I Became a Homeless-Hatin’ NeoCon, and It’s All Emily’s Birthday’s Fault

Filed under all of my friends are prettier than i am, par-tay

My friend Emily wanted to celebrate her birthday by forcing us to hang out with her allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll day the Saturday before last, so my boyfriend Kamran and I picked up three vats of rainbow sherbet and a pack of rainbow Twizzlers and took the bus down to Tompkins Square Park for a noontime picnic. When we found the party, it consisted of Emily, who was in a birthday tiara, lest you forget who to pay all your attention to

and a handful of our other friends lounging on a blanket with an open jar of peanut butter in the middle of the circle. Kamran and I had come hungry, expecting a potluck, so I immediately thought, “Oh, shit, this is going to be the worst picnic ever,” and proceeded to eat all the paper party favors I could get my hands on.

Luckily, though, Emily’s sister-in-law, Lauren, came back from the dog run with the cutest puppy in the entire world, Penny,

and loads of food came out of hiding, including the beaniest bean salad, two whole chickens, pounds of lunch meat and mayonnaise, an entire German chocolate cake from Magnolia Bakery, and chopped fruits galore.

Emily had asked me to bring ice cream specifically to go with the cake and was a little upset at first that I’d forgotten and gone with sherbet instead, but then her brother, Nathan, thought to put the sherbet in the gallons of spiked lemonade that had gotten warm in the sun, and so we all drank it cold through rainbow Twizzler straws.

Which led to Emily’s mom getting drunk and hilarious and walking through the park with a party hat on

and everyone else generally having a great time, including me

but not including Kamran.

Naw, I’m just kidding. Kamran was a party animal

and didn’t even cut me when this happened:

Hey, Tracey, look at my bracelet!

Here’s a bad picture of Adam and Sonya just to prove they were there for posterity:

The only thing that sucked was all the poor people who felt like it was cool to step on our blankets and ask for our food in the midst of our being rich and merry. Now, I’m generally a pretty giving person, and I genuinely feel for people who have to sleep on the streets (although I firmly believe that if you can sit on a sidewalk with a pathetic give-me-money sign all day, you can stand behind a retail counter making money, too), but the first guy who approached us actually had the nerve to be MEAN about it. Here, I’ll recreate the conversation for you:

Asshole Poor Guy in Cargo Shorts with Backpack Who was Likely Totally Privileged and Had Annoying Well-Groomed Hair: Hey, can I have some of that food?

(Everyone shifts uncomfortably.)

Emily’s Sister-in-Law, Lauren: Sure, let me make a heaping plate for you, because I care about you, even though you’re an asshole and don’t deserve it.

(Lauren piles a paper plate high with bean salad, the most nutritious, delicious, and filling thing we have.)

Asshole Poor Guy: How ’bout some of that bread? I shouldn’t even have to ask, you know.

Me: Beggars can’t be choosers!

(The crowd falls silent, except for Chris, who says, “Ohhhhhhh, shit!” and wins my favor.)

Lauren: Absolutely no problem, sir. Here, take two slices.

The other ten thousand people who approached us were much cooler and much more appreciative, but they sure are lucky Emily’s family was there to be kind, ’cause I would’ve sent their asses packing had it been my birthday. And that concludes my right-wing conservative rant.


  1. Laurasaurus says:

    I have to be escorted to my car in areas with large amounts of homeless people, ie High Street, because I can’t say no. I’d end up giving them all my money.

    • Only because you have a job and live in Ohio, which means you are rich and have nothing to do with your money but hand it out to undeserving slackers. Plus, all homeless people in Columbus are only fake-homeless and make up songs about being poor to win your pity, and selling your skillz is way better than begging.

  2. lasalebete says:

    rainbow twizzlers always attract hobos.

    • It’s the scent of innocence and sunshine they’re drawn to. And the hole, of course, because everyone knows bums’ll stick their tongues into anything.

      Oh, and, HI. It sucks that I live down the street from you and haven’t seen you all summer.

  3. welfy says:

    Whaaaaaat? Who ASKS people for food like that? How odd.

    • People with no shame, that’s who. GO DIG THROUGH A DUMPSTER, GO SELL YOUR UNDERWEAR FOR CRACK, AND GET OUTTA MY FACE. Sorry, sorry, I didn’t mean that.

  4. Adam says:

    Hopefully he had the digestive fortitude of a homeless man, because eating bean salad from a stranger sounds like a recipe for food poisoning. I cannot think of a more humbling or degrading experience in all of NYC than having to use a toilet in a public park. People do actually use those toilets for their intended purpose, right? Otherwise they are another insanitary place to pick up Hep C or to have anonymous gay sex.

    • The homeless must have insane immune systems, right? All that picking up my half-eaten, slobbered-on soggy street pretzels and re-using my used tissues and, like, licking the sidewalk and stuff. Seems like all that hepatitis is worth it to never get a cold.

      But what about the pay toilets they supposedly installed in Madison Square Park? We should do a joint entry on those things.

  5. Tracey says:

    YES! Should I announce to everyone who reads your blog that the bracelet is made of o-rings?

    Reading about this party makes me wish I had a summer birthday. I never get to have picnics in the park with rainbow sherbet.

    • Yes, and you should then announce WHAT O-RINGS ARE. ‘Cause I still have no idea.

      No, you don’t have a summer birthday, but you DO have a birthday so close to Christmas that people think it’s ridiculous to have to buy you a gift for it. GOOD ON YOU.

      • Tracey says:

        I win!

        I am always secretly wondering if people are just giving me half of what they intended to give me for Christmas and witholding the rest for my birthday, though.

        And I’ll just let Wikipedia explain what o-rings are:

        An o-ring is a loop of elastomer with a round (o-shaped) cross-section used as a mechanical seal or gasket. They are designed to be seated in a groove and compressed during assembly between two or more parts, creating a seal at the interface.

        The joint may be static, or (in some designs) have relative motion between the parts and the o-ring; rotating pump shafts and hydraulic cylinders, for example. Joints with motion usually require lubrication of the o-ring to reduce wear. This is typically accomplished with the fluid being sealed.

        O-rings are one of the most common seals used in machine design because they are inexpensive and easy to make, reliable, and have simple mounting requirements. They can seal tens of megapascals (thousands of psi) pressure.

        Makes total sense, right?

  6. Lori says:

    What?! You didn’t give the poor hungry homeless guy any cake? Because it would have been cool to say “Let him eat cake!”

    • Yes, I could’ve said that, but I both hate homeless people and love my head. I wish you could’ve been there to say it for me, though, ’cause you’re eight times the sweet I am.

  7. shawn says:

    what an asshat! i didnt even know they made rainbow twizzlers, i must go find some NOW!

    • Woo-hoo Gravatar! Nice one.

      Rainbow Twizzlers are THE BEST, because they’re fat and have a huge hole in the middle naturally, practically begging you to make them straws.

  8. Tina says:

    Wait, isn’t moving from small town rural Ohio to New York City supposed to make you a bleeding heart liberal and not the other way around?

  9. Kim says:

    I am so jealous of bitches with summer birthdays, omg.
    That said, I do hope Emily had a fabulous time, largely because I maybe love her dress. You should have taken a full-length shot.

    I feel the need to point out, though, that I’m pretty sure Sister-In-Law stole Blake Lively’s dog Penny. Who is that dog. Up there. For real, swear.

    Finally, living in New York turned me into a hardened bitch in about 10 seconds and I would have thrown anything but bread at the dude who had the audacity to demand it after being given a handout.

    Then I would have gotten stabbed, probably.

    Also, yes, I was a hardened bitch long before New York, sure.

    Fortunately (unfortunately?), it doesn’t have to come out as often up here. The abundant homeless people in Boston are invisible, you know. I swear. You have to search for them, and then they say nice things to you. It’s more likely some privileged college kid would run through the picnic stealing shit while spouting off pretentious crap about why he’s entitled. Or just, puking a little.

    I can’t wait to move back.

    • I’m sure Emily wishes I would’ve taken a full-length shot, too, ’cause the girl looked good. I was so unimpressed with all the long dresses everyone was trying to sell me this summer, but hers actually worked.

      I was totally excited about the idea of that guy getting a plate of bean salad thrown all over the front of his cargo shorts, but alas, all of my friends are nicer than I am. And it’s absolutely worth getting stabbed over, obviously.

      I appreciate the puking pretentious kid. In Ohio cities, the homeless are all unembarrassedly on crack and appear crazy at all times. But there, you can cross the street and avoid the one or two of them; here, they surround and attack you like zombies.

  10. Nicole M says:

    mmmm….rainbow twizzlers are yummy. That was one of our snacks for the Reds game. Collin and I love them. We’ll have to try using them as straws next time he visits.