Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Cab Ride Through H**L

My kitchen has been a mess all week.  It happens.  But this morning I made a To Do list and so there's hope.  But meanwhile, how about some blogging?

I ran this morning, which lately, is becoming increasingly momentous.  Running produces thinking and all that thinking caused me to decide to document a few memories in my blog.  This one is about our cab ride through H--L.

It was in February of 2011, and we had just disembarked from a lovely 10-day Caribbean cruise along with half of the retired population of New "Joizee".  The dock was in the harbor of their home state, just outside of The Big Apple .... aka, New York City.  This was back when I was hopelessly in love with their Republican governor, and we all sang the praises of Chris Christie during our meals together on the ship.

We headed for the army of taxies and vans, lined up looking for passengers.  We needed to get to the airport to catch a flight leaving in about four hours.  We were herded into a van with a small and friendly group including another couple going to the same airport, and some others getting off in downtown Manhattan.

Our driver was a young-ish woman, well-endowed with her thick "Joizee" accent.  The plan was to head to town to drop off the city-dwellers, then off to the airport.  $40 for the two of us.  A good price, or so we thought.

Our first clue was when we approached a toll station and the driver asked if anyone needed change.  We handed her some bills, with which she paid the toll, and handed us the change ..... minus the cost of the toll.  Well, she did ask if we needed change, I suppose ......

Then we hit typical New York traffic, which translates to Stop and Crawl.  The time was ticking by and the Stopping and Crawling took longer and longer ..... The New Yorkers kept giving THIS direction to their destination, then THAT direction ..... turn left .... now right and one more block, now left, and they were SURE their hotel was only a few minutes away .....  My stomach was starting to knot up.

Husband began to speak up about flight times, and the other airport-bound couple in the back seat were grimly quiet.  Husband handed some cab fare to two of the passengers, asking them to get off at the next corner and catch another cab.   Finally all the city people got off, and we continued to Stop and Crawl our way through the mess.  The four of us were visually glued to our watches by this time, and Husband pulled rank with his phone GPS.  The useless driver seemed clueless and totally overwhelmed, but continued to argue about which way to go.  Fortunately the GPS, and its determined owner, won the battle and we finally got out of the city.

"There are two ways to get to the airport."  Useless Driver said.  "But the faster way will cost toll money."

"Take it!  I'll pay the toll!!"  (... again.)

I, with my knotted stomach, was worried about that half-hour rule, or was it an hour, which was that you MUST arrive no less than a certain amount of time before your flight, or they will NOT check your bags and you are toast.

Grim Couple in the back seat were white-knuckling their arm-rests.   Their flight was a few minutes earlier than ours, so we needed to drop them off first ..... in an airport the size of Seattle.

Useless Driver complained about her return trip through Queens.

"It's gonna cost me to get back" she whimpered.  "You owe me toll money for getting back."

"I don't need to give you more money" answered unusually-firm Husband.  "Just go back the way you were GOING to go.  Don't go the toll way."

"But I brought you all this way and I have to go ALL the way back, and it isn't fair that I should have to pay it."

"Go the way you were GOING TO GO in the first place.  I'm not giving you any more money."

"It isn't fair and it isn't nice" she continued.  "I came ALL this way ...."

"But you're not making any sense!  GO THE OTHER WAY!"

Obviously Logic had been left behind on the New Joizee dock.  It was not in the driver's seat.  The other couple escaped at their stop, and the remaining three of us, argued our way to our stop.

"It's NOT fair ....."  You people are NOT nice .... I have to go ALL that way ....."

FINALLY we got to our stop, grabbed our bags, and ran.  We didn't look back.  We never got a name or phone number to register a complaint.  We.just.ran.  And if she's still there waiting for her tip, I frankly don't care.

The blessed man at the flight counter, noting our frantic arrival, calmly assured us that all was well.  We had made it.  He kindly checked our bags and I resisted the urge to hug him.

So to Useless New Joizee Cab Driver:  May you find another job.  Maybe a quiet, solitary job in some remote stock room where you never again are put in contact with the public.  

And to the traumatized couple in the back seat:  You're welcome.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Personality types -- Heart or Brain?

I am a sucker for those theories that neatly separate the entire human race into several succinct personality types.  We have the colors, the seasonsenneagrams (Can't explain the title.), fashion types, and variations on the theme.  I could spend hours analyzing and categorizing myself and everyone I know ..... Sanguine-Yellow-Smart-Casual, or a Type 4-Subtype-2-Romantic-Spring.  Some of you hate this kind of thing and your eyes are already glazing over, but just know that your distaste for personality typing is an indication of your type.  The rest of you, and you know who you are, are already critiquing my examples and thinking ... Type 4s are SO not romantics!

The simple fact that when I can't figure where I fit in some theory,  means I must then research it obsessively till I do, says something about my type.  (I STILL haven't nailed down my season and which colors I should wear ....  blues or yellows, gold or silver ...... ???!)

Then we have the Five Love Languages, and I am split between Words of Affirmation and Quality Time, but sometimes Acts of Service looks really good ... especially when the fruit trees need pruning.   Whereas Husband, and practically ALL men it seems, speak in the language of Touch.   Fortunately neither of us gives a hoot for Receiving Gifts, or we'd drive each other crazy.

Or ....  which Winnie the Pooh character are you?  I am Eeyore.  Love that realistic, glass-half-empty outlook.

What is the appeal of all this?  I'm not sure, but one thing is that it certainly helps me understand others better and to stop expecting them all to be like me.

For example, in enneagrams where there are nine types, Husband is a classic Two.  Twos love to take care of people.  Some Twos can go too far, becoming doormats to the rest of the population, and needy people will quickly zero in on any Twos in a crowd.   Husband truly lives his Two-ness, going far out of his way to serve, care for, and basically always put everyone else ahead of him.  I have learned to not wait for him to eat at a buffet dinner because he will insist that everyone go ahead of him in line.  I just get my food and find someone interesting with which to sit, and hopefully see him during dessert.  It's lovely being married to a Two, because he would happily dote on me from morning till night.  However, it also means I must share him with the rest of humanity, as people are drawn to Twos and their inability to say no.  I am a One, and therefore must fix the world.  So watch out.

I have also come up with my own personality-type theory which has only two categories.  I call them Heart people or Brain people.

Heart people are led by their ..... hearts.  Logic is not always their friend, because their heart is in command.  Husband, as you may have guessed, is very much a Heart person.  Little children, animals, and elderly women adore him and at church he MUST shake every hand in the room.  He will disregard time, reason, and any form of practicality to just add another touch of warmth to any situation.  And if you are family, you WILL get a hug upon every meeting.

I, on the other hand, am a Brain person.  If you can't be logical, then leave me alone.  I want facts and common sense, and can lose patience with Heart people and all their mushiness.  I like to cut out the fluff and just get to the point.   Bothering as few people as possible, is a creed that speaks to my soul, or in other words .... you take care of you, and I'll take care of me, and we'll all get along.  If I wasn't naturally tempered by female-ness, I'd be a classic Henry Higgins of My Fair Lady.  I DO care deeply about people, but I don't have to hug someone if I just saw him/her last week.

So what type are you?  Do you love people and attention?  Or do you prefer solitude and shy away from the limelight?  Should you wear bold and contrasting colors, or sink into soft pastels and ruffles?  Do you thrust your opinions upon everyone like Rabbit, love to hear yourself pontificate like Owl, or lapse into indecision like Pooh?  Does your spontaneity make you fun, or undependable?  Or must you have calendars, schedules, and structure to keep you sane?  Do you love or hate this kind of thing ........?  Careful, your answer is sending you into a type.

Finally, to quote wise words from Pride and Prejudice (the A&E version) .....

"... but Lizzy, not everyone is the same."

So true.