whatever happened to
whatever happened to
This is the story of the time I sprained my ankle at the Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum:
It was the museum’s big opening night gala. I convinced my strangely-reluctant friends to join me and couldn’t have been more excited.
The injury, which happened before the gala even began, is the boring part of the story. I took a tumble and flailed my arms in the air yelling “whyyyyy” with no sense of irony whatsoever. I really thought I’d broken a bone. But my heart was set on Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan, so I found a seat and powered through.
In true Bushwick fashion, the gala started with glittered cupcakes, Tonya/Nancy trading cards, and PBR. The museum curators gave a presentation on how to know if you’re a Tonya or a Nancy, and then several performances began.
At first I thought synchronized mini-trampoline faux-skater dudes in leotards were my favorite part, but then a guy singing his own George Michael parody called “I’ve Gotta Have Skates” won the gold.
Though the entertainment successfully numbed my intense ankle pain, eventually the gala ended. My friends carried me out to the most expensive cab ride of my life. It was a night of firsts, so I don’t know why I’d expect anything less.
The next week, I went to a doctor who recommended x-Rays and a very sleek orthopedic boot.
Doctor’s orders were to take it easy. I’m not a sitter, so the next month of my life was torture. I spent every waking hour being waited on by Gwen, seat-filling Broadway shows, and bonding with a bag of frozen quinoa. Things got so bad that I voluntarily accepted a free seat-filler ticket for the show Gigi.
I was helpless, so my mom offered to visit for Mother’s Day weekend. After flying to NYC, she cleaned my room, went grocery shopping, did my laundry, took out the trash, and cooked my lunch for the week, all while I RICE-ed my sprained ankle. It was the best Mother’s Day I’ve ever had!
The minute my mom left town, my ankle injury was cured. What a miracle worker!
I guess the moral of this story is… tread carefully while you’re at the Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum; it’s all fun and games until you leave in a cast.
This past Monday, I took my first unchaperoned bus ride across state lines. The experience was much more trying as an adult than it was, say, on field trips as a teenager. I decided to make y’all a helpful step-by-step guide on how to handle your journey.
LEE’S EASY 25-STEP GUIDE TO RIDING A BUS
1. Go to buy a train ticket. They cost $300. Panic.
2. Call your best friend during her lunch break and ask, “So, do I just get on a bus or what. How does anything work? Are there seat belts?” Your best friend replies with a cutting remark about your inefficacy as a human being. Your feelings are not hurt, as you aren’t even listening due to being in the middle of a high-intensity search for pictures of Zac Efron. Your priorities are sound.
3. Buy a ticket for a bus leaving at 1:45pm from a station 40 minutes away. It is currently 1:08pm.
4. Grab the bag that you packed the night before in a naive attempt to plan ahead. You do not remember what is in the bag; you were on the phone when you packed it.
5. Walk — but not with any particular speed — to the Metro stop. Pause to greet your elderly neighbor because you were raised well.
6. Board the Metro and successfully change lines. Feel in control until you realize with horrifying clarity that you do not actually know where the bus depot is located.
7. Consult your confirmation ticket. It indicates the depot is across from a Dunkin’ Donuts. Ponder for a beautiful foolish second if you’ll have time to grab a donut. It is 1:39pm.
8. Finally arrive at your Metro stop and exit. Stand at the corner of the street for two minutes before approaching a bus whose doors are closing and is clearly about to start pulling away. Do not hurry to the bus because you are wearing shoes that you cannot run in. Doubt your decision-making abilities.
9. Approach a random man and say, “I am here to check in for this bus.” Be pleasantly surprised to realize that you approached the proper stranger. He gets you on the bus and you nearly kiss him. It is 1:49pm.
10. Recognize that you do not know proper bus etiquette. Are you allowed to smile at people? Are you allowed to answer incoming phone calls? Can you take a whole two-seater to yourself, or does that make you seem unsociable? Smile at everyone, particularly the hottie in aisle 3 who avoids eye contact; do not answer any incoming phone calls (sorry, Jordie!); take up a whole two-seater; your shirt is unbuttoned.
11. Sit down, the bus departs, and you immediately fall asleep because you have an impressive talent for napping in public spaces.
12. Wake up 30 minutes later with nary a clue where you are. Feel chilly but be unsure how to turn off your air vent. Your reading light doesn’t work and you hold your book up dangerously close to your eyeballs. Make a note to call your optometrist.
13. Somewhere in New Jersey, the bus pulls over into the James Cooper Travel Plaza. Mistakenly assume that the bus driver is filling up the gas tank. The bus driver announces that passengers have 20 minutes to walk around.
14. Text your best friend to ask why you are at the James Cooper Travel Plaza. Your best friend responds, “When you first board, they take a vote about whether or not you want to stop. Did you miss the vote? I assume yes.”
15. You missed the vote. As such, decide that you don’t deserve to get off the bus. Also recognize that you are incapable of making this bus twice in one day; stay firmly in your seat.
16. Everyone else gets off the bus. You are all alone. 30 strangers trusted you with all of their personal belongings. Feel very responsible and dependable; your heart swells with veritable affection for these 30 strangers.
17. Take this opportunity to see what in fact you packed. Contents of duffel bag: 2 mini pouches of baby carrots, a SodaStream bottle filled with water, a pair of pajamas, 4 dresses, and a leather American flag fanny pack filled with ChapStick. Feel shame and inadequacy.
18. Everyone reboards the bus; they all have good-smelling food. With a newly-realized intensity, discover you are hungry. Eat one of your bags of carrots, fearing that you are crunching too loudly and disruptively. Suddenly and passionately hate these 30 strangers and, despite not even being a meat-eater, sincerely covet your neighbor’s chicken nuggets.
19. The bus driver walks through the bus and counts everyone, much like your high school chaperones in days of field trips past. Laugh aloud heartily because this strikes you as very funny. Draw a strange look from the handsome man across the aisle.
20. After four hours of not speaking aloud, feel lonesome and decide to strike up a conversation with the handsome man across the aisle. He tells you, “I am trying to do work.” You apologize and then laugh again. He is not amused.
21. Realize with great alarm that your phone battery is at 17%. As someone who is prone to getting lost and wandering in cities, despite frequent admonitions from your friends of, “Stay exactly where you are. I will find you. Do not move. Stay exactly where you are,” this strikes profound fear in your heart.
22. Text your best friend to ask where the outlets are on the bus. Your best friend tells you the specific location of the outlets. You are unable to find them. The next day, on the trip home, you do. They are precisely where your best friend said they were.
23. Finally arrive at your destination, and immediately begin wandering despite your best friend’s calling and saying, “Stay exactly where you are. I will find you. Do not move. Stay exactly where you are.” Never obey your friends because you and you alone are in control of your own destiny.
24. Be found seven blocks away from where you were supposed to be. Make your best friend carry your luggage. Later, make your best friend’s roommate carry your luggage. Derive pleasure from how powerful you are.
25. The next day, repeat this exact same process with the smug self-satisfaction that only comes with being the type of person who makes all the wrong decisions and yet still gets everything right.
Bad news. I lost the fantasy football championship.
I spent hours upon hours over the past few months rabidly consulting fantasy football message boards, sending unsolicited emails to disinterested parties about my “controversial managerial decisions that will surely lead to MY ULTIMATE VICTORY,” analyzing player trends, and spending too much money on French fries and beer at grotty sports bars. I turned into a person I hardly recognized; a person who says things like, “For a while the situation was bleak; my players insisted on concussing themselves; my Carolina defense sucked bigtime; don’t even get me started on my tight end’s perpetuated downward spiral into inefficacy.” It was the most fun (and self-induced anxiety) that I’ve ever had.
But in the end, despite my relentless enthusiasm and research, I failed as a manager, losing the championship game by a margin of 30 points. Friends have attempted to console me by telling me that I did exceptionally well for someone who a) knew nothing about football before this experience and b) is highly distractable. Nevertheless, I remain steeped in misery, and turned to songwriting to help express to y’all just how profoundly saddened I am.
Lee is a total catastrophe in the kitchen. That’s why I’ve forced her in front of the camera time and time again while “trying to cook.” She’s now moving in a more literary direction as she wrecks recipes. Check out the first of many monthly installments here on Forever Young Adult!
Anna Marie turned the big 2-5 this year, so Jordie and I chose to commemorate this event by surprising her with a big, Southern-style breakfast jubilee.
We ran into some difficulties before the day even began:
1. I’m from New Jersey and Jordie hails from Florida (essentially New Jersey displaced), so neither of us know how to cook
anything Southern cuisine.
2. We’d planned it as a surprise. Unfortunately, Anna Marie hates surprises. After pestering us for weeks about whether or not we were “actually going to do something” to celebrate her birthday, we finally buckled. She expressed some enthusiasm, but mostly dread that Jordie and I would be responsible for preparing food for friends.
3. Since we invited about 20 of her closest friends to join us at 11:30am, we needed to start cooking at 8am. We appointed Anna Marie as videographer, meaning we had to rouse the birthday girl at the ungodly hour of 7:30am on a Saturday. This was an unpopular decision.
4. We had just quelled a bug invasion in our apartment that very week.
Luckily, the stars aligned and breakfast was [mostly] edible! Jordie and I edited our most impressive moments from our foray in the kitchen into a short film. Please honor Anna Marie’s big day by viewing the video below.