Monday, January 16, 2012

The Girl Scout

When I was about 8 years old, I joined Girl Scouts. My parents thought it would be a rewarding experience, an opportunity to grow and participate with other girls my age, and a way to get me the fuck out of their house for a couple hours a week. I didn't want to join, mostly because even at eight years old I wasn't a huge people person. I found friendships with other little girls my age both tedious and mundane, and when I say 'tedious and mundane', I mean I had detention during recess almost every single day and thus zero opportunity to socialize.

The Girl Scouts met after school twice a week, and the second I walked through the doors I knew I was in trouble. The girls were the front-of-the-classroom types- the kind that brought the teacher gifts every Friday, had a perfect attendance and great test scores. Today, these women are probably extremely rich CEOs of billion-dollar companies, but in second grade they were just irritating.

"OK girls!" Our troop leader, an over-bright women of about 37 years (when you're 8, 37 is ancient) clapped her hands together gaily. "I'm Debra! Your troop leader!"
"Hiiiiii Debra!" The other girls shouted happily, and I tried not to dry heave.
"Welcome to the Girl Scouts! This is going to be an exciting year for you! Here are your pins!" She handed out these gold pins in the shape of a female head, and to this day that remains my first and only piece of jewelry I didn't have to make out with anybody for.
"Wear them with PRIDE!" Debra shouted, as we affixed them to our sweaters. We all introduced ourselves (this was 1985, and every body's name was either Jennifer, Amy, or Sara) and then sat in a little circle while our troop leader talked about volunteering, selling cookies, and how to get badges on our sashes. Today girls get badges for things like technology, finance, and business strategy, but in the mid-80s you got badges for doing laundry and being pretty. Thank god for progress.

One of our first activities was- surprise, surprise- arts and crafts. It was February, and we were instructed to paint little valentine-themed shoe boxes to hold 'all the cards and goodies' we would get for Valentine's Day. I found a corner by myself and started painting my stupid shoe box.
"What have we here?" Debra asked, stopping by my table. I was painting the shoe box black and gray, with pictures of little knives on it. Even back then, I was pretty dark.
"Um..." I looked at my shoe box. "It's a shoe box," I said.
"Those aren't valentine colors," Debra said, perplexed. "Wouldn't you rather use pink and red?"
"Well..." I scrunched up my face, because I was super annoyed with the whole project in the first place, and was missing my favorite after-school cartoon, Jem and the Holograms, to even be there. "If everybody else is painting their shoe boxes pink and red," I reasoned innocently, "isn't it nice to do something different?" It was a manipulation ploy, because I knew Debra was big on 'being yourself', and by making me paint in pink and red she was basically contradicting herself. The truth is that Debra was probably worried that I was going to shank a fellow Girl Scout.
"Er...carry on," Debra said, awkwardly, and walked away. As I painted a little blood coming off one of the knives I had drawn (see, I used red!) I knew I would never be our troop leader's favorite.

"You lost your pin?" Debra said, horrified, a few weeks later. My sister and I had played 'treasure hunt' in the backyard that weekend, and we had buried it in the dirt somewhere, and then forgot where we buried it.
"I don't know where it went," I said, faking a concerned look. "I think maybe one of the other Girl Scouts stole it," I continued, lies rolling off my tongue like water.
"Who?" Debra said, too naive to know that 8-year-old girls lie.
"I think it was Jennifer #3," I said, gravely. "She's real shady," I continued, "and sometimes she doesn't have the nicest things to say about you, if I'm honest."
Debra blinked back tears. "Why would she say mean things about me?!" She whispered harshly. "Doesn't she know I spent 14 hours this weekend sponge-painting matching canvas bags for you girls?"
"Some people are just evil," I soothed, patting Debra's hand.

About six weeks in, all the other girls had roughly 6-10 badges on their sashes, and I had zero. One of the bright stars of the Girl Scouts, Amy #2, sauntered up to me.
"Where are your badges?" She asked me. She had long shiny hair, about 15 badges, and a lot of attitude. I suspected her parents were afraid of her.
"I don't have any."
"You don't have ANY?" Amy #2 stared in horror.
"Why not?"
"I'm real busy," I said, sighing like an over-worked single mother.
"Doing what?"
I leaned in. "Don't tell anybody, but I actually have a freakishly high IQ, and I'm writing a book about what it's like to be really smart and trapped in a school with mediocre students."
Amy #2 frowned in confusion, and I could tell she was deciding if I insulted her or not.
"Now," I continued, "you must know what it's like, being one of the smarter ones." Amy #2 was quite powerful, and I needed to get her on my good side.
"Oh- right," she said nonchalantly. "Totally." She sniffed and walked away, and I wondered if I could get a badge for manipulation, or being an excellent liar.

I told my parents that Debra our troop leader died in a fire, and Girl Scouts was over. I could no longer pretend to enjoy crafts, making friends, or helping others. I went back to Jem and the Holograms and burying shit in the backyard with my sister. I draped the badgeless sash off a knob on my dresser, and occasionally I'd point it out and say, "I used to be a Girl Scout".

Debra would be so proud.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dog Sitter

My parents panned their small white dog, Gracie, off on my husband and I while they vacationed in New York for two weeks. So for two weeks we had to dog sit, and Matthew had two bitches on his hands. Only one of us licked their asshole, however.

"Is she licking her butt again?" My husband whined, and I didn't blame him for complaining. We were not handling living with the dog very well. Matthew was tired of constantly taking her outside to pee, feed her, and take her on walks, and I was exhausted from trying to find compassion and kindness inside me in order to care for the small creature.

I get that a lot of people love dogs. The details are fuzzy, but I think it's something about having a best friend to come home to and a cute addition to the annual Christmas card picture. But there are also people out there who are selfish who would rather booze at happy hour then go home and walk a dog. We fall into that second category.

"What?" I asked Gracie nervously. I was on the couch with a glass of white wine and December's InStyle magazine. The dog was sitting in front of me and staring. It was creepy. "Do you....NEED TO GO TO THE RESTROOM?" I said this slowly, like that would help her understand- surely she knew the word 'restroom', right?
I tried to escape to the bedroom, but the dog followed me in there, where I started to panic. Gracie wanted attention, and she wasn't going to stop staring until I gave her some. I mustered the strength.
"Good....doggy..." I said, awkwardly, and patted her on the head. "Nice-doggy..." I petted her again. She licked my hand, which I thought was sweet. And when I say 'sweet', I actually mean gross, because I had to race to the bathroom to wash off the dog saliva. Moments later she had been licking her asshole, for crying out loud.

While I never quite warmed to Gracie, over time I discovered some great uses for her.


1. Dressing her up in a little top hat is fun, although it's also weird.

2. Shaved dog down, used a hot glue gun to attach fur to collar of wool coat. Looks like rabbit.

3. Pillow.

4. Attached fanny pack around the waist of the dog. Used for storage- spare keys, a tool kit, extra tampons.

5. Neighbors view you as 'adorable' when you walk the dog in the snow with your new Ugg boots.

6. Called in a personal day to work and told the boss Gracie was sick. Company understands because, hey, everybody loves dogs.

7. Watching the dog eat her crappy, dried up dog food makes you feel a little better about your crappy, dried up Lean Cuisine.

8. Door Stop.

9. You finally have something in common with your obnoxious co-worker. ("Oh, YOU have a dog? SO DO I! Aren't they swell?")

10. Can't think of a tenth thing.

So this holiday season, please- play with your dog, walk your dog, feed your dog, but- for the love of god, please don't pan your puppy off on Living Shallow, Living Well. I would just prefer to drink my wine in peace without the eyes of an (admittedly adorable) dog staring up at me.

Also, the fur around my wool coat is starting to yellow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I've heard that men and women can have sex and get pregnant. That's what my 5th grade science teacher, Mr. Brogan, said anyway. But I don't buy it- why? Because my ass is sitting in a fertility clinic waiting room.
"How is it that two people can fuck for over two years and not get pregnant?" I whined to my husband sitting next to me, who was perusing through Fertility Today magazine. "Nature finds a way, my ASS." The receptionist looked over at me and glared. Probably because I dropped the F-bomb in her sterile, pastel-pink waiting room.
"I don't know, honey," Matthew said, turning the page of the magazine. "Hey, what's 'sperm washing'?"
I ignored him. "You know what's funny? How many times in my twenties I was peeing on the stick of some pregnancy test in a random gas station bathroom praying it was negative because I was dating some douchebag and forgot to take a birth control pill?" I giggled. "And that whole time- I didn't know my womb was a barren wasteland! Jeez, the money I could have saved on all that Zovia- I could have been popping Tic Tacs, for crying out loud."
"I'd rather not think about that, honey," my husband said. "And why would you take a pregnancy test in a gas station bathroom?"
"I've done a lot of things in gas station bathrooms that I'd rather not share," I answered, avoiding his question. "I'm 34 years old, have the body of Macaulay Culkin, and am the color of chalk. Of COURSE I'm not fertile," I complained. "Teenagers, like those kids on MTV's 16 and Pregnant, don't have this problem. If this was like, the 18th century, we'd be fine," I continued. "Back then everybody got married at like, thirteen and started having kids before they got their braces off."
"I don't think they had braces in the 18th century," Matthew mused.
"What, you're an orthodontist now?" I asked. "Either way, teenagers have super plump, juicy eggs. Mine are probably crusted and shriveled, like week-old roadkill."

"Living Shallow, Living Well?" A nurse barked from across the clinic waiting room.

"So..." Dr. Lopez flipped through our charts. We were sitting in her elegant and refined office, purchased with the dreams of childless couples, no doubt. "You're interested in getting pregnant," she said.
"Well, we want to have a baby to save our marriage," I joked, nervously. "And I've heard that children have nibble fingers, which are great for picking weeds out of the yard."
Dr. Lopez gave me a polite smile and ignored my comments. "I'm going to go over the process- we need to start with a lot of testing and figure out what the problem is. Then we'll give you two a variety of options...."
I tuned out then, because she started talking about science stuff, and science is boring. Plus, I had spotted a plate of cheese pastries on her desk.

"...certain number of eggs begin to mature within tiny sacs called follicles- the follicles produce estrogen-"

Would it be OK if I took a cheese pastry? I wondered. Surely they're out for the patients, right? She wouldn't have a dozen cheese pastries out on her desk just for herself- but is it weird reaching over onto her desk and just grabbing one, especially when she's talking about my vagina?

"-blockage in the male or female reproductive tract can prevent fertilization, or sperm may be unable to swim through the cervical mucus-"

Cheese pastries are so good. But so are croissants. And cinnamon rolls. God, I LOVE cinnamon rolls. I wish they weren't so fattening, though. If they had no calories I swear, I'd have like two a day. Maybe three. Maybe, when I'm pregnant, I COULD eat three a day because I'm supposed to put on weight, right?

"-we would see a sudden increase in the hormone LH- we can pinpoint this surge by testing-"

You know who's super thin right now? Leann Rimes. She looks like Skeletor from He-Man. She could use a cinnamon roll, that's for sure. Ugh, I'd be eating a ton of cinnamon rolls if I was married to Eddie Cibrian- just to ease the depression of the fact that I'm married to Eddie Cibrian. I think he was on that show that got canceled, something about Playboy?

"-are carried away from the epididymis by tubes called vas deferns- the sperm mix with fluids produced by the seminal vesicles and prostate-"

Eww, is she holding up a picture of sperm? Is that a two-HEADED sperm?! That is disgusting. Two heads are definitely not better than one. Would I have a two-headed baby if that thing made it through? Because I don't think they make baby clothes with big enough necklines.

"-you should be aware of the possible side effects. Some of these can result in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which will require prompt treatment-"

Necklines this fall are pretty high- everybody seems to be in turtlenecks or those tie neck blouses. I should probably get a tie neck blouse to update my fall wardrobe- maybe after this I could run to the mall and- oh, look...Matthew is taking notes- that's good.....I should probably be taking notes. Meh, but I don't have a pen, or any paper, and also I'm not even listening so how would I even take notes?

"-we can look at that sample in a lab. Adhesions, fibroids, or a uterine septum can be removed with hysteroscopic surgery, with other hormone-"

God, how long is this going to be? I thought this would be less boring. Like maybe they'd have some sample babies out in little top hats to play with? That would be entertaining. Watching Leann Rimes throw herself up would also be entertaining. You know she's doing it- her teeth are looking a little gray. OMG- what if the doctors here miss my uterus and accidentally implant a zygote in my colon? I would have an ass baby. That would-

"Are there any questions?" Dr. Lopez asked, interrupting my thoughts.
"Can I have a cheese pastry?" I asked.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mrs. Vice President

My husband and I were at the hardware store last night, looking at floor tile so we could remodel the bathroom. At one point we asked for help from one of the sales associates, and he asked us about what type of construction our building allows, what the building codes would permit, and so on. I interrupted him.

“My husband,” I said, gesturing to Matthew, “is the Vice President of the housing board in our building. So he knows all about that.”
The sales associate nodded. “So do you know if the board would allow you two to turn off the plumbing in your bathroom?”
“I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem,” I replied, before Matthew could answer. “And if not, well- let’s just say we’re in a position to work around it,” I said, winking conspiratorially. “My husband is VICE PRESIDENT,” I repeated. “We KNOW people.” I winked again.
“Er-“ the sales associate paused. “-you already said that, and- I need to know if you can cut the water-“
“Oh, trust me,” I said, interrupting him. “We can cut any water, in any one of the condos in our building, anytime we want.” I was getting cocky now, and my husband, who’s used to this, stood silently by me in polite restraint.
The sales associate was getting weirded out, I could tell, and started backing away from us. “Okay....well, let me know if you guys need anything else,” he said, and booked it down the aisle.
“You could have handled that a little differently,” Matthew said mildly.
“I guess he’s just uncomfortable being around high-ranking officials,” I mused, shrugging. “Not everybody can handle it like I can,” I continued, brushing a piece of lint off Matthew’s shirt and staring up at him in adoration, the way I imagined Jackie Kennedy probably did to John. “I’ll always stand by your side,” I finished, dramatically.

My husband is VP of our building’s housing board, and this is a detail that gives me more of an ego boost than anything else on earth. I tell everybody, I mean everybody, about this mundane fact. Most people would probably think that being the wife of the Vice President of a housing board in a 31-unit building is insignificant. But those are people that don’t know me, and my ability to take seemingly small things and turn them into power trips.

“You really shouldn’t pack the wash machine so tightly,” I told Carol Peppercorn, the 72-year old woman in unit #201. I was down on the first floor of our building, where the wash machines and dryers were. I was getting a Pepsi out from one of the vending machines (to take back upstairs and spike with rum) and happened to catch Ms. Peppercorn packing in what looked like a thousand bath towels into one of the building’s tiny washers.
Ms. Peppercorn glanced up. “I’m out of quarters,” she complained, and glared at me.
“Well, I don’t see why you need to potentially break down the building’s wash machines just because you ran out of quarters. My husband is Vice President of the board, and he posted a memo in the elevator last week about only filling the washers up to 75% of their holding capacity. Did you not read it?”
“No- I....I didn’t read it.”
I sighed, opened my Pepsi, and took a drink. It did need rum. “I’m going to have to tell Matthew,” I said sadly, but secretly enjoying myself. I lowered my voice to a whisper. “You know how he gets.”
Ms. Peppercorn didn’t actually know how my husband gets, mostly because he’s a really nice guy, but the fear in her eyes showed me that she was worried. “I’ll- I’ll wash the towels next week,” she said, not wanting to get in trouble with the Vice President.
“It’s probably for the best,” I soothed. “I’ll put in a good word for you with him,” I finished, before leaving the room. I really wanted her to know I was on her side.

On Monday, when I got home from work, some jerk parked in my parking space, even though my space is clearly marked with a sign that says 'Reserved For The Wife Of The Vice President of the Condo Housing Board' (I had it specially made). Livid, I found a parking space in the street, stomped upstairs and into our condo, and wrote a nasty letter to put on the driver’s windshield.

Dear Degenerate Fuck,
This is not your parking space. This is MY parking space (can you not read the sign?!), and if I catch you parking here again I’m going to have your car towed (after taking a baseball bat to your headlights).

My husband is VICE PRESIDENT of our condo’s housing board, and just so you know- I’m going to tell him about this, and he is NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY. While I’m sure you probably aren’t used to dealing with someone with that level of power, let me tell you – you do NOT want to mess with a VP. Of anything. So move your car NOW- or there is going to be a Vice President’s foot up your ass.

-The Wife of the Vice President of the Housing Board
(Just in case he wasn’t clear on who I was.)

I ran downstairs, put it on his windshield, and felt a lot better.

“Can you believe that couple in #704?” I asked Lisa, the wife of the treasurer of the housing board. “How many dogs do they have? Like eleven? Those things just bark all day long.” Matt and I were hosting the board meeting the following day, and I was thus trying to entertain like a White House staffer. Everybody on the board and their significant others were there, and being tasked with hosting was taking my ego to new levels of delusion.
“I know,” Lisa said, rolling her eyes. “And that guy in #310? What’s his deal?” She sniffed.
“That’s Mark Cannes,” I said in a low voice, and leaned in closer. I was wearing a little cream-colored jacket with a brooch pinned to it, and from my ears dangled pearls. I could really clean up when I was sober. “He and his girlfriend are always fighting over money. Makes you wonder if he’s going to be able to pay his HOA fees next month,” I gossiped, eyebrows raised. I prided myself on knowing all the tenants of our building. “I would tell your husband to keep an eye out on that one, if you know what I mean.”
“Oh, I will,” Lisa said smugly. She gets off on her husband being the treasurer like I get off on mine being VP. We’re pretty tight, her and I.
“By the way, these mini hot dogs are delicious,” Lisa said, plucking one off a tray that our waiter, Bruce, was holding. Bruce was a homeless guy who lived in our alley- earlier I had given him $20 bucks to shower, put on a velvet smoking jacket, and walk around the board meeting with trays of appetizers. Aside from the fact that he was missing a few teeth, he was honestly doing a great job.
“Thanks,” I said to Lisa, because having to purchase a bunch of frozen finger food from our neighborhood 7-Eleven, and then stabbing toothpicks into 200 mini hot dogs had been incredibly hard on me. I picked up a bowl from the coffee table. “Cheetos?”

“We need to talk,” my husband said the following day.
“Hmm?” I looked up from my needlepoint. I was making Matthew a tiny pillow that said IT’S GOOD TO BE KING.
“Did you photoshop a poster-sized picture of me in an army tank with the words ‘obey’ written below it, and hang it in the mail room?”
I scrunched up my face, like I was confused. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said, innocently.
“Honey,” my husband sat next to me and wrapped his arm around me. “Between this poster incident, that guy’s headlights we had to replace, and the fact that Ms. Peppercorn won’t look me in the eye-“ Matt paused. “I think you’ve taken this Vice
President thing a little too far.”
I sighed. “You're right, honey- you are so wise. I guess that’s why they made you VP.” I set down my needlepoint and sighed. “I’ll chill out, I promise,” I told him.

Guess I’ll have to return my pillbox hat.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Grit

I have no grit, and thus will never be truly cool.

I attended a service in a Catholic church with my husband's two sisters, both who are grittier and cooler than I. And both of them, BOTH of them, had to wear black tights with their dresses, to hide their leg tattoos. Even though it was about a hundred degrees out and the dead of summer, they wore them because they were totally respectful that we were in a church, yet at the same time were totally bad ass- because they both have leg tattoos, hidden from God, if only for a couple hours. Later that evening we were all at dinner, and when the two of them ducked out of the restaurant for a smoke, I pointed them out to a waiter.
"Those are my sisters-in-law," I said to him proudly, watching them both smoke in their black tights and their dark hair.
While my own dishwater blond hair, tattoo-less skin, and pink lungs are probably considered OK to the average Joe, let's get real- I was missing the bad ass edge my husband's sisters naturally possessed. But how to get it?

"It's your CD collection," my husband informed me days later, when I asked him why I wasn't a bad ass. "I almost dumped you when I went through it." He's referring to our third date, when we were hanging out at my place (read: a hovel with about 11 roommates) talking (read: making out) and decided to put in a CD (I know, SO 2008, right? I didn't own an iPod).
Matt slipped through my collection in confusion. "Oh, um....Britney Spears....Gwen Stefani, Madonna....." His confusion quickly turned to horror. "Oh, my god- Mandy Moore- holy fuck...what- Jessica Simpson? Willa Ford? Who in the hell is Willa Ford?"
"Oh my god, I love her," I said, adjusting my top. "She is so cute!"
"Cute." Matthew tried say that word in conjunction with music, and almost choked. "Cute...." He continued to stare at me in despair. I could see him doing the math in his head.

JUNE 2008

PROS: Funny, ass looks good in jeans.

CONS: Has an odd obsession with Keanu Reeves, can't cook, has more credit cards than Paris Hilton, smells like rotten cotton candy, hates dogs because they 'require compassion', is unemployed, has one protruding snaggle tooth, thinks that Lindsay Lohan is 'misunderstood', sleeps until noon, annoyingly refers to her friends as 'my bitches', is 29 years old but acts 15, lacks health insurance, has a glass unicorn collection, smacks her gum, has eight unpaid parking tickets in her glove box, directs every political conversation back to her hair, calls me her 'future baby daddy' even though we've only been dating for 13 days. She also roots through my wallet when she thinks I'm not paying attention, talked me into sneaking a six-pack of beer into a club and then blamed it on me when we got caught, and keeps locks of my hair in her wallet- that she cuts off of my scalp when I'm sleeping.

"Honey?" I asked, twirling my gum around my finger. "What do you want to listen to?"
"Um..." Matt shook his head. "Er- let's just listen to the radio."

My other issue is that I wear a lot of pink. And pastels. But that's just because I'm real pale, and 'adult' colors make me look like a corpse.
"What is that color?" My sister asked, peering at me through her sunglasses at our favorite happy hour spot. We were outside on the patio drinking margaritas, and while the conversation was flowing smoothly, my wardrobe clearly was not.
"It's sherbert," I said, with a little bit of defiance.
"Jesus, why are always dressed like a baby?" My sister grumbled. "Like what, you're going to show up in a onesie? Where are you getting your clothes? Babies R' Us?"
"It's not my fault I can only wear Easter egg colors," I complained.
"I know you're on this mission to get more grit," my sister soothed, "but that mint green bow in your hair isn't helping. Maybe you need to rethink this, and just stick to what you know- like Hollywood gossip, finding the perfect shade of blond, and giggling."

She had a point. I do love to giggle.

I officially gave up becoming 'grittier' when I re-watched the Breaking Dawn trailer 17 times. Surely no one who was truly edgy would do that. I can listen to some of my husband's 'indie bands', put on dark makeup, read Edgar Allan Poe- but it's just not me. No, I'm destined for other things.

Like cutting locks of hair off my husband when he's asleep.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Optimus Prime

Well, I just saw the third Transformers movie, and it's official: I have a crush on Optimus Prime.

For those of you who aren't familiar, Transformers are cars that can transform into walking, talking robots. It was both a cartoon and a toy back in the 80s and recently made its way into Hollywood with Transformers, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, and now Transformers 3, Dark of the Moon. I've seen them all, and let me tell you- Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, gets more and more attractive with every movie. He's like the George Clooney of inanimate objects.

For those of you who might find it odd that I have feelings for a cartoon machine, I urge you to view the movies yourself- maybe it's his chiseled metal cheekbones, or his deep, gravely robot voice, or his abs of steel- literally. Maybe it's because I love vibrating metal objects. Maybe it's his great leadership qualities- when the chips were down in Transformer 2, who was the guy to rally the troops to fight Megatron? Optimus Prime. Who prevented the Decepticons from hacking into the US Military network? Optimus Prime. And who has those gray-blue eyes that pierce into my very soul? Yup. Same guy.

My favorite fantasy involves Optimus Prime and I, driving up into the mountains together. I'm driving, well- him, and we're chatting about life, love, and timing belts. We're really connecting on a machine to human level, and finally- I pull up to a meadow- birds are chirping, flowers are blooming- and he transforms from the car into the robot (gently unbuckling my seat belt and pulling me out of his insides while he's doing it) and we lay in the soft grass and stare into each others' eyes. The smell of metal and rubber tires is radiating off him like a beacon, and even though kissing him is like frenching a bike pump, I can't stop because I'm in love. He embraces me, his arms feeling like two microwaves pressed around my shoulders. I can feel his tailpipe hard against my thigh, and right before we make love I'll think- if loving a man who resembles a toaster is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

I've already thought about our life together, and being Mrs. Prime. On the weekends we would grab lunch, run some errands, and oil down his dashboard. We'd have barbecues, and all the Autobots would come over- can you image Bumblebee, Jazz, and Ironhide all sitting around my kitchen table, passing around the potato salad? Their clumsy robots fingers would probably really struggle with the silverware. If any of the Autobots spilled any food on themselves I would just run them through the dishwasher, of course. And when we have children, who will look like small golf carts- I will probably stay home with them, while my husband continues fighting intergalactic evils. It's going to be a hard life, me at home alone feeding my baby a bottle of (warmed) gasoline while Optimus is off fighting a war against the Decepticons and their leader, Megatron, in a power struggle for world domination. Sigh. The things we do for love.

When Optimus finally retires and our children have all grown up into sedans (we are so proud!) we'll end up in a scrap yard to idle the days away with all the other Autobot couples. They'll be movie nights (drive in, obviously) and bingo. And even when my husband's paint has chipped off, his leather seats have cracked, and rust forms around his joints- well, we would have gotten all that fixed up because of the lifetime warranty on him, of course. The main thing is that we'll be happy because we'll be together.

I mean, who could resist those cheekbones?!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Interns

It's Intern Season!

Every year, in mid-June, a dozen interns descend upon our corporate office for three months. They think they are here to expand their horizons, learn about corporate America, and make life-long connections. What they're really here for is to do my bidding for roughly 90 days. To me, interns are like clowns- worthless but slightly entertaining if I've had enough to drink. They're only really good at stapling and wasting my time.

"You get three of them," my boss informed me, tossing their files on my desk on his way to lunch.
I looked up from my computer. "What? Oh, shit," I moaned, looking at the stack of papers. "You're going to dump the fucking interns on me again this year?"
"Somebody needs to babysit," he informed me. "Just try not to screw it up like you did last year."
My boss is referring to July of 2010, when I told our intern at the time, Robert, to charge $400 worth of vodka on the company's credit account. Robert was canned for that a couple days later when I told human resources it was his idea.
"It's not my fault that Robert ended up being both an alcoholic AND a thief," I sniffed.
"I'm pretty sure you had something to do with that, Living Shallow," my boss replied. "But I'm not going to lie- I wasn't sad to see that guy go. Interns are fucking worthless."
"Amen," I agreed.

The next day I had three college students sitting along the wall of my cube, similar to bottles of liquor lined up on a shelf. But unlike a bottle of liquor, these interns I didn't want.
"So," I said to them, lazily, and put my feet up on my desk." I flipped open the folder containing their files. "Let's see....Madison?" A blond with stringy hair nodded eagerly. "Adam...and Tucker?" The beefy one with dark hair, probably a frat boy, nodded his head, and the second guy, who looked young enough to be a fetus, smiled at me.
"That's your name? Tucker?" I asked the fetus.
"Yes." He smiled at me again.
"Well, that's a dumb fucking name. I'm going to call you Larry, cool?" Without waiting for a response I threw their paperwork into the trash and cleared my throat.
"Here's how this is going to work. I'm going to tell you what to do, and you're going to do it. I'm available for mentoring, but only between 3:48pm and 3:55pm. I like my coffee hot, with two sugar packets. And use the real sugar, not that Splenda shit. Don't think I won't notice the difference." The interns furiously wrote all this down.
"Also," I continued. "If I ask you to do things, like, say, give me a back rub or vacuum out my car and you feel like they don't fit your job description- then please, by all means- just let me know, and I'll make sure you get fired." I paused to sip my coffee. "I have an open door policy. And when I say 'open door', I mean it's actually a closed door and I really want you guys to leave me the fuck alone- like all the time. The intern who kisses my ass the most will get the best recommendation from me come September. Oh, and starting now, please refer to me as My Overlord." I stopped. "Any questions?"
Adam raised his hand. "Um...My Overlord? What about lunch breaks?"
"Great question, Adam. And when I say 'great question' I mean that you have so much product in your hair right now you're practically an EPA violation."
Adam looked confused. "Um....lunch...?"
"Your lunch will consist of gumming stale Fritos out of the vending machine around noon each day. Oh, and if you three don't mind- I'd really prefer it if you could use the eighth floor bathrooms. The ones here on the first floor are for staff only. You understand."
The interns nodded, eager to start their day.

Everything started off okay. I gave Larry the task of finding a Hollywood starlet who's hair was an ashy-brown with beachy waves to take into my stylist. He knocked it out of the park by finding me a picture of Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister to Mary-Kate and Ashley, who's hair will look perfect on me. Madison got my car detailed and filled it up with a full tank of gas, and Adam got the annual percentage rate on 11 of my 17 credit cards lowered by hassling their customer service departments all day. The three of them even managed to staple 2,300 pieces of blank paper together. That I just made them do for my own amusement.

"Living Shallow?" My boss said, peering into my cube.
"Hey boss," I said, munching on a Nutter Butter that Madison had fetched for me out of the vending machine. "Hey, have you met Larry?" I asked, gesturing to my feet, which were propped up on Larry's back since he was crouched on all fours in my cube.
"Hey, Larry," my boss said, unconcerned that I was making a company intern my own personal human ottoman.
"It's- really- Tucker..." Larry said, straining his neck up to my boss, my calves digging into his spine.
"Great, great," my boss said, nodding. "Well, looks like you've got everything handled here," he said to me, and then strolled off.

A couple weeks later, things started breaking down. The interns started complaining about the jingle bell dog collars I made them wear during the day, but really, I just liked knowing where they were at all times. Since they're dumb they still mixed up the sugar and the Splenda, and, finally- the final straw was when I caught Madison and Adam making out in the supply closet. I called a meeting.

"Listen up, toddlers," I barked. "You guys haven't been pulling your weight around here- you've been showing up late, complaining non-stop, and now- making out in the supply closet? Dear lord, you KNOW only full time employees are allowed to make out in there! What is wrong with you?"
Madison teared up. "Corporate America sucks," she cried.
Larry nodded in agreement. "It's boring. It's just meetings, and stapling."
Adam shook his head. "I just can't believe how bad it is," he said.
I stared at the three of them, quietly, for about 30 seconds, and then, slowly, started clapping. They stared at me in confusion.

I leaned back in my chair. "So, my young grasshoppers, you have learned the lesson I have been trying to teach you all along. That yes, corporate America DOES suck. And you have to go to your job every day, every week, every year- FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. And when you're 65, you'll get a shitty retirement plan and a discount on adult diapers- and then you'll watch daytime television until one day they find you, dead of heart disease in your easy chair, clutching a warm beer." I paused, and stared at them with grave eyes. "So my question is, why in the fuck are you wasting your last summer in college in this shit box?" I let that question sink in and then leaned toward the three of them. "Listen, Madison, Adam, Larry- here's what I'm going to do- I'm going to fire all three of you right now. For the next eight weeks you have left of this summer, I want you to get shitty but young, fun jobs- life guarding, bartending, folding sweaters at The Gap- and I want you to party, work on your tans, have sex with the wrong people, drink too much, and basically blow off the entire summer in a haze of immaturity and debauchery. And in 50 years, you're going to look back on this moment, and think, 'That was the summer My Overlord set us free.'" I paused one final time. "Now get the fuck out of here," I said, as they bolted for the door.

I'm the best mentor.