I already blew it.
I already blew it.
An acquaintance who lives in my building stops me in the lobby.
Woman: “Oh! Emily! You’re a tutor, right?”
Me: “Yes, I am!”
Woman: “So you walk dogs?”
Me (to my building’s gym receptionist, who I’ve seen almost every single morning for over a year): “Hi Deena!”
Her: “It’s Daysha.”
So I turned around, left, and can never go back.
Guy friend (who is single): “Sooo…I know what you’ve been saying to your single girlfriends about me.”
Me: “Ok, fine. I figured it’d get back to you. But look. It’s nothing I wouldn’t say to your face. I absolutely adore you, you know that. I think you’re awesome. But at no point in knowing you have I seen any evidence that you want a real relationship. So yeah, I told my single girlfriends that– that I wouldn’t want to proactively set you up with them. Because I just don’t trust that you WANT a girlfriend. And you know what? I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. And it’s not a bad thing, it’s just the facts based on what–”
Guy friend: “Oh my god, stop talking. I was joking. I haven’t heard anything. ”
That time I got off the elevator, tried opening my apartment door, started cursing at the key/kicking the door when it wouldn’t open, then almost fell over when, while mid-kick, a man opened the door and angrily asked “MAY I HELP YOU?!”
Not my apartment.
Got off on the wrong floor.
When I was a 4th grader, I dressed up as Michael Jackson for Halloween by putting on a wig, a glove, and covering my entire face in white face paint.
Fifteen years later, it is just now occurring to me how horribly offensive that was. I somehow managed, at age 9, to unknowingly create a more awkward and offensive scenario than going in blackface. I even remember one neighbor hesitating to give me candy. I figured he just wasn’t a Michael fan.
The year before that, in 3rd grade, I went as a hobo. I wore a sign around my neck that said “Buddy, can you spare a dime?” In the town of Potomac, Maryland, where there is now a Real Housewives series (inexplicably devoid of any Jews or white people, but that’s a subject for another post) being filmed. Enough said. We had a school Halloween parade (this was back in the days when schools let children have fun), and I marched through the halls and recess yard wearing my dirty t-shirt, disheveled hair, and “hilarious” sign. The other Potomac parents loved it. The other students didn’t get it (they had never seen a poor person). The teachers, who could not afford to live in Potomac, looked away. I figured maybe they felt bad that they didn’t have a dime to give me.
“Don’t worry!” I told my teacher, laughing. “You don’t REALLY have to give me money!”
She did not smile.
Finally, at age 16, I decided to be something normal for Halloween. A friend was throwing a big Halloween dance party, and I went as Cinderella. Full-blown floor length ball gown, crown, the works.
“Finally!” my mom cried as she dropped me off at the party, “I’ve tried for years to get you wear something like this for Halloween!”
I rolled my eyes, slid the mini-van door closed, and walked into the party, fluffing my skirt upon entrance.
I was the only one in costume.
It’s a wonder I ever leave the apartment.
Just ran into my Super outside the compactor room, which is next to the laundry room.
Super: “Emily, you did laundry yesterday, yes?”
Super: “There were some things left in one of the dryers. I put them on the counter in there, you might want to check if they’re yours.”
Me: “Oh, ok, great! Thank you! They probably ARE mine, that sounds like something I would do.”
I enter the laundry room, and sitting on the counter is a SUPER tiny black lace thong and a pair of ridiculously worn-out cotton underwear that clearly should have been thrown away years ago.
Me (yelling): “Oh my gosh– no, no, no! These are definitely NOT mine!”
Super (laughing): “Oh, ok.”
Me: “I swear! I can be forgetful, but I’d never leave items like THAT lying around!”
Super: “Ok. Somebody else then!”
Me: “How embarrassing for THAT person!”
They are 100% mine.
That moment when you get in the elevator and press “Lobby,” but there’s a man coming down the hall pushing a cart and yelling “Hold the elevator please!” so you quickly press the “Door Open” button, and hold it down firmly.
Except that the “Door Open” button you’re pushing is actually the “Door Close” button, and you hit it by accident because you are tired and have A.D.D. and are also a little dumb, but mostly because the “Door Close” button looks EXACTLY FUCKING LIKE the “Door Open” button, and really this is the fault of elevator-makers everywhere.
So the door closes on the man’s cart (because again, you are furiously pushing the “Door Close” button). And he watches you as you continue to push the “Door Close” button, and the door continues to close on his cart.
Then he miraculously makes it inside the elevator, despite your (unintentional, but nonetheless vicious and repeated) attempts to sabotage him.
And it is at THIS point, as you are riding down in silence and staring at that uncooperative button, that you realize your error. And you realize that he knows exactly which button you were pushing. And that he must assume you were purposely trying to close the door on him, because no one is dumb enough to push that hard and that repeatedly on the wrong button.
And he’s staring at you and shaking his head.
And he’s black.
And you want to scream out, “It was an accident! I’m not racist! I swear! I am happy to share this elevator with you, sir! I voted for Obama! I have black friends! I FUCKING LOVE OPRAH!!!”
But you’re pretty sure that’ll make it worse.
So you just hang your head down and accept that you’re a racist now.
Just a big, dumb, ignorant racist who won’t let innocent minorities through the door.
You’re basically the exact opposite of what this country stands for.
You should run for president!!!!!!!!!
Do NOT try to reprimand your misbehaving class while there is (unbeknownst to you) a huge chunk of chocolate stuck to your front tooth.
They will not take you seriously. Neither will your co-teacher.
No, really– your co-teacher and 27 nine-year-olds will laugh at you for 10 solid minutes, and you will lose all credibility.
But then, luckily, you’ll remember that you never truly had credibility.
And that will make you feel better.
Until 10 seconds later, when you realize how sad that is.
Just swallow your chocolate, ok?