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I know it's only the first day of May, but is it too early to investigate whether April showers have indeed yielded May flowers? Am I jumping the flower gun? If so, how long must I wait until I won't be deemed foolish for romping around town in search of the promised flowers? And really, do I care? If I'm caught romping, cavorting, and prancing where flowers are usually to be found in spring, prematurely, can I be blamed? Can I be imprisoned? Dare I find out? (But wait. Were the April showers sufficient to produce the desired outcome anyway?)
I put on my "lady dress", mesh hose, white/ivory T-straps, and sling a white accordion "pocketbook" on my shoulder. I'm ready for a stroll to the tailor on West 83rd to have a zipper replaced in a vintage shirt. I've been meaning to take something to this tailor for a while, and now is the perfect opportunity.
The fellas inside the shop smile at the lady who has just entered. I think they like seeing someone properly dressed, and not just because they think a lady of this caliber will bring in lots of finery to which they can tend.
Almost five months away from Facebook and I still don't see myself going back. Sure, I'll check out the occasional animal video and one of my favorite people up in Maine just because he's a hoot, but for the most part, I just don't care. Anyone in my real life I see anyway, and we can "catch up" over a face to face lunch or dinner or a walk around town. I don't miss 4,000 photos of your kid in a bathing suit or your toes in the sand or your comparisons of the current "climate" to The Handmaid's Tale.
In the entertainment world, you're a "triple threat" if you can sing, dance, and act (all with skill, of course). Since most people aren't fortunate enough to be in the entertainment biz, their triple threat-ness needs accommodation in their realms.
Attorney: Look good in a suit, use "ex oficio" as if it were second nature, be a dick
Doctor: Clean hands, illegible handwriting, sense of superior self-entitlement
Dog-walker: Love dogs, love dogs more than people, love people who love dogs more than people
Personal trainer: Ability to count backwards from 10, ability to count up to 10, proficiency at gum-chewing.
I miss Pong, which my brother received as a gift in 1974, probably for his bar mitzvah. I miss the black screen with the white geometric shapes, the slow movement of the "ball" across the screen, met by the rectangular "paddles". I miss thinking it was the coolest game ever but being a bit scared of it because it signified technological change that I didn't necessarily welcome.
The 11-year-old me would have hated what the 54-year-old me sees now. It would have made her supremely anxious, just like it does now, witnessing it firsthand, submerged in the seemingly inescapable horror.
Lunch at Peters, Wilkins & Barr, P.C.
Shari: Leftovers from last night's Lean Cuisine, Arizona unsweetened iced tea, half a peach
Marina: Fried chicken, an apricot fruit roll-up, and a Diet Coke
Barry: Italian hoagie, Ruffles potato chips, Mountain Dew, eight Oreos
Cindy: Cuticles, with a side of fingernails
Loretta: Six postage stamps, four Altoids, and a Starbucks caramel Frappuccino with two shots
Mark: Onion/tomato/bell pepper frittata with small salad, balsamic vinaigrette on the side, used sparingly
Mr. Peters: Three martinis and Ms. Wilkins
Ms. Wilkins: Two Cosmopolitans and Mr. Peters
Mr. Barr: Two Clif bars and a Vitamin Water
Wanda says she can "like literally feel" the hair growing on her legs and arms. I tell her she's full of it and hang up the phone, irritated that she felt this nonsense warranted a phone call rather than a few texts complete with open-mouthed astounded emojis on her part and eyeroll and clown face emojis on mine.
When I see her in Central Park, though, I can barely distinguish her from the surrounding greenery. What looks like dark brown ivy covers her arms and legs. Clearly she'd downplayed the situation. There is no emoji adequate to convey my reaction.
After eating way too much while visiting my mom and sister for a weekend, I decide to fast for a few days for balance. The first day isn't too tough, the second is all right, by the third I'm ready to break down, and then by the fourth, although I know I have to eat something, I tell myself not to be such a pansy and to go for a fifth day. But I know a fifth would lead to a sixth and seventh, so I say fuck it, and eat, like, I think, a sweet potato. So damned anticlimactic.
I think my dry cleaner charges $1.10 a pound for laundry service commonly known as "fluff and fold" (actual wetting/washing is implied, I trust!), $1.50 tops, so I'm feeling pretty good about myself for having hand-washed my gym clothes the way I usually do rather than submit to laziness and include them with the rest of the stuff. I forgot to weigh them before washing, but when they're dry, I will, to calculate the millions of dollars I saved by doing them myself.
See, if I were living with someone, you, poor 100 Wordsters, would be spared this minutiae. Maybe.
When sending out a cut and pasted message that you've no doubt sent to everyone else you're trying to round up to see your show next month, you'd be well advised to spell my name properly. When in doubt, a simple click back to my Facebook page will reveal that it's spelled with an "i", not a "y", and thus you'll be spared my reply telling you that I'd be more inclined to attend if you spelled my name properly. It would also help if you hadn't sent me an unsolicited dick pic a few months ago too. But hey.
First cup of coffee does very little. It's more like an introduction of the concept of coffee, to let my body know we're in coffee mode, nothing to see here, move along, more is coming soon. I can't even call it a "kick", since it's more like a socked-foot nudging me in the side with all the force of a butterfly's wings.
No offense to butterflies, of course. For their size, that power is immense. I don't mean relative strength. (I don't want to offend butterflies. If I shrank to their size, they'd kick my ass harder than any caffeine.)
Karahi, I'm sorry you're no longer snuggled on Christopher Street. I'm sorry for whatever caused you to close up shop and not be able to serve Indian food anymore. You were what I'd call a "gem", Karahi, and I liked visiting you not just for your cozy ambience and your delicious food but so I could pass by the place several doors east of yours and see the cat who "works" there just hanging out, being cute. I hope you weren't forced out because of rising rents but decided on your own that it was just time to move on.
I can't find anything online about the now-defunct Normandy Square Mart on Roosevelt Boulevard (Route 1) in Northeast Philadelphia, across the street from the old Nabisco plant, except for one cramped print ad. My father had a record store there called Record Den, and my brother, sister, and I often ate veal parmigiana "grinders" and fries times at Irv and Ruth's across the aisle. A young hippie kind of guy named Lane worked in a variety store a bit further down. Maybe if someone Googles it now, these 100 Words will come up and find comfort in this tiny memorialization.
I should enter the annual crossword puzzle competition in Brooklyn, he says. I tell him I have no interest or desire, that I do the puzzles for pleasure, not speed, and don't see the point. I'm not your ex-wife, jackass, I think. That's her and her sister's thing. Let them bask in that dubious accomplishment. Let me just do the puzzle as my leisure at home. I don't need recognition for its quick completion. I don't want a fucking trophy or my photo taken with a bunch of dumpy dorks in crappy cardigans. Stop being such a seven-letter word, asshole.
I tell her I'm not going to call her "Parsnip" from now on. We've been friends for two decades and I've been calling her "Patty" or "Patricia" (but never "Pat") for the duration. That's not going to change.
"It's ridiculous," I say, ice cream spoon halted inches from my mouth. "I wouldn't ask you to start calling me, say, 'Jicama' on a whim."
She asks if I think she'd look cute with a purple streak in her hair. Or a tattoo. I tell her she doesn't really want to know my opinion.
"You're no help at all, Jicama," she says.
Big excitement: Ordering plastic boxes from The Container Store for my footwear so I can put my closet(s?) into some semblance of order, 40 for shoes and 2 for boots, even though I know I need more, especially for boots. I don't have super-duper modern closets with an abundance of sturdy shelf space, but maybe this will make me (and my closets) feel like I'm (we're) participating marginally in this awful century.
Up next: A Polaroid to snap a photo of each pair to affix to the front of its box! (Just kidding) (Maybe a Dymo label-maker, though.) (Just kidding?)
In "researching" how to tie a scarf and secure it so it doesn't revolve around my neck like one of Saturn's peskier moons, I found many blogs, YouTube tutorials, and Pinterest charts and my head was left spinning like a globe used for the "Where will I live" thing. (Carl Sagan, are you impressed with these references?)
So many floofy options, many of which include large cumbersome bows or elaborate configurations worthy of a seasoned sailor. Ugh. Give me the simple slipknot any day. Classic, sleek, no fuss, and easy to quickly convert to a noose in case of emergency.
I realize that in admonishing the two constant-chatterers several seats behind me on the Amtrak so-called quiet car, I've spoken much more loudly than either of them has for the duration of their rule-breaking. However, my vocal intrusion lasted perhaps two seconds whereas theirs continued longer than anyone should have to have endured. Why oh why did no one else speak up? If it's because they're all plugged into various devices and can't hear, then why even bother taking up room in the quiet car in the first place? I want to slap everyone till their faces bruise like bananas.
"Have a good workout!" the guy at the front desk says, as he scans the barcode on my phone's Equinox app.
"You too!" I almost say, but catch myself, thus avoiding spewing the equivalent of a pantless, poorly executed cartwheel, along the lines of, "I mean, not really, duh, because you're not working out, I am, obviously, unless, of course, later today you work out, so then, yeah, I hope it's good. But thank you!"
His greeting is a reflex, though, and he probably doesn't even realize what he said and has no idea why I'm saying "You too!" anyway.
He decides on the "tasting menu" for two, for $71, and I agree since he'e paying. He says, of course, "If that sounds good to you," and indicates that it seems like a good deal and more food than the lunch special plus appetizer.
It's not that great a deal. The amount of food is enough for two people who aren't that fond of bringing a fork to their mouths as much as they would had they ordered separately. I guess that's why it's just called a "tasting".
Too puny for my taste. I fantasize about pizza en route home.
Rainy? Monday? Just don't feel like it? Oh, if only my cat were snuggled against me in a way that inhibits movement for fear of disturbing her sweet squishy slumber, I'd have an INDISPUTABLE reason/excuse for gym-shunning. Alas, I have to accept that today it's not going to happen and trust I won't gain 5 pounds overnight just because I'm staying home. Still, even as I type these words, the guilt nags and I chide myself for willful inactivity. Never mind that I'm usually there at 5:37-ish a.m. every weekday. It's this one *off* day on which I judge myself.
The Fitbit vibrates on my wrist ten minutes before the hour, alerting me that I haven't made my 250 steps for the hour and asking if I'd like to take it for a "stroll". I oblige it dutifully and parade around the apartment until another vibration alerts me that I've accomplished the goal. "Crushed it!" the little screen says. Although Fitbit's encouragement is charming, I hardly think that pushing myself away from the desk and walking the equivalent of two and a half blocks (yes, I've "researched" this outside!) warrants that level of enthusiasm. But who am I to say.
More books, fewer movies. More reading, less watching. Less shopping at home, more prancing out and about wearing the stuff I've bought. These aren't "better late than never" New Year's resolutions, but just general suggestions. Because, yes, as much fun as taking a break from scouring for new vintage dresses online in order to plop on the sofa and watch another episode of The Larry Sanders Show may be, the routine needs shaking up if I don't want to lapse into plodding, debilitating, unnerving inertia. Read a book on a bench outside while wearing a pretty dress? Yes! Onward! Outward!
If I make it until mid-month without buying anything new off Etsy (or eBay) (eBay is the ugly, ugly sister who needs to be encased in parentheses, her name whispered if even acknowledged at all), then I will consider allowing myself to buy that navy and blue dress I'd put in my "Favorites" a while ago. I may even rescue that fabulous dress by a French designer or, oh! oh!, that Peck & Peck dress with the adorable apple green accent at the empire waist. But hey, let's get ahead of ourselves. Getting back into delayed gratification mode is difficult.
On the advice of counsel, he respectfully declines to answer for the duration of the deposition. Why even bother with the questioning then? Why waste everyone's time? I know he's thinking that as he yawns during each question, probably not even listening but thinking, "Just open your mouth so the speaker on the tiny tape recorder resting on your tongue can broadcast that rote response for close to an hour and a half." Every once in a while, the questioning attorney thanks this deponent for the response without any detectable sarcasm. I don't know who I want to smack more.
I'm trying hard to not think Keanu Reeves is a remarkably bad actor, but I'm failing miserably. Before he even opens his mouth in "Sweet November", I'm cringing, even as, of course, I respond favorably to how damned cute he is. I want him to not be bad. I want him to be at least passable, but alas, I am disappointed and want to "shhh" him for the duration of this stupid, stupid movie that can't wring tears even out of someone who cries over commercials and the ending of "Ghost" even though she's seen it 14,000 (no exaggeration!) times.
I'm out on a Saturday night on West 42nd Street, dressed to the twelves in vintage finery, having just seen an off-Broadway musical and chatted on the street afterward with a lovely couple who'd sat in front of me. I decide to take the subway home instead of a Lyft, and, giddy with the excitement of being out and about on a hot summer night in one of the most exciting cities in the world, which I've been so fortunate to call home for almost 18 years, that I actually smile my way through clots of sweaty, shabby, shambling tourists.
Every weekday morning around 4:25, my coffee-maker beeps five times to signal the pot's completion. I like imagining that whoever lives on the other side of the kitchen wall, in the building just west of mine, is awakened by the sound, is annoyed at the intrusion, and has trouble resuming the sleep he or she would have enjoyed, uninterrupted, had it not been for my existence. I feel it's only fair that this person shares the aggravation foisted on me when the late-night shenanigans on the other side of the wall prevent me from falling asleep in the first place.
The vintage fashion spending "spree" is over! I'm done scouring Etsy and eBay with all the focus, tenacity, and tireless determination of an archaeologist who has very good reason to believe that the site upon which he stands contains artifacts that may change the course of history. I have dresses! Shoes! Belts! I have scarves! Handbags! Jackets! Necklaces! I have blouses, shirts, tops, and so on! I even have a scarf ring/slide from the 1930s that looks like two Scotties wearing lipstick, probably the result of dabs of original red paint wearing away but which delights me to no end.
I used to see him every morning on my way home from the gym, leaning against the scaffolding near my building, and I'd act like I didn't know he existed, because I was well aware he knew I did. He never said or did anything, but looked like he was on the brink of a smile, the verge of saying hello, and I imagined he was focused on a fantasy where I'd gesture with my head for him to follow me inside. In my fantasy, though, we stood just inside my front door and I ruined everything by actually speaking.
I have had two dalliances with vegan ice cream at Van Leeuwen's, in three weeks. The first was in the East Village and the second was here on the Upper West Side (just opened)! The East Village location is far superior in that it has tables and window seating and ample room to move aside once you've placed your order. The Upper West Side, although cute with all of its yellow decor, is way too small to accommodate what's going to be throngs of stroller-pushing mommies and their kids who wouldn't know Van Leeuwen's from a freezer-burned carton of Breyer's.
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