CLUBS WHICH I DO CARE TO BELONG TO
File Under: "Examples of Riese's Questionable Money Management Skills."
I grew up clipping coupons and donning hand-me-downs/TJ Maxx-pilfered "trend items," so you think I'd be better at things like "Buy nine subs, get one free!" Not so. This's one of many of my endearing incongruous personality quirks.
I visit Duane Reade almost every day, yet I lived in NYC for two years before joining their club, a choice which's likely cost me hundreds of dollars. What's wrong with me? Nothing, obvs, my fate's repeatedly sealed by Duane Reade's sub par line-waiting experience.
The Scene: Two employees idly re-stock Massengill, one totally-over-it cashier stares wistfully at the tiny sparkles on her acrylics. A line of impatient bitches mutates into a store aisle. The customers in line are suspicious of all customers not in line; their eyes dart dangerously at every passing patron because now that the line's spiraled out of control, someone could possibly CUT in line, unjustly, then act all innocent about it, Really? The line ends HERE?, yes, someone could misinterpret the line's evolution, someone could start a new line, a shorter line, over in Photo, where a half-brain-dead employee is possibly opening a register [or doing nothing at all, probs], and I start wondering if it'd take less time to get sick, go to the doctor, get a prescription, take it to the back register, get it filled and pay for my other items as I pay for my [by this point, necessary] Xanax.
By the time I've actually paid for my items, I'm certain I can't spend one more moment of my life on this particular errand, and thus, I repeatedly forewent filling out the membership club forms.
Similarly, back in Michigan when I was living off lunch shift tips [total=$30-$35/day] and dining at Subway daily, why didn't I just ask for a Sub-Club stamp? I don't recall ever earning a free sub. Haviland's always amazed that I've foregone the Tasti-D card as well.
However, I was always a member of the Delia*s Discount Domain. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular club: sorz. I'm not gonna footnote it, because it's better for my reputation as Super-Cool that you stay in the dark. For those of you who know what I'm referring to: yeah, totes.
Wingnut:Ingrid1 reminded me in the last post's comments of one high school club I proudly belonged to: The Wingnuts. Our writing teacher, Delp, at boarding school2 [cited in last post for the "this school's a country club" doctrine] referred to us [us=Ingrid, Sheetal3, Meg4 and me] as "Wingnuts," because we were very bright children with excellent thumb-forefingering skills. From what I saw on television and read in YA novels, the cool kids at other schools had more prodigious monikers, like 'The Heathers" or "The Queen Bees" or "The Plastics." That's the difference between High School and Weirdo High School. I've illustrated this difference below, employing photos from Beverly Hills 90210 and Sweet Valley High.
1. "A nut with wing-like projections for thumb and forefinger leverage in turning."
2. "What Delp dubbed us."
I watched The MMC every day. Granted, it was on a short list of shows I was permitted to watch [including Fraggle Rock, 3-2-1 Contact, Square One and Kids Incorporated], but my love for this variety program was pretty tried/true. I wanted to be in it, too, and fantasized about traveling to Orlando and being [discovered] in the studio audience [read: fully sent out for pamphlet, begged parents, etc.] Mostly, this was related to my dreams of becoming a fab singer/dancer, like my hero Shirley Temple. Unfortunately, my dreams were thwarted because I cannot sing or dance. Instead of being on the MMC, I performed Send in the Clowns on my futon for my parents. A lot of kids from that show got famous and some are in rehab, so in retrospect, good thing I wasn't on it. Instead, I'm living proof that not all drug addicts need rehab. [JK, everyone! I'm unemployed because I want to be, not because I'm a drug addict! I can't afford DRUGS!]
My Dad used to tell me how in the 50s, the show was semi-decent and Anette Funnicello brought all the boys to the yard. Personally, I liked Tiffany, who joined MMC-spinoff band THE PARTY. I bought all their albums, and danced alone in my room to them, like a totes weirdo loser:
Though clearly this category, included here on Lozo's suggestion, is enabled by it's play on words, it ALSO enables me to discuss the essence of Groucho's statement [which, P.S., I realized yesterday was quoted in Annie Hall, which is probs where I know it from]. I'm not sure what's in a club sandwich, but I think it involves a lot of meat and possibly bacon. The consumption of club sandwiches is one of many things that separates me from other Americans, along with watching American Idol, knowing the rules of the game "football," and enjoying pork products and outdoor BBQs.
I don't like sandwiches. Here's why:
1. I don't like lunch meat, except low-fat beef bologna.
2. I don't like biting into things.
3. I don't like things that other people like.
3a. Unless that thing is Freedom.
3b. Or vodka.
I need some vitamins like whoa. Monkeys eat more fresh fruit than I do, by like, 400%. Harry & David used to just sell fruit and chocolate, but now they probably sell like, Sushi. If someone got me a FOTMC membership for a major or minor holiday [Purim, Bloomsday and Belated Memorial Day totes counts], I'd give this person something special. I can't promise marraige, because back in December I promised to marry whomever purchased me The Paris Review Interviews, and said "I am a decent cook, and I promise to always keep my svelte figure," and TB bought it for me. So I have to give away something else. Okay, my first born.
I suspect the Bloomsbury folks--Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell, E.M Forster, Clive Bell, et al--purposely shunned the word "club," but I'm going to include them anyway because it's my blog and I make the rules. I sometimes wonder if the internet's prevented the emergence of true artist/writer groups like they had in the old days, or at least in the old days of my imagination. Which's why TB and I are opening a bed & breakfast and it'll be special for artists and writers and such, especially homos. Once, Ryan-C and I accidentally went to a gay bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere, upstate New York. Luckily, Ryan was gay, and both of us liked eating banana bread and reading all day while the lesbians went a-hikin'. I was sick then and was limited in what I could do, physically, so I was jealous of the hikers, but also happy to read. Ibsen, Nadine Gordimer and Homer. The owner hated us, we ate all his banana bread. At our place, you can eat all my banana bread, cause I made it for you, weirdo.
On Episode 408 of the Showtime Hit Series [and by "hit" I mean "listening to TLW dialogue often feels like being HIT over the head with a dead lesbian horse, except that lesbians don't like horses, they like monkeys, I learned that on The L Word"] The L Word, Tina confesses to her ex, Bette, that now that she's gone to the dark side [a.k.a. dudes]: "I miss the way we communicated subtly, I miss the way that we worked together to make everything around us so beautiful. I miss being surrounded by women, and I miss being part of something so secret and special."
Then this conversation, which I've cut-and-pasted from my L Word Online Recap Blog, Auto-Straddle, happened in my living room following Tina's statement, which was found dubious by my friends and "popular opinion."
Haviland: Did she say secret?
Me: Yeah, like you know--it's not a secret but [I understand what Tina is saying and I like it, but everyone is talking over me, so I retreat to my cave of ignorance/bisexuality.]
Meg: Yeah, she misses the secret code and the secret handshake--
Haviland: What did you say?
Yana: What, you don't know the handshake?
Haviland: [totally in "Maude" voice, all gravely and been-around-the-block-and-had-a-ciggie-after]
I've been a lesbian for a looooong time.....
Dr. W: Why's it so black and white? Why're you a fraud or always telling the "whole" truth? Is there anywhere in between?
Me: No, there is no coexistence, [dramatic flourish of legs over armrest], I'm a FRAUD!
No one ever guessed anything about me just from looking: no one'd guess that I'm queer, or a writer or a or even smart. "I would never guess that _______" I can be anybody, I can be anything, tell me what to do, you say jump I say I'm already jumping, look--
For every apparent revelation: a million secrets, stories denied and squelched by each reincarnation. A love/hate relationship with everything I've stood behind. Gay/straight, Jewish/Quaker, Genuis/Airhead, Sane/Insane, Artist/Robot, Social/Recluse ... It's like I've been everything and it's opposite, and've gathered enough narratives to hold my own amongst any of them, now. Though I refrain from anything of import following "I am." Maybe here's a place where I can be all of those things at once and be validated instantly simply by the very fact that I'm writing it and I have a sitemeter.
In fact, this particular truth feels indulgent, why should anyone care, that even acting as though I think you should care is breaking into another character, which's the only one I've yet to actually play: confidence.
Sometimes it's nice, after all that, to retreat into a club which you find you're already a member: someplace special and secret but already understood, maybe with only one other person, or two other people--maybe with virtual people that you don't even know--maybe with hundreds, where you've got nothing to prove, you're assured you can handle at least what this situation demands, because but what more assurance can I have you have not told me, that I will be there, I and the canyons of my heart, its vast and vacant majesties...
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?
The Breakfast Club
a brain, an athlete,
and a criminal.
Does that answer your question?
Join the Club.
Some remaining clubs I hadn't the time to cover: Friendship Club [Degrassi: The Next Generation], I Hate Rachel Green Club [Friends], Hunt Club, Cat Scratch Club, Buena Vista Social Club, Culture Club, Equinox Fitness Club, Drama Club, Yale Club, Harvard Club.
1Ingrid: Ingrid and Krista were my suitemates my first year (11th grade) at boarding school. Then we became BFFs and, the subsequent year, became Wingnuts. Ing lived in NYC, twenty blocks south of Krista and I's Sparlem place, following her graduation from University of Wisconsin. Now she's in Chicago getting another degree in Art History, which's a very useful topic.
2boarding school: Interlochen Arts Academy.
3Meg: Is Meg. Northern Michigan reared. I'd crash at her NYU dorm almost every weekend when I was at Sarah Lawrence. Now she's in Michigan, I think. We met in my first writing workshop--which's also where I met...
4Sheetal: Raised in India, then Laguna Beach, then Interlochen. Then Johns Hopkins. Then NYC. Once convinced me, based on her evident germ-a-phobia, that she and her boyfriend had never even made out. I believed her because she wouldn't let me drink her PowerAde.