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This is some of the worst comedy I've ever had the pleasure of not laughing at, some of the most embarrassingly poor excuses for desperate attempts to make people pee their pants. The two hostesses of this curiously popular show are wearing shoddily-made synthetic-fiber frocks way too short for their ages and the quality of their legs. Any grins garnered from me and my friend are only for each other's benefit, which we mutually notice by way of sidelong looks at each other. We dare not tear our eyes from the stage lest we miss a moment of this mess.
Although my job as a speech writer does include the responsibility of ensuring the efficacy of the words, it does not include the speaker's ability to deliver them effectively. Although I advise that speeches are better received when the speaker isn't reading off of or referring to cards, only they can decide how best to proceed. Many of them do heed my advice and decide on memorization, agreeing with me that if the words are lodged in their brain, they will seem like they are part of them, that they have more of a "right" to their possession.
I'm digging the back view, the taper from shoulders to waist apparent through the T-shirt yet not overtly displayed, cargo shorts the perfect length to showcase calves furry enough to indicate "man" but not enough to broadcast "caveman". No sign of attachment on his ring finger. Maybe he's jewelry-averse. Or perhaps a DILF on a mission for still-sleeping Mama? Alas, I see nothing dinosaur- or diaper-shaped through the thin white plastic bag grasped in that hand. Just as I start to consider re-entering Whole Foods to investigate, he turns around, revealing an infant strapped to his chest. Oh no, Daddy-O!
(Whoops. Was supposed to be the entry for 11/3.)
Some of my more dedicated clients not only memorize the text of their speeches but also write it onto the medium of their choice and swallow it, hoping to literally absorb the material. Most just chew on index cards until they're mushy enough to swallow. One told me that my words were so delicious that they deserved nothing but the most savory of treatments -- and he sautéed a printout of his speech in the best virgin olive oil available, tossed it with freshly-shaved Pecorino, and served it atop handmade tagliatelle.
These tears are a new variety, discovered since the summer. These don't just trickle from the eyes and streak the cheeks and trail off somewhere above the upper lip, where they try to find retreat in the filtrum. No, these are glass-like sheets of tears, hotter and more copious, which fall from the eyes so quickly and with force and will, spilling as if from overturned tumblers. They don't follow a path along the face but pass across it without even acknowledging the contour of the nose or the curve of the cheek. Are these faucet tears my new default?
When I heard that Marnie and Roger broke up after several years of what I'd thought was a near perfect relationship, I was shocked. They were my barometer, my "go-to" couple whenever anyone would balk at the notion of "true love" that lasted beyond learning that, oh no, she didn't really enjoy hockey at all and whoops, he hated Gauguin.
"When I realized I'd never gaze at Roger the way Nancy Reagan looked at Ronald, with nauseatingly adoring bliss, I knew it had to end," Marnie said. "She knew he was a shitty actor and a terrible President, but still."
As much as it is my civic duty to vote and to heed a notice alerting me to jury duty, it is also my duty to warn you to never -- even in a moment of deep, dark mid-night desperation, after having tried to sob yourself to soggy sleep after consuming a quart of Phish Food with a ladle while indulging in a Sex and the City marathon -- never, ever, EVER think it's a good idea to join eHarmony. Unless, of course, you enjoy being matched with invertebrate men who make Newman from "Seinfeld" look like a real catch.
For a seven-year-old, you sure know how to flirt. You alternate covert peeks with flashy glances, occasionally hold eye contact for a beat or two, and as you look back toward your friends, smile a smile that is at once shy and knowing. I'm impressed.
Come back in 30 years and we'll talk.
One thing, though: The sports talk has gotta stop. Not just the content but the volume of your voice. No doubt you learned this from your dad, which is why your mom, when she glances at you here at the back of the bus, looks so exasperated.
Three months after I broke up with Rick, an envelope found its way into my mailbox, the address printed by what appeared to be a Russian moderately afflicted by palsy. The R's and N's were backward, like Cyrillic characters. It had been years since I'd had any Russian friends and none knew my new address.
Inside was a greeting card with a puppy on its face. Inside was a hand-printed message in the same writing, saying I MISS YOU SO MUCH AND WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU! LOVE, ROCCO.
Funny, but I'd always figured Rocco as more of a cursive writer.
The appearance of a bruise under the big toenail on my right foot leads me to conduct internet research so thorough that you'd think I was a world-class surgeon trying to diagnose a particularly puzzling strain of virus never before seen in the Western (or Eastern) (or Northern or Southern) world. I shouldn't be shocked that I've done some damage, what with all the running, including a rather maniacal 10-miler I'd completed a day or two earlier. This is a badge of honor, I read. I should be proud to bear this bruise. I'm just happy it's not sandal weather.
Melanie hasn't stopped frowning since she entered my office 15 minutes ago. She's not an extraordinarily smiley person anyway, but this is extreme even for her. Because I don't want to spend the rest of the session in silence, I ask her what's up.
"I'm struggling to come to terms with the fact that my snot is saltier than I'm used to," she says.
I try hard not to drop my pen into my lap.
"It used to be sweet, like Sweet and Low, but now it tastes like blood-tinged salt."
I pick her brain. She picks her nose. Charming.
The neighbors who I am quite sure spy from behind their blinds with the lights off are no doubt nudging each other tonight in the ribs at the sight of the girl in the white tank top and baggy pajama bottoms, Pebbles ponytailed, wedged between sofa pillows, a big bowl of popcorn on her lap, right hand a blur as it travels from bowl to mouth, a big fuzzy black cat by her side, the glare of TV turning her skin greenish. No doubt they are disappointed at the lack of the lonely single-girl pint of ice cream and tears!
It will happen anywhere -- in the aisle at Whole Foods, on the subway platform at 72nd and Broadway, while running on the treadmill -- BOOM! POW! ZAP! (no mere snap-crackle-and-pop, this) -- like an enormous anvil or big black old-fashioned safe in a cartoon: my love-of-life dog is dead, my grandfather is dead, and the guy I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with may as well be dead. I have to close my eyes against the kaleidoscope dizziness, the soul-shattering shrapnel. And smile benignly at no one in particular, pretending all is well.
Just because I live in one of the greatest cities on the planet doesn't mean that every day I have to be out and about, running here and there, hither and yon, swinging from the top of Empire State Building or swimming across the bay to kneel at the base of the Statue of Liberty or stroll down Fifth Avenue oohing and aahing the window displays or doing cartwheels around Bethesda Foundation in Central Park or marveling at the structure of the Brooklyn Bridge or admiring the lox at Zabar's. Sometimes it's fine to act as if I'm in Kansas.
Hoo boy, I tell you, my best friend's got some nerve telling me what I should and should not be looking for in a potential boyfriend. Sure, her second husband may not walk ahead of her when they're out in public and he may insist on walking on the curb side of the sidewalk, but come on -- the guy not only smacks his lips but eats with his mouth wide open, lets his toenails grow so long that even a male co-worker (a cop!) is repelled, and asks my friend to cut them for him. And she does it.
He's got it ass-backwards, this dolt.
Rebuffed when reaching for my rump, he uses the same hand to make a beeline for boob, which, when brushed away, creeps up my thigh like a spider on speed, where it is smacked away. And because one round of rejection isn't enough, he repeats the three-point cycle in less than a minute. What the fuck? In what world does this progression reap results?
I kiss him a little more and tell him I'm not a tease so I'll be leaving. My coat is back on.
"Can't I just touch your pussy?" he says.
When I ask this 24-year-old who's IM'ing me why he's not seeking girls his own age, he says, "ahh there immature." I want to point out his usage error but refrain because I'm too busy being slackjawed over the photo of him, shirtless and abs-olutely flabless, in jeans hanging juuust low enough on his hips to be tantalizing and high enough not to make me want to be a mother and tell him to pull them up.
Less than two seconds later, he displays his maturity by saying, "my dick is so hard right now it's throbbing".
What a heart-throb.
Usually I keep my eyes on the road when I'm driving, it's part of my job and safety is number one. This time, though, this girl, I would've swerved across four lanes to get to her if I'd had to but fortunately she was there on the corner and all I had to do was stop. She cried in the back seat, really quiet, looking out the window. I hope she was on her way somewhere fun, that she wasn't coming from somewhere for those tears. I felt honored to be giving her a safe place, if only for $7.40.
The large scar on my calf/ankle is from a night I rode my bike to meet friends for dinner. I'd lost my balance, and as I fell, the kickstand gouged my leg, sculpting bruises and painting blood. Several hours earlier on Coney Island, my boyfriend had hugged me and my friends before leaving to play poker with acquaintances, knowing all along he'd already replaced me with another woman. Although I'd suspected it weeks earlier and confronted him, he denied it. I hope this scar never completely fades. I need it as a reminder to be more careful in the future.
"Holding onto you must be like trying to hold onto a greased pig," he says.
This, after his genius query as to why I've never married and my answer that I've never found anyone I dug enough.
"Like you're some great prize?" he says.
Listen, schmuck. You're on Match.com to, at the very least, get into someone's pants. You think this tactic works?
"It's amazing," I say, "how in about 10 minutes you managed to go from seeming like an okay guy to an absolute asshole. This call will not continue."
. Our first call is our last.
In July, I flew out to Des Moines for a four-day date with a man who, from what I saw, was the best-looking fellow in the city. (Enormous, extra-crispy, chocolate-dipped bonus points for living with an outrageously cute "rough Collie" who instantly glommed onto me as if I were his long-lost mom.) One night we joined two of his friends, one of the most catatonia-inspiring couples I've ever met, for dinner at a restaurant they kept referring to as "New York style". I'm always amazed at what people who have never visited this city think qualifies something for that distinction.
They want us to be 28, paralegals, and speak in our regular voices, but of course close to the phone as if we're having an intimate chat as looooovers. Hey, they're paying for this service, so whatever they want us to be, that's fine. And what our employer has discovered they want us to be is that age with that job with that tone of voice. Any younger and we're juvenile. Any older and we're too adult. If a legal secretary, we're not accomplished enough. If a lawyer, we're too much of a threat. What a bunch of literal jerk-offs.
Situation: We've ordered desserts. You, crème brulee; me, chocolate cherry bread pudding.
Bad Move Department, #182: You don't ask if I like crème brulee so maybe we can share. (Note: I'm not a fan, but irrelevant.) You don't offer me a taste. I offer a taste of mine and you decline. When I'm about halfway done, you ask for a taste, which I cheerfully feed you from my spoon. You don't apologize for not having offered me any of yours.
Bad Move Department #206: You want "dessert" from me at the end of the date.
As if. Just desserts, jackass.
I used to love when, in school, our textbooks contained those filmy plastic overlays. I dug how those in art books would show different layers of color and how even the addition of something as seemingly insignificant as a dash of black could add definition and dimension. In the health/anatomy books, I was fascinated by the different systems of the body -- circulatory, skeletal, muscular, and so on. I liked how neat they all looked and don't think I quite realized that in real life, if we cut a guy open, all that stuff would be mixed together like goulash.
It's our second date and I'm dressed to the elevens, in an ensemble that I spent much the day fretting about, and which, in the end, just as I'm about to head out to meet him on the corner I've decided is pretty much "killer", definitely wow-worthy.
So, why is he dressed barely to the sixes, especially when we're going to a rather fancy restaurant? What happened to the guy from the first date in the Hugo Boss suit, dressed for date success? And hey, I wouldn't have minded so much if his personality, too, wasn't such a FAIL. Next!
Fellas, I don't want to text. We don't know each other well enough for something as small as texting. This seems, to me, somewhat more intimate than a regular email or a phone call. Texting is like a kiss, a frisson of a thrill, a secret, a little buzz from your darling, your sweetheart, the marvelous man who can fill you with delight with a gesture as tiny as an eyelid flutter (not quite a wink, even) from across the room.
It's too soon. I don't know you yet. You have to earn texts. That's romance, that's intimacy. Patience. Please.
Eric and Brett hosted Thanksgiving this year at their new apartment in Hell's Kitchen. It was Eric's foray into cooking for a crowd of friends, and he was nervous, but he had absolutely no reason to be because the food was fantastic. All vegetarian, all delicious, and all begging for at least thirds even though I pretended to be ladylike and only went up for seconds. In attendance were four other gayboys and one very charming straight girl. Although I was, appropriately, thankful I had wonderful people to share the evening with, at times I was precariously close to waterworks.
See, the thing is, my date really did look like William H. Macy, right down to the hair and the smirk. He did. I came up with that on my own and told him so, and he cringed and flinched a little and said that was not good, that Macy is sort of shriveled and no no no, that wasn't good. I almost said, "Yeah, but some chicks really dig those not-handsome, sorta ugly-sexy guys," but stopped myself before he'd retaliate by insisting I reimburse him for all the food he'd encouraged me to devour at the diner.
I had to dig this guy at least for this compliment: "You are the slimmest adult woman I have ever seen. But not in a pancreatic cancer kind of way." This, as I wolfed down an eggplant parmigiana "hero" and french fries, followed by cherry pie a la Jode (with chocolate ice cream). Bonus, two hours later: A chocolate chip cookie from Levain.
But for all his humor and generosity, for all of his encouragement and apparent admiration, I wasn't drawn to him as I was to the food. A shame, since I am voracious. Famished even, alas.
He's eating french fries with a fork (as I do), smiling as he chews, eyes positively twinkling, and all I see is a seven-year-old boy gazing at his favorite teacher on whom he has an enormous crush, a teacher who's holding a puppy snuggled in a Tonka truck. The thing is, though, he's seven times that age. How is it possible that this guy can be so enchanted, so entranced, so, I don't know, pure? He is Davy Jones with cartoon-heart eyes, poised to shake his tambourine my way and break into grinning song. What do I do with this?
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