So Long, Farewell

This is the last week I will be babysitting the precious angels I have been watching on Mondays and Thursdays for the past six months. Today was a day filled with ups and downs. The ups included a trip to Ben & Jerry’s (babysitters demand), and the fact that there were no play dates (read: no forced contact with other filthy, grimy children). Also, it turned out that the Fresh Direct chicken fingers that were assigned for dinner were mislabeled and actually buffalo chicken fingers, far to spicy for the kids (read: two zesty, microwave chicken fingers for Mama. Score).

The downs are as followed:

  • We spent a good two hours traversing the Upper West Side in search of the perfect Silly Bandz. Someone is sitting pretty thanks to these stupid shaped rubber bands. Kids go bonkers for these things. Once after I picked the girl child up from school, we went to a stationery store to look at these things, and swarms of kids surrounded the rack. I thought one of them was too old for this nonsense, about 12, but he was on a cell phone describing the stores selection of Silly Bandz. I’m pretty sure he was a dealer.
  • We visited (gag) two pet stores. I thought the first one was bad. When we walked in it smelled like gerbil piss and failure. The kids walked around admiring the stupid ugly fish, while I turned my head at every corner to make sure one of the iguanas hadn’t escaped. “Which bird is your favorite?” the girl asked. I thought they all sucked, but I didn’t want to crush her soul, so I pointed to a parakeet that I found to be only mildy offensive.                
  •  But if the first store was gross, the second store was Hell. The stench we walked in was pretty bad, but there was a dalmation inside to lift my spirits. The kids, though, obviously were only concerned in the parrot that the store was known for. “It talks!” the boy child said, all hoped up on the coffee ice cream. We stood there for ten seconds as the kids shouted “hi!” at the bird, but he only ignored him and ate his food (as I often do). The girl got bored and decided to head downstairs, so I tapped the boy who still aimlessly tried to get the bird to talk. As we walked down the steps, I felt my stomach turn. The odor of the store coupled with the obscene heat in the basement made me reconsider all aspects of my life.  “This is the scariest place I’ve ever been,” I whispered to myself (not a lie) as I my eyes adjusted to the absurd lighting.  Tanks of strange fish and rodents surrounded me. I jumped of fright at least three times. “Ok, that was fun,” I said eventually, leading them up the steps. Again, the boy stopped to coerce the bird into talking, and eventually it said, “Hello,” causing the children to lose their minds. I became nervous that after too much annoyance, the bird would get annoyed with the boy and attack his face, and I’d be put in the awkward position of explaining why he now only had one eye and a strange skin graft. However, just as I was about to distract him by pointing out the sweet, beautiful labrador in the front of the store, I noticed a cat sitting above the cash register, and headed back to the bird. Soon we discovered he could not only say “Hello,” but also “Parrot,” which I thought was pretty dumb, but the kids got a laugh out of it, so whatever.

Finally, we found ourselves back at the apartment, and before I knew it their mother was home, and I was on the train, admittedly a little sad that I would probably never browse a smelly pet store again with those brats.

Perry-Mansfield

When I was 16 I spent a glorious summer dancing and prancing in the mountains of Steamboat Springs, CO. Yesterday, I had dinner with my friend/fellow camper/ride or die chick, Shanleigh, and we recounted some of our fondest memories of that summer. Please, join me on this journey back in time to 6 stellar weeks in the summer of 2003, as I recall all that I learned at Perry-Mansfield.

1. I am physically weak and unfit for mountain life. I know this comes as a shock to many of you who view me as a rugged mountain beast, but my first day in Colorado proved the opposite. Sure, by the end of camp I was dancing over six hours a day, but I did not start off well. Upon arrival, I my maroon trunk (yes, the one you just saw in my apartment) was no where to be found. As everyone else found there camp trunks, an enormous cardboard box awaited me in the corner. No doubt, my mother had chosen to pack my trunk. A swell choice, indeed, especially after discovering that I lived in Lighthouse, the girl’s cabin at the top of the hill/mountain.

My acute asthma was no match for the Colorado altitude, and I nearly died before even unpacking. After a 45 minute trek up the hill/mountain, I passed out on my bed, red and delirious. I thought of catching the next flight out of there, but I was the only black girl, and thought I better represent (HEEEEY!). And so we proceeded to open the box, out of which spilled one million packing peanuts. That night, I learned not only that I have no physical stamina, but also that my mother should not be entrusted with any sort of packing.

Later that summer I found myself in the infirmary, with 45 minute nose bleeds, again, due to the altitude. I’d sit on the paper-covered table pulling “blood worms” from my nose. Gross? Yeah, imagine if those babies were coming out of your face.

My loving friend Shanleigh never failed to accompany me, as the nurse always gave us popsicles.

2. I am really mean. As high school campers, we frequently found it appropriate to make fun of the JIs or Junior Intermediates (pre-teens) who wore daisy dukes and frenched boys in the woods. Shanleigh, our friend Adam and I had a practice of sitting on the porch of the boys cabin, where Adam lived, playing Ludacris’s smash hit “You’s a Ho,” doing the robot, while JIs walked by. This never got any less funny, and we didn’t feel so bad, because those sluts had no idea what was even happening. And I’m sure all of those girls turned out to be very lovely and successful, which makes me feel fine with it all.

Also, there was a very special day, when I saw a boy doing pointe, something I’d never seen. So I said, “I’ve never seen a boy do pointe before,” as I am an honest and humble individual. That was apparently the wrong thing to say, as someone who shall not be named decided he would school me on ballet.

“You’ve never seen a guy do pointe?” he said, accusingly. “Oh my god, you’re so close-minded!” I’m not exaclty sure what happened after that, as I believe I experienced a rage blackout. All I remember is defining “close-minded” to this idiot, who was three years older than I was, and thus should have been aware of his misuse of the term. Embarrassing for him! Nothing else is clear in my memory, but I imagine it was something like The Exorcist. When I came to, my friends stood around me, jaws dropped, eyes wide. Then I fainted, a combination of anger and altitude.

3. Crushes=fun. This is the first time I have admitted this, but while at camp I had a crush on Marshall, a small Jewish boy who led a live action “television show” each Friday. Every week I’d tune in to see what antics his brilliant mind had come up with. He was so smart and funny, and once at a talent show, he rapped, which was super cool. Obviously, he dated some other stupid girl the whole time, who I don’t even remember (which hopefully means she was ugly). I also had a crush on Drew, a tall, dreamy day student, who lived 30 minutes from the camp and only came during the days to hone his acting skills. Towards the end of camp he started dating Shanleigh (a blessing in disguise, as it gave me a chance to practice my “mean” skills with Sarah. But their romance happened in the last two weeks of camp, and obviously, Shanleigh and I weathered the storm.

4. Horseback riding sucks.  I stupidly signed up to go on a horseback riding trip, likely a result of the altitude messing with my ability to reason. It was the worst. I had to sit on a giant, smelling horse for three hours, clomping through the mountains. It sounds fun to you, but you weren’t there. My horse was the dumbest of them all, and kept walking my face into sharp tree branches and such. He was slow, and couldn’t keep up with the other normal horses. He would stop and poop everywhere, and it was hot and I was sweaty. Just the worst. I couldn’t walk for 10 days afterwards.

I’m going to make one of those bumper stickers. You know the dumb ones that say “I’d rather be dancing” or whatever. But mine will say, “I’d rather be doing anything but horseback riding. I never want to be doing that. Thank God I’m not horseback riding.”

There is no way to sum up everything I learned that summer in a blog post, but I can say that it taught me a lot about a lot. I learned that it was ok to cry and not to eat granola right before ballet. I learned that creeks are not for me, and that if you’re feeling down you should just make fun of other people. And I learned that there is only one place where it is ok to break into the kitchen at 11pm and eat raw cookie dough with five of your friends, and that place is Perry-Mansfield.

The Thrill of the Chace

Honestly, he's hotter arrested.

You’ve really done it this time, Chace Crawford, also known as The Tame Hunk From Gossip Girl Whose Character’s Name I Don’t Know, Because I Don’t Watch Lame Shows Like Gossip Girl.

While you and I spent our weekends doing admirable things like helping old ladies cross the street and avoiding racey music, Chace Crawford was tokin’ it up in Plano, TX. And he got arrested for it. This is a travesty for a few reasons:

1. Chace Crawford seems to be a fairly safe celebrity crush. Mother’s don’t mind when their daughters hang his poster in their room, next to concert pics of the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift. He’s dreamy, sure, but he’s relatively wholesome. No songs about hoes or lewd sex scenes (as far as my hours of research have told me). He doesn’t get into fights or even flip off the paparazzi. 

Now, though, he might as well be Charlie Sheen. Mother’s across the country will have to storm into teenaged girls’ rooms (interrupting awkward games of Chatroulette) and rip his face from the ceiling.

“Mom, what the heck?!” the girls will shout, quickly trying to switch their browsers back to OED online. 

“He’s a pot-head and a devil,” the moms will shout. Both mother and daughter will fall to the floor crying. “This hurts me more than it hurts you,” the mother will say.  This, all over America. It’s gonna be weird.

2. Seriously, Chace? You got arrested for smoking pot? That’s the lamest piece of celebrity gossip I’ve heard in a good long while. Sarah Ferguson sold access to her husband. A prince. When she was drunk. That’s so good. Remember a few years ago when the other Fergie peed her pants onstage while she was addicted to crystal meth? Gold. Pure gold.

Now you stroll in here, with your teeny little joint, and you get thrown in an orange jumpsuit? You’re obviously new at this. Any real celebrity bad boy would have at least been with a girl at the time, preferably a hooker, not his “guy friend,” and if he happened to be with a “guy friend” it would be in a gay way, not just a loser-y way like you and your buddy.

If you’re going to roll with the big dogs, you’ve got to cover your tracks, and if you do get caught it’s got to be for something good, like assaulting an officer, or sweet, Colombian nose candy.

3. Plano, Texas. Until quite recently, I didn’t even believe in Texas (like Santa Claus and the moon landing). Why would you, Chace Crawford, even go to such a land? Are you from there? Who cares! When you become a celbrity, you must abandon all small-town desires for money and chicks, Man.

I think we can all agree that Chace needs to go one way or the other. If parents won’t let their kids hang your fit bod in their lockers, then you might as well be doing crack with a one-eyed stripper in Atlantic City. But if you’re not going to be more badass, you might as well put on that all-American smile and make Mama proud.