If you’re not up on the latest celebrity news, me, Mila Kunis, and George Clooney are engaged! In addition to all of my fiance’s wonderful qualities, he happens to live in a very nice home. It’s such a nice home that it makes me feel like the Jewish Cinderella who was rescued out of the depths of the ghetto when, in reality, I was brutally plucked from my cozy home on Long Island, and, in general, I’m much more of a thinner Ursula, than a Cinderella, but that’s neither here nor there.
There is a lot of technology in his home that I do not know how to use, and when the technology malfunctions, Sam, a doll of a Nigerian man, comes to fix it and explains what we’re doing wrong, and makes us feel really dumb, and basically implies that we are only able to function in this world because of affirmative action for White people, aka life.
The first time I met Sam, we were chatting a little bit as he explained how to use “Apple TV.” I just got bored as I wrote the words, “explained how to use Apple TV.” #bored
Anyway, Sam asked a weee too many questions about how long Jonathan and I dated before getting engaged, where I was from, and what I did for a living. That was when Jonathan said that he had to run out to work, and Sam gazed at me more with a more disappointed look than most people have after hearing about what’s going on with Obama’s foreign policy, and said “Do YOUUU have to go to wuuk too? Or you don’t wuuk?” If you are reading this aloud, please read Sam’s lines in a Jamaican accent, because it adds a little of a pazazz and drama to the story. And yes, he is definitely not Jamaican, and definitely is Nigerian. Just to be clear.
So, Sam’s “Do you work?” comment threw me off because it was said in a really judgey way, but also because what I do is a complicated question since I am an actress, writer, nanny and about to go to school to get my masters in social work so that I don’t need to sell my body and soul as a nanny anymore, and can actually contribute, instead of slowly depleting my parents’ retirement fund. Sooo I said “I am an actress and writer”…”BUT I am going back to school for my Masters in Social Work… do you know what that is?” To be fair, some people genuinely don’t know what Social Work is. Those people are a little slow and/or foreign, but still, I have been asked many times before. Jonathan nudged me, as though I had just made a serious faux pas for asking Sam that, and gave me a look like I literally recited Donald Sterling’s infamous racist phone conversation aloud. So dramatic. Sam looked at me like I was an active Klan member and said, “I know what a social worker is.” Sam then went on to lecture me, “Have you tried yo Bist and geeven Actin all yoo caan?? I don’t think yoo have.” OH LORD HAVE MERCY, apparently I have the words “Preach to me” on my forehead. People literally love giving me unsolicited advice about my acting career. My favorite is when my dentist or waxer says things like, “Why don’t you try getting an agent?” ” I will try that,” is usually what I say, when what I’m thinking is, “Oh my G-D, I don’t like you, and I hope you develop an allergy to gluten.” For the record, I absolutely adore my waxer, Tania, and till this day, have a huge crush on my childhood dentist, Dr Elkin. But, It’s like, just because you’re an expert at cavities and/or ingrown hairs, doesn’t make you an entertainment biz expert. Or does it…hmm. #foodforthought #thatdoesntmakesense #gowithit
Anyway, I attempted to answer Sam’s annoying question about whether I had tried my best at acting. “Well, I’m not giving up on my dreams at all. I’m going to continue to pursue acting and writing, but just in case I can’t make a sufficient living acting, I am going back to school to ensure that I can have a ‘day job’/career I am interested in, and can be proud of. ” I thought that was a very good answer and I hugged myself (emotionally, of course), and even considered allowing myself to have a Krispy Kreme donut later as a present for articulating my point so eloquently. But nope, Sam launched into a full-blown sermon about how his friends, “people from the jungle,” as he called them, who came from Nigeria, made lives for themselves in America, so there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to make good money acting. I mean, I guess because I was born in America, I should be inherently successful in showbiz? I mean, don’t ever get me wrong, I live and breathe for a good immigrant story, but excuse you Sam, how do you know my life story? As Dr Elkin used to say, when you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U AND ME. God, was he wise. But Sam, do you know who my grandmother is, and what she had to overcome to even have a dumb granddaughter who can’t make money acting? No! So zip your lip. #iwentthere
In general, making me feel guilty, is like stealing candy from a blind and deaf baby with no limps and an inability to cry. It’s sooo easy. This is probably because I’m Jewish and, therefore, feel badly about the fact that I personally haven’t had the experience of being forced to flee my home at the hands of people who want me exterminated, or like, haven’t been fighting for my country’s right to exist on a daily basis for the past sixty-five years. So logically, I then started feeling really really bad that I was going back to school when Nigerians came from Nigeria and made lives in America. This logic makes perfect sense. I then felt compelled to do something good for others, like watch the Lion King/Hotel Rwanda back-to-back, and then have a bake sale to raise money for child soldiers. I just wanted to stop the genocide being perpetrated by ISIS, but then I remembered, I can’t even make enough money off of acting, so how am I gonna stop genocide? I felt worse.
Jonathan had packed up by this point, and said bye to Sam and I, as he headed to work. “Wait, Jonathan, make sure you understand everything Sam said about how to work the TV, because you know I’m horrible with electronics.” Sam pounced on this comment too. I felt like I was literally an interviewee on Nancy Grace. “Yoo aaa so negative. You aaa too young to be dis negative. What you think is what you are.” I tried to be cute/actory/not a perpetrator of genocide, and said, “That’s true. It’s important to think positively. Even Shakespeare said ‘Thinking makes it so.’” Sam had zero interest in what Shakespeare had to say. I actually think he was offended that I quoted Shakespeare (not sure why, but I now worried that Shakespeare was a no no in Nigeria. Epic Fail.). Sam just didn’t get me. I’m not negative, I’m just from New York! Duh. #ihateyou #getoutofmyway #hurryup
Jonathan was half way out the door, so I yelled to him, See you later!” Sam obviously chirped up, “Oh you live here?” I told him that I didn’t live here, but I would be moving in very soon. “Are you gonna pay rent?” he said in a judgmental tone. OH. MY. GOD! Why does Sam think I am a gold digging warlord? I’m over it! I wish I could say I said something really smart and great back to Sam, and totally stuck up for myself…but I didn’t. I was too guilty about being American, getting an education, and one day living in a stunning house with the finest in technology, thanks to Sam. But, I eventually realized that when someone makes you feel bad for being #blessed, not blessed, but hashtag blessed, you should never, ever,ever let them.
So, in other news, there was yet another school shooting #progress #not, something bad is going on in Russia, and…I’m engaged! Someone in this big, cold world thinks I’m not thattttt annoying, and wants to just hang out constantly, and eventually procreate with me. #winning #itsmygenes #greatnose
It’s fun to get engaged for several reasons:
A) You receive a lot of attention, and obscure people who you were once on a cruise with when you traveled with your family at the age of 14, along with your dental hygienist who you’re friends with on Facebook, wish you a Mazal Tov.
B) Most of the time when you get engaged, you get an engagement ring…except if you’re a feminist…or don’t believe in it…or just pretend you don’t believe in it because you would rather your fiance’ spend his hard-earned money on lame things like food, health insurance, and brand-name tampons for you. This shiny diamond that you wear around, makes you feel like you are a mature adult who has your shit together, even though IT DOESNT MEAN THAT ALL. Apparently, diamond rings DO NOT equal maturity. I just found this out. BIZARRE. #newstome
C) When you are engaged, you get to give single people relationship advice as though you know shit, when in actuality, you don’t know jack shit, and it was all luck/the grace of Jah, that you ended up with your fiance’. Especially since you couldn’t have had less game during the courting process, or vomited from drinking too much in front of your fiance’ more times, earlier on in the relationship #orwasthatjustme I really don’t know why engaged people think it’s somehow impressive to be engaged. It’s definitely a milestone, and like the biggest decision of your fucking life, that will make or break your happiness, but it’s not like some great accomplishment you studied really hard for and finally achieved. I mean, OJ Simpson was engaged at one point in his life, and so was Bernie Madoff. Both are major losers. Then there’s epic role models, like Oprah, who have never been engaged, and Mama June from Honeybooboo, who took a really long time to get engaged to Suga Bear. Think about it.
Also, it’s funny how when girls get engaged, the fact that they were the village bicycle in high school, it’s like a flashlight in a cave down there, and/or that they had the whole football team at Hofstra University invest in them sexually…on camera…no longer matters. It’s interesting. I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT MYSELF because I didn’t go to Hofstra.
Oh…and D) Being engaged also means you get to spend lots of time with someone who you love, and who makes waking up in the morning and going to work (or in my case, “work”), not as suicidal because you get to hang out with the person and like eat dinner together and cuddle, when work is done. Then, eventually, you can have lots of Jewish, Semitic-looking children with peanut allergies, bad bowels, and solid dreams of becoming a real estate lawyer, speech pathologist, or ENT (that’s an ear, nose and throat doctor—get with it!), respectively. What could be better than that to look forward to?! Maybe an SVU marathon…but other than that, nothing.
However, don’t go run and get engaged to an obscure stranger just yet, there are some slight downsides to being engaged too.
A) I have swerved into traffic 3-4 times because I was staring at my ring while driving, almost causing a 10-car pile-up on the 405( or the Grand Central, to give a New York analogy). It was either that, or it was because I was texting. Whatever. Not the point. #shutup #tracymorgan #toosooon
B) Registering for gifts is not for the faint of heart. There are just soooooo many items from which to choose to make other people buy you, and soooooo many appliances to pretend you’re going to use! What on G-d’s green earth is a food processor, and why is it harder to operate than a stick shift? Also, being around all these pretty household goods, I start to wonder, will I be a good cook, or will people go out for pizza after eating at my house and talk about how they’re scared they have a bacterial parasite in their stomach because they’ve had diarrhea since the night they came over for dinner? Also, will my house be known by my future children’s friends as the disorganized house with boring snacks? These worries, among other batshit concerns, are the reasons why, every time we start to register, I get really overwhelmed, and turn into a mixture of Donald Sterling and Mel Gibson (i.e. I hate everyone, namely Magic Johnson and KitchenAids #aidsjoke #didyoucatchthat), and need a drink.
C) When you’re engaged, people feel the need to tell you their engagement stories without you asking them, which is super sweet and fun, but is also really time consuming. You need to factor in double the time to do everyday, mundane errands because the second you say you’re engaged, which if you’re me, is often (because I have a “Future Bride” sippy cup, and a “#Trophywife” shirt that I got as gifts), the girl at Crate and Barrel will tell you her proposal story, her wedding plans, and so will the gay sales associate at Bloomingdale’s. Granted, I’m a Chatty Cathy and could talk the hind leg off a donkey, as they say, but it took me an hour to get in and out of Walgreens due to getting my ear chopped off by the clerk about her wedding. …And that’s when I knew, this engagement story thing was getting out of hand. Somebody’s gotta make a living and it’s definitely not me! Not because I’m an actress, but because if all I do is tell/listen to engagement and proposal stories all over the Los Angeles area, and parts of Orange county, I’m not going to be able to contribute financially to this marriage. I’m only one person, there’s only so much I can do.
The point is, like anything in life, you gotta take the bad with the good. I was only able to give you that advice, because I’m engaged, and therefore, automatically very, very wise.
I recently went on a girl’s trip to Palm Springs. All us girls were looking for was a chance to get away from the pressures of LA (#oxymoron #toomanyfuckingpalmtrees), tan, maybe almost pass out from the heat…but then not actually pass out, and basically just relax. What we got was some of that, but also an up close and personal look into the gems who inhabit the pools of Palm Springs (e.g., the woman who after flashing her left boob to everyone and their mother, decided that instead of filling up a cup with water from the water cooler, she would just put her mouth on the water cooler and rock out..) Just to give you an idea. #aids
So, everyone at our hotel in Palm Springs apparently had at least one tattoo. Like everyone. So much so, that there was, at times, literally not one person actually physically in the pool because everyone had just gotten a brand new “tatt” and was told by their tattoo artist that they weren’t allowed to go in water yet for fear of, God forbid, ruining the “scorpion wearing a Lakers jersey” that they had just elected to have indelibly inscribed onto their upper thigh. So there were just tons of tatted up people, sitting on the side of the pool, with their feet dangling in, talking about their “body art” and wanting us to ask them about its significance to them, and if it hurt to get. Not to be judgey, but like, if someone close to you didn’t die in a really tragic and sudden way, or you don’t have a matching tattoo with your twin who lives far away, then I feel like your tattoo can’t be that interesting. A flower/star on your foot, or a “be in the moment” in script on your arm, does not a cool tattoo make.
The one interesting tattooed person was this hot asian woman with huge fake boobs who did not have an inch of non-tattooed skin on her body, including her face. This woman had a massive tattoo on her forehead, but was actually really pretty and, awkwardly, also had a child with her who seemed very well adjusted. It was all really confusing. Forehead tattoo’s daughter seemed so happy, it made me kind of wish my mother had a tattoo on her forehead, and made me feel like my childhood sucked because my mom didn’t have a tattoo on her forehead, do you know what I mean?! #deprived I feel kind of bad though, because I just stared at the hot mom’s forehead tattoo for most of my time by the pool, and sometimes, I pointed and spent a lot of time wondering what job she could possibly have, because most law firms don’t go for that kind of thing. Then I remembered not everyone has to be a lawyer. #weirdthought #idontgetit #jewishmentality #inthiseconomy Anyway, I overcompensated for my staring problem, by smiling at the daughter a lot. It was a mess.
To add insult to injury, we had saved some chairs at the pool and had been waiting for the people next to us to leave so we could grab their chairs as well. The people next to us finally left, and before we could put our towels down, a wannabe Real Housewife of OC immediately started screaming at us that she was taking the chairs of the people who had just left. Now our Palm Springs crew was made up of three New Yorkers, one South African, and two Persians, and you should know that no one takes a chair from a New Yorker, a South African, or a Persian. It’s known. Then I saw the devil, wannabe OC wife had a tramp stamp tattoo, which meant trouble. #ofcourseshedid When a woman with a tramp stamp wants a chair, she’s serious. It’s known…also.
Shockingly, everyone in our group was really relaxed, so we had no intention of having a big fight over a chair, especially since there have been about 16 genocides since WWII, and basically, half the Country doesn’t have health care. We all remained very calm while this bitch screamed at us like she was reenacting scenes from the movie “Girl, Interrupted.” “I’m not even upset,” she kept screaming as people started to stare. As each loud word spewed out of her collagen inflamed lips, she was quickly ruining our rep at the pool. “Oh I wonder what it would be like to have a chair. It must be nice,” was the thing she said that was the last straw for me. I wanted to yell at her and say, “Excuse you! Every member of this group of girls’ ancestors left Egypt with literally no time for bread to rise, do you get that? Additionally, all of our grandparents didn’t even have any pool chairs because they were too busy escaping persecution, so take your blonde, fourth-generation, American ass and get out of here!” But, instead, we just let security deal with it.
Since we had been involved in a scene, we overcompensated again by attempting to be friendly to everyone around us, to the point that we might as well have handed out free snacks. We were laying it on really thick, so as to not ruin our street cred by the pool. As we attempted to gain back the trust of the other pool patrons, our fake kindness was tested by a guy who I can, with full certainty say has the title of, “Douchiest Douche in the Douching World.” He was the exact kind of person that would get stabbed by an MTA employee within minutes of setting foot in NY, but somehow manages to have a hot girlfriend with fake boobs here in Cali. His coolness is uni-coastal, if that. We actually overheard this guy say to his friend, “This place gets kind of dead at night, so I say we turn it the fuck up somewhere stupid bro.” OMG, you are so so dumb!! And what does that even mean?! The only semi-endearing thing about you is that you are probably a close friend of Brody Jenner. We were all horrified by him, and my friend Chloe actually got sun stroke and opted out of an hour of sun time (which I know was not actually caused by the sun but by the headache caused by having to listen to Douche say things like, “I have every form of party in my room. Did I mention I’m Columbian?!”). I think he was inferring he had cocaine in his room. #wow He also called my friend Miriam, “sweetheart,” when he was trying to get her attention to ask her to take like 5 pictures of him and his friends (a picture in which, obviously, no one smiled and, instead, Zoolandered).
At this point, it seemed the only ally we had was our 19-year-old gem of a waiter, “Alex.” However, things started to go down hill for us when Alex accidentally brought us an extra fish taco. We let him know in voices sweeter than a person would use when talking to someone who has cancer that they know is going to die— “Hey Alex, you brought us an extra fish taco.” All of a sudden Alex became Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. “I’m looking at my pad here, and I know you ordered three. I know for a fact. ” In that moment we found out that Alex’s dad was really hard on him or something, because Alex had major issues with being told he made a mistake. This “he said, she said” bs went on for like 45 seconds too long, until Chloe just snapped back, “Well are you gonna make us pay for them or not?” And that, my friends, was how we lost Alex’s love. The next day, he was super cold to us, and even had the chutzpah to accuse us of not having given him a tip. #screamingofantisemeticundertones First of all, we did leave him a tip because we’re not literally hairy barbarians from hell, and second of all, how awkward is that to say to us? That was when we realized that Alex never truly loved us and was just in it for the money. The shock of Alex’s betrayal, the fact that we were basically outcasts at the pool, and the pain of knowing that the girl who flashed her boob, and drank directly from the cooler had more friends than us in Palm Springs was all too much to bear. However, we all got fabulous tans, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that a tan trumps everything. #skincancer
Because I’m almost as entrepreneurial as Jay-Z, I had to go buy some props for a short film I was producing. That sounded like a sentence I might overhear at Urth Cafe. Then I would cringe, get in a bad mood for like 15 minutes, and subsequently wonder if my face has gotten rounder, and that’s why I haven’t made it as an actress yet. But anyways, although I might be a hustla like Hova, I’m certainly not as wealthy as him (primarily due to the fact that folding laundry is definitely a significant part of my day job description #nannyproblems #bacheloroffineartsdegree #15anhour). As such, I was forced to shop for the props required for my short film at the 99 Cent Store.
If you have never been to a 99 Cent Store, first, you are kind of an asshole and so not “down to earth.” I actually hate when people use the term “down to earth” because it’s known that only not-down to earth people use it. It’s such a thing Kris Jenner would use to describe Oprah. But, if you have visited a 99 Cent Store, you would know that you can find the cheap version of anything you could possibly need, and so most of the merchandise is this obscure 99 Cent brand, which I’m convinced will give you cancer. Like even if it’s not food, whatever it is still might give you cancer. I use this divine sweetener from the 99 Cent store, so that for sure is gonna send me to an early grave, and that’s something I’m coming to terms with. To prove my point further, I recently went on a trip to Palm Springs with my friends, and brought some pretzels that I purchased at the 99 Cent store. On our drive down, we got a little hungry, and each had a bag of the “pretzels.” Within minutes, each had subtly hinted in different ways that we thought our throats were closing up. At one point I desperately said ” Guys, I think I’m getting sick, my throat kind of hurts.” I think we were all scared that if we just said “Hey guys, I think I’m a hop, step, and a jump from rocking out to anaphylactic shock,” it would probably bug the other out. Eventually, we all admitted to each other that the pretzels tasted identical to a bar of dove soap, and that we were all silently panicking about not being able to swallow normally. We felt better.
But the truth is, going to the 99 Cent Store isn’t all bad, it one of those special things my father and I used to do together when I was little. That, and bathing together. Oh my gawd, that was a joke, calm down!! My dad and I used schlep to Queens (as in the borough in New York #googleit) to go to the 99 Cent Store because lord knows, Great Neck, the wealthy town on Lawn Guyland where I grew up, didn’t have one. Great Neck has since opened up a 99 Cent Store, which leads me to believe the economy isn’t good…apparently. So I hear. #idonthavehealthinsurance To tell you the truth, the Great Neck 99 Cent Store doesn’t even have ramen and other fun, poor people things. The store stocks like rich 99 cent things in it, like colorful bouncy balls, and it’s not authentic, and I hate it, and want nothing to do with it! K, thanks, bye.
But anyways, on our trips to the 99 Cent Store, my dad would tell the 6-year-old version of me that I could pick out a few things, which seemed so generous to me then. But now, I realize couldn’t have cost him more than 4 dollars, tops. My parents paid for NYU, but I was cut off at 4 items at the 99 Cent Store. I’ll take it. #choices But it wasn’t about the money! It was about the pure joy I experienced when buying a ceramic dog figurine. I miss my childhood because only a child would get that amount of joy from buying an obscure chachka. If an adult bought said chachka, people would think he or she was a raging hoarder who would probably hoard his or her own feces in a bag and whose dog would get taken away by animal control, and whose cat would be dead and buried under a pile of old newspapers. Oy.
There are so many wondrous things in today’s world, but most adults aren’t impressed by anything. Like, literally, you can press a button on your phone and have a magical woman direct you to your destination. Or, do you understand a pill exists that women can just swallow everyday and it prevents them from getting pregnant. Or, hello, the style of having half grown out roots is in right now! These are miraculous things, but could never give me the happiness I got as a kid, from buying random things at the 99 Cent Store with my dad. Cue theme song to Full House/Growing Pains/Family Matters.
So we’re back to the story I was apparently telling… I’m at the 99 Cent Store, shopping for props for my short film. The short required props that were mostly pink, and also required a shit ton of tiaras. Thank. Gawd. The items in my cart were definitely bizarre and throwing people off, for sure. Was I an over-eager second grade school teacher? A pedophile using pink boas to lure children into my 2014 VW Jetta with an air freshener that I just bought at Bath and Body Works? Or just an old-fashioned stage mom about to appear on the next season of “Dance Mom’s?” No one knew. I went with it.
Anyway, I had a lot of stuff in my cart and, as I waited in line, I employed techniques from my cardio kickboxing class to help me balance the million things I was holding. At first, I thought the guy in front of me in line was just being nice when he asked if I wanted to go in front of him. It was only after he stared at me with a weird smile for a solid 7 minutes, and told me I was beautiful, that I realized there was a chance he wanted to like build weird stick figures and then sacrifice me somewhere in a forest in the South. That was a “True Detective” reference if you didn’t catch it. Sorry I’m not sorry. So I stood on line behind someone who was basically the guy with the scars. #truedetectivereferencenumbertwo as I awkwardly looked away while holding a “Hello Kitty” balloon and a big cart full of pink things, it was emotionally exhausting.
I got up to the register, and tried to make a joke to the girl ringing me up, ” You think I have enough pink in my cart?” Nothing. Not even a smile. She actually looked at me like I just told her I had a yeast infection. So rude. That’s when I realized that the 99 Cent Store probably never was thatttt great of a place back when I used to go with my dad. There was probably still cancerous sweetener, and random serial murderers on line in front of you, probably waiting to buy soup…. BUT…it was actually the time spent with my dad there that made the 99 Cent Store a happy place for me. And, in conclusion, that is why I am able to be a “functional adult” today. #again,Idonthavehealthinsurance I owe it to the 99 Cent Store.
I finally decided it was time to trade in my old Nazi mobile (aka my VW), when she dramatically decided to start smoking profusely out of her hood one day. German engineering, my ass. My poor car was on her last legs, and it got to the point where it was too embarrassing to valet her, the bumper was being held on by a plastic tie, and people just generally thought I was poor and/or an uninsured migrant worker. Also, every time I would return to my car after a day out, I would have a note on my windshield saying that someone wanted to buy my car for 500 bucks. Rude. She’s worth $750, not a penny less, and you know it. Do not even start with me. #carmax
So, my car’s nervous breakdown happened directly after the kid for whom I babysit asked if he could buy my car for $25 bucks, to which his father responded, “I don’t know whose getting the better deal.” Oh, it’s hillllllarrioussss to bully a car. People can really be cold. I mean I get that it looks like I don’t take pride in my car because I’ve beaten it up more than Rihanna on a Tuesday, but like, I’m still a Leo (roar.) and am therefore very prideful. Plus, my birth control makes me a touch schizophrenic, so I felt the need to defend my own, and my car’s honor.
This need to protect and defend my car was strange. Especially since, I feel like, since the day I bought her, by bumping into poles, garage doors, and parking meters, I have been subconsciously bullying my car too. In fact, I’m convinced that I’ve secretly felt disgusted by my car. Upon further introspection, I think it’s because, if my car were a person, I’m pretty sure it would say things like, “Israel is an apartheid state,” or “I love Jews, I just don’t necessarily believe in Zionism,” like multiple times a week.
Anyway, in response to the comments the child who I am tasked with watching, and his father made, I went on an overcompensating type of rant about how, internally, the car worked great, and it was only the outside of the car that looked like I bought it from a Haitian -post-earthquake and devastation. Legitimately, five minutes later, my car began leaking more oil leaking than an acne-ridden teen who just ate a latke. My VW turned against me. Ahemmm, what else would you expect from #thepeoplescar? I should have known.
It’s okay though, because I was sick of the way people would treat me differently when I was in my car, versus when I was outside of my car. Sometimes, when I would pick the kids I nanny for up from the hundreds of obscure activities designed to help them grow up to be more interesting and well-adjusted adults (which we all know doesn’t actually work that well, because every child will grow up and, at some point, smoke laced weed, and/or make out with a Mexican on a family vacation), the parents and teachers would see me, the babysitter, and be super friendly, because I looked like the fashionable nanny who probably moved to Los Angeles from NYC, after graduating from a liberal arts college, pursuing her dreams of being an actress (I’m a walking stereotype and it’s DISGUSTING, and probably because I didn’t do enough activities as a child). Then, when they would see me getting into my nightmare of a bumper car, I could tell they would worry about whether I was actually a weird post-partumy kidnapper type, and want to quickly snap pictures of my license plate. Or maybe I’m just being insecure. Either way, my car had to go.
Now anyone who has ever been to any car dealership knows that car salesman are a unique breed of human being. They are less trustworthy, and sneakier than cats. Thank gawd, I had my boyfriend, Jonathan, with me during all visits to dealerships because, if I didn’t, I probably would have been taken advantage of and exploited more than the children of “Toddler’s in Tiaras” and “Dance Moms,” combined. With car salesmen, apparently, everything is grey, and there are no black and white answers to anything. They give you the absolute vaguest, most existential answers to normal, concrete questions that, for sure, have easy, factual answers. You don’t get a car salesman helping you, you get a goddamn philosopher. Por ejemple:
Me, as I test drive a car: “So, how’s the gas mileage on this car?” (Don’t know what this really means, but was told to ask.)
Car Salesman: “You’re focusing on the wrong thing. You’re up in your head.”
Me: “Okay, I totally hear you, but I mean, how often will I actually have to fill up gas, like I’m looking for a number….”
Car Salesman: “You’ve got the wrong approach to life. It’s not about the value and numbers, it’s about how you feel.”
WHAT? I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. MAYBE YOU THOUGHT I ASKED ABOUT WHERE WE GO WHEN WE DIE, BUT I DIDN’T. I SIMPLY WANT TO KNOW HOW OFTEN I AM GOING TO NEED TO FILL UP THIS CAR WITH GAS.
Me: “So how much is this car a month?”
Car Salesman: “It is what it is.”
Me: “No, but like, how much money will come out of my account per month?”
Car Salesman: “A hundred dollars for you is very different than a hundred dollars for us. It means two different things.”
THAT’S NOT A REAL THING. I DIDN’T ASK YOU WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE, I JUST REALLY WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH THIS GODDAMN CAR COSTS PER MONTH.
Me: “Does this car have navigation?”
Car Salesman: “You have to accept the car for what is, not for what you want it to be.”
Me: “Oh, yeah, I definitely like the car, but was just asking if it literally has the navigation feature.”
Car salesman: “You’ve gotta make decisions before we can ever really figure out the answer to that question.”
OH FOR FUCKS SAKE. I DIDN’T ASK IF A TREE FALLS IN THE WOODS AND NO ONE HEARS, DID IT MAKE A SOUND. I WANT TO KNOW IF THIS GOD FORSAKEN CAR HAS FUCKING NAVIGATION OR NOT.
There was also a point at which I asked for a print out containing the prices of the cars we had been looking at, which the car salesman literally made more difficult for me to obtain, than it was for women to win the right to vote. After that, I asked the salesman a very upfront question. Simple and to the point. “How much is the new Honda Civic to lease?” To which he responded, “You can always look that up on the internet. Right now, we’re just going in circles, and talking. We’re not actually making progress.” OH MY GOD. I’d rather be taking a standardized test with a cold, on an empty stomach, than deal with you.
Sorry. That was uncalled for. The point is, it was a struggle. So we went to a German-inspired dealership next because it’s known that once you go Nazi mobile, you never go back.
At the next dealership, we had a gem of a salesman who was, unfortunately, just a tad too emotionally sensitive for our needs, but was not your typical car salesman who tries to bullshit you with pearls like, “I don’t want to be a typical car salesman and push you, because I hate those guys too, but you really are getting a great deal, and you should sign the deal NOW.” #sociopath Stop trying to “relate” to me. No one’s buyin’ it, except maybe that dumb girl in the corner over there, who would have been me if Jonathan wasn’t with me.
But anyway, I liked this gem salesman better than the rest because he was a struggling actor, who worked 14 hour days at the car dealership, and basically spent the whole experience telling us about how he had given up his dreams. Needless to say, hearing this, I was an emotional wreck, and basically should have charged him by the hour for the free fake therapy I was administering. There was even one point where Jonathan tried to chime in during the poor guy’s monologue (real monologue, not dramatic monologue), to ask a question regarding, God forbid, the car we were supposed to be trying to buy, and that’s when I “shhhhhhh’d” the shit out of Jonathan. “You know what Jonathan? He’s trying to talk to us about his feelings. He’s processing things. Stop being so closed off. ” It was all a little much.
The car salesman was also from the South and pronounced the word vehicle, vee-hi-cull, which was nails on a chalk board for me. But, I dealt with it, because I just wanted him to be okay, and find his path in life. In addition, he showed me his snapchats while we were waiting for the paperwork, so there’s that. I was glad that, at least he had some friends, the poor guy. In fact, when he mentioned he had a girlfriend, I was overjoyed and needed a moment to myself. My favorite thing he said was, “Win you ba this vee-hi-cull, yur also gitting me.”
So basically, what I’m getting from all this is that I’ve got a three-year commitment to a Nazi mobile, and now, a three-year commitment to this guy, and God knows, I’m already exawwsted.
I believe seasons are super important psychologically ( I have a PHD) because they serve as a reminder that time is passing, and that you should be in a different place than you were last winter, or spring, or summer. Plus, it is impossible to make small talk about the weather in a place like LA, because what are you gonna say? “Oh my god, it’s such a nice day today!” Yeah, no shit. The little girl I babysit responded to my “It’s so nice out!” with “Gaby, it’s like this everyday.” I hope she goes to college in Syracuse, NY as punishment for her comment.
Everybody has complaints about their neighbors yet, ironically, I’ve noticed it’s often the neighbor who chains girls in his basement for 13 years that get rave reviews. When those who live next door to a serial killer are interviewed on the news, they almost always express shock and reminisce about lending their serial killer neighbor sugar and barbequing with them constantly. #chainingissohotrightnow They had no idea he ate people?! Really?! It’s like, did you not notice there was barbed wire on all windows of his house, and that there was a random 16-year-old girl shadily giving birth in a tent in the backyard? I don’t get it. Do you not watch SVU?!
So my neighbors aren’t thattttt bad (which is sorta suspicious). Maybe I shouldn’t complain, but there is this one guy in my building, who I think, is mid-nervous breakdown. I’m talking a breakdown of epic, Britney 2003/Miley 2013 proportions. #twerking What leads me to this belief is that he perpetually throws shit out his three-story window. More specifically, this guy throws hangers. Like I have seen an arm (I can never see his face because he is like a mysterious unicorn) chuck 50 hangers off the balcony in a single sesh. Our street is then riddled with hangers and looks like an abortion clinic pre-Roe v. Wade, or like an Ashanti/any R&B singer’s music video. C’mon, we all know that, without fail, the concept of every single R&B music video ever is that there’s this young, strung-out girl, in a huge mansion, with shiny legs, wearing a night gown, whose throwing her boyfriend’s stuff out of a window onto his Escalade in the driveway because, duh, he cheated on her and she JUST found out. Oh, and it rains at one point. So the throwing of the clothes represents that she is done with her cheating boyfriend’s bs, and she’s going to be an independent woman. Mad props. So inspiring. But I don’t think that’s where “The Thrower” is going with it, and I live in the Jewish ghetto of e-Rob, so there are no Escalades.
But like, we’re not living in New York (unfortunately). It’s LA. It’s uncomfortably sunny and clean, so hangers and garbage strewn all over street is not part of the scenery, it’s really noticeable. We all know it was you, Thrower. Also, didn’t your mom teach you not to throw random things out of windows?! That was like the first thing my mother taught me when I was born. Like the day I was born, I learned that. I still suck my thumb, and I wet the bed for years after it was appropriate, but so help me God, I did not, nor will I ever, throw obscure objects out of my bedroom window.
Recently, “The Thrower” has actually escalated to throwing paint and beer bottles out of the window, one of which shattered the windshield of this poor girl’s car who was parked outside of our building. She was apparently borrowing her boyfriend’s Benz for the night. Ya, I would rather break my pinky toe and only be able to eat gluten-free foods for a month, than to be in that poor, poor girl’s predicament. Very unfortunate story. Anyway, I’m sure the girl got broken-up with shortly thereafter, and then gained a substantial amount of weight. All in all, if I had my way, I would THROW this guy out of the building…no pun intended. #punwasintended #spent4minutesthinkingofapun
So, in other neighbor news, my roommates and I recently put up a mezuza on our front door, which, if you are unfamiliar with the item, is that little rectangle thing that hangs on the right side of the frame of a Jewish person’s door, and is supposed to protect the house from all the anti-Semites that now know a Jew lives there. If you just read my mezuza explanation and thought, “hmm, I don’t get it,” then you are basically a skinhead. Whatevs. Anyway, we have lived in this apartment for a year without having a mezuza up, because we are lazy and would rather be “tindering” in our respective bedrooms. However, as soon as we put up the mezuza, our Israeli neighbors, who we assumed knew that we were Jewish, because (A) we have Friday night Sabbath dinners constantly, and (B) they have seen my face (i.e. they should just know I am a Jewess), have been trying to “bagel” with us non-stop. If you want to read more about my views on “bageling,” read this…
In short, “bageling” basically means that you want to bond with someone over both of you being Jewish, by dropping subtle (or not so subtle) Jewish references because you desperately want that person to know you are one of them. #gevalt #schvitz What’s good about me is that I never need to bagel with others because I always look like I’m about to audition for the role of the oldest daughter in “Fiddler on the Roof,“ so people just bagel me. I’m so lucky. I imagine when Indians want other Indians to know they are Indian, they call that, “Saag Paneering,” or when Italians want someone to know they are Italian, they call it, “Bruschetta-ing”. Ok. I’m done now…I think. Should I keep going? One more. Thai people call it, “Pad Tai-ing”. Sorry. That was offensive.
So it started with my roommate wishing our Israeli neighbor a “Shanah Tovah” (i.e., a “Happy New Year” for you mezuzah/Jew haters). That slowly escalated to our Israeli neighbor speaking to me exclusively in Hebrew. Then came the small joke about how many Jewish holidays there are. Now it has gotten basically unbearable. I respect and genuinely admire a good “bagel,” but with this guy, I have to literally wrack my brain for obscure Jewish references just to keep up. It’s exhausting and getting harder and harder to come up with relevant bagels. For example, yesterday I saw him in the garage, we looked at each other and he said, “Rahm Emanuel, right? What can you do?” I responded with something like, “Yeah what can you do? So sad about Amy Winehouse.” Today, I’m thinking about just saying, “Monica Lewinski,” and then shrugging my shoulders. Oy.
Then there’s the person in our apartment building who didn’t clean up after their dog took a massive shit in the elevator. They just let it rock out. That’s all I have to say about that.
There’s also the abusive boyfriend who lives upstairs. He yells at his girlfriend a lot, walks around the garage in a robe, and looks like a Slovakian warlord . The guy parks next to me and I never smile at him because I feel like he’s planning a genocide or, at minimum, a mass shooting. #alsointhisseason
Despite having to dodge hangers, avoid stepping in dog shit, and fellow Jews trying to discuss how delicious Israeli pickles are, I am happy to call our little apartment home. Who wants to live somewhere where people don’t yell really loudly and are completely unhinged? Not this girl.
Gems like, “We’ve got it all wrong, we pay for food and water, and it shouldn’t be like that.” I felt so connected with this guy because I too, think bottled water is all a scam. #nycwaterhasflouridefordays But like, sometimes you need to buy some things, like chips, and bread, cheese and stuff. Sorry, I know I’m fixated on dairy. He then told me all about his girlfriend who’s beyond amazing, so amazing that “people meditate to her.” I was jealous because I’ve always wanted people to meditate to me. ” She’s so much above me” he said. Me: “Oh my god, don’t say that! You’re great!!!!” OH MY GOD, I’M SUCH NOT A HIPPY AND I HATE MYSELF. I AM SO BORING. I couldn’t have had less interesting things to say, so I asked what drugs he was planning on doing this upcoming Phish weekend. I’ll have you know, he was planning on rocking out to some LSD and acid. ” I once had an acid trip where I thought all my friends were burning me at the stake, but then I realized they were just telling me not to have an ego,” he explained. I kind of got where he was coming from, because once, when I ate a weed chocolate by mistake, I literally hallucinated a whole conspiracy around Adrianna’s murder on the Sopranos. You can read about it here…
You know those Facebook friends who you have zero to do with in real life, but remain Facebook friends with simply so that you can screen shot their aspergian status updates to your real life friends? Oh my god. I’m such a bully. It’s because I’ve been beaten down by life. #validexcuse
Anyway, one such Facebook friend of mine posted some quote about not knowing how much you’ve grown until you go home, or maybe it was, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” or “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” or “there’s no use crying over spilled milk.” I don’t know, but bottom line, it was lamely cliche, and apparently really resonated with me.
From memory, I’m going to go with the gist of the quote being that when you return home, it brings to light how far you’ve come in life. This little gem of a quote popped into my head on my most recent trip back home to New York. I realized that, yes, I’ve come a long way in that I can apparently live on my own across the country (and by live, I mean struggle along), but as soon as I step foot inside the house in which I grew up, I regress. Like, I basically become Michael Jackson, minus the nose job (so jealz), and the dance moves (only because I have scoliosis #icouldhavebeenacontender!). Like MJ, when home, I am firmly convinced that I am a child. This manifests itself in several ways…
In addition, typically, after I fix myself up a grilled cheese at my parents’ place, I waltz into the den, and proceed to lounge on the couch for hours at a time, while I cuddle my prince of a dog, Harry, and suck my thumb. I have an oral fixation, ok? Get up off me!
Fine, I won’t lie, I have become concerned about my thumb sucking. My wake-up call came when, once, in Vegas, I lost my purse and this blanket I like to hold while I suck my thumb (oh yeah, I forgot to mention, there’s a blanket too…her name is “Blanky” (with a Y not an IE—she gets piiiiissseddd when you mess that up), and found myself panicking wayyy more about having lost Blanky, than about having lost my ID, car keys, innocence, and two really really good lip glosses. (In case you were worried, I found all my stuff in the end because Blanky is a fucking champ, but I digress.)
So, to address my concerns about my thumb sucking, I asked my father, who happens to be a psychologist, whether he thought I needed to quit the thumb. His clinical response—“Eh, it’s your thing.” My Dad’s really good at his job. I think what he meant by those wise words was, “it’s not like you’re addicted to crystal meth or eating the insides of couches, at least not yet, so just do you.” Totally. #addictedtomystrangeaddiction
So, I basically ignored my not feeling well and went on to kiss everyone, share countless drinks, and even hold a few innocent babies. The next night, I got home and projectile vomited after a mere 2 margaritas. My whole life/meal flashed before my eyes. I knew something was up because 2 margaritas does not a night on the toilet make. I can tell you, it takes at least 4-5 and that annoying shot of whiskey that someone, you can’t remember who, made you take with them.
The moral of the story is that, just because you go home and sleep in your old room that looks exactly the same as it did when you were 8 years old, doesn’t mean you are still a child. It’s something I’m dealing with. In the meantime, as I type this, I have my thumb in my mouth.
As I wither away (emotionally, not physically #iwish) in LA for more and more time, I start to wonder if I will live in this sunny establishment “forever ever… forever ever?” That’s usually when I panic and have to be talked off a ledge by my 97-year-old therapist who looks and sounds like Yoda. Oh, you’re therapist isn’t 97? That’s weird. This fear becomes even more pronounced when I am around “LA Parents” which, as a nanny, happens fairly often. When I use the term, “LA Parents,” I’m not referring to people who live in LA and have procreated. Those people are generally fine. “LA Parents” are different creatures, often characterized by wearing linen pants and/or Obama gear year round, as well as naming their children things that aren’t real. I often think to myself, like, what if I continue to live here and become one of these nightmarish women who only wears workout clothes, and then am forced to name my child, “Lamb?” I mean, I can’t.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why these kids need to learn about fish in their natural habitat (solid question), they go to some hippie dippy school where the kids are allowed to call their teachers by their first names. Um, hello. Communism. My kid actually told me her friend goes to a school where they “don’t believe in homework.” Like, fuck off. Maybe I’m old school, but perhaps that is the reason why most people you talk to in LA seem like they are recovering from severe head trauma…they didn’t get homework. However, I will say that being taught in such a liberal environment has made my kids “color blind” which, trust me, I know is a super douchey term, but all I’m trying to say is they’re not racist jusssst yet, which is heartwarming.
Anyway, I’m hanging at the bus stop, waiting, and silently judging all those around me, reading my book of choice, “White Girl Problems.” I then notice I happen to be sitting next to an African American woman. I’m not sure if this is highly offensive, so I stop reading, and am forced to listen to the conversations of the “LA Parents” next to me. They are talking about their children’s diets. “Charlie loves grilled cheese, does that make me a bad parent?” They all laugh unnecessarily loud at this. My mind is starting to numb. I worry I have a tumor for like four minutes, but then realize I’m just really really bored.