Having a blog with someone else is a lot of responsibility. You can’t just write about whatever you feel like writing about. For instance, the top three firecracker, crowd-pleasing topics I came up with in the elevator back up to my office from lunch included:
1. Pimento cheese is so good, and not at all like a regular cheese!
2. Elevator etiquette: Don’t fart lest someone else gets on and things get awkward
3. I hide whatever novel I am reading under my shirt/sticking out of my jeans when I go to the bathroom at work so that no one will know I’m reading in there- isn’t that ingenius?
But whatever, I can stay on the topic of New York/Brooklyn! Here we go! Watch me do it!
So this weekend I went back to where I grew up, in sweltering hot America, to see my fams. Over coffee at my old haunt, my friend who just got back from farming in Florida for a year was telling me about her impending move to a village in the Congo, and how, in the time since we last met (six months ago), she has traveled to a broad spectrum of wondrous destinations including but certainly not limited to Portland, OR and South Africa (WHAT A COINCIDENCE THAT THOSE ARE THE COOLEST PLACES IN THE WORLD TO SAY THAT YOU WENT TO!).
She related enviable tales of strange fish with hard shells, killing chickens to eat for dinner, and surfing with her boyfriend off of the coast of Mozambique while I sat across from her drooling and trying to quickly make something up that sounded convincingly fascinating rather than admit that my boyfriend and I (while he lives in a house ON THE ACTUAL BEACH and I live in the middle of New York City) are prone to:
1. seeing movies
2. eating candy
I was going to tell her about going to the Bust Craftacular (which makes me seem interested in things and like I do things) but then I realized that it falls under shopping. So do my new saddle shoes and the West Side Flea Market. And most of this past month’s weekends fall under the candy umbrella unless you don’t count alcohol as candy, but I do. Oh, I do.
I eventually ended up pretending to cough, asking her smugly if she liked my headband, coolly mumbling something about gentrification, and then shouting “I HAVE A BOYFRIEND TOO!”
I have never been so jealous of someone in my whole entire life. Staring at the puny sun-bleached shell strung onto a strap of leather hanging from her neck I couldn’t stop thinking, “You think you’re better than me, Kemo Sabe?!”
Most of my friends from childhood are doing basically the opposite of what I am doing, and I realized that interacting with them out makes me get really defensive about my lifestyle choices, like I’m living some kind of crazy pills, alterna-life for selfish bastards.
They are out there wandering the earth, organic farming and going on “missionary trips” or helping children do stuff or living in Jamaica helping animals do stuff. I’m essentially just helping myself to expensive sweaters, eclectic antiques/cast-off furniture from the street for my living space, and Bloody Marys. Their well-worn flip flops and sun-tanned shoulders are my high-heeled mary janes and highlighted hair. Their Bible Studies are my nap time. And it sort of makes me feel like this:
instead of like this:
BUT THEN I SNAPPED OUT OF IT!
Let’s be serious, I know from past travel experiences ranging from:
1.spending a whole day taking secretive pictures of some French guy ACTUALLY wearing a striped boatneck and eating a baguette in Paris/giggling about him
2. becoming obsessed with religious imagery souveniers in Venezuela instead of learning anything
that if I went to Mozambique I would probably not go surfing. I would probably buy a tote that says “Sunny Mozambique!” to carry my New York Magazine and Snickers bar in, and then lay out. If I went to South Africa I would probably go on like, a Paul Simon walking tour before checking my Capetown Zagat’s for some “normal people food” and then going back to my room to escape the heat before my levels of whininess reached a critical level.
Recognizing that I love goods and services and that I want convenience to a wide variety of them right outside my door was a TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME CHOICE. I can take a cab to African food whenever I want, and as far as outdoor adventures go, maybe you’ve never heard of a little wilderness called Central Park, but it is PAHRETTY full of fun outdoor activities and adventures, my friend.
Plus, don’t say I never do anything worthwhile because I got tricked into giving to Greenpeace once a year via direct debit (by these hot guys with hiking boots and clipboards in midtown that called me “miss” and said I looked “environmentally friendly”) and never even bothered to cancel. If that isn’t helping save the world, what is!??!? WHAT IS!?!?!
Zach eased my worries completely by mentioning two things over lunch earlier:
1. I am not nearly as shallow as I look. (Score??)
2. Going somewhere else and not knowing what the hell is going on and trying to appreciate the culture is what TOURISTS DO! And I hate tourists! Why would I want to be one of them!?!?
Isn’t lazy people justification just the best? It’s what this country is founded on! It helps people go out in public wearing sweatpants and now it is helping me feel comfortable with my version of a worldly adventure right here in NYC. I can stay here and make fun of people instead of seeing the world and having to do stuff, while still experiencing different cultures by visiting Chinatown sometimes or occasionally venturing to Queens. Plus I’ve already been to Europe and South America! And here, I already know the language and I already have HBO. Good enough for now. In conclusion:
That blue shirt guy looks foolish!
Life path crisis ended.