wet hot american blog post.

7 Aug

This evening I was watching this killer depressing Australian film (I’m calling it a film because it was really highbrow and I think that’s like why they made it so artistically, is so that we’d call it a film) and I got up to change my babygirl’s diaper during a really emotional scene in which the schizophrenic murderess is reflecting on her behavior in an extremely close shot. The whole entire time I was changing her diaper all they showed was her from the shoulders up, just keeping the camera focused on her face, not moving, just staring and staring. It was so heavy it almost brought me to tears, and I felt so fucking genius for recognizing that this was a major turning point in the character, and that the filmmaker was showing that “things change but things stay the same” and this whole evolution of the character without anything physically happening. Even the score was stopped. I commended myself and ran downstairs to high five my film degree, so thrilled that I could appreciate such incredible art. Then I realized that I had actually paused the film, and in the scene she was really just about to answer the phone and then brush her hair. So yeah. Fuck you, film degree. You clearly taught me nothing.

In other news, I don’t know if we’ve discussed this before, but I’m a Jew and Harry is not. These days, this is pretty much insignificant, but we do differ in two extremely distinct ways:

#1 – He eats Genoa salami and I eat Hebrew National.

#2 – He did not go to sleepaway away camp.

We only had to deal with the first issue one time, when he bought Genoa at Zabar’s for Hannukah dinner at my apartment and I laughed in his face and then he laughed in my face because beef salami is NASTY according to him. But once we established that if my Nana will be in attendance then we refrain from purchasing the Genoa and then all other times we can go balls out in Italian charcuterie, it was the end of that issue.

The camp thing is a whole other ballgame, especially between the months of February and November, which I consider to be “camp season,” whether or not I have been involved with the place in any capacity in the past decade. Frankly it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since I hung out on the White Rock (“hub of all things social”) or cheered for the Red Team during Olympics (color war is too violent of a connotation, although one particular year the teams were the Red Army v. Blue Navy, which quite literally is a color war) but that means nothing. I can’t look at anything without having some camp related anecdote to accompany it. Let’s use right now for example. I’m laying in my bed wearing a tank top that I tie dyed during some afternoon activity. There’s a hat hanging on my mirror that brings me back to the time I stole one of the boy’s UMass hats because it had the embroidered “M” pulled out and I thought it was the greatest most clever thing I had ever seen in my entire life. Pretty much the only object that doesn’t make me think of camp is my cell phone. But then again, it’s currently loaded to the gills with old photos, so there’s really nowhere to turn. For some reason, I really just can’t resist the urge to tell Harry every camp story, as well as each teeny tiny minute detail leading up to it. At this point he either hates me or has mastered the art of tuning me out and I think we’re all on the same page when we say that we know the answer is the latter.

Anyway, to free Harry from the misery that is constant reminiscing about something that he did not participate in, nor does he necessarily have any interest in, I frequently hang out with camp friends. Because nobody cares about your camp stories (especially, it turns out, when you’re over 30) except for your camp friends. So we congregate in the corner of a bar (just the other day, in fact) and we talk about who we had crushes on, or that it’s totally weird that we have kids now because we are all clearly not mature enough to handle that sort of situation, or that we’re old because our campers’ campers have campers (To equate this to real life, I am like a great grandmother. In fact, when a counselor of ours showed up, I introduced him to my campers who were there, which is just like freakazoid city because the last time I saw them most of them didn’t have training bras yet and now they’re like 24, as their grandpa. Eleven years and three generations apart. You just don’t see that everyday). The most difficult thing to do is figure out what to wear to these things. For example, I once wore a bedazzled and reworked (by me) camp shirt to a reunion and the comments ranged from “Why would you wear that in public?” to “That’s such typical you,” which was an incredible blow to my ego and I still haven’t quite gotten over the trauma. This last time I wore neon from like head to toe (but in a good way! I swear! I think?) except earlier that morning I decided to follow the advice of some fat hippie facialist and wash my hair with coconut oil, so it looked soaking wet all night, or like maybe I should wring it out and make a stirfy for everyone with the drippings. Lesson learned. This reunion thing is an evolution. Next one I’m wearing jeans, a black tank top and a fucking ponytail.

Don’t think that my camp is the only camp where you spend the rest of your life just wishing that it were summer and you were 15. As far as I know, the only way someone is going to be unenthusiastic about their sleepaway experience is if a) you’re socially handicapped and nobody liked you and the only counselor who you really related to was a Russian chick named Marushka who played the piano in all the plays but spoke not a lick of English, or b) you went to theater camp and were either a straight guy or not into theater. Other than that, every person who went to sleepaway camp is obsessed with sleepaway camp. In fact, I’m currently developing an iPad app called “The JAP MAP” which geographically indicates the location of each sleepaway camp in the northeast, and offers special features such as where are the best places for underage counselors to get wasted on their days off, and where is the best ice cream to take your campers to in the van when you’re coming back from a softball game at another camp, and where the best Orthodontist and Rabbi are in town so you can figure out where you’re gonna send your kid to have his braces adjusted and his Torah portion memorized by the time his Bar Mitzvah rolls around in September, and where there’s decent chinese food/pizza/phone reception/shoes/pot, and spoiler alerts as to when Olympics is going to break out and gossip about which counselors are banging which junior counselors. It’s going to be fucking awesome, and if you try to steal my idea I will clobber you with all the best lawyers that my camp has produced in the past twenty years so watch your ass.


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