Proof that I am losing my New Yorker edge

There’s a long line at the Walgreen’s pharmacy. I am balancing a full bag of groceries in one arm and my heavy gym bag on my shoulder. I am somewhat irritated with myself for choosing to enter a Walgreen’s during rush hour.

The lady behind me is sighing loudly to let everyone know she is in a hurry and is more important than everyone else; I pretend I can’t hear it. Someone else cuts in front of me to be with her family but checks out separately anyway; I say nothing.

Finally get to the counter. The technician, after first going through a rigamarole to update my address (which has been listed incorrectly for 6 years without causing any issues), insists on a pharmacist consultation.

More waiting.

When the pharmacist arrives, she reads the instructions out loud: “Looks like you’re supposed to apply cream to the affected area once daily.” She shrugs. SHE ACTUALLY SHRUGGED.

Old New Yorker Laura would’ve wanted to punch her in the face. Old New Yorker Laura would’ve said something sarcastic instead. On the way out, Old New Yorker Laura would’ve exchanged glances with Sighing Lady and said, “You know why it’s taking so long? Because they think we can’t read.”

But New Portlander Laura doesn’t do any of these things. Instead, she takes the bag of medicine and says:

“Thank you.”


New York is changing, too. This is the parking garage on my street, which closed last fall because the building is slated for demolition. It might already be a new set of condos by now.