Nina In New York: Today Is Not St. Patrick’s Day
A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
Oh thank you, Saint Patrick, for having your day of honor fall on a Saturday this year. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Saint Patrick’s Day. It involves beer, which is good, and pub crawls, which are also good, despite the fact that I haven’t had the stamina to survive a whole one since turning 26. But I had some good years in there when I could throw down on St. Patty’s Day with the best of ’em. I mean, I used to live in Boston where St. Patty’s Day is practically a bank holiday. Those people do not mess around.
But now that I’m rounding 30 and can no longer justify taking a “sick day” to slap some shamrock stickers on my face and sample beer from every pub in Murray Hill, the day takes on a slightly different look. The torment of the knowledge that half the country is out having a grand old time is compounded by the unfortunate fact that my office sits directly above the Midtown side street on which marching bands who will soon feed into the parade route practice. That’s right. You would really be amazed to know how easily and effectively the sound of horns and drums can travel nearly fifteen stories up through a person’s window, into her ears, and then out of her eyeballs. It’s fun. By around 11 a.m., I lay my head on my desk in defeat.
Around 2 p.m., the sweet noise of drunken yelling and fighting begins to float up into my office, followed shortly thereafter by at least a few siren whoops and cops talking through their loudspeakers like the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons. Know what all this makes me wish I had?
Can I have one? No. But guess what? Everyone else does. That’s why I’m in this situation in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle. Get it?
Please just make it end.
By 5 p.m., I am toast. All work has ceased to happen on our floor for hours. Everyone is just headdesking and facepalming and massaging their temples and staring at each other bleary eyed and exhausted. It’s bleak.
“I FEEL LIKE THERE’S A MARCHING BAND PLAYING IN MY BRAIN!”
“I SAID, I FEEL LIKE . . . never mind, I’m too tired to finish my sentence.”
“What?? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
“I’m going home.”
“I can’t hear you! Okay whatever, I’m going home.”
That’s when I head downstairs to the subway, desperate to just get to my couch, only to have to contend with hoards of intoxicated merrymakers both in my lobby and on the subway platform. Sometimes they ask if we employees will let them come upstairs to pee. Um, no. But, they really have to pee. Well, no. Mostly, they appear to have no idea how to ride mass transit. They block the doors and won’t get off to let people out for fear of the subway locking up really fast and zipping away without them. They’re loud. They’re having fun. If I was having fun, I’d be cool with it. But it is not my lot in life to have fun on St. Patty’s Day any longer.
Unless it falls on a weekend!
Sigh. Hear that? Nothing. It’s . . . oh wait, there goes a siren. Okay now, it’s glorious.
Hope everyone had a safe and happy weekend. Looking forward to next year, when it falls on a Sunday!
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.