Dear Unfortunate Tourists,
I am so sorry to send you in the wrong direction on the C train last Thursday! You probably thought I did it on purpose, but I was just turned around, standing on the wrong platform. You didn’t know that, of course. And since I told you with absolute conviction to “Get on that train now!” you followed my advice immediately. As soon as the train left, I looked up at the sign and realized what happened. I was horrified. A mother and son, trying to get to the Museum of Natural History and a pair of women, trying to go Uptown– all four of them headed into Brooklyn. I hope it didn’t take you too long to figure it out!
My sense of direction is crappy, always has been. And normally I would pause to make sure that I am correct. If it is any consolation, you got on the train that I was supposed to be on but missed. Since Fulton St. Station is one that I had been in many times before, it didn’t even occur to me that I could be wrong until it was too late.
Our nanny pointed out to me that I’ve given you a story, at least. “Why did that lady who seemed so nice send us into Brooklyn? Those mean New Yorkers!” I can hear your story now. You will say how long it took to figure it out, how long it took you out of your way. And you will be baffled by my behavior.
Later that evening on the train back from Manhattan, I bumped into a couple of parents that I know. After relating to them what had happened and how awful I felt, I burst into a fit of laughing. One of them teased sarcastically, “You’re clearly broken up about it.” I really DID (and still do) feel badly about sending you in the wrong direction. But when one makes a mistake, one has to laugh or cry about it, and I choose laughter. Sometimes you have to shout out to others, “Look at this stupid thing I did!” and giggle at yourself. But I will definitely double-check my location before giving directions next time I’m asked.