My friends, it is long past time for me to have a small vacation. I can tell, because I’m getting subway rage. Anyone who cuts in front of me, slops over into my seat, steps on my foot, or smells bad runs the risk of getting my pointy little freckled elbow right in their eyeball. That’s just about everyone, FYI.
I don’t want to talk to strangers — not even cab drivers or laundromat attendants, people I usually find quite entertaining. I do not care what they did back in Haiti. I’m sorry that life has been difficult lately. Still, I do not wish to hear about their ungrateful children.
If you have a stroller, you should learn how to jog with it or get out of my way. If you are in front of me on line, you should move forward immediately as soon as the person in front of you moves up. If you are looking for an address, you should move out of the middle of the sidewalk. If you do not, well, here comes the elbow again.
Saturday, I will be going to the Cape with Ma and Pa Smash, Mrs. Piddlington and the LT (Mr. Piddlington, who is actually a Captain, but “the LT” is more fun to say). We will sit on the beach. We will eat fried foods. We will read books and not pester each other while we are reading books — unlike, say the laundromat attendant this evening, who felt that I was reading out of boredom, and would love to hear about her kids.
The origins of this tirade, I hope, are now clear. I cannot wait for vacation!
Do you know about this thing Dodgeball? No, not the humilating game, played by my middle school classmates and at yours truly. Dodgeball, the social networking phenomenon. What you do is, you go to the website and sign yourself up. And then you get a bunch of friends to sign up as well. (Or, more likely, if you’re me, your friends ask you to sign up, and then wait patiently while you absorb the information. “Dodgeball? Will people throw things at me? No? Is it like Friendster? No? I’m just not sure about this. But you say I should sign up? Is it free?” And so on.)
Anyway, it is free, and here’s how it works. Via the site, and some means I’ve never quite figured out, you text and email your network of friends with your current location and activities, and then they can meet you wherever you are, if they wish. This saves you the trouble of actually texting your friends by hand, the old-fashioned way, which is wonderful if your hands have been replaced by hooks, or if you’re very drunk, or if you’re hoping that your ex-boyfriend, whom you “accidentally” forgot to remove from your network, will come stalk you at your favorite bar, grill, or speakeasy.
I’m not smart enough to figure this out, but it’s probably just as well. I only like about five people at any given time, and am more than able to text those people by hand (or hook), in any state of drunkenness. You can ask them. They’ll tell you.
Also, to be honest, if I were to lob them a dodgeball, it would look like this:
dodgeball.com :: jennie s. checked in…
Hey there, your friend jennie s. just checked in at her small but well-appointed home in brooklyn. She is lying around in her underpants and eating cheese.
Why not swing by and say hello?
“Maybe you’re the one who should be spayed! Hopefully your are sterile…I’d hate to see your hatred passed on to innocent children.” [Exclamation point mine; misspellings hers.]
You’ll be happy to know, pal o’mine, that I try to spread my hatred to any and all impressionable children who are left in my care. So as long as Mrs. P has kids, it shouldn’t matter if I’m sterile. I can still destroy the youth of America.
Me: I think Barack Obama should be our next president.
Ma Smash: You think Eric Bana should be our next president?
Me: No! Barack Obama! Barack Obama!
Ma Smash: I know you love him, Jennie, but do you really think he knows enough about American politics? He’s Australian. Also, they’d have to amend the Constitution.
Me: Mum. BAR-ACK. OH. BAH. MA. Do you know who that is?
Ma Smash: Oh! I thought you said Eric Bana.
Ma Smash: Well, I have no idea who that is.
Ma Smash: But I’m glad you didn’t say Eric Bana. I don’t think that would work.
Ma Smash: Hello? Sweetheart?
I woke up Saturday morning at about 8 a.m. This is not usual. Also: I was on my couch. Also, my Dad was sitting in the chair opposite, with a pair of pliers in his hand, working over the cable wire. When he saw that my eyes were open, he said, “I’ve figured it out. The stupid cable guy cut both ends. What time does the hardware store open?”
“I have no idea,” I croaked. “Nine?”
He nodded. “I’ll go out and get some coffee and muffins soon. And then I’ll stop by the hardware store and get some ends for this. We’ll have this up and running in no time!” He examined the end again. “Cut both ends. That’s not right, you know. This end is your property.”
My folks came to visit me this weekend, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I miss them now. We went to see the Statue of Liberty and hung out with my cousin in Chelsea and lounged around my place. Also, my Dad rewired my cable and my Mom cleaned my livingroom. And then Dad hung all my paintings and such. When they left, I looked around in shock. In five hours they’d managed to do more than I have since I moved into the place.
One of these days I’m going to grow up. Just not, you know, soon.
I went back to the gym today, after two weeks of being too busy and/or sick to go, and I was alarmed to discover that sometime during my hiatus, I became one of the naked people.
If you go to a gym, you know these people. They parade around the locker room, from the showers to the scale to the lockers, wearing nothing but their landing strip. I used to scorn these people, assuming that they were either hideously vain or possessed of such horribly low self-esteem that they wanted all of us to suffer their nudity along with them.
Many of them had weird habits, too. Horowitz once told me about a woman at her gym who used to blow-dry her ass. She’d stand before the mirrors, buck nekkid, and blow dry her hair. And then, when she was done, she’d bend over, spread ‘em, and blow dry her hiney. Why? I dunno. All I know is that Horowitz starting bringing her own hair dryer.
I’m not that far gone, but I did find myself wandering around the locker room naked this afternoon. I was over at my locker and realized I needed a plastic bag to put my gym clothes in. So I padded across the room to the mirrors and grabbed one.
I realize that this might not sound all that strange to many people. To those people all I can say is: Keep your creepy hippie nudist lifestyle to yourself! When I start wandering around sans pants in semi-public places, you know it’s time for me to start getting a bit more sleep.
“The problem is, I have no game,” Andrew said.
I considered the problem. It was one I’d heard before, from many men, but hadn’t really given much credence to. I mean, c’mon: Do we really need to be fooled, we ladies, into sleeping with a guy? It seems silly.
“You don’t need game,” I said. “You’re a handsome guy! Doing interesting things. Anyone would be happy to get with you.”
He shook his head. “This is not true. Think about it. Guys need game.”
I thought about it.
“You know,” I said. “You might have a point. I know this one guy who gets girls by saying the worst possible thing he can think of.”
“Like? I need examples.”
“And he came up to me and said, ‘You’re looking for cock!’”
“See? See! Did that work?”
“No. I mean, I didn’t jump on him or anything.”
“But you thought it was charming! That’s what I need! I need game.”
“Well, I guess you just have to figure out what your thing is.” Pause. “But I wouldn’t recommend that routine. It’s not for amateurs.”