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Whenever I get a roll of quarters at the bank so I can do laundry (yes, it's 1952 "up in here"!), I consider breaking it open while still there, dumping its contents into the self-service coin-counting machine (which never fails to delight me), choosing the "Guess" option that, if I guess the total within $1.99, will yield me a FREE GIFT (guessing $10.42 just so I don't seem too cocky), and then presenting the receipt to the same teller with a flourish, a wink, and a doffing of an invisible top hat, and requesting another roll of quarters in return.
You enter her kitchen and wonder, "Where is she hiding the cookies?" The aroma of cinnamon is everywhere, and oh, it's so tempting. This girl's not only a looker but a baker, by gum, and one who's obviously liberal with the cinnamon! Is she hiding an Snickerdoodle the size of a pizza, much like one of those fun mall cookies, in the oven? No! Say, what gives, sister? What gives is that sprinkling cinnamon is a way to repel ants without hurting them. That "poppyseed" biscotti you ate last week, before she had a chance to warn you, wasn't poppyseed!
"Does he miss me?" she asks right after I turn out the light and turn to stroke her fuzzy back, the best way to keep her from interminable meowing. I tell her I don't know, that I think so, I even hope so, but I can't tell her for sure. "Well, I miss him," she says. I tell her I know, I do too, and that we really must not think too much about that or we'll never get to sleep. Sometimes she reminds me I'm on "his" side of the bed. Yeah, 1-1/2 years later, and it's still his.
As soon as I exit the elevator, the muffled sound of salsa greets me. I knock on the door, and he answers, ladel in hand, that familiar glossy black curl dangling above his forehead. I want to reach up to brush it away, but he grins and gestures me inside before I can do so.
"Gee, how novel," I say, following him to the stove. "A Hispanic boy making beans and rice!"
"Want some of this?" he says, and I raise my eyebrow just as he winks. Oh yes, please. Am I here to get ladeled, kids? I'll never tell.
How I Know I'm an "Adult" and Not Still 9 Years Old, No. 1: Not only did I wait an entire week after being given a candy necklace (at Pride) to consider eating it, but I paused before indulging to check the calories (a mere 77!) and then stopped after the first few chomps to make sure it didn't contain, like, meat ("Necklaces contain none of the following: gluten (from wheat, honey, oats and rye), milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts or soybeans"). And then and only then did I put it around my neck and resume.
An episode of "The New Girl" that I've downloaded has German subtitles. One translation that smacked me in the face was "Analthermometer". Given the Germans' soft spot for things scatological (at least in the porn realm and how one of their leaders liked to, y'know treat people, to put it mildly), I would've thought they'd concoct their own uber-polysyllabic mega-monstrosity jam-packed with consonants and umlauts and one of those squishy "B" things. However, the fact that it's capitalized lends a certain subtle air of propriety. So, is it just me or is this, yes, ass backwards? (What's German for "LMFAO"?)
Despite an almost visceral aversion to Zooey Deschanel, I've taken to watching "The New Girl" on Netflix. I blame this on the slow arrival of the next DVD in my red-enveloped queue, That Girl, Section 2, Disc 2, and the fact that I've watched EVERYTHING ELSE on Instant Watch. So, after watching the entire first season (24 episodes) in two days I can't decide if I still find ZoDesch irritating or whether I want to become her BFF. Or whether I'm only using her to get through to Max Greenfield, who plays Schmidt, on whom I've developed a li'l crush.
The boy across from me swings his feet, clutching a baseball in his lap. The man next to him, with similar short-cropped hair and cocoa-colored skin, is engrossed in his iPod. The boy smiles at me, lifts the ball slightly and nods, a question mark hovering overhead. I raise an eyebrow, smile, and gesture for him to toss the ball since nobody's in the aisle between us. Each toss carries with it a broader grin. When the subway stops, the man makes for the door, barely looking at the boy. The boy follows, turning to mouth a silent, shiny-eyed "bye".
While waiting for the bus this morning, a woman with quasi-Ronald McDonald/Lucille Ball hair approached and asked if I'd been waiting long. (I hadn't.) Our conversation lasted for the duration of the 25-minute ride. She's a semi-retired psychiatric social worker, and we discussed a bunch of stuff as if we'd known each other for ages. We barely touched on relationships/guys, but as she rose to leave, one stop before mine, she said, "The right one will come along. It will happen. I know. And if he's intimidated, he's not for you. Just be you." Esther, dearest, you made my day!
Five months have passed since I decided I didn't want our relationship to progress, and here we are, facing each other across a table at a restaurant on Amsterdam. As ever, he's gazing at me like a kid gazing at his favorite teacher.
"Man oh man," he says, "you look fantastic. That dress is perfection."
The last time we were together, I was buried under layers of coat, scarf, and hat, and he was trying his best to keep me warm in the West Village. It left me cold. Now, as then, I'm struck by his resemblance to Nicolas Cage.
People, enough with the gimmicky "filters" on your photos already. Just stop. Stop. Stop. Why do we need to see the Empire State Building looking like a ghastly oil painting or your boyfriend's facial features rendered in what looks like dripping acid or the Golden Gate Bridge as interpreted by a kindergartener, hopped up on Sunny D and Pepperidge Farm cheddar goldfish, who broke into the Cray-Pas? Can't you present a simple snapshot that can stand alone based on composition, with all of its own elements the focus? Stop hiding behind the distracting nonsense. Tell me a story. Simply. Thanks.
Saying, "You have too much time on your hands!" in response to something another person has chosen to do is quite a passive-aggressive way to devalue whatever it is that that person is doing with his time. Maybe he surrendered another activity, perhaps even one you still "waste" your time on, to have the time to engage in the one you feel it's your place to diminish. (Or maybe it's none of your fucking business.) This is just as dismissive as saying, "Tell me how you really feel" when someone expresses a strong opinion. Either way, you're being a dick.
Fellas, please, come on, if your hair has decided it's time to take leave of your scalp, I urge you to "own" the baldness. Combed over your scalp a la Trump, or forward over your forehead, or hidden under a hat or cap, it's all the same nonsense. Growing it long in back, or bushy on the sides, attempting a ponytail, or whatever other subterfuge you've got goin' on, just stop it. Either go with the "I'm balding" look or shave your head. Try as you might with all this other stuff, you've not pulling the wool over anyone's eyes.
This weekend I witnessed love in so many forms -- from signing the document that made official the marriage of one of my best friends ever to his beautiful man in a bar in Brooklyn, to the hilarious cake created for the occasion by two of their dearest friends, to joining in a standing ovation at Judson Memorial Church as my friend Kristin stunned the congregation with her angelic voice for the last time before moving to Indianapolis with her husband, and more, none of which will make headlines offline or online. Yes, this is what the world needs now.
There are many beautiful people in the world. Live by example. Be one. Think of someone other than yourself. Walk down the street unplugged. Do you really need to strut to a "personal soundtrack"? Make eye contact. Smile. Ask for directions instead of consulting your phone. Don't "uh-uh, uh-huh" as they're speaking, waiting for them to shut up so you can return to fretting about lunch and the hashtags you'll use for its Instagram photo. Listen as if you'll be quizzed afterward and don't just want to pass the test but get an A-fucking-plus. It's easy to sheepwalk. Wake up.
Fellas, please, come on, if your hair has decided it's time to take leave of your scalp, I urge you to "own" the baldness. Combed over your scalp a la Trump, or forward over your forehead, or hidden under a hat or cap, it's all the same nonsense. Growing it long in back, or bushy on the sides, attempting a ponytail, or whatever other subterfuge you've got goin' on, just stop it. Either confidently rock the "I'm balding" look or shave your head. Try as you might with all this desperate balderdash, you're not pulling the wool over anyone's eyes.
Oh, dwarf61, you rated me 4 or 5 stars on OKCupid, and have been lurking on my profile on a regular basis. Yet you have written nothing. Am I supposed to be so moved by your hints that you dig me, so intrigued that you're the strong, silent type, that I'll be compelled to say something? You're not Peter Dinklage. You don't make me a little swoony thinking that you're the perfect height to "motorboat" me, if indeed I had enough to motorboat or would allow that sort of ridiculousness. Should I write to you, though, and cut this short?
I rode my bike today to meet two friends at a restaurant on Columbus. It was way too hot to walk. I wore a flowy halter dress with black cotton bike shorts (oh yes, modesty and practicality!) and Maryjane sneakers. And, of course, my black "bandana" helmet, even though I would've loved to have felt the sun on my hair and the breeze created by my movement. It put me in such a jubilant mood and made me realize I need to do this more often. I must remind myself of this the next time I'm being a fucking hermit.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: I have just declared my apartment and its patio a No-Bra Zone ("NBZ", natch). All ye and your bosoms 'n' tits 'n' juggz 'n' hooters 'n' sweater puppies who enter here, please know that you are not only welcome but encouraged to free yourselves and *those* from the burden of the booby trap, the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder, whether your boulders are more like gravel or pebbles or if, when unbound and released, as I'm encouraging, the neighborhood is in danger of an avalanche the likes of which the Upper West Side has never experienced. Bienvenidos, totos, y las tatas.
I was just in a car with my friend Bob, and I saw a lady "of a certain age", her whitish-gray hair pulled back into a loose ponytail, pedaling up Riverside Avenue dressed in navy blue and white striped pants, a flowy white sleeveless shirt, jaunty hat (helmet, Madame????), big sunglasses, and wedge-heeled espadrilles with ties around the ankles. Smiling.
Me, to my friend Bob: Fabulous. Fucking fabulous. I love it.
I describe what I just saw.
Me: That's me in a few years.
Bob: A few years?
Me: Okay. Me YESTERDAY.
Me: Nice. Very nice.
Ahhh, yes. The rabid bike love continues. This morning, just before 8:00: Zipped down Broadway, semi-circled around Columbus Circle, breezed across 59th, then down Fifth, gloriously traffic-lacking, to arrive at Equinox near the Flatiron. Sure, it would've been easier to walk a few blocks to the branch near my apartment, but that would mean I wouldn't have the pleasure, after my workout, of riding up Sixth Avenue, thorough Central Park, somehow missing my turn and winding up at the top of the park at 110th, then down Columbus a bit before heading for Broadway toward home. Schwinn for the win!
Sorry, guy on Broadway, standing at a card table swiped from a church basement circa 1971, but if I heed your shouts to spare some change for "the homeless" and plunk what's rattling around in my pocket into the empty water cooler bottle propped on your table, I'll risk being one of "the homeless" on whose behalf you're ostensibly making the plea. Although my cloth bag, well-worn jeans, and reusable bottle filled with water from my kitchen sink scream, "Moneybags!" I'd appreciate if, when I decline, you wouldn't glare as if you think I wads of "C-notes" as toilet paper.
I never wanted kids of my own, and now, 30-plus years into the so-called "dating" nonsense, with detours for relationships along the way, I don't want yours. They're 6 and 10, which means they're not going anywhere soon, except almost everywhere with us. Kids, for the most part, don't want to eat Ethiopian or Indian food, and I'm not willing to bite the bullet at a suburban chain restaurant while biting my tongue. And no thank you on them barging in on us on a Sunday morning, jumping on the bed like in a TV commercial. I'd rather be alone.
You drop me a line from the country house, telling me you're giving your older daughter driving lessons. Are you using the Audi that you keep in the city or the black 1960 MG convertible you keep up there? When you're not doing that, are you lying by the pool or is she too cool for school and has better things to do with her summer, like text boys on OKCupid? I would ask but I really don't care. Do you honestly think your daughters are an aphrodisiac? And here I wondered why you'd had difficulty cultivating a romantic relationship.
"You don't know what you're missing," you write after I (politely) spurn your advances. No, I'm not interested in married men, even a prize such as you, who has an "open relationship" with his wife. Sorry, florid-faced 58-year-old suburban stud, but you don't get to have your stale Pepperidge Farm angel-food cake and eat it too. Even if your wife's okay with it, I'm not. I have no desire to be with a person who not only has a desire to be with other people but who acts on it. I do know what I'm missing: A whole lotta nothing.
Even if I could afford to go out tonight, a lovely Saturday evening here in Manhattan, I'd still choose to stay in with my gorgeous cat, in a freshly vacuumed apartment-oasis, in drawstring pants and tank top and oh god no shoes, hair that in its natural state could pass for a "That Girl" tease, contemplating making a huge colorful salad with avocado, singing "Corner of the Sky" (Pippin!) karaoke at my desk, perhaps tossing in a few Fosse moves. I could do without the fretting over the fact that I need to clean out my closets, but otherwise? Perfect.
Wake up and stop being a fucking clone of everyone around you. Forsake that "must have" [insert name of overpriced designer on Fifth Avenue or 57th Street] garbage, your status logo-a-gogo nonsense, in favor of something handmade with love and dedication. Support the craft-workers, the "little guys" on Etsy rather than tripping over your ridiculous Manolos/Choos to drop an obscene wad of do-re-mi. I'm proud to say Iíll never be one of these chicks you see tiptoeing around town with a Louis Vuitton bag, without a spark of individuality or pizazz, all like a mincing army of Barbie doll dimwits.
Guys who drape sweaters across your shoulders and then loosely tie the arms together in front: I don't care if the sweater is 52-ply "bespoke" cashmere culled by goats educated to self-shear themselves before bequeathing the virgin wool to nimble-fingered monks who then loom the garments by hand in Tibet and FedEx them to Barney's; I don't care if it's a cotton crewneck Sunday morning impulse buy from LLBean.com; I don't care if it's a 50%-off Sears knockoff of a Kohl's castoff. Just stop it already. Surrender the sweater-shawl and buy a $5 street fair pashmina already, for fuck's sake.
My Polish grandfather was a bread/bagel baker, so I have a huge love for warm bagels when they're associated with smiley older guys. But NOTHING will ever compare to him being in the passenger seat of my mom's car, fresh from the bakery with a loaf of rye with caraway seeds in a brown paper bag, and his big, smooth, perfectly manicured hands, which had baked that bread, reaching into the bag, pulling off a hunk, the aroma wafting with the steam, and handing it to me in the back seat, a wide smile on his gorgeous tan face. Nothing.
I don't know who makes me roll my eyes more: People who insist that "carbs" be avoided at all costs, as if an occasional bagel, potato, or rice is going to throw off the delicate balance of their finely-tuned body-machines, in favor of chemical-laden "protein" shakes and powders; the super-duper extra-mega-elite athletes at the gym who stand around stretching their flaccid quads even if their workouts rarely, if ever, involve the lower body, or the monotone, slump-shouldered, empty-eyed girls who drape themselves over "cardio" equipment for two hours in anticipation of "splurging" at lunchtime on Tasti D-Lite. Must I choose?
This morning I ambled through the West Village. I met three dogs, all walked by lovely men: A pink T-shirt-clad tiny Maltese; a creamy 3-month-old French Bulldog, Jean-Pierre, who did well on his leash especially given that he's only been doing it for two weeks; and Bubba, a slow-moving 4-year-old Bull Mastiff, rescued in December, who's been having major gastrointestinal problems. His dad said he's very sick and going to the vet today. I told Bubba he was going to be okay and, granted approval, gently rested my hands on him. For today, can we pretend I am a shaman?
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