This is the tenth edition of Drunk Girl/High Guy Cultural Reviews wherein Sarah gets really drunk, Noah gets really high and then they go to an event and write about their vastly different experiences. You can read more of Sarah's writing on her blog and more of Noah's writing on his blog. Here, they attempt to coordinate a simultaneous mall trip while on different coasts.
How We Decided To Go
Sarah: I’m back in Los Angeles after my two month job in New York. Being back in NYC was fun, but a lot of work. Just a ton of jumping and running and shooting at things. Sorry, I really can’t tell you any more about it. Hey, on a totally unrelated note, isn’t it weird how you don’t see Mysterio terrorizing the streets of NYC anymore? Not like I’d know anything about that. (I Wiki-ed a list of Spider-Man villains for that great joke, I suggest you do too. My favorites include Mister Negative, Man-Wolf and Tinkerer).
Point being, Noah and I are once again separated by a vast land of freedom and soy, and we needed to think of another bi-coastal adventure. Whilst BStorming via GChatting, Noah posited the question, “Do you need new jeans?” I was taken aback. What was he asking? He knows I hate pants, and last time I checked Levis.com, jeans were pants. Full disclosure: I don’t check Levis.com. In fact, I’m not even going to check and see if it’s a real website. I’m sure it is. Well, I wouldn’t bet my life on it, but I’d probably bet a stranger’s life on it, sort of like that movie The Box. Speaking of The Box, Noah is the one who told me the plot so I wouldn’t have to see the movie or read the short story it was based on. Thanks, Noah!
Anyway, I’ve made my distaste of pants very public, in this column and elsewhere. Just what the eff was Noah implying? Turns out, nothing. Noah just needed new jeans. He had to go to the mall to buy them. As it happened, I needed some new perfume. Malls exist in both of our cities. And there you have it, a Drunk Girl/High Guy Adventure.
Noah: I do not like the bicoastal Drunk Girl / High Guys. They require me to get high and then be outside of my home, by myself, entirely exposed to the public at large. And you know who’s scary when you’re high? The public at large. They seem much at-larger when you’re high. And, sometimes you get convinced that you’re going to somehow run into one of your elementary school teachers and that they are going to scold you. Can you even imagine if I ran into Mrs. Gunsberg high? Oh, man. Ignoring that glass eye when I was 9 was one thing, but as a high 28 year old by myself in the big city? There’s no way the sluggish movements of that prosthetic orb wouldn’t make me start crying.
Then Mrs. Gunsberg would ask, “Wait, are you high?”
And I’d go, “Yes” as I wiped cry snot from my nose.
Then she’d tell me that she knew I’d never amount to anything. AND THEN I WOULD STILL HAVE TO GO BUY FUCKING JEANS WHILE DRUNK SARAH DRUNK TALKED TO ME ON THE PHONE. Oh yeah, jeans. How we decided to go to the mall and get jeans. I needed some jeans because my last pair developed many, many holes. So, I suggested we go get jeans for Drunk Girl / High Guy. More like Drunk Girl / Efficient Guy. I was unaware of Sarah’s distaste for pants because I often pay no attention whatsoever when people are talking to me. #spaceyasshole
Sarah: That actually upsets me. I talk about how I hate pants SO MUCH.
Sarah: I decided to go to The Grove in West Hollywood. The Grove is a mall, technically, but, it fails to really nail the suburban sulky teenage scene, nor does it have depressing old people walking laps for exercise. For example, there’s a guy whose only job is to operate a bubble machine. It’s just not as bleak as a mall should be. It’s outside, for one. No florescent lighting and recycled air. There’s even a trolley for fuck’s sake. What is this, the Iowa Trolley Park? (Anyone want to go to the Iowa Trolley Park? You can operate your own hand car! THESE guys know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!) Where is the Claire’s Jewelry? Where is the Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light store? It’s all Anthropolgie’s and Fresh’s. I mean, Mario Lopez-let me say that again-MARIO LOPEZ, shoots scenes from Extra there. Basically, this isn’t your MOM’S mall! Or mine, for that matter, which exists exclusively in the year 1996.
I asked my friend Michelle Collins to be my chaperone. My reasons were twofold: Firstly, she’s super fun and hilarious. Secondly, she’s sort of a mall expert. Sort of really a mall expert. She’s like a mall Spirit Guide. Malls tend to give me severe anxiety, but Michelle walks around a mall with confidence and ease, which inspires ease and confidence in her companion. She also suggested that we eat at The Cheescake Factory so we could get drunk, which I agreed to because I thought it was a hilarious idea. But, JOKE’S ON ME, The Cheesecake Factory was a pure delight. Also it was actually the most mall-y I felt because they gave us beepers while we waited for our table. I was transported back to the Rainforest Cafe at The Westfarms Mall in West Hartford, CT in no time, as well as my drug dealing days in New Jack City.
Noah: I went by myself on the subway because nobody wants to hang out with a stoned guy who’s going to try on jeans. And, on the subway is where I made my first mistake. I started listening to "We’ve Got Tonight" by Bob Segar on my iPod. Begin listening below as you read on to fully be able to embrace my experience. Also get high and on a subway. Got it? There you go.
So, there I was on the subway, stoned and listening to Bob Segar (much like you are right now as per my instructions). And, guys, I got really really sad. The song made me so sad. I got misty eyed. I had to physically make myself not full on cry. Crying about former teacher’s glass eyes might have been okay, but crying about Bob Segar’s song about trying to get a girl you’re not really that interested in to sleep with you just because you’re lonely... that makes no sense. Nonetheless, I was halfway to Crytown Station. I was just so, so sad. It was this deep, lonely, overwhelming melancholy that seemed to be coming both from outside and within all at the same time. Then, suddenly.... I was at my stop and I had to get out and go by jeans. I was in a pretty weird head space.
How Sarah Got Drunk
I drank wine at The Cheesecake Factory. Did you know that there’s a Cheesecake Factory brand wine? I regret not getting it, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it because it was $9.75. I don’t think that’s particularly expensive for a (huge) glass of wine, but whenever a glass of wine costs a certain number of dollars, plus cents, I just feel like it’s not a good idea. A glass of wine could cost $40.50 and I still would be suspicious of it. Why the fifty cents?? What is making it less confident than just $41? Cents, fractions of dollars, coins, do not befit the classiness I like my wine to exude. (See: me drinking from a box of wine out of a swizzle straw at the Oedipus Rex outing).
We ordered off the Skinnylicious (TM) Menu, foregoing the Glamburger (R). Who the hell wrote the Cheesecake Factory Menu? A tween freelancer for US Weekly named Brandi? Kill me. However, the turkey burger was pretty good and the barkeep was VERY nice. ALSO, NCAA Women’s basketball was on the bar TV, Baylor vs. Florida. The center on Baylor, Brittney Griner, can dunk. She did while we were watching it. I love basketball, particularly women’s basketball (See: Our first outing to the WNBA game). This was seriously amazing. I made Michelle take a photo of me. This embarrassed her, which I can understand, because her taking it implied that it was her idea. So, if anyone at The Cheesecake Factory who saw her take the photo is reading this, just know that it was my idea because I wanted to capture my happiness on camera, so I can revisit it in darker times:
I had this text conversation with Noah, so I knew we were about on the same page, timing-wise and Drunk to High ratio-wise:
As ever, Noah’s taste in music astounds me.
How Noah Got High
I got high in my apartment before I got on the subway.
Sarah: The Grove, because it’s a fancy mall, has a Farmer’s Market. Also, I think there’s an LA county ordinance stating that there has to be a Farmer’s Market within 5 square miles of anything. My friends Drew and Amy and their one year old Noah were eating lunch there, so we decided to join them for a glass of wine, post Cheesecake Factory, pre-shopping. Also, that’s right: The infant’s name is Noah. And, he has the EXACT SAME hair as grown ass man Noah. It is truly amazing and I wish I had the heart/parents’ permission to exploit their baby and show a photo of him, because then you’d see. But basically what you have to do is picture Noah’s hair on a baby. Actually, here you go, this is what baby Noah looks like:
Then Drew and Noah took off and Amy, Michelle and I took a mall wander. The trolley passed and there were paparazzi following it, frantically taking photos.
That was funny. Who was on the trolley? If I had three guesses I’d say Mario Van Peebles, Cher or, well, Mario Lopez. It’s funny to see paparazzi sprint after a slow moving trolley that’s going in a circle, especially when you’re drunk. Also, look at the dog in the foreground. Cute. His owner looks super chill.
We went to J. Crew and I saw these stupid pants. My drunk happiness quickly turned into drunk anger at the pants.
Those pants are so dumb.
Noah texted, needing some opinions on jeans:
They look pretty good to me. Am I right, laaaaadies??
We went to Fresh so I could buy some perfume, but I didn’t really find any that I liked, though that may have had to do with spraying three different kinds on me at the same time because I was too impatient (drunk) to wait around. So I kept spraying a cloud and walking through it, which Michelle informed me was not an approved method of perfume testing. However, I did find this perfume for Noah:
Then we thought it would be funny to do shots in the American Girl Doll Place Cafe. So we walked in there. I don’t know what your experiences are with American Girl dolls, but when I was growing up, two of my neighbors had like three each, inspiring insane jealousy on my part. I coveted them. If we lived in a world where Kevin Spacey from Seven was still a killer at large, I would be dead because I so envied my friends’ American Girl dolls. Too dark? TOO BAD. Point being, for some reason my mom wouldn’t let me have them. Well, I think her reason was because she was a smart parent. It’s a slippery slope, buying your kids American Girl dolls. There so many accessories. Check it out:
When does it end? At the second best jumpsuit outfit? I think the answer is, it ends at McKenna’s novel:
GAH! Just looking at this cover MAKES you a creepy weirdo.
Honestly, after seeing that book I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. So we skipped the shots at the cafe part, which I think is in the top ten decisions I’ve made in life. Though, who knows, I could have met a hot single dad there. I guess I’ll never know.
Noah: On my way to the mall, I saw a store that looked like a perfect place to buy jeans. Unfortunately it was closed. I was so upset. The place looked like it would have been TA BOM.
I continued on and arrived high and sad at the Manhattan Mall. And, let’s get this out of the way right up front. I went to the J.C. Penny. I don’t know enough about anything to know why that’s a weird place to go, but I know just enough to know it is weird. It’s like when your dog pees on the bed. He doesn’t really know why it’s bad that he did it, but he knows to be ashamed.
But, before I got to J.C. Penny, I saw what might be the most exciting store in the world.
Fuck. Yeah. Unfortunately, the pants I had on at the time were writing holes my legsies can’t cash, so I had to skip that store and head to where I could get new jeans. Also, I was still feeling residual weirdness from all the Bob Segar, and it wasn’t a good time to think about Goose’s death.
I made my way down to the J.C. Penney jeans section and was immediately overwhelmed.
What the fuck are shrink to fit jeans? Why would you make purchasing jeans more complicated than it already is? Apparently, you’re supposed to find a pair that doesn’t fit, say “perfect!”, purchase them, and then hope for the best. They should called them Future Fit Jeans. Jeans shouldn’t be purchased with the same forward thinking strategy as buying not-yet-ripe bananas. "Future Fit Jeans: jeans that FIT... eventually." Fuck you, Levi Strauss (Not the Levi Strauss who was friends with my brother as a kid and just married my 5th grade girlfriend's younger sister. He's cool.)
I took a few pairs of Present Tense Fit jeans into a fitting room and settled on a straight legged dark wash. I wasn't in love with them, but they were good enough. This didn't need to be a lifelong relationship. I know these jeans' plans don't include me. But we had tonight. Who needs tomorrow? I wore them out of the store. As I exited the mall, I caught a reflection of myself in the window. The jeans had looked good in the fitting room mirror but seeing myself in motion, I realized that the thigh area was too loose and bunched up when I walked. I was too high to return them, though, so I just went home.
While I was walking, Sarah called. She was CLEARLY having a much better time than I was. And, frankly, it made me a little mad. When we do the bi-coastal Drunk Girl / High Guy reviews, for her, the whole thing is a delight. She gets to have someone drive her to a place and get drunk like a person with a fun substance abuse problem. I, on the other hand, have to have weird self reflective paranoid stoned time in public while having day nightmares about Mrs. Gunsberg's glass eye. Fuck you, Sarah Walker. (Yes, the one I am friends with.)
Sarah: YOU ARE SO MEAN. But also not wrong.
Sarah: I left the mall without having purchased anything. Oh well. But I did have a great time. My usual mall anxiety was swept away by a trolley of reasonably priced white wine and friendship. I gave Noah a call to check in. He picked up, “Hi, Walke-” and then the phone went dead. I called again. Same thing. Now I was worried. Naturally, I assumed he was in a holding cell at the Manhattan Mall for accidentally walking out of the store wearing unpurchased jeans. Finally, we got in touch. He was fine. Well, he stoned with a phone that had a propensity to drop calls. Phew!
A few hours later, having sobered up, I went on an overnight video shoot where I had to play the mother to two eight year olds. I can only hope when people watch it they will think, “Oh, that’s what Lorelai Gilmore must have looked like when Rory was eight.” (In the show Gilmore Girls, Lorelai Gilmore had her daughter, Rory, when she was 16. You knew that.) I declined to tell the cast and crew that I had been drinking at The Cheesecake Factory not a few hours before. When is the Fake Mother of the Year award handed out? I need to pencil that in my calendar and buy my ticket to Stockholm for the ceremony.
Oh, shit, I couldn’t help it and I checked Levis.com and Levi’s website is Levi.com! Wha?? Some stranger is DEAD because of me! Probably for separate reasons, like the fact that I own an iPhone which was most likely made under terrible conditions (Sorry, Apple, you know it’s true), but STILL. In my hypothetical The Box-based scenario I would have killed someone. I just really hope at least one of you gets my The Box reference.
Noah: Well, I cut off a chunk of my fucking thumb later that night while trying to chop garlic.
So that sucked/bled a whole bunch. Then, when I went to exchange the jeans a couple of days later, I reopened the wound with the repetitive motion of buttoning jeans while trying them on. And, finally, after I settled on a pair, I bought them only to realize when I got home that the security tag had been left on them. So, the next day I had to take a third trip to J.C. Penny. Also the skin around my cut feels tingley. Does that mean anything? Am I going to lose my thumb?
Follow Sarah on Twitter: @swalks
Follow Noah on Twitter: @noahgarfinkel