Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I was already out of breath and glistening* when I arrived at my very first SoulCycle class.

The day before, Olivia from season 11 of The Biggest Loser** posted on Facebook that she was teaching a free SoulCycle class on the Upper East Side. All you had to do was comment on her post and she would message you a confirmation and additional information.

I’ve been wanting to try SoulCycle for awhile now. People are obsessed with it. It’s like lululemon or iPhones or pork belly. I had to know what was so revolutionary about a spin class***. However, I had no idea that I regularly rub shoulders with so many closet trust fund babies. These classes are off the hook expensive. So I had resigned myself to just wondering about SoulCycle.

I commented on her status and excitedly awaited the arrival of the promised confirmation message.

It never came.

I thought it was strange. But I also had other shit going on, so I didn’t worry about it too much. I came to terms with the fact that maybe free SoulCycle was too good to be true.

At 1:10, fifty minutes before the class was set to begin, it occurred to me that her message might have gone to my “other” inbox. I don’t know when this “other” inbox came into existence, but I just recently became aware of it. Apparently Facebook arbitrarily decides which messages should go into your “regular” inbox and which should go into your “other” inbox. If a message is deemed “other”, you don’t receive a notification.

Sure enough, there were TWO messages from Olivia waiting for me. I had a bike with my name on it.

I was angry. I called my mom [as I am wont to do in these situations] and recounted the sequence of events.

Me: So now I’m pissed because I was so excited to take this class and meet Olivia [*cough*fangirl*cough*] and now I can’t.

Mom: Well. That’s your decision. [I HATE it when she says those kinds of mom things to me.]

Me: What? No it’s not! I have no control here!

Mom: You could still make it to the class on time, couldn’t you?

No. She was wrong.

Mark Zuckerberg was deliberately sabotaging my opportunity for free SoulCycle.

I needed time to mentally prepare myself for this class.

I hadn’t showered.

I was just another innocent victim of Facebook upgrades, and I was going to wallow in my self pity for the rest of the day.

And then I realized that she was right. I COULD, in fact, make it to the class on time. It was my choice.

So I made the choice to go. I ran to the subway. [Half marathon training and express train FTW!]

Olivia started class and announced that the theme was “comfortable being uncomfortable.” It seemed so serendipitously fitting. In my ideal world, I would have been preparing (mentally, water-bottle-and-sports-bra-gathering-wise, whatever) for hours before. But I decided that it was worth it to step outside of my comfort zone in order to attend class.

The class was awesome. I felt a little bit like an uncoordinated buffoon because I could not stay on the beat of the music at all. “We ride as a pack!” she exclaimed when the class started. Well. If we were a pride, I would have been the lion picked off by hyenas. I was NOT part of the pack, try as I might. But I had an amazing time nonetheless. The 45 minutes flew by. I loved the feeling of community [no thanks to me and my beat-less-ness] and accomplishment and jazziness [there is dancing and music and mood-lighting, oh my!]

I am painfully aware of the fact that, usually, when I force myself to do something that I don’t want to do, I have a lot of fun. I meet new people. I have experiences that are unfamiliar and awesome. My comfort zone is comfortable. It is also predictable, stagnant, oppressive at times.

I left class pondering “comfortable being uncomfortable” and I happened upon this sidewalk art.

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The universe was sending me messages. Messages received [no thanks to Mark Zuckerberg].

*In the interest of full disclosure, the glistening part isn’t that surprising. I’m a sweaty gal. My mom thinks it’s because I have Nordic blood, so I’m just naturally warmer. To be honest, my regular temperature is around 99.1, not 98.6. So I’ll just blame my Swedish ancestors and natural selection for my proclivity to perspire.

**You guys. I told you I LOVE The Biggest Loser. I wasn’t playing around when I said that. Olivia was one of my most favorite contestants of all time.

***I took a spin class once at Gold’s Gym and I would liken it to cruel and unusual torture. Apparently, there was a sub, and all of the class regulars decided to play hooky. There were 3 people in the class and the instructor knew I had never spun before, so he just spent the entire hour silently observing and judging my failure.

Girls, or Being Called a Fat Ass

While I was on tour, I started a note on my iPhone. It was entitled “Shows to Watch.” In my normal, non-tour life there are only two shows that I watch religiously: Dexter and The Biggest Loser. Everything else that I happen to see is usually a result of one of the following:

-It happens to be on TV while I am at the gym (hence my ridiculously high exposure to Say Yes to the Dress… errr… I would NEVER watch that show of my own volition… or something).

-My roommate DVRs it and our DVR isn’t nearing the 90% threshold, and he therefore has not gone through and deleted things he knows I might want to watch. (A favorite story: One day, I came home and he told me he had cleaned! Oh joy! “Yeah, I cleaned out the DVR”… which means he caught up on his TV watching. Hilarious.)

-It’s a truecrimedrama type show (Law and Order SVU, Criminal Minds, Cold Case) and I am with/missing my mama (she LOVES these kinds of shows).

Anyway, I arrived back in New York yesterday and had an overwhelming amount of unpacking to do. [Imagine nearly EVERYTHING you own packed into one small hallway closet. As I opened the many tightly packed suitcases and rehung countless jackets/sweaters/dresses, I vowed that I would NEVER complain about not having anything to wear ever, ever again.] Obviously, this unpacking monotony was the perfect opportunity to begin to tackle my “Shows to Watch” list. I had given Girls a chance before (I think I watched the first episode while simultaneously facebooking and texting), and had just sort of thought “meh.” Since the Golden Globes success (and the general public’s enthusiasm), I decided to give Girls a second go.

I watched all of season 1 and the first episode of season 2 yesterday. (I guess I liked it more than the first time… or something).

Remember during Sex and the City (or… even now…or in the pilot of Girls) when people would talk about what character they were most like? Obviously most people think they are/long to be Carrie. (This is only the result of the fact that her character is the most developed, in my opinion.) I find that practice annoying. I’m not going to go so far as to claim to be a “Hannah”, but I felt shame in how much I identified with her character. [Who wants to be Hannah? She is about as far from Carrie as you can possibly be! </snark>]

I suppose that’s sort of normal, right? Once again, she is the most developed character. She also is a twenty something, flailing through her New York City life. It’s sort of unremarkable that I, of a similar existence, would identify with her. I guess I’m most intrigued by the fact that I feel shame about that.

I’m sure that the shame stems from the fact that Hannah is an “undesirable” in our society. If I identify with Hannah, does that make me equally blobby?

On New Year’s Eve, I went out with a friend in the thriving metropolis that is the San Francisco suburbs. It was anticlimactic. At 1:48, while we were peacefully sipping our end-o-the-night waters in the corner, the bouncer told us it was time to leave.

Me: Sir, this bar doesn’t close until 2:00.

Bouncer: It’s 2:00.

Me: Uh. No it’s not. It’s 1:48.

Bouncer: No it’s not. It’s 2:00. [He holds up his phone which clearly says the time is 1:48]

Me: Your phone says 1:48!

Bouncer: Yeah. It’s time to go.

[Honestly, we were just trying to sober up in the corner. We were drinking water. And the bar was still full.]

Me/My Friend: It’s fine. We’ll leave. At least we’re not going home alone like you.

[It’s foggy who actually said this. I don’t know why either of us would, but one of us did. I’m pretty sure the implication here was that he was just a mean person.]

Bouncer: I’m married. And besides, I would NEVER take your fat ass home.

We walked to her car. I fumed. [Anyone who knows me knows that I can get riled up REAL fast.] She settled into the backseat to continue the sobering up process. I stormed back to the bar.

Me [pointing at Bouncer]: Can I have a word with you?

Bouncer: Uh. Sure?

I proceeded to hand him a piece of my [somewhat inebriated] mind. I told him that in a society where women are bombarded by ridiculous body expectations and images of unattainable beauty standards, it’s shameful that he would fling the term “fat ass” so nonchalantly, unapologetically. I surely belabored the point more than necessary because, well, I had consumed a few cocktails to ring in the New Year.

He apologized.

I have infinite body issues. My weight fluctuates a lot. I emotionally eat.

And sometimes when I’m drunk, I will dole out my liberal, feminist, wanna-be body-confident propaganda.

PS I wrote part of this entry while going to the bathroom. Put that in the Hannah column.

You Must Take the A [well, actually the N] Train

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[Scene: On a Queens bound subway platform, 3:00 am.]

[Time: In the not so distant past]

 

Gentleman: Excuse me, do you know if this train goes to Queens?

Me: Yes.

Gentleman: Oh, ok. Thanks. I’m on my way to visit my mom. She lives there.

Pause.

Two things.

1. If your mom lives in Queens, how do you not know how to get there?

2. Why are you visiting your mom at 3:00 in the morning?

 Play.

[A train arrives.]

Gentleman: Do you mind if I ride with you?

Me: Uhh…

[The “Gentleman” takes this as a “yes”.]

Gentleman: So do you have a boyfriend?

Me: Yes. [Lies, obviously I do not.]

Gentleman: How long have you been dating?

Me: Two years.

Gentleman: That’s not that long. [Really?] Do you love him?

Me: Yes.

Gentleman: What’s he like?

Me: Uhhh… Huh?

Gentleman: I’m just, ya’ know, wondering what I can do to bag a girl like you.

Me: Uhh… [eliminating the term “bag a girl” from your vocabulary might be a good start.]

Gentleman: So can I get your number?

Me: Um, remember how I have a boyfriend?

The doors of the train open at 5th Avenue/59th Street and The “Gentleman” gets off. I thought he was going to see his mom in Queens? Weird…

[Two weeks later. Same exact location on same exact Queens bound subway platform.]

I hear someone approach me from behind, “Excuse me, does this train go to Queens?”

I turn around and it is The “Gentleman”. He sees my face, does a 180, and books it in the other direction.

Who knew that feigned subway map ignorance could be such an effective [ahem] pick-up method?

Image from: zero per zero via treehugger

… And Whatnot

Below, I present to you [unedited] another real life OKC message I received. You can’t make this shit up, folks. I can’t possibly imagine what my aversion to online dating could be…

I’ll start off being as straight forward and honest as can be…You’re cute, and we both know it..But I’m not looking for dating partners, or a long term relationship. Not saying that I’m opposed to a relationship, I actually enjoy them. But I’m a firm believer that the things you truly want/need come to you when you’re not looking for them. Therefore, I’m just looking for a cute gal like yourself to sit on my face and what not, and let me give you nothing but pleasure until you’re satisfied or simply can’t take any more. I’m Drama/Drug/Disease free and live in NJ. If you’re interested in being pleased by a young man who will not stop until you are satisfied, then let us chat. 


No. Seriously. Who, who, WHO sends these sorts of messages?! Honestly!

I wrote him back, cause, well… I am sickly curious about these sorts of things:

Um. How often does this work for you?!? 


I think he was kicked off of OKC cause his profile no longer exists. Damn. What a loss for the digital space.

Damn U R Hawt!

When I created my OkCupid profile, I wanted to make sure I got the most out of my experience. I knew that OKC was going to send me Quiver Matches and suggested matches everyday. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t do anything to limit my options through these channels. At the very end of profile completion, the questionnaire asks what you are looking for. The options are:

-Short term dating
-Long term dating
-New friends
-Activity partners
-Long-distance pen-pals
-Casual sex

I checked all of the options.

What if my SOULMATE said that he was ONLY interested in long-distance pen-pals (really, OKC? REALLY?!), and by NOT checking “long-distance pen-pals”, I would not be sent to him as a Quiver Match, and he would never discover me on OkCupid and we would never meet and I would die an old maid.

Seriously.

That is how my mind functions.

What I DIDN’T realize [because I was totally new to the site] is that these choices show up at the bottom of your profile. It has nothing to do with your Quiver Matches or suggested matches or the Old Maid scenario that I had envisioned in its entirety.

So I immediately received this message [I’ve included it totally unedited for your reading pleasure]:


Hey there! I won’t take up much of your time and I hope this message finds you well. You have probably been hit with one liners that says…”hey sexy”, “Sup baby!!” or “damn u r hawt”. That’s not going to happen here. I wanted to be original and be the first to try something new from the normal and yet annoying messages you probably receive on a regular basis. I wanted to write you an appropriate message and hope you appreciate it! I looked through your profile and it has piqued my interest and I’d like to know more about you.

I too am an actor! Do you have an agent? You seem like someone I’d love to just shoot the shit with and just have the most craziest conversations with!

Now for the moment of truth part of this message. I do have to be honest with you on 2 things:
1) The fact that you reply “selectively” made me even more apprehensive in messaging you. So I’m not expecting you to reply back to me. Maybe you will surprise me.
2) I would like to have ongoing casual sex with you. I see you want that too. However, I don’t JUST want sex tho. I’d like to hang and chill out with you also.

I hope this message at least put a smile on your face and I didn’t offend you. If you are interested and are serious about it, let’s see where it goes. Hope to hear back from you. Have a good one.

PS: I have a thing for short white women 🙂


Ok.

1. It’s true, sir. You are right. I do get a lot of messages that just say “sup baby.” You win a point here. [Which, by the way, is the reason why I reply “selectively.” I mean, “replies selectively” doesn’t take into account the QUALITY of the messages that I am receiving.]

2. Wait. You haven’t met me and your first message to me propositions me with “ongoing casual sex” yet you preface this by saying “I wanted to write you an appropriate message…”? What?!? I mean, let’s call a spade a spade. I DID say [accidentally, as it were, but you don’t know that] that I was “looking” for casual sex. Just say “wanna fuck?” and don’t try to act like it’s appropriate because you are long-winded in doing so.

3. I immediately changed what I was looking for. Lesson learned. Currently looking for: long-term dating, short-term dating, new friends.

Classy and Fabulous

Dear People of the Information Superhighway,

Hello! Welcome to my blog. Take off your coat! Can I get you a drink? I know it’s still a little barren here, but I’ve only just moved in and I’m still trying to get settled. I had grand visions of having a black and white and red theme (or mint and peach and cream) with a lower case cursive header. Sadly, such a theme did not exist in the “Free Themes” section of WordPress. Mama can’t afford to pay for a theme (or a custom design, for that matter). So, we’ll stick with the Twenty Eleven theme until this blog lands me a book deal, sold at all of the Urban Outfitters across the nation. (Kidding. Unless you, whoever you are, DO want to offer me a book deal. Then, I am your writing monkey.)

This is actually my second foray into the blog-o-sphere. My first blog, sadly, led me into a deep, dark pit of despair. It made me sad. Sometimes, I dreaded writing it. Most of the time I didn’t have much of anything to say, save to recount the embarrassing, painful things that had happened in my (recent and ancient) past.

It was about my dating life.

Clearly, I could not continue to blog in such a self-destructive, self-loathing manner.

So, here I am.

2013.

As I rang in the new year, I had two horrendous realizations:

  1. I turn 30 this year.
  2. Much to Coco Chanel’s chagrin, I would probably not, in all instances, describe my life as classy and fabulous.

While I can’t really do much of anything about Item 1, I can surely make it less painful (and, dare I say it, extremely enjoyable) by eradicating Item 2. So. I’m just going to focus on being classy and fabulous and watch everything else fall into place. Easy as pie.

I’ve compiled a list of sorts. I’m not going to call them resolutions. They are just suggestions or goals for this year (and beyond, I suppose).

Ideally, I’d like there to be 30 items on this list. So, it’s a work in progress. Like me.

  1. No soda. [This is the only real resolution on this list.] I gave up soda for like 8 months once before, but then I started drinking it again. Not only are all those chemicals pretty gnarly, I can only imagine how much money I throw at Pepsico/CocaCola every year. One 20 ounce bottle of soda per day (~$2) equals $730 per year. WHAT?!?! $730?!? And I guarantee you that my actual expenditure on soda per year was more than that. Just doing that math gives me anxiety. I should probably not even think about the dollars and just focus on not drinking soda. #soda
  2. Finally reach my goal weight. Weight. Boo. This is a boring item. Next!  #body
  3. Run a half marathon (and maybe a marathon?). I’M REGISTERED! I’m going to be running the NYC Half Marathon on March 17 for Think Pink Rocks, a breast cancer charity. My 10 week training program starts on Monday. #run
  4. Make a budget and follow it. I’ll just say it: I’m TERRIBLE with money. Awful. Horrible. I’ve never been on a budget (that explains my credit card bills). Part of this budget is going to include not ever using my credit cards ever, ever again (except for emergencies and flights. And shoes. Wait. No. Not shoes. I think. Unless they’re emergency shoes? This is not going to be easy). #budget
  5. Get called back for The Broadway.  And book it. (I’d be happy with a callback first, though.) #broadway
  6. Book a regional job for the summer. I’d like this for no other reason than the fact that New York is absolutely miserable in August. Miserable. But also, really, because I like to act for dollars, much more than I like to do anything else for dollars (uh… like wait tables, you dirty!). And really, I would even act NOT for dollars except that I have this thing about shoes… #summer
  7. Go to Europe (London and Paris). I haven’t been since I studied abroad in 2003 and that is absolutely unacceptable. #europe
  8. Drink less. I’m going to be 30, not 21. My liver and I have had some raucous adventures. It’s time to simmmah down now. (I’m kicking off this initiative with a sober January. Rough.) #temperance
  9. No more drunk texts. If we’re being completely honest here, drunk texts are probably the sole reason that Number 8 of this list exists. That’s all I’m going to say about that. #texting
  10. Cook more. I have enough delivery.com points to get a delivery.com Snuggie. Shameful. I could probably count on one hand the number of actual, non-frozen meals I have prepared for myself in my apartment. That’s pathetic. And also expensive. (I’m not even going to attempt to do the math on food like I did on soda. The money I’ve spent to have someone else make me mediocre chicken pesto paninis and walk them up six flights of stairs to my door is abhorrent.) #cook
  11. Leave the apartment looking like someone loves me. Sometimes I leave my apartment with greasy hair, mismatched clothes, no jacket, and no mascara. People think I’m 12 or I’m homeless. Not really, but I look like I don’t give a shit. Some people can rock that look. I, unfortunately, am not one of those people. #ifeelpretty
  12. Be kind. To others and self. Duh. #kind
  13. Volunteer. Most of the time, I lead a pretty selfish existence. (What do you want from me? I’m a single 20-something living in Manhattan.) Anyway, it’s time for me to think of someone (or something) other than myself. I’m going to volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter (cause we can’t have pets in our building and my roommate doesn’t like animals anyway. So, maybe this isn’t as selfless as I’d hoped. Oh well. I’ll still be volunteering, and that’s what counts!) #volunteer
  14. Get a tattoo. It’s happening. I know what and where. I just have to build up the courage. And the funds. #tattoo
  15. Learn to cook proteins. I can’t cook proteins at all. When I cook chicken, it (no fail) has this weird white film all around it. Gross. Once, I bought rack of lamb at Whole Foods (uh – that shit is EXPENSIVE) and I followed a recipe and… well… I should have just gone out for it. #protein
  16. Learn to make French macaroons. They are just so delicious. And so ridiculously expensive. I bet I could make some bangin’ macaroons. #macaroons
  17. Go on some dates. (Maybe fall in love). I mean who doesn’t want to fall in love, right? I pretty much suck at being on okcupid. I’m going to try and make a better effort at that. I’ll stop not responding to messages that people send to me. At the very least, I’ll have some good tales to tell. #dating
  18. Audition for some plays. I still have grand dreams of playing Juliet someday. I know she’s 14 and I’m 29. Maybe I’ll play her in my retirement home (and Annie, too). I don’t EVER go on play auditions. That is just silly. #audition
  19. Keep my room clean. It’s just so much easier to throw my clothes on the floor when I’m done with them. #room
  20. Wash my face before bed every night. I have a nasty habit of going to bed with my makeup still on (uh… that is, when I actually PUT it on – see Item 11). This is so bad for my skin! And it ages me! And it irritates my eyeballs! Stop it right now! #face
  21. Learn to sew. I think I sort of have aspirations of someday being on Project Runway. That is obviously never going to happen. But I WOULD like to be able to hem my pants and do my own mending. (That makes me think of Little House on the Prairie. Maybe I should add “learn to churn butter” to this list?) My mom sewed her own wedding gown. Can you even?!? #sew
  22. Read one book per month. Don’t laugh at me. I know this is a pitifully low number. I just get so distracted! It’s hard for me to focus on reading when there is internet and TV and bars and coffee shops and sleeping. I’ve been reading Devil in the White City for an embarrassingly long amount of time. #books
  23. Be happy. Duh. #happy
  24. Organize my closets. Really, really organize. Donate, keep, mend, trash piles. Do the backwards hanger trick. Just do it. #closet

Here’s to a classy and fabulous me.

Erin