The room wasn’t bad for Manhattan. Sure, it was only slightly larger than a jail cell, but there was a window! And a lamp! And a private bathroom! And after a couple of minutes you got used to the stale curry smell seeping through the walls from the restaurant below.
We were off to a good start.
It was 10:20 in the morning and my boyfriend and I were scheduled to meet up with my cousin halfway across town in ten minutes. As dorky tourists, taking the subway felt ripe with the possibility of disaster, so we had agreed earlier to just walk to our destination.
As we headed out the door, me tugging on his elbow to hurry up, he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and froze.
“My shirt”, he gasped.
“What?” I asked – brow furrowed with concern.
“So? It’s no big deal. We’ve got to go.” I replied evenly.
“I can’t go out like this,” he moaned. “It looks terrible.”
I sighed. “First of all, I’m pretty sure you can, physically, go out like that… and you’re about to.”
“No, please”, he insisted. “I look so sloppy. My shirt is completely wrinkled from the trip up here. I know we’re running late, but I really need to iron it.”
He walked towards the closet where the iron was nestled in its home above the safe. He continued, “Looking put together is all that separates us from the animals, you know.”
I rolled my eyes. Was he kidding right now? Did he not realize we were supposed to BE there already? And seriously, who the fuck irons anymore?
“You look fine,” I told him, my voice climbing. “Totally fine. Your shirt looks fine.”
How many more times could I say ‘fine’ before it started to sound not fine, I wondered. I stopped and took a deep breath so I wouldn’t lose my temper.
“Look, baby” I purred, “I honestly thought that shirt was supposed to be a little wrinkly because it’s casual and daytimey, ya know…?”
He shot me a look of annoyance. “That’s because we don’t own an iron so I usually just wear it wrinkled, “ he replied snottily. “But, as you can SEE, it looks terrible. I look terrible. And now I do have access to an iron. So just let me iron out the wrinkles before we leave.”
At this point, I was tired of bickering. We were late. It was hot. The smell of curry was overpowering. I lost it.
“YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO AN IRON RIGHT NOW”, I roared. “Come on, come on, come ON, let’s GO.”
My phone buzzed. I glared at him. He glared at me. The argument was on pause.
As it turned out, my cousin was running late and was calling to see if we could meet her in 30 minutes. It was just enough time to iron the shirt, grab two lattes from the café next door, and kiss and make up.