Curbing My Own Enthusiasm

Living the life of a repressed Larry David


This story is not about my coffee habits but it does begin with them.

I don’t need to tell you that when you decide you need an iced coffee or you’ll die it’s not being dramatic or hyperbolic. It’s simply realistic. Last April 14th and yes I remember the exact date, I found myself in Midtown East in that shaky pre-death phase of an iced coffee deficiency.

When in unfamiliar Manhattan territory, you can typically count on at least one Starbucks per block and a good corner deli on every street. For whatever reason on this particular day, though, I apparently found the one deity-forsaken neighborhood in all of New York City without either. Kindly also note that I was in evil, evil shoes which means I couldn’t walk four steps without stopping to cry. I made exactly three attempts in what appeared to be decent spots for coffee:

Spot number one was a cupcake store. No one eats cupcakes without iced coffee so I figured this had to be my best bet, but the line was longer than my large intestine so I left.

Spot number two was a Turkish diner. I’d heard rumors of thick, delicious Turkish coffee and imagined it in the iced-version. I ordered and gladly paid the obscene amount of $5 because nothing is more expensive than desperation. What I was handed, however, was a paper cup of watery, lukewarm coffee that had one — count that, one — ice cube in it. I glared at the demonic woman who’d just ripped me off and dumped the coffee in the first trash can I found outside. (Sorry! I know that’s wasteful but I was in no place to make responsible decisions!)

Spot number three was a juice bar where I was out the door as fast as I had entered. “We don’t serve coffee here,” they told me.

I walked with angry, defiant stomps back to spot number one — the cupcake place — but found solace in a chalk-drawn sun on its cutesy blackboard wall. The sun was wearing sunglasses (LOL!) and had a bubble exiting its mouth that said, “Cold-brewed iced coffee!” Sweeter words had never been scribbled.

I ordered the largest glass of iced heaven they had and my request was met with a cheery, “Two seconds!” But two seconds turned into ten minutes and I was then greeted with a very bored looking manager who more or less “apologized” that they had actually run out.

This is when I found out that I am actually Larry David trapped inside a 25-year-old woman’s body. (There are traces of Elaine from LD’s Seinfeld days in me, too.)

“SERIOUSLY?!” I shouted. I was indignant. Repulsed. Mouth agape and horrified. “How does NO ONE in MANHATTAN have ICED COFFEE? You just take coffee, and add ice! Coffee, and ice! SERIOUSLY? Seriously. RIDICULOUS.” Picture a flaming maniac waving her arms around like a nutcase in cool shoes with Medusa hair. That was me.

I couldn’t believe it. For the rest of the day I wouldn’t shut up about it. Everyone ignored me but that didn’t stop my rant. Had this actually been a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, I would have then gone to a party where the manager from earlier was co-hosting and I’d get into an actual fight with her, only to later find out that she was my wife Cheryl’s sister I never knew about, or something.

But this moment got me thinking about all of the other times that I have displayed Larry David tendencies, like when I told a stranger on a bus that he was sitting too close to me, or the time I told my mom she was needlepointing too loud. Whenever someone cancels plans with me I’m absolutely elated at the prospect of spending an evening alone, and once, someone ate a weird-smelling salad and I told them it smelled like vomit.

What I found most alarming were all of the times I didn’t act on my emotions and tell a stranger he or she was annoying me. The thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis (He has strange elbows. Her voice sounds like Kermit. I hate the way that person just crossed the street. I can’t trust my therapist because he listens to Bon Jovi) suddenly made me realize that I am not your typical curmudgeon but rather have diagnosed RLDS: Repressed Larry David Syndrome. And the problem with repression, per my red-faced eruption at the stupid cupcake store, is that eventually you will say everything that has ever been on your mind. Ever. And that is a frightening thought.

So if you ever run into me at a bar, or bakery, and I’m blustering about like a disgruntled middle-aged man or I tell you that I hate the way you breathe, please excuse me. Try to understand where I’m coming from, because curbing my own enthusiasm is even harder than trying to find an iced coffee in Midtown East.

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  • D

    Douchebag Jar!

  • Sarah

    Amelia, this is great! I stifle myself all the time but you just gave me the gumption to let loose!!

  • Stylish Housewife

    I never watched Curb Your Enthusiasm when it was on tv. But we JUST watched the final episode last night (thanks Netflix) and now we are so depressed that it is over. My husband and I both are very LD-ish….so I feel your pain.

    XOXO, Jenn
    The Stylish Housewife

  • Name

    This is beautiful. So funny. Thank you so much!

  • graceyu

    PREACH. Also, can we have George Clooney/Michael Fassbender/A-list hottie to host a charity telethon to raise awareness?

  • Brittany Haas

    I just died reading this. I have RLDS. Amazing.

  • Velvet Pancakes

    I too have RLDS. I have broken up with men who chew too loudly, shuffle their feet whilst walking and other annoyances that most people can overlook. One episode near and dear to my heart: annoyance at people having a drink then making the “Ahhh” sound. I can totally relate to this.

  • Sage

    Oh, I can so relate. And anything you do while deprived of iced coffee can’t be held against you – believe me.

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    Hahahahaha…don’t feel bad Amelia, I have frequent bouts of Winnebago Man syndrome while working. It might be worse than RLDS. See if this guy makes you feel any better: or search “winnebago man” on youtube.

  • Rikke

    HA, this is so funny

  • nicole

    “..or the time I told my mom she was needlepointing too loud..” LOL!

    oh my gosh, i loved this post! i have totally been there. now i have a name for it: RLDS!

  • Yep, that settles it. We need to be friends.

  • I’d like to relate this with me also– but I know, there can only be one Larry David. Fantastic writing.

    Your Friend, Jess

  • Dee

    Can you have Repressed Larry David Syndrome on Subway Trains? That’s what I have…

  • Annie

    Hysterical! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this– the highlight? “the time I told my mom she was needlepointing too loud.” Pure gold.

  • Jessica

    best post ever

  • Abbie

    Serenity now…insanity later.

  • alejandra

    Once, I went to a Starbucks inside a Barnes and Noble. It was like, mid-October of last year, and I asked for an Iced coffee. NO ICED COFFEE IN COLD MONTHS THE BARISTA TOLD ME. I immediately shouted, “WHAT DO YOU MEAAAAAAAAAAAN NO ICED COFFEE??? THIS IS A STARBUCKS ISN’T IT?!? IT’S COFFEE JUST THROW SOME ICE IN IT.” like seriously wtf.

    • alejandra

      needless to say, I no longer go to this knock-off starbucks.

  • Bongani

    This piece is funny but witfully written. Love

  • Cyd

    this made my day

  • michelle

    RLDS – love it!

  • Sunday State

    I really enjoyed this article! I think we all suffer from RLDS but to a different degree – generally the bigger the city you live in the worse your RLDS is. Read this article when you have time – its not from my blog, but this lady definitely suffers from acute RLDS and we all benefit from it by reading her blog 🙂

  • Avra Goldenblatt

    So funny! I love this story Amelia. I am too a closted Larry David. I had the gall to recently ask a man to step back from me in the “milk” line up at my local Starbucks. He was yelling into his phone to someone and standing practically on top of me as I was waiting to get closer to the bar to pour some nonfat into my coffee. I slowly turned around and said…”Can you just back up a bit and stop yelling into your phone!” The man started yelling at me. “You stupid C*nt! F-off and mind your own business! I was so shocked I was motionless. Everyone in the Starbucks came to a stop. Even the girls working behind the counter stopped dead in their tracks. No one said anything. He marched out into his waiting Porche. And then the women in front me said. At least your not married to him!
    Bravo on your Larry Davidness! I applaud you and I too will continue to say what I feel!

  • gotta say this post is pretty good. prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay, pretty good.


  • Reggiee

    I truly enjoy your’e unapologetic humor and sarcasm in every post on your blog. Thank you for letting us into your mind and style every day.

  • DFerrara

    I am dying…I love you internet lady.

  • Rebecca

    Leandra I completely can relate to your Larry David syndrome especially with my family. I always want to tell my dad he is drinking his coffee too loud. There is never (and I repeat never) a morning where I don’t hear him violently slurping his coffee, or coughing the mucus out of his throat. Urks the death out of me. Sometimes I’m so tempted to say “could ya tone it down over there with the slurping and the coughing?” People are weird though, and I have to admit I’m sure that both you and I do things that make other people want to say “Larry David” things to us too.

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  • Sale ice coffee and make money in Manhattan.

    The same thing happened to us in New York.

    Way back in 1996 we got at several joints near Penn.

    Then at one India resurgent that was Sunday.

    The manager called a aunty and asked us to wait.

    We were lucky she came and made good coffee for us.

  • Alexandra Evanson

    I love this because I felt the exact same way last week! I just couldnt find a cafe that did Ice Coffee!

  • Iva Quint

    Amelia you are me and I am you. And we are both Larry David.

  • Lua Jane

    Just read this again, via Facebook recommendation, and have to say that just by saying that -“Whenever someone cancels plans with me I’m absolutely elated at the prospect of spending an evening alone”, you Amelia have become my personal hero. Grumpy middle aged baldng man in a body of a thirty years old woman I am.

  • Samantha Kingston

    I think Amelia is my people. Really, maybe all people with Larry David-related issues are my people.