There is a dog at the loft. At first, it barked every time I entered the building. Then it barked occasionally, which was nerve wracking for a non-dog person such as myself, as I was constantly worried about whether or not I was going to be yakked at and, consequently, drop my sunglasses or my Diet Coke or my laptop. Now, the loft dog keeps its head resting on its paws and stares at me with as much disinterest as my sadly unrequited 8th grade crush. I say, "Hey, Doggie," and rush on past.
[insert awkward transition word of your choice here: "anyways," "anyhooters," "onward," "so."]
I'm writing this while I wait for Lea's gymnastics class to end. There are little people (including miniature teenagers) in sparkly leotards flinging their bodies all about. My daughter and her pal are the sole exceptions to the leotard phenomenon. They prefer to wear leggings and a t-shirt, and I don't blame them. More coverage provides more protection—at least psychologically—from The Odor. This place, you see, smells like a 55-year-old man's gym socks that have been urinated on repeatedly by a feral cat. I don't understand why. The gym, after all, appears to have been an airplane hangar in its previous life. There's plenty of ventilation, an 80-foot ceiling, and the doors are open, yet The Odor persists. Perhaps it exists solely to vex me.
As does the mean old lady who sasses me if I park anywhere near her house. Evil has a name, I tell you, and it's whatever this woman's name is. About a month ago I saw her walking towards my car, and I thought she was going to ask me a question of some sort, so I rolled down my window and smiled. And she said, "Don't park here."
"I said, 'don't park here.'"
"You're not allowed to park here. This is for residents."
"First of all, I am a resident. And this is street parking, so I AM allowed to park here."
"There's parking around the school."
"Yes, I know, but it's only 10-minute parking, and I'll be here about 20 minutes."
"I don't care. Don't park here."
"I'll tell you what. When the city comes and paints this curb red, then I won't park here."
Then I closed my window and drove off. Yesterday, I once again exercised my rights as a driver and parked on her street. I urged the girls out of the car. "Come on, girlies, let's go. We're gonna be late."
EOL (that's EVIL OLD LADY) showed up in her little red Chanel jacket and her thin red lips and her EOL hairdo and our paths crossed briefly. She said, "Fine example you're setting for your children."
"What?! What does that mean?"
But EOL then decided that since she dropped what she obviously felt was the zinger of all zingers, she would just purse her mouth and pretend I didn't exist.
"I do NOT like the way you speak to me," I said. Such a stupid thing to say, but what do you do when you're crazy mad at an EOL? I couldn't exactly tell her I was going to beat her up in the girls bathroom after school. The encounter was sooooo absurd. Since she refused to look at me, I turned to her husband. "She's unbelievable," I said.
And he didn't say anything, but I knew what he was thinking. He was thinking Tell me about it. I live with her.