I started my new job yesterday. Before you lose your lunch with excitement, it’s just a reception gig. It is none too exciting, but steady work nonetheless. For me, this comes at a great time for a number of reasons. First, yesterday was Chinese New Year, launching the year of the dragon, which is my year, so it seemed a good day to start new things. Second, my bank account is dwindling, and I’m pretty sure I would go into some kind of withdrawal if I could not afford my tofu red curry on the regular. Finally, I discovered over the weekend that Keeping up with the Kardashians is on Netflix instant, and if I were not otherwise occupied I would spend the whole day watching it. 10 points to anyone who can guess how many episodes I watched on Sunday. Hint: it was more than the number of points you would get.
I’m pretty impressed with my brain today, because despite my best efforts to melt it, it is still functioning as of press time. Amazing, because I spent a solid 40 minutes of my Sunday entranced by the drama as Kim and her old nose bought a Bentley, punched Khloe for shutting a door in her face, pouted her way through a family ski trip, and then literally ran away from home because the rest of the krew had decided to stop watching her pout and instead go dogsledding. Her blatant cry for attention worked because Kardashians and Jenners alike apologized for making her feel bad, even though it was totally clear that she was being the asshole. Yeah, sorry Ben, but she’s still a major douche. Also, Bruce had a midlife crisis. Hilarious.
It is troubling that successful adult women can act this way on television and have everybody feel ok about it, and then give her a People’s Choice Award. It encourages a hideous amount of unjustified self-importance. I found myself embarrassed watching it, because I think I behaved a lot like that when I was in middle school, minus the Bentley, and, of course, the sex tape. There is a study that says that people who watch reality television accept and expect more drama in their lives. Given how many people watch reality tv, I guess I should probably hedge my bets and start throwing tantrums all the time. Kris Jenner types really respond to that, and they are clearly the most powerful kind of people.
But what I really like about the Kardashians is that not only are they constantly watching old home movies and crying together, they are also constantly learning lessons that a thinking human wouldn’t need to be taught. Khloe will wrap up an episode saying something like, “This was a good lesson for me. I learned that I shouldn’t set my brother up on a blind date and then go to the restaurant to spy on him.” Who knew? While she learned that, I learned that blind dates with Rob Kardashian are about as fun as a pap smear. Honestly, Khloe, we both should have known.
This week, I will apply all Kardashian thinking, contradictory though it may be, to my daily (namely my brand new workplace) life. Because I learned that the key to success is to scream a lot in desperate bids for attention, whine about how hard work is, and also be nice to my family. Who knew?
At the start of every month, I like to do a couple of things. I like to order Thai food, get my eyebrows waxed, and read my horoscope to prepare myself for the coming 30 or so days. In my experience, horoscopes get a lot of crap for being “fake” and “a waste of time”. But come on, how can you not get excited when some lady in the internet tells you that your “weekend of January 21 is full of sparkly energy” ? I’m pulling out my best sequined gear already.
Full disclosure, I don’t actually believe in my horoscope. If every Scorpio really did have a “grand old” week from the 8th through the 14th, I’m pretty sure it would be on the news or something. Plus, I would like to think myself too special to fall under the overwhelming blanket of personality and fate prescribed by the Universe. But this month, Astrologist Susan Miller got at least 2 things right.
Susan’s eerily solid predictions about my January got me a pretty excited when I moved into the romance section of my reading. As a lonely, this is the best part of the whole Horoscope. This month, it read as follows:
“Your most romantic day of the month, lucky you, falls on a Saturday, on January 14, when Venus and Jupiter combine energies. The day will be divine, for Venus in your house of love will send a signal to Jupiter in your house of commitment and closeness. No matter if you are single or attached, this day shimmers with romantic vibrations.”
Here’s how it really went. On my shimmering vibrator day of love hope, I woke up late, feeling kind of stuffy. I thought about going to yoga, but decided instead on brunch, promising myself I’d go to a later class. I didn’t. Instead, watched my friend play video games and then went and farted around in a yarn store for a while before deeming everything too expensive, and leaving. I stopped in a deli and picked up some jalapeño potato chips, then I went home, got in bed, watched Netflix, and ate a shit ton of jalapeño potato chips. Nice work, Venus and Jupiter. Thank you SO much.
Disappointed, though this left me, I have no intention of bagging the horoscope thing in general. I know it’s useless, but I really like the idea of some lady sitting on an oriental rug somewhere telling the whole world what is going to happen to them every month. Ah, to have a job like that. I love oriental rugs. And apparently, it’s not a bad gig. Susan Miller is speaking in New York at the beginning of February for a modest ticket price of $125.00. For another $65 I could have a private three-course lunch with her. Most romantic day of the month? Talk about the most romantic day of my LIFE! What do you think? Should I go?
Horoscopes aside, I am pretty excited for 2012. It’s finally the year of the dragon! How could this not be my year?
Well, my cat died a little over a year ago. Those of you who don’t have a cat or just hate cats (FYI, you can eat poo) might not get it, but I still miss her every day. When she was alive, I used to carry her around my apartment, stand next to my roommate, and say, “Kitty, you’re my favorite roommate…that has fur.” It was hilarious every time and never got old. Kitty was my best buddy, and seeing her get sick and die was just the worst ever. When we came home from the vet, I wrapped her in tissue paper, put her in a shoebox and buried her out back of my parents’ house under the rose bush. The rose bush had a great year. Me? The jury’s still out.
I only mean that a little. Of course I know it’s been an amazing year for me, too (suck it, rose bush). I graduated from college, I made great friends, I was gifted an iPad from a gentleman benefactor. It was just hard to lose Kitty at such a critical moment. She represented more than she knew, which is saying something because she was getting her PhD in tuna. She was home to me. She would always, no mater what, sit on my books when I needed to study, scratch at my laundry basket when I was trying to sleep, and put her little paw on my face when she woke up all snuggly and adorable in the morning before she started shouting for me to give her treats. When she died it was like the universe was telling me, “Ok now, Genny. No turning back now. Go for it.” So I did.
I moved into my Chinatown apartment on November First. I got a bed delivered that day and settled in for my first night. Around 2 am, I woke up suddenly to the sound of a cat screaming violently. It was so loud, I thought it was in the apartment. More likely it was on the fire escape next to my head. At first, I was annoyed to be woken up. But then, I smiled. It was kind of like this feral pile of mange was welcoming me. Assuring me, “Genny, you got this. First step apartment, next step, job, dreams, life.” Again, more than likely, he was probably saying “Screw you, Rat, this is MY chicken carcass”. Whatever, I am much more sentimental than that rat.
I still hear him from time to time. Never so close as that first night, but he’s out there. Roaming the rooftops, screaming violently, truly and deeply living. Every time I hear him, I think of Kitty, and her blind, tacit support of my every move. I like to think he represents that too. He is Kitty’s successor, saying, “go for it!” I hope he knows that I reciprocate the sentiment completely. I always hope he’s happy. Though, given the screaming, if I am being realistic, I guess he’s probably not.
I was a bridesmaid, recently, in a friend’s wedding. It was a lovely ceremony, a beautiful party, and a delightfully open bar. This was my first high school friend to get married, so it was kind of a doozy. There were a bunch of people that I went to high school with there, who I was admittedly a little nervous to see. As, you, my imaginary readers, know, I am just so very unemployed, which is not the proudest thing to announce to people you haven’t seen in 3 years. I thought about lying about my life. But then, I thought, I should reconsider.
Let me tell you a little story about a lie I once told. During my sophomore year of college, I approached the winter break with dread and anxiety. Then, much as now, I felt nervous about seeing old friends. I needed encouragement, a game to play to help me feel less inexplicably uneasy. Naturally (not crazily at all) I decided to create a fake boyfriend, complete with backstory and Facebook page, and trick my friends into thinking he was real. Those who knew me best called me out on it within 15 minutes (the bride from this wedding among them). There were others, still, who I kept going for over 2 and a half years. Truly, this was my Magnus Opus.
For those among you considering a similar experiment (which I do recommend), here are some of the details. My boyfriend, Phil Bobberman, was a first year law student at the William and Mary School of Law. I had met him through a friend of a friend at school. My friend who introduced us was a real person that I knew from a study abroad, who none of my high school friends had met, but who I had talked about before, unwittingly establishing credibility. Phil Bobberman had grown up in Pennsylvania, liked hiking and photography, and was hoping to start a career in copyright law. His Facebook pic was of him far away on a mountain, hiding his face with a camera while taking a picture (re: he loved photography). I found it on google.
it was something to this effect
I arranged an accomplice. A friend who had helped concoct the plot posed as Phil. I changed his name in my phone to Phil Bobberman, and we texted periodically over break. I would let him know when I was in a group of people and he would text or call me then. One time, I let a high school friend pick up one of these calls before passing it over to me, at which point I made sure to sound all love struck and shit. This whole project was enhanced by the fact that I am a phenomenal actress. Seriously, though, I’m really good.
I was very pleased with myself over this whole thing. I thought (and maintain) that it was hilarious. I eventually heard through the grape vine that my friends, as they found out that Phil was, in fact, fake, thought I was a psychotic asshole, and, well, I can’t say I entirely disagree. As such, it was a little troubling that at this wedding, my immediate impulse was to make an excuse for why my fabulous New York boyfriend couldn’t be there as my date. I guess I feel ok about resisting that impulse. I’m really not trying to become the girl-who-cried-fake-boyfriend. Although, I will admit to you now, internet, that I do think that the only thing funnier than doing it once would be doing it twice.
Fun though it may have been to trick everybody again, I decided that I should really be respectful of Phil’s memory. It was special time we shared together before he realized he was gay and dumped me publicly. I would never want to cheapen that.
- Drink early and often.
- Dance with your friends’ parents.
- Deliver a hilarious toast so everybody knows how funny and cool you are and its not like there’s a reason that you couldn’t lock anybody down for four hours. No reason at all.
- Be super attentive to the bride (she’s why you’re there, after all).
- Eat as many hors d’oeuvres as possible in the bridal suite thing. They will all be gone by the time you get to cocktail hour what with pictures and stuff.
- Cute groomsmen? Go for.
- No cute groomsmen? Flirt with the event staff.
- Drop your drink and break the glass on the dance floor for good measure. This will show people that you’re down to party hard like Avril Lavigne or something, which is super sexy.
- If you can get in the middle of a dance circle, do.
- At the end of the night, have your cab driver stop at a grocery store so you can get a couple boxes of mac and cheese to take home and make with the other dateless
hagsbridesmaids. Eat the mac and cheese while watching a late night airing of the TLC special “The Virgin Diaries”. If you can, pass out with the bowl still in your hand.
What up, audience?
Not completely unlike my West Coast counterpart, when I graduated from college, I moved straight to North Carolina to live at the beach with my dad and bartend. I knew that, for what was next, it was really important to establish a strong base tan and some mild form of alcoholism. September rolled around and it was time for me to move along, so I bid adieu to my dad and my friends and about as blindly as one could, moved to NYC. After a while, I found myself in a little 5th floor walk up in Chinatown. I signed up with a temp agency. Turns out, I am a terrible receptionist. But sometimes, I figure, you have to know what you don’t want before you find out what you do want. And, hey, now we all know.
Moving to a new city is great in a lot of ways, but it can get a little lonely. It is really hard to meet people when you are not working. In my neighborhood, I often feel that I stand alone among a veritable sea of Asians. Or a veritable sea of the regularly employed. Asians with jobs can be so smug. Well I sure as shit will show them all one of these days when I’m a star (read: Administrative Assistant)! I’ll be letting you know how it goes.
‘Till we meet again,
New York Correspondent