My Own Little Metropolitan Diary

I keep a journal of amusing interactions, akin to the New York Times’s “Metropolitan Diary,” but less fit for print. They used to involve more writing—as in the first two installments, here and here—but now they’re mainly snippets of conversation. And the ones I’ve printed here used to be about the area, or at least the city, but that was then. N.B. Adam is my husband, and Howard is my pug.


Me: There’s a march for Bernie Sanders on Broadway today.

Adam: Why do people march?

Me: Those who can’t donate, march.

Adam: Do they really say that?

Me: No.


Me: Why are you looking at me like that? Is my hair doing something weird?

Adam: I was just thinking about how you would look with Botox.


Our dogwalker, Will, and I arrived at my apartment building at the same time. A neighbor who had come in just before us was holding the elevator. Once we were all inside, Will turned to me and asked, “Still diarrhea?”

“Dog! My dog!” I sputtered to the neighbor, who didn’t seem so sure.


Barber: Do you have any hobbies?

Me: I’ve never known how to answer that question. I’m just trying to live my life in interesting ways, you know? I spend my time doing whatever seems fun or worthwhile, but I’m not collecting stamps or running marathons or anything like that.

Barber: Yeah, I don’t know why I asked that. I don’t really have any hobbies, except for getting some pussy every now and then.

Me: Right.


Buying toilet paper at Best Market….

Cashier: Here’s your receipt.

Me: Thanks.

Cashier: Enjoy!


Barista at Kaffe 1668: Erik, you’re one of our most memorable customers. You come here every day, and you order the same thing. But we don’t know anything about you.

Me: I’m probably more interesting that way.

Barista: Do you live around here? Or do you live in Queens and just come here because you like it?



Me: La Colombe was playing “If You Leave” and the staff didn’t know who the band was. The customers felt old.

Adam: Did you say “OMD” or “Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark”?

Me: What do you think I said?

Adam: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

Me: Yeah, everyone else said “OMD.” But I knew them when they were Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark! They shifted to OMD later.

Adam: Smart move. Like N.W.A.

Me: [Eyebrows raised.]

Adam: Niggaz With Attitude.

Me: [Stunned into silence.]

Adam: They’re a real group! Google it!


My friend Andrea and I disagreed about whether Best Market would stock currants, so I texted her a photo of them.


Mom: When we were in Italy, I thought of Adam several times. And I have to say, he’s very European.

Me: How so?

Mom: He just is.

Me: OK….

Mom: You’re less so.


Me: Why are you on the kitchen floor?

Adam: I’m looking for the little plastic lid to our kitchen tweezers.

Me: Do we need it?

Adam: Yes! Without the lid, they might poke us.

Me: I don’t know that that’s a big concern.

Adam: And it’s important to our brand! Other people don’t have the lid, and they don’t care. This is what differentiates us.


Will the dog walker: Massive poop today!

Me: Yay!

Will: Six pieces!

Me: Six? Wow.

Will: It’s usually three or four.

Me: I always feel like Pac-Man, picking up each piece as he walks along, pooping them out.

Will: [Pause.] Have a good weekend.


Me: May I try these shorts on?

Adidas clerk: Sure, just give me a sec. [Rips “sale” sign off wall above rack.] The sale is over, though.


Unleashed by Petco clerk: Do you have a Petco Pals card?

Me: No.

Clerk: Do you want one?

Me: No.

Clerk: Would you like to make a donation toward pet cancer awareness?

Me: No.

Clerk: Would you like a bag?

Me: No.

Clerk: Have a nice day?


On the phone with my mom….

Mom: Happy birthday!

Me: Thanks!

Mom: Remember, your gift is going to arrive a few days late.

Me: And my card?

Mom: I mailed it to you!

Me: Oh, that’s right. I forgot…. Here it is. [Opens card.]

Mom: Isn’t it wonderful?

Me: That’s quite a cat.

Mom: Carol and I were shopping for cards—we looked at so many—and when we found that one, she said, “Do you see who that is? It’s Erik!”


Previously in this series:
••• My Own Little Metropolitan Diary
••• My Own Little Metropolitan Diary (Part 2)



  1. Reading this made my morning :)

  2. Do you have tweezers for every room of the house? That differentiates your brand perhaps even more than the plastic cap!

  3. These are awesome! Thank you!

  4. This was fun to read- thank you!

  5. Fun! And, I love kitchen tweezers. :)

  6. Excellent read. Very funny. I was slightly disappointed that Howard was only referred to, and was not part of a conversation, but that’s just my own personal bias showing.

  7. LOL- you made my morning. Thanks Erik. your mom is awesome.