Updated to reflect comments of my partner in crime and to include links.
One of my very best friends came to New York on motzai Shabbos to visit me (which was much appreciated). What followed was one of the craziest days ever. A play by play:
MIDNIGHT. We both arrive in Penn Station. I drag my huge bag which my sister would have driven into the city for me had my brother not crashed the car on Friday to the Amtrak terminal to retrieve her. She calls me to tell me she has arrived. She says she is near New Jersey Transit. This does not make much sense to me, but I drag the bag there. No friend. After a good five minutes, as we are both on our respective cell phones surrounded by many, many drunk people, we discover that she is actually by Amtrak. I drag my bag back and find her--jumping up and down trying to alert me to her whereabouts.
12:15. We head to the subway to go to Columbia.
1:00. We get to Columbia, dump all our stuff in my dorm, and head out to buy ice cream, which we proceed to eat with Oreos as we talk nonstop for the next three hours. I'm glad to report that the ice cream flavor we chose--Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide (Irish Cream Liqueur Ice Cream with Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Coffee Fudge Swirl)--was excellent.
10:00. We get up, get dressed, daven, eat pancakes for breakfast, and head out--slightly late--to try to get tickets for a Broadway show. My married friend is wearing a "Boys Are Stupid" T-shirt.
1:00. We are cold and disappointed when we don't win tickets to Wicked. But we go next door and enter the lottery for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which we do win.
1:30. With an hour-and-a-half to kill, we head to Toys 'R' Us because my friend has never been there. While there, we see a couple very obviously on a shidduch date. We spy a little. My friend says that she knows someone who once went up to a shidduch date and asked them what number date they were on. We are tempted. We spy a little more. The couple appears to be relatively comfortable with each other. I dare her to ask them. She does. They are on their 10th date and look slightly less comfortable with the question. We bolt, but decide that they will one day tell their grandchildren about the crazy lady in Toys 'R' Us.
2:30. We stop at Popcorn Indiana (now Dale & Thomas or something) and buy a bag of kettle corn popcorn and head to the theater, which is designed to look like a high school gym, where we are seated in the front row and settle down with our popcorn and drinks (bought at Duane Reade).
3:00. The show starts and is very funny. (When asked to hear phylactery used in a sentence: "Billy, put down that phylactery, we're Episcopalians.") We are enjoying watching the very nerdy fifth graders participate in a spelling bee along with some actual audience members, when one of the cast members reaches down to our seat and takes our popcorn, which he munches throughout the show. In the end, he returns it and when we ask him to sign our Playbills, he says sure so long as we promise not to eat popcorn in the front row ever again. (Shoutout to Rabbi Romberg--one of the audience members chosen to participate in the spelling bee who was thoroughly amusing. We also got him to sign our Playbills.)
5:00. We head to a newly reopened Cafe K for dinner. We walk with a frum girl who was also at the show. As we make small talk, suddenly she says, "Oh! Something just clicked. Delusions of Grandeur? I'm BloggerX." It's a small world after all.
5:15. We walk into Cafe K, where we see ... the guy this friend has been trying to set me up with for years. On a shidduch date. The guy who inquired as to my availability a week ago because he was going to be in New York. The guy who my friend called on motzai Shabbos to see if he was still available to go out with me while he was in New York. After a brief conference which puzzles the waitress we decide to stay but narrowly avoid sitting at the table across from them. We spend at least a little bit of time trying to figure out how their date is going.
6:20. We head back to Columbia where my friend quickly retrieves her stuff from every corner of my room and we head to Washington Heights so she can catch a ride back to Baltimore. We get out of the subway at 181st and are unsure of exactly where to go. We decide to follow the guy in the yarmulka. But when he starts walking too fast for us, we catch up and my friend asks him if he can guide us. Then she tells him the entire story of our day in two minutes flat and displays her "Boys Are Stupid" T-shirt. He only gave us his first name--Tzvi--and probably will be afraid of ever talking to girls in the subway ever again.
8:00. We find her ride. She goes home. I am left to miss her and ponder the craziness.