Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

First Date

This is a story I submitted to the Shouts & Murmurs section of The New Yorker. They didn't want it, I'm just too funny for them I guess. I don't normally post fiction on this blog but I like this piece a lot. I hope you all do too!

Again, I repeat, this is FICTION.

First Date
Ugh, I would do anything to not have to go on this date right now. I am such a loser. Why am I such a loser? If I wasn’t such a loser, I probably wouldn’t still be going out on dates and I’d be in a relationship by now. I just know how it’s going to go. But, of course, there is that small chance that this could go differently than the plethora of other failed dates I’ve been on. But it is such a small chance. Is it really worth all of this effort and all of this pain? And if this guy were the one, wouldn’t I be excited right now? I’m not saying I believe in love at first sight (which, yes, I really hate to admit that I do believe in). But all I’m saying is, wouldn’t I have a better feeling about this?

I can’t take another guy trying to impress me. I’m not saying the whole playing hard to get theory is true (which it is, but that’s not what I’m saying). I just want to be challenged. If another boy tells me I look pretty, I am going to vomit. On him. It’s just so fake! What, is he going to tell me that I look ugly? But even that would be a nice change. A surprise. I want to be surprised! Not by flowers or in that kind of way. Dating has become so predictable. So boring. Guys are so worried about trying to impress me that they forget to be themselves. Oh, I’ve spent all this time worrying and now I’m going to be late. What should I wear? I mean, I still want to look good. He could be the one.

Ok. Here we go. He’s here to pick me up. Picking me up. What century is this? If he holds the door open for me I’ll puke. I wonder what kind of car he drives. Not that it matters. I don’t need a guy who has a lot of money. I plan to support myself. Feminism. But I mean, it will say something about him. If he drives a hummer I’m turning around. I don’t need to find out what he is overcompensating for. Or anything with rims. I’m not exactly sure what rims are but they sound too flashy. Alright, normal car. I approve. Do we hug? Shake? Why am I so awkward? Hi, how are you? Oh, I look pretty? That’s so nice of you to say… so unexpected. Awkward silence. This is going great. What do we talk about? So… where are we going? Oh, sushi? I hate sushi. Great, I love sushi. At least now I won’t have to worry about eating too much. I think I have a milky way in my fridge. Now that’s all I can think about. I would do anything to not have to sit through this dinner.

You know how sometimes you think about something in your head, you build it up and then you think you know how it’s going to end? Let me tell you, this was better than I thought it would be. The swirls of chocolate and caramel together were really heavenly. I must be drunk because that was the best thing I’ve ever had. Or maybe it just seems that way compared to the disgusting sushi from earlier. I can’t believe I had to sit through that awful dinner with that awful guy just to come home and do exactly what I could’ve been doing all night. What’s the point in even going? I give up. They say you find him when you aren’t even looking. So from now on, I’m not going to look.

I can’t believe it’s been two days and he still hasn’t texted me. And I’m not texting him first. No chance. I don’t understand, I thought the night went really well. I’m not going to go there and say that he could be the one, but you never know. I’m very thrown. He probably wants me to text him. Which I’m not going to do. I had a great time but if he didn’t like me then it’s his loss. Even if I wasn’t my most fun self, I still looked good. Something must be wrong. Maybe he lost my number. Or his phone broke. That’s what happened, he lost his phone! Or something worse. Maybe something bad happened. Now I’m worried. He was so nice. Almost too nice. He would’ve texted me by now. If something bad happened, I don’t want to seem like the bitch who didn’t text him. I should probably text him. Just in case.

Oh wait, he just texted me. He wants to hang out tonight. I just saw him two days ago. It’s a little bit soon... a little bit desperate. I’ll respond later, maybe.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Permanently Hungover

I’m a nice person. I really am. Not necessarily a good person… but still a nice person. Yes, I am easily annoyed. And yes, I hate talking to people when I don’t want to be. But I don’t think that makes me a bad person. But I just went out to lunch.  As the hostess showed me to my table, she smiled and tried to make small talk. Because of this niceness, I conversed with her and forced myself to smile back. Sometimes one is just not in the mood to chat about nothing. Then the same thing happened with the waitress. Answering the same dumb questions over and over when all I want to do is to be left alone. But clearly now I sound like a bad person again. I’m not allowed to say that I don’t want to talk to random people and pretend to be in a good mood all the time. That’s not socially acceptable. Even though I'm pretty sure everyone secretly agrees with me.

But the other night I did something pretty rare. I went out. I’m not a big drinker, I don’t go out very often and when I do I usually leave decently early. I’m what people call “boring” or “a loser”. And those things are just to my face. I’m don’t even know what they say behind my back. But the other night I did it. It started with a glass of wine, or two. Then we ran out of that so we moved on to whiskey. We had nothing other than seltzer water so I tried it. I loved it. Once we got to the bar, I ordered my new favorite drink: whiskey soda. I sipped on this for a while. I think I had more than one. It’s really hard to remember now. On our way out, we decided that tequila shots were a good idea. Note to self: tequila shots are never a good idea on the way out.

Walking back to my friend’s apartment, we passed a cool speakeasy type bar that none of us had been to yet. Someone decided it was a good idea to go in for a drink. Probably the same person who suggested the tequila shots. I ordered a tequila drink. I chugged down this sugary margarita concoction…

Cut to: the next morning. Two advil and three bottles of water later, my head was still pounding, it hurt to move and all I wanted was fries. I basically wanted to die. But fries seemed more important than dying so I forced myself up and met my friend out for breakfast. She was in just as bad shape as I was. We looked like shit.

We chugged coffee and water and I ordered a hamburger and fries (at 9am). Did I mention this was a weekday? People from the wait staff were coming over to me to compliment “my style”. Nobody tried to talk to us for too long because it was very obvious how hung over and miserable we were.  When you’re hung over, you might as well have a giant sign around your neck that says ‘leave me the fuck alone’. Thankfully, everyone has been in this position before so you don’t need one. It’s universally understood.

Despite our awful appearance, disheveled hair thrown on top of our heads, sunglasses hiding our puffy makeup-less faces and baggy sweatpants from head to toe, the fact that we were in the worst mood possible, wanting nothing to do with anybody, and that we were stuffing our faces like animals… we somehow still seemed cool.

If I was completely sober this morning, after a great night’s rest, I could not get away with stuffing my face like an obese woman, wearing sunglasses inside and wanting to be left alone. I mean I could still do it but I’d be a bad person. I realized that being hung over is the only socially acceptable excuse to act like a bitch and get away with it.

So from now on, consider me permanently hungover.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Unofficial Guide To Being A (Modern Day) Lady

1.     Get off your phone and talk to the people around you. You can text your friend later.
2.     Meet new people. You might learn something.
3.     Be open to new experiences.
4.     Travel.
5.     Have an opinion. Read more. Be knowledgeable. If you don’t have one, read some op-ed pieces. Making ditzy comments about politics is not cute. It’s not attractive to be dumb.
6.     Put some more clothes on. Showing your boobs and your butt will not get you a second date. Or any respect.
7.     Don't talk if you have nothing worthwhile to contribute.
8.     Exercise. Not for your appearance but for your self-esteem. It’s important to feel good in your own skin.
9.     Always offer to pay. If he insists, that’s his prerogative. But always offer.
10. Don’t curse. It’s not cute or classy.
11. Have ambition. Other than finding a man. Live your own life and do your own thing.
12. Stop idolizing celebrities.
13. Be successful. Don’t rely on other people.
14. Have a sense of style. But you don’t have to Instagram it everyday. I know you think its fashion blog worthy. It’s probably not.
15. Stop being so insecure. Confidence is attractive.
16. Have interests, passions and goals. Do something outside of work and getting drunk on the weekends.
17. Don’t drink too much. It’s annoying and your friends don’t want to deal with it. Blacking out isn’t cool after college.
18. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, change it. Don’t just complain all the time and pity yourself.
19. Have friends. Appreciate them. Be a friend in return.
20. One real friend is more valuable than a group of seven girls that you pre-game with.
21. Always keep the ball in your court. Take control over what you want.
22. Being a slut does not get you respect. From them or from you.
23. Eat. We’re not fun when we’re hungry. Obsessing over weight is annoying. And you’re the only one who can notice the difference. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin.
24. Laugh more. Learn to see the humor in things. Especially when it comes to yourself.
25. Stop being obsessed with other girls. They’re not as cool as you think they are. Learn to love yourself.
26. Be cultured. There is a museum in your city. Go to it.
27. Stop gossiping and judging other people. Why do you care? Worry about yourself. You’re not perfect.
28. Get off Facebook. Once a day is enough. There is nothing that important happening in other people’s lives that requires you to check it five times a day.
29.  Stop taking selfies.
30. Most of all, be yourself. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. Be who you are and own it. Even if it means disregarding numbers 1-29 on this list.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Commitment Issues

Earlier this year, my younger sister Rachel bought a cat. Even though my family and I didn’t think it was the best idea for a sophomore in college to have a pet, we didn’t say anything. Well, I did, but not as much as I wanted to. The cat was adorable, so eventually we all were happy she had it. But then, in the way most people describe the addiction associated with getting a tattoo, she decided she needed a second cat. She went to the shelter and already knew which cat she wanted, no, needed. Why a 19-year-old girl in college needs one cat, let alone two, is beside me. My parents said absolutely not, no more cats. I told her that having one cat is already kind of weird and two cats is just asking to be called a cat lady. (We also have a cat at home).

Being the youngest child, she doesn’t know how to accept no for an answer. She needs to get her way. I think it’s a blessing and a curse. So she went and bought the cat. My parents threatened to cut her off and stop paying for college if she got the second cat. But too late, she already had it. She was in love. There was no way she was giving up this poor little thing that she bought from the shelter. In a similar fashion to a tattoo, if you wanted her to get rid of it you’d have to physically remove it from her body.

Something important to note is that she bought this kitten with the money that my parents have just threatened to stop giving her. She was in a bit of a pickle. What to do? I told her what any big sister would have told her, “If you had just listened to me in the first place, none of this would have happened.” So in typical little sister fashion, the only solution she could come up with was to ask me to fix it. She wanted me to take her cat. That way she could still see him and play with him and potentially steal him back one day and she wouldn’t really have to give him up.

After this story you might get the impression that I hate cats. But I actually love cats. Most of my bitterness from before most likely stemmed from jealousy. So Rachel started begging me to take her cat. She’d send me pictures of this tiny little thing, day and night. (He's pretty damn cute.)

She’d tell me all of the reasons why a cat would be perfect for me.  Before I knew it, I was really considering the idea of taking her cat. Even though I did feel as though I might be betraying my cat at home. I’m incredibly indecisive, so I started asking what other people thought. My mom said a cat might be good for me. Some companionship. My roommate was all for the idea, she had never had a cat. (She recently learned that she is highly allergic… so that would have been an interesting twist to this story.)

But a cat is a commitment. I can’t just get up and travel around the world if I have a cat. I plan to move to Paris in the semi-near future. Which, of course nobody believes that I’ll actually go. So now I might have to go just to prove everybody wrong. Would I bring this cat? My sister promised me that if I moved to Paris, she would help me out and take care of him for me. She is such a supportive sister. But more realistically, how would I go home for a weekend to visit my family? I went back and forth on this issue for a day. Two days. A week. Everybody in my office gave me their opinions: “Get a dog”, “I hate cats!”, “you are pretty and young, you do not need to get a cat. That is very weird”, “oh it’s so cute. Get it!”. All very helpful.

Finally I concluded that having a cat is a big responsibility and there is too much I want to do in life right now to have such a responsibility. I finally had to tell my sister that I was sorry but I just couldn’t take her cat. She got very angry at me and told me, “you have commitment issues!” I found this very interesting. I started thinking…

Over the past 6 years, I’ve lived in four different places. I grew up in New Jersey, went to school in Michigan for two years, moved to New York City for two years, then I recently moved to Los Angeles almost a year ago. I’m not exactly sure why I move around so much. Every time I moved I had a reason to leave. I left NJ for college, I was so miserable in Michigan I would have killed myself if I stayed another second, and I came to LA because I want to work in film. But every time I left I was also just very bored and ready for a change. I get bored very easily. Maybe I do have commitment issues? This might also describe why I’ve never been in a real relationship. Fascinating. My sister might be on to something.

But as I sit and write this, there is a girl sitting next to me on her phone. And sitting next to her is a very attractive man. I don’t mean like kind of good looking and put together the way most people here in LA are. I mean, a drop dead gorgeous Italian man who looks like some sort of angel. The type that would treat you nicely, wine and dine you, speak in Italian and be a version of every girl’s fantasy. He’s really not my type. Not the point of the story though. So the girl sitting between us over hears his conversation with his friend saying that he is a hairdresser. She politely interrupts his conversation to interrupt and ask if she heard him directly, is he a hairdresser? He says yes he is, right across the street. She works on this street as well. And what a coincidence, she really needs to get her hair done! She asks if he has a card, which he does not. She says that she just moved here and has been looking to find someone to cut her hair and didn’t know where to go. She is pulling the damsel in distress, lost in translation, help me I’m lost line. Before I know it he is putting his number into her phone! It worked! I am very impressed.

And suddenly I remember why I move around a lot. Why I love moving to new cities. Being new to a city is a very overlooked kind of super power. It’s a conversation starter. It’s an excuse to not be cool and not have friends and not go out a lot. “Oh, well I just moved here, so…” If I lived in a place for ten years my life would be considered sad and pathetic. But by leading the same life in a new place, suddenly the same exact life becomes exciting and interesting.

Plus, after living in a place for two years, everything becomes comfortable. Nothing is new. That’s no fun. Are there some underlying commitment issues here? Possibly. But I’m still young so it’s allowed. When you’re young, you can be bat-shit crazy but it’s still somehow charming and cool. At least that’s what I tell myself. But now all I can think about is sitting in a coffee shop in Paris, nibbling on a croissant and telling the beautiful man next to me that I would love it if he would help me learn French (I’m not going to let just anybody cut my hair, no matter how beautiful he might be).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


It has recently come to my attention that Emma Stone (not Emma Roberts.. I always get those people mixed up) who is the redhead that was in Superbad and Easy A.. is not a natural redhead. Apparently, when she was cast in Superbad she had blonde hair, then Judd Apatow had the idea that she should dye her hair red. I guess to make it more realistic that Jonah Hill could get her? Redheads have a really bad rep. Anyway, she dyed her hair red, really liked it and decided to keep it. Now she is unique for having red hair and has therefore become famous. It's hard to even imagine her with blonde hair. Go Judd Apatow.

Similar story. Turns out Sofia Vergara was blonde before she was in Modern Family. Google it, I swear. She dyed her hair brown so she could fit the "Columbian" stereotype. And look at her now. Famous and gorgeous. Looking back on her with blonde hair is just borderline uncomfortable.

Both people who had blonde hair.. dyed it.. and are now successful. Really makes you think.

I have blonde hair. My whole life my mother has refused to let me dye it. I know what you're thinking. Why does your mother not want you to be successful? Good question. I don't know. She told me that if I dye it I will never get my color back. So that scares me. That's a giant commitment. I don't like the words never or forever. I can barely make plans a day in advance. No, I've never had a long term relationship... Why?

I don't think I can handle red. I'm already awkward enough. Emma Stone seems chill so she can pull it off. Plus, my hair is curly. Curly, red haired, spastic, awkward girls don't get very far in life. Maybe as a writer though. Interesting.

But now I can't stop thinking I might look so much better as a brunette. How do I know that my blonde hair isn't holding me back? Why has my mom been trying to sabotage me? Maybe I should dye hair my brown and then I'd be famous. Or at least not sitting here alone on Friday night..

I guess the only rational solution would be to just ask Judd.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Name Dilemma

I’m really bad at remembering people’s names. And I’m pretty sure I used to be good at it. I don’t know if it’s because college has taken its toll on me or if my friends are right and I am actually starting to lose my mind. But I’m pretty sure it’s because I just stopped caring. I’m great at recognizing faces; the names are my enemy. When I am introduced to somebody, my brain should send out an alert: about to hear name. Listen! In fact, I think I stop listening right before they say their name. There is so much else going on in my mind. All of my social anxieties just take over. Do we shake hands? Or is just a nod more appropriate? If I’m on my way into a restaurant or about to sit to eat, is there a bathroom or some sort of Purell near by for me to use afterwards? If not, how can I avoid touching you with my hands. Sometimes I do the “oh, sorry my hands are busying looking for something in my bag.” If it is somebody I actually could care less about, I might use the “let me just finish this text”.

If we’re in a bar or a more social situation, sometimes girls go in for the hug. Really? You’re hugging me? I barely let my parents hug me. I’d really prefer it if you don’t touch me. I am fully capable of totally avoiding the hug. Being rude isn’t something I’m afraid of. But I was raised in a nice household with morals and values so I do have a limit. The first stage of the almost-hug when they are about to extend their arms, when you can see it in their eyes, I just divert eye contact elsewhere and they get the idea. Still rude, but they get it. Maybe I’m a softy but when I see their hands come toward me (in slow motion- like its out of a horror film) and their most-likely-dirty hands are dangling in thin air waiting to grasp my shoulders, I find it hard to just walk away.

So first days of work (or in my case, internships) are always the worst. There are so many people to meet. People whose names you need to remember. Need to because in about an hour you are going to have to deliver them mail. I know it is customary for interns to be over qualified but really? I’d love to meet the kid who can meet twenty-five people and remember all of their names an hour after. And then people have the nerve to be offended.

So my most recent first day, I had to meet lots of people. Thankfully, this office was sympathetic to the very common intern dilemma and they have signs with everyone’s name next to their desk. It was great. I guess I’m more of a visual learner. So when it came time to meet my co-interns’ names, you’d think I would register that these names are crucial. I tend to make lots of jokes about the boss. And when I have to deliver something, usually I go to them to find out who is who. But of course I don’t remember their names either and have to ask them multiple times.

But then I was introduced to the interns in the other department. Seriously? Those are the least important names to know.. or so I thought. So I meet this girl, let’s call her Sarah. But I think her actual name starts with a J or a D or a K?

Fun fact: I interviewed for Sarah’s position a few months earlier and did not get it. Which was great because when the boss asked me what I wanted to do “in life” (oh how I love that question), and I answered, “write”, he kindly joked, “oh you should’ve been a writing intern”. Which then led me to have to admit that I interviewed for that position, and for the millionth time in my life, was rejected.

“So boss, who controls all progress and opportunities I get out of this internship, just so you know on the first day before you get to know me, the other interns are already better than me.” 

So I’m introduced to smiling Sarah who has the internship I wanted. I didn’t even try to hear her name. In my head I was just going over all of the reasons in which me and her differ and why I already don’t like her.

1.     She smiles. I don’t.
2.     She comes off as very nice and upbeat. I don’t.
3.     If she and I lived in the ‘60s, she would wear shirts that says ‘free hugs’. I would wear ones that say ‘don’t touch me’.

I really don’t blame people for not hiring me. Although I’m a great employee, I am horrible at interviews. I cannot, and will not, suck up to you. And I’m really bad at bragging about myself. If interviews weren’t based upon the false assumption that the intern is given actual responsibilities, I would do great. Why can’t everybody just be honest and acknowledge this.

Interviewer: “Why should we hire you?”
Me: “I’m really good at doing nothing. I have an expert knowledge of coffee. And I’m not the type to get up and ask if there is anything you need, so I definitely won’t disturb you.”

So I shake Sarah’s hand knowing I won’t be seeing this girl ever again. A goodbye handshake I can happily agree to. The rest of the day went great. I sat at my desk and did nothing but talk to my fellow intern about things completely unrelated to the internship. A pretty typical day for us unpaid interns. The day went well and not remembering any names didn’t bite me in the ass. I consider that a successful day.

The next day I’m going to class and I see her: Sarah. Why am I so bad at remembering names? She even had a sign next to her desk yesterday. I literally had to go up and offer her lunch. We interacted enough that I should know her name. When we make eye contact, I have to do the whole, “oh, you intern at the same..” “oh, hi! Yes!”. Still so peppy. There are no bosses here to impress. Why are you still smiling? And why can’t I remember your name?

Probably because I just spent the last fifteen minutes trying to avoid eye contact and avoid having this exact conversation. And probably because she just called me out on it. It was really hard avoiding eye contact and staring at the ground for so long. And in such a small elevator. Why do the elevators at NYU go so slowly? Of course it stopped at almost every floor on the way up. I really thought I was successful. I sprinted out of that little elevator so fast, never looking back. If I had, I would have seen that she was right behind me watching my attempt to escape.

After we finished our conversation and had to shake hands again, I went straight to the bathroom to wash them. And I bought a pocket sized Purell on my way home. At least she didn’t try to hug me.