Good Guys Come From New Jersey

So I jumped out of a cab in lower Manhattan and leisurely entered my hotel room at Washington Park.  I sat down, took off my shoes and proceeded to fish my cell phone out of my purse to check for missed calls or messages.


"OMG, where's my phone??  It's gotta be in here, pockets??  Where is it...the cab...I checked for texts when I first got in the cab!  Why didn't I write down the cab?  Who really remembers to do that, seriously?? "

My heart began to pound and I suddenly realized it was true.  My phone just drove off in one of how many thousands of cabs in NYC?  I grabbed my husband's phone and immediately began calling my own.  I knew the ringer was on the loudest setting and my husband's number comes up with little red hearts so I figured anyone who spotted that incoming call would know it was an important contact.

My husband was freaking more than me of course because it was hitting him that not only was my iPhone 4S in this taxi, it was nestled in one of those snap-type phone cases with my Visa, my Texas driver's license and my gas card.  Yup.  It was all there, and as the time ticked by it was tough knowing that likely ten more people were in and out of that cab by now, as the 30 minute mark came and went.

And then finally, after probably 50+ repeated calls from my husband's phone, someone answered!!  "Is this your phone?" the man's voice said.  "Yes! Oh my gosh, where are you, I'll come to you."

What followed over the next three hours, restored my general faith in humanity.

The guy sounded like he was walking fast and in a hurry.  Really?  In NYC, crAZy.  It was almost noon and the guy was explaining how he couldn't meet me until 3:00pm because he was late to a meeting.  He gave me an address in midtown, told me he'd meet me there in three hours, his name was Joe, he was wearing a grey suit and then he hung up.  GASP!

Although I had an instantly good vibe from the guy, after the call ended, I started to get REALLY paranoid.  What if it was some brilliant ruse to have full-on access to my Visa for three uninterrupted hours.

Needless to say, it was a very long three hours.

We ended up going to the address he gave a full hour early to check it out and see if it even was an actual place.  Turns out it was a big, modern office building with a spacious lobby so we just decided to get comfortable and wait.

In the mean time and out of severe and increasing paranoia, I "killed" my Visa just to be safe, though the Visa rep did confirm there had been no charges.

Then at 2:50, I called my phone.  No answer.

At 2:55, I called again.  No answer.

At 3:00, I called again.  No answer.

At 3:05, I called again.  No answer.

At this point, I commented to my husband that we may have just been had.  Just then I spotted a tall guy in a dark suit exiting the building and hanging out of his leather portfolio, I glimpsed the red leather wrist strap of my phone case.

I yelled, "JOE!"

He turned around and said, "Tara."

Whoo Hoo!  He WAS a good guy.  He really DID have a meeting!  I'm getting my phone back!

I couldn't help myself, I was jumping up and down and I bear-hugged him before I even knew I was going to.  He wouldn't take any "thank you" money from my husband.  I told him that his mom must be very proud of him and then said something like, "you must be from the South!"  He laughed and said, "What?  Nice guys can't come from New Jersey?"

It was decidedly a Summer miracle on 34th street.  And, nice guys do come from Jersey.