Friday, August 14, 2015

Open Letter to Random Drunk NYSE Trader at Dead Rabbit Last Night

Dear sir:

Allow me to recap how our exchange began, seeing as you appeared quite intoxicated. Earlier in the evening you told my companion she had beautiful eyes, and I asked your work colleague for two vacant barstools. That was the extent of our interaction.  So there I was, enjoying a drink with a close friend, minding my own business, when you and your associate started a typical bar chat.  This quickly devolved from the norm as something inspired you to want to talk politics.

Now, I tend to shy away from intense political discussion unless face-to-face with fairly close friends. However, I am happy to engage if the tone remains respectful and will go toe-to-toe when verbally assaulted. Perhaps I can give you some pointers so that the next unlucky victim you chat up doesn't walk out:

  • Reserve prejudging my political leanings and opinions based on my occupation. 
"Where do you work?
"A nonprofit."
"You must hate me."  
"Really? I worked in financial services for nine years, do I hate myself?" 
"You're a Democrat."
"Am I?"

  •  Start off with lighter topics. It's Thursday night, we are all trying to relax. For most people, that doesn't include statistics on crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Can I suggest how well the Mets are doing? 
[shooting sideways glances at my friend to save me, but our attempts to change the subject failed]
  • Review your high school biology textbook. 
"Lady, if you don't want to get pregnant, control your vagina."
Methinks that's under control if I'm thirty-something and childfree. Last time I checked, a man needs to provide a sperm delivery to conceive a baby. (NB: I passed the NYS Biology Regents with flying colors.) Control your penis, dickhead.
[asked for the check]
  • If I have a valid viewpoint, lashing out and calling me stupid is an ineffective debating technique. I will not be shamed for disagreeing. Don't tell me that your daughter will be smarter than me. Go live your values and spend time with her at home in Westchester rather than getting wasted and acting like an ass at a FiDi watering hole. 
[friend and I get up from barstools] 
  • Yelling at me to get the f- out of the bar only makes you look even more boorish. You claim your wife is "so happy", but if you treat her the way you interacted with me I would beg to differ.
You seem very angry and tormented. I hope you find something in your life that gives you peace and fulfillment. In the meantime, you are the reason this country is going down the tubes, as much as you want to blame our sitting President. I lament the loss of dialogue and finding common ground. Defunding Planned Parenthood will not restore the fabric of our society, minding your own business and your manners will. Gentle-man up.

"You are very rude and disrespectful."[exit]

Monday, June 08, 2015

Reunion, Take 3

In the blink of an eye another five years has passed, and the Class of 2000 made the pilgrimage up The Hill to relive our undergraduate shenanigans.  Though fewer took part than the five- or ten-year edition, there was a good turnout of old friends and new (to me) faces in Low Rise 9.  Made the drive up solo Thursday night with Spotify loaded for 240-mile trip from NYC and anticipation of fun times.

In short, the weekend included:
- corn nuggets at The Nines
- morning run up The Slope - feel the burn!
- Cafe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee - shout out to MFL and the fabulous trip to Vietnam we planned at the ten-year)
- saying hey to my academic advisor and talking about life post-ILR
- Junot Diaz keeping it real
- laughing at frat-tastic bruhs who snuck Mad Dog into the dining hall
- stealing wine from the lounge to drink upstairs
- snickering at same bruhs unsuccessfully kicking it to any XX chromosomes while wearing their wedding rings
- rained-out tents, whomp whomp
- Rulloff's, one of three bars left, and probably the only good scene left
- lamenting abovementioned changes in Collegetown
- Reunion 5k in the Plantations, including a warmup run there - kill me!
- morning coffee at Stella's
- aimless meandering around campus
- heel clicks with the saxes
- Chi-O Meetup at CTB
- Dino BBQ
- more tents, including lots of cutting the rug (grass?)
- late-night karaoke, where I may have put my hair in pigtails and sang a few bars of Baby One More Time

Driving two friends back made the trip home, including lots of bad drivers and the Tappan Zee/GWB traffic, all the more fun.  They may never want to ride with me again after hearing me sing along to my favorites.  If only I had the same company on the drive up.  No matter, I had a good amount of me-time on the trip, not only on the drive but also long walks reminiscing of the glory days of college.  The solo wandering gave me an opportunity to reflect on life and where I think I'm going, also considering some big decisions looming on the horizon.

Shattering the euphoria and sleep-deprived daze was sad news that a fellow alum and bandie died suddenly Sunday.  It is very trite and overplayed but still true that we don't appreciate the special times and the small moments until the carpet is ripped away from underneath us.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Thank God That's Over

Another year has come and gone.  It feels like each year passes faster than the previous, and in 2014's case I'm glad that it's over.  There were many ups and downs, trials and travails to struggle through.  It was not all down, and the troughs definitely helped me appreciate the bright spots and fun times with cherished friends and loved ones. In the past 12 months, I lost a friend/lover, my aunt, dad's cousin, and three former coworkers.  Throwing my back and my neck out right before the marathon was a double whammy that wounded my confidence and added five pounds to my midsection.  My problems are not as bad as others', and I know I should not complain.  It was also hard for some of my friends, with bad breakups and divorces thrown in the mix.  I think the ball drop this morning was a sigh of relief for many who fought through the curveballs life threw at us.

For the life of my home search, it seemed like my dream of finding a "big-girl" house would never be realized.  A year ago, I still hadn't closed, and even the closing was a nailbiter until the bitter end.  That experience taught me that having a strong advocate are absolutely key.  After that, the daunting task of renovating and decorating seemed to drag on.  At first I thought that painting and sprucing up would bring me and TT back together.  Unfortunately, it often felt like the apartment was more important than our relationship.  As a result, our separation turned into a full breakup, and I had to find a painter on a moment's notice.  Getting the other work done went from "two weeks" to three months when my contractor took a three-week-turned-five-week vacation.  There are still a few items I need to take care of, like a living room light fixture (and according to my mother, blinds in the sun parlor should be my highest priority).  The waterbugs have also diminished, although I've had two waterbugs get trapped in my bathroom light fixture and die - yech.  It feels like the apartment will always be a work in progress, but it's finally at a point where I can sleep, eat, cook, watch TV, work, and have friends over.  It's my sanctuary, my nest, my little slice of peace.

That peace has been desperately needed when I found myself single again.  Living at home again became very stressful.  Downsizing from an already small studio apartment to my childhood bedroom was very stifling, as well as navigating through my family's stuff and cope with the house breaking down piece by piece.  Having somewhere else to live couldn't have come at a better time.  It also became apparent this year more than ever that my parents are aging, and instead of leaning on them for help I now have to give them that support.  This very much hit home during my aunt's declining health and at her funeral.  During that experience I had to have strength to support my parents during their grieving.  In other areas, I had to put my big girl pants on and take on more things alone.  Instances like that made me wish I had a partner just to hold my hand, and I missed TT a lot.  The training wheels are off, I have to ride the bike myself now.  After my fall in Croatia and the month of agony while my forearms recovered, that is terrifying for me.

I'm grateful to have come out the other side stronger and in a better place.  Through many of these tough situations, I sought the humor and the positive side as well as a lesson.  My goal to face life with equanimity helped me ride the rough surf this year.  If I could name a resolution for this year, it would be fearlessness to continue pushing myself out of my comfort zone and tackle things that scare me.

May 2015 bring you the realization of your wildest dreams.