Tuesday, May 29, 2007
For years it was my dream to be “put together.” One of those people whose clothes are always pressed, whose hair is always done, etc etc. I think (hope?) that I am slowly but surely getting there.
Years of scrupulously following Trinny and Susannah’s rules have provided me with a more than acceptable wardrobe and, generally speaking, I am able to dress myself without incident or embarrassment. Generally speaking.
I had a rough morning a few weeks ago. A “morning after the night before” if you will. It is my custom to spend such mornings (or afternoons, whatever the case may be) with the blinds drawn and large glass of water next to my bed. If I have my druthers, I rise only to pop an advil and a benadryl and then head back to the warmth of the duvet. Sadly, this most recent morning after occurred on a Wednesday. Even more sadly, I was expected at work at 9 am.
So I rose, and showered, and dressed myself. Each task immeasurably difficult. I persevered and managed to throw on a suit and a pink t-shirt. Out the door I went.
A predictably unpleasant day ensued. Requisite headache and sour tummy made life difficult. I avoided looking in the mirror, kept my head down, and made it through the day.
At 5:30, I went to the ladies room and took what must have been the first real look at myself. “Not bad, not bad” I thought. “It could be much worse.” I silently congratulated myself on wearing a suit and made a mental note that “look good/feel better” can actually work. Very well done.
And then I looked down and saw a spot on my shirt. What the….
Except it wasn’t a stain. It was a very specific part of the female anatomy.
I’d spent the entire day wearing a mostly see-through shirt.
Very well done indeed.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Anyway, Friday night is the big party. Showed up around 9, met up with my friends, grabbed drinks, and let the festivities begin.
A few hours later and we’re on the dance floor. It’s jam packed and the girls are dancing with girls and the boys are dancing on the outskirts. It’s like the best middle school dance you ever had. Except better, ‘cause you’re not 13 anymore.
The dj puts on the “bring the house down” set: “Gold Digger,” “I Want You Back,” “Run Around Sue,” and “Sweet Caroline.” The joint is jumping. And then, in the middle of Sweet Caroline (Ba! Ba! Ba!) it happened. My lovely wrap dress came un-wrapped. In the middle of the dance floor. And I didn’t notice. Yeah, I’m good like that.
Amanda jumps in front of me, grabs me in a hug, and screams “Your DRESS!” Somehow, in the middle of 150 drunk Young Republicans, we manage to get the dress re-wrap and I’m back in action just in time to get the last verse of Sweet Caroline.
I’d like to say that you can dress me up but you can’t take me out, but apparently you can’t even do that.
In between baking and icing and decorating I put up shelves: book shelves and a shelf to hold my shoes (which, according to my roommate, just fell out of the wall). I re-arranged my room and stacked my books.
My grandmother is dying and I don’t know what to do so I’m baking and decorating a rearranging and thinking about anything else but the fact that she is dying.
I feel a bit like Laura from High Fidelity, specifically the scene in which she leaves her father’s funeral to chase after her downwardly mobile hipster ex-boyfriend. She finds him hiding behind a bench and propositions him (can you proposition an ex-boyfriend?) saying, by way of explanation, that she needs to feel something different than what she’s feeling now and sex is as good as anything.
Would that I had a downwardly mobile hipster ex-boyfriend.
I don’t. So I bake and hang shelves poorly and drink another cup of coffee. I buy the shelves on credit, inducing feelings of guilt and despair as well as the incredibly satisfying pang of self-destructive behavior. Can you tell how well-adjusted I am? I used to self-sabotage by sleeping all day, missing work or class, starving myself, drinking too much, smoking cigarettes. Now I just charge $60 at the Container Store. That’s progress.
And I bake. ‘Cause cakes that taste of tears they say, are the best for eating.
Friday, May 18, 2007
I know this because the tourists are out in force.
The city holds its breath between now and Labor Day. Come the second week of September there is an audible sigh of relief. Life has returned to normal.
But, for now, it's tourist season.
This morning as I headed to work I passed two seperate groups (as an aside, what tourist group is up and running at 9 something in the morning? At 9 something on a vacation morning I'm still in my jim-jams, either sleeping or drinking tea, certainly not touring a city with camera around my neck).
Tourists, as a rule, annoy the heck out of me. They don't know how to walk and they clog the sidewalks. They line up around the block to get a Magnolia cupcake (FYI, they're not very good). But, I digress.
So, there I am crossing W. 3rd at Thompson on my way to the A/C/E and I'm hit with a gaggle of them. Seriously, 20 people. And I thought, "what have I got to loose?" So I start screaming,
"Take a picture of me! Of me! I'm a real New Yorker! I'm on my way to work!"
And they did! So, at 9 something this morning, wearing all black (natch), I posed for pictures.
I can just hear the conversations,
"And then, in Greenwich Village, we took a picture of a REAL New Yorker!"
He he he.
I just don't want to be me for a while.
Not for the usual reason.
I used to not want to be me 'cause I was fat or lazy or self-destructive and made poor decisisons and all sorts of things like that. Real reasons. Escapist reasons. I'm better than that now. I actualy, shudder to think, am ok with me now. I like who I am and find myself reasonably well adjusted. Remarkably well adjusted for someone with my medical history, frankly. But, I digress.
I don't want to be me at the moment because of my grandmother. See, she's going to die. Not today and not tomorrow, but soon enough. And here's the thing, and I swear this just occured to me, she's going to be dead for the rest of my life. Shocker I know. This fixtue, this force, this person who has been such a part of my life forever won't be there. It blows my mind.
And I'm not entirely sure why this is affecting me so. I dealt with cancer and my own death with more grace than this.
Give me a catastrophe, a major trauma and I'm fine.
My fathers mother is also dying. It's sad but ore of a natural part of life type thing. Upsetting certainly, but we all know that all she's wanted since Poppy died is to be with him. So it's okay.
But this? A natural progression? The ultimate passing of a much loved 80something woman? I'm a mess.
And so, I wish I weren't me. I don't want to feel what I'm going to have to feel. I'm not sure I'm up to it.