I'm ashamed to say that I occasionally watch Live with Kelly in the morning (used to be Live with Regis and Kelly - you know what I'm talking about). This week Kelly reported that New York City was voted the number one rudest city in the U.S. What?! Us, rude? I'm not a native New Yorker, but have lived here about twenty years, so I consider myself a New Yorker by default. I'm originally from the Southwest of the U.S., where people are so polite it's almost sickening. I almost dread going into shops in my hometown of Tucson and having to hear the story of the salesperson's life every time. I mean, come on! I'm in a hurry! I'm a New Yorker! Even when I'm not in New York, I'm in a hurry! What a relief it is to get back to New York after a vacation in Arizona and go shopping without having to make eye contact or share more than a curt please and thank you.
Kelly pointed out that we're not rude, we're brisk, and I agree with her. Why do you need to linger over every transaction? I guess people from the rest of the country are used to that kind of exchange, therefore, New Yorkers only appear to be rude when they don't engage in them. But when it really counts, we couldn't be more polite. We hold doors for each other, we gladly give directions on the street or subway, especially on the subway, because we understand that out-of-towners get confused by the labyrinthine system. People say that New Yorkers turn their heads if someone is in trouble, but I'm always hearing about heroes jumping onto subway tracks to save someone, or running into a burning building. And as someone who was here on 9/11, I know for a fact how generously we looked out for each other on that terrible day.
So, please don't judge us if you come to our beautiful, cultured, fascinating, fun city. Just put the chatter on the back burner until you get back to whatever charming small town you come from. Remember, we're not rude, just efficient!
(The above is intended to be totally tongue in cheek, just in case you were offended. I actually love Tucson and the Southwest, and absolutely look forward to the small talk when I go to visit!)