The Greatest Gift

PrintI’ve always thought I was a pretty good gift-giver. My signature gift is the “theme basket” my sister and I put together for Christmas gifts. One year we did an international food basket, with a cookbook and some authentic ingredients…like soy sauce and salsa. Good luck making a meal out of that!

But recently my gift-giving skills are being put to the test! My mailbox has been stuffed full of wedding and shower invitations for people I barely know! One is for a couple I met on vacation and then never spoke to again, and another for a high school friend whose bond was so deep, I’ve never spoken to her since! Needless to say, I’m feeling a bit uninspired. What to get for the couple who has it all….when you don’t even know what they have to begin with?

So basically what I’ve collected is a very random assortment of half-thought-out gifts that need to be sent off tout-suite! I hope you enjoy this cutting board and variety pack of tapenades, vacationing couple! I hope you value this photo-collage picture frame that may or may not go with your decor, high school friend whose name I needed to be reminded of by my mother! Congratulations!

 What’s My Age: Wishing I was 6, when macaroni art was still considered an acceptable and thoughtful gift.

Wild Hair!

43So it’s officially that time of year when I’m very close to resorting to a top-knot and/or shaving my head until the weather dips below 65 degrees. For whatever reason, I spend an ample amount of time “styling” my hair (Well…read: brushing it into place, walking five feet, seeing myself in the reflection of my window, huffing and then throwing my brush against the wall). I’ve really got this “morning routine” down pat!

For example, yesterday I spent a good 20 minutes combing, moisturizing, blow-drying, smoothing, and hair spraying my hair into the appearance of a style. But the second I opened my apartment door to the humid stairwell, my individually coiffed strands began their full assault on my self-confidence. By the time I got to the subway, which is just three blocks away, I might as well have rubbed a brillo pad over the top of my head. SO ATTRACTIVE.

Ugh. You would think that by 26, I would now how to handle the hair that God gave me. But apparently, my hair doesn’t know how to handle me! Despite every attempt to control and organize my strands in the way that I try to do everything else, it’s like a petulant, rebellious child! Is it appropriate to wear baseball caps at work? No? …But what if it has a company logo on it? Still no? Ugh, top-knot it is!

What’s My Age: Wishing I was 86, when a weekly trip to the hair salon would have me set! 

We Never Learn–Part 3 in a Continuing Series

PrintI’m coming to realize that these posts basically write themselves. I don’t want to rag on my generation, and certainly there are many smart and accomplished people who have their priorities in order. But that doesn’t mean that they still don’t say some crazy things! (Although I fully admit to saying one of the things below. Which one will remain a mystery to the grave!! #drama #secretz) Round 3 folks!

  • “I’m not trying to change your mind, I just want you to agree with me.”
  • “He just thought he was so cool because he was from LA and that’s the difference between Hollywood and New York.”
  • “This is like my entire childhood. These movies are literally my childhood.”
  • “He totally apologized but basically said that it will happen again and he can’t promise not to hurt me.”
  • “I’m going on a cleanse.”

#badreps4life

What’s My Age: Eternally 24. 

Back to School

PrintLast month, I attended a going-away party for a friend of mine who was heading off to graduate school. Next weekend I have another goodbye party for a friend who got into law school, and one of my other friends is spending the summer studying for the GRE! …Four years out and time to go back?

Now I have no intention of heading back to school…I enjoyed college but I enjoy not being in college more! “No more papers, no more books! No more teachers…” ok, I’ll stop. But it seems like a lot of people my age are deciding to head back to school, swapping out the briefcase for a backpack! And listen, I hear ya. The life of a working stiff ain’t all it’s cracked up to be! Before I graduated, I pictured post-grad life as this marvelous cloud of being unbelievably cool and put together, high on the confidence of a first job and suddenly rich. In reality….did I spend the first year-and-a-half crying every day and dreaming of an all-inclusive meal plan and the smell of fresh notebooks? …Perhaps. And do I often long for the flexibility and unpredictability of college life when I’m slogging through a slow and monotonous work week? …Perhaps. And am I rich? …NO.

I think it’s a combination of nostalgia for college and the feeling that maybe more school/a new job/a different city will be the antidote to our post-grad ennui. And opposed to the day-to-day pile-on of things that need to get done (and paid for…) it does sound tempting to have one responsibility: learn stuff. Hmmm….maybe I should start looking into a master’s program after all!

What’s My Age: 26, the new freshman. 

Ladies’ First Bridal Shower

PrintThis weekend, I’m attending my first bridal shower as a person who is actually of marrying age. Crazy to think about it–but if I got married right now, no one would say, “Wow, they’re so young!” Even more bizarrely, if I had a child, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for my age! No scarlet letters or teen pregnancies here! Glad I dodged that bullet!

But since neither of those life events will be happening anytime soon, I’m relegated to celebrating with friends and relatives. My previous experience with a wedding shower was my aunt’s when I was 10, so I’m a bit inexperienced in this department! But how hard could it be? Show up, fête the bride, wallow in personal misery of being single, eat cake, make ribbon bouquet. Done, done and done!

Now of course I’m happy for my friend, and for all the ladies out there who are getting married and posting every single detail/engagement photo/saccharine post about their “eternal love”/wedding day countdown all over social media. So, so happy. …I kid, I promise…I’m sure when it’s my turn to tie the knot, I will do the same things. But despite the fact that I certainly can’t picture myself betrothed, it doesn’t stop me from wondering!

Maybe I need to relax about it. …OF COURSE I DO. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I need to relax, well, about a lot of things! So in the meantime, I’ll scan a registry, like the Facebook posts, and drink A LOT of champagne. Congrats!

What’s My Age: Mid-20s, the current peak of my life-neuroses. 

Too (Un)Cool for School

PrintThe other night, I was having a conversation with someone I had never met before. What had started as a group conversation had broken off into a one-on-one, and I found myself at the precipice of that semi-awkward first-conversation stage—the dreaded “ice-breaker.”

Now, I can’t stress how much I hate “ice-breakers”—even writing the term multiple times is annoying to me! It just reminds me of college orientation, when I struggled to sum up my entire personality into one word (um….multi-facted??), and became an expert at describing where exactly in New Jersey I was from. Being nowhere near a turnpike exit complicates things!

Now as an adult, the days of picking a “color that best describes you” may be long gone, but it’s the same laundry list of getting-to-know-you questions that lead to one word answers and dead-end conversations. But naturally, reaching that point, I asked a simple question “So where did you go to school?” before realizing that’s probably not the most timely reference anymore! It may seem like yesterday, but I graduated college four years ago (!!), and the person I was talking to probably hadn’t even thought about college in twice that time! So of course, the conversation stalled and I was left with my next best option….”Um, if you could pick one word to describe yourself…..”

What’s My Age: 18, in the prime of my ice-breaker involvement. 

Special Delivery

PrintThis week I’ve had lots of downtime at work, which typically means 2 things: imminent depression and lots of deliveries from Amazon.com.

Forgetting the depression for a second….there’s nothing like a slow week to stimulate the shopping bug within me. The majority of the time, I hate shopping. I hate trying on clothes, I hate spending money, and I really, really hate spending money. Have I mentioned that I don’t like to spend money? …I’m cheap.

But without the distraction of deadlines and an organized to-do list to check through, I suddenly have 20 tabs open in Firefox and a credit card number that autofills. So within the week, I should be expecting 2 bathing suits, a pair of running shoes, new sandals, a retro kitchen clock, a vintage ski poster, and vitamins with extra iron. The vitamins were a bit of an impulse buy, but temptation waits for no one! And oh look, my new best friend, the office delivery man, has just arrived! Gotta run! Who says there’s no such thing as retail therapy??

What’s My Age: 65, a retiree who spends her days watching QVC.