Tag Archives: Shamwow

An Evaluation of My Christmas Swag and Its Relevance to New York City Living

I’m finally heading back to NYC tomorrow morning after two weeks in the ‘burbs with my parents. I have to take care of some business at school, though I’ll return to my hometown one last time before the semester starts and I begin regularly subjecting NYC middle schoolers to the unorthodox teaching style that I call, “Ugh I don’t know, just Wikipedia it.” Since I’ve been at my parents’ house, I’ve definitely gotten over the novelty of the few things about suburbia that, over winter break, I’ve forced myself to believe are endearing. This list includes but is not limited to:

  1. Driving everywhere. I threw my environmentally conscious mentality to the pollutant-filled wind as soon as I arrived in my 54.8 square mile behemoth of hometown. If I walked my normal forty-ish blocks  a day in this town, I’d only be able to get to another Levittown-style development, a Charlie Brown’s, or if I’m horribly unlucky, a Klan meeting.
  2. Wawa. I am probably going to get shit for this because Wawa may be the greatest thing to come out of the Mid-Atlantic region since Bacon’s Rebellion, or something else equally non sequitur. That being said, delicious, delicious Iced Tea, single-serving string cheese, and Icees can only fill a gaping hole in my soul for so long before I digest them.
  3. My Parents. Just kidding, these are the people who got drunk and frisky after my sister’s first birthday party and made me. By logical extension, they must be full-time awesome like I am.

I’m currently in the process of packing up all the stuff I’ve accumulated since I’ve been at my parents’ house for the holidays, and as I pack I can’t help but notice the varying levels usefulness that my Christmas haul will have in New York City. In order to help organize my packing (read: procrastinate my packing), I’ve created a list and ratings system (1 = Highly Irrelevant, 10 = Relevant) that will help me figure out which gifts to take with me and which gifts are left behind.

Stuff of The Stuff I Got for Christmas and Probably Don’t Need (but Might Need Anyway)

  • Blue Owl Pajamas (Rating = 7). I actually asked for red adult-sized footy pajamas with a trap door bottom for Christmas… and last Christmas, my birthday, my last birthday, and my college graduation. On principle, my mother refuses to buy them for me, and the principle seems to be that she is cruel and heartless and does not like to see me achieve any form of happiness whatsoever. Even so, the Blue Owl Pajamas she did pick out are soft and cozy and warm. -3 points because they are a significant handicap to all things poon-related, especially considering I look like an overgrown five year old wearing them.
  • Noise-Canceling Headphones (Rating = ~). I realize the scale is only from 1 – 10, but I gave this gift infinity because they will be incredibly useful during my commute. I mean, I love Reggaeton as much as the next person (which pretty much means I hate Reggaeton) but not blaring out of someone else’s earbuds at 7 AM during my daily commute. Or ever.

    Jaded, disaffected hipster does not care what you think about his kitschy, ironic bananaphone.

    Jaded, disaffected hipster does not care what you think about his kitschy, ironic bananaphone.

  • Hilariously Unstylish Blouse (Rating = 1, pending move). This shirt. Is. Ugly. My dad gets more joy in telling me that he bought it for $1.69 at Kohls on Chirstmas Eve rather than how I look in it. However, even though it is hideous and makes me look like a displaced jungle creature, I am probably moving to Brooklyn next year, where it is unfortunately fashionable to wear horribly unattractive clothing. I’ll keep it around in case I need to go incognito through the streets of Williamsburg.
  • Urban Decay Eye Makeup Palette (Rating = 7). Immediate bonus points for the brand; who doesn’t want to smear makeup on your face from a brand whose name and evokes images from the movie Dangerous Minds? I know I do. This is a pretty useful gift because I always feel terribly unkempt in Manhattan no matter how much effort I spend on myself, and some of the shades are excellent for my skin. – 3 points for the crazy amount of glitter in some of the shades of the palatte. Do I look like a transvestite? Don’t answer that.

    Gangsta can read without even looking at the pages!!!

    Reason # 748 Why Everyone Loves Barack Obama: Gangsta can read without even looking at the pages!!!

  • Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Rating = 8). In a prior post, I wrote about the hierarchy of subway reading material. Team of Rivals, clocking in at a whopping 944 pages, definitely qualifies as a “thick and smart-looking book,” especially since there is a really boring looking picture of Lincoln and some other old dead white dudes on the cover. This present is especially useful since I can learn real things about slavery and the Civil War and teach them to my future students rather than run around the classroom while flailing my arms and screaming over and over again, “THE WHITE MAN KEEPS THE BLACK MAN DOWN!” as per my original plan.
  • Mad Bank (Rating = 10). The parentals and my aunt did their part in fighting the recession by giving me a nice chunk of money that they know I will promptly spend on useless things, like this, this and footy pajamas. What I don’t spend on copious orders of Shamwows will serve me well in the city. Booze bills got to get paid, son!

I received a few other gifts too, but my general perspective is that a) this list hasn’t really helped me pack at all; b) I really, really like typing in bulleted, lettered, and numbered lists; and c) I still have little to no concept of a normal New York City lifestyle despite having lived there for three months. I could probably find usefulness in almost anything (see above: footy pajamas), so I’ll just pack everything and then some, like toilet paper rolls, paper plates, and bags of frozen vegetables I have stolen from my unsuspecting family.

Peace out suburbs; don’t miss me too much.



Filed under Observations, Other Places