Jeff Astrof has 100 days off. See how he spends them.

Day 59

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It was approximately 3 months and one day ago that the Powers That Be at a Major TV Network told me they loved my pilot script.  It had just gotten the thumbs up from the head of the network who was a hard read and things were looking very good for me to produce my pilot.  The deal that my wife and I had was that if I didn’t get my pilot produced– an unlikely scenario at this point seeing as only one more person, the New Guy, has to like it– we would take a two week family vacation to Israel.  The next day, I started planning our trip to Israel.  Turns out, not only did the New Guy not like my pilot, he fired the Hard Read.  We had three months to prepare and pack and get everything ready.  That three months is up tomorrow morning.  As I write this, I have not begun to pack and my wife is having a mini panic attack about what we need to bring for the kids.  What if it rains? (We’re going to the desert)  What if it snows?  (ditto)  What’s if it’s cold?  (ibid)  What if it’s too hot?  (op cit.)  Our car is picking us up in 13 hours and I calmly type to avoid the wave of panic that will come shortly when I start to search for the passports….

But my day didn’t start out like this.   My day started out like all Tuesdays do: great.  I don’t know why, but I like Tuesdays.  Even without the conventional structure of a work week my Tuesdays always start with the spiritual– a lecture– and proceed to the physical– a workout.  After my spiritual lecture which talked about trying to capture the illusory and fleeting spiritual highs, I went to my trainer.  I had sent him a text that read, “I only got 5 hours sleep last night.”  Which he read the same way as if I had written, “I feel like a lion this morning.”  But the truth was, I did feel like a lion.  After eating like a lion for the past month and workout out like a… middle aged lion… I actually looked good in my sleeveless t-shirt.  In fact, even my back, which up until two days ago looked like the back of a steroid user without the accompanying muscles, was now smooth… ish.  The point was, this would be my day.  I completed an obscene challenge that should have taken me 40 minutes, in 31 (I’m still sweating, and I’m not kidding) and was sitting hunched over, sweat poring from my brow the way I might look if I were in a Gator Aid commercial… for Gator Aid Senior, perhaps.  And it wasn’t just me who noticed my extraordinary lion-ness.  As I sat on the box that I had been jumping on for the last half hour, a girl passed by and held out her hand for a high five.   Now I really was in a Gator Aid Senior commercial.  And then I realized the girl was… MY CRAZY EX!!

Now, this was not as shocking as it was the first time we saw each other a month or so ago, but slapping my hand against her cold evil claw certainly took the wind out of my sails.  After I got done stretching* , I started for the door.  Out of nowhere, as Evil always comes, she appeared in front of me.  “Hi, Jeff.  I was thinking we could talk.”  “Um.  Okay.”  “I mean, it’s okay to talk after a decade and a half right?”  “Sure.  But I’m going away tomorrow for two weeks.”  Now, in retelling my story to my wife, she was very confused by why I offered that.  Her response would have been, “There’s nothing to talk about.  Excuse me.”  But I was proud of my vague response, my instinct was to ask her for coffee.  She then walked me out to my dirty Prius, which happened to be parked behind her Porsche Boxter.  Of course, what I wanted to say was, “Um, I gave you $25,000 when we broke up, how come your car costs three times as much as mine?”  What came out was, “Nice car.”

My Crazy Ex then she needed to show me something and held out her wrist.  I was ready to see a series of scars.  What I saw was much scarier: her dead dog’s name.  “Oh.” I responded.  She explained, with her eyes welling up, how important I was to her dog and how much he loved me.  “Oh.”   She then continued, “I guess it goes without saying that I really owe you for taking care of me and giving me $25,000 after the hell I put you through.”  I’m sorry, that’s what she should have said.  What she actually said was, “I guess it goes without saying that I really owe you for everything you did for Scooter.  You saved his life.  That one day you took care of him and it made you late for work.  (SOB)  He never forgot that!”  “Oh.”  She then told me that she was writing a book about a chaotic girl whose little white dog dies and comes back as her guardian angel.  “Oh.” I said as I backed toward my dirty Prius.  “The dog has to save her life, but it seems that it’s not worth saving.”  Beep-boop goes the sound of my car unlocking.  Then God gives the dog 100 days to find meaning in the girls life.”  Wait!  What the fudge?  She’s writing a book about finding meaning in 100 days?!  Unbelievable.   The conversation then changed to me and my wife.  She asked me how it was going.  I hastened to reply, “Great!” instead of “Oh.”  I told her that my wife and I got along great.  We had dead dogs too but didn’t put their names permanently on our bodies.  She said, “I guess you married the right girl.”  “Yeah.” I said, and she started sobbing.  I got into my car almost as quickly as I did the night she tried to kill me and sped off as fast as a Prius could speed.  And then my day went downhill.

Over the last week I have spent half my time shopping and the other half returning the things I bought.  Now I had no remaining time: I had to get the stuff on my list.  Unfortunately, every time I went into a store, I picked up something I didn’t need.  My first stop was Bloomingdale’s to get a pair of water shoes.  Instead I bought a small Tumi suitcase.  I said I wanted the one like George Clooney used in “Up in the Air”.  The guy had the perfect bag– 20″, adorable.  “I’ll take it.”  “Great choice.  That’s $618.95”  “Excuse me, how much?”  “$618. 95.  It’s Tumi.  It’s the best.”  I told him I couldn’t believe he could say that price with a straight face.  He told me you get what you pay for.  I asked if there was $500 in the bag.  He told me, again with a straight face that Bloomingdale’s doesn’t carry anything expensive.  Shamed, I bought the bag.  It was able to hold the pair of water shoes I got and nothing else.  “It seems expensive”, I muttered.  “What was that?”  “Nothing.”

I then wheeled my $600 shoe box towards my car when I noticed that Brookstone had an iPod case with a keyboard attached to it.  This was EXACTLY what I needed!  I’m going to have to keep up my journal, and unless I want to use the Apple keyboard that I just paid $69, I would have to buy this $99 keyboard.  So I did.  I tried jamming it in my bag, but had to take it out of the box to make it fit.  This bag was paying for itself.  On the way home my wife asked if I had left Bloomingdale’s yet, because if I hadn’t there was another pair of sandals she’d like.  I couldn’t afford to go back to Bloomingdale’s lest I bought a set of China, so I asked her where else they might have them.  I then went back to the Grove for the 12th time in three days.  I was so tired of shopping for womens’ clothes at this point that I didn’t even do my usual joke of “do you think these would make my ankles look fat?”  I bought the shoes, along with six pairs of shoes for the kids so I wouldn’t have to go back.  I brought them home and showed them to my wife.  “Ta da!”  She shook her head.  “What’s wrong?  You said get me Merill shoes.  These are Merill shoes!”  “No, I said, Merill sandals.  They’re fine.”  Now, there was no way she said Merill sandals, even though as I look back two lines in my journal it seems that she did.

I then went back and bought her Merill sandals.  Which was fine, anyway, because the reason I was supposed to go the Grove anyway was to buy a travel book about Israel.   (We better be going to Israel, if I find out we’re going to Turkey, and I bought a book about Israel, I’ll go nuts, especially after having to navigate through 300 Motley Crue fans waiting to get their Nikki Sixx books and tattoos autographed).  I approached a sales person at Nordstrom’s, “Can I please exchange these for Merill sandals even though my wife said shoes?”  “Of course”, said LaChandra.  She then noticed my book: “Are you going to Israel?”  “Yes, I hope so.”  “I think your wife will like these shoes.”  “She better”, I replied, “or I’m getting a new wife.”  “Hell, you take me to Israel, and I’ll be your wife.”  As LaChandra rung me up I fantasized about a montage of me and this six foot two African-American woman in a mid-thigh mini dress going to Israel together: the Western Wall, floating in the Dead Sea, feeding each other falafel.  It wasn’t bad.  “Sir?  Sir!”  “Huh?”  “Do you want me to put the difference on your Amex?”  “Oh, yeah, sure.”  It wouldn’t work between me and LaChandra, not with that attitude.

I got home and showed my wife the shoes, and she said they were cute as she squeezed into them.  They’re not that cute, but I think she appreciated the difficulty of my day: dealing with a Crazy Ex- and a soon to be Crazy Mistress was too much and my wife sensed it.  That’s why I’m taking her to Israel.  If I can find those damn passports!


Written by 100daysoff

April 12, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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