Dear Woman With The Rolling Suitcase Who Stole My Cab This Morning,
Did you think I wouldn’t notice? That I wouldn’t see you roll past me, stop no more than eight feet in front of me, and raise your arm just like mine had been raised for 15 minutes? Did you think I was so involved in my text conversation with my friend Steve — about whether it’s possible/weird to poop with a baby in a Bjorn strapped to your chest — that I wouldn’t see you blatantly invading my taxi territory? I can think of no other explanation for the lack of subtlety you displayed in defying the laws of cab hailing.
It’s like it happened in slow motion. Maybe it’s the cold meds I’m still on, but as you rolled past me and then in front of me and then stuck your stupid hand in the air, I was thinking to myself, She wouldn’t. No. She would not. Is she? Is she really just going to step in front of me like I’m not here? What? Am I invisible all of the sudden? Maybe I took too many cold meds last night and I accidentally died and I’m not actually here. Nope, just pinched myself. It hurt. I’m alive and my cab space is being stolen out from under me. This. Is. Actually. Happening.
“Ma’am? Ma’am? Excuse me?” I said. Politely, I might add, as I have manners unlike some people. “I have been waiting for a cab for 15 minutes. Ma’am?” Pause. I waited for you to acknowledge me. You didn’t. I snapped. “Oh no. Don’t you dare ignore me! You can’t just walk in front of me and take the cab I’ve been waiting for! You just don’t DO that.”
You finally gave up on pretending to be deaf and turned around.
“Well, I have to go to the airport,” you said snottily, as if I hadn’t noticed your gigantic suitcase when you rolled past me not 30 seconds before. As if your destination automatically rendered manners unnecessary.
I started to twitch. “Are you serious?” I asked. “So because you’re going to the airport, you can just walk right in front of me where i have been waiting and steal the next cab? Are you CRAZY?”
I was loud and my kindly doorman popped his head out of the lobby to watch. I almost found myself saying something about going “Oklahoma on your ass” but you looked like the type who’s seen every episode of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and I’m not from Oklahoma either, so I didn’t want to embarrass myself, but inside, I was going Oklahoma on your ass, trust. See, there are few things that take my typically Zen demeanor from calm and peaceful to straight up stabby like someone egregiously snatching a cab from underneath my nose. Especially because I am extremely conscious about practicing good cab karma. I never steal cabs! In fact, if I’m trying to get a cab in a busy area and one rolls up to me, but I see someone else has been waiting longer than me, I’ll make sure they take it. Seriously! I consider it an important responsibility as a New Yorker.
Which is why, if you had rolled up to me and just said, “Pardon me, I’m running late to the airport; could I please take the next cab?” I totally would have let you. I’m nice like that. I respond well to politeness and I’m totally sympathetic to the stress of running late to catch a flight. I know, it’s the worst. I’ve been there. I would have done you a solid and given you my cab. If you had just been polite and asked.
Instead, you were beyond rude and disrespectful and really were in total violation of THE unspoken New York rule — “thou shall not steal cabs” — and so I was pushed to my breaking point and spent five minutes screaming every obscenity I could think of at you while you waited for your precious cab to take you to the airport so you could fly to wherever. And, by the way, I hope you have a terrible time. I am also not at all sorry for the mean things I said to you, though I generally do not consider myself someone who insults people based on their resemblance to barnyard animals.
I will not let this experience break me of my commitment to good cab karma, though. I will continue to wait my turn and to ensure that the little old lady who was waiting longer than me gets the next cab because it’s the right things to do. I won’t prioritize my destination over someone else’s or think of my time as being more important or act like a snotty entitled bitch just because I have a rolling bag and a plane ticket. You can take away my cab, but you cannot take away my cab karma.
The Woman Whose Cab You Stole This Morning