I’m at the beach with my family for the week. If you read this story, I think you’ll see that it’s been a fairly uneventful week as this is by far the most exciting thing that has happened:
This evening, after returning from dinner, my brother retreated to his room upstairs to call his girlfriend, while my parents and I watched a movie on TV in the living room. When the movie ended, I bid them good night and went to my downstairs room to go to bed. Which is when I noticed there was a stuffed bear on my bed.
I hadn’t put the bear on my bed, but I did vaguely recall having seen the bear earlier in the evening next to my bathroom sink as I was brushing my teeth. As I don’t feel particularly comfortable with stuffed animals moving about on their own, I returned from my room into the living room and asked my parents if either of them had moved the bear. They denied it.
So, I went upstairs and into my brother’s room to demand an explanation from him. He too denied even knowing about any stuffed bear. I yelled back down the stairs that he claimed not to have moved the bear. Meanwhile, as he was on the phone, he asked me to please leave his room and quit yelling about stuffed bears because I was making our family look crazy to his girlfriend.
I closed his door and yelled at my dad that I knew he’d moved that bear. He told me to quit being such a crazy person. By this point, both of my parents had gone into their bedroom. So, I moved across the hall from my brother’s doorway and into theirs. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: I’m not going to sleep in that room until someone admits to moving the bear from my sink to my bed.
My dad: Why’d you have a bear next to your sink anyway?
Me: I don’t know. I’d really just noticed him there today.
My mom: So he hasn’t been there all week? Is this the bear that was sitting on the table in the back hall?
Me: I don’t know! There was a bear on the table in the hall? Apparently I haven’t been keeping up enough with the stuffed bear movements in this house.
My dad: It seems like you should be more concerned that a bear just showed up by your sink today than by the fact that he moved from your sink to your bed.
At this point, I gave up. I told my parents there was probably some psychopath downstairs, determined to kill me and using the bear as some kind of sick warning. They asked that I leave their bedroom door open so they could hear my screams. And I returned back downstairs.
Where I found the bear sitting on my bed and now WEARING A HAT.
At this point I ran back upstairs and flung open my brother’s door. “THE BEAR IS WEARING A HAT!” I yelled.
"Are you just trying to act like a crazy person now?" he asked, getting off the phone.
My parents howled with laughter from their room, still denying any involvement. And I made my brother come down to my room and see the bear for himself. He agreed it looked creepy and then checked to make sure there wasn’t some “stuffed bear killer” hanging around the room. Meanwhile, I deposited the bear, hat and all, on the back hall table.
I still have no idea how he moved into my bathroom, then onto my bed, and then obtained a hat. I do have some suspicions though. Don’t worry, readers. I’ll keep you updated on this continuing dramatic saga.
I started this blog to chronicle my first few months in New York, which at the time were miserable, and now are just great stories framed within the grace of a rearview mirror.
The next two years resulted in a scrapbook of ridiculous conversations with my mom, stories from the Sin Bin, and an…
Most of the people I follow on Tumblr I only WISH I knew in real life. In the case of Literally, Genevieve Clare, I was lucky enough to meet her in college and then be randomly reunited with her when we were both living in Atlanta. The thing is though, while I was always aware she was funny (she once shared a story about her mom and Usher that I’ve repeated more times than I can count), I had no idea just how freaking hilarious she could be until I came across her blog.
Chances are, if you’re a Tumblr blogger and reading this, you’ve long since been following her. And if you’re friends with me, then I’m certain I’ve suggested it to you in the past. But on the off chance you’ve never read it, then start reading and prepare to laugh. A lot. I’m just sorry you’re coming in at the end.
Last night I went to my parents’ house for dinner and a dachshund drop. I’m headed out of town for awhile and, sadly, Rosie will not be joining me.
As I pulled up, my dad, who was in the garage, called out to me “You got here just in time.” I ignored him because I didn’t know what he was talking about and because Rosie was yapping at the top of her lungs because she was so excited to see my parents’ golden retriever and therefore I’d lost most of my ability to hear.
However, when I went inside a few minutes later, I discovered what I was just in time for.
Apparently, on Wednesday, while my dad was sitting by the pool on a business call, he’d noticed buzzards on top of the house. He’d ended the call, gone inside, gotten a gun, and returned outside to scare the buzzards away with the gun.
Welcome to life in Cleveland County, North Carolina.
However, now the buzzards were back and my parents had concocted a plan in which my mom would be firing one gun into the air to scare the buzzards off the roof and then my dad would be shooting them down into the yard with another gun. However, my dad was now having some second thoughts on allowing my mom to fire a gun. He thought maybe he should just shoot them on his own.
"You can’t shoot at my chimney with a 12-gauge!" my mom protested, as I flipped through her copy of Town & Country and wondered if these kind of conversations ever happened in other families.
Finally, it was decided that he would fire into the air with one gun while my mom stood next to him with the other loaded one, ready to shoot the bird down with that. And so my dad headed upstairs to change out of his work clothes and my mom called after him “Let’s get it done! We’ve got to kill him!” And I apologized to Rosie for bringing her into such a violent home.
As the entire situation reminded me a little too much of the the Christmas Massacre of 2009, I decided to stay out of it. I watched my dad head down the stairs and into the front yard in his No Fear t-shirt and promptly went to the opposite side of the house.
The plan apparently went smoothly and the buzzard was disposed of. I was glad it was all over. Until this morning when, in the middle of a phone call with my mom, she declared that there was another buzzard on the chimney and it would have to be taken care of today.
People who say life in the country is idyllic, clearly have not spent enough time with my parents.
“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines, and sing out loud in the car with the windows open, and wear pink shoes, and stay up all night laughing, and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets, and throw parties, and eat ripe tomatoes, and read books so good they make me jump up and down.”— Shauna Niequist (via livelaughaloha)
Saturday was supposed to be spent stretched out in the sun on the beach.
We’d packed our beach towels and extra sunscreen. We’d worn our bathing suits under our cover-ups. We’d squeezed coolers full of drinks and snacks. And we’d parked the car on a small, sand-covered road leading to the beach.
Then, it began to rain. Not just a light drizzle, but fat drops plopping from the sky in a succession so fast that it felt like the universe was holding a giant watering can over the South Carolina coast.
We sat in the car for a moment as the windows steamed up, watching families hurry off the drenched decks into their dry homes, as we looked longingly towards the ocean. And then we decided that something as small as a little bit of water wouldn’t keep us from a Saturday at the beach.
And so we grabbed the bottles of cold champagne that were meant to make mimosas and wrapped them in paper bags. And we stripped down to our bathing suits and flip flops and we hurried through puddles and splashing cars and onto the beach, relishing the feeling of the warm rain wetting our skin and cooling the humid air.
We sat in the sand and drank the champagne and laughed as mascara dripped down our cheeks and our hair stuck to our faces and the rain came harder and harder. We watched the waves and a frustrated life guard and the clouds roll in.
After awhile the rain chilled us and we rushed into the ocean and floated beneath its warm and salty surface letting it shield us from the showering drops. Eventually, the inevitable thunder and lightning arrived and we ran back to the dry car and warm towels.
But the moments on the beach in the rain sharing the champagne were my favorites from the weekend.
I tried to find an ‘Ask’ link on your blog so I could just send this directly to you, but I couldn’t find one! And, well, I couldn’t NOT send it to you, so…here you go!!
Hope it makes you smile since you’ve been making a concerted effort to make others smile. :)
Well yes, this absolutely did make me smile. (Thank you!) Pretty much all dachshund-related products are certain to make me happy. So a cute dachshund pillow in shades of green and blue? Um, yeah, that just got favorited on etsy.
It’s worth noting that half of my favorited etsy sellers are people who sell children’s decor and clothing that is dachshund related. I’m not certain if I’ll ever have a child who I can torture by forcing them to wear dachshund print sweaters, but I know at least a few of my friends plan on baring children. And I’ve got a whole bevy of dachshund-onesie selling etsy stores just waiting.
A few months ago I read this article about a man who comforted people in their last minutes—and convinced many of them not to end their own lives, simply by inviting them for a cup of tea.
The article referenced a story about a man who left a note behind before jumping off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. “If one person smiles at me on the way to the bridge, the man wrote, I will not jump.”
I’ve thought a lot about that note since then. Smiling at people is a simple action, obviously. But it’s hard because it means that for a brief moment you’re putting aside your pride and hoping they’ll smile back. It’s easier to simply not acknowledge other people. And in Charlotte, a city full of enclosed homes and cars and intimidatingly serious and suited up bankers, I often don’t smile.
But after I read this article, I decided that every time I went for a run, I would smile at every person I passed. Now, it’s worth noting that my smiles during running may come across a little more like a grimace because I’m struggling to do other things… like breathe. But, I kept smiling.
And some people smiled back. An older woman, who I pass almost every day on her walks, didn’t smile back at first. But a few weeks later, her lips began to curl at the edges as I jogged past. And then a few weeks after that, she waved hello as I went by. And then, two weeks ago she called to me as I ran by, commenting on the hot weather. I agreed and smiled as I jogged past.
This morning, as I was running by her, she stopped.
"Good morning!" she said, smiling widely at me.
I paused in my run, pulling my headphones off. “Hi,” I said breathlessly, wiping the sweat off my forehead. “It’s a humid one this morning, huh?”
She nodded. “I just have to tell you that I always look for you on my walks because you always looks so happy—it makes my morning. My name is Marjorie.”
If I hadn’t been soaked through with sweat, I would have hugged Marjorie. As it was, I introduced myself and told her that I looked for her too. It’s a small thing, making an introduction and having a stranger tell you that you brighten their day. But it made every awkward smile and ignored wave of the last few months worth it.
I'm going to be visiting Charlotte in September and would like your opinion on some of the best things to do!:)
Such a fun question! As I happen to a) love Charlotte and b) have a job that requires I keep up with fun things to do around town, I should be able to answer this one. There are, of course, plenty of things to do in Charlotte according to the guidebooks (shop SouthPark mall, go to bars at uptown’s EpiCentre, go rafting at the National White Water Center) and those are all fun (except EpiCentre is often more sketchy than fun). But, I will share with you my personal/slightly random picks for the city.
1) Eat brunch at Zada Jane’s in Plaza Midwood. It’s a quirky, little restaurant with a shuffleboard in front and complimentary mugs of coffee while you wait. Plus, it’s got amazing biscuits.
2) While you’re in Plaza Midwood take a walk (maybe Wicket is coming too?) through tree-lined streets, past cute bungalows (I’m a little partial, as this is my ‘hood) and down the main street—stop in Pura Vida, a store crammed full of international treasures and Hong Kong Vintage, the city’s best vintage clothing shop.
3) Uptown, on Tryon Street just south of the center of the city, is Charlotte’s new Cultural Campus with a bunch of new museums and performance venues. Check out the Bechtler, it’s a modern art museum and has some seriously cool stuff in it.
4) While you’re uptown, go over to Press Wine and Food bar. It’s a wine bar just to the west of town with a great skyline view patio, cozy couches inside, an amazing wine list, and some of my favorite sushi in the city.
5) If you’re looking for an outside spot to relax, Freedom Park is the best place in town. It’s just south of town in between Myers Park and Dilworth and is a large, picturesque park with a pond in the middle. It’s a fun picnic spot or just a great place to take a walk on a sunny day.
6) Go to NoDa at night. Especially on a Friday night. Especially if it’s the first or third Friday of the month during the gallery crawls. This artsy section just to the north west of town on North Davidson Street (hence the name) is a great spot to catch live music shows, see cool art, and meet interesting people. The Crepe Cellar is my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood, but Revolution Pizza & Ale house has what is easily one of the city’s best beer selections.
7) Just south of the main stretch of NoDa is Amelie’s Bakery. Go there. It’s open 24 hours a day and is the most fun if you go late at night. Order the salted caramel brownies. They’re mind blowing.
8) I LOVE antique shopping and I know you’re in to home design stuff, so I’m also going to throw out Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. It’s in a really random section of town in a warehouse down South Boulevard, but it’s one of my favorite places to take out-of-town guests because it’s so cool. It’s hundreds of booths filled with random finds from antique furniture and decor to vintage jewelry and clothes. It’s amazing.
9) I realize this list mentions a lot of food, but, well, I eat a lot. You should go to Big Daddy’s. It’s a hamburger place that is always packed—and with good reason. They’ve got amazing burgers (try The Frenchie!) and the best sweet potato fries in town.
10) Splurge and get drinks at BLT Steak’s bar. It’s in the middle of uptown just off the lobby of the Ritz Carlton and if you’re looking for Charlotte’s most cosmopolitan experience, this is it. Plus, they’ve got some seriously delicious cocktails—I’d go with the Rosemary Margarita.
It’s 12:15 a.m. and I’m sitting at the airport waiting for a flight that was supposed to leave at 10:30 p.m. Apparently, my pilot was on another flight that was supposed to come to Charlotte, but was diverted to South Carolina because of storms here this evening.
And now they’ve lost him. Literally. No one can find him. He could be in Columbia. He could be in Charlotte. He could be in Myanmar. Except that’s unlikely because it’s kind of far away.
What I find most annoying about the way airlines handle this kind of thing is how casual they are about it. The guy managing the gate just jokingly asked if anyone wanted to play Charades while we wait. I wonder if there would be some way to incorporate punching him into my charade. Because I would like to play that game.
Like, if you can’t find a pilot, don’t tell me that. Tell me that there are “operational difficulties with the crew.” Or something like that. Because right now all I can think is FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS, WHY DON’T YOU CALL THE PILOT’S F’ING CELL PHONE?
I give them another ten minutes before I demand a game of Charades.
It took me getting stung three times in the last three days to realize this. As I have what is probably the lowest pain tolerance on earth, this experience has been devastating. Each time the experience has been something like this:
Me: Innocently gazing over my backyard.
F’ing wasp: Stinging the crap out of my hand.
Me: Shouting expletives that are definitely not helping business at the illegal daycare my neighbors are running over the fence.
F’ing Wasp: Buzzing happily away.
I hate them. And now, I’m determined to destroy their home and their lives and smite them and their brethren from the earth for all of eternity.
The problem is, they’ve established their nest in the perfect location to make it impossible for me to spray them and make a fast get away. Coniving little devils. So, I called home to ask for my dad’s ideas on how to get them. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there, but my mom was thrilled to offer her help. She made several suggestions, my favorite including that I should shoot the wasps with my spray, then run through the woods next to my house and throw myself over the 8-foot fence at the edge and into my front yard.
I’m not sure when she started thinking I was Jason Bourne, but I’ll just tell you, I’m not actually capable of catapulting myself over an 8-foot fence.
So, my only option is to don all of my long-sleeved, long-panted winter clothes. And possibly a mask and gloves. Then spray the wasps and take off.
The real problem is going to be when someone sees me and naturally assumes the sprinting person in a mask in August is a robber.
This morning at 7:10 I jolted awake, realizing that I’d forgotten to put my trash on the road for pick up this morning. (Seriously people. This is the stuff my subconscious is working with.)
I jumped out of bed, threw on gym shorts and a t-shirt over my nightshirt, and then pulled on my Uggs at the door. (Try not to judge me. It was either the Uggs or rainboots as those were the options closest to the door.)
Then, I hurried outside and towards the trash can. Which is when I heard the trash truck coming around the block. As I sprinted for the can, I could see the top of the truck over the fence. I grabbed the can and began running down my driveway with it just as the truck pulled around the corner. I’d almost made it to the curb just as they passed.
I stopped at the curb with my trash can, dejected. At this point, the trash men who were getting out of the truck to pick up some stuff on the curb at my neighbors’ house, doubled over laughing looking at me, standing there crestfallen with my nightshirt now half falling below the hem of the shorts and my Ugg boots in August.
"Am I too late?" I yelled to them up the street.
The driver could barely catch his breath, laughing at me. “Whew,” he said, still laughing. “You’re not too late. We’ll come back and get yours. You feel better now?”
I smiled back at him nodding, tucked my nightshirt in, gathered any remaining pride I may or may not have had left, and called out a “Thank you,” as I turned to walk back into my house.