Archive | April, 2011

Well played little girl

30 Apr

Whether you want to admit it or not, whether you’re a wedding person or not, whether you feel suffocated by the coverage or not: the images of the royal wedding were magical.  Her dress, those hats, the double kiss on the balcony.

Every detail and image oozed regality.  Except maybe one, my favorite, which New York Magazine entitled: “Even Kate Middleton’s Bridesmaid Has Had Enough“.  I know you’re not supposed to steal the bride’s thunder on her wedding day, but come on with this little girl!!

Even Kate Middleton’s Bridesmaid Has Had Enough

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A walk to (not) remember

29 Apr

I left my office earlier today pretty much sick to my stomach.  I was about to make my way 15 minutes across town to the jeweler’s office where my “take” of the resell value of my engagement ring awaited.  Feeling more nauseated than when I got the initial call earlier this week, I thought I could outsmart my body from throwing up again by not eating all morning.  But that just made me lightheaded and disoriented.  I lowered my sunglasses over my eyes, put on my iPod and willed myself not to cry, have a panic attack or otherwise freak out emotionally.  I chugged an ice coffee to get some much-needed sugar (no pun intended) into my system and then I marched myself across town.

I threw on some lip gloss and shook out my hair before stepping off the elevator on the jeweler’s floor (because there was no way she was going to think for a second that I was anything less than fabulous in this moment…)  I plastered a relatively fake smile on my face as she buzzed me in and made small talk as she counted out the Benjamins.  I felt my face flush with emotion when she apologized – again – that this is how we had to meet.  And then, unexpectedly, I felt a relatively genuine smile spread as she said “I’d say from the looks of it, you’re going to be just fine.  Better.”  I don’t know if she meant to the lip gloss or the money but I took the compliment and ran.

Between her comment and the wad of cash now housed in my bag, the walk out of that building was drastically different than the walk in had been.  Amplified by the fact that the one piece of  lingering, tangible evidence of my former life was – thankfully, and in some sickeningly surreal way, sadly – gone forever.

Cupcake fever

28 Apr

Checking my blackberry this morning on the way to work, a colleague had emailed me a Zagat article about the 8 Best Cupcakes in NYC.  I wasn’t at all surprised by the topic; cupcakes are an office favorite at my agency, fueled by the fact that we are located within three blocks of both Crumbs Bake Shop and Buttercup Bake Shop.

I normally would have just taken a quick glance to see who made the list before hitting delete however after searching vehemently for a coffee truck with my brother last weekend at Astor Place only to find cupcake truck after cupcake truck, my interest in these treats was piqued.  The majority of returned Google searches site Sex and the City for, among other things, sparking the cupcake trend in New York almost a decade ago when Carrie and Miranda snacked on pastel-frosted pastries at Magnolia Bakery.  While TV and pop culture can ignite a trend, it usually takes something more to keep it in style.

So what is it with cupcakes?  They are individually-sized; come in numerous favors; are covered in fluffy frosting; can be decorated an unlimited number of ways; are functional with no cutting, no mess.  The Wall Street Journal went as far as to report last summer that the improved unemployment rate was partially aided by growth in the restaurant and bar industry, one of the main categories within the industry being cupcake bakeries.

Cupcakes have transcended children’s birthday parties;  tiered cupcakes have become a popular option for even wedding cakes (or at least they had been 11 months ago; I technically haven’t been following wedding cake trends in recent months…)

While some sources say that cupcakes are amongst food trends that have “lost their cool“, my stroll through Astor Place tends to disagree.  As does the latest (and in my opinion, one of the greatest) trends in the world of all things cupcake: cupcake-flavored infused vodka.

Oh, and for the record, my brother and I eventually found a cupcake truck that sold coffee.  We did have to fight the crowds and odd glances as we walked away having purchased only coffee…I’ve never been much of a cake girl, cup’ed or otherwise.

“Event of the decade”?

27 Apr

I haven’t really posted on the upcoming Royal Wedding for a few reasons; mostly because I am not what you would call a girlie girl.  I don’t get excited by all things wedding.  Planning my own ultimately ill-fated wedding was a lot of, well, work.  I’m not one to obsess over celebrity happenings or buy magazines based on who is on the cover (unless it’s People’s 50 Most Beautiful, obviously).  I do have another reason for not commenting of course: I don’t want anything to be mistaken as bitter / pitiful / pathetic / disappointed / spiteful that that Kate is getting married and I didn’t.  I heard a commentator say something earlier today though that stopped me in my tracks.  He described the upcoming wedding of Kate and Wills as “the event of the decade“.

Um, given that it’s only 2011, isn’t that a slightly premature statement to make?

Let’s plan devil’s advocate for just a minute:

  • Doctors could find a cure for AIDS
  • The next Facebook or Twitter could launch
  • I could develop an actual interest in dating
  • The nation could elect the first female President of the United States
  • War-torn countries could find their populations at peace for the first time in decades
  • Solar energy could prevail, making us less reliant on oil and gasoline
  • That solar energy could power the Jetson-inspired spaceships that will replace automobiles
  • Technological advances in the grilled cheese making process could change everything
  • Armageddon…uh hello, 2012?!

I know everyone’s excited and I truly understand why – so I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way – but I’m going to hold out for world peace if that sounds okay to you.

(Regardless, congrats to K&W!)

Great expectations

26 Apr

It would turn into, for me, the epitome of putting all my cards on the table.  It began on January 11, 2011.  My ex-fiancé wanted my engagement ring back.

I had known for months that it was only a matter of time until that much dreaded email arrived.  I had willed myself on numerous occassions to make a decision and reach out before he did but it just didn’t seem important.  The ring was in a security deposit box at the bank; I wasn’t holding on or avoiding the guaranteed flurry of emotion.  I simply wasn’t interested in dealing with it.  His email was short and it was clear; he felt he had given me enough time and he wanted the ring.  After going back and forth a few times, I mentally and emotionally gave in.  He could have the ring.  But not before I fired off one more email.  This was it; undoubtedly the absolute last time we would ever communicate.  I wasn’t the heartbroken pushover of last summer, and I was going to make sure he knew that.

I told him that my having the majority of our once shared belongings wasn’t a valid argument for why he should get the ring.  I told him I hoped he would have never thought, let alone said to me, that somewhere in the mess of our broken engagement, having these possessions should leave me feeling “financially compensated” for what happened between us.  I told him that he has spent, and continues to spend, ten-fold the amount of time discussing these once possessions than the 45 minutes he afforded to announce that everything was over.  I told him that although I truly believe we should not be together, it does not sting any less knowing that in the aftermath of our five-year relationship he clearly cares more about a TV, a nightstand and silverware than my feelings.  I told him I could not imagine where this was coming from.  Who he had become.

I told my ex-fiancé  that I found myself at a place in life where I don’t need the emotional security that I once mistakenly thought he provided.  But that I had to be realistic and recognize that I am on my own.  And that I had found myself here overnight and without warning.  I didn’t like that at the center of this tiny piece of financial cushion was the ring that once meant so much to me, and yes, that he had paid for.  But I just couldn’t shake the notion that he was the one to walk away; and that’s not even considering the manner in which he left.  He could say it wasn’t “fair” or “right”, as he did in previous emails, but really, are those words that could ever be used to describe any part of this mess he created?

I asked him to give the situation, and my recommendation to split the resell value of the ring, the decency of some sort of agreement.  I asked him to avoid any further contentiousness; to not make the situation any more heated.  Then, as painful as it was, I asked him not to make our relationship, and that last five years of my life, any more regrettable than they already were.

I told him all of this without checking with my best friend or my mother.  Without letting my closest group of girlfriends know he had reached out.   I knew, eight long months later, what I wanted to say.  I was no longer concerned about presenting as the “bigger person”; the events of the last eight months had made me that person.  I said everything I did to my ex-fiancé  expecting his response to demand the ring.  And I was going to give it to him.  Not only because I had said everything I needed to but because I could feel myself being sucked back in…and I refused to let things go that far.

Why he finally agreed to my idea on what would constitute “fair” or “right”, I’m not exactly sure.  But he did.  Within 24 minutes of that final email, I had gotten what I “wanted” – half the value of the ring that once meant so much to me and had (mis)represented my future.

When I heard from the jeweler earlier today that the ring had sold, I felt overwhelmingly…overwhelmed.  It wasn’t the relief I had expected; relief in having dealt with this final piece of my former life or relief in knowing I would truly never have to communicate with my ex again.  It wasn’t a sad nostalgia of sorts; it wasn’t a feeling of loss.  As tears welled in my eyes, I almost had to laugh…except I felt confusingly numb to every thought and emotion flooding my consciousness.  I barely made it to the bathroom before throwing up.

So apparently sometimes getting what you thought you “wanted” doesn’t have the anticipated effect you spent months preparing yourself for.  Sometimes it makes you sick to your stomach – literally.  Sometimes it turns you into yet another cliché: the girl who hawked her engagement ring.  And sometimes it makes you crawl into bed and bury yourself in the covers because, despite all your efforts, you definitely got sucked back in.

Happy Easter. My way.

24 Apr

Years and years ago, I envisioned myself the type of person who, at the age of 30, would be married (negative), own a big home (negative) and have the nationally averaged 1.86 children on the way (negative).  I would have not only a two car garage but two cars to park in it (negative), perfectly coordinated “adult” furniture (negative) and hobbies that don’t revolve around the drinking antics of me and my friends (negative).  I would throw Martha Stewart-inspired Easter celebrations that look like this (negative):

Theeeen I realized I have a life.  And zero storage for all this “tablescape” junk.

As I prioritized chilling the wine over peeling five pounds of potatoes for Easter dinner earlier today, I started to think about a few things.  I was ready for marriage last year, I know I was.  (And not just because I had a wedding dress.)  But the commitment of homeownership and children, subjects that were obviously of topic 10 months ago, felt overwhelming and as though they were being thrown at me too quickly.  I like being cramped in a tiny, overpriced apartment with the streets of Manhattan 24 stories below me.  I like signing a 12-month lease that affords me the freedom to move next year if I don’t like the building or the street or the neighbors.  I like that I can have anything I want delivered to that apartment around the clock…evidenced by the grilled cheese and orange gatorade delivered last weekend at 6:30 am post-a 4 am night out with friends and the serial killer.  I like that there’s always something to do, somewhere to go, someone to go out with, some boy to flirt with.  I like that there’s not a 3-year-old crawling into bed with me, interrupting my sleep or my hangover or you know, whatever.  I’ve become ridiculously selfish when it comes to my personal life and personal time.  I like that “plans” usually include dinner and drinks with friends.  I like lazily catching up on my Tivo on a Saturday morning.  Or going for a run.  Or volunteering.  Or meeting the girls for brunch.  I like the option of having options.  I like working late without someone asking/complaining about when I’ll be home for dinner.  I like that dinner can be a three-course meal I cook for myself (yeah right..), takeout, something quick out of the freezer, saltines with peanut butter or just a glass of wine.  I’m even starting to like coming home to complete silence in the evenings.

I like my Easter dinner being served out of pots on the stove.  And friends eating all over the place because I don’t have a dining room, let alone a dining room table.  I like that watching the Sabres game with friends was the highlight of my Easter Sunday.

Truly, no offense if your holiday table looks like the pictures above!  I just don’t have the energy or the want for it anymore.  I’m too busy drinking bloodies and watching hockey today.  An Amish market-purchased pie tastes just as good as a homemade one.  Because everything tastes good with this lifestyle in this city.  Or at least it does for me.

(I just wish I would have had some milk to go with my pie…right girls?!  Wink, wink.  The inside jokes are funnier here too…)

Happy Easter!  However it looks to you!

One badass 10-year-old

23 Apr

Where was this little badass literary genius when my ex was regularly emailing me to discuss the furniture, digital camera and silverware?  What about when he wanted to be friends?  Or when he thought it was time to discuss my ring?

I love her use of the almighty pen/pencil/crayon to share what “let this is out of my system” means.  I laugh just thinking about where I could have inserted one-liners from a 10-year-old into those post-broken engagement emails.  For reals.

  • “Give it a ponder.”
  • “I think you have learned an important fact.”
  • “Well you better listen to this.
  • “Seriously I think you should stay away. For reals.”
  • “Well let me give you a quick lesson.”

I mean, at the end of the day “glitter is okay I guess.”