Wednesday, August 30, 2006

someone who

Hard as it is to get a boyfriend in Washington, it may be harder to get a girlfriend.

No, not the kind you have sex with, but someone who, when you meet her, makes you think "Oh my GOD this woman is awesome. I hope we are friends forever." Someone who just GETS you, because your minds work at the same ridiculous speed and for once you've met somene else who knows that conversations can, under the right circumstances, become a competitive sport. Someone who is incredibly smart yet also brings out your silly girly side, the kind who you don't feel embarrased drinking fruity cocktails or watching two different DVD versions of Pride and Prejudice with in the same weekend, because, after all, Matthew MacFayden and Colin Firth made some very different character choices that warrant discussion (and swooning). Someone who is really good at mixing circles of friends and gets genuinely excited, instead of intimidated or jealous, when they become friends independent of the original link. Someone who you know you can call when you are celebrating, need a shoulder to cry on or because you just heard "Poison" on the radio and it reminded you of that episode of Scrubs that you guys all dance along to.

We all know that girls can be just awful to one another, and age often only sugarcoats any inherent bitterness. We compete with the other women we call friends, comparing ourselves to them or bitching about them silently or behind their backs, not telling them the truth even when they ask for it out of what we call politeness but what is really cowardice. Even when that nastiness is absent, it's still tough to find another girl who you click with. After all, we look for that je nes se quois in our romantic partners-- to find it in a woman friend after mucking through all the other stuff is rare, and, when it happens, so great.

Libby and I met almost two years ago through a Senate race our bosses consulted for. I had drive out to meet her on the corner outside her downtown office to give her a video camera for a prep session. I Google Image searched her before the hand-off because hey, better to recognize her quickly and not hold up a motorcade or something. The photo that came up was of her in the Michigan Daily, meaning she was obviously good people. The oft-mentioned R had already told me that we should meet and that I should take care of her because she was new to the city and had just been through an awful breakup.

HA. Little did he know what was about to ensue.

Since that equipment hand-off, the subsequent football game and Lord only knows how many toes stubbed doing the aforementioned dance, Libs has been an amazing friend. I seriously cannot imagine the last two years without everything she's brought into my life. I wouldn't have met my many amazing friends, I may never have found the guts to go backpacking and I certainly wouldn't have gotten into nearly as much trouble. There would have been a lot fewer hangovers and a lot less laughter. In short, it would have been a very different life.

Tonight I and a bunch of our girlfriends went over to watch her pack, mourn and toast her with a bottle of Michigan's finest. Most of the other girls left before me, and most of them cried as they said their goodbyes. When it was my turn, I couldn't work up the tears. I mean, I'm sad, but I'm also in total denial. It absolutely hasn't hit me that she's leaving for a year and won't be in close contact. It probably won't until the first time I reach for the phone to tell her something ridiculous or bitch about the fact that stupid people are still allowed to work and walk among us that it will sock me in the gut that "What? Libby doesn't live in America anymore? Who the hell let that happen?!" You will not want to be around when this all finally clicks into place.

So ladies, if you have these kinds of girlfriends in your lives, go and tell them how much you love them. Because one of these days, they'll pack up an go to graduate school in a whole other damn country and be all "Dude, you should have come with me," and you'll have to be the girl who says "Well, you just have to kick enough ass for both of us while you're there."

Libs, it a testament to our friendship that I am sharing a picture of my shiny-ass club face with the Internet.

Monday, August 28, 2006

television for women

I emerged from my apartment exactly twice this weekend-- once, to take out the trash and kitty litter (see, I'm at least germ-free, if otherwise slovenly) and once to get margaritas on Saturday night. The rest of the weekend was spent watching not writing the paper that I probably should have submitted in July, making a million lists for things I have to do at work this week (the busiest week of the year for my job), and watching bad TV.

And friends, when I say bad TV, I mean BAD TV. In no particular order, this weekend I watched:

- at least three hours of wedding programming on WE! (say it like "wheeee! Women's Entertainment! Wheeeee!"), ranging from PWT bridezillas to this girl who spent $80,000 on her gown. I can think of lots of good ways to spend $80,000, and almost none of them involve Swarovski crystals.

- The Notebook. Twice.

- The Oklahoma State Sugar Art show, as broadcast over the Food Network. It's actually not a bad show-- think Project Runway, but with cake decorating and mullets-- but still shameful because this is the second time I've watched it. The first time was the Sunday after my Bat Mitzvah, where B padded over through two feet of snow and we gnawed on Dominos and draped ourselves all over the couch whining about our hangovers and laughing at the female judge's hairpiece. And yes boys, we are both single.

- Degrassi. You already know I have a weakness for the BBC, but Saturday night centered on Canadian teen soap operas on The N! (why must all these networks have exclamation points?). They happened to be holding a marathon of every Degrassi episode ever, which for me is the equivalent of the heavens opening and the sky ringing with the trumpets of seraphim sounding the coming of Our Lord. After drinks and greasy Mexican food I dragged my friend K back to her house and made her watch four consecutive episodes. It is to her credit that she not only didn't walk out of the room, but that by the end of the two hours she developed very strong opinions on Paige's nose and repeatedly asked for clarification as to the Kevin Smith story arc. Way to drink the Koolaid, K. I am so proud.

- The entire Emmy preshow and the Emmys. Observations recorded during these: 1) Ryan Seacrest, just by pretending to not know who Zac Posen is, is STILL NOT FOOLING ANYONE, and 2) Katherine Heigl looked unbelievably gorgeous, but her look took me straight back to her performance in my all-time favorite Disney TV movie Wish Upon a Star. I have not the words for how much I love this movie, and the gleeful squeal I emit when I catch it on TV is matched only by that I also issue for when Death of A Cheerleader is on Lifetime Television for Women. It's basically Freaky Friday with sisters, and was made in that great post-Clueless period of fashion where every girl was wearing sheer knee-high white stockings and clunky platform shoes, preferably topped off by a teeny drawstring-closure backpack. I also loved it because the older sister's boyfriend is way hot and the whole movie is actually rather risque for a Disney flick (they make out with TONGUE and get HICKEYS) (and there's a whole subplot involving the little sister in a dominatrix outfit). If I ever met Katherine Heigl, I'd totally gush about this movie to her face and she'd probably be all "the hell is that bitch talking about? I'm on Grey's Anatomy, damnit!"

Delicious, sweet, gluttonous weekend television, how I love thee so.

Ugh, and now I have to go pretend to be an adult all week. Eat me, real world.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

working women cause of cancer, conflict in Lebanon, the unsatisfying amount of blowjobs in your life

Another day, another intentionally irksome article saying that educated, professional women are the reason everything in your life sucks.

Did we all agree to teleport back to 1954? Was I in a meeting when that memo was handed out?

Oh, wait, no, I was busy finishing a paper for grad school after working a twelve hour day and NOT VACUUMING MY CARPET, LO THE EVIL MAN-HATING HORROR OF IT ALL.

I'm particularly charmed by the development of this "point-counterpoint" format, which was slapped on yesterday after posted the initial "Don't Marry a Ho With a Life" article solo, without the forces of reason, logic and rationality to counterbalance the fucktardness of Michael Noer (who, BTW, is not around to repsond to the furor over said fucktardness because he's at a wedding. His next article "How To Salt Your Own Game; or, Why Not To Publish The Most Mysogynistic Article on the Internet Right Before Attending an Event Filled With Desperate Women and an Open Bar" is expected in next week's edition of Forbes Online).

My first instinct upon reading this article was to get all screamy and respond to every point-- "Of course women get less attractive over the years, they pop out your children! And why is it solely the woman's job to take care of the house? Maybe you could do a load of laundry, you lazy bastard--" but I quickly settled down and chuckled to myself. It's not so much the existence of guys like this that annoys me. We're pretty used to men who are threatened by girls who have their shit together and go after what we want. These guys are a pain but they generally reveal their true colors pretty quickly, allowing us to dispose of them with relative ease and a roll of the eyes. You don't need a PhD in psychology to see that men who think like this are freaked out because they know they can't live up to the increased responsibility (ie. you split the chores and it's not okay to fuck your assistant) that stems from an equal partnership. Guys with these kinds of expectations for marriage tend to partner up with really vapid women and learn very quickly that just because she picks up your socks and makes your dinner does not mean your marriage or life is happy. Ahhh... knowing that stupid, obnoxious people will end up miserable feels so good. It feels all warm in my stomach like a nice glass of single-malt scotch.

But Forbes, really. Is August that slow a news month that you feel the need to print this drivel? I'd rather hear all about the ex-child brides of JonBenet Ramsey's accused killer than read one more article on why working women are the cause of everything from child serial killers to stubborn bathroom mildew. Besides, you all have been trying to make us the scapegoat for the suckiness of life for sixty years now! If you have to keep trying this hard, it's time to give up and find something new. May I suggest bedbugs? They seem to be the Hot Scourge for the New Millennium.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

new and improved EJ: now with twenty percent more riboflavin

I reached a point where some of the most pathetic words ever known to womankind were constantly buzzing in my head, much like the mosquitoes that gleefully attack my shins every time I walk down the steps to my front door. I think they lie in wait for me every evening, rubbing their little translucent pinchers together in glee as they anticipate swarming my uncovered legs in a bloodthirsty mob. "They're back!" they squeak (if mosquitoes spoke, they would speak English, because that's what everyone in America should do, right?). "Those long things that feed us are back!" They swoop and suck as I fumble for first the gate key, then the door key, then kick in the door because the wood has inevitably swollen in the swampy humidity that is Washington, these moments ensuring that by the time I lurch indoors, slam the door and set down the Utah-sized Kenneth Cole bag I stubbornly lug everywhere, my legs will be on fire. Last week I complained about my mosquito bites for a good five minutes to a coworker, who informed me that her Serbian sister-in-law suggested dabbing rocket fuel-grade alcohol on the bites before scratching as to lessen the torment. When I got home I used the strongest booze in my over-crowded kitchen, but it turns out that Jose Cuervo Gold does not an effective astringent make.

I'm sorry, where was I? The itching is a tad distracting.

Ah yes, the words. The words that were buzzing.

The words that were buzzing were "how will this look on my blog?"

I know. EW. But hear me out.

People I knew "in real life" were starting to introduce me as a blogger. I'd see someone after a few weeks of no contact and he'd already know what I'd been up to. That's not how people who live within five blocks of one another are supposed to interact.

The stories got harder to tell, both because of the content and the crapass writing. News wasn't shared, it was issued, like the moronic press releases on steel dumping I wrote as a 19-year-old intern. Blogging opens doors, but it also shuts windows. You witness something, experience something, long to reflect on its significance and someone else specifically tells you "don't write about this on your blog." So you look at it through a plate glass window, unable to touch it and hold it and share it, and you write about a news headline that ticked you off or post pretty pictures, because, hey, who gets ticked about pretty pictures? Who, unless they work in politics, gets fired over stating that the Bush administration couldn't find the clitoris with a flashlight and a copy of Gray's Anatomy, much less find a way out of Iraq?

And let's face it: at the end of the day, does the world really need another blog about how hard it is to be a upwardly mobile single white girl in the city?

Well, fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. I gotta navel-gaze. It's what I do. If the unexamined life is not worth living, then the life of a narcissistic blogger must be the Cadillac of lives, worth more than those other unblogged lives that fill its days and make it fascinating, entertaining, painful and full. Patently false logic, I know, but compelling nonetheless.

So over the last few months, my writing deteriorated. And a lot of crap happened. Crap that I couldn't write about, crap that for once I actually didn't have to stop myself from writing about because really, spewing it back to the universe didn't make me feel better and wasn't doing the universe any favors. If you're not going to contribute anything productive or inspiring or at least new, then why write?

So I stopped for a while. And I'm not saying that blogging is a bad luck jinx; that the mere act of keeping a blog attracts negative and/or hostile elements into one's life, but damn. I quit blogging, and life felt easier. Lighter. More fun. I kicked a lot of ass at work. I started running again, traveled on weekends, ate really really well, spent a lot of time with friends old and new and thought I Met Someone (it turns out I Did Not, but that is a story for another entry, one that explores how eating raw cookie dough by the pound while watching Project Runway is actually lots better than bad sex).

But I found I really missed it. I did manage to kick the habit of approaching a situation thinking "how will I write about this on my blog?" but some situations triggered it in a positive way. The trick, I think, is to be very conscious of what goes in here. I used to write something and then instantly post it, maybe going back to edit after posting after noting a particularly egregious typo. No more.

So what did I learn on my summer vacation? Patience is our friend and protector from emotions and crappy writing alike. Blogs are in no way a substitute for human interaction. And despite all of the above, I will forgive myself the occasional lapse into trite prose and story and remind myself that, as I am a single 20-something girl in the city, it is okay to write like one.

Because, as the estimable Mimi reminds us, it's hard being a motherfucking white bitch.

Nice to be back, y'all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I'm briefly resurfacing from my hiatus (coming along swimmingly; so far I've cured cancer and stolen David Beckham from Posh Spice) to note this:

World Trade Center has a MySpace page.

And we wonder why the rest of the world hates America.