{November 23, 2011}   Turkey & Suicide

It was pointed out to me recently that turkey is more appropriate Thanksgiving talk than suicide.  This is true.  Did I once spend a Thanksgiving night at a random hotel bar in Minneapolis, MN drinking wine and stuffing my face with Reese’s Mini Peanut-Butter Cups with a man in his 40s who felt compelled to confess to me that he was contemplating going back to his room and killing himself? That is also true.

Before this random night, I had been touring all over Texas in a small children’s show.  So small that it was actually just me and one other guy.  For three months, we drove around to elementary schools in a clunky station wagon setting-up and performing a 45-minute safety show for kids. And suppressing a growing desire to ring each others necks.  I was a lighting bug whose entire character boiled down to talking as fast as I could and flapping my arms frequently.  Only one picture exists from this show.  You will never see it.

My time served in the Lone Star State left me with a weakness for blue drinks and guys from Texas.  99% of my questionable life choices can be traced back to one or the other.

The theater itself was located in Minneapolis, so when the tour was over we had to drive the car back from Texas to Minnesota.  Entirely DONE with each other at this point, we made this journey in under 24 hours.   When we arrived on the day before Thanksgiving everything was covered in snow.  The theater company had spaced on the fact that we were coming back right before the holiday, so they couldn’t get me a flight back to NYC until late Friday night. My touring partner was from there so he was heading to his family’s for Turkey Day.  When he dropped me at the fancy hotel the theater (feeling bad for accidentally stranding me) put me up in, we high-fived and he instantly bolted. No further contact information was exchanged.  I never laid eyes on him again.

Alone for the first time in months, I showered, wriggled into the plush hotel robe and belly-flopped on to the huge marshmallow bed where I slept for nearly 14 hours.  The hotel had a restaurant attached to it – Oak Something – and people came from all over to eat their infamous Thanksgiving buffet.  Mom, I love you so much, but that hotel buffet blew all of my childhood Thanksgivings clear out of the water. It still lives in my tummy memory as one of Life’s Top 10 Meals.

Despite the fact that the theater was footing my entire hotel bill, including food and drink, it still made perfect sense to take the two drink vouchers I found in my room down to the hotel bar that night.  I’ve never liked waste.   It was there that I met Mr. Suicide.  Since I’ve already blown some sort of unknown Gobble-etiquette with my suicide speak, I’m going to stick with calling him that.  All I remember about Mr. S is that he was a short man with an accountant’s face, complete with round glasses.  A man who, many drinks ago, used to have a baby face.  And his tongue was purple when he talked.   Though after countless glasses of red wine, I’m sure my tongue had also taken on a similar hue.

We exchanged small talk.  I told him I worked in advertising, was from D.C. and had been stuck in the hotel after a big meeting (I think I may have thrown in the word merger, I’ve always wanted to be part of some sort of merger) due to the snow.  One small pleasure in my life has always been fibbing to strangers while in hotel bars.  He had some sort of grown-up person stuffy job, lived in Connecticut and was here visiting his sister -who was married with a brood of bratty children, his nieces and nephews I guess though he never referred to them as such – and for some unknown reason he’d left her house in anger and was adult male pouting at this nice hotel.  We bonded over how awesome the buffet was,

Did you try the smoked salmon? Perfection.

I know, right? Unreal. I mean smoked salmon at Thanksgiving is kind of weird, but it was so good!

Then out of nowhere Mr. S whipped it out.  And I almost wished “IT” had been his penis. I may have actually been more prepared for that.

I’m really glad I met you. Before you sat down and we started talking, I was sitting and thinking about going up to my room and killing myself.

Ever graceful under pressure, I unwrapped and shoved 5 Reese’s mini PB cups (sitting in a bowl on the bar) into my mouth like those “Need A Minute” Twix commercials and let both the sugar rush and the information sink into my system.  I would like to say that I patiently listened to his woes and provided him with an invaluable human connection that forever uplifted his life.  But really I sat and stared at him for the next few minutes with my fake listen-face on not hearing a word because this debate was raging in my head.

Pro:  This guy is actually suicidal and you need to help him.

Con:  This guy is just trying to make you feel sorry for him so he can get in your pants.

To this day I don’t know what the truth is?  But if you’ve watched “Pump Up the Volume” as many times as I have, you know you don’t take it lightly when a guy says he’s going to off himself.   That shit tore Christian Slater up when he didn’t believe Malcolm.   So I did what any 23-year-old would do in this situation.  I smiled my best smile, nodded intently a lot, force fed the guy Peanut Butter Cups, switched us to water, and with just a subtle hint of a faint possibility that he might actually have a shot at getting in my pants convinced him to call his sister.   Eventually they closed the bar and we went up to our rooms.   To his credit, Mr. S never made a move though he did let me know what room number he was in.   To my credit, I got off on a different floor just because I didn’t like the idea of him knowing how to find me.

In some sort of twisted logic, I did go down to the front desk and arranged for a morning wake-up call for Mr. S.   Like that was somehow going ensure he’d still be alive to wake-up in the morning.    My impulse is to wrap this all up with some eloquent life lesson learned from my Thanksgiving with Mr Suicide. This is the best I’ve got:

If you are thinking about killing yourself this Thanksgiving, please eat some form of chocolate instead (preferably combined with peanut butter), put aside whatever it is that has kept you from reaching out to someone and make that call.

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for my amazing friends and readers who have donated to Feeding America through my virtual food drive! This Thanksgiving season, please help a neighbor facing hunger. Give before November 25, and Ameriprise Financial will generously match your gift, dollar for dollar! That means every dollar you donate will provide 16 meals for a family in need. Don’t miss it! Click here to DONATE today.


{October 26, 2011}   Addendum to ‘My Morning’

An additional detail to this morning’s story is that I decided that my shirt no longer matched the rest of my outfit now that I’m wearing BRIGHT tights.  once again El made me promise to post this update to My Morning in a word for word addendum.  Here goes:

So I bought a new shirt and it was on sale for half off and matches this skirt really well, better than anything else I have.  so that’s great.

downside, I just went in the bathroom and you can totally see the shadows of the butterflies on my bra.  Should really be wearing a solid color bra with it – oh well, can’t have everything.

Sadly (for you) I will not be posting any butterfly bra pictures.   I will be watching hours of BSG and eating some sort of jerky tomorrow though to make-up for today’s complete girl-out.   If you’ve found yourself chuckling at my apparel misadventures, please take a moment to CLICK HERE to donate to Feeding America and let a WGWaFA know you care.

If you are curious about exactly who your donation helps – a new study, Food Banks:  Hunger’s New Staple, recently released by Feeding America finds that many Americans chronically depend on food pantries and other charitable food services to feed themselves and their families. The study provides an inaugural in-depth look at the frequency and duration in which low-income families seek food assistance from food banks and the agencies they serve.

{October 26, 2011}   My Morning

An email I wrote this morning to my friend El of Mel &El which she made me promise to post word for word:


So I made myself late straightening my hair. Then I couldn’t figure out what to wear.

I finally settled on this newish skirt but needed brown tights and my last pair had a big hole and I had to chuck them.

So grabbed a pair of nylons and put those on.

On the subway, I decided they felt/looked awful because I didn’t realize they were ‘support’ or something and cause no one really wears nude pantyhose anymore but I couldn’t wear this skirt around my office all day without anything (plus my legs aren’t shaved good enough)

so since I had already told my boss I was running late. I ran into TJ Max on the way in and tried to buy some tights but all they had in brown in my size were these sweater tights. I’ve never bought those before.

When I got to work I changed in the bathroom and they were awful! So I panicked – I didn’t want to pull the nylons back on and couldn’t stay in the awful sweater tights. Then I remembered I had a set of tights we bought for the play in my desk, they are Garnet colored and nothing I would usually wear but we didn’t end up using them. So I grabbed those and back to the bathroom.

I was in the middle of yanking them on when a FIRE DRILL went off and someone had to come into the bathroom and demand that I come out. Luckily, it was Ivanna.

So now I’m in my third set of hosiery and tonight we are going to pretend I’m one of those free-spirited artsy girls because I don’t think they exactly match my outfit but they are quite comfortable and fit nice.

And I’m tired!

So there you go.  I think that story pretty much speaks for itself.  But if it didn’t, here is a picture of what I am presently wearing.

And for if/when my boss reads this post.  I promise I am staying late today to make up for all of this.

{August 1, 2011}   My Food Break-up

Recently, I spent about a week in San Francisco for work.  It was beautiful (everyone in NYC get ready to hate me because I missed the entire heat wave) crisp air, bright sunny days, and I had gorgeous views of the city from my amazing hotel room with its fluffy marshmallow bed.  For the most part I did two things there,  I worked a lot and I ate A LOT.  Including:

  • Amazing hotel breakfast buffet
  • Beard Papa
  • Ghiradelli Peanut butter hot fudge sundae
  • WINE
  • late-night room service dinners
  • A 3 course meal at Kokkari where I had GOAT! (somewhere out there I imagine my half-Greek Ex is shaking his fist at the sky “Now you try it?!” ) and more Wine
  • And a friend’s birthday dinner at Mission Chinese Food where between the five of us we literally ordered, and ate, half the menu.  I had Pork Belly!! (again imagined fist shaking)
  • Birthday cupcakes – the last of which I had for breakfast the morning I flew out.  hey, it was a carrot cake one.  That has to count for something.

So I find it a bit ironic that after eating ALL of San Francisco it was on my first day back to work that I came down with one of the worst cases of food poisoning or stomach flu (the debate still rages) that I’ve ever had.  After eating what? An egg-white omelet, Whole Foods salad for lunch, and an apple with almond butter as a late-day snack.  You  may not want to hear what happened next, but I had to live it so now I’m sharing.

After work, I went to see my friend’s show at the Game Play Festival at the Brick theater in Williamsburg. I was flying solo for the show BUT wait a minute, as I was waiting in the lobby I looked up to see a familiar looking fellow.  Why?  Because we had both worked for a Children’s Theater like, “wait, how the frak am I this old?” years ago.  Based in Minneapolis, multiple teams of two actors are put-up in the same house for a week as they rehearse their various shows before they are given cars, maps (pre-GPS kids), a company bank account and released (two by two ) into the world to bring THEATER to the childrens.

Said fellow and I weren’t on the same team but lived in the same actor house. Our last night, the Company took us all out for a fancy dinner. That night he and I both had an incredible amount of wine and there was a walk-in closet in our company house.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Mr. Children’s Theater and I did the small talk thing (you know when you sum up years and years of  NYC artist struggle, love, chocolate and masked disappointment in like 2 minutes of chit-chat, mutual nods and smiles?) as we took our seats.  The show started. The pain hit.  My stomach hurt. Why? I couldn’t tell.  But it was not good. Not good at all. I tried to concentrate on the show which was so fun.  Only I couldn’t concentrate on anything but the growing hot white pain in my innards.

Am I going to throw up? No, I couldn’t possibly. God it hurts. Why does it hurt? Breathe, just breathe.  It’s hot in here. Like really, really hot.  Why is it so HOT in here? How the hell can they do a show in this heat? BREATHE. I can’t it’s too hot.  So Hot.  Why is it so hot in here?! Please don’t let me throw up. Please.  I can’t possibly throw up.

I tried various tactics.  Deep breaths, fanning myself with the program, subtlety unbuckling my pants.  Sweat was pouring down my back and I’d completely soaked through the armpits of my shirt (sexy!) and suddenly my mind screamed

Abort! Abort mission. Go. Go. For the love of Starbuck, grab your gun and bring in the cat. NOW!

And in a full body sweat panic mode, I did something I’ve never done before (well, 2 things). Grabbing my purse, I pushed past my over-a-decade-ago-closet-hookup and bolted from the theater in the middle of a live performance.  The fresh air made me feel better for like a nanosecond.   Not knowing what to do – for something wicked was still this way a comin’ – I darted across the street and into the Alligator lounge.   I’d gotten drunk in that bar enough times to earn me a belated puke.  But imprisoned in the tiny, dank women’s room, nothing happened.  Cursing my body for its long history of stubborn hurl-withholding, I tried to figure out what the hell now?  Anyone who has been in the women’s bathroom at the Alligator Lounge knows I couldn’t stay there for much longer.  I came up with a brilliant plan.

I was going to somehow get my fetal-positioned-self to my former roommate’s house who lived only a few blocks away.  I had lived, payed rent and definitely gotten drunk there more than enough times to earn myself a belated puke.  My rational mind knew she was working late but stumbling over to her building, looking much like Vincent D’onofrio as he transforms into the BUG in Men in Black, I prayed and prayed she would be home.  Please, oh God, please.

She wasn’t home. Her cell was off.  Which didn’t really matter because she might be the last person on the planet who doesn’t text.  Because she was working – she didn’t see the emails that I sent to both her gmail and outlook emails. The subject of the last being NEED HELP.

I crouched on the steps to our building, the pain now making it unable for me to stand.  I called my sister, friends, no one answered. I was stuck there for almost an hour.  Clearly, this was where I was going to die.  I had just gotten my Bluecross card out of my wallet and was contemplating calling 911 for an ambulance when my sister called me back.  I blurted out everything that you’ve just read in one long gaspy melodramatic weepy sentence and my sister very logically told me to get my ass up and walk somewhere to get help already.  Only, being much better at the grown-up thing than me, she was way nicer about it.

I got up and paced a bit. Testing the waters.  Then, yes, yes, it was finally showtime. I shouted into the phone at my sister wildly:

I gotta go. I gotta go.  I gotta go!

Out of some sort of loyalty to my former building of residence, I scooted over to next building where I proceeded to projectile vomit food from other universes into a poor innocent trashcan.  This went on for longer than I care to describe.

Then came that tiny miraculous post-puke window where you suddenly feel okay.  I was going to live!  Out of the corner of my eye I saw the glow of a cab coming up the street.  Like a good New Yorker, in one fluid motion I wiped the hurl from my mouth and stuck my hand in the air.  The cabbie kept quizzing me about which route I would like to take. Slumped over in the backseat, I looked up at him with hollowed Dickensian eyes and begged,

Please sir, please just take me home.

I stayed home for the next 72 hours.

There really is no silver lining to this story except maybe for the fact that not only did I lose the weight I gained in San Francisco, I lost 3 more lbs.  Though I can’t recommend this weight loss plan to anyone.  As of today food and I are still on a break.  I’m not hungry and have to force myself eat the most basic things in the name of nourishment.  You hear that food? You broke my heart.  And I always thought of you as the one person who would never, ever hurt me.

But an even greater question remains, do I dare eat the almond butter that I have here in the fridge at work? It was the last thing I ate that fated day.  It’s so expensive and I had just bought and opened the jar that day.  What do you think? Seriously, I’m seriously asking here.  Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes and checked-in on me.  I’m going to play the pity card now, if you really want to make me feel better please CLICK HERE and donate to Feeding America in the name of healthy food for people in real need.

et cetera