Wednesday, June 24, 2009


For you to truly appreciate the humor of my recent encounter with a neighbor, I have to go back and relate a rather...unfortunate...incident from high school.

It was either my sophomore or junior year, but regardless, I was young and fresh-faced and it was the first day of school. My first class was Psychology, and as Psych is inherently a rather wishy-washy science, we were not expected to learn anything that day. Instead, our teacher assigned us some sort of getting-to-know-you exercise with the person sitting beside us.

I was thrilled, because the person sitting next me was a guy. A very cute guy named Matt, who happened to be both a year older, and one of the cool kids. Matt and I spent the next hour in what I thought was a mutually enjoyable conversation, from which one salient fact stands out after all these years: Matt was Jewish. Once this point of similarity was established, I was sure I could win his heart, or at least some organ in near proximity.

So first period ended, and I floated off to my second class of the day convinced that I had charmed Matt with my wit and good looks, and that he was bound to ask me out soon. I was finally going to break out of the nerd ghetto! So I sat down in my seat, only to have my friend Tracy saunter down the aisle and slap a shiny hand mirror on my desk. Taking this not-so-subtle hint, I opened it up, and saw to my horror that there was a gigantic blob of cream cheese on my nose.

Yes, that’s right: I had spent all of first period flirting with a boy, entirely unaware of this regrettable development. One would think that the shock of that moment would would be seared into my brain, and prevent me from ever leaving the house again without first checking my face in the mirror.* And yet (foreshadowing), let me bring you back to the present day.

Now, those of you familiar with my morning rituals know that unlike my love for Matt, my adoration for cream cheese has not abated. I still have some on a bagel or English muffin every morning. So a few days ago I had my usual breakfast, then went to run some errands. You know, the grocery store, Target, the bank...places with plenty of people. And as I'm walking up the stairs with all my groceries, I bump into an elderly gentleman coming out of the apartment next door. We chat, we introduce ourselves, we shake hands, etc. Being of the elderly persuasion, this nice man has nothing exciting going on on, so our neighborly conversation takes up a goodly number of minutes. Eventually though, I make it into by own apartment, and head to the bathroom to put away some recently purchased soap.

It is at this point that I look into the mirror and see a nice smear of cream cheese on my face. Clearly, I have learned nothing in the 10 or so years since high school. But more importantly, neither has anyone else. I mean, good lord America, why does nobody point these things out to me sooner??

* Or I could eat more neatly, but really, who are we kidding?


  1. Did you ever get a piece (or shmear) of Matt?

  2. Oh, good one. And sadly, totally would have made a better story if I had though.

  3. i always tell anyone that i've talked with for longer than 20 seconds if they have food on their face or in their teeth.

  4. Me too Shara! I really feel like that is more polite than letting them go about their day besmeared.