Tag Archives: wall

Reconnecting with my old friend Andre

It’s like, sometimes things have to get really bad before they start to get good again. That’s what it was like for Andre and me anyway. I’m telling you, we had like a whole year of fights and slights, the last time we got together, it wasn’t even a get together really, I wound up kind of just bumping into him by a fro-yo place. Whatever, it’s unimportant who ignored who. All I’m saying is, I thought that was it, I thought we were done.


But then a few weeks ago I got a notification from Facebook. Apparently Andre put some video online from when we were right out of college. Andre had just gotten the Nintendo Wii, and I had just bought one of those Flip cameras. What a waste. Man, if I had only waited like a year or two, it’s like, everyone has a Flip camera on their iPhone.

Anyway it’s this video of me playing Wii bowling, Andre must have been shooting the whole thing, and right as I go to line up, I fling the Wiimote, it flies out of my grip, out past the little string thing that’s supposed to attach it to my wrist, and it smashes right into the wall. I remember that happening too, which totally sucked at the time, but man, it’s like you totally blow things out of proportion, the stuff that seems like such a big deal at the time, but I mean, man, I couldn’t even tell you where any of my Wii stuff is now. I bought my own Wii after I broke Andre’s remote, and I think I wound up buying like three extra remotes, just in case there were ever four of us that wanted to play Mario Party or some other four-player multiplayer. I think we did it like once or twice.

Anyway, he tagged me, which was cool of him, and all of that animosity I had built up toward my old friend, everything kind of melted away. It was just like that remote, it was like, why did we ever let ourselves get so bent out of shape in the first place? I liked his photo, then he sent me a friend request, which, I didn’t even know that we weren’t friends. Did he defriend me? Whatever, I could have defriended him. Either way, that meant that someone else must have tagged me in the video, which, if it was from my Flip camera, how did he get it on his computer?

It didn’t matter. I reached out with the like, he reached around to me with the friend request, and so I figured I’d take it to the next level with a message. “What’s up man? Long time. You wanna grab a drink some time?”

To which he replied, “Sure man. Sounds good.”

And we did, we met up that Thursday for drinks after work. And seriously, it was like all of that stuff from the past year, the fishing trip, his grandma dying, it was all like it never happened. Or like it happened, but neither of us was thinking about it. I mean, I was thinking about it, but not in any way harboring any sort of ill will or anything, I was just thinking about how I wasn’t thinking about it. And sure, I couldn’t tell exactly what he was thinking, but he was smiling, and so was I, and it was good. It was good enough.

“How did you get that video?” I did wind up bringing it up after we had a couple of beers.

“Oh, the Wiimote?” he said, “I found my old Flip camera lying around, and there it was.”

Did I want to get into it with him? That it was my Flip camera? That either I left it over his place, or he borrowed it and must have forgot to bring it back? You know what? I really wanted to, I really just wanted to get in there and be like, Andre, dude, that was my Flip camera. But like I said before, this thing was useless to me now. I have a better camera on my phone. Why risk getting into it with Andre over something so stupid?

We had a great time, catching up, laughing about old memories. And then I went home. I went back to Facebook to check out that video again, only, it wasn’t posted directly to Facebook, it was linked to Facebook from YouTube. Andre must have posted this clip online like six years ago. And I couldn’t believe it, but it had something like seven hundred thousand views. Was this one of the original Wiimote to the wall videos?

Were there any ads embedded to this clip? There were. So I did a quick Google search on how much Andre could be looking at earning just on ads, and it was pretty substantial. Nothing to retire over, but still, I could use an extra couple thousand dollars.

I sent him a long message, it was nice, I made sure to write out everything very nicely. I explained to him that I was pretty sure that it was my Flip camera, that I wasn’t looking for all of the ad revenue, but just a cut.

He shot me back a message saying how it was my camera, but after I smashed the remote, that I offered him the camera in exchange. Which, I don’t remember that, at all. If I remember correctly, a brand new Wiimote was something like fifty bucks, whereas the Flip camera was easily over a hundred.

I closed my laptop and tried to cool off, remembering that I didn’t want to ruin our barely reestablished friendship over what was clearly a simple misunderstanding. But later that week I went home to my parents’ house and I started telling my dad about it. He seemed kind of uninterested, but I didn’t let it go, insisting that he watch the video. Only, when I tried to pull it up, it wouldn’t show me the video on Andre’s profile. It didn’t show anything, just his photo and the “add friend” button.

Did he really defriend me? Over a couple thousand dollars? What the hell man? What are you trying to hide? Are you seriously just going to hope that this all blows over? Because that’s not cool Andre, you can’t just keep ignoring my calls and my texts. Dude, I thought we were friends, again. That’s not cool dude, I deserve a little cut. You can’t just post stuff on the Internet and keep all of the profit to yourself.

Come on man, seriously, not cool.

I went shopping for a new pair of pants

I needed a pair of pants, so I went to this men’s clothing store a few subway stops away from my place. It was pretty early, so there weren’t too many shoppers. As soon as I walked in, this woman standing by the entrance was like, “Hello! Welcome to the store! Do you need any help?”


And I don’t want to belittle retail employees, I mean, I work in the service industry, although restaurant work is a totally different beast than working in a clothing store, I guess we’re like cousins. I get it, is what I’m trying to say. I get how I’m immediately annoyed that this person is all up in my face, but I also get that she has to do that, there’s probably a rule book somewhere, and it’s probably written in fourteen point type, “When a customer walks into the store, you a required to greet them – warmly – within thirty seconds, followed by an offer of assistance.”

Still, I knew what I was there for, a pair of pants. No, I don’t go shopping enough to know exactly where the pants are in this particular store, but I’ve gone clothes shopping enough at places similar to this that I’m pretty sure there’s a wall somewhere, all of the pants are folded in little cubbies built in to the wall, and the labels should all have the sizes displayed, one after the other, no help really required.

I mean, wouldn’t it have been helpful to have this woman point me in the direction of the wall? Sure, I could have used some assistance, a, “Right that way, over to the left behind the big mirror.” But it’s never just a little bit of help. This might sound a little cold, but if I don’t come off as immediately standoffish, my saying yes to help might be misunderstood as an invitation for this person to play amateur personal shopper.

That’s the last thing anybody wants, a bored employee following them around, she’s trying to remember the store’s official rulebook, “If customer says yes to help, proceed to follow him around the store. Make suggestions for articles of clothing that he’d never consider wearing, ask him if he needs any help finding a size, even though all of the sizes are very clearly labeled. If everything on the rack is medium, why don’t you offer to look ‘in the back’ for any other sizes, even though there are never any other sizes, just hang out, give him time to browse some of the store’s other contemporary men’s collections.”

Yeah, I doubt it’s that specific, but really, I didn’t want anything else, just a pair of pants, a quick try-on in the fitting room, and hopefully I’d be out of there as quickly as possible. “No thanks, I’m great,” I told the woman. She responded, “OK! Thanks! My name is Sandra if you need anything!”

Whatever, thanks Sandra. Judged purely on finding the pants, my mission was as successful as I could have wanted. The pants wall was right in the back. The fitting area was right next to the pants wall, and there weren’t any other employees there at the moment, none of that, “Let me set up a fitting room for you,” clothing store filler, just the room, the pants, they fit. Great.

Checkout. “Did you find everything you were looking for today?” I’d been in the store maybe five minutes, and I was standing at the register holding out the pants and my credit card. “Yes, I found everything I was looking for.”

“And did anybody help you with your purchases today?” I looked back at Sandra, she wasn’t too close, but she was close enough that she could have probably heard what we were saying. I mean, the place was empty. I thought going early would have been great to beat the crowd, but I hadn’t taken into consideration the fact that there’d be all of these employees with no customers to serve. Did Sandra work on commission? If I said nobody, which was true, would Sandra feel stiffed, akin to a waiter not getting a tip? I mean, why would she say her name with such emphasis if not for me to repeat it at the register?

“Sandra,” I said, “Sandra helped me out.”

“Sandra?” the cashier said, loudly, “Is this true? Did you help this guy out?”

“What? No. I hardly talked to him.” Then she looked toward me. “Why would you say that? I barely talked to you at all.”

“I don’t know,” I said, “look, I work in customer service, I thought maybe you get like a cut or something.”

“Yeah, well, thanks, but no thanks, because if the boss hears about me getting referrals without having done any actual help, you know what’s going to happen? She’s going to think I’m sending in people to just say my name. I’ll get fired.”

And I wanted to be like, well why’d you scream out your name? Isn’t that a little bit of a mixed message? And now, what, I’m supposed to back off?

But again, I felt myself getting way too invested in the situation, much more involved than I’d planned on being when I walked in this store. “Do you want to sign up for a store credit card?” The cashier was back in retail mode.

“No, just, no credit card, no gift receipt, and just make sure you get the anti-theft thing. The white thing … what do you call it?”

“Christ, no need for an attitude.”

And that was it. I was on my way out the door, I’m sure I heard Sandra say behind my back, “God, what a dick.”