I used to think it was really funny that old people just let their farts rip while they walk. Gross, but funny. But as I get older I realize that it’s rude. Funny, but rude. And it dawned on me, many of these people were responsible for moulding the manners of other people children and these children were taught to suppress their farts or at least to say “excuse me”. So does old age give you the right to give up all pretense of socially acceptable behaviour? (Yes, I am analysing social behaviour based on a theory about farting. What?)

We’ve all got images and personal experiences of mean old people. I lived next door to a lady who would get out the hose every time we would ride our bikes past her house. We lived in a city, our houses were attached, short of popping E.T. in the basket and flying over there was no other way to get to my house from school. Though she probably had a high-power nozzle attachment that could shoot a booger out of a pilot’s nose you know, just for flying over her house. I don’t imagine she used to sit up at night waiting to shoot the tooth fairy with a hose for trespassing on her pillow property, so when did she decide that it was ok to hose down anyone who passed on the sidewalk in front of her house? Where did she learn this?

I can’t even begin to tell you how many of my friends have stories about their parents chewing with their mouths open or talking with their mouths full on a regular basis.   Sometimes when I’m sitting in the metro or waiting on line in the supermarket or in a restaurant, I am amazed at how many people yawn or worse, cough, without covering their mouths. Old people! You know, the people whose mouths shouldn’t be open in the first place ‘cuz they’re probably going to just be mean anyway. At what point in their lives did they say to themselves, You know what? Etiquette and social propriety be damned, I still have teeth in my mouth and dammit I’m gonna show ‘em! And, if I have a cold or consumption or something, I’m gonna share that too because I’m getting on in my years and someone has to make sure this viral strain lives on!

And I suppose, you know, since their mouths are already open, they may as well say out loud everything that they are thinking. I have one friend who bought a pastry at a bakery on her way to school and eating it on her way out, an older “gentleman” said, “Why, you’re a big girl. Looks like you enjoy your pastries.” Another friend, who has tattoos all over his body, was buying a case of champagne (real champagne) and was asked by an older “lady” how he could afford it. Aren’t these the same people who told us it is not polite to call fat people fat?   And that it’s rude to point at a disabled person??? So how exactly is this acceptable behaviour?

I wonder whether this behaviour is the product of learning or unlearning. I wonder if I am becoming more sensitive to these behaviours as I get closer to an age where I will be responsible for moulding the manners of a child. Or maybe I am becoming anxious waiting for the time when I can say, Social propriety be damned, I’m going to just stop using silverware all together, go to restaurants and bury my face in my food (and, since my near and dear usually pick off each other’s plates, I’m going to plant my face in their plates too). When I get old, I’m going to get in the metro and instead of standing there waiting for some young person to give me their seat, I’m just going to sit down on them (and fart).

But mostly, I’m going to try to remember all the things I was taught to do and say that made me my mom proud and impressed employers and dazzled schmoozers and charmed douchebags and I’m going to do the opposite. Because I’ll be old (and most likely farting while I walk). And that’s all the reason I need.

For all the sayings out there about being sorry, none of them say that sorry makes things better, yet, as children, we are taught to believe it does: You go apologize and make BillyBoBob feel better. And I suppose because that’s what we believe, in theory it does. But as adults, “sorry” doesn’t always cut the mustard. We’ve learned to expect more, better, and we’ve grown cynical. A guy once pooped on my floor, true story, and no amount of  “sorry” would ever have made that ok.

The thing about “I’m sorry” is that it’s a catch-22 you don’t know you have to be sorry until you’ve done the thing you have to be sorry for, and by then it’s too late to be sorry because the thing you have to be sorry for has already been done.  You also need to be aware that the thing that you’ve done is something that you need to be sorry for. I’m the kind of person who likes to be smacked on the nose with a rolled up newspaper (metaphorically people!) when I’ve done something wrong. I want to know I’ve done it so that I can either apologize or explain why I did it. I consider myself a very intuitive and self-aware person, so usually I can tell I’ve done something wrong and immediately try to correct it. But when I can’t, it’s up to someone else to put my face in my pee (again metaphorically!) to show me what I did is not ok. And, if your truth is well presented (e.g. not yelled or physical), and I’m not on birth control, I will most likely agree to my fault, and say, “I’m sorry”.

Yes, my excuse is birth control ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Gentlemen, pay attention: how do I put this in a way that you can understand: the pill is lady steroids.

All of the side effects of anabolic steroids are possible side effects of hormonal birth control. I believe their efficacy is rooted in the fact that when you turn into the Incredible Hulk’s sister, there’s little chance of you getting laid and little chance of you getting pregnant.

So… yeah, I had the ‘roid rage. And it pretty much looked like this:

In the beginning of Jekyll and Hyde, Mr. Hyde tramples a young girl then pays off her family with £10 in gold and a cheque for £100 (approximately $7000 today, but consider that rent for a 4 room apartment was less than £5 a month) from the well-respected Dr. Jekyll. During my brief but amazing stint as a psychotic sociopath, I trampled (metaphorically) those closest to me. It turns out that, like Dr. Jekyll, the potion I was taking caused me to morph into a thing I would never have been without it. Though, like Dr. Jekyll, that dark side of me probably does exist and was simply allowed to walk free for a while. Jesus! If ever, THIS would have been the time for someone to smack me on the nose (still, metaphorically). But no one did. They just let me be a raging psychopath. And then distanced themselves from me. And now I, being neither a well-respected doctor nor any person of such means, have to pay my damages in words, deeds and, as the word suggests, sorrow.

I haven’t juiced for over a week now. I’ve gained a perspective and a clarity on the past three weeks, which  I obviously didn’t have while I was on the ‘roids/trying to avoid getting pregnant (@ Mom: this not even in the realm of possibility since I am still a virgin). I don’t like my dark side (well, apparently no one likes my dark side). I, and my mom especially, have worked really hard so that I would be a respectful, respectable, caring and conscientious person. And for three weeks I wasn’t any of that. It wasn’t intentional, but it is my responsibility. Nobody deserves to be treated the way I treated my friends. I’m sorry, I didn’t know what I was doing. And if you allow me (normal me), I will make it up to you. I’ll start by dedicating this song to you.

<3 Foxy

I am a slob. I have come to terms with the fact that I will always be a slob, in the way that an alcoholic who doesn’t drink any more will always be an alcoholic. My name is Foxy, and I am a slob.

I have been known to go weeks, not days, without washing dishes. I have had cats for most of my adult life who, I believe, think they are supermodels, and throw up their food soon after eating it. I have left that on the floor. I have gone months without vacuuming or washing the floors. I have left more hair in the sink and tub than most people have on their heads. I have subscribed to the “if it’s yellow leave it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down” theory of toiletry and accidentally reversed the terms. And with all of this, I have somehow maintained a dream of motherhood.


I had an idea I wasn’t the neatest person I knew. I’m not delusional. The first question I asked my ex upon meeting him (before his name, astrological sign or if he came there often) was “how much of your salary would you be willing to give up to have a cleaning lady?” He said 25%. So we went on to live together in messy, messy bliss until the relationship became more messy than the apartment.

My mother, preferring to stay in a New York City hotel than in my apartment, once told me that my apartment could be grounds for condemnation of the building. My mom tends to exaggerate her hyperbole for the sake of an argument. Really. Where does she think this came from? I didn’t have any chores around the house until I was about 11 or 12, and they were instituted as a form of punishment for having stolen money from her purse. So, I believe even the least analytical of minds can see why I wouldn’t inflict this same punishment upon myself later in life.

The truth is that the state of my home tends to represent my state of mind at the time. Having been an undiagnosed depressive from my early teens through early twenties, it was simply a joke that the floor of my room was so covered with clothes that one would have to exert force to open the door. Because I had to go out and face the world and couldn’t do that without a shower, my dishes became my surrogate and sat there pathetically stewing in whatever was left on them. I think it is also possible that I admired the cats’ gag reflex (They’re so thin!).

On the other hand, when things are going well, e.g. falling in love or a big shiny new contract, I clean so hard that I break out toothbrushes for the corners. I clean out my closets and donate all the clothes that consistently wind up on the floor because they don’t fit or aren’t my style or are just plain ugly. After dusting, it’s like an archeological dig: oh, how interesting, I wonder what colour this used to be. And this will extend to anyone’s home I happen to be in at the time. Invite me over for dinner, I’ll do your laundry! Gnome, my current heartkeeper, was literally shocked to see me wash the dishes, then clean off all the prep and eating surfaces at his house. I had to explain to him that the fact that I don’t do something doesn’t mean that I can’t do it. I don’t beat him at arm wrestling. But I could.

Whatever the reason, cause or excuse for my messiness, one thing remains true: I need to get a better paying job, so kin I git me one of them fancy cleaning ladies before I start a family and have to send out a search party to locate my kids in the living room!

This is Foxfur, the family dust bunny.

For me, dating a younger man is a lot like farting in public; there’s nothing unnatural about it, but I still think people are looking at me with that stank look of judgement.

Since beginning my 20-something holding pattern, I have noticed that the men I am attracted to and who seem to be attracted to me are younger… much younger. And though I have never been completely comfortable with my body, being with a man in his early 20s, with his speedy metabolism and inexhaustible libido, makes me all the more aware that I am not in my early 20s. There is nothing quite like having a man dig your tits out of your armpits to drive that point home!

The thing is, I don’t look my age. Most people think I am about 5-10 years younger, and are shocked to find out how old I actually am. One friend of a man-child I dated actually said to me, “I don’t know what you’re doing with him; at your age you should be married with children. Whatever’s wrong with you, he’s not going to fix it.” Oh, honey, yes he is! And he did. And it was fantastic! Any more questions?

My potential child-grooms may seem to hold the promise of weeks of amazing and incessant XBox tournaments, romantic nights of pizza and boxed wine and, yes, staying up until the wee hours of the morning listening to music that contains nothing but bass. But there is a downside to dating younger men that Stella didn’t tell because she was too busy getting her groove back: Even though we may care for each other, it is best not to try to make a relationship out of this affair. A relationship requires the sharing of each other’s personal interests, anecdotes and experiences. How does one do that when he’s never accidentally melted a record? When he’s never had to go to the library to research a term paper? Never had to wait 45 minutes for his Kraft dinner? When he refers to Depeche Mode as “oldies” music? IT’S 80s MUSIC – IT’S RETRO AT ITS BEST!!! You pretty, pretty thing – let’s have sex before I never speak to you again.

So I’ve devised a list of criteria for the future to avoid such pitfalls as outing my age, or wishing they would just shut up and look pretty. I shall not date anyone:

1) whose age and my curfew were EVER the same at the same time.
2) who doesn’t know what the USSR was.
3) who never had to walk around with a bag full of cassettes.
4) who doesn’t know who Ferris Bueller is.
5) who was not frightened by the puppets in Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” video.

That’s not to say that May-December romances do not work. On the contrary, many, many May-December romances have worked beautifully: From the classic Bogie & Bacall, married 34 years with a 26 year age difference, to a modern Demi and Ashton (8 years together and Demi is 15 years older), to the controversial Woody and Soon-Yi (19 years, Woody is 35 years older), to the historical Michaelangelo and Tommaso dei Cavellari who, though Michaelangelo was 34 years older, spent 32 years together. On the other hand, Rudolph Valentino was two years younger than Jean Acker, and that marriage only lasted 6 hours. So, apparently, the secret is a one-decade minimum age difference.

I suppose the true secret is to find someone, regardless of their age, with whom you share common interests, someone you can laugh with, and who thinks you are awesome. And when you find that person, don’t tell them how old you are.

Little people are scary. Not  the “Little People,” but miniature versions of adults – babies in tuxedos, spelling bee champions who use the words in context, kids in miniature Lambourghinis pissed about imaginary traffic jams. There is certainly something to be said about precocious and intelligent children, and everyone wants to relate to their kids, but making them into adults is not just creepy, it’s  wrong. Like “Claudia” in  Interview With The Vampire.

A little girl of about 5 or 6 and her mom came into a restaurant where I once worked, and when asked where she wanted to eat, the girl chose the bar. This would have been a pretty bad sign were it not for the wall-sized aquarium behind the bar. She asked what kind of juice we “offer” (yes, she said  offer). I gave her a tumbler and she asked for a wine glass. She ordered a rare hamburger that came out medium-rare and sent it back because it was “overcooked,” informing me that she knew the owner. I said “me too,” and she said “no, you’re just the bartender, you work for him. I  know him.” Had she been an adult I’d have broken a bottle and stabbed her in the heart with it.

But when I was five or six, my mom would take me to McDonalds as a good grade reward (in finger painting or recess, I don’t know). I would dump ketchup all over the fries and, remembering my manners, offer one to my mom: “I’ll have an unadulterated one.” “What does that mean, Mommy?” “One without ketchup,” she said. As the person charged with molding my mind, it is my mother’s fault that I, until about age 14, thought that unadulterated meant “without ketchup.” On one hand I can appreciate her expanding my vocabulary, but we’re talking about fast food fries here, not effin’ Kobe beef; she could have just said “without ketchup” and saved that 50 ¢ word to buy her own damn fries! When, at that age, was I going to use that word?  I’d like my chicken fingers unadulterated please?

…yeah i knew that

I’ve had dozens of experiences with “Little People”: kids who know the difference between paté and chopped liver, or who know their e.e. cummings from their J.K. Rowlings; Little girls in Dolce & Gabana dresses at birthday parties, and boys in three-piece suits in church. They are  children. God (or Joan Rivers) is not gonna put them on the worst dressed list! I don’t want my kid on Leno reciting the Declaration of Independence either. This is a  child, their brains are sponges, they’ll memorize it as easily as they will Frère Jacques, and understand it about just as well (summa-lumma-teeeena*). Let Dr. Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang Theory stand as a shining example of what happens to kids like these: While he may have been smart enough to become a great doctor of physics by the age of 14, at the end of the day he didn’t understand why people enjoy the warmth of human relations – and by this I mean sex. Do you want your kids to be 30 year-old virgins? Well,  DO YOU?!   Let kids be kids. Teach them that dirt isn’t for eating, but let them order pasta  fully adulterated (with ketchup, of course). There’s nothing wrong or embarrassing about it.

And, yes, children are a reflection of their parents, but as long as they are polite and don’t hit and grow up to be adults who are bright, thoughtful and not virgins, isn’t  that a beautiful reflection of you?

*It’s “sonnez les matines,” btw. I learned that as well when I was 14.

When I was about 5, my mom knitted me a beautiful white fisherman’s sweater that I wore with pride right into a mud puddle.I was devastated.

My mom tried to console me by taking me to the park to ride the “big kids” slide. I was too small to ride alone so she found a kid who would take me and I said, “But mommy, he’s dirty”. The irony of my statement was completely lost on me because I knew I didn’t start the day dirty, and he looked as if he’d started life that way. But I was young.

I have since learned to judge people not by the cleaniliess of their skin, but by the content of their character. Therefore my snobbery now covers geography, the arts, politics and anything else that other people hold dear.

My friend once wrote an article about being a New Yorker despite having only lived there for a few years. I promptly fired off a polite refusal of her application. Being born there it is my birthright to claim that I am a New Yorker and to refuse to acknowledge the honorary citizenship of foreigners, no matter how nobly they will wear their new title.

Interestingly, New York is one of the few places in the world where this is even moderately debatable. The Chinese who come to New York are still Chinese 30 years later, the Italians are Italians generations later. Yet, some yokel falls off the turnip truck in Queens and suddenly they are New Yorkers. The French who come to New York will spit at you if you call them New Yorkers or Americans- they are French, of course they are snobs, and they are right.

One would be horribly mistaken were one to believe that if left alone with one’s music collection, I would not form an opinion about them. I may not even be there when one returned, having deemed one’s music unfit for my company. I refused to return the phone calls of one man who tried to defend Hootie‘s right to exist. I have banned the playing of certain music in other people’s cars and have asked to have my food wrapped to go in restaurants that should have been shut down for their music violations.

While I may know Conservatives and Republicans, I regard them as I would those little trained dogs from the old hospital clown shows. Their ability to perform the tricks is quite impressive but it doesn’t take long to realize that they are only doing it for the treats, and that they could care less whether or not they are helping the little girls and boys watching. Plus they piss on everything and are perfectly happy to lick their own balls. This is why I have no Conservative or Republican friends.

People who call whatever they put on their walls “art” are boors! The Budweiser girls in bathing suits that recreate the Budweiser label is not art! Neither is a poster of a Lamborghini or Michael Jordan; they are decoration, and not really much of that either. I think its fair to say that Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup cans aren’t much more than free advertising for Campbell’s paid for by people who would never lower themselves to actually consuming the soup. And Jackson Pollock paintings are also a waste; lucky the person who tries to defend his “discipline”, upon whom I will fling my poo, thus they will be wearing my art.

“SNOB” is not a badge I wear with honour. Generally, I keep it pretty well hidden until someone raises an issue that I feel strongly about or speaks in my general vicinity. But it is my belief that if you’re going to be a snob, at least have the wherewithal to back it up. Can’t be a snob about politics if you don’t know who your delegates are. Can’t be a snob about music if the answer to “what do you like” is largely Top 40.

Can’t call someone else dirty when you’re covered in mud; for this reason I never leave home without a change of shirt!