Sunday, June 29, 2008

Of New York and Prepositions

If you're moving here from elsewhere, or visiting for the first time, here's something you need to know that no one else will tell you: New Yorkers (and indeed, citizens of the tristate area as a whole) have an entirely different relationship to prepositions than anyone else in the country.

For instance, one:

1) Stands on line, not stands in line, at the movie theater, etc. Yes, here in New York, there is an invisible line and woe betide those who fail to stand upon it. In no way are you forming a line with your bodies. You have neither that much power nor that close a relationship with your fellow man.

2) Calls out sick, never calls in sick, with the sniffles. It's less important, after all, where your call goes than where you, glorious you, happen to be at the moment. Which is out. If you see what I mean.

I hope this helps.

More Info Than You Requested

I'm too lazy to find it, but a couple months back, a commenter mentioned that I'll probably freak out when I reach menopause, because I love talking about my period so much. I'm hoping this isn't true. My Mom seems to have enjoyed being free of her lady time. She celebrated with buying all new underpants and going on a diet and appears to be happier and healthier than ever. However, I'm not sure she felt the same way about the whole menstruation business as I do.

I love my period. I love the excuse for being lazy and taking naps and eating large chunks of bloody cow. I love having a reason for being bitchy and paranoid and I love losing five pounds in the course of a day without doing a single sit-up or running a single solitary mile on the treadmill.

But most of all, I love embarrassing the hell out of people.

Someday, scientists will discover that embarrassment is genetic and I will get the embarrassment titer only to discover that I am missing that gene entirely. I think it's funny when people are squeamish about bodily functions and the language that describes them and God help you if I ever meet you in real life, dear reader, and I perceive that you are missish about teh Moon Time. I'm proud to have humiliated everyone from Duane Reade cashiers to bodega-haunting drug dealers in my time as a fertile female, and, assuming that I have another fifteen to twenty years of this left, I figure I can disturb many, many more folks before I stop bleeding.

The last time I was home my friend Kate mentioned that I told her most of what she knew about periods when we were kids, because I started early and was happy to talk about it. I expressed surprise.

"OK, I was early, but there were other fifth graders," I said. "Something to do with hormones in our chicken nuggets, I think."

"Yeah, but they were ashamed," Kate said. "You were happy to talk about it. Like, we couldn't get you to stop."

My sister claims that the bulk of my charm is in the fact that I never, ever change, and provided that you find any of these behaviors charming, I guess she's right.

Neighbor Joy

Someone in this building is cooking vegetables. Correction: Someone in this building is overcooking vegetables, and by the time they remember they were cooking Veg-All, it'll be multi-colored paste in the bottom on the pan. It does not smell good, is my point, nor does it make me crave veggies.

I'm assuming that whichever neighbor this is, it's the same neighbor that's been leaving my front door open lately. I have no scientific basis for this assumption, but I prefer to think that I have one dastardly, veggie-ruining, security-threatening neighbor instead of a bunch of neighbors with annoying traits.

Cut to my neighbors, who, I'm sure, would be happy to tell you about my charming habits, including clomping up and down the stairs in giant platforms at all hours of the day and night and leaving huge stacks of boxes outside when it isn't recycling day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Virtual Cab Ride With Ma Smash

Ma Smash: Hi, honey!

Hi, Mom. I'm in a cab and I have to tell you, I think I'm drunk.

Ma Smash: Oh, dear. Well, I guess it's a good thing you're not in the subway then.

Dennis wouldn't let me.

Ma Smash: He's a good boy. You tell him I said that. Sweetheart?

Me: Hmmm?

Ma Smash:
Sorry, I thought you made a sound.

Me: It stinks in here.

Ma Smash: Oh dear.

It does. It smells like the backside of balls on a hot day.

Ma Smash:
Excuse me, miss: And how would you know?

Me: Er.

Ma Smash: On second thought, I don't want to know.

Me: I heard it somewhere.

Ma Smash:
Just take a shower when you get home. And wash your hair.

I weep for those who must subsist without the advice of their mothers.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Cabbage Patch Nurse

NB: I did ask my pal if it was OK to post the following. So if you're a real-life friend of mine, it's safe to email me with your woes. I won't just put them RIGHT UP ON THE INTERWEBS. Ahem.

As most of you know, I love social networking. At any given time, I'm an active member of at least three different sites, by which I mean that I check them regularly and actually use them to stalk people, instead of just leaving them out there as dead internets-real estate. (Although I've got plenty of those accounts too.)

Anyway, right now I'm mostly on teh facebook, because that's that has scrabulous and because I like to see people's statuses change. It's so helpful to be informed that your friend "is going to kill her friend Jen" or "would like to buy a drink for a struggling writer" before contacting them. (Neither one of those statuses have happened yet, but there's always time.)

Recently, I check my facebook and discovered that a friend of mine from high school, we'll call her Jane, had logged in and changed her status to the following:

"Jane is horrified at the idea of having to date again. Ugh."

Well. Something you might not know about me is that I like to help. I like to help a lot. I immediately wrote to Jane:

Subject line: Dating

Message: Is disgusting. It's my least favorite. In my perfect world, it would go like this: I would go out and get drunk with fun people until love descended from above. This is called college, sadly, and is hard to recreate.

Anyway, sending well wishes your way.

Jane replied:

You're a sweetheart! Thanks for the well wishes. My college experience was more along the lines of getting drunk with fun people, then discovering them in my bed the next morning and desperately trying to remember what their names were while frantically searching for my bra amongst the sheets. Love descended from above far less frequently than hangovers. Ah, the good old days...

But dating, alas, is even less fun. At least in college, when I was still desperately trying to prove I was straight, I felt like I was accomplishing something, you know? "Tally one more proof of heterosexuality," while now my biggest dating accomplishment seems to be not chucking my drink in some lady's face out of sheer boredom.

Le sigh... what's your most recent bad date? I'll tell you about the Cabbage Patch Nurse if you tell me yours ;)

Cabbage Patch Nurse? Who could resist? I wrote back:

Oooh, girl. Let's see.

OK: One bad date. I met this social worker through Sez I to myself, "Social worker! Surely he won't be a sociopath like most guys I meet." Sez my shrink to me, "Oh dear. You know, most of us are very odd. We couldn't afford professional degrees and the amount of therapy we actually needed."

Needless to say, the guy was creepy in a Green River Killer sort of way. He was very nervous, as if the drugs were taking hold, and spent A LOT of time talking about how he was a lapsed Catholic, and how hard it was, and how he would have become a priest, but he loved KEEES-ING and TOOOUCH-ING too much.

I swear it was all could do not to point out that his pervy mcpervs were not incompatible with the priesthood.

Anyway. Do tell me of the Cabbage Patch Nurse. Which should be the name of some artistic work or other, I tell you.

Jane replied:

I know, so hard to pick just one, isn't it? Though that does sound like a doosie- should've checked with me before dating a social worker. I could have told you, from bitter experience, that none of them are just the Hairclub president, so to speak. Good thing he was so, um, bodes so well for his future professionally, either in the priesthood or in therapy.

And now, the one, the only.... Cabbage Patch Nurse.

So I worked up my nerve, and went on a date with a friend of a friend's friend. I met her for lunch, thinking it couldn't be a long nightmare that way, if she turned out to be a member of the Manson family or something. Nope, she wasn't: turns out she's a nurse. She turned up, and I shit you not, she looked like my Cabbage Patch Kid, Blythe Marie. Same weirdly squished-but-doe-eyed face, hair in two braids...I kept resisting the urge to drop my napkin, to peek under the table and check if she had those scary dimpled knees like the doll, you know?

Little did I know, she had fiberfill for brains, just like my old doll. She babbled happily along about her ex and her coming out process, and I quietly munched my food, trying not to think about how I finally succeeded in giving the other Blythe Marie an appendectomy on my parents' kitchen table, and tried not to wonder if that meant I was possibly the bigger loon at the table? Finally, just as I raised my cup of tea to my lips she says, flapping her eyelashes earnestly, "I don't really know if I should vote in the next election, you know?...when is it, anyway, January? Besides, I think people have been really hard on Bush, don't you? I mean, he's really likable, in a bland sort of way?" (yes, she ended every clause she uttered with a big fat question mark)

I concentrated on swallowing my tea, and thought peaceful, calming thoughts until the check finally arrived. I kept thinking how this caring, well-meaning woman is a nurse, and handles drug dosages for patients. Heaven protect all the little old ladies in the home where she works.

Now I ask you, with that to think back on as my first dive into the dating scene in 6 years, is this really something I want to get back into???? Horror, I tell you, pure unadulterated horror!

Now, that, pals, is a bad date.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nice to Be on the Same Page

Me: Do you think it's possible to be a happy person who suffers from depression?

I don't like the word depression. Do you know which word I actually prefer?


Ross: ...yes.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weather Report

Let me tell you how hot it is here. It's so hot, that I'm doing the dishes right after I eat, so that the Giant Roach of Sumatra doesn't wend his evil way from my old apartment on the Lower East Side and take up residence in my Park Slope kitchen.

If you're not in New York right now, all I can say is, eff you in the ay, pal. It is goddamn hot here. I'm about to go take my third shower of the day and I suspect I'll need another when I wake up. I have the AC going full blast and I had to buy a fan on my way home from the DMV.

Savor that, for a moment: On my way home from the DMV. Today, on the hottest day of the year, I had to walk a mile to the DMV, wait on line in a room full of screaming children and very scary men with actual grills in their mouths, without air conditioning, to get a very un-official looking piece of paper that the State of New York claims is a temporary license, but which I think is actually one of those fucking "stickers" they used to give you in Cracker Jack boxes - you know, the kind where the stickum is not included.

Other things I did today, which were not suited to the weather:

1) Carried a 20-pound bag of laundry down the street and up my stairs.
2) Hauled four bags of groceries from the store to my house.
3) Did I mention the DMV? Yes? Well, there wasn't air conditioning. Thought you should know.

My pal Bonnie, who is southern and very lovely, said it was "hot as Hades" today, and that about sums it up. Hades = New York w/o AC.

Although, as Ma Smash is fond of pointing out, we're not great about AC here. AC is a luxury "they" know you'll do without, so long as you're allowed to stay. Other luxuries of this kind include reasonable rent, produce that doesn't look like it's been hurled at bowling pins, drinks that cost less than a meal in most parts of the country, and 40-year-old men who don't dress like members of Fall Out Boy.

What Did You Do This Weekend?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's Hot

My AC is going full-blast, and I'm still dripping with sweat.

Yesterday was my birthday party, and the hottest day of the year so far. I wisely decided to do the party outdoors, at a beer garden. Everyone melted into puddles and got mopped away by ladies wearing wench costumes.

Another thing that happened at the beer garden: Every single person I know left with their wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, triad relationship or casual fling. Everyone, that is, except the birthday girl. I think you know what this means.

It means it's time to find new single friends. Coworker Dennis and I will be accepting applications. In order to qualify, you must be:

1) Doy, single.
2) Able to read. (You must also own books, particularly ones you'd like to lend me.)
3) Able to drink and fond of doing so.
4) Not totally insane.
5) Not totally sane either, because what would we talk about?

Females, males, and persons of all known genders and inclinations are welcome. Applications may be included in the comments.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


From pal Moss just now: "Jenlet! I miss you. It's your birthday this weekend, and I miss you. I miss you so much that I might have to run through the streets. Naked. Crying. Call me."

Now that's how you leave a phone message.