Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Should Have Just Gone To Work

I have a confession to make. Larry and I have a maid. Technically, she’s a "cleaning lady" because she mainly does the laundry and spot cleans with Windex. That’s pretty much it. If we want that ceiling fan cleaned, we'll have to do it ourselves.

Since she also cleans for our neighbor Shirley, she alternates between the two apartments. She also, for some strange reason, alternates the times she comes. One week she’ll come at 9am and leave at 1pm, then leave and head for Shirley’s. The next week, she’ll do the reverse, cleaning Shirley’s apartment first, then coming in at 1pm and leaving at 5pm. If I happen to have the day off, I have to leave the tiny studio apartment for the duration.

Knowing that I had Monday off because of the holiday, I asked Larry a very important question.

"Larry, what time does Sandra come tomorrow?"
"Really?" I asked, smile on my face.

In my head, I organized my day. This is much easier to do when Sandra comes in the morning hours.

This was my plan:
9:00 - Bundle up, wave goodbye to Sandra
9:20 - Have leisurely breakfast and Venti coffee at Starbucks, work on dusty manuscript
10:00 - Go to the gym. Enjoy trouble-free, daytime workout without waiting to use equipment or hearing "Can I work in with you?"
11:30 – 1:00 - Miscellaneous window shopping. Steal ideas from the Container Store for messy bookshelf
1:00 - Wander back to apartment, wave goodbye to Sandra and start reorganizing messy bookshelf.

Reality, however, played out a bit differently

Click Read More to continue reading

9:30 - Sit on couch watching NY1 with jacket on
9:35 - Start to feel stupid with jacket on
9:36 - Take jacket off
10:00 - Wonder where the hell Sandra is
10:30 - Put never-used coffee carafe from old machine in cabinet above fridge
10:33 - Straighten up kitchen counter, put away take-out menus
11:00 - Take picture off wall above stove. Clean grease mark off wall. Maybe Sandra needs to pay more attention here
11:30 - Break sweat cleaning wall behind stove. Maybe we should fire Sandra
12:30 - Check email
1:00 - Greet/scare crap out of Sandra, who expected no one to be home
1:02 - Search for missing black gloves. Dig out ugly pair of tan "back up gloves". Leave apartment

1:03 - Bump into neighbor in elevator. Become confused when she does not share same unwavering hatred for winter. Fake laugh at her Superbowl-related comment to cover for lack of interest

1:10 – 1:20 - Search in vain for café with available seating for prolonged writing session. Curse people sitting comfortably in Starbucks and Murray’s Bagels. Stand on street corner huffing and puffing while imagining ending up at McDonalds next to crazy bums. Head for terminally unhip Dunkin Donuts instead

1:22 - Stare at Dunkin Donuts menu as if trying to stare down a mugger. Order large coffee and something disgusting called “Turkey cheddar and bacon flatbread sandwich”. Manage to unintentionally unsettle cashier with my bitter attitude.

1:25 - Find seat – in middle of floor, bathed in disgusting florescent lighting. Bite into sandwich, which tastes exactly like it would had I made it myself in a toaster oven with cold cuts and leftover cheese.

1:30 - Spot male customer walk in with full length black fur coat, black boots, camo pants, suede messenger bag and spiked blonde hair. Snicker under breath, using coffee cup for cover

1:33 - Spot male customer walk in with black fur jacket and matching fur hat. What is it with men in furs today?

1:34 - Three meter maids enter. Overhear one significantly overweight meter maid insist on ordering 4 extra sugars for a pre-made drink already laced with sugar.

1:36 - Watch Older Man in cheap nylon jacket come in, talking to himself. Open notebook and take out pen.

1:39 - Start taking notes.

1:42 - Wonder who older man is talking to as he takes the table next to me and complains about the NFL while reading sports section of newspaper. Make concerted effort to ignore.

1:43 - Try to control sloppy, frantic handwriting in effort to document all the events unfolding around me.

1:45 - Watch Crazy Man (formerly Older Man) get up to throw something out. Steal a peek to see if Crazy Man has been talking to someone on a cell phone this whole time. He has not. Consider killing Crazy Man.

1:46 - Observe second man walk in greet Crazy Man. Friend of Crazy Man declared "slow talker".

1:47 - Eavesdrop on conversation over lottery numbers on tickets folded up the size of chiclets. Overhear loud complaining as Friend of Crazy Man (FOCM) comes across article in Daily News concerning suspected terrorist activity in Brooklyn and begins to yell about "crazy motherfucking Islamic extremists" despite Crazy Man's attempt to silence him via shushing. FOCM brings up venerable Freedom of Speech as defense.

1:48 - FOCM reveals he would have joined the army, if not for his Hepatitis C.

1:49 - Observe Crazy Man getting up to find the bathroom while FOCM gets up to show the Daily News terrorism article to the three meter maids, who are trying to leave. He has mistaken the three meter maids for police officers.

1:52 - Watch FOCM sit back down and continue to read, slamming his keys onto the hot pink table top in effort to be "dramatic". Urge to peek up from notebook becomes too much to resist. Head quickly moved down to avoid dreaded "eye contact" and subsequent conversation with FOCM. Danger of being sucked into Vortex of Crazy passes.

1:59 - Crazy Man comes back out of the bathroom and leaves with FOCM. Theatre of the Crackpot ends. Palpable lack of entertainment in air.

2:00 - Leave Dunkin Donuts.

2:10 - Head for the Container Store. Peruse entire store, aisle by aisle, in an effort to absorb "organization mentality" (and avoid cold weather). Feel like shoplifter because of enormous backpack. Note that most of the products sold at the Container Store are made of brittle plastic or thin cardboard. Discover hidden "clearance" section in the back of the store. Debate purchase of dented metal shoe rack for $135.00.

2:35 - Head for Bed, Bath, and Beyond across the street. Nothing interesting there.

2:45 - Head out the door and upstairs to TJ Maxx. Stare in awe at tacky, useless garbage which dominates the "Home" section. Ask stockboy for Men's shoe department. Express frustration at being told "We don't have one."

3:30 - Head for Home Depot. Try to walk as slowly as possible inside store. Laugh at tacky "Sopranos-style" kitchen display. Fall madly in love with retro 1920's marble bathroom sink on stainless steel legs. Imagine marble retro bathroom sink in current bathroom paired with fantasy lighting fixture from Rejuvenation Hardware and white subway tiles. Scoff at "retarded" $800.00 price tag. Feel sense of pride for having "expensive taste." Wander through hot lighting section to warm up before heading back outside.

3:42 - Head for Burlington Coat factory. Overhear supervisor talk loudly about shoplifters while walking around store with cordless phone. Backpack "shoplifter" paranoia amplified. Browse overcoat aisle. Observe same supervisor loudly berate subordinates for "messy" department. Be grateful to not be working for Burlington Coat factory.

4:00 - Bypass third overcrowded Starbucks for Chipotle Mexican Grill. Eat $9.00 burrito while sitting on shaky barstool directly under lighting fixture. Hope that no one sees that the light is amplifying my baldness. Scowl at those lucky to be sitting in booths.

4:30 - Head downtown via 8th avenue. Get socked by bone-chilling cold weather. Make last-second detour into Banana Republic for warmth. Feel borderline homeless due to not having shaved since Friday morning and not having had a haircut in over a month. Feel totally fat and devoid of fashion sense while staring at SALE rack. Fake interest in shoes to avoid "loser browser" appearance.

5:00 - Make right on 14th street and head back to 9th avenue. Wait at stoplight and marvel at the simplicity of the Apple Store. Seethe with envy at shoppers who are Mac savvy.

5:05 - Head for Chelsea Market, last place to wander around without getting kicked out for loitering. Marvel at old structure of interior. Step over toddler who has run out from nowhere only to fall flat on the floor in front of me. Suggest telling mother to keep child "restrained via leash".

5:20 Go home. Bypass messy bookshelf and pass out on couch.


Steven said...

Dear God.

I hardly remember what I did a few minutes ago, and you wrote a second-by-second take of your day?

Chris said...

I used to do this with my holiday stories, but my crabby family put an end to that. Jerks.

1Letterman said...

Absolutely pricelessly HILARIOUS.

Chris said...

Thank you! High praise coming from you!

nikoeternal.com said...

I cant believe u STEPPED OVER a TODDLER(!) instead of helping it up! lmao