Monday, January 4, 2010

Two Outta Three Ain't Bad

To get 2010 off on the right foot, I’ve decided that it’s time I lifted two of the three gypsy curses I have hurled in my lifetime.

I realize that my curses weren’t really gypsy curses, because technically I am not a gypsy and admittedly that probably cut their effectiveness by at least half. Still, I believe that if your anger is righteous enough, the curses will stick to their targets. And man, did all three of the people I cursed have it coming.

Now, however, the time has finally come for me to uncurse two of the three. I believe that Barbra Streisand, for one, has suffered long enough.

Curse #1: The year was 1996. I was living in New York City, desperately trying to finish my thesis project for graduate school and not having too much luck. The seven empty bottles of Wild Turkey stacked beside my radiator bore witness to my failures (which, OK, now that I think about it, might have been the reason for my floundering in the first place). But here’s where Barbra comes in: one night, after ceasing my frustrated labors for the day, I turned out the lights and climbed in bed, desperate for some much-needed sleep. About thirty seconds later, my room was lit with a bright light. As it was well after midnight and I was nowhere near Times Square, I was a little dismayed by this. So I looked out my bedroom window – of course I had no blinds on my windows, I was too poor for fancy-schmancy stuff like blinds -- and I see that some dude is backlighting the whole of my apartment building because Babs is shooting a scene in an apartment about ten yards away, directly across the alley. Apparently they wanted it to look like daytime outside or something. These movie people, they shoot night scenes during the day and day scenes during the night. Who knows why?

Well, this was the last straw for me and Babs. I had already been shunted off the sidewalk several times that week and told to walk around her huge trailers full costumes and make-up. At least twice these “requests” to go around made me late for class. Barbra also breezed through the main campus several times, and we all had to wait behind velvet ropes like she was a head of state or something. So that’s when I did it. Right there and then, lit by the light of her own stage lighting, I cursed Barbra and what’s more, I cursed the movie she was shooting, which was, in case you’re wondering, “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” It tanked at the box office, and to my knowledge, she has not made a movie since and has had only one supporting role on film (that being in “Meet The Fockers”).

Barbra, I want you to know that I’m letting it go. I’m setting you free! I hereby publicly rescind the curse I put upon you, effective immediately. You may now return to the cinema with no further interference from me. Please choose your roles with care from now on so you won't make me look bad.

Curse #2: The year was 2006, the height of the housing frenzy. My curse was hurled at a flipper trying to sell a house in my neighborhood, a house that I wanted to buy. Me and the hubs and the kids -- bursting at the seams in our tiny 1400 square foot house, we were. Yet we wanted to stay in our neighborhood, which we loved. It was those heady days when even the worst of houses were selling in a matter of hours. We got outbid twice on really dumpy properties, and finally, when yet another dumpy fixer-upper came on the market, I was hopeful that our luck had finally changed.

I called the new owner -- the flipper -- eight times about looking at the place. Eight times! Not one time did he have the courtesy to return my call. One unreturned message I could forgive -- even two -- and truth be told, maybe even three. But eight? No. That was too much. What else could I do? I had to hit him with a gypsy curse.

Shortly thereafter another flipper bought the house thinking he'd fix it and sell it. The flip never happened, and the house rotted on the lot for a year. Then it went back on the market and sat some more, day by day becoming more dilapidated. Then another developer bought it and knocked the house down because by that point, squirrels were using the place as a meth lab. This owner then tried to sell just the lot with a promise to build a brand new home -- all the building permits were ready to go. It still sat unsold. Now here it is four years later, and even considering the downturn, everything else in the neighborhood has sold, but that lot is still for sale. People sometimes ask as they pass it, “Gee, I wonder what the deal is with this lot?” And so I tell them. Gypsy curse. Mine.

But I’m over it now. Me and the family, we moved to a better place around the corner, and in retrospect, I suppose this curse is long overdue for being rescinded. There. It is done.

Curse #3: No, I won’t lift this one. Not ever. Here’s the story: one night, several years ago, some thoughtless dickweed let his dog poop on the path between my back door and the sidewalk. I stepped in this unbagged poo without realizing it and walked into my house, tracking the poo into my kitchen, dining room, and onto my living room rug. When I beheld what that dog-poop scofflaw had done, I raised my fists to heaven and brought down my most potent gypsy curse ever. And to this day, you, sir, whoever you are, you are still just as cursed as you ever were, though I know not how this curse has affected your life. You can burn low and slow in the eternal BBQ smoker of damnation. I hope you grow old alone and have severe bunions that require you to wear extremely ugly orthopedic shoes and that even your dog – who I don’t blame in the least – turns his back on you for what you did.

OK, so there it is. I feel much better now. Anyone else out there want to share a story of forgiving, forgetting, and unburdening? Really, it’s quite liberating. I’m sure Barbra feels better, too, even if she doesn’t know why.