Models: Beauty on the Outside, Bitchy on the Inside

I stared at the email in horror. This was not what I signed up for. Who would voluntarily subject themselves to such torture for the price of $30/hr? I got the job off craigslist, I should have known there was something they weren’t telling me. I looked at the e-mail again, hoping I’d miss-read.

YOUR SCHEDULE FOR TOMORROW’S EVENT:

10:30: Everyone arrives at the office, change into Jones New York provided outfits

10:40am: You will be split into teams of 5 (4 models and 1 brand ambassador) and put in cabs to head to your location

Nope, there was no mistaking it.  I agreed to the job a week previously, to work as a brand ambassador for a Fashion Week promotion. $30 an hour? Great. No one told me I’d be the one, single brand ambassador surrounded by professional models. No one signs up to be the fat kid on the playground. The one hippopotamus in a herd of antelope.

I was never the fat kid on the playground. Quite the opposite, I was made fun of for my skinny legs. Fortunately the name “Chicken Legs” never stuck. Even saddling the Freshman 15 no one would ever describe me as fat. Presently I might be described as “tall, thin, blonde.” Sounds like a modelesque description but trust me, I ain’t got the bone structure nor the ability to walk in 5 inch heels.

I arrived at 10:30 and the office was amass of incredibly skinny, beautiful women in their underwear. I closed my eyes and thought off all the straight men who would give anything to be in my shoes at that moment. Then I stripped, hoping no one would notice that my ribs don’t show, and slipped on my black pumps and the provided Jones New York ensemble.

10:40 AM I am in a cab with four other girls. Everything about them is making me believe every stereotype and cliché I’ve ever heard about models.  They are The Alpha Bitch, The Closet Bitch, The Nice One, and The Newbie. I would have called them these names regardless, but I should note that I introduced myself within seconds of getting in the cab, no one followed suit. Thus I never learned their actual names. Self absorbed much?

Alpha Bitch, Closet Bitch, and Nice One were all friends. Newbie was barely 18 and had been in New York for just under a month. She was by far the most striking and tallest but you could tell she was intimidated by the more experienced other three. She kept quiet.

10:43 AM “Yeah, that designer is only casting anorexics.” said Alpha Bitch.

10:45 AM “Michael C. put me in this see-through dress, you can totally see my tits but whatever.” said Alpha, “And OMG they put so much product in my hair yesterday, I had to shower before I could do anything. Nice One, you are so lucky Valerie put you in a wig.”
“You guys are both lucky,” said Closet Bitch, “I’m stuck with Casanova and the outfit totally makes me look fat.” No one denied this.
“I can’t believe Casanova made it to fashion week.” said Nice One. ”
“Yeah, there are so many decoys this year,” said Alpha, “but it’s not like their stuff is that different from the finalists.”
They’ve ignored me this whole time which is fine because I enjoyed eavesdropping and was putting pieces together.
“Are you guys talking about Project Runway?” I ask. I watched the beginning of the season and then got bored but still read the blog Project Rungay (because the boys who write it are hilarious) so I recognized names. Besides, how many people are named “Casanova”?
Alpha Bitch gave me a look that said “Please, as if you don’t recognize us” while Nice One said “Yes, the three of us are walking in the finale show tomorrow.”
I was in a cab with Project Runway models, I stifled a giggle, this is hilarious!

They didn’t look quite like this while I was working with them but it wasn’t too hard to pick them out from the Project Runway Finale.

11:00 PM We arrive at Bryant Park, the sight of the promotion. “So what are we supposed to do?” asked Alpha. They all looked at me. I’m the “brand ambassador” here, not the manager.
“All I was told is that you guys will be walking about Bryant Park like it’s a runway and that I’m passing out fliers as you do that. So uh, I guess, start walking?” 
I know my job, why the hell don’t you know yours? The four of them needed me to tell them what to do. I realized later, models only ever do what others tell them. It’s an incredibly passive job.

They started walking casually, all four in a line, chatting with each other. It didn’t look like a promotion at all, just like four models chatting in the park. It was not a runway walk, not what the client was looking for. That was obvious to me. But what was I supposed to do? It’s awkward they are not doing the job they’re supposed to but you don’t tell Regina George she’s a lazy slacker.

12:00PM Our boss called me and told me to get the models to walk properly.

1:00 PM We were kicked out of Bryant Park. My least favorite security guard in the world, a fat man in his mid-thirties waddled up to me,  “I hate to kick 4 beautiful women out of the park, but I gotta follow the rules- no soliciting in the park” FIVE beautiful women, you asshole. I’m here too! Just cause I’m not a model doesn’t mean I don’t exist! Fuck you!

1:15 PM We all ended up standing on a corner in front of Europan Cafe, passing out fliers. I could see our reflection in the store front windows and was struck by how I didn’t look like a hippopotamus. I was just as tall as half these bitches, the reflection blurred my inferior make up skills, and I didn’t even feel fat. Bonus: I’m not a bitch!

1:20 PM A man says to Nice One “You have a beautiful nose. Most men would comment on your body but I’m noticing your nose.” This was funny, I laughed, but Nice One thought it was the funniest thing she ever heard and couldn’t stop laughing for about 10 minutes.

1:40 PM The models were all in a tissy about getting back to the office by 2. Our boss strictly said to not leave until 2PM, that she spoke to the models’ reps and that was agreed on. I inform everyone of this. The Closet Bitch had been (fake) nice up until now, but with this discussion her claws came out. She yells at me, “I need to get back to the fucking office by 2PM so I don’t give a shit what you say, I’m leaving.” She yelled at me, while we were both in the exact same boat with this disorganized event. I couldn’t believe it.

2:00 PM The mix up with the time was sorted out when the girls spoke to their agents and were told that it had indeed be agreed on that they would stay until 2PM. Bitch did not apologize for yelling at me. The event is over and we are all trying to catch a cab back to the office. We need a van one to fit all 5 of us and it’s taking forever to find one.
Both Bitches are in full form- “This is bullshit! I need to get back now! I have shit to do!”
By this time I was absolutely fed up with listening to them complain. “Well than just go! I need to get back too but if you need to get back so badly you can’t wait 3 minutes for a van cab than just take a regular cab! For fucks stop acting like it’s my fault!”
And they did.
All four of them piled in a regular cab and left me standing on the corner of 5th Avenue all by myself. Not one stayed. The first cab that pulled up to me not 2 minutes later was, ironically, a van. I sat in the back and took a deep breath to calm my anger.

No one I have ever worked with before or since would ever have done something like that, stranded someone alone. It may be the bitchiest thing girls have ever done to me. Maybe it’s karma for stealing that Valentine in middle school.

I hope I never work with models again.  I wish I was the hippo- I would have roared and scared the shit out of those four annoying, selfish antelope.

The Best Valentine’s Day of the Millennium

My locker was the place to be in middle school. Giggling groups of girls gathered there. Boys played it cool, casually leaning against the wall, hiding surging hormones and the accompanying acne behind baggy pants and Nick Carter bangs. None of it had anything to do with me. The buzz of activity and angst was all because Kristina Lau was in my home room. Her locker was next to mine.

She was (maybe still is- we’re not Facebook friends so who knows) the rare type of girl who was popular not merely for looks (though she did have boobs before a lot of us) or athletic ability (though she was on the basketball team) but also because she was a genuinely sweet person. The combination of boobs, basketball, and sweetness caught the attentions of the one or two boys who hit puberty in 6th grade. Once they took an interest, peer-pressure and the herd-mentality of tweens (though “tween” was a term yet to be coined) meant she had a steady stream of admirers. Thus for all visits to my locker,  I was escorted by the clichéd green-eyed monster.

I was a late bloomer: shy, unsteady self esteem, uncomfortable with my body (I didn’t wear a bra until high school), and still wearing clothes my mother (who has not given a damn for fashion since her 1969 mini-skirt wedding dress) bought me. My mantra was decidedly “No one understands me!” and I was not attracting the attentions of anyone, let alone boys. (Maybe with the exception of the guy who played trombone with me in band. I was convinced I hated him, a fact I dedicated many a diary entry to, and we all know what that means.) Show me a person who went through their teenage years without some sort of cliché, does such a one exist?

This is me in my early teens. It’s true. Now you know I’m not exaggerating about my lack of admirers!

Pink balloons bobbled from her locker as I dragged out the books for my first period class. It wasn’t even 8AM and the madness had already started. I couldn’t believe it. Yet today was not a day for envy or feigned “whatever” indifference, today was a day for hope. It was the first Valentine’s Day of the millennium. This was going to be the day some secret admirer of mine revealed himself.

The fact is, until I moved to New York at age 21, this is how I functioned. I lived in my head, concocted elaborate day dreams, and made wishes. Never did anything to help them come true. Passive was my middle name. What started in middle school continued through college. Every February 14th I would fantasize about a flower left on my desk, a singing Valentine from the choir club, chocolates sent to my dorm room. At the end of each day I would swallow disappointment down with a spoonful of whatever-I-don’t-care denial.

And this is me in freshman year of college. Yes, yes it is. Again, no boys lining up, shocking I know!

“Um…sorry, can you move? You’re blocking my locker,” I said to the boy, one of the givers of the sixteen Valentine-grams Kristina had received in homeroom that morning. Swinging my locker open, blocking the sight of balloons and roses, my eyes fell upon the back of a pink envelope. Some one had slipped it through the cracks of my locker. My heart skipped a beat, a smile began to spread across my face. I picked the card up. Scrawled across the envelope in red pen the words KRISTINA met my eyes. My smile vanished and jealousy burbled up in my throat. I slipped the card in a book and, not saying anything, headed off to my next class.

Kristina,

I think you’re so cute. I hope you liked the flower. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Bobby

Bad move, Bobby, you got the wrong locker. I never gave her that card, ruined your one big shot. You got my hopes up Bob, for that my 13-year-old-self had to punish you. She was way out of your league any way, girls like her don’t date boys who play Pokemon.

This year I had a date for Valentine’s. With my boyfriend no less, albeit my gay boyfriend. We would take each other out to dinner, no bitterness allowed, not even smarmy remarks about couples at adjacent tables. I should have known that morning, when we still didn’t have a time and place locked down, that he was going to bail on me; but it wasn’t until a 4PM text that I realized gay boyfriends are just as unreliable as straight ones.

Faced with a free evening, the thought of getting some sushi and taking myself out to a movie sounded like just as good a date, Valentine’s Day and all. I’d let myself forget it when a boy was in my life and my apartment, but I’m happy on my own. Cliché and all.  No fake bravado, no “if I say I’m a strong, independent woman enough times, I’ll actually start believing it.” I am strong and independent: it’s fact.

Finally, a picture I'm not violently embarrassed to share: this is me in 2011
Finally, a picture I’m not violently embarrassed to share: this is me in 2011

Yesterday was the first time since puberty that I spent V-day with a clear head. No wishing on dreams  or hating the romantic  antics of others. I didn’t end up taking myself out (rain check) but instead made dinner and watched Center Stage with my roommate. It felt like back in 5th grade when you got Valentines from the entire class and your teacher baked cookies. Carefree, as sweet as a candy heart. Who would wish for anything more?

Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

Fashion Week in My Backyard

They walk around teetering on stilts. Faces painted with a layer of elaborate make up. Their garb dazzling with sequins, metallic, or jewels that will twinkle under the bright lights. Those who are furry, fur is in this season, look ready to jump through hoops. A car pulls up and an awkwardly proportioned, wacky dressed gaggle piles out.

When the Big Apple Circus comes to town, it sets up camp a mere two blocks from my apartment. Walking home past the big top, some nights I would hear carnival music. But the dogs and horses, clowns and acrobats all packed up their unicycles and left town over a month ago. Since they left, the area has turned into a bigger circus than when an actual honest-to-god circus was here. Why? New York Fashion Week (NYFW the shorthand that everybody uses) has moved from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center. My backyard.

This was an actual outfit in the Moschino SS09 show. I’m really enjoying the striking similarities between the circus and Fashion Week.

Due to the proximity, I’m in the thick of it. NYFW is buying coffee at my local Starbucks (the lines are huge and I don’t think they’re even offering whip cream as an option this week) and getting off the train at my local subway stop. I’ve also put myself in the thick of it. Not only because I love fashion (though I clearly don’t take it too seriously) but also because Fashion Week is an amazing time for promotions. This week I’m promoting the Time Warner Center- the big upscale shopping center in Columbus Circle. It’s a good gig but not as exciting as the kind of work I was getting last fashion week…

I spent the most of Fall Fashion Week at the “Maybelline and CVS Pharmacy Beauty and Fashion Retreat”. That’s a mouthful to say 50+ times a day. The “Retreat” was a pop-up shop in Times Square designed to “make what’s going on at the insider tents accessible to the outsiders public”. The main draw was a free make over but there were also presentations by editors from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, O Magazine and others. I gained a ton of useless information and all season it has been flying out of my mouth: Camel and purple are the colors this season. A red lip will really make you stand out. No, don’t get rid of that dress- longer hemlines are making a comeback. Fortunately I say it all with humor, but sometimes I think my friends wish they could turn off my Winter Beauty and Fashion Insider Tips! button.

And then there was the promotion that left me standing outside the forefront of fashion, surrounded by the most fashionable people in the country, if not the world, looking like this:

I look like a lesbian who just lost 30 pounds and has yet to buy new clothes. I look like a shoplifter who’s going to try to fit a tv under her shirt. I look like…you tell me!

I was promoting Women’s Wear Daily, a fashion insider thread. Some how that was put in conjunction with a Dickies Work Wear promotion. The result was a team of people dressed like bums handing out high fashion magazines. Not only were the outfits pathetically unfashionable, they didn’t even fit well! That brown shirt is a woman’s size medium those pants are size 6 and in danger of falling off. Even an XXS and size 0 wouldn’t fit those attending fashion week. I hate vanity sizing. But not as much as I hate being inappropriately dressed for an event!

My final promotion of the week was for Jones New York. I was the one “Brand Ambassador” working with four professional models. It was quite the experience, let me tell you. And I will tell you, don’t worry, but not until next post!

How My Bike Got Its Name or My Huge Crush on a Safa Boy

Are you growing a beard? I ask him playfully.

I ask this question far too often. In my mind growing a beard means one of two things: you’re a college student or an actor. Therefore when I ask the question I expect an interesting answer: “Yeah, I’m so consumed with work on my thesis on [pretentious topic although it could make the world a better place], shaving seems trivial. Plus I think a beard will make me look intellectual.” or “Yes, I just got cast as Henry V.” In my mind Are you growing a beard is a conversation starter.  In reality it’s far more often a conversation dead-end: “No, I’m not  growing a beard, just lazy.” Ah, lazy, that’s attractive. (Like I should talk. I’m currently in major Fuck Shaving Legs Til Spring mode. But that’s not “written all over my face” so to speak.)

No trouble with attractiveness here, scruff or no scruff. Nor is there trouble with my potential conversation killer; he turns it into the conversation starter I always hope it to be. “I wish I could grow a beard! It’s too sparse, won’t grow properly. Look, I have a patch under my chin that just won’t grow. It’s completely smooth. Feel.”

safa[This is Part One of The Safa Boy Series: click for Introduction

Yes, I am at a bar with a guy who can’t grow a beard. Yes, that means he’s under 21. No, it’s not my first date with the under 21 set. (Remember Trader Joe’s Guy?) Yes, that means I did not learn my lesson. Yes, I touch his face and yes, moments later we’re kissing. I haven’t had a real crush since Sideburns Guy, and that was totally unrequited. I almost forgot how awesome it is to kiss your crush.

_______________________________________________________________

It had been a long weekend. Of working and flirting. Being in the theatre world means working weekends. Fortunately 8 hours of promoting goes by fast when you have a big ol’ crush on a guy promoting not 10 feet away from you. In between sales pitches we play the Get To Know You Game. He’s a “working traveler”, hailing from South Africa, on a trip around the world. So far he’s been all over Europe, now he’s in New York for 6 weeks, next stop Barbados. So you’re a drifter. I say.

During visits to the MOMA in the past 3 years, there is one photograph that struck me more than any other. I don’t remember the photographer, or the title, or even what it looked like exactly. I remember the description: “unknown drifter”. I fell in love with that description and the hazy memory of the image.  Ever since the word and concept of a “drifter” became heavily romanticized in my mind. “Moon River” featured in both “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Sex and the City” only adds to that.

Get To Know You Game continues for about a week. He’s a drifter, world traveler, just my physical type, intelligent, makes me laugh, and has a lovely South African accent.  I’m even more of a goner than I was before. At this point nothing can squash my level of crush and the prospect of a whirlwind fling. Not even when the game reveals he’s NINETEEN. That’s okay, I think to myself. He may be too young to drink, but that’s only in America. He’s not from America so it doesn’t count! Besides, I won’t get too attached, it’ll make the 6 week expiration date easy. This is I HAVE A HUGE CRUSH rational.

On Sunday night, the end of my week, he still hasn’t asked for my phone number. I hand him my phone and tell him I want his. Then I head off to a rehearsal. On the bike ride there my mind is buzzing: I’m not going to see my Safa (that’s slang for South African) until Thursday due to how our work schedules match up.  I have his phone number, I could take a risk here. It would likely be fun, what’s the worst that could happen? Finally a quick debate of passive vs. proactive. All that in the 7 minute ride to rehearsal.

Of course I texted him: Hope your day got better [it was a slow day for sales], if not I want to buy you a drink. Say yes. Apparently having a huge crush leads me to encourage underage drinking… He says yes. I speed bike home and scream at my roommate I’m meeting a hot South African for a drink in 15 minutes, I need something cute to wear but I don’t want it to look like I came home to change! He’s only ever seen me bundled up in a coat! Having a huge crush puts me Silly School Girl Mode, but you already knew that.

You know where this is going: two Stellas and some conversation later, I’m touching his face and we’re making out. Crush still intact. As two drinks in my limit these days (not to make Patti Stanger proud but because I have the lowest tolerance ever and I’m through puking on subway platforms), I’m about  ready to leave.

The bill comes and we bicker about it. I have no cash, he only has a $20.  I said I was buying you a drink. I’m a woman of my word, I say putting my debit card on the table. He hands me the $20, tries to slip it in my pocket, I refuse to take it. No means no! “Fine.” He plunks the $20 on the bar and says to the bartender, “Mate, you better thank her. You just got a huge tip thanks to her being a stubborn arse.” If an American called me a stubborn ass I’d probably get upset. When a South African calls me that, it’s adorable. Also adorable: how this bill got paid (in my mind anyway).

Our adorableness is confirmed by a woman standing outside the bar. A couple kisses standing next to my bike and instead of the standard “Get a room.” she says “I’m sorry, you guys are totally adorable.” She was probably drunk but that doesn’t change the fact.

I unlock my bike and he tells me how awesome it is. Yes, it is! He asks if it has a name. No, it doesn’t. Which is surprising coming from a girl who named her butt cheeks (Hank and Melvin; I was 15). No name has seemed right thus far. “You should call it Jabulani“, he says, “That means ‘Happiness’ in Zulu.” Did I mention the boy is fluent in English, Italian, and Afrikaans? Against all odds the name stuck. I still call my bike Jabulani.

Jabulani pretty much describes my feelings. Happy, tipsy, wheeling my bike with one-handed so I can hold my crush’s in the other. There’s a moment of “So what do we do now?” and it’s pretty obvious what he wants to do. It’s a first date, every other time I send the guy home with a good night kiss if he’s lucky. Tonight I do something I’ve never done before. I invite him back to my place. Got his phone number, made a date, got drinks, brought him back to my apartment- all in less than 6 hours. Apparently when I have a huge crush on a someone who is leaving the country in 6 weeks, this is how I roll.

[To continue The Safa Boy Series, click for Part Two]

Stand Up Sellers and Seducers

The pests of New York City are notorious. Sewer rats, pigeons (“flying rats”), squirrels (“rats with cuter outfits”), bed bugs, cockroaches,  and the guys who sell comedy tickets in Times Square. Tourists fall for their crafty sales pitches, locals avoid them, I fell for one’s charm and good looks.

safa

[This is the Introduction of the nine part Safa Boy Series]

Like bed bugs in a street curb sofa, they infest the area, preying on all those they come in contact with. A walk on Broadway from 42nd Street to 50th guarantees multiple accostings:  “Do you like stand up comedy?” “Want to be part of a taping of a live show?” “What are you doing tonight?” At best they are obnoxious, at worst aggressive to the point where you buy a ticket just so they leave you alone. That’s probably how they make half of their money. The other half comes from sales made by promises of headliners who never show and exorbitant drink minimums they neglect to mention.

times square stand up comedy
Note: this is NOT the guy I fell for. But he is an example of those who sell tickets out here!

But don’t shoot the messenger, it’s not the ticket seller’s fault, he’s just desperate for money and likely unable to get a job anywhere else. Anyone can get a job selling comedy tickets- it’s under the table and solely commission based. This means a lot of them are total weirdos, lack social skills or social security numbers, and/or have no capacity for any semblance of “professional appearance”.

I know all this because I’ve been working promotions in Times Square. Remember my Disney on Broadway days? Well currently I am promoting an Off Broadway show that is nowhere near as successful as The Lion King yet somehow they pay me as much as Disney did. Thus I am exceedingly familiar with Times Square’s many promoters- the Scientology flier team (also notorious), the slinky Chicago dance team, the sketchy guys who promote strip clubs, the sweet Irish fellow who promotes Pandora jewelry, the comedy promoters who’ve been out there since my Mary Poppins days. You’d think turn over would be high but it’s not. New promoters are obvious and often don’t last long.

The moment I spotted him, I was instantly attracted. If you look up “My Type” in a dictionary his picture would accompany this description:

Male. Above average height, 6’+. Fit, slim build. Ample dark hair, esp. black. Often of Italian ancestry. Positive energy. Bright eyes, tangible “twinkle”. Roommates may describe as “goofy”. Possesses uncanny ability to make questionable statements-“I’m a working traveler”; “I’m couch surfing while I look for a place”; “I’m sorta in between jobs”; “I’m a virgin”- sound romantic. Dimples likely, great smile imperative. Will induce outrageous flirting and impaired judgment.

He’s selling comedy tickets and so, knowing what I just told you, I keep my distance. Best to stay away, not risk temptation, merely admire from afar. Eye candy to get me through a shift sounds better than chocolate anyway. The only chance for failure with this plan is that he approaches me. Given my luck, of course that’s what happens. He flashes a brilliant smile at me before opening his mouth to introduce himself. One word out of his mouth and I’m a goner. Looks that make me swoon accompanied by a British? No. Australian? No. ….uh what then? South African. A South African accent. I’M A GONER.

[To continue The Safa Boy Series, click for Part One]

Patron of the Arts

Word of warning: If you call me before 8AM EST I will pick up bleary eyed, with morning breath palpable across phone lines, slurring my words in a groggy “Hello? Who died?” Yes, in my world, phone calls before 8AM mean calamity.

So when I pick up the phone at 7:30AM one snowy Friday morning, I’m nervous as I punch in the numbers. I reassure myself about 20 times that the recipients of this call will be awake. Hearts will not leap into chests at that first jarring ring of a phone. This is far from my average phone call. The number I am calling is a land line, the people I am calling do not have cell phones. Further more, they are away from home, staying overnight in NYC. In this day and age of everyone has cell phones, I’ve never had to place a call at a hotel. Do hotels even do such a thing anymore? They must, though I don’t have full confidence in this belief as I punch in the numbers I found in a google search.

The Harvard Club is more than accommodating in putting my call through. When my aunt answers the phone there is no hint of panic (nor groggy morning breath) in her voice. After a quick chat to the purpose of canceling our breakfast date (which I was really looking forward to, curse you tonsillitis!) I roll over and go back to sleep. Just as I’m drifting off I hear my phone buzz. I bolt awake, not looking at the incoming number, answering my phone the way I thought only people on unrealistic TV shows do. Hello? I squeak, suppressing “WHO IS IT? WHO DIED? WHAT’S GOING ON??” It’s my aunt again. My heart settles back in my chest. She inquires about the status of my computer.

I have the worst luck with computers. So of course the month after the warranty expired, mine started a downward spiral: pop-up windows about hard drive failure and spontaneously crashing. I figured its days were numbered and procrastinated on the inevitable sans-computer-computer-freak-out. Then in a miracle similar to Hanukkah (I’d like to think), after six days of hibernation (I didn’t bring it when I went home for Christmas) I turned on my computer and everything seemed more or less back to normal. (Less in that I can’t tilt the screen with out it shutting down but more in that it stopped mentioning hard drive failure ten times a day.) Point is, it’s totally usable. That’s what I told my aunt, in an abridged version. She then explains, “Your uncle and I miss reading your blog. You’re a good writer [she may have said ‘great writer’…I wish I remembered]. Your mother said you were having problems with your computer and that’s why you hadn’t updated.” (Further proof my mother reads my blog.)

I wish I had an excuse to explain my lack of writing, but honestly I’ve just been struggling to find motivation… I start to say. I don’t really know where I’m going with this explanation, which feels almost confession like. I haven’t been writing, for no good reason, and I feel guilty about it. There you have it. Before I start psycho-analizing my lack of motivation, my aunt says “Your uncle and I want to buy you a computer.”

It’s not even 8AM and I’ve been offered a computer. At least I think I have….I have had weirder dreams. I forget how the conversation ended, if I was able to fall asleep after I hung up the phone, but if I didn’t dream it, I know she was serious. So not only does my aunt, a published writer whom I hold in high respect, think I’m a good (yeah, I don’t think she said great, she’s not one for exaggeration) writer, she likes my blog. As if that wasn’t motivation enough, she wants to buy me a computer. Wow. I always dreamed of having a patron of the arts but alas they’ve gone out of style since Mozart’s time. Yet it looks like I found one. If this doesn’t keep me updating, nothing will (not to discourage free beverage, compliments, and comments, those all help too!)

Just for Kicks: Kickstarting 2011

Sometimes you just need a kick in the pants. A jump-start to forward momentum. This is what January is all about.  The old resolution kick in the pants.

Your pants not fitting properly to kick you to eat better and exercise.

Maxing out a credit card to kick you into saving versus spending.

A night of vomiting to kick you to give up drinking.

Snow storms and nary a day over 30° to kick you to look for a job indoors.

A third bout of tonsillitis and 11 days of tear-inducing sore throat to kick you to get a tonsillectomy STAT (your terror regarding surgery be damned!).

Finding out he lied and cheated on you to kick you into kicking him out of your apartment (STAT).

A sometimes vague, sometimes overwhelming feeling of discontent, of being lost, lacking motivation and purpose, fearing failure, and general ennui to kick you to find direction in your life (still working on that one.)

An offer of a computer to kick you to update your blog.

(Note: We started off with clichés and then got personal.)

January is supposed to be about jump-starts. Start the year off right. In that spirit, I started January jumping up and down. Jumping and giddy drunk and 3,2,1 HAPPY NEW YEAR! Kisses, dancing, and all around festivity with great friends. 2011 was just how I’d hoped it would be for about 90 minutes.

Then January kicked my ass and has been unrelenting all month.

2 AM on New Years Day should have been the low point. First I made the untimely discovery that my tolerance had dropped significantly.  I’m now worse off then when I started. That is to say, somehow I could hold my liquor better when I was 17 and had never before touched a drop.  Next thing I know I’m near black out drunk off two vodka cocktails and a SOLO cup of Champagne. I was rescued by a boy, without whom I may never have made it home (then it actually would have been the low point), but not before I vomited all over myself, his pants, and a subway platform.

In hindsight I’m positively thrilled I puked on his pants. Merely 36 hours later the same boy vomited (metaphorically) all over my heart. Fortunately, it takes a lot more than vomit to break my heart; nothing a good cleanse can’t fix (á la Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair).

However, if you’ve ever tried to wash vomit out of something (and if you haven’t, I hate you), you know the smell can linger. It can take several washings to get rid of the odor. Even then, the garment may have a negative connotation. Who here vomited in elementary school, then called the shirt you wore that day the “Puke Shirt” and refused to ever wear it again? (I can’t be the only one!) If you don’t see where I’m going with these puke metaphors: It was as hard for me to get this boy out of my heart as it is to get puke out of your clothes. That kicked my ass for a good part of January.

The first morning I woke up free from thoughts of him was the morning I awoke to pain in my throat. Every time I get a sore throat I panic due to my horrible history (which I talk about at length here). Usually I’m just paranoid. This time I was not. And so my ass was kicked for the rest of January. 12 days, 3 doctor visits, -7 lbs, and some spit up puss (more disgusting than vomit fyi) later I could open my mouth, talk, and swallow without wincing. This is the last time my tonsils kick my ass. I’m figuring out insurance and then booking surgery. Tonsils, your days are numbered.

So here we are, last day of January. Snow, soiled heart, sickness: January left my ass positively black and blue. I have high hopes for February. Kick my year into gear.