On the first day of 2011, Ned got out of bed, walked into a wall and broke his toe.
And hey, June, this bodes well. A mention of Ned in the first sentence of your first post of the new year. Yeah, good moving on.
Anyway, he did, and he told himself, “Well, that’s a sign you aren’t going to have a good year. You’d better just keep your head down and muddle through 2011.” And he was right.
He was newly back in his hometown of Greensboro, having spent his adult life in Raleigh (inside guff for outsiders: Raleigh is way cooler to live in than Greensboro), he was working for the family business after a decade of doing something he truly loved
(he’d been a professional beer taster)
(he was hired full time to ogle women)
(they needed an expert salad-eater, and he took on the job)
(he wrote a weekly column titled, “You Know What I’D Do…”)
(okay, I’ll stop),
and he had zero girlfriend.
So he got through 2011, and on the fifth day of 2012, he met me. WHAT. LUCK. REWARD! SILVER LINING!
The point of me telling you this is the very first thing to happen to me today was that my clothes pole…thing in the walk-in closet of my bedroom? Crashed ONTO MY FINGER today. Then after that, all the clothes that had been residing on said pole similarly fell onto my finger.
Inside guff for outsiders: It hurt.
“Oh my god,” I told myself. “I’m Ned in 2011.”
I’d had such high hopes for 2018, too. As you may know, as I very subtly alluded to it earlier this week, I’ve had something of a cold. No big deal, really. I hate to cause a fuss. Anyway, yesterday I ended up being asked to a little celebration, a little reason for the season, and that reason is Prosecco.
But given the precarious nature of my health, I thought I’d better test my reserves, so I took myself to see The Shape of Water first, at the movie theater near my house. I figured if I could sit up and take nourishment (popcorn and a Dr Pepper) for two hours, maybe I was ready for the big leagues, aka a middle-aged mild New Year’s celebration.
First of all, The Shape of Water. Highly recommend. And not just cause everything’s midcentury and you know how I get about that.
So I slapped on the makeup and headed into the middle-aged night and rang in the new year and was in REM by about 12:01. Still. I got out. I didn’t even take 47 Kleenex.
Me and m’New Year’s makeup and several heavy Instagram filters. You, too can feign rosy health!
So that all seemed to go so well and then boom. Pole on m’finger.
I did not go to my annual ironically named kindness meditation downtown, as it was 870 below zero today, and the only kindness I could meditate on was not doing that to myself given that I just got out of my iron lung with this cold. Instead I paid my bills, wrote in my new journal I got for Xmas (thanks, mom), checked my finger to see if it was turning black, and talked on the phone to my old LA neighbor Alicia for about 700 hours.
This time I wrote down some of the funny English-but-not-quite-English things she said during our 11-hour conversation. I have always loved the way she uses language. She’s like a little angry Spanish poem. Attached below, for your edification, are some of the things she said that I adored so much I wrote them down…
“She had to come up and tell me what she thought. She had to put her five cents on me.”
“I have bumped heads with that bitch for years.” This, by the way, was about someone famous, but I cannot, really cannot tell you who. BUT YOU WOULD DIE.
“Finally, we said okay. We bury the hatchets.”
“She was mad. She did not like that I was in her ass.”
And the grand finale:
“I tell her, ‘Stick it in your ass and shove it.'”
I’m just telling you now. “Stick it in your ass and shove it” is the new “Very nice, Coot.” Although I have to say I grow fonder by the minute of “bury the hatchets.”
I’d been guarding my pole finger jealously all day, assuming the nail was going to turn dramatically black, because I see my finger and I want it painted black. Nevertheless, my finger persisted, and while it’s SORE, it appears I may have exaggerated what I thought would be the effect of that ENTIRE POLE OF CLOTHES crashing down on it.
I took my black finger of death and all the rest of my digits to the grocer’s, and I like how all of a sudden it’s 1950 up in here, with my grocer. Mr. Hooper was waiting for me in his white apron.
I got my usual Sad Single Girl items, such as Lean Cusine and cat litter.
(I have forever wanted to find this one Nick at Night promo ad they used to have with Sally from the Dick Van Dyke show. I know it went: “Sally is single. Single, single, single.” I can never find it. I always identified with Sally, the wisecracking writer, and now she’s dead and I can’t find that promo and my finger is gangrenous.)
The point is, I bought my week’s groceries and got this urge to buy an instant lottery ticket. I almost never do this, because (a) I never have cash and (4) I just never remember we have machines at the store. But the universe colluded or whatever, or the Ghost of Sally came over me, because we all know how famous her character was for buying lottery tickets.
Anyway, I won $100. I bought one ticket for one dollar, and I won $100. Can you believe it?! I’m RICH.
I scratched off my ticket in the cold parking lot of the store, of the grocer, and ran back in to tell Mr. Hooper, who has apparently turned into a 20-year-old black kid. When young Mr. Hooper ran the scanner thing over my card, it played a little song and everything. It was so exciting.
“2018 is gonna be my year!” I announced to Mr. Hooper, and stampeded back to my car, where I excitedly plunked back down in the driver’s seat,
on right onto my glasses. Which broke into 90 pieces.
So, you take the good, you take the bad, you take ’em both and there you have 2018 so far.
Happy new year. I hope you will not feel the need to stick this year up your ass and shove it.
P.S. I imagine “promo ad” is redundant, is it not? Son of a bitch. Thank god I have all this money.
P.P.S. Super Strawberry. Dammit. I keep forgetting.