Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Girl Date

Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult? (or, erm, is it just me?). When I moved to Barcelona from New York ten years ago, I was fresh out of college, with a huge group of university and high school friends. I remember feeling homesick my first few months in Spain, especially before I got a job, as I went to the beach, movies and markets, alone, not speaking the language and not able to express my stellar personality. Eventually, after years, I remember throwing a big bash for my birthday. Looking around at the 40 or so people gathered to drink, eat, and watch me do a painful rendition of Sweet Child O’ Mine complete with Axl Rose signature dance, I thought – wow, I’ve really made a lot of friends over the years.

Then I moved back home. And while I have friends here, and my dear BFFs, I’ve lost touch with many people. Over the years, the gap that was left by my departure has sort of filled itself in. People change, move on. I decided I had to make an effort to reintegrate…branch out…put a stop to my antisocial tendencies. But how to go about it? Can match.com make a findmeafriend.com? Is there speed-friending?

Enter my girl date. When a friend recently visited from Barcelona, we went out in NYC with a friend of hers that recently moved to New York. Later I thought that perhaps, being that this girl was “new” here too, I’d ask if she wanted to meet for coffee. It felt strange e-mailing someone I barely knew to ask her to hang out. Did it make me seem pathetic, stalkery, weird? I worded and reworded the e-mail. Debated not sending it. Suddenly it felt worse than a first date!

When she responded that she’d like to meet up, and seemed excited about doing so, I got all giddy, complete with butterflies in stomach. I felt instant relief for having put myself “out there” and not getting rejected. But then more worries set in: what would we talk about? What if there was nothing to say? What restaurant should I pick? What should I wear? I now have a newfound respect for men who have to take us girls out on a date…it’s absolute agony!

I wrote to my friend in Barcelona , who suggested I make a list of topics of conversation. Like a job interview, I’d have to know how to talk about my strengths and weaknesses and why I thought I was good for the friendship. “She’s worked in publishing too…likes travelling…and she likes lobsters,” my friend offered.

“Great,” I said. “So I’ll just open it up with, ‘Soooo, heard ya like a good lobster?”

“Also, she’s tall, so maybe you should wear heels,” my friend added.

“I’m tall too! I’m 5’7,” I scoffed.

 “Yeah but you slouch.”

In any event, the big day is Thursday and my closet is a disaster. Should I get my roots touched up too? Joking and anxiety aside, hopefully it will be a ‘friend connection.’ But if not, it did seem like the checkout girl at Starbucks and I had a lot in common by the way she handed me my chai latte.

*Special thanks to Jana Lia for editing my silly spelling errors, helping with ideas for my ‘date’ and this post, and finding me a friend.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Undercover Boss

As if I didn’t have enough work—by day, an editor, by night, a freelance writer—yesterday I had another job thrust upon me by an old, bald, bespectacled man in Starbucks.

I was waiting near the bathroom, minding my own business, when he sauntered over and positioned himself behind me, wiggling around like a kid doing the peepee dance while nervously eyeing the short line at the cash register behind him. I could almost hear the gears turning in his head: Coffee or peepee…coffee or peepee.

“Excuse me, miss? I’m going to get a cup of coffee…so, if anyone comes, I’m in line behind you,” he said. I was instantly put on red alert (annoyance alert, that is), and thought of “quien es el ultimo,” the bewildering culture of line forming in Spain, which I recently blogged about.

“I’m just waiting for someone,” I said. “So I’m not really in line.” Baldy looked back at the coffee line and then at me. “You sure you don’t have to go?” he asked. I scrunched up my face, pretending to contemplate it. “Mmmmm, yeah, I’m pretty sure.”

Baldy hopped over to the coffee line, where he stayed for all of two seconds before hopping back to me, his squirming increasing (I was worried he may actually pee in his pants). “You sure you don’t have to go?” he asked again. I started to squirm myself. Did he know something I didn’t? Did I secretly have to go? Was this some sort of sign?

“No, I don’t have to go,” I said, firmly.

“Ok, so, here’s what I’d like you to do,” he said to my utter annoyance. Was this guy gonna ask me to fetch him a fartin coffee? “I’m gonna get a coffee, but if the person comes out of the bathroom, you’re gonna come tap my shoulder on line (imitates tapping motion in air in case I don't 'get it'). Before I could answer he reached back, fumbled with his pants and freed a wedgie. Even worse. A number 2 emergency.

Luckily at that moment, the bathroom became free and he jumped in before I had to do anything else for him. But it left me wondering…was he the undercover boss and CEO of freaking Starbucks? Was he just some big wig with a penchant for coffee and telling people what to do? Or simply a victim—a poor, old man asking for more than I was willing to give. I’ll leave it to you, Dear Reader, to decide.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Delusions

Happy Fah-reiken New Year Dear Reader(s)!

And happy birthday to this blog, which I started on January 4, 2010, with the same air of post-holiday annoyance about me as I have right now! I began experimenting with blogging, like I'm sure half of America did, after watching the film Julie and Julia. Although I haven't quite inspired the same reaction as that particular blogger, and have not been thrown into fame with a stellar book deal, I do, according to my Blogger stats, have at least one reader in several countries AND one very strange blog stalker. I also started this blog because I was depressed after last year's holidays, had major writer’s block, and thought that keeping a semi-regular blog would at the very least salvage the remaining shreds of creativity that haven't been snuffed out and soul sucked by my day job (medical and business writing/editing).

In looking over the past year of angst-ridden posts, I realized that while the amount of posts per week quickly diminished from two per week to about once a fortnight, I still derive much pleasure from writing my observations, and even more pleasure from the five or six faithful readers who provide witty comments that are often funnier than the blog post itself. So, as I sit to write my list of New Year’s resolutions that I will never follow, I'm making sure that keeping up with this blog is at the top of—well, at least half way down—my list:

My New Year's delusions are as follows:

1. Convert perfect "flabs" to perfect "abs" using any means possible, including ordering strange exercise contraptions from late night infomercials that will only serve as clothing racks after initial use.

2. Wean self off of Biggest Loser, Survivor, Apprentice, and any other pathetic reality show as to be more productive person and to achieve delusion number 1.

3. Be kinder to and more patient with fellow humans
     a. commuters don’t count.
     b. bratty children don’t count.
     c. teenagers and young adults who text incessantly don’t count.

4. Get up at least twice per week before 6 AM to get an hour of writing in before work in order to finish future best selling novel.

5. Continue awe-inspiring blog writing at least once per week…erm month.

6. Reverse aging process by using plethora of products not so subtly given to me for Christmas from family members tired of hearing about said aging process.

7. Drink wine ONLY once twice ok three FN times per week.
     a. all bets are off if there is a party, wedding, family gathering, or half  price wine Wednesdays at favorite restaurant.

8. Save more of meager earnings by taking lunch to work everyday, trying to follow delusion number 7 and dumping therapist, who yawns through entire session anyway.

9. Learn [another] new language. No joke. This one’s for real.

10. Keep self from folding in regards to Facebook, Twitter and any other social network in fight for right to privacy whilst using best friend’s account to satisfy stalking needs.

That’s it! Please feel free to share yours in the comments box below. Let’s have a good year people!!