Let me start by saying--I read about celebrity gossip every day... or most days. I partake of the guilty goodness and find escape from the predictability that is my life. Read, relish--rinse and repeat. However, I have never reported on any celebrity gossip, and I'm already feeling guilty for the story I'm about to tell. The story I'm about to share is hysterically ridiculous; I remind myself that the story is too good to pass up, even if the father of this dsyfunct family wasn't an original member of the Ghostbusters and Blues Brothers.
I'll write this story to the best of my ability, I'm afraid it won't do it justice. Ask for a verbal recount sometime.
So there I am, leaving New York City on Columbus Day morning. I'm riding the train to Connecticut to connect with Mike and Brian and drive back to Boston. With great luck, a train is departing from Grand Central minutes after I arrive. I jump in the first car, choose a seat, heft my duffle bag above my head, and settle in for the 107 minute journey.
There I am, minding my own business, when I hear a voice that's strangely familiar. Oftentimes, Melissa and I discuss the phenomenon that we talk about celebrities as if we really know them--as if they're our friends. The voice, one row over and one row up, was as comforting and familiar as a long lost friend. It's what I recognized first.
He's sitting there, dressed in a tweed blazer, reading the paper. Before long, I learn that his wife is sitting next to him, his 9th grade daughter is sitting directly in front of me, and their eldest "going to check out Yale" daughter is directly in front of her. Also in their entourage was an older woman who had prepared a write-up of Yale's history, campus, and biographies of the individuals they'd meet with once they were in New Haven. And her daughter (who was sitting next to the Ivy Leaguer). I promise, I wasn't eavesdropping... much. They were hard to miss; in fact, I'm pretty sure they were begging to be overheard.
The family was rather boring. I sat and listened for a few minutes, just reveling in the luck I'd chosen for myself on that train car. The voice was comforting, but the conversations were not very interesting... yet.
Instead of giving you a blow-by-blow (as I'm apt to do) of the whole ride, I'll cut to the chase and then summarize some of the random tidbits of information I learned.
I thought the Ivy Leaguer was the more stable of the daughters. Oh oh ohhhh no. She spilled something on her early on in the trip and never quite recovered. About an hour into the trip, she started sobbing. Hysterically crying. Mom and Dad talk between themselves.
"What's this about?," they ask each other and then turn back to the paper.
Meanwhile, Ivy is staring out the window, rocking back and forth. "He just won't text me back. He delights in torturing me. I f-ing hate him."
The crying resumes. It's silent for the first time on the train. Only the sound of Ivy's sniffling and under-breath mumbling can be heard.
"Has she taken her meds today?," they ask each other and then turn back to the paper.
"YES I TOOK MY MEDS TODAY!," Ivy erupts like a volcano, molten words spewing at her inquirers.
No response from the paper readers.
"AND IT'S NOT LIKE YOU CAN TALK," Ivy screams at the mom. "IT'S NOT LIKE YOU WEREN'T LIKE THIS ALL DAY YESTERDAY!"
(Mom must also be prone to hysterics and irrationality.)
"Oh Ivy," Dad says calmly, still reading his paper. "I think it's time to disengage from this boy."
"DADDY. YOU ARE THE LAST PERSON WHO SHOULD BE GIVING RELATIONSHIP ADVICE."
A few minutes pass. Ivy is still sobbing. Parents are still reading. Mom decides to say something to Dad.
"And THIS is why you don't have sex at a young age."
"THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!," Ivy screams having overheard.
The nanny/tutor/spiritual/political advisor stands up, takes Ivy's hand, and they go to the bathroom together. They come back and take their seats. The nanny/tutor/spiritual/political advisor has given Ivy a sedative. She is apparently also a pharmacist.
"She's hysterical. She can't be hysterical at Yale. I've given her 20mg of xxyyzz and she should be calm in less than 30 minutes."
Parents don't even blink or think it strange their daughter was just given sedatives for being... well... 17. And a hysterical nut job. A smart, hysterical nut job.
Sadly, I had to get off the train about this time. My headphones are on, but my iPod is silent. To the outward eye, I have been a disengaged train passenger. Yeah the crap right. Their full frontal familial freak-out was in plain view of all passengers. They never once shushed each other, or considered the fact there were other (saner) people on the train.
The Ivy-level crazy took place in about a 1-hour time period. Also during my eavesdropping mission, I learned that Dad thinks his brother is a loser, Bill Murray's son is going to be the next Tiger Woods, Ivy thinks our country is going to shiz, neoclassical literature (founded at Yale) is her LEAST favorite literary movement, Dad & Nanny LOVE Boston, the 9th grader seems relatively sweet until she's talking back to her mom about not doing her homework (Mom gets no backup support from Dad), and on. And on. And on.
Best comeback line ever: "IT'S NOT LIKE YOU WEREN'T LIKE THIS ALL DAY YESTERDAY!"
Oh how I wish someone could have been there with me. It's probably good there wasn't though--I'm pretty sure I would have lost it.