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I'm a witty, urbane, impossibly well-mannered sophisticate here in my cushy blue seat in the Amtrak quiet car en route home to NYC, as polished and grand as if this were first class on an
in the 1950s and an elegantly dressed stewardess (not a flight attendant!) was in the galley, gloved hands artfully arranging my supper (not dinner!) on fine white china with utensils unfit for children or terrorists (sometimes one and the same). I almost wish I could speak, though, so I could impress everyone with the clip of the intelligent British accent they probably don't expect.
No, I'm not going to the informal high school reunion, ma'am. I only accepted your friend request so I'd be privy to any photos that are sure to pop up as a result of the event you've organized, so I can be thrilled that I didn't waste my time agonizing over what to wear to be in the company of people I had less than zero interest in decades ago. The only interest I have in them now is to gloat, from the comfort of my own home, over how poorly they've aged and how abysmal their personal style is.
Thanksgiving here will be my cat and I, at home, in matching pajamas, watching movies and making "pizza pockets" or whatever you call it when you take make "cheese" out of tofu and cashews and spices, add a little tomato sauce, and put it into homemade, hand-rolled whole wheat dough that is then placed into crimped-edged molds to make it all pretty-like. And then eating more than I probably "should" but still wishing I had a volcano mashed potatoes with mushroom gray, string bean casserole complete with crispy onion topping, and a mountain of stuffing as, you know, a chaser.
Thanksgiving here will be my cat and I, at home, in matching pajamas, watching movies and making "pizza pockets" or whatever it's called when you make "cheese" out of tofu, cashews and spices, add a little tomato sauce, and put it into homemade, hand-rolled whole wheat dough that's been spooned into crimped-edged empanada/pie molds to make it all pretty-like. And then eating more than I probably "should" but still wishing I had a volcano of mashed potatoes with mushroom gray, string bean casserole complete with crispy onion topping, and a mountain of stuffing as, you know, a chaser.
My cat and I are on the sofa. One of us is trying to watch a movie and the other has her back to the TV, obstinately obscuring the view. That one has pointy ears and one eye huge enough to contain the judgment of two.
She insists on reaching out a paw to touch my chin. After pushing it away countless times, I succumb and hold it in my hand.
"Paws!" I say.
"You can see them?" she says.
"Your what?" I say.
"My paws. They're not imaginary?"
"I'm afraid not."
"Oh, no," she says.
I don't even ask.
The relatively new phrase "You do you" has to go away, not just because it's annoying and cloying in the same way as "It is what it is" and "It's all good" are but so that the snickering, gee whiz, I've-got-a-frog-and-a-slingshot-in-my-pocket 9-year-old boy I not so secretly am can stop imagining a bunch of guys sitting on tufted cushions in a dimly-lit circle jerk, one enterprising participant turning to the fella on his left and quietly offering a hand (literally), only to have that hand quickly smacked away, accompanied by the hushed, flushed, vehement, serious-faced admonishment of "You do YOU!"
Peter Piper picked only three peppers. The story is out there, if you search on the Internet long and hard enough, if you have what it takes to stay up for at least a fortnight, and to put in the legwork with many, many clicks of your finger. Fortunately for you, however, and anyone else with whom you might share this information, you don't have to do any of the work because I have taken care of doing it for you. I realize I could have just asked Peter P. himself, but he may have exaggerated, as is his custom.
Pig Eon Parker doesn't like his name, really, but is that any reason for the other kids to go around calling him "Pigeon" and flapping their arms and bobbing their heads every time he enters the lunch room? Can't they just let him enjoy his pizza bagel and tater tots in peace? Why did his parents have to name him something so stupid anyway? What were they thinking?
He guesses "Pigeon" is better than "Pig", though, because that came with oinks, grunts, and endless "bacon" references.
He wonders why kids are so cruel. And why his parents were even worse.
My friend carries the small stack of pizza boxes into the room (we each got our own!). We sit with our hot boxes on our laps, and when I flip open my lid, I think, "Oh no! I didn't realize it came with sauce! I wasted one of my options on plum tomatoes!" I lie to myself that it will be okay, but really, it's a soggy mess. Of course I wolf it down anyway, "beating" everyone else. I don't realize at the time that it's a harbinger for things to come on election night, and a relatively tiny disappointment.
It's not like my boyfriend and I sleeping together anymore, in any sense of the word, I tell my friend over lunch, so when he creeps in just before dawn, I don't question him about where he's been because I know it couldn't have been a restaurant since there isn't a late-night diner around for miles.
My friend is perplexed.
"Hey, he can screw around for all I care. I have no interest," I say. "The one thing we do share, our favorite thing, is food. So as long as he's not eating with another woman, that's fine by me."
Ladies, please don't talk to me in the locker room when any part of you is exposed that you wouldn't expose while in the gym "proper". And no, I don't mean your tender heart, your vulnerable soul, or your wet hair. I mean the other stuff, the tits that could gut me if you spin around quickly to squeal a greeting to someone, the "eye" that jovially winks at me when you bend from the waist to linger over applying lotion to your legs, or the plucked chicken tucked between them. I won't want to look, but I'll be compelled.
Thank you to the young woman who recently rang up my b̶u̶s̶i̶n̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶s̶u̶i̶t̶ pajamas for graciously accepting compliments with a big smile and "Thank you!" without a preface of "No I'm not but". When I blurted, "You're so pretty!" and "Your eyebrows look great!"* like someone's doting aunt, she took it in the spirit with which I offered it. I'm sure she's more than just pretty with super eyebrow skills (which we chatted about for a few beats), but in that moment that's what I saw and she was happy to be seen.
*Thankfully I did not say "on fleek".
Several years ago I saw a documentary about a husband and wife who made a film (a documentary too?) out of their house, in relative seclusion, never leaving their grounds, and occasionally friends/colleagues visited and assisted. They were happy to simply stay there and be with each other and not go out into the rest of the world. They weren't necessarily completely misanthropic as much as just preferred and enjoyed their own world and seclusion made sense to them. Does anyone know who/what I'm talking about? (And yes, I realize it kind of sounds like I described myself, but ... no.)
It's been a while since I've seen any of the first season episodes of The Brady Bunch. I feel like, in the event that I want to rewatch the entire series this winter, I should have a desire to include them, but I can't bear the thought of "Dear Libby", Bobby's shoe polish black hair, not having Marcia's legs or hair or outfits to covet, and not having groovy Greg to want as both brother and boyfriend. I feel I'd be merely going through the motions of pretending to care about Kitty Karry-All, and that's just not fair to Cindy.
My cat confuses me. She'll tell me she has pretty paws and stretch them out for me to see, so I can confirm that oh god, yes, they're the prettiest paws in all the land, and she'll make sure I see her licking them instead of whatever claptrap is on my computer screen. Then in the middle of the night, she'll tap my cheek with one of those paws, and whisper, "Are my paws pretty? I'm not sure. Are they pretty?" and I'll tell her yes, yes, they are, of course they are. But I know she doesn't believe me.
(Written on 12/5!) FUCK OFF, The Atlantic. Regardless of the content of your article, the mere use of the headline "Are Jews White?" today is all that many people -- those who don't read beyond headlines, whose tiny brains cannot process anything polysyllabic, who already have filth and hate lockjamming their brains -- need or want to see. This lends credence to the hatred already gurgling in their guts and emboldens the flexing of their fingers and exercising of their jaws in ways that should not only be vehemently discouraged but fully condemned. Shame on you. Fucking shame on you.
I'm sorry, extremely good-looking fella I went out with a couple of times in October of 2015, but you don't get to fail to solidify plans to get together since then, send me the most lackluster of messages on rare occasion, have absolutely no contact with me at all for quite a few months, and then one day just send me a message with no greeting or salutation, just a link to a new song, the last one on your upcoming CD. There's so much wrong with that, especially the part where you call your own song "epic". Go away.
Oh, these marches, these protests, these calls to action, these rallies, all in the wake of the horror of November 8th. I feel like I "should" be going to them, gathering with my "sisters" in front of Tr*mp Tower with a homemade sign depicting a cat, cramming myself into a bus headed to Washington, D.C. in January, or even just the subway to Union Square here in NYC. Participating. Being "active". Yet all I want to do is stay inside my apartment in cute pajamas, eating Ethiopian and/or Indian food, watching rom-coms, and gazing into the eye of my cat.
Paradox, or something:
I ordered cat food from Amazon for same-day delivery because I don't feel like trudging to the store two blocks away, which would require me to put on shoes, a coat, and perhaps pants. However, in order to take delivery of the package from the real live person bringing it, I'll have to put on clothes anyway since I cannot possibly have him see me in my pajamas (as adorable as they are, with foxes riding bicycles) and thank I sat around all day so attired. Not when the delivery guy is David Duchovny in disguise. Nope.
Current very important frets:
My most popular "tweet" contains a misspelling. I corrected it in a comment back to my tweet, but it will appear incorrect in "retweets".
I'm sure I'll forget to buy baking powder during my weekly Whole Foods trip and will not be able to make waffles on a whim over the weekend unless I go to the corner store two blocks away, which requires putting on shoes. And pants. Maybe.
I really need to organize my drawers, closets, and crap under my bed.
I haven't watched that Netflix DVD I've had for at least two weeks.
I was his favorite, he tells a mutual friend. I exasperated the hell out of him sometimes and he hated that I hated his choice in socks, but in the end, I was right about the socks and I spared him the embarrassment of wearing tube socks with regular shoes when he went on a date with girls after me. This amuses me mildly, and I think, "Yeah, I wore those crappy socks in gym in 1978, shmoe." And here I was thinking if I ever crossed paths with him again I would apologize for ragging on those horrible things.
I won't say it's every day that my cat tells me she has one eye, but I would say, if pressed in a news conference, that she tells me several times a week, and that on those occasions she tells me several times. Often to the point, I daresay, of shrieking.
I don't know why the reminder. Or the insistence. Or the vehemence. But I do know that every time she tells me, I'm taken aback yet again by how adorable her face is and how, oh yeah, she *does* have a blank spot where an eye used to be.
Four years ago my dad left this world. I cannot use the "d" word. Whenever I mention the event of his leaving to someone, I leave the equivalent of an underscore, often doing a slight "brrrrp" sound with my mouth or another noise I can't describe but which probably sounds to the listener like I'm suffering some kind of intestinal distress. But no matter what word I use or don't use, what sound I make, it all means the same thing and it all means that he's not here and never will be and that, oh, look now I'm crying.
I'm not only reading between the lines but pulling out a mother of pearl loupe I just discovered in a paisley satin-lined watch pocket I didn't know existed in a tweed vest I didn't know I was wearing to do so. I'm examining every serif, scaling a capital letter to get a better view of the lowercase soldiers below, who have congregated in this note to tell me something its writer doesn't want to just come out and say for fear of not getting the desired response. Can I bribe a lowercase "g" into telling me what it really means?
Guys, if you're ever sitting around on a random morning, drinking coffee and eating waffles or a bowl of Quisp or whatever and thinking, "Gosh, I like Jodi, but I can only handle her in tiny bite-sized chunks," then you should follow me on Twitter. For some reason I started posting there in the last few weeks (hmmm, what does that coincide with?) even though I avoided it for years because I thought it was stupid, just like I originally thought about Facebook, Instagram, iPods, cell phones, and think about Snapchat even though I don't even know what that is.
Guys, it's okay to find comfort in the smallest of talk, in the simplest of eye contact when out and about, doing whatever you do. I'm as disgusted as the next person with a heart, soul, and conscience; as heartbroken as anyone who didn't vote for hate and destruction; repelled by what many people are dubbing "the new normal", which has no place in our vocabulary or our consciousness, collective of individual, because it is NOT normal. I'm not saying to ignore or disregard all this horror. Just to remember it's not all there is. We are more than that.
Three days after Leonard Cohen died, there Stan was, posting on Facebook about how he ran into him in a dive bar in the mid '80s. I wonder what took him so long, since within 20 minutes of hearing about David Bowie's death, he posted about how ten years ago they tried to hail the same cab and he let Bowie have it and Bowie insisted otherwise and so on. Of course I know it's bullshit. I guess he thinks that if he told me this stuff while Cohen and Bowie were still alive, I'd be calling them for confirmation.
I lopped off the hair again with the same ol' scissors I've used before, those that open bags of frozen cherries and mango. I just couldn't bear the encroachment of long hair that contributes to my feeling like a hag hellbent on trying to pretend she's en route to mermaidhood. It overpowers and and makes me feel unkempt and like my entire head is elongating into an increasingly narrower rectangle. These are not plusses, my friends! But even as I say this, I cringe as I think what my hairstylist friend will say when she comes over the "real" cut.
I did not leave the house for an entire week after the election, not even to go to Whole Foods or the gym. I did step out onto my patio, but that is private, but at least I can say I went outside. However, that only makes it about 5% less kinda sad that I stayed inside.
Here is the part where I should be saying that I couldn't wait to leave the apartment after that week, that I was itching to be out and about, to see faces and places.
That would be the part that would be untruthful.
Over the years, and as recently as this week, I've posted on Facebook about words/phrases I can't stand. And, yes, like everyone else with the capacity for cringing, I, too, dislike "moist". I don't like the "verbing" of nouns. I think "hero", "miracle", and "genius" are way overused. And oh, so many others. But they merely make me shudder in good fun. Lately, however, I've been seeing one word (other than "Trump", natch) that, if it were possible, could literally make my skin crawl like a hermit crab, and that word is "libtard". Even typing it makes me feel dirty.
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