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Archive for the ‘Apartment life’ Category

That’s right, readers: We are still living in the apartment complex. We decided we liked not having to maintain a house and its landscape. Something’s broken? Call maintenance. It’s great.

So that means we’re here for another summer, which means the return of “Dispatches from the pool.” Here are links to the starts of Seasons 1 and 2, if you need a recap. Enjoy!

 

EPISODE 1: You’re not melting, I promise
Rated G for gentle sprinkles

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON

ENTER WOMAN (usually referred to as “MOTHER,” but this time she is blissfully alone, having had the house to herself for two days while the others were traveling)

Seven TWENTYSOMETHINGS are scattered around the pool area sunning themselves like alligators on a riverbank.

WOMAN settles into a lounge chair with her trashy magazine (People, of course) and adult sippy cup.

WOMAN sees the girls taking pics she assumes are for Insta.

WOMAN feels the need to do a meta photo. A pretend Instagram photo of her legs, in typical Insta style, that includes the girls posting to Instagram. (Pretend Instagram because her actual Instagram features the adventures of a taxidermied raccoon paw.)

(Note: This photo would never have happened 50 pounds ago. Remember how whaley and uncomfortable WOMAN was in Season 1? That’s right.)

 

WOMAN’S phone BUZZES with a response to an earlier text

 

 

Raindrops FALL.

Every one of the TWENTYSOMETHINGS immediately scuttles away.

 

WOMAN, an actual meteorologist, looks at the clouds and knows the rain will pass.

WOMAN (under her breath)
Oh please. It’s just sprinkling. You’re not going to melt.

WOMAN continues reading her now slightly damp magazine. She is now completely alone at the pool, but not for long.

FATHER and ONE KID — GIDEON — appear in the pool area.

FATHER
You run everyone off?

MOTHER (no longer WOMAN as she is not alone)
(Shrugs)

GIDEON
Hey, Mama!

MOTHER
Hey, Baby. You have a good time in Savannah?

GIDEON
Yeah.

That’s it. No further conversation from that one. He’s 13.

General discussion ensues between FATHER and MOTHER regarding a friend’s golfing and early-bedtime habits.

GIDEON
Watch me skip my sandal!

MOTHER discovers she has reached the end of the beverage in her water bottle.

MOTHER
Right. Time to go.

FATHER (who also has reached the end of his)
Yeah.

END SCENE

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Dear Apartment:

I’m going to miss all the quality alone time you and I had while the guys were out of town getting my mother-in-law’s house in Puerto Rico ready to rent out.

Don’t get me wrong: I do love them. But when I cleaned you the day after they left, you stayed clean.

You and I had so much fun together. I got to watch whatever I wanted to watch on TV. I could roam around in my underwear without embarrassing any teenagers. I didn’t have to worry about your front door being left unlocked or coming home to random friends of aforementioned teenagers inside you.

What’s more — and this probably made Charlotte next door very happy — you and I were peaceful together. So peaceful.

The communication styles of my family members are just so different.

The quietest one missed me. He texted me almost every day.

The medium-loud one texted me informative tidbits regarding house progress, interesting videos, and photos engineered to make me wish I had left you.

The loudest and grouchiest one did not talk to me at all until he wanted something the day before he came back to us.

It figures.

In an interesting twist, Dominic the Loud immediately stripped upon arriving back to you and charged around eating chicken wings.

I guess Eddie’s right: He and I are alike.

Anyway, I’m going to miss you, my fortress.

Love always,
Beth

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Dear IKEA:

I love you. I hate you. I love to hate you. I hate to love you.

Eddie and I entered you to get stuff to furnish an investment property. Let’s call this place a charming, evocative name — a name like “El Pozo De Dinero.

It will, we hope, be Eddie’s primary source of income this summer.

We had to get so much. But the quantity of necessary items was inversely proportional to my amount of patience.

I lost my will to live in the lighting section.

You didn’t care. You still made me trek through bath fixtures, throw pillows and plants to taste freedom.

I have so many questions:

  1. Why don’t you have the entrance on the main floor?
  2. Why don’t you have carts on the second floor where the showroom begins?
  3. Why don’t you have any staff on the floor?
  4. Why do you have to snake through the entire damn place to get from entrance to exit?
  5. Why can’t you get out of the café without going through the whole place again?
  6. Why won’t you open another register when you have 637 people in line?

Eddie contemplates death in one of only two checkout lanes open.

Even your oft-heralded meatballs are not enough to erase the memory of this torture.

We’re not done, though, so I’ll see you in a week or so.

Your best enemy,
Beth

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Dear Halloween:

You and Christmas Eve are my favorite holidays. For you, I get dressed up and give out candy. For the other, I wait for someone dressed up to give me candy.

Luckily, my family feels the same way about you. Sometimes, we get other people to join us in group costumes.

It’s the one time of year where I let my craft freak flag fly.

Here’s a retrospective of costumes we’ve had over the years.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Unfortunately, living in an apartment has its drawbacks: All my Halloween paraphernalia is in storage. Plus, I’ll be teaching tonight, so I won’t be able to go all out.

There’s always next year.

Love you!
Beth

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EPISODE 3: Bad taste in beverages
Rated G for grandma, giant babies and “Good God, that Guy is … Gregarious!”

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

ENTER FATHER and TWO KIDS, DOMINIC and GIDEON. MOTHER shows up 30 minutes later after finishing the Season 2 opener of “Jersey Shore Family Vacation.” (Ronnie had a meltdown on social media? Say it isn’t so!) FATHER and MOTHER practically double the average age of pool denizens.

MOTHER
Who are these people (referencing the dozen or so twentysomethings)?

FATHER
No idea.

GIDEON
Can we go home now?

MOTHER
Dude, I just got here!

FATHER (to MOTHER, who is wearing jeans)
Are you swimming?

MOTHER
No.

DOMINIC
Then let’s go.

MOTHER
Here’s the key. We’re going to hang out for a bit.

DOMINIC and GIDEON exit.

FATHER (referencing the cooler MOTHER has brought)
Anything in there for me?

MOTHER (handing him an adult sippy cup)
Yes.

MOTHER plays Words with Friends. FATHER watches a video of a man getting sucked into an escalator in Turkey. MOTHER overhears loud talking from one member of the youngster group.

MOTHER (to FATHER)
Why is there always one loud guy in the group? Which one is it?

FATHER (to MOTHER, whose back is to the group)
Look around. It’s the one you think it is. It’s always that guy.

MOTHER (glancing over her shoulder)
It’s the big guy in the hat, isn’t it?

FATHER
Yup.

LOUD GUY (repeats this phrase three times)
It was the best time of my life.

MOTHER
All right. I’m going to throw this out (references her empty can) and get out of here.

FATHER
Great idea.

MOTHER sees that these children don’t even have good taste in beer.

MOTHER
Bud Light? Ultra? GAH! (The Athena is hers.)

Look at this trash!

MOTHER
You coming?

FATHER
Yeah.

END SCENE

 

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EPISODE 2*: All’s quiet on the aquatic front
Rated G for pooly goodness

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

For a Sunday afternoon, the pool area is virtually uninhabited. There are about four adults scattered around.

ENTER FATHER and TWO KIDS. MOTHER shows up 10 minutes later after getting yet more school supplies.

MOTHER
Did you put sunscreen on the kids?

FATHER
Um … Dominic, yes. Gideon just jumped in.

MOTHER
Harumph. No Father-of-the-Year award for you.
(To her wet youngest) Gideon, come here!

GIDEON
Why?

MOTHER
Because I said so.
(Note that MOTHER never thought she would ever let that sentence pass her lips. She is smarter now. She knows it can’t be helped.)

After MOTHER lathers GIDEON in 50 SPF (waterproof), MOTHER and FATHER hang out poolside, drink adult beverages, and make sure their kids don’t harass others. THE KIDS simply harass each other.

FATHER and MOTHER discuss last night, which was not so peaceful.

FLASHBACK

It’s a pool party for Miles. The only people in the pool are the billion 11-13 year olds invited to the party. A handful of parents cluster around a cooler. (Any time there are that many teens and pre-teens, there needs to be a cooler.)

Suddenly, RAMBO appears. (OK, not Rambo for real, but the new complex security guard who clearly takes himself WAY TOO seriously. He was wearing camouflage. And a gear belt with a taser. And those police boots. Oh yes, he was all kitted out.)

MOTHER was smart enough to bring beverages in cans. The others drew RAMBO’s ire:

RAMBO
No glass on the deck.

ALL ANSWER
OK.

RAMBO patrols the pool/gym area. ASSEMBLED ADULTS remain quiet, watching him incredulously.

RAMBO exits. ADULTS drag him mercilessly.

END FLASHBACK

MOTHER
I’ve got to go.

FATHER
You’ve only been here 15 minutes.

MOTHER
Yeah, but I’m burning. Look (points to shoulder).

FATHER
Of course you are.

END SCENE

*The summer has flown by. I haven’t gone to the pool much. #sad

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Dear America:

It’s almost your birthday, so I’m giving you the gift of information. This info might help answer a question I’ve been asking since I began traveling throughout the rest of the world:

Why do Americans resist bidets?

There are various commercials that address the perils of paper. Here’s one example:

And various products to help clean up your hazardous waste site:

But tissue is troubling in general. Why not solve the problem in a less wasteful way?

The French get it. The Japanese more than get it. You practically need a user manual, but your special bits will be spic and span.

Americans don’t get it.

And I don’t get that.

Everybody poops. EVERYBODY. (If you don’t, you have a real problem that I can’t solve.) Don’t you want to be as clean as possible afterward?

If you do, here’s a solution: Tushy. It’s an aftermarket, easy-to-install bidet. (NOT to be confused with the anal porn website in HD [!] that I found accidentally when looking for the bidet link.)

I’m happy to be a paid spokesperson if asked.

Come on, people. Let’s get it together. Save some trees. Save some septic tanks. Save your sphincters some friction.

Unless you are into that sort of thing. (And according to that website … nevermind.)

Yours in booty health and wellbeing,
Beth

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