I logged in today because I want to blog more regularly. I know I’ve said that before but this time I’m really gonna try—I read some article about staving off Alzheimer’s and it said that people who have more analytic/complex jobs are better off. My job isn’t at all analytic and neither is this blog obviously HAHA but look, here I am talking about staving! That’s a hell of a word! You go, brain.
Anyway, I logged in and was greeted with this great big banner about making money off my blog. I write about throbbing hemorrhoids, saggin tiddies, regenerating pachinkos—imagine me asking someone to pay me for that??? Criminal.
In conclusion, I am not going to try to monetize this trash blog. However, I am going to bring you some more quality content. Potential forthcoming blog topics include:
A few weeks ago my brother-in-law, Matt, sent me a link to MrMoneyMustache.com. It’s a blog written by a “freaky financial magician who retired along with a lovely wife at ago 30.”
In his “Start here” post, Mr. Money Mustache (MMM) says if you can save 50-75% of your paychecks, then you’ll be able to retire real quick. The best way to cut costs, says he, is by not buying crap. Luxury and pampering, says he again, is for pansy ass bitches who drive when alls they really need is a bikecycle and some facial hair.
Well, I’ve got me a tricked-out bikecycle, a few black hag hairs on my chin/neck/upper lip, and I’ve read about six of the MrMoneyMustache.com posts. Plus, I saved 37% of my last paycheck — nearly 50 whole dollars! I figure I’m five years or less from retiring.
And, although I’m looking forward to my retirement, I’m not looking forward to giving up crap. I like crap. You should see the crap I’ve collected over the years! Mini skateboards! Snorkels! Studded boots! Bachelor’s degrees!
Beyond saving money, MMM teaches his readers how to solve problems. I’m proud to say that I’ve figured out a way to save money and keep my crap. You get other people to buy your crap. All it takes is:
Caring friends and family. These are the people who will buy you things.*
A healthy dose of not-giving-a-shiz. By not giving a shiz, you’re committing yourself to dressing poorly and being dirty. Then, the people who care about you will feel bad and/or be embarrassed to know you, and they’ll buy you things to make you less smelly/filthy/rat-like.
There is, however, a fine line between the salvageable and the hopeless, and you’ve got to walk it carefully. If you ever become hopelessly careless, people will give up on you and leave you to your armpit stains and dirt feet. For instance, I have an uncle who keeps a skunk for a pet. The skunk’s name is Francis, and he lives under my uncle’s front porch and eats his leftovers. The same uncle wears hats found on the side of the road and decorates them with feathers and Dunkin’ Donut straws. His name is Uncle Jellyfish.
Uncle Jellyfish don’t care, and nobody tryna make him.
How to barely care just enough:
Let your butt crack run wild. Have at least one to two inches of butt crack exposed at all times. If you’re in a setting where you can’t crack your crack, like school or work, wear very high underpants and bend over a lot. Exposed underpants is only one step up from butt cracking.
Keep your pits stanky fresh. If you’re lucky like me, then your pits stay ripe all the damn day long, deodorant or not. If deodorant actually works for you, then you’ll have to give it up. Work hard to leave yellow stains in your clothes. Go a week or two without shaving. Flail your arms. Dance like Tiffany.
Wear your parents’ old clothes. Go through the old bureaus in your house. Dig through them until you find your parents’ old T-shirts. When you find them, try them on to make sure they’re baggy and have bleach stains and mouse holes.
Walk hard. Actually, no. Don’t walk hard. Stomp hard. Stomp like a mothereffer.
And there you go. That’s all it takes.
Since age 11, my butt crack has never not been showing and my pits have never not been sweating.
Two of my four favorite T-shirts are my mom’s from the ‘70s. My other two favorites are my dad’s from the same decade. I’ve worn them to Fourth of July parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, dates, and dinners with long lost friends. I would have worn them to Disney World, too, except the one time I tried my sister yelled at me.
I also stomp hard. I don’t do it on purpose, I’m just enormous and extremely sensitive to gravity. I also have Haglund’s deformity, which means I have cowboy spurs built into my heel bones. Shoes hurt, so I often have to walk funny to compensate for the pain. As a result, I go through shoes quickly.
Pedicurists love me
What’s so special about that? You see butt cracks, stinkpits, old T-shirts, and busted shoes everyday. However, when you combine them together and throw in a pinch of family love, what was everyday becomes eXtRaOrDiNaRy.
Other than my dad, no one in my family can look at me without making a comment about how poorly dressed and/or smelly I am. Take, for instance, these comments made by my mom. The first is from October 8, 2012, the second from September 11, 2013.
And you know what my mom did after she made those comments?
She offered me her phone, too. I ain’t ask for it.
Every pair of shoes I own were given to me from people who pitied my footwear. Same thang goes for my work clothes.
I get upgraded.
(Those hoop earrings are bracelets taped to my ears.)
(AND YEAH IT’S A COLD SORE, SO?)
*If you don’t have caring friends and family, then I’m sorry. That’s sad and you deserve them.** Maybe I can be a caring friend. I can’t buy you things, because I’m trying to retire, but we can go for bike rides and talk over free coffee and tic tac containers of toenails.
**I don’t actually know if you deserve them or not, I’m just assuming that you do. If you’re evil and mean, then you don’t deserve them. No wonder you don’t have caring friends or family! Quit being so terrible!
I locked my keys in my car for the first time last week. I got my Vibe gently used from Enterprise the car renters back in oh-five. When they handed over the first set of keys I snatched em from them real quick — never even bothered to ask for a second set. Never bothered to make a second set neither. Dat’s a mistake.
Last week when I realized I locked my keys in my car I called AAA. Within 25 minutes a teeny tiny triple-A-battery of a man had popped lock n dropped it (the car key) into my hand. Dude shoved a little wedge in the door crack, stuck a rubber pouch in the resulting gap, pumped it up, snaked a hella long rubber coated metal stick in the new, bigger gap, and unlocked my car. I was impressed and would’ve tipped him but 1) I ain’t had no money; 2) I was still bitter about the time one of his AAA colleagues guilted me into tipping him.
A year and a half ago
I went out in Portland. I spent the night dranking dranks, spit drooling, walking down cobblestone streets while rapping Snoop Dogg songs with a truck driving stranger, and eating chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. Needless to say, I did not spend the night driving myself home. Instead, I changed into a T-shirt I had in my car and spent the night in the guestroom at my friends’, Katie and Tyler’s, crib.
Even though I’ve been friends with Katie since college orientation and I once saw Tyler naked, I’m uncomfortable about being awake in their house while they’re still asleep.
Every time I sleep over their house I wake up at 5:30, poop a couple of times, mooch some gummy bear vitamins, clean their sink, write a stupid note on a piece of cardboard, and steal one of their books. On this particular morning I stole Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I read it until about 8:00 am, at which point I decided I’d hung out alone in their house long enough. I left.
On the ride home I got a flat tire. I thought “Oooh, today ain’t yo day,” pulled over, and dialed up AAA. They told me they’d be there within half an hour, but to keep my phone on in case they needed directions. My phone had less than 10% battery life and, having never learned my lesson about keeping a car charger, I had to save its life by not using it. Instead, I whipped out Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and got to reading.
I learned incredibly quickly that this book was about extremely sad things. Namely 9/11, World War II bombings, and lost loved ones. It had me tearing up in no time.
Coincidentally I was also tearing it up — “it” being my car seats. My farts were straight storming. Come to think of it, I don’t know if my eyes were watering because the book was sad or my car was just so stanked up. Either way, when the big, black, muscley AAA man arrived, he was welcomed by a very emotional girl in a very smelly car.
He looked surprised that I was reading a book. I was like, “Bitch you ain’t no nerd? I coulda sworn you was.” He told me he wasn’t, and that he mostly only liked fixing flat tires and shopping. Then he got to work.
When he opened the trunk to get out the donut tire, I could tell by the face he made that he was thinking “WHAT THAT SMELL LIKE?”
Ten minutes later, after he’d finished replacing the flat, I could tell he was still thinking “WHAT THAT SMELL LIKE?”
Self conscious from all his questioning, I looked down. Suddenly everything made sense. He wanted to know what that smell like because the black T-shirt I was wearing — the one I’d drunkenly pulled out of my car and slept in the night before — had “WHAT THAT SMELL LIKE?” written in huge white letters.
I had to ask my dad to take this picture. It was embarrassing.
I gave the dude $10 – five for the farts, five for the decency of not answering what that smelled like.
I ran cross country throughout high school. I was one of the best on the team, so coach had me practicing two-a-days, running up to seven or eight miles per session. With that much training, it doesn’t take long before toenails start falling off.
JK I’M MESSIN’ — that ain’t how it happened at all. Of course I didn’t lose my toenail because I was running too hard! The only thing I was known for on my cross country team was complaining and my famous Allie jog — a gait that, thanks to bad posture and a disproportionately long torso, made it look like I was jogging when I was really just walking. I don’t think I ever even sweat during cross country practice, let alone ran hard enough to lose a toenail. Come on, son.
It was because of cross country that I lost a toenail, though. Sophomore year my friend Sarah, a cross country teammate who also hated running, invited me over after practice to go swimming in her pool. Since my hatred for running is only trumped by my love for frolicking in bodies of water, I accepted her invitation.
Sarah was going to ride the after school bus to my house and then her mom would pick us up from there. Her mom was already there by the time we got off the bus, so I had to run inside and throw my bathing suit on real quick. Since I also had to go to the bathroom, I decided the best use of my time would be to change and pee simultaneously.
Clothes changing on the toilet is difficult in the best circumstances, but it becomes especially difficult when you’re in a rush to squeeze into your tankini (the two piece bathing suit for modest, blubbery young girls). Add a set of poorly maintained toenails into the mix and what was once difficult becomes dangerous.
In my haste to change into my tankini while on the toilet, my big toenail got caught while I was yanking up my bottoms and torn most of the way off. That toe got to’ up from the flo’ up.
As a side note, I never ended up going swimming in Sarah’s pool on account of the blood and the freshly torn flesh.
2. Save that toenail.
Losing that toenail turned out to be an incredible gift. Not only did it get me out of cross country practice for a couple of days, but since it only got ripped off three quarters of the way, the rotting skin that still clung to the nail did wonders for my social life. The smell of human decomposition both masked my B.O. and attracted lots of flies everywhere I went. In fact, in the middle of class I once had three flies land on my festering toe all at once. I’d never been so popular in all my life!
Those flies did good work, too. It only took a couple of days before they ate the remaining flesh and the toenail finally fell clean off.
Approximately 1/16th of nail had pink polish on it. Not wanting to lose a symbol of my femininity, I put the toenail someplace safe. I opted for an empty tic tac container I had in my backpack.
3. Pretend your toenail is a tic tac.
When shaken inside a tic tac container, a toenail sounds remarkably like a tic tac. Before class, I’d often take the tic tac container out of my bag, give it a little shake, and offer it to friends. Ten times out of ten, the people I offered it to would accept. I never really gave it to them — I’d just laugh, show them that the tic tac was a toenail, and be on my way.
The only time I actually dumped the toenail into a person’s hand was with my acquaintance/friend Curtis. I asked if he wanted a tic tac, he said yes and stuck out his hand, and I filled his palm with my torn, mangled toenail. The laughs we had!
Today is my sister Chris’s birthday. She’s good at giving gifts.
Members of my family often tell me that I’m gross. From my T-shirts to toenails, armpits to hag hairs, they like to point out that I am, essentially, a walking trash can. It doesn’t bother me because it’s true; I kind of am a walking trash can, and I’m cool widdit.
My go-to outfit.
The nice thing about Chris, though, is that while she certainly teases me about my stained, hole-ridden outfits, she actually tries to help me look a little less disgusting. Whereas other siblings and siblings-in-law give me books full of awkward pet family photos or instructions on understanding rap lyrics (gifts that are still very much appreciated!), Chris gives very practical gifts. Come holidays, I can count on Chris to give me a pair of casual sneakers, some T-shirts, a couple cardigans, etc.
In return, I’d like to give her something equally practical — a blog about her favorite hobby: Scaring people.
One. Chris holds a pretty fancy title at a pretty fancy college in Pennsylvania. Like all good first-born children, Chris is a boss. I don’t know how many, but she got some peeps working under her.
During work one day, one of these peeps — a woman in her 60s, I’d guess — left her desk to go to the bathroom. Chris, realizing it was a perfect opportunity, decided to scare her. My then-31-year-old, mother-of-a-toddler, professional sister went into her employee’s office and crawled under her desk. She waited there several minutes, crouched under a desk, until her employee returned and sat down. Then she scared the 60-year-old shiz out of that 60-year-old.
Two. Chris and her husband, Matt, took me on a dope ass trip when I was studying abroad in Spain. They came during my spring break and took me to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein (I told you – she good at giving gifts. So’s Matt).
When we went to Austria, we walked up a big ole hill in order to get to a big ole castle. During the descent from the castle, I got separated from Matt and Chris. I was looking for them when I passed an elderly babushka* lady wearing rags, carrying a basket, and muttering to the cat that was following behind her.
After we passed each other, I could tell that the babushka lady had not only stopped walking, but had also turned around to watch me. I associate every European country with Dracula, witches, and gypsies (rightly so), so I immediately thought she was cursing me. Seriously. I honest-to-goodness believed this lady was putting the hex on me. After a few more steps, I learned that she was actually just waiting for a good show. Chris and Matt were hiding behind a stone wall (in order to jump out and scare me) and lady was hoping to get in on it.
Three. My family and I spent Thanksgiving 2010 at our cousins’ house in Down East Maine. My parents and other two sisters came up for the day but Chris, Matt, our cousin Petey, and I decided to spend the night up there. Our cousins’ neighbors were out of town and had said we could stay at their house.
Down East Maine is a lovely place, but there’s really not much around. The house where we were staying was down a long dirt road and surrounded by nothing except trees.
A whole heckuva lot of trees.
At one point my cousin Petey mentioned how it’d be an awesome setting for a scary movie — an ideal place for a serial killer to sneak in your house and murder you bad. Chris and Matt, of course, drew inspiration from that.
Petey and I called it a night earlier than anyone else. We headed out to our isolated cabin in the woods, pulled out the sleeper sofa, put Moulin Rouge on the TV, and fell asleep immediately. Shortly thereafter we were woken up.
It’s hard to articulate how horrifying it is to be awakened in the middle of the night and in the middle of the woods by people breaking into your house wearing hoodies and shaking milk jugs full of chains. Imagine honestly believing that you’re going to be murdered in the most painful way possible. That’s what it was like.
I didn’t know I was capable of screaming as loudly as I screamed that night. It was a full-on, bout-to-be-disemboweled, terror scream — far louder than anything I’ve ever heard in a horror movie. And it was all thanks to my sweet scary sister and her husband.
Happy birthday, Chris — love you!
*I also love using the word “Babushka”, apparently.
My name is Allie. Our family dog who passed away a few years ago was named Halle. As a result, I spent ages 7 to 19 being confused with a giant schnauzer.
For 12 years, my family accused me dropping bits of kibble around the house, slobbering on things with my wet beard, and more.
Mom: Dammit, Allie. IS YOUR BUTT IN AN UPROAR AGAIN?
Me: Huh? No! I’m not buttstinking right now.
Mom: Not you, the dog! Goddamn you, Halle!
Me: Don’t yell at her! She can’t help when she gets excited. A bit of buttstink never hurt no one.
Mom: NO, NOWI’M YELLING AT YOU! GET IN YOUR HOUSE.*
*We call dog crates “houses” where I’m from. Why you think I’m so classy?
Needless to say, Halle and I connected on a deep level. Not only did we almost share a name, but Halle was also my drug huffing enabler, my cuddle buddy (not to be confused with a cuddy buddy), and my German language tutor. She was my girl.
My little giant German
Don’t get it twisted, I love Chico (our 3-year-old mini schnauzer) just as much as Halle. He’s my dude.
He’s also my little devil-eyed babushka.
But, besides the fact that my name isn’t Rico, Chico spends about half of his time living the good life on the Connecticut shore. I need a dog that’ll ride with me 24/7 in the Maine hood woods. I need my own dog. (And Chico needs a friend! Or cuddy buddy, whateva.)
You may remember that last September I wrote a blog post begging my parents to let me get a puppy. I’m not sure if my argument was persuasive or my parents just got sick of my moping, but either way they gave in. The only stipulation was that the dog had to be small.
As soon as my parents gave me the go ahead, I started filling out adoption applications, stalking Craigslist and PetFinder, and dreaming doggy dreams. It was during these puppypalooza that I discovered mini labradoodles.
Mini labradoodles are the sweet lovechild of labrador retrievers and miniature poodles. They’re like fuzzy ass muppets that don’t shed much and (most likely) like to swim. After finding a mini labradoodle breeder near my crib, I also discovered that they’re real popular and real expensive.
I knew I couldn’t afford one, but I thought I might be able to strike up a deal with the breeders — my website/photography services for one of their puppies. They went for it, and for the past couple of months I’ve been building them a new site.
It took me a while to believe the trade would actually go through, but the puppy’s been born, the site is up and running, and the breeder’s still down to deal. If you want to check out the site and/or precious puppies, Google “Adorable Down East Labradoodles”. I’d include a link to the site, but I’m teaching the breeder (Gerry) how to use Google Analytics soon, and I don’t want him to see referrals from classygallie.com. Dude does not need to know about my buttstink or rockets in my pockets or anything I’ve written on this site, really.
Little Charles Barnacle the mini labradoodle will be coming home with me in the beginning of June.
My one-eyed winkin’, lip-lickin’, soul patchin’ labrydoodle.
I guess there’s still time for something to go wrong with the deal, but if the text Gerry sent me the first day the new site went live is a sign, I think we’re okay. Just as a reminder, we’ve been exchanging daily emails for months and he knows my name is Allie.
Mom and dad, Jackie and Tim. Seeing as I live in your home, I have a favor to ask of you.
Please let me get a dog.
I know what you’re thinking. “Allie, you are not responsible enough. You don’t cook your own dinner, iron your own shirts, or charge your own electric toothbrush.”
You’re right – I don’t. I’m bad at cooking and cleaning and charging teethbrushes. I don’t do any domestic ish. You know who else doesn’t do domestic ish? A dog.
My future best friend/dog, who I’ve tentatively named Jacktimlyn, will not like cooking or cleaning or brushing teeth, either. Fortunately I do not have to cook dog food (though I do intend to huff it, socially). Dogs don’t wear clothing so I’ll never have to worry about laundry. And I’ll get Jacktimlyn a non-electric toothbrush.
You might say, “Allie, we already have Chico. Isn’t he enough?”
Again, you are right. I love Chico very much – he’s more than enough puppy for one family. But, mom, Chico is yours. He’ll never love me as much as he loves you. You take him to Connecticut with you all the time — I barely see him these days! (And when Chico is at home, he’ll have a buddy to play with!)
You might say, “When Chico isn’t in Connecticut you complain about taking him for walks.”
This time you’re only partially right. I complain about taking Chico for walks at night. I am afraid of the dark. Are You Afraid of the Dark? You should be, because as soon as the sun goes down the men start a-lurking. We live across from a bar! And a tattoo parlor! You know the type of people around our home. And you know how tiny Chico is. He’s smaller than a baby! What would we do if someone tried to abduct the pair of us? We would be defenseless. Jacktimlyn will be a golden retriever. Goldens are a large breed; troublesome men will be sure to leave us alone.
You might say, “You work and do activities and things. We will be stuck caring for your dog.”
Don’t think of it as being stuck, think of it as an employment opportunity! Dad, you work at home. If you agree, I will happily pay you to walk Jacktimlyn when I’m at work. We can discuss an hourly rate, and I can pay a full year in advance. Wow! How lucrative this could be for you!
Dolla dolla bills, dad.
If you cannot agree, father, that is okay. You think there are no other working, activity-ing people who own dogs? There are, I assure you! Billions, maybe trillions of them! Jacktimlyn can get a nice long walk before I go to work and then another couple walks when I get home, in addition to fun play sessions. Plus, many of my activities are dog-friendly, especially for a well-behaved dog like Jacktimlyn is sure to be.
Finally, you might say, “Dogs tie you down. Don’t you talk about how you want to travel?”
I talk about wanting to travel, but only to make myself sound cool and important. Traveling makes me nervous and hungry, and I don’t have a desire to do much of it. If I ever decide to move to a different state, I’ll have a lovely companion to come with. And anyway, dad, didn’t you get a dog (a golden, I believe?) when you were 23? Didn’t you move to Hawaii after you bought him? Wasn’t he the best trained dog you ever owned?
Obviously, dog ownership is a big responsibility. Here is a list of things I promise to do, and how I’ll do them. They are open for negotiation.
Pay for everything: Jacktimlyn, the vet, food, training, grooming, and toys. I will not buy Jacktimlyn until I have many thousands of doll hairs saved. Pending your approval, I will get Jacktimlyn next spring. This means I can ask for puppy paraphernalia for Christmas and my birthday. How easy gift shopping for me will be!
Keep the house clean. I will vacuum and sweep the main living areas twice a week. That means every year, I will vacuum and sweep 104 times. That is approximately 103 more times than I currently vacuum and sweep.
Keep Jacktimlyn clean. I will bathe him when he needs it, brush him weekly, and pet the crap out of him daily.
Care for him. Cause if you let me, here’s what I’ll do: I’ll take care of you Jacktimlyn.
Mom, if you help me convince dad I’ll give you free reign of my Facebook account for as long as it exists.
Dad, you know what kind of vehicle can’t accommodate a dog? A scooter. Also, I promise I’ll never ask you to cut your hair again.
P.S. If you don’t let me I’m going to get a sleeve of tattoos. P.P.S. Just kidding, I’m not that spiteful. P.P.P.S. But know that I could. Another P.S. If anyone other than my mom and dad are reading this, please show your support of my dog ownership. For Jacktimlyn’s sake.
My mom and I look alike. Though I have a moonier face, we’re basically twins born 35 years apart. We have nibbly knobs for chins, flapping lobes for ears, and huge gums for teeth.
Save for a dog-food-induced popped lung or two, we have identical health records, too. We both suffer from cold sores, occasional bouts of granuloma annulare, and an inability to be ashamed of our poop. As a self-diagnosed hypochondriac, it’s helpful to have my mom as a personal blueprint for my own health. Always looking for what disease I’ll inherit next, I have made a practice of surveying my trick mother. In 2009, whilst surveying my trick mother, I found a suspicious red welt on her forehead.
My dad had had a similar growth on his shoulder a few years prior, and it had turned out to be basal cell carcinoma — a benign type of skin cancer. Benign or benot, cancers is scary. As soon as I noticed the welt on my mom, I asked her to go to the skin doctor to get it checked out. After three years of my nagging, she finally did this past May.
It was basal cell carcinoma. Lady had to go and get her head all chopped up.
As upsetting as it was to learn my mom had skin cancer, it wasn’t the most upset I’ve ever been by her health. When I was 12 and my sister Beanie was 14, my mom’s health upsat us so badly it changed our lives.
Me: Mom, you’re my favorite mommy. Want to do fun mother-daughter bull, like read gossip magazines?
Beanie: Me too! Me too!
Mom: Of course, sweet children. I love reading celebrity tabloids. Pass me one!
Me: Here! I know how much you love the VH1 movie about her family. You even named our cats after her brothers. Take this one!
Mom: Huh? Wha? Hibbidy jibbidy, who dat be?
(My sister and I break out into immediate, violent sobs. Our mom doesn’t recognize Janet Jackson.)
Me: Ooohhhh laaaaaaaaawwwwddd.
Beanie: What… does… this… mean?
Me: QUICK! GRAB THE OTHER MAGAZINE. MOM, WHO IS THIS?
Mom: C’mon! Everyone knows who that is. It’s that… guy. Who’s dating the… umm… the girl. Ya’ll know.
(Beanie and I cry even harder. She doesn’t know who Justin Timberlake is and can’t remember Britney Spears.)
About 30 minutes later, while my sister and I were still mourning the abrupt loss of our mother’s sanity, my mammy got knocked out by a massive migraine. Apparently her vision/mind had been funked up from the impending headache. That’s why, in addition to begging my mom to visit the dermatologist, Beanie and I quiz her on Janet’s face at least once a month.
Remember a while ago when I said I’d have my student loans paid off within a year? When I made that goal I somehow forgot that Sam’s Club exists.
At Sam’s, strawberries are the size of oranges, oranges the size of cantaloupes, cantaloupes the size of watermelons, and watermelons the size of yo’ anus. King-size bags of chip come in Tupacs and cookbooks share an aisle with underpants. Sam’s is perfect.
Did you know Sam’s Club hosts live infomercial demonstrations? Me neither, until I got sucked into one with a promise of a free knife and ended up buying an entire set. My sister didn’t want to watch me reenact the demonstration, so instead I ask that you do.
If I wanted, my drive to work could be 29 minutes. Instead, it is 31. It could be an easy ride with minimal turns and country views. Instead, I go through two rotaries and pass a homeless man who hates me and a house so patriotic it makes me feel Canadian. I choose to take this detour because, if I didn’t, every day would be a reminder of the time I accidentally and aggressively stalked a family man.
I played basketball from 4th grade through 11th. Before I go any further, I’d like to apologize to every b-balling teammate I ever had.
For the time I let the girl who looked like a coonskin cap score a three-pointer in the last second and win the game for her team.
For the time I innocently forgot our coach had Tourette’s and I laughed at one of his tics.
For the time I paid so little attention during my basketball career that I had to Google “forward-center”.
Seriously, ladiez. My b.
I liked (and like) playing basketball, and I actually wasn’t that horrendous of a baller — I’m just too weird to play team sports. For one, group camaraderie makes me feel uncomfortable. For another, when I’m not reciting Whoopi Goldberg quotes or urging myself to pay attention, I’m planning my next meal or considering giant uses for normal-sized things; there’s simply not enough space in my head to remember how to run plays or which basket is whose or that I’m supposed to wear the white uniform for home games.
The kid I had a crush on in high school, who played for the boy’s varsity team, once told me he liked going to girl’s games to watch me play. I was flattered until he followed it up with “When the coach finally puts you in for the last few seconds of the game you look so confused. You kinda just sprint randomly around the court. It’s very entertaining.”
What he said barely even upset me. It was true.
As you can imagine, I was not the most popular member of the team. I had some friends on the team, but on the occasions they invited me to basketball parties, I usually passed. The only time I didn’t pass, actually, was when one of the seniors said she was going to have a spaghetti dinner with whoopie pies for dessert. It was like my team and I were speaking the same language for the first time.
Who would pass up a party with this on the menu?
Obviously I accepted the invitation. Even more obviously, I didn’t know where the spaghetti host lived. And da most obviously, no one rode with me so I had to follow the convoy of carpoolers all by me lonesome.
Turns out, apart from being a terrible teammate, I also suck at following cars.
The girl who was directly in front of me was driving a big truck and I swear she was doin’ fifty-five in a fifty-fo. I couldn’t keep up! She was too fast (too fast), too furious (too furious), TOO FAST FOR YA’LL MANG.
WE DOIN’ A HUNDID ON DA HIGHWAY
Thankfully I was able to catch up to her truck at a four-way stop (the same four-way stop I should go through on my drive to work). She took a left and I followed.
And I continued following for 15 minutes. I continued following even after we passed the street I thought the spaghetti host lived on, and even after we drove out of the school district boundaries, and even after we drove out of the next school district’s boundaries.
After 20 minutes of following the truck — who, at this point, was the only vehicle on the road besides me — I started getting nervous I was going the wrong way. Actually, I was 97% sure I was going the wrong way. But my cell phone was dead and I was jonesing for whoopie pies in bad way, so I took the 3% possibility and drove with it. I drove with it until the truck turned onto a long driveway, and then I drove with it right up that long driveway.
As soon as I saw the house at the end of the driveway there was no longer any doubt; I was 100% sure I was at the wrong place. None of my teammates’ cars were there. I couldn’t smell any sign of marinara sauce, garlic bread, or Whoopi Goldberg. And, maybe the most telling of all, instead of a team full of basketball girls, there were two little girls and their mother. They’d been watching out the window for their dad to come home and when they saw his truck’s headlights coming up the drive, they ran outside to greet him.
Well, actually, they ran outside to greet their dad and the 16-year-old girl who had followed him home.
In response to their (first enthusiastic and then scared) greeting, I stepped out of my car, raised my hand in apology, got back in my car, and backed up the entire driveway. I didn’t say a single word to explain why I’d followed their dad home. I just raised my hand and drove away. I still didn’t know where the spaghetti dinner was, but I was able to find the way back to my own house.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to work and I’m two minutes behind schedule.