1 people of the cta. did you know that any asshole with a fucking flip phone can catch you slipping on the train and, one blurry, pixelated photograph later, use that pre-paid piece of shit to embarrass you in front of the entire internet?! WELL THEY CAN. i didn't even know this was a thing until recently! that my fellow public transporters, innocuous-looking jittery crackheads though they may be, pose a threat to me other than leaving a fabric-covered seat soaked in homeless urine. the first one i ever saw was a dude in an ernie from sesame street costume riding the train while drinking a beer through the eyehole. i was like, "wow, that's hilarious," until i realized that someone he didn't know had taken said picture and uploaded that motherfucker without his knowledge. i immediately glanced up from my phone to make sure that none of the jerks on the purple line had noticed that my ill-fitting bra had created that weird quadra-boob effect and was documenting that shit for internet posterity. i scrolled through several dozen more photos, unsuspecting people caught on public transportation sleeping with their mouths open and wearing inappropriately tiny shorts. and commented on by hundreds of people. i don't have my shit together enough for this to be a thing. sometimes i am on the bus at 640am, dicks. i can't promise i won't fall asleep in a humiliating position or have fifty shades of grey pressed right up to my face, and am i allowed no dignity because of it? now i gotta get up fifteen minutes early to make sure my outfit looks good enough to get jostled next to hobos in?! I HATE THIS LIFE. i'm buying a car.
1a being one of those neck-down cautionary obesity tales unknowingly videotaped while walking through a crowd of average-sized people on a busy downtown street. i don't really watch the local news, because 1 i don't give a shit about glenbrook north's varsity football team and 2 the daily show. but i do sometimes catch the teasers for that shit while thoroughly engrossed in the voice, and nothing scares me harder than that loud, booming voice announcing, "DANGER. 1,247 REASONS NOT TO DRINK SODA," accompanied by some stock footage of a bunch of faceless fupas and cinnamon rolls lumbering down a moderately busy downtown street. how do they decide who makes the final cut? is there some special fatness barometer? THIS DRESS FITS WEIRD I SWEAR I'M REALLY TINY. this is why i surround myself with waifs at all times. because if your local investigative news team films this bitch from the neck down i want that shit to be CONFUSING AS FUCK. "wait a second, is this diet coke actually all that dangerous? i mean, those skinny broads look amazing. that fat one should really start drinking soda."
2 leaving my gross ass panties someplace. let me clarify that i don't mean my lacy black sex panties that i accidentally on purpose left behind in some dashing paramour's apartment. i mean getting on the elevator early one morning only to look down and discover that i'd dropped a pair of flag-sized period underwear in the corner while dragging around a mountainous load of laundry half asleep at 730 the night before, and for the twelve hours since my GIANT, RUST-STAINED UNDERPANTS have been riding up and down getting stepped on by all of the fratboys who live in my building. "hey chad, when did management put a doormat in the elevator? that was a fucking good idea, bro." and then these dudes are talking about the absorbency of my weekend panties and shit. THAT IS A TERRIFYING PROSPECT TO ME. you know what else paralyzes me with fear? some asshole in the laundry room pulling my wet clothes from the washer because i was thirty seconds too late getting there. i'm not sure how many units are in my mid-rise building, but there are three goddamned washing machines. THREE. THAT IS ALL. and usually i wash my clothes at dawn on mondays because the kids aren't up yet and mommy can drink her screwdriver and read the newspaper in peace, but sometimes i have to do an emergency load during the week because i only own one pair of nice pants. so on those days, the emergency pants days, i set a timer so that i can be hovering over the washbasin the second the spin cycle finishes. and another for the approximate time the dryer should be done. because standing frozen in the laundry room doorway watching someone struggle to pull the tangled mess of my cat hairy bras out of the dryer is what i imagine hell must feel like.
3 being that jerk with the most shit in the walgreens line. i went to walgreens on a date once. NOT FUCKING KIDDING. dude was like, "want to get a drink this week?" and i was like, "wouldn't you rather come with me to walgreens?" i fucking love walgreens. like, i love it for real. and you can learn so much about a person from his drugstore purchases. why palmolive and not dawn? why name brand hot dog buns but generic toothpaste? are you really looking at the t-shirts with "chicago" emblazoned across the front?! I THOUGHT YOU WERE FROM HERE. if we go to walgreens together, guaranteed i am watching what you put in your basket. and it better be a basket, and not a motherfucking cart, because i don't want to be the bitch with the most shit in line. what makes walgreens the goddamned jam is the same thing that makes it absolutely terrifying: you can go in for a pack of batteries and a bottle of tylenol OR you could spend an afternoon there furnishing your outdoor patio set and modeling snuggies and orthopedic sandals. IT IS A PLACE FULL OF MIRACLES. until you get to the checkout, because there's usually only one bitch old as methuselah who can't see shit and there's no room on the counter for all twelve bottles of motor oil, this month's issue of allure magazine, seventeen cheap-ass lip glosses you are never going to use, and a bag (okay two bags, but ONLY BECAUSE them shits are 2/$1) of peanut butter m&ms. then everyone behind you, all of the courteous people with cars who can buy their bulk toilet paper at target, are all huffing and sighing because grandma can't find the coupon for those extra large overnight maxi pads in the crumpled up sale paper she keeps next to her scanning chair. BITCH, GET SOME $9 MAGNIFYING GLASSES FROM AISLE SIX AND HURRY UP WITH MY SHIT. i am actively sweating right now, louise. i can feel poop starting to come out of my butt because twenty-seven people with better places to be are watching you fumbling around with that box of textured condoms i don't really need. please move it along, these people fucking hate me. and they should. because i am buying flip flops, a garden hose, and a window fan at 5pm on a tuesday and no one is answering your call for a relief cashier. and this dude behind me is never going to go out with me ever again.
4 not recognizing someone from facebook out in public. a few weeks ago i went to st. louis to watch my genius friend lara get her md/phd in neuroscience. THAT BITCH IS HELLA SMART. shit, i can't even correctly count my weight watchers points. remind me to tell you sometime how terrible it is to have incredibly successful friends. anyway, i took the amtrak, because it's cheap and reliable and did you know that they have wi-fi now?! AMAZE. i don't know that i'd spend nineteen days on it trying to get to the west coast (wtf is this shit, oregon trail? MOTHERFUCKING GRAPES OF WRATH?!), but five hours of half-dozing with my mouth open while nursing a stale, lukewarm diet coke isn't so bad for twenty-six measly bucks. i had to be at union station at six-thirty in the goddamned morning, and as i stood in line with my three pairs of underwear shoved next to the chargers in my bag and a starbucks as big as my head (i travel light), i noticed a woman a few feet away holding up her phone and looking from it to me. back to the phone, then back to me. i stood up a little straighter and glanced down to make sure i didn't have visible cameltoe that would soon be documented on the internet like so many shitty halloween costumes and unfortunately small shorts before it. i didn't, and as she slow motion walked over to me to say good morning my brain had this conversation with itself: high school? no, instagram? no, old job? no, current job? no, did i meet her at a party? NO. and then i decided that she was my friend max's little sister, so when she asked, "samantha?" i responded, "HI, SALLY," way too enthusiastically, only for her to correct me that HER NAME WAS LINDSEY and that WE HAD FUCKING MET BEFORE. also, WE ARE FRIENDS ON THE FACEBOOKS. i couldn't even, like, make words come out. nor could i walk away, because we were getting on the same motherfucking train. i just had to STAND THERE and wish to fuck that WE WERE GOING TO DIFFERENT DESTINATIONS because i am the person who will never stop apologizing for fucking your name up and not remembering your birthday and being unable to come up with the last time i saw you even though it was saturday. i am constantly wracked with unnecessary social guilt, and it makes me feel like i am going to throw up and shit myself all at the same goddamned time. i felt like i had been dropped into a boiling vat of oil as i stood there and listened to her tell me about her impending trip to springfield. i was just like, "i'm an asshole, i'm an asshole" over and over until she left. then i studied the shit out of my friends list until we got to joilet. not fucking kidding. this can never happen again.
5 getting the name of the wine wrong. i don't ever order wine; wine is for grownups. case in point: the other night caitlin and i went to this little bistro in north center called troquet. intimidated by the presence of a menu written mostly in french, i shut the fuck up and let her do all of the talking. because i'm stupid for real, i only ordered the things i knew i could pronounce: chicken wings. every time the waiter even so much as glanced my way i would give him a thumbs up and pantomime the signal for "yummy in my tummy" while caitlin was telling dude in french that the wine was the perfect temperature and she had visited the region it had come from several times when she was younger. man, fuck her. I SPEAK TACO.
6 moving walkways. when do you step onto that motherfucker?! like, do you get a running start and then jump on it? do you walk at your regular pace and just step on it all smooth-like? or do you, like me, stand hovering at the edge, clammy and drenched in sweat, anxiously tapping your toe on the moving surface like you're testing the temperature of your bath water, trying to get on that shit without falling and breaking your teeth and nearly missing your fucking flight in the process? i spent so much time negotiating the fucking walkway last time i flew to california that I MADE IT TO THE PLANE 30 SECONDS BEFORE THEY LOCKED THE DOOR. some business traveler finally came along and took my hand and practically dragged me onto the fucking thing, but even once i was on it i was too chickenshit to walk and just stood clutching the rail until i finally tripped and stumbled off. what a fucking mess. now i get to the airport early as hell, and i'm that dummy shuffling alongside the moving walkway while everyone else points and laughs. last time i just shouted, "I'M AMISH, YOU THOUGHTLESS PRICKS" and gave them the finger as i stopped to take a breath because goddamn my flights always leave from the furthest possible gate.
7 middle-aged black women in customer service. this is dangerously close to becoming my real life. every day i punch this clock i feel a little bit meaner, a little bit surlier. sooner or later, after suffering years of crushing disappointment in the form of asshole customers shitting on my positive outlook on a daily basis, my grouchy ass is going to be just like that mean-ass bitch at the bank. the bitch with the attitude at whole foods. the mean-ass bitch at the DMV. the bitch with attitude at petsmart. the mean-ass bitch at the doctor's office. the bitch with the attitude on the other end of the com ed helpline. the mean-ass bitch at directv. the bitch with the attitude in the emergency room. the mean-ass bitch at mcdonalds. the bitch with the attitude at the post office. the mean-ass bitch at the unemployment office. the bitch with the attitude at the 24-hour gas station. the mean-ass bitch at walgreens. I'M SORRY THAT YOUR LIFE DIDN'T TURN OUT THE WAY YOU WANTED IT TO, SHIRLEY. NOW STOP ROLLING YOUR MOTHERFUCKING EYES AND: COUNT MY TOLL CHANGE/STAMP THIS FORM I NEED/NOTARIZE THIS CERTIFICATE/RING UP MY ALCOHOL/GET ME A NEW SOCIAL SECURITY CARD/ENTER MY INFORMATION INTO THE EMERGENCY ROOM DATABASE/PROCESS THIS CLAIM FORM. or whatever it is your motherfucking job to be doing. please and thank you. have a nice day, ma'am.
8 being rejected by a small child. i went to a party last week, an intimate friendgathering in the kind of open loft space that made me crazy nostalgic for urge overkill cassette tapes and reality bites on VHS. i was relaxing in an overstuffed chair with a bulleit and a plate of assorted finger foods that would surely need to be supplemented by a trip through the drive-thru on the way home, when a tiny caucasian person crawled around the table i was sitting at and used the hem of my dress as a napkin. he motioned for me to pick him up, his dimpled midget fingers opening and closing, grasping to get his hands on some of this, and i paused. i love babies. and i have absolutely no problem picking one up. hugging a baby is one of the best feelings you could ever have, second only to that sweet, blissful moment of ecstasy you feel right after a really, really big fucking sneeze. but i didn't know this baby, and what if it was a trap? what if he'd only held his arms out so that he could wail like a motherfucking siren the moment i held him to my tits and buried my face in his baby-scented neck? and then i'm the fucking asshole, that bitch who picked up a stranger's child and MADE HIM FUCKING SCREAM. and you can't just throw the kid down and back away, because HE IS A MOTHERFUCKING BABY. you have to continue to HOLD HIM while he caterwauls in your ear everyone glares in your direction until someone comes and GETS HIM FROM YOU then secretly inspects him for scratch marks or bite wounds or whatever the fuck YOU JUST DID to make her baby cry. i obviously have been burned before. so i was like, "sorry, bro" and tried to pull my dress loose from his tiny, slimy fist but he would not let it the fuck go. i tried to reason with him, "i'm black, kid. they will stone my ass if you decide to set this shit off." but he was just so irresistibly cute. and persistent. already the kind of asshole who won't leave you alone at the club until you agree to dance with him. so i put my bourbon down and scooped that tiny person up, setting him in my lap while i waited for him to turn out just like my last blind date had: with tears. he grabbed a handful of my hair (WHITE PEOPLE) and immediately fell asleep, his warm weight curled up against my belly. i couldn't reach my drink or my snacks, and every time i tried to shift dude around so i could get at my crab cakes he cracked one eye open like, "don't try me, bitch. my mom is right over there at the cupcake table." fine, i'll sober up and starve, as long as you keep shutting the hell up. you is kind, you is smart, and you is important.
9 accidentally showing you the porn on my phone. i don't password protect my phone because 1 i'm fucking lazy and 2 i live alone and can send unlimited pictures of my tits to whoever the fuck i want. so if you ask to borrow my shit feel free. just know you're making that phone call with a side of booty meat and titties. and if you're lucky a shadowy picture of my scaredy cat.