Had a rewarding day with my co-workers helping out at the Madison Square Park Fall Kids Fest. We painted faces and decorated pumpkins and handed out goodies and made a lot of New York kids really happy. And now we’re all going home to bathe in anti-bacterial and go back to bed and then get up in several hours to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday all night in Brooklyn. We apparently can’t get enough of each other.
Last night, I cancelled plans with a co-worker to attend a fancy gala at Cipriani’s to instead go to a bar in Tribeca to mingle with single FDNY firemen because YOLO??? But mostly because clearly I prefer to place myself in comical, this-will-end-in-some-ludicrous-story situations instead of nice-evening-in-grown-up-lady-clothes ones, which should come as a surprise to almost no one. The event was relatively low-key and we only spent our time talking to the firemen who claimed they had saved someone’s life in the last 48 hours and ones who thought my quick hose/pole/flaming puns were kind of cute, but there weren’t any real sparks (get it??) with anyone and Jenn and I both went home without a match (GET IT??). Except we didn’t really go home, we continued our evening at another bar with fewer “put-a-sticker-on-the-hottest-fireman” games. And then I came home and made food on the stove and feared burning down my apartment and having to see one of those dudes again much sooner than ever planned.
- Me: Ooh, did you meet him on Tinder?
- Friend: Yes, of course. How else do you think I'd meet a man in New York? In everyday real life? [maniacal laughter]
(Bey)once upon a time…a single lady copywriter who worshiped Queen B got her wish to combine the magic of Yoncé and the magic of flying into one little email to millions of people. And we all rode off into the sunset on an A321 and lived happily ever after.
Mom came to NYC for about 30 hours to hangout and spend a perfectly chilly Fall weekend wandering around the Guggenheim and strolling through Central Park and eating at fine establishments (Chipotle) and doing some damage at TJ Maxx and watching TV on my “brand new” couch and overdosing on Halloween candy and feeling lucky one of my work perks is that my mama can come visit on a whim.
Instead of buying a brand new expensive couch with money I don’t have, my mom scrubbed & washed the current upholstery & bought me new pillows & vacuumed four years worth of dust between the cushions & basically produced a new & perfect couch with no red-wine stains for approximately $35 because moms are the very best.
Tonight we were fancy ladies who got fancy facials at a nice downtown spa (with Groupons, of course) and then we were not-fancy ladies who ate a $3 dinner from Prosperity Dumpling on a park bench in Chinatown and then we walked the 50 blocks home, letting New York’s dirt air & the dumpling grease undo our flawless face pampering.
A magical city evening, really.
I don’t ask for much after a crazy long day.
You know the drill: a rooftop, cocktails, friends, that sky, that skyline.
You feel lighter these days. Maybe it’s that you’ve eaten mostly greens (& sipped mostly reds) since completing your carnivorous, stomach-churning four-day Texas diet. Or maybe it’s the swift fall breeze carrying you down the avenues, making you feel as though you’re floating from street corner to street corner. Or maybe there’s nothing heavy or dire weighing on you this very moment, which is always a pleasant state to settle in. You feel in tune with the season, well beyond the cozy clothes and the spiced whatevers, always pleased to spend even a brief moment in the coolness. You feel like you look exceptionally happy and peaceful – effervescent, even – in pictures lately, and quite possibly in real life. Your face, a typically unpredictable mess, is the clearest it’s ever been and you are grateful for the confidence boost, the subtle glow, and you wonder if it’s coming from the soulfulness of the season or the new expensive cream you’ve been using.
There are boys. There are always boys. But there are boys who have made it beyond the Trite First Date, ones who say all the right things and who possibly mean it and who stop mid-sentence to kiss your face, and it’s nice, of course it’s nice, even though you know there’s no long-term potential, for reasons you are still untangling. You are dating on your own terms, like you always have, and you know this is hard for others to understand sometimes, but you are certain you will know when it’s time to date on the same terms as someone important.
On the grayest of Saturdays, you read Lena’s book in almost one sitting, and you loved her writing and her bright anecdotes and her feminist lens, but became jaded by her never-ending list of neuroses and the string of selfish, unkind men she invited to bed. You wonder how your stories and life lessons would compare side-by-side, and then you scold yourself for thinking such a needless thought. Your desire to write something of importance weighs on you in various small bouts of creative self-importance and self-doubt, and it’s no surprise your biggest takeaway from Ms. Dunham’s repertoire is just put your shit in motion.
And it’s comical but not surprising that, despite your new-found autumn-inspired brightness/lightness, you are currently lying on a top sheet tucked into the mattress (instead of a fitted one) and your Malaga Wine nails are chipped and speckled and you’re late paying rent and you haven’t made a dentist appointment yet or investigated the pain in your ankle and that you’re writing in second person to fool only yourself.
And so while the seasons change, things mostly stay the same.
To find your beach you have to be ruthless. Manhattan is for the hard-bodied, the hard-minded, the multitasker, the alpha mamas and papas. A perfect place for self-empowerment—as long as you’re pretty empowered to begin with. As long as you’re one of these people who simply do not allow anything—not even reality—to impinge upon that clear field of blue.
There is a kind of individualism so stark that it seems to dovetail with an existentialist creed: Manhattan is right at that crossroads. You are pure potential in Manhattan, limitless, you are making yourself every day.