Monday, April 30, 2007

metro monday: a little guest blogging never hurt anybody

because my dear s and b were not with me, i’d like to submit a report of my latest trip to st. martin. also, as dear s is bogged down with the semester, wedding appearances, and W’s follies, it’s time for her good friend to step up and make a guest blog. here it goes:

day one wednesday: departure day! towncar was on time (yes I know I said I was going to drive to dulles, but fuck it – that’s what car service is for!), (s: i did not for one second think rk was going to actually drive herself to the airport when she has the towncar people on speed-dial. besides, driving one's self to the airport before jetting off to the caribbean seems terribly unsophisticated.) flight was on time (and half empty). the couple in front of me – a united flight attendant and her husband – were super friendly and we chatted the whole time. hint to you travelers – make friends with any flight attendants on vacation; the crew on the flight will think you are traveling as a companion and give you free drinks.*

so a few beers later, i’m through immigration and standing on the curb at SXM with my new friends and a beer* (they had run to the store and grabbed a six pack). we made promises to have lunch, and i hopped into a cab. exactly 45 minutes later I’m on the beach, wet from my first swim and sipping my heineken. everything is working out perfectly. l’hoste hotel is perfect, the same beautiful beach boys are there, and i’ve got four days ahead of me – what more could a girl want? (well, I guess it would be nice to have a nice young man along to occupy my nights – i’ll have to work on someone from home for future trips. s knows who I have in mind.) (s: yeah. i know. when she finally beds this guy, i'm throwing a damn party.)

day 2 – 3 thursday - saturday: I’m not going to bore everyone with details; it was me sitting topless on the beach all day while good looking men brought me drinks. a few drinks at the bar to wrap up the day, a nap, then, a stroll over to the village to have dinner. as i wrote before, the only thing that would have made it better is to have something to do after dinner (sex, for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking ‘bout). (s: we got it, rk. with you-know-who. again, i swear to god i'm going to throw a party.)

day 4 saturday: um…kay the day started as usual; me sitting topless on a beach with good looking men bring me drinks….yada, yada. then, the usual stop at the bar to have few glasses of wine to end the day.

so, i’m at the bar and chatting with this guy (older, from colorado, here with is wife); he’s pretty nice, a little drunk, but really quite entertaining. so we have a few and he say’s let my wife and i take you to dinner. well ok. we agree to meet at the reception desk at 8. it’s 7 now, so i leave the bar to head back to my room to change. i decide to stop at the pool to rinse off the salt. after few minutes a guy walks through the pool area, pauses and jumps in.

we start talking, blah, blah, blah. he asks what i’m doing for dinner and i tell him i’m meeting a couple at eight and invite him to join us.

ok… so i’m a little reckless here: kinda drunk guy (i have no proof of a wife) and pool guy from canada. wtf are vacations for?

eight o’clock – everybody’s on time. as it turns out, kinda drunk guy does have a wife and she’s really nice. ex-teacher, educated, liberal, etc. we all decide to go to grand case for dinner. dinner was great. kinda drunk guy and his wife are entertaining, well-read, and best yet MAJOR DEMS. conversation is excellent; fast-paced, witty, and full of political, social, cultural references. needless to say we get along great. pool guy from canada is a little out of his league. (over dinner last week - s: dude. is the canuck a mimbo? he's a mimbo! he's a mimbo, isn't he? rk: sly grin.)

the driver comes to get us at 10:30. on the way back to orient bay, kinda drunk guy invites me and pool guy to this beach bar that he knows of. he tells us that it’s the local beach boys hangout. sounds good. we get back to the hotel; kinda drunk guy and his wife say “oh let’s stop at our room real quick.” ok, fine with me (actually, at this point I think they are going to spark up. they strike me as that type). i was incorrect.

i’m sitting on the couch with a glass of wine, all of a sudden I hear a very distinctive “chink, chink, chink” sound.

holy shit! kinda drunk guy and his wife (did i mention they were in there 60s?) are chopping lines of coke! pay attention investigators: I DID NOT PARTAKE. as it turns out for a retirement gift a colleague had given the wife a gram of coke as a joke; and they’ve since decided they like to party when they are vacation. whatever floats your boat.

but here’s the funniest part. pool guy from canada is flabbergasted. he turns to me and wide-eyed says, “I’ve never even seen coke, eh”

i almost blew wine through my nose, eh.

God love a canuck.

we all go to this bar – umm way cool, very loud dance/trance, good looking boys, cheap beer, me dancing, kinda drunk guy and his wife coked up and buying drinks,* and pool guy from canada trying to wrap his head around it. fucking hilarious night.

perfect end to a perfect trip.

Trip stats

Beers: umm, I lost count on the second day. (s: don't lie to the people. you were never counting.)

Bar tab for 4 day of lunches and drinking on the beach: $107.00* ($107 for a week is the magic that is rk.) (s: b thought this was her bar tab for one day. before dinner. before pre-dinner wine, even. the magic that is rk indeed. he also wondered if she had sunbathed nude, which has neither been confirmed nor denied.)

Pockets: none (mr. pocket made no appearances)

Number of his and hers matching g-strings: 2 (I get a lot of catalogs, like sometimes 16 in one day. I don’t get the one where you can buy his and hers g-strings)

Next trip: July.

*you can expect rk's book on how to get free drinks out next fall. it's called, "the magic that is rk: how to charm your way into getting tons of free drinks." i think random house has the rights.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

man this is really gonna cramp my style

my parents are coming to visit next weekend. luckily, i have a 28-hour trip to michigan and five exams in the 7 days before they arrive, so i don't really have much time to wonder which set of parents will show up: happy, normal parents or manic depressive angry at the world parents. obviously, i'm really pulling for the former. but they haven't been able to visit in about 2 years, so frankly i'll just be happy to have them around, whichever representatives they send.

we haven't had many guests in a while, so just the idea that someone's coming to see us is exciting. since we moved, the people who've visited the most are michigan pals paul and laura. and they are the best guests. they call a week or so in advance, asking if we have plans because they're going to book a flight. it's always on a whim. they fly in, don't ask us to pick them up from the airport, stay at a hotel, and basically just want to drink, smoke and eat alberto's pizza all weekend. it's swell. all that unexpected debauchery, but still with enough notice to clean the apartment. basically, the perfect scenario.

but now they had to go and ruin the promise of unexpected weekends of beer, pizza and cigars by having a kid. so frickin selfish. i mean, how are they going to surprise us with last minute visits filled with binge drinking with a kid?! geez.

obviously, i jest.

these two haven't had an easy time of getting to today, the day little jack was born. it's even been tough to witness, because honestly there is not a couple on earth that deserves to have a baby more than these two. seriously. but now he's here, and getting that emailed picture of mommy and baby this morning ... i really couldn't be happier.

so, welcome, jack. you may not know it yet, but you're one lucky kid, getting parents like that ...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

i love this kid, part 3 - lukitza

Originally uploaded by s_inthecity.
this is part three in the birthday boy trilogy ... the trifecta of awesome nephews.

unlike the bigs M & A, i wasn't there when lukitza was born. my sister-in-law was in labor for weeks, as i recall, before the ball really got rolling. b, who's terribly close with his sister, really couldn't get his head around the fact that his sister was going to be a mom. so just as lukitza was about to make his appearance, when b hopped into the shower, i bought him a plane ticket, reserved him a car and started packing a bag. seeing a child on his first day is, i think, such a touchstone for family. and there was no way i would have b missing that. (i also suspect his sister would have never forgiven me if i'd not surprised her by putting b on a plane to see her and her boy. so my motives were not entirely pure.)

i think lukitza's brilliance has been well-documented on this here blog. but i don't talk about his sweetness too often. he's a kid that plays one at a time. he likes the intimacy of playing just with uncle b or nommie or auntie sa. and living so far from him, i love that intimacy too. when we were up for our short visit a few weeks back, lukitza spent much of sunday on an auntie sa kick. we wandered around the outside of the house, he showing me where they'd built frosty this winter and asking where he'd gone. (sorry, kid. if someone's going to tell you frosty's dead, it sure as hell is not going to be me. that would seriously undermine my coolest aunt ever status. go ask your mom.) that's when we spotted a family flying kites. lukitza had never seen a kite before, and was in awe. we ran to the edge of the yard, and he just watched with those big eyes. he stood there staring for a really long time, with his favorite auntie kneeling behind him, hands on his shoulders. out of nowhere, he turned around, put his little hand on my cheek, sighed and said, i love you auntie sa, smiled and turned back around. i, of course, had a lump the size of a brick in my throat.

there is a big shindig in the works for lukitza's 2nd birthday. when his mom told me she'd bought kites for all the kids, since lukitza is now all about the kites, i couldn't help but hope he thinks of his beloved auntie sa when he sees kites. because i know i'll never look at a kite the same again.

so, happy birthday, lukitza. you really know how to talk to a girl!

Monday, April 23, 2007

the worst news i've ever gotten in my entire life, ever

maybe it wasn't b's alarm going off and the repeated snooze-hitting that kept me awake from 5:30 on this morning. maybe it was some sixth sense about today, that it was going to be - and i honestly am not exaggerating - the worst day of my life. now, to be fair, i've had it pretty good all these years. but even still.

soon, very soon, i will have to start using words like iraq and war and god help us and why the fuck is he/are we there fighting this godforsaken, criminal war, again? with the name of one of my. people.

one of my people.

one of my people whose kids will miss him like hell, whose wife shouldn't have to be without him for a year, whose parents won't sleep well for a whole year and whose sister might lose her fucking mind knowing he's there.

a lot of people have people ... there ... i know. and maybe if it were for something i believed in or could even understand the rationale for, it wouldn't be so much like someone had kicked me in the gut or ripped out my eyes and replaced them with cotton balls. maybe then, maybe. but not for this war. not for this sorry excuse for foreign policy. not for this president who refuses to grow a pair, admit his mistake, and change fucking course, for the love of all things holy. not this, not there.

i am not okay with this.

metro monday

there was a 75-year-old cross dresser on the train this morning.

i am so. serious.

shoulders like a line backer.
super defined chin.
ear hair.
man hands.
way too much eye make-up for a regular 75-year-old woman.

wedding ring that actually seemed appropriate for a 75-year-old woman.

i was sitting behind ... er ... her, so that's basically all i could see when i walked onto the train (and kinda stopped dead in my tracks when i noticed her) and from my seat a couple rows back. and from her reflection in the window.

if i'm wrong, then i've just really insulted someone's grandmother, and am definitely going to hell.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

court issues decision that makes S question her faith in her heretofore favorite branch of government

i really don't even know what i could say to communicate how appalled i am by this decision.

the majority opinion stated that opponents of the act "have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases" ... read: we're not here to protect every woman's constitutional rights, just some.

a non-political body indeed. ignoring decades and decades of clear, strong precedent - for what?

Monday, April 16, 2007

metro monday: and it's not good for your posture, either

i had actually been wondering a few weeks ago if i'd run through all the possible bad behaviors on the metro. what a fool i was. the possible opportunities for rudeness are, i think we can all agree, endless.

a train was pulling in as i sulked down the escalator (it is monday, after all) ... and i'd usually just wait for the next train, but it didn't seem too full (perhaps because of this?) so i decided to jump on. i made my way to a spot next to the floor-to-ceiling bar, sat my bag on the ground, and went to reach for the bar when it happened. the college girl next to me leaned her whole body against the bar.

oooooh, i hate the leaners.

she was leaning from thigh to head, sideways, with even her frizzy, crazy, curly hair wrapping around the bar. and the thing is, i'm not a tall girl. in fact, i can't tell someone i'm 5'3" (but i AM!) without b snorting a little. i can't reach the overhead bar, and reaching the bar above this girl's head was, at best, uncomfortable. usually, when i get a leaner, i wait for them to shift and move momentarily away from the bar so i can stick my hand in where the middle of their back hits the bar, but she was vigilant. not even the jerkiness of the conductor's stops could peel her away from that bar.

is it really not obvious that leaning your whole body against the bar during rush hour is rude? really? huh.

ok then, here it is:

there are other people that would like to steady themselves with the help of that handy-dandy bar. it's actually not there for you to lean your whole body up against so you can look suave and relaxed while you read your metro express. turns out, it's there so that a group of people can each put one of their hands on it. at the same time. and avoid falling onto one another when the conductor slams on the breaks. so let's share, hm?

(wow, this common sense thing is a lot trickier than i thought, isn't it?)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

whoever said washington is an endless series of mock palaces clearly built for clerks never spent an evening with us

as we exited the metro station next to the reagan building, bickering a little about which direction 13th and penn actually was, i found myself dodging hundreds of mini-puddles in the cobblestone sidewalk. now i know that with all this rain, i maybe should have gone with a closed toe option, but they were comfortable and quite simply the best shoes for the new wrap dress i was inaugurating, so i figured i could suffer anything for a couple of blocks.

the puddles on the concrete reflected the city and spotlights as the crews worked to deconstruct the parade paraphernalia on pennsylvania from earlier in the afternoon, and i can't imagine how miserable that must have been. the rain, the cold, the complaining children, the wind ... we chose to celebrate the cherry blossom festival in much more sophisticated fashion, and i tell ya - it was seriously worth having cold wet toes for ten minutes.

as soon as i got a glimpse of the willard lobby through a window as we approached, my breath caught in my chest. i knew what to expect, the huge japanese planters filled with tall, tall cherry blossoms, beautifully backlit. rk has been raving about this since she experienced the willard last year under much sadder conditions. i'm pretty sure we talked about the willard and the cherry blossom festival over a cappucino on the beach in st. martin forever ago. (maybe i should have added severe jealousy that rk is going back to st. martin this week to my reasons for the funk list....) so let's just say i've been really looking forward to this evening. but even with all this anticipation, it still took my breath away, just as much as if i'd randomly walked in off the street having no idea. the lobby was simply stunning.

, i kept thinking, this is washington.

after a leisurely stroll down the length of the one-block long corridor, with ballrooms and the willard dining room open for us to gawk in, we made our way to the round robin bar ... all leather and mahogany and presidential portraits on the walls.

this? this is a man's bar.

we walked past a small group of thirty-something lawyers or bankers or something, oozing money and sophistication as they lounged in the corner on the stuffed leather benches, before taking three seats on the far side of the bar, leaving us with a full view of the room and the hallway leading to another restaurant. a few minutes later, a man that may or may not have been senator allen circled the round bar before taking a seat close to a woman that may or may not have been a transvestite who'd had her/his adams apple removed. we chuckled when they introduced themselves. as we were just finishing our two blooming flowers (saphire gin, orange blossom water, hint of OJ and grenadine) and cherry blossom parade (dark rum, cherry brandy, touch of lemon juice), the tourists came in. now, rk and i can be brutal without ridiculously strong cocktails warming our empty stomachs. and i'm not proud of what i said that had rk keeled over in her seat, but look. it was true! they really couldn't have sat in those chairs with the arms on them. their girth is not my fault. as we were commenting on the great mix of people in that beautiful bar, rk leaned over and whispered,

this is sooo d.c.

we warmed ourselves with a delightful cocktail called winter therapy and ventured back outside, where rk flirted with the gentleman at the taxi stand before we were escorted under another gentleman's umbrella to our cab. the three of us made sure to discuss very dc topics in the cab, just to make sure the driver knew we weren't some tourists he could rip off ... because sure, i've lived here for four years, but that doesn't mean i know a damn thing about where the zones are or how many we're driving through. why is it again the cabs don't have meters? like every other civilized city?

we elbowed our way through the crowd waiting in the cold rain outside the chophouse three minutes before our 9:30 reservation, and were quickly wisked away to our table. the chophouse has long been a favorite of ours, but food must really taste better after a couple of cocktails, because that was the best filet mignon i've ever had. b's was so good, he didn't even offer me a taste. (and after he cleaned his plate, he told me he was glad i didn't ask, because he would've had to say no.) rk found a bottle of a favorite california zinfandel on the menu that was just heavenly. the place was emptying as we leisurely sipped our coffees, at times in tears over the ridiculous (but potentially quite effective) advice b was giving rk about a boy.*

we decided to take the slightly longer walk to metro center so we could hop on the orange line directly and avoid a transfer, and luckily the rain had eased up. as we hustled across e st. at 10th, i heard a man say something to rk and i, but it wasn't until i was halfway across the street that i turned to rk - did he say something about our leftovers? she nodded, so i scurried back to the corner and handed him the extra filet medallion i'd saved for lunch today and smiled.

this, this is going to knock his socks off ...

i needed some karma after making that mean comment about those tourists at the round robin.

we parted quickly with rk, since the rain was back by the time we got off the train in virginia. finally warm in the elevator on the way up to our apartment, i just smiled at b.

we really need to do this more often.

*someday i'll make b blog about exactly what it is a woman must do in order to get a man to realize she's coming on to him. the problem is it will be so hilarious, whatever i write about after that will pale in comparison. and this is my show, kids.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


i've been in one.

this is what i'm blaming:

-stupid weather.
-residue from the aforementioned shit-losing in the chuck e. cheese parking lot, and just nephew-missing in general.
-five exams that i keep saying i'm really not worried about.
-inability to get the perfect sleeping temperature.
-stupid weather.
-suffering fools.
-messy closet.
-basket of half-folded laundry that's been at the foot of the bed since last saturday.
-that i actually heard the weather geniuses on the local news say nor'easter.
-melancholy playlist i compiled on an especially gloomy day, and keep listening to.

what should help me de-funk-ify:

-saying adios to being a 2L.
-watching every single tigers game so far this season.
-relief after finally admitting to B that i have a serious crush on joel zumaya.
-no more classes.
-37 days until getting to pretend i'm a lawyer.
-trying a new sushi place with HK on wednesday.
-did i mention no more classes?
-at some point, it will be sunny and 65.
-newscasters seem to be done talking about anna nicole smith. (can we bring back astronaut love triangle now puh-lease?!)
-the onion in paper form being distributed in dc.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

breaking up is hard to do

it's rough when you reach that point in a relationship where you have to, if i may be so bold, shit or get off the can. and i don't mean to make light of it. i mean, even if you know things have to end, getting off the can is no easy task. come on, we've all been there a few times in our lives, no? and sometimes it takes something big and inappropriate and wrong to make it happen. this one girl once who cheated on her boyfriend when a break-up just wouldn't stick... but i digress...

what if it's not the romantic long-term relationship that we're talking about here ... what if it's something much more intense and intimate, what if it's the relationship that constantly controls how we and others see us? a relationship that shapes your very personality?

what if it's your hair stylist?!

god help us.

loyal reader DG is in a bit of a bind, because she may have to break up with her stylist of seven years. here's how it went down:

DG, toying with the idea of a pixie cut, went to her stylist originally thinking it would be best to ... ease into this haircut. sometimes a dye job and a dramatic haircut can be a bit much for people to take in together (totally agree), but after some friendly banter with the heretofore beloved stylist, they decided, what the hell. DG zoned out a little, as i'm sure we all have when the trusted stylists starts to snip. all was well, they were chatting, the stylist snipping, until ... DG felt ... a breeze. now, i've had a pixie cut. and i've had a too-short pixie cut (or as i like to call it, the lesbian hair debacle of 2002), so i'm familiar with the breeze.

the breeze is bad.

DG asked the stylist to stop ... her request was obliged, and her chair was spun around so she could see the progress (er, damage). so, once she was sure she wouldn't actually pass out, she told the stylist there would be no more cutting that day, oh no. she demanded that the new, lezbot haircut in the back be blended with the straight girl haircut in front, and bolted, holding back tears.

DG and i agree that there is a fine, but crucial, distinction between the pixie cut that looks stylish and professional, and the one that communicates you are a militant lesbian (a fine haircut if you are one, mind you). how does one adequately convey your desire to be on one side of the fine line or the other to a stylist? and wouldn't you think that a stylist of seven years would know you well enough to appreciate the distinction, and your desire to fall on one side or the other?

dear readers, DG's haircut is so bad (according to her, i've not yet seen it) that a barber approached her at an event the next day, declaring the cut her stylist gave to be terribly unprofessional. people, she had never met this guy in her life. and he, as a barber, was so moved by her haircut that he felt it appropriate to approach her, a total stranger, and offer unsolicited criticism of her haircut and stylist.

so what does she do?

she's beyond the point of shitting or getting off the can. it's been seven years, and she's long since committed to having this woman as her stylist. should they talk it out? can she transition into someone else and just let the other relationship gradually disintegrate? does she owe the stylist a reason for starting to go elsewhere? and is that cheating? should she give the stylist a second chance? and if she does, has she in effect decided not to get off the can? is there a probationary haircut? do they go to counseling? what are we talking about again?

i want input, people. what should DG do? and any names for new stylists (should this relationship be beyond repair) would be appreciated as well.

Monday, April 09, 2007

i love this kid, part 2 - the big A

this is part 2 of a 3 part series for my nephews' birthdays, detailing their superiority to all other nephews.

today's subject: the big A.

three years ago now, when my sister-in-law was in labor with her second boy, our best friend chris was in town for a rare, short visit with b & i. b & i were both really good friends with chris before we ever met - and the fact that we met, have since married and are on our way to living happily ever after is because of this guy. he was our best man, and we love him. he's wonderful. but luckily, he's also a good enough friend to not have been offended when i received this call from my brother:

sis? we really wish you were here. it was so great having you here for M's birth. it's not the same without you ...

obviously, i threw some underwear in a bag and bolted. i mean, i hugged chris before i left, but i was outta there. when your brother and his wife call to say they need you there to make the birth of their son better ... there is no higher honor, and no thinking twice about ditching your boyfriend and best friend.

A couldn't wait for me, though, and was born just as i was leaving dc. but i still went. i drove 9 hours alone in my little crappy kia to get to that kid. and i'd do it again today (despite hating everything about that long, awful drive) in a heartbeat.

one of my favorite memories from my wedding (and of all time) was at the very end of the reception, when everyone except family had left. A had ditched his summer tux shirt, and the little suspenders on his tuxedo shorts were hanging down below the shorts. he was only 18 months or so at that point, and i'm sure he'll never remember this ... but he was sitting in his stroller, and i reached down to kiss him before he left. as i stood back up, he grabbed my hand with both of his, and just started kissing. it was such pure affection, he holding my hand tightly, and just kissing and kissing and kissing. he kissed me long enough for an army of cameras to be retrieved from already packed bags and capture the moment - the shirtless, sleepy baby grasping and kissing the hand of the bride - and for it to have been seared on my heart as one of the sweetest moments of my life.

he's that kind of kid: everything is pure with him. his joy, his sadness, everything. he wears his heart on his sleeve, that one. those big blue eyes don't hide a thing.

and god, i just hope he never loses that.

so here's to you, baby. i love you, i love you, i love you.

metro monday: speaking of martinis ...

dear non-descript woman on the train,

a few tips from a friend:

i can tell you dye your hair with clairol nice-n-easy. and i'm cool with that. i've been known to bust open a bottle of clairol in the day. and my mom lives on that stuff. i don't judge, really. but please pick a color that is not the precise color of your skin-tone. unless you are trying to look washed-out and ten years older than you really are. i'm just saying.

also, i would ditch the backpack that you bought from some wandering vendor on your cruise to jamaica. you may have thought it was cute and made you look "local" while you were spending your days shopping at port (ps it didn't), but it's really not something i'd ever take out of the closet again. not even for your next cruise.

but most importantly, let's talk about your feet. let's tackle the small problem first. literally. your shoes. are they your daughters? i don't ask because they were trendy and too young for you, no no, but because they were 2 sizes too small. your feet were hanging an inch off the back. not comfortable, i'm sure. and just not ok. they weren't hideous in and of themselves, i guess. i suppose i can get behind a light blue suede slide loafer i guess (although, definitely NOT with that awful souvenir backpack) ... but let's just think for a second. do you really want to wear those too-small shoes with bright blue socks? really? and not just any ol' bright blue socks, but bright blue with martini glasses on them. this really does bring us to a whole different level of analysis here.

my friend, i've enjoyed enough martinis in my short life to know a thing or two about them, though i've not quite reached the expert status i hope to acheive. (we all have goals, people.) what i do know, however, is that the experience isn't appropriately memorialized with bright blue, martini-glass embossed socks. i've honestly never seen anyone drinking a martini while wearing socks like that. promise. so if you're trying to communicate to the other commuters your sophistication vis-a-vis enjoyment of a nice martini, it didn't work.

but it did make me jones for a bellini at 8:45 am. or at least regret that i didn't splash some bailey's in my thermos of coffee. (which i would so never do.) so if that's what you were going for, kudos.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

home sweet home

b and i spent last weekend in michigan, splitting our too-short itinerary between a birthday party in lansing for the two eldest nephews and a low-key sunday chasing around the little-ist one.

i always feel so torn when i'm there and when i'm leaving. i mean, there's nothing like losing your shit in a chuck e. cheese parking lot because your 4-year-old nephew's mad at you for leaving and will barely say good-bye, he's so hurt, to make you question your priorities. at that moment, as his eyes welled up and his big ol' bottom lip stuck straight out, with his brother next to him saying bubye and signing i love you, i couldn't think of any reason good enough to be apart from those guys. they're missing out by not having us there, and we're missing out on seeing them turn into little boys. and it sucks.

and in detroit, as my sister-in-law is getting round with her second child, it's almost bittersweet for me. chasing around lukitza, listening to him rattle off the names and vocabulary for literally every animal i've ever heard of, while talking in complete sentences in english and serbian* is overwhelming. how did he get so damn smart? what have i missed? and what am i going to miss with this next one? will s/he know and remember us as well as lukitza? will they think, like lukitza might, that uncle b and auntie s actually live in an avion?

but in between lansing and detroit, in the car once my eyes had dried, i could see why we aren't there. businesses are closing, people are selling all their cars to pay the mortgage for a few months. and then they're losing their homes. it's dying. this is what happens to a region where all the eggs are in one proverbial basket. every time we're there, it seems to get worse. and sure, i could get a job as a lawyer, but the ripples from the industry that's dropping its non-essential (and essential) baggage like bombs are felt far and wide, and i don't think anyone's really safe. and besides that, what the hell would b do? we've tried to craft a plan to return, but ...

by the time we rolled our carry-ons down the aisle of the plane to our crappy seats, i was exhausted: physically, emotionally ... my cheeks sore from all the laughing and smiling, and my eyes dry from all the tears. we sat at the gate for what seemed like an hour, and as i drifted off to sleep, i curled my arms around b's and whispered, why aren't we moving? i just want to go home.

and that's the problem. after 4 years here, this is home too. for all the heartache of being away, all the bitching about how cold people are and how high the price of living is, and how i can't get a decent canoli here to save my life, when we were finally approaching national and saw the familiar buildings of dc lit up out the window ... well, if i'd tried to tell myself this place didn't feel exactly right for us, i'd be lying.

*he's not even 2 yet.

Monday, April 02, 2007

i'm judging you, and i don't like you.

dear small mousy crazy weird lady who works on my floor,

i didn't judge you when, on your first day, you walked into the men's restroom accidentally.

i didn't judge you when i heard that you were taking naps on one of the armchairs in the ladies' restroom. during business hours.

i didn't judge you when you left your toothbrush in the ladies' restroom. despite the obvious: ew.

and i tried very hard not to judge you every time you insisted on NOT closing the ladies' room door, thus allowing me to hear you pee, cough, flush the toilet, wash your face and brush your teeth. from. my. desk.

i tell you it got harder when, as i started closing the door for you when you refused to, you did not take the hint and start closing it for yourself. but truly, i tried not to judge.

but now? now i'm judging. now i have put yellow signs on the bathroom door politely requesting ladies' room patrons to close the door. and now, you still won't close the door. so i'm judging. and this is what i think:

  • you're strange.
  • you may eye contact with no one, leading me to believe you think you're invisible.
  • you wear glasses that i think you stole from an 80-year-old russian man on the have terrible manners.
  • and you are a bad, weird, rude person for not closing the goddamned motherfucking bathroom door behind you.
  • i think you grew up in a barn, lady. because i don't even do that at home. let alone in an office full of people who can, let me remind you, hear you pee from their desks.
  • i am angry with you. i don't like you. you are smaller than me, and i am scrappy. i'm saying i could take you. i could so take you, lady.

i swear to god if you don't start closing the bathroom door i'm going to lose my fucking mind.

metro monday

i'll tell you what i wasn't expecting this morning - to see a grown man wearing a baseball jersey and cap on over his dress clothes during my morning commute.

listen, i know it's opening day. i know because b was whistling take me out to the ballgame all morning. i know because he's been telling me everyday for the past month how many days were left before opening day. i know because when we left detroit last night, i could tell he was thinking about ditching me and the plane, hitching a ride downtown and standing outside a sold-out comerica park all night hoping for a glance.

i know it's opening day.

but i also know this is not michigan (where wearing a jersey to work probably would be ok). nor did i know it was acceptable in dc for a grown man to wear a jersey and a baseball cap to work over his dress shirt and tie. and if i did know those things, i would not have guessed it would have been a cubs jersey. dc? ok. marlins (who they play today)? also understandable. but a cubs jersey? and one with his own last name on the back? a little surprising.