Wednesday, February 09, 2005

"You put the 'broke' in broken hearted. You put the 'r' in retarded."

Now and again I am reminded of my ex-girlfriends in rather unexpected ways. Seeing how the sum total of time spent in these relationships was about four years, they've made an indelible impression despite my attempts to block them out. For instance, I'll never be able to listen to Fleetwood Mac without thinking of Ann (also known as Crazy Email Girl). Then there is Hope who only had the very best intentions when she bought me a set of four silk dupioni placemats and napkins. If you've ever owned dupioni silk, you only have to look at funny before it needs to be dragged off to the cleaners. Nevertheless, I brought them out at small dinner parties to show her I appreciated her gift -- they really did look lovely -- but I would silently cringe every time a wayward piece of dinner or splatter of oil would careen into the placemat's delicate surface. I knew that one day they would need to be cleaned and the cost would not be pretty.

Well I decided that there was no use in owning nice things if I wasn't going to take care of them and the reckoning came today when I finally brought the napkins and placemats to the cleaners on Mercer Street. With Fleetwood Mac playing in the background (!), I watched as the clerk itemized my deposit, quizzing me on the nature of a particularly large smudge.

Clerk: "That's not red wine, is it?"

Me: "I'm not sure," I meekly replied.

I didn't have the heart to confess that the smudge could be any number of things since it probably dated to about 2002 or 2003 when the placemats were last used. Forensics could better tell you the exact date and origin of the smudge, I wanted to say. Then he handed me the yellow carbon copy bill.

Four placemats: $16.00
Four napkins: $14.00

I really need to get a cheaper dry cleaner and better girlfriends.

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