to do? I couldn’t see a play, go to Central Park (too dark at that point), or go to the Statue of Liberty or any museums (closed for the night). That left…pizza and bagels.

So Friday night, I did get some very good pizza, then went to Barnes & Noble to buy Mockingjay, then used a New York guide I found in B&N to find a good bar in the neighborhood, where I ordered a drink. People on the street kept talking about how everything was shutting down—the subway would shut down the next day, and Broadway was going dark. The next morning, I got myself a bagel from a place recommended online as one of the best in New York, then headed to Chinatown to catch the bus. I ended up getting on an earlier bus and was back in Boston by 11:30.

I’d been in New York for a grand total of 15 hours, about seven of which were spent sleeping. My waking time in NYC was equivalent to the total amount of time spent on buses.

And then Irene happened, a tropical storm by the time she reached us, and not much happened. I didn’t leave the house all day and watched Six Feet Under on DVD. (Side note: I’m ten years too late on this, but wow, Six Feet Under is a really good show! I’m catching up on DVD right now and have finished the first two seasons.)

Sadly, many other people up and down the East Coast can’t say the same. Some people died; others experienced extensive property damage. So I hope this post isn’t seen as making light of a serious natural disaster—I just wanted to tell my own awkward story. I’m lucky that the only real danger I faced was the embarrassing possibility of having to explain why I was stuck in New York, and I never even had to do that.

I do wonder, though, what this Weather Channel guy would think of me.