"Rules of Civility," Amor Towles
Gary (gary!) is a person I met shortly before I tricked my now ex boyfriend and then casual make out friend into being my full time boyfriend, part time legal guardian.
We met while hanging out on the street in LA, which I feel is the only place to meet someone of any quality. Hanging out on the street, in your car, with other people who are cool and also hanging out on the street. Amidst honking from people you’re intentionally holding up in favor of a few extra minutes of very ostentatious flirting.
Leaning and yelling out windows, leaning and yelling across laps, over loud music and intersections and whatever other obstacles can be yelled over. This is the modern romance I dream about.
I met him on the street. A few nights later, he took me out on a date. The first date I’d ever been on willingly and intentionally. In an admirable display of courtship and civility, he also made a point of letting me know he knew it was a date. He referred to our outing as “a date” multiple times throughout the evening.
We made out on two occasions in close proximity to each other and I let him touch my butt because I love getting my butt touched and I’d literally let anyone touch it if they showed any desire and paid me at least one unique compliment. Also, I was in love with him. (I do not kiss people I’m not in love with.)
When I got back to New York, my valiant efforts to bamboozle the guy I’d been in love with for a few months into being my boyfriend fully materialized.
When Gary found out, he sent a series of texts vaguely expressing regret that he’d not been tricked first, but I was so exhausted from withholding sexual contact for so long and from months of calculating my plan of attack that I was in no position to go right back to square one because this guy was too slow to swoop me when he had the chance.
Two years later, present day.
I ran into Gary at a bar. Among other slightly - but, ultimately, not intentionally - insulting things, he asked, “Should I take you to dinner tomorrow,” as if it was a chore to do such a thing and he was exhausted even at the thought. This annoyed me because, of course you should take me to dinner, I am excellent company and almost always too nervous publicly to eat and I also don’t particularly care for dinner, so… fun and cheap!
So, I said “no” or rolled my eyes to express my annoyance, but then added that he could formally invite me over text the next day when he would figure out how to come correct when inviting a princess out on a date.
Later that night, he made other suggestions about things we could do: a couples massage, for instance! like we were on an episode of The Bachelor. (To clarify, for candor, I was very interested in this, despite my shade throwing.)
He did a version of formally inviting me out later the next day (later than really should have been acceptable, but I made an exception because it was my last night in LA and I hadn’t had my butt touched in a while) and asked me when we should have dinner. I’d been falling into a deep unshakable sleep around 9:30pm every night without fail since I’d arrived six days earlier, but despite this, I suggested 9pm, because I’m a daredevil!
For, surely, an equally arbitrary reason, as well as a powerful attempt for the upper hand, he asked if we could do 10pm.
I said yes because it would have been weird not to have and because I could not figure out how to regain the upper hand fast enough.
At 10pm, it came to me: BE LATE! Duh. Show up whenever you want. Make him wait. That is cool!
I’m a terrible person, with no consideration for anyone else’s time, so this wasn’t even a calculated move initially, it was fact. I’d been so busy packing and had lost track of time… because I hadn’t had the foresight or care to remember to be aware of it.
I texted him that I’d be late and he responded not to rush, that he was just chilling… which reminded me about his need to move our date to 10pm and confirmed that there had been zero need for this.
I got to his house and we spent an hour or so talking about things that people talk about when they are people who have made out before years ago but know nothing about each other: like, for instance, what one would do if a knife or gun yielding murderer came barreling down the hill he lived on and tried to murder us. We talked about that. He seemed not to be scared at the prospect of this, and also detailed a plan in which he ends up “grabbing” me in order to protect me and then I forget what else because “grabbing” was important for me.
He has a dog; It was there. I hate dogs and told him this, which is not a nice thing to tell someone who has a dog and loves it. If we were operating on a point based ranking system, so far, I had no points and he had a few for having a nice house, not being scared about potentially being murdered, knowing what verb to use to express how he would stop me from being murdered and for not killing me. But then he lost all of them because he had a dog.
We are both at zero on the point based ranking system.
When we left his house to go to dinner, he had to flip my car in his driveway and then drive down it to a normal sized street because I am a woman and do not know how to drive or flip and he lives up a very scary and steep street that turns into a driveway.
I did a nice impression of driving on our way to dinner, and with the exception of a really demented thing that happened involving a plastic bag that I thought was a dead cat (real.) and two flips in order to prove that it was actually a plastic bag (it was actually a plastic bag. smh), I was the picture of mental health!
He asked me if I did any drugs and when I said no, he asked if i’d ever and when i said no again, he asked what the craziest thing i’d ever done was and when i didn’t respond, (because the craziest thing i’ve ever done does not involve substance abuse, it involves psychotic, jealousy fueled, mental quantum mechanics that would make stephen hawking’s head spin) he asked if i’d ever had sex without a condom on, because i think he thought that was funny, and he probably thought I hadn’t. also, i guess he wanted to have sex with me.
I said, “That’s so funny you should ask that! I ran into [a friend of ours] and she told me not to have sex without a condom tonight! And I said… ‘oh my god. i would never. i’m not having sex tonight… i don’t have sex until i’ve been going out with someone for three months! It’s a rule.’” (because I live my life like the fantasy expressed in this poem.)
And he said, “What?”
And I asked what part he needed repeated and then figured it out, but he managed to get out, “You waited three months to have sex with everyone you’ve had sex with?” and I said, “‘Everyone’ seems like kind of a lot of people. I’ve had sex with my three boyfriends and someone who wasn’t and… yes.”
And he thought that was insane but I wasn’t sure if “insane” in that “super hot, very turned on” kind of way or “very crazy, not chill, that seems extremely frustrating” kind of way. But we moved on and continued driving to the restaurant and when we got there, there was valet. Thank god.
I was on the verge of throwing up from anxiety as soon as we stepped inside but I managed to control myself and my nausea and ate a piece of salmon and smiled and then we spoke about this three month rule ad nauseam. He asked me how much longer I thought I could continue doing this. In other words, would it still be a rule when I was 40. I answered quickly and matter-of-factly that I am getting engaged this year and if by some horrible twist of fate I am single at 40, I will kill myself!
I think he understood. If he didn’t, he was polite enough to pretend like he did, so I didn’t have to explain either of those points. I was in love with him.
Then he told me that if a girl told him she waited three weeks to have sex he’d be kind of annoyed, so I was kind of shocked we were still having dinner, and also kind of impressed with myself, like I was winning something.
I drove him back to his house and he flipped my car around so I could leave and we went inside.
There were a few excruciating minutes during which we both sat kind of silently, texting, very close to each other because, i guess, when presented with such a classically juvenile trope, one begins to assimilate. So, we sat there, like teenagers, for a few minutes before, finally, he kissed me. And then we kissed for a while and he tried to spread my legs so he could get in between them for comfort, but I had eaten almost everything in sight as soon as i touched down in LA and my enormous body had begun to cause a humongous rip in the ass and crotch of my jeans, so I couldn’t open my legs any wider without completely exposing myself via this hole.
I suppose I very easily could have explained this to him, verbally, but I had a better idea and grabbed his hand and placed one of his fingers on the thread of fabric that remained and said, “i can’t open my legs any further” and he touched his finger to the skin underneath the hole, which happened, kind of, to be my vagina. so, that was racy. and sexually aggressive, which i like.
Then he mentioned something about “blue balls,” which honestly I’m not entirely familiar with, but I got the gist and laughed a lot and lightly yelled, “not my problem!” because it isn’t, at all. Though, I did let him touch my boobs under my bra because he kept talking about how I’ve known him for two years and I thought, “ugh. ok. have something, then.”
Then he told me I had to leave his house. He said, “Leave my house. You have to get out of my house” and I laughed until I realized he was serious because he was frustrated and the blue balls thing and then I laughed harder and then I began to truly understand how humiliating it is to be an attractive, able bodied man in your thirties and to be denied sex by some stupid ho who cannot stop snorting from laughing so hard at how much of a tease she is. So I began to make my exit.
As I was walking over to put on my shoes, I fell over them and onto the couch, bent at the waist and caught a glimpse of myself in the window I was now staring at. I looked like I was (sorry, this is crass) getting fucked from behind. So, naturally, I told Gary to come over and asked if he’d like a mental image for later and he did and that was fun and PG sexy for a minute.
AND THEN HE ASKED IF HE COULD COME ON MY BACK.
And then I said, absolutely fucking not.
Then i told him about my blog and he read a story about that other fucking guy who touched my boobs under my bra and he wanted his own. And he said it was ok to tell the internet that he wanted to come on my back.
Philip Roth, The Dying Animal
Here is part two of a two part saga about a human being I allowed to take me on a date two months ago (and then again a month ago). This is the part about the date a month ago.
I had a dentist appointment the following morning after my date with Lenny which, in his mind, is why I didn’t stay over at his apartment. In my mind (the logical and realistic one), that was never going to happen because I’m not a hooch and, secondarily, because I simply was not willing to venture to his east village apartment to begin the “Is it tonight?” game that I play for the first four months I’m going out with a guy I’ve decided will be my future boyfriend, because I wasn’t sure I’d decided he was going to be my boyfriend.
He also hadn’t decided if he was going to be my boyfriend - or rather, had definitively decided he was NOT going to be my boyfriend - because, aside for an adieu text message telling me he was going to LA for the next few days and some feeble quippy, idle, check in texts, I didn’t hear from him for a month.
When I did hear from him, I ignored him, mainly because it was too painful and downright sad to come up with something to match the inanity of his correspondence. (How does one respond to being referred to consecutively as “boo bear” and “my cuban friend”?) But when faced, pointedly, with direct questioning about if if I was indeed ignoring him, I felt compelled to lighten up. “Give him another chance,” I thought. “Maybe he’s been trying to text you from his microwave for the past 25 days.” “Maybe he couldn’t figure out how to take his gloves off and has been unable to operate his phone.” GIVE THE GUY A BREAK, I thought. He’s only human.
YOU HAVE NO ONE
Another date was scheduled.
Around 7:30, Lenny sends me a text detailing a plan he has come up with, containing - considering the brevity of the communication - an excruciating amount of improperly used and outdated slang. His plan also involves sending a driver to pick me up, so I look past this.
At 8:30, he sends me a text saying the driver is outside. It takes me just a minute to get downstairs and into the car, but by the time I slam the door, I have a new text from This Fucking Guy and it is a picture of the driver with accompanying words, directing me NOT to sleep with him.
I delete this text immediately so I never have to remember that I received this communication and still carried through with this evening.
I manage to make it to Lenny’s apartment without engaging in any sexual activity with the driver. His apartment building is an old printing house - something I heard way too much about during our first mind numbing tryst - but from the lobby it looks like Bellevue, though maybe I’m projecting…
It is unfortunate that once I get out of the carpeted elevator, through the carpeted hallway and into his apartment, it is beautiful, because
nothing makes me drop my panties faster than a sick crib (jk) I was really looking forward to ripping it apart.
His door is open, so I knock twice and walk in. He immediately begins to make a very corny joke about how I just walked in, which I could see coming from a mile away, so I close my ears to receiving information for the duration of that.
His television is on and playing something but I do not care so I don’t acknowledge it. He definitely thinks it is important because, twice, he makes a point to describe whatever it is as “nerdy.”
(He paused it when we left. He was watching a documentary on Mark Cuban - a person he found it necessary to give me a short biography of - and it had been playing for three minutes. Approximately how long it would have taken me to get out of the car, be buzzed up by his doorman and enter his apartment.)
“So, this is your place! It smells—“ I stop myself because I realize why it smells so nice (and, more importantly, why it smells so nice to ME). He is burning one hundred Diptyque candles. Five. He is burning FIVE, sixty five dollar Diptyque candles. I find this extremely odd, despite the fact that in my 150 sq ft apartment I am routinely burning between two and four at a time. I find it odd. It is odd to me to find these candles burning at This Fucking Guy’s apartment. He tells me he likes the candles and seems to want to elaborate, but I start giving myself a tour of his place.
He does a strange and very unnecessary rearrange of two pillows on his bed, which I cannot help but think is something he meticulously planned as a way to draw my attention to the fact that he has a bed. Though, who knows! It could have been to remind himself that he had a bed or because he thought they needed a change of scenery or to remind himself to go to sleep. It could have been anything, he is a real dumb dumb. But it certainly was not because his two private line IKEA pillows needed to be rotated. They aren’t tires. (Maybe he thought they were tires…)
Finally he suggests we “get out of here,” and I agree and we leave to go to a Japanese place I have never been to but already know will be a place he thinks will impress me because it is a hole in the wall type place but like the sushi is really great and celebrities sometimes pop in and all of that nonsense that goes along with being asked on a date to a sushi restaurant with a reasonably attractive, much older man who is dumb but trying to make up for it by being “cool.” (And that is exactly what this was for him).
We are walking to the restaurant and he is talking about how cold it is and I am praying he will stop and he doesn’t and all I am thinking is ugh I cannot wait for my California roll (don’t take me to a sushi place) and to go to sleep, alone, in my own bed, not his awful be-jerseyed waterbed. (jk, i wish.)
So, we just walk these four blocks talking about the weather. I am saying I haven’t found it as cold as it has been made out to be. He is saying he has. And so on.
And so forth.
We get to the restaurant and sit at the sushi bar and his crazy ass asks if we can sit at two seats we had not been escorted to. I don’t know why, he is not a difficult person and the seats are identical to what we’ve been offered, except, “if you sit there, you’ll be cold. The door. Too much air,” says the hostess, which, to any normal human with a hint of common sense and at least one functioning eye would have been an obvious realization, especially considering we had just WALKED IN from said door, and this clown had spent our journey discussing how cold he was.
Cue yet another comment about the weather.
As I take off four layers of clothing (which would eventually reveal a crop top, of course), I say, “I have found that if you dress properly, you’re not cold.” Meanwhile, over in candy land, he takes off his coat, and I swear, a linen beanie, and is now sitting with a button down shirt on.
I ask him how LA was, which he answers before I can even finish asking and says, “I didn’t go!” To this I respond, “oh. You sent me a text from the Sunset Tower…” which confuses (and maybe frightens) him, visibly.
“I did?!” he says, and now I just feel like I am about to catch him in some weird, demented lie that is going to make him uncomfortable and for nothing. I do not care. He could have told me he just got back from North Korea and I wouldn’t have blinked. I was just trying to fill the void before he brought up some neanderthal topic like sports or anything else in his brain.
So, I back off and pretend like I’ve mistaken a text that read, “I’m at the Sunset Tower, everyone says hi and thinks your [sic] hot” accompanied by a picture of room service in the Sunset Tower Hotel, to mean that he was in LA. At the Sunset Tower Hotel. Silly me!
After some visual thinking, he says I’m right, he was in LA. He does not elaborate or answer my question about how it was.
We talk about other things, like how he just wrote a check for $2,000 for his friend - who he calls “a kid,” though he is either 35 or 36 - so this kid could pay his rent because, for some blurry reasons, he couldn’t do it himself. He told the story like this:
“My friend calls me up, saying he needs to borrow some money, like $300, because he’s late on the rent and if he doesn’t pay, the next day a Marshall is going to come and evict him. And I am like “ok””
And *I* am like ?????????? “uh? no one is physically escorted out of their apartment for missing a check, bro. Also no one’s rent is $300. And if it is, it’s not a marshall that will be coming, it’s Tony from upstairs…” and he does not really see the humor in this, but I do and I am laughing at my jokes and he continues, over my giggles:
“Well, then I called the landlord and am like “This kid is [something very dumb, can’t remember. Definitely not a ringing endorsement of his character, though. Maybe, like, “This kid is great at checkers,” but again, I cannot remember.]” and the landlord is like “He’s not a kid” [which I found an interesting part of the anecdote to share, but nonetheless he continues] and so I end up writing a check for $2000 to his landlord.”
How $300 turned into $2000 or how he thought his retelling of the events in this manner made any logical sense is unfathomable. But also, a hundred Diptyque candles light up in my little brain like the world’s chicest lightbulb and I tell him my landlord is selling my apartment and I need to move but I really don’t want to move and I wish someone would buy it and let me live in it… He doesn’t bite.
I ask him about his family and his holiday. He got his mom an iPad and his dad money for Christmas. His chronological accuracy about events in his life continues to be shoddy at best, but he tells me that at a point in the recent past, after he and his half siblings had been paying for an apartment for his dad, his dad moved out and bought a double wide (trailer) and now lives in a trailer park in Georgia. What a colorful life!! Again… This person. Could have married him.
He continues the story and his dad sounds like a legendary psycho (potential socio-) path. He says when he went home for “Christmas or Thanksgiving” (This is a quote. Sidenote: at the time of this rendezvous, Christmas was a mere fourteen days ago.) he asked his dad where his truck was because when he arrived, instead of a truck parked outside of his dad’s trailer in the trailer park where he lives, there was a “two door Mercedes.”
I receive no explanation for this incredible finding. According to him, he had not received one either.
“He just has nothing to do,” This Fucking Guy says, like his days are really filled meaningfully. “I want to set him up with some kind of business in Atlanta that he can sort of be in charge of. Even if it’s two hours of work a day… It’ll take him six… So, I think what I’m going to do is do a coffee truck for him down there.”
First things first: Do not forget that his father is eighty years of age. Next, his subtle shade throwing at his geriatric father was not lost on me and I did admonish him for acting like one should expect a man near death to be able to perform tasks in the same amount of time as literally any human more than five years younger than him. But, I immediately realized the extra allotment of time was probably because he is This Fucking Guy Senior and I momentarily felt very depressed.
Oscar Wilde (but also, hopefully, a rapper. asap)
I joined a private gym in the summer because I needed to work out but don’t like to be bothered and my assumption had been that people who can afford to go to a one on one exercise facility that is only open for 12 hours - beginning at 5am - don’t tend to interact with each other because they have better places to meet mates, like at polo matches or sotheby’s auctions. You know? Not in a sweatbox disguised as a lululemon runway show.
This proved not to be the case, as I found out one day while I was doing intervals (I have no idea if this is the correct terminology for running at differing speeds on a treadmill, but I wouldn’t know where or how to begin to google this. So, there is the explanation - in case “intervals” doesn’t immediately render an image of me on the verge of tears, panting, near death and dripping in sweat… or if you have aphasia!) and a man came over to me to have a chat.
The conversation was boring and involved a lot of weird, out of touch, old guy compliments about how I didn’t have to work out (Duh. I am REALLY skinny) and how my body looks great (Also, duh; I’ve been coming to the gym everyday, twice a day, for 75 days), so in an effort to stop him from speaking I said something I thought would insult him, but, because it was true, only ended up impressing and flattering him.
"What do you, own a restaurant in the meatpacking or something?" I said, while doing a cool 7.5mph.
"Wow. How’d you know that?" He asked, with a huge grin on his face that, on a younger man, would have been straight out of the "How to: Show Her You’re Interested" chapter of a dating handbook, but on him, a man pushing 50, cavalierly trying to pick up a girl half his age in a gym in SoHo, (and, ostensibly, SUCCEEDING!) was just earnest.
"Just a guess!"
Then he asked me if I liked his beard and I answered “I like a man with a beard” (I do, kind of. Not that guy, but kind of) and he walked away, pleased with himself. A few days later, he appeared again while I was having a training session and interrupted my squats (very important) to talk to me about his facial hair. He walked over stroking his chin and smirking, and through the mirror it just seemed like he was staring at my ass, but when I turned around he spoke. “I shaved.”
If you know me, you know I don’t recognize things like this - ask me if my dad wears glasses, what color my best friend’s eyes are, if there’s a car coming at me full speed… I honestly cannot tell you - so the fact that a stranger I had had a brief, forced interaction with days earlier was expecting me to put all the pieces of BeardGate2013 together in a matter of seconds and to acknowledge its significance was unconscionable.
He tried his very darnedest to get me to understand why he was telling me this and when I realized it was because he’d asked me if I liked his beard, I remembered that I’d said “yes” and was doubly annoyed that he’d not respected my preference, so I said “Beard was better!” flippantly and went back to doing the squats I was paying someone $250 to oversee.
He came over again later and speaking over my recumbent body, he asked, “Do you like food?” Assuming there was a follow up question and anticipating wanting to hear it, I answered, “yes,” instead of “not really,” which is the answer to that question. There was a follow up; It was, “do you like wine?” Assuming now that the follow up would be an invitation to have food and drink with him, and NOT wanting to hear that, I paused and hesitatingly answered “…yea”
It was! It was an invitation to a dinner party he was having in two nights at his apartment in battery park city. I accepted - because that is what I do for reasons unknown - and two days later I made up an excuse and backed out apologetically two hours before I was supposed to be there. As I also do… with comparable frequency.
I received a very weird email from him the next day, detailing the events of the night, which, apparently, included “a lot of laughter and singing.” Following this bizarre summary, he added, “as always.” Singing. As always. What is this, 1944 Warsaw? Are you celebrating a ceasefire? What are you singing for? Is there a baby grand piano involved with a slew of middle aged people leaning around it drinking sherry? Who the fuck is singing at a party?
Could not have been more grateful to myself for my natural inclination to pull out of an invitation to any event that in any way I suspect will not be focused around me nor could I honestly call to mind a more miserable way to have spent an evening.
Shortly after this correspondence, I began to realize he was scheduling his feeble workouts around my training sessions and because I avoid confrontation with greater fervor than I avoid dinner parties with middle aged strangers, I stopped going to the gym. It’s been four months.
And now i’m single and my body is morphing back into its natural state, which is somewhere between Kim pre pregnancy, Khloe post breakup and “heap of trash.” See you all around!
Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness
Tender is the Night
My birthday is coming up. It’s on the 26th. It’s a big one, as it marks the 12th straight year I have not received a gift from either parent!
Help me celebrate by buying me one of the following things. I’ll tell you a story first, but if you read anywhere past this sentence, you’re legally obligated to purchase a gift for me!
I’m kidding. But only because two years ago I #published a list of birthday gifts and nary a gift was given, so I must not be as familiar with the law as I think.
*In addition to being the year I created a birthday registry, 2011 was also the year a strange 40 year old Italian jewelry designer (who I was sort of forced into a non sexual (it was intended to be “sexual”) relationship with, because a girlfriend of mine was vaguely dating his very close friend and neither went anywhere without the other) aggressively promised me a piece of jewelry as a birthday gift when we were all hanging out in New York, and then, via email, from Milan (where he spends half the year), propositioned me for sex. Rather crudely, I might add, if for a moment you imagined that a transatlantic email propositioning sex could be written in any other manner.
Actually, what it was was a presentation of three birthday gift options, two of which did not involve jewelry (or sex) and the third being a trip to Italy to hang out with him (a “trip”! to “hang out”! like i’d won the package on The Price is Right… or something more relevant. You get the idea) and this is where he specified sex would be a necessity given the grandness of the gift. A bold move for someone I’d engaged with merely a handful of times, purely on sufferance. That being said,
Italy was beautiful. (NO.)*
I used to be obsessed with birthdays, because I love attention and fantasies and during my prime adolescent years, I would fantasize fantastically about my parents (who despise each other) crossing the Atlantic ocean and surprising me at my English boarding school and bringing me gifts and taking me out to eat at my favorite restaurant (and not giving me any shit about it) and letting me “sleep out” at a moderately priced hotel on the outskirts of London, like I was some forsaken child or bitchy, entitled teenager. Whether because somehow after my parents divorced we all became very poor and air fare and a hotel stay for a frivolous jaunt to England was not feasible or because they hated each other and couldn’t agree to come together and wouldn’t let the other come alone… or because they hated ME,
(or because I have a tenuous grasp of reality and this is make-believe) this never happened.
It’s all very sad, the elaborate measures I’d go to to dispel these fantasy scenarios, so as to be able to reach my full surprise potential when they inevitably walked through the gates. And by “walked,” I mean “as they were secretly buzzed in by the nun who ran our daytime security and escorted through the gates and hidden until it was time for my birthday celebration in the dining hall.” That’s what I mean.
Full dialogues with myself would ensue in which I would tell the “hopeful for a surprise” self that this was silly and there would be no surprise and just “be realistic, mercedes” and then, as the “hopeful for a surprise” self, I would respond to the pragmatic self, coyly, lying to both myself IRL and this fake inner dialogue self, “you’re right.” ALL THE WHILE STILL BELIEVING, GIDDILY, THAT THESE TWO PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T A CONCERN IN THE WORLD FOR ME WOULD BE HOPPING ON A PLANE AND COMING TO DELIVER ME GIFTS AND SERVE ME CAKE - WHICH (THEY PROBABLY DONT EVEN KNOW) I HATE - AND THEN TURNING RIGHT BACK AROUND TO RETURN TO AMERICA TO CARRY ON.
It got to a point where I’d be checking all flights leaving the New York area and calculating arrival time based on train or taxi travel from the airport. I’d finally go to sleep when it became clear (either because my mother was unsuccessfully trying to skype me or my dad was calling the dorm landline) that the surprise would be impossible to accomplish. My parents were still in New York and I was in England, dreaming the impossible dream.
(If you ever see me on the street, know that some iteration of this psychosis is taking place
so DO NOT INTERRUPT ME!)
Whereas one might be prone to bouts of despondence as a result of such an infinitely traumatic childhood, on the contrary, these disappointments did nothing but fuel the grandeur of my fantasies, which have now spanned to anniversaries.
Last week, my boyfriend asked what floor I work on, as we passed my office. “Third,” (this is true, fyi, if you want to send gifts. LOL #stilldreaming) I said, and for the two days leading up to our anniversary tried to contain my excitement, thinking I’d be getting a flower delivery, singing telegram, messenger delivered case of Voss water… a seamless order? Something… Anything. WHO KNEW!? It could have been anything!!
It ended up being nothing.
So, actually. This birthday marks the first year I have no expectations for my birthday.
But here’s a list of what I’d like. So it’s out there.
2. bicycle, like this (this one is in pieces, derelict, at my mother’s house)
3. a birkin bag, cuz i’m a frivolous chickenhead
4. this vehicle
6. leather jacket, size 36
7. one of these varsity jackets, xs
8. a gift card to this place
9. this, kind of
10. a membership here or here (because i can no longer go here (because incidentally a DIFFERENT strange, older Italian man is casually stalking me there. Story to come, contingent on receipt of birthday gifts, of course) but need to never look like this again.)
I was in LA for July 4th (for every person who asked me what I was doing in LA (doing a lot of eating oatmeal in 90 degree weather, not changing out of a bikini and generally avoiding people at all costs), as if it wasn’t a national holiday: THERE. happy now?!) and was supposed to come home Sunday night on an 11:30pm red eye. Admittedly, everything that follows should be blamed entirely on me (because I booked a return flight at 11:30pm) and I should lose any shred of credibility I’ve managed to attain.
I checked out of my hotel (the ultra luxe Standard Hollywood; pictured above) at 1pm, intending to roam the streets until I’d successfully guilted one of a handful of people into driving me to the airport. Doing this was easier than I’d expected, but as my always foreboding mother always would say “easy come, easy go” and that plan quickly… went. Having spent the day spending money (but apparently gaining some awareness of financial responsibility), I decided I should consider finding a more cost effective way (than a cab) to transport my goods to the airport.
I did just that.
I found the most fucking cost effective means to transport my goods to the airport. It is called Super Shuttle and I do not 1. recommend them or 2. understand how they are profitable (maybe they aren’t… I am only assuming they are profitable because their web design is kind of classy) because there were three people in my super shuttle and it was the same price as if that clown car were filled to the brim with like minded penny pinchers.
But, anyway, who cares?
The shining shuttle was supposed to arrive at my hotel between 8:45pm and 9:00pm. Never having taken public transportation of this sort - meaning, that it wasn’t operating on an “if you miss it, there will be another one" schedule, but rather an "if you miss it, you miss it and we won’t try to help you either way,” I made sure my ass was ready to go at 8:30pm.
Around 8:32pm, I discovered that my Super Shuttle was trackable.
At 8:40pm, I discovered that my Super Shuttle hadn’t moved from it’s 8:32pm location
At 9:07pm, I’d been on hold for and on the phone with three people at Super Shuttle for over 15 minutes.
No one could offer me any explanation for the lack of movement, or an update on the shuttle’s location, for that matter. And each person had a different understanding of whether or not I was the first, last, or non stop on this joyride.
The shuttle finally arrived - with absolutely no warning - at 9:26pm, as if it’s sole purpose was not to SHUTTLE people to an AIRPORT. Where planes would be taking off. Planes that don’t wait for people. Planes that don’t operate on a schedule, whereby if you miss one, you can catch one with no repercussions immediately after. The nonchalance with which the driver addressed me, 40 minutes after his scheduled pick up, left me concerned I’d interrupted his evening. Oh, let me reschedule my flight in order to accommodate your rigorous schedule of NOT picking people up on time, I thought, as I threw my bags into this box and began mentally sifting through revenge ideas… landing on my standard go to revenge idea of being as passive aggressively furious as possible.
Like I said earlier, there were two passengers inside this wagon. I knew they were not interested in me, because the first thing I said when I got in was, “Am I the last stop?” and the woman in front of me (who was neither the driver, nor a representative from the airline, airport or Super Shuttle, merely an unauthorized voice from yonder) turned around to ask when my flight was, as if I needed to be justified in asking where I was being taken and on which route, after getting into a 13 passenger van with three strangers!!!
Naturally, I immediately copped an attitude and said, “I’m just asking for general. information. I’m trying to stay informed,” and then there was a lull, during which we all realized we’d be riding in tense silence to Los Angeles International Airport.
We picked someone up before arriving, by the way.
I was the first person to get out, after speaking up to ask the driver to pull over at the Virgin terminal. Incidentally, there was more than enough time to make my flight… considering it was delayed five hours.
When I got to the gate, at 10:45pm, I walked past the larger waiting area, where bodies were strewn across the floor like dirty laundry. The airport looked like a scatter site. Thinking I was set to leave on time, I blew past all these sads and took a seat at gate 33b. For 45 minutes.
Thinking nothing of the fact that not even an announcement had been made regarding boarding, or that there was no one in sight from the airline, or that the gate seemed to be slowly emptying out, I continued to sit there until a hot dad type came over to be a disgusting hot dad type and act like my father… if he and I were both in a porno. He was exactly the type of psycho you’d meet at, say, a Billy Joel concert, who could just as easily lust murder you in a public bathroom as he could roll a cigarette while doing the speed limit on a lime green vespa in soho, if you catch my drift. Fucking creep.
He sidled up to me, as all my goods and I were draped across three seats and said, “you look comfortable with your legs like that.” (full disclosure, so much happened here that I wanted to and was in the process of tweeting, but then this happened:) “oh.. what’s ‘superbinx?’” (he saw my necklace with my social media handle on it, so I had to cease all mockery of this person, lest he follow me into the Virgin lounge bathroom… to lust murder me.)
Then he told me he thought our flight was delayed because of what we were all observing, but what only he was able to make a logical deduction from.
"Oh. wow. That sucks," I said.
"Yeah… it sucks. (dad laughter) How old are you?” It was like he couldn’t get the words out fast enough. Then, sensing I was taken aback by his brashness (I was), he offered, “You look 16,” which was disgusting, but my assumption is that he was trying to at least confirm I was of legal age.
I did not answer, because I had bigger fish to fry (and I was averaging about a 16/17 year old look and I was running with it).
"Why do you think our flight is delayed?" I asked.
Then a crowd (
of neighborhood watchers…) gathered around us, as this guy clearly had the LAX x VIRGIN connect, and I was able to scurry away.
I went straight to the Virgin lounge and put my ass to sleep for an hour. It was 11:36pm.
At some point around 1am, a representative from Virgin started tiptoeing around, whispering "Are you on the flight to Newark?" to people who were awake. She very thoughtfully passed by all the people who appeared to be sleeping (me, et al) because why would anyone at an airport in the low single digit hours of the morning want to be notified that their cross country flight had been cancelled? Right. Exactly.
I woke up - looking like this
- because, no matter how much travel experience (even with the exact same airline and on the same exact route), I will never ever learn how to dress appropriately for air travel - and went to the counter to sort out my flight home.
Had a really boring fight with two douchebags from Virgin and then a great interaction with some meek man named Alex, who allowed me to change my route so that I wasn’t flying into shitty Newark.
Unfortunately, the only available flight was 24 hours later and I had to (https://vine.co/v/h7KYJHbuWth) accommodate myself.
Because, again, I am unable to make logical, informed decisions, I chose a hotel based on a $59 price tag. Then I traipsed around LAX and its surrounding areas looking like a drunken child bride housewife in that outfit I showed you above and was taunted endlessly by arriving and departing Super Shuttles while I waited for YET ANOTHER SHUTTLE to come and take my ass to this shitbox hotel.
Finally, the van came. We started driving. Then all of a sudden we were on a highway and I was in this van alone, with some man who had introduced himself to me as “Miguel” but who later announced himself on a call as “Hank” (I mean… “HANK.” come on) and we were cruising on a highway with abandon.
I start freaking out because I can tell where he is about to take me, as we exit the highway, and it brings back a swarm of repressed memories of a failed sexual assault waged upon me four years ago in an airport motel in Ft. Lauderdale (where the fuck else, though, really) and I lost it. I am like “Hey. Hi. Where are we going? I don’t want to go there. This is too far. Take me back to that other hotel I saw. I can’t be this far away from… the airport” and he is like, handing me his phone, telling me I need to speak to someone named “Frank” to have him AUTHORIZE Miguelito/Henry to take me to another hotel. Understandable. Obviously.
Anyway, luckily, I got authorization and confirmation of… my agency.
And then some stuff happened, I stayed in a slightly more expensive crappy hotel, I got on a flight back to JFK instead of Newark and when going through the security scanner at LAX, I dropped my computer rendering it… broken. And now I am here…
Still trying to figure out where I went wrong.
tender is the night, fitzgerald
(I’m in LA being tacky and disgusting, but I finally have a connection to the internet and can post this!!!)
I started going to the gym a few weeks ago. I see a trainer
BECAUSE I’M RICH, because I am unconscionably lazy and unmotivated, not to mention terrified of being alone (in crowded places) and unaware of how to use machinery, and therefore am completely incapable of working out in a public gym.
When I arrived for the first time, I had to fill out this form that had some basic questions on it - name, goals, injuries - and then there was this question, “Can you jog for 20 minutes without being out of breath?” (i’m paraphrasing) at which point I paused to fully digest this question because it made no sense to me.
Jogging? In WHAT context am I jogging? I really didn’t have the capacity to answer this because I literally could not call to mind what “jogging” was, so I wrote “idk. probably” (because… always always act informed! no matter what.) and continued answering the questions.
My trainer came over to talk to me when I was done, at which point she asked me to keep a food journal as part of my fitness regimen. This made me anxious because revealing my daily caloric intake to come from sour straws and goldfish was surely not going to go over well, especially when mixed with diet pills.
Luckily, I didn’t have to reveal anything at that point and we went on with my training session. That was a uniquely inexplicable nightmare because of the above mentioned reasons and because my fucking body is made of garbage. I could not successfully complete any task she asked me to do. Not one. I couldn’t even answer her when she asked me what I hoped to attain from working out. I mean, I could have, but saying “I want to be able to slide through prison bars” or “I want to be in the same weight class as [this dog]” would not have gone over well (also, obviously, not realistic because my ass is enormous).
So, I’ve been going to the gym - or, as I like to call it (because I’m a 45 year old suburban dad), my dependent - for about a month now. Honestly, I might as well have a newborn child. It’s a miracle I managed to scrape up the four figure price tag for a 20 session package (i mean, i had, truly, to collect frozen money from my vault/freezer and sell half my wardrobe to afford this) but on top of that, every time I step into this place, it’s like a game of WHAT BASIC LUXURY WILL I HAVE TO PAY FOR TODAY?
At first, I would freely take bottled water from the welcoming freezer of bottled water… and then I caught a glimpse of the tiniest sign, practically whispering that the water cost $2.00. Once, after a particularly intense workout and even more intense conversation about my “relationship with food” (lol. never not dead laughing at this phrase. relationship with food! i have a more stable relationship with food than i’ve ever had with a boyfriend, but… that’s off topic) my trainer tricked me into drinking a protein shake (after explaining to me what protein was!! (6/28/2013. always remember)) and after I drank a third of it, she informed me that it cost $10.00… at which point I promptly drank the rest of it and used my finger to scrape up every last drop of it.
I am not a rich person. My gym is trying to bankrupt me. One 20 session training package… and one ticket to the poor house, please.
Here, btw, is my food journal, transcribed:
I can’t stand the rain because I hate to be inconvenienced and rain is the ultimate inconvenience. It’s a nuisance, as are umbreallas… but it’s been raining consistently for an inordinate amount of time, and a few days ago, as i was walking from the gym to work, I had to buy an umbrella to protect dis sweet thing from melting.
I was overwhelmed by the display but after some cursory perusal, I spotted the most adorable, compact little umbrella. I grabbed it, paid an absolute fortune for it (by which I mean the cost of that umbrella was more than the cost of a roundtrip taxi ride to and from my apartment, which would have served the same purpose as this stick) and left.
As soon as I got outside, I opened the umbrella and was immediately soaked because this umbrella literally had a five inch diameter.
I feel sort of stupid for having bought this thing, but I can’t really take full responsibility here. Yes, admittedly, I bought this umbrella because I thought it was adorable because it was so small, but I am a moron and am not to be trusted with purchases of importance like this - I only buy things based on cuteness and smallness, not for functionality (The only band-aids I own have faces of cartoon hispanic children on them). But this thing was still being sold as an umbrella, for the purpose of protecting one’s body and possessions from the rain, as a piece of equipment to shield you from falling water, a mechanism to keep you dry!
I’m not sure what the advertising was here. It’s really small, you can fit it in the pant leg of a skinny jean? Who needs an umbrella this small? I don’t need to open an umbrella in a crawl space. It’s supposed to protect me from the rain, not shock people with frivolous and ass backwards innovation. RAIN. Not the sneeze of a newborn. There’s NO need for an umbrella to be this small.
THIS SHIT WOULD NEVER HAVE MADE IT THRU SHARK TANK.