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]...no need to bring the husband for a PLAYDATE...haha...you 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 best...like, they have these busses...like you know, the ones with no roof...and they drive you around?
Me: Like, where the guy talks about the attractions?
Her: Oh, right.
Me: And you can get off and on...like, you should totally go to the East Village...or, wait...that's not the name of it...is 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 thing...you 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: 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.
Me: [SWEAT. DRIP. BURNBURNBURN.]
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.