I seriously need a balcony.

27 May

Although we’re committed to each other for the long haul, Alan and I maintain separate homes. My place is smack in the heart of DC and surrounded by parks and restaurants and yoga studios and nightlife. His place is in a quiet, professional community in Arlington with a pool and balcony.

We tend to spend more time at my place in the winter (easy to walk to everything, cozy fireplace) and then log our hours at his place from Memorial Day to Labor Day so we can maximize the pool.

I LOVE being outside, so this morning I took a mug of tea and my laptop out on his balcony. And I realized: holy shit, I really need a balcony. It was more entertaining than a seal juggling screaming babies television.

First, at 9:30, I noticed a woman – wearing only a bathing suit – stomping determinedly down the foot path. Without the context of the pool nearby, that would seem totally bizarre. Even so, it still was a bit odd – because the pool doesn’t open until 11am. “Oh honey,” I thought to myself, “You are about to be soooo disappointed. Early bird gets the worm shaft.”

Sure enough. Her pace slowed as she approached the locked gate. She shook it, testing it. Then she shifted her focus to the rule board, where it’s clearly written that the pool opens at 11. Without turning to actually engage another human, I heard her yell, “What time is it??”

I’m not sure whom she expected to answer her, so I wasn’t surprised when she received Radio Silence as a response. I debated yelling back down to her, but I was half concealed by a tree and thought (for her sake) she might want to believe no one had actually noticed her strutting around in a bikini as if she were crazy.

About this time, a young couple appeared on the tennis court directly below me, toting racquets rackets rickets Rockettes? tennis gear. The guy clearly thought he was Hot Shit, as evidenced by his flowing mane of curls (pulled back in a girly-looking headband) and Ray Bans.

Within two minutes of hitting the court, he devised some sort of calisthenics routine for them, which involved running in forward/backward zigzags the entire length of the court.

He demonstrated it for his girlfriend. “Like this,” he called to her, as he ran in a way that looked like he was avoiding sniper fire.

She mirrored his motions and together they covered the length of the court.

“No,” he called again. “Like this.”

And started another demo for her benefit. She gamely joined in, following after him.

After two more rounds – during which he continued to correct her and shout out tips about her form – she finally cried Uncle. “Dude! Are we here to run around or play tennis?”

Good question. He looked startled but nodded and ran to the tube of balls he’d left at one end of the court.

And then I realized why he’d been stalling: Dude could not play tennis. He’d been trying to wear her down with ridiculous drills beforehand. So of course I pulled my chair closer to the railing and began clapping as if I were at Wimbledon any time she scored on him.

Interestingly, they both pretended I wasn’t there. I assume he did it from a sense of shame and she did it to help save her relationship, so I decided not to press it overtly. But I did kept cheering and shouting the score. It gave me a sweet sense of pride to loudly declare, “Love – Love!”

But then I realized I didn’t actually know how to score tennis, so I found myself yelling, “One – Love!” as if I were a stoner worshipping Bob Marley. And at that point I decided just to take a stance on their relationship, so I stopped even trying.

“Douche – Love.”

“Love – Nothing.”

“Loser – Love.”

About this time, Alan (who was inside making coffee) cracked his window and started listening to me.

WHAT, exactly, are you doing?” he asked, seconds later, as he came charging out on the balcony.

I shrugged. “Nothing. Just keeping score.”

And that’s why I might have a career at Wimbledon. Or need my own balcony. Because apparently Alan won’t let me use his any more. Where I come from, we call that Selfish.

20 Responses to “I seriously need a balcony.”

  1. Andrew May 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Balconies are also great for magic carpet ride take offs. I don’t have one yet, but I have friends that do. They can’t say enough good things.

    • pithypants May 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      Your friends Aladdin and Jasmine, you mean?

      • Andrew May 27, 2012 at 7:26 pm #


  2. Danielle May 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Fantastic! You are so entertaining. 🙂

    (and I would love a balcony too, if I lived higher than ground level)

    • pithypants May 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

      Or maybe you could get the first subterranean balcony, give it a cool name and market it? A “balcellar?” Not sure.

  3. Madame Weebles May 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Isn’t it great? My apartment has a balcony that faces the street, and it really is hugely entertaining. We have nicknames for a lot of the people we see all the time, including some of the people who live across the street and never close their blinds. Live street action really is better than television.

    • pithypants May 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

      Let me guess their nicknames… Big Naked Man and his friend, Fake Boobies?

      • Madame Weebles May 27, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

        Very close! Big Shirtless Rod and Tiny Titties.

      • pithypants May 28, 2012 at 7:50 am #

        Big Shirtless Rod. That is awesome.

  4. Barbara May 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    Oh I can picture Alan’s face as he realized what you were calling out, and his reaction to it. Gawd I wish I had been there to co-narrate with you 🙂

    • pithypants May 28, 2012 at 7:52 am #

      I think he might ban me from his balcony. 😦

  5. dawnofapril May 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Lol, people watching is great. I lost my balcony a few months ago and along with it lost “naked fisherman”, “sluts mcgee”, and “the miserable happy couple” 😦 but in addition to being a sort of secret place to watch people, I enjoyed sitting up there and writing…early before any of them could come out and distract me…I didn’t get a lot done…it’s probably ok that I no longer have a balcony..

    • pithypants May 28, 2012 at 7:51 am #

      A boon for productivity, a loss for creativity, perhaps?

  6. thesinglecell May 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Can you come sit on my balcony and shout amusements at the Orthodox Jews who walk by on their way to shul? That would be awesome. I’ll be inside making us cocktails.

  7. lexy3587 May 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Awesome! I kind of want a balcony now, except that the last hotel I was at ,a guy in the next balcony over kept making eyes at me… while naked. I didn’t spend much time there

    • pithypants June 2, 2012 at 6:30 am #

      Lexy, my friend, you need a pump action bb gun. Pretty sure that would get him off the balcony – or clothed – in no time.

  8. cassiebehle June 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    What would be really cool is if someone was observing YOU observing others and then writing about it. This could get interesting…

    • pithypants June 2, 2012 at 6:24 am #

      It would be like MC Escher. But in writing. So kind of not at all like Escher.


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