Molly Young writes Critical Shopper columns for the New York Times.
8:15 am, Chinatown
Wake to a burst of feline breath from my cat. She has a face with pointy features, and humans tend to associate foxlike features with cleverness, so it always surprises people when they find out how stupid she is. An amazingly dumb animal.
9:09, Grand Street at Clinton
Walk to CVS to purchase tools for personal upkeep. Go home and perform these various womanly maintenance chores. Check work email. Ignore it.
10:50 am, 40th St and 3rd Avenue
Take bus to Amagansett with a handful of family and friends. We are last to arrive and sit in the back seat, where the bathroom door keeps sliding open. Despite extreme g-forces, I manage to finish
reading Barbara Pym’s Quartet in Autumn (quiet novel about unskilled British retirees) and start her book No Fond Return of Love (same, so far).
Easter was last weekend, but we are celebrating it this weekend. Why? Because my mother enjoys rescheduling holidays. We often celebrate Christmas on the 21st or the 27th, for example. (“Less traffic.”) I admire her approach to life. My father’s side of the family is Jewish and less interested in holidays or frivolous rescheduling.
Today she is hosting an egg hunt for adults. Rumor has it that the eggs will contain See’s Candies. See’s is a west-coast chocolatier unavailable in New York. This news is thrilling to the San Francisco transplants among the group. A few decades ago See’s was acquired by Warren Buffett, which is a testament to the company’s old-fashioned values of unpretentious quality and straightforward sugar delivery. Recommended: the milk bordeaux truffle and bridge mix.
1:20 pm, Amagansett
Rumor: confirmed! Peanut-butter eggs, Scotchmallow eggs, lemon-white chocolate eggs, bittersweet raspberry eggs; also coconut cake and prosecco. I eat and drink everything and go postal. Like most people, I am a terrible custodian of myself.
1:50pm One of the party is from Texas and has brought a carton of cascaronés which are dyed eggs stuffed with confetti that you crack on people’s heads. Eggs are smashed. The elation stems from the fact that the eggs make a violent sight and sound when cracked but don’t actually hurt.
2:30pm, Indian Wells beach
We collect shells and trash on the beach. Shells to keep and trash to throw away. My mother conditioned us to think of trash-collecting as “treasure-hunting” and so the habit remains.
4:10, East Hampton multiplex
We drive ten minutes to see the Noah Baumbauch movie “While We’re Young”. I’ve always found Ben Stiller to be a dull screen presence. Emotionally inert, and with a single comic valence (“Jewish agitation”) which others have done and do better. Makes me think of a mean Iris Murdoch description: “I don’t dislike him, I just don’t see the point of him.”
6:30pm, dinged gray Suzuki
Catch a ride back to the city. My body feels positively tannic from all the sugar—as though my blood were replaced with oversteeped tea.
“Time flies when you’re having fun.” I’m not sure what I did over the course of the 2.5 hour car ride, but it whistled by swiftly, so I assume it was fun.
12:12pm Full of energy for no reason, I bake a loaf of bread using an invented recipe. It comes out looking like an old man’s knuckle. Tastes fine. I pass out, spooning the cat.