Archive for January, 2012


Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Some of you live in houses, or in very high-end luxury co-op buildings where every cooperator has his own washer and dryer inside his apartment. Some of you may live in the mountains in a cabin and take your laundry down to the lake, scrubbing it clean against rocks or a washboard. Wait – I must take a moment to feel superior to someone. There. I’m feeling even better now.

Alas, I live in a building with a laundry room. One room, 20 washers, 15 dryers for many, many occupants. Like anyone else living in a high-rise building in New York City, I am forced to interact with people whose names I don’t know, whose children, for the most part, I don’t like. Fortunately, other than running into them in the elevator, where I can glance down to the floor or stare straight ahead and pray I don’t have to engage in a “How are you?” “Great, how are you?” “Good, couldn’t be better!” banter. MOLLIE ALERT: I really don’t need you to tell me it’s a beautiful day outside or wonder when spring will get here.

However, I, like most of you – Occupy Wall Streeters excluded – have to do my laundry every so often. It is not so much a laundry room as it is a war room where those who have been denied or spared real battle get to engage in – well – war games. Though there are no rules in love and war – there are rules in the laundry room. Surprise.

* I don’t want your used dryer sheets. Can I be any clearer than that? You manage to lug down three laundry bags of your Egyptian cotton towels and 800-thread count sheets– try lifting a dryer sheet that weighs less than a Cheerio out of the dryer when you remove your dry clothes. If you want to leave me your used Beamer or your used Matisse, we can talk. But take that filth-rag with you or you will find it on your “welcome” mat. In confetti-sized pieces.

* The purpose of the laundry room is to wash and dry one’s clothes. Period. If I want to watch someone’s insane six-year old zoom around on his Big Wheel bike, I’ll rent “The Shining.”

* Clearing the dryer of lint is a considerate thing to do. But it is neither an act of courage nor an act that would have had its place on the old Ed Sullivan Show. No one who watches you do this thinks you’re a really good person – like a Doctors Without Borders or therapy-dog-owner kind of person – for lifting the lint out of the dryer drawer. No applause forthcoming. Stop waiting.

* The fact that you are in the laundry room means you did leave your house, which means that I might not want to look at you in stuff that you might feel perfectly comfortable wearing within the confines of your apartment. Yes – you need a bra, no matter how over-sized your “Get Your YaYas Out” t-shirt is. I want to look at your varicose veins as much as I want to look at projectile vomit – ixnay on the sweatpants-capris if there’s a map of Tuscany on your calves. And, if G-d meant for them to be worn outside, He wouldn’t have called them “housecoats.”

* We both know that you don’t really understand or have any interest in The New Yorker, other than that you want everyone in the laundry room to think you’re that “hip, bookish, cool, cultured, literate guy” who lives in 19J. New York Review of Books? Seriously? The Atlantic? Really. “Finnegan’s Wake”? Not even Joyce could get through that. No one cares what you’re reading – in fact, most of your neighbors could care less if you spontaneously burst into flames. So go upstairs and get your Instyle and Nora Roberts novel so we can confirm what we thought of you to begin with.

* When I’m coming into the building with three shopping bags from Trader Joe’s and you know I’m behind you, you don’t hold the door for me. You never smile at me by the mailboxes. When you see me in the elevator you think, “ “At what age does she think she can officially not wear make-up?” God, I hope I look better when I’m her age.” Therefore, when you see me in the laundry room and there’s no one else you either know better or like more, get this through your low-lighted head – I am not your laundry room “sloppy seconds.” I don’t want to banter about “how crowded it usually is here,” or “when do you think they’ll actually fix Dryer 13?” Sit. Do your Word Puzzle book. Ponder your dull life. Fix Dryer 13.

* Hey, Bill Nye, Laundry Guy – it’s 2012 – they make shampoo and conditioner that comes in one bottle. Surely you can clean your clothes without having to mix your liquid bleach with your soap and hot water and softeners, like some sort of detergent bartender. I’ll have a Snuggles on the Rocks.

* I’m not sure if you don’t realize those cheap Colby headphones you bought allow me to hear both Jay Z and Kanye West rappin’ N****s in Paris as loudly as you hear them, or if you are doing this to annoy me. Either way you annoy me, though the passive-aggressive way is far more irritating.

* Folding fitted sheets properly is something not everyone can do. Splitting the atom is something not everyone can do. Hint: if they don’t give a Nobel Prize in your category of expertise, it’s less impressive than you think. I’d rather watch dancing bears.

* Did you see the film “The Help”? Did you learn anything from it? No matter what color you are, do you feel comfortable having someone else wash your intimates while you play Mah Jong? Maybe, in some absolutely pointless world, someone should be meeting with District Board One to see what one could do to help bring another volleyball court to Tribeca, or a Chai Tea Palace to Park Slope. But do you really think that should be you? Not everyone is here on this planet to do something useful. How does it feel to be that person? Do something useful. Like your drawers.

* Speaking of drawers, when your underwear reaches the point where the elastic snaps back slower than a shoelace, or all the bleach in the world will never bring those sports socks back from urine-yellow to crisp white, it’s time to bid those suckers farewell. What is so wrong with you that you can stand at a table in the laundry room and meticulously fold stained underwear while talking to me about how many guests you’re having for Thanksgiving? Your sparkling conversation does not, unfortunately, hide the skidmarks on your husband’s BVDS. Get some dignity before it’s too late. Oh wait – it already is.


Thursday, January 5th, 2012

There is great debate among young and old, city folk and country folk, east coasters, west coasters and everyone in between over what is the greatest natural disaster of our time. The argument is over – without question, the answer is the PEMUF – Privileged Educated Mom Under Forty. It’s hard to reach them because they are always texting as they wheel their infant or toddler over my toe, so I will address them in the following open letter:

Dear Privileged Educated Mom Under Forty, (heretofore known as “PEMUF”)

I know that you have quite a busy life now that you’ve given birth to:

a) Stella a) Liam
b) Ava b) Jackson
c) Sophie or c) Aiden
d) Isabella d) Parker
e) Harper e) Hunter

or perhaps you’ve given birth to one of each at the same time which, in the 1960s, were referred to as fraternal twins but are now just a walking billboard that says, “We had fertility problems.”

Of course, PEMUF, now that you’ve brought that baby into the world, it’s your job to raise him. Unfortunately those of us who live in your city or town or village must share the streets, the shops, the parks, the restaurants with you and your “little miracle.” Mostly due to your unrealistic over-expectations for this child, coupled with a self-absorption rivaled only by Madonna, you do not make this an easy task. Perhaps there are just some things you are unaware of. Perhaps your body is so full of breast milk that somehow this has adversely affected your perception of manners, consideration and a world that consists of more than you, your henpecked metro-sexual husband and your spoiled-as-a-
12-day-old-banana-like child.

* Yes, there is a chance you’ve given birth to the next Einstein or Bill Gates
or Mother Theresa. But there is an astronomically larger chance that you’ve given birth to the next Snooki (pre-fame), or Rupert Pupkin. So wipe that smug smile off your face – the ADHD won’t show up for at least a couple more years.

* You don’t need a Prada diaper bag. Your child, as brilliant as I am sure he is, doesn’t know the difference between a Prada diaper bag and a shopping bag. In fact, since it is probably your Jamaican or Filipino nanny who does all the diaper-changing, you really don’t need a diaper bag at all, do you? And, since you can afford to stay at home after the baby, you don’t really need the nanny either, but then you wouldn’t be the PEMUF you are.

* No one has to get out of the way as you push your McClaren Techno XT stroller down Broadway. If I step aside for you to pass, I am doing this because I am being nice, not because it is a felony if I don’t. Therefore, keep the eye-roll in your head, refrain from telling the person you’re yapping to on your IPhone, in that snotty, entitled annoying voice of yours, “Can you believe it – we’re walking down the street and someone won’t move to the side so we can pass!” I can believe it and next time I’ll put up a police barricade.

* I’m as interested in the fact that you’re nursing as I am in David Hasselhoff.

* Your child has no place in a high-end sushi restaurant. Your child doesn’t know the difference between sashimi and a stumpy Fisher-Price Little People figure. I’m sure your two-year old has already mastered the Cyrillic alphabet. I am equally certain that his chopsticks will be used as an implement of nose-picking rather than tools to dine with. Here’s a hint: if there isn’t a Bouncy Ball pen, plastic indoor slides and Animatronic teddy bears, order in. Or get those fab grandparents, who refuse to be called “grandma” and “grandpa,” because they can’t deal with the fact they’re O-L-D, to babysit.

* Moses parting the Red Sea was a miracle – your two-year-old reciting his ABCs is annoying.

* You’re applying for pre-schools that you think will ensure your child a place at Yale or Princeton. You just gave birth to the Third Coming – chill!

* Other than Jessica Seinfeld, who might “appropriate” your recipe, and put it in her next cookbook, (or might never appropriate anyone’s recipe ever – I’m not sure the Seinfelds have a sense of humor when it comes to the Seinfelds), no one cares that you can prepare squash to make it taste like flourless chocolate cake.

* You can grow all your vegetables and herbs in your backyard, herbicide-free, organic garden – your three-year old will take the Lunchables nachos and Capri Sun fruit drink over your Bibb lettuce/goat cheese salad with raw baby carrots every time.

* Go back to the Baby Snugli where the baby’s face is toward your belly, not aimed at my face. I don’t want to look at your kid. I don’t want to watch your kid drooling or sucking back a pacifier. I don’t think your kid is so cute. He’s bald. He’s wearing socks and no shoes. His head moves around like a Derek Jeter Bobblehead. And p.s. – you’re not a Wallaby.

* No your toddler doesn’t look cute with his play IPhone and his play Kindle and his playITouch. He looks like you. (beat) Ewwwww….