The Uptight Citizen


Last Friday night, I made some plans with friends on mine to go see a comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade. If you are not familiar, this wonderful little hole-in-the-wall theatre hosts open mic nights, stand-up comedians, and celebrity guests. In Manhattan, they have two locations, the original residing in Chelsea as well as one in the East Village.

Looking forward to a night of laughter and frivolity, I let the other girls choose which show they wanted to see. I finally got the confirmation text around noon: 9:30 show at UCB Chelsea. Got it, perfect.

Enjoying a quiet Friday at work with plenty of time to think, I realized all my roommates had vacated the apartment for the weekend and asked my friend Mady if she’d like to take a break from her insane roommates and come stay the night with me. “THAT WOULD BE AMAZING YOU ARE MY SAVING GRACE” was the reply I received. Wonderful.

All of a sudden, things got stressful at work. Right as the day was drawing to a close, I was given an incredibly bizarre mission: Go to the grocery store! Pick up the CEO’s favorite snacks from this list! Take them to his apartment! Set them up in bowls! Step lively now! Chop chop!

In a confused frenzy, I grabbed my things and rushed out the door (the rest of that strange mission’s tale is another story for another day.) Somewhere in the midst of my panic, I saw my phone light up with a long text message from Mady. Glancing at it, I saw that they had now decided to go to a 9:00 show rather than the 9:30. Just my luck.

Horribly sweaty but safely snuggled back in a cab with my mission complete, I headed to UCB for the show. This was just what I needed: some laughs, some friends, some laid-back time with no snacking CEOs.

I was running ridiculously late (as I usually am) and was very eager to get there on time, not only because I was excited for the show, but also because I now had an incredibly and impossibly full bladder. Mady informed me that the show was now standing room only and I probably wouldn’t be able to sit with them. I groaned inwardly and urged my cab driver to speed with even more reckless abandon.

Finally FINALLY arriving at the theatre, I rushed in, purchased my ticket, and found the nearest bathroom. Since they had already turned down the lights and I was blinded by an exploding bladder, I rushed without inhibition into the first door I saw. The Men’s Room. Naturally. A guy turned and gave me a nasty look. Oops.

I barreled back out the door and into another, at least taking care of THAT pain. Now for the pain of standing through an hour-and-a-half long show.

I found a nice, cozy spot in the back, where I could see almost all the action. I figured I’d find my friends at intermission and possibly steal a seat or stand close by. I soon lost myself in the comedy and merely enjoyed the show.

Seemingly seconds later, the lights come up. Intermission already. I sent Mady a quick text:

Me: Where are you???

Mady: On the back right, by the booth

Me: I don’t see you anywhere…stand up!

Mady: I’m standing….I don’t see you either

Me: I swear I’m looking at the back right by the booth though!!

Mady: Wait…you’re at UCB East right?

Inwardly, I exploded into a steam of expletives. That couldn’t be right! I saw her text that said 9:00 instead of 9:30! Scrolling back through my messages, I saw indeed she had included “9:00 at UCB East,” and in my haste I had seen only numbers. BRILLIANT. Stupid CEO and his stupid snacks!!!!!!!!

I went back to my spot and stood, friendless and alone through the rest of the show. Somehow, it was less funny now that I knew no one I knew was nearby.

The show concluded and I walked, pitifully, out into the street where, YOU GUESSED IT, it was raining. To add insult to injury, the proper trains weren’t running and it took me an hour and a half to get home rather than my usual 30 minutes.

At this point, I was beginning to feel as though some higher power had taken my night, stomped on it, and was now proceeding to run it through a shredder, laughing gleefully all the way. HA, HA HA!

When I finally arrived home, somehow sweaty AND wet from the rain at the same time, I was emotionally and physically spent. And yet, I knew I had to wait for sweet Mady to arrive for her much needed time away from home. So I kept myself busy, cleaning my bathroom, taking a shower, and having a snack. Finally, too exhausted to stand any longer, I sat down on my bed and pulled up an old episode of The Office to watch.

The next thing I knew, I was jolting awake. What day was it?? What YEAR was it?? Where was I?? I snatched my phone to see the time, only to find 6 missed calls and texts from Mady. She had made the same hour and a half long journey, through the rain, and sweat only to discover that I lacked the ability to answer my phone. After 15 long minutes of standing outside, the poor thing had gone all the way home to Brooklyn.

Behold, the shredded, mangled pieces of my Friday night. Brought to you by the Uptight Citizen of New York City.


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