Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, New York Clothes

Living next door to us are a few elderly women who seem to have some sort of assisted-living arrangement. Don’t get me wrong—these aren’t frail old ladies with walking sticks. These are the women who called me to complain about the parking barriers I’d rented in January to save space for our ReloCube; these are the women who, we realized one Saturday afternoon, were roasting some kind of whole, large animal on a spit in their backyard.

One of the women tends to talk extremely loudly on the phone while sitting on their back deck, which is just outside of our bedroom window. I heard her yesterday, yelling. “WELL, DON’T FORGET YOUR NEW YORK CLOTHES,” she shouted. “NEW YORK CLOTHES DON’T WORK HERE, AND CLOTHES FROM HERE DON’T WORK IN NEW YORK. DON’T FORGET THEM. JUST DON’T FORGET YOUR NEW YORK CLOTHES.”

Words to live by, certainly. Don’t forget your New York Clothes. (Sacramentan men, in particular, should leave behind their Hawaiian-style shirts printed with beer bottles and the phrase “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!”) I love the idea that the person on the other end of this phone call has a particular set of clothes he/she wears only on trips to New York--someone whose packing list might read "Toothbrush, wallet, New York Clothes."

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