You know, I realize this now, as I board my train into the city every morning, hop off at LaSalle, and navigate through a mass of people darting about like dense schools of fish, unarguably more put-together than I. People wearing lipstick. People with their hair in beautiful professional updos, sleekly styled bobs, and well-gelled spikes. People with the steady stare of the remarkably awake, people holding travel mugs of coffee they woke up early enough to brew, people without the intricate crinkles of a balled-up makeshift hoodie pillow embedded deeply in their cheek and forehead. People unlike me.

The thing is, I actually consider myself a morning person now. Sort of. If everything’s relative, I am a morning person. No longer the bitchy vampire who will either bite or perish upon waking before noon, since graduating college, I now typically wake up between 6-7:30 AM, regardless of whether I have to work. And I enjoy being awake much of the morning, which is another argument on the side of “probable morning person.”

But no matter how many bio-rhythmic patterns I change as I lunge further into adulthood, I cannot comprehend this sunny-side-up metropolis lousy with gorgeous, polished bastards who look like actual people before 10 AM. What the hell? Where did you shop for your body, because my body is apparently defective. I got a janky one.

For starters, I think I’m part Puli. Where everyone else’s hair seems to be light, dry, and fluffy as a Snuggle bear by 7:30 AM, my hair hangs damp and stuck to my head until I get into the office, whereupon I walk to the women’s washroom, hang out like a creep until it’s vacated, and quickly throw my head under the hand dryer until I hear the click of the door opening. Then I straighten myself up with enormous, blown-out curls standing straight up from my head and try to awkwardly act like I was just chilling next to a hand dryer that happens to be on. Sometimes I throw in an incredulous look at the thing for good measure. “Who did that? Weird…”

This is ridiculous, I realize. Mostly, it is too early for me to think fast and play it off like I was just drying my hands. Especially since my hair is always about one fluff away from a Diana Ross female impersonator at that moment. I’ve also been caught a few times in the act, always to slight nervous laughter from the person who catches me. And, like… shut up. Like, hey there, princess—not all of us wake up to doves and singing mice helping us get ready. You’re lucky I showered.

And shoes. How do people look so put-together with their shoes? How they’ve done it alludes me. Generally, I don’t like wearing shoes that much. I got hippie feet, and I like ‘em. But I think the function of shoes, when necessary, is simply so that I don’t amass an urban collection of glass and cigarette butts on my feet as I meander about. And beyond that, I have a hard time getting myself to put effort into footwear—especially in the morning, when my choice of footwear is solely contingent upon “Is it raining?”

I mean, I do tend to prefer the more attractive shoes to the less attractive shoes, I guess, but as an equal opportunity employer, I generally employ both to do my fancy footwork with an admirable equality, I think. And even my pretty shoes don’t ever actually match what I’m wearing. The hell? They have to match what I’m wearing? They’re on my feet! Madness, and I don’t know how you all put up with this every day.

How is it that some people glide gracefully, eyes sparkling, down the sidewalk and into their jobs while I stare listlessly at the ground, running into wall corners, and sighing audibly as I shuffle along? Also, I’m pretty sure many of the mornings I have a slight limp until I fully wake up. Hunchback is the only way I know before I’ve had my caffeine. Why am I the only one? Damn you bitches not cramming 3 Excedrin down your dry and scratchy preprandial AM throat. How do you do it?

Where have all the cavemen gone?! My people.


Peter Pancake Syndrome

October 30, 2009


I am mostly an adult. When prompted, I will cling onto my rights as a consenting, consciously thinking adult. I do adult-like things. I read the newspaper most of the time, I vote, I pay bills (some of them), I can rent a car or a hotel room, I support myself with a job, I pick people’s babies up and put them on my hip when they’re crawling around my feet at parties, I get served in bars, and I’m damn sure one of these days I’ll be all too aware I can be held accountable for my actions in a court of law. I am an adult. I think.

There are, of course, a few parts of me that still stubbornly cry “I don’t wanna grow up!” with a vehemence that startles people and often leaves whatever room I’m in a mess. First and foremost is the desire to experiment in the kitchen. Note that this is in no way a desire to practice food-making as a gourmet art. It is a desire to mix really messy stuff together—anything will do—and see what I can come up with. And lick the spoon, of course.

(I draw attention to the Great Much-Easy-Mac-Plus-Lots-of-Spaghettios-Equals-EasyMaccios Debacle of ’05. Ill-advised, by the way. Not sure what we came up with in the end, but the two tastes effectively canceled one another out, leaving nothing but an oddly powdery but still soggy, flavorless chewiness.)

Today I decided to make chocolate chip pancakes. Mmmm. Dinner. But to my horror, upon entering my kitchen, I realized that I had no milk and no chocolate chips! (The pancakes weren’t the add-water kind.) Now, for some, this would be the end of Thursday night chocolate chip pancakes. But no, gentle reader, no.

So, I pour some pancake mix into a bowl. Then two eggs. No worries. I have eggs, and I’m pretty sure they’re even still good. They seem a normal color, and neither of them resembles a baby chicken in any way. Two eggs in the bowl. Now it calls for one cup milk. Hmm. I pour in some powdered Coffeemate, a bunch of water, and spray in a shitload of whipped cream. That has to count for milk. It has to.

Now for chocolate chips. Um, um, um. I have a box of brownie mix. This is the same thing as putting in chocolate chips, of course, since chocolate is arguably in both. So I put in a half a box of brownie mix and stir. This might have been all right, if the lack of milk and the addition of half a box of brownie mix didn’t make this thing one big, bowl-shaped solid. Huh. So I add another egg. And some spray in more whipped cream. And add some vanilla. Cause, why not? But it’s still sort of thick. You know what can probably go in there to make it thinner and also much messier? Vegetable oil. So in that goes! Along with some more water, some more Coffeemate, and some more brownie mix.

I now have half-assed ingredients all over the kitchen and mud-brown batter all the way from the sink, across the stove, to the cabinet. And some in my hair, which makes the batter on my face not so ridiculous. I then cook these things up, pancake-style, and—

Oh. My. God. My inner child is a genius. I have invented the best breakfast-for-dinner food ever. It is like cake, but like pancakes. It is pan cake without a cake pan. It is awesomeness in my mouth.

As it turns out, there is a reason parts of me will never grow up. They are meant to make brilliant, delicious messes that no serious adult would dare to make. Pan cakes.

I still have batter in my hair. It’s awesome.