This Maid is 100% Honor
I recently returned from a trip to New York City for my childhood best friend’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. I hadn’t been to New York since I visited this same friend almost a year ago as a pit stop on my way to Israel and I couldn’t wait to be reunited with the big city. I was ready for everything New York had offered me last year: the energizing hustle and bustle, the intoxicating freedom of public transportation and the sunshine! Oh, the sunshine! Really. Last year I was lucky enough to catch a weekend of golden skies and mild temperatures so the grey, cold misery everyone describes as New York’s early spring was a myth to me. In fact, the energy, weather and ease of subways left me spending my flight back to California wracking my brain for one positive of LA and one negative of NY. That is how good the weather was.
I could not wait to rekindle my fascination with New York but alas, much like a lover who has overstayed their welcome, everything I once found endearing was truly the worst thing ever.
I took a red eye flight and after a long, smelly, sleepless flight, the last thing I was expecting to be/wanted to be welcomed by at 5am was a hustling and bustling sea of people, chit-chatting and gabbing over coffee like the sun was up. This was not energizing, it was offensive. Even later that morning when I tried to find a coffee shop in down town Brooklyn the number of people on the streets was so intimidating and confusing that I couldn’t even make out basic landmarks or reference points for my walk. I had to stick to the 2 block by 1 block grid I had mentally made for myself, which unforuntaly only yielded one coffee shop result. A convenience store where the coffee was dispensed through what looked like a fountain soda machine and where the sugar had been dumped into a large party punch bowl with an oversized laddel for serving. So I left and did what any girl who was two blocks from her hotel but terrified to stray much further would do. I sat on a bus bench and used my Google map app to search directions from my current location to “food.”
I mentioned in my last New York City post that I hate to look like a tourist. So I would have preferred to spend hours pretending that walking up and down this two block stretch in downtown Brooklyn was my daily routine than ask anyone for help or directions and risk exposing myself as a visitor. I was not prepared for the number of people.
I was also not prepared for the weather. It was cold and dry, so, so dry. Either it was seriously dry or I was at the level of dehydration reserved for people who hadn’t had water or fluids in their body in their lifetime. Not only was my leather jacket/sweatshirt combo not enough to weather these temperatures, the pockets of both the jacket and my jeans were too small to fit my large but TRULY elegant hands. The dryness, the coldness, my general attraction to the non-chalant look of hands in pockets, had me forcing my hands inside these teeny spaces. Which, if it did not look like shoving a wad of sandpaper into a small cashmere sock, it’s what it felt like. I was lucky enough that my friend had an spare long, puffy winter jacket that I could borrow and just as I was coming around to how great – and I do mean GREAT – I looked in a long winter jacket, the temperature spiked to 80 degrees. I could barely walk around the city because my jeans were on my thighs with wetsuit-like tightness. So I did not luck out with the weather.
New York trip 2013 already had two strikes against it, but I was still totally onboard with the public transportation. Sure, I routinely swiped my subway pass incorrectly and would walk full force into an unmoving turnstyle. But I was not going to let that deter me, I was determined to love public transportation. That was until I had to carry a bag full of decorations for a bridal shower and bachelorette (that’s right, that means penises) from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Taking this bag on the subway and through the busy city streets was not an option. But a cab was. As was a cab for the next 4 out of 5 trips between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Cabs are public transportation, right?
I did have the opportunity to prove to myself and others that I could handle a solo subway trip, which was nothing short of a complete disaster. After being lead to the wrong platform, and being left completely alone after watching everyone pile into one train (not the train I was specifically told to take) I got suspicious. I called my friend who had, up until this point, been coaching me through this adventure through text message. Between the mix of her not knowing where I was and me not knowing my cardinal directions (where is west without the ocean??) she could not tell me where to find a correct platform. She, her mother and my own mother who were all hunkered down in Brooklyn awaiting my Manhattan arrival, all agreed I should give up and take a cab. I resisted for a moment but agreed. Once in the cab I considered asking him to drop me off at a platform where I could catch the F train but it had started to drizzle and I’ve already addressed my fear of being a known tourist so NO THANK YOU!
By my last day I had successfully turned against the three aspects of New York I had obsessed about, dreamed about, pointed to as examples of why New York is a viable place for me to live. I don’t know, call me spoiled but I just need constant sunshine, warm temperatures, weather that allows me to wear flip flops 80% of the year, chill vibes, my own space, a coffee shop that has sugar packets or shakers and a car. Lord knows I need a car.
Realizing New York and I might not be the best fit was an unforunate side note to an amazing weekend celebrating my oldest friend and her engagement to a pretty cool dude. Bridal showers are so silly, they’re like birthdays on steroids. But instead of congraulating someone on NOT dying we congratulate them on not dying ALONE and pretend it’s not awkward and weird for older relatives to gift lingerie.
But in all seriousness, the bridal shower was beautiful and it was very special to see all the people from various points in my friend’s life come together to celebrate the happiness she has found. And she’s my best friend, a truly great person and she and her future husband deserve nothing but the best and lucky them because that’s exactly what they are getting.
In other news, I have been studying for my personal training certification. I have not studied for anything in years and I forgot how much more appealing EVERYTHING else seems when you have studying to do. I’ll sit down to at my kitchen table, ready to crack open the ol’ book and instead decide to clean the kitchen sink cuz that drain isn’t going to unclog itself. I’ll cut my studying short for things I would never usually care about. Like The MTV Movie Awards. And I’ll think even the easiest tasks require double the amount of time, I’ll give myself five minutes to walk to the kitchen from my bedroom to make lunch.
I also have had at least two dreams in which I sneak into the house of the family I used to nanny for to take care of their kid without their knowledge. I’m not sure what those subconscious thoughts mean but…
Speaking of my nanny life – I’ll leave you with a sketch I made about my left over nanny tendencies surfacing in my daily interactions with my roommate