crazy in the genes
disclaimer to my parents: like batman and delicious sandwiches, you are both super heroes. don't hate me after reading this.
as i mentioned recently in this space, my parents came for a little visit this weekend. the sole express purpose of their visit was to meet their brand-spanking new speckled granddaughter. they flew into new york on wednesday night and returned to to sunny shores of california on sunday afternoon. four days, no more no less. so why, you might wonder, did they book a hotel room on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY from my apartment? not just on the other side of the largest city in the galaxy, mind you, but in the wrong borough and in a neighborhood with only one useless subway line. why? you would wonder that, but then you wouldn't grasp the paradoxical nut of insanity that is my parents.
perhaps a few illustrations would help, uh, illustrate the lunacy.
here is a google map tracing the route from their hotel, the marriott east side (as in upper east side MANHATTAN), to our neighborhood in BROOKLYN.
sure, it looks straightforward, but it takes at least an hour for subway novices from california to navigate (two changeovers -- from the 6 to the 4/5 and again to the M/R, an incredibly reliable train whose name does not stand for Mentally Retarded -- and infinite opportunities for the mta to mess with them). or if they took a cab it would cost $27,365.
now. here is a google map tracing the route from the brooklyn marriott (note: correct borough) to our neighborhood. do you see the alarming directness of route, the easily navigable terrain? one could walk that distance if one were so inclined! did i mention it was also in the correct borough? this is of course only truly useful if you were planning on staying in brooklyn and not doing much aside from staring in awe at your new granddaughter. good thing that's not all they were planning on doing. oh wait, actually it was all they were planning on doing.
when mater nice guy called me with their trip itinerary a few weeks ago, i was delighted they were coming. when she told me where they were staying, i said something along the lines of "WHAAAA?"
mater nice guy: what what?
mr nice guy: that's on the upper east side. where there aren't any trains. i live in brooklyn. which is far away.
mater nice guy: but this is near your office.
mr nice guy (grinding broken pencil shards into my temples): A number one, no it's not. my office is on the west side. and B number two ... we are going to be spending all of our time at my house. you know, where the baby is?
mater nice guy: your father wanted to stay somewhere nicer than last time. and somewhere closer to the airport. talk to him.
this last statement is where the true lunacy lies (mom, seriously, please don't divorce me). the last time they came they stayed in the brooklyn marriott. you've probably heard of the marriott. a good, reliable hotel chain. but no, they wanted "somewhere nicer." so naturally the hotel they stayed at this time is the marriott east side, which the last time i checked, was also a marriott. so much for "somewhere nicer." also, the brooklyn marriott is closer to JFK than the marriott east side. it's just a fact. don't take my word for it though, take a look at these two google maps.
when pater nice guy got on the phone, i said to him: "why on earth did you book a room on the upper east side?" his excellent response, just like a true los angelino, begrudges new york even a single inch: "i don't know from east side or west side." ah yes, this is why, usually, you ASK THE PERSON WHO LIVES THERE about where to stay before you book a room. anyway, my parents came and stayed in the upper east side and had to take an hourlong subway home every night after midnight as their punishment. delicious poetic justice was mine. in all, it was a lovely weekend. everybody was nice to everybody else and it was fun and my mom's even-crazier-sister came up from DC with her crazier-still-husband and we all had a big loony family reunion dinner in brooklyn on saturday where we drank 537 bottles of wine. good times.
so in conclusion and to summarize, you can see what astonishing levels of crazy are coursing through my child's blood (and it is not relegated to my parents. mater-in-law nice guy called us from vermont yesterday to tell us that it was "one hundred and fucking four degrees" and then to gloat over the fact that her city's weather is more severe and therefore she wins. she does this in the winter too when it is ten fucking degrees below zero and colder than where we are, so therefore she wins. it is always incredibly satisfying when the weather is more severe here and she is deprived of an opportunity to gloat, meaning that i am going insane as well. she also calls my wife eight times a day to tell her how cute the child is. craziness i tell you. (mater-in-law, please don't challenge me to a knife fight again at thanksgiving)).
friends from los angeles happened to be in town yesterday, so the missus and i and baby nice guy all went out to lunch with them. we all found ourselves sitting around the table talking about how the crazy is strong with our parents. and then, slowly, we looked over at the baby who, with a little sparkle in our eye, made it perfectly clear that in 30 years she would be having exactly the same conversation with her friends.
UPDATE: it is with great sadness that i report certain members of my family are, inexplicably, currently not speaking to me. (i won't mention their names here, but they do rhyme with "dom" and "mad.") damn you and your loose lips, internet! sure, i am an ungrateful, heartless bastard, but did you have to tell them?