Monday, April 20, 2009

Seeing Spots

A few days ago, I went to my doctor because I've had a red spot on my eye for a couple of weeks that I thought was due to allergies.

My doctor took one look at my eye and asked, "Do you wear sunglasses?"

"No--never. I hate carrying them around, how they slide down a sweaty nose, how I always seem to lose them..."

But before I could make my case against the typically unchallenged protective and stylish eye gear, she cut me short and said, "Well you need to start. That red spot is due to sun damage."

Unfortunately, the damage doesn't usually go away, but fortunately, it's only cosmetic (I'll just look like I have a perpetual case of dry eye I guess.) If I had known wearing sunglasses could prevent my eye from looking like the "before shot" of the beachball in the Ben Stein Murine Clear Eyes commercials, I would've worn two, maybe three pairs at a time.

So my first day out wearing sunglasses did not go as smoothly as hoped. During my lunch break yesterday, I went in and out of a lot of stores, and by the time I got to the CVS, my last stop, I was so agitated at having to keep taking off and putting on my glasses, that I decided to just leave the damn things on while I browsed through the store.

When I got back to the office, I rummaged through my bag, and noticed I had unintentionally bought a $17 tube of foot fungus cream. In a rush, I ran back out of the office, yelling to my boss and a random visitor that I had to go back to the store to return a box of Lamisil. The random visitor yelled out to go with Tinactin instead. I stopped in my tracks, confused as to who should be more embarrassed at that point.

When I got home that night, I still had my glasses on when I walked into my condo. My roommate took one look at me and started laughing. Apparently, the Rayban sunglasses I had bought in the mid-nineties no longer cut it in the cutting-edge, high fashion city in which I live. (Yes, the same city in which "Yankees Suck" t-shirts are the fastest-selling clothing item.)

When my roommate was able to collect herself, she informed me that, "Mickey Mouse called. He wants his sunglasses back."

So my mission today is to find a pair of glasses that less resemble ones that a loveable but fictional cartoon mouse might be styling. This time I think I'll keep my sunglasses off, lest I end up leaving the store with a bottle of Ex-Lax and a tube of hemroid cream. At least I'd be well protected.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My First Passover, or the Reason my Family is Now in AA

In honor of the start of Passover, I thought I'd share my own experience of my first Seder dinner with my family. For those of you who don't know, Seder dinner happens on the first two nights of Passover, which lasts for eight days. Everyone at the table reads from a book called a haggadah, which tells the story of when the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians under the rule of the Pharaoh Ramses II.

During the Seder, four glasses of wine are served (grape juice for the kids--unless they're the sneaky type) to represent the four stages of the flight from Egypt. Now, in most Jewish households, the four glasses are reduced to four sips, because it's only symbolic anyway and well, four glasses is a hell of a lot of alcohol--even for religious purposes.

My mother has always been somewhat of a teetotaler, has always been greatly affected by liquor, even in small amounts, so it was with great surprise when, after taking the obligatory sip of wine, a familiar motherly voice shouted, "Damn it, if we're going to do this thing, we're going to do it right! Now everyone start chugging!"

Passover just got a lot more interesting.

A fifth glass of wine is poured for the prophet Elijah, in anticipation of his return, upon which the Messianic age will begin. The Messianic age is the time when the messiah returns to earth and restores peace and prosperity to earth. This sounds great in theory, but for those who aren't pure Jewish (such as myself), the whole peace and prosperity to the earth thing gets a bit overshadowed by the fact that we won't be here to enjoy it. Bummer.

Near the end of Seder dinner, the head of the household ceremoniously opens the front door to invite Elijah in so he can enjoy that glass of wine set out for him on the table. As tradition dictated, my father got up from the table and opened the front door, just out of eyesight from the dinner table. No sooner did he crack open the door, when we heard a loud "Whoosh!" blow past and hurried steps racing through the door.

"It's Elijah! It's Elijah! Oh man, why did he choose us? Only one of us is even Jewish!" my mom screamed. My six-year-old nephew dived for cover under the table and cried.

"Everyone settle down!" my dad bellowed, "It was the cat. I can't believe we left her outside this entire time. She's a wreck!"

Upon hearing the happy news, my mom said, "Well then, I guess Elijah won't be needing this!" and downed the fifth glass of wine.

After peace had been restored and more glasses of wine poured, my nephew set out in search of the afikomen--a piece of matzoh that is hidden at the start of the meal. When the afikomen is found, the "finder" (usually a kid) receives money from whoever at the table has a ten.

Of course, the adults at the table use afikomen time to kick back and relax--usually not with Elijah's cup of wine, but we were new to the whole Seder scene. After an hour had gone by, however, we began to get a little worried. "Hon, where the heck is the matzoh?" my mom asked my dad.

"I wish I could remember."

"Oh, you're useless!"

"Well, I'm not the one who insisted on drinking a bottle of wine! Excuse me if my afikomen-remembering-skills are down."

"Would someone please go help the poor boy," my mom sighed.

The hunt was on as me and my semi-drunk sisters searched every nook and cranny of my parent's mammoth 21 acre spread. Two hours and a hangover later, we still hadn't found the afikomen. We slowly, painfully, walked back to the table in defeat.

My sister slumped down in her chair. "Man we are so bad at Seder."

The cat jumped in her lap. "How's it goin', Elijah?" she joked. "Hey... what have you got in your mouth, cat?"

Seeing as she had found the elusive matzoh, my dad had no choice but to award the cat the prize money. She gladly accepted in catnip.

Pesach shalom!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Realization of the Greatness

Last weekend, my friends and I went to a bar called the Market, which, in retrospect, should have been an indication of the guys that we'd meet there. There was a dance floor, much to my relief, which we quickly made good use of. We were having a great time, just us girls, when I looked over my shoulder and saw that one of us was airborne. A guy had my friend high over his head, swinging her above the crowd.

"Put her down!" I yelled. "I saw you with that Long Island Iced Tea. You are way to intoxicated to be throwing people in the air like that!" Of course, he was also too drunk to hear a word I was saying, so I said a little prayer for my friend and went back to dancing. I had no choice! "Just Dance" was playing and I had to abide. Don't judge me.

No sooner had I just sung "what's goin' on on the floor?" along with the genius that is Lady Gaga, when a guy started dancing with me. He was cute, but short. He kind of reminded me of Little Mac, the boxer from that old Nintendo game, Punch Out:



In any case, I didn't have much of a choice but to dance with him--the guy was super strong (obviously all those matches with King Hippo had paid off for the little guy) and had a good grip around my waist. I shrugged and went with it for a while. He was actually a good dancer. He dipped and twirled me around like a pro. I was just about to tell him I needed to take a break and get a drink, when I felt myself being lifted off my feet and suddenly rocketed up over the masses.

"Shitballs!" I screamed. No, I am not making this up. Apparently, under extreme duress, I take to screaming like a ten-year-old playing dodge ball at recess.

No sooner had the strange choice of swear word left my lips, when I was thrown back down, so that my head was inches from the floor, and then violently lifted upright again, feet finally back on the floor where they belonged. Obviously these guys had been watching way too much Dirty Dancing.

"What the hell was that?" I yelled.

"My signature move."

"Yeah? Well, this is mine," I said as I started to walk away. I'd gotten maybe a step away when I felt myself being lifted off the ground again. Son of a ...

"Aah! Put me down! Put me down!" But it was too late. I was airborne once again. And I hate flying. Despite being scared out of my mind, I was pretty impressed that he could lift me so high. I'm not exactly the 100-pound lightweight I used to be--in fact, I'm not sure I ever was. I think I must've been born with a slice of birthday cake already in hand.

Despite my protests, I ended up dancing with this guy for a good hour or so, getting lifted off my feet no less than six times throughout. Afterward, he got my number and I went home, thankful to be off the Market.

I had just settled in for the night when my phone buzzed. It was Little Mac. "Come out to Marlborough St. There's an after hours going on and I want to see you," he'd texted.

It was 2 am and I was on the couch watching Zoolander with a huge bacon and pineapple pizza, some of which had landed on my nightie. There was a less-than-zero chance I'd be making it out for a party in my condition, so I ignored him.

Now what happened next I can only describe as pure booty call desperation, a move so strange I couldn't make it up if I tried. I received a text that I will never erase, for on my darkest of days, I will be able to look at this text ... and laugh my ass off:

"Every once in a while you run into the potential for greatness. Tonight is the realization of the greatness. You should be a part of it."

Not only is this text remarkable for what it's saying--whatever the hell that is; I still haven't cracked the code--but it was also perfectly spelled and punctuated. None of this "2nite is the reelzashen of gr8nes" crap--at two in the morning! And after who-knows-how-many Red Bulls and vodkas. What can I say? The copy editor in me was astounded.

Needless to say, I ignored the text, but I have to say--I appreciated the effort. I mean, how many girls can honestly say they had once run into the potential for greatness? Sure, I didn't realize the greatness, nor was I a part of it, but I'd had the chance, damn it, I'd had the chance.