Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cardboard boxes

I know, I know. It's been awhile. In fact, this may be the longest I've ever been away. I'm not sure I can say why I've been gone so long, exactly.

I spent the last month in the pain management clinic. The hours were good, but those posts would have sounded like my old ones from medical school when I was on a rotation I really didn't enjoy and the writing was so caustic that anonymous commenters felt the need to tell me I probably shouldn't be a doctor. I always wondered if those same people asked the mommy bloggers who occasionally admit to a bad day, "Have you ever thought you should maybe just give away your kids?"

In my non-pain clinic hours, I've had a great six weeks. I'm a little overwhelmed with the prospect of summarizing it, though. Beyond a bulleted list of all that's happened, it's hard to catch up here.

My brother got engaged, and I went home to celebrate with the family. They were just drunk enough to let me pick up the tab. Only in Ohio can you buy four rounds of drinks for 20 people with a couple hundred bucks. Midwest pricing and a gay waiter who appreciated the fact that I (mostly) kept my drunk sister-in-law from flirting with him made for some very cheap liquor. Although, I'm pretty sure when she readjusted her bra, popped a potato skin in her mouth, and told him, "I still have some to go, but I've lost 50 pounds since I had a baby six weeks ago," he was thinking, "Until a second ago, I liked the fellas; but girl, you had me at I used to be fat."

There's another amusing story there about gift giving gone wrong and one of the weirdest things a middle aged man has ever yelled in a crowded bar. In order to truly appreciate it, though, I think you had to be there in the moment when the bride-to-be opened the world's tackiest engagement gift, and my dad, in all sincerity, yelled "Oh, I love it! I'm a sucker for a snow globe." Now we know what his Craigslist personal ad will say on the off chance he outlives my mother: I like long walks on the beach, single malt scotch, and sparkly, magical globes of snow.

A few weeks after the trip home, Blake, Evan, and I spent a weekend in New York. La Cage Aux Folles, drinks at the Algonquin, more drinks at Marie's Crisis, brunch (and a fair bit of time spent in the ladies room) at Lips... Hungover and staring down a plate of eggs Benedict, I almost threw up in a drag queen's hair. (In Evan's best South Georgia drawl: But girl, you know that weave so tragic, little vomit won't hurt it.)

We drove Evan's car this time. Comparing this to the Bolt Bus, the back seat passenger summed it up as follows: "You know what the best thing is about your car? No one has come back here to take a shit since we left." There really is something to be said for not riding around next to a bathroom. And I said it.

A week later, my dad celebrated a birthday. After a few hours on the phone and a few drinks each, we decided that from now on, for the purposes of filling out census forms and applying for scholarships, we would count ourselves among the last remaining Blajewskimos. That's right. From here on out, on all official paperwork and government documents, we are Black Jewish Eskimos. (Also official: Having written that, I can now never run for public office.)

It was during that same conversation, before the aforementioned ethnicity changing decision, that I said, "You know how you buy little kids expensive crap for Christmas, and all they ever want to play with is the damn box? Well, the older I get, the more I think that all of life is like that. I laughed the hardest last weekend while drinking and singing showtunes off key in a basement bar at 1am...and then again hungover, nauseated, and stuck in New Jersey traffic on the way home."

"Well kid," he said, "I think you're right. I think all of life is like that cardboard box." And he would know. For he is the wisest of all the Blajewskimos.

4 comments:

.j.william. said...

welcome back! I laughed out loud at least three times.

I, too, have been absent. Also no reason. It just happens that way. But it's good to hear your writing voice.

Maria said...

I had drinks at the Algonquin once just to say that I did. They were not nearly as spectacular as I thought they would be. I mean, come on! I wanted to know that the martini glass that I was sipping out of had at least been the same one that Salinger used.

At our last sister bar outing, we decided that we would, for that night only, call each other by the names that we wished we had. I was Trixie. I even got some flirtatious business man to call me Trixie all night. And for that night, I was a chain smoking ex cheerleader with a southern accent. We says I am too old to have fun?

dive said...

Hey, T, it's great to have you back, and not just for all the giggles you give me in your posts.
You gotta admit, there's something strangely attractive about snow globes.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

great blog you have here
candid and well written
will be back