My taxi-hailing skills are legendary in some circles. I mean, I have been known to run the length of 2 NYC blocks in 4-inch heels in the rain at night darting in and out of moving traffic in order to grab a cab and not just "grab a cab" - but grab it SUCCESSFULLY.
Therefore running the length of less than 1 NYC block in 3-inch heels in the rain at night on the sidewalk shouldn't have been a problem. Key words there: shouldn't have been.
So I was in NYC last weekend and I had the world's most lovely day with Dr. Diva on Saturday. There was shopping and a dress bought (me) and a fabulous lunch and more shopping and more dresses bought (her) and the procurement of Spanx (a first for me) and cocktails and then it was home to get glammed up for a Saturday night on the town and then back out for pre-theater cocktails and snacks followed by Priscilla Queen of the Desert on Broadway and in case you were wondering if there was room for any more fabulous in our day, the answer is YES.
The culmination to all of this fabulosity was an 11pm reservation at Scarpetta to eat Scott Conant's spaghetti. And if you're wondering who the hell makes an 11pm dinner reservation to eat spaghetti, the answer is me because it was the only possible time to go. Also? We're not just talking spaghetti. We're talking spaghetti that's been laced with pixie dust and unicorn kisses. And about a pound of butter. Seriously - Scarpetta's spaghetti is supposed to be nothing short of life-changingly phenomenal and since11pm on Saturday night was the only time I could try it, that meant that Dr. Diva and I had 30 minutes from the time the show ended to get out of the theater and make it downtown. Thirty minutes.
As divinely fabulous as Priscilla was (and believe me, it was all kinds of awesome) as soon as the last drag queen took her final bow, Dr. Diva and I upped and bolted. We stepped out onto West 47th Street - smack dab in the heart of the theater district - at 10:30pm on a Saturday night, in the middle of a torrential downpour, very much needing a cab to whisk us to West 14th Street.
The odds of spotting a vacant cab in the theater district at 6:30am on a sunny Tuesday morning are 100:1. The odds of spotting one in the middle of a monsoon on a Saturday night are a gajillion to one. And yet...there was a cab. About half a block away. Lights turned on indicating that it was available. AND NO ONE IN SIGHT.
So despite my attire of fitted Black Halo dress and industrial strength Spanx; despite the fact that I was in 3-inch heels; despite the fact that it was pitch black and pouring down rain - despite all of that, I opened my umbrella and took off.
Sometimes traffic patterns work in your favor. Lights turn red and that bus you were desperate to catch has to stop and so you can actually make it. Or lights turn green and that vacant cab with your name on it starts making its way towards you, cutting down the distance that you have to run. In heels. In the rain.
Then again, sometimes traffic patterns suck turkey scrotum. For whatever reason, that cab, MY CAB, was stuck at a standstill and no matter how much I ran, it didn't seem to get any closer. And then, HE appeared. My evil nemesis: Mr. Asshole. Mr. Asshole emerged from some bar/theater/hotel/strip club/sinkhole-leading-to-Satan's-playground and stuck his hand out to hail the taxi. MY TAXI. The one I had already sprinted half a block in a monsoon, waving my arm frantically, to get so that I could get downtown in time for my 11pm dinner reservation. Mr. Asshole thought he was going to steal MY TAXI.
So I did what any taxi-hailing legend would do. I threw remaining caution to the wind. I ran a little harder. I ran a little faster. I stuck my hand out a little higher. I yelled TAAAAAAAAAAAAXXXXXXXIIIII into the wet, black night to stake my claim. And then I stepped off of the sidewalk, into the street, intent on THROWING myself in front of that cab if necessary in order to make it clear: that taxi was MINE. Mr. Asshole was going to learn that you don't steal a cab from Rougie. Especially when a gourmet dinner is on the line.
Only...there was no street where I stepped off the curb. There was a pothole. More like a crater really. And with the non-stop deluge it was actually more like a small lake. You all took physics in high school - right? You understand how the laws of gravity work - right?
I went flying. Dr. Diva told me after that one minute she saw me, the next minute she didn't. I went down and I went down hard. And not only did I go down hard, but I went down hard into a giant pool of rainwater. As a slight aside, would you like to know what's more uncomfortable then industrial-strength Spanx cutting off all circulation to your lower extremities? Soaking wet industrial-strength Spanx. There are no fucking words.
So right. There I am lying face down in a dirty puddle on West 47th Street. Totally humiliated. Now...if my life were a Rom Com starring one of the Jennifers (Aniston, Lopez - take your pick), Mr. Asshole would have seen me fall just as he was getting into MY TAXI. He would have instructed the taxi to drive the mere feet to where I lay. He would have gotten out and inquired to my well-being. He would have offered to share the cab. He also would have been Matthew McConaughey and a doctor and he would have tended to my wounds and we would have fallen madly in love...THE END. Only Rom Coms are total bullshit and that's not how life works. I have no idea WHO Mr. Asshole is or what he does for a living. All I know is that he's an asshole and he stole my fucking cab and took off into the night.
Meanwhile, I picked myself up and limped back to Dr. Diva, knees, palms, elbows and pride all stinging with pain. Seriously - the worst thing about falling (and I speak from significant experience in this arena) is what it does to your psyche. I learned to walk when I was a toddler. It's a task I've mastered fairly well in my life so when the ability to walk fails me, it hurts.
There was no blood at first. Just raw skin and wounded pride. The blood came later when we were eventually in a $30 gypsy cab heading towards Scarpetta. As I clutched a tissue to my knee (and assured the driver I wouldn't bleed all over his upholstery), I called the restaurant to tell them we were en route for our 11pm and to please not turn off the stove before our arrival as I was desperate for spaghetti and that I had sustained a serious injury in my efforts to try it. The humorless hostess told me to let them know if we planned on being late. Period.
We stepped out of the cab at 10:49pm. $30 poorer, bleeding (one of us anyways) and with 11 minutes to spare. Dr. Diva took one look at me and told me that I looked deflated. She was right. The hair I had spent so much time curling, hung flat and limp. The Black Halo - making only its second appearance in my life - was wet and clinging to me and my Spanx in all of the wrong places. Whatever eye makeup I had expertly applied had long worn off. Lipgloss? Forget it. I looked - AND FELT - deflated.
Still we charged onwards. Into the restaurant. Towards the humorless hostess who didn't seem to notice that my left knee cap was hemorraghing. She seemed more interested in disposing of our dripping wet coats and umbrellas than offering me First Aid. I eventually limped to the bathroom to attend to my wounds while Dr. Diva followed my earlier instructions and sat down at our table and ordered a bottle of red wine.
The evening was salvaged. First with the wine. Then with a 500mg Naproxen tablet. Eventually, a busboy, making up for the hostess's lack of human compassion, offered me a first aid kit. I declined, having fashioned a makeshift tourniquet out of a napkin and Dr. Diva's ID badge lanyard. I had my spaghetti and it was everything I had hoped it would be and then some.
It was a memorable night and a memorable end to a memorable day and I am sure that Dr. Diva and I will be telling this story for years to come. Also? The bitch got a blog post out of it. A long one. This ought to shut her up until after her honeymoon.