Wednesday, July 9, 2014

THE DAY OLD DONUT

My work week breakfast habits are woefully repetitive. Greek yogurt, berries, honey, granola. Every. Single. Day.

But that's how I like it. 

However, this morning was a bit different. 

As I opened a new quart of yogurt, both my eyes and stomach churned with disappointment. What was inside the container resembled something akin to melted ice cream versus that thick, sour cream-like consistency I know and love. Vowing to give it a chance, I constructed my breakfast. 

It was at that same time that I saw a day old, half eaten maple long john out the corner of my right eye. He (yes, he) sat alone in the pastry box which once contained twelve of his homies. Had it not been for my hovering boss, I would have taken that stale donut on the ride of his life. But I'm a professional, so instead I simply nodded at my future lover, promising to return, and walked away. 

Now I don't know if it was the texture of the yogurt or the promise of maple glaze in my mouth, but the breakfast I had assembled was even more vomitous than originally anticipated. But that's ok, because donut.

I heard footsteps in the kitchen and knew it just had to be my boss heading to his office. My time was about to come, you guys. Finally, after waiting literally four minutes, I could casually, yet swiftly, make my way back to my fried friend. Gospel choirs would clap and shout, the sky would fill with heart-shaped fireworks, we would both receive the final rose...

The face I saw approaching was not that of my boss, it was, for the sake of this story, a smug sun of a gun called Kent*. And in his grubby hand was something I loved. It was my donut. Kent's pace slowed (probably) as he passed my desk and took a clumsy bite out of my future. 

In a matter of seconds, my day old dream had disappeared.

*Real name

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

ADVENTURES IN CAT WALKING


Putting the harness on her was less difficult than I anticipated. If we're being perfectly honest, I probably struggled with it more than Pennie did. However, once the leash was hooked to the harness, she began to exhibit bizarre, yet hilarious, yet sad behavior. This included attempts to jump away from herself (which ended in a wall collision), the refusal to fully stand up (opting to flop from side to side as if the harness were far too heavy for her to even consider walking), and the bone-chilling eyes of a cat calculating revenge.

Eventually Pennie's desire to explore outweighed her inclination to murder me right then and there. The next thirty minutes was both woefully uneventful and the happiest moment of my life. Zach described it as "an incredible demonstration of human absurdity and torture." In our first attempt, Pennie managed to flounder herself about twenty feet from the back door, making sure to chew on every patch of grass along the way (which resulted in a few grass-laced hairballs later on). Day two culminated in Pennie clothes-lining herself after realizing she had wandered all the way to the front of the building and could no longer see the back door.

Based on her initial reaction, I was certain she would fight the harness every time. Luckily I have the most intelligent and beautiful cat in the entire world (don't try to convince me otherwise) and she has taken to the process quite well the past week. To limit trauma, I typically just sit with the harness in hand until she comes to me. It hasn't taken more than a minute or so each time, though she still has a mini panic attack once everything snaps in place.

You can look forward to a reasonable amount of updates as this exploration in cat walking (AKA my new favorite hobby) develops.


And for any haters, Pennie has this to say:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

REUNION

In the months leading up to my 10 year high school reunion I have...

Panicked about what outfit to wear (still haven't decided)
Logged extra hours at the gym and felt guilty about bad food choices
Worried that no one will remember me, or worse yet, have bad memories of me
Had an existential crisis about my accomplishments in life (or potential lack of)
Flip-flopped about whether or not to attend no less than five times
Confirmed that at least three of my best friends will be there so I'm not sitting alone in a corner eating french fries

One may argue that I'm a bit high-strung (I am) or that the anxiety I have experienced is unwarranted (I know). 

The idea of being old enough to attend a 10 year reunion seemed nearly impossible when I graduated, but sure enough, time continues to forge ahead. Over the years, my imagination led me to believe this would be a time for everyone to come together and finally get along, to toss aside their former teen labels and begin new friendships. In my mind it looked a lot like the final scene in The Breakfast Club sprinkled with the cast of Saved by the Bell and the unforgettable dance number from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.

However, as the event draws nearer, I am becoming acutely aware that the scenario I assembled in my mind might not be real life. Not due to a different roster of characters, but because of my own insecurities. While I would never claim to have had an abnormally difficult high school career, I endured my fair share of (subjective) hardships. False rumors were spread, boyfriends broke my heart, girls poked fun at my shape, and I was in band (but I loved band). And much to the horror of my present self, I fought hard on a daily basis to earn the approval of all my peers.

To quote Angus, my favorite movie of all time:

"As for what anybody else thinks, always remember these words and live by them: screw 'em!"  

Unfortunately, I'm not always great at taking the best, and often simplest advice. I have been fixated on the opinions of others for far too long which has directly affected my ability to  experience the joy of the present, of now. Knowing this about myself, I have spent the better part of my twenties learning to be content with myself and to rely less on how everyone views me.

Once again seeing the people who knew me at my most awkward has me resorting to past fears and left me with an embarrassing desire to impress. All of a sudden I'm back in braces and wearing too much Bonne Bell bronzer (pro tip: bronzer should never be used as a replacement for foundation unless you want to look like a tan Edward Cullen in the sunlight). I have obsessed about who will attend and whether the other kids will like me. 

Growing up, my mom preached the importance of treating everyone with kindness and respect. She shared a story about being nominated a homecoming queen candidate in college (beating out the "very cute girl with huge boobs"). And while I was never the homecoming queen, the concept of being nice because you never know who is paying attention has stuck.

An equally profound piece of advice was shared by our high school principal. "Don't let high school be the best years of your life," he spoke. "Don't refer to these years as your glory days and don't let high school define your future." It was some of the most hopeful and sincere insight I had ever heard. 


While my celebrity-filled, after school special reunion fantasies may be far-fetched, I am attempting to ditch the prior judgments, grudges, and preconceived notions of others. No one is granted a lifetime or popularity or relegated to permanent nerd status. 

At 28, I don't have it all together. But I'm learning to be ok with that. With the reunion just a few weeks away, I can only hope others accept the imperfect version of myself that I have come to appreciate through the years. 

And if not, well, "screw 'em."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

THIS ONE IS ABOUT POOP

It's no secret that I have a fondness for all things related to bathroom behavior. Farts and poops are funny, you guys! If we aren't on the same page about that, you should probably just go.

Shit's about to get a little gross.

The women in my office building have deplorable lavatory etiquette. Like, explosive, keep the plumber on speed dial kind of crap (literally + figuratively). I'm not convinced that most of them don't gnaw on jalapenos all day and quench their thirst with pre-colonoscopy juice. Every day I have the esteemed pleasure of witnessing the aftermath of a Harry Dunne-like catastrophe. 

For months my annoyance has been building and now I'm making it my personal mission to shame every single one of them. Let's poo it:

The lady who mistakes her own ass for an elephant's and consequently uses an entire roll to wipe and consequently clogs the toilet and then I subsequently walk in and see a bowl full of poop and TP. It astounds me how many people are unfamiliar with the rule of courtesy flushing and/or never learned an appropriate square count to wipe with. I swear some of these ladies gather toilet paper like a magician pulling a never-ending handkerchief chain out of his sleeve. And if we're being 100% honest here, I usually monitor the toilet to ensure everything disappears safely before exiting. God forbid someone sees me depart a stall then enters only to be greeted by my leftovers.

The chick who needs to poop, but doesn't want anyone to hear her poop so she sits in the stall in perfect silence, but doesn't realize I can see her shoes. And unfortunately for her, I have a photographic shoe memory. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a jerk when it comes to this one. When I can tell someone else in the bathroom is waiting me out to drop a deuce, I will purposely take my time. And sometimes, when I feel a little extra cruel, I'll linger outside the bathroom just long enough to give the "I know what you did in there" look. Conversely, I tip my hat to the woman who isn't afraid to let loose, because not much will get me to scoot out of the bathroom faster than the impending stench of BM. 

The woman who is terrible at pretending to wash her hands. I mean, really. She turns the sink on for about three seconds and I definitely did not hear her pump any soap into her palms. Does she think she is fooling me? And who hurries in and out of the bathroom at work, anyway? Personally, I escape to the bathroom for a few guaranteed moments of silence and catch up on whatever phone game I happen to be obsessed with at the time. Ok fine. I don't mentally recite the ABCs while washing my hands and if I did, I'd probably only get to G, but whatever. I still make a point to go through the shortened routine. 

The nincompoop (I had to) who lines the seat with toilet paper, does her business, then leaves said toilet paper in her wake. Specifically, the one who leaves two perfect balls of TP on the front edges of the seat and at least three strips of streamers scattered about the floor. See example below.


Yes, I did go into the bathroom at work to recreate the scene. And, yes, there are a few faint skid marks if you look closely. They are not mine.

Anyway.

After she became a fifth time offender (and I mistakenly walked into her war zone on a rotten day), I decided to leave a note:
Dear TP Wads, 

I understand you are concerned with ass germs and therefore line the toilet seat with an absurd amount of toilet paper, but perhaps you might consider not being such a jerk by figuring out a way to dispose of said toilet paper. One thought I had was to kick it into the bowl, since clearly you won't want to sully your perfectly germ free hands. 

Thanks.
People around the office caught wind (yep) of my note and applauded me for saying what everyone had been thinking. I felt like a real hero sitting atop the hypothetical shoulders of my supporters. And you know what? It got better for a few good months. I loved those months. I could once again use my second favorite stall in the bathroom. Life was sweet. 

Just recently, though, it was brought to my attention that TP Wads is back at her old tricks and that's why I was provoked to write this post. 

She ruined it for everyone. 

And maybe it's just me, but I'm usually on my best sanitary behavior in public and am a little more lax at home. Feel free to back me up on this.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

IT'S NATURAL



"You have a gray hair," she stated. Right in the middle of class. For everyone to hear. As a pimply, braces-wearing seventh grader, the last thing I wanted was to be different. Was it not punishment enough that I sported sweatpants as a fashion statement on the daily, was on the C-team in basketball, never made the cheerleading squad, and had an uncontrollable chapstick addiction?

Sure enough, as someone held a Cover Girl powder compact up to my face, I saw a single Cindy Lou Who-esque strand of gray was standing at attention atop my head. Without thinking, I yanked it out.

She couldn't have known, but at that moment an obsession began. 

Friends (and my unfortunate younger brother) would regularly comb through my hair with a pair of tweezers in search of salty colored streaks to pluck. Finding a gray hair was the highest victory; unfortunately as time passed, locating the wiry strands became much less difficult a task.

I dyed my hair for the first time on a whim one day during the Summer before junior year when I caught a group of my friends cruising around town without me. In a lame effort to show them (or myself) how much fun I could have alone, I haphazardly covered my noggin with goop. A shade best described as 'exit sign orange' is what I ended up with. My mom was horrified and immediately sent me to Walgreens for a repair kit. I sobbed as the dye stung my head, positive all my hair would fall out, and not certain I didn't want it to.

Throughout the next ten years, I dyed my hair most every shade of chocolate brown imaginable and during my hardcore phase, I opted for true black. But every 4 - 6 weeks, as the color grew out, I could see just how much gray hair I was masking under the boxes upon boxes of L'Oreal Preference. 

To be 100% truthful, it made me incredibly self-conscious. I had this idea imbedded in my mind that I was not a beautiful person because of my gray hair. Coloring my hair was an expensive and time consuming security blanket I couldn't live without. 

I stumbled a upon this article one day, which planted the seed to quit dyeing. I read it over and over, attempting to talk myself into letting the gray grow out. With the continued encouragement of friends and family, I took the plunge. It was a very anti-climactic plunge as my hair grows at a painfully slow rate. Lucky for me the growth pattern is actually quite lovely, much of the white is concentrated around my temples and takes on a blonde shade at the tips. Most people actually mistake it for a professional color.

To date, I have not colored my hair since Winter 2012 which means every single strand of hair on my head is its natural color. Perhaps a silly achievement in the grand scheme of life, but it is a major fete in the ongoing battle to feel confident in my own skin.

And you know what's funny? I have never loved my hair more.



shirt | loft // jacket | bcbgeneration // jeans | urban outfitters // boots | dsw // necklace | j crew