Me:Look Rosie, I’ve got some bad news. I know I promised you a lover this time around with the whole ‘going into heat’ thing, but it just hasn’t worked out.
Rosie:Why’s that? By the way, while you’re telling me, could you hand me that piece of turkey you’re eating? Thanks.
Me:Well, the thing is, um, this is a hard thing for any parent to talk about with their child, but I guess it’s time we had the little ‘birds and the bees’ chat.
Rosie:Speaking of birds, go ahead and hand me that f’ing turkey.
Me:Right. Ok. Here’s the turkey. So, the thing is, in order for you to have a lover, you have to, um, have sex. And, there’s this thing called STDs. Apparently, dogs can get them. Who knew? So, the only dogs willing to do you are sketchy ones.
Rosie:This turkey is delish. Do you have more of that?
Me:Are you even listening to me?
Rosie:Yeah. Got it. STDs. Sketchy dachshunds. More turkey?
Me:Here’s a little more turkey. So, because it won’t work out with the other dogs, I’m going to have to buy another dog to live with us to eventually be your lover. I think that—
Rosie:Whoa. Stop it right there. Look. I’m fine with some other pooch coming around occasionally, but I have 100% rights to the bed and I’m definitely going to need the bacon rations to double around here if this happens.
Me:I’ll look into that.
Rosie:Yeah. You do that. And in the meantime, I’ll take that last slice please.
I make fast assumptions about people. I’m sorry. But I do. If you’re too pretty, I probably won’t like you at first because people who are too pretty generally aren’t nice. If you laugh a lot I’ll probably like you immediately. If you reference dachshunds even once in our first conversation, there’s a chance I’ll become your full time stalker.
My new neighbors have quickly fallen prey to this little vice of mine. To the left of my house, are my two new best friends. They became my best friends when they brought over chocolate chip cookies yesterday to welcome me to the neighborhood and cinched the deal when they said Rosie was cute. I was briefly suspicious as they are both very attractive, but was willing to move past that due to the level of chocolate in the cookies. They don’t know this yet, but we will be best friends. The kind of best friends who frequently bring each other cookies is my plan.
My neighbors on the right… well… not so much. I hate using this term because it is implicitly kind of racist, but these people are the epitome of white trash. Signs of said affliction:
1) They have at least nine people, four cats, and a dog living in three-bedroom home. That’s the minimum. There could be additional beings that I just haven’t seen yet.
2) One of those people is 19. She has a child. With her boyfriend. Who doesn’t live there. But does occasionally show up in a pimped out Pontiac.
3) One of the cats looks like it’s part Satan. This morning I found it digging in my yard. When I told it to leave, it hissed at me and I’m pretty sure it said “I will steal your soul.”
4) They smoke all day, every day. Like seriously, I’m pretty sure that 90% of Philip Morris’ profits are coming from that house.
5) The smoking occurs on the front stoop, which is where they sit all day, every day. They don’t work. Not a single one of them works as far as I can tell. However, if you were wondering what they do actually do, a simple look around the yard will answer that question: There is a large ladder up to one of the trees in the front yard, so apparently they climb trees. There is a plastic kiddie pool in the side yard so apparently they’re swimmers. There are children’s toys and bikes everywhere, so apparently they ride. Oh, and there are bottles of cheap Peach Schnapps and wine coolers in the bottom of my trash can where I saw them put there… so apparently there’s that too.
6) The thing that really pushed me over the edge though was when on Saturday afternoon I walked outside on my porch to hear one of the women yelling at one of the children. The phrase “beat your ass” was thrown around several times. What’s convenient is that now I finally have the answer to my question “What rock did all those people in the lines at Wal-Mart crawl out from under?” What’s inconvenient is that the rock is next door.
My parents are coming in a few hours to help me move to my new house. I woke up early thinking about my many moving days over the last few years. As this will be my thirteenth dwelling place in the last nine years, there have been quite a few. (That’s counting different four college dorm rooms, but only counts Shelby once. And I’ve moved there six times in the last nine years. I move a lot.)
But, this will be it for a little while. So I was remembering other moves.
I remember lugging the world’s heaviest bags into a tiny third floor room in a home in London where my soon-to-be-close friend Jenn already had flowers in vase and the windows open letting in the crisp London fall.
I remember packing my final suitcase in the dark, early one morning in Dallas as my brother helped me pack my car for us to drive back to the Carolinas. We left at 5 a.m. and by 10 a.m. I was contemplating how to kill him.
I remember waking up early the first morning in Boston after sleeping in sub-zero temperatures in a hotel room with my mom where she hadn’t been particularly generous with the blankets. I slipped into my moving clothes and walked down the street to my new home where the night before a fire had detroyed a home across the street, killing two inside. The street still smelled like smoke and firetrucks blocked most of it.
I remember moving into my tiny two-person dorm room in D.C. while my parents chatted with my roommates parents about the incredibily small size of the room and their mutual affection for Republican politicians.
I have a lot more memories. But I’ll stop. The thing that is most apparent about the memories is that my family has helped a lot. A whole lot. I’m really glad my parents will be here today. (Especially as this is my dad’s first time seeing the house I just bought.) I’m planning on taking them to my favorite place for fried pickles post-move. If nothing else, it will be a good new memory.
(In case you didn’t know, that stands for “This is Africa.” It’s from Blood Diamond. In my mind, people in Africa say it all the time.)
Anyway, yesterday I got to talk to my brother for a bit on the phone. He’s still in Ghana doing his thing (I’d elaborate more, but I don’t totally get it. Basically he’s doing something with patent laws and intellectual property. That’s all I’ve got.)
He called me because apparently the power was out, which he says happens all the time, and he was bored. So, we chatted for a bit. Actually, we chatted for like five minutes and then his friend yelled to him to c’mon because they were going to play 20 Questions. So he got off, played a game and then called me back. I think I can safely say that’s the first time someone has ended a phone call with me to go play 20 Questions.
Anyway, when he called me back, he was telling me about how as part of his job he’d had his driver take him around the city to the various places where one could purchase pirated goods. (This doesn’t sound all that unusual to me as that is how I spend 90% of my time in foreign countries. However, no one has ever asked me to do it as a job.)
Everett said though that the pirated goods were not the usual Gucci bags and Prada purses. He said they had those, but they were the worst imitations ever. What he said was really crazy though were all the other fake things. Fake malaria medications. Fake condoms. Fake precription drugs.
That is terrifying.
And it’s just one more thing I would have never known about if he hadn’t been there, seen it, and told me. I want to go to Africa.
This weekend when I was in the woods with some of my best friends pretending to have some clue how to do things like “pitch a tent” and “build a campfire,” several of us girls were talking. We were actually talking about another of our friends, when my friend Katie burst out “Why that little rascal!” in reference to our friend.
I can’t remember the last time I heard someone refer to someone else as a rascal.
But, I’m here to tell you, I’m bringing it back. It’s such a great description. And yes, I may risk sounding like a grandma (which we all accused Katie of) and it’s probably not the coolest. But get ready. It’s about to hit the mainstream. Introduce it to your vocab. You rascal, you.
Yesterday the magazine I work for had a fashion shoot. As I’m supposedly in charge of the style section of the magazine, I had to do some stuff with said shoot. The shoot took place at a nightlife/music complex here in Charlotte and went ALL FREAKING DAY.
So, around 7:30, we’ve finally wrapped up and I’m dying because my feet are killing me from standing in impossibly uncomfortable shoes all day and also because I hadn’t had caffeine in a good four hours. I was totally ready to go, the only problem was, earlier in the day we’d borrowed a martini glass from a nightclub in the basement of the complex for one of the photos. And I needed to return the glass.
I grabbed the glass and wound my way through the underbelly of this place. Seriously. Underbelly. Like, dark basements, rickety old wooden stairs, and walls that will permanently smell like cigarette smoke. I could have gone outside to the regular entrance to the club, but this way just seemed easier.
When I walked into the club, it was through a small back door connected to the basement that comes in next to the DJ booth. It was pitch black dark. I walked quickly across the dance floor, figuring that if they’d already left, I’d just leave the glass on top of one of the bars. That’s when I saw the motion sensors. And suddenly, it occurred to me that there might be an alarm on. The little red lights on the sensors flashed. I paused and considering just leaving the glass on one of the tables on the dance floor.
But then I figured that if there was an alarm, I would have already set it off.
I was wrong.
I made two more steps and suddenly there was a rather loud siren sound. Now, a normal, mature person probably would have done something very different than what I did. But, well, I’m really not all that mature. And my first instinct when I hear a siren is to run. Which is exactly what I did. I ran to the bar, put the glass on it, and then sprinted across the dance floor and back out the back door where I hurried through the basement and back up the stairs, breathless from my breaking and entering.
I really have no idea what happened next down at the club. My 50-yard dash was probably caught on camera and right now there’s a warrant out for my arrest. I hope not though.
Just clicking through this made me feel all excited, jittery, and frustrated. Oh LOST, how we love you.
Totally agree. I got way too excited clicking through those. However, I’m more than a little nervous that I’m not going to like the final season of LOST. Supposedly not every single thing will be completely answer AND it’s not supposed to be a particularly happy ending. In fact, I heard that more of the main characters will die.
I’ll probably be able to move past this unless they kill off Sawyer. In which case I will hunt down the producers of this show and force them to watch that stupid episode about the Medusa spider bite over and over and over again until they apologize for what they’ve done.
Today I decided to have a wee bit of a nervous breakdown regarding purchasing a house next week. I turned to four different friends with my problem, looking for advice. The following were the part of those conversations:
Friend 1: Don’t buy the house. You can’t even pay your bills on time. Let’s move to Europe.
Friend 2: Not to totally psycho analyze, but I think you don’t want to buy a house because you’re afraid if you stay in Charlotte, you might fall in love with someone again. And you’re afraid to let yourself do that.
Friend 3: You definitely need to pray more about this. A lot more. A whole lot more. Friend 4: You know, even some hippies have houses. God, I hate hippies though. You know what you need? You just need to get laid.
There’s something I’ve been trying recently and really enjoying the results. So, I thought I’d pass it on to you, dear readers. Lately, I keep having to have conversations I don’t want to have. My alarm company wants to make excuses to me about why they are RIPPING ME OFF (I hate you ADT Security Services). My landlord’s realty company wants to tell me about why I need to repaint half the walls in my house. My mom wants to talk to me about my “budget.” And I don’t want to have any of these conversations.
And so I simply say “I’m not having this conversation with you.”
Easy enough, right?
The tricky part though is saying that and then you just have to keep talking. That way, you’ve established that an actual conversation is off the table and then you get to just tell them what you think.*
I’m 27. I can’t imagine why it took me this long to think of this tactic. But it’s amazing how well it works. Try it. Trust me. Just give it a shot. Your conversations will go much better.
*Occasionally, this tactic makes people (like, say, your mother) very angry. Angry enough that they look like they might punch you if they were the punching type. Don’t let this—or the obvious rude-factor involved in this tactic—deter you. Hold strong.
When I was ten I went to summer camp for the first time. I was only about and hour and a half away from my parents and the camp was only like six days long, but it was a total disaster.
I was homesick before my parents had even pulled out of the parking lot. I wrote long letters home every day, circling my tears on the pages and telling of the hard times sleeping in the cabin and paddling around the lake. I trudged through the days, my face streaked with tears, constantly hoping my parents would drive up at any moment and rescue me from this terrible place where they made us sing songs about bullfrogs and play games all day. Halfway through the week I actually constructed a plan to run away, gathered a few comrades from my cabin, and made a break during nap time. Unfortunately, my sense of direction wasn’t the best and so after we’d made it up and over the hill next to our cabin, we only ended up at the cafeteria. Not a bad place to be, but not where I wanted.
It turns out I moved past the whole homesick thing, but you can see why I’ve never been a big camper. Which is why when I called my good friend Sarah and told her that I wanted to go camping this weekend with her, you can understand why she was a little surprised. And even more surprised when I mentioned that our friends Katie and Christy wanted to come along as well.
Sarah went to summer camp every summer growing up. She was a counselor once she was old enough. And now she’s married to a camp director. She hikes, bikes, and just generally spends a lot of time outdoor in the mountains. She jumped right on the camping thing. Before we’d finished the conversation, she was throwing around words like “backpacking” and “tents” and “moonshine.”
As it turns out, Christy won’t be able to come for the true camping experience, which will be taking place Saturday night. However, Sarah’s husband and his friend are coming. And this promises to be hilarious. Sarah said they would take care of bringing tents etc. I am in charge of ghost stories (I volunteered for this job). Then Sarah emailed us to tell us to bring Tevas, hiking shoes, and backpacks. I explained that I definitely don’t own Tevas or hiking boots. Katie wrote back and asked if it would be ok if she brought a Vera Bradley bag instead of a backpack.
And so begins what promises to be a fantastic weekend. I will be going through internet withdrawal and wondering why there are no Starbucks in Pisgah National Forest. Katie will be “hiking” with a Vera Bradley bag. And Sarah will be wondering why she is friends with us. I can’t wait.
My brother, Everett, is living in Accra, Ghana for the next six weeks or so. I’ve requested that he start a blog to tell about it, but he seems to be resisting. So, in the meantime, I’ll just share some of his stories here. This morning, he wrote to me about the hostel where he’s been staying and has pretty much decided he’s going to live during his time there. This little gem was part of his description:
"The hostel is owned by two people. I don’t what their names are because everyone just calls them Aunty and Uncle. They’re funny little African people, and they feed us good food for cheap. I was lost in a cab yesterday trying to communicate with the cabbie who spoke english with a really strong accent, and all of a sudden Aunty comes walking out of the street yelling Everest, Everest, are you lost? I was like Aunty ‘Where the hell did you come from?’ She began scolding me for getting lost as if I should know where the hell I was one day after I got here. Then she directed the cabby the right way. Good people."