Don’t you have any male friends?

The “change oil” light had been on in my car for about a week, but my car ensured me I still had 15% left and I trust my car to not lie to me. And so I continued to drive to and from set all over Los Angeles and beyond, just for the week. I was going to change the oil this weekend. I told myself over and over again, “You live right next to the Jiffy Lube. It will be so easy.” I should know better than to think I will get anything done on the weekend.

Saturday came, no thank you Jiffy Lube. Then Sunday, it sounded even worse. All I wanted to do was watch Poltergeist and Carrie and maybe even Beetle Juice.

Monday, yet again. I get in my car, ready to drive to job #1 for the day. There it was, that oil light, but next to it was no longer a 15, it was a 5. How could I jump from a 15 to a 5! There’s all sorts of numbers in between! 9,8,7, even 12! And now I have to go to work! Am I going to die?

Yes, I was definitely going to die.

But wait, there’s not one but two auto-shops next to job #1. Surely someone can help me.

Auto-shop #1, “Go across the street.”

Auto-shop #2, “Well, yes, we can.” Oh thank goodness. “We can on Friday.”

I’m sorry? Friday? Oh no, I’ll definitely die by Friday. Spontaneous combustion, or, whatever happens to cars when the oil disappears.

My coworker told me how to check the oil and all those car type things. “If you pull the stick out, clean it off, dip it back in and there’s oil below that line thing-y, you shouldn’t drive it, but if there’s a decent amount of oil, you’ll be okay.” Easy enough. I can pull out stick thingys.

But I had to go to job #2, was there time for all this fuss? Well there was time for Starbucks. There’s always time for Starbucks. So in the Starbucks parking lot I popped the hood of my car. Stick thingy…

I have absolutely no idea what a stick thingy looks like. Where could it be? These are all knobs. Nothing is stick related. I should just go get Starbucks.

With my chai latte in hand and gray skies overhead, I headed to job #2. But that 5% was so terrifying. It was like an orange doomsday staring at me. This was really it. I was given a few months to prove I could be a real-life adult, but I was now a failure. I can’t even bring myself to the Jiffy Lube, let alone find the stick thingy.

So I had to do it. I had to call my Dad. There was nothing else to be done.

Dad was not happy.

“Hilary, what were you thinking?”

I was working! (liar)

“You’re going to wreck your car”

I don’t know what to do! 

“Jesus Hilary take your car in!”

BUT WHERE? WHO? HOW? Its 6PM! 

“Just go to a station! Jesus Hilary, you have to be responsible now.”

Tears filled my eyes. Responsible? I thought I was doing so well! But now he’s yelling! And here’s the worst.

“Don’t you have any male friends to help you?”

…no. 

“No Dad. I don’t have any male friends.”

“Well you better figure it out.”

I pulled into set in a flurry. I couldn’t believe I made it there alive. I grabbed Jimmy, I grabbed Rich, I grabbed all the male people working on this movie. You have to help me! There’s something wrong with my car, I have no idea what to do. My panic, became there panic. Jimmy followed me to my car, then Rich.

“Something with the oil! I don’t know, I don’t know how cars work! But my dad, he was yelling!”

Jimmy’s face went from panic to calm. “I thought your engine would be on fire. I have oil in my trunk.”

Rich popped the hood. And guess what, he couldn’t find the stick thingy either. “Normally they’re yellow…yours is orange.” Sure Rich…sure. “Why did you think something was wrong?” “It said 5%!” “That’s just a suggestion.”

But it was so bright! And orange! And angry! And numbers, they were dropping like the end of days!

“Tell your Dad you’re fine.”

“Dad, cars fine.” Car is fine. I’m not fine. I’m a complete idiot! And I have no male friends! How do you acquire these? I haven’t a clue. On set, I’m pretty good at making people laugh, and then I say things like, “Oh you know me, I don’t have any friends.” And then people keep laughing, but I’m serious. And then I say things like, “Can we be friends?” and they laugh more. “Oh Hilary, you’re so funny.”

It’s not funny. I would honestly like to be friends with you. I can be funny on the weekends too. If you think I’m funny here, wait ’til you see me in a park, on a sidewalk, in a bar even! I’m hilarious!

The film wrapped and we had a wrap party. The perfect opportunity for people to see that I can be funny in other places. It was like an audition. Get dressed up, have a few drinks, say funny things, and they won’t be able to get enough of you. Alcohol always seals the deal, right?

Everyone had a few drinks. It’s amazing to see co-workers drunk. I wish I could have filmed the entire thing. Except for that part when my boss said, “We need to find you a boyfriend” and I continued to make jokes about how I have no friends and have been single for 4 years and everyone laughed, including myself, and then another person in the group said, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”

I’m sorry? Did you say, why?

Wow. I’ve never really thought about it that way. No wait, yes I have, all the fucking time. I have absolutely no idea why I don’t have a boyfriend, but thank you for asking.

I responded, “I’m too weird.” But the music was loud, so no one heard. “What?” “I SAID I’M TOO WEIRD.” And then I did jig, because if you’re going to be the weird single girl, you really have to commit to it.

Oh I forgot to tell you, I did make it to the Jiffy Lube. It was a beautiful gray morning and they had my car made up in about 25 minutes. Imagine that. Like magic.

And finally this, I recapped all of this to my mother, as I do with everything. Her response, “Is your boss going to find your a boyfriend?”

The Crafty Epidemic

If you are not strong willed, I don’t suggest you work in the film industry.

But wait, let me tell you why.

It hasn’t nothing to do with the fact that “You aren’t going to make it.” (I was recently asked at what point I would “give up”). It has nothing to do with your creative endeavor or your dedication, your talent, your energy, your persistence, your willing to work for hours upon hours for no pay. It has nothing to do with your facial features or what you wear. It has nothing to do with whether or not your teeth are straight or your height short. It has everything to do with craft services, otherwise known as crafty.

Crafty is a wonderful, absolute treasure. There are drinks, there are almonds, there might even be almond drinks. Trail Mix. There’s always trail mix. And all different types of granola bars. There’s water, there’s Diet Coke (most of the film industry thrives on Diet Coke). There’s carrots and hummus, but also peanut M&Ms. There’s some celery, but there’s also 8 bags of Sun Chips, every flavor. There’s coffee and Emergen-C. There’s gum and tums (you will need because of all listed prior).

And here’s the thing about crafty, it’s always being refilled. So it doesn’t matter if you get to the bottom of the peanut M&M jar and think, “phew, now at least they can’t taunt me.” You’ll get called to set to move a chair and when you return, the peanut M&M jar will be filled to the brim. How could it be? More importantly, how can I not devour them?

I’m here to tell (warn) you, there is no fighting it. I have declared it impossible. If you already have trouble avoiding the dessert isle of Safeway, the crafty table will follow your conscience around like a lonely puppy who cannot get enough attention. So if these things worry you, absolutely, positively, do not step foot on a film set. Find another career immediately.

Unless you have no other skills, in which case, you simply have to accept who you are and get on with it. You like snacks. The only way you can defeat the crafty table is if you A) are a health freak B) are anorexic C) I don’t know, because I don’t understand you (and I don’t understand actors, so, there you go).

The last set I worked on the sound guy brought all of his own healthy treats to set every day. Tupperware filled with homemade hummus and plentiful vegetables. He doesn’t have to worry about the crafty table here, or anywhere. I on the other-hand, can hardly keep a popsicle in my fridge. A sugar-free one, even.

Every morning as I get ready to go to set, I think, “Not today.” For today I will avoid the crafty table, today I won’t eat a handful of peanut M&Ms every time I pass. Today, I will take control of my life and as Adam from Girls so remarkably stated, “Will eat for fuel.”

But then it’s 11:13AM and I’m bored and there the peanut M&Ms are and I mean it wouldn’t be such a big deal if I had a few. Then I’ll have gum and I won’t be hungry. But now I’m bored of the gum. I could really go for some chips. Perhaps a Diet Coke. No calories anyway, so basically I come out even.

Oh lunch is here? I’m starving.

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