Stuck in my apartment. Watching 5 billion episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker and/or Real Housewives of Orange County and/or basically anything on Bravo. Again.
But! It beats the hell out of hanging out with ghosts all day at the ulcer factory, so don't mind if I do and don't mind if I do. Helena and I had an old school giggly snow sleep over last night (well, old school plus a lot of alcohol and Andy Cohen. Both things that would have enriched my childhood tremendously) and we're going to continue today with more alcohol and a shit ton of Golden Girls. It's like senior year Spring Break all over again!
In other news, Co-Blogger Chris texted me last night to let me know he got an anonymous comment on yesterday's post calling him an unfunny and offensive idiot. Now, I don't want to say I was "excited" to hear this news because that sounds so cruel and heartless...but it was nice to hear that I'm not the only offensively unfunny one around here. So I thought today while I'm enjoying my giggly snow day off, why not bust out a Tulane Chris post and see if we can go 3 for 3, huh?! If you feel offended by today's Tulane Chris post in the slightest, you should totally feel free to let him know. And anonymously! (You're welcome, T. Chris. You, are welcome.)
Say what you will about race, I don’t think it’s fair that white men don’t have a coming-of-age ritual. Jews have bar and bat mitzvahs, Mexican girls have quinceaneras, jungle tribes have terrifying rituals involving poisonous insects. Bantus, Aborigines, Maori, what-have-you, they all get to do something fun to break up the oily monotony of puberty, but I had no such thing. The privileged white male rite of passage is porbably “First Drunken Smash-Up” or ceremonially asking for money for an abortion (I think chivalry demands that the man pay,) but I didn’t start drinking until I lived somewhere where I could usually walk home, and if one of my sexual partners got pregnant the abortion would easily be covered with the proceeds of the Barbara Walters interview. As a Catholic, I could have taken part in Confirmation, but – somehow – the idea of a year of night classes with very earnest and devout teenagers, all leading up to a bishop rubbing even more oil into my forehead than was already present failed to draw me in. Fortunately, this “recession” (none yet dare say “collapse,” but everyone seems to have stopped pretending it will get better) has taken adolescence and given it a good hard yank, so that asking one’s parents for money and sobbing about not knowing what to do with one’s life can now be expected to continue well into one’s thirties. I fully expect to need help paying for my first bifocals. Since I’m clearly not yet an adult, now will I be one for several years, I am probably developmentally at bar mitzvah / quinceanera / bullet ant age, so I decided that I was just going to have a ritual and come of age my own damn self.
I can’t afford a white dress. The only Hebrew sentence I know that isn’t related to ordering food is “Anashim, hen dvarim,” which means “Women are things,” and is probably too short to be a Torah reading. A lot of the tribal things have to do with days of crippling, searing pain, which I didn’t feel like doing. The only affordable, practical option I had was trying to find my spirit animal, so I tried to adapt the procedure to my circumstances. Instead of mescaline, I mashed up two thirds of a Xanax in the bottom of a glass and filled it with “Comrade Blotto” vodka and Diet Coke. Instead of wandering in the desert, I put in a DVD of “Cybill,” and just let it all… wash… over me.
A knock. On the TV, Cybill and Maryanne pointed at the door and nodded. I went to the door nervous, but excited. Was my spirit animal an owl? A Boston terrier? A monkey in a little hat? Oh, I wanted a monkey in a little hat. I would name him General Firecracker, and he would learn to play the accordion, and we would go to Paris on a steamship…
Knock knock knock. Oh, yeah. I opened the door to find a very small old woman in a Bedazzled sweater, stretch pants and white tennis shoes, with a giant purse over one arm. She gave my hand a firm shake and said, “How ya doin’, kid. Chaya Goldfarb, spirit animal.” She walked past me into the apartment, rummaging in her bag. I hoped she would come out with some mystical artifact, but she pulled out a flask and waggled it at me. “Wanna snort?”
“Are you my spirit animal?”
“Yeah, kid. Turns out there ain’t much call for 90-year-old Jewish broads in skin flicks, and I gotta pay the bills somehow.”
“I thought spirit animals were supposed to be coyotes or owls or, uh, little monkeys.”
“Listen, kid. You get the spirit animal that makes sense to you, that your brain is set up to understand. What do you know from coyotes? Bupkes.”
“Oh. Huh. Well, do you have any words of wisdom for me on this, my coming of age?”
“You’ll be twenty-five in two weeks. I got news for ya, kid, you’ve been of age for years. Let me turn on my soap and I’ll see if anything comes to mind.”
So, we sat on the sofa and watched some show with a name like Dangerous Desires. She spent the first half taking nips out of her flask and criticizing the characters – “We didn’t act like that in my day. Sure, everyone slutted around, but we didn’t act so trashy” – and then dozed off. The show ended and I nudged her with my elbow.
“What? Oh, right. Spirit animal. Uh… how about this. We all have many paths before us. If none is the right one, then neither is any one the wrong one.”
“Are you kidding? That’s shitty advice. Should I move back to New Orleans? Should I go to Tasmania? Am I going to make it as a writer? What? Come on!”
“Why not? Do ‘em all, kid. You got another fifteen years. Do what feels right.”
“Fifteen! What do you know?”
“No worries, kid.” She patted my cheek. “Think how much time you’ll save not worrying about your retirement.”
“Not worrying because when I’m thirty-nine I’ll win the lottery, or because when I’m thirty-nine I’ll be eaten by zoo animals?”
But she had gone. Fifteen years. That was humbling. I needed to hurry if I was going to make my great contribution to the world. A great book. One that opened the mysteries of life and let their majesty pour forth… Oh, hot damn! A Designing Women marathon!