A few weeks ago, a couple friend of ours adopted a baby. (What is the phrase I’m looking for here because it’s not “couple friend”? I’m talking about a couple that is also friends with us, us being me and David, also a couple but not the titular couple of friendship. This is why making friends as an adult is so hard—the nomenclature! When I was a kid and my mom would talk about her friends she would just call them her girlfriends and I got that and it all made sense. Any couple that was friends with both my mom and dad were referred to by the couple’s last name or were honorary uncles and aunts. Or, if they were friends from church they were Sister and Brother—which I guess is confusing in its own right, but the Lord makes a way, I suppose. But now I’m an adult and I’ve got all these other people in my life and I have no idea what to call them and I don’t ever actually call them because who has a house phone? And that, in and of itself, is confusing because as a child my understanding of adult friendship was that it took place primarily whilst dragging the kitchen phone with the super long cord around the room as you made dinner and occasionally ducked into the laundry room to repeat some gossip that little ears shouldn’t here. Now I’m just walking around God’s creation texting shockface emojis to other adults and encouragingly liking their Instagram thirst traps. Is this friendship?!)
Anyway, these two dudes who we have dinner with sometimes had a baby and I’m exhausted. I like these guys very much even though I have tried very hard to make them my nemeses. They’re another Baltimore interracial couple in which one of them is a pastor, but they arrived here before we did so I felt like I had to fight them American Gladiator-style in order to assume the treasured position of DMV Swirl Couple, Religion-Adjacent. This turned out not to be the case, which is fine because I haven’t been training. Also, they go to the CrossFit gym a block from my house, so they could definitely pulverize me. I briefly went to the gym as well, for vanity reason but also for nemesis reasons, but I quickly threw my back out and quit. The Swirlympics are not going well for R. Eric Thomas. They haven’t seemed to notice my largely unsuccessful campaign to steal their lives, which is for the best, I guess. But it does make the actual work of friendship a little more confusing. We’re just supposed to hang out regularly, trading the same bottle of wine back and forth at dinner parties for the next 30 years? Okay.
But now they have this wonderful baby and the deranged part of me (which is 90%) is like “Ah, the gauntlet has been thrown!” I saw their Instagram announcement about their new addition and I immediately started Googling “Where do I get a baby from ::shockface emoji::?” Is it a competition? No. Do I still want to win? Obviously.
Plus, it was Halloween this week which is peak season for kid cuteness and if there’s anything that spells adult success to me it’s raising a child who has good costume instincts. I don’t have time to have a baby, though. And I don’t have the money. And I don’t have a super long phone cord. And I don’t have a practice of calling my adult friends girlfriends like I’m Marianne Williamson, so I am very worried about my ability to compete in this event.
Last night we went to a baby shower for the new baby. There were so many kids there, which was a surprise! I really thought it was going to be a bunch of adults I am unsuccessfully competing against and one infant. The children were delightful, though! It was really lovely. My big fear around children is that they will suddenly reveal that they know you’re not cool. I feel like the phases of childhood are 1) infant, smells great but poor conversation skills; 2) small maniac/child star; 3) high school freshman who hates you. Some kids become high school freshmen at age 7 and it’s terrifying. One minute they’re skipping around a playground laughing at a weird face you made and the next minute they roll their eyes at you so hard it knocks the wind out of you and you have to sit down as you rapidly age like a time lapse of the Picture of Dorian Gray. It’s more common than you’d think!
So now I don’t know what I’m going to do! Every time I talk about having kids with people who have them, they always say “Oh, you figure it out.” And I’m like, “Wow thanks but how about you figure it out and then once it’s perfected, I’ll do it?” Everyone is around here just practicing at being a human? I don’t know about that, girlfriends.
I am a ghost that was at Sunday's World Series game during which Donald Trump was booed and I am shocked and appalled at commentators today, like the panel of dour neckties on Morning Joe, who are calling booing and chanting "Lock him up" uncivil. This is Ghost Erasure and I will not stand for it. Well, I will not hover six inches above the creaking floorboards for it! Same difference! A boo is the language of the undead and I will not be silenced.
The dolls—four Barbies and two Kens, all designed by Carlyle Nuera—are dressed in "high-low fashion mixes, re-imagined ‘90s gear, [and] juxtaposed patterns" all of which combined to whisper to me "ya basic!" These Barbies looks like they just stumbled out of an unannounced NYFW show in the loading dock of Katz's Deli and are on their way to a secret afterparty thrown by Jeremy O. Harris and Tilda Swinton. Do I understand these lewks? Absolutely not. Do I know where the street the wear is named after? Google Maps says "you tried it." Nevertheless, I'm obsessed.
Get ready to read the most self-serving, unintelligible "Why I Left New York" essay ever because Donald and Melania Trump are making like Sophia Petrillo and changing their residency to Florida. The president filed paperwork to make the change in September and the first lady followed suit shortly thereafter, according to The New York Times. It's unclear if the Trumps realized that you can be extradited from Palm Beach County, but whatever. Bye!
My first thought, and I'm not ashamed to admit this, was "That's an unseasoned chicken thigh." Would it surprise me that that is what Trump would want? Not in the least. Did it still terrify me? In my bones.
Let’s Hang Out!
Tomorrow! Monday, Nov. 4 - Hosting The Moth StorySlam at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
Saturday, Nov. 16 - Hosting Freedom: An Evening of LGBTQ Storytelling, a benefit for FreeState Justice (come to this! I planned it! It’s going to be amazing!) at Baltimore Center Stage
Random Thing on the Internet
Apropos of my meltdown above: this SNL sketch about Duolingo for Talking to Children.