Friday, January 6, 2012

The Thing About Healthy Parrots

On New Year's Eve I got good and drunk.  Gyna was here.  She brought Germans.  There were all of these Germans in my apartment, and we drank White Russians and ate Caesar salad and Emi came over, who is Japanese, and Xtine who is Korean.  But it was very unlike the Cold War, in all honesty, yet I imagined myself a diplomat anyway until I started doing that thing where I get angry for no reason, which passed quickly. 

We went up on the roof and watched the fireworks at midnight.  Drank champagne out of solo cups.  The usual.  I love it up on the roof.  I think that was the turning point for me.  After midnight everything goes downhill, because I never want to leave city rooftops when it's windy at night.  Partly because of the dancing lights and fireworks and partly because it is really hard to put the ladder away.  It makes a huge fucking racket.

Sometimes I think--no, I know--that I am extremely juvenile about things like rooftops and fireworks and champagne.  I wonder if they felt it too, or if it was just me?  I'm sure they felt something, everyone went off into their little corners and made out with each other and I just stood there staring at the skyline, feeling sad and alive.  It was wonderful. 

But then it's over and we're not on the roof anymore, and we're fighting with the ladder and it just kills everything completely and I'm embarrassed that something so pure has to end so ridiculously.  And I'm nervous because I don't know everyone very well, except for Gyna of course and I will miss the hell out of her when she goes back to Munich tomorrow.  Muffy is moving to South America for the summer.  Just because she can.  How does that work?  I feel like I would be much more likely to up and move if it wasn't alone, because I'm not very good at making new friends on my own.  I'm excellent at being introduced to people who have already heard about me, though.  That usually works out well.

But on New Year's I was nervous.  I would just talk and give prolific answers to very simple questions.  And then I ask questions and receive simple answers, so I talk more and get angry at myself for talking too much until I say something offensive, and then I get angry at myself for being offensive and end up yelling at everyone when I'm mad at myself...I don't like it when my friends get down on themselves.  It makes me sad and angry, because they are perfect.  If they are perfect, what am I?  Angry.  This is how it works, I think in circles.

Did your mothers tell you to judge people by their shoes?  Mine did not.   Apparently Gyna and the Germans were told otherwise: you look at peoples' shoes.  This has never occurred to me before, not until I really got to know someone.  You look at their shoes?  Really?  I feel like if I paid attention to everyone's shoes I would get annoyed.

I feel like I would gravitate towards worn-down boots and stained sneakers, frayed laces.  Or shoes that are ridiculous and overly-buckled, like too many elves got excited with their tiny belts, or shoes that aren't shoes and all and are just like leather ace bandages.  I support walking around in slippers all the time.

Anything too tidy would make me nervous.  Or someone who wears Toms, those shoes you send to Africa.  Why don't you just donate money to an African charity?  They need medicine and opportunity and release and they need us to stop dropping our unusable electronics to the African desert, because Africa is not a dump where you can put the stuff you don't want anymore, you fuckhead. You might as well just buy forty dollars worth of flip flops from Walgreens and put them in a box labeled "Africa" with a picture of a baobab tree and hope it gets there.  Put money in the system instead of sending over canvas shoes that fall apart when you wear them every day.

Also, excessively well-groomed shoes confuse me.  Do you avoid puddles just because of your shoes?  That's ridiculous.  Why else would you wear them?  I specifically wear shoes so I can walk through puddles without hesitation. They are feet armor.  Not accessories.  Alas, this is where I differ from the world.  

My mother told me to judge people by their stories.  If my stories were shoes, everyone would think I was rich.

The next morning I was in the process of waking up and I thought I heard one of the Germans say that I came from wealthy parents.  It kind of bugged me, because he does not know my parents.  Then again he could have used a completely different word.  He could have been talking about healthy parrots.  "That's the thing about people with healthy parrots," is what he could have said.

I don't really understand what it means, but I think I heard it. 

I am thirty-one years old right now.  It just happened like three hours ago or something.  I'm playing bingo tomorrow night - tonight - because now I'm an old lady.



Sid said...

Happy belated birthday.

My relationship with shoes has changed. I used to be the girl who totters around in impractical, shiny heels. But I've given this up now. I run. I like to run. And I don't want to damage my feet. I don't want to ruin the only thing I love. So I wear flats. I wear takkies (South African word for "sneakers"). And I don't look cool. I don't look sophisticated. I don't look like a cast member from Sex and the City. And I'm okay with that.

Diary of Why said...

Happy birthday Rass!

Kono said...

I like a good pair of shoes, i bought a pair of boots, the same boots worn by the French Foreign Legion, what's that say about me? i guess i never retreat and i'll die fighting an unwinnable battle, most likely with mortality, as for the rooftop, did you not awhile back post the Rainbow Connection as your favorite song? The lovers, the dreamers and me... that's you, it's not about the ladder at all, it's about living...

Ellie said...

My husband's father insists that his sons shine their shoes whenever they around. It drives my husband crazy.

Don't beat yourself up too much. xx

Gina said...

Roof was super awesome times, everyone loved it. However I totally did not make out with anyone, for the record. Also I only learned to judge shoes as an adult. Says a lot about something or something. Whatever, new years!

Linder said...

i check out someone's shoes when i first meet them. i agree with ze germans - shoes can tell a lot about a person.
happy birthday (again)
i want to play bingo. i might steal this idea and play bingo on my birthday.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday. you are now officially old enough to wear slippers all the time

Chris said...

Happy birthday, Rassles. Your stories are like those high-priced shoes with the red soles that I am too lazy to spend five seconds looking up. Consider leaving the ladder where it is until morning.

daisyfae said...

Drunk bingo. i'm in. where do i show up?

Happy birthday! 30's were good. 40's were better!

JMH said...

Shoes are fine, but you said something about socks once that stuck with me: maybe that they set the tone for the day? Or maybe if shoes are feet-clothes, socks are feet-underwear? Note to self: never say feet-panties.

Anyhow, partly because of that I went out and got myself a marvelous selection of socks: all colors and stripes and argyles and woolens. They're my favorite articles of clothing to put on -- by far.

JMH said...

Oh, where are my manners? Happy Birthday!

renalfailure said...

Happy birthday Rassles!

I judge people on their shoes, as in are they wearing shoes? My proclivities on this subject are well-known.

I don't get Toms. Yeah, you're being socially conscious, but you're pretty much wearing cut-rate Keds. Just buy the damn Keds.

Jessica said...

I've heard the shoe thing, but I thought the point was to judge how wealthy the person was. Like a brand new suit from Kohl's could possibly be indistinguishable from something designer if it fit right, but a poor person wouldn't be able to afford high-quality shoes and that would give it away.

I think that was in a book or movie. I don't remember. My parents never told me to look at shoes.