MY LIFE ON POST-ITS

May 07

Who are Larry & Chuck?
I have absolutely no idea, although I’ve been wracking my brains all morning. But there it is — on a cute little orange post-it: “Larry and Chuck,” with “2nd” written under the names.
 
I’d better figure it out soon because it’s on my calendar for today.dreamstime_821458.jpg

This post-it could mean anything, and trust me, that I can’t think of any Larry & Chuck in my life is totally irrelevant. “2nd” could be second floor. Where? In my building? At my gym? Somewhere in this vast and varied city? Maybe I made an appointment to look at wholesale leather jackets in the garment district, and Larry and Chuck are my guys. Maybe not. I haven’t had a contact there in years, and the mediocre quality of my current jacket proves it.

Could it be a TV show? Yeah, but not even I would write 2nd, rather than Channel 2. Or chan2, which I could interpret as “change to.” Change to what? One thing it can’t be is the 2nd of the month, because it’s “posted” on the 9th. Looks like I’m going to miss the whole thing. Whatever the whole thing is . . .

Beyond Post-Its
I leave notes to myself in every conceivable place, and not just on post-its. (How ever did we manage before these sticky little wonders, I wonder.) I write on every manner of matter: my appointment books, sure, but also on pads, random pieces of paper, and in Notebooks of all Nations.

I am the crazy lady in CVS buying those notebooks in every size, color, pattern, and type, all ostensibly for specific purposes — and all of which invariably become hopelessly mixed up, so that my daily TO DO list often ends up in the financial notebook, which is labeled $$$$$ just in case I forget, or in the book labelled “The Blog & I, Part Deux,” not to be confused with the original “Blog and I,” a large pink spiral bound notebook with side pockets and a very jazzy cover. I even have notebooks, smaller though, and with plain covers, for various illnesses I’ve had, including “Gallstones I Have Known,” and “Into the Bowels Of Hell.”

In the kitchen I write on paper towels. In the bathroom on toilet paper: I usually find these, weeks later in the pocket of my bathrobe when it’s about to be laundered. If I’m lucky. Many a note has been washed and dried, never to be deciphered again by human brains. I mean, not even the guys on CSI could read these soapy scribblings after 2X Ultra Tide With Bleach gets through with them. One can only guess what would become of them if I used 3X Ultra.

Cryptic But Clear?
Some of my notes are cryptic but clear — an oxymoron if ever I heard one. I mean, they’re clear to me. HC/C stands for hair cut and color. The word MO with little musical notes around it means an opera that night at the Metropolitan Opera. (Although MO could also mean Motive & Opportunity, or Modus Operandi, or Milk of Magnesia, any of which could led to ponderings of life’s myriad mysteries.) Sometimes I even put the name of the opera and the curtain time. Not always. Arrived “early” recently, at 7:27, for an opera that started at 7:30, not the usual 8, and just managed to get to the seats in time. (They’re strict at the Met: if you’re late, you watch it on TV. Really.) But Opera notes are generally easy. Even “M Butt,” though terribly crude sounding for such a poignant piece of Puccini, was, clearly Madama Butterfly. Loved it.

But how about the Post-it I found stuck to my computer a few years back that said PRO WAR? Which I am decidedly not. It turned out to mean: Protest War, and now that I’ve deciphered it, I can explain. I had decided that since kids on campuses aren’t protesting this lousy war, then we geezers have to. I even have a name for us: Geezniks. So, when Bush was at the UN, I had made myself a note to go. I figured this out in time, but alas, I had a crack in my sacroiliac. Well it wasn’t really a crack, but sprain doesn’t rhyme with sacroiliac, or even back, and we do so love to wax lyrical even when we are most cranky.  So what with the back pain/sprain, not to mention the eye strain (from reading all these notes?), I didn’t go to the rally. But at least I knew where I was supposed to be. As opposed to, say, Larry and Chuck’s place, on 2nd. Ooh. Could that be 2nd Avenue? Yeah it could. So what.
 
Grocery lists are really bad when you’re standing in Aisle 3 staring blankly at that piece of paper in your hand. Yesterday, something that looked like SOAPY LIQUOR turned out to be Ivory Liquid. Lucky thing my husband usually does the shopping. And then there’s those codes I use because I can’t bring myself to write the whole word or phrase. COL PREP means colonoscopy prep. Well, any fool could figure that one out, but I couldn’t bear to see those miserably evocative words in print. Not in my cute lime green Filofax agenda with the colored tabs — and special page for post-its!

You know it’s bad, as Jason Robards so poignantly pointed out to his nephew in A Thousand Clowns, when you start making lists in the first place. And when your lists have lists, as Roz Chast has illustrated so well in The New Yorker, the comedy is taking a tragic turn. To be ruled by lists, by mundane minutiae, is the pits. (See below.) But if, at least, you can read them. . .

Everyday, I throw out post-its, scraps of paper, and the pages of those little notebooks, where I have scribbled thoughts for articles, plans for travel, investment ideas, the names of people I’m supposed to get in touch with for something  if only I could figure out who. And what. Now that I write a blog, I find notes like, “I came, I saw, I plotzed” on a square of toilet tissue. What kind of post did I have in mind when I wrote that? Chances are, we’ll never know.

“MERMAID CON ISLE”
One warm Saturday, my appointment book revealed a note for what looked like MERMAID CON ISLE. This led to many pleasant thoughts. Was there a Mermaid Isle on the itinerary, I wondered, a place where mermaids tried to lure (con) you into doing something. . . And what would that be? Or was it really Mermaid Con Lisle, some new clothing line I was supposed to see involving cotton lisle (I could have so easily have left off the L), a silky natural material. And natural is so in this season.

But maybe it was a new restaurant (even after that dreadful bout of food poisoning from eating those shrimp in Ocean Grove, I still love seafood.) And isn’t there a Mermaid Inn in Manhattan? Was I supposed to meet someone named Connie there? Conrad, maybe? Or could “con” be Spanish for “with” and I was going there with . . . Isle? Or Lisle?

It could be the name of a rock group. Or a race horse. That’s no weirder than Mine My Bird —
and he won the Kentucky Derby! (My horse had a much nicer name. He came in 12th.)

When I finally figured it out, it was the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. (Of course! What else could it be?)  I didn’t go. Might have been fun, but by now I was in the mood for seafood. Preferably with a Spaniard wearing a silky shirt made from cotton lisle.

Girls  Just Want to Have Fun
Months later . . . I find out that Larry and Chuck are actually Chuck and Larry, as in the movie,chucklarry.jpg
 I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. (What’s with me and gay weddings? And I haven’t, hint, hint, been invited to a single one yet, even though I threatened to move to Iowa weeks ago.) 

Anyway, my brother the DP had said they’d be shooting that day on the 2nd floor of somewhere (never found out where), and that if I wanted to go to the shoot, I should call. By the time I had figured this out, it was too late (duh), and I was not happy.
 
Okay, so the movie wasn’t all that great, but I liked some of the music, and  it would have been fun to meet Larry and Chuck, AKA Chuck and Larry, AKA Kevin James and Adam Sandler. Maybe we would have hit it off, and could have drifted off together to the Mermaid Parade— or, better yet, the Mermaid Inn for a couple of beers.

Of course, I’d have to find the address. Quick! Hand me a Post-it: Got to make a note of that.

Does anyone else have this problem: Post-it Traumatic Syndrome (or PITS)?
Let me know
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