Forbidden Fruit

164-01Last weekend I went to visit my sister in her new apartment! She officially made the move to a Stars Hollow-esque town (current pop culture reference, amirite??) main street and all! Her apartment is amazing, spacious, well-decorated and much more affordable than mine, but superseding all these perks is the fact that she has the MOST AMAZING GROCERY STORE I HAVE EVER ENTERED. This grocery store has literally made me question all of my life decisions and has me seriously picturing my life with an SUV, 2.5 children, and bags filled with fresh produce!

Let me back up a bit….I have wanted to live in New York City since I was a little kid, and making that dream possible has been one of my bigger life accomplishments. But….living in the city is hard! It’s loud and overwhelming, and lately I’ve just been feeling like I want to simplify my life, away from the relentless nature of the city. Of course, my overthinking NEVER ENDS, but when I walked into the Shoprite with my sister and saw the wide variety of farmer’s market produce, that produce became a metaphor for MY FUTURE. She did all of her shopping in one fowl swoop, got in her car and went home. Easy. Simple. When shop, I stop at 4 different places before lugging 10 plastic bags (metaphorical emotional baggage…) on a crowded and over-heated train. Not easy. Not simple. Needless to say, I was really digging my heels in when it came to heading back to the city…to my empty refrigerator. (Metaphor for…the emptiness of urban life?)

I might be stretching things a bit, and I’m not packing my bags….yet. But it does have me thinking about my future and where I see myself long-term. Who knew that a Shoprite super store and its organic produce section could be so enlightening??

What’s My Age: 37, prime suburban-mom age, swinging by the store to pick up parsnips and kale for a delicious and nutritious family meal in her farm house kitchen. 

 

Dead End Talks

153-01I recently ended a relationship with someone I had been seeing, and have been in that post breakup phase of manically messaging lots of guys I have varying levels of interest in. There’s nothing like the deep panic of being alone forever to launch a million dead-end conversations with guys who stir a rousing “meh” out of me. It’s not that I have no interest in actually dating them–it’s just that it’s hard to get excited about someone new when all I can think about is the someone old.

But who really likes being sad? It’s so easy to get that little high of seeing someone you could potentially like, suddenly flush with possibilities! “Maybe this will be the guy where I decide I “just want to have fun.” Or, more likely, “This guy looks like he won’t just up and ignore me after three months….it’s in the eyes!” So I halfheartedly match, scroll, and jot out a hello and a “cool photos” message and see what happens. Wee, dating is so much fun. Rah, rah, love.

But in this digital frenzy, I sometimes forget there are human emotions involved–both mine and my match! Why am I sending messages to people just for the sole purpose of feeling like I’m doing something? It’s not fair to anyone to go in with that attitude from the very start–there’s enough obstacles in the way already! So maybe it’s time to step away from the apps and just ride it out. Plus, if I’m jonesin’ for a scrollin’, there’s always the Twitter/Instagram/Facebook footprints of former flames to secretly monitor. Emotions are real. Dating sucks.

What’s My Age: 26, when I hung a poster that said “Let Yourself Rest” over my desk and have never taken that advice once. 

 

Today.

This morning, I woke up, reached for my phone, and then immediately called my sister. The first thing she said to me was, I haven’t felt this scared and hopeless since after 9/11. We were 13 and 11 at the time, and as for most people, that event signaled a tectonic shift in the way we saw the world.

The immediate outcome from that event was, in my understanding, that people came together. For a short time, there was kindness, and American flags everywhere, and flowers piled on the side of the road and church services and holding hands and promises that this would change things. We’d unite.

But instead, we have ripped each other apart, torn each other down, pushed each other away, become more closed-minded and closed off. Instead of holding each other’s hands, we are swiping them away, terrified that those hands might take something from us. So what I see today is not just hate and fear, but a level of selfishness and self-servedness that will only cement itself further as we find ourselves not just divided but completely walled off and terrified of each other.

All over social media, I see people looking for the bright light. I see people saying, “Now is the time, now we can fight, now we can come together.” And I wish that is how I felt. I wish I could say that I truly believe that people are good and well-intentioned. But right now, I’m having a hard time feeling that way. Right now, I feel like it’s too late for that.

I would like to be proven wrong. I would like to not feel so bleak. I would like to not have to talk to my sister and compare a presidential election to 9/11. I would like to not have to worry about my rights, my body, my job prospects, my ability to be an independent woman in 2016. I would like to not feel this sense of dread and foreboding. And maybe that will come someday. Maybe there will be hope and joining of hands and new promises made. But not today.

 

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

154-01It’s been a crazy month—a lot of changes in the air! So to ease everyone back in, I’m breaking out an old favorite—snooping in on millennials’ conversations! (I’ll get to that other stuff eventually…) This batch brings us multiple couple fights, bad-boyfriend justifications, and one struggling mean girl!

  • “If you choose to be like that, that’s totally fine, but I’m going to have feelings about it.”
  • “You’re the one sitting here smirking at me! You’re offended. You take it as “an offense” (definite air-quotes happening here) that I said that before I even knew about it! You’re being so obnoxious.” 
  • “You know, he’s really unapologetic about the things he does, so if he did do it, he would just tell me. Like he wouldn’t say he didn’t do it, but he wouldn’t pass it off on someone else, you know?”
  • “I really need you to help me be nice to her.”

Sometimes being nice is hard. I feel ya girlfriend.

What’s My Age: Most of them, asking some version of that last request.