Ashley sent me an e-mail last night with the word “putrescence” in it. As in, did I “want to come over and wallow in our mutual putrescence?” I realized, while reading that e-mail, after I went and ran and got the dictionary and looked up the word, that Ashley is a well-stocked arsenal of all the amazing qualities I look for in a friend. I mean, last week, she took me to the 92nd Street Y Open House where we took a free pilates class AND received a complimentary bag full of coupons and new socks. And this, I think, is why I keep Ashley around–an extensively impressive vocabulary and tons of free stuff. I’m going to try to incorporate “putrescence” into this entry, in her honor. Moving on.
Apparently, when you take on the responsibility of planning your mother’s 50th birthday party, you are bound to get a little bit…stressed. Oh? You didn’t know I was planning my mom’s 50th birthday like the kickass daughter that I am? Funny, because you HAD to have known as I have successfully invited the entire tri-state area. This is a lot of work, people. The invitations, the dinner, the cake, the decorations, the gifts, my LORD, this is like planning a freaking WEDDING and frankly, I’m a little miffed because even with all my hard work, I’m not getting a honeymoon out of it or a husband.
My cellphone’s been ringing constantly as people call to ask questions and/or RSVP and by people, I mean priests. The big bash is set for this Saturday and though my mom knows about it, she has NO IDEA how much ridiculous fun it’s going to be. She also has no idea that the amount of people she invited is most likely going to cause a fire hazard and that I will most likely get arrested for breaking numerous Occupancy Laws before the night is over.
In typical Rita fashion, she originally handed me a tentative list with about 65 names on it. This was doable. I proceded to HANDWRITE invitations AND envelopes and make them all cutesy and adorable because I’m The Crazy and apparently have never heard of gadgets like a computer and a printer. Then of course, mom realized she left some people off the list and then had several Catholic guilt trips about not inviting people she said hello to once at the grocery store and so over the course of the last three weeks, she’s been e-mailing me names and addresses of MORE people to invite.
GUYS. We invited 114 people. WHAAAAAAAAAAAA?
How does that HAPPEN?!
And the sad thing is, since my family doesn’t use birth control, I think at LEAST 1/2 that is immediate family alone. This is so unfair! Does this mean that when I DO finally get married, at the ripe old age of 48, that I will automatically have to have at least 100 people on the guest list that’s JUST FAMILY before even getting to all my celebrity friends?! That is so preposterous. It makes a really good case for elopement. Or marrying a friendless only child husband who’s parents died in a car crash. Yes. (Where are you, husband?)
My father rationalized with me that at least one-third of the guest list would RSVP “No, I can’t come, I have to stay home and wash my hair”, thereby saving me the hassle of ordering 8,000 bottles of wine and drinking them all myself just to get through the evening. Well. Sure, some people RSVP’d “no” since they had things to do like cure AIDS and stuff but most people are so in love with my mother that they are going to great lengths to show up and really? THAT IRKS ME. I’ve had phonecalls like:
Guest: So, we’ll DEFINITELY be there! We’re SO EXCITED!
Laura: Are you sure you want to come to the party? I mean, it’s just a party…
Laura: I don’t know, there’s not a lot of room to park your car and it’s just that February is cold and there could be black ice…
My brilliant tactics didn’t work and people are just hellbent on coming to a party that celebrates that my mother is totally old. And I support that, I really do. My mother is notorious for the “Half-way to…” comments regarding your age. These comments are incorporated into conversation like this: “Wow, Laura! Your birthday’s coming up! You’re almost half-way to 48! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?”
If she wasn’t my mother, I would cut her. With my steak knife. And I’m sure other people feel the same way. So now, we’re actually throwing a party, rejoicing in the fact that my mom is officially half way to 100. I think this is the main reason why so many people are coming to the party. It’s just their little way of saying HA HA HA We’ve been waiting for this moment FOREVER! Also, it could be the free cake. Mmmm. Cake.
So, the point is, I’m a little stressed out. But it’s totally okay because the party is something I can hold over my mother’s head for at least a year in a “DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT I DID FOR YOU?” kind of way. AND even better than planning the party, I was lucky enough on Friday to get the flu! Isn’t that AWESOME!? Aches, pains, fever, congestion, etc.! It’s so amazing! Even better, it has since settled in my throat, causing me to miss every single audition this week since my singing voice? It is gone! Completely! Sweeeeet!
Very frustrated when my body lets me down. Especially my voice. At least I still have my pretty ankles. But they don’t sing that well, so damnit, this sucks.
I ventured out yesterday afternoon to get some materials for my mom’s party and by materials, I mean a pretty dress to wear. I attempted to grab the train back to Astoria from 59th and Lexington and as I walked down the steps to the platform, I sensed that something was very, very wrong. Overwhelmingly wrong. And surprisingly enough, it had nothing to do with the girl next to me who was excitedly opening up her new Yanni CD.
The platform was a mob scene. An uptown train hadn’t come by in a very long time and people were standing so close together that I was afraid people would start getting bumped off onto the tracks below. I’ve been in these situations a few times before and for someone with severe claustrophobia, I do not handle it well. It’s the threat of a riot, the inability to move, the lingering putrescence of people who don’t shower. the best thing I can do is breathe, sing a happy song and silently make fun of other people around me. (The girl with the Yanni CD was a prime candidate for this because oh my GOD, Yanni!? People listen to that?)
By the time an R train came, the crowd had grown so much that people were waiting on the staircase since there was no more room on the platform. This created a severe logistic issue when the doors to the train opened and the people exiting had nowhere to go. There was much chaos and yelling and people getting accidentally hit with briefcases. Pandemonium, one could say. Because really, you can’t go UP the stairs when there are people waiting to go DOWN on the same set of steps. (I know, weird, right?!)
But the R train left and there were less people waiting on the platform and I found myself pushed forward to the edge when an N train came bumbling into the station. In true rockstar fashion, I found myself strategically placed right in front of a door to the train. Because I am a model citizen, I tried my best to step back a bit and let people off, knowing what a nightmare it was going to be. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of room and the commuters could only find room to exit in a single file line which, understandably, took a lot of time. The crowd around me started to grow impatient, muttering that they were going to get on this train NO MATTER WHAT.
I joked aloud to the girl next to me, “At least it’s rush hour! HA!” And she started laughing and told me how much she LOVED large crowds of people. This was not amusing to other members of the herd, particularly a young lady with huge hoop earrings and a dead animal for a coat. She directed her anger at me, probably because I was laughing and probably because I am awesome.
“WHY DON’T YOU MOVE THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY?!” she screamed.
I wasn’t sure what to do. I mean, there were a lot of things I WANTED to do. First on this list was to turn to her, cough on her and maybe lick her so that she could catch my amazing illness. When I realized this wasn’t an option since she was standing too far away, I decided to do the next best thing which was to give her my best “You are fucking crazy” look, just in case she didn’t know.
The girl next to me spoke up and yelled back, “Where do you want her to go!? It’s a little crowded, in case you hadn’t noticed.”
Crazy Girl was having none of it and shouted, “JUST MOVE OUT OF THE WAY AND LET THEM OFF THE #$%^@ing TRAIN!”
I couldn’t really take more screaming because I’m a delicate little flower and so I started laughing. The whole situation was so absurd and hilarious to me and I think she really appreciated me bursting out in hysterics right in front of her face. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “You need to RELAX!” and boarded the train.
It turns out that there were so many people trying to cram in, she didn’t make it on the subway car. The doors closed in front of her face as the man next to me muttered, “Everyone’s got an opinion, huh?”
“Yeah,” I replied and smiled broadly at her face through the graffiti-ed glass as we started to pull out of the station. Her hoop earrings and middle finger were the last things I saw before the train rattled its way through the tunnel into Queens. It was a shame that I didn’t have more time to spend with her, time to converse with her over the annoyances of the mass transit system of New York City. Instead, dirty looks were exchanged, dirty words were said and a certain dirty middle finger was flipped in my direction. If only I had more time, I could’ve asked her what I REALLY wanted to ask her in the first place which was, “Do you want to come to my mom’s birthday party?”