It's not the girl, Peter, it's the building
I am the only person I know who can give herself a fat lip while baking a batch of cookies.
I am the only person I know who can give herself a fat lip while baking a batch of cookies.
Spring sprang here this weekend, and it was about damn time. It wasn’t until I had a real winter that I realized I craved spring, because spring in Oklahoma always just seemed like a pollen-filled pause before the inevitable five-month-long summer of oppression and death. However, I realized this weekend that spring isn’t really going to be spring to me without the thunderstorms and tornado warnings of my alma mater. Warm breezes and green grass are nice and all, but spring seems sort of defanged unless there’s the constant chance that the sky is going to turn yellow and you’ll have to go hide in the closet with the radio. A good Oklahoma thunderstorm is like a cold stiff drink, only everything smells better afterwards.
Before anyone jumps all over for me for complaining about my new home and pining for my old one, let me clarify: I love New York, and I’m not pining for Oklahoma necessarily, just its ions. Here’s a good reason why: Oklahoma is building a 17-story bronze statue of an American Indian with an eagle on its shoulder. It will be taller than the Statue of Liberty. Let me put that in all caps for you, just to drive it home: 17-STORY BRONZE STATUE OF AN AMERICAN INDIAN WITH AN EAGLE ON ITS SHOULDER, TALLER THAN THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. The good people of Oklahoma rejected it twice already, once as an offer to put it atop the capitol dome, but now it's being done with private funds. The only way I would be in support of this monstrosity is if it produced giant saltwater tears and they put it by the highway.
Seriously, I grew up in Oklahoma, and I have love for my heritage, but in the same way you have love for a sweet but loserish family member. You can make fun of it, but you have to stand up for it if anyone else does. It’s sort of a depressing state history, all Trail of Tears and stealing land, and then, when it became government-sanctioned to take the land, some douchebags even stole it again, and we apparently thought that move was cute enough to nickname ourselves after it. All you hear about while growing up in Oklahoma is our sad land-stealing tear-trailing past, and it makes you cry when you learn it in elementary school, but then the weird part is that everyone sort of twists it into our badge of honor, like the kitschification of America after September 11, as if crying eagle statues are going to be something awesome to rally around. Oklahoma is always eager to drag out its past and slap it on a building or something, like that girl you secretly dreaded talking to in college because she got raped first semester freshman year and would never shut up about it, ever, not even four years later when you tried to make small talk at a party and she was all “blah blah when I volunteered for Call Rape” and you wanted to scream OH MY GOD I AM SO SORRY THAT HAPPENED TO YOU BUT COULD YOU PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT GETTING RAPED LONG ENOUGH FOR SOMEONE TO BE NICE TO YOU?
Do you hate me now? Awesome. All this would be cured if I could just have a good tornado warning. Stupid pussy New York spring. I need a drink.
Getting asked out: +1
Person who asked you out saying “Bye, Melissa!” -1
Last night I stayed up an hour later than I wanted to because my little brother emailed me his English paper, asking me to revise it. Of course I did it, because he’s my brother, and because revising papers is one of my few marketable skills, but mostly I did it because I feel that I will forever owe my brother for the time that he was annoying me so I hissed at him, “I know what you do in the bathtub.” I have no idea where it came from; maybe I’d heard it in a movie or something, because when I said it, I was too young to truly know what I was implying, and he was way too young to really know what I was implying either, but I could tell by his face that he knew he’d been insulted, and that some dull radar of shame had sounded in his head. It’s the one thing I regret ever saying to him, because seriously, that’s some mean shit, so I am forever yoked to revise papers for him at any hour.
In other news, today I got an email from HR with the subject line “pizza Fridays.” I feel that this can only end awesomely.
Today I had a truly horrible day, and when I opened the office closet to hang up my coat after lunch, the inside of it smelled inexplicably like my childhood best friend’s house, and I briefly considered climbing in there for the rest of the afternoon.
Does anyone want to cut my hair for free dollars? It’ll be really fun for you, because I have exactly seventeen tons of hair and know precisely what I want done to it, so you have to be very patient and awesome, and also know how to properly thin hair. You must shampoo and massage my scalp, but I won’t make you hold me afterwards. I can pay you in props and cinnamon chocolate chip cookies. Maybe french kisses if you’re really good. I promise I’m nothing but worth your while.
Last night I slept in a real bed and had crappy, depressing realistic dreams. Friday night I slept on my floor and had the most wonderful and weird realistic dreams ever.
Today I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I thought it was beautiful. It made me realize that even if I was bold enough to go through with such a procedure, I know I’d cheat and save one memory, and I know exactly what the memory would be.
After the movie, Ryan and I went to Staples and he bought me a box of pens and a daily planner. In the back, under “Future Planning,” I wrote Try not to fuck up too much.
I feel good.
Last night I had dinner and drinks with my very first high school boyfriend. Before he drove to New York, he went by my parents’ house and brought me two boxes full of my stuff. I think that’s a pretty fair exchange for me giving him the best eight months of my ninth grade year.
I work with all these men who wear ties and cufflinks and call me baby and yell the F word at each other all day long. I mean, seriously, all day long. It’s relentless. If you know me at all, you know I’m hardly averse to swearing, but at several points last week I wanted to say, “Boys! Seriously! Let’s cool it with the F word!” I’m mostly concerned for the sanctity of the swearing: it’s like when you say I love you too much and then it loses its meaning.
Also, since they all have really thick Long Island accents and constant tone of voice, I can never tell the difference between an angry go fuck yourself and a playful, I’m-just-breaking-your-balls go fuck yourself, and believe me, there are both, all day long. Evidently their accents keep them from placing mine, because on my first day, some guy said, “Where are you from?” and when I said, “Oklahoma,” he said, “Yeah, you sound like a hillbilly. No offense intended.” I think people who’ve always lived in New York can only differentiate between Same and Not Same, because while there’s no way I sound like a New Yorker, there’s also no way I’d ever qualify my accent as hillbilly, either. I know the fucking difference between “set” and “sit,” so that rules out the Oklahoma accent right there.
Anyway, I’m a little afraid that one day someone will overlook my legs and Midwestern charm and get mad and tell me to go fuck myself, and then I’ll really have to think quickly on my feet, because while I have a dangerously reflexive trigger finger, man, this is some pretty good money.
I could write your ear off about my lost weekend spent holed up in a hotel room with a cute boy, leaving only to get cake and coffee at 11 pm or hold hands in the planetarium, but I think instead I’ll keep it to myself. My luck in all things seems to have done a giant flip-flop for the better, and I’d hate to jinx it. Instead I’ll share some diversionary anecdotes that had nothing at all to do with my past 7-10 days:
Diversionary Anecdote #1:
Recently I did some temping at a Giant Cosmetics Empire, where I sat in for the receptionists when they took their breaks and read books and did crosswords; basically what I do at home, only I wore shoes and got paid for it. Anyway, my favorite receptionist was Barb, who had an awesome weave and those fake nails with tiny flowers airbrushed on. Barb does not take any shit from anyone, including Ashanti. I’m not quite sure when Ashanti tried to step to her, but Barb was having none of it. Barb had little notes taped all over her desk that said things like, “DUE TO THE RECENT CONDITION OF THIS DESK!!! NO EATING AND DRINKING!” and “RETURN ALL MY PENS!!! TO ME!!” Barb told me all about how she spent $714 on a portable DVD player and an iPod last weekend, and they will be in mint condition 10 years from now because she takes GOOD care of her things, UNLIKE Jacqueline on the 40th floor who has already broken her new headphones. Barb had such disdain in her voice when she told me this story that I sat up straighter. Fortunately, Barb thought I was cool, so she offered me her CD collection to listen to on the computer. It was all Sade. I kind of loved Barb.
Diversionary Anecdote #2:
A foul-tempered little man was using a folded magazine to bat people out of his way while fighting down the subway steps at 42nd Street. The exposed article’s headline? Why Be Nice: A Psychological Explanation on the Effects of Cooperation.
That’s all I got. Starting tomorrow, I’m a working girl again. Nothing too glamorous or exciting, but it’s money, honey, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 26 years, it’s that love don’t pay the bills. It will, however, run across the street and buy you an iced coffee while you dry your hair, and what’s not to like about that?
To my awesome roommate Liz, for adding me as her +1 to a pre-show pizza party with The Hold Steady. Those are two of my favorite things combined, like chocolate and peanut butter, or whiskey and sour.
To Greg, for taking me for a ride on his sparkly red ’69 Vespa for italian ices on Sunday afternoon.
To my other awesome but now former roommate Laura, for quitting her job and moving to France and somehow managing to pack all of her clothes and shoes AND a mandolin in one giant suitcase. Balls of steel.
To my new roommate A., for watching the Oscars with me within three hours of our meeting, and for hating Julia Roberts to a degree I thought only I could summon.
To my new roommate A.’s boyfriend J., for screaming at the same time as me when I emerged from my room in a towel on my way to the shower, not knowing he was in the apartment, and then quickly regaining composure and covering his eyes with his hand and totally just starting a conversation. Buddy, you’re all right.