Thursday, September 24, 2009

Will You Please Be My Friend?

Remember in pre- K, when you could friendship holler at another individual because they were of your same gender and there? You'd be like, "Do you want to be friends?" and they'd be all, "Sure," and then you'd do something hilarious like fall out of your chair with very little provocation, just to get a laugh from your new friend? Well, it's not so easy any more, is it? There is so much criteria to fulfill, so many ways in which you must complement each other, you might as well just have your friends fill in that fucking free eHarmony survey that takes like four hours, not that I would know.

Friends first have to be hilarious, but in a special way that makes most people uncomfortable or afraid of you because they think you might actually be retarded. And they can't be exceptionally richer than you, because that's really annoying when they go to lunch at Per Se or in Monaco and you can't, or when they go to rehab and you can't even though you wish you could just be sent away, oh nothing would be better than being sent away. And your friends can't be butt, because they won't be able to get in the club and then they have to get all humiliating with the doorman, claiming that they're a distant Kennedy cousin. How does anyone make new friends anymore? They join Meetup Groups, that's how!

Well, I've heard that people make friends through this online avenue, but I wouldn't know because the Meetup group I tried to join REJECTED me! At this juncture in my life, I am quite accustomed to rejection. I have been rejected from jobs, from the Chipotle counter (apparently they are enforcing some kind of quota system), from boys (related to the Chipolte situation?), from house plants. Oh and did I mention that the Meetup group that I pursued was not a philosophy discussion group, or a book club, or a capoeira dance fighting troupe or a whistling choir or anything that would require some amount of skill or prior knowledge. No, I tried to join the LOST group. That's right... I WAS REJECTED FROM A GROUP THAT WATCHES TELEVISION! Their rationale was that I didn't answer their questionnaire properly, but my fingers were tired from the eHarmony survey, and John Locke is so much hotter than Desmond and Jack put together and I would follow Ben Linus to the ends of the earth, but whatever. [Please note the salutation of "Namaste" in my rejection letter. Condescending false sincerity in a state of Dharma Initiative nirvana.] So what did I do to wreak my vengence upon these LOST losers? I'll tell you what I did! I went in secret with a Meetup group member, my friend Dave, and judged them from afar all night! HAHAHAHAHAHA!... I'll still join though if I hone my questionnaire skills, please accept me potential BFFs, please please.

So the NYC Losties were meeting up, as it were, at Dave's Tavern and then attending a pre- screening of the new series Flash Forward. Here's the chapter president, who cheerfully obliged my photo request, and nearly shat himself with glee when I whispered seductively "I'm on a race around the world, Brother." He's so earnest, isn't he?So there they were, having a ball in their LOST t- shirts and '90s haircuts, and there I was, sitting in a booth with a cup of peanuts and icy contempt, an outsider looking in.

And then on to the screening! (Please note the sponsorship. I almost had to experience heart wrenching rejection twice in one night, but I am nimble and the Chipotle quota gatekeepers were thrown into a frenzy by my fancy foot work.) Flash Forward was a part of the New York Television Festival, also known as "my apartment on the weekends." Despite some Keanu Reeves- inspired acting moments and Harold from Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, the show features a few of my favorite things in the world: the apocalypse, the FBI, slutty babysitters, and a member of the Fiennes family. Top marks!
So all the Losties arrived to the theater, like, stupid early, scoring seats altogether. And I was so jealous. I sat in the back row with my snacks just fuming. And then the curtain! And then the lights! And as the credits rolled to herald the commencement of a new prime time darling, the Losties tried to incite a riot. No really! At any quiet moment over the course of the show they would shout "Oceanic 815!" When a guy was engulfed in flames from an exploding car on screen they laughed! That is so embarrassing! And such poor manners! Now I might fraternize with the borderline- mentally retarded but they are nothing if not decorous. I was horrified by their Joe Wilson- like behavior, but truth be told, it did make me feel a little better. I guess the whole unseemly experience just credits the old Groucho Marx adage: I don't care to belong to a club that would accepts people like me as members."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?

Writing for a high- traffic web- based publication has many perks. For example, I'm actually pushing a stripper off my lap right now so I can get down to business and "work." I am often stopped in public (airport security, for example), I get all the NPR I can listen to streamed LIVE right to my desk (for free), and as sole proprietor, my boss (me) assigns me heaps of sleuthy investigations. My latest charge of undercover gumshoe work turned out to be a wild exercise in anguish and newly enhanced misanthropy. That's right, I joined a millionaire matchmaker service. Not the Millionaire Matchmaker, I would have never made the cut. My figure fluctuates between zoftig and Rubenesque.

Because life is essentially a series of humiliations spiced up by disappointment, one needs to pursue romantic companionship to add that other necessary element: despair. Since my type-- the homeless, Okies, hunchbacks-- have not been loving me lately (I recently had a guy bail on me because he "didn't know what day it was." This was almost as good as the last guy, who said, "I don't know where my body is in space.") So why the hell not turn to the affluent, the flush, the bourgeois, the robber barons, the carpet baggers, the MILLIONAIRES?! Show me the money, daddy!

Please let the following encounter read like an Edith Wharton morality drama that teaches what happens to shabby girls who play with the richies. Or like Gossip Girl. This is a didactic tale of Windsor knots and woe. Everything that follows is so central casting, not even I could write something so trite.

Ok, so I arrived to the restaurant, which was a pre- recession, Carrie Bradshaw monstrosity of ice sculptures, lycheetinis, house music, banquettes, and Buddhas. How uncouth in our piss poor economy! Shaming these ostentatious displays of opulence has been the sole subject of The New York Times' Style section for the past 12 months. So instead of the lithe models who frequented this establishment a decade ago, the clientele consisted mostly of eastern European tourists and Japanese businessmen, who probably queried my date in regard to my madame and day rate when I excused myself to the ladies' room. I saw my millionaire, who I recognized instantly by his dazzling sparkle shirt and thimble sized- cufflinks. Here's a direct transcription of our first meeting:
MM [millionaire man]: Did you drive here?
PZ: Are you kidding?! I haven't driven since 2001, much to the benefit of society at large. I took the subway.
MM: Oh, I don't take the subway. It's dirty and I'm afraid of getting mugged.
PZ [aside]: What the?!

So after we discussed his hovercraft and I informed him that Koch cleaned up the subways way back in the '80s, we ordered Kobe beef (serious) and moved on to the subject of travel.

PZ: India is top on my list, right after Tijuana.
MM: I had the chance to go to India for work, but luckily got out of it. I don't like seeing poverty or poor people.

[Amazing! It's Dickensian! The massaged calf arrived and I gobbled it up like an orphan, and then on to home decor]

MM: I have three plasma screens in my living room.
PZ: Oh you'll have to excuse me, I forgot where my body is in space.
You guys, seriously, I don't hate rich people nearly as much as MM hates poor people, but this guy (who is obvi tres nouveau) was talking like Marie Antoinette. And do you know what I say to you, millionaire matchmaker? Let them eat cake! The millionaires, that is! I'm going back to the methadone clinic to find me a man! Forgive me, baby daddies, if you thought you were forsaken. And I'm filing a complaint against my boss for making me endure such muckraking. Wait a second....