I have this theory: San Fran is this great guy who is super sweet, brings you flowers, asks you on a Saturday date on Wednesday, your mom likes him and you should totally be with him, but he’s kind of boring. All your friends are like, “Oh, San Fran is so great,” and you’re like, “Yeah.…” Then New York is a fucking dick who owes you money and never calls you back, but you have the most amazing sex. He’s such a sexy badass and every time you’re like, I’m never going back, then he calls you at 3am and is like, “Hey girl,” and you’re like, “I’ll be right there.”
This is an exciting time of year.
My friends C. and A. just wrapped up graduate school. B. got a fancy new job. M. and T. are finishing up their intern years and starting in on residency.
I finished Jane Eyre.
You know, that 400-ish page Victorian novel that many kids knock back in high school English? (Not the AP one.) That paperback I’ve been plugging through, like someone whose second or maybe third language was English, for nearly a decade?
Feel free to send gifts.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice -
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations -
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do -
determined to save
the only life you could save.
- Mary Oliver, The Journey
Do you really think I’m dumb enough to watch Lena Dunham play “Rachel, circa 2006″ with the woman who gave birth to me in attendance? Absolutely not.
Hope my brothers (and one of their girlfriends!) had fun with that though.
-Not professing our support of gay marriage in our wedding programs
-Not getting tickets to see Jay Z at the Barclays Center
-Agreeing to watch an episode of GIRLS with my mother
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
-Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”
file under: stuff your husband’s parents, 82-year old grandmother, and the rest of the Harvard Club’s Sunday morning diners probably didn’t expect to hear over eggs benedict
“Did you think it was bad when I said that I knew I looked like a whore in my short-shorts and boots? I explained that I was only exposing that much thigh because none of my pants fit me anymore.”
“Um, I think it was worse when you used the word ‘blowjob’ during brunch. But that’s just me.”
In my defense: they all knew what they were signing up for long before April.
Friday night was supposed to be a date night.
It was supposed to be fancy and romantic and take place downtown, across the Brooklyn bridge, over tapas, somewhere other than my living room.
There were plans. But, then again, plans are really always hypothetical, especially when brainstormed in front of your office computer at 4 p.m. on a Friday. And plans don’t take well to hefty home-bound pours of hard cider and the nachos that inevitably follow.
By 7 p.m. I was spinning around my living room in short shorts and an Oxford shirt just one (ok, maybe three) buttons shy of propriety, boogying down in the exuberant yet thoroughly awkward way that is my jam, belting out Robyn and beckoning Meg over to help me finish the bottle.
By 8 p.m., Dave was shlepping his thoroughly sloshed wife (life-long commitment is even more adorable when there’s booze involved, people) not down to Tertulia or Marlow & Sons but up, five flights, to the place of a guy that he works with.
Fun fact: said guy, and his girlfriend, are friends with a former Bachelorette (the ABC kind, not the “we ate some Mexican apps and went to Rubix Cube kind,” though the latter was, indeed, a blast) and they had just been invited to said Bachelorette’s wedding. To the winning contestant! Complete with confidentiality agreement! Which clearly conflicts with the purpose and title of this blog. I will tell you, though, that the female half of the duo upstairs totally looked like Bachelorette material: skinny, peppy, wearing a sheer beaded top that tastefully whispered “Vegas,” instead of screaming it. Apparently, people like this exist in real life.
Anyway, the evening was to be a game night. It kicked off with drinking games, which, already being thoroughly bombed, I didn’t do so well at. In the first game, the main task was to remember the value of two cards that were then flipped upside down. This proved difficult for…only me. The second game had something to do with getting rid of all your cards, a task at which I once again failed.
The third game – while not technically tied to drinking – also threw me for a loop. Apples to Apples? Have you guys ever played? I found it beyond lame. I hated the annoying attempts at humor woven into the descriptions on the cards. Also, I lost. Badly.
But then, Bill, another friend, pulled out his contribution to the evening: Cards Against Humanity.
Look, it was clear from the very beginning that this game was not meant for church, children or people with weak stomachs. It’s like Apples to Apples, but super inappropriate. Many of the cards I was dealt had me running for Urban Dictionary. And then grimacing. And then smacking down phrases like “German dungeon porn,” ”micropenis,” and “picking up girls at the abortion clinic” with aplomb. Joyful, joyful aplomb.
I fucking loved this game. I won round after round after round. We’d play until five wins, and I’d reach that, and then we’d play until 10, and I’d hit that, and then we’d have to keep moving the milestone up and up and up, but I was still unstoppable. This is it, I thought. My calling. Something in which I finally excel. Proof of my excellent sense of humor, my wit, that my freshman year roommate was patently incorrect when she said I wasn’t funny enough to write for 34th Street? Yes. Yes to all that and more.
The only other time this had happened to me was in a junior year physics class where I was revealed to be shockingly good at solving electrical circuit problems. “What does this mean?” I had asked our teacher, an ornery scientist who I’d barely spoken to despite having had for homeroom for three years. “I guess you could be an electrician,” he said.
My fellow players’ reactions to my newfound game talent was fairly similar in tone. Even the Bachelorette’s friend/potential one-day contestant stylist was unimpressed and mildly annoyed that I was dominating. Dave – so competitive he’s been known to turn over a Scrabble bored if he’s not winning – was livid.
I was still on top of the world.
Eventually, the game died down (and by eventually, I mean, I made it to 20 and everyone else had had enough) and Dave and I headed back downstairs. Instead of drinking a massive glass of water like a responsible adult, I made a beeline for the computer and promptly hit Google to find out more about my soulmate of a game.
Which is when I discovered that 1- it’s currently sold out. And two – that it has a tag line, which very clearly lays out its purpose:
“Cards Against Humanity: A party game for horrible people.”
Friends, that was why I had been so good at it. Not because I’m smart or funny or vaguely hip enough to have written for my college’s arts and entertainment magazine. I’m not. I’m just a horrible human being with questionable values and little to no conscious.
But you know what? It turns out I’m more horrible than your average person. Which is something! Definitely a party skill worth showing off at a future shindig.
I signed up for the waiting list immediately.
Things spiraled from we definitely don’t need a color scheme (it’s a dog’s birthday party, for fuck’s sake) to what about yellow? (so fresh, so modern, so cheerful yet understated) to PINK EXPLOSION in a matter of minutes.
But then again, you probably saw that coming anyway.
Around the time we put her in her princess crown and Dave lifted her up and we all sang to her, I started to feel like this could possibly be the most pathetic spectacle I’ve ever orchestrated. So, um, there’s no photos of the actual party.
But suffice it to say, everyone enjoyed the pink lady cake.
God help us all if I ever have an actual daughter.