The NYC Marathon or Why People Who Live Outside The City Should Be Screened/Heavily Sedated Before Entering
Ashley called me up and wanted to know if I would like to go watch part of the New York City Marathon. She told me you cheer a lot and everyone gets into it and it’s so inspiring and she lives right nearby the eighteen mile mark, so really, why not?! Well why not could be that I had to miss out on some sleep on a beautiful Sunday morning but let’s face it, Ashley is worth it. So around noon I met her on 77th and Lexington and we walked over to First Avenue.
I know it should’ve been obvious to me but PEOPLE ARE RUNNING! EVERYWHERE! SO MANY RUNNERS! Most of them soaked with sweat because, um, eighteen miles? and the fact that it was 70 degrees+. Ashley immediately starts clapping and cheering and finding the runners who have their names written on their shirts or bodies.
“GO DANNY! WORK IT RACHEL! YOU GOT IT!”
I’m so impressed. She is obviously a marathon-spectator extraordinaire. I join right in. We try to squeeze our way forward and we are past the curb in a group of people standing on the side of the street when out of nowhere a woman with Bangs Gone Wrong approaches (attacks?) Ashley and screams in her face at the top of her lungs, “GET OUT OF THE STREEEEEEEET! YOU ARE BLOCKING THE RUNNERS! WE’VE BEEN HERE SINCE 9 AM!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Ashley and I exchange a very confused look. “Woah woah I’m sorry. Okay okay. Calm down,” mutters Ashley, hoping that the woman with a terrible hairdo does not have a gun. As far as we know, she is definitely not an authority figure and even worse, we are standing in a group of at least a gazillion people with cops around us and they aren’t telling us to move anywhere.
We give in and move further down the street and find a great spot in front of a little dogs-pee-on-it-all-the-time tree. There are some people right in front of us standing against the barricade but other than that, we have a wonderful view. We’re clapping, Ashley is screaming her head off.
“ROCK ON STEPHANIE! YOU CAN DO IT BIG PETE! KEEP ON GOING AMY! YEAHHHHHHH!”
The opposite side of the street, I should mention, is going crazy with claps and cheers. Our side for some reason? Not as excited. Ashley and I have to be some of the rowdiest people on our side. Ashley is disappointed.
“The people at the Boston Marathon were ten times more into this…GO BILLY YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Holy crap look who’s coming toward us…”
Sure enough, The Marathon Nazi is headed straight for us. We are confused/pissed at life. We aren’t doing anything wrong now, we know it. We’re standing behind the barricade. She comes right up to us and sneaks in behind the barricade. The two ladies in front of us say, “Oh yeah girl! You told them! This is so awful, people cutting in when we’ve been here since 9! Those cops are doing NOTHING.”
So. Evil Bangs Lady’s posse is actually directly in front of us. UM. Ashley suggests moving. It won’t be the first time she offers this. I say no, we’re in a good spot. I take the time to notice that not only are her bangs awful but she is wearing the top half of a red white and blue jumpsuit circa 1992. Niiiiice.
Throughout the next 10 or 15 minutes, the ladies in front of us, who are waiting for their friend John to run by, take turns running out into the middle of the street screaming at the top of their lungs at people to get out of the way. They also take it upon themselves to flag down cops and tell them they’re doing a terrible job. Most of the NYPD we saw had a trace of a smirk on their face the entire time.
“THAT MAN IN THE RED SHIRT! HE KEEPS SNEAKING UP! IT ISN’T FAIR! HE’S BLOCKING THE WAY!”
Ashley and I begin to mutter under our breaths in between claps and cheers. We utter the occasional, “You are being crazy” and “Let it go, just calm yourselves.” Finally the Evil Lady in Early 90′s Garb turns around and says, “You know what? We’re NOT going to let it go. We’ve been here since 9 AM!!!!!”
Ashley says, “You’re ruining it for the rest of us.” I add that I’ve never seen such negativity in my entire life. She gives dirty looks. We continue to cheer, “LET’S HEAR IT FOR LISA!! YEAHHHHHHH MIGUEL!” and then overhear her saying, “GOD those girls have loudmouths.”
Um. Ashley and I say loudly, “We’re cheering for the RUNNERS.” It must also be noted that Satan In A Jumpsuit is not clapping or cheering. She is slumped against the barricade with the physical energy of a cold dead fish. She turns around and tells us we’re screaming in her ears.
“It’s a marathon?” we say, “You’re SUPPOSED to cheer them on. They’ve run 18 miles.”
Wench says accusingly, “Have *you* ever run a marathon!?”
Let’s make one thing clear. I have not run a marathon. Nor has Ashley. But for the record, Ashley was so inspired that she got up for a morning jog. And let it be known, that I’m making marathon-training strides by getting my butt out of bed for a run at least 4 times a week. (Okay 2, fine, it’s 2.) I’m not sure what this lady meant by asking that? It was clear that she herself had never run a marathon. Well. Unless she had some kind of glory day way back when and then gained lots of weight after. I don’t know.
I say, “No we haven’t?” with a question mark because I wanted her to see just how idiotic and useless that question was.
“Well then YOU don’t know what it’s like. We are WAITING FOR OUR FRIEND.”
Ashley brings it home by saying, “It’s a MARATHON? It’s not about YOU. It’s about THEM. We’re here to cheer for THEM.”
I try to join in but only manage a heartfelt, “YEAH” or something.
The Devil Wears 1990 Attire looks me in the eye and says, “Why don’t you just SHUT UP.”
Ashley is nearly in tears, as am I because let’s face it, I’m afraid of confrontation. But this? Is juicy. Ashley asks if we can move. I say that we should hold our ground and not let this lady win. We both agree she has ruined this entire experience for us. So we cheer. Ashley is a rockstar.
“YOU GOT IT, SAMIR, YOU GOT IT! WORK IT PAM! YEAH PAM! YOU CAN DO IT MAN DRESSED UP LIKE A FAIRY! YEAH YOU!!!”
At some point earlier, I had whispered to Ashley that Satan’s Posse could NOT be from NYC and act the way they were acting. We could find no proof that they were out of towners except for the fact that they had no clue how to dress and no accent. However, proof came around this time when someone in the marathon ran by that they recognized. They yelled for her and she came over to talk and then ran on by.
Satan’s Friend #1: Oh, how do we know her??
Satan’s Friend #2: Ohhhhhhhhhh she’s from town!
Um. From town? I poked Ashley. Out of towners for shizzle. FROM TOWN!?!?!?!? There is nothing I can say that will reiterate just how geniusly hick that is. Nothing.
Eventually, Satan’s Marathon Runner, John, ran by and he was very nice. We even clapped and cheered for him. Her two friends thanked us for cheering and ended up being really decent people. But The Wench With The Bangs and the White Keds refused to crack a smile the entire time. Once John (who was probably also From Town!) ran by, they were off to the end of the race to meet him. Ashley and I breathed a sigh of relief and gave it one last round of cheers before I had to go to work.
The cheering was fun. The marathon was inspiring. (I told everyone I know that I’m going to do it next year and was met by snickers from all. Okay fine. I have to work up to it. Maybe a 5K first…) I just don’t know how someone can be yelling in my face while a man runs by me with two prosthetic legs or how someone can not clap and cheer when a woman hits the 18 mile mark and she’s missing an arm.
How? Can you be so out of touch with joy?
I don’t know about y’all but I blame it on the red-white-and-blue-I-probably-voted-for-Bush jumpsuit top. Let’s just say that she didn’t have the matching bottom, just tight black stretch pants. Maybe this was the source of her anger. Maybe she woke up the morning of the marathon in her hotel room and realized she left the bottom half of her jogging outfit in Town. I’m going to try to understand her plight. I definitely feel “off” when I don’t match.
Oh wait. I always match. And usually when I cheer people on who are running 26.2 miles on quite possibly the most lovely autumn New York day, I try to have a HEART and be happy and not tell people to get out of my way. But that’s just me. Can I get a heck yeah?
And some pudding? All this talk of running makes me hungry.