I Went to New York City Yesterday and It’s All Doreen’s Fault

I’m a planner. Anyone who knows me knows this. I like to have a plan. It’s not a bad thing. It just means that “spontaneous” does not appear in my Top 10 Vocabulary List.

So, when a little voice suggests “Why not go to New York City tomorrow?” all sorts of warning bells go off. That’s almost what happened a week ago. Almost…

A week ago, I was watching some Saturday evening TV and a show called Mike Colameco’s Real Food on PBS. The episode featured a number of cool restaurants in New York City, and I watched intently, taking notes for places I might explore on my next visit.

That’s when that little voice made its suggestion: “Why not go to New York City tomorrow?”

I played with the idea a little — where would I go? what would I see? where would I eat? I thought about the museums I want to see. I thought about my list of foodie hot spots, and the other list of iconic sights. I remembered the French bistro I’d seen on a recent visit, and the “Moroccan Bloody Mary” temptress on their menu.

I mentioned the idea to a friend: “I’m thinking of going to New York tomorrow, sort of s-p-o-n-t-a-n-e-o-u-s-l-y.” Like it was a foreign language.

“Do it!” he emailed back right away.

But I could still feel the tethers of resistance.

Then a second email arrived, this one from my friend Doreen, who is two years out of treatment for breast cancer. She told me about her summer with her son and the adventures they’d had at the beach. She talked about the start of school. She suggested we meet for a drink soon. Before signing off, she wrote “Go do something fun. Just for fun’s sake.”

She had no idea I was thinking of going to New York the next day.

Now, while I might not be a spontaneous-hop-on-a-train-tomorrow kind of girl, I do know a message from the Universe when I hear one. “Go,” it was telling me. “Just do it.”

And that’s how, in a hybrid planned-spontaneous flurry of activity, my dear friend MaryAnne and I arranged to meet up a week later, hop on a train at 9 a.m. and find ourselves enjoying brunch in New York City yesterday.

We wandered through Time Square. We walked down Broadway. We explored Macy’s. We saw the lions of the Public Library, the ceiling of Grand Central Station. And we toasted Moroccan bloody marys to spontaneity — and to Doreen.

We love you, lady! And thank you!

• • •

©2012, Jen Payne

10 thoughts on “I Went to New York City Yesterday and It’s All Doreen’s Fault

  1. It’s hard to turn your brain off and simply close your eyes and jump, isn’t it? But what an adventure not to know what’s coming. Then again, do we ever know what’s coming? Glad you had a good day in NYC.

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