August 2012

I Hate You

August 28, 2012

Tom is my cousin. He is A LOT like me, but he’s got a mustache instead of bangs.

Peg is his wife. She’s like a sister to me. She knows she can call me any time Tom acts a fool. His actions are easy for me to explain. We basically share a brain.

Tom and Peg are the closest I’ve ever come to having siblings. I love them. So much.

I also love their children, Samantha and Jake.

I especially love when they prepare meals for me. Everything that comes out of their kitchen is made from scratch. All I have to do is bring booze and tell stories/jokes.

At dinner one night (while we were assumedly passing some type of salty meat), Tom made fun of my necklace in front of his kids. It’s not unusual for them to make fun of something I’m wearing. I often try to broaden their backwoods horizons. But he made fun of one of my favorite pieces of jewelry…

If Tom knew what I paid for this Tarina Tarantino pendant, he probably would have slapped me upside my head. Thankfully, he wasn’t concerned about my spending habits. He and Jake were more distracted by the message I was proudly parading around my neck.

Jake, who could not have been more than five or six years old at the time, looked me square in the eyes and said – NATALIE, WE DO NOT HATE.

Jake was/is right. It takes so much energy to hate. Hatred is such an ugly, unnecessary emotion/action. This little man-boy is wise way beyond his years. Jake is good for this world. Jake is awesome-r than the movie Tombstome. He’s cooler than Wyatt Earp…

THAT BEING SAID…I’m kind of cranky right now…and I can think of a handful of things I actually do hate. Hate is real. And I’m going to write about it right now.

Sorry Jake.

I hate…

Ingrown hairs. I don’t feel like a whole lot more needs to be said about ingrown hairs. They just seem like a really cruel way to ruin an otherwise beautiful Brazilian wax.

Morning people. What, exactly, is the point of a morning person? Nothing good happens before brunch (or 10 a.m.).

Cap sleeves. The least flattering sleeve. Ever. Who thought of this cut? Somebody with amazing arms, I’m sure. I hate them too.

Goldschläger. You do not need to know why I hate it. Just know that I hate it more than all three of the other things I already mentioned – combined.

When grown-ups do not use their words. I’m going to use myself as an example. I imagine this situation is not exclusive to me (at least I hope not). If I upset you, or hurt your feelings, or irritate you or if you just have a straight bone to pick with me – TELL ME. Because, well, words are my thing. I will talk to you about almost anything…BUT YOU HAVE TO TALK TO ME. I am not a mind reader and even if I sense something is wrong, I am not going to beg you for more information – because we should not be incapable of using our communication skills as adults. I will always take responsibility for my mistakes (if it’s legitimately my fault), I will apologize (if I actually owe you an apology), I will even feel bad and I will try to make it up to you (I swear I will)…but I WILL NOT take responsibility for your feelings if you do not share them with me. You have to talk to me about them. I would talk to you about my feelings. I would talk to the world about my feelings…obviously.

Bunco. I don’t know what my deal is, but I hate Bunco. You can hate me for hating Bunco. I would understand-ish.

Tight underwear. I remember the first time a pair of my underwear felt tight around my hips. I wanted to fling myself into oncoming traffic. It just didn’t seem fair. I know I earned it, but still. I suppose I should have turned down a few pork tamales here and there. Whatever.

Spanx. They seem like a good idea when you put them on. And, for the most part, they help in the ways they say they’re going to help. Then they roll down around your waist as soon as you sit down in your car. Or they pinch your thighs in a weird place. Or it’s impossible to go to the bathroom in them. Or you can get them off to go to the bathroom – but you can’t ever get them back on – at least not in the same place you had them the first time around. Or people can tell you have them on when you walk or when they hug you. Or you can barely breathe. Or you sweat to death in them. Spanx are stupid. They had to be created by a man who had his heart seriously broken by a chubby…err…curvy chick. And he wanted to punish her with an expensive body shaper that would just enslave her and her curves for the rest of her life. He wanted her to be uncomfortable without him. That bastard. Do what I do ladies. Forget how much you hate them…put them on…and then remember how much you loathe them about eight minutes after you leave the house – and rip those @#$%ers off the first time you go to the ladies room. Leave all $60 behind in the first women’s restroom you can find. That’s what I do. I am one classy, blunt-banged broad. I can’t help myself.

Driving with my mother. I know she has been driving for like three more decades than I…but it’s terrifying. Really. I’d rather drive with Miss Red Pants.

Men that moisturize. Ok, I don’t really hate men that moisturize. But I’m sort of irresponsible in this area (just in THIS area). So…when I dated a guy that wouldn’t go to bed until his face was washed and moist…it kind of creeped me out. Needless to say, he didn’t like dirty, dry me for all that long. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Coors Light. You have to hate Coors Light if you love Bud Light. It’s a fact. Bud Light-4-Eva.

Long distance relationships. During some girl talk last night, I remembered just how horrible long distance relationships are/can be. There aren’t enough plane tickets, phone calls, emails, road trips, cards or text messages in the world to make this kind of relationship easy. Bleh.

Running (insert the look on Bob’s face when he reads this…here).

Dry limes. You know the kind. The kind that are worthless to your Ketel One.

Adam Levine. Let me be very clear about what I hate about Adam Levine. The only thing I hate about this man is that he is thinner than me. It’s hard to have an undying love for a front man that is thinner than you. What if I broke his tattooed, amazing-pelvic-muscle-having, please-sing-me-a-song Adam Levine body? That would be mortifying. Surely, someone would burn my house down for breaking Adam Levine.

Pictures of me without bangs. I want them all to perish.

Ugh. All that hatred was exhausting. I need a nap. Or some Sauvignon Blanc.

And Jake – we only hate for the purpose of blog posts. Don’t ask your father about this. Your mother will explain.

 

 

 

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Are You Listening To Me?

August 24, 2012

I’ve only been there twice. Both times – I’ve considered never coming back.

I love New York.

I don’t love the humidity (it wreaked havoc on my hair). And I’m not so sure this California girl could survive the snow. But New York takes my breath away.

So did this afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art…

I missed the lunch hour (by miss, I mean I was only capable of digesting Diet Coke…YEAH for tying one on in Times Square!). Around 4 p.m., I was finally ready for solid food.

I walked over to the MoMa. Entrance into the museum was free that day. I knew it was meant to be.

I admittedly didn’t stop to appreciate the art. I went straight to the café. I know what you’re thinking. How could I? Right? At that point, I was just desperate for some noodles and a meatball (or five).

After about a 35 minute wait, I realized they “misplaced” my meal. While I was waiting, I drank a carafe of Sauvignon Blanc (I have no self control). The café staff felt so bad for making me wait, they gave me another carafe on the house. Obviously, this impromptu trip to the MoMa really was meant to be.

I took my time. I know it’s hard to believe – but I actually enjoyed the silence (and the Sauv Blanc).

After I finished my pasta, I started to pack up my stuff.

I noticed a new number (the kind they use to find you when your food is ready) had been set down in front of me.

There were nine empty seats at the table. Apparently, somebody felt like they MUST sit in the one directly across from me. They had to sit REALLY close to me. Weird.

Normally, I’m open to this type of adventure. But I was full, I was “sleepy” and I was perfectly content tweeting/texting (I do this a lot). I wanted a nap more than a new friend.

Whomever set their number down was nowhere to be found. So, the server delivered their cold glass of milk, pea gratin and seasonal fruit crisp to me. He just assumed we were together. Why wouldn’t he? It didn’t look like I was dining alone. It looked like I was on a date. I didn’t even try to explain.

I felt bad leaving the food unattended…so I waited, with my phone and bags in hand, for this person to come back.

He was too good to be true…

This little old man was slightly hunched over. He shuffled his feet when he walked. He wore thick, black-rimmed glasses (that gave him sort of an artistic edge). He was in an outfit that was perfectly put together. I bet he’d been wearing the same outfit for the better part of 80 (plus) years. And this outfit would always be in style…on him.

I smiled at him. It was impossible not to smile at him. I still wanted to leave – but he wanted to tell me why he walked away – and left me to receive his order.

He took the subway, from Brooklyn, to the MoMa – every Friday night. And every Friday night, he would order a glass of milk, the pea gratin and the seasonal fruit crisp. The seasonal fruit crisp was his favorite.

This Friday night, they had accidentally charged him for two seasonal fruit crisps. He went to see the cashier to explain – and to be reimbursed.

While he was talking (rather slowly), I glanced down at my phone. I had received a few texts. I responded to one of the text messages while he was mid-sentence. While my head was down, he barked at me.

“Are you listening to me?”

That was all he said.

It completely caught me off guard. He totally called me out. I couldn’t help but laugh. I still laugh every time I think about him putting me in my place.

I apologized profusely (and tried to hide my grin). I put my phone in my purse. I set down all of my things. And I sat back down.

Something told me I should not walk away.

He finished his story and dove into his dinner/dessert.

He continued to talk – with pea gratin in his mouth.

He told me he was married. I asked him why his wife had not joined him at the MoMa that Friday night. He said – you do some things together, and you do some things apart. That’s how you make it work. The MoMa was his thing. Not hers. Not theirs.

The MoMa was screening a film for free that Friday night. He asked me if I would join him for the show. I told him I was supposed to go dancing with some friends. He was disappointed but he understood – and did not want to interfere with my plans.

He asked me if I liked music. He LOVED music. He broke into song. He was hard of hearing…so he spoke…and sang…loudly. Her serenaded everyone around us. He/we didn’t care.

He asked me if I would go swing dancing with him the next time I was in New York. He was a member of the Swing Dancing Society. He had been alive for more than eight decades, but STILL loved to dance. His wife could not dance with him anymore, but he knew I could. I promised him, one day, we would dance.

He wanted to know what I did for a living. I told him I planned parties, but I mostly loved to write. He said I brought joy to people’s lives (that’s debatable). Then he asked me if I’d write him a letter. He said he did not email. But he loved to write letters. He sang me another song. Love Letters I think.

He wrote his name and address on his receipt, and he gave it to me. I promised I would write.

His name was Robert Thomason.

Even his handwriting was irresistible.

He told me he had wanted to buy a home in Brooklyn, in a black neighborhood, when he got out of the military. He said even though the military guaranteed the loan, even though he was good for it – the banks wouldn’t lend him the money. He said the banks would have loaned him the dough if he wanted to live in a white neighborhood. But he didn’t want that. He believed in interracial neighborhoods. He wanted to build one. He was turned down ten or eleven times. He never gave up. Finally, a bank signed off on the loan. He still loves Brooklyn. And he still cares about equality. He loves his neighborhood and his neighbors. He was a good neighbor too. No, a great one. But he admitted they had heard him tell the same stories a handful of times. He thought they could be getting tired of his stories (he said his wife definitely was).

We talked about so much.

We only paused twice…

We paused once when he took his first bite of his seasonal fruit crisp.

He savored it.

And we paused once more, when he told me he had truly lived an amazing life. He believed life was the greatest gift. He grabbed my hand and told me how lucky he felt to be able to live life every day.

I cried. I cry every time I think about the look on his face when he said that to me. I swear there was a real twinkle in his eye.

It was nearly time for his movie to begin. I told him I’d walk him out.

He gave me the tightest squeeze goodbye. And he gave me a kiss on the cheek.

I tried to back out of his embrace to tell him (again) how much I enjoyed his company and promise (again) to write.

Before I could say a word, he gave me another kiss. On the lips.

There was no getting out of it.

Robert Thomason was relentless.

He knew what he wanted. And he got it.

I laughed all the way back to my hotel. I laughed so hard. I probably looked insane (which is no different than any other day I suppose).

I wondered how many times Robert Thomason had pulled that stunt – and gotten away with it.

I hope he gets away with it EVERY Friday night.

And I hope I have half as much gumption as that guy. I’d honestly settle for half. Scratch that. No I wouldn’t…

 

 

 

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A Third Speed

August 17, 2012

Very few people know me (almost) as well as I know myself.

I love AND loathe these people – because I feel vulnerable around them.

For the most part, I know these people know how vulnerable they make me feel – which makes me feel even more vulnerable around them. I cannot hide ANYTHING from them. I don’t even try. And I accept when they say things to me that sting. I typically deserve it.

Yesterday, one of these very few people said this to me…

“Natalie, people like us have two speeds – park and full throttle. I wish you had a third speed – one in between.”

It took me a second to figure out if that statement offended me.

I scowled (during that second), but I did not take offense.

I wasn’t offended for two reasons…

I wasn’t offended because the person that said this to me is admittedly the same – just equipped with a filter…err…maybe even a third speed. No sense in being bitter, right? Good for them. Must feel amazing – to have so much self control. I get it. Being so out of control is spontaneous and scary. I’m terrified of what’s on my own mind ALL THE TIME…because it generally makes its way out of my mouth or into a blog, text or tweet. THAT is embarrassing (at least people tell me it is).

And, I wasn’t offended because I’m pretty sure I’m not ever going to have a third speed.

Let’s face it. I don’t really want one.

I fully intend to either be numb or to over share – for the rest of my blunt-banged life.

It’s what I do.

It’s my specialty.

I think filters are for fallopian tubes (to put it mildly).

What would a filter really protect me from? Myself? It’s a little late for that.

I suppose a filter could protect other people from me. But that sounds boring. I get bored just thinking about tempering my responses. I feel stifled simply considering whether or not I should try to rein it in.

I’m not actually sure why my friends love me (I verified that at least three of my friends still love me – as of late last night), but why in the world would they want to continue loving me if they only received sober, appropriate, sane and sincere communication from me? Why would they want to stick around if I didn’t text bomb them (thanks for that one Garza)? What would be fun about witnessing someone living a life that wasn’t in a constant state of chaos? Who would break up with their boyfriends for them (via email) if I wasn’t such an eloquent a$$hole? Who would totally and passionately drain them (emotionally, socially, financially, physically – you name it)? Who would sing and interpretively dance for them? I would like to believe that people want to be my friend because I’m lacking a filter – because I’m lacking a third speed – not because it would be nice if I had one. I think it would be @#$%ing lame if I had one. I would be just like all of the other fallopian tubes they know. Attached to a giant, immobile uterus.

I can/could be accused of A LOT of things, but no one will ever be able to accuse me of not living. No one will ever be able to say I did not live to the point of sheer humiliation.

I dare you all to do the same.

Just wake up and make a goddamn fool of yourself. Every. Single. Day. Do you really have anything better to do? My neighbor parties pantsless all the time. So I tried it. I went pantsless in a parking lot earlier this week. Totally inappropriate. Totally liberating at the same time. Totally worth it.

And, over the last week or so, I have been sent the following text messages (some more than once):

“Natalie…”

“Stop.”

“Calm down.”

“Jesus.”

“Are you okay?”

“I need vodka to help translate you.”

“You make it through?”

“I heard you are looking for a rich guy to give you an unlimited spending account.”

“I miss your crazy on a daily basis.”

“Just your banged pie hole. Shut! Not just.”

“Better a horrible end than a horror with no end, right?”

“If you forget what to do next, just follow the emoticons.”

“I’ll make a kid cry for you.”

“I’m a giver. Tell your friends.”

“We both know it takes more than that to bring you down a notch.”

“Be my date to the event next Friday. I hate men and I can’t bring my cat. You’re my next best option.”

I call these texts…success (and there are SO many more). You wouldn’t send these texts to a relatively silent, stale reproductive system. Would you? No. You wouldn’t.

THIS is (literally) what my “park” looks like; just think about how much fun “full throttle” must be…

I hope I never lose the desire to get out of the car at an intersection and bust out a little Bieber with a girl I just met at dinner a few hours before. And I hope my bangs are always blunt enough to handle the fact that some people will and won’t love the 0 to 60 in me. I honestly did think about finding a happy medium…for a second. I legitimately felt self conscious about the fact that I cannot resist the urge to constantly tell people exactly what is on my mind. But I’m not ever going to do that again.

Love it.

Or leave it.

I’ve got bigger fish to fry…

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