I try hard not to be a mean girl. I like to think that I give my fellow sistas the benefit of the doubt. In fact, this one time I caught a girl traipsing down a hill in my college town in the dead of winter wearing heels that she couldn’t walk in to save her life. My initial reaction was a) why the hell are you wearing heels in the middle of winter in Maine walking down a hill and b) why are you wearing heels if you can’t walk in them. I’m proud to tell you that after a few seconds of inner mean girl dialogue, I Buddhafied and came to my senses. I said to myself “Emma, you are being a real see you next Tuesday. That girl just wants to feel pretty. What’s so bad about that?” And so, I’ve attempted to change my ways and TRY to always find the best in people.

I didn’t do such a great job with this the other day on my way home from work. I was walking down fifth avenue, past a lobby for one of those so-popular-it’s-actually-not-cool-anymore rooftop bars. It’s the kind of place that’s become a caricature of itself, finance bros in Sperry’s and Khakis and PR girls in sensible wedges and off the shoulder tops…you know the kind. A couple of bottle blonde girls tumbled out of the rooftop bar lobby and started yelling for a taxi. Each carotened (I’ve made that noun into a verb, whaddya think?) girl stood on the edge of the sidewalk flapping her arms, attempting to attract a taxi. I was too amused by the sight to try to assist them in their useless endeavor. It was the shift change after all. If I had decided to charitably help them out I would have told them this: the secret to getting a taxi is…

…knowing when they are on duty.

You’re going to waste a lot of time and energy if you continue yelling and waving your arms at off-duty taxis.

Taxis have a light on the roof of their car. If the numbers are lit up, it means they are on-duty and available. If the numbers are dark, it means they are in use or off-duty. When I was a youth (when we walked uphill both ways to school) there used to be actual off-duty signs and if they were lit up, it meant the cab was off-duty. The modern taxis don’t seem to have this.

This should help a bit in your attempt to get a taxi. You can also just hike up that mini-skirt a little more and see if that works.

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