tales of a girl in the city

février 27, 2004

100 Things. Re: Moi. Part (Uh-oh, my Roman Numerals are getting a little hazy) VIII? IIX? Well, Topic: IRRATIONALITY AND IDIOSYNCRACIES

71. I own two evening gowns that I have never worn. I own these evening gowns because I am a person who engages in a practice I like to call, "Wishful Clothes Shopping." The rules of "WCS" are as follows: 1) You must have absolutely no practical need for the item you are considering buying. 2) The item must be absurdly expensive. Not insanely expensive, just absurdly so. For those of you having trouble determining the difference, an absurdly expensive item causes you to say something like, "I can afford to buy this if I eat only Ramen for the next several weeks." An insanely expensive item causes you to say something like, "I can afford to buy this if I pick up some extra pocket change by robbing the homeless." 3) The item must inspire an irrational and elaborate fantasy sequence that ends with the sentence, "And then he will realize he loves me." For example, "Oooh. Look at this $250 red cocktail dress. I have no need for a cocktail dress. My boyfriend has not ever invited me to cocktails. But, if he did invite me to cocktails this is the dress I would like to wear. I can see it now: he will call me up spontaneously from his office. His friends, he will say, are meeting him for drinks after work, and he would like me to come. Can I be there? Of course, I will say. Then I will go to my closet, put on this red cocktail dress, which I will be GLAD I purchased. I will walk into the bar. The skirt of this red cocktail dress will swish a lot, and men in top hats will escort me down a winding staircase. At the bottom of which photographers will gather to take my picture. My boyfriend will be standing just outside the crowd of flashing cameras. His friends' mouths will be open in amazement. That's your girlfriend? they'll say. Yes, he will say. And--though he didn't before--suddenly, because of this red cocktail dress, he will realize he loves me."

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about (probably men, mostly), it may be easier to understand WCS if you think back to the last time you bought sporting equipment. You've not played soccer in five years. And you sure could use the closet space that these shin guards and shoes would be taking up. But, what if the guys call you up, say, this weekend and ask you to play? How cool would you be if you showed up wearing these awesome Nike soccer shoes? How much better would your game be? And so on.

72) For those of you who DO know what I'm talking about, take the number of Wishful Clothes Shopping items you've purchased. Multiply it by seven. Now you're in the ballpark with the number of Wishful Clothes Shopping items I've purchased. Hold on a second, someone just gave the homeless guy over there a quarter....

73) I only set alarms for times that end in "six." For example, If I am supposed to wake up at 8:00, I will set my alarm for 8:06.

74) My favorite number is 1236. I like it because it contains beautiful symmetries and patterns. One being half of two and three being half of six. Twelve going into thirty-six three times. One times two is two, times three is six. Etc. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

75) At important times in my life--i.e. when big changes are occurring, or something major is just around the corner--I automatically wake up in the middle of the night when the clock reads "1:11," "2:22," etc.

76) Whenever I go to the top of anything very high (buildings, bridges, etc.) I have an almost overwhelming urge to drop something over the edge. "Something" does not mean pennies or a pen cap. "Something" means my keys. My purse. When I used to wear them, it meant my glasses. I surreptitiously dangled my glasses over the ledge of the tower window of many a castle in Germany in my day. Also from observation decks all over the United States. It still makes my hands sweat with the temptation and risk of it.

77) I'm good at speaking and spelling things backwards. .sdrawkcab At a certain point in my life, I was obsessed with speaking backwards. When I was going through this phase, I was much older than you're probably thinking I was. No one understands you when you talk backwards, no matter how good you are at it. Trust me.

78) There is a physical feeling that happens to me everytime I am lonely. I feel it in my chest and my upper arms. As though someone is drawing my blood with a needle from the inside. Reverse misquitos. It makes me remember filling the shirtsleeves of our scarecrow with cornhusks and prickly pieces of hay.

79) I love it when people notice a tiny black speck in the skin of my right hand. I still have a piece of lead stuck there from where Maggie Bogenreef stabbed me with a pencil when I was nine.

80) I like seeing how far I can walk with my eyes closed. I do it all the time in hallways and on emptier stretches of sidewalk. Right now my record is forty-two steps.