Three things that make me cranky:
(1) Capri pants. Just writing that made my stomach churn. Listen up ladies, no piece of two-legged clothing should hit any place between the ankle and the knee. Period. I don’t care if you’re tall or short, thin or fat. I don’t care if you pair it with wedge espadrilles and chunky turquoise jewelry or grosgrain flip-flops and a skinny fit Ralph Lauren pique polo. I’ve worked in retail for over ten years and I’ve followed fashion for the last twenty. I drooled over Tom Ford’s first Gucci collection. I spent a year saving my pennies to purchase a chic Prada pencil skirt. And I have followed the insanity otherwise known as John Galliano. Last I checked, Huck Finn wasn’t designing for the runway.
(2) Oversized soap. I lurv Fresh’s lemon soap. It’s smooth and yummy without being too girly or fragrant. But it also costs $12 a bar and the only place I can find it is Blue Mercury across town. I spend no less than ten dollars in gas and an hour of my life every time I fetch a stash. So last week when I was at Target, I caved and bought a lemon soap the size of a nerf football. It was wrapped in tasteful paper and tied with a sisal bow. I’m a sucker for pretty packaging. More importantly, it was right there in front of me and cost all of seven bucks. On Sunday night I unwrapped the soap and placed it in my shower. On Monday morning I dropped it on my left foot and injured my big toe. On Tuesday morning I dropped it on my right foot and bruised whatever bone holds the foot together. On Wednesday morning I dropped that piece of shit soap in the trash where it has taunted me ever since.
(3) Retired old people with way too much time on their hands / My neighbors. I live in a complex mostly populated with old people. Correction - really old people. At least three times a week I can hear an ambulance idling outside my balcony. Looks like another unit’s going on the market! Anyway, in the winter my neighbors plan weekday bus trips to Atlantic City where for twenty bucks they get an all you can eat buffet lunch, a second rate performance by a has-been crooner and a roll of quarters to play the slots. In the summer they congregate at the pool clustering chairs in the shade to kibitz and kvetch. And regardless of the time of year, they get all up in my grill about using two washing machines at the same time or they nosily stare into my unit when I fling the door open and stumble in with five bags of groceries or they stand really close to me in the elevator and ask questions like am I visiting my grandmother and what unit does she live in. For the record, I moved in over two years ago, no I don’t want to meet your grandson and for the love of fucking GOD stop wearing that offensive perfume that hasn’t been manufactured in fifty years. Now move out of my way so I can press the damn button and get on with my youthful life.
Three things that always make me giddy with glee:
(1) Hearing my niece and nephew call my name or at least try to call my name. Olivia’s still struggling with the ‘g’ part so she usually calls me Aunt Pay which really just makes her cuter than she already is. Aunt Paige, come play with my trains. Aunt Pay, read me a story. Aunt Paige, let’s go play on the swings. Aunt Pay, you are SO much more fun than mommy and prettier and smarter too! Okay, I’m still teaching them this last line but I think Anders will turn the corner soon enough. Anywho, I could have spinach in my teeth, a booger hanging out of my nose and my skirt tucked into my underwear - I’d still be awesome in their innocent eyes. Plain and simple, being an Aunt rocks.
(2) Writing something that I think is brilliant, even if it isn’t. Be it a sentence, a paragraph or an entire story. If you aren’t fortunate enough to be blessed with my creativity (cough, cough), well, think about putting a puzzle together. One where the picture is all blue sky and white clouds. The end point is the image splashed across the lid of the box. With everything spread out on the table, you shuffle the pieces around. Sometimes they connect and sometimes they don’t. You switch things around. You study the lid. You step back. You lean forward. Bit by bit, it all comes together. And then you snap the final piece into place. Pure magic.
(3) Hearing from him. I spend a ridiculous amount of my workday on the phone managing clients and vendors and all of the crap that goes wrong between the two. The last thing I want to do in the evening is cradle a handset to my ear and gab. Blah blah this and blah blah that. I’d rather read a New Yorker or walk on my treadmill or zone out to John Stewart. Well, with one exception - when the incoming number flashing on the phone is his. Everything else matters, just not as much. So I toss the magazine on my coffee table or mute the television or hop off the treadmill and with a silly girl grin I reach for the phone. Those moments are better than eating a perfectly warmed slice of peach blueberry pie served a la mode while sitting under a starry summer sky with the distant sound of the ocean rolling up on the shore. Yup, it’s better than that.