We Live Here

For the last few weeks I’ve been having a lot of anxiety. To spare you the fine workings of my inner-craziness, I’ll just boil it down to this: there isn’t enough fucking time.

There isn’t enough time to bake.
There isn’t enough time to go to the holiday markets.
There isn’t enough time to sip a spiked hot chocolate and admire my Christmas tree.
There isn’t enough time to eat healthy foods and go to the gym.
There isn’t enough time to make money.

You get the picture.

Anyway, after doing some soul-searching to quell my over-commitment-induced anxiety, I decided that I needed to prioritize things. This year, I’ve decided that the first priority in my life is holiday merry-making.

I want to enjoy all of the holiday cheer that this fine city of New York has to offer. When I leave New York in a week, I will continue my merry-making extravaganza in California. My days are going to be so merry and bright that sunglasses will be required.

In an effort to juice this holiday season raw, I’ve packed my calendar full of events: ice skating in Central Park, viewing the tree at Rockefeller Center, an ugly-sweater paint-your-own-pottery event, drinks with friends (both impromptu and planned), spontaneous Christmas movie viewings, and of course a whole slew of holiday parties, Mr. Fezziwig style.

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New York City is at my absolute favorite in December. The cold doesn’t get me down because it is part of the holiday magic. (I’d kindly ask Mother Nature to be done with snow and bitter cold come January 2, thankyousomuch.) It’s even grand to do touristy things at this time of year. The city is dressed up in its finest for us locals, too! The big star on Fifth Avenue, the tree, the lights on 55th Street, garlands in restaurants, trees on the sidewalk in front of CVS: it’s all part of the magic.

On Sunday, my friend Matt and I indulged in some Magnolia-eating, tree-viewing, Christmas-shopping, strolling-through-the-snow moments. When we arrived at the tree, we took the requisite pictures of each other individually in front of the tree.

[NB: I was feeling a little “down and out”, as they say, and so I put on my Sunday clothes: a fabulous vegan fur coat I acquired from a charming thrift store in Tennessee, a huge Adele-style bun, and some 6 inch stilettos. There’s no blue Monday in your Sunday clothes! I had a wonderful time, and kept singing “I am faaab-u-lous, baby!” as I strolled down the street, arm in arm with my dear friend.]

After we had taken individual photos, we searched the crowd for a person who seemed capable of taking a picture of us together [able to use an iPhone and aware of the fact that we wanted ourselves AND the tree in the picture. Sometimes it’s hard to find these people]. We located our prospective photographer and I approached her.

“Excuse me? Would you mind taking our picture?”

“Sure! No problem!” she obliged.

When we were done, I offered, “Would you like us to take yours?” She was with a friend.

She laughed, “No thanks. We live here!” More laughter.

“So do we,” I responded.

At that moment, I was pretty thankful for the fact that I could still find joy after 5 years in my gorgeous city, even among the tourists.

Here’s to days filled with love, merriment, gingerbread cookies, mulled wine, wonderful friends, giving for the joy it brings, and feeling thankful.

Go juice your holidays raw.

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OkCupid: Back In The Game?

Last night, I had a conversation with a friend who said that if I’m ACTUALLY looking to date someone, OkCupid might not be my best outlet. 

WHAT?!?!

Slash. Duh. I’ve sorta put OkCupid on the back-burner because of Snatched and because… well… it hasn’t been that fruitful. [Though it HAS provided hours of entertainment!]

Yesterday, as I was leaving my therapist’s office, there was a gentleman with two adorable dogs outside. As I passed him, he stopped me. 

DogGuy: What does your shirt say? I’m a…?

Me: I’m a music nut. Cute dogs! Are they yorkies?

DogGuy: Yeah, they’re actually teacup yorkies. We* got really lucky cause they have no health issues or anything. 

Me: Well they are super cute. 

DogGuy: So.. um… I didn’t actually stop you because I wanted to know what your shirt said. I think you’re really attractive, and I was wondering if you might want to go out and get a drink or dinner or something sometime. 

Me: Uh… [I hesitate, but then I remember that it is the Summer of Yes, and so…] Yeah. Sure.

DogGuy: Cool! You know. I mean. How do you hit on people these days? Like this? Like on the sidewalk? I’m usually not this awkward, but you know, it’s summer and I’m tired of being alone and going home alone and… [trails off..]

Me: Yeah… I know what you mean.

DogGuy: Cool, well can I get your number? 

Me: Sure. 

[We do the number exchange.]

DogGuy: Oh! California! Cool!

Me: Yeah, it’s the best. I love it there. 

DogGuy: Yeah. Well, I’m from New York… But I’ve lived in other places like Atlanta and stuff, so I’m not a total weirdo or crazy or… you know… [trails off again]. 

You guys. What can I say? It’s the Summer of Yes. The answer is always yes, right? [*Also, who is this ‘we’?]

And, lest we think that awkward pick-ups on New York City streets are sort of unbearable, I present you with a round-up of recent messages:

SuitorWithNoProfilePicture: Gorgeous pics and your profile piqued my interest. New to OKC and still figuring this place out a bit. Im 6′, 180lbs, short brown hair, blue eyes, broad shoulders, athletic, cute and VERY well endowed (I promise). Id love to chat and see what you are looking for in here. Hope that youre having a good weekend and that we can chat soon…Ill be online for a bit.

I haven’t responded, but I’m thinking the ONLY appropriate response is: Pictures or I don’t believe it. [And you KNOW what sort of pictures I’m talking about…]

Obviously I’m trying to find love where others are just trying to get laid. 

NightOwl: Come have some free wine with me at a lounge in the village, lil cute Blonde~~>! Just a thought

This message was received at 1:40 am. I mean… I MAY be on OkCupid at 1:40 am, but I am ALSO most definitely in my bed. I think I have a post-1:00 am trump-card for Summer of Yes, right?

You guys. I CAN’T WIN! Spinsterhood is sounding more appealing by the hour. 

Spring Has Sprung

Today, Mother Nature has decided that it is Spring [in case you believed Punxsutawney Phil had a say in this scenario: you were wrong]. This has been confirmed by the fact that my apartment windows have been dive-bombed by pigeons twice this morning. What can I say? Even the flying rats are deliriously happy that the cold is peacing out. 

This glorious day has me dreaming of warm weather activities on the horizon. Even though I haven’t lived in California for a long-ass time, the seasons are still something of a novelty to me.

A few things that I am anxiously anticipating with the arrival of Spring and Summer:

Dining outside
Taking a trip to Lake Tahoe for my cousin’s bachelorette party
Finding the perfect white purse*
Strolling in Central Park; bemoaning the fact that you can’t swim in the boating pond (is that just me?)
Planning summer beach trips
Sipping margaritas at Blockheads
Wearing maxi dresses, sun dresses, and leather sandals
Acquiring tan lines that somehow force their way upon my body (despite my rigorous application of SPF 70)
Putting fresh flowers in vases in my apartment
Puppies!**
Dreaming of tropical vacations
Taking a road trip to Delaware with some of the loveliest people I know
Gazing at stars from Brooklyn rooftops
Drinking beers cause they are the only thing that beat the heat
Eating hotdogs at Yankee Stadium (or Shake Shack at Citi Field)
Lamenting the humidity (Oh wait. I’m not actually looking forward to that.)
Yellow, pink, bright green
Long hours of sunlight
Avocados
Loving New York City again (it’s hard to do in the Winter!)
Anticipating awesomeness 

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*I once had the perfect white purse. Sadly, it was defective and I had to send it back to Kate Spade. Unfortunately for me, LOTS of other people also thought it was the perfect purse and it was completely sold out. I think about that purse, and miss it, much more than I should. 

**My mom is getting TWO PUPPIES! I CAN’T WAIT!!! I told her that she should name them Babs and Judy. 

Her: I don’t like those names for dogs. I like DOG names. 
Me: Ok. Well… Maybe when you get them, I’ll just CALL them Babs and Judy. 
Her: If you do that, I’m not getting any dogs!

[Stay tuned for pictures of two dogs that I will NOT be calling Babs and Judy… even though I want to!]

What are you looking forward to?

Semper Fi: Always Faithful?

As a Manhattanite, it takes some pretty exceptional circumstances to get me to leave my borough. Convincing me to go to Brooklyn is much easier than getting me to haul my ass to Queens. (I used to live there. I’m allowed to say that.) Unluckily for me (and fortunately for my Queens-dwelling friends) there is a bar that I will traverse subway and bridge for, nestled in the heart of Astoria. The drinks are amazing, the patrons are super chill, and I have a gigantic crush on one of the bartenders.

[True story: one night, with the help of a few too many pickletinis, I left him a note in the check presenter on the postcard that accompanied my credit card slip. It read:

Do you like me?
Circle one:
Yes No Maybe
Erin
212.555.5555

No, he never called me. But that’s ok, I have faith that love will persevere! Oh to be young and dumb again…]

Anyway, one fateful eve when I decided to grace this outer borough with my presence, two friends and I just so happened to stumble into my favorite bar (I can’t possibly imagine who orchestrated that…) We settled on some stools just a stone’s throw away from the bar and hunkered down for some hardcore Friday-nighting.

Within an hour or so, we were approached by two gentlemen. They told us that they had been in the armed forces, one in the Army and one in the Marines. Somehow, against all odds, they became friends (they were like a modern day, wartime The Fox and The Hound). Marine took a likin’ to me and we chatted it up a bit. He ordered himself a drink while we were conversing. Eventually, he needed another.

“Can I buy you one?” he asked.

“Uh… Sure!” I replied.

When our drinks arrived I began sipping mine, but apparently his wasn’t to his satisfaction. He had it remade (3 times).

Eventually he asked me for my phone number. I was hesitant, but (like always) I was trying to break out of my comfort zone and I obliged.

Then, Marine and Army made the fastest exit I have ever witnessed in my entire life.

As some seats had opened at the bar, my friends and I decided to move as to have better access to my friend, the hot bartender. The waitress informed us that it would be best for us to close out with her before moving. She arrived with my tab and imagine my shock when upon it appeared:

1. The drinks I had purchased for myself
2. The drinks Marine had purchased for himself
3. The drink Marine had “bought” me

Apparently he had helped himself to my tab. (He had somehow been convincing enough to the waitress when telling her to which tab the drinks should be applied.)

That is some shady ass shit.

Always Faithful? Not so sure about that.

G.R.I.T.S.

When I was a sophomore in college, there was a freshman who lived on my floor. I think she was from Virginia, and boy did she want everyone to know it. In my self-concocted back story of her, her parents hosted her debutante ball immediately before packin’ her up for the vast and exotic Midwest. Sadly for her, she just wasn’t quite getting it. Her hair was usually a mop of frizz surrounding her face. Her eyeshadow was a smear of blue across her lids. Her dresses looked like they’d never been pressed. Her purse was an explosion of papers, pens, cell phone, tampons. She only had one pearl earring in. Now, the only reason why I would even NOTICE that this girl was a mess was because she wasn’t wearing the uniform of all the other gals on campus: no makeup, pajama bottoms, side ponytail. She was trying hard and failing monumentally. [True story: I once walked in on her in our dorm’s tiny gym. She was on the elliptical besuited thusly: full face of makeup, a pearl necklace, jean shorts, knee high socks, and open toe wedge sandals. I shit you not.]

Anyway. On her dorm room door, she proudly placed a sign that read:

I LOVE G.R.I.T.S.
(Guys Raised In The South)

Fast forward a few [ahem] years to me living in New York City. I had plans to meet a friend at a bar in my neighborhood. I was obviously running late, and arrived to find her already nuzzled up to some brown liquor. I ordered a drink, and somehow amidst the chaos of arrival managed to immediately knock the drink over with my elbow.

“That girl is an asshole!” I heard someone shout from a few stools down.

“YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE!” I retorted. [Creative, I know.]

Apparently, this “gentleman” wasn’t expecting such a ferocious response because he immediately approached me, tail between his legs, and apologized. I wasn’t about to let him off the hook that quickly. He took a seat next to me and worked inspiringly hard to gain a spot in my good graces. We began chatting, I forgave him for his prior outburst, and learned that he was new to the city, fresh from Atlanta (by way of Alabama). Eventually, he asked me if I would go out for tapas with him the following Tuesday. He took down my phone number and promised to text me the next morning.

What do you know? I awoke the next morning to said promised text from that Southern Gentleman.

In my experience, the odds of this happening are about 1 in 4,539,324.

On Tuesday, as is inevitable, I texted him that I was running late. I arrived at the restaurant about 15 minutes after our original meeting time. The Southern Gentleman was nowhere to be found. Twenty minutes later, he strolled down the sidewalk, explaining that he had been watching college basketball with his friends, the time slipped away from him, and they “forced” him to do a shot before he left. Also, the restaurant that he had chosen didn’t take reservations and there was now a 45 minute wait. Fail.

His charm quickly assuaged any snarktastic feelings I was having toward him, and we were soon bouncing around the West Village. Our conversation was lovely, and I wondered why, 4 hours earlier, I had contemplated sending the “Sorry, I’m not feeling well” text message.

We arrived at our final stop of the evening [French Lavender Martini is to die for] and secured two seats at the bar. Feeling the effects of a few glasses of wine and the deliriousness that accompanies a new crush, we engaged in some good old fashioned snogging right then and there. He then dropped the following bombshells on me.

1. He was raised by a single mother, who is, in a word, a rockstar. His father had never been in the picture, but she was the CEO and owner of an international business with offices in Miami, New York City, and Dublin. Awesome, right? A mama’s boy with an appreciation for strong, independent women. HOWEVER, he then informed me that he just recently quit his last job because his Supervisor was a female, and though she was his friend, he could not report to a woman.

[WHAT?! Did I just jump in a Delorean and travel back to 1953?!?!]

2. The shot that his friends had “forced” him to take before the date was actually SIX SHOTS. And 3 hours of beer drinking. [He had just quit his job, remember. So, he had been drinking since the early afternoon. On a weekday.] So basically, he arrived at our date wasted.

[He did say that he was really nervous, so… I guess we can forgive this one for now? Except that it was the beginning of a pattern wherein he arrived at our next two dates at least 4 drinks ahead of me.]

3. As we were ordering our second round of drinks, he informed our bartender that he was “Yelp Elite” and essentially insisted that she give us a free round in exchange for a positive review. As someone who worked in the service industry, I could feel the rage oozing from her every pore. He was oblivious. We eventually DID get a free round of drinks, for an entirely unrelated reason, thanks only to me.

[“Yelp Elite”? Ugh. Please. Tell me you’re a blogger for Eater and maybe I’ll feign interest. Also, trying to leverage that for free drinks? While on a date? Classy.]

These red flags aside, I DID still have a nice time with him. However, I was in the midst of a drama with another boy, so I was essentially unresponsive to his text messages and requests to hang out [and there were many].

Maybe G.R.I.T.S just can’t be stomached by this California-born Yankee.