Hello Strangers. So, seeing that it has now been over a year since I, Laurel McKay Luckey, have moved to Manhattan, successfully procured a job, an apartment, not had more than two hands worth of nervous breakdowns, survived one winter and am about to battle out polar vortex number two (Winter is coming…), and have not gotten so lost on the subway that I ended up in East New York *Side note: I still wouldn’t know if I did end up in East New York because it is apparently so scary no one will even tell me the name of an area located there. It’s like in the Lion King, “Laurel, everything the sun touches is yours, but your see that are there? That’s East New York. You must never go there.”*; I felt it was time for me to list out everything I have learned. Some of these are opinions and some may just be things you learn anyways from growing up and slowly gaining the ability to pay your own rent, but none the less, they are things that have made an impact on my life. While the time I was actually learning these lessons may have been less than enjoyable, my life in New York is now much easier (and possibly a teeny bit cheaper) from having experienced them.
Things I’ve learned since moving to New York:
1. Make sure tailoring a skirt doesn’t cost more than the actual skirt.
This is first because I just experienced it and I’m still suffering from the aftershocks of how stupid I felt during the time.
I’ve never really had anything tailored specifically for me before unless it was a Mardi Gras or dance costume or a bridesmaid’s dress that some idiot ordered me a size 10 in when I’m a size 4 (I can thank walking around New York for that. Just let me have my skinny moment and brag about it okay? Geez). So when I ordered a J.Crew pencil skirt and it was too big, I thought “Hey, I’ll just get it tailored. That’s what all of the magazines tell me to do and I’m going to try it. An amazing, perfect black pencil skirt that looks like it was made for me. I can go for that”…No, no, no, no. I did not ask how much it would cost and in Mississippi when all alterations cost $20, you cannot have them stick a pin in your skirt for only $20 in New York. So let’s just say I paid double what I paid for the skirt in alterations. Which brings me to my next thing I’ve learned…
2. In-store return/exchange does exist.
In New York, because every single store in the world exists there, you can actually take things back to said store and return it or get your correct size. Which, may I add, is incredibly amazing because I’m one of those people who if they order something and it doesn’t fit, it’ll sit in my room in the box and every time I see it I’ll just say a silent prayer I’ll lose weight or eventually learn to love it instead of making a trip to the post office.
3. If you’re a girl, always wear headphones when walking.
– you’re blonde (personal observation)
– you have longer hair
– you have less than normal clothes on
– you have a larger than normal backside/chest area and it’s not covered sufficiently
– you smile too much
– you know the path you always walk to work is undergoing construction in certain areas
– you’re just a girl in general
If you do not, you will be subjected to some of the most absurd/nasty cat calls you will ever hear in your life. More mothers should have washed their son’s mouths out with soap. Although, my personal favorite that I have gotten was, “Hey Ma”. Simple but I felt very legit afterwards. Like I was a true New Yorker who could possibly fit in with the curvier Penelope Cruz types of the Spanish/Latin American community.
4. If someone says something rude/snarky to you, it is completely acceptable to say something with the same snarky tone back.
You MUST do this in an intelligent/witty manner though. In the South you must smile and politely say, “It was very nice speaking with you” but in New York when your asshole doorman asks if you constantly walk out in front of traffic because you get off the elevator on the wrong floor when you’re changing the song on your phone, it is perfectly fine to say, “Sir, that has never happened to me. As you can see, I am in moving vessel. I myself am not moving and therefore am in no danger to myself or anyone else so if I want to play on my phone, I can.”
There is a time for the less thought out response of “fuck you” but I am not 100% positive of when that time is and I’m also not in shape to defend myself if I do use it at the wrong time.
5.The subway takes an incredibly long time on weekends.
I mean duh, I guess.
6. The price it costs to get into a museum is only the “recommended” price.
I know right? Crazy. You literally don’t have to pay anything to go to the American Museum of Natural History BUT but but…if you don’t, you also better be okay with below average exhibits. We’re talking the Wooly Mammoth not being so Wooly anymore and dinosaur bones made out of clay by a fifth grade class down the street. So just think about that the next time you don’t pay because it’d be nice not to have to choose between eating and cable this month…
7.You can get anything delivered to you.
And I mean anything. Right there, to your doorstep. Mailmen don’t even walk all the way up to the doorstep anymore. Okay…We’ll just leave it at that.
8.Cigarettes are so expensive, people (even homeless people) will offer to pay you for one.
I’ve been with friends who were offered $3 for one cigarette. They’re so expensive. I was with a friend once who paid $15.17 for ONE pack. And I said “and that’s why I don’t smoke…”
9.No one you meet in New York has ever met someone from Mississippi unless they themselves are from the south.
It’s actually kind of funny when I meet someone new up here and they ask where I’m from because I just love their responses. Literally no one who was born in the Northeast has ever met someone from Mississippi. It’s nice because I get to refer to myself as a unicorn (and obviously, what girl hasn’t wanted to be a unicorn at some point in their lives?) because people hear that I exist but they’ve never actually seen/met a girl like me. Then, it sucks because I have to give my “Mississippi really doesn’t get enough credit speech” and honestly, I’m so bored with telling it that there’s no way they believe anything I say anyways.
Okay laugh all you want at my last reason, it literally never gets old.
10.When someone asks me what my reason was for moving here, they always always smile when I respond with “I just love it”
I think they all really just love it too…