Tag Archives: comedy

I Thought Clothes Were Just Clothes

10 Oct

I saw the outfit in the back of the closet and it cracked me up. I hadn’t worn it in months.

Clothes. Apparently they give off a vibe. I wasn’t aware of the vibe. I thought they were just New York Lerner and Old Navy attire. Simple blacks, blues, and grays. Kind of a Meg-RyanYou’ve-Got-Mail wardrobe, but with a lot of short sleeves. It was California. But these were not just clothes, these were vibe givers.

Now as you can tell I not a Project Runway kind of chick. People spend two hundred dollars on one outfit or one purse. I’d rather spend that money on luxury box seats to a game or concert. Maybe an awesome helicopter adventure. But on clothes … not so much. They were work clothes and worked sucked. I didn’t need to look fancy great, I just needed to look clean and neat.

Why the not-so-fancy attitude?

Back in the day I was a middle school substitute teacher. Thrilling, I know. I had a regular school where I was often called on for special assignments, like state testing, library, or dean’s office. Now while I was there I realized that there were three kinds of teachers at that school. The ones rocking high-heels with suits, the ones sporting the New York Lerner Style, and the ones who thought casual Friday happened five days a week, with their wrinkled clothes, ragged jeans, and flip-flops.

You got to know these people pretty well if you had a regular assignment. And I did. During these on-going months I got to know the entire staff, the walkie-talkie people, the coordinators, and a few teachers. I made lunch friends.

image via nova.saisd.net

However even if they’re your lunch friends, you don’t get into your personal life right away. You sort of ease into it. So for months I hadn’t mentioned that I had a boyfriend. It just never came up in conversation and no one really asked me, until I heard about the “If-you-had-to-go-out-with-somebody-from-school-who-would-it-be game.”

I had never heard of this game, but apparently it was played often when alcohol was involved. Something the teachers and coordinators did regularly.

Now apparently my name had come up a few times and I was completely unaware of this secret I’d-go-out-with-the-Guat game, until I was asked to go out for drinks with the girls. There we were hanging out and then I was finally asked in a nonchalant kind of way if I was attached. I had mentioned that I was seeing someone.

“What’s her name?” They asked.

“Her name? What do you mean?”

“Um … Nothing. I meant his name.”

I told them his name and we chatted a bit more had a few drinks and then went on our way.

A few weeks later I asked one of the teachers at the girls night out why they had asked me if I was dating a chick.

“We just thought you were playing for the other team.”

“Oh. Why would you think that?” I said feeling like Jerry Seinfeld in his ever so popular not-that-there’s-anything-wrong-with-that skit.

“I guess you just gave off a vibe.”

“A vibe?”

“Yeah the way you dress with your outfits, always hanging around with the girls, and the fact that you never mentioned a dude this whole time. You were sort of on the ‘gay-dar’… but still a mystery.”

I was surprised. I didn’t know I was giving off any type of vibe. I thought clothes were just clothes. But I thought it was funny. I’d never been an object of affection. A hot object of affection …

“Yeah when CiCi found out you didn’t play for her team she was a little disappointed.”

“Why? What’d she say?”

“When we told her you had a boyfriend she stood quiet for a moment and then shook her head and said ‘Oh the whole gay community is going to take a moment of silence on that one.'”

All of this due to a wardrobe malfunction. Who would have thought it … Old Navy? Hmph. I thought clothes were just clothes.

The Never-Ending Refrigerator Saga

7 Oct

I’m not a big fan of reality television. In fact I hate it. But I ran across a show on the Oxygen Network called Snapped! and you know what? I can see how some chicks are featured on this show.

I can see it happening. Most of them are “normal” easy-going chicks: nurses, teachers, college students, accountants, secretaries, or lawyers. But then you have they occasional gold digger and socialite — they’re everywhere. The show basically chronicles a murder investigation and the woman who committed the crime. One minute she’s making dinner and then next minute she’s burying her dude in the back yard. Something happened to throw her over the edge. She snapped!

I can totally see it happening. People get pushed over the edge and there’s no chocolate in sight. And then BAM! You’re serving 20-to-life.

It happens. And in truth there are only few people who can overthrow your delicate balance, push you over the edge, and make you snap! And the thing is they all love you.

Family. Gotta be family.

They all have their quirks … not putting the cap back on the toothpaste, leaving their shoes right in the middle of the floor so that you trip and fall, drinking from the juice carton, not replacing the trash bag after they throw out the trash, not throwing the trash and then … the refrigerator.

Image via electrical-res.com

I don’t know what to do other than take a deep breath when this happens. That’s it. I mean there’s no meditation exercise powerful enough to wash over the frustration of the refrigerator battle.

Cleaning out the refrigerator. Not only does it involve emptying out gross containers of food you forgot were there, but it also includes washing the pots, pans, and Tupperware you emptied out, in addition to the drawers and shelves inside the fridge. Then the vicious cycle starts again the following week. It’s never-ending. It’s like a cleaning saga.

However since you cook, you wash dishes, you wash bottles, you mop floors, you scrub toilets, you wash bathtubs, you vacuum, you throw out the trash, you do laundry, you play and feed the kids,  you feel that someone else should grab hold of these reins. You feel you are the best household CEO that you can possibly be, so one of the other two people living in the household should really pick up the slack, considering they are the ones that constantly spill liquids and fail to clean them up.

You sigh each week because you really don’t know how this whole refrigerator saga happens. On Monday everything is fine. You go to the market, put some nice healthy and not-s0-healthy treats inside. It’s stocked. It’s clean. It’s fresh. Everybody’s got what they need.

But then comes Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A pot of beans with a loose lid, a jar of jalapenos, a juice container that someone forgot to close tightly, hot dogs in a sandwich bag that someone didn’t zip up, cilantro that’s gone way beyond its life expectancy, dozens of Rubbermaid containers with funky leftovers that people forgot to eat, and a saute pan with one spoon of rice.

That one box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda  hanging out in the back is not enough to hold in whatever smells. You get burned out because you cleaned it the last three times and you were not the one that made all those messes. But as the CEO you feel the need to assist. So you throw out anything that’s not fully sealed and put another box of Arm & Hammer in hopes that it’ll do its work. However, a couple of hours later someone opens the door and it’s a little less funky, but it’s still packed with leftovers that no one is really going to eat anymore.

So then what is it that you hear as you are finally sitting down for the first time in nine hours of the mommy-chef-cleaning lady-laundry folder-Lego builder-Play Doh molder-dog walker-and hide-and-seek-player shift?

“Hey, you should take a look at this fridge. Someone should really clean it out,” they say as they open a beer bottle and drop the bottle cap on the floor.

Yeah … I can see how some chicks end up on that show Snapped! I can see it.  It’s a good thing I had a Ghirardelli nearby.

Street Smarts: Sometimes Too Aware For Your Own Good

23 Feb

A while back my family got into a conversation about street smarts and book smarts. We thought about my two younger cousins and how they had the privilege of growing up in good neighborhoods and didn’t really need to cultivate street smarts. But as they get ready to go to college we began “the talks,” trying to educate them on street smarts, college life, and boys.

As we began talking about parties, the buddy system, and being aware of their surroundings, I remembered my own college experience and how one evening I became too aware for my own good.

I wish I could say I was coming back from a party or football game, but the truth was it was a late study session at the library. I know, total nerd. But there were semesters where I’d play some serious catch-up and since I was a night-owl I figured why not.

So my school was the center of this city and often raised safety awareness for female students. Telegraph Avenue was pretty much the nexus of life. Cafe, shop, and restaurant owners usually stayed open late. But once you got passed the area, the side streets were dimly lit and filled with bushes and trees where any crazy pedafile could pounce on you.

So the school usually had community officers that would escort you back home if you felt the need to do so. You know, some college dude that wanted to be a cop and was doing his service hours or something. You had to think of random conversation topics, because you didn’t want to walk in silence all the way to your apartment. I didn’t feel the need to talk about the best mochaccinos in cafes, seeing how I didn’t drink coffee and all.  I was also in a rush and didn’t feel like waiting at the library to get picked up, and since I only lived a couple blocks north of  the avenue I figured it would be all right. I had street smarts. I was a bad ass and I had mace. I’d be fine.

English: Pepper spray Polski: Gaz pieprzowy OC...

Image via Wikipedia

So as I finished my walk down the avenue and made a left onto my tree-lined street, I constantly looked behind me to see if there was any crazies stalking me. Of course there wasn’t. Nobody was around, and I could still see the avenue street lights and thought I’d be fine. I was almost home and then that’s when it happened … I had an idea.

I don’t know if it was because of lack of sleep or too much studying crammed into one session that knocked the common sense out of my street smarts, but it happened.  I scanned the area, making sure no one was around. As I was putting my mace away I notice the expiration date was in a few years. I thought, man I must have got a new can. I thought I don’t even know if this thing works. I mean what if it’s like a new pen, you know. You have to scribble-scrabble a couple of times before the ink comes out. So I thought I would test it out. I mean I had to be careful, because in the safety video it said this mist penetrated Levi jeans. I mean you wouldn’t even have to spray the perp in the face. You could spray the family jewels, and they would feel a burning sensation so powerful that they would think their package was on fire.

So I stopped in the middle of the street and pointed the can downward and away from my face. As I pressed on the button a stream, followed by a powerful mist came spewing out of the canister. Then I could hear God laughing because a strong gust of wind came whooshing by in my direction and blew the mace right back in my face.


There I was … midnight in the middle of the street face burning,  blinded, crying and coughing. Mucus was everywhere. I could’ve totally been an episode of Law & Order. Luckily I had half a bottle of Aquafina left and I splashed that on my face. Still burning, still not breathing well. Not blinded, but blurry, like if I had cataracts. And still mucus everywhere. I ran back to my place the best I could and made it up the stairs. My roommate had a good laugh.

Sometimes I’m too aware for my own good.

So I informed my cousins that even though they didn’t posses a lot of street smarts, they would be all right as long as they didn’t test out mace canisters in the middle of the night.

The Surprise Run-In

25 Jan

Blasts from the pasts. You try to avoid them at all costs. You don’t live in the same neighborhood. You don’t go to your high school reunion because you know you’re going to run into people you don’t want to see and anybody you want to “catch up with” you’ve found on Facebook. But then the inevitable happens in a place where you least expect it. At Target. At Trader Joes. At CVS Pharmacy. Even at RadioShack. The surprise run-in.

You don’t go to these places in your best attire, early in the morning. You usually go for a quick in-and-out mission, or if you’re like me you went to RadioShack after working out just to get a special outlet for the battery charger. You figure RadioShack in your neck of the woods…what are the chances of running into anybody?

RadioShack sells Maker Faire tickets!

Image by Bekathwia via Flickr

You show up all perspired in your t-shirt and sweats, with non-matching socks because you were just trying to get out the door. One sock with stripes the other without. No make-up, but you don’t wear much to begin with and if you did your workout would probably have melted it away.

You walk in and hear the ding-a-ling of the bell. You head straight toward the battery section and stare at it for five minutes, thinking you can select one before the RadioShack guy comes to help you out. You feel someone approaching and think time is expiring. You’re a moron. You can’t even pick a battery charger, granted there are like 27 of them hanging there on metal hooks, but you went to college figure it out, right?

As you hear the footsteps, you look up. Someone is smiling at you.

“Heyyyyyyyyy! What a surprise! Oh my God how are you?”

It’s a blast from the past. Your surprise run-in.

You do a quick turn around to run your fingers through your Bride-of-Frankenstein hair, dab your face with your shirt and fold over you drunken socks, before turning around and smiling back.

My surprise run-in wasn’t someone I disliked or an ex-boyfriend or anything. He was a classmate and friend. I was the classic sporty spice, good-looking tomboy that got along pretty well with guys. So I wasn’t really threatening to chicks when I hung out with dudes. I mean they’d take a look at me in my Levi’s and college t-shirts by day and basketball uniform by evening and think nothing of it. They were cheerleaders, wearing short-shorts. I was balling on the court and wearing t-shirts. We did not hang out in the same circles, so I hung out with guys.

My blast from the past and I chatted it up a bit. The basic what-are-you-doing-now stories, although I left the part out about living at my parents. That’s really a need-to-know basis. He was doing well. Had kids. A wife. A good job. Looked happy and sounded happy. I told him about my starving writer gigs and being a parent, and he gave me the congrats pat on the shoulder.  Then he began with his compliments and how great he thought I looked and informing me how he ran into other people and how out of shape and weathered they appeared to be, but that I looked the same as I did over twenty years ago. I was feeling pretty good about my sweaty self until…

“Yeah, you look great! You look the same as you did in high school. You have the same bags under your eyes and everything.”

Dude. I was speechless, and that doesn’t happen often. But there I was with the same bags under my eyes, exchanging emails and saying see you later to an old friend. And as I heard the ding-a-ling when he departed I thought:

Next stop CVS Pharmacy. They got concealer. They got eye moisturizer. Maybe more than 27 of them.