Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Popcorn Part II


You guys didn't think there was going to be an "and then." You thought that dumpster fire of a life I told you about over the weekend was the finish line in my 32-year journey to become the trashiest person in all the land.

You probably thought, "Eli isn't going to post anymore after this. There's really nothing else for him to say. He has completed this blog and it will now become yet another abandoned page in the blogosphere."

Well, you guys were wrong. Because there's more. There is more crap to tell you about. On Monday I gave you the ice cream, but I withheld the cherry on top. Because I was worried I was already going to cause your type II diabetes and I wanted to give your poor pancreas a 48-hour break before shoving a nearly-illegal amount of proverbial powdered donuts down your proverbial gullets.

I think I got lost in analogies somewhere back there.

The point is this.

After the movie ended it was nearly midnight. I, of course, was covered in an entire tub of popcorn's worth of grease.

To be clear, Skylar did not help consume the buckets of lard and sugar I carefully ushered into the theater. I did that all on. my. own.

We left the theater. I was still riding either a sugar high or a high from the run-in that happened just before the movie began. Skylar was contemplating his life decisions that led him to spend an evening with me.



I'm getting to it DON'T RUSH ME.

We drove back to my house, one of us singing "Party in the U.S.A." at the top of his lungs the entire ride home because of the extreme sugar high. The other one of us was doing breathing exercises and repeatedly counting to ten for reasons that still aren't clear to me.

We finally entered my neighborhood and I immediately noticed that something was different.

There were five hundred billion cars lining my street.

I assumed that The Perfects were having a party and I wasn't even offended because I gave up on ever meriting an invitation to anything from The Perfects.

But then I saw it. Just as we drove by the house just two down from my own.

A seemingly-jamming party happening at Cat Lady's house.

To review: Cat Lady is my soul-mate neighbor I met a few months ago when she told me she accidentally stole our neighbor's cat and mail and then got caught when he came over to give her some of her mail that had been delivered to him by mistake.

But her curtains were shut so all we could see were silhouettes of twenty or thirty people inside. Now that I think about it it looked a lot like that scene in Home Alone when Kevin puts all of those cardboard people around on strings to try to make it look like they're having a party inside so the robbers don't think the place is empty.

In any event,

Eli: noddin' my head like, yeah. Movin' my hips like--AHHHH! That. Wretched. Wench.

Skylar: Excuse me?


Skylar: So?


Skylar: Have you ever invited her to anything?


Skylar: Hers.

Eli: Well get on my side! Because this is an outrage!

Skylar: That might be a family party.

Eli: Am I not family!?! I have a key to her house! Do those people have a key to her house?! Maybe I should just go let myself in since she didn't have the decency to invite me!

Skylar: You sound like a crazy person. Who are you texting?

Eli: Cat Lady.

Skylar: This is a very bad idea. Please stop.

Eli: Sent.

Skylar: What did you say?

Eli: I just said "Hey there! I hope you're home because it looks like there's a huge party going on at your house! LOL winky smiley face!"

Skylar: You sound like you are passive-aggressively scolding her for not inviting you.

Eli: That's why I included "LOL winky smiley face." It makes everything you say before it ok.

Skylar: I'm now starting to understand why you didn't already have plans tonight when I dragged you to that party and movie earlier.

By the time we got inside, my rage and sugar high had settled into a sugar coma and I no longer wanted to be invited to any party or perform any action ever again. But it was too late.

Cat Lady called me and left a very loud message demanding that I "get [my] butt over here right now." I decided I would just call her back in the morning and thank her for the invite but tell her I was just too tired from all of my evening social affairs.

But then there was a knock at the door. I answered it. It was Cat Lady and her friend, and they were clearly tipsy.


Cat Lady: You already changed into PJs!? Didn't you just pull into the driveway?

Eli: Yes. That's it. I came inside and changed very quickly. This is not what I wore out of the house all evening.

Cat Lady: Well put on some normal clothes and get your butt over to my house right. now. I will not take no for an answer!

I'm incapable of resisting such an invitation, so I made some promises, shut the door, and turned around.

Skylar: Ugh. Fine. Let's go.

Eli: You're actually going to come with me?

Skylar: I feel like it would be socially irresponsible for me to let you out by yourself right now.

Eli: Fair.

We changed and walked two houses down to the party.

The house was filled with people twice our age, but they welcomed us anyway. There was a table full of cookies, so obviously I took care of that.

We were engaged in some pleasant conversations wherein we pretended to be twice our ages by saying words like "stocks" and "timeshare" and "Richard Nixon."

And THAT'S when.

THAT is when it happened.

I was engaged in telling some story that involved an excessive use of arm movement (because all of my stories do--I'm actually waving my arms wildly in the air as I type this). People were politely listening and laughing in all of the right places. I was pretty sure I was a party hit.

I went in for my grand-finale move. A quick arm wave toward the people behind me. And then I felt that arm connect with something made of glass.

By the time I turned around, the glass full of very red wine was doing slow-motion flips in the air toward the center of the room in the direction of the food table.

And in my moment of panic. Without thinking. It was a gut reaction. It was what my brain told my body to do.

In that moment of panic, I socially betrayed myself and divulged my priorities by yelling out to a room full of people the following thing:


Never mind that a fragile wine glass was tumbling toward a white rug. Never mind that I caused this to happen. Never mind that the table holding the cookies was several feet out of reach of this wine-glass-fall. Never mind that everyone was pretty much done with the cookies by this point in the party.

Never mind all of it.

That's what I said.

That's what I was concerned about.

That's what I wanted everyone to drop what they were doing in that moment to protect.

My yelling drew attention to the commotion that wouldn't have been drawn by a simple falling glass.

The room was quiet, and Skylar was doing that thing where he scrunched his whole face up and shut his eyes like he was trying to will himself to be somewhere else.

And I wasn't sure then which was a bigger deal: a broken wine glass and stain on a white rug or inappropriate concern for food.

There were a few more seconds of silence before I finally broke it:

Eli: Would you guys believe me if I told you this is only the second most embarrassing thing that has happened to me tonight?

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. I love living vicariously through you. But let the record show that I too screamed for the cookies as the wine glass fell. In my mind's eye they are snickerdoodles, the truest and most delicious of cookies.

    1. Of course they were snickerdoodles. Do you think I would have acted that way for chocolate chip? (Thank heavens they weren't oatmeal raisin. I would have had to call in sick for work if someone ruined oatmeal raisin cookies.)

    2. There needs to be a poll to clarify because I think a big fat peanut butter cookie dipped in chocolate (like the Penelope at Ruby Snap) is far more worthy of public humiliation than a snickerdoodle.

    3. I just asked Imzy if there is a way to create one!

    4. One of my greatest personal tragedies is the development, late in life, of an allergy to cinnamon.

      *sniffle* Alas, no more Snickerdoodles for me.*full on sobs*

    5. Nicole! I made the poll function work on Imzy! Anyone can make a poll now! It's so fun!

    6. Eli - as usual, you are the hero of the day! But then - with that hair I think you were born to be a superhero . . . .

  2. There's only one solution for this - you have to move

  3. I defend your defense of the cookies. I applaud you for it even. Priorities.

    1. Yes. I think if this was a party of Strangers we all would have rushed to save the cookies that weren't even in harm's way. NOT THAT WE KNOW WHAT PARTIES ARE EVERYONE'S MOMS.

  4. Ha ha ha hey, cookies are important! I think we have the same priorities in life!

  5. Did she re-key the door? I would have re-keyed the door.

    1. Agreed. Eli, you need to go check and see if your key still works. Go do it. TODAY.

  6. I see no problems with your priorities. Carry on.

  7. This is my favorite week in Stranger history.

  8. I did this once. Except instead of a glass of wine, it was a crock pot full of saucy meatballs. At someone's party I didn't even know. My friends brought me and I leaned up against a table and knocked the crock pot off of it and onto a nearly white carpet. Red sauce everywhere. That was like five years ago and I still get a sinking feeling in my stomach when I think about.

  9. Reading this in a serious business meeting and trying not to draw attention as I choke back hysterical laughter and tears!

    1. Becca don't you know the rule that you can never read Stranger in a serious setting! I learned this a few years ago in a biochem class in college.

  10. "We were engaged in some pleasant conversations wherein we pretended to be twice our ages by saying words like "stocks" and "timeshare" and "Richard Nixon.""


  11. I don't laugh as easily as I used to. Your previous post made me smile, maybe chuckle a bit, but this one made me burst into full-on laughter. It was great, and there are joyful tears rolling down my face. This story reminds me of a time when I showed inappropriate concern. I was a teen, probably in middle school or early high school. My friend, my sisters, and I decided to walk to the library one Saturday for fun because we're nerds like that. On the way back, we decided to stop at McDonald's for some ice cream. At one point, my friend started choking on her ice cream. It wasn't the type of choking where you think the person is dying, more the type where someone just swallowed wrong, and it's super uncomfortable. But once my friend stopped coughing, instead of asking if she was ok, I pointed out that she had gotten ice cream in her hair and that she might want help getting it out. I was made fun of for years for my seemingly insensitive comment.

  12. Please tell me there is a part III...

  13. Raise of hands for everyone who did the face scrunch thing Skylar did as they were reading this.

  14. This blog seriously gets better all the time. It's really impressive considering that most people abandon their personal blogs. I hope you never stop writing. Also, please quit your job and do a book already.

  15. It's been a long time since I've cried at work for any reason other than hating worrk.

  16. I had a flailing arms while telling a story moment too.
    Once upon an early college morning, when I thought taking the 730am class was a smart move, I was innocently talking to my friend. Of course, while not realizing that my hands were all over the place trying to make my unimaginative story more interesting.
    Next thing I know, my left hand comes into contact with something fairly solid. I looked over my shoulder in time to see this lady's glasses go flying off her face in slo-mo while a red palm mark is forming on her face from where my flailing hand had just left. I issue a useless apology while she storms off after snatching her glass from the dirt.
    To make matters more more, she was waiting at the doors at the bottom of the chem building to get into the same 730am O-Chem class that I needed to get into.
    I dropped the class immediately and learned my lesson, that no good comes from taking a class at 730 in the morning.

  17. My brother in law was at a BBQ at his aunt's home with some of her friends and neighbors. They were waiting for the grilling of food to finish up as they hung out chatting. The food is finally done and Aunty comes in with it and somehow trips and knocks into a neighbor and glasses and plates break and neighbor falls down amongst the glass. What does my brother in law yell? "THE MEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAT!!!!" I still cry-laugh whenever I think of it. Thanks for sharing your version so I can laugh at that one, too!