Monday, October 24, 2011

Since When Is That Ok?

Every day my morning starts off the same.  Hustling my butt to get out of my apartment and start my jaunt down the lovely hill to school, getting there with NO time to spare.  I've got my delectably delicious butter toffee coffee in one hand and my iPod in the other as I walk out the door and immediately put my headphones in (as soon as I get them untangled, which I have to do EVERY day).  I head straight down that hill, my normal route, which has become a daily repetition of landmarks, smells, my favorite graffiti pieces and the same familiar faces that I now look forward to (all of that is a blog in itself).

On this special day, however, there was a twist in it all.  As I am walking down the hill, with tunnel vision, oblivious to the world, listening to my Sweet September playlist, I notice out of the corner of my eye a car driving very slowly next to me.  I briefly glance over and notice an older woman yelling out her window.  There is a man walking in the opposite direction passed me so I assume she is talking to him.  Wrong.  He passes by and the woman is still slowly rolling in her car next to me.  I look up again and she is franticly waving at me!  I take off my headphones and before I could say anything she asks me in her high pitched twangy Boston accent if I know where Tremont Street is.  I told her I am pretty sure it is down the hill and to the right but I am new to the area and don't really know.  Being unsatisfied with that answer she asks me if I could then help her find it.  I asked her to give me a second and I would look it up on my phone.  I looked it up and tried to direct her on how to get there.  She then asks me if I could please just get in the car with her and show her where to go.  Ok, did she hear anything I said? I mean, her guess is as good as mine considering neither of us know where we are!  But myself, being the kind person I am and not knowing how to use the word "NO", I for some reason feel that the only appropriate thing to do is get in the car with her and try to help this sweet older woman find her way.  I will confess, a small part of me was excited about the idea of our little drive cutting off some of my walk.

Down the hill we go and luckily Tremont is a street I cross on my walk, which I didn't even realize.  We make a right on the street and go down a ways to find the address she needs.  Now, to park.  I have her pull to the side and figure this is where I can get out and she can find parking.  Unfortunately we found the one spot on the street that was no parking.  I told her that I was going to go ahead and get out now but if she were to make a U-turn she could probably find parking on the other side.  The woman asks me to stay in the car with her until she found a spot.  I will say, the poor lady was very frazzled and confused and I felt bad leaving her.  But by now I was running even more late and realized that where we ended up actually put me further from school than normal.  I explained I had to get to class, but reassured her that she would be just fine and that parking would be no problem on the other side.

My favorite part of this whole experience is that as our brief interaction was reaching its end, now was the appropriate time in it all to introduce ourselves and exchange a few introductory questions that you normally would with a new acquaintance, after going through about 10 minutes of high intensity, stress and anxiety.  I believe it was a bit comforting for my new friend Victoria, however, and I felt good helping her calm down and feel at ease about completing her little journey.  I wished her good luck and got out of the car.

As I got out of the car and began walking back in the direction we just came, I couldn't help but laugh.  I took a minute to process what just happened.  Thinking to myself, I am nuts and crazy and I have no idea why I thought that would ever be ok, but also feeling really good that I did something nice for that sweet woman.

For those of you who think this was at all irresponsible, I will say that as much as she caught me off guard and in her aggressive tone didn't really give me enough time to think before I just reacted, I know myself and I strongly believe that if it was not a good idea something would've triggered in me and I would not have gotten into her car.  So don't worry about me! In the end, I made it out just fine and find this story super fantastic and one more thing that I can add to the amazing adventures I am experiencing in Boston.  I feel like if ever I have moments of being overwhelmed with this new city or miss home for a minute, something happens at the perfect time to remind me why I am here and how fortunate I am to be experiencing all of these exciting, out of my comfort zone happenings to add to my storybook.  For that, it was so nice to meet you, Victoria!