A Bit of Reality… ‘Aint Never Hurt Nobody

Me:  “I think I’m going to sell my SUV and get a Prius…”

[as i look across the couch to see his facial expression]

———————-

[he doesn’t look up from his laptop; his facial expression doesn’t change]

Ginge:  “I think we should start seeing other people…”

I just smirk.  I would never sell my SUV to buy a Prius unless absolutely necessary.  Not that I have anything against Prius’ (or Priuses?) in general, but they’re really just not my cup of tea to drive.   I just knew the suggestion would ruffle Ginge’s feathers, as it did.   Yet, he knew I was joking with my random comment.

What this got me thinking about, however, was, what if Ginge were to say to me truthfully and genuinely, “I think we should start seeing other people?”

I mean this comment stemmed from the jokiest of jokes, but it brought to my attention that in the past 14 months, this thought has never crossed my mind.  Am I naive?  Am I egotistical?  What the HECK am I?  I thought back to the time when I just met Ginge.  We had only gone on two, maybe three dates, and T-Diddy [mom] was asking about him over the phone.  I remember telling her:

“It’s weird.  I don’t have to guess about him.  He always calls, he always texts, he always follows through with plans… I don’t even have to wonder with him…”

What the HECK game did he play?  Well apparently a freakin’ good one.  He played the game in which you are an actual genuine person who says and does what he says he’s going to do, and treats a woman like she’s actually a human being.  I mean, really?  It’s not that hard.  But sadly, it’s out of the ordinary, and this is something I commented to T-Diddy.   She, of course, gave me her wonderful motherly advice, that I SHOULDN’T have to wonder and I SHOULDN’T ever worry if he’s going to call me again.

Which brings me to my current point.  At over a year I have NEVER wondered or worried about if Ginge was going to call again, or if he didn’t like me anymore.  He’s always made me feel like I’ve had him and I’ll never lose him.  But this one comment really got me thinking more than I usually do [I guess I don’t think that much?]… Have I made him feel similarly?

I feel like I’ve been screwed over so many freakin’ times over the past several years, that it’s been all about me… “does he like me?”  “is he treating me correctly?”  “is he making ME his number ONE priority?”  “does he love my family?”  “can he live without me?”  …blah blah blah… me, me, ME….

What about HIM?  Let’s not get me wrong… I’ve come to really love this guy to death.  But that silly comment just put this thought in my head…. what if he were to want to leave ME? [I mean who really would want to leave me?? But still…]   HELLO!!!! Get off your high horse, you ASS!  This is a two-way street!!    How have I never even considered that this wonderful, kind, handsome, completely fantastic man could ever do better?  [Well, better…?  No, he couldn’t…]  But my point being… I knew those silly words that came out of his mouth, “I think we should start seeing other people,” were completely nonsense, and joking around, but they really hit home.

If I had heard those words out of his mouth in truth, I’m not sure what I would do.  I know I’d probably be in shock… because apparently over the past 14 months, I’ve felt the most secure I’ve ever felt in a relationship before.  I guess all I can say here is that maybe i learned a bit about myself.   I’ve learned that I hope I’m doing all I can to make my man feel just as secure as I do.  And if I’m not, I sure as hell need to do a better job.  Thanks, Ginge… for being you.

‘Til we meet again… hopefully less than 3 months from now….

xoxo

Gossip Girl

A Puppy and Unemployment

Worst.blogger.ever.

My blonde cousins were in town last week.  On her last night, as we’re sitting at a Miller’s Field with some beers, Samantha says, “Why haven’t you blogged in a while?”

I think about it, look at the guy sitting to my left, and respond, “I don’t know.  Ginge is pretty boring.  I don’t know what I’d write about.”

Ginge shoves a handful of nachos in his mouth and says, “See how boring I am once I push you out of an airplane.”

Truth is, my life hasn’t really been boring lately.  I suppose based on blog feedback, I felt people are mostly interested in hearing tales of my awful dating life and the momo’s I come across.  Keeping Ginge around has eliminated these tales, because he has been pretty far from awful.

Since my last post, a few life events have occurred…  In this order:

1.  I got a puppy

2.  I lost my job

3.  I got a new job

 

The Puppy:  Oliver Twist ‘n Shout:

Yeah yeah… I know… I’ve done this before.   I’ve gotten a puppy:  [The Story of Prince Harry].  But that time was different.  I wasn’t ready.  I hadn’t thought it through.  But after I returned Prince Harry to the pet shop on that cold March day, over two years ago, I continued to think about him.  When I spoke of him, I would tell people, “I won’t get another puppy until I get a boyfriend.”  I decided boyfriends were probably good for things like training puppies and picking up poop.  It turns out I was right.  They are good at that kinda thing.  I know this because I bagged a boyfriend, and then shortly after, bought a Goldendoodle.  SCORE!!!!

Before I paid for the puppy I told Ginge, “I’m going to make you sign a contract stating that you won’t break up with me until after the puppy is fully trained.”

He agreed.  My roommates wondered what he must think of me to request such a thing.

So there we have it.  I had a puppy.   I present to you, Oliver Twist ‘n Shout… Oliver Twist for short, Oliver for shorter, and Ollie, used most frequently, for those who love him.

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There’s no denying how stinkin’ adorable this puppy is.  But, I’ve never raised a puppy before.  I never even had a dog growing up.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  I was prepared for the puppy to bite and try to eat things that aren’t edible.  I had pulled a couple of thongs (the underwear version) out of his mouth when I realized it was something he enjoyed chewing on.  But I was not aware that this puppy was dumb enough to actually swallow a thong.  The first time I realized that he was, in fact, dumb enough to swallow a thong is when I watched it get pushed out and hang from his butt… in public…. in front of people… at CVS.

I’m standing at the pharmacy when the poop starts coming.  Big ones.  On the floor.  He has never done something like this before.  Not knowing what to do, I start dragging him across the floor, with poop still coming from his butt, creating a trail across the carpeted floor.  I’m whispering:  “STOP!” hoping no one will notice, but knowing the stench has already taken over half the building.  Then a customer sees whats happening, and exclaims in horror:  “I think he ate something!”

I look, and sure enough… there it was… a pink lacy thong, hanging from his butt covered in poop.  I didn’t know what to do.  I was mortified.  I ran him out of there.  I stood outside for a few minutes, staring at the poop covered thong.  Knowing there was more inside where that came from… and knowing everyone had seen what just happened.  I didn’t have an option.  I went back in.   Dog leash in one hand, plastic bags and paper towels in the other, I got to work picking up the crap that was strewn about the store.

An extremely observant customer suggests, “I think he ate something that didn’t agree with him.”

“Yeah, he ate a pair of my underwear.”

He looks astonished, “Oh….. [pause]….. yeah, that wouldn’t agree with him.”

I walked out of that CVS with my tail between my legs [ba-dum-CHING], with zero intentions of ever returning.  After Oliver passed the thong, he was happy as a clam and ready for more shopping.  I was not.

This adorable little fluff ball = more responsibility.   Enter life event number two:

 

I Lost My Job:

My job liked me.  Which is why this was such a blow to the gut.  Also, no one saw the layoff coming when it did.  I’m pretty sure this was the first time a layoff of any sort happened without the little birdies calling to gossip about it beforehand.   I had good insiders.  It was a Thursday morning.  I was in Tucson, at a Hampton Inn about an hour and a half from Sierra Vista (aka the ends of the Earth), for an appointment I had that day.  It took me two flights and the good part of a day to get there, and I didn’t get into my hotel until almost midnight the night before.  I was beat.

My iPhone ringer was off, and I was getting myself together.  When I finally clicked my phone, it lit up to several messages.  One from a very close co-worker saying “Well, I got laid off.   It was a good run,” and a missed call, a voicemail and a text from the CEO of my company.  I just froze.  Could this really be happening?  I felt dizzy.  I knew at this point I’d be laid off too.  I called the CEO back, to just get his voicemail, and then it was a waiting game.  I talked to friends on the east coast who had been let go hours earlier, and it seemed most of them were gone.  When I finally got the call and listened to the cold, unemotional speech, I was silent.  I knew if I said anything it would come out crying.

This has never happened to me before.  I’ve never lost a job.  I’ve gone through multiple layoffs and seen colleagues go through it, but it had never happened to me.  My company was struggling for a while so we all saw it coming, but not so soon.  It just felt like someone punched me.  I didn’t know what to do.  I wasn’t supposed to fly home til that evening and it was only 8am.  I was sure as hell not going to sit in a hotel room all day and wallow in my misery.  I was wallowing.  Hard.

It’s amazing how different a Hampton Inn’s continental breakfast buffet looks when you’re all of a sudden unemployed.  It was like a switch went off and I was acting as if I were homeless and starving.  The apples and bananas got shoved in my purse, a couple of hard-boiled eggs in a bowl for later, TWO cups of coffee for the road, because one of them would surely run out, and now I obviously couldn’t afford to buy another.

I booked a new flight out of Phoenix and drove the two hours to the airport with my smuggled snacks.   As soon as I got there, I sat down at my favorite bar, ordered my favorite chicken sandwich and the largest beer they had.  I quickly whipped out my laptop and updated my resume.  I had a puppy to support.

 

Life Event 3:  I Got a New Job

So yeah.  I got a new job.  But not before two weeks of saying things like “Helllpppp me, I’m poor,”  and “Oliver’s never going to eat again.”  This job was like a little fairy Godmother.  Or my old colleague who referred me for the job I guess would be more of the little fairy Godmother.  The majority of the interview process took place on my front porch in my pajamas, on multiple phone interviews with multiple people until the company flew me to Seattle for the final meeting, which is where I was given an offer which I obviously quickly accepted, and then there might have been some hugging.  Maybe squealing.  I’m not sure.  I’m just not the type who can handle the whole not having a paycheck thing.  I forgot to breathe for a minute just typing about it.

This brings me to my current state… a week and a half with nothing to do except study about cancer.  It’s very confusing.  I didn’t realize how dumb I am.  Things going through my mind as I sit at the pool with 300 pages of notes:

  • Was I always this dumb?
  • What are these words?
  • Can other people understand this?
  • Who’s that guy in the mini shorts?
  • I’m hot
  • I’m thirsty
  • It’s too windy to study
  • Should I go in the pool now?
  • Am I even getting paid right now?
  • I really hope there’s not a test on this
  • Is this even English?
  • I wonder how Oliver’s doing
  • I should have brought him
  • No, he would have been a disaster
  • Maybe I should just close my eyes for a few minutes
  • Yeah, definitely a nap will help
  • Ugh now I’m too sunburnt to study

So that’s going well.  Sorry for this long-winded update.  It’s obviously just a ploy to avoid this gibberish I’m supposed to be learning about.  LEARNING IS HARD.

Tata for now my loves.

xoxo

Gossip Girl

 

 

 

 

Goodbye Tinder… Hello Golf

I apologize for being MIA and crappy about the updates.  Where do I start?  Well, this happened:

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It was a couple of weeks back… a dark, dreary, depressing day in San Diego.  Eh, who am I kidding it was obviously warm and sunny.  Ginge hasn’t run away yet, so we both deleted the app.  This was way more traumatizing for me, as Tinder was a new thing for him and he just happened to hit the jackpot right away swiping right for this dreamy piece of sunshine.  I kinda whined and moaned as I hit the “delete” button, and he sympathetically said,

“This must be hard for you.”

“It is.”

My thumbs have so many less things to do during the work day now.  If I want to see a good tiger selfie, it has to come in the way of a screenshot from a friend.  It’s a whole different way of life, I tell ya.   I literally had to counsel myself before clicking delete, repeating in my head, “It will still be here waiting for you if you want to download it again.”  I think I have a problem.

Ginge asked me to do something with him that no other man has ever asked me to do:

“Do you want to come golfing with me tomorrow?”

“Are you for real?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t know how to golf.”

“You don’t have to golf.  You can just ride around in the cart and drink beers.”

Whoa.  Really?  BEST.DAY.EVER!  I love golfing.  Except for the golfing part.  At one point there was no one creeping up behind us, so Ginge told me to hit a ball.  Easy enough.  I’ve hit moving balls all my life, how hard could it be to hit one sitting still right in front of me?  Right?  WRONG.  I swung… I missed.  I was shocked.  He tells me to swing again.  I swung again.  I missed again.  Three times in a row, swoosh swoosh swoosh (the sound a golf club makes when you swing it really hard and it doesn’t make contact with anything), and then I ran right back into the cart with my tail in between my legs.  I was so embarrassed.  Ginge didn’t laugh too much.  He told me I was swinging it like a bat and we’ll need to work on it.  I just cracked open another beer and turned the iPhone speakers up.  I figured I’d leave golfing to the professionals.

I dwelled on the golf swinging for about a week.  I practiced with a broomstick, I whined to my friends about how badly I sucked.  I vowed to practice until I could hit the damn thing.  A few days ago I picked Carissa up.  We didn’t really have a plan- we just wanted to be outside.  We figured we’d just lay out by the bay.  As we’re pulling into the parking lot, a lightbulb went off.

“Oh!  We should go to the driving range!”

Carissa looks at me funny, “Like… golf?”

“Yeah.”

“Ok.”

So we turn around and head to the nearest golf course.  As we’re getting out of the car, I remember we don’t have clubs…  hmmm… hopefully they will have them for us.  We felt like we were in unchartered waters.  We didn’t know where to go.  We didn’t know what to say.  As we’re wandering around, Carissa says, “Maybe we should have just stuck to the familiar and gone to the batting cages.”

We finally figure out how to purchase a bucket of balls, and the man directs us outside to find some clubs which were all mixed up in a huge trash can.  We weren’t sure where to start.  Carissa picks one up, but it’s not a driver.  I know this.

“No, that one’s wrong.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know.  Put it back.”

As we are staring into this big confusing bin of clubs, a guy who works there comes over to help.  He picks a couple out for us, and I tell him they look kinda crappy, and we’re gonna need ones that hit the ball far.  He tells us to start with those, and he’ll go inside and get us some good ones from the office.

We find the spot furthest away from the people… as we’re pretty sure we’re gonna hit someone with something.  Ball, club, shoe, who knows.  I get ready to go, determined to hit the ball, with all of my broomstick practice.  Swing…and a miss.  Strike one.  We both start hysterical laughing.  We are not golfing at the same time.  There was a conveniently located Adirondack chair right next to our little launching pad (I don’t know what the hell it’s called), so we took turns sitting in it and cheering the other person on.   After a few misses, I started hitting.  Not every single one… not even most… but it was an improvement.

Carissa got up and wiffed.  Hard.  About 3 times.  I don’t think the driving range has seen this much commotion in a while.  We were trying so hard not to pee our pants.  Carissa’s in cutoff shorts and Timbs, which she realized were not suitable for golfing, and became barefoot after several swings.  Then she got in her groove and started drilling the balls.  Swing, miss, drill one to left field.  It was a rollercoaster of emotions.  Laughing, screaming, high fiving.  I’m not sure this was driving range etiquette, but we didn’t really care.  We made an employee friend who lent us his finest drivers, and old man golfer friend who gave us some brand spanking new tees, and got a bit of a tan.

As we started heading back to the car, we discussed taking lessons.  We saw a group of teenage boys taking a group lesson and I say, “Oh, that lesson is putting.  Boring.”

Riss agrees, “Yeah, we’re not gonna take a lesson.  We don’t do putting.”

And we leave.

A couple of days later, as Carissa’s leaving my house, she says, “Oh, I figured out why we are really good at golfing.”

“Why?”

“It’s because we don’t have any boobs.”

I’m wondering if she’s serious.  “Ok, but you do know we’re actually not good at golfing, right?”

She looks at me like I have 8 heads.  “What??”  And then walks out of my house.

When Ginge saw a photo Carissa posted on fb of my awful swing, I’m sure he threw up a little in his mouth.  Several hours later I received this document attached in an email:

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I died.  And now I’m determined to make this look like a golf swing.  It’s on, baby.

‘Til later, my little nuggets.  Have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

xoxo

Gossip Girl

Lovers

It was a Thursday afternoon. Yesterday, Thursday to be exact. As a medical sales rep, I bring lunch to offices on occasion. On this occasion, I was bringing Olive Garden.

With my $130 worth of Olive Garden in hand, I enter the doctor’s office only to find that they had double booked the lunch with the Vesicare rep, and everyone was already eating her food. So I hid mine in a corner, and we double teamed the meeting.

Driving back up from the Mexican border with 3 tins of Olive Garden food in my car, I was wondering what I was going to do with it all. I thought about who would appreciate it most.

1. My broke little sister
2. BRIE

Brie LOVES the Olive Garden more than any human should love a chain restaurant. We went on a girl date there a couple of months ago, and she couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks… there were Facebook statuses, follow-up texts, the works. I knew the amount of OG food I had in my back seat was enough to make her jump with glee. I just wasn’t sure how I was going to make my delivery.

I made my first stop at Carissa’s apartment and spread the trays of food out on her table. I told her I wanted to secretly leave some of it at Brie’s house with a note. She thought it was a fabulous idea, and pulled out a large tin with a plastic lid from one of her cabinets… leftover from Thanksgiving. Perfect. We loaded the tin with the three entrees and threw in a bag of breadsticks. Then, came the note:

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We were giggling like children and really excited to make the delivery. When we got to Brie’s place, I pulled over illegally and asked Carissa to go drop it next to her front door. 2 minutes later, she calls me.

I ask, “Where did you go? I didn’t see you go up her steps.”

“Her front door is WIDE open. Someone’s in there.”

It was about 4pm, so I knew Brie wasn’t home yet. I assumed it was her roommate who works nights.

“Oh it’s probably K-wags. Hold on, I’ll be right there.”

I turned off the car and ran over. Sure enough, the door was wide open, and the apartment was up a long flight of stairs. I took the bag from Carissa and said, “I’m going…”

We’re whispering and trying not to laugh, and as I start climbing the stairs, she tells me to run. But I didn’t want the bag to make noise, so I slowly proceeded. At the top, I reached over, quietly dropped the bag, and sprinted down the stairs. The two of us ran like banshees across the grass and back into my car, and just started laughing hysterically.

“I really hope she tells us that she gets this…”

Sure enough, she hadn’t even made it home yet, when we got a group text from her saying that someone dropped off a bag of Olive Garden when K-wags was sitting right in front of the open door doing laundry.

For about two hours, V, T, and Brie went back and forth trying to figure out who did it, with guesses ranging from every single one of our guy friends to the creepy neighbor that lives downstairs. I didn’t respond much. I couldn’t. I was dying.

We had Bunco night at our house last night, and Brie coming over, so I knew I couldn’t bring the rest of the tins home. I left them in Carissa’s fridge. When I got home from the gym later that night and everyone was already over, the note was out, the Olive Garden bag was there, and all the girls were talking about who it could be. It was so hard to keep a straight face. But Brie was in her glory with the tin in her lap and fork and knife in hand. And that made me happy.

She won’t know the culprit until she reads this post… and she just pulled in my driveway. I think I might get murdered tonight. So I will leave you on this note:

Guys… it doesn’t take much to make a girl happy. Shucks, a tin of leftover Olive Garden and you’ll have her over the moon for days. Use this as a lesson. Pay attention, and throw a little surprise in there once in a while.

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!!! Out to paint the town…

xoxo
Gossip Girl

The Ginger

He messaged me on Tinder a couple of weeks back. He had a witty opening line, and kept interesting conversation going.

A few days into our conversation, I had a couple of glasses of wine at happy hour, looked over his pics again, and messaged him:

“Are you a ginger?”

His response was a solid, “No,” but I didn’t really believe him.

We were both busy in upcoming days with weekend plans and work trips. We kept in contact throughout, with conversations ranging from ear cleaning with q-tips to our biggest life fears. He occupied me via text during a week-long of loneliness I spent traveling around Arizona. I appreciated his virtual presence, even though I hadn’t yet met him.

I could not wait to get home after that week… I felt like I had been in solitary confinement (I was very dramatic and cranky about it). The Ginger wanted to get together. I made plans to do dinner and happy hour with the girls on Friday night when I got back, but suggested that we could meet up after. For some reason I forgot that I hate talking to people for an extended period of time before meeting them. I really do hate that. But I had done it anyway. When I realized that’s what we had been doing for two weeks, I all of a sudden got a little bit nervous.

I felt comfortable enough with him at this point to suggest we make a plan to escape each other immediately after meeting, if we decided we didn’t like each other in person. His response?

“If you want, but I already know I’m going to like you.”

Oh, a sweet talker. We planned to meet at Dirty Birds in PB. I somehow timed a really long trip to the bathroom perfectly for right before he showed up (this is sarcasm. This was really not perfect at all). He walked in, and apparently really awkwardly looked around for me. The girls saw him looking and thought it might be him, so they picked up my phone from the table and checked his Tinder pics to confirm. I came out several minutes later, saw him already standing there with them, and thought “Crap…” [pun intended]. Thankfully, even after I’m sure an awkward introduction to the girls, (my sister was involved, it was obviously awkward), he was holding his own.

We hugged hello, I apologized for being missing for so long (I wonder if he knew I was pooping?) and then he went to the bar and bought a round of Fireball shots for everyone. Sold.

The night progressed, we made our way to our usual spots. The Ginger was tall, and had a hot bod. I learned he was a D-1 baseball player which made him juuustttt a little bit hotter (I’m shallow… what can I say?)

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…. I started writing this post almost two weeks ago. I got pretty distracted. I just pulled it up to continue, but realized it would turn into a novel at this point… so… until next time.

A Weekend at Big Bear… and a Flat Tire

My newfound love of Southern California is that you can go from summer to winter in a three-hour road trip.  And by winter, I’m referring to only the nighttime hours when the temps drop into the teens, and the mountains can make plenty of snow for you to snowboard on the next day.

This past weekend I took my first trip up to Big Bear to hit the slopes, and spend a couple of days in a rented house of 20 friends.  The boarding experience was surreal.  The conditions obviously weren’t the top-notch, but they were way better than I was expecting…  And the weather during the day couldn’t be beat.  By the end of the first run, our jackets were tossed into the lodge, and shortly after, Under Armour was removed on the lift.  We spent the day getting tan instead of wind burnt.  Removing cold weather and constant snot coming from my nose from the equation was key… it was amazing how little I complained.

The antics that went on in the house were what you’d expect of a rowdy group of 20.  Or possibly not.  After seeing Clueless 150 times, and always wondering if the cool “Valley” kids actually played Suck ‘n Blow at their high school parties [see clip below], I never thought I’d be 31 and giving it a whirl for the first time.

Over a two-hour period of time around the dining room table, I gained a ton of respect for those actors, and the entire crew of the movie Clueless, for the amount of patience they must have had to get that 18 second shot.  Let me tell you… Suck ‘n Blow is NOT easy.  It started with three of us.  The first 20 tries were ruined with laughter.  The next 100 were trying to figure out the proper ratio of sucking to blowing.  The group slowly grew until there were about 10 of us and we refused to quit until we got successfully around the table.  About an hour in, it wasn’t funny anymore.  It became intense.  I never would have put my money on a 35-year-old man screaming profanities over a game of Suck ‘n Blow… and vowing to go home and practice in his living room.  But that happened.  And I loved every second of it.

Sunday morning rolled around, and it was time to go home.  As Carissa, V, Brie and I rolled out of the house in our mismatched pajamas, shoving all of our stuff back in the trunk and saying our goodbyes, we assumed the weekend was over, and it was a straight shoot home to plop on the couch for “Surf Sunday,” which included watching footage from the morning’s Maverick’s Invitational surf competition followed by the movie Chasing Mavericks.  We were wrong.

The drive was okay for about five minutes.  After five minutes V wanted to vomit.  It wasn’t hangover vomit, it was windy mountain road carsick vomit.  And unfortunately, the windy mountain road lasted for 25 miles, which equated to a full hour.  Brie was in the backseat chit chatting away, and one of the only times V opened her mouth to speak was to say, “If I vom, I’m aiming it at Brie because she won’t shut up.”

She didn’t vom.  We made it off the windy road without incident.  It wasn’t until we were on a real regular highway, about an hour and a half into the three-hour trip, that we heard a huge THUMP.

“What the hell was that??!”

I suggested, “It was probably a rock hitting us that came off that trailer.”

I moved over to the left lane to keep away from the trailer.  Brie asked V how she was feeling.

“I’d probably be feeling a little better if Court would stop swerving.”

I was swerving a little.

“I’m sorry, but it’s not my fault.  Don’t you see these divots in the road?  They’re making me swerve.”

I kept driving.  And kept swerving.  The damn divots in the road… Then I saw flashing lights in my rear view.

“Crap!  What did I do wrong???”

“He probably thinks you’re swerving.  Because you are.”

I pulled over to the side of the highway, and that’s when my car started thumping a little…. the girls looked out the passenger side door and noticed the back rear tire was COMPLETELY flat.  The cop came to the window and told me I had a flat.  ;aldfjsa;ldsfjal;dsjfa;ldfjal;kjdakld

Thankfully, there was a huge fieldy area next to the shoulder, so there was plenty of room to pull over.  Before I was even out of the car, Brie and Carissa were walking through the prickly field to bring back a large piece of cardboard they found, and they promptly plopped their asses on it.  V said she knew how to fix a flat tire, but didn’t trust herself to do it and then actually drive on it.  The rest of us didn’t have a clue.

I called Emergency Roadside Assistance who said there was high call volume, and they would call back in an hour to let us know when someone would come out to help.  At that point, V went and got another piece of cardboard that was a few feet away.

Carissa advises, “Stomp on the cardboard to flatten the grass before you sit… otherwise the prickly things might come through and stick you in the butt.”  Solid advice.

Five minutes later, we were all sitting there on the cardboard, snacks out, and Loaded Questions set up.  We figured if we were going to be here for the next couple of hours, we’d better make ourselves comfortable.  The suggestion was made to get a few beers out of the car, but Brie piped in with “I think that might be illegal,” which it obviously is, so we decided against it.

Hobo Picnic

 

At this point, we were very content, and in no real rush.  Carissa found a cut-out finger bunny on the back of a box of crackers, got scissors from the car, and was kept busy practicing her fine motor skills.  We crushed a bag of Doritos in 10 minutes flat, started on the bags of candy, and were playing some tunes.  We alerted some friends who were still in Big Bear that we were on the side of the road, so of course they offered to come to our rescue on their way back if roadside assistance didn’t get to us by then.

About an hour later, a passing cop on a motorcycle spotted us and pulled over.  Carissa says, “This guy’s shaking his head.  I don’t think he’s impressed.”

He approached us and asked what we thought we were doing.

“We’re having a picnic, because we have a flat.”

“Did you call anyone?”

“Yes, we called roadside assistance.  They’re supposed to call back within an hour but we haven’t heard from them yet.”

“None of you knows how to fix a flat??”

Three of us shake our heads, while V explains that she knows how, she just doesn’t trust herself to do it on someone else’s car.”

The cop grumpily says, “My 16-year-old daughter knows how to change a flat.”

Like what does he want us to say to that?  Brie responds, “Oh she must be very smart!”

Officer stars yelling at us, “You cannot be sitting on the side of the highway.  Do you know how easy it would be for a car to veer off and hit you?!  Then I’d be dealing with four dead girls.”

Brie pipes in again, “Well that wouldn’t be good.”

Officer:  “Who’s car is this??”

Me:  “Mine”

Officer:  “WHOSE?”

Me:   “MINE.”

Officer:  “The rest of you get in the car and put your seatbelts on.  YOU.  You’re going to change this tire.”

Me:  “Sir, I already called roadside assistance.  They will be here.  Thank you, but I don’t know how, and I’d just rather wait.”

He ignores me. “Open your trunk.  We need to find the spare.”

Is he kidding??  I open my trunk which is packed to the max with all of our weekend gear.  The girls are in the car looking back.  The cop starts taking all of the stuff from the trunk and throwing it into the backseat, demanding Carissa and Brie help him.  He grabs my backpack and starts to toss it from the back of the car into the backseat.

I say, “Oh my laptops in there.  Please don’t throw it.”

He responds, “It’s fine; it’s not going to break.”  And continues to toss it over the seat.

He tells me to get the car manual to figure out how to release the tire from underneath and find the jack and the tools.  V quickly locates it and hands it to me.  I’m shaking a little because this guy is so mean, and I finally find the pages that contain information on changing a flat.  There are secret compartments and tools and levers and lots of confusing things.  The cop is giving me some direction, but mainly wants me to figure it out myself, and is standing a few feet away watching.

A few minutes later, a car-full of our guy friends pulls up behind us.  I’m thinking “THANK GOD.”  Now this man will leave.

No.  The four guys pull up, get out of the car, and start walking over.  The officer turns around and yells, “All of you get back in your vehicle.  ONE person can stay and help.”

They all stop in their tracks, turn around and start walking back to the car.  I say, “Wait, ONE of you can stay!!”

The officer points to Clarence and says, “YOU. Stay.”

I plead, “Well can whichever one of you knows how to change a tire the most stay?”

Clarence turns around and goes back to the car, and Jarred was the chosen one.  The officer immediately starts calling him “Raven,” for an unknown reason, and bossing him around as well.  I just wanted him to leave.  He didn’t leave.  He was directing us, making me get under the car several times to LOOK at things because he wouldn’t just TELL me what to do.  The guys behind us were texting the girls to get out of the car and go into theirs when we needed to jack it up.  When they tried to do so, the cop shot them down and told them to stay where they were, and just sit on the opposite side of the car as the flat.

Raven and I are both fully under the car, because the jack is so far back.  We have it about halfway up, when it slips out from under the axle and the car comes crashing down.  I scream.  Carissa yells to get out from under the car.  Joey, watching from the car behind gets pissed, and gets out of his car.  The cop turns around, points at him and tells him to get back in.  Now I’m mad because I feel like I almost died.  I’m also really frustrated because I’m hot, dirty, and have cactus pricklys all up and down the front of my body which are stabbing me, from lying on the ground.  I DON’T want to be learning a life lesson right now.  I don’t want to be changing this tire.  I plead,  “Can we just wait for roadside assistance?”

The cop says.  “No, go put the jack back under the axle.”

I kinda want to cry.  “Can the girls please get out and go in the other car this time?”

“No.  It won’t make a difference.”

Back under the car we go.  The jack looked like it was going to slip again, halfway up, so we had to release it and start over.  Finally it was up.  When it was time to remove the flat, the cop demands that we kick the tire and then pull it off.  It’s not coming off.  “KICK IT HARDER.”

He decides to take matters into his own hands and starts kicking the tire with all his might, as the car shakes with the girls inside.  He finally loosens it and makes Raven take it off.  At this point, I’m thinking, even if I KNEW how to change a tire, I wouldn’t have been physically able to do this by myself.  This guy’s a jerk and I want him to go away.

When the new tire was on, and the old one was back under the car, the cop asked me how old I was and then pulled me aside.

“Are you going to reprimand me for not knowing how to change a tire?”

“No, I’m going to reprimand you for something else.”

We walk to the side and he continues to yell at me like I’m 5 years old and he’s the meanest father on the face of the Earth.  He tells me I should never ever get out of my car again if I have a flat and that I should remain in it with my seatbelt on.

I’m sorry, but I’m not sure how sitting 30 feet AWAY from the shoulder, waiting for roadside assistance, which, by the way, is INCLUDED in my insurance because I PAID EXTRA for it, is more dangerous than being under the car and changing the flat MYSELF.

I thanked him for his assistance and life lesson instead of doing what I actually wanted to do, and kicking him several times in the nuts, and got back in the car.  He then felt it necessary to get on his bullhorn and give us instructions on picking up speed in the shoulder before merging back onto the highway.  Really dude?!

The girls complimented me on my patience, saying they would have probably freaked out.  I’m not sure how I didn’t.  I just wanted it to be over.  I was beyond thankful that Raven and the other guys stopped to assist.  Having to deal with the drill sergeant bossing me around on my own would have been an even more hellish experience.

We followed each other to Chili’s and then it was all better.  We only half cared that we were still in our pajamas, and I was covered head to toe in branches, dirt, and cactus needles.  V asked me if I felt accomplished after changing the tire.  I told her I would have felt just as accomplished if roadside assistance had changed the tire.

Moral of the story is this:  If you have roadside assistance, you do not need to learn how to change your own tire.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  Tire changing is for men.

Second moral of the story is:  If you’re with the right people, any situation can be turned into a positive experience.  But that’s something I learned a long time ago.

Cheers to a fantastic weekend with a bunch of terrific people.  And hoping that police officer got really bad diarrhea.  Or something else unpleasant and inconvenient.

xoxo

Gossip Girl

 

 

 

 

#TBT: Metal Dump Trucks

I’ve decided to spice this thing up a bit with a little #tbt action… you know… get with the times.  I’m old.  And I only started blogging a few years ago.  There’s obviously been a lot of weird blog-worthy crap that’s happened in the tens of years before I started my original blog (which is now set to *private for annoying, career-related reasons).   So in an effort to throw the normal “chronological order” type of blog out the window, I’ve decided to do throw-back Thursdays (I’m super hip).

This week I’ll stay relatively current.   If you knew me at all, you’d know I pull my phone out and document quote-worthy situations in my iPhone’s notes, any time I feel like something happens that I don’t want to forget.  And I forget a lot…Because my brain is full of useless information and conversations… And I’m old… as I may or may not have mentioned.

As I was scrolling through my notes recently, I found a conversation that took place during my road trip from New York to California this summer.  If you’ve ever driven cross-country with anyone, you’d know that normal conversation eventually runs out.  My sister and I didn’t have normal conversation to begin with, because that ran dry years ago.  We started with a blank slate, and the weirdness followed.  It was past the cities we set out to stop in… past Nashville…past Santa Fe.  It was in the Middle.Of.Nowhere.U.S.A.   We kept seeing these huge trucks… they looked like dump trucks except with metallic bodies.

Carissa says, “What’s IN those?!?  I’ll bet it’s milk.”

I agree.  “Yeah, probably milk.”

We keep seeing them.  Over and over again.  It was really bugging us.  Carissa’s driving, and I’m falling in and out of sleep.  More OUT of sleep, because she is the worst driver in the history of the planet and every time I shut my eyes, I feel the car swerve and think I’m going to die.

I forced my eyes open and saw another metal truck.  This time I noticed a name on the cab.  I googled it.  There were a lot of things that came up with that name so I googled the name along with “metal truck.”  I finally found something that might be relevant.  Carissa told me to call.  I called…. on speaker phone.  A woman answered.

“Hello.  I was just wondering what’s in your big silver trucks.  Is it milk?”

Hesitation… She had obviously never fielded this type of phone call:  “No… it’s dried goods.”

Carissa, overhearing from the driver’s seat whispers to me… “Like wine?”

I’m not sure why I listened to her on that one, but I ask the woman on the phone, “Like wine?”

The woman answers, “No… things that are dry.”

I say, “Ok, bye.”

I promptly hang up, annoyed.  Carissa says, “Liar.”

I concur. “Liar.”

And the drive goes on.  And we continue to bitch about what a liar that woman was, and how we know it was actually milk in those trucks…because we have nothing else to bitch about.  And because we have a thousand miles left to go.  And because we know that as amazing as it will be to arrive at our final destination, every weird thing we do along that trip west will be forever engrained into our minds.  And there were a million more of those weird moments we will continue to laugh about… with ourselves… because most of them probably aren’t even the least bit funny when you’re not delirious and high on sugar-free Red Bull.

But until next time…

xoxo

Gossip Girl

 

A Weekend of Weird… Part II of II [Saturday]

If you’ve read my posts since I’ve moved to San Diego, you’d have caught on by now that the house I live in is pretty much a revolving door of extra people (some random, some not), living in our extra living room, lovingly called “The Carport”  (its a renovated carport, now completely enclosed, but still with an outdoor porch light as it’s only form of lighting).

Our last Carporter, Brie stayed for about a month, in between her leases, and when her time here was coming to an end, another friend of the group, Smorgs realized he’d need somewhere to stay for about 3 weeks in between places… so exit Brie, and enter Smorgs.  At this point, after three dwellers down there, I actually think it will be weird when that room is empty.

Late last week, V informed us she was asked to bartend a company holiday party in LA on Saturday night.  A guy she knew from Chicago who had just moved here, was friends with the person coordinating the party, and she needed an extra bartender, so V agreed.  The party was for a production company in Hollywood.  I decided I wanted to go.  Smorgs decided he wanted to go too.  V told us we were absolutely not going.

Friday night was Girls Night Out (which Smorgs was obviously involved in, because when you live in the Carport, you’re one of the girls, no questions asked).  We told V (several times) that we were coming with her to LA in the morning.

“No you’re not.  And I’m leaving at 10.  You sleep til like 1 on the weekends.”

Notttt this weekend…. I let her know I’d be setting my alarm, and going with her.  And Smorgs was coming too.  V wasn’t having it.  Morning came.  I was up and about to hop in the shower.  V asked me what the hell I was doing.

“Going to LA.”

“Not with me.”

“Yes, we’re taking my car.”

“You can take your car.  I’m taking my car.”

“V, that’s really not good for the environment.”

She rolled her eyes.

I stuck my head in the Carport.  “Smorgs, are you coming to LA?”

He popped his head up out of his Aero bed.  “Yep.”

We got ready and threw some random clothing in the car.  We all packed black pants and white button downs because that’s what the bartenders had to wear.  Smorgs and I decided that one of our plans would be to go in with V and the other guy dressed as bartenders before the party started, then change into regular party clothes in the bathroom once we were in.  It was early, and we were rushed, so we didn’t bring any party clothes.  We decided we’d go shopping beforehand, since we were heading up super early and would have plenty of time before the party started.

V still didn’t believe us that we were coming to the party.  Or maybe she did, but she was just in denial.  We picked up her friend, Alex, whom we later found out is a complete Facebook whore, and had already status updated about us before even meeting us… calling us “tagalongs,” and saying the road trip would be “interesting.”  Hmmmpphhh….   We pulled up to his house around 10:30am, he came out to the car, opened the trunk and cheerily announced, “I brought Gatorades, Red Bulls, and snacks for all of us!”  Ohhh… well in that case…. We figured we’d really like Alex….

Alex was somethin’ else.  If there was a camera in that car, I think I’d replay it for all of my friends, because Alex is one of those people who you might not fully understand unless you met him.  I think there were several times I just sat there in silence, wondering if he actually just said what he just said.  He actually said it all.

We told him we were crashing the party, and I think he was confused.  He came up with a couple of ideas, but they didn’t seem like good ideas.  Most of them actually sounded like the worst ideas ever.  He said he could text the woman who was running it to ask if we could come, but if she said no, we were out.  We decided it was better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission, so we told him not to say anything.   We would figure out our own way in.  Alex was nervous we were going to get caught and then say we were with them.

“We’re not idiots.”

We didn’t know what security would be like.  We didn’t know what the dress code was.  We didn’t know the set-up of the venue, or if there was going to be a guest list.  We didn’t know anything other than that there was open bar, free valet, and that we were going.to.the.party.

In between Alex talking about threesomes with dudes and soaking with his ex-girlfriend… and confusion over who in the car was gay… we made a few stops along the way to LA.  We pit-stopped in Huntington Beach to walk around at a street fair, and Smorgs and I decided it would be a good idea to get matching gun Henna tattoos on our forearms.  Halfway through my gun, Wrinkley-Neck Henna Lady told us it’d last at least two weeks… and I remembered I wear scrubs to work.  Whoops.  #justlivinlife?

Our next stop was for lunch at a restaurant on the water in Malibu, where Alex kept exclaiming loudly, “We in DA BU!”  … I’m pretty sure I saw steam coming out of V’s ears somewhere in between Malibu and LA.  I was giggling on the inside, and thinking she was now pretty thankful we invited ourselves.

We arrived at the party location, which was at the actual production office.  We found out there would be 500 guests, so thought nothing of there being 502 instead.  It was 6pm and the party didn’t start til 8.  We followed V and Alex in to get a look around.  There weren’t really any people there yet, but we did meet the woman Alex knew who worked for the company and who was coordinating the event.  She was really friendly and nice… but Alex did not get us the invite.  He didn’t even try.

Fine.  Party crashing it would be.

I think even at this point, V didn’t think we were coming to the party.  As we were leaving, she said if we wanted to valet the car there, we could always take a taxi to bars in the area.  Smorgs and I just looked at each other.  We walked away and he said, “Why is she talking about taxis when we are going to this party?”

“I don’t know, but we are going to this party.”

We left V and Alex there, and googled the nearest mall, which was in Beverly Hills.  We started at Macy’s and tried to pick out appropriate outfits, not having any idea of what the dress code was.  Smorgs went with a pretty loud paisley button down, and I got a long-sleeved dress that was maybe a little shorter and tighter than my usual PB beach attire, and a pair of black heels (When in Rome?)

We changed in the mall parking deck.  Like IN the parking deck.  Next to the car.  Down to the undergarments.  We almost got away with it.  I think I had my dress completely on and was just pulling my pants from underneath when I heard the laughter of a large woman who had creeped up behind the car.  Oops.

We then stopped at CVS because Smorgs wore a hat all day and forgot hair gel.  Get with it, buddy.  My dress also smelled like a fat woman’s B.O, but it was the only one in my size so I was stuck with it.  I went to the body spray section and sprayed the crap out of myself with “Sensual Night.”  I figured it was an appropriate scent.  I didn’t even care what it smelled like.  I just didn’t want to smell like fat woman B.O.  Next was the body lotion section.  I started rubbing some on my arms and legs, and happened to glance over at the checkout where Smorgs was paying for his hair product as he turned to see me rubbing myself with lotion.

We ran outta there and I declared I felt like a homeless person in Beverly Hills.  We stopped at Chateau Marmont for a drink on our way back to the party which was just starting.  As soon as we walked in, we got caught by a bald man with hipster glasses who told us we were the most fashionable couple in there, and he wanted to have a threesome with us… except without Smorgs.  He continued on detailing his life, from his dates with horrible women to ultrasounds of his testicles.  He was really into Smorgs and his shirt, but then his gay friend piped in with “It looks like a paisley elf threw up on you.”  Rude.

Like can we go anywhere and do anything normal?  No.  But I’m now really upset we didn’t get his card, because he’s a member of the Magic Castle, and I definitely need to get in there… ugh…

Onward ho, it was party time.  How’d we crash it, you ask?  We pulled up to the valet, gave him the car key, and walked in.  That’s how.  Piece of cake.  Piece of crumb cake.

V made us promise to act like we didn’t know her.  We did a pretty good job.  Except she kinda shot herself in the foot by having a heavy pouring hand, because by the end of the night we were calling her Nessie and trying to set her up with the young hotties.  She wasn’t really too happy about that.  She thought we had bad taste.

The party was pretty sweet.  I wondered what kind of job I could have to work in an office like that.  We mingled, we tore up the dance floor, harrassed the DJ for more Britney, and used Christmas lights as outfit accessories.  So much for blending in.  I also may or may not have asked an old man if I could touch his beard  (he said yes… it was a good one).

At 2am, the party was wrapped and Alex drove us home.  Smorgs and I turned the backseat into a Meatloaf dance party for the first half of the trip home until we both crashed.  V had work in the morning and was the only one who did NOT fall asleep on the way back.  Well besides Alex… as far as I know.

I’ve had a few of experiences crashing parties/weddings, and I have to say this was the most successful.  We didn’t get kicked out OR end up in jail.  Everything else was bonus.

I think Saturday as a whole was one of my favorite days in a while.

Over and out for now, Pumpkins.

xoxo

Gossip Girl

A Weekend of Weird… Part I of II [Friday]

Every once in a while you just have the random, weird weekend that you know you’ll end up thinking about for a long time to come.  This was one of those weekends.

I guess I should have known it was going to be weird before it even started.  I’m pretty sure I drank too much caffeine on Friday, and my roommate, V was in a really enabling mood.  We had a date to go get smoothies at my favorite smoothie place before work.  I’ve become legitimately addicted to the Blueberry Muffin smoothie from Herbalife.  I think they might put crack in it.  And it doesn’t hurt that the guy who runs the smoothie shop by my house is pretty sexual.  I’ve made it a pretty regular routine to visit this smoothie shop during the week, on the weekends, whenever I get a chance.  I’ve brought my sister and all of my roommates on multiple trips.  I was actually nervous the smoothie guy would think I was going there specifically to see HIM, which wasn’t the case, so I passed it by a couple of times without stopping, worried he might think I’m a stalker.  Funny thing is, one time I took my roommates T and Brie in there and they both recognized him.  Turned out he was engaged to one of Brie’s friends from home.  This caused confusion.

“I don’t believe he’s engaged… we talk ALL of the time and he has NEVER mentioned a fiancée.”

T says, “What the hell do you think he’s going to say??  ‘My FIANCEE’s favorite smoothie flavor is….'”

Good point, I guess, but we had multiple conversations about being from NY, what we were doing for the holidays, weekend plans, etc… etc… etc… and I feel like he could have slipped in SOME mention of a fiancée.  He had so many chances.

Brie took out her phone one night to prove he was engaged, and pulled up her friend from home on Facebook.  Flipped to an obvious engagement photo, handed the phone over and asked, “Is this him?”

There was no question… it was him.  I continued to go to the smoothie shop and have extensive convos with the smoothie guy, wondering if he’d ever mention her, but he never did.

During my trip home to NY last weekend, I got a group text from V and T:  “At the Fox and smoothie guy is here.  He does NOT have a gf or fiancée anymore.  Single and living w Craigslist roommates.”

Game.Changer.

Muuuahahahhaahaha.  I KNEW he was too nice to be keeping a secret from his most loyal customer.  T ended up meeting him and his friends out the next night too, and friend-requested him a couple of days later so we could do some better stalkage.  Having this mutual friend connection became dangerous.

Back to Friday… V and I went to get a smoothie in the morning.  With plans to find out Smoothie’s weekend plans.  The place was closed.  I was mad.  It’s always open on Fridays.  V suggested that maybe it was just too early… we usually go later in the day… and also mentioned she didn’t mind they were closed because she forgot to put makeup on anyway.   So we went about our business and reconvened after I was done with work to try again.  CLOSED.  Mad.  In smoothie withdrawal and now we had no idea what the Smoothie Guy would be doing for the weekend.  Bad. News.

We’re on our way back home and V suggests I send him a FB message.  So I obviously did.  I found him through T’s friend list and told him I thought it was rude that he was closed, and he knew I needed my fix.  He responded promptly.  We had a conversation for a bit, but it didn’t go anywhere.  And he told me what his plans were, but with no suggestion to meet up, so I just let it go.

V and I sat on the couch and started watching a DVR’ed episode of Millionaire Matchmaker from the night before.  I watched, while whining that I was getting antsy, I had too much caffeine, and that I wanted to go out to Happy Hour.

“Court, it’s barely 5pm!!!!”

Ughhhhh…. So I sat.  And watched.  The episode featured a 41-year-old millionaire from San Diego.  Who happened to be super cute.  And they happened to mention his last name throughout the episode.  So when it ended, I happened to look him up, happened to request a connection on LinkedIn, and then happened to located his Facebook page.  I told V I was going to send him a message and she rolled her eyes.  I wrote a message and clicked “send,” and Facebook notified me that my message would go to a box labeled “other” instead of to his regular inbox, unless I wanted to pay a dollar.

“I have to pay a dollar to send this guy a regular message?!”

“Why???”

“I don’t know… but I’m just gonna do it.  Otherwise he’ll never get it.”

“I hope the dollar goes to charity.”

“Nope.  It went to Facebook.”

Message.Sent.

It wasn’t til later when V asked what I wrote.  I told her and she just stared at me for several seconds before responding, “I really wish you had asked me before sending that message.  I wouldn’t have let you send that.”

Whoops.

A couple of hours later when a few of us were in a cab on our way out, my phone lit up with a Facebook notification.  Friend request from the Millionaire.  Followed promptly with a response to my message.  Followed by an inquiry about what I was doing for the rest of the weekend.  I was busy  [which will be part II of II of this weekend post].

Millionaire gave me his phone number and asked me to text him.  In yo FACE, V.  My dorky message was a grand success.  He texted a couple of times over the weekend and asked me to go out for a drink soon.  I nonchalantly agreed.  Then I watched his episode again.

He seems boring.  Over it.

Weekend to be continued……….

xoxo Gossip Girl

First Trip Back to NY

One thing I wasn’t prepared for when moving from New York to California was for people to be mad.  Sad, yeah, of course… I was sad to leave people I love, but mad?  No.  I’m not sure how that emotion came about.  It doesn’t really upset me that people are mad, just confuses me.  I feel like we are all living our lives with the goal to experience things and make ourselves happy.  And different things make different people happy.  I don’t think I’d be mad at anyone for a life decision unless it were specifically to hurt me.  I never really anticipated feeling the bit of guilt I feel, now living on the other side of the country.  Not because I feel like I’m doing something wrong, just because it’s clear that a couple of people I love are mad at me for pursuing what I wanted to do… my selfish dream.  I miss these people all… like crazy.  But didn’t plan on feeling guilty about it.

Carissa and I have been here for a little over 4 months and hadn’t had plans to go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year.  Flights are crazy expensive, we made a no-man-left-behind pact, and my parents decided to come out in early January to celebrate Christmas with us here.  Some minor guilt trips were laid out about not being around for the holidays, but that didn’t really affect me.  What did affect me was that I really started missing “home” and the people who were there.  Not because holiday season was approaching, but because I just genuinely missed them.  Sitting on my front porch one night with a glass of wine (the best ideas are sparked by a glass of wine), I asked Carissa if she’d be interested in coming home with me for a long weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  She was.  We decided on going for our brother’s birthday weekend, booked the trip about 6 weeks in advance, and decided we would make it a surprise.  The only person we notified for coordination purposes was our “brother,” Courtney, who was planning birthday festivities.

We flew in separately last Thursday.  I took an early flight, and Carissa got one after her classes.  Since no one really knew we were coming, it was hard to coordinate sleeping arrangements for the first night.  I knew I had to go to Hoboken straight from JFK to pick up my snowboard from my condo’s basement to bring back with me, so I planned to stay with a friend there.  Carissa on the other hand, didn’t want her friends to know she was home until the following night, so her plan was to get home to Babylon around 2am, SNEAK INTO our parents’ house, and into her bed, and then meet me in the morning to surprise them at work.  FLAW FLAW … hole in the plan.

“Carissa, you CANNOT sneak into the house.  Dad’s going to shoot you when he hears someone creeping up the stairs in the middle of the night.”

“No… he only has a Louisville Slugger next to his bed… I’ll be fine.”

“He has a GUN.  He will shoot you.”

“Oh….really?…. hmmmm… okay I’ll figure something else out.”

She figured something else out.  I also had to figure something else out at the last-minute because my Hoboken sleeping arrangements fell through.  Planes trains and automobiles later, I arrived in Hoboken and met up with The Architect, who I had informed earlier that I’d be in town for the night.  The feeling being back there, but homeless, was eerie.  It felt so amazing to be back.  I’d missed the vibes of the town.  I had a fun random Thursday out, visited my favorite local watering hole, and saw a couple of friends.  The next morning as I walked to my old condo in the dark, cold, rain, I couldn’t help but feel happy anyway.  I was so excited to be back, and so excited to see my family over the next couple of days.  As I crossed the street near my building, dragging my luggage with a hood over my head, the crossing guard who looked like he was basically covered in plastic bags shouted, “Happy Friday!”  I beamed, and shouted back to him.  Even the nasty cold rain was making me happy.  I felt back at home.  Back home with all the miserable commuters I was used to.

If getting through public transportation on a Friday morning during rush hour isn’t complicated enough…. I challenge you to do it with a rolling suitcase, an oversized purse, a sweater, and a packed snowboard bag over your shoulder.  I can’t count how many times I said “I’m sorry,” and after the first leg of the trip, making it down to the PATH and then up into the city, I just couldn’t stop laughing.  As hard as I tried to control all of my things it was just impossible not to whack people either in front of me, behind me, or to either side.  As I fielded dirty looks, I felt it was necessary to explain what a nightmare it was to be pushing through turnstiles with the amount of odd-shaped things I had to carry.

I finally made it to Penn Station, got a real New York bagel, made my way down to the Long Island Railroad, got my snowboard up on the top shelf with a big sigh, and sat down.  The conductor collected my ticket and I asked him if he knew when the train would get to Babylon.  He told me, and then asked, “Do you know who I am?”

I did know who he was.  He was my mom’s friend’s husband, Frank.  Funny enough, he was one of the only OTHER people who knew I’d be in town, because his wife, Marie helped me get my mom half a day off of work that day in secret.  Frank asked where Carissa was, and if we were ready for the surprise, and chatted with me for the majority of the train ride.  Feeling at home already.

I get to Babylon and looked for Carissa who was supposed to be picking me up.  I called her.  She picked up and whispered, “Hey, I just found Dad’s keys in his jacket pocket.  I think he’s still home.  I’ll be there in 5.”

Okay, now she’s breaking into the house and stealing my dad’s car… while he’s home.  She pulls up a few minutes later with incessant horn honking, starts laughing at me struggling with my bags, and as I throw myself into the car says, “Ok, let’s go to mom’s school.”

“Carissa!  We need to get the car back to Dad before he notices and calls the cops!”

“Oh yeah.”

It’s so weird being back, homeless, and carless.  We hurried back home before our dad knew his car was missing, crept upstairs and freaked the crap out of him.  It took him a few minutes to understand what was going on.  We asked to borrow a car and then headed to my mom’s school… which was the highlight of the weekend.  To be honest I would have made the trip east JUST for these few minutes with T-Diddy, which thankfully we caught on video:

It took her a few minutes to process that this, in fact, was NOT a dream, and then we kidnapped her for the second half of the day for some quality girl time.

The rest of our time flew.  We got to see our brother and other brother for their birthdays, our sister Britt, and a bunch of other family and friends over the weekend.  There was obviously not enough time with each person, nor enough time to see as many people as I would have liked, but we did our best.  We spent the entire day on Saturday taking over Sixth Ward on the LES, rearranging their projector, Christmas decorations, TV channels and audio system to meet our sports watching and pool-playing needs.  We spent a solid 12 quality hours there, eating two meals and using the bathrooms a record-breaking amount of times.  At the end of the night, when Carissa and I gave our final hugs goodbye to Chase and Britt on the frigid street, and scurried into the closest cab, I turned to see her start to cry.  “I hate leaving my brother…” which of course started my waterworks as well.  Spending a whole day with people you love so much in the city you love so dearly was bittersweet.

The energy in NYC is un-matched by any other place.  Maybe it’s because it’s the one in which I feel most at home, but maybe it’s because it truly is the greatest city in the world.  When Monday night came around and it was time to go back home, the goodbyes were sad, but I had a peace about me, because I felt happy to be returning “home” to California.  It’s somewhere that you smile getting off the plane and feel welcomed by the palm trees and cheery people.  Will it be home forever?  Maybe not… but really…. who knows?  For now, my heart is split between coasts.  And that’s how I like it.

Peace out for now buttercups…

xoxo

Gossip Girl

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