May 31, 2006
SUMMERTIME – AND THE LIVIN' IS NOT SO EASY
Although Memorial Day Weekend ushers in the crowds with a bling bang, there are subtler signs that a transformation is taking place. I always know the season has arrived when I walk into the deli and hear men ordering egg whites for breakfast. I don't know why I find this disturbing as they are probably just healthy but then I feel incredibly self-conscious following up with my order of the Triple Bypass. Then again they may be staring at me because I'm still basically in my pajamas. I mean who gets dressed to go to the deli in the morning? Come on. Pre-caffeine accessorizing is not in my repertoire, and I don't want to drop bacon fat on my outfit for the day.
There is also the moment I realize that I actually need to make reservations for things, like dinner, the Jitney, or even a weekend yoga class. As a writer who sets her own schedule and moves at the whims of capricious muses, I balk at this advance planning. I may not feel like Northern Italian by the time Saturday night roles around, or I could experience a sudden unexpected burst of energy and freak early morning flexibility and want to attend an 8 a.m. Astanga class, or decide to leave the city early and instead spend three hours in Au Bon Pain watching booked Jitneys pass me by.
People who live their lives like this have something that I don't. It's called a personal assistant. At the Ralph Lauren store in Southampton one of them called to say that her mistress didn't have time to come in so an associate should walk the emergency polo shirt out to the sidewalk to meet the car in the street. I thought this behavior was reserved for drug deals. I have only used a personal assistant in a pinch, such as when I'm getting an incoming call from someone I don't want to talk to and shove the phone at my friend saying, "Answer as my secretary and say that I've left the country."
Not only are people overscheduled – so are dogs. Our canine friends need to consult with their legal representation before taking a walk on the beach. No you can't take a walk on Sagg Main after May 15. Yes you can walk on Ocean Road beach but only before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. No, you can't be on the sidewalk but you can be in a purse. This is all overly complicated for creatures who don't even think lapping out of toilet bowls should be prohibited. Ever notice how there are no cat rules? Little do you know but, like the airlines, they successfully fought regulation and remain free agents.
A crazy thing happens here in the summer as well where people seem to forget how to interact with other people. It's the couple at the sushi bar at Sen whose child's portable DVD player is going full blast with Finding Nemo. It's the guy who careens around you in his car to steal the space you've patiently been waiting for. It's the woman in the spa who screams at the manager that it's the worse pedicure she's ever had in her life and refuses to pay – oh and it was the worst manicure too.
I think the police should establish a special undercover force that infiltrates public places and writes tickets for rude and unacceptable behavior. Instead of spending time ticketing cars that have been in the Newtown Lane parking lot for more than two hours, roam the streets, restaurants, and beaches and let people know that it is their bad behavior, not their cars, which is egregious to society. Let's make the summer livin' be easy. So if you see the girl in the deli with the bacon-stained pajamas, be sure to just smile and say hi.
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