My Guilty Pleasure

When I moved from Manhattan to suburbia, it was for three reasons only.  Number 1 for my son to have a fuller life, number 2 one more bedroom and number 3 to have a door that leads to a little patch of grass that I didn’t have to share with 8.5 million other people.

Fitting my round self into this square town hole tests me daily.  The older I get, the harder it is for me to make friends that I don’t need.  I work from my home office all day with the TV on watching my favorite movies, sharing the day with loneliness and boredom – my closest friends in my new foreign land.  So, when asked by a school mom to join her and other school moms for coffee one morning, the timing couldn’t have been better.  I needed to get out and have a 2-way conversation.  Talking to myself was becoming all too normal for me and scarier when I started to do it in a room full of people.

Walking into the local café, I was confronted with the familiarity, the comfort of chaos and crowds like back in Manhattan.  I got a little high, had a slight smile and a kick in my step.  I saw my friend, her group and I swiftly shuffled myself over to the table sat down and was nicely greeted by the townies.  There were clear differences between our species.  They were all blondes, my hair is purple, they ordered pretty-frothy coffee drinks, I drink my coffee straight up black.  These ladies were all decked out in the latest high-end workout garb with no signs of any working out.  I had the newest Gap athletic wear on with the appearance of just finishing a work-out, complete with sweat and a top-knot in my hair.  The locals gazed at me as they would an Extra-Terrestrial.  Apparently, my animated hello in conjunction with my moving eyebrows and laugh lines scared the crap out of them.  Oops – must remember, NO FACIAL EXPRESSIONS ALLOWED.  FROZEN IS BETTER!

I thought it was good to sit silently and listen as I was the newest immigrant.  The conversations were all over the place going nowhere in my opinion; the resurrection of the leg-of-mutton sleeve, the Golden Goose sneaker, vaginal rejuvenation and the old stand-by diet:  The Ear Staple – inserting a staple into the inner cartilage of the ear to target a pressure point which is said to suppress appetite.  And just like that the Charlie Brown teacher’s Wah Wah music machine was playing loud and clear in my head and I wished for a cigarette, and I don’t even smoke.  Then the courageous woman sitting next to me, who colonized to this group a few weeks before me, spoke of the news of the day.  WORLD NEWS.  Politics and our nation, unimaginable tragedies surrounding our everyday existence and the endless, senseless shootings.  Without delay, “The Manhattan Project” bomb was dropped on our coffee time.  With a deafening blast, a fireball hush burst across the table.  Not much scares me, but I did find myself looking up to see if black rain might be falling from the sky.  And my new best friend next to me was popping some medication that came out of a bottle with no prescription sticker.  Ohhh my!  Not missing a beat Alfa Barbie mom morphed into that vintage doll Annabelle from the Conjuring move series.  She “Lucifer” and her worshipers turned their heads towards us (yup pill-popper Peggy was now on my team) eyes shooting daggers and roared in unison like the Children of the Corn in one monotoned voice.  All with no facial movement I might add.  “WE DO NOT SPEAK OF SUCH HAPPENINGS DURING COFFEE HOUR!”

I put out my imaginary cigarette and straightened up as if Sister Philomena caught me talking during lunch period.  The underboss of the coffee ring turned to me and with a snarky attitude, in a sing-song tone asked me, “So, what’s your guilty pleasure?”  I knew I had to get out of this group.  I thought here’s my chance.  In one swift movement, I pulled the elastic band out from my top knot, flipped my purple hair from side to side and cocked my head back.  With a slight giggle, joyful inner self-confidence, and pronounced New York intonation, I declared, “I founded a group that watches horror movies during the day, and for fun, we cast the murdered victims with our new-found friends of the day!”

What’s that sound?  Silence?  From the sorority?  Ahhh yes, good to the last drop!

And that’s my time!

P.S.  Next time I need some one-on-one with humans, I’m just going to get a tattoo of a roach on my neck and have a cup of tea!


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