Friday, November 15, 2013

what i learned about new york during my first ever trip there last tuesday.

1 they put their garbage on the street. this is my friend candace pretending to jump into one of the many piles of garbage lining new york's otherwise gorgeous tree-lined streets. it's just so disconcerting to me, these mountains of shiny black plastic bulging with tampons and old food and baby diapers. i'm not hating, i just didn't expect to walk through a cloud of flies buzzing over some maggot-infested refuse into a bar that charges seventeen goddamned dollars for a shot of laphroaig. dark scary alleys > bright sidewalk full of trash.

2 jay-z isn't just, like, walking around in a yankee cap rapping about how much he loves it and shit. QUEL FUCKING SURPRISE, MY DUDE. you know that's how we get down in chicago, right? oprah, michael jordan, and kanye west just marching up and down michigan ave all goddamned day shouting about how we make a good polish. not even kidding. it broke my heart that i didn't get to say "jigga what" to him in person. :(

3 my version of the american dream is impossible there. here is what i want for my real adult life, which will probably start five minutes before i drop dead at age 42: 1 a moderately-sized apartment with hardwood floors, high speed internet, and central air conditioning with large windows in a nice part of town that i can afford to live in with one cat and the box of sark books i keep moving from place to place; 2 a reasonably priced, mid-size sedan with decent gas mileage and a safe, well-lit place to park it every night; 3 several pairs of custom-fit orthotic inserts; 4 a kitchen aid stand mixer and a really good slow cooker; 5 ALL OF THE TELEVISION CHANNELS. to afford anything even resembling this in new york i would have to be a hedge fund manager or carmelo anthony. and it's too late to start over. my only career prospect at this grizzled old age is hard won middle management, achieved only after clawing my way up from janitorial. and i already have that in chicago. now all i need is a chevy.

4 every side street is like the cutest fucking thing you've ever goddamned seen. naomi and i  stayed in a $3100/month 1br (HOW DO YOU EAT, NYC FRIENDS? how the fuck do you have shoes?!) on the bowery, in this sun-lit apartment which, from the outside, looked like a burned down methodone clinic but was quite charming once we climbed the four fucking flights of fucking stairs within. my heart almost exploded. maybe i really should relocate, i'd be 37 pounds by the end of the first fucking week. that said, the bowery was terrifying. there was a crackhead sleeping on the steps at three in the afternoon! but turn the corner and it was like being in a woody allen movie or some shit. look at the plants on every porch! how delightful is this tiny tea shop! remind me when i go back to keep my eyes closed until we get to the adorable shit.

5 WHAT THE F IS A BOROUGH. wiki: "the term borough was adopted to describe a unique form of governmental administration for each of the five fundamental constituent parts of the newly consolidated city." i still don't understand them. or, like, how they work. or how you move between them. or what distinguishes one from another. you can get to some on the subway? and others require a boat?! okay, so brooklyn is a borough. and the bookstore where i did my reading was in greenpoint, which is also in brooklyn. but my friend marie lives in williamsburg, which is also somehow a place in brooklyn. what i really need to know though is how the fuck you return address an envelope. 

6 everyone says "how are you?" automatically without even thinking about it. it's the fucking greatest. way down in my deepest heart of hearts i am a sheltered blonde virgin from rural kansas, and i was terrified that everyone in new york was going to be aggressive and mean. but they were so nice! and downright helpful! no one spit on me or called me a bitch or stabbed me with a hypodermic needle covered in disease the way i imagined they would! the best part is that so many people aren't even aware at how polite they're being because it happens without thinking. "HIHOWAREYOU" is how i was greeted 99.8% of the time by every single person i met. or "HEYHOWYOUDOING." even if they didn't really want to know, as evidenced by the blank stares i received when i responded, "well, my left knee is a little swollen and i'm nervous that the tuckpointing in my apartment is going to leak while i'm away" they totally didn't give a shit? but, either way, it felt really good to be asked.

7 models are everywhere. i had to sign some books at the barnes and noble in union square (whose life is this?) tuesday afternoon, and afterward we had some time to kill before getting on the L train (i think?) to take the G train maybe? (this is why chicago uses colors, it's just fucking easier) into brooklyn. there were so many people everywhere; every place we went into in a vain attempt to find one lousy outlet into which we could all take turns desperately charging our phones (i swear to god smartphone culture has rendered us little more than modern day hobos huddled around an electrical fire) was already teeming with jerks charging their laptops/ipads/kindles/flashlights while pretending to still be drinking the latte they bought three hours before. finally we ended up at the coffee shop, employer of the most beautiful off duty models i have ever seen. yes, it took an hour and a half for me to get the one thing i ordered from three different women the size of my forearm, but once i had my smooth coconut (sounds so exotic!) in hand it was totally worth it. BECAUSE OOH SO PRETTY.

8 new yorkers are terrified of chicago cold. "BUT IT'S SO COLD THERE" is the counter-argument i received to every single observation i made about new york city. no matter compliment, question, or criticism, every word out of my mouth was met with but chicago is so fucking cold. what, you dudes don't have motherfucking winter? buy a warm jacket and be easy, my dude.
me: "you guys really go apeshit over cronuts."
me: "hey, did you vote for that de blasio guy or what?"
me: "wow, look at that rat king!"
okay okay, i get it, it's cold. fuck outta here, b. 

9 59th and lex. i'm handicapped and tired, and it is the dream of my life to be in a place that has so many motherfucking cabs just waiting for you to dump all of the shit you carry around with you all the time into their empty backseats. they're everywhere! all the time! and they will go wherever you want them to! the best part of jetting around manhattan like i didn't have an overdue directv bill waiting for me at home was telling them all of the hilarious intersections we needed to get to. my favorite was 59th and lexington, because NO ONE SAYS 59th and LEXINGTON. they say 59th and lex, which sounds like 59th and sex (HOT), and is also smack in the middle of a bunch of amazing places to spend your entire paycheck. we got makeovers at illamasqua in bloomingdales. we ate lunch at this adorable underground place called patsy's full of overpriced pastas. we bought so many cantaloupe flavored jelly bellies at dylan's. then i got elbowed in the face 150 times as we walked all the way to 79th. THERE WERE SO MANY CABS WE COULD HAVE TAKEN, welp. then i was all, "fuck new york i hate it here."

10 they love the shit out of bed bath and beyond. first thing i asked after we booked our tickets is, "where can i take a dump in new york city?" i wanted to get the drop on all of the friendly toilets i could hover precariously over in case i got stress diarrhea after being on an airplane. every single native i asked responded, "if you're in public? BED BATH AND BEYOND. duh." not even kidding. like, four unrelated people told me that if i have to poop in a public toilet then that toilet better be at the end of the fitted shit aisle. wednesday morning hilary returned to the sublet apartment she'd lent us for the night, nearly tipping over from the arm full of curtain rods she was carrying, to walk us to breakfast. "what is all that?" i asked her. "i just came from bed bath and beyond!" she said excitedly. "and i totally took a shit there!" 

don't worry, my bruva. it's all goodie. still got mad love for your city, even though your giant floppy pizza looks like blood-spattered loose skin.
i heart ny.

Friday, November 1, 2013

anatomy of a diss.

i'm never texting another dude for as long as i motherfucking live. never say never? I'M SAYING NEVER. you know i no longer give a fuck about dating, and this is 99.4% of the reason why: texting is weird, dudes are awful, and i have neither the time nor inclination to start fixing all of the shit that's wrong with me. i don’t even want a boyfriend, man. but then i keep seeing that one commercial featuring that one girl with the adorable king charles spaniel dancing around her closet taking instant grams of potential first date outfits and i am fully invested like i know her, balanced precariously on the edge of my bed clutching my baby blanket to my heaving bosom, tears streaking a path through the (gluten free) el milagro dust clinging to my sticky cheeks, shouting "no girl, not the red jacket! the drape is all wrong!" desperately at my miniature-version-of-an-adult-tv 19" flatscreen. "what is that, sushi? god, i hate billiards. he couldn't have taken her on a nicer date? get out forever thanks." and that euphoric 30 seconds is enough to delude me into thinking that maybe i should be featured in one of these commercials. I AM TOTALLY ADORABLE. check it: the scene opens. camera pans up my narrow entryway, carefully avoiding the two big bags of garbage i am waiting for a reason to take down to the dumpster. i’m laughing with all my teeth showing, the way women always do in commercials, scrolling through the zero messages received on my smart phone's handy app. "i’m so fucking happy being single!" my terrifying open-mouthed grin silently reveals as the nondescript adult contemporary soundtrack twinkles in the background. i pull several fashionable items (read: my one decent pair of jeans) from the closet (ie the designated “clean” pile on the floor) and hold them at arm’s length, admiring my effortless style and good taste, blissfully unaware that the viewer can see the lumpy outline of the poise pad i am wearing through the leggings i am legit trying to pass off as real pants. oh look! there is my pet cat! i am in no way creepy or undateable even though you can see that she totally has her own spot on my bed!

next, the photo montage: 1 me falling over as i desperately try to tug those nice jeans that i am surprised to find don't fit anymore up my legs. 2 me holding helen so tight that my fingers turn white as she struggles to escape my grasp. 3 helen, looking irritated. 4 me checking my phone to discover that the tentative plans i'd made with my suitor are being cancelled while i'm still only halfway in those pants and my best bra. 5 helen again, surly and bored. 6 me one last time, eating nachos on the toilet while flipping through the latest issue of marie claire and watching hulu on my phone. I DON'T BELIEVE IN LOVE ANYMORE. scene.

2:53 pm today, email to xojane's emily mccombs. "i paused my elastic-waisted pants piece for a second to write a blog about this total rejecton i got from a dude i thought was into me. BECAUSE HE SEEMED INTO ME." 1 let's talk about how i am officially never wearing pants with either a zipper or buttons ever again. 2 i don't do the "test the waters to see if he likes me" thing, because that is a goddamned trap. one minute i'm just dipping a toe in to check if the water is warm and the next i am circling the drain of unretractable texts, choking on my optimism and dying. i'm not a fucking tiger. i don't enjoy stalking my prey and then lying in wait to see if i can catch it before tearing its limbs apart. i'm a buzzard, bro. lazily circling nearby waiting to pick what's left off the bloody carcass you jungle cats leave behind. that's me in the corner of the club, hollering at that vulnerable divorced dude who can't stop crying his first night back on the prowl. well maybe not but i guess what i'm really trying to say is i do not, under any circumstances, enjoy a challenge.

i am impressed by you ladies who do. i just can't, tho. i gotta know that a person is into me, at least a little fucking bit. i can't just be blindly putting myself out there. I AM NOT A GAMBLER. this is the only thing i will ever envy about a man: the way they bounce back from constant rejection. that is the only purpose the Y chromosome serves, correct? that and the ability to accurately remember basketball statistics season after goddamned season? HOW DO YOU LEARN THAT. if catcalling worked the other way around i would constantly be a blathering, teary mess. seriously, if i was standing in front of the coffee shop in my hood with a cigarette and half a latte chirping, "good morning, mister handsome! can a bitch get to know ya?" to every gentleman who passed by i wouldn't make it through two of them before the callous insults hurled my way would leave me a shaking, sniveling pile of sadz. isn't that how we do it? growl "FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE" at the obnoxious street harrasser before putting our heads down and quickening our steps while hoping this simple motherfucker doesn't decide follow us to the train?! that said, i will leave it to the rest of you birds to be pleasantly surprised, but i'ma be out here waiting for a sure thing.

last october, lacuna artist loft. i went to a gallery show for a hot black artist in the vain attempt to meet the kind of superfly brothers i have been led to believe hang out in such posh and bourgeois environs. so i was standing by myself at this fruity art party sipping my free wine watching all the kids in their $300 gym shoes quote rap lyrics at each other or whatever when this handsome piece of beef jerky sidles up alongside me and starts making small talk. i am really fucking good at small talk. this is the only benefit of being funny, the ease with which i can engage weirdos and assholes in meaningless conversation. i don't enjoy it, because i would much rather just be chilling alone picking all of the cubes of pepper jack out of the variety pack the host bought at sam's club, but if i have to i will do it. and be charming as fuck in the process.

so homie was 100% sam's ideal dude to fuck: plaid shirt, clashing bow tie, crispy fade, stylish glasses, wool shawl collar cardigan, stylish glasses, jeans that fit and sit just below his natural waist. and i talked to that motherfucker for, like, an hour and a half. which is a really long time not to check a mirror when you're wearing red lipstick and also possibly wine teeth. he was so great! i was having so much fun! but he didn't ask for my number before i left so that was the end of that. thank goodness for pepper jack cheese, otherwise my night might have been a total bust.

last october + two or three days give or take. FORGOT ABOUT THAT DUDE ENTIRELY.

7ish, last wednesday. seriously, i don't fucking dwell. anyway, i threw a book party to celebrate my book "meaty" and that hot dude in the grandpa sweater was there in another outfit fresh from a new england fishery, all marled wool and adorable toggles and man i forgot how cute this fucking dude was. after i spent an hour reading about how shaving my labia majora is a total fucking drag and how i lied to a group of harmless strangers about having given birth to two sets of triplets (WHAT) he stopped by the table where i was signing books and made sure to 1 give me his number and 2 ask me to text him so we could "hang out." neither of which was solicited. and, since he didn't really mean the shit anyway?, i would much rather he'd dropped $15 on a book.

11:42 pm (or thereabouts) last wednesday, passenger seat of rob's car.
sam: yo. al gave me his number, my dude. WHAT SAY YOU?
rob: al's a good man, sam. reach out.
sam: wait a minute. are you sure he doesn't have a girlfriend? how can a single man possibly have such a wide assortment of really nice cardigans?
rob: he's not seeing anybody. just text him, stupid.
sam: what did his last girlfriend look like? was she pretty? is he into fat girls? do you know whether he's interested in something long-term or is just looking for a casual physical thing? how does he feel about children? oh snap, is that a 7-eleven?! let's see if they have twinkies!


3:49 pm last thursday, on the toilet at work. "how does one casually convey little more than a passing interest in a gentleman breezily via sms message?"

6:21 pm, purple line run 704. i fucking hate digging my phone out of my bag during rush hour while standing butts-to-nuts with all of the other dirtbags doing the reverse commute. i always wind up inadvertently pinching a nipple or massaging a bootyhole or whatever. and that sucks. so usually i just lean against the door like a corpse with my hands shoved deep in my pockets, but i felt that telltale buzzing from inside my bag against my hip and as much as i wanted to resist i simply could not. so i knocked an elderly woman over with my giant bag and nearly punched a baby in the face trying to wrestle my phone from one of the hidden pockets within. only to find out that the next few weeks are "kinda shitty." WHICH IS NOT A REAL THING. just say you don't want to kick it with me, young man. you ain't gotta pretend you're being audited or whatever, bruh. i know when i've been charged to the game. why not just shout FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE in my face then put your head down, clutch your purse a little tighter, and keep that shit moving.

please buy my little meatbook here. no texting or hanging out required.