Shalom my little kitten mittens. I hope you’re doing splendidly.
Things have been shaken up a bit since we last talked. I have done things in the past couple weeks I have never tried before, such as:
I took the ballet class (and 5 more times since the first class)
I built a dresser from a kit I ordered off Wayfair.com (and it only took me NINE HOURS)
I baked Challah for the first time (and didn’t give anyone food poisoning)
I took a freelance job as a theater reviewer for the days I’m not working (I start tonight)
So first, the ballet class. It’s a tiny home studio down my block. Most days it is me and Susan. Susan is a 68 year old woman who is also a beginner ballerina. According to my instructor, Susan has always wanted to try dance but never had the opportunity. So despite our 34 year age difference, we are both at the same level – and she is *so* much better than I am. Seriously, I have never seen anyone as flexible as she is. While I have more stamina to do the move for longer, she has more graceful kicks and lower dips. I would be jealous but I am always a little inspired when we dance together. I hope when I’m that age I would be willing to learn something completely new (if I’m not strapped in that hover-bed on the Axiom)
Ari and I have also met our next-door neighbor. His name is Tom, is about 60 and he was coming home from a trip when we walked out of our apartment. He was the first person on our floor to genuinely want to meet us, and not just because he was cornered much like how we met the other neighbors. He apologized for his all-day piano playing. I had noticed the music when I was home alone and had assumed our neighbor was some sort of old-lady shut-in who played. He shook our hands and suggested we get together sometime. So these are my friends in the heights so far: sexagenarian ballerinas and piano players. Not bad.
Ari and I also spent a day at his grandma’s senior center (beginning to see a theme here?) It’s amazing. These people just sit around all day doing tai-chi and painting horses. I love my new grandma in law. Besides from the fact that she refuses to eat any vegetables, only chocolate but drinks diet coke because she’s “watching calories,” she’s also a fantastic artist who paints her boring Keds different colors. She does seem to have a fascination with the fact that Ari gave me an engagement necklace and not a ring. She’ll introduce me as Ari’s wife and then immediately follow it up with “And she doesn’t have a ring! Have you ever heard of a girl who didn’t want a diamond ring? Crazy!” To which I can only shrug like, “Yup, i’m the first girl ever in the history of evolution who didn’t want a diamond.” She also is such a grandma. We were leaving to get lunch when she asked Ari if he used the bathroom.
Grandma:Well go use it, we’re going to leave soon.
Ari: I don’t need to.
Grandma: Didn’t your mother teach you to always use the bathroom before you leave a place?!
ArI: I’M 24 YEARS OLD!
Grandma: Well, Aviva’s a good girl. She used the bathroom.
I did try to make some friends my age at the shul we started going to but it’s hard. There are so few women who go and the balcony we sit in is *huge* so by the time I show up, I’m not going to go sit next to someone when there are 500 empty seats. So my only option is to, yes corner people again. I did that and met a girl from Paris – who I decided to regale with my adventures with Air France from January when they decided that I didn’t really need to get home to NY from Israel.
It’s weird to be making friends all over again. I feel like I barely have time to see my old friends, why would I want to add more? But apparently I can’t sit quietly in the corner at shul anymore because “people will think I’m a weirdo.”
Speaking of weirdos, last night Ari and I went to see Morning Parade at the Studio at Webster Hall. I had never been there and it was a lot smaller than I expected, which I like because it’s more intimate – also louder. The opening bands were great but we had never heard of them so we sat on the bench to the side until Brick + Mortar came on stage. The lead singer is a massive man with long hair who was intent on making the performance as interactive as possible. He insisted that everyone come closer to the stage and any hecklers got called out. He turned to where Ari and I were sitting.
Brandon: Don’t think I don’t see you guys in my peripheral! You have to get up too! Yeah you! I’m just going to keep yelling at you until you get up because I know you like the attention (at this point I start doing the awkward pageant wave I do when a large group of people are looking at me)
Finally I stood up to join the crowd, Ari got up after me.
Brandon: Look at that – the P is followed the v-Jay!
I made a face and he responded “Sorry if you’re offended! But he did follow you!”
After their show (which was entertaining and good I have to admit) Ari went up to the guy and said that he enjoyed their set even if Brandon did call him a Penis. To which he replied “Yeah, sorry about that. I mean, you’re Jewish and I’m Jewish so I figured I could call you a penis.”
Ari: Right, because that’s such a Semitic term.
Brandon: Ha OK you’re right, I’ll get you a CD because I sacrificed you.
So he takes him over to the merchandise and says to the greasy guy behind the table, “Hey man – give this guy a CD (*man gives curious look*)…I called him a penis.” Man nods and hands over CD. And that’s the story of how Ari got free things. Also the good Jew Ari is, he asked if we should invite him for Shabbat dinner. Which I didn’t think this dude would be into, but I could use a long hair rocker to complete my weird posse of friends.