Since the injury, my social life has been practically non-existent, partially because of my insecurities. The only time I really go anywhere is when Ross is here on the weekends and we’ll grab an early dinner at Smith and Wollensky, which is on the water right behind our building, or the Patio restaurant, conveniently located on the property. The nice part of going to a restaurant is the fact that most everyone is sitting down. Being at eye level creates an equal playing field for me when I arrive. I don’t feel like everyone is staring down at me. On the other hand, while in a crowd of standing people, being in a chair can be very overwhelming and uncomfortable and I usually start to feel dwarfed and claustrophobic.
Cut to…our condo’s cocktail party. Opulence Magazine sponsored a really nice event last week for all of the residents. The night featured food from some great area restaurants like Milos, a really wonderful Mediterranean place, and My Ceviche, a delicious best kept secret which is about as big as a broom closet. Also included in the evenings lineup was a mini fashion show from Saks, a display of fine art from some very notable artists and a selection of some in-your-face iced out watches that looked like they came from Lil Wayne’s watch collection. I thought going to this party would not only be something fun for me to attend but also would be easy for me logistically since they were having it in the lobby downstairs. The path of least resistance is my motto these days. Also, if I got tired or if the party was boring, it would be easy for me to make a quick escape. Ross was unable to attend with me since the party was during the work week. I didn’t want to go alone so I invited my good friend Paul Himmel-a fellow Akronite living in Miami and working as a DJ at various clubs around town, Derrik Tarver-my newer friend who is a pro basketball player across the pond, and Anthony, a professional model friend of Paul’s who just happened to be in town shooting an underwear ad for Kohls. A DJ, the model and an athlete…this was was my entourage.
Arriving at the party, I had the usual feelings of inferiority and intense claustrophobia along with a few pity stares thrown my way. It didn’t matter how great of an entourage I had, it was still me in the chair, feeling very different from everyone else. Dealing with these feelings is no doubt something that I continue to work on. I certainly do not want to be that person who locks themselves away because of fear and insecurity, eventually ending up on the show Hoarders. I know I project an air of confidence, but inside, I feel like I’m a house of cards that can easily collapse from the slightest look. Little did I know that my vulnerable house was going to be threatened that evening by a classless and ignorant self proclaimed Palm Beach and Upper East Side B-list socialite countess wanna-be and trashy paperback romance novel author who married unbelievably wealthy 3 times over. How was that for a description? Oh, and she also looks like “The Joker”. Now that you have a visual, let me explain the reason for my disdain. I was having a nice conversation with someone from the building when without notice, a gold handbag gets plunked on my lap. The Joker that did the plunking bends down over me and quickly asks if I can hold her purse so she could be in some pictures. Before I could even process an answer, this obvious media whore was already 6 steps away from me, getting her picture taken by some photographers from the magazine.
Ok, let me break this down because there are so many levels of stupid that this women touched on.
1. Watching or holding a strangers belongings: No, I’m not so paranoid that I thought there was a pipe bomb in her purse, I just don’t make it a habit to hold or watch a strangers belongings. It’s really not a smart idea. This reminds me of a time that I was at JFK a few years ago waiting for my flight, when the guy seated next to me asked if I could watch his bags while he went to the bathroom. Obviously, this guy must not have gotten the memo about 9/11 and the heightened airport security. Clearly he has not heard the recorded message played every minute of every day throughout every airport on this very subject. He probably just forgot that a couple of planes highjacked by some radical terrorists flew into the World Trade Center killing thousands of innocent people. Slipped his mind. My response to him was “you’re joking, right?”. He wasn’t joking and was pissed that I wouldn’t watch his bags. Dumb ass. Go Greyhound next time. I could go on about this, but I won’t.
2. Ask permission before you act: Shouldn’t she have requested permission from me before assuming that violating my personal space would be ok? Permission should have come before the plunk.
3. I am not your coffee table, I am a person. Have I made myself clear? There was a table a few steps away from the Joker. What prevented her from using that? More interestingly, what drew her to the girl in the wheelchair to be her accessory holder? While I’m down here, perhaps I could shine her shoes or hold her coat. In her frenzy to be recognized and photographed, did the flash temporarily confuse the parietal lobe of her brain and she really thought I was a coffee table? I always like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt…
4. If i’m going to hold anyone’s purse, it better not be a piece of shit: This is self explanatory.
When the Joker came back to pick up her bag, I had a few words prepared for her. I calmly said that I was sickened by her lack of awareness of peoples’ feelings and that I was absolutely appalled by her classless and vile behavior. I handed her the piece of shit bag and turned around to resume my conversation. This idiot came back for more about 30 minutes later, handing me her trashy paperback novel like it was an olive branch, pleading for me to not be mad at her. She told me that she really wanted me to have her book. Naturally, I gave the book back and told her to leave me alone.
After the party, I couldn’t wait to write about her. I was ready to post her name, the numerous pictures that I found online of her (one, more stupid than the other), the ridiculously narcissistic bio in her book and many other pieces of info about her that would serve as fodder for my writing, but I decided against it. Really, what would that accomplish? I will have to deal with people like her again, and probably when I least expect it. Unfortunately, stupid people are all around us. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Stupid doesn’t discriminate. I came across this quote from American Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz which struck me as quite powerful: “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. “