Tag Archives: culture

Confessions of a Heedless Sinner – Vol. 17

I had a purge day.  A purge day according to me, is when I realize the absurdity of “dating” a handful of people, and decide to purge out all of the non-essentials from my life in a single 24 hour period.  It’s just like when you eat too much cake and ice cream.  At first, it’s delicious and even though you know it’s bad for you, you just don’t care.  Then you embrace it for a moment.  Then you get uncomfortably full, and you’re sighing and wondering how and why you put yourself through that.  Then, you feel the sudden need to barf it all out.  You know that the process of throwing up will suck, but once you get it all out of you, you will feel much better.  Now replace too much cake and ice cream with too many boys, and that’s where I was.  I have plenty of stories about purge days, but I’ll save those for another time.  The reason I brought this up, was to inform you, the reader, that I am no longer trying to balance a million boys in my life.  I got rid of the ones whose time and energy I was wasting.  So the boy that I’m about to discuss, is in the past.  I considered skipping over this one, but I think the conclusion of it is important, and something we should all consider.

I see more and more interracial dating and I think it’s fucking fantastic.  I’m a huge advocate for dating someone who is completely different from you whether it’s religion, culture or race.

A few weeks ago I had a dinner date with thug boy.  I call him thug boy because he absolutely looks like a drug dealer.  I most certainly inform him of this notion each time I see him.  It’s still up in the air as to if he actually is a drug dealer or not.  I met him at a dive bar where I was by myself, bumming a cigarette off of a bum (not kidding), drinking Budweiser bottles and whiskey and pounding out a five paragraph essay for my Muslim co-workers.  My thesis was that pigs in their natural state are not any more or less “unclean” than any other meat.  If you’d like more information on that topic, I’ll send you my essay!  I’m not sure why I was wasting my time on this because they can’t exactly read English.  I’m just addicted to useless knowledge.  Anyway, the thug walked right up to me and my brightly lit laptop and asked me if he could buy me a drink.  I had about eight ounces of whiskey still in my glass (this bar does not fuck around with pours), so I was definitely good on the drinks for at least another paragraph.

To be perfectly honest, in the first couple of seconds I did kind of blow him off.  I was in the writing zone and I was just not trying to talk to anyone that night.  I even wore my hat, which I do when I haven’t washed my hair in a week.  Also, I am convinced that my hair is the only reason why boys initially think that they like me, so my theory is that if it’s semi covered, they won’t try to hit on me.  A few seconds later though, and he had my mild attention.  Mostly because he took the rejection the way that men should.  I told him that I’m good on a drink for now, and that I’m just trying to get some work done.  He said that he hopes I have a successful night writing, and that if I would like to have another drink, it’s on him, and then he walked away to go finish up his pool game and smoke black & milds.

He was perfectly polite and didn’t say something fucking stupid like, “I’d like to see that beautiful smile more,” or “You sure, girl?  I could help you with your writing,” so I was intrigued.  Those are the lame lines I’m used to getting.  Still, I let him walk away and I finished up my essay and then just sipped the remainder of my whiskey and wondered why it’s Swiss guards that guard the Vatican.  That can be my next essay.  I packed up my backpack and was mentally committed to leaving, but thug boy was right at my twelve o’ clock, so I felt compelled to say hi/bye.  I walked over to him and of course it didn’t turn into a goodbye.  It turned into a fun twenty minute conversation where we laughed about how my wallet looks like it belongs to a Grandpa, and how Patron is for posers.

Then he asked me the inevitable question… “do you date black guys?”

I can depend on getting that question from just about every black guy who hits on me.  It’s not so much sad to me as it is just utterly baffling!  Maybe if we were living in backward town Mississippi, I would understand that question, but not here, in Tampa, Florida amongst young people!  Apparently though, plenty of girls do say that no, they don’t date black guys.  What the fuck.  What in the hell is wrong with everyone?  First of all, don’t you people know that mixed babies are the prettiest!  I take that as an evolutionary sign that races are intended to mix.  They take on the best genes of both races.  Shit, I would consider mixed people the elite!

When I ask the black boys that I date if they are offended when girls say no they don’t date black guys, they tell me that “No, it’s cool.”  What?!  No it’s not fucking cool and I’m not sure that I believe them that they’re not offended.  With that being said, I understand not being able to grow in a relationship due to cultural differences.  For example, the thug boy grew up in the projects, and I see how having a boyfriend who grew up so differently than me, would most likely leave us with difficulties being able to relate to one another.  It’s not because he’s black, it’s because it would be hard to understand each other in the long run.  Just as it would be difficult to relate to a white guy who grew up golfing and with a Senator for a father.  However, we should all still try!  This is the answer to world peace… understanding each other.  The same applies for any cultures.  I love dating people who are completely different from me, because you end up bonding over your differences instead of your similarities and that can be a very fun and ultimately mind-expanding experience.

On our first date, I was laughing when he was rolling his eyes because the only Drake song I know is that one from years ago called Take Care which features Rihanna.  He said, “Oh man, I’m going to have my hands full with how white you are.”  I punched his arm and stated, “I looked like such a fucking hipster with that stupid floppy beanie on the night we met!  You knew exactly what you were approaching!”  He laughed and agreed and then said something about “black culture” at the same time that he refused to let me open the restaurant door.  Not because I’m a lady, but because of germs, to which I shouted, “Now THAT is a black culture thing!  You guys are all germaphobes!”  He almost spit out his chocolate milk (which he made a special trip to a corner store for) laughing. I totally stand by that claim by the way.  Most black people I know are weird about germs.

About a week after that, he invited me over to watch documentaries and drink mango flavored vodka with him.  Which I of course found hilarious.  We ended up talking through the documentaries.  Naturally, sex got brought up, and it is important to note that at this point, him and I had not even held hands, let alone kiss or anything.  During our discussion, I think we both realized that we approach sex VERY differently, and we were both fascinated by the other’s perspective.  It became crystal clear that our sexual history is polarizing when he said somewhat out of nowhere,”So you don’t go down on guys?”

Me:  “Ummm yeah, sure I do.  Sometimes.”

Thug: “Oh, okay.  You just don’t seem like you would.”

I’m pretty good at reading people, and the way he said that, I immediately knew that he was absolutely not used to a girl coming over and not performing oral sex on him right away.  Of course, I just blatantly asked.

Me: “So most girls you hang out with, if they were in this exact same situation, they would just pull your pants down right now?”

Thug: “Ummm yeah.”

Now, here is where I think my lesson about getting to know people far different from you truly comes into play.  I could have easily taken offense and stormed out the door, disgusted with his overtly sexist expectations.  However, because I DO get to know all types of people, I understood that he wasn’t being rude, he was just being honest and equally as eager as myself to attempt to understand each other’s vastly different approaches toward romance and relationships.  I respected him and I could tell he respected me, and I knew that he KNEW I wasn’t going to go down on him.  This was the mutual, unspoken moment when we became just friends.

Me: “So even if you have never kissed a girl, she would do that.”

Thug: “Yeah.  I don’t really kiss.”  Pause.  I was baffled.  He continued, “You like make-out with people?”

Me: “Um, yeah!  And I think you need to recognize that you are absolutely the abnormal one in this situation.  I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that most people round the bases in order.  You can’t just run to third base!”

He laughed.

Nothing happened that night.  Obviously.  We had an eye-opening conversation and I left.  The point I think I am trying to make is, although nothing romantic is going to come between him and I because we are too different, I think that we are both better off for getting to know each other.  We’ve actually hung out a couple of times since then as just friends and it was cool.  It’s so crucial to understand people who are different from you.  It makes you smarter, more well-rounded and ultimately a better person.  I took the time to get to know a guy who is very religious, he only listens to rap and hip hop and wears white jeans sometimes.  He also thinks kissing is foreign and he is probably a drug dealer.  He took the time to get to know a little white girl hipster and I think our eagerness to do that is saying something respectable about both of our characters’.  I just realized, after writing this whole thing, that THAT is what we have in common.  Ultimately, we had good conversation because of our differences, but we bonded because of our innate similarities, and I like to think that we are both better for it.

 

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Russian Charades

Last winter I was on the road for a couple of months touring with The Moscow Ballet.  The cast, who were all Russian, I didn’t have to deal with much.  They traveled on a separate bus and had their own world, apart from the crew.  Thank God.  Being the merch girl, I think I had the best job on that tour because I was the only crew member who didn’t have to deal with the dancer’s or the children.  Laura, one of the costumer’s, basically called me a cold-hearted bitch on the regular because I didn’t have a soft spot for the 95 screaming little people running around everyday with snot dripping down their faces and whining about their costumes not fitting properly while simultaneously messing up my display with their orange, cheetos encrusted hands.  While I would love to continue with more on what that job was like, I’m going to save that for another day and get to my point.  It amazes me how much we rely on language, but how much we can do without it if we are just patient, and listen with our hearts instead of our ears.

There were nine of us crew members and we lived together on one bus.  Two of the nine were Russian, the rest of us, American.  Sonya, one of the costumers, and just a beautiful human being, understood English well enough to get by on a basic, needs only basis.  Igor, the sound engineer, started the tour knowing ZERO English.  Witnessing his English improve quite literally on the daily, was astounding.  By the end of the tour he could speak it as well as Sonya.

Igor and I are TIGHT.  I can’t explain how, because obviously, if him and I can’t even have a coherent, linguistic conversation, trying to describe our relationship using language is futile.  Though trust me when I say, we’re bonded.  Due to the language barrier, Igor and the rest of us grew to MASTER the game of charades.

One charades game was me explaining what “69” is.  That was fun.  There’s no being modest when trying to school a Russian on sex position terminology.  The gestures for “blow-job” and “eating-out” were easy, but trying to explain that these acts happened simultaneously was the hard part.  It involved mock demonstrations and minor acrobats on the bus.  While I would have rather not demeaned myself, no one else seemed up for the job, so I took it upon myself to make sure that Igor is now educated in the area of 69.  You’re welcome, Russia.

Another fun charades game happened on the last day of the tour.  I had climbed up onto the counter to retrieve a granola bar or whatever road food I had accessible, making my ass almost directly at eye level, and Igor sort of felt me up.  While that sounds completely violating, it was playful and ok because it was him.  Not everyone could get away with that.  I jokingly said, “Oh Igor!  You just made me feel some kind of way!”  Even though I know he didn’t understand what the fuck that meant, (since that’s a slang phrase from a stupid rap song), he didn’t need to understand the direct translation.  He understood the context.  It’s amazing what you can pick up on just with voice inflection, personality and body language.  Igor then went on to point to his crotch, and say something about Russia.  WHAT?!  We need a game of charades.  Go!

He raises his hand from the ground to his head, and then made some sort of explosion sound while simulating something coming from his ears.  Huh?  You’re bleeding from your ears?  Nope.  Wrong answer.

So he proceeds to point to his ring finger that has his wedding ring on it, and say “home to Russia,” and make humping motions, followed again by the confusing explosion/ear bleeding motion.  Lightbulb!  I got it!  And I started cracking up.

He was telling us that he can’t wait to get back to Russia to be with his wife because he is up to his ears in testosterone and so horny that he is about to explode.  Charades has never been so fun.

On a more serious note, we all knew that Igor was part of the special forces in Russia, but what his job was exactly, or what duties he performed is still unknown.  We just know that he was a badass.  The tour went to Washington D.C. for a show, so we all made an after hours visit to the Lincoln Memorial.  It was beautiful at night.  I love that city.

All nine of us were together, it was freezing out, and Igor and I were walking arm and arm, partly because it was so cold and partly because we’re BFF’s.  Gradually, the sidewalk wall began to rise… I didn’t think much of it at first; barely noticed.  Then all became quiet.

For just a few seconds, I think we all were silenced, when we realized we were walking through the Vietnam Memorial.  I had no idea.  It just happens if you’re not expecting it.  It starts off as just a small, foot tall wall next to the sidewalk, then it gradually becomes taller and taller until its’ black granite is towering over you, like a nightmare or a tangible representation of impending doom.  It was a true experience.  I felt it.  With Igor at my side, I felt him feel it too.  It was a very distinct sense that I think you only experience a few times in life.  That feeling of your soul merging with another, for just a moment in time.

We all continued walking in silence.  No words needed; we all understood.  By the end of the wall, after being immersed in the endless names of faceless men we’ll never know, Igor managed to get out, “I’m sorry for them.”

Hearing him say that, a non-American man, but a man who obviously knows what it means to be brothers in arms, it made my heart swell.  It reminded me that even though we all come from different places, dream for different reasons and fight for different causes, we all have the same heart.  I just squeezed him and shook my head, yes.  That was one of the most memorable moments on that tour, and neither language nor charades was really involved.

With the lifestyle I’ve led so far, I have known SO MANY goddamn people who I don’t anymore.  I’ve traveled a lot… moved a lot… loved and lost a lot… so I’ve learned to appreciate the people you know while you know them.  There are people I miss, that I was once bitter about not knowing and keeping in touch with anymore, but now I’m just glad I got to know them when I did.  I may never see Igor again, but we had the winter of 2013 together, and now we’re bonded for life.

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Love in the Time of Amenorrhea

We all know how much I despise discussing my menstrual cycle, but it is necessary to preface this entry with stating that I have not had my period in eight months.  This disorder is called, “Amenorrhea” and is common in girls my age.  It can be caused by many things, stress being one of them, which is the cause in my case.  I have not been taking care of myself, so my body is pissed off at me, and lashing out by not allowing me my period.  This may sound like a gift, but I promise it’s not, it’s really unhealthy.  Keeping all of that in mind, now let me move on to the story which correlates with this information.

My best friend Lance is in town visiting.  Since I left Florida over a year ago, I have only seen him one other time, when I went home for a wedding.  This has been hard on me because Lance is my better half.  I’m going to full on embrace the cheesiness and go as far as saying that he completes me.  I like myself when we’re together, we can talk about everything, and we always have so much fun.

He’s staying with some other friends of ours, but I decided to kidnap him for the night, bring him out with me and then have him crash at my place.  Best idea I’ve ever had.  We knock on the door of the wannabe speakeasy that I discussed in Confessions Vol. 8, and Adam, the door guy who I befriended during my last visit, opens the peek hole.  “I smell hair,” I say reluctantly, rolling my eyes at the ridiculous password.  “Do you?”  he says back, granting us access, and so the night begins.

Inside, there were two other patrons, a karaoke host, the door guy and the bartender.  That’s it.  So of course, because I’m with Lance, the two of us make it a great time. We kick off with our awful rendition of “Lola” by the Kinks.  One thing leads to another, and we’re pretty much best friends with the three staff members.  We were all buying each other shots, dancing, hooting and hollering and just having what was essentially our own private party.  Right about now, is when I don’t remember a good two hours of the night.  Lance filled me in a bit, and from the sounds of it, I was having a grand ole’ time.  We decided that the party was not over when the bar closed, so myself, Lance and the bartender, whose name I believe is Brian, decided to walk to a 24 hour Korean BBQ restaurant.

I proceeded to throw-up in the bathroom, which just needed to happen, and then continued with my evening.  Lance and Brian were making fun of me the whole night for it, but it didn’t bother me.  It was funny, and I owned it.

Caitlin Rule:  If you throw-up, own up.  It’s way more embarrassing to try to deny it when everyone knows it happened.

Lance and I began rapping a song that our friend made-up, with lyrics that say, “Bitch you better suck my dick / Now put your pussy in the air and get fucked.”  I think it’s hilarious, and hopefully everyone else in the restaurant did too… because we were loud.  I remember there being a whole fish, eyeball and all in front of me, so being the mature adult that I am, I plucked the eyeball out and put it in Lance’s soup.  Throughout all of this, Brian and I are exchanging physical flirtation.  Gently holding hands under the table… touching my leg… and so on, but thinking back, I have NO idea why, because I was a HOT MESS.  I’m pretty sure my hair looked like I had just been skydiving, and there may or may not have been a piece of vomit on my face… and I’m also pretty sure that Brian was sober.  Why in God’s name a very cool, sober guy with no agenda would want to be within ten feet of me that night, let alone hold my hand, is beyond me, but I’m not going to complain.

From there, we drove up to the Griffith Observatory, which is on top of Mount Hollywood, and has one of the best views of the city.  I flung my heels off and ran to the ledge, where I was met with a view that never gets old.  The city lights against the night sky.

Me and my heels at 4:00 in the morning, against the back drop of Los Angeles.

Sorry the picture is dark, but that’s why it’s the best look-out point, because it’s the Observatory, so there are no lights.

The three of us sat up there and talked, and this is when I finally started sobering up.  Lance disappeared to the other side for a while, so Brian and I had some one-on-one time, during such, I realized that he’s probably the most genuine guy I’ve met in Los Angeles.  He radiated this humbleness that is so rare out here because everyone has an agenda.  I can’t hate, because I’m the same way, we’re all out here for something.  Everything in LA is so fast-paced, that even human interactions are rushed.  But not this night… this night felt real.

The industrial sized sprinklers came on, and after our pretty bonding session, I grabbed Brian’s hand and we ran together through the sprinklers.  Surprisingly, he didn’t object or hesitate at all, and completely went with it.  Without even thinking, I turned around, dripping in reclaimed water, and kissed him.  Again, he went with it.  It only lasted for a second, but became one of my favorite kisses ever because of the innocence behind it.

Lance and I then ran through the sprinklers together, as Brian sat on the sidewalk, waiting with my heels and anklet ready for me.  Perfect way to end the night, running through sprinklers with your best friend just before the dawn.  We drove Brian home, and part of me wants to seek him out again, but the other part of me wants never to see him again, because I don’t know if it will ever be as perfect.

Lance and I passed out on my bed, and the next day, I got my period.  I don’t think this can be brushed off as a coincidence.  Being with Lance again made me remember who I am.  Being with him and a stranger, letting the night take us all for a ride made me feel alive and all of my stress was alleviated, even if only for a short time.  So maybe the cure for Amenorrhea is simply a single dose of love.

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Hollywood Hater

Went to what I would probably consider my first, real “Hollywood” exclusive party recently.  It was so effing lame.  Here is what I was told about it before going:

-Dress Christmas themed.

-The host is doing a toy drive, so bring a toy that is $10 or less.

-It may be a slightly older crowd.

-Mansion in Beverly Hills.

-Alcohol provided, will have a tip bar.

-A lot of attendees from the entertainment industry.

So I was thinking, sweet, this sounds kind of classy, I could be into this.  I’ll wear my slightly ridiculous red dress that I can only get away with wearing during the holidays, and a Santa hat, and maybe get some much needed networking done.  I’m picturing myself sitting next to a fire-place, sipping on champagne and chatting it up with a potential collaborator while sophisticated instrumental music is playing over the gentle hum of a candlelit room.

Nope.

What they meant by Christmas themed was red lingerie and santa hats.  Only.  What they meant by attendees from the entertainment industry, was disgusting reality show stars.  I say stars, but I didn’t recognize any of them.  Granted, I don’t have a television, and when I have in the past, I definitely don’t watch reality television, but I’m not exactly living under a rock either.

Four of us went together, two boys, two girls.  I would say there was easily 200 people at this obnoxious gathering, and me and the other girl that I went with, were honest to God, two of maybe eight girls not dressed in lingerie.  Most of the boys were wearing those extra short boxer briefs that were either red or green or themed or whatever, and Santa hats and boots.  That’s it.  I don’t care about your stupid six-pack abs, you look like a fucking idiot.  People were doing shots out of girls’ boobs (which I’m sure there is a clever name for), it was gross.

I rarely have a “bad time” anywhere.  I try to make the best of things, so I ended up having a good evening because the other three people I went with were cool and we just stayed together and passed around a champagne bottle while discussing who our five people, living or dead would be that we would invite to dinner.  Such a good conversational question.   The moral to the story is, 95% of Hollywood is lame…

And yes, I am a pretentious, hypocritical Hollywood Hater.

P.S. The password to get in was “toy land.”  Are you friggen serious?  Pedophiles?  Check.

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 1

I was on Warped Tour the summer of 2010.  I was the merch girl for one of the bands, and for those of you who live in some sort of weird alternate culture, or in a different country, Warped Tour is a giant touring music festival sponsored by Vans.  It travels around the country and parts of Canada every summer, reaching out to a mostly teenage demographic.  Lots of destruction, terrible music and terrible behavior.  America in all its glory.

Being on Van’s Warped Tour was possibly the worst experience of my life, but somehow looking back, there is this oddly romanticized sentiment associated with the memories.  What is it about being miserable that heightens the soul in a way that lets us have our own love story with all that we see?  Touring is an entirely different lifestyle that absolutely brings out the worst in everyone.  Specifics as to why, will be the topic of a later blog.

I was tragically sad for ninety percent of that summer while on the road.  I won’t get into reasons why, because that is related to wounds that are still fresh, but I will share some of my observations… my romances with the world if you will, that I probably would not have noticed had I been blissfully blinded by good times and contentment.

Andrew W.K.’s bass player and his cigarettes.  Obviously, there is no smoking on the tour busses.  Of course, smoking drugs on the bus, snorting drugs and everything else you can do with drugs and alcohol is a-okay.  I don’t smoke, but a lot of socializing took place at night during cigarette breaks in between the long rows of busses; that detached space polluted with generator exhaust, rivers of spilt beer and the eerie feeling that home has never been so close or so far away.

Andrew’s bass player, this tall, kind of goofy looking man with chops and a deep, soothing voice, would smoke his cigarettes all the way down to the filter.  I’ve noticed that people who would not generally litter, always litter their cigarettes.  It’s like this weird exception to the rule for some reason.  But not him.  Every cigarette, he would put it out on the bottom of his shoe, and then cup it in his hand until he went back on the bus to throw it away.  Often, we would all talk for a good thirty minutes, and he’d have a second cigarette, but he never once littered a single one.  He’d just stand there, hovering a good foot above me, holding the burnt out things in his hand, while everyone else had long since discarded their’s onto the already infected soil.  The amount of damage Warped Tour does to the environment is obscene, and I could write an entire blog just about that, so littering a couple of cigarettes seemed almost harmless (even to me, the litter police) when looking at the big picture.  While I can’t even remember his name, I’ll never forget that man standing there with those cigarettes in his dirty, calloused hands, doing what he could in a small way, to leave a place the way he found it.

Another unspoken romance I had that I probably would not have appreciated had I not been miserable, was this beautiful display of what real punk rock is.  On one not so very special evening, I was pushing the dolly back to the bus which was carrying the usual, over two hundred pounds I’d say, of all the merch crap.  Earlier that day I was hanging out in a big group and a couple of the guys present were band members of Alkaline Trio.  The singer mentioned that he was losing his voice, and I remember this because I thought it was cool that he was still talking and carrying on.  That might seem like an absurd thing to think, but it’s disgusting how often these lead singer’s are on “vocal rest.”  Vocal rest means that you simply don’t speak or utter a sound.  At all.  It’s obnoxious.  You call yourself a rock band but you baby your voice with hot tea and Slippery Elm Bark?  Take a shot of Jameson and hit the stage!

The vocalist of the band I was working for, I swear to God, was on vocal rest eighty-five percent of the time, which meant I often had to be subjected to snaps and whistles in order for this person to get my attention.  So to hear Trio’s singer mention that he was losing his voice, and to be laughing about it and kind of brushing it off, was something to take notice of.  Getting back to later that night, as I was heading to the bus, I was passing Main Stage and Alkaline Trio was about to play.  Being alone and miserable, I decided to stop and watch the show because I certainly had nothing else to do.   I had seen their set plenty of times that summer, but Trio holds a special place in my heart and I was interested to see how he would handle his voice situation.  They get up there and he immediately says to the crowd, “I’m losing my voice… I’ll do my best, but you guys are going to have to help me sing tonight.”

I kind of rolled my eyes, because I have seen this before with other bands, and I knew what that meant… he would just sing softly and then let the audience take over every two lines.  The song begins, he starts to sing,  and I think I fell in love with him in that moment a little bit.  It was probably the most genuine thing I saw happen on stage that whole summer.  His voice sounded like absolute shit, it was a cross between singing and yelling, it was scratchy and cracked, but so beautiful for all of the same reasons, and because it was real.  He sang his heart out in a way I have never seen before or since, and somehow made Warped Tour fun again for a glistening minute, and I remember thinking, “that is so punk-rock and awesome.”  He didn’t care, he was there to give the audience the best show that he could, and on that not so very special night, leaning against my cart of wrinkled merchandise, watching the sun set behind the stage and embracing my loneliness, he did give me one of the best shows I have ever seen, along with a feeling that I desperately needed a dose of: that everything was all right.  God, music is the glue of our soul.

I have many more love stories and other tales to tell from that summer, so stay tuned, my friends.

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Trader Joe’s Trade-Off

Every time I walk into a Trader Joe’s I want to kill myself.

^That is why.

The two “pro’s” of this grocery store, is that they have healthy food for cheap.  I’m going to focus on the “con’s.”  Lets start with pulling into the parking lot.  When this happens, my mood immediately plummets, and my anxiety immediately escalates.  At all times, there are at least 600 people (it seems) in a Los Angeles Trader Joe’s, but they only have four parking spots.  Upon entering, you’re met with seven types of people.

1. The crazy woman with frizzy hair, wearing some sort of capri pant with sneakers.  She is probably standing less than five feet tall, squinting at all of the ingredient labels and quietly talking to herself, unaware that she is in your fucking way.

2.  The twenty-something indie couple.  Enough said.

3.  The celebrity.  Almost every time I’ve gone into a Trader Joe’s I see a B list celebrity.  This does not make the trip worthwhile.  All this means is you think to yourself for a brief moment, “Cool, there’s the girl from that shitty television show that I can’t think of the name of,” then you keep walking.

4.  The hip single Dad who somehow is maintaining a smile and positive vibes.

5.  The college girl who always has a basket, not a cart.  She is generally aware that she is in your way, but pretends to not be by avoiding eye contact.  I like these girls though, they tend to move fast and don’t take up much space.

6.  The middle-aged hippie.  This can be a man or woman, but they’re always wearing hemp clothing, sandals and definitely have their own reusable bags and some sort of very old arm tattoo.

7.  The rich, older woman.  They’re polite and not usually in your way because they’ve got nothing but time, so they’ll wait for a clearing.

I love people, but too many in a small space, on top of being freezing, makes me hate everyone.  Yes, it is always freezing inside Trader Joe’s because the freezers do not have doors.  After twenty-five minutes of “excuse me’s,” and taking detours and fending off mean looks from other people hating their life, and waiting for the crazy woman to step away from the granola, I ask the question, is this worth it?  I appreciate the $15 dollars I just saved, but my day is now a little bit shittier and I still have to make one more stop because while they carry a lot, Trader Joe’s does not carry everything.  If there was a booth at the exit that cost $15 to get one’s memory erased of the experience, I would probably do it.  I suppose that means the trade-off is not worth it in my eyes.

What almost makes it worth it, is how cheap the liquor is.  However, I end up immediately cracking open the bottle when I get home in order to calm my nerves.  The few bucks I saved on the liquor is spent in those couple of drinks that I wouldn’t normally have.  It’s disturbing that I have the same reaction to a Trader Joe’s experience as I do after an awkward run-in with an ex… “I need a drink.”  So the money I saved, I made up for in extra drinking and liver destruction.

Every time I leave, I tell myself that I will never go back, it was really the last time this time.  But then, a month and a half later, I find myself breaking my promise and I return for some obnoxious reason.  Why, in perfect health, I would choose to put myself through such hell, I will never know.  So again I ask, is the trade-off worth it?

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Texting is Not Real Life

Text message I just received from a boy:  “So can we hang out sometime?”

I don’t know what this means.  I think you just asked me out on a date by way of texting, which could not make you look more like a pussy.  This is a major “Caitlin fowl.”  Boys, after receiving a girl’s number, please for the love of God, call her, do not text.  It’s sad to say, but nowadays, it is a huge turn-on when a boy has the balls to make the first attempt at communication (since the awkward phone number exchange) with a real life, real-time, heart-racing phone call.

Caitlin Rule:  Texting is not real life.

So close your eyes, concentrate, and find your inner teenager, back before texting was running rampant and you still had to ask out girls to their face or by calling their house.  Then embrace the butterflies, and make the call.  Congratulations!  You’re already one step closer to getting laid.

Texting is acceptable only AFTER the first hang out session.  The day after the “first date,” assuming it went well, I would recommend a simple text stating, “Thinking of you.”  This will definitely get you laid.  You’re welcome.

Needless to say, the, “so can we hang out sometime,” boy is still waiting for a response.

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To Whom it May Concern:

You are not cool because you took “the 5,” and not, “the 101.”   I have been in Los Angeles for about ten weeks now, and in a city full of pretentious behavior, the one that so far annoys me the most, is the insipid declarations of how well one knows their way around the city.  Apparently, it is considered “cool” to understand the inner workings of the LA freeway system.  I have been to many places, but only in LA do people attempt to one-up each other with knowledge and reasons as to why they took the route that they did, to get to the destination that we are now all at, only to be subjected to this oh so stimulating conversation.  Of course, it’s mostly women who engage in such embarrassing conduct, but the occasional man is guilty of this “Caitlin fowl.”  Like spilling beer is a party fowl, bragging about how you anticipated the 405’s jam-up, is a Caitlin fowl.

In the rest of the country, we call these roads, “I (insert number here).”  I-95, I-10, I-75, etc.  Well my friends, this is an “LA fowl.”   Don’t you know it’s THE 10, THE 5, THE 405, you idiot?  How dare you say, “I” and not “the.”  Possibly being the last person in LA to not have a smart phone or a GPS,  I have no qualms with admitting to a crowd that I need directions.  When this happens, it looks like something from National Geographic.  Girls flock to me like mammals in heat, and take the opportunity to prove their worth by bantering back and forth about the appropriate route I should be taking to get home.  So I leave you again with this… you are not cool because you took “the 5,” and not, “the 101,” you just sound like a douche bag.

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