Punchlines

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A shot glass full of juice and Biosil, a hastily prepared lunch stuffed into a bag, a final sweep of the hair and a final spray of Chanel perfume. Then another hurried scramble to the bathroom for another spray of perfume because I can’t smell it. “You can’t smell yourself,” Nadine will later insist. “Exactly,” I say, “so I put it on until I do.”

On a typical Friday I work, and then the evening is spent rehearsing with my drama group. Last Friday, however, I decided to skip rehearsal and take care of some personal things. I’ll skip how hectic the day was, and get to the part where I decided to ride the subway all the way to my house instead of heading to the appointments I’d made. When I first walked in the door to my apartment, which had a faint scent of rotten kale wafting from the garbage can, I felt guilty for missing rehearsal. But as soon as I pulled my hair into a ponytail, I felt the tired run all over my body. I turn into a college frat boy when I get home, and stood there acting like one in a white undershirt and underwear staring into the refrigerator for far too long.

I flopped down on my couch, and switched the chicken leg in my right hand to my left in order to pick up the remote. Nothing interesting was on tv, save for “Man Versus Wild”, but I had seen that episode. I thought back to a FaceBook exchange I had seen on a friend’s page where two people were arguing over the quality of new semi-hit show “Girls”. I had nothing to lose, so I turned it on, and settled back on the pillows, foot propped up on the coffee table. That was the last time I sat back. Every few minutes I would slant forward, and go, “What did she just say?” or “That’s her vagina. No doubt. That’s her vagina.”

Being a girl, a woman, can be complicated or quite simple depending on the day. Some days every door magically opens, free things appear in your bag of fast food, horns honk, and men smile. On other days, hair won’t act right, you spend far more money than any man would in Duane Reade because nature forces you to, your shoes are too high and your bra is too tight. So I get the need to show how funny and awkward and smart and fascinating it is. And I also get that it may or may not involve minorities—just in case anyone thought my beef with the show was over race–, and that’s also ok. It’s just not for me. There was no FaceBook rant to follow, no large protest. I just switched off HBO On Demand, turned on “Veep”, and made room for the remote next to the graveyard of chicken bones on the table.

Two nights later I was standing with my neighbors on the train. Both of them are in the entertainment business, and the husband told me he was working on a new project. Excitedly I asked what it was, and he mentioned that he was working on “Girls”. I had an internal debate with myself over whether or not to let him know how I really felt about the show, or to keep it inside and not risk sounding like a prude-mother. I held back until the moment we parted ways on the street corner.

“Good night! Good night! Oh, and do me a favor. Tell that Lena I said I have no problem with there not being any black people on the show. But tell her I said to keep her kwee-kwee covered. Nobody needs to see your sparkles and your kwee-kwee. She’s funnier with clothes on.”

I went home, called my man, and pulled pajama pants on over my hairy legs. Like a girl, like a lady.

 

 

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