Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Inaugural Meeting of The Humilist Society

Everyone please sit down, shhhh, please? Gosh, there are so many of you, I didn’t expect sucha crowd . . . Alright then, let’s begin with our Prayer for the Humilist, shall we?

Bring me your Accident Prone

Your Embarrassed
Your Imperfect 
Your Uncoordinated
Your Humiliated 
Outcasts, Spazzes, Inarticulates, Resignated, Demures, and Introverts unite
I will shelter you from the storm of Anxiousness and Panic
Lo, then walk in the valley of The Okay
May The Ooops be with you always

Okay then, here we go . . .

Does this ever happen to you? You go into the Thai Sushi place and tell the hostess you want to order take-out. She’s tiny and lovely and she smiles, hands you the menu and says you may sit at the sushi bar while you wait. You order Pad Thai and a large unsweetened tea. They bring you the tea in a stupendously large styrofoam cup and tell you the Pad Thai is only moments away. You notice two women sitting a few seats away from you at the bar. They are blonde and late-thirty-something. They very well dressed, their hair is flawless, they have no extra skin at their jaw lines. These women are carrying on several conversations at once -- they talk to each other, yet they each hold their cell phones between them and they are texting and talking about texting and you get the distinct impression that they have so many friends they barely can keep up. You look at them and you pull your iPhone from your purse, but you have no messages, no texts, no emails and your Facebook account is deadly quiet. But you fiddle with the phone as though something important has been sent to you. You put the straw through the plastic top on the enormous styrofoam cup and take a long sip of your tea. You are staring at the women now, and they notice, they see you staring at them, and the one facing you pokes the one whose back is to you, and that one turns nonchalantly and now they are both looking at you, and you take the straw away from your lips, and put your iPhone down on the bar and decide to look up at the big screen TV over the bar, and you see its CNN and the sound is off, and the anchor girl is interviewing someone about health care in Arizona, cause that’s what the Crawl says, but what you notice is the anchor girl is wearing over-the-knee black leather boots with six inch stiletto heels and a mini black dress that is barely a short tunic really, and its slit up the side so you can see this anchor girl’s haunches and you think, Wow, that’s so wrong and then you look back at the women down the bar and they have gotten their tiny lunch plates now and they are talking about how important everything they do is . . . no really, their kids, their husbands, their basketball tickets (this is Carolina Blue country afterall) and they are mmmmming over their little lettuce wraps and you can’t help but stare at them, and they glance back at you and you look back at the CNN anchor girl who has shifted in her anchor girl chair and re-crossed her legs and you notice the interviewee is now looking down at her boots, and you imagine what he’s saying to her, it has nothing to do with healthcare at all, he’s asking her on national television, “Where did you get those boots?” and you’re thinking that he’s imagining himself wearing the boots and this is much more interesting than an interview about health care, but you stop yourself, because there are people dying . . . aren’t there? There are people dying and you have made the health care man into some kind of joke by imagining him in stiletto boots crossing and uncrossing his legs while reading the newspaper in his hotel room because his plane back to Arizona was delayed due to sun-spots.

But then your lunch comes, its wrapped neatly in brown paper and stapled and you hand your credit card to the waiter across the bar, and while he’s processing your payment, you stand, put your dark and quiet iPhone back in your purse, and you swing yourself off the stool and this motion causes you to momentarily lose your balance and your right hand flails and you knock the gigantic styrofoam cup of tea on its side, but you feel alright about that for a fleeting moment, because there’s a top on the cup, but you grab the cup to upright it, and because the waiter is now coming toward you and the women down the bar are open mouthed and looking at you, you tense up and your SAVE goes all wrong, your grasp is far too firm for the task at hand, and you manage to push your thumb right through the styrofoam cup causing a mortal puncture and the cup now stands upright and the tea is pouring from the wounded cup and the ice cubes are coming out now too and well, a horrendous stopping of time has occurred and the waiter and the perfect women are unable to help you and you actually utter, “help!” and time speeds up again and the women are laughing at you and the waiter hands you a cocktail napkin of all things to clean up the bucket of tea that is continuing to flow all over the sushi bar and now its cascading like a zen garden water fall over the side of the bar and onto you and your neatly wrapped lunch is soaked and the hostess comes running with a tea towel and she’s smart and realizes that the tea towel and the cocktail napkin won’t do at all and you finally remove your thumb from the inside of the now empty styrofoam cup and you wilt and you want to say something to change the way everyone is looking at you, but there is nothing to say . . . A dishwashing boy comes from the kitchen and his face is sweet, he looks at you and he has an arm full of towels and he begins mopping up the river of tea. And as though she understood you, the break in your heart, the hostess appears behind you and she holds a newly wrapped pad thai for you and and new unsweetened tea and she’s got your credit card too and she smiles sweetly and you take all the things from her, as delicately as you can, and you rush out the beautiful glass doors into the January rain and you can feel the perfect women’s eyes on you and you know they will tell their children about the Spazz Woman at the sushi bar while driving them to soccer practice this afternoon and they will laugh and laugh and you will be on your way home by then and wondering very hard about when styrofoam got so thin . . .

That’s all the time I have today, our next meeting is 3 p.m. on Thursday the 12th. Help yourself to cookies and coffee on your way out.

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