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Bonnie sees Mrs. D'Angelo after class, as indicated at the top of Bonnie's essay in red pen next to the "A', which for some reason is followed by a question mark. Should that be a "plus" instead?
"Did you have help writing this?" Mrs. D'Angelo asks. Bonnie insists she didn't. "I've never known a nine-year-old who not only used 'hemming and hawing' but used it properly."
"Well, now you do," Bonnie says. "You look dumbfounded."
Mrs. D'Angelo looks like she doesn't know whether to be taken aback by the sass, but in the end just crosses out the question mark.
I'm trying something new that I hope will become a habit. Perhaps you can benefit from it as well. (Yes, I'm breaking the "fourth wall" here, which, by the way, is not something I really want to do because I like the wall, especially the dark blue, purple, and gold flocked wallpaper that's been covering the wall since 1948.)
At the top of every hour, I'm setting aside five minutes to write 100 words, in case I'm falling behind on the site for the month, or in case I have another reason to want to write 100 words.
Why am I still amazed that doing something as simple as going for a walk can have such a profound positive impact on my mood? Why does it still astound me when, after locking myself away from the world for a handful days, I take several steps outside, and before I've even reached the end of the block, I'm on the verge of whistling a happy tune which itself is on the verge of developing into a full-fledged song complete with idiotic lyrics? Can passersby tell this is the first I've seen of the sun in days? I'm convinced YES.
Every year I send "happy birthday" email, but for the past few years she hasn't acknowledged it in any way. I think it's time to stop sending it, as much as it will pain me to not do so. I don't know why I feel compelled to maintain connections to people who can't be bothered to take literally five seconds out of their day to send a simple "Thank you!" in response. In this day and age, there is no excuse except outright rudeness. Hey, I'd fucking thank Tr*mp if he emailed me a personal birthday note. (Well, maybe not.)
I'm "breaking in" a pair of shoes from the 1940s or 1950s. I need them to be perhaps one-eighth of an inch wider, and I'm on a mission. I'll wear them at home with thick socks every night until it's accomplished, because I need to continue whatever "journey" these shoes originally started at least 65 years ago. It fascinates me that I will never know who wore them first, who fancied them and thought them lovely enough to spare what was probably a tidy little sum back then. When she bought them, did she ever think they'd survive this long?
The buzzer buzzes. It's Saturday. I want to be disturbed even less on Saturday than on a weekday, even though all days are pretty much the same for me with the exception of gym-going (NO GO on weekends). It's Susan, "the mail lady," as she calls herself. "I have a package for you!"
This is worth the buzz. This is worth dashing out looking like a lunatic librarian in computer glasses. Today I know it's nifty vintage shoes that are scheduled to arrive from Etsy. I greet Susan as if she's Santa. I only wish I had cookies to offer.
My cat wants to get into the extra-large box I'm filling with stuff to donate. She'd already had earlier success negotiating the carry-on suitcase I'd placed on top to discourage/impede her, and I found her lounging inside in what she probably thought was a rather nifty fort. I told her to skedaddle then, though, because I don't want any errant cat fuzz attaching itself to the stuff.
"Don't even think about it!" I admonished today, and then realized what an arrogant, controlling thing that is to say, even to a cat.
"Can I think 'Fuck you'?" I'm sure she thought.
I have just declared a "spending freeze" on anything other than essentials, which means no more vintage shoes, dresses, scarves, belts, shirts, purses, or anything else I "have to" have. The funny thing is, the cost of all the shoes added together is probably less than what Carrie Bradshaw spent on one ridiculous pair. If she were a real person, of course. The good thing about having new (old) shoes is that they will compel me to actually leave the house, to STEP LIVELY out and about. (I'm writing this to make myself "accountable". To whom? You, whoever you are.)
When I'm in no mood to leave the house (often) but must do so anyway, at least I know that, in my vintage/retro gear, I'll feel "protected" from the hideousness of 2018. My cocoon, spun of polyester and vinyl, comforts me, shields me, provides a much-needed portable haven in which I feel relatively impervious to the assault, insult, and onslaught of the modern age, and I feel safer as I navigate through an amorphous clog of shabby tourists, too cool for school nobodies stuffed in skinny jeans, and sundry unsmiling malcontents. This is the easiest way for me to cope.
Taim changed its menu board so that it now looks like something you'd see in any number of places that offers that horrible "Pick your protein" nonsense. They only have two of the three falafel varieties, although for the life of me I can't remember what the third one was. I'm put off by both of these things and want to flee the place and seek refuge in Village Natural, where everything has remained the same for at least 18 years. I'm a huge proponent of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Was something broken, Taim? If so, what?
Every time I make a smoothie after not having made one for a while, I think, "Why haven't I had this in such a long time?" and then get excited by the notion that I can have one whenever I want, even if that means 2:00 a.m. when the Vitamix racket would disturb the neighbors, that I don't have to spend a ridiculous sum at a juice/smoothie place on the Upper West Side, that I can make it as milkshake-like as I want and slurp grossly through a straw the way I'd never do in public. Ah, yes, "adulting". (Ew.)
I finally bought the vintage (late 1960s/early 1970s!) navy David Crystal for Lacoste dress with red placket and collar and thick trim down the sides (which have slits!) and buckled belt of the same fabric, with brassish/goldish buttons down the front, from Etsy. When worn with my red, white, and blue Vera scarf, the one I call "Wonder Bread", and "wet look" navy pumps (both also vintage), it's so insanely stewardess (fuck "flight attendant"). I almost had a seizure trying it on, it was that thrilling. I want to wear this on my next flight, no matter where I'm going.
My oldest friend of continuous standing (1990 or 1991) came up to visit me today from Philadelphia. To honor her oldest son, who died five years ago tomorrow at age 17, we went to Lexington Candy Shop, which has been around since 1925, and shared a chocolate egg cream. Neither of us had ever had one before, and although we ordered two, the waiter only brought one, so we had two straws and drank it nose to nose, laughing like absolute lunatics. Alex, her son, would have been giddy with delight. (Don't tell the vegan police. They'd have me stoned.)
One Friday morning, I realized that I had been cooped up in the apartment since that Tuesday afternoon, when I'd gone to the post office at 68th and Columbus and then taken a jaunty strut 'n' stroll around the UWS. I hadn't been out the preceding Monday. It was a "week of rest" from the gym, which I do perhaps three times a year, more so that I don't "resent" the gym rather than to give my body a rest. Why I "resent" a really nice gym I have no idea. And why don't I leave the house? Who knows.
I could have probably made a nice sum of money, perhaps a tidy sum even, had I chosen not to donate my stuff via GiveBackBox but to sell it online. One of my good friends is a "reseller" on Poshmark, and the stuff she sells doesn't look half as nice as the stuff I donated, but oh, the thought of starting a "shop" there or on Etsy or eBay, photographing the stuff, researching price, uploading photos, maintaining it, and then having to deal with buyers and trudge to the post office to send it? No, thank you. Donate it is.
I'm not going to pretend I have the kind of household that requires visitors to remove their shoes before or upon entering. I can't see asking my landlord to do so when entering to make a repair or my 80-year-old best friend when coming over to feed my cat while I'm away. I'm the girl who doesn't hesitate to cram food into her mouth that falls the floor, who more often than not doesn't wash fruit before she eats it, and who rolls her eyes over hand sanitizer. Please. I'd probably eat an M&M off the sole of my boot.
A mound of cat vomit perches on the arm of the sofa with as much of an air of casual entitlement as demonstrated by the cat who often perches there, alone, without vomit. Unlike the cat, though, the vomit doesn't move and doesn't meow for mysterious reasons. Indeed, it doesn't meow at all. It just rests like it would like me to turn on the TV so we can watch something fun while eating a salad for lunch. Alas, as polite as that all is, it must be evicted. The cat acts like she has no idea what's going on.
I haven't been to my mom and sister's house in almost a year. I'll be going later this month when my brother and his girlfriend, my nephew and his girlfriend, and my sister's boyfriend will be there, to celebrate my sister's birthday (even though she doesn't eat cake) (what kind of celebration is that?).
I "should" go more often, but whenever I do, I want to leave within half an hour. No doubt my mom will ask why I'm so dressed up to visit, which means I'm wearing shoes with slight heels and clothes that can't be mistaken for pajamas.
My fabulous 1970s Vanity Fair deep pink/lighter pink ("color block") with subtle multicolored piping down the front placket step-in half-zip robe with drawing tie/cord at the empire waist, spread/butterfly collar, and "bishop" sleeves arrived a day later than expected, so I was even more excited to shake it out of the package and gasp with delight. I love when something I've admired online, finally bought, and obsessively tracked online is even lovelier in person than anticipated. It's kind of the way I feel about the marvelous OSD. But don't tell him that. (Even though I didn't buy and/or track him.)
Do I really want to spend $30 on this production of a musical I have absolutely no interest in just so I can feel like a good person for supporting the peripheral friend who has a role in it? I can't pretend I'm a big enough person to do it just because it would make him happy. I doubt his appreciation of my attendance would be greater than the effort it takes to think of something to wear, walk to the venue, and sit through the thing just to see him for however long his part is. (I don't go.)
I'm having lunch with my ex-beau from last summer. This is the second time I've seen him in less than two weeks. The first time I saw him I was taken aback a little because I had somehow forgotten that he is rather good-looking. I had also forgotten how splendidly we got along. I hadn't forgotten, though, that there was something about him that turned me off, and now, on this get-together, he's talking about a sponge bath necessitated by recent surgery, and that obviates any need for me to try to figure out what it had been. Oy. Ugh.
Every year for her birthday, I ask my sister which books she'd like. She names at least two, and ever the considerate person, tells me to buy used copies. (I get her every book she lists.) When possible, I use AbeBooks.com instead of Amazon, and the books arrive in separate shipments since they're from different vendors. This, along with not knowing the exact delivery date, makes it more fun.
I'm always impressed with the titles she chooses, even though her choices make me feel like I should be reading more impressive books instead of watching so much Mary Tyler Moore.
Bobby Bendix wishes he were double-jointed so he could tell the kids at recess and amaze them with how he can bend his fingers backwards and kiss his own elbow. Monica Brandt, who sits behind him in class, can touch her left thumb to her wrist, and has gotten away with using it for Show and Tell three times, as opposed to his tongue-roll, which was barely accepted by Ms. Morgan the first. He wishes he could learn to wiggle his ears, but so far he hasn't been able to figure it out. And every kid can cross his eyes.
The clipboard guy on West 72nd looks my way as I approach and I do my best, "I'm a busy lady with places to go, people to see, and I've gotta pick up the kids at school and the dry cleaning for my husband and get a key made for the front door because my in-laws are visiting and I don't want them to have to rely on me" impression. Still, he's undaunted, and with a jaunty tone makes a comment about my red raincoat. I smile my best harried suburban mom smile and tell him I'm in a rush.
Yesterday morning I had the great fortune of seeing Cooper on the street and finally asked his human dad what his name is.
"Nice to meet you," I said, even though I've had contact with him many times before. I wondered if he realized that. I didn't offer my name and he didn't ask, and I wondered if he realized that. He probably realized none of this. I wonder if Cooper did.
I wonder what Cooper's dog dad's name is or was. I wonder if Cooper knew his dad. The thought of him with his dog dad makes me swoon.
The day before Salvation Army was to pick up my donation, I postponed until the next available date, six weeks away. For that pickup, I won't wait until the day before to open my closet, look inside, think, "Oh god, what am I going to get rid of now?", get overwhelmed, say "I'll do it in an hour," realize that I'll have the same reaction in an hour, and then rush to the computer, hoping it isn't too late to change the date. The potentially donated items deserve respect, and it saddened me to think I was denying them it.
Twenty-six years since it first aired, I'm watching The Larry Sanders Show and wondering not only why I didn't watch it when it was new but why it's taken me so long to watch it. True, Garry Shandling's lips have always made me a little queasy, but Rip Torn, Jeffrey Tambor, Jeremy Piven, Janeane Garofalo, and the incredible lineup of "guests"? It's okay, though. The thrill of is even greater now because I'm watching it on my big TV, which of course means Garry Shandling's lips are bigger, but that's okay. After a while I kinda forget and just laugh.
I'm making a second "pass" through one of my closets, and I still have so much stuff, much of it I haven't worn in ages but don't want to give up and donate to Salvation Army. I'm glad I didn't go ahead and hire a professional organizer/decluttering yenta as I'd considered a few years ago. That person would've forced me to make quick decisions while on the clock, and I would've felt like one of those people on "What Not to Wear" who panics while being ridiculed by Stacy and Clinton, as they sneer at stuff that I find sentimental.
Moments after debarking the train at Trenton, I realize I don't have my phone charger. Instantly I envision, as in a movie, a close-up of the white charger, short cable attached, plugged into the outlet by my window seat, followed by a wider shot of me on the platform, frenzied, deciding whether I should dash back onto the train to retrieve it, then a shot of me on the train, trying to find my vacated seat, the train pulling away of the station, my overnight bag still on the platform. I stay put and grumble about my stupidity all weekend.
My fabulous vintage two-tone pink "dressing gown" with groovy multicolored piping was a hit at my mom's house. When I came downstairs wearing it yesterday morning, I thought for sure it would be met with jibes and "good-natured" ridicule, but instead it was warmly welcomed with compliments, and my brother's girlfriend even noted several of its design elements with admiration. I hope I won't hurt its feelings if I add another one to my wardrobe and that it will consider any new addition a friend with whom to reminisce about the good old days while lounging in the dresser drawer.
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