Friday, November 21, 2008

Awkwardly Social (New People Suck)

MNP stands for Meet New People, which was the title of a party I attended last night at Landmark Grill + Lounge across from the Steppenwolf theater on Halsted Street. Prior to MNP I was at the Michael Kors opening at the 900 Shops, where I talked to roughly 15 of the 200-500 people I always talk to. Prior to that, I had a margherita pizza at Frankie’s Scallopini on the fifth floor.

MNP was not supposed to be a singles party, but upon arrival my friend Graham (who agreed to escort me so I wouldn’t have to meet new people by myself) took in the mostly female crowd and said: “Yep, smell that desperation in the air?” Later, when we were surveying the scene from the second-floor catwalk, we also detected a hint of tater tots and possibly a note of funnel cake.

Anywho, though we were sorely tempted to converse only amongst ourselves (like we do all day every day at work), we forced ourselves to seriously Meet New People. A sampling of the conversations that ensued:

Amalie & Graham, approaching party of three: Hi! Are you guys meeting new people?
Two guys & a girl: Yeah. None of us know each other.
A&G: Cool, where do you work?
(Banking, doctoring, and one other thing I can’t remember)
Graham, to doctor: What hospital do you work at?
Doctor: A children’s hospital.
Graham: How nice. What’s your favorite part of your job?
Doctor: The patients.

Amalie & Graham, approaching dude frantically texting on iPhone: Hi! Are you meeting new people?
iPhone dude: I’m waiting on someone I already know to bring me a drink.
Graham: Well, is this seat taken?
iPhone dude: My friend’s coming back. (Continues to text, fully ignoring further conversational attempts)

Amalie & Graham, approaching guy in blue shirt leaning on wall: Hi! Are you meeting new people?
Blue Shirt: No, I’m setting my watch.
A&G: Fascinating!
Blue Shirt (fidgeting): It’s kinetic. It’s powered off the movement of my body.
Amalie: Oh, I’ve never heard of that.
Blue Shirt (appalled): What, you don’t know how a Rolex works? (Runs away. I kid you not. Literally exits the room at high speed.)

My arrival back at my apartment building held ten times more excitement, thanks to the fact that there was a mystery box addressed to me in the foyer. I had not ordered nor was I expecting delivery of any items, so my walk up the stairs was a fantastic exercise in imagination.

A gift from a secret admirer?

A bomb?

Fan mail?

Hate mail?

Popcorn? (That’s what it sounded like)

The reality: A three-month supply of prescription medication from the mail-order pharmacy my healthcare provider now requires us to use.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Heavy Metal

Today I was getting a manicure in a nice bluish-blackish-gunmetal-gray that I brought in myself (as always), and the manicurist asked, “So, what’s with the color? Is it for winter?” Well, what kind of a question is that? I mean, the only sensible answer is that I happen to like it, but that didn’t seem quite good enough. Should I have told her I don’t do pink? Should I have said dark nails are my best option for maximum wardrobe blending? Should I have explained that this is a nail strategy that is both cool and also avoids the overt trendiness of pure black? Here’s what came out of my mouth: “Actually, I’m a little bit rock ’n roll.”

What? I am! I used to love Metallica, and even to this day I naturally gravitate toward any item of clothing that features grommets.

Oh fine, so I might have a slight badass complex. This fact first occurred to me while in the Circuit City parking garage on North Avenue with my friend Jeff last weekend, when he tried to convince me that instead of new speakers for Black Beauty, what I really need is a new car. As usual, I was scoffing away. “Humph! What do I need with a new car? This one hasn’t overheated in at least a year! Don’t be fooled by all those check engine and brake light failure alerts; they indicate nothing more than a slight electrical problem. I can take it! Me and this car, we’re in it together. Fight to the end! The very, very end.” Yeah, I should probably get a Honda.

Anywho, I’m off to flower-arranging class. C-YA.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Taxicab Confessions

Once in a blue moon I’ll take a cab to work so I can reduce stress by not having to look for a parking spot, but sometimes it’s not much of a savings. To wit:

Me (sliding into backseat of cab): Man, it’s really smoky in here.
Cabbie: I just got back from a run to O'Hare. Guy was smoking, but I couldn’t see him in my rearview so I didn’t say anything.
Me: Hmm.
Cabbie: My dad smoked for 83 years, lived ’til he was 96.
Me: That’s something.
Cabbie: But if you ask me, it’s selfish to stay alive past a certain point.
Me: Mmm.
Cabbie: I mean, if you’re old and you can’t do for yourself and you’ve got diabetes and you can’t go anywhere and all your friends are dead then waddya got left? The boob tube? No thanks, I’d rather walk off a bridge.
Me: Yeah.
Cabbie: Don’t know why they keep building new condos. Nobody’s buying in this market.
Me: The Spire’s on hold.
Cabbie: The economic crisis is good for a lot of people. People are cuttin’ up their credit cards. Buddy of mine had 21 credit cards. He hit hard times. Lost his six-flat. Told me he could get $250,000 in credit anytime he wanted, but I always told him then he’d have to pay it back.

I really wanted to change the subject but I was too tired.

P.S. Lately I’ve been catching myself talking to myself in terms of Facebook status updates. I think: “Amalie is eating M&M’s.” “Amalie is looking for a new favorite lip balm.” “Amalie has a lot of split ends.” Somebody please stop me.

P.P.S. If you absolutely must send me an e-mail with the subject line, “Fighting Dandruff Fungus!” then please refrain from sending it between the hours of 11:30AM and 1:30PM.