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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This T-Mobile Store is Kosher

Earlier today I ordered a new phone I can't afford, a Samsung Gravity, in case you're curious, to replace my Crackberry (the Blackberry Curve) that has a gaping hole in it and keeps dropping calls like crazy.

Sending it to the insurance company would mean paying a $130 deductible and they would only send me the same kind of phone and I'm done with Crackberry. I mean, what does a girl who spends every waking moment about 5 steps from the computer need with a Crackberry? Okay, if I need to Twitter from the shower or the toilet...yeah, too much. Where was I?

So I ordered the phone online and it said it would ship UPS but I got ansty anyway and when I found myself downtown hours later (near 107th St. and Broadway) I decided to see if I could cancel the order and get the T-Mobile store to give me one right then and there.

The sign in the window says the store is closed as of an hour ago but a gorgeous Indian lady leaving the store tells me it's open as I get to the door. I walk in and am quickly helped by an extremely nice Indian guy who has a bit of an accent and is wearing a baseball cap. He looks up my order on the computer and everything.

"Why didn't you just get it in a store originally?" he asks.

"Oh, there's no T-mobile store where I live in Riverdale," I explain sheepishly.

"Riverdale? This guy lives in Riverdale" and he points over the counter to the Indian guy wearing an AT&T shirt in the chair in front of him.

I consider playing Riverdale geography but instead, I gawk at the guy and ponder asking him why he's wearing an AT&T shirt in a T-Mobile store. No, I decide so I just shake my head.

And then the first guy starts flirting with me.

"So, I could open a store for you in Riverdale," the first Indian guy says. "Just for you. For you I would open a store! Just for you!" And he's very insistent so I think he means it.

I turn red as I whisper I'm married. I'm afraid he'll say, "Lady, I wasn't going there" but he says, "That's okay, I need the business! It's good business!"

"Well, the last cell phone place in the area closed so I wouldn't do it," I tell him. "Plus the other cell phone place is just busted and rundown and I don't think they do too well either."

He nods along as I speak but he doesn't respond and he goes back to clicking on the computer. I look down at my sneakers and then I think What am I still doing in this store? and so I tell him that I'm happy he was so helpful and I'm "gonna go now."

"No, thank you!" He reaches out his hand over the counter to shake mine.

I start to say "Sorry, I don't shake hands..." and he makes THE FACE "with men...." I finish. Now, he looks curious.

"Why not?" he asks.

"I'm an Orthodox Jew."

I wait for him to say, "Funny, you don't look Jewish" but it never comes.

Instead, he yells "Mazel tov" with the most excitement I've ever seen outside of a yeshiva.

"Um, thanks," I say after I finish laughing.

"L'Chaim!" he yells, really getting worked up now.

I grin. "You know, usually, people start with 'Shalom!'"

And at this point, because everyone else in the store (about 4 or 5 Indian guys and 2 white guys) is listening in, the whole store bursts into a big chorus "SHALOM!"



"SHALOM!" And then, finally, we're all Shalom-ed out.

"I could throw a bottle up against the wall for you if you like," he offers as he throws an imaginary bottle in the direction of the nearest wall.

I laugh again and explain that this custom is usually done with wine glasses at weddings.

"Oh." He looks dumbfounded for a second. And then, the lightbulb goes on. "Well, I'm sure someone here is getting married soon." He looks around for a likely suspect.

"Ah yes, maybe, but are they Jewish?" I ask with a mock serious face. And at this point we both look around at the other customers.

A bald, middle-aged guy who looks like Larry David raises his hand. "I'm Jewish." The whole store turns to stare at him for a moment.

"Well," I say. "then I guess you can go ahead with throwing the bottle against the wall."

Seriously, does this kind of stuff happen to other people?