Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm Like a Train Wreck. I DARE YOU to Look Away

Nothing clears up the undeserved and utterly pretentious doldrums like some hearty laughter.

Even if that laughter is more other-people-pointing-and-laughing-at-you and less, um, YOU. Laughing.

There are a few things at issue here, but mostly they revolve around my inability to create full sentences when social grace is required. We got some new neighbors the other day and I guess it started when The Hub was working on laying a new patio in our backyard. The new neighbors (NN's, for the sinister vibe) came down the hill from their house to borrow a blow-up mattress until the rest of their stuff arrived with the moving van. As I stood there chatting with the wife, I'd forgotten that the stench of manure had completely overtaken our house. The Hub had left some bricks on the grass, which caused the grass to, well, ROT. It smelled. Like cow shit. (Who knew?!)

So we stood there, me in trashy clothes, helping The Hub clean up, smelling like the poop of a farm animal and swatting nearly constantly at mosquitoes (and chiggers, no doubt).

Her: Thanks so much for the mattress. It'll be so much better than sleeping on the floor tonight.

Me: No problem! [SMACK...STENCH...SWEAT] Yeah, we should have your boys come play when you're...well, you only have one boy [SMACK...STENCH...SWEAT] need to bring the husband for a know, our sons could play...when you're done...or even if you want to take a break from unpacking...[SMACK...STENCH...SWEAT]...come on over!

NN: Yeah...that'd be fun [Weak exclamation point] !


Break to the next day or so when I'm being bluesy at the pool. They were in the water while I tried to hide the fact that I was reading a Twilight book in a lounge chair. In my fat suit. While my children were home, locked in a closet.

(Hah! Just kidding. They were with grandma. She uses duct tape.)

But anyway, I was spotted and to my surprise the wife came up to me to chat about the "great" book I was reading. (Also, she's a size, like 4. And her makeup was perfect even after swimming. Did I mention that?)

So we chat while I suck in my gut like a champ and pretend I don't have a teenage-looking zit on my chin. They eventually head home and I am on my way out just after them, starting to feel the burn from the sun. I swing by the mailbox on my way and as I approach, I can tell they're having trouble figuring out which one is theirs. So clearly I'm going to have to make more small-talk.

Which, I'm AWESOME at.

The husband leaves to go talk to the community manager to clear up his mailbox confusion and I'm left alone with the wife again. I'm pretty much standing there, beat red and sweating with sunburn, dripping chlorine water through my cover-up.

I kind of HAD to say something. I mean, she was just standing there! And she has our blow-up mattress! That kind of bonds us in a weird and undesirable way!

Me: Yeah, so a bunch of us are planning on going to the New Moon movie the day it comes out! You should come!

Her: Really? Well, my sister is going to come up around that time and I was thinking of making a day of it in New York City...though, I'm not sure what to show them there...

Me: Sometimes the touristy things are the, they have these you know, the ones with no roof...and they drive you around?

Her: Uhh...

Me: Like, where the guy talks about the attractions?

Her: Oh, right.

Me: And you can get off and, you should totally go to the East Village...or, wait...that's not the name of it the Little Village? West Village? Oh, don't listen to me, but you should really go there.

Her: Yeah, sounds great...

Me: Heh, sure.

Her: [SMILE. strained.]

Me: [DRIP. SWEAT. BURNBURNBURN.] Maybe look it up on the Internet first.

Her: Sure know, you're looking kind of red...

Me: [Getting even REDDER.] Yeah, so good luck with the mailbox!

Her: [Shouting after me.] Oh, I forgot to mention...the air mattress you lent us...I think it's broken or something...we blew it up, all excited to get off the floor for a night and it just deflated beneath us.

Me: Oh.

Her: [SMILE.]

Me: That must have been very disappointing.

Her: [Laughter.] Yeah. But no big deal! Thanks anyway.

Me: Heh. Don't forget our playdate! With the boys! I mean, your son and my son! I mean, I have two kids, but T9 is a little young soo...

Her: Right. Sure thing.


Her: You okay? You're so red!

Me: [Sprinting home in flip-flops, my sunburned thighs chafing all the way.]

It's a good thing she didn't see me after my morning jog. I just get red, okay? It's pretty much Mother Nature's scarlet letter, marking me for all my transgressions. Or just a big signal for others to STAY AWAY FROM THIS ONE, FOLKS!

Though, I believe red is an attracting color, no?


BONUS: Look at this picture I found while I was stealing images to paste my head onto on the Internet! That fucking dog is HUGE!

Also, the man? Drunk. And in a short bathrobe.


  1. Wow. You are like the welcome wagon from hell.

    I kid.

    The plus side is maybe she'll think you are so weird she won't come around. Neighbors are annoying.

  2. I never know what to say to neighbors. The fact that Jeremiah is so friendly and people always just adore him doesn't make it any easier. I feel like the formerly fun overweight mom who had too many kids too soon and is now socially inept from spending all her time with them and not out at the bar or someone's house party/bonfire.

    Actually, that does sum me up perfectly. Wow.

  3. if she comes back after that all you have to do unleash fluffy on her. she'll learn to stay away sooner or later :)

  4. OWO: No, you're spot on. I'm good at baking, so that kind of makes up for it.

    erin: Um, me too. :/

    Lana: But I actually like her! I'm sure I did enough damage on my own. You know, when I inadvertantly suggested a threesome.

  5. HA welcome to every single interaction i have with somebody who is cooler than me.

  6. Hummm, I read this with great interest....and so prophetic that you had a picture of a dog that could be the twin of my "new neighbors"...they seemed so "normal"....I can't even post about it all yet....not till all the trials have finished....discovery and phone line was severed a week ago. I don't introduce myself to new neighbors anymore.

  7. I get VERY red in the face when I'm uncomfortable, which is pretty much anytime I am around another human. Also, I don't sweat. So any exertion makes me look like I'm about to keel over and then everyone gets all concerned and uncomfortable, and then the mood is just awkward all around.

  8. I relish awkward conversations. I love them. I want a conversation to be so awkward that you can taste it in the air. It makes me feel POWERFUL. I bask in it. I do everything I can to make the people I talk to as uncomfortable as possible in the majority of situations. And if they can handle it? We become best friends.

  9. miss. chief: I think I do it with inferior people as well.

    @eloh: Dude, sounds like an episode of 20/20. Jealous!

    Kim: EXACTLY! I turn BEAT red as soon as I start doing anything physical. My son inherited it and people are always glaring at me with their cell phones posed for CPS action.

  10. HHH: Sounds like we're pretty much mortal enemies. You'd get me crying and then I'd key your car. (You know, can't punch well due to the weak wrist thing.)

  11. Did you constantly stare at her? I bet you constantly stared at her... moving your head down and to the side when she did...staring....judging....

    you're the best.

  12. My neighbors on one side are great. My neighbor on the other is a drunk and still doesn't know my name (after 9 years). He calls me "Girl". Lovely.

    I turn red too. Great, isn't it?

  13. So I have two things to say:

    1) You should be my neighbor.

    2) That big ass dog could feed like fifteen Vietnamese people.

    With leftovers.

  14. j: Wait, so you're like "Just J" now or something? WTH, dude? But no, I cannot judge while trying to make smalltalk. Multitasking makes the redness worse and the sentences less discernible.

    Jules: I wish she were a drunk. Then maybe she wouldn't remember me.

    NotBenny: You and I would take down a small village, we would. It really is the kind of thing that should bring fame and fortune. Instead we've got "actors" and crap. Fucked up world we live in, NotBenny.

  15. That picture freaks me out. Not your stinky feet, the posture. There was a kid on Fat Albert who walked like that. He was the inspiration behind my impeccable posture as a kid.

    Stand up straight, Kristine!! (Oh wait, that's not you is it. Are you an illustration? You never know with internet friends. You just never know.)

  16. She is probably never going to let her kid come play with yours... :(

  17. Steamy: No, in real life, I'm a tall, leggy, busty hemaphrodite. So don't worry.

    Ashes: Uh, yeah. That's kind of what I'm thinking.

  18. You look WAY hot in that bikini pic!

  19. i hate people and this is the type of conversations i have. we're so smooth. and what the hell did you search for to find THAT picture?!

  20. OEM: Right?! Can't even tell I've had two kids!

    Dr.Claire: We're kindred spirits, and also I'm pretty sure if I tell you, I'd get arrested. (Not really, but the truth is that I think I just googled "smelly" or something and that's not really all that funny or interesting.)

  21. So I'm new at this, and just read a couple of your blogs...LOVE THEM!! Oh, and for the record, who cares what your neighbor thinks?? I bet you'll find out she has her flaws, too!!

  22. She sounds kind of like a jerk. Pointing out that your air mattress is broke after you were so kind as to loan it to her.

    Also, what sort of man tries to sleep on an air mattress, and when it deflates, doesn't just FIX IT? OR FIGURE OUT WHAT'S WRONG? Rather than simply informing the people who loaned it to them that it's broken? That's what I would have done. Fixed it.

    Or maybe they broke it.

    And also, why didn't they just purchase their own air mattress? I predict this neighbor will borrow lots of things in the future and never be self-sufficient and will also complain about the stuff you loan them. Borrowing lots of crap is fine if you live in a commune. But . . . um . . . do you live in a commune?

  23. So I have two things to say:

    1) You should be my neighbor.

    2) That big ass dog could feed like fifteen Vietnamese people.

    With leftovers.