Tag Archives: my uber-confrontational personality

The Two Kinds of People Who Visit NYC and My Bitterness Toward Both of Them

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When you live in Ohio, people don’t assume they know anything about what it’s like to be you. Maybe they have some vague idea that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland, maybe they’ve read that the Cincinnati Zoo is so good it can breed rocks, maybe they’ve heard of Jeni’s ice cream–or maybe, like the majority of my co-workers, they think Ohio is considered part of the South and is solely responsible for producing all of the existing mullets in the United States.

When you live in NYC, people like to think they know eeeeeverything about your life. They assume you love Broadway shows, eat every meal at either Serendipity or Shake Shack, have Magnolia cupcakes after every weekend brunch with your girlfriends, wear nothing but stilettos, and date men in finance with slicked-back hair who take cabs everywhere. A lot of people have a lot of experience with NYC, either because they visited once for their friend’s bachelorette party, watched Big as a kid, or listen to a lot of Alicia Keys. In my experience, these people fall into two categories:

1) They’re glamoured by the city but don’t think they could live here. They’re pumped to see the Empire State Building and to walk down 5th Avenue, have read up on the tricks to getting cheap show tickets, want to take high tea at the Ritz, and have brought special clothes that they think will help them fit in here. But they’re shocked at how much everything costs, won’t feel like they’ve accomplished anything if they don’t live in a detached house with a yard, and can’t imagine having to sit side-by-side with strangers on a train.

To these people, I want to say: my life is just like your life but better. Sure, it’s expensive here, but I make a zillion more dollars doing what I do here than I would in Ohio. Sure, I don’t have a detached house, but I feel so safe encased in a big apartment building with a doorman to keep out the crazies. Sure, I don’t have a car, but I can take a cab when I need to, and I wouldn’t trade anything for being able to read on my way to work and to never have to park again. Sometimes I go out for fancy dinners, but sometimes I just want some boxed mac & cheese. Sometimes I get dressed up and go to a “club” with my “crew”, but sometimes I just want to sit at home and watch “Shark Tank”. Sometimes I go to the Empire State Building, but I usually just go to Rockefeller Center, because that’s where my boyfriend works. Every day. And it’s totally normal.

2) They feel like they’re supposed to live here. They already did all of the touristy stuff long ago, so now their visits are comprised of sunbathing in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park instead of Central Park, eating at the restaurants of the lesser-known “Top Chef” contestants, and going to SoulCycle classes “like all of the celebrities”. They claim that they just look so naturally New-Yorky that whenever they visit, people stop them on the streets to ask for directions. They spend all day combing job sites to find a reason to move here and don’t know anything about the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville but are excited that apartments look affordable there.

To these people, I want to say: MY LIFE IS NOTHING LIKE YOUR LIFE, AND YOU COULD NEVER CUT IT HERE. Sure, apartments look affordable in some of the outlying neighborhoods, but that is because YOU WILL DIE THERE. Sure, I feel so safe encased in a big apartment building with a doorman to keep out the crazies, but I will never ever ever have a place big enough to suit more than a five-pound dog. Sure, I wouldn’t trade anything for not having to own a car, but it’s rough having to haul everything around on my back all of the time because I can’t just throw it in my car until I need it. I hope you don’t like cooking, because your apartment probably doesn’t have an oven. I hope you don’t like holidays, because there’s not a chance you have a place to store your Christmas tree. I hope you don’t like your friends, because they will all move away to buy detached houses with yards to raise their children in.

Yesterday, Kamran told me, “You know what makes me feel bleh? When Facebook friends of mine from other parts of the country post pics of themselves visiting NYC.” I asked, “Because you want them to try to meet up with you?” He said, “Well no, no, I don’t. But I want them to want to try to meet up with me. It’s especially weird when those friends post pics of themselves in front of landmarks. It’s like, yea, good for you. I pass that every day and don’t even bother to notice. And then I feel petty and bitter.”

And that’s exactly my experience living in NYC, too. People are coming here all of the time to visit, and only half of them are asking to see me, and I’m only actually seeing half of the ones who ask because I’m apparently SO BUSY with my BIG AND IMPORTANT LIFE. (And by that, I mean lazy and not at all interested in meeting you in some Times Square bar where we won’t even be able to hear each other talk.) But then I’ll see those people I didn’t bother to see or who didn’t want to see me post a picture of the Chrysler Building on Facebook, and I’ll be like, “Uh, YEAH, I pass that thing every single day. It’s not really a big deal. You should sort of be embarrassed about how you’re fangirling over that thing. Oh, you saw the Rockefeller Christmas tree? GREAT JOB. So did the half of Ohio who visited NYC for Christmas. Hope you enjoyed that visit to Serendipity and the frozen hot chocolate. I’ve been there, like, ten times and know the frozen hot chocolate is about the worst thing on the menu. WAY TO GO.”

Give me credit for living here, okay? I’m special and need to be recognized as such. Just ignore those other eight million people around me.

Pathetic on Pinterest

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Can we agree that anyone who has a “wedding ideas” board on Pinterest and isn’t engaged is a desperate psychopath who should never be proposed to?

If you have a “someday wedding” board but had the good sense to make it private, I’ll grant you some leeway.

And actually, I’ll grant you all of the leeway if you pin stuff like this:

My BFF, Tracey, says that women have to hoard these ideas now because we’ll otherwise have forgetten the things we’ve liked about other people’s weddings by the time we actually get married. So I’m convinced that every wedding from now on is going to include the things that were popular when Pinterest began: mustaches-on-a-stick, everything chevron, and ombre cakes.

The best part is that I randomly chose those pins, and then discovered that these are the boards they’re from:

• My .:*eclectic bohemian inspired free-spirited color-filled fun-loving flower child*:. dream wedding board

• FINALLY- Wedding november 16, 2013

• Ideas I wish I’d had for my wedding

THAT’S RIGHT. The last person is already married and still has a wedding board. For her second wedding, I assume.

Sick and Lonely in NYC

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I work for the one company in NYC that didn’t take yesterday off, so I was riding the bus home as usual last night. Across from me was an elderly Asian man who had loped onto the bus with heavy plastic grocery bags covered in Chinese writing hanging off of his arms, racing invisible passengers for the many seats that were available. He coughed continuously and unabashedly onto the back of the neck of the woman in front of him while I did my best to hold my breath for the entire trip.

In the East Village, the doors opened at one of the stops, and he turned, paused to make sure no one was coming in the door, and tossed a used tissue out onto the sidewalk. ANIMAL! I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by this after almost eight years of seeing people throw their Doritos bags onto the subway floor, tuck their coffee cups into the space between the seat and the side of the bus, and aim their gum generally toward the trash can without any actual worry about whether it makes it in or not, but as a country girl raised to respect the environment, this stuff kills me.

The idea that this guy couldn’t just tuck his tissue into a pocket for the three stops burned me so much that I had to say, “Wooooow. Unbelievable.” He looked over to see who I was talking to, and I met his eyes and said, “You’re awful.”

Read the rest here!

My Top Ten Reasons to Live in NYC

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photo by my friend Anthony

I was complaining to my friend Kim the other day about people who say to me, “I could never live in New York City.” They rarely mean it in an “I’m in awe of how you’ve managed to make so much of yourself and live such an exciting existence in a city that so often leaves lesser humans battered and broken!” sort of way. It’s usually more like, “Sucks that you wanted to make something of yourself, big shot. Now pardon me while I go make a baby quilt in this entire room I have set aside in my huge house just for crafting.”

Kim said that people say that to her all of the time, too, and that her response is: “You probably couldn’t live in New York City.” God bless her.

I’m sure it’s fine wherever you are. Just don’t try to make me feel bad about where I am. Just in case there was any question, here are the top ten reasons I never want to leave NYC:

• Feeling so much safer than I ever did in Ohio. Houses scare me. Big, open roads scare me. Someone is lurking in my bathroom in Ohio, and someone is waiting to throw himself from the forest in front of my car. I figure if I live in an apartment building with thirty floors and ten or so apartments on each floor, there’s very little chance that the psycho rapist who somehow got past the doorman is going to choose my apartment specifically to break into. I can walk home at 5 a.m. alone from watching “Game of Thrones” all night at Ash‘s and feel totally secure. I can also walk home at midnight, 2 a.m. or 4 a.m. It’s always safe.

• Food delivery. It’s not just that nearly every restaurant delivers. It’s that they deliver for free. And that you can place your order online so you don’t have to actually have to speak to a person. And that you can have something from your favourite restaurant on 14th Street delivered to you on 42nd Street, which is considered three neighborhoods away. It’s so easy to have food brought to you that you actively wonder why people bother cooking. But if you want to cook for whatever reason:

• Grocery delivery. There are big warehouses on Long Island full of all kinds of groceries you can’t buy in your small town outside of NYC, and if you order them by midnight, they’ll be at your house before work the next morning. And the local grocery store delivers, too. So does the local bodega. WHY ARE YOU LEAVING YOUR HOUSE?

• Having everything within walking distance. Sometimes, when we’ve run out of toilet paper and Kamran won’t let me flush tissues, and he walks a block down the street to the convenience store that has the toilet paper we like, I think, “Somewhere, someone in Ohio has just had to load up his car and drive twenty minutes to the nearest grocery store for the same thing.” Which brings me to:

• Having a lot of things inside your own apartment building. A gym, a laundry room, a post office, a restaurant, a hair salon, and a convenience store are all in Kamran’s building. (Mine only has a gym and laundry room, BUT THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT.) I don’t have to wear shoes to do most of the things I need to do in my life.

• Being able to complain about apartments like this. I don’t want to make fun of anyone, but when I saw a friend of a friend post that photo of her apartment in an attempt to get someone to sublease it, a little of me died. That bedroom has a front door in it. Like, to the outside. And no steps leading up to it. I hate NYC housing aloud, but I secretly admire myself for being able to fit my entire life into a ten-foot-by-ten-foot space. And I would choose a studio apartment over a house any day.

• Having access to the best restaurants in the world. You know how many three-Michelin-star restaurants there are in L.A.? None. In Chicago? One. In San Francisco? Two. In NYC? Seven. (Okay, fine, there are ten in Paris, but France is for weenies.) If you don’t sometimes weep while reading donuts4dinner, you’re probably one of those people who eats for nutrition. Oh, I also have access to some of the best museums, theatre, and nightlife. Sorry.

• Getting totally trashed at those three-star dinners with wine pairings for all sixteen courses and not having to drive home. Not having to drive anywhere ever. Getting to read books on my commute to work. And not having someone read them to me over my car stereo speakers, which is not reading in case no one noticed. I’d rather have a fight with an old lady on the subway every single morning than ever touch a car again.

• “You are from New York. Therefore you are just naturally interesting. It is not up to you to fill all of the pauses. You are not in danger of mortifying yourself. The worst stuff you say sounds better than the best stuff some other people say.” – Hannah, “Girls”

• Waking up every morning and being amazed that you live here and realizing that people all around the world want to be here. People write blog posts about how badly they wish they lived in NYC. People write diary entries about how they’ll make it in NYC someday. And I live here. I want to be here. And I’m making it.

You Push Down Everyone Around You

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Sometimes I feel more powerful than most women. Sometimes I feel like I’m more capable, that I’m stronger and better able to handle myself in tough situations. That I’m quicker-witted and slower to get used or walked on. Sometimes I think that being sharper, better at arguing, funnier is the most important thing. Sometimes, when I look at really snarky, dry, biting women like Gena or Sandy or Ellie, I think about how lucky the world is that all women aren’t cutesy. They’re not all “girl power”, unshaven-armpits-exposed-as-they-sway-their-arms-back-and-forth-over-their-heads-at-Lilith-Fair, either. And these women are intimidating. They require “keeping up” with and “being on” with; you don’t just leave any old comment on their Facebook posts, because their cleverer other friends have already said cleverer things than you were going to. I’d be scared to date either of the Mean Kims, as much as I love both of them. And if I feel that way, how must nice, normal girls feel about them?

Sometimes I feel much less powerful than most women. Sometimes I feel like I’m so busy being sharper, better at arguing, stronger and better able to handle myself that I forget to just be nice. There’s a moment in “Friday Night Lights” where Coach Taylor says to Jason Street, “You lift up everyone around you.” That line hit me so hard in the place in me that was raised by the sweetest, kindest mother who never said a bad word about anyone and was still considered by everyone to be hilarious. She never said anything shocking. She never cursed. She never made fun of someone just to get a laugh. (Mrs. Bachelor Girl reminds me of her in that way.) I know that people respond better to positivity and cute pictures and women in frilly lace dresses with shining hair and winning smiles than to uppercuts to the vagina, but I don’t know how not to point and jab! And I worry that the alternative to snarkiness for me is lameness.

I have a friend who has approximately 2.6 million friends on Facebook and never says anything remotely interesting but is “spunky” and “full of life”. If she’s not posting a motivational quote, she’s posting a motivational typographical image. And people eat. that. shit. up. I post mean things about Jason Segel? I lose a Like on my Unapologetically Mundane Facebook Page. She posts the picture of the cat on the rope with “hang in there!” written on the bottom? She gets 200 Likes and an award for Krazy Kool Friend or something.

I want to die.

But in a way that will lift up everyone around me.