Friday, June 19, 2009

Awesomely Awkward, Part II: It's the Heat

Sorry to vanish like that. We've been entertaining our friend who's visiting. Matt is working extr-y hard, and I've been keep our domestic life on the rails. Oh, and also, it is hot as hell. This has been happening since, like, Wednesday. I walked out my front door, and instead of stepping into the soft embrace of early summer, I felt a wave of heat travel up from the sidewalk and hit me in the crotch. Then my eyelids started to sweat. Those two sensations combined make it really hard for a girl to keep her composure.

It is well known that heat waves cause psychological stress, and even an increase in violent crime. When I lived in California, my friend David and I used to be in the habit of blaming our moments of cattiness or bad behavior on the heat, which in Santa Cruz, meant that any day that the thermometer climbed above 76, you could be nasty as you wanna be. But this place, this South, this Hotlanta. . .well, it's amazing that any of us speak civilly from June to October. I'm going to blame the temperature for the way I let Frenemy Neighbor get my goat the other day.

Remember how last week I treated her to a view of my giant Obama face t-shirt, and she looked horrified? We met up at the pool after that for the kids to swim, and after a brief chat about nothing, she asked, "Have you been keeping up with this Judge Sonya story?" Judge Sonya, kind of like Judge Judy. I said, "Sure, I just saw that Laura Bush likes her." Frenemy Neighbor said, "I like that she's a woman, but I would really hate for us to get a justice with a political ax to grind." We were quiet for a moment. But I said, "Yes, a politicized Supreme Court is not what anyone wants. Like, look at Gore v. Bush--I think we still don't fully know what a travesty of justice that was." We were quiet for a moment. She said, "I don't like that Judge Sonya belongs to that Hispanic separatist group." I said, "What group are you talking about?" She said, "Oh, I don't know the Spanish name, but they want to create a Spanish-speaking nation inside America and exclude white people." I said, "Frenemy, I am one hundred percent sure that that is not true." She kind of laughed and said, "I hope you're riggghht. . ."

Then, fortunately, the pizza we'd ordered for the kids arrived. She reached over and squirted some Purel on Hank's palm. He said, "What the HECKS?" Which is exactly how I was feeling.

We left not long after that, and didn't really see each other until this past Wednesday afternoon. Her little girl was here playing with Laura, and FN came to pick her up. She has a history of making snotty remarks about my decor, so I should not have been surprised when she locked her eyes on a new pendant lamp I have. Oh, why it's this one right here. She said, "Did you get a new light?" She almost shouted it. And I don't know if FN knows that we here in the world can see her facial expressions, but she made a grimace, and held it, in kind of a rictus of pain. It reminded me of those frozen wide mouths you see on ancient Greek masks. I said, "Yes, we never liked the other one we had up there." I am not kidding, y'all, it was actually funny: FN's eyes were really wide, like her eyelids were pinned open and she was being forced to watch something horrible. Remember that scene in Clockwork Orange? She looked like that.

FN said, "But wasn't it BRASS?" I said, "Yeah, but it was tacky." She said, "Did that come from Ikea?" Only she kind of spat the word "Ikea," as though it were a curse. It was starting to get hilarious. I said, "It's okay, Frenemy, you don't have to like it!"

Then, then, something weird happened. She looked really irritated. Her mouth became a tight line, and her eyes got frowny. She said, kind of in a huff, "I do like it." And I kind of lost it, for me, because I said, "Then why do you look like you just ate a bug?" And then I waited a beat and laughed, "AH HA HA HA HA," insert more raucous laughter here. I thought if I laughed, it would soften the moment. Because yeah, that always works, the forced laughter thing. It brings people together. But she wasn't finished, and said, "You could have asked me, and I would have had Jim (her husband) rewire the old chandelier." Then I blacked out from the rage.

I'm telling you, it's the heat. But later we had a perfectly nice conversation about cleaning ladies. In my next post, I'll tell you about my search for (and finding of) a cleaning person. Two more things: it was really hard not to title this post, "Awesomely Awkward Part II: Electric Boogaloo," for some reason. And my little mowing dude never has come back to get his money. What the hecks?

I hope that you are all doing well and beating the heat.


Amy said...

Not sure the heat could justify THAT much tackiness. (Her behavior, not yours--or the pendant light, which is totally cute.) Some people just don't have an internal monitor, I think. As awed as I am by Frenemy Neighbor's level of weirdness, I always feel sorry for her.

Hope things are going okay for y'all in terms of busyness. Miss you!

Anonymous said...

I like your new light. I think you should balance a bucket of water over the door next time you know Frenemy Neighbour is coming to visit. Oh, and give her a door key so she has to open the door - can't believe I almost forgot that bit!

We don't really have the heat wave problem here at the moment. Maybe I could blame my grumpiness on slightly chilly feet.

Michele said...

I love the lamp and it is just your style. I don't really think you can blame the heat on her tackiness. It has been a little hotter than normal here and I did notice that people were not as polite as normal.

The Frenemy stories crack me up. Keep'em coming.

The Dental Maven said...

When Frenemy gives you one of her looks, how about quickly offering her a fleet enema, or see if she needs to use the rest room? If you do that often enough, her two neurons might be able to piece things together.

Michele Renee said...

Unbelieveable. I would have wanted to tell her to close her mouth or else flies would get in. You did the right thing by letting her know how she was acting in front of you. Doesn't she know in the South we are polite face to face and then she could have just talked about your decor behind your back? Mr. What the Hecks is adorable. Glad you're back. I was getting even more irratable not seeing a new post from you.

Maggie said...

First of all, love the lamp. Next, I must remember to use the "ate a bug" thing. Too cool!!

The Messy Mom said...

UH! I am exhausted from reading about frenemy. Glad you finally said something to her even if it was followed by laughter. I like your light, only I really mean it.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Mowing dude never came back? Oh, no! Maybe he was too embarrassed. I forget how self-conscious teenagers can be.

As for Frenemy, she got all hot and bothered because you called her out. And good for you for doing so. She's too much!

Lamp re-wired? I was thinking more of her brain.

She probably got that "separatist Sonya" baloney because she's a headline-only reader. In fact, it was the exclusive all-woman Belizean Grove club, from which Sotomayer recently resigned. So there, Miss Frenemy.

Keely said...

Sounds like the heat melted the filter between her brain and her mouth. And the one between her brain and her facial expressions.

Personally, I *love* that lamp. Brass makes me break out in hives.

Casey said...

I can see the disgusted look on her face, I have a friend who makes the same face and can't fake it.

gretchen said...

Man, I hate this woman. Just everything about her. Her politics. Her Purell. I'd love to come to Atlanta and tell her what her husband can rewire!

Becky said...

Rewire THIS! Ha! I am ready for a little break from Frenemy--our vacation comes at a great time.

And I would be totally fine if she just talked about my decor behind my back! But having her judge my taste is just so, so irksome. I know I've told y'all about the time she sized up a painting on my mantle and said, "Did someone you really love give you that?"

Dave said...

Wow, sounds like Frenemy is on the war path--first with "Judge Sonya" then with the chandelier.

After all, you weren't just wearing an Obama t-shirt; you were wearing an Obama t-shirt from MoveOn! Double shock!

Sara said...

So she was saying that brass is the only proper material for a chandelier light fixture? Or like it is a super valuable material, this brass?

There are just some folks so dense that even the 2 by 4 to the brain approach still isn't enough to knock some sense (or couth!) into them. I have at least one of those in my life. And it still takes me by surprise when they get their snarky little jibes in. I'm always like 'what the hell did i do to you?!'
What the Hecks, indeed!

Jenni said...

allow me a moment to swoon in love for santa cruz, ahhhh!

okay, now, LOVE the light, love that you told her she looks like she ate a bug, admire the fact you didn't slap her silly. she truely is FN.

Cassie said...

The light is awesome.

When you write a book (yes, I said WHEN) you absolutely must begin with this phrase:

I walked out my front door, and instead of stepping into the soft embrace of early summer, I felt a wave of heat travel up from the sidewalk and hit me in the crotch. Then my eyelids started to sweat. Those two sensations combined make it really hard for a girl to keep her composure.