Tag Archives: Full House


I’ve had some pretty bizarre neighbors in the past: a young gangster who constantly fought with his girlfriend and would get scared when she threatened to call his mom, a French woman who always lamented that the gay guy who lived in the building was not in love with her, and a sensitive, doe-eyed drug dealer who lived with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.

How times have changed.

Sebastien and I really lucked out with the neighbors we have today. They’re a family from North Carolina and they embody the phrase Southern hospitality. The husband, Mike, sometimes shovels the snow on the front steps for the entire building and every few weeks their daughter will knock on our door with cupcakes or whoopie pies or freshly baked bread. It’s a strange ritual that neither Sebastien or I am accustomed to, but of course we accept it. Because who wouldn’t accept free dessert? In return, I’ve attempted to bake some of my own neighborly treats. Save for a few minor mishaps (like accidentally baking the plastic handled scissors and using 2 cups of baking soda instead of 2 cups of flour) they enjoy the food I make.

We also get together for dinners and game nights and housesit one another’s pets when the other is out of town. We’ve gotten so close over the past couple of years that come time to renew our leases we plan on apartment hunting together. I know it’s unlikely that we will be able to find suitable apartments right next to one another in the city, but we have to find a way. This family is our only chance of becoming real adults. Sure we could read books on the subject or watch a bunch of Lifetime movies, but why do that when we’ve got the real deal living mere feet away–literally.

As Grown-ups In Training Sebastien and I are learning through trial and error. There was the time we all decided to get breakfast together and planned on meeting in the building hallway at 9:10. I cracked my eyes open at 9 that morning and shook Sebastien awake. “We have to go, we have to get ready,” I said. I couldn’t believe that we were failing our first big assignment and I was afraid that this family was going to give up on us, much like Sebastien’s and my grade school teachers did years ago.

I managed to get ready in 3 minutes, but Sebastien took his time. When the knock on the door came I knew it was too late. We were found out as just a bunch of hacks, wannabe adults. Tamy laughed it off and said that Mike was already in line at the restaurant. I jotted down a quick note about how adults show up early for things and then we headed out the door.

To make up for our blunder I decided to invite them over for dessert one night. I made a pumpkin pie from scratch and Sebastien came home with ice cream and whipped cream. We even had enough clean glasses to offer them water or tea or milk. Everything was going so well until Mike asked for a napkin. I wiped my ice cream covered mouth with my shirt sleeve and looked up at him, perplexed. Melted ice cream was dripping off of his plate and down his arm. He looked desperate and feared dripping on our already stained rug. “We don’t have any paper towels,” I said. “You want some toilet paper?”

Fortunately our teacher, I mean Tamy, ran downstairs and grabbed a roll of paper towels. At the end of the night when I was handing it back to her she told us to keep it. “You guys need it more than us,” she said.

We’re slow learners, but we’re getting there. Whenever the neighbors pop over they don’t have to worry about seeing my bras and underwear strewn about the apartment or week-old dishes rotting in the sink. We clean all that now. Or just hide it up in the loft and cover up the smell with air freshener.  So if anyone hears of 2 apartments for rent next to one another, please do let me know. Or I’m sure we would all get along in a really big apartment like the family in Full House.



I’ll be there for you

I was never much of a Friends fan. It was on one of the only TV stations we had access to when I was in rehab back in 2000, so I had seen a number of the episodes then. Other than that though, the show wasn’t for me. It was too cheerful and optimistic. Much like other cynics of my day, I preferred watching Seinfeld and South Park and mocking late-night infomercials.

But I found myself watching Friends last Saturday night in a hotel room in Philadelphia. I was there for the night to support a friend who was auditioning for The Voice. We had to be up by 6am Sunday to get in line at the convention center so we were in bed by 10. I took an Advil PM to help me get to sleep. As I lay there waiting for it to kick in, I became acutely aware of the pain in my lower back that had been bothering me for the past week and I started to worry that my kidney was failing. (There’s an even longer story there that started with webmd.) Perhaps I had taken too much Advil PM over the past few weeks to deal with said back pain, I wondered. Google confirmed my fears that the overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs could lead to kidney problems. So it was off to the races.

Once the anxiety kicked in I started urinating like crazy. I went to the bathroom every 5 minutes. (Another symptom of kidney problems.) Then the fear started and I had images of an ambulance carrying me to the hospital and me imploring my friend to go on with her audition. “You can visit me in ICU after the surgery,” I imagined saying.

Before I dialed 9-1-1, I thought I’d check in with Sebastien, because I didn’t want him to be alarmed when he received the phone call from the hospital at 3am. I told him my symptoms and that I had acute kidney failure and was probably going to die that evening.

He’s taken calls like this from me before, usually when I’m afraid someone is going to try and kill me. Sometimes I’ll even ask him to call me when I’m out reporting a story just make sure that I’m alive if I am going to an unfamiliar place or interviewing a suspicious person. He has never once said no to making or taking these phone calls. And just like the other times, when I phoned Sebastien Saturday night, he very calmly and lovingly talked me through the anxiety. He suggested that since I wasn’t in any acute pain, I wait until morning to schedule a doctor’s appointment. “But I might be dead by then,” I said. He reminded me that my symptoms were mild. We talked for a few more minutes until what he was saying started to make sense. He suggested that I enjoy watching some TV since we don’t have that luxury at home. Whenever I’m on vacation I love nothing more than parking myself in front of the TV and watching re-runs of Full House or Saved By The Bell for hours and hours. So that’s what I did.

I hung up the phone, meditated for a few minutes, then turned on the TV. I clicked through a few channels before settling on an episode of Friends. The blonde girl was pregnant and always hungry and the other girl with the haircut that everyone liked in the 90s was desperate to get some guy to pay attention to her. It was so cheesy and predictable. And I laughed and laughed. It was exactly what I needed to calm down before bed. I guess sometimes cheesy things are good. [Cue sappy music like when Danny Tanner is moralizing to DJ] And it’s nice to know that I married a man who is there for me through my paranoia and anxiety. I bet if there were good words that rhymed with paranoia and anxiety, The Rembrandts would have sang that song instead.

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