Tag Archives: lunch

part two: it’s cold & bright on the set of the anderson cooper show

"hi, i'm anderson. i know it's cold here, but my smoldering eyes will keep you warm ."

part 2 of a multipart series about our 3-weddings-3-states-1-day BFGW anniversary extravaganza (click here for part 1)

we determined the most sensible thing to do after my big fat jersey high school reunion was, of course, go to a taping of the anderson cooper show.

i mean, what else are you supposed to do after an evening saying things like oh yeah! i totally knew that was your identical twin! (twice!) and yeah yeah! i totally meant to wear jeggings while the rest of you beeotches had to wear GOWNS.

the next morning, before getting on the road to nyc, we hit the ritz diner, where we ate unnaturally large, fresh cheese blintzes (delicious) while holly joyfully discovered taylor ham. (as a non-pork-eater, i’d never tried it.) no one at the diner could actually explain what taylor ham was, which, personally, would worry me a little. this did not bother holly one bit, as she announced to the cashier that she’d like to get some for her family for christmas.

anyway, yes, anderson. anderson cooper is holly’s gay boyfriend. as soon as his new show hit the air and she found out it taped in manhattan, she decided we needed to go. being a planner, i.e. the one in our relationship who’s able to plan beyond what’s for lunch that day, she got free tickets like a month in advance. we were pretty  psyched.

we rolled into the park slope neighborhood of brooklyn, i.e. the place where almost everyone i’ve ever known from every facet of my life–i’m talkin jewish sleepaway camp, middle school, college, first jobs, you name it–lives, sunday afternoon to stay with our fabulous friends meredith & tiffany, who are basically famous for being one of the first same-sex couples to marry in new york. they also both have great hair and seem too attractive to actually be gay. (sorry to go there but i’m gay and i’m totally going there)

to add insult to injury they’re able to run up to their fifth-floor walk-up with vegan-food-stuffed reusable grocery bags, laundry and bikes all strapped to their backs while holly and i basically had small heart attacks every single time we went up there while each carrying a single ikea pillow.

whatever. we live in baltimore. we dodge bullets. we feed stray pitbulls. we…oh hell. we stay inside hiding all day. that’s why we’re both out of shape and i have a vitamin D deficiency.

so of course i wake up monday morning, holly’s big day, w/a five-alarm migraine–the kind where i can’t even eat or look at a ray of sunlight–and we get to the building where his show tapes just as the last elevators went up.

“sorry, ladies,” the fancy elevator guy told us. “you just missed the last elevators up to the show. you’ll have to wait on standby.”

it was like i could hear holly’s heart literally breaking. i felt so bad. i obsessed over how bad i felt until anderson’s psycho fans came along and then started obsessing about how the hell i could get away from them while staying in line.

first, a disheveled looking lady came up to the surprisingly friendly elevator guy to tell him she had “a message” for anderson. and that she needed to go upstairs to give it to him since she couldn’t find his email address on the website anymore. i kept wanting someone to tackle her bc she was holding a lot of bags. (hello! bombs!)

then a lispsy gray-haired guy came up to us and asked us 10 million times how we got tickets for the show even tho he said he had tickets for the next day. then, while holly was in the bathroom, he had me take a photo of him standing next to a photo of anderson. then he asked the elevator guy if the fact that he worked on a cruise ship would get him up there while i covered my hands in antibacterial gel bc i had touched his camera.

then the crown jewel of psycho male anderson fans came along: this mustached middle aged dude with an on-and-off-again yarmulke (i.e. the little skullcap jewish, mostly orthodox, men wear on their heads). he immediately honed in on holly as a friendly bystander and started loudly singing to oldies to her. i was rude to him, of course, i don’t even remember what i said, i just wanted him to go away. then holly got mad at me bc i’m always freaking on the crazies.

you only make them crazier, she hissed thru her teeth. even tho i told her she was wrong, i knew she was right. but it was too late. the damage was done and, to be completely honest, he really did just get crazier. in the meantime, bc of my pounding headache, everything seemed very loud and very bright. things were not, as you might say, off to a great start.

our luck changed fast tho. the elevator doors opened–DING! “ok, they have room for four more,” the elevator guy said. “you guys are in.”

YES. things were getting better.

we got into the elevator and crazy mustache yarmulke man asked the poor anderson cooper lady that happened to be in there already a million questions until we got up to the 5th floor.

we wound up sitting in a balcony above and off to the side of stage for the first segment while mustache man stood not sat two inches behind me, breathing on my hair while simultaneously waving to anderson like he was on a navy ship about to set sail for five years.

despite the little voice in my head that warned me not to freak out on him, i finally turned around and whisper-yelled, directly into his face, can you move back??? then he loudly mumbled about how i act just like his bitch sister-in-law and then i prayed for the remainder of the segment that he wouldn’t hit me on the head with a chair.

we moved down to the main area for the rest of the segments. i should note that the set of his show, like all big television sets, i suspect, is outrageously cold. i’m usually five to seven degrees warmer than everyone else around me so this is really saying something. it’s also pretty much the brightest place on earth. not the best place to have a migraine, is all i’m saying.

and of course! of course anderson had to stand right next to us for what felt like half of the damn penn state show (it was a special on the penn state sex abuse scandal). i kept telling myself to keep my head up so i wouldn’t have a double chin on air but i knew it was useless so i focused on the view outside and my relief that psycho mustache man wasn’t behind me breathing into my hair and comparing me to his sister-in-law who probably isn’t as much of a bitch as he says she is.

we had a pretty good time, all things considered. kathy griffin (LOVE HER) showed up for a new year’s segment and they practiced slicing champagne bottles open with knives. and his fabulous mom, gloria vanderbilt, suddenly appeared. i kept wanting to tell them all we were getting married three times the next day but i figured i’d hold it in bc anderson would be reading it here on my blog anyway.

anyway, if you happened to see the penn state show, that zombie girl with the ponytail, double chin and massively dilated pupils next to anderson is me. and i was totally wearing the sweater i wore to my big fat reunion, so if you were there and you saw me on tv i don’t want to even hear about it.

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wedding blitz: THREE WEDDINGS IN ONE DAY!

in celebration of our three-year wedding anniversary (i.e “the BFGW“) this tuesday (nov.15th), holly and i are going to get married in THREE STATES IN ONE DAY: new york, connecticut and vermont!

(massachusetts is annoying and won’t let us get hitched there, too, since we’re already legally married in d.c. so whatever, we’ll bypass mass. and go get our maple syrup on in vermont.)

(did i just say go get our maple syrup on? omg i kind of love that and i’m not even that into maple syrup.)

of course holly came up with this idea. she of the “b—jerk” (which is pronounced “bah-jerk” not “bee-jerk,” in case you were wondering. and if you haven’t read that post yet, you really should right now).

i guess she thinks i’m not that much of a bitch jerk after all since she wants to marry me three more times, bringing us to a total of five. if she wants to divorce my ass, she’s gonna have to travel up and down the friggin northeast so good luck with that, babe! you’re really in it now!

(holly was laughing and then suddenly stopped laughing and looked scared.)

since we’ll be in north jersey for my 15-year high school graduation on saturday night–HOLLA JAMES CALDWELL HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1996 WHADDUP!!!! (hello, i totally don’t feel that old! 15 years?!!)–which is just a couple days before our anniversary, she was like BABE, I HAVE THIS IDEA.

i was like greeeeat. (holly always has “ideas.”) at first i was like, could we really do this? and then, after some phone calls to different cities/counties in ny, conn. and vermont, i was like we COULD really do this!

so we’re doing it!

we’re doing it to celebrate our 10+ years of love, to take back our wedding day (unfortunately,  it was so filled with drama/discomfort, it wasn’t everything we wanted it to be) and since we can’t be married federally, we decided we’re gonna get married in every friggin state til we can. (fyi: since maryland recognizes our legal marriage in dc, we file our maryland taxes as “married” but have to file federal taxes as “single,” which is ridiculous). we also want to do it so one day, when we have kids and they’re older, we can show them all of our marriage certificates and they’ll see that we lived thru this historical time and fought hard for our love and to be recognized as equal–hopefully marriage inequality will be ancient history by then.

btw: if you’re new to lunch at 11:30 and would like a jessica & holly wedding primer (it gets confusing, as we’ve been married twice “without a divorce in between,” as i like to joke to people) i suggest visiting the BFGW (Big Fat Gay Wedding) page here.

yes, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll probably need a snack break. (i often need a snack break just writing posts. then again i’m ready for lunch at 10am so i think it’s fair to say i have a problem. that or a tape worm. which is also a problem. ok i think i’d rather just be hungry early.)

so here’s hoping we can can hitched three times in three states between the hours of 9am and 5pm. ready! set! WEDDING! xxo!

“did you really just call me a b—jerk?”

where's my chapstick? my lips are totally killing me! gawd!

ladies know: there are fightin’ words and then there are fightin’ words.

if you have a spouse/partner/girlfriend/significant other that is a woman, you know calling her something along the lines of, oh, i don’t know, a bitch is pretty much the wrong thing to do in all cases, no exceptions. even if she trash talks your mom, turns off the tv when you’re watching it, steals the covers or drinks the last of the milk when you’ve been craving a bowl of cereal since you went to bed the night before, or tells you that yes, your butt really does look big in those jeans. (who would do that is beyond me. basically a death wish.)

however, sometimes it’s tempting. that temptation is times two when there are two women in a relationship. (if you’d like to read more woman-woman annoyances i suggest you click here.) because, inevitably, one of you is usually acting like a bitch. or being bitchy. but you never, ever call the other one an actual bitch because you’re likely to get elbowed in the mouth, kicked behind the knee or have something thrown at you, like your car keys, which signals that you’d better get the hell outta this house and drive far, far away, perhaps to your family’s in western pee-ay, before i start throwing dishes like we’re at a big fat greek wedding except for i’ll be throwing them at your head and there will be no dancing.

in the 10+ years we’ve been together, holly and i have pretty much avoided calling each other “the B Word” by generally sidestepping the actual word and instead opting for you’re acting like a bitch.

QUIT ACTING LIKE SUCH A BITCH, BABE! i have yelled, loudly, on more than one occasion.

I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU JUST CALLED ME A BITCH! she usually yells back.

I DIDN’T CALL YOU A BITCH! i yell back. I SAID YOU WERE ACTING LIKE A BITCH. THERE’S A DIFFERENCE. (truly, there is no difference. you and i both know that and so does holly and so does everyone else.)

so yeah, on saturday morning i was kind of acting like a bitch. i’ll admit it. i had worked til like 10pm the night before. and worked, like, 10-hour days at my computer every single day before since sunday. i was tired. and didn’t want to friggin clean the house.

i especially didn’t want to flip the bed or whatever the hell holly wanted me to help her with at 9am in the morning. it irritated me so i acted out and then we got in a fight and didn’t talk to each other for the next three hours. holly stayed upstairs watching, most likely, bad reality tv or whatever was on bravo, and i stayed downstairs doing laundry and watching napoleon dynamite on comedy central trying to forget about how bitchy she was acting as well as raise my serotonin level bc i was starting to feel downright depressed, not to mention hungry.

we eventually started talking to each other again, and i immediately began trying to convince her to take me to chipotle for lunch. she eventually agreed–score!–and we went down to the can company to get some tacos (me) and a burrito bowl (her) and perhaps heal our wounded relationship.

why did you have to act that way? holly asked me, dipping a chip in guacamole. why were you being that way? you ruined the day.

despite my urge to throw black beans at her, i couldn’t help but think she looked cute. dammit. why do you have to be so cute?  i thought, stuffing my face with vegetarian tacos, trying my best to avoid the question and distract her by talking about the weather and pointing at dogs walking by.

babe, stop ignoring me.

i am not ignoring you. i’m talking to you, aren’t i? look at that dog out there! look it’s so cute!

babe. answer the question.

BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT TO HELP YOU FLIP THE DAMN BED OR SHIFT THE DAMN BOXSPRING OR WHATEVER THE HELL ANNOYING THING YOU WANTED ME TO DO AT 9AM. i whisper-yelled.

well why did you have to be such a b…jerk about it?!

a WHAT?! i stopped dead in my tracks. suddenly i wasn’t the bad one anymore.

did you just call me a b-jerk?!! i whisper-shreaked

what? no! 

she knew her mistake. her mouth had betrayed her brain. the secret was out. she basically called me a bitch.

did you really just call me a “b-jerk”???

no. yes. wait, what? no, i said you were acting like a jerk!

no, you said i was being a B-JERK! you starting calling me a bitch but covered it up!

then she started laughing with her mouth full of burrito bowl and almost choked bc she was laughing so damn hard. then i started laughing, too. then we hugged. psych! we didn’t hug in chipotle! 

then some big scary dude with a long white beard in a red-and-black lumber-jack type shirt at another table saw the steelers emblem on my t-shirt peeking out of my jean jacket and yelled YOU’RE IN RAVENS COUNTRY!

instead of shouting something really memorable back i just stared at him, slack-jawed, and shouted “NO!” nice.

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my modern love essay that the new york times didn’t publish

i know, i know. i kind of suck b/c i haven’t been blogging lately and you’re sick of seeing that androgynous goth person staring at you every time you visit to see if i’ve updated. (in all honesty: not a clue if that’s a man or a woman.)

i’ve been so busy working (pbbbbt! work! i know, right?!!) that i’m going to cheat and in lieu of one of my typically ridiculous entries, i’m going to share my modern love essay recently submitted to and politely and promptly rejected by the new york times. not a huge surprise they didn’t publish it, as i’m sure they get about a trillion submissions a month, but a bummer nonetheless.

the great thing is that essays like this don’t go to waste when you have a blog. so i am self-publishing my essay. please enjoy all the capital letters and proper punctuation and i promise i’ll be back soon…

You’re Gonna Meet a Prince(ss) 

Throughout my youth and adolescence, my grandmother predicted three things:

1. If I ate any more than 10 grapes (red or green, didn’t matter), I would get a “bellyache.” (This wasn’t just me, either. This was all people.)

2. I’d meet and marry a prince. A “Jewish prince,” she declared, despite my argument that Jewish princes hadn’t existed for at least a couple thousand years, if they ever existed at all.

3. That using a blow dryer every day would ruin my hair.

Which do you think turned out to be true? (I’ll give you a hint: It doesn’t have anything to do with fruit or princes.)

When she died nearly 11 years ago (she was 91, I was 21; “A babe in the woods,” she’d say), I probably had never eaten more than 10 grapes at any one time, and I was still on the fence about the hairdryer thing. But even in high school, I secretly knew in my heart of hearts that the prince she predicted I’d meet might actually turn out to be a princess. And who knows if she’d even be Jewish.

Losing my grandmother was devastating to me. Our coffee klatsch of two was now a coffee klatsch of one. I had lost my best friend.

Who would I have toasted bagels and lox with? Who would I call at midnight just to say hi? And now that she was in heaven, what would she think of the fact that her granddaughter was a rainbow flag-waving homosexual? Surely she would find out (after she hit the Heavenly Diner all-you-can-eat cheese Danish/macaroni salad/pickles and smoked fish buffet, of course).

I tried not to focus on what she’d think, and kept my head down and focused as a young community reporter in suburban Washington, D.C.

And then it happened: I met my princess. I met Holly.

It was an unusually hot April night in downtown Washington. We were both wallflowers at ladies night at a gay bar on 17th Street. Soon we were talking outside. She wrote her email address on a square napkin in blue ink. I emailed her a week later. She wasn’t Jewish. I went out with her anyway. I mean, how long could it really last?

That was 10 years ago.

Since then, we’ve been married twice (once “unlawfully,” once lawfully—both times in Washington, just up the street from where we met in 2001). We bought, gutted and renovated a boarded-up crackhouse in southeast Baltimore, which we now call home. Our life is one big adventure. I love her more than life itself.

While Holly never had the pleasure of meeting my walker-pushing, hell-raising, unfiltered Pall Mall-smoking grandma, I’ve kept her a part of our lives by reminiscing almost daily about our times together. Sometimes I’ll even call someone a bastard (“bas-tid” in Grandma’s Jersey-ese) in her memory. Usually behind their back, but not always. This would have made her incredibly proud.

I don’t wonder anymore what she’d think of the fact that I’m gay. She wouldn’t care. I don’t wonder what she’d think of Holly. She’d absolutely adore her.

My grandmother had four younger brothers. My 90-year-old Great Uncle Ben was the baby of the Leibowitz clan, and is the last sibling standing. He’s become like a grandfather to both Holly and I. He’s been our biggest supporter, and was up front and center—fresh off the plane from Fort Lauderdale—at our legal wedding in Washington in March 2010.

He is the male incarnation of my grandma—kind, funny, generous and always ready with a dismissive “ah-who-the-hell-needs-‘em” hand wave to anyone who does me wrong. I love him so much my eyes fill with tears when we’re together. We both do. And he loves us back.

Holly met him for the first time in August 2009, and he gave her a huge bear hug from his couch.

“My new niece!” he announced, holding her hand, his eyes shining with delight.

He took my parents, Holly and I out to eat that first evening. As he and I walked into the restaurant, he paused—his wheelie walker (the kind with the breaks) and south Florida humidity between us—and turned to me.

“Are you happy? Does she make you happy?” he asked, touching my hand.

“Yes,” I said, tears in my eyes. “Yes, she does.”

“Well, that’s all that matters. If someone doesn’t like it, they can go to hell,” he said. “Let’s eat.”

And with that, I knew. It wasn’t just Uncle Ben speaking. It was Grandma, too.

I’d like to think it was more than serendipity that brought Holly and I together that warm April night 10 years ago.

“That one,” I imagine Grandma saying from her regular booth at the Heavenly Diner, her mouth full of potato salad and beets and everything else she loved from Jersey diner salad bars that I couldn’t stand as a kid.

“She needs to meet that one,” she said, pointing down at Holly. “That’s the one. They’re going to have a wonderful life together.”

And we really do have a wonderful life together. I have my coffee klatsch of two again. Sometimes, when we’re lucky enough to all be together, it’s even a coffee klatsch of three—me, Holly and Uncle Ben.

cry for help: i can’t stop watching “i shouldn’t be alive”

trust me, without the proper snacks & hydration, i probably wouldn’t be.

i’m not a big tv person. sure, i love my today show. i love a little ellen here and there. cooking shows even tho i have no patience for cooking b/c i’m always too damn hungry to follow directions and wind up screwing everything up. obviously i love my golden girls reruns even tho holly won’t let me watch them anymore, don’t ask me why. (i’m sure she’ll be annoyed i wrote that, but whatever. that’s what the comment section is for.)

but i’ll tellya what: every now and then a show comes along, and you cannot. stop. watching it. for me, that show is “i shouldn’t be alive.” it’s on animal planet. hell if i know why, as the stories are always about humans but whatever.

if you’ve never seen it, the scenario is usually something along the lines of a couple/few dumbbutts go on a backwoods/water-oriented/mountain, etc. adventure and something goes terrible wrong and then they’re stranded and in a race for time to a) survive and b) get rescued somehow. it is damn good tv.

they weave interviews w/the person or people that went thru the ordeal into the narration and have actors dramatize the whole thing. it sucks when all of the people aren’t interviewed b/c then you know one died. i hate that.

anyway, our household television viewing usually goes something like this: holly’s watching something downstairs. i shout BABE WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING three or four times from the sink (where i’m doing the dishes) until she hears me over the running water and whatever’s on. (i’m sure she now regrets the tragically hip open floor plan she designed for us, which allows to me to yell like a jewish grandmother across the entire first floor whenever i want.)

she pretends not to hear me until i become unbearably loud and then she says something along the lines of stop asking so many questions/sit down and watch this, will you?

i have a very short attention span for tv, but sometimes i’ll actually sit down and watch whatever she’s got on. that’s how i started watching the new york/beverly hills/new jersey housewives. also america’s funniest home videos, which i used to really not like but now kind of enjoy b/c holly’s taught me how to laugh when ppl fall down (except old ppl and little kids; we don’t like that–hello, we’re not evil).

anyway, “i shouldn’t be alive” (ISBA) was one of those shows. and on the weekends it’s like these ISBA marathons. we try to get up but we can’t. my fingers and toes and the tip of my nose get freezing cold even tho duh, i know they’re going to be saved!

on more than one occasion, i’ve told holly–as i shiver w/nerves next to her on the couch–that i’m quite sure i’d be the first to die in one of those scenarios. holly says people surprise themselves in those dire-straight type situations, but i’m telling you, low blood-sugar runs in my family. if i don’t eat every three hours i’m toast. i get migraines w/out the proper amount of caffeine and water. not to mention the fact that my overly sensitive cervical spine (i.e. neck), which will undoubtedly get irritated w/out at least one feather pillow. the sad thing is here you think i’m kidding but i’m actually not.

i’m like the 21st-century jersey-girl version of the princess and the pea.  “oh my gaaaaaaaawsh. ew, i can’t sleep on the ground! is there a starbucks around here? oh my gawsh how do you know those berries aren’t poisonous?” oh and let’s not forget the lack of my precious straightening iron. if i don’t wind up bear food and actually manage to get rescued, my hair would be a mess.

oh i also failed to mention that i can only tread water for like three minutes tops so if this is an ocean adventure gone awry, i’d drown almost immediately b/c i’d be too panicked to take off my shirt/jeggings/whatever and blow it/them up into a flotation device however the hell you do that.

i’m going off-topic here. what i’m trying to say is, if you haven’t watched the show, i doubledog dare you to turn it on, watch for 5, 10 minutes and then try to turn it off. it’s nearly impossible. kind of like american idol tryouts except worse. and with wolves.

i know you’ve been waiting for over a week to hear about how i got lost in the woods, but i need to tell you about this annoying thing that holly does to my coffee first

if you have a significant other, or you’ve had one in the past, i’m sure there’s something that s/he does or did that is/was meant to be loving but only proves/proved to be annoying or frustrating. i’m going to talk about that today, and of course by “that” i mean holly and something she does, and bless her heart she is so damn patient w/me and this damn blog. i keep telling her that it will make us rich one day, and that for some reason people (and by “people” i mean you people) like to read about the ridiculous crap that goes on in our relationship more than anything else and i must give the public what it wants. which brings me to this post.

so this morning, we were eating breakfast at our favorite diner, eastern avenue’s famous broadway diner, where you can get not one but two large breakfast specials (eggs/home fries or grits/meat if you want it/toast/coffee AND juice) for under $10 (!?!) as long as you get there before 11am (and hello, we were there at like 7:30am b/c holly gets my ass up early simply b/c if she’s up, i need to be up–kind of like a puppy except not).

anyway, the coffee arrives and holly first pours milk into her coffee (we get milk not cream; i know, high-maintenance) and then, before i can stop her (she’s fast–stealth, actually) reaches across the table and lovingly pours it into mine.

i sigh. no actually i don’t sigh. i whisper-shout babe, what are you doing?! then i sigh.

we have been thru this before. i’m picky about my coffee. not only does it need to be hot (i inherited this; i swear, my late grandmother would actually send coffee back at pretty much every jersey diner (and Friendly’s–oh, Friendly’s, remember that place??) we ever went to, much to my teenage embarrassment, if it wasn’t “piping hot”), sometimes i want it black, sometimes i want milk in it–but not too much milk, lest it lose its coffee taste and become anything less than mouth-scalding, blistering hot.

holly, on the other hand, likes a lot of milk in her friggin coffee. she actually turns them into lukewarm lattes. i honestly don’t even know how she drinks them. but i guess that’s none of my business. to each their own.

anyway, we decided years ago that i didn’t want her adding milk or cream or whatever we have on hand to my coffee. i know she does it out of love, but it drives me crazy. if i wanted milk or cream, i’d add it on my own. not to be rude but i’m just saying.

the first time she ever did it, i think we were at our old favorite diner (endearingly called “the diner”) back when we lived in dc’s adams-morgan neighborhood. our coffee arrived, she picked up the creamer, poured some into her mug, reached across the small table and poured a whole lot of it into mine.

i asked her, somewhat horrified, what she was doing, and she responded that she didn’t know what came over her. she just…did it. and that was the beginning. so every now and then, and come to think of it, it’s usually when we’re grabbing breakfast at a diner (as i former jersey girl, i pretty much live for diners. esp. if they’re greek-owned), holly will get possessed by the dairy…i don’t know, the dairy fairy, and inexplicably pour milk or cream into my coffee.

i feel like she does it out of love. which is nice, really, if you think about it. but dammit it doesn’t make my coffee taste any better–or make it any hotter.

in all fairness, i need to add that i do plenty of annoying things out of love. for example, if holly feels the least bit under the weather, i ask her if she’s ok or needs tea every two minutes or less. i’m also constantly saying hi to her around the house and asking (yelling) where she is moment i can’t actually see her. (i think this is a north jersey jewish trait.)

if you have any similar stories about past or present significant others, please share. in the meantime, keep your coffee away from holly b/c if she cares about you, she might turn it into a cafe au lait.

oh my gosh we’ve become one of those households with nothing to eat

back in the day (and by “in the day” i mean roughly ’90-’96), there were “good” people to babysit for and “bad” people to babysit for. this black-and-white labeling system (there wasn’t any room for grey, as you’ll see) had absolutely nothing to do with the actual kid or kids you were babysitting for. oh no. it simply revolved around the food available to eat.

let’s face it. if you were lucky, the kid(s) would go to sleep either before or soon after their parents left. what was left to do on a saturday night besides eat and watch tv? 

the best family i babysat for undoubtedly had ellio’s pizza in the freezer. i was all about the frozen pizza back then. please, that sh*t was the bomb and you know it. the worst family i babysat for had freezerburned ice cream, weird little jars of organic condiments on the fridge door and, like, stone-ground wheat crackers. and jam. plenty of friggin jam.

“there’s snacks in the fridge and cabinet, jessica!” the mom would cheerfully announce on her way out the door. “help yourself to whatever you’d like!”

like hell there was, lady! what a trick. you go out with your husband  to go eat real food, leave your kid with me and expect me to have the wherewithal to take care of him or her w/out the proper nourishment? what if my blood-sugar drops?! do you really think a stone-ground piece of cardboard posing for a wheat cracker is really gonna help me? how do you think i’m going to run after your child if i’m so weak i can’t lift myself off the living room/dining room/kitchen floor? don’t you think chocolate ice cream would be more effective than, say, canned legumes? 

hello! i was a teenager! in jersey! i wanted chips and anything bright orange covered with artificial cheese powder.  going to the “all-natural” families’ homes were really the worst.

so i look in our fridge the other night. unsatisfied with what was in there, i opened our cupboard. suddenly my babysitting history flashed before my eyes. kind of like when your “life flashes before your eyes” except with mc hammer pants and brenda walsh bangs.

“oh my gosh, honey, we’ve become one of those households with nothing to eat!”

“huh?” holly replied.

[i’m always (loudly) making grandiose statements out of nowhere. i think she started tuning them out, like, nine years ago.]

“like when i was in middle school and high school, babe? and i babysat for these couple families that only had natural, organic food and therefore never had any decent snacks?!”

“oh. yeah.”

“don’t you see, honey? now we’re one of them! we have nothing to eat! it’s like mother hubbard up in here!”

“we have plenty to eat!” she said, suddenly animated. “you just have to make it!”

“i don’t want to make it! i want to reach in the fridge or pantry and grab something and eat it! i can’t believe we spend so much money on food and we have nothing to eat!”

i slammed the cupboard door to emphasize my point. holly raised her eyebrows as if to say woman, you’d better cool it. i decided to shut up and hastily ate a handful of unsalted organic sunflower seeds, then grabbed an organic gala apple out of the fridge, which i chewed noisily while i thought about our recent switch to organic, barely processed/unprocessed foods.

we started the switch for my migraines (a physical therapist told me not to eat anything i can’t pronounce; she had an excellent point) and now merged into mostly organic foods. i have to say i’ve been feeling better. but it really takes a toll on the snacks! plus you can barely buy anything, seems like, at a regular grocery store, and we have to go to whole foods, which is such a cliché but at least we have one nearby.

anyway, my point is, if i even have one, is that…let’s see…don’t throw stones. what you make fun of when you’re 15 you can become when you’re an “adult.” (i use that term loosely, hence the quotes.) also, if you hire a babysitter, at least have the decency to buy some good snacks, ppl! and man! ellio’s was good.