Saturday, May 31, 2008

Laughter in the Rain

I was really down this morning, but I managed to drag myself to pilates class, with the mental promise that I would treat myself to Shake Shack afterwards.

During class, it got dark and stormy out, exciting my hunger for Shake Shack even more. I figured if it was raining, the line wouldn't be so bad.

I left class early as I often do when I'm really achey, and bolted out into the rain under the protection of my umbrella. Some other folks weren't quite so prepared, but they didn't care: instead of seeking shelter inside Home Depot or running to Duane Reade for a cheap umbrella, they just went on their merry way, hustling down 23rd Street, turning plastic bags into makeshift headcoverings and ponchos.

I didn't care either. I was wearing my flip flops and gym clothes, with no particular place to go - except Shake Shack. I'd already missed two M23 busses, so either way I had to walk that way home.

I guess not surprisingly, despite the rain, there was quite a line at Shake Shack, but not nearly as bad as the wait would be on a nice Saturday. Standing silently in the rain, none of us there waiting would look at each other. Were we all just crazy? Maybe so, because I was having a good time, even with Audra Rox playing her kiddie concert on the nearby stage (with catchy songs like "Sugar High" and "Short Attention Span").

Of course, like any other day at Shake Shack, you have to wait again once you've ordered your food, and that's where things got hairy today. No cups for the ketchup and mustard, no straws, too many umbrellas crammed below the overhang that didn't really keep the rain out. And then...it began to pour. It poured so much the concert had to stop. It was pouring so hard that when I saw a soaked guy with two little kids and no umbrella run under the overpass, I immediately hoisted my umbrella above them (turns out it was my friend Jeff from Naked Angels!).

It's funny how it took a little rain (well, ok, a lot) to put a smile on my face. And by the time I got to E. 25th and Third Ave, the rain had stopped and the sun was beating down again. It was sticky out and I was soaked, still cradling my Shake Shack paper bag in my arms to protect it on the way home, with only two blocks to go.