Vacation Starved

PrintI’m closing in on one week left before I head on vacation. The last time I had a real vacation was last November, and because my job doesn’t believe in traditional holidays, or happiness, I had 2 days off for Christmas and worked every other holiday. Aside from a three day weekend in May, I’ve taken no time off, and am in a fragile state. I need to get away from work! I need to get away from this city! I need to digital detox! I need to drink! I NEED A VACATION!!! 

I’m an antsy person regularly, so put the promise of a week on the beach in front of me, and I’m practically crawling out of my skin. How is it possible for days to pass this slowly? Since when has a week been approximately 5,467 hours long? But the cruel twist of fate is that the week where I’m finally vacating will fly by in such a blur, I’ll barely notice I left at all! You spend so much time counting down and planning and chatting about just how many margaritas you’ll be consuming that when it finally gets here, a week is no exchange for the months spent in anticipation!

My solace will be that my next trip is coming up in October, so just a few short months of counting down and ticking off days in my calendar until I take to the skies again and get outta Dodge! And with just one more endless week left, I’m just 56 sleeping hours, 45 working hours and a 12-hour drive away from paradise!

What’s My Age: 18, waiting for high school graduation and the promise of a celebratory trip to Italy…the longest 180-day wait of my life!! (Until now.) 

 

Human Magnet

143-01New York is packed with people, and on any given day, I run right into at least twenty of them. I don’t know what it is, but people seem to wander directly into my path–ramming their strollers into me, riding their scooters right past me, and veering their bikes at a perfect diagonal at just the right second to where we’re doing a little dance–if dancing involves me jumping out of the way and shouting, PAY ATTENTION! GAWD! 

This week, I was intercepted by a man pushing a hot dog cart at Columbus Circle. I walked across the circle, and somehow, inexplicably, he had circled the perimeter and ended directly in my path once again! I don’t remember much about geometry or algebra, or whatever mathematical equation that could potentially make this possible, but this incident, along with hundreds of others, has me convinced that I have an internal magnetic force which draws these oblivious pedestrians into my path!

I’m a very brisk and focused walker, because I am always in a rush. Even when I take a stroll around Central Park, I do it with a determination to get a solid 25 minutes of cardio activity into an otherwise sedentary day. So I can see how it’s possible I may come up on people at a faster pace than they were expecting. But more often then not, people have their heads buried in their phones, their necks turned the opposite way, and their brains turned off all together! Look alive people! I’ve got places to go!

What’s My Age: 78, a New York grand dame who squawks at passerby because she’s old enough to not GAF. #goals 

Ghost Stories

141-01The absolute worst part of modern dating, hands down, is being ghosted. As a person with an unfortunate amount of experience in this arena, it’s awful to have a person just disappear from your life with no explanation. But maybe….there is? Maybe they dropped their phone in a subway grate, and not having memorized my number, could never contact me again. The phone would also have to have come in contact with a magnet in the sewer that’s strong enough to wipe the whole phone clean, since I would have given you the number in the app that you could reference again….but details, details….

Sure, there are a million and one possibilities, which are more fun than the real reason: “He’s just not that into you!” But indulge in my active imagination for this new series, “I’m Afraid of Ghosts and Dating is Horrible” (so eloquent…) where I make up stories about what really happened to my long-lost dates. First up, a guy I went on two dates with and then never heard from again, after spending an hour on the phone gushing to my sister over how great things were going. We shall call him….Casper, #1.

Casper #1 walks down 2nd Avenue, the taste of a rosemary lavender artisan cocktail still fresh on his taste buds. And still fresh on his brain buds–Alyssa. “She’s great,” Casper #1 thinks, as he recalls her cheerful laugh, her easy effort at conversation, the relaxed and not at all overthought way she put her hand on his arm while making a point. “I should probably text her right now and tell her what an amazing date that was, and that I would like to date her forever.” Casper #1 pulls out his cell phone–his phantom limb, which never leaves his person, never goes unchecked for more than 15 minutes at a time–and begins typing his passionate opus. 

But just then, in the wild cacophony of St. Mark’s, a gang of skaters descend on Casper #1, encircling him. “Give us your phone!” they jeer. “Yea, we’re gonna delete alllll your contacts so you have to send one of those messages out on Facebook asking everyone for their numbers again!” Casper #1 panics. “I can’t! I don’t know Alyssa’s last name to find her on Facebook! Please, give me a shot at love! (or at an unsatisfying 2 month relationship!)” The surly teens laugh. “No way man, fork it over!” 

So Casper #1 has no choice but to hand over the phone and watch in despair as all of his contacts are blocked and then erased from the “Recently contacted” list. He never hears from Alyssa again. 

The End.

What’s My Age: 28, in this bizarre dating reality, where stranger things have been known to happen. 

Endless Morning

150-01This weekend I escaped from the city for a short holiday in the Catskills to celebrate America and reset! Even the bus ride out was painless–because I work on Saturdays now, I bypassed the insanity of the Friday night holiday-weekend traffic and zoomed right out of the tunnel in a satisfying blur. Then, after two relaxing days of lounging, hiking, drinking margaritas and petting my dog, it was suddenly Monday night! So high on the smells of the country (and probably a little drunk from all those margaritas…) I decided I’d stay home an extra night and take the “express” bus into the city this morning, presumably leaving myself plenty of time to get home and change my clothes before heading back to work to start my week.

Well. Welllllll. My summer dreams were not just dashed, but slashed and destroyed within twenty minutes of boarding the bus at the crack of dawn, thanks, ONCE AGAIN, to NJ Transit. It’s been years since I was a commuter, but the hatred and disgust I felt for this mode of transportation came back so intensely that I felt physically ill. (Although that might have been the putrid smell of the bus…) Not only was the bus already late, but almost immediately after getting on the highway, we sat in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour, idling endlessly with not a single peep from our driver. Then when we did finally make it into the city, he let off every single person ahead of me, before closing the doors to move to the next gate just as I was about to get off. I was boiling, and it wasn’t from the summer heat!

But now back in the city, I assumed it would be smooth sailing. Wrong again! I hopped right on the A train….and then proceeded to sit between stations for ten minutes, pushing my already tenuous morning schedule into more disarray! I finally got home with ten minutes to scrub the bus grime from my body and change my clothes, before hopping on a different subway….which was then stalled between stations going the opposite direction! When I finally got to work, my summer bliss was a distant memory, those margaritas bitter on my tongue! Oh, Tuesday after a holiday weekend, how you betray me!!

What’s My Age: 23, the tail-end of my commuting days, bordering right on the cusp of total mental breakdown.