Thursday, May 19, 2005
This past Monday, I took the day off, for no other reason than because I could. One of the great things about my job is that I get a ton of vacation (27 days this year!) and I don't use them for anything special. I never take more than a week off at at time and when I take a week-long vacation, I do so around a work holiday (i.e. going to London for a week during the week of President's Day, going down the shore for a week the week of 4th of July, arranging all court appearances right after federal holidays because judges are more lenient after days off, etc), so this way I get nine consecutive days off (including weekends) but only use four vacation days. I know, I know - I'm super fucking smart in addition to being good with animals and babies. Also, you've already stopped reading because that was the most boring, belabored paragraph in the world. Christ.
I also don't take the seemingly obligatory two weeks vacation around Christmas and New Year's. It seems like everyone in my office and everyone in corporate America takes these two weeks off to spend time with their kids, who are home from school, and be with their loved ones around the holidays. The good news for me is that my family is only a short train ride away in Philly. Also, after twenty-five years of co-existing our relationship is strained so much that spending fourteen days with them (especially around the holidays) is about as appealing as attending a herpes convention and is generally a recipe for disaster and arson. Instead around Christmas I spend most of my time in NYC eating Indian food and feeling very, very alone.
And so I used one of my vacation days randomly on Monday and I learned and important lesson: spring fucking rules.
My favorite seasons are the moderate ones: spring and fall. Fall is good because 1) it's the best time for sports, with the baseball playoffs and football, basketball, and (usually) hockey starting; and 2) summer is over, so that means no more calling my loved ones and telling them I love them each day because it's more than likely that at any moment I'm going to have a heart attack or heat stroke (curse you body hair and beard!).
But spring is bestest. I don't want to sound all Carrie Bradshaw, but there's nothing like spring in New York City (I know it's hard to believe, but I promise you that at least 80% of me is straight). It's hard to explain, but the city comes out of its winter hibernation and really comes alive and blah blah blah. More importantly, women are everywhere (!). And they are wearing less clothes (!!!).
I'm not sure why, and I don't have any numbers on this, but it seems like while walking around this weekend and on Monday I saw four times as many women as I had in December through March combined. It was glorious, absolutely glorious. I won't do my best Bukowski impression and write about all that "leg" and "flank" that becomes exposed by the warmer temperatures because I've never been a leg man. Shit, I have legs (and good ones at that). Instead, I'll talk for a moment about something dearer to my heart: boobies.
[Those who know me reading this right now are thinking, "Um, dude, you kinda have boobs too." To them I say, "Don't fucking do this to me now, in front of all these people. We'll talk about this more when we get home."]
I'm not sure if Monday was National Cleavage Day, but good LORD. I was out and about walking around town at 1pm, and after two hours of taking in the boobie parade, my increasingly strange and aggressive behavior began attracting attention and frightening those around me. By 4pm, I'm pretty sure that a detective from the Sex Crimes Unit was following me around, hiding behind trees and hot dog carts, making sure my leering stayed PG-13. It was that bad, and by "bad" I mean "awesome."
I know I've written about this before, but you women can't understand what kind of effects the spring and your spring wardrobe have on us guys. This is probably because it doesn't work both ways. Take me for example. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I kinda have a weight problem. In the cool weather however, I am able to disguise my obesity under sweaters and jackets and so my true body shape isn't revealed. One might even say that I look "big" as in "muscular" sometimes. A story: I once made out with a 35 year-old British chick in a pub in Dublin in the winter. I kept my coat on the whole time and she thought I was a bodybuilder (I swear I'm not making this up). As we got drunker, we talked about her coming to visit me in NYC so that we could go jogging in Central Park together (she was a real fitness buff), when in reality I've never jogged in my life and the very thought of jogging gives me chest pains. Fortunately (for me), by the time she realized my true corpulence she was twenty gin and tonics deep and I was just about finished. Mulgrew: 1, 35 Year-Old British Chick: 0. Surprisingly, we never spoke again. Such is life, and love.
But when the temperature rises, my fatness is exposed. I'm constantly tugging at the t-shirts I wear so they don't look painted on. Sweat leaves its mark on my armpits, as well as the ring of my neck and the small of my back. Any guise of muscle is exposed as fraudulent, as my big chest, which can double as "pecks" under a jacket in January, are revealed as the man-boobies they are in a t-shirt in June.
But it works the opposite way for women. When it's winter and you're bundled up under layers of turtlenecks, blouses, and, I don't know, whatever else women wear, we men are denied access to your shapely forms. For four months, glorious hienies are hidden by long coats, legs wrapped snugly in jeans, and cleavage covered with scarves. Ugh.
But then, in spring - rebirth! Life! Legs! Boobies! Joy! I don't even have words to describe how the straight men the world over feel about this sudden reveal. To be deprived of such wonderfulness for so long and then suddenly - you know what? I have to stop for a minute to calm down. I'm sorry, but I need to do this for my own best interest and the best interests of every woman in a 500 foot radius of me.
Still calming. Hold on.
Ok, that's better.
I'm guess what I'm trying to say here is thank you. Thank you to winter for dying. Thank you to spring for arriving. And thank you to every woman out there who on an early spring morning thinks to herself, "You know what? I don't need to wear a sweater today. Maybe I'll wear that shirt that shows off my boobies because it's so nice out! I hope that Mulgrew guy isn't sleeping in my hallway again. What a creep." I may be making a bigger deal out of this than I should be, but I'd like to point out that for a time there in the mid-90's I was a peeping tom who nearly tore apart the community of Bridgeport, Connecticut. So maybe I have a personal thing for this. But I digress...
And so I think I'll take off next Monday too, just for the heck of it. I'll go to Central Park, set up shop with some binoculars, a tub o' moisturizer, and a sturdy towel. Because I love spring. Hopefully, I'll avoid a conversation like:
Police officer: "Sir, what are you doing?"
Me: [red-faced, breathing heavily, hand moving up and down in my lap, which is covered by a towel] "Um, just enjoying the spring weather, officer."
Officer: "Looks kinda like you're masturbating."
Me: "I'm sorry, but can you say that again? And can you do it real slow-like, and maybe sway a little bit when you do so?"
Keep your fingers crossed.