practically live blogging the flu

I was going to try to write something real, but a nap seems like a better use of my time. Then I might try to shower today. It seems like a good idea at this point, but it would mean standing up for so long.

I feel better. The boy brought food-- not just juice and soup and bananas, but also chocolate pudding and my favorite kind of hummus and cookies and an avocado. And he told jokes and cuddled.

I hope he doesn’t catch it. I mean, that would really suck for him, but I don’t want to have to take care of him if he’s even half as whiney as I’ve been.


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i'm subjecting you to my boredom

I am having a sick day. It is really boring; I don’t know how people do this. I’ve had four of them before today, and the last one was probably because I was hungover.

I’ve spend 9 hours today in bed, so for now I’m doing exciting things like sitting up and posting non-news the blog. I’m also making rice because that’s the only food around except some GoLean Crunch, and it’s too cold to go outside.

My boy has to work late, so if anybody wants to bring me some juice, feel free.


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on why i cried the day before my birthday OR what good is a blog if i can't fill it with self-indulgent blather?

There comes a point where you stop expecting nothing and start expecting something bad.

And even though you tell yourself it’s just another day just another day, your birthday’s still your birthday.

Maybe I don’t remember much about my eighteenth birthday. . . except what I wore. I looked good, and I should have because I hadn’t eaten for days. I had just rung in 2000 with a ballet performance and an early night on my parents’ sofa. It turned out that my friends were really his friends and he was dating someone new. My birthday was our first day back at school, and soon after Baron’s new girlfriend started sitting at our lunch table. The restaurant I wanted to go to was closed because it was Monday.

For nineteen I was back with Baron even though we were long distance now. My parents didn’t like him, and hadn’t for years. “He didn’t give you a birthday present,” my brother pointed out. “or a Christmas present. And that is kind of bad.” He was right; I knew it. The restaurant I wanted to go to was closed because it was Tuesday.

My twentieth birthday was the first of several in-transit. I spent it with my parents before going back to school. I had a boyfriend, Steve, waiting there. Even though he tried hard, I knew it wasn’t going to last much longer. It turns out that our liking the same movies (say, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) or the same music (say, the Indigo Girls or Lisa Loeb) wasn’t such a great foundation for a relationship. I don’t need to date anyone who cries more than me. We lasted a few more days when I got back. The restaurant I wanted to go was closed for the week.

Twenty-one tried. I woke up at my parents’ house, and flew back to Hugo in New Orleans. I spent the night out with him and Harper and Knox, but no one else was really back in town. On my twenty-first birthday, I only time I showed my ID was to get on a plane.

On my twenty-second birthday, my father made me cry in a restaurant. I was worried about my thesis, but instead of saying he believed in me or that he knew I could do it, he said, “It will be easy.” Milton bought me a travel easel. He sent a picture of it to me in Georgia. I hadn’t called him for the whole of winter break. I didn’t call him when I got back to New Orleans. I didn’t even have to break up with him; he took care of that. And I never collected the travel easel.

Twenty-three and twenty-four sucked all around. I don’t even remember, but they were spent living at home, with my parents and . The restaurant I wanted to go to was closed for renovations at least one year.

For twenty-five, I was ousted from my bedroom by my parents who were ousted from theirs by my cousins who were having a crisis. My dad didn’t remember until late in the day. No one at work remembered. And my cousins didn’t understand the excitement over a new Pucci scarf.

Twenty-six was with David. Except it wasn’t with him at all. He worked all day. No presents, no plans. He called around six to ask where I wanted to meet him for dinner. I decided I’d break up with him if there was no cake, and there was no cake.

Twenty-seven was spent traveling back from Julianna’s wedding, back to a lot of old loose ends and one new promise to do better. Airports are lonely places for birthdays. The restaurant was closed because it was moving across the street.

So that might be why I cried the day before my birthday, but can we blame it on PMS?


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sleep over. please

I want to go to the movies with a guy friend, and I want you to do whatever it is you do with your boys until 4:30 am*. But, in the end, I want you to wind up in my bed.


*Excluding falling asleep on the subway. Or falling asleep sitting up in people’s chairs. Yes, I have seen those photos on facebook.

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in honor of what is reportedly the most depressing day of the year

I am tired of wearing boots and there’s not a number over freezing on the ten-day forecast and it’s still getting dark at 4:30. I’m not dressed at 5:30, and I’m not sure how long those dishes have been in my sink. I was going to do Projects before I have to go back to work on Monday, but maybe showering counts as a Project. Fruitcake does not count as dinner. I haven’t been drinking enough water.

Happy New Year.

I effing hate January.

I’m going to turn 28 on Tuesday. Twenty-eight seems old. I know the date and details of my 10-year high school reunion. I should have done Something by now. Maybe not getting fat counts as Doing Something.

I remember my parents when they were 28. I was five and they were grownups who were Responsible Caretakers.

I am Happy. I have a boyfriend I like and a job that other people want and some days I realize that I live a life of suburban daydreams. I have Plans and at least one really good Idea.

I am accepting invitations and finding activities, because I know that the clutching sensation at my back, creeping down the undersides of my arms is just from too many carbs and the January-ness of it all.


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i guess i have been dating the same boy for nine (9!) months

Have I really been out of all of this so long that I can’t tell if this invitation to see a movie together is completely innocent or totally inappropriate?

I should be able to tell.

And I should not fail to mention that I met this boy at my boyfriend’s birthday party.


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to happy new years

“It might snow today,” Ted’s phone thinks it’s so clever, but it didn’t tell us anything I didn’t know when I opened the curtains or anything he didn’t notice when he went outside to alternate his parking.

2009 ended a lot better than it started.

The snowflakes were so fat, and everything was already covered.

We ate lunch at a restaurant I’d never noticed before, even though it‘s in my own neighborhood. It’s a carriage house with plaid table cloths, blue willow on the walls, and the most beautiful omelette I’ve ever seen. I hope we remember where it is. It appeared so suddenly in our path, I hope it’s real.

“Have you ever made a snow angel?”
“Um, yeah.”
“Oh. I’ve never done it. I’m from a warm place, and IF there’s snow, and IF you flop down in it, you just get all soggy.”

I was taking my gloves off to touch the snow because they were new and I didn’t want them to get spotty. He threw himself on the ground and scissored his arms and legs.

There really wasn’t that much snow, and the sand of the Central Park bocce ball court showed through. I laughed.

“I’ve made sand angels. . . plenty of times at the beach.”

At the zoo, Ted voiced over the chinstrap penguins. I had decided they were from New Jersey, and the performance was miles better than Jersey Shore. He said I could get a bufflehead and let it live in the bathtub. The crane was shivering in the snow. (I’m pretty sure he needed some very long skinny socks.) And the red panda hasn’t escaped, as I suspected, but was padding around in his fur like footie pyjamas.

I wore my new earmuffs, and they kept my ears toasty.

We warmed up and read in bed, set an alarm just in case, and woke up two hours later.

The party part was fine, but we decided we should have our own next year. If you have your own New Year’s Eve party, you don’t have to go outside. I think ours will be pyjama and breakfast themed.


p.s. loveharder.org

p.p.s. please be my friend on twitter because if not i don't want to play anymore. beatrix_here

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dirt footprint

Ted’s cousin has been dating his girlfriend for three months. They’ve lived together for two.

New York pushes you into people. It squishes you into subway cars so crowded I once spent most of a morning commute standing on one foot. Sidewalks are packed and grocery stores are tiny and you’re almost always brushing by someone.

When I was little I lived in a place too far from town to have cable. There was a dog and maybe some cats in the yard and ponies out back and trees and grass and a sandbox and a tire swing. Here, twenty-four apartments, an Irish bar, and a bagel place share the dirty footprint of this little building. Here, I pay loads for my tiny share of the earth, three stories below.

The most cost effective way to live here, or anywhere I suppose, is to get married, or at the very least shack-up, as the kids say. You can’t beat having two incomes but only needing room for one bed.

It had come up before, but never with a sense of schedule other than “future” or “later” or “one day”. ’Til now. It was breakdown of timing, not an invitation or plan, just a notification.

I’m already decorating in my head.


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the hurricane

It wasn’t so long ago that Harper and I would declare that we date like boys. Something about getting out early and not getting attached for the sake of attachment and never never writing our names with boys’ last names on the inside covers of our notebooks.

Well, Harper is dating someone. And I’m dating someone. And we like the boys we’re with, and we like the boys the other is with.

And all this happiness has collided in a hurricane of crazy-girlness.

Harper might know what colors she wants for her wedding. (I’m supportive because I look good in those colors.) I confide that I am pretty much in love with a dress from the Oscar de la Renta Spring 2008 bridal collection. (Harper’s supportive, ’cause I’d look good in that, too.)

Harper’s boy has a last name that’s heavy on the constants, so bulky names don’t sound good with it. But his has a good, strong, middle name. My boy has a last name that is hopelessly a noun. Any noun names sound silly, and adjective-y names sound like something from the newspaper classifieds.

Harper and I are talking about baby names. Like for serious. And sometimes being a girl is fun.


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conflict resolution

The first time I met Pete in person, we went for a walk, had a snack, and he fell asleep on a sofa in Urban Outfitters while I read a book about Banksey.

I would consider that a fitting start to our friendship.

So today we were hanging out in Saks. There’s a black and white sofa in the Carolina Herrera section on the extra fancy floor. It’s really comfortable if you don’t mind being stared down by a saleslady in a pantsuit.

We eventually moved to St. Patrick’s Cathedral where the chairs are harder but they are more tolerant of loiterers.

Pete and his girlfriend Pamela are having some. . . issues.

“. . . and we didn’t really reach a conclusion. It’s important to know how someone resolves conflict, and I don’t think we are very good at it. How is it with you and Ted?”

Despite his habit of public napping, Pete is a lawyer at heart.

“Well, we don’t really fight. I mean there was that one time.”

The story about our one-time “fight” seems less dramatic and more ridiculous with each retelling.

But Pete does have a point: we should know how it’s going to be when it, inevitably, happens. So maybe we should test it.

“I guess I could pick a fight with him. . . .”

Pete, along with the three saint statues behind him, gives me a Look.

“I guess that is a bad idea. . . .”


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holiday correspondence

“Do you know a Dave and Patricia? How about a William and something that starts with an E or an L? Enid? Louis? Do you know a William and Louis?”

My mom had been out to check the mail and came in with a stack of envelopes and some boxes. I opened the Christmas cards-- all from people I’d never heard of-- and she opened a save-the-date for her college room mate’s daughter’s wedding.

It seemed impossible because Margaret is a little girl. She’s enough younger than my brother and me that we called her Baby Maggie until . . well. . . now. But the truth is that she’s graduating from college this spring and getting married this summer and that that’s not so unusual.

It was a magnet.

One box was a coat my mom had ordered. The other was a surprise, addressed to my parents. Inside was a gift basket.

“Read the card,” my mom ordered, mouth corners twitching.

It was from Ted.

It was full of delicious things, and my mom told me the history of the company that made the basket itself, and I was thinking how I’m glad he cares enough to do something like this.

“I’m impressed,” my mom said during dinner, looking across the room at the still fully intact basket of treats.

I laughed, “That might say something about the quality of boys I’ve dated before.”


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missed opportunites

I was away in Boston for the weekend to see Evie, so I don’t have anything prepared for today, but you are in luck. I am giving you something from my personal archives. It was written on September 14, 2008 about a trip I had taken to Boston sometime after graduating from college and sometime before I moved to New York. Enjoy.
~beatrix of christmas present

I’m pretty sure I met my soulmate once. And by met I actually mean sat with in very close proximity without saying a word.

I was taking a morning flight from Boston to Atlanta, and they asked for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for ticket vouchers. I’m always hoping that will happen, but it never does unless I have something very pressing and important to do at the other end or have someone practically on the way to pick me up from the airport. Not this time. So. . score.

Then you know that game you play with yourself while you’re waiting for a flight? The one where you sit there and think, “I guess that I will I end up sitting next to that incredibly attractive and well-dressed fellow there reading that interesting magazine”? But then you lose the game and wind up sitting next to a chubby guy who immediately falls asleep with his mouth open and taking up one third of your allotted space or an old lady with a scratchy sweater who doesn’t speak English and gets her tv screen stuck on or some guy who enlightens you on how to fly a plane yourself, complete with a full-on reenactment? Well, this one time I won.

I picked this guy with a square jaw and a cap, and when I got on the plane he was. . . right there, taking something out of his bag then putting it in the overhead bin. And I realized that I had made a great choice because his beefy shoulder was just the absolute perfect height on which to lie my head. But I didn’t do that. Then he sat next to the window, and for the first and only time in my entire life, I was happy to be in the middle seat-- next to him. Ding ding ding. Winner again.

So that’s not all. The things that he had taken from his bag? The Wall Street Journal and East of Eden. He flipped through the Journal, then stuck it in the seat pocket. Nothing too exciting, but at least he probably had a job, right? The Steinbeck book, though? That’s my favorite book. . . No kidding. And he sat there and read it for almost two hours. With his arm well over the armrest, pressing against mine. And I didn’t move my arm-- he felt amazing and I was in love. I just sat there and pretended to read, wishing I’d brought something a little smarter and trying to talk myself into saying “You know, that’s my favorite book.” so we could start a conversation and live happily ever after.

I spent the entire trip counting down how long I had left to finally talk to him, but I couldn’t make the words come out. It was over all too soon, and I had to pull my arm away from him so I could put my stupid book back in my bag. I don’t even remember seeing him at baggage claim.

So I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m alone now. I was supposed to meet my soulmate on a plane between Boston and Atlanta, and I didn’t take the chance that fate handed me. It’s a sad story. And if I’d talked to him, I’d probably be with him right now, eating a lovely dinner off our wedding china instead of eating take-away pizza out of the box.

~beatrix of christmas past

and, as i thought this post needed even more italics, i got one of those twitters. we can be friends and stuff: beatrix_here
~beatrix of christmas future

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it's like insurance

A good boyfriend will do your dishes while you rearrange everything you own into a container the size of an overhead compartment one more time. He’ll ask if you need help when you are standing on your suitcase trying to get it closed. That’s when you should apologize for the toffee you cooked in that pot.

And a good boyfriend will ignore his boycott of rolling suitcases to carry yours down the stairs. You can bring the trash because that’s not as heavy.

Then the good boyfriend will get concerned that you are going to try to bring this suitcase to work with you on the subway, because, don’t forget, there are stairs. You’ll say that, well, that’s what you’re gonna do unless he wants to drive you to work. And he will, even though it’s a little out of the way.

And since he’s such a good boyfriend, you’ll tell him, “Ugh. . . You are the best boyfriend ever.”

And since he doesn’t know he is such a good boyfriend, he’ll say, “Ha. You better remember this for sometime when things aren’t so good.”

You probably should.


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Sam asks me how I used to do it so much, date.

I used to get asked for a lot of dating advice, but just because I did it a lot, didn’t mean I was good at it.

Pete asks the hardest question of all: How long until you know?


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happy holidays

Latkes and Hebrew Saturday night, my cousins’ Christmas concert at their church on Sunday, ‘cause we’re all being open and receptive around here.

He asks if I can sight read music. I could have pretended, but the song was Hark! the Herald Angels. Also, I was mostly just mouthing the words.

There was a truly awesome handbell choir.

Then we all sang Silent Night and lit candles and tried not to drip wax on each other since it is the holidays.

You have to blow out the candles sometime.

“It smells like Chanukah in here.”

His stage whisper deserved shushing. And I couldn’t help giggling and this religion thing might turn out to be an adventure.

I know I’ll miss him while I’m in Georgia with my family. He has to work and it was just impossible for him to come at all.

But he doesn’t say anything idiotic like “It will be fine.” or “It’s not so long.”

He says, “We’ll get through it.”


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merry christmas cards

“Do you ever get tired of indulging me?”

I did the easy part of drawing a Christmas postcard. He was doing the hard part of making copies at Kinkos. He was changing the paper and pressing the buttons and doing the set-up and making sure the sides lined up and talking to the guy and fixing things when the machine started vastly overcharging my credit card. I kept asking if we could just leave.

I probably should have signed those cards from both of us.


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You should know that I will buy party dresses before I will buy furniture. I might buy party dresses before I will buy food, which is sort of a cyclical budget and a diet plan all in one. I know some girls like shoes to the point that it’s really just a cliché, and you know I like shoes fine because you’re always tripping over that pile of mine by my closet, but party dresses are like therapy and maybe you need to feel pretty while you check your email once in a while.

You like this one, I think. I’ll wear it to your friend’s wedding with these shoes, probably, because they are good for dancing a lot, but I’ll need another black accessory to help them make more sense. You probably don’t care about the details, but yeah, I’m pretty sure you really like it. . . . That’s another thing about party dresses: your boy hands have an easy time convincing me I’m sexy when they find my scrawny curves through a layer of tailored satin.

You can twirl me, tell me you’re lucky ’cause you like me every day in ponytails and jeans and boots that keep out rain and cold, but sometimes I’m extra show-off-able for your friends. You can keep touching me, baby, but let me take it off before we get too far. . . . I haven’t even worn it out of the house yet. . . .


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