Monday, June 9, 2008
Weekend Update: The Longest Day Ever
Alright kids, I know you're dying to know how my Memorial Day Weekend ended (getting older by the second), but I need to post this while it's still fresh in my sick little mind.
10:30 - Try to determine what time to leave house to catch the 1:11 train to boss's Pool Party in Short Hills, NJ.
10:31 - Consider squeezing in a morning workout, but then remember that you don't have a map to the house, considering that you might have to walk from the train station once you arrive.
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10:32 - 11:20 - Engage in prolonged battle with computer, Internet and printer, all of which are on strike this Sunday morning. Curse yourself for not printing map on Friday afternoon at work. Finally print map by hooking up laptop to photo printer.
11:30 - Have slice of pepperoni pizza for late breakfast, as if there will be no food whatsoever at this party.
12:30 - Leave house and head for Penn Station. Note that you are slightly hung-over.
12:45 - Approach NJ transit ticket machine. Take off sunglasses to make transaction. Press appropriate buttons to select ticket. Cringe at price. $11.00 for a ticket? Wonder why two tickets pop out of machine and realize you've selected "round trip" by mistake. The plan was to buy one ticket, then another on the way back if you can't hitch a ride from a coworker. Note that all the ticket windows for NJ transit are closed, so an immediate refund is not possible.
12:50 - Go to Starbucks and pick up much needed cup of coffee. Kiss lid of cup, your temporary soul mate.
12:55 - Stare at departures board. Wonder why you haven't bumped into any coworkers. Regret decision to leave iPod at home.
1:05 - Rush to Track 3 to board train. Navigate ridiculous mountains of suitcases clustered in waiting area. Curse owners of bags.
1:06 - Board train and find window seat. Note that this is an older train with strange, upright seating and crappy, lower seat backs. Put sunglasses on in effort to hide appearance from possible chatty coworkers because you are not in the mood to talk. It's too early.
1:09 - Paranoia sinks in. "Are you on the correct train? After all, you did fuck up the ticket purchase, stupid..." Turn to woman across aisle and ask if this is the train to Dover. She knows nothing, having just arrived in this country from "Dominica." Brace for impact, knowing that she will likely latch onto you and tell you story upon story about the "homeland." Regret decision to drink last night.
1:10 - Announcement confirms you are on the correct train. Relax and turn to face the window.
1:11 - Princess Dominica decides to ask for directions, grabbing the conductor and holding up the train's departure. Mr. Type A Personality conductor cuts her off to yell something into his radio.
1:30 - Princess Dominica starts talking and you make the fatal mistake of turning in her direction, rather than pretend to be asleep. She tells you that she is on the wrong train which won't take her to Newark Penn Station and will need to ask a stranger when she gets off at East Orange to find out which bus to take. Wonder how many stops until we are at East Orange.
1:31 - Easily imagine getting caught up in music on iPod and missing stop. Be grateful for not bringing iPod.
1:59 - Arrive at Short Hills. Ditch previous plan to walk when two SUVs show up to pick up arriving guests and ferry them to the house. Jump into second SUV with two coworkers.
2:02 - Enter yard as group and greet boss. Awkward, pre-alchohol silence looms until boss invites you to get something to drink at the bar. Smart man, that boss.
2:10 - Appetizers start arriving. Eat everything in sight, but turn down bacon wrapped dates because they are on skewers and you will probably stab yourself by accident and then have to leave. And God only knows what too many dates will do to you today.
2:30 - Note that you are one of only two men who have decided, "97 degree heat be damned, I'm gonna wear pants!" Note how many people call you "brave" for wearing pants. Correct them with, "No, it's not brave. It's stupid."
2:45 - Envy coworkers brave enough to strip down to swim trunks in front of everyone and go into the pool.
2:50 - Pity the caterers whose default uniform is a black, long sleeved (probably polyester) shirt with black pants. Place bets to see which one drops first.
3:00 - One caterer seems to be in love with you as you say yes to every single appetizer offered. When you take the last crab cake off the platter, he tells you, "You're my ace in the hole." I'm the what in the what? He must have heatstroke.
3:10 - Notice woman carrying two hot dogs on a plate. Bump into Kathy and tell her, "Food is ready!" as if they might somehow run out. Get on food line. Forget all you know about food as you gently amass a huge amount of carbs: a burger, a hot dog, pasta salad, and bread pudding. Do not take any salad, but only because there is no room on your plate.
3:11 - Notice that the people at the next table are staring at you. Someone has made a joke about "corrupt cops" and is waiting for your reaction, because Larry is a cop. Because you heard nothing of their conversation, you are relegated to faking some really, really awkward laughter. Wonder if I should have faked anger for their amusement instead and flipped the table.
4:00 - Go back to buffet table "to look." Return with second burger and tiny chicken nuggets. Gladly accept offer of dessert - vanilla ice cream on a chocolate croissant. Blame all of these bad choices on the heat.
4:30 - Your entire table leaves - at once, so you take a seat at the next table. Make small talk while trying to figure out polite way of begging for a ride back to New York City.
5:15 - Saint Janet of the Motorway offers to give you a ride back to New York City. Blessed be she and her Royal Camry Sedan for they giveth you freedom from the railways.
6:20 - Exit Lincoln tunnel and note that the bus next to you is coming very close to the passenger side of the car. Tell Janet that she might want to move before bus driver removes entire rear half of car. Listen to irate bus driver who screams obscenities at us from his open window. Visualize bus driving off cliff and exploding in a fireball.
6:30 - Thank Janet for driving you home and gleefully head for apartment in light rain. Turn on AC immediately and feed Shadow. Open fridge and note that we need a few items. Leave apartment and head for Gristedes. Pick up string cheese, turkey, American cheese, milk, and Yodels. Pat self on back for remembering to pick up Yodels for Larry.
6:35 - Wait for cashier to ring total.
(I've figured out that this is the precise moment where my universe decides, "You're having too much fun today. Let's fuck things up.")
6:39 - Touch pocket out of habit. Realize you have no keys. Panic, yet still continue transaction.
6:40 - Call Super, who is never home when you need her. Call Larry at work, who asks, "Why do you do these things to me?" as if you are that mean.
6:42 - Sit on front stoop with bag of perishable groceries. Decide to go to Astoria. Call mother, who wants to know "What makes you so stupid?" Fight urge to say, "It's genetic." Tell her that you'll see her in a few minutes, even though you are at least an hour away. Hang up on her as she continues to yell at you.
6:45 - Sweat like a pig in a fireplace as you trudge towards the subway at 5th avenue. Remember that your MetroCard has just one dollar left, which will require a refill at the vending machine. Hope that the group of sketchy-looking kids nearby doesn't mug you.
6:49 - Ask God why this happened. Ask for an explanation as to why you've been given the Evil Eye in it's cruelest, most concentrated form. Wonder who the culprit could be. One of the bitter servers at the party? Or perhaps that irate bus driver at the Lincoln Tunnel. Hope that He can hear you from underground.
6:52 - Wonder if luck is turning back in your favor as N train arrives as if on cue.
7:22 - Pull out cell phone once train comes above ground in Queens. Note three new voicemail messages. All from your mother. She wants to know where you are since you said you would see her "in a few minutes." Return call and endure ear-splitting lecture before hanging up on her.
7:30 - 7:50 - MTA gets in on the fun. The 6-stop trip to Ditmars Boulevard is stretched out to over 20. Hope that there is a reason for this massive delay, like, say, an inferno.
7:52 - Decide to ditch the N train once the doors open at Astoria Boulevard and walk. Cringe as doors close and train shoots down the tracks with no interruption whatsoever. Grit teeth as second train roars above your head, knowing that, had you waited for that second train, it would have never come. Evil Eye - 1, Chris - 0.
7:56 - Receive call from Larry, who will be home in "a few minutes." Trudge to parents house anyway, as if on automatic pilot.
7:57 - Fight with completely unsympathetic mother who overreacts as if you've been arrested for prostitution. Attempt small talk - via yelling.
CHRIS: DID YOU GO TO THE ACS BENEFIT LAST NIGHT!?
CHRIS: HOW WAS IT?
MA: I'M NOT TELLING YOU!
8:00 - Go down to basement and pick up a few completed mosaic pieces as peace offering for Larry. Wrap them in newspaper and stuff them into the bag with groceries. Visualize added weight ripping bag in subway. Escape house.
8:05 - Note several cute passengers on train who seem to be staring at you. Declare end to Evil Eye.
8:50 - Arrive in Manhattan. See back end of bus on corner and run, only to miss bus. Evil Eye may not be over just yet.
8:55 - Wonder if there is a plastic surgeon in New York who is willing to remove your index finger and replace it with a key.