Waking up Sunday morning and seeing the state of the apartment for the first time in the light of day was not unlike the first time you wake up in a whore house thinking, “I know I thought this was a good idea at one point, but could I have been wrong?” Only instead of scantily clad hookers draped over the furniture, it’s boxes and bags and clothes, and instead of an ache when you pee it’s an ache when you take any small step or try to stand up straight.
The good news was that we had plans to flee the city once again to the relaxing surroundings of suburban backyards barbecues. The only problem was that there was still something of a “mess” in my old apartment. (For our purposes the word “mess” will mean “several large pieces of furniture and many items dubbed ‘last minute items’ as though the ‘last minute’ was literally the final 60 seconds I would be allowed to step foot into the apartment without officially trespassing.” It’s not the Oxford English definition verbatim, but a close enough paraphrase.)
Here is when I officially went into THROW OUT mode. It was like one of those commercials where a scum boyfriend has obviously done something horrible to his girlfriend and he is standing on the sidewalk below the window of the apartment they used to share while she throws everything he owns down upon him, and then he eats a Mentos, has an idea, and makes $5,000 by having a yard sale right there on the street, which the girlfriend thinks is so clever that she forgives him. Actually, it was nothing like that: I just threw everything else away, regardless of its inherent value of usefulness, the final item being my couch, which, if it had feelings, would have had lower self-esteem than one of those children in the Feed Africa commercials, after no less than five Craigslist douchbags said they would buy it and then promptly disappeared off the face of the earth. (I’m talking to you, Anna Marie from Staten Island!) Throwing it away was the only form of Hara-kiri appropriate for such a disgraced demise.
(And don’t say “You should have donated it,” because God knows I tried. But every place I called said, “We can pick it up in two to three weeks.” Oh, I’m sorry. Did I interrupt something? I don’t want to throw off your whole schedule by trying to GIVE YOU SOMETHING. Two to three weeks? I hope the Salvation Army knows that 155,012 people die EVERY DAY. I three weeks that’s 3,255,252 people DEAD. I’m sure one of them could have been saved by my couch, or at least been a little bit more comfortable at the end.)
After that we drove out to my friend James’ parents house to celebrate his birthday with great food and awesome Swedish lawn games, then onto my parents’ house for more great food and sadly no lawn games, unless you count “falling asleep on the couch watching In Good Company” a lawn game, which you probably don’t. Unless you are homeless and you live in a yard, in which case everything becomes a lawn game. Or, more honestly, a lawn reality. Or, more practically, a lawn why am I still making this joke?
The real fun came Monday when The Girlfriend, some friends and I went shopping at the outlets (LONG ISLAND ALERT) before driving back to the city. Perhaps the only notable occurrence at the outlets, besides the awesome bathing suit I bought, was the sweatshirt I really fell in love with, only when I tried it on and showed everyone, they agreed, as if rehearsed, “You look like a girl,” the REALLY funny part being that since it was the only one lost amongst a rack of men’s clothes, it very well could have been misplaced from the women’s side of the store. (Add this to the list of things that may result in me having to call my dad “Mr. Murphy” at family get togethers from now on.)
But what better way to cap a painful weekend of physical labor and unintentional cross-dressing than this:
SCENE: On our drive back to the city, we stop off at a deli with a GRAND OPENING sign hanging in the window. We all place our orders (there are four of us) and patiently wait. And wait. And wait. A HALF AN HOUR LATER, our sandwiches are handed to us, as though just delivered by some off-site sandwich assembly facility. We are in a rush to leave, so as each individual pays, they go outside to the car. We pick it up with me, The Girlfriend and my friend John arriving at the car, a company SUV with the logo of the radio station my friend works for painted in large letters on either side. We are immediately approached by a Crazy Woman.
Crazy Woman: (walking over quickly, but clumsily) “Do you work for a radio station?”
Me: “No, my friend does.”
CW: (ignoring me) “Because I have a story you would be interested in.”
Me: “He doesn’t really have any say about what –“
CW: (still ignoring me) “I’ve been looking for a media outlet, I have a story to tell. Because I’ve been beaten, and I’ve been raped, and I’ve been tortured . . .”
Me: (unprepared for the turn in the conversation) “Wow, that’s awful.”
CW: “. . . and I’ve been kidnapped,and I’ve been beaten, and I’ve been the victim or organized crime, that means people who don’t like me . . .”
My friend, the Driver, exits the deli and walks towards the car.
Driver: (casually) “Hey, what’s going on here?”
John: “You don’t want to know.”
CW: (to driver) “Do you work at the radio station?”
Driver: (tentatively) “Yes.”
CW: “Great, because I was just telling everyone that I’ve been beaten, and I’ve been raped and . . .”
Driver: “Ooook, time to go.”
We start to get into the car.
CW: “. . . and I had an arm amputation and a mouth amputation, do you want to see my mouth amputation?”
CW opens her mouth and reveals that she is missing several teeth.
Driver: “Oh God, and I just bought a sandwich!”
CW: “Here’s my number. Call me and we can talk more!”
We shut our doors and drive off. Moments later, after some stunned silence, The Girlfriend proclaims: “Wait a second – she wasn’t missing an arm.” And, indeed, Crazy Woman was not missing an arm.
(NOTE: The above picture is from the new apartment, specifically the cabinet we installed in the bathroom, which is the only part of the apartment that is presentable at this time.)