Time is of the Essense: East vs. West

About once a week some one will say to me:
Oh you’re from San Francisco? What’s the difference between the East Coast and West Coast?

Presently my answer is to yell “I don’t want to talk about it!” wrap my down parka tighter around myself, pulling my scarf up to my eyes. A gesture to illustrate the most obvious answer (WINTER) and deter the speaker from continuing such banal small talk.

That was a bit harsh. I imagine I wouldn’t dislike this question so much if I had a good answer for it. Any answer I think of is vague, which isn’t surprising because so is the initial question. Let’s be honest, when a New Yorker says “East Coast” he means “New York City”. To give a logical answer requires detail, out of the range of small talk. Maybe if I just outline it here, I’ll have the perfect answer: “You can read all about it on my blog!” (Confession: I have actually used this phrase in real life. The reaction is always “…” which forces me to then recount the story written here in a much less witty and insightful manner. Sigh.)

So the most obvious difference I notice in my daily routine? A trivial change in vernacular. West coasters wait “in” line. They only go “online” to use the internet. East coasters (and by that I mean New Yorkers) spend a lot more time “on” lines than West coasters do “in” lines- any relation to the lingo? Maybe…

New Yorkers are obsessed with time. We’re always too busy. There are never enough hours in a day.  Despite our many 24/7 locations, the subway that never stops running, and bars that never close before 4AM. Hold up a New Yorker- walk too slow, chat with a cashier, stand on the wrong side of an escalator, delay a subway- and they will, at the very least, give you a dirty look. More often than not they’ll say something dirty to your face. Myself included (I favor loud sighs and muttering to myself, but admittedly I have lapsed into crazy ranting after waiting 20 + minutes for a subway.) Similarly, being late for an appointment in NY is likely a deal breaker. My habitual 10 minutes tardiness? Unacceptable.

In San Francisco no one thinks twice if you’re 5 minutes late. You can literally, because the temperate climate always for year-round blooms, take time to smell the roses. San Franciscans value time as much as New Yorkers, but they aren’t obsessed with it. Each city has a tangible energy that is hard to describe. Going home for Christmas from NY, SF felt relaxed, calm, carefree. Lazy even. Perfect for a vacation.

At this point in my life, I think I prefer hustle and bustle and constant stimulation.

In (East coast) college we would have “Who Is Busier” contests all the time. Student 1: “Omg I have two 15 page papers, one 5 pager, 1 lab and 3 tests all due on Friday!” Student 2: “Well I have three 16 page papers, two 4 pagers, 3 tests, and 5 scenes all due on Friday” Student 1 & 2: “OMG I’m sooo stressed out!” I hated these contests.  I thought they’d stop with college. Wishful thinking. I still have friends give me run downs of their lives where the subtext just reeks of “I am sooo much busier than you! My time is so much more valuable so you’re even lucky I’m talking to you right now!” Ok really? We’re ALL busy so I don’t need to hear it. Similar to when someone you’re dating feeds you “I’m really busy these days.” line. As ego bruising as it would be, I truly would prefer “I’m not really interested.” This is a little pet peeve of mine. I’m beginning to fear this may just be human nature an I shant escape it with maturity.

Another huge difference between New York and San Francisco? Minimum wage. San Francisco’s is a respectable $9.79. One might almost-sorta-not-really be able to live on that. New York’s is $7.25. Insane considering how inflated everything is here. As they say, time is money- it only makes sense New Yorkers treat it like a precious commodity.

Get It?

Will someone please buy me this necklace? Don't you agree I NEED it?
Will someone please buy me this necklace? Don’t you agree I NEED it?

After Trader Joe’s Boy revealed that he’d read my blog, he looked deep into my eyes and said with nothing but sincerity: “You are not a cliché. You are a unique wonderful person. Little self esteem issue, huh? Trust me. I know people who are clichés. You are not one of them.” I had no idea how to react to this. Had I not just broken up with him, I think that declaration would’ve been enough to seal the deal.

Another reason to need the above necklace, I can wear it on a first date and find out immediately if they have a prayer of “getting it”. (Ha ha double entendre!)

I’ve never had someone “not get me” so completely. Well, not to my knowledge. My humor is often dry as toast (other times it tries too hard- I’m aware). I’d venture as far as saying most of my friends have had a moment “Wait, stop, are you joking? I can’t tell!” I say credit goes to my Theatre BA and natural feminine mystique (“Wait, are you kidding? I can’t tell!”).

If you’re reading this, I imagine there’s a good chance you get it. I thank you for that. As a little token of thanks, I’m going to give you more frequent reading material (maybe you noticed this is my 3rd post this week!) Given that you “get it” I especially value your opinion. Therefore I ask: Do you appreciate small posts such as this? I’m conflicted with quality (as in sporadic but quality stories) vs. quantity (more posts…likely ranging in quality). I’m so accustomed to 1,000 worders, brevity feels weird to me. I’m also afraid to write meaningless tripe. Guess that makes me a non-cliché blogger.

I’ve changed the appearance around here a bit too. Like I said, I value your opinion, so tell me what you think. Really, I just want to make sure everyone’s met the “Leave a Comment” tab. Hey, maybe I do have plenty “cliché blogger” in me after all!

Get Outta My Pants!

The subway is many New Yorkers’ 2nd home. It shows. We sleep on the subway, eat on the subway, put make up on, make money, make out, change babies, finish novels, puke, etc (guess which ones on this list I haven’t done!). Ask most anyone who lives in New York, they likely have a harrowing story (or ten) about something inappropriate/gross/bizarre/hilarious that they saw on the subway.

This past weekend I decided to take my pants off on the subway.

Yes, you read that right. Yes, I’m fully serious.

No, I’m not original.

Sunday was NYC’s annual No Pants Subway Ride.

No doubt you’ve heard of it but in case you missed the memo on this world-wide phenomenon (people participated in 41 countries!) here’s some press: The event was started in NYC by our resident troupe Improv Everywhere (check out their website, it’s fun) whose mission statement is to “cause scenes of chaos and joy in public places” like spontaneous musicals and throwing surprise wedding receptions.

Really, this news segment can give you the perfect 3 minute summary (that’s what news segments do best after all, I’m much better at wordy blog posts.)

ARVE Error: no id set

See me? I’m in that crowd! (I don’t think I made the video though, I can’t find me.)

Riders on the subway weren’t too fazed. It was a little disappointing. NY subway riders are so jaded they don’t even blink when hundreds of people pull down their pants.  Plus the pants-less easily out numbered the pant-wearing. When we got off the subway in Union Square there was a moment of “am I really going to go outside (IN JANUARY) with no pants?” Answer: YES. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. Organizers of the event met us with pamphlets COULD PANTS BE RIGHT FOR YOU? ARE YOU READY TO ACCEPT PANTS INTO YOUR LIFE? MISSING SOMETHING? ASK ME ABOUT PANTS!

The outside reactions were much better. Strangers on the street, easily tourists, “So how did you find out about this event? Why aren’t you wearing pants?” Oh you know, don’t you ever have those days where you wake up and just don’t really feel like putting on pants?

We brought our pants-lessness to a neighborhood bar where there were a whole bunch of fratty people watching the playoffs. The “Um okay….?” uttered by a girl clearly upset that her cleavage was being rivaled made it hard for me to keep a straight face. A man wearing pants sits next to me as we are just about to leave. “Ok. So tell me why you aren’t wearing pants? What’s the deal?” Oh my God! I forgot my pants, ok? Why do people keep mentioning it! I was hoping no one would notice! This is so embarrassing! With that I get up from my seat, grab my friends, and leave the bar. I love dramatic exits.

Why did I decide to take my pants off on the subway? Come on, if there’s something that society forbids you to do but on one day allows,  you do it! I knew it would be a funny experience. I also love the feeling  of being united towards a goal. The group events I go to usually have the goal to create change. Races, protests, even parades. The No Pants Subway Ride had all the comradery that’s amazing at Gay Pride or the AIDS Walk but there was no element of sadness, of fighting the fight. This was pure, unadulterated silliness.

Or maybe I did it to protest winter. Running around Union Square in my little pink underwear, laughing in the face of the teen degree weather I felt like I can beat the winter blues. That the days of running around in a bikini bottom (very similar to underwear, see?) aren’t all that far away. That’s life-blood to my chapped lips, scarf encased face, numb hands.

Or maybe I did it because, as we all know, I not so secretly aspire to be Carrie Bradshaw.

Resolutions and the Unresolved

I am pretty good at keeping New Year’s Resolutions. Which might come as a surprise. I can’t make deadlines (senior year 80% of my papers were turned in late, the most impressive tardiness: 3 months after the original due date), I’ll probably be 10 minutes late to my own wedding (should it ever occur), I always say “I should keep my room cleaner” and never do. But some how I can make one resolve at the beginning of the year and generally stick to it. Perhaps it’s because my resolutions are usually vague, like “Take More Risks” (totally rocked that one). Or they involve goals that only have no other option but moving forward- “Floss more” (considering 22 years previous of…pretty much never flossing this was hard not to achieve). This year I intend to improve my posture and stop touching my face so much (2 high incentives: looking better and not getting sick. One week into 2010 and so far so good.

Dating resolutions on the other hand…. Remember that time I said “no more actors” shortly followed by the resolve to “cease the virtual and focus solely on reality” (both direct quotes!)? Yeah…about those.

It was the night of our Company Holiday Party (CHP). Just that sentence makes you think “Uh oh….what did you do…?” Every December issue of any women’s magazine I have ever picked up has at least one article, more likely several- What to Wear, Do’s and Don’t, Embarrassing Stories sent in by readers- about this annual, fraught with danger, “fun”, event. While I had read these articles for years (I must explain myself: Trashy mags were in a free flowing supply at the gym in college. I went to the gym a lot in an effort to shed the cliché Freshman 15. Ergo, I did more trashy than academic reading  as an undergrad.) this was my first experience actually attending a CHP. Grumbling slightly because going to a party “like it’s my job” is weird, I borrowed the advised “flattering, fun, but not too sexy dress” from my roommate, put on the only pair of boots I own that make me understand why so many women have love affairs with shoes, and with the resolve to not get too drunk I headed downtown.

I arrive on the early side, (ie no one is there ) still 10 minutes later than the time I was told to arrive. I’ve been at this job about 3 weeks, I’m still in the ‘they say jump, I jump” phase. I take off my coat and find myself face to face with the bar. The open bar. The I-can-order-ANYTHING-regardless-of-cost bar. This is beyond exciting. And dangerous. My frugality generally keeps me sober which in turn generally keeps my tolerance low. It all works out very nicely. Until I’m faced with an open bar or benefactor(s). Then it becomes much harder to count drinks,  then I stop caring about counting, and before long I stop caring about anything.

For a while I’m fine. Great in fact. I’m mingling like a champ, introducing myself and being charming with small talk. I’m even doing some networking as I meet a fellow employee who is also an actor. I think I’ve made a friend in him, he’s easy to come back to when I find myself in a awkward stand still conversation lull with some one else. He mentions he has a plus-one showing up. Ugh couples. Lame. He then mentions his plus one is his roommate- figured he’d share the open bar/free food bounty. Not so lame.

When his roommate actually shows up my “not so lame” turns into “totally awesome!” See, new work buddy failed to mention that him roommate is ridiculously cute. He’s got quite a few inches on me in spite of my heals,  gorgeous blue eyes that show sweetness and intelligence, and side burns that make you want to touch his face not rip them off of it. And it’s not just that he’s cute. Let’s be honest. It’s not his eyes that tell me he’s sweet and intelligent, it’s more that after he showed up I ceased my mingling. I spend the rest of the night pretty much just talking to him. Oops. That’s breaking Company Party Rule #4 but I don’t care. He and his roommate tell me about how they met- a summer theatre production of Anne of Green Gables. He’s an actor. Of course he is. My cousin was right when she said half the men I meet here will be actors. I give up. There’s no way I staying clear of actors. It’s silly to even try.

By the end of the night he’s touched my arm several times, the kind of touches that mean nothing coming from most people, but when there’s chemistry their memory lingers in your arm hair that’s standing on end. We’re pillaging the dessert tray, bantering about cannolis, and unless some how my inebriated memory has betrays me, I feed him one. After another round of champagne and engaging conversation that’s it. I want him to be my Gilbert Blithe. Stat. Everything about the night has the distinct feeling of “really hitting it off with someone”.

Then suddenly, without warning, he’s leaving. What? No! “It was great to meet you, I hope I see you again sometime. Friend me on facebook or something?” No! I’ve sworn off the virtual! I don’t want to do such a passive form of contact, screw that- Actually, I kind of want you number. Ha, “kind of” my cannoli, but I’m not used to asking adorable boys for their phone numbers. Cut me some slack.Okay” he says, and enters it into my phone. I’m sure a huge smile plastered itself across my face. Not sure I even made an attempt to hide it, and if I has any success.

So there I am, giddy with champagne bubbles and prospect. He didn’t ask for my number, but so what? I send him a cute witty “was nice to meet you” text so that he has it. His response is prompt and encouraging.

And then? Then I went home for the holidays. I’m sitting in JFK, awaiting my flight back to San Francisco, fighting boredom with JetBlue free wireless my thoughts drift to my crush. And then, because it was right in front of me? Because I wanted to be proactive? Because I wanted to see pictures of sideburns? Because I couldn’t not? Because I’m lame? I think you can guess what I did. I friended him on Facebook.

Idiot. This should be my New Years Resolution 2010. Do not friend people you are interested on Facebook! It causes more harm than good! And this isn’t just me. As the New York Times article I just read thoroughly discusses, Facebook creates ridiculous romantic complications. My predicament? Facebook says he’s In A Relationship. FACEBOOK SAYS. He never said! He never implied! Nothing! But because Facebook fucking says it, I give pause, give doubt to everything. My original ballsy plan to call him when I get back from San Francisco? Out the window. All because Facebook says.

I’m torn on this. On the one hand, he probably does have a girlfriend. On the other hand, just because Facebook says so, does not mean it’s true. Cute Theatre Boy is a good example- Facebook labeled him as “Single” the whole time we were dating and continues to do so  2 girlfriends after me. I asked him about it the other day (we are still friends if you’ve missed my previous mention of it) and his answer was “I don’t want people to see when I change it, ask questions, blah blah blah.” I decided to leave the ball in my crush’s court. He could contact me. Lame, passive, but I really don’t care to chase the unavailable.

Fortunately it was Christmas, New Years. Both very happy and spent with people I love. Perfect devises to forget about a crush. And I did too. Of course the minute I forget him, he writes on my facebook wall. Teasing me about my profile picture. Great, now I’m back where I started.

What stupid, virtual (ie NOT REAL) predicaments the decade presents.

Christmas Time in the City

After enduring a month of unsettlingly pre-mature cheer, it’s finally allowed to be Christmas.

October 18: I walked into Duane Reade and gasped at the Christmas isle all set up and ready to go. Why do companies think this it the way to go?

xmastreecranesNovember 3rd: I was cold and went into Starbucks for a hot cocoa. (It’s impossible to avoid Starbucks in NYC, they are literally on ever corner- fortunate because they are essentially the New Yorker’s Public Restroom, internet hot spot, and place to take cover from inclement weather. Often I go into a Starbucks, do any of those aforementioned, and purchase nothing. They’re the man. But when I have a chocolate hankering that needs quenching, I purchase the Kid’s Hot Cocoa. Usually they don’t question my kid-less-ness, it is the perfect size, and the cheapest thing on the menu.) They were playing Christmas music. My poor barista, searching for some shred of logic, actually said this to me: “Tell me, does Christmas music this early make you want to buy things?” No. It makes me want to die. Or at least boycott places that play it. Want me to write to someone?

November 7th: A gigantic Christmas tree assaults me in the plaza outside work. It already looks a bit bedraggled as they set it up, woe to what it will look like when it’s actually near Christmas.

The morning after Halloween most every retail window I passed had magically changed over night to obtrusive HOLIDAY!! GIFTS!! I walked into Banana Republic and immediately turned around and walked out when high volume Christmas music bombarded my ears. This was on a 63 degree day. I can’t handle “Let it snow!” in warm sunny weather. Not on the east coast. I turned around, got an ice cream cone and ate it while strolling through the color changing leaves of Central Park.

Why aren’t consumers allowed to have Fall any more? Thanksgiving is completely forgotten, and I’m still mourning the loss of summer when Christmas assaults us. Yes, I feel assaulted. It’s horrible. I can’t appreciate the pretty lights, snow flakes, decorations- nothing. If they pop up before Thanksgiving all I can think is STOP MOVING SO FAST! I’M NOT READY FOR THIS YET!

Has it always been like this? I remember that post-Halloween was always Christmas-y because that was when we started learning the music in chorus, but I have no recollection of the rest of the world reflecting the season as well. Have they pushed “The Holiday Season” as early as possible this year in a hope to increase spending? Also, is this a New York phenomenon or were you graced with Santa hats and wrapping paper before you even put on your Halloween costume?


Fortunately, I am only a Scrooge before actual Christmas time (and given that, “Scrooge” isn’t even really an appropriate term- ah well). The morning after Thanksgiving I embraced the cheer. I was finally able to see the charm in the bedraggled Christmas tree outside my work, even. Yes, I spent “Black Friday” (don’t get me started on that consumer ridiculousness) working. Really I spent all Thanksgiving weekend working. Which was less than fun. But when I wasn’t working, I was Christmas caroling! See, I wasn’t kidding when I said I embraced the cheer. Embraced it and spread it. I went out with my roommates for maybe 4 hours and we ended up with over $250 in our hat. I suppose that makes me a professional cheer-spreader? Christmas caroling is so fun, it’s nice to have fun AND make money for a change!

Breakup Plan: Showtime


[This is the Finale of the Trader Joe’s Guy Series: click for Part One and Part Two and Part Three and Part Four]
There are times when it is cruel and unusual to break up with someone. Like on Halloween or on their 21st birthday. The night I realize I have to end things with my Trader Joe’s Crush, BOTH these scenarios are true. It is Halloween tonight, his 21st birthday is literally 3 days away. The timing couldn’t be worse. I may be flattering myself to think I’d have such an effect, but there is no way I will risk ruining anyone’s birthday, especially the big 2-1. So I’m stuck for a few days, which gives me time to formulate a plan: attempt  to foreshadow the impending end up until after the birthday, then take him out to dinner and end it. Seems simple enough- but as someone who’s used to being the dumpee and been hurt as such, I agonized over it. I’m a firm believer in “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” and hope to do this as nicely as possible.

As Halloween winds down, I know he’s expecting to come home with me- he even mentions something about it to my roommate, creating a mildly awkward situation. In my own personal belief, I’ve been horrible to him all night- distant, paying more attention to my friends, disengaging, kissing my roommate rather than him (“I’m gay tonight” the easy excuse). I’m not exactly mean to him, but I’m certainly not being nice. Like the popular cheerleader to the socially awkward nerd, it fits with our perspective costumes. I’m certainly not behaving in a way that should make him want to go home with me (unless the kissing-my-roommate thing…backfired…shit.)

I’m in a weird mood…I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to come back to my place.

The actor in me is enthralled by the drastic, immediate effect this statement has on him. From the happy and friendly face I’m used to, to disappointment and concern that is almost a different person. “I understand,” he says, “Are you sure there’s nothing I can do?” You can stop being so nice to me! Stop liking me! Save yourself! I kiss him goodbye, (feeling bad that I know it’s our last kiss when he doesn’t,) and he gets off the subway, while I continue home- minus one boy but plus my friends. The Asian Tourist berates me, “That’s a great way to get him the message. He’s really going to see this coming with you making out with him.” I burst into tears. Shut up! What was I supposed to do? Not kiss him? I don’t know what I’m doing! This sucks! Mascara forms streams down my made-up face, glitter pooling in zigzags. I imagine the sight through the eyes of the anonymous  passengers on the subway and smile through tears. What a sight I am- a cheerleader crying over a boy. What a cliché.

In the days following I carry out my BreakUp Plan to a tee. Staying distant, excusing myself from the actual birthday, taking him out the day after. We end up sitting in a park afterward. I know it’s show time. I’ve thought out what I need to say, anticipated possible reactions, but as soon as I open my mouth my “script” dissolves into Real Life Improv. It takes mild prompting from him, “So, what’s up?” to make me deliver my monologue.

As I conclude: I’m not feeling what I need to feel to be in a relationship with someone. I hold my breath and look at him. My worst case scenario anticipation: tears. There are none. Second worst: anger. Nope, not there either. In fact the look on his face is less devastating than the aforementioned one on Halloween. “Yeah, I kinda saw this coming. Especially after Halloween.” Yeah. I reply and pat myself on the back. He saw it coming! I avoided the shock-and-awe-surprise-breakup-attack! He then says, “I just want to ask you one thing.” Sure, breakup clarifications- typical, anticipated. I brace myself as possible questions whiz through my mind. Of course. You can ask me anything you want.

“What are you going to write about this in your blog?”

I stare at him flabbergasted. Dumbfounded.

At the time there was no answer for this question except You read my blog!? and If you don’t want me to write about it, I won’t. Now, however, I have the answer. You just read it. And I have no doubt he’s read it too.

Post Script

From the look he gave me when I was at Trader Joe’s the other day (I have to buy food! I can’t avoid it!), I am inclined to believe he hates what I wrote in here. It seems the most likely explanation for the uncharacteristic harrowing look.  I long ago decided not to censor my blog for people who might read it, not even my mother. That was a big decision. Of course had he said anything along the lines of  “I do not want you writing about this“, I  certainly would have honored the request. But he said nothing of the sort.

In this day and age don’t we all expect people to write blogs about us? I try to aim for anonymity and respect (and of course humor), but do I succeed? Do I go to far? When I step over the line into Too Personal, do I always know it? If I don’t know it, will my readers tell me? Where should the lines of what I can and cannot, should and shouldn’t write about be drawn?

Break It Down (Now)

[This is Part Four of the Trader Joe’s Guy Series: click for Part One and Part Two and Part Three and Part Five]
Last Halloween, my first in NYC, was spent all by myself. As alone as one can be surrounded by thousands of strangers, I had no friends to go out with. Which is why I was even more excited than usual for Halloween this year.

My roommates and I plan to go down to the village, combine forces of all our individual friends, and have a great night of watching the Halloween Parade, drinking, not being sick, and dancing in the streets. I am pumped.  Talking to my Trader Joe’s Crush about Halloween I learn he has no plans for the evening… and he asks if he can “tag along” with me and my friends…While I was very much looking forward to a night with just friends, I know how lonely Halloween alone is. I make the compromise: Well after the parade we’re planning to go do 21-year-old things, so be warned: we’ll probably ditch you. But yeah, you’re welcome to join for the parade!

My roommate Miranda and I dress up as Gay Cheerleaders for Halloween. Uh What? Miranda’s co-worker was dying to have someone, anyone wear her old cheerleading outfit so that she could tell her mother that yes there is actually a reason for having a bag of things she hasn’t used in 10+ years taking up storage space. When asked if she “wanted to be a cheerleader for Halloween?” Miranda showed mild interest and was immediately handed a green and gold duffle bag filled with 2 full outfits (home and visitor apparently), a track jacket, pom poms, and palpable team spirit. She came home that day, showed me her loot, we may or may not have played dress up in a way that would rival 5 year olds, and we knew on Halloween we were wearing these costumes.

To simply be cheerleaders seemed too boring, too easy. Zombie Cheerleaders? Vampire Cheerleaders? Too predictable. Too much makeup. Having just watched the cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader we decide to be Gay Cheerleaders. No, it didn’t exactly make sense, (I  wish I was as creative with costumes as my cousin,) but we had fun accessorizing excessively with rainbows, glitters, writing GO GAY! on our arms, coming up with political cheers GO GO FIGHT FIGHT WE DESERVE MARRIAGE RIGHTS! and worrying we’d offend actual gays (we so didn’t, quite the opposite actually.)

It was surprisingly warm Halloween evening, as we head down to Greenwich Village for a pre-parade drink. The Halloween Parade is a Thing To Do in NY. It’s composed of anyone who shows up at the proper location at the proper time properly costumed. The best thing about Halloween, when you’re at a place in life where it is not socially acceptable to peak in the homes of people who then give you candy, is people watching. Thus this parade is perfect.

Our mini “parade” headed to the parade includes two Gay Cheerleaders (duh), Audrey Hepburn, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, a Hick, a Chef, a Vampire, and Eloise. Later we are joined by a Zombie, an Asian Tourist, a Toilet, and a Plunger. Such a contrast to the loneliness of last year. Our crew is all assembled save my Trader Joe’s Crush who is coming from Brooklyn (and has an annoying habit of being habitually 30+ minutes late). Before he arrives, before we get to the parade, before the night’s really begun the humidity gets the better of the night and it starts to rain.

For 22 years, I’ve been severely spoiled by Halloween weather. Growing up, I never had to make an umbrella part of my costume. Nor had said costume fall apart due to sogginess. So I know I can’t complain too much when our parade plans are spoiled. It’s not much of a set back as we planned to explore area bars after the parade anyway. The rain just speeds that up. Except now I’ll have a 20-year-old in tow, a 20-year-old I was counting on ditching when the “PERSONS UNDER 21 NOT ADMITTED” portion of the evening began. Well, that plan is now down the toilet (and I don’t mean my friend dressed up as one).

When my 20-year-old finally shows up he’s outfitted as a Nerd. Now let me give anyone who’s ever considered this costume a hint: if “Nerd” hits close too home (really, in any vicinity of home) to your actual personality, you may want to re-think your choice. Now Trader Joe’s Crush isn’t really a nerd, but tonight I honestly can’t tell if he’s getting too into the spirit of his costume or just being awkward around me and my friends.  I think it’s the former but I’m not sure. What I do become sure of, after a series of awkward silences I make no attempt to fill: It’s not working; I can’t do it any more. I spend the rest of the night madly conflicted between having an awesome time with my friends and knowing I have to break up with my boy.

I can’t break up with him tonight, on Halloween (can I? “No. You can’t,” my friends assure me). Then his 21st birthday falls mere days after Halloween….and I’m stuck the rest of the week, knowing it’s over but unable to end it.