Whenever I took public transportation home during college, there was basically a 100% chance that I’d run into someone I knew. This wasn’t surprising, of course—we were all on more or less the same academic schedule, and few of us had the requisite independence or wherewithal to make plans to do anything other than return to our parents’ homes.
I imagine this doesn’t reflect well on me, but I always sort of enjoyed these impromptu reunions. We’d catch up and reminisce and fill each other in on gossip we’d heard about mutual acquaintances, we’d make half-hearted but sincere sounding promises to hang out while we were both on break, and then we’d go our separate ways, feeling slightly pleased about how well we were able to get along now that the drama of high school was comfortably in the past. It was sort of like the whitewashing that happened when we signed each other’s yearbooks senior year. We all liked and admired each other and had great memories we’d always share and were going to miss each other so so much. KIT xoxo etc etc.
Now, I actually go back to my hometown much more than I ever did when I was in college, because I (somewhat inexplicably) work there part time. Not all that surprisingly, though, despite the uptick in my travels, the probability of my running into high school classmates has dropped to something closer to 0%. We’re no longer on the same schedule, we no longer all have family living in the same town, or maybe we just no longer recognize each other. Also, bonding after seven years is much harder than after seven months. However! When these increasingly awkward interactions do occur, we give it the ol’ college (high school?) try. Generally, the surprise at running into one another takes up most of the conversation, followed by a brief summary of Adult Life So Far (I live in Brooklyn, I used to work in publishing, but now I’m going to teach, I got married, how are you?), followed by increasingly prolonged silences, followed by someone admitting defeat and giving some excuse for ending the conversation. We leave feeling not quite as rosy as we did a few years ago—more like we’d just done a Good Deed, and are happy we at least made the effort. Sigh, how times change, etc etc.
This is all to say that I was on the train today, and I happened to turn around and catch the eye of a guy I had been pretty good friends with senior and junior year. Despite being good friends then, we had completely lost touch once I turned that tassel from one side to the other—to the point where I really couldn’t have said with any conviction whether he was still alive or not. I immediately started nervously cataloging things to say/ask—he was a pretty laconic guy at the best of times, so most of the onus of the conversation would be on me, and it can be a pretty long train ride, so it could potentially be awkward, but it would be good to catch up! After all, I do have some life plot points worth relating, and I imagine he’s been doing something for the past seven years, since it turns out he hasn’t spent them being dead after all.
He was on the phone, but he saw me, too. He nodded—not in an “oh my god! So weird to see you! I’ll come say hey once I’m off the phone” kind of way, but the way you might nod to a person you see everyday on your commute. You’re certainly not friends, and you have absolutely no desire to even attempt to strike up a conversation, but a certain camaraderie has developed from sharing a similar routine.
Apparently that was all that my sudden reappearance in his life meant. As I was recovering from the shock of his blatent disregard for awkward reunion norms, I remembered that in addition to being laconic, he had also always been kind of an asshole.
“I don’t think I’ve seen the president as happy as he was last night about anything that we’ve done over the years, including the election,” White House senior adviser David Axelrod told ABC News Monday afternoon, speaking of the House passing health care reform legislation.
Really? More than election night?
Yes, said Axelrod. The president told him this morning, “You win the election, it’s like the quarter finals — but the goal is to get to the place where you can actually make a difference. And last night we did something that is going to make a positive difference for this country and for the American people for generations to come.”
I am trying to give you all my money. Please stop making it SO FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE to do so.
um, it appears I now live a life that involves receiving his ‘n’ hers crate and barrel catalogs in the mail.
When I was sixteen, I chopped off all my hair, and then, in a mostly unrelated move, broke up with my boyfriend. I handled the whole thing poorly (as sixteen year olds tend to do), and blindsided him with my somewhat pathetic excuse that I just wasn’t “mature enough” to be in a relationship. He looked at me and asked what the hell I was talking about, because I looked “twenty-five with [my] new hair.” I don’t remember if I pointed out that there was a world of difference between looking and feeling an age, but I was the one being an asshole, and he was just trying to be nice, so I probably didn’t say anything at all.
I remembered this the other day when I looked at my now actually twenty-five year old self, and realized that I had inadvertently gotten the exact same haircut I got nine years ago. (it’s highly likely I even brought in the same photo)
I know that this doesn’t really mean anything (beyond the fact that my sense of style has been stagnant for a decade—but we already knew that), but I’d like to think that maybe it’s a sign that I finally look and feel the age I’m supposed to look and feel like. Is that what being a grown up is?
My landlords are having new radiators installed, which, for reasons not entirely clear to me, meant that a plumber needed to traipse into my apartment two or three times this morning to deal with my radiators.
I’m not a particularly socially graceful person at the best of times, but I have no idea how to handle this kind of interaction (a major reason why it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever hire some sort of cleaning service (and why my home will never be actually clean)). Should I just go about my business like nothing’s going on, and there’s no stranger in my apartment? Should I play the part of the gracious hostess and offer him something to eat or drink? The latter wasn’t really an option, because of my aforementioned awkwardness, and the fact that there’s really very little to eat or drink, and the former certainly wasn’t an option…So I opted for a third way…I made up a routine that I pretended to follow.
Instead of crawling out of bed around 10:30, lounging around in front of the TV in my pajamas for hours, watching whatever house hunting shows happen to be on HGTV, lazily checking email and glancing at blogs, I leapt out of bed at…well, it was still 9:15, but that’s progress, people! I threw on less-than-clean exercise clothes (as a way to explain my less-than-clean self, I suppose—“oh no, it’s not that I’m too lazy to shower, it’s just that I’m about to run out to the gym!”), and sat at the table instead of the couch (this is a MAJOR change). I made sure to have lots of tabs open on my computer, so I could look Terribly Busy when the plumber walked in. (I even replaced a youtube tab with a New Yorker one, so, should he happen to notice, he would of course realize that, while I might be unemployed and unwashed, I’m at least edifying myself!)
This plan worked perfectly well for his first two appearances, because he was doing his thing, and I, at the very least, looked like I was doing mine. On his final visit, though, he just sat on the radiator three feet away from me doing nothing for eight minutes. Eight. Minutes. Just staring. Silently. I have never typed so furiously or focused so intently on my computer screen in my life.
At first I was relieved that I had had the foresight to put on my ipod, so that at the very least, there wouldn’t be complete silence. Then, of course, I realized that all I had done was expose my guilty pleasure playlist to the ears of a total stranger. (did I mention he was sitting there for eight minutes? Do you know how many songs can be heard in that time?) But, I mean, everyone likes Erasure, right…?
The folks behind Valentine’s Day really dropped the ball by having Taylor Swift’s character neither be the cheer captain nor sit on the bleachers.
- +J: I'm not explaining it well
- but basically
- it has the potential for uncomfortable conflict-humor
- and avoids it, because, eh, why bother!
- and THAT'S the kind of lackluster attitude I like in my TV shows!
- S+N: hahaha yeah i can't fault anyone for liking mild things. i like me some mild things! (obviously a reimagining of Wild Things for the christian community that i'm creating)
- but! you still have to explain what's particularly good about it!
- are the jokes funny?
- +J: it's sort of charming in the way that shows where you can see that the people actually seem to like each other are charming
- and there are some jokes that actually work
- (I can't think of any now, obviously)
- but, like I said, it's basically mid-level scrubs
- I wouldn't go to the mat for it
- but I don't want to die when watching it
- S+N: ms. manners: keepin it real
- +J: gotta have standards!
There’s no dirty plate worse than a plate dirty with pasta sauce.
ketchup, my good man. on your hands, on your plate. it hardens, and the smell is immediately insufferable. when the fries are done, that leftover ketchup is your senses’ worst enemy.
Sorry guys, but the answer you are looking for is egg yolks.
oooh, I think Elsa wins on that one.