grand central conflagration: seriously, what is it about lines?

(this is not grand central. but it is certainly majestic.)

ruggy and i were in grand central station, on our way to a lovely evening. of course we were running late.  i made ruggy promise to slow down, as it was totally our friend's fault that we were late, and friend could pick us up on the next train or i could break my ankle running on the decrepit subway stairs.

this always gets ruggy.  noooooOOOOOoooooo, he says, don'tsaythati'llslowdown.

we had nine minutes to make the train, but fortune smiled, and the two ticket machines had incredibly short queues.  so i leave ruggy second in line, and traipse off to find a bottle of water that's not dasani (fruitless search; pepsi/coke have taken over the world in all beverage related forms).  walking back empty handed, i see that ruggy's line has grown stagnant, while several peeps in line-to-the-right have come and gone.  the same confused woman is poking the "back" button on the touch screen like it's whack-a-mole.  the clock ticking, ruggy tries to stay calm as a man beseeches him in spanglish.  we can't tell if he wants us to buy him a ticket for a dollar, or maybe he needs a dollar to have enough to buy a ticket?  ruggy's southern sensibilities wreak havoc on his new york training in situations like these.  the man walks sadly away, and ruggy looks at me like he's just inadvertently drowned the guy's kitten.  i have a dollar, i say, i'll go find him.

two more peeps in line-to-the-right happily get their tickets and move on.  confused lady desperately punches at the screen in front of her.  ruggy breathes deeply.

sad man is a very quick bunny.  he's all the way past the central clock by the time i get twenty paces out.  or maybe it's because i've decided come hell or high water, i'm TAKING IT SLOW, and thusly, as there's no hope of catching him, i stop, turn around, and glance at ruggy's progress.  this is what i witness:

ruggy:  HOly SHITballs!!!

(ruggy turns sharply sideways, a la wile e coyote, and runs full tilt away from the ticket line.)

i know where he's going.  he's headed to the ticket booths on the other side of the stairs.  and i know why he did it.  confused woman had brought ruggy to the very short end of his "i'm taking it slow" rope.  like me, ruggy doesn't do well in lines.  but direct confrontation with strangers is not so much in his genetic makeup.  instead, his syncopated decree (think chris farley) only threw his fellow travelers into a state of complete bewilderment.  i gazed from a distance, amused, as he bolted like a triathlete at the starting gun.  confused lady blinked in wonder at the ruggy-sized hole in the line behind her.  a family of tourists stared at said hole and sniffed the air for insanity as tourist dad put a protective arm around son and daughter.

i strolled to the ticket booths around the corner, quietly chuckling, and watched in gleeful anticipation as a woman slammed obnoxiously into ruggy while squeezing between him and her friend.  i don't know why she chose that spot; there was ample room on the other side.  ruggy's spine went bolt straight and his shoulders stiffened as he held the last ounce of his cool in.  luckily she threw a "sorry" over her shoulder and that was enough.  just barely.  by oona standards, i would've went OFF.

tickets in hand, he turned fuming away from the machine.  i couldn't help but break into a grin.  he caught my eye and shook his head in laughter.  as much as he is an absolute perfect gentleman and chides me for my public outbursts, ruggy loses his shit too.

(only when i lose mine, people know what it's about.  i don't give them much choice.)  


  1. aww poor ruggy.

    My mister is rather the same- Mr. McChide-y Pants to me, but on occasion manages to make me look like a kitten. Of course, this occasion is like, once every year where my occasions are... much more frequent.

    If that made sense.

  2. Intense story! So you were the cool one?
    To my partners embarrassment I am the vocal one when the pressures on.

    She will never let it die when I asked the waiter recently "Who do I have to fuck to get our meals?" (She slid under the table- don't know why.)

  3. hmmm... sadly in our family, we are both Keep Your Cools. Or rather, we are like the International Passive Agressive Tag Team, as we can each out-passive-aggressive the other pretty deftly. We definitely aren't public scene makers.

    And yes, we are very very often unhappy when standing in non-moving lines that we're too polite to harrass bad-doers about.

    Although my tendency in generic-mega-stores to suddenly burst out, "This store has the WORST SELECTION OF CRAP EVER!" does upset the Husband's finely balanced English-bred public-scene aversion.

    I totally wish I could just tell off stupid people in lines. Very jealous of that ability.

  4. Sometimes I wish I had something whitty to say to the dork-wad who is holding up a line, or being rude, but nothing ever comes to me at the time. And then, there is the time when I am the dork-wad, and some says something "whitty" and I feel so put down and hurt and humiliated, it makes me glad I don't have the whit to produce such words.

    Congratulate Ruggy at being able to chuckle at the end -- that's certainly better than many other options!


i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!