I always know when my day is starting off on the wrong foot. The lid on my coffee cup is leaking; I can’t find anything to wear; I just miss the train and have to wait forever for the next one; my bagel order is messed up. Silly stuff that immediately indicates, “Amelia, today is going to suck.” Of course, an attitude adjustment can turn a bad day into a decent one, but what about those signs that a day is going to be awesome? I had a moment like that this morning.I do some of my best thinking and writing in the morning before other people have gotten into the Frisky offices, so lately I’ve been coming in between 8 and 8:30 a.m. to get a head start. This morning I decided to take a cab (I can’t lie — I do this way too often) because I was running slightly behind my pre-determined schedule. After I gave the driver my destination, he turned around and said in a thick French lilt, “You look lovely today!”
“Oh, thank you,” I replied. The truth is, I wasn’t feeling so lovely. I hadn’t showered, my hair was up in a loose bun, and my outfit wasn’t particularly special, mainly because I haven’t done laundry in ages. How nice of this driver to compliment me though. He’ll get a little extra tip, I thought.
“You look like a French girl,” he continued as the cab sped off.
“Oh wow, thanks, that’s a compliment,” I said back. After all, French women are known for being effortlessly chic.
“Your style, your charm,” he said. “You would fit right in in France.” For the rest of the drive, Michele — that was his name — told me about the 20 years he spent as a chef in New York, working for people like Daniel Boulud. Now that he has retired from the kitchen — “Too hot!” he explained — he drives a cab a few days a week for fun and a little extra money. We talked about the World Cup and his belief that men in America don’t put much effort into showing a woman that they care.
“Everything is so fast, fast, fast in America,” he said. “Everyone works to die. In Europe, we work to live!” Truthfully, sometimes I think I live to work, but that’s another post.
Michele and I had such a lovely conversation for the 15 minutes it took to drive me to work that he said if I ever needed a ride again or was stuck to give him a call and if he was in the area he would come get me. I know what you’re thinking — but Michele, who must have been in his early 60s, was not perving out on me. He was just being kind and genuinely enjoyed my company. I enjoyed his too and the experience definitely started my day on the right note.
Here are 10 others things that get my day started just right.
- Full sun and upper-70 degree temperatures.
- A drawer full of clean undies and a closet full of just dry-cleaned outfit options.
- A great idea for an essay that I can’t wait to start writing for The Frisky.
- A large iced coffee (with a leak-free top!) and a new issue of Us Weekly available at the newsstand.
- A smile from a handsome guy sitting across from me on the train (this doesn’t happen nearly enough).
- A perfectly prepared breakfast burrito with lots of hot sauce.
- A particularly wide and joyful smile from my dog Lucca as we head out for our first walk of the day.
- Spending an hour at the dog park with Lucca on a Saturday or Sunday, followed by a walk around our neighborhood.
- “Day N Nite (Crookers Remix)” by Kid Cudi on my iPod. I know it was last year’s jam, but I still love to walk to the train in the morning listening to it.
- A good night’s sleep the night before.
What makes YOUR day start off on a high note?