Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Day My Neighbor Kidnapped Harry Styles

You know that feeling you get when it's a month before you graduate from college or you've just given two-weeks notice at a job?  That "short timers syndrome" where absolutely everything about your current situation drives you batshit crazyand you find yourself trapped under an ungodly amount of "meh"?  Well, now that I'm in the process of closing on my new house, that is how I feel about my apartment.  Suddenly, the things that I used to find only mildly annoying have become like being seated between Fran Drescher and Carrot Top on a trans-Atlantic flight.  That is to say: unbearable.

Shows like "Friends" and "Sex And The City" paint such a glorious picture of apartment life.  But in reality, a part-time barista and a sous chef would be living in a one-room walkup on the lower East side, and Carrie Bradshaw would be giving handjobs behind the Payless Shoe Source to pay the rent between freelance jobs; not out tossing back $20 cosmos with her whore friends.  And before you even think about harboring any "Melrose Place" fantasies, let me assure you that the majority of the denizens sunning themselves by the pool look a lot less like Courtney Thorne-Smith and a lot more like Courtney Love.*

*Oh, Alison.  How I miss your lively banter and unresolved sexual tension with Billy.  What the hell ever happened to Andrew Shue anyway?    Oops, sorry.  Focus, Jen...

At present, the most pungent ingredients in my bouillabaisse of intolerance (outside of living in an apartment the size of a KIA glove box) are the mail system, and my downstairs neighbors.  Many is the time that I have ordered something online, or was told that a friend had sent me a card or a gift, only to be greeted by a mailbox stuff solely with Carl's Jr. coupons and credit card applications addressed to people who haven't lived her since the Bush Administration.*

*Senior, not Junior.

Generally, I'm unfazed by the fact that our mail system is more erratic than Gary Busey on Red Bull, but recently my friend Misty informed me that she'd sent me a Valentine's Day gift of such majesty that I raced to my mailbox each day, my fecund heart pounding with glee.  Well, slash forward to March...I dunno...whatever day it is today...I need to get a calendar...anyhoo, a month later and still no card or gift.  I was saddened, but as the Portland postal service hasn't progressed much since the heady days of the Oregon Trail, I just assumed that our mail carrier had died of dysentery and chalked it up to a loss.  Until yesterday.  Yesterday the shit got REAL.

I was walking out to the trash cans to dispose of my cleaned and separated items in their respective recycling bins. . .*

*Nah, I'm just messing with you.   Umm, hello?  Have you forgotten that I'm a soulless Republican.  My idea of recycling is picking my sweatshirt up off of the bedroom floor, sniffing it, and figuring 'Meh, it's good for one more day'.

. . .when I came face to withered Death mask with one of my downstairs neighbors.  Now, for those of you who have been following my shenanigans relationship with my elderly sisters from the south, you know that there's so much tension and paranoia between us it makes the Obama/Romney debate look like an episode of the Newlywed Game.  But, in the interest of peace, and being all grown-up and shit, I have gone out of my way to avoid them, and keep our brief interactions as civil as possible. So, I began making polite conversation, noting with no small amount of glee that despite the early hour she was already higher than a 747.* 

*Those crazy bitches might be flakier than a day old croissant but thank the Baby Jeebus they spend most of their days down here smoking stinkweed out of a hollowed out Precious Moments figurine they scored on QVC.

As we chatted, my neighbor began fumbling for her house keys, explaining that she was waiting for her ride to pick her up and take her to her morning A.A. meeting.*

*Yes, she goes to A.A. stoned.  No, the irony is not lost on me either.

I glanced down at the kyring in her hand and did a double-take.  Wait. . .is that. . .wait, wha-WHAT!?!?

"That's an. . .interesting keychain you have there."  I said casually, gesturing toward the plastic doll loosely clutched in her desiccated claw.

"Oh!"  she laughed, holding up the small figure"It showed up in our mailbox by mistake.  It's silly, and I don't even know who it is, but it makes me laugh!"

Yeah, well, I know who it is, goddamnit.  It's Harry Styles.  As in the lead singer of One Direction.  As in the last Brit to go spelunking in Taylor Swift man cave.  As in THE FREAKING KEYCHAIN THAT MISTY TOLD ME SHE SENT ME A MONTH AGO!!!

Swallowing the bile slowly rising in my throat, I sweetly. . .*

*Bite me, I can be sweet.

. . .asked her if there was, perchance, a card accompanying said mystery gift.  At this point she got twitchier than a 82nd Avenue hooker and started flip-flopping faster than Mary Lou Retton on crystal meth.

"Oh, well, ahhh. . ." she stammered lamely.  "I think there may have been; I don't really know."

"I see,"  I replied, locking her with my best 'Law & Order: SVU' interrogation face.*

*I "heart" you, Eliot Stabler.

"At any point in time did you attempt to ascertain if the addressee in question might be someone you. . .know?"  She attempted to look away, but I locked eyes with her in a gaze so replete with horror that it would make Quentin Tarentino flinch.

"We. . .I. . .you. . ."  she stammered lamely.  "I can't remember."

I smiled coldly.  "Well, perhaps this will refresh your memory,"  I whispered.  "my friend told me she sent me that EXACT keychain for Valentine's Day.  That.  Exact.  One."

Sensing that I was about to bust open a can of chili con carnage on her saggy ass, my neighbor grasped the keychain tighter and slowly began to sidle toward her door.  Not to be outrun by a half-baked octogenarian, I spun around and blocked her escape like Michael Oher.

"IT PUTS THE KEYCHAIN IN THE CRAZY NEIGHBOR'S HAND OR IT GETS THE HOSE AGAIN!"  I cried.  Horrified, she tore the doll from her keychain, thrust it mutely into my outstretched hand and darted around me to her door.

So, epilogue to this random tale of Jen going all Fifty Shades of Cray on Betty White?  I got my damned keychain.*

*Thanks, Misty.  It's rad as shit.

And, while my relations with my neighbors are still more strained than the fabric in Oprah's yoga pants, we have come to an odd level of mutual respect. . .a connection not unlike Stockholm Syndrome.  It takes a low-swinging pair of brass balls to commit a federal offense and jack someone's mail, but it takes an even weightier pair to threaten an 83 year old woman with waterboarding.

Check and mate, bitches.


PS:  My hoopty home computer won't let me download images onto my blogsite.  My computer's a douche.  If you want to see Harry in all of his miniature majesty, he'll be appearing on my Facebook page.


Jaime S said...

I'm incredulous that someone would do something like that... wow. That's seriously fucked up.

Laura said...

Wow. Just Wow. So many things spring to mind... and... this...

more strained than the fabric in Oprah's yoga pants

will be running thru my head as I meet today with the evil octogenarian I work with.

I love you Jen!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure if you were to raid their apartment, you would find a host of OTHER shit I've sent you as well. This was not the first package sent that was not received. Just the first one I really specifically asked about.

By the way . . . Michael Oher reference duly noted. You're the bomb.

I'm glad you finally got Harry. The card was funny, too. It was the same one Johi gave you last year (I think, but I don't care) about shiving someone in prison or some such. I think I wrote something to the effect of:

I know this holiday is all about love and such and you are woefully single currently, so I have enclosed a little friend who is also recently single. At long as you don't mind TaySwif's leftovers. Enjoy!!

It was a month and a half ago, so I'm not positive, but that was the intent anyway. Glad you got your gift. Keep a look out on those crazy bitches.

NATurally Inappropriate said...

Your neighbor is a loon. I totes would start sending her strongly worded messages. From Misty. HAHA!

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna start sending cards that say:


I'll hit 'em where it hurts. :)

Erica B said...

i think you should get a giant metal rooster and put it on her doorstep with a sign taped to it that says, "knock knock Mother Fucker". Because Beyonce (for those not in the know, is the name of the rooster) could handle this.

also start sliding some of the bloggess's cards under their door at night