So here’s what actually happened.
Last week, I got into the elevator on the first floor, with 3 other adults and a 4-year-old kid. We all pressed our floors. Then the elevator stopped on floor 2, and a woman with a huge laundry cart got on. Fine, that’s allowed. But I would like to note that she entered the elevator somewhat aggressively, and essentially backed me into the far corner without so much as an “excuse me.” Technically still her right, but objectively pretty cunty.
Then, something strange happened with the elevator. When the woman got on at floor 2, all the floors we had previously pressed became unlit. So the woman, let’s call her Nasty McDouchecanoe, who was now standing directly in front of the buttons, barked, “Ok everyone just tell me their floors and I’ll hit them.” So, everyone did. Someone said 17, another said 20, another said 25, and I said 28.
She proceeded to hit floors 17, 20, 21 (presumably for herself), 25 and did not hit my request of 28.
So, thinking she simply didn’t hear me over the demons and firemonsters dancing in her head, I leaned forward from the time-out corner she had shoved me into, and attempted to press my floor.
When she saw my hand coming from behind and reaching for the buttons, she pushed it away, back towards my body, and hissed, “Back off, you can wait!”
Not knowing wtf was going on but assuming this woman was legit insane, I calmly said “Ok…” went back to my time-out, and stood there in silence. The elevator proceded to rise and go to everyone’s floor except mine, as she had not pressed my button nor was she permitting me to press it for myself, because apparently when I stepped into this elevator I had entered Gilead.
Everyone was silent and not really sure how to react, particularly with the 4-year-old kid there. A couple people looked at me, but mostly with sympathy, rather than what I wanted, which was either a gigantic “What an asshat!” eye roll or a punch to this woman’s vagina.
When the elevator stopped at 21, Nasty McDouchecanoe got off, and, over her shoulder, spat, “See, you still have plenty of time to get to 28.”
The doors closed and I was left in the elevator with one other woman. I calmly hit 28, now that I was back in the free world and allowed to do so, and took a deep breath. The woman looked at me awkwardly and said, “When is your due date? You look fantastic!”
She clearly felt sorry for me.
Again, not what I wanted– I would have preferred this woman save her compliment and instead put that energy toward tripping Nasty McDouche on her way out, but fine. At least she was being humane. I smiled, told her I was due in a month, and thanked her for her kind words. Then she got off on 25.
The bizarre incident was officially over and I had survived it with no real harm done, so what did I do once I was alone in the elevator?
I sobbed like a pregnant little bitch.
Yes, clearly hormones were at play here, but still– the amount and decibel of sobbing was batshit. I had clearly caught an insanity bug from Nasty McD, and there was simply no controlling the extreme emotional reaction I was having to what, in hindsight, was a pretty fucking minor event.
I tremble-sobbed my way into my apartment, and, once confined to the safety of my hibernation station, immediately texted Eric the following:
Hey, here’s a tip! Don’t tell your husband that someone slapped you if no one slapped you.
Clearly I was distraught and wasn’t thinking through my words. Yes, this woman had pretty much “slapped my hand away” from the buttons, but if we’re going to get VERY literal about what happened, there was no actual SLAP. She pushed it away. Not gently, mind you. But nobody got slapped.
Eric sent a series of concerned texts and then, when I didn’t answer fast enough (because the mucus-tears were dripping down my screen and preventing touch-typing, as somehow Apple has not yet developed the technology to keep up with my nervous breakdowns), he called.
I was still hysterical choke-sobbing, because sure. I told him the whole story between blowing snot into copious napkins, ending with “and then she slapped my hand away from the buttons and told me to back off.”
Again, that word “slapped.” Not QUITE in line with what happened. But then again, neither was my shitnado reaction.
Eric calmly said, “Ok, I’m calling management, and I’m coming home,” then hung up and did exactly that.
To be clear, this is NOT what I wanted.
I tried to text him to tell him to PLEASE not report this to our building’s management company, but it was too late. He told me he reported it, that they were horrified, and that they were going to review the security tapes, find out who it was, and handle it.
I wanted to die.
Me: “Eric, seriously, I really don’t want management involved. This is getting blown out of proportion.”
Eric: “SOMEONE ASSAULTED MY PREGNANT WIFE!”
I closed my eyes, took a deep, snot-filled breath and PRAYED this was not the wording he used when he spoke to management, while at the same time fully recognizing that if he DID use those words, it was 100% justified and totally my fault because I literally relayed the information to him in the same way Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a press conference.
Which is to say I lied.
Not intentionally, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but more inadvertently, because I don’t do words good, like Sean Spicer.
Regardless, semantics matter.
And unfortunately, when speaking, I’m not always so on-point. When writing, and given time to edit and revise, I can be fairly articulate, but even then I end up with phrases such as Nasty McDouchecanoe and words that aren’t words, like “cunty.”
Once Eric got home (because yes, he left work at 2pm to tend to a wife who got her feelings hurt, as he is a saint of epic proportions), I was a bit calmer (still crying a few more whimper-tears though, because I’m an adult with 2 masters degrees and my own business). I was able to explain to him what ACTUALLY happened versus what he was probably imagining happened based on my extremely shitty initial relaying of the story.
I then made Eric, god bless his definitely-regretting-marrying-me soul, call back the head of management (who is basically the nicest person on the planet, and who I will now forever have to avoid due to crippling embarrassment) and explain that no one is claiming assault of a pregnant woman. Yes, Nasty McD pushed my hand away. Yes, she prevented me from pressing the button to my floor, which I just kind of took for granted as my basic human right. Yes, she was extremely rude and yes, the incident clearly upset me and made me and everyone in the elevator extremely uncomfortable, but no, Mr. Management, we are not thinking of pressing charges or calling the cops and oh jesus christ what is happening and how is this my life?!
Mr. Management thanked us for clarifying (and luckily we were able to do so BEFORE he grabbed a tub of popcorn and reviewed the security tape, as he for sure would have laugh-choked once he viewed “the assault”). He also said that while it was not a crime per se, it was still an upsetting and unacceptable incident that should not have occurred. Therefore, the woman would be contacted and gently warned that her behavior had been reported and viewed on security footage, that what occured is not in line with the neighborly atmosphere they like to cultivate in their residencies, and to please consider this the next time she is interacting with her neighbors in the communal living spaces.
So remember that post where I said I somehow manage to make enemies in every building I occupy? Well, add Nasty McD to the enemy list. Also mark this as #920183098219839382195 on my list of reasons why I am scared to leave the apartment or interact with humans in general.
But whatever, this woman was a huge asshole for NO reason, and a part of me is not sorry that there will be some kind of small consequence for her behavior (although let’s be honest, this woman is not going to give a FUCK when she gets that call from management…or, alternatively, she is outside my door right now with a shotgun.)
But yeah, overall, I definitely feel like that annoying Kindergartener who runs and tattles to the teacher instead of using her words to defend herself.
But let the record show: I did NOT want to run and tattle to management like a whiny little 5-year-old pussy.
I wanted to run and tattle to my husband like a giant 36-year-old pussy.
And that, I think we can all agree, was accomplished with accuracy.
So Eric got a new job recently, and HR informed him that in order for me to be on his health insurance plan, we would have to get actual documentation stating that we are domestic partners. This came as a surprise, because at Eric’s last job they were like, “Oh, your girlfriend wants health insurance? Cool! Health insurance for dayzzzzzzz!” We literally didn’t even have to show proof that we were living together. I’m not even sure we had to prove we were human beings. I could have been Eric’s pet hamster Chubbles*, and they would’ve covered me. For whatever reason, they just took our word on the honor system, which is the way it should be. (hahah no, I’m kidding. That is DEFINITELY not the way it should be. If it was that way, I would have put myself on the health insurance of every person I’ve lived with since college, including that summer subletter who drew a huge penis on my window).
So we went down to the City Clerk on Wednesday and diligently signed our Domestic Partnership license. It was a beautiful day. The clerk could not have been less interested in us, and was scrolling on Facebook the entire time she processed our paperwork. Which immediately made me like her. I was super hopeful that when the license printed, it would accidentally have one of those creepy FB stickers on it.
But alas, no. Disappointment abound.
Meanwhile, Eric and I tried to make small talk with her, as an attempt to engage her in this somewhat meaningful moment in our lives.
Us: “We’ll be back here in 5 months for our wedding license!”
Us: “Thanks yeah we’re excited too!”
This lady was the physical and spiritual embodiment of “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” We gave up, took our license, posed for obligatory photo and left.
Clap, clap, done! Easy as pie! Right?
Wrong. That’s not how my life works. You should know this by now.
Eric skipped back to his office, Domestic Partnership license in hand, only to find out that HR had given him false information– “Oooooh, our bad. Turns out domestic partnership only gets your partner covered if you’re gay.” And apparently, shouting back, “Ok, ok– we’re gay! We’ll be gay!” doesn’t solve the problem.
What DOES solve the problem? Getting married.
Eric: “But we’re basically married!”
HR: “When is the wedding?”
HR: “Cool. She’ll have health coverage in June.”
Eric: “HAVE YOU MET HER?! SHE NEEDS IT NOW.”
Ok obviously the conversation didn’t exactly go down like that, but the point is that the rules insist we show legal intent to wed (aka, get a marriage license)– and I, as someone prone to mental/physical/invented health issues, cannot wait until June for coverage.
Can I get temporary insurance until then? Yes, of course. For a CRAPLOAD of money. And what is the point, if we are getting married soon anyway? Why not just get the license a little earlier? We already live together and love each other and occasionally want to kill each other and that’s all marriage really is, right? (If not, don’t tell me. I’m a learn-the-hard-way kind of girl, which is why my life tends to be a complete disaster but also interesting).
So, with the most romantic of reasons driving us forward, we went back to the City Clerk this morning to obtain a marriage license. (No, this does not mean we are married. This means we have a document to prove INTENT to marry. Everyone calm down, Mom.)
Not many people get to experience the City Clerk office twice in 3 days, but I guess most people just aren’t as lucky as we are.
So there we are this morning, sitting in our seats, waiting for our number to be called, and, like all couples about to take that first legal step in joining their lives forever, we were on our iPhones playing Words With Friends.
With EACH OTHER. We’re not heartless sadists.
As I sat there waiting for Eric to play the next word, I took a moment to look around and do some people watching. There were several couples there who were getting not just a license, but having their official ceremony as well, so they were wearing nice white dresses and suits. Naturally, I then questioned my own appearance, which led to an existential downspiral (aka, a typical
Friday morning). “Is it ridiculous that it didn’t even occur to me to look nice for this event? I just threw on jeans, a sweater, Uggs and headed out the door. Does that say something about my maturity level and my preparedness for marriage?”
“Oh, Emily, stop it,” I counterpointed in my head, because having full conversations with myself is normal. “That’s just your anxiety going into overdrive. Yes, you’re dressed casually, but so are most people here. You’re a perfectly mature, responsible adult who is more than ready to enter this very significant stage of life.”
And that’s when I spotted the gigantic glob of Junior Mints melted into my pant leg.
Yes. It’s as big as it looks.
Some background context here, because I’m sure you’re having difficulty understanding how it’s humanly possible that I did this to myself without noticing:
Last night, Eric and I went to see Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway (fucking phenomenal, by the way). And like all people watching a show with themes of loneliness, pain and depression, I like my trauma with a side of Junior Mints.
Kramer gets it.
At one point during the show, I accidentally dropped one of the Junior Mints (again, Kramer-style) while attempting to put it in my mouth. I thought it fell on the floor and so I quickly forgot about it– but, apparently, it got squished between the seat and my leg for the rest of the night, where it slowly melted (because, as you can always assume, I was very sweaty) and spread across my pants. And yeah, I did wear the same pants two days in a row without washing them. You do it too, so SHUT UP.
“But how did you not notice it when you were getting dressed this morning, Emily?”
Because it was early, I hadn’t had coffee, and in general I am not a noticer of things.
“But how about when you took them off last night?”
I AM VERY BAD AT LIFE, OKAY?!
Which brings us back to this moment in the City Clerk’s office, when Eric and I are about to be called forward to sign a marriage license, and I have what appears to be a giant ball of (minty fresh!) shit spread across my pants.
Eric suggested I go to the bathroom and try to clean myself up.
I suggested we take a photo.
Needless to say, the papers still got signed (not by an officiant– just by us, Mom!) and Eric is still willing to marry me.
Now let’s see if I can make it down the aisle without a giant shit stain on my wedding dress.
* Chubbles = actual former pet of Eric’s
All I ask on this 9/11 anniversary is for every politician to shut their damn mouth and every football player to fucking stand. I don’t have it in my heart to be disgusted by you tomorrow.
(Part of the The NYC Effect series)
The gourmet deli next to me has delicious, freshly prepared foods, but it’s not exactly efficient. Every time I go in, the line isn’t that long, yet somehow I end up standing in it for at least 20 minutes, waiting to order.
Today I watched the man behind the counter take the order of a woman a few people ahead of me in line. She asked for half a pound of coleslaw. He took FOREVER to prepare it. And once he did, he gave her way too much. She pointed this out, and he shrugged and said, “Eh, no extra charge. We’re not here to make money or speed you through, we’re here to make friends!”
The old, Maryland me: “I love that! How refreshing! A place in NYC that actually values human interaction over robotic, impersonal efficiency! And he gave her free food! I’m coming here all the time!”
Me after a few years in NYC: “Aw, that’s cute! But still. I’m kind of in a rush here…”
Me today: <immediately walk out>
I don’t need friends.
I need some fucking egg salad.
(Related to The NYC Effect)
Last night I had a dream that my whole apartment caught fire. I woke up this morning to my smoke detector beeping low battery.
The former, Maryland-born me: “Wow, I’m so lucky! That beeping went off during my sleep and caused a dream about fire as a warning that I could be in danger, so I should change the battery ASAP. I’ll do that first thing today. Thanks for looking out for me, Universe!”
Me after 2 years in NYC: “Well that was annoying. Guess I should change the battery, though.”
Me after 5 years in NYC: “I am going to smash that thing in with a baseball bat so that it never fucks with my sleep again.”
Me this morning: <actual maniacal smashing of smoke detector, followed by spitting on it>
The NBC evening news just did a segment recommending activities for people who are looking to escape the miserable cold. Their top suggestion? An open-oven pizza place in Hoboken.
Cool idea! Let me drag myself out from under these blankets, pile on 7 layers of clothing (including a separate coat JUST FOR MY HEAD), acquire some frostbite in the city wind tunnels, feel the wind-and-sadness-induced tears turn to ice as I wait for delayed subways, ride 3 different lines of public transportation filled with unbathed homeless men looking to escape mother nature’s most recent bout of PMS, all so that I can go grab a slice of pizza IN NEW JERSEY.
It’s official. I’m not getting off this couch until spring.
Apparently there was some kind of impromptu issue on my street this morning, so traffic cops came to block off my road. I guess they didn’t have any more traffic cones or manpower, so they did it by lining up 4 city trash cans across my street, spacing them in a way that made it impossible to drive through.
As I exited my building, I watched as a harrowed woman drove right up to the trash cans and, holding a cigarette in one hand, used her free hand to drag two of the huge metal trash cans far enough apart that she could get through. She then put out her cigarette, spit on the ground, got back in her car, and drove right through the blocked off street.
I fucking love this city.