C is for Cookie

I mentioned in an earlier post that my walls are bare and psychiatric-ward like. They still are, though I have a host of wall hangings leaning against my walls.

I dress like this when I’m feeling handy.

It’s a revelation for me. These walls are mine — especially the four that make up my bedroom — and for the first time I will not be disciplined for putting holes in them. My dad isn’t here to make fun of the way I hang wall fixtures (thumb tacs had, until recently, been my preferred method of decorating); he also doesn’t have to cover the holes I put into his house.  I don’t have a persnicketty RA making sure I don’t ruin the white washed walls of a college dorm room. And my old Italian(?) land lord loves us so much I’m convinced he thinks we can do no wrong. In short, I’m learning how to use a power drill and I think I’m in love.

The idea of spackling my own blunders gives me a definitive sense of ownership. I like this. I am a fan of this do-it-yourself, solo-trips-to-Home Depot-existence. I am empowered by this and other oddities that would typically be taken for granted.

The simple act of filling a glass jar with Nilla Wafers is special. Not because I can now easily grab a delicious cookie to pair with my strawberry ice-cream, but because the jar itself is a symbol of my adulthood.

(All of a sudden, this silly post reminds me of a hastily written college essay: “I need a metaphor NOW….That’ll work.”)

When you find yourself owning both a box of cookies and a cookie jar in which to place those cookies, you have, I believe, reached a point of maturity that surpasses paying bills, cleaning your toilet, and commuting to work.

Essentially, the cookie jar is just the start of more grown-up opportunities to come. For example, I recently filled another jar with a combination of wrapped Kit Kat andReeses Peanut Butter Cups. This weekend, I will be hanging the shelves, and next week, who knows.

I’ll be the first to tell you, once you’re an adult the possibilities are endless, really.

(I’ll let you know if I get around to vacuuming — Let’s not get carried away.)

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The Interview

4:00am. 4:10am. The alarm goes off (a second time–let’s not pretend that no one likes to round up and brag about how early they get up in the morning).

That’s right, yesterday was my first official interview in New York City. That magical place, to quote Alicia Keys, and several other people I’m sure, “where dreams are made of.”
At 4:10 my dreams were interrupted, which is just as well seeing as in my dream I was right about to be told “we’ve decided to cancel your interview, please leave now” by the higher-ups of my intended future place of employment. Out of bed, quick stretch and a groan, into the shower.Post-shower, I decide to throw on a pair of shorts and a sweatshirt, leaving my suit and shirt (neat and pressed in that fancy garment bag) for later. Remember the apartment I just got? It has turned into the perfect rest-stop for travel to all places City and Beyond.

Clock ticks: 4:40. Blow dry my hair. Now I’m completely dry, dressed, deodorized, and determined to get on the road by 5:00.

Crap.

No, like actual crap.

As it turns out Izzie, our delightful little cavachon was so excited for my interview she pooped her little pants. Wait, she doesn’t wear pants.

I try to convince myself that this is not a bad sign as I disinfect my flip flop and the floor. This incident sets me back about 7 minutes, but soon I’m in the car and on my way to the gas station.

No one, I repeat no one should do anything this early in the morning. You will forget which side your gas tank is on. You will not notice this until after you shut the car off and hit your car door on the gas pump itself. Another sign. I ignore this and try again.

Once in Queens, I wake up my cousin to unlock the dead bolt. She comforts me, the way a cousin should, because at this point I’m all nerves. I’ve even forgotten how to primp. Do I do my hair first, or my makeup? I put the suit on, I take it off — saving the best for last.

By 7:45, I’m slipping on my panty hose. I feel sexy and confident, except for these traditional leg-wrappings that make me 10 degrees hotter, and scream: “I’M ON MY FIRST INTERVIEW!”

Hug from my roomie. Bag in hand. Panty hose suffocating my poor legs. I head to the subway. Soon after, I’m headed back to the apartment to meet my cousin for her unlimited Metro Card — I was unable to buy one. I never have cash on hand, so sue me.

This set-back causes instant stress: A breath-taking tug, and you feel your stomach drop. A nice stream of sweat down your forehead. Did I mention it was also 90 degrees outside? Now I’m sweating through my shirt and trying to act like a regular on this subway train where I reek ofoutsider. 

I successfully reach my destination by 8:30. My interview is in an hour. I find a nearby Starbucks, as per my cousin’s suggestion, and order an iced beverage, wishing it was vodka. By the time I get my drink, I feel as if I’ve run a marathon. Rolling my sleeves up, promising to pull myself together in a half hour, I find a seat directly below a delicious air conditioner, and sit.

It is physically plausible to calm yourself down with an iced latte. Another suggestion from my cousin, which I found absolutely perfect: go to the bathroom and run cool water over your wrists. Also — remove any and all panty hose. Take ’em off girls. They’re out-dated, and completely ridiculous in 90+ degree weather.

Panty hose removed, wrists a little damp, I unroll my sleeves, throw out my half fullplastic coffee cup and make my way to the office thinking, I can certainly do this.T

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What about my Facebook?

I just finished perusing that delightful online portal that shoves into our faces the lives of friends and strangers alike.
At 23 years old I am far from understanding myself. I sometimes imagine I am confident in who I am — independent, strong, intelligent, sexy, and so, so cool. This revelation occurs once in a while, usually when I’m most fit — the skinniest version of me, acne free, and happy with my wardrobe. This revelation also tends to occur when my finances are in order and all loose ends are tied up (be it at school, or in the office).
However. Within ten minutes of obsessively clicking from photo to photo of “friends” with lives drastically cooler than my own, the sweet self-content in which I briefly reveled turns into a green, sticky goo that makes me feel overweight, ugly, pimply, and pathetic.
While the inner mirror that is Facebook brings out the harshest critic, I can’t help but apply a certain social value to my own photographs. Who will frantically click through mine?? Who will think, “I wish I was as cool as her??”
I allow myself one small pity party (the latest led to this blog), then tell myself I sound like a high schooler, declare to never use Facebook again, slam shut my laptop, open my phone, and check the latest status updates, say a quick prayer that I won’t always be this bitterly self-absorbed, and promise to head to the gym in the morning!
A shower and a margarita later… I feel much better. About everything. Happy summer everyone. For now, I have chosen to forget about Facebook and all the insecurities that go with it.
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Good Morning Mr. Centipede

I have just spent two nights in a row in my apartment. How fabulous! The walls of my room are still bare and psychiatric ward-like, but I’m ignoring that. The sole source of color is a Tiffany lamp that my parents bought for me for $30 at an antique shop in Connecticut. I love it so.

This morning, as I was taking in the bare walls, I noticed a hole. A big hole….a hole with…legs…a hole with hundreds of little, creepy legs.

Hello. How did you sleep?

 

Welcome to living in your own apartment…. Dad? Where are you? Please just do something to get rid of this pest. I don’t want to deal with this. Thank you.
Luckily, my bug-hunting boyfriend (who first unsuccessfully aimed to squish the centipede, missed by a centimeter, causing the bug to land almost on the center of my bed) did finally rid my room of the thing. He then found a wonderful website, which has decided for us what we’re going to do today. Home Depot for a dehumidifier and maybe some pest repellent. Blegh blegh blegh.
We also happen to need a curtain for the kitchen to keep out another quiet interloper — neighbor Joe — a kind older gentleman with a penchant for watching what we cook. He, thankfully, has less legs than a centipede.
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These are things I ponder

The nice thing about an English muffin is that it has two halves.

For the conscientious dieter, the English muffin is a friend. Pausing at the refrigerator, contemplating what to pair with my poached eggs, I toy with the idea of one piece of white toast…. Yes, but why stop at one, when I can have two pieces of “bread” guilt-free?

The guilt-free part, you see, is two-fold.

Firstly: Who, in their right mind, would (in their effort to be calorie efficient) break open an English muffin, wrap up one half, and continue on with the first half as if nothing ever happened. You will inevitably be affronted with “who did this?” by an appalled male family member — left hopelessly to explain your dieting theories and eventually simply swipe the plastic-wrapped muffin-half from his confused, sweaty hands. You will now toast this half, eat it, and wonder if 60 calories was worth it.

Secondly: At 120 calories per muffin, who can complain? You’re getting a whole breakfast sandwich without having to choose to eat one piece of bread. Your breakfast has been chosen for you once you decide to go with the English muffin. There is no option of eating one half, and 120 calories of nooks n’ crannies,  won’t harm your waste-line (unless of course you like your nooks n’ crannies dripping with melted butter…).

I ponder these things because today we find out if we’ve been approved for our apartment. By this afternoon, I will either be delighted that I’ve written this paragraph before the news, or mortified. Mulling over the nuances of the English muffin calms me and ultimately completes my morning. Eating the English muffin does the same.

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A Week Later…She Looks for an Apartment

There are several things to do in lieu of going to grad school. Turns out looking for an apartment is one of them.

The apartment hunt, dutifully led by my cousin with whom I will be sharing a “lovely 2BR apt, in a quiet location, with a lot of light, shiny hardwood floor, high ceilings, brand new ceramic tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, brand new electric appliances,” has commenced. (Notice we only get one hard wood floor, but multiple high ceilings– I’ve learned it is important to pay close attention to details such as these.) 

We have yet to find an apartment, that isn’t
a. located atop a sketchy barbershop….

b. at the end of a long hallway overlooking a dimly lit alleyway full of garbage and abandoned furniture,
c. reeking of cat litter….used cat litter.

And when they say electric appliances, they mean the standard refrigerator and oven. Don’t get excited. Nobody’s throwing in a free toaster or smoothie-maker. You will have a refrigerator. You will have an oven and a stove….they will (most likely not) be brand new. You will deal with this.

At the end of the search, exhaustion sets in, but ultimately you’re stuck in a dream world. It looks like this:

2 BR loft only $1550! No broker fees, in a beautiful, safe area. Not a barbershop in sight.
Available exactly when you’re ready to move in and not a moment before!

Snapping out of this dream world, you will be faced with the fact that your first-ever apartment will probably resemble this:

$1625/mo. Pets under 30lbs welcome.
Good to know. Now, where’s the damn scale?
I promise, the search is tons of fun. And by June, I know I will have that lovely apartment with hard wood floor(s) that I’ll probably cover with an area rug, wall-to-wall furniture, and eventually lots of clothes, clean and dirty. I have just negated the appeal of hard-word floor(s), but I ignore this realization. Floor or floor(s), half of it is mine, all mine, and I can’t wait 🙂
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What exactly does one do the day after she’s been rejected from grad school?

Well, for starters, she doesn’t go to the gym, she doesn’t emerge from her room, and she doesn’t get in the shower to start her day on time….

Wait, I haven’t done any of those things any day for about 3 months. {Phew} I guess I’m fine then. Thank goodness.

Here’s what I’m thinking: Every cliché ever in the history of things to say when you don’t get something you want. Below are a few examples: 

  • You shouldn’t have thrown all your eggs in one basket.
  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • When God closes a door He opens a window.
  • This isn’t the end of the world.
  • Back to the old drawing board.
  • Grad School is overrated.

I added that last one. It’s not really a cliché, though it does make me feel better. 

And now, once all of those meaningless, overused phrases are out of the way, I’m still left with a wounded ego and no clue what to do next. 

One of my major concerns with the prospect of getting into grad school was that I simply would never have enough time to pursue that Broadway acting career I secretly still dream about when I’m home alone applying makeup before a huge mirror. There. Now that the time-consuming schedule of night classes, day-time internships, and studying has been swiftly taken away from me, I’ll have plenty of time for Broadway. So that’s Plan B…..


mmmmmm maybe not. 

Okay, fantastical dreams aside, what to do about all of the people I have told about applying to this fine school? 

The very obvious thing is that I tell no one, let them assume I’ve been accepted, then move out of my parents’ house, get a job as a waitress (a honed skill), and read every novel of any list entitled Top 100 Books Everyone Should Read Before They Die.

This plan will ensure that I will be well-read, (self) educated, and verbally impressive; I’ll be ready for all of those 20-something social gatherings, where my colleagues, who have in fact been accepted to grad school, won’t be able to tell the difference between my ‘library of knowledge and theirs.

That’s simple enough. Now all I have to do is train myself to stay awake when I read….

And finally: The dilemma of the cautious B.A. in English. 

There are children all over the world who don’t have money to even think about going to grammar school, let alone University. So I’m done complaining about that one. (I wish I thought of this approach sooner. Would’ve saved me a year of feeling semi-unaccomplished.)

So to answer my own question what exactly does one do the day after she’s been rejected from graduate school? 

I will listen to my own clichés and those of others, never quit dreaming of Broadway, furthering my education, or raising baby tigers (….I didn’t go into that here, did I?), and never let on that rejection was close to getting the best of me. When I look at things that way I can’t help but be enlightened by the fact that in the scheme of my whole life, this is, as they say, merely a bump in the road. 

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