New York giveth, and New York taketh away

I lost my gloves on the subway the day before yesterday. They were beautiful gloves that I got for Christmas in 2005. I had told my then-boyfriend that what I wanted for Christmas more than anything in the world was beautiful black leather gloves exactly like my friend Nezabeth’s, and he got me those exact gloves. I have had them for years, and I am desperately attached to them. They are so soft and warm, and five years on from when I got them, they were just like new.

I was on the B train, which I have only taken once or twice before, and I was reading Beau Geste (best book ever, seriously). I recently switched to a smaller purse (mistake), so I had set my gloves in my lap underneath my purse, rather than sticking them safely into the purse itself. When the train stopped at my station, I thought I still had one more stop to go, and only noticed at the last second that it was my stop. Of course I crammed my book back in my purse, leapt up, and dashed off; and of course, my beautiful gloves tumbled, forgotten, to the floor. I have submitted a claim to the MTA, but I do not necessarily expect that busy New Yorkers will have found my gloves and bothered taking them to lost and found. Everyone here is very, very busy. I can tell by the way they all rush about.

My response to almost any unfortunate turn of events is to find someone to blame. Often it is me. On this occasion it was New York. “Goddamn New York goddamn city,” I grumbled, stepping in a puddle on purpose to increase my sense of aggrievement. “This would never have happened at home in my car,” I thought sadly. “And if it had I would have had a puppy, and my mumsy and daddy, and my sisters, and my friends, and I could have told them all the woeful tale of losing my gloves, and they would all have felt sorry for me. Poor me! What a terrible mistake to move to New York, the city where people switch to smaller purses because they have to walk really far and big purses are heavy. The city where people drop Platonic gloves on subways and probably never get them back. The city where street corners have puddles full of slushy newspaper and people step in them completely accidentally just when they are already having a bad day. Dreadful, terrible New York! Why did I ever come here? It is clear that I have failed at New York and I should move home immediately!” I even wept one or two forlorn little tears (yes, Anastasia, this definitely happens!) over my woeful, far-from-home fate.

When I got to work, though, my publicity department had emailed everyone to offer free copies of a book whose author was discussing and signing it at a downtown bookstore that evening. A free book and a free bookish event! I had just been thinking that I deserved, but could not afford, a treat to make up for the loss of my gloves. And lo, New York — probably feeling repentant about the gloves and the puddle, both of which were completely its fault and not mine at all — decided to give me one. Thanks, city! If you also fancy sending back my gloves c/o the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Lost and Found, I wouldn’t say no.

P.S. New York — and you may or may not know this — is very full of things. Every time I go on the internet, I find a new intriguing thing I want to do in New York. And every time I find a new intriguing thing I want to do in New York, the internet is also very willing to tell me whether it’s worth doing. Leonardo’s Last Supper, by Peter Greenaway? NOPE. Exhibition of statues of heroes from ancient Greece and Rome? Don’t care what the internet says at all because OBV I am going to hit that up. Oh, New York. You and I are going to be the best of friends. Once you’ve given me back my gloves.

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55 thoughts on “New York giveth, and New York taketh away

  1. I am so so sorry about your gloves. I hate losing favorite articles of clothing or um gloves because they are so irreplaceable.
    I’m glad there’s so much to do in New York and I’m sure that you will only love it more and more. But we all have days…

    • I hate it too! I keep going back over and over it in my head, wishing I had behaved differently. 😦 It’s not that big a deal but I’m mad at myself because it would have been so easy for me NOT to have lost them.

      A cheerier New York post will be forthcoming, I swear!

  2. I’m sorry about your gloves. 😦

    Re:single lonely tear: PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN wait is that too mean?

    (I seriously have to write this paper now but then I am freeeee~ and I can leave longer comments again!)

    • *narrows eyes* Look WOMAN. If I say I cried one lonely tear then THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED. Do I come on your blog and be all like, Oh yeah? You read that book? Do you have a video of you reading the entire thing? :p

      (But I appreciate your sympathy about my gloves.)

      • lol, wouldn’t it be weird if someone SAID they had read a book and then they hadn’t? I mean, outside of a schoolroom context? (Does that actually HAPPEN? Wait– Harriet Klausman! She doesn’t actually read those books she reviews, right?)

        Also, pics of New York at Christmas-time!! :O Is it snowing up there? What is it LIKE being in a place where it could snow and there’s twinkle lights everywhere and it’s all magical and stuff, and wow, I need to move out of New Mexico soon. Craving a huge snowstorm to hit = weird, right? Probably yes.

    • I’m trying not to depend on it though. But I’ll probably never give up hope. :p I lost this leather jacket I loved more than any item of clothing I’ve ever had, and it’s been gone for three years now and I still fantasize about finding it again.

  3. And I would’ve told you about the puppy putting her stuffed penguin on the Christmas tree, and then stepping back to admire it. No, wait, I did that already.

    Gloves are wayward, disloyal creatures. No sense in giving your heart to them, no matter how pretty they are; they just love you and leave you, like darlin’ sportin’ Jenny. At least they didn’t betray you to Captain Farrell before they made their escape.

  4. 😦

    I’m sorry you lost your gloves!

    This city can be a cruel mistress at times, but when it wants to be nice, it’s fantastic!!!

    Can’t wait for our Christmas adventures next week – maybe your gloves will have arrived back at your door by then?!

    • The MTA assures me they will not. Apparently it takes ten days for the gloves to reach the Lost-and-Found facility, or whatever, even if someone does turn them in.

      I’m excited about the Christmas stuff too! And the Soho-visiting! And the bookstores! I know at least one thing you’re getting for Christmas. :p

  5. I’m so sorry about your gloves! But this post certainly made me smile a bit. πŸ™‚ I have a friend who lives in New York and she’s been there about four years, she absolutely loves it and doesn’t ever plan on moving away. I hope you find more reasons to enjoy being there – maybe one day I’ll make it out there myself!

    • I really do like it! I just haven’t gotten the chance to do a lot of amazing New York things yet, because I’m a bit broke. I need to do more walking around, because I know New York has many amazing secrets for me to discover. πŸ˜€

    • Well, I’ve been living in Louisiana. I haven’t necessarily needed gloves all that much, so having one pair has been totally fine. Also, I’ve had a car in the past, so no subway to lose gloves on. Live and learn, I guess.

  6. That stinks — I just HATE losing things like that, so frustrating. Of course in my house it would probably be the puppy that caused the loss in the first place — my dog is two and she still steals socks, hats, underwear, etc., and carries them around the house. A lovely pair of leather gloves would be so tempting for her!

    And I hope you find lots of fun things to do in NY to help you get over your loss. It must be wonderful at Christmastime.

    • My puppy steals things too, and would probably have been only too excited to steal my gloves. On the other hand, she would have been extremely adorable, and when I fussed at her and shunned her, I would have soon been forced to relent and snuggle her. New York’s nice but not cuddly. :p

      I’m going to see statues tomorrow! It’s happening!

  7. Well, mumsy said it all, really. I love this story, and tend to think that on the whole, New York comes out of it quite well. Do tell us about the book and the event, when you can!

    • I want to but I feel like I can’t, because I’m trying to keep work separate from fun life… But I will go to other awesome bookish events, and I will tell y’all about them.

  8. Oh, I feel your pain – I hate losing things on public transport especially favourite items. Strange how attached you can become to inanimate things…

    Although, I’m mightily jealous of you living in New York. I live in a dead end, dead end to the back of no where and I’d love to be in a busy city but not if I lose my gloves! I’ve recently acquired a really cool pair of fingerless gloves – woollen with a fleece lining. I’d be very sad if I were to lose these.

    • Oo, your gloves sound amazing. I have always felt like I would some adorable fingerless gloves, but then, you know, my fingers would be cold. No?

      Public transport! So useful and yet so fraught with emotional pitfalls!

  9. What a terrible thing to have lost your favorite pair of gloves! I have felt that same feeling of hopelessness and sadness when my dog ate one of my favorite shoes, and there was no way to get a replacement. I hope that you are able to be reunited with your gloves, and that New-York is kinder to you in the upcoming months.

    • I hate losing my favorite pretty things! Especially when they are made of leather, which is so lovely to touch. But I can get another pair of gloves. I will just have to keep my eyes peeled for something like the ones I had before.

  10. They say when a door closes, a window opens πŸ™‚ While a free book (and a bookish event) won’t make up for a lovely pair of gloves, I’m positive you’ll find a way to get yourself a lovely pair one of these days, to remind you of the quirks of the city and the fact that you’re a newbie New Yorker πŸ™‚

  11. I just moved out of NYC after 5 years, and I cannot tell you how many time I had that same thought conversation – “DAMN New York, stupid city, stupid trains, stupid crowds, mean people, etc, etc.” If it makes you love the city any little bit more, I miss it terribly now that I’m gone, although I am thrilled to be back closer to the water and sailing and my family.

    But those years in NYC were priceless, and you’re right – there are SO many things to do – just don’t get overwhelmed, and don’t forget that sometimes the best thing to do is to curl up at home with a book and appreciate the buzz of the city around you, or take a walk with no destination just to see where you end up, or venture out of Manhattan to see what it’s like in Astoria, or Park Slope, or Coney Island (which is fabulous in the winter when it is empty – just don’t go alone).

    AND, if you’re a book lover, make sure you check out Argosy bookshop – it’s near Central Park on the southwest corner, and it’s like stepping back in time.

    Ok, I’m done rambling into your comment box now. I’m just feeling NYC-nostalgic. πŸ™‚

    And sorry about your gloves!

  12. I have those forlorn little tears moments all the time. If only I could write awesome and charming and hilarious posts about them πŸ˜›

    I know that finding your gloves again is next to impossible, and Mumsy is completely right that you shouldn’t give your heart to them. But I’ll still keep my fingers crossed for a small Christmas miracle.

    • Do you? With only one or two tears at a time? Please tell Doubting Anastasia up there that it really does happen. :p

      Thanks for your good wishes though. I too will hope for a Christmas miracle. I should really be hoping for something slightly more important than some old gloves.

  13. This is such a wonderful post. Sorry about mean cruel NewYork taking your gloves but happy for you that eventful exciting lively New York gives you fun things to do.

    • Thank you! I’m taking my camera into the city tomorrow, and I will try to take a few pictures to share with y’all of its awesome Christmas beauty. πŸ™‚

  14. Oh I am so sorry to hear about the loss!

    I love those leather gloves but resort to wearing a cheap, crude ones, because I am so prone of losing one of my gloves. I have lost a few.. so every year I just went out and buy 2 cheap new pairs of gloves for the winter, so that I could afford to lose them…

    Don’t blame NYC, it will give you back several new gloves. πŸ˜‰

    • I do love leather gloves, and leather anything really. It’s all warm to be inside it, and soft when you touch it. I have this gorgeous black leather jacket, but it’s too fancy for everyday, alas!

  15. How dare New York take away your beloved gloves? At least it had the good sense to give you something else in return as to not lose you.

    Great post. I would ask for more of these, but I don’t want to you to have to lose anything else of value to you for writing material.

    • I’m actually terrible at writing about day-to-day events, Alita. It’s embarrassing. I am only good at writing whiny posts. :p But I promise I will try to write cheery New York posts. I’ll try.

  16. Oh Jenny! This was funny. Funny, but sad.

    I had one of those days too. I felt on cloud nine after some good karma hit me and then I spent the day thinking how lovely it all is and then I slammed my index finger in a door AND managed to get lost in my new neighbourhood in the dark (I was only a few streets over, but freaked myself out a bit in the dark and got my big white Katimavik van stuck in just an itty bitty bit of snow!). My day went from over the moon to down the drain.

    • That can happen so easily! One minute I am happy as a clam and thinking that all my life decisions have led me to this point and I am a genius, and then I lose my gloves and I’m in a despair spiral. :p

    • I found someone’s scarf on the subway yesterday, and I was all, Oo, I’m going to boost my karma by returning this to a subway official. But, like, subway officials are hard to find. I looked three separate times to find one and I could not. In the end I draped it very carefully over the edge of a bench. 😦

  17. Aww, too bad about your gloves. For the past 8 years or so I’ve had fleece-lined mittens-on-a-string as my primary winter handwear, which were totally excellent for subway reading. But last winter they finally started falling apart and now this year I have fleece-lined mittens that are not on a string, which means I shall have to remember to keep track of them!

    • Me too, but given what a hard time I’ve had trying to turn things into the Lost and Found, I’m not counting on it. It is seriously nearly impossible to give lost items to a subway official.

  18. 😦 I’ve never had a beloved pair of gloves, but I do have a beloved brown umbrella that has been my one and only since I was a little kid. It even has a name: Uggy. (I was, like, four years old). And when I got back from my epic trip around the south island, I thought New Zealand had eaten it, and I was very sad. Then I found it, tucked away at the bottom of a bag, and I was happy again.

    I hope your gloves turn up again someday. I am forever seeing New York movies where people lose things, then find them again in unexpected places. Like on a streetside table full of used goods, or propped on a statue in a park, or on the counter at a used bok store because the clerk found them on the subway and thought they were nice but is willing to part with them again once she hears your story.

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