Monday, August 29, 2005

Greece is the word

I'm on the phone with my dad, thinking out loud about the fact that it may take longer to process C's papers than we thought. He may have to wait to travel internationally, possibly affecting our plans to honeymoon in Greece early next summer:

"Maybe we'll just visit A and her boyfriend in LA. Then we'll make a road trip of it and drive through the Southwest to visit R & M in New Mexico."

Silence. Then he says:

"I think it may be cheaper to go to Greece."

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Friday, August 26, 2005

Visa, visa, joy, joy

C's petition for the K-1 (fiance) visa was approved yesterday. I can breathe now. Something is happening and our road together is really unfolding before us; it's not just theoretical anymore. The night before we found out, I woke up at 4 am and started talking out loud to Zoe, fretting about the processing and "what if? what if?"

What was so wierd about filling out the application was how detailed it was, leading to me wonder what background checks they were going to start running on me. Was that Chunky bar, that I stole in 1980 at the old A&P supermarket in Fort Lee, going to prevent C from getting his visa?

Or what about that I smacked Lindsey Lair on the back on the playground in 4th grade and my "violent tendencies" were recorded onto my school record? Someone would have to give me the forum to explain that she was the personification of 'brat' and she deserved it. I just know the Federal Suits would look up her files, take off their shades, and shake my hand for doing what was my civic duty.

But I digress. The U.S. government has now given C the right to be here as my fiance, and not just a visitor under the tourist visa. He is now legally established as my fiance. People will see him walking down the street and say:

"Hey, that's C! He's M's fiance!"
"Really? No shit?"
"Yup, the govenment said so!"

So as difficult and worrisome this has been so far, and probably will continue to be, that one thought just makes me smile.

Monday, August 22, 2005

It just doesn't cut the mustard

Everyday, you have to fight your battles. Some days you don't think it's worth it and you're all Zen and philosophical about it. You shrug your shoulders and say "It is what it is". While on others, you feel like you cannot rest unless you go back to the deli counter and insist you asked for mayo on your sandwich. "I explicitly asked for mayonnaise! Mayo...mustard...mustard...mayo. Tell me, do they sound alike?" High fives all around when the counter guy replaces your sandwich without spitting on it.

Sometimes, those crazy little battles are what makes me feel alive.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Glass women

So there's this girl at my gym. She's anorexic - like clinically anorexic - and when I see those arms and legs pumping away on the elliptical, it Her bones must be bending like the strings of a zither under the pressure, but management won't do anything about it. Probably because they're afraid of a lawsuit. Voluntarily malnourished, walking skeletons have rights too, you know.

I get the obsession with thinness; I've been there and did my part in perpetuating the myth of the New York woman. Slave to fashion and all that. I've justified the cookie I ate, because I was walking it off at the same time I was eating it. I was a lean, mean calorie-counting machine and to this day, I still feel residual effects of that mentality.

What I don't get is why someone would want to look like a bag of bones. They look so starved, so unloved, and they've taken themselves to extremes into a vicious cycle of being even more starved and unloved than before. Because let's face it, when you see someone who looks like that, you want to step away. Count me in as one of those people who can't handle witnessing the disfiguration of the human body, however the means. You won't see me running up to these women and hugging them, trying to make up for years of the latent psychological issues they have. That's somebody else's job.

Is it any wonder why the average dress size goes up once you leave the NYC Metro area? Is it any wonder why I've almost never dated men from this area? The one native NY guy I did date told me he would break up with me if I ever went over a size 6. Metro-fucking-sexual.

Being surrounded by the amazing food shops and restaurants that this city has to offer, it pisses me off I'm made to feel like a bull in a china shop sometimes. It also pisses me off that as liberated as I think I am from that calorie-counting, obsessively exercising self I was, this philosophy still insinuates itself within my perspective on food today. The only time I'm ever free from that is when I'm drunkenly snarfing down a slice at 3 am in the morning.

Maybe I should move to Kansas.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Bed

The epic battle between man and beast has manifested itself into the contretemps between C and my dog, Zoe. (That's her on the left, wishing death on me after a recent trip to the groomer's).

When C isn't here, the dog sleeps with me. My family consists of dog people and while I was growing up, we allowed dogs to sleep on the bed. Zoe herself comes from a history of sleeping on the bed; her previous owner allowed it, therefore she and I are a match made in heaven. On most nights she is of comfort to me, in spite of my being woken up by smelly farts or the whimpering and shaking during a dream. Strange bedfellows yes, but when you live alone, you take what you can.

The Bed has been subject to a series of contract negotiations. Claimant A - Zoe - is not ready to relinquish her basic right to The Bed over to claimant B - my fiance - when he is here. In spite of C's honeyed tones, belly rubs, and treats galore, this dog is no dummy. She's hustling him.

As C rises in the morning for his morning routine, she flies up with her Dumbo ears flopping and assumes her rightful place next to me. When he returns, the staredown begins. Eventually proving fruitless, he then tells her to get down, which she ignores by turning her head away from him. It's endlessly amusing to watch C physically removing her from The Bed, while she looks indignant, paws sticking out, at being placed back on the couch.

Some days, all of us are on the couch watching TV together, when C will put his hand on my leg or arm. She'll then place a paw on me as well. C will actually look her right in the face and say, "Mine!" and the staredown is off.

This dog doesn't know what's coming. It will be the end of many nights spent sleeping and twitching besides me. A bigger, less hairy creature is taking her place. As it is now, she gets grumpy and drags her heels when he walks her, as if she's doing him favors. She should be glad for the human company while I'm at the office, but she's not. It would be the ideal arrangement if he fed her, walked her, then slept on the floor.

So, when he leaves to catch his early AM flight back to the UK and I'm still in bed, she looks at him as if to say, "See you later sucka!". Then she jumps onto The Bed with the happy doggie smile on her face, secure in the fact that all is right and the universal balance has been restored.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Pen me in...biatch

Without C, I am a social blank.

I'll be the phone and the other person will ask me when C is coming to town. As soon as I tell them, it's like "Oh, we all have to get together for dinner/drinks/etc.!"

Let's face it - I myself am a social non-entity. The trend of upsurges in my social life are correlative to when C is in town. Thus, he complains to me sometimes that we don't get enough alone time together when he's here.

I've never been one for the Bobbsey Twins-type relationships, where we have to do everything together. I was in one of those before and no matter how much I complained of feeling smothered, I got smothered even more – so I started to chafe and that was done.

Thankfully, C and I are so not like that. Even before the precedent was set by being in a long distance relationship for almost 2 years, we've liked our independent time and space. It’s just how we are.

So when some of my friends broach the subject of doing couples' nights out, I'm all for it. I love them. But it's not always possible. I'm still in this long distance relationship and he is not always here to balance me out in other people's eyes. However, I’m available for movies, drinks, birthday parties, special occasions...I do a mean poodle with balloons and my "Hava Nagila" will have them dancing the Hora like you've never seen.

I love my man very, very much. Yet I do not shrivel up when he’s gone, only to have him sprinkle water on me when he returns and poof! Here I am!

When he is here for good, I will be yet a better version of the currently whole, self-fulfilling self that I am, if that makes sense. And it will be great, I am so looking forward to it. But in the meantime, neither of our lives can be suspended and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, including this separation. It will give us that much more to bring to the table, when we're permanently sharing one.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Digging for China

My boss is a nose digger.

Okay, I swore I wouldn't post about work, because everyone knows that somehow, someway Big Brother is going to find out and you get fired. But nose digging at work? That's just crossing the line professionally. Nose digging, to me, is offensive on a personal level; therefore, I can post about it.

Nose digging is where the individual pretends that they are not picking their nose. The key to nose digging is the knuckle. They will rub and practically jam their knuckle up their nostril right in front of you. But since they're not actively picking their nose, that makes it socially acceptable.

Well, it's not okay. It's disgusting.

How many times I'm talking to my boss and I watch horrified, in slow motion, the knuckle going up, up and away. He's looking right at me, daring my eyes to waver to where his hand is and say Chicken. It takes every bit of my self control not to retch right there and then.

He's not the only culprit. People do this kind of shit all the time when think no one is watching- on the street, on the subway, in the back corner of a store, people do it. New York City is the people watching capital of the world. Besides the hundreds of security cameras beaming and recording your image all over the place, checking other people out is practically a competitive sport here.

You are not safe. We see you. And this will totally come back to haunt you.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I am not amused

I need me an Oompa Loompa. I'm not kidding. I had a think about it. I need an Oompa Loompa (the Tim Burton kind) who will do a nifty song and dance when someone I know starts behaving like an ass. And then I'll sick the squirrels on 'em.

C (my fiance) and his oldest friend were in town from England for the engagement party. Getting to the actual engagement party was a comedy of errors. Does anyone recall the mess that was New York City traffic this past Saturday night? God was having a laugh at you if you were in a car that night.

After ditching our stagnant cab for the train, I was huffing and puffing up and down the escalators and through underground tunnels at the Citicorp station. Remember me? I was the pissed off chick in the halter neck dress, with the hair and makeup done, giving Marion Jones a run for her money in stiletto heels.

It was not so much I was pissed about the traffic that was making us late for our own party, but we were baby-sitting C's friend- a 34 year old grown man. Escorting him door to door on the day of our engagement party. Said man claimed he would get lost if we left him to his own devices to get from Gramercy to Nolita, just so C and I could be a little more on time for our party. A man who insisted he would get lost on the way, because he was too cheap to fork over the money for a taxi to get from point A to point B. And he's looking at me, making me feel like the asshole. Where was my Oompa Loompa when I needed him?

My first day in Beijing, armed with a map and relying only on the phonetically spelled street signs in English, I crossed the city on foot alone. I wandered from the touristy parts through the slums, where human filth lay in the street and the air stunk to high heaven. You know this smell if you've wandered to less travelled parts of NYC's Chinatown. I eventually ended up in the center of the expatriate community, where the travellers and diplomats hung out.

I had no guide telling me how to do this, I read up a little beforehand and then figured it out as I went. I was a 26 year old, white, American woman in a foreign, Communist country, where I did not speak the language. Was it a little bit stupid? Maybe, but do not tell me you can't make it 20 blocks south and two avenues over by yourself in New York City.

This is a warning. Next time, I start invoking your name, singing and dancing the Funky Robot in the street. I'll be going Oompa on your ass.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Our engagement party was this past Saturday. Thank you to those whose contributions to the evening made for a wonderful night. From picture taking fools to the social butterflies to my cousin who drove down from New Hampshire, in spite of him nursing my aunt through her illness, it was truly a magical night.

The Polaroid album went home with my mother, so unfortunately we haven't seen it yet. But I hear that the children honored us with their picture and chocolate-smeared page as a memento. We feel so lucky.

There have been questions about the unfortunate ending and the answer to that is: too much alcohol. There will be no fireworks at the wedding; you can only have them once a year.