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Patients should never be allowed to rate their own pain on the pain scale. If you rate yourself as 10/10, the most severe, there's no way in fucking hell you'd be able to drive yourself to Urgent Care. Indeed, if you were in hell, when sexy heartthrob Satan prodded you with his pitchfork, as I have it on good counsel he does to all new arrivals, that pain, at most, would rate a 5. So, although shampooing carpets in a nursing home, from whence your back strain arises, is probably its own kind of hell, please keep it in perspective.
When Connie said "forever" she meant forever. The kind that lasts forever and a day, the kind that exists on the other side of whatever's on the other side of the galaxy. She meant that kind of forever, the one that had her flesh rotting and her bones decaying and her burial outfit eroding in a mahogany box fancier than any of the furniture she envisioned them having in the house she imagined they'd buy together someday. She didn't know that to him "forever" meant until she told him she thought his homemade salsa could use a bit more jalapeno!
Oh, people, do you really need my advice? Do you really need me to tell you what you already know, somewhere deep down underneath all the layers of tartan or burlap or cotton candy or fruit roll-ups or Supersuede or manila folders fashioned into a caftan that you wear to shield your tender flesh from the prying eyes of an uncaring public audience? I have so very little wisdom to impart, so few words to share, despite what you may think from this rambling, and those words are these: Don't be a dick. That's all. Carry on, and good day.
I haven't opened the middle drawer of the dresser by the TV for about a year, after depositing all of his notes and cards and drawings because there's no way I could ever destroy them or throw them away or even store them in a place without easy access. Because even though I won't look at them now, I need to know I could on a whim. Although I know it's not hermetically sealed, I like to think the air inside is the same air that was there when I last opened the drawer to lay the stuff to rest.
You were the king of cat talk, that much I'll give you. You could transport me into fits of moronic kittenish giggles over the things you'd make our cats say, the voice you'd use, the inflection, the mood. Everything. You did it the way I do it, which is probably why I loved it so much. It was the thing we shared that was ours and ours alone, and every time when I talk to or *as* my cat now, oh so long after you left us, I cannot separate it from you. I could kick you for shutting meowt!
Nine o'clock on a Saturday, and Billy Joel's piano man is doing something somewhere, but I wouldn't know it because I'm at home, disregarding the fact that there's a world out there doing crap like getting numb legs from waiting on the wrong side of a velvet rope in hopes of being granted access to a crappy club or being anywhere at all that requires me to put on shoes. "Archer" is on the TV, I'm singing songs to my cat, who's beside me on the sofa, and I've eaten chocolate chips for dinner. All in all, a perfect night.
I love how my phone says I'm "roaming" even though I'm home, feet quietly in place (not even dancing under my desk to the tune of "Iím Singing in the Rain" in celebration of the morning's downpour), not fidgeting, arms close to my sides, breathing but not audibly, hair in a non-swinging pineapple-ish ponytail. Yet on my way to the subway after the gym, when I was skipping down the sidewalk with my umbrella, singing to myself, ready to break out into full Gene Kelly mode, leaping over puddles, I wasn't "roaming" at all. Home, home on the strange. Whatthewhat?
Is it true you can't be a writer unless you read? I don't know if I'm buying it. Can you be a photographer without looking at photos? A painter without seeing paintings? A gardener without viewing flowers? A chef without eating? A prostitute without fucking?
Okay, so maybe I should rethink this. Having said that, I need to read more. The Jenga stacks of books in my bachelorette pad is getting taller. Once I get back in the swing, I'll wonder why it took me so long to be pushed, and why I needed a push in the first place.
Lately on OKCupid I've been seeing, at the end of people's profiles, a cut-and-pasted disclaimer admonishing the media not to use any part of the profile for advertising or other purposes, warning that doing so will violate whateverwhateverwhatever. Oh, fellas, do you really think the media is interested in your poorly written claptrap that's about as compelling as a stray strand of dental floss stuck to someone's shoe? No doubt you're barely winning the attention of the half-baked honeys on the site, let alone that of national media. Don't worry. The "selfies" of you in the gym bathroom are safe.
On a recent rainy morning I saw a guy and girl running on West 20-something Street wearing shower caps, the translucent white vinyl type, a step above the flimsy accordion-style things grannies stash in their "pocketbooks". I couldn't decide if it was more nerdy/ridiculous or hilarious/ingenious, but one thing I know: There's no way in hell I'd take myself as seriously as they did while so chapeau'd. I'd be grinning like an absolute idiot, quite possibly adding to the effect by carrying a travel-size bottle of bubbles and a little wand to wave them into the air as I passed.
Our first (and only) date was at his apartment to watch "Arrested Development". He was taken aback that I would want to come over, but I thought nothing of it, thinking, no, Jewish guys aren't murder-y. He was probably more shocked, however, that I had no interest in letting him have his way with me. Hey, I just wanted to nosh on guacamole and chips and watch TV with a cute guy on a Saturday afternoon. And to check out how someone lives who actually has BOUGHT an apartment. Nice digs, buddy boy, but keep your hands outta my pants.
Dear People Who Don't Live in NYC,
If it weren't for you, I would have no idea that it's expensive to live here. So, thank you for that. I also wouldn't know that for what I pay in rent, I could have a house twice as big as yours (with a cathedral ceiling and intercom!) in a prized cul-de-sac location only 30 miles from the nearest grocery store that just started carrying tofu, which everyone in your PTA still thinks is just funny-lookin' cheese or somethin'.
P.S. There's nothing to do here! What times does your mall open?
There are mornings when I'm walking home through Central Park and I think there's no place in the world I'd rather be, that I could walk home through this park every morning for the rest of forever, that I could rest every day underneath a huge tree I recently decided was "mine", and the rest of the world could go about doing whatever it's doing. Then there are other mornings when I think, what in the world am I still doing here? Wouldn't I be happier somewhere in the Midwest, where the bulk of my money doesn't go toward rent?
Of one thing I am certain: You have never met anyone who "prays" for rain more than I do.
You can keep your sunshine and its aggressive, in-your-face insistence that we all go outside and get some fresh air and do something. Sorry, sun, but my R.S.V.P. is a big "nyet". Give me an overcast sky with clouds full to bursting with the threat of gray rain, like a glass where the water rises just above the lip and the slightest nudge will send it splashing over the sides. Wink at me, clouds, and then do your thing. Bring it.
Beware thinking that people who present themselves as funky and kooky and crazy by dint of their outfits and hair color and piercings/tattoos and/or other contrived machinations: They are often some of the least captivating people you'll meet. Although they may be fun to look at, and you may want to borrow their jacket if just for the evening, you may quickly realize that the guy in the corner in the khakis and button-down shirt, picking through a bowl of cashews looking for whole nuts, not just pieces), is quicker with the wit and much more colorful than he appears.
Here's some fatherly advice from me to you: Don't be a dick to your dad. Forgive him for being human, for having glaring flaws, for not always being awesome like Mr. C or Mr. Brady or Herman Munster or your best friend's dad who always seemed so much cooler or better or wiser than yours. Father doesn't always know best. But be nice to him anyway. You're probably not always a prize yourself. And that's okay too. Happy Father's Day, to all dads out there, biological or not, your own and everyone else's, whether still on this planet or not.
Age-appropriate, age-schmappropriate. If you're an adult, wear what you want, do what you want, say what you want. All this nonsense about being too old to have long hair or being too old to wear a skirt above your knees or being too old to do or say or act a certain way? And all this nonsense of being referred to as a woman "of a certain age"? Please. The only thing I'm certain of is that that's complete and utter bunkum. Stop caring about appropriateness. "I'm too old for that" makes you older than you think you are. Feh.
Fifth Avenue just below 45th Street, a dark-haired man in a blue suit stoops to pick up a large apricot-colored scarf from the sidewalk. He trots up Fifth toward a gray-haired woman approaching 45th, stops her, and hands her the scarf. I put a bit more pep in my step, and when I catch up to him, I turn to my left and say, as we stride up Fifth, "You just made two people very happy: her and me. That was lovely." He smiles, utters a quiet thanks, and I skip off, hoping his day now is a little lovelier.
Every time I see this certain woman on the M5 on my way home from the gym, I think, "Lipstick on a pig." (Real pigs, take no offense. You know I think you're adorable. And you would know better than to wear such a garish shade that does nothing for you.) We "bonded", however tenuously, one morning over the rudeness of that day's driver. Ever since then, any contact we've had has included her carping about something. I don't have the heart to tell her the things that bother her don't really rankle me, so I just pretend they do.
The sooner store personnel stop referring to customers as "guests", the better off we'll all be. Especially when we're 20 deep in a line at Old Navy returning ill-fitting pants, and the cashiers are shouting "Can I help the following guest?" with all the elegance of gum-cracking, greasy-cleavaged shit-on-a-shingle diner waitresses. In addition, if they continue to use the word "following" in that manner, I insist the guest's name be announced from a list prepared by a concierge. If you're going to operate under the ridiculous pretense you're genteel and well-bred, guys, you need to follow through all the way.
So, kidz, is it any surprise, really, that Kanye West, the dumb-ass, and Kim Kardashian, the bump-ass, have named their bouncing bundle the name of "North", which can be found on a comp-ass? Like we really expected these two shrinking violets to name her Caitlin, Emma, or Taylor when they've got to keep up with the Knowles-Carter-Zs and "Blue Ivy"? All I can say is when she decides, at age 14, that she needs to create her own "fragrance" line, she'd better not call it "North by Northwest", thus sullying the name of one of the finest movies ever made.
Our waitress asks us how everything is, and I chirp that it's delicious (tofu and eggplant, perfectly spicy, and not a tiny portion) and then turn back to my fork and my date.
"This food, my good woman, is positively te-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-errible!" I say to him quietly, in a quasi-posh-Englishman voice, pretending to flip the plate and the rest of the table (as is often my custom).
"What??? It's not good?" he says, all those question marks hovering over his head.
"No, it's VERY good, which is why I'm doing that. I'm pretending it's not."
He still doesn't get it.
I don't recognize you on the street because I cannot believe you're the kind of guy who wears those kind of sandals. Granted, your toes arenít showing, so perhaps I could be persuaded to add a point back to the handful I've already deducted, but still, I think I'd be willing to overlook exposed toes for sandals that didn't look like something a toddler would wear for "dress-up", complete with a fey little buckle across the instep and vents for your tender tootsies to breathe. Clothes may not make the man, but in your case I'm thinking the shoes may.
Yeah, I could've done without that dream, the one I was struggling to remember as it clung to the edges of my brain, tickling the synapses with tiny manic grippers like a tick. I could've done without having it creeping around inside my head, then embedding itself like a clever tiny Houdini, silently sucking blood like a milkshake. I could've done without his close-lipped, gumball-eyed, pale-faced silence in my dream when I said, "You haven't said you loved me in a really long time." I could do without waking up mortified, wanting to touch a lit match to my scalp.
Kudos, caffeine-kickers, on your noble quest to rid yourself of the rigors of participating in one of the day's most marvelous moments, and for redirecting your attention to coma-inducing twig branch berry bobo-jobo herbal patchouli tea or Postum. I know I speak for the Facebook community and everyone in your offline life (does such a thing exist?) to whom trumpet your stellar achievement on a daily basis ("Day 3 without coffee! I can do this! #winning #caffeineruinedmylife #seeyastarbuckslol) when I say, "Who really fucking cares?" in a tone reminiscent of James Lipton (Tea) during an "Inside the Actors Studio" interview.
A long-term boyfriend I had several years ago used to tell me that he rarely, if ever, cried. He even kind of bragged that he couldn't remember the last time he did. This didn't jive with me, a person who cries at least once daily, from one end of the happy-sad spectrum/continuum to the other, often as quickly as a caffeinated kid wielding a wand along a Fisher-Price xylophone, for reasons I not only cannot articulate but don't want to be able to articulate. I don't trust people who don't cry. Or think it's a show of strength. It's not.
From the "The Cheese Stands Alone Makes Me Cry" Files: I bought what I thought were four bottles of Vitamin Water Zero ("Crushed" variety, like lemonade!) at Fairway this afternoon. When I took them out of the bag at home, I realized they were not "Zero". For a moment I considered exchanging them at Fairway, but then thought I would hurt their feelings by doing so. As 22% of my mind was taunting me, "Oh, just take them back!" I tore the receipt into 16 pieces and tossed it in the trashcan. And then felt sad for hurting the receipt.
You can stop haunting me now, all right? You can stop lingering in my peripheral vision, wiggling like wavy lines that emit upward from a city sidewalk on the most scorching of afternoons. You can get out of my kitchen, where you sliced oranges and practiced vegan pancakes, out of my shower, where you faced me, looking so impossibly beautiful that I was happy for the water in the event I'd cry with joy over sharing life with you. Get off my sofa, in nebulous outline, when I'm trying to nap. Stop lurking outside my door, jangling the spare keys.
Egads, eHarmony, why did you send notification that Gary from Nanuet sent me an "icebreaker" and "can't stop smiling"? Don't you know (1) that I'll never respond to a lame "icebreaker", which is the equivalent of a prefabricated question asked by an online customer service representative, and indicates a lack of initiative and creativity and (2) that I don't trust your judgment anyway, given that when I had an active membership three years ago you matched me up with the long-term boyfriend who'd recently dumped me, who'd found the girl he was charmingly cheating on me with through your service?
Hey, gays, I fucking love you! I really fucking love you, from tip (to tits) to toe. Not in general, no, because I don't know every single gay boy or girl in the world as individuals, but one by one, each of you whom I do know as his or her own fabulous, hilarious, adorable, ridiculous, serious, unadulterated self. You know who you are. (And I mean that not only in a gross, Oprah-y, let's-sit-in-a-circle-(jerk)-with-hand-mirrors "in touch with yourself" [oooh!] way, but also in a "I don't have to name you" way.) I'd ask you to marry me, but Ö
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