If you didn’t hear, SuperWoman is now a city working girl. Picture Melanie Griffith at a nonprofit magazine in Philadelphia instead of on Wall Street, with calmer locks and a cheap pair of Rocketdogs. Yup. That’s Superwoman now, with laser beams protected snugly in her blue-stone earrings.
Each morning, SuperWoman catches a bus to a train, then joins the throng of people who emerge from underground and stumble toward stoplights and elevators. SuperWoman, especially, can barely see until she happily finds herself in front of the dazzling “Brew” sign of her office’s coffee maker.
As you well know, SuperWoman is a quick learner, and each day, she’s adding new information to her file. (All lock-safe in a bunch of pink folder icons in her head.)
Should you suddenly take to the city after a decade-long career in the ‘burbs, here are some things SuperWoman would like you to know.
One: Accept that you will never get to the bus on time. Accept that three will pass you as you wait for an opportunity to cross the street.
Two: Accept that nothing can be done about the smell of piss in the subway terminal. There is just a ton of piss.
Three: A really bad idea? Using your lunch break to shop for shoes at Macy’s. Mostly, you will end up with unaffordable shoes that you plan to take back. And a growling stomach.
Four: Doing squats at your desk to avoid becoming the typical overly-sedentary office worker might seem noble and proactive, but it will most likely just make your thighs ache for days. Three days, to be exact. (You might as well have gone to yoga.)
Five: Those sausage-egg-and-cheese-croissant sandwiches at Reading Terminal Market are almost worth giving up all superpowers for, but they will certainly cost you a chunk of that pretty new paycheck.
Six: Public transportation can actually be quiet and soothing until someone has an enormously loud but very boring conversation on his cell phone. Plan your response. You can ignore him (utterly boring) or you can choose between these two options: a) stomp on his foot; b) stare directly at him with a depraved smile until he hangs up.
Seven: Walking in flip flops in the rain are a bad idea.
Eight: A cheap umbrella in the rain might be an even worse idea.
Nine: Surprisingly, the suburbs, complete with barking dogs and yelling children and copious leafblower-lawnmower combinations, are noisier than many parts of the city. Therefore, a quiet office tucked in the back of a five-story building can actually deplete a person’s violent urges throughout the day. (SuperWoman may be speaking from experience; who knows?)
Ten: People will do a lot of things for spare change in the City of Brotherly Love, like open a door for you or just ask. Better than all of these, though, is the woman who plays a cherry-red concertina in the stairwell of your office building.
And that’s only five days!