Did a Light Show Shed Some Light on My True Colors?

This summer marks the fiftieth anniversary of the “Summer of Love.” Over the past five decades, San Francisco has definitely undergone some changes but still, in the wake of all the advancements and setbacks, there are a few things that have remained the same.

You’ll still find picturesque houses with ornamentation along the rooftops and large bay windows. You’ll still find clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl down at the wharf. And you’ll still find that defining hippie spirit.

In fact, just across the street from my apartment, a group of ‘eccentrics’ (ranging from ten-year-olds to 70-year-olds) gather on Sundays to enjoy the sunshine and to roller skate to their favorite hits. With nods to the ‘70s in the clothes they wear, the songs they jam from a giant boom box and the choreographed dances they perform on their four-wheeled footwear, they are a weekly reminder that we still appreciate the idea of LOVE being the greatest power we have here.

So it’s not surprising that this city has pulled out all the stops to commemorate the official “Summer of Love” that took place fifty years ago. An exhibit at the De Young museum has been complemented by multiple events, including a free concert and light show at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park last Wednesday. The event was a donation to the city and its residents, as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation for that oh, so defining decade by a private entity. What that means in plain English? None of our tax dollars were required to make this event happen.

If that’s not a show of love, I don’t know what is.

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2017 seems like the perfect year to be commemorating and encouraging positivity. It’s no secret that the world has seen a lot of the opposite recently and that we need all the love we can get. It is also the year that I chose to turn my own personal perspective around (I know, it’s all about me, right?). Narcissism aside, ever since I can remember, I’ve been a pessimist. I am a Capricorn, after all. But this year, I decided that I didn’t want to live like that anymore and that I could choose to see the positive side to things.

I thought about all of my own faults; regrettable actions I’d made because of the circumstances I was in rather than my lack of concern for the people around me. This introspection really made me think. Why was I so quick to blame, judge, and condemn those around me, when I had no idea what their own circumstances were?

So, in the New Year, I made an effort to be more forgiving of the people around me and to try to catch myself whenever I felt my passive-aggressive, moody tendencies take hold. Overall, I feel like it’s been going well. I’m even called “The Positive One” at work and my coworkers don’t believe I have a cynical bone in my body. How’s that for a resolution realized?

So, when I suddenly found myself back to my old curmudgeon-y ways at Wednesday’s Summer of Love events, I had to think to myself… had I not changed at all? Had all of this optimistic, benefit-of-the-doubting been an act? Had I fooled myself into thinking that I could create my own positivity?

The negativity started as soon as I saw the crowd of people gathered in the conservatory of flowers. The sheer number of bodies immediately stirred an angry reaction within me. I did not want them there.

But, taking a moment to reflect on my reaction, I asked myself, why wouldn’t I be happy that all of these people were here to celebrate the idea of love? Why wouldn’t I want to share that same positivity with not only everyone who had shown up there that evening, but everyone in the entire city, in the entire world!

Phew! Crisis averted.

Scoping things out, my friend and I secured a spot on the small hill right down from the Conservatory of Flowers, walking distance from Bunny Meadows. I breathed out a sigh of relief. Okay, I could relax now. We had a spot. There was absolutely nothing to be stressed about. I could sit back and enjoy the free music that radiated from the stage in front of me—was that Norman Greenbaum I heard? I’d once heard on that MTV show “I Love the ‘70s” that Norman was a Jewish man who’d written about having a friend in Jesus. Something about that made me smile.

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There were a few other people who were coming to join us. A while back, I’d set up one of my friends with another one of my friends. Okay, so I hadn’t set them up so much as gotten bombed at a Karaoke bar and announced to the pair (as well as everyone else within a ten-foot radius) that I thought they should hook up.

I was mortified hearing this the next day, but that shame went away when the two of them went on a couple of dates and officially began “seeing each other” soon after. Knowing that they were both coming we made sure there was enough room on the blanket and the surrounding area to accommodate the two of them, another couple that was planning to come, and one other friend who was currently debating if it was worth it come, but who wanted to see the lights!

Courteous as always, we decided to give the couple a call and let them know where we had secured our spot.

“Great!” My friend said, “we’ll all be there soon.”

“Who’s ‘we all’?”

“Oh, there’s six of us…”

Just like that, she was there again. The ‘me’ that I had thought I’d gotten rid of this year. SIX. SIX other people?? How the hell were we going to fit everyone? Why was it on us to find a place that would accommodate that many people? Who was going to explain to the people around us that we’d soon be encroaching on their space from all sides? Anxiety took its hold. Who were these six other people, anyway?

Even when they showed up and I realized that the six others were actually my friends, I still couldn’t shake the feeling of annoyance that had developed inside of me.

Come on now, I thought to myself, you never get to see these guys. It’s fun that you get to celebrate with them on this night.

Standing up, I gave everyone a quick hug, asked how they were, and sat back down. That’s when one of them spotted another of his pals and waved him over.

The panic washed over me. Was he really inviting another person to come and sit in this spot? There was officially going to be no more room for any of the other people that were on their way. Panic. Complete and utter panic. This was not how I’d imagined this evening going. I’d imagined a small group of friends, quite small, all fitting on a single blanket and chatting away during the music until the light show began.

It didn’t help that the two friends of mine who I’d set up were so sickeningly happy that they could only give attention to each other and were cuddling together while my friend and I (who’d brought the blanket and scouted the spot) were scooched off to the side.

Again, as I moved slightly back away from lovebirds, I had to think to myself. Isn’t this exactly what I’d wanted? I’d realized how compatible and happy these two friends of mine were, brought the two friend groups together, and had suggested that it happen. And now that it had, was I really going to upset about the fact that they wanted to cuddle at an outdoor concert? What type of person does that??

A little later an issue with another close friend (who was supposedly on her way) was brought up and I felt myself closing down. I’d basically forgotten about it, but just a couple of sentences about a plan that I hadn’t been privy to, and I was on edge. It probably didn’t help that the message came from my smiling friend who’d turned for a second from leaning against her newfound beau to update me on the newest developments.

Shit. Was I really going to let myself get worked up over something so trivial when the world around me was celebrating the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and a summer all about looking past the trivial and emphasizing love?

Yes. Yes, I was.

As the lights flashed across the white dome of the Conservatory of Flowers, I had to wonder. Was this light show shedding light on my true colors? Am I naturally a negative person and will no amount of introspection and concentration change that?

I’d like to think that this isn’t the case. That the past year has shown me that I can choose to be positive and to see the good in everyone and everything. And, in the end, I had been so glad to see that group of friends after a bit of a hiatus. But, as a tie-dye display took over the Conservatory and I felt the need to move away from my friends of over ten years, I really had to wonder….

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Self-Esteem Tips for Anyone Whose Mom Says You Weren’t the Prettiest at Prom

In my last blog post, I kind of gave my dad a hard time. Yes, he did “LOL” at the fact that I’m unemployed, but in all fairness, the fact that someone like me (a person who’s terrified of breaking any routine) is suddenly completely free to do whatever the hell she wants… well, it just might be “LOL” worthy.

So, in order to even things out, I decided to write a post about something my mother did that was equally as disturbing for my self-esteem.

Join me as I travel back to the year 2008. My senior year, when Miss Independent was topping the music charts and Christian Bale’s Batman voice was still considered a bold move.

Prom was right around the corner and I knew exactly how I wanted to look. I was going to wear a black strapless Betsey Johnson dress, covered in sequins, with black Betsey Johnson pumps, criss-crossed around my toes.

As for my hair, I wanted finger waves, like a 1920s movie star, so that I could wear red lipstick and pretend I was Marion Cotillard.

The thing is, at the time, I lived on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and apparently, when you go to a salon in Kailua, Hawai’i, finger waves are too much to ask for… After being told that they didn’t know how to create this classic, elegant look, I decided to trust the professional hairdresser and let her create a Prom-worthy masterpiece.

The result? A rats nest with two jehri curls.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:

Yes, I sat in a chair for an hour+ waiting for THAT. Yes, I did pay $75 for it because my fear of confrontation is so strong that I was unable to tell the woman that my hair scared me more than the stringy shit that covers the girl in The Ring.

As you can imagine, my self-esteem at this point was pretty unstable. But, after six (or maybe ten) gulps of champagne punch (and a quick hair wash), I was feeling pretty good again. I was in my dress, covered in sparkles, and the red lipstick was working out to my favor. My locks, though not styled in old-fashioned curls, were falling nicely around my ears, and I had a nice buzz going.

I went to prom, danced the night away, and stayed in a hotel with a huge group (sneakily stealing a room for just a small group of us). #Sorry to everyone who had to sleep on the floor in the other room.

When I came home the next day, I was still in a post-prom high! After a briefly awkward chat about whether or not I knew there was champagne in the punch, my parents and I started looking at pictures together on the computer.

“You’re all just so pretty,” my mom said, which is something I hear often and didn’t surprise me, “but Cienna…”

I stopped and looked at her, curious about what she was going to say about my best friend.

“She was just so beautiful!”

Okay, that was fine. She was just pointing out that one of my closest friends looked really pretty at our final school dance. That was great! My mom was being the sweet woman I knew her to be. But then she went on…

“Like you were pretty… but Cienna looked like a movie star!

“Okay?” I responded, because what else are you supposed to say when your mother, your own flesh and blood, the woman who birthed you (and watched Cheech’s Born in East LA to get through the labor) tells you that you not nearly as pretty as your best friend. Like, isn’t she, out of anyone in this entire world, supposed to love me most and think I’m the most beautiful girl ever? Isn’t that her biological duty or something? Who else is going to if she doesn’t??!!!!!

Not to mention the fact that I’d already been through a trauma; my hair had literally looked like someone had dug through a dumpster, found a big ol’ piece of trash, and stuck it onto the back of my head. I did not need to hear that my own mom didn’t think I was “movie star material” at my FINAL SCHOOL DANCE.

Jumping back to present day, I’d like us all to think about how this moment played into my current situation. You know, perhaps if I’d had a little more support with my self-confidence, I’d be applying to more positions and would be employed. I dunno. Not pointing any fingers. Just lettin’ that sink in for all of you.*

So, what are my tips? Never trust a hairdresser to create “fun prom hair,” drink a little less champagne punch, and remember that your mother is only one person, and you’re still pretty even if she doesn’t think you’re as pretty as your best friend…..

 

*My parents are amazing people and I totally take responsibility for my own self-worth and trust me, I really dig myself. Just wanted to even the playing field so my mom doesn’t feel bad after I totally trash talk my dad ;p

 

 

 

 

When You’re Unemployed and Your Dad Thinks It’s Funny…

After the Giants won their wildcard game, my Dad thought unemployment was a great topic of conversation…

Remember those days when you were young and you thought your parents were these all-powerful beings. They could do no wrong and were always there to save you when things went bad. If someone was picking on you at school or you couldn’t figure out a homework assignment, your parents were always there to help out.

Then you hit your mid-twenties (OMG officially late twenties for me), and suddenly they expect you to take care of yourself!

How the heck did this happen? When did my problems become my problems and not ours? I know, I’m a spoiled brat, but I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that I have sole responsibility of myself. WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA???

Last night, I was sitting at the Irish Bank in San Francisco’s Financial District. I had done a couple freelance assignments, and was able to afford two whole drinks: one at Rickhouse on Kearny and then a Guinness at Irish Bank. Crazy, right?

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The Giants game was playing—it was a wildcard game against the Mets—and so there was quite a bit riding on it. Maybe because it’s an even year or maybe just because #sports, the Giants ended up winning the game!

That’s when I got the text that would really cheddar my pretzels; tick me right off! Keep in mind, my father knows that my company no longer exists and that his only daughter needs a job STAT…

Dad: The Giants just won. You going to any playoff games?

Me: No, dad. I’m poor… haha

Dad: LOL hope you get a job soon

LOL?? LOL???? LOL????? Dad I’m fucking floundering over here and all you have to say is LOL?????? Not even an “I believe in you” follow up. Simply LOL and hope you figure your shit out soon.

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT?

This is my life now. Search for a new place of employment while keeping my father laughing in the meantime…

Wish me luck?

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Me and Cienna at a World Series game two years ago…when I was not poor…

I Took Away Phones at Tracy Morgan’s Comedy Show. Here’s What Happened…

Tracy Morgan is touring again and he wants phone-free events with Yondr’s help! Can his audience handle saying goodbye to their devices? Find out.

It’s always a pleasure to start one of my posts with a bit of irony, so here we go: I normally write humorous blog posts and tonight’s post is actually about Tracy Morgan’s comedy show, but there is nothing funny about my experience there.

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Okay, so yes, helping an older gentleman turn on his Nokia flip phone was adorable, and yes, Tracy Morgan’s ability to joke about his recent coma had me filled me with giddy admiration, because… coma jokes. BUT what occurred before the show was not so darn cool. In fact, I’d go so far as to call it the uncool.

Not to go all RHONY Countess on everyone but…

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Here’s what you need to know: A friend of mine works for an awesome new company, Yondr. They facilitate phone-free events. They have created these little pouches (they look like mini wetsuits) for phones. At an artist’s request, they’ll set up their stations and lock away everyone’s cellular devices for a completely unplugged, in-the-moment, let’s listen to who’s performing event.

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Pretty cool, if you ask me. Also, you’re not losing your phone. You keep it. It’s just locked away in a little pouch so you’re not Snapchatting while the artist is trying to, I dunno, connect with you as an audience member and not a screen.

And FYI, it was incredible to stand in the back of the FOX Theater and watch how engaged the audience was with the three comedians who performed. There was such a genuine reaction to what was happening on stage, it was almost surreal. I’m used to seeing phones out, a flash here and there, at least a handful of people staring down to see if they’d captured the right moment. None of that was happening. I also need to point out that at the end of the show, not one person was complaining about having been separated from their phones for that short period of time.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a millennial and definitely have anxiety issues about letting go of my device (among other things), but was excited for the overall experience. I locked my phone away as soon as we arrived.

Using Yondr on the Audience:

My job at Tracy Morgan’s show was to help lock away guests phones as they came inside.

Here, I will inject a bit of self-deprecating truth and admit that I am not the most qualified phone-snapper-inner. I may be able to hit a few computer keys to write blog posts, but when it comes to sliding things into wetsuit material…  I’m not so adept. At least these phones looked a little sexier than my post-surfing (more like post-nearly drowning) body, but still. This won’t become a full-time gig for me… Now, back to the story.

For the most part, people were cool with the process. They handed over their phones, and though some didn’t look thrilled at the prospect of no texting or Tindering, they didn’t complain. Some asked if they could just keep their phones off, but accepted our rejection of that idea pretty easily.

Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this if I wanted to talk about the average person who walked through those doors. How entertaining would that be?

Now, I’m going to get to the people that made me embarrassed to be a Millennial; to be in a generation of screen-addicted, tech-driven monsters.

The Phone-Free Panic

First, there was the man whose phone case made his device the size of a fucking ipad. He not only scoffed at the process and how ridiculous it was that he couldn’t have his phone, but then had the joy of making dick jokes about its size. Nothing is funnier than comparing your big black phone to your penis. Oh, wait. Literally everything is funnier than that.

There was also a pair of hipster boys (I really can’t call them men, though they were probably 5 years older than I am). They stood mumbling nervously as they watched us tuck away people’s phones, and shook their heads saying definably hipster things like, “You know, I have really lost respect for Tracy Morgan for doing this.”

To which I wanted to respond, “You definitely do not have to go in then. You can totally skip the show and text your friends about this phone-free blasphemy! Better yet, hit up Tumblr and blog about how unfair the world is… ” *sob

Instead, I smiled and welcomed them in.

Finally, there was the worst of the worst.

I’d never volunteered with Yondr before, and I’m not exactly comfortable with confrontation. In fact, I’m so terrified of having to face someone who’s angry with me, I just won’t. I will either find a place to hide or I’ll pretend it didn’t happen. I will completely deny the fact that we’ve had a disagreement and never speak of it again.

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…I know, totally healthy.

Anyway, this fear of anger made me go into full Sweetheart mode. I like to think of it as my “waitress-from-the-South” mode. All smiles and pie. Though there was no pie and I’ve never been to the South.

As I was focusing on other people, a young man with a beard came out and hovered by our table. I barely noticed because of the line, but he smiled at me and said, “hey, I’m not being creepy, just waiting for some friends.”

“Not a problem,” I told him, because again, I’m fucking nice.

After a while, he looked slyly down and said, “oh, so that’s how it works? I just go like this?”

He reached over me to the lock machine and unlocked his phone pouch before taking off. He was so fucking pleased with himself…  It took me a moment to realize what he’d done, and to form a mental image of him inside, crouched against the bar like Gollum, stroking his phone and staring at it lovingly, calling it my precious.

Here’s why I’m so disturbed by this: Not only did this bearded man turn into a balding, loin-clothed creature from Lord of the Rings in my head, but the way he had planned it all out was so pathetically desperate. He hadn’t made a scene, stormed out angrily and slammed his phone down, and demanded it be opened. No, he concocted a plan, knew I was nice and naive enough to let him stand and “wait” for friends, and then made sure I was distracted enough for him to use our equipment. Hooray! He had his phone and had disrespected Tracy Morgan’s, the comedian he paid money to see, wishes! Wasn’t he so cool?

After my anger subsided, I became curious. Why couldn’t he live without his phone for 90 minutes? I know that he came with a group of friends. Were they that boring? Was he so alone in this world that he couldn’t connect with the people who he encircled himself with?

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Things started to get serious and worrisome in my brain at that point.

What if this man ever found himself without his phone? What if he accidentally went on a backpacking trip without bringing a portable charger? What would he find out about himself when he stared up into the vast night sky, searching for the satellite that normally connected him to his cellular device? I’m terrified of how lonely and boring he would realize he was.

Okay, truthfully, I’m not worried about him. He was just some asshole who probably has never had to do anything he didn’t want to before. That’s what it is. Sad, but life. My real concern is for the rest of us.

Food for Thought:

What is it that we need from our phones so badly? Why is it we can’t stand to be in this world without constant electronic stimuli? I’m including myself in this question. I can’t handle going to a bar or club without my phone at the ready, so I don’t look like a loser. But what if I am a loser? Why do I care?

This is all just something to think about. Why can’t we unplug, especially while we’re being stimulated elsewhere? If an artist is performing, why do we still feel the need to be connected elsewhere via smartphone? What is it we aren’t ready to face? Who are we trying to impress with our Snap stories and why can’t we just be happy knowing we were there?

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What to do when you’re drunk on your last night in London Part 2

Okay, where did we leave off. Oh, that’s right. We were brusquely greeted by a waitress who was not at all pleased by the fact that she was serving two young Americans, who were not only fifteen minutes late to their reservation, but also seemed unable to focus their eyes…

Disclaimer: Portland is an incredible restaurant with a chef who does culinary magic, an atmosphere anyone with even half a design brain would fall for, and a wonderful waitress who we’ll remember forever. It is not any fault of this establishment that we two dinguses made a mess of it all. 

Keep in mind, this is a high-end restaurant, beautifully decorated and curated to the last detail. Now, picture the two of us sitting there staring blankly at the one page menu they’ve brought out for us.

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On it, each item was listed beneath its corresponding category: starters, appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

Looking up at our waitress, we naively asked if we could order a starter and appetizer and then see if we were hungry enough for an entrée. The look she gave us made it seem like we’d asked to burn the place down. Like, “hey, would it be cool if we poured kerosine everywhere and lit the shit out of this place?” She was (to put it mildly) pissed off.

“No…” she responded tersely, “the kitchen’s going to close. You need to order all courses now.”

So, we revisited the menu and placed our order. We’d begin with the cheese macarons, then we’d have the *lobster rolls…

*Okay, folks this is where things get a bit hazy. All I can say is that we chose an entrée that was some sort of fish. Halibut perhaps? I think it came with seasoned asparagus and the dessert was probably a chocolate cake of some sort. I’m vaguely remembering eating chocolate cake. Oh, god. I hope it was chocolate cake…

Moving on, we gave our sunny-dispositioned waitress these requests along with, of course, a cocktail and wine order, because we needed more alcohol…

While waiting for our first course, we received our beverages and talked (god only knows how loudly…) about how hungry we were. Now, first world problem jokes aside, we were really fuckin’ famished.

As our drinks slowly dwindled and our heads got even cloudier, out came our starters. I don’t believe at this point we noticed that our first waitress had abandoned us. 

Chewy, cheesy, savory macarons, those little morsels didn’t stand a chance. I’m pretty sure we swallowed them whole. And, as you can imagine, we looked classy AF as we shoveled those little circles of joy into our mouths beneath the twinkling, atmospheric lights. Someone really should have taken our picture.

Then, of course, we just had to sit there twiddling our thumbs while we waited for those thick lobster bodies to be our next victims. I’m not even sure we talked to each other while we waited. I think we just stared down at the emptiness that was our plates and tried not think about how it matched the emptiness of our souls without the joy of food. And then we tried not to think about the food and then tried not to think about trying not to think about the food and then… YES!!! Our appetizers were coming our way.

Two things happened at this point:

First, we realized that we had a new waitress who did not look like she wanted to recreate a Guy Richie fight scene with us in the alley outside.

Second, the “lobster rolls” that were placed in front of us were not really fucking rolls at all. What do I mean by that? Instead of the thick, rice paper wrapped, sustenance-providing dishes you’d find in your average sushi restaurant, these things were TWO slivers of, I dunno, a lobster’s oblique maybe? Seriously, together, they might have equaled the size of a pencil. A FUCKING PENCIL. A #2, not a sumo grip for you ’90s kids, fucking pencil.

At the sight of those rolls, my stomach gave a lurch, and I was lost to a fit of tears and laughter. Here we were, a couple of the hungriest little piggies I’ve ever known, and this bougie restaurant was serving up lobster PENCILS. It was too much.

I scooted back my chair and went downstairs to use the restroom. I’d love to describe it for you here, because I’m sure it was lovely, but let’s be real. I don’t remember it.

Meanwhile upstairs, Cienna was chatting with our new (and may I say much improved) waitress.

“What are you girls up to tonight?” our waitress asked, “It’s Friday so you must be going out to get drunk.”

“Well, we were across the street…”

“Oh!” the waitress exclaimed, “then you already are!”

That’s when Cienna said she noticed it (though I still can’t testify that it’s true). The woman had six fingers on her right hand.

I came back upstairs and joined in the conversation with the waitress and Cienna. Did she have other tables to take care of? Thinking back on it, I can’t quite figure out how she spent so much time shootin’ the shit with two wasted Americans, but I’m so glad she did!

Sitting down, I finished my drink, and the entrée arrived. The rest of our evening was a blur of chatting with our waitress about her children, what she does in her spare time, shoveling some sort of wonderful fish into my mouth, telling our waitress about our travels, eating chocolate cake? and listening to some sort of story that I’m sure was far too intimate, but felt totally appropriate at the time.

Then the bill arrived. A good ol’ £95. Not that I was shocked. Honestly, through the happy and hazy lens that I was seeing the world, it was the most perfectly reasonable cost for a meal. It’s funny to think about how little a part reality played in that entire euro trip…

When we’d paid our bill, we stood from the table, suddenly aware that there had been quite a few other diners enjoying their quiet meals in the restaurant. The giggles hit again as I thought about the role we’d played in their evening. They had probably been racking their brains, trying to figure out how two obviously hammered twenty-year-olds had gotten into a place like this. We’re rish bishes! I wanted to yell. Thank god I didn’t. We’re not.

We walked (not so steadily) toward the door. Our waitress friend followed and told us how nice it had been to meet us. She asked if we knew our way to the Underground Station.

“Yep,” we said with confidence!

We had no idea where the station was.

She pulled out her phone and pulled up maps, showing us where we needed to head to catch a train. I should have noticed Cienna staring madly at her fingers as she typed in directions, but I think I had been more interested in the way the streetlights were blinking or how I was swaying every so slightly.

We said goodbye and started our jaunt toward the Underground.

“Did you see??” Cienna asked with wide eyes.

“See what,” I responded, because I’ve never noticed anything in my entire life and wasn’t about to start then.

“She had fucking twelve fingers. SIX on each hand.”

“You’re drunk.”

“I KNOW!” she countered, “that’s why I fucking counted them again. I was like, Cienna, your drunk. Count again. And I DID. 1..2…3…4…5…6…1…2…3…4…5…6…1…2…3…4…5…6″

“Okay, okay!” I still didn’t really believe her but we’d arrived at the Station.

We walked inside and I pressed my little card down onto the button to open the gate, but the gate wouldn’t open. I tried again. And again. Omg. My little card was broken! What was I going to do? Did I have to buy another one? Where would I buy another one? This was terrible. I tried again. It still wasn’t working.

I looked up and spotted two officers standing together chatting. Cienna took off toward them with a confident march.

“Excuse me,” she said with authority, “my friend’s card isn’t working.”

The men stared down at us and blinked.

“That’s because it doesn’t have any money left on it…” he replied and turned back to the other officer.

Red with embarrassment, I simply reloaded the card at the kiosk, pressed it down and we were on our way to the platform to catch the train. Back in the hotel room, we drunkenly tried to prepare for bed. In the morning, we would be catching a train to the airport (or so we thought, but that’s a whole other story….).

In the morning, we awoke to hangovers that were made a tiny bit better by a delicious breakfast downstairs and then went on a wild goose hunt for H2 Brun Sauce to take back to the States, like the good yankee girls we are!

 

What to do when you’re drunk on your last day in London Part 1.

As promised, today I’m writing about the time my best friend and I managed to spend $140 on dinner and became friends with a twelve-fingered waitress.

In order for you to truly understand why this momentous event is, in fact, momentous, here’s what you have to know:

During this trip across the pond, my two friends and I were suddenly filled with an insatiable hunger. We had to eat every three hours on.the.dot. And I’m not talking about little snacks. No, no. I’m talking full plates of fried fish, thick chips (those are French Fries to you uncultured Yankees), full pints of beer, and mashed peas—which aren’t as nasty as they sound. OH! Then there were the breakfasts of toast, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, scrambled eggs, and coffee.

If we didn’t get the these giant man feasts? Unleash the hangry monsters from America. Move over football hooligans (that’s soccer to you Yanks), our stomachs were ready to kick. some. ass.

Ready for that teen movie montage but with hungry monster adults?

Now, that that’s out of the way, let’s continue.

If you know anything about me, you know that I can never eat like this. Not because I’m worried about keeping my figure. Let’s be honest, that goal died years ago… but because I have some not so “cute” issues with yee ol’ tummy. Read about the burrito fiasco of 2015 here.

Anyway, the miracle of London was that these thunderstorms in my belly seemed to no longer exist! Talk about GAME ON. Food could “spice up my life” and I would still be ready to have another curry within the hour.

On our last night in the Queen’s land. My best friend Cienna and I said goodbye to our fellow traveler, Haven, and went on our own to paint the town red (or at least a nice mauve).

Here’s what to keep in mind: Haven is the responsible one out of our trio.

After our goodbyes, we checked into one of the trendiest hotel’s I’ve ever stepped foot in, The Hoxton in Shoreditch. We were welcomed in by a sexy piece of Brit at the font desk. Yes, I did have to fight off the young gay man in order to get him to assist us. And yes, I am proud of it.

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Check out this super trendy building outside The Hoxton in Shoreditch.

Once we were all settled in, we decided to go see Gringotts … I mean, Harrods (honestly, they’re the same thing).

There, we proceeded to spend upwards of $80 on important things like a pen with the name Harrods on it…

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Heading to Gringotts!

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After spending a hour or two in this incredible maze of material goods, it suddenly hit… the hunger. Yes, you guessed it. It had been far more that three hours since we’d gorged ourselves on fried potatoes and we needed food. STAT.

While in San Francisco, I’d gotten a recommendation from a real fancy lady for a restaurant in London called Portland. Yes Alanis, that is ironic.

So we looked it up, and Open Table said we could make a reservation at 10pm. It was around 9pm at this point. Cienna suggested we just head there instead, and see if they could seat us earlier. With our stomachs growling and our heads woozy from a full 4.5 hours without a massive meal, we grabbed a car and went to the little restaurant.

When we got there, the host answered the door and shook his head when he heard our plan.

“Sorry,” he said, “we’re all full for tonight.”

Not even a cute British accent could subdue the disappointment we felt at those words nor could it quell the little monsters in our stomachs and demanded to be FED.

We stepped back out onto the street, hearts full of despair, and pulled up Yelp. There had to be another place to eat nearby. Right? RIGHT?!

Wrong. There was absolutely nothing.

Desperate for some sort of sustenance (yes, I know there are starving children in Africa and I’m a brat, but we were SO HUNGRY), I pulled up Portland’s website again (No, not the state. The restaurant. Though how cool would it be if we could make reservations for Portland, the state, and just like reserve it for an hour or two… Portlandia, I’ve got your next amazing skit right here!)

Back on topic: That 10pm reservation was still showing up as available! Should I just book it? Perhaps they kept a few spots open just in case someone made a reservation. I clicked the button.

As I made the reservation, I noticed the hours listed on the website. Portland closed at 10pm… (Oh, god. Now I’m wondering what it would be like if an entire state closed at 10pm. Crazy.)

WHY in the Queen’s name would they have an Open Table reservation available for that time if the restaurant wasn’t even going to be open?! 

The hunger was really boiling at this point.

That’s when we spotted it. An English pub right across the street. And I’m talking a classic, Notting Hill-esque, straight out of a Jane Austen novel, English pub. I think it was named the Farrier or The Horse and the Hound. Something that made you go, oh my god. I’m in fucking LONDON.

We ran inside and sat down at the bar staring desperately at the young bartender. He strode over and casually asked us what we’d like.

“Food!” We cried, because Americans aren’t obnoxious at all… #Trump amiright?

“Sorry,” he replied trying not to show his dislike of the two obviously well fed, gluttonous girls in front of him, “kitchen closes at 9pm. All we have are some crisps.” For you Yanks out there, crisps are fucking potato chips… those were NOT going to quell the demons that were raging inside of us.

So, we ordered two ciders and drank down our sorrows. Remember, we had not eaten for about 5 hours, and in London, that means we’d been starving ourselves for at least a full day! By the time we finished these drinks, we were already a tiny bit tipsy. That’s when the older bartender came up to us and asked if we were ready for another. “It’s Friday!” he exclaimed, “You ladies have to have another!”

“If I have another,” Cienna told him, “I’m going to end up passed out on your floor.”

So he poured us two more.

That’s when my phone began to ring…it’s them! It’s the restaurant. I panicked. Thrusting my phone at Cienna, I demanded that she answer.

“Hello? Yes, this is she. Oh, sorry. We thought you closed at 10pm. Oh? That’s when your last seating is? Yes, well, we’re right across the street. We’ll see you in a bit.”

Downing our fresh glasses of cider—not the best idea for us—we paid our bill and ran across the street where the same host opened the doors and welcomed us in. We were seated at a small table in the middle of the restaurant and a waitress with a pixie cut and a bad attitude (or maybe she just wasn’t thrilled to wait her last table on two drunk Americans who couldn’t seem to stare straight at their menus) came to take our orders.

The remainder of the evening’s escapades (including tears at the sight of a pencil-sized lobster appetizer, the contrasting size of our bill, and our debate about a twelve-fingered waitress who pretty much saved our lives) will be in tomorrow’s post. Tune in then!

So This is What Twentysomething REALLY Feels Like

When I opened up WordPress today, I meant to write a post about my trip to London (a trip where my best friend and I spent $140 on dinner and met a waitress with twelve fingers). Rest assured, I’ll still be writing that post, but right now, I’ve got something else on my mind.

Recently, I went through something so “grown up” that I honestly never thought I’d experience it. After all, anyone who knows me is more than aware of my lack of talent in adulting.

Not that I’m totally irresponsible. I always complete work on time, can successfully use a washing machine, and am fully capable of feeding the cat when my roommate is out of town. Still, none of that prepares you for something like this.

On Friday morning, my coworkers and I found ourselves without a job. I’m not going to get into it more than that, but this totally shook me to my core. More than anything else, the way people reacted to the news—including myself—was completely unnerving.

People who had previously left the company showed their bitterness in their words and shocked me with their tactlessness when it came to speaking with someone who had just lost their job. It really made me wonder: if I had left when they had, would I completely forget all of the hard work, soul, and time I’d put into this company? Or, an even more disturbing question, had they never cared for the company or anyone who worked there at all?

But before I judge them in too harsh a light, I have to reflect on my own reactions. Immediately after it happened, I could think of no one else but myself. Anyone who wanted to talk about something other than my loss of a job and the disappearance of my company was cruel or unimportant. At the same time, I couldn’t (and still can’t) stand being looked at with pity or asked concerned questions as the center of attention. I don’t want people to delve into the situation because anyone outside of it has no chance of understanding.

So what does this leave me with?

Today, I spent the morning reading with a cup of coffee. I applied to some interesting job descriptions and fought the fears in my stomach that I wasn’t skilled enough to do any of them.

During this, I couldn’t help but ask myself, isn’t this what you’ve always wanted?

I mean, how long have I dreamed about sleeping in, waking to the sunlight dripping into my little bedroom, grabbing a cup of coffee, and getting to write and read the day away?

But the question comes with a tinge of sadness. Sadness at having watched a company that we worked so hard on end. Sadness at the realization that this isn’t something my parents can help with. I can’t call saying I have a sore stomach, be brought home, and have them reassure me that everything will be okay. It might not be.

So, here it is. This is twentysomething. It’s strange. It’s frightening. But it’s real, and we just have to discover why we’re still so happy to be in this stage of our lives.