Thursday

I had a blind-date/meeting with an editor last night. We had planned to have a drink and discuss the possibility of me doing a non-fiction book. This had sounded fairly basic at the time mostly because I neglected to take into account how nervous I would be about losing my blog anonymity virginity.

In actuality, things began to go wrong a full 24 hours in advance. At my company's good-bye party I almost cried when I hugged my boss, did tequila shots (who does tequila shots?!), literally held the hair back for another colleague who was vomiting into a trash can, and eventually left my good-bye party without saying good-bye, instead just kind of drunkenly ambling out the door and into a cab.

I woke up the day of the meeting with a massive hangover and a puffy face, completely terrified about introducing myself as CB. I needed to do my internet alter ego justice. How was I supposed to be witty when I could barely move off the couch?

Possibly still drunk, I decided with absolute certainty that getting a haircut would solve everything. (Weirdly, this is a decision I have made before. I am like one of those women who get drastic haircuts when going through a break-up but unfortunately, I need only minor set-backs to induce me to chop off all my hair. Inevitably, I wind up looking terrible and repeating an inner chant of "Long hair is good. Remember this.")

So at 6pm yesterday, I—hungover, puffy, with bad hair that was making me more nervous than I already had been—met the lovely editor.

I tried to hide it all—my nerves (and hangover) with a drink, my hair with a clip—but finally I leaned forward and said “I have to ask—you’re the first person I’ve ever met that only knows me through my blog. Am I anything like what you expected?”

She squirmed a little. “Umm…I don’t know….I hadn’t really expected anything in my mind, really…but…”

I nodded encouragingly.

“Well, you know,” she continued “I guess my friends were like ‘Do you think she’ll be as hot as she says she is’?”

“But I never even describe myself!” I protested. This was bad. I hadn’t even put on mascara.

“Well, there’s just something about the way you write that makes people think you’re going to be really gorgeous.”

Then there was a pause--possibly the most awkward pause I have ever experienced.

“I mean, I don’t know, you’re very nice looking…” she offered, giggling a little.

Oh boy.

All in all, the editor was very sweet and encouraging and it seemed like we might have had alot of fun together had I not been so nervous and strange. But I am never meeting anyone that knows me only through my blog again. I really can’t take the pressure.

Tuesday

I woke up this morning feeling slightly nauseous. After forcing myself to shower, I lay on the bed in my towel, rubbing my wet hair everywhere. This is a signal for Re-Boyfriend to either a) notice I am looking sad and ask me what’s wrong or b) tell me to stop rubbing my wet hair everywhere. Usually one of these tactics will get me up and moving and if not exactly ready to face the day, at least clothed.

This morning Re-Boyfriend tried both (heavily sighing “CB, you’re getting my sweater wet,” then, when all I did was to move my body one eighth of an inch to the left, sitting next to me and tentatively touching my tangled hair, “Hey…what’s up?”) and I felt no more motivated to move than before.

It wasn’t until I’d made it all the way to the office that I realized the cause of my morning ennui—it’s my last day at my job and I’m sad.

God knows why. In my exit interview the suited HR women kept asking what parts of my job I had enjoyed. They kept asking because I kept evading the question, wanting to be polite, until finally I was forced to answer, “Um, I don’t actually enjoy my job. Like, at all.”

And now I’m sad? PULL IT TOGETHER CB.

Wednesday

What Have You Learned From Your Time As An Assistant?

In the course of the polite conversation everyone wants to have when they find out you’re leaving your job, one of my co-workers just asked what I've learned from my time as an assistant.

After I only half-jokingly reminded him that I am/was an ASSOCIATE, I was left with nothing to say. Had I learned anything from my time as an assistant/associate?

My co-worker laughed at the intense, confused expression on my face as I struggled to come up with something. He offered, “When I was an assistant I learned that hand cream prevents paper cuts.”

“Yeah…” I thought for a bit more. “I’ve got nothing.”

He seemed amused but the incident actually disturbed me in a small way.

In college I learned tons of practical, useful things such as: how to straighten my hair, sleeping with just a comforter and no sheet is really the way to go, mixing Kool Aid powder with straight vodka before putting it a bowl and calling it punch will make people vomit at a party. And the list goes on.

I haven't been able to come up with anything practical that I've learned by working as an assistant. Aside from that a lot people are fucktards, which I don't think really counts. You?

Monday

Meeting The Wife

Oh dear Lord. The Wife was unbearably awesome. She actually made fun of me for not drinking enough. Meanwhile, my alleged friend sat there, mostly immobile, picking at his bok choy throughout dinner.

Midway through the meal, when The Wife went to the bathroom, I announced “I really like her.” Re-boyfriend and S. vigorously nodded in agreement while my friend sort of laughed at the table. This is when I realized I was angry at him.

My alleged friend had been hiding from me for two years and the dinner was making it very difficult to pretend everything had been The Wife’s fault. Maybe insecure, controlling wives drink martinis and tell you about the time they passed out in front of their mother-in-law’s house but it seemed unlikely. So I leaned over to my alleged friend and whispered in my best I-really-mean-it voice, “I like her more than you.” Then I avoided him for the rest of the night which was difficult, since I was sitting next to him, but somehow possible.

Hopefully I hurt his feelings but I am guessing he thought I was joking.

Thursday

My male (completely platonic) best friend from high school recently had the nerve to find a serious girlfriend, disappear completely, and subsequently marry said girlfriend. I have seen him exactly once since he met this woman and that was at the wedding. For the two years prior to the Big Day, all I got was the occasional trying-to-stay-in-touch e-mail.

Obviously I had to assume that this wife character was a horrible, evil bitch who not only forbade my friend to see me but was really, really fat.

However, The Wife has apparently achieved some sense of wedded security because I'm going out to dinner with my friend, Re-Boyfriend and The Wife tomorrow.

Now that eating overpriced Pad Thai with The Wife is imminent, I am forced to confront a series of uncomfortable facts:

a. The Wife is not actually fat.
b. Unless she dieted for the wedding and now has put it all back on!
c. But no matter what she looks like my friend is in love with her, and they are married, which means she is the most important person in his life. I need to respect that. But it's hard to respect it when The Wife hates me.
d. The Wife hates me because she thinks I’ll be a girl-bitch and say snide things and try to compete with her which I’m totally going to do.

So...The Wife is actually right to hate me. See? Uncomfortable.

Even worse was when S. tried to fuck with my head by saying “How do you know it’s her fault he never sees you?”

But I can't think like that, I can only be angry at one dinner companion at a time. So I invited S. to come along (great for being bitchy to females when needed) and bought a new dress (security blanket). Just as I spent the college years worrying what men thought of me, I am apparently going to spend the post-college years obsessing over women.

Update: Dinner is tonight. I have already called S. to discuss whether it would be best to get to the restaurant first or last (first), if meeting S. for a drink beforehand would be wise or stupid (stupid), and whether it would be permissible to completely ignore The Wife and talk only to my friend and S., thus leaving Re-Boyfriend to rediscover his single days by trying to charm a woman over cocktails with small talk (unfortunately, no).

I'm so happy S. is coming. Somehow I don't think I would have been able to discuss these topics quite so spiritedly (or at such length) with Re-Boyfriend.

Tuesday

Practicing My Positive Thinking

I’ve had three interviews for a job and heard from someone that knows someone that “things look good”.

There was no mention of these interviews before because, as I confessed to S. last night, “I was scared my blog people would think I was pathetic if I didn’t get another job.” (Which, upon reflection, is kind of a pathetic sentiment in and of itself.)

But at this point I have so convinced myself that the job is mine, I not only feel comfortable sharing this information with you, I also feel quite comfortable spending all of the extra money that would come with said job.

CB’s Logical Mind: Don’t buy wellies. Just because it’s raining today doesn’t mean you really need to spend $100 on a pair of wellies.

CB’s Mind that Wants Wellies: But I almost have a new job! That means I can almost afford lots of things!

CB’s Logical Mind: Almost CB, almost. You don’t actually have the job or even know if you’re going to get it.

CB’s Mind that Wants Wellies: I can’t believe you just did that. Everyone knows you have to picture positive outcomes and really BELIEVE in them. Now if I don’t get the job it will be ALL your FAULT.

CB’s Logical Mind: You can't be serious.

CB’s Mind that Wants Wellies: I’M GETTING THE WELLIES!


On the one hand, the wellies really are very cute. On the other hand, even if I do get the job, I will have accrued debt equal or greater to my subsequent raise. And if I don’t get the job, I may look stunning this fall but I’ll also be feeling frail due to my diet of grilled cheese. Honestly, it’s all very sad.

Update: For those who expressed concern, my wellies are plain red. They are also apparently somewhat attractive to the opposite sex which I was not at all expecting. Also, (in news of equal importance), I got the job!

Thursday

Signed, Troubled with Tampons

This morning I discovered that I had gotten my period. I asked one of my more sympathetic female co-workers if she had a tampon—she did! And it was a tiny little thing I was easily able to slip into my pocket-score! (I have no idea why it always seems so embarrassing to be holding a tampon—I have my period approximately 25% of the time. But it is.) Then I made it to the bathroom without receiving any strange glances from colleagues wondering who the half-running girl was. Safe!

Or so I assumed.

As I discovered in the single stall bathroom on the 7th floor, they are now making tampons that I have no idea how to use. I was sincerely at a loss as to how to remove the actual tampon from the cute, green, tiny applicator. And so, after several minutes of fumbling (the details of which I will spare you) I had to return to my desk, defeated.

Obviously I cannot now ask my co-worker for another tampon (though I briefly considered telling her I dropped the original in the toilet) or ask anyone in earshot of her desk. So I am sitting here, writing this, and plotting an under the radar escape to CVS.

Fucking newfangled tampons.

Tuesday

Curtains

Re-Boyfriend and I never fight anymore. The most critical things we say to one another are “You’re such a little piggy,” (him to me, before kissing me on the nose and dusting crackers off my shirt) or “You’re such a narcoleptic,” (me to him before kicking him in the shins and trying to move him to the other side of the couch).

That is why decorating our apartment is so, so hard. You can try to smile while you say “Your painting fucking blows. The only place you can hang it is the closet,” but it still comes across as less than affectionate.

So, as two people who are not really good at confrontation and critique, Re-Boyfriend and I have to rely on the arts of beating around the bush, lying, nitpicking and (ick) compromise.

Example: I’ll say I like a bookcase. Re-Boyfriend will agree, but then point out the shoddy craftsmanship and shake the fixture around a bit alarming the salespeople. Then he'll sorrowfully say, “You know, I really like it, but I just don’t think it’s well made.” I will accept this as gentlemanly code for “No, bitch, no.”

However things do not go nearly as smoothly when the situation is reversed.

For instance, I came home Sunday to discover that Re-Boyfriend had made curtains. He had sewn them out of our sheets. They were (surprisingly) beautifully sewn, but let me repeat again that they were curtains made out of our sheets.

“So do you like them?”

“Sure, Scarlett.” He didn’t get my Gone With the Wind reference.

“Really?”

“Well…” I considered. “They’re beautiful curtains…but don’t you think they would look better somewhere else…?”

“Are you sure you’re not just saying that because they’re a little dark? I mean they make the room look dark when they’re closed, but hold on…” Re-Boyfriend ran to the windows and pinned back the curtain-sheets. “Doesn’t that look better?”

It did look better but I still had dark green sheets hanging from my living room windows.

“Errrr…Don’t you think they would look pretty in the bedroom?” They would actually look nice in the bedroom, I reflected. I could work with that. I could be a compromiser.

“They can’t go in the bedroom, I cut them to match the length of these windows.”

Well, then. Obviously all that was left for me to do was pout. So I flounced over to the couch and pouted.

Then I pouted some more.

After a few minutes I sighed.

Finally I noticed that Re-Boyfriend seemed annoyed as well.

Perhaps he could tell I hadn’t been very enthusiastic about the curtains.

“You know,” Re-Boyfriend said suddenly, “It’s really frustrating when you say all these different things, and I can’t tell what you mean. If you don’t like it, say you don’t like it.”

“Okay,” I said, a bit chagrined. Perhaps I was being the difficult one here.

“Hey, let’s just get some stuff to put on the walls,” Re-Boyfriend said more kindly. “The whole place is going to look different with stuff on the walls.”

“Okay,” I repeated, allowing myself to be mollified. Maybe I was being ridiculous. Maybe he really had thought that the bookcase wasn't sturdy (and that the mirror was badly made, and the painting was too big). Besides, I supposed the curtains could look kind of cool once there were things on the walls.

I settled in next to Re-Boyfriend to do some therapeutic online shopping.

He pointed out a painting online.

“No,” I said, trying out the new, blunt me.

He pointed out another one.

“No.”

He sighed and seemed a bit exasperated.

He pointed out another one.

“Oooo…” I said, “I kind of like that one.”

“You know, all I’m doing is trying to pick out something you like. Don't you like anything?”

“Ummmm…” Now I felt pressured. But it really was nice. I liked it. It would be pretty. The only thing was: “Do you think it’s too not-relaxing?”

“Oh my God!” he snapped, opening Google and typing “Relaxing Images.”

“What the fuck? I can’t make one comment?”

“Just say if you like it!”

“I DID’T KNOW YET I WAS JUST LOOKING AT IT ASSHOLE.”

And that was the end of our therapeutic online shopping experience.

We are going to live in an apartment with bare walls, a minimal amount of furniture and no mirrors forever. I can feel it.

Health Lessons from Re-Boyfriend

“So I think I have an ulcer,” Re-Boyfriend announced as we walked down 6th avenue.

“Why?” I asked, only half-listening. I had heard Re-Boyfriend’s theories of health before, one of the highlights being that smoking gets rid of phlegm.

“Well...I’ve been really tired, and I’ve had stomach aches. Plus today when I went to the bathroom there was a little blood.”

Excuse me?”

“And you know," he continued, "Ulcers run in my family." He paused to light a cigarette. "And my job is pretty stressful which is probably making the whole thing worse.”

“Blood?!"

“Plus I smoke. Smoking’s never really good for anything.” He looked down at the cigarette in his hand mournfully.

As Re-Boyfriend bit his lip and flicked his cigarette repeatedly, he suddenly seemed like a scared little boy (albeit one that smoked). I wrapped my arm around him and kissed his cheek.

“Why don’t you cut down on the drinking and smoking? Then if you get better you’ll know it was just an ulcer. And I'm sure it's just an ulcer," I said reassuringly.

“Actually I was thinking I would drink and smoke more. Then if things got worse I'll know it's just an ulcer.”

I laughed. Re-Boyfriend didn’t. I withdrew my arm.

He drank a bottle of wine last night so I am guessing he’s not kidding.

Monday

My Twenties Are One Big Comparathon

There are certain people that, by their very existence, make me feel like a freak.

For example, Re-Boyfriend has a friend who pets (there is no other word) his fiance constantly, pausing only to gaze adoringly at the top of her head. The two of them don't really speak to each other, and they definitely don’t stop touching. This usually leaves me standing a foot or two away from Re-Boyfriend, feeling awkward and confused—should I at least want to hold his hand? Why don’t I ever even think about holding his hand (unless I see another couple holding hands)? Does anyone else think the two of them look weird? Maybe I'm weird?

And so on.

Now, because it does not happen often enough in real life, I have found a blog that makes me vaguely insecure, confused and incredulous: Clinkny.wordpress.com

There were some maddening entries about gyms and big boobs. There was the casual mention that Clink has gotten every job she’s ever interviewed for. There were the pictures of the enormous engagement ring on an adult hand with manicured nails.

But the Big Moment, wherein I realized just how different my life was from the life of this half-stranger, came today, during a post detailing how Clink finally told her fiance about the existence of her blog. Not only was her fiance kind and supportive about the whole thing, he claimed he was just happy she was writing and didn’t want to know the name of the website so she could maintain her privacy.

You know what my boyfriend said when he finally read my blog?

“Goddamnit, it really was ivory!”

He did tell me he was proud of me, which was sweet, but he also told a few of his co-workers about my anonymous blog. When I yelled, he said “But I was just so proud of you,” which completely altered the sweetness of that sentiment.

Then I didn't speak to him for awhile. I thought this was more or less what everyone with a secret blog went through.

It's not so much that I want Clink's life. It's more that I can't believe the person my grandmother secretly wishes I was actually exists.

I may need to step away from the blog.


Update: No one needs to pick sides...that was entirely not the point. Obviously I read Clink.

Friday

Excuse Me, I'm Having a Bitter Friday

Dear Co-Worker Who Is Irritating the Crap Out of Me Today,

Today I heard someone comment on your "really good relationship" with the president of our company.

Frankly, I’ve never seen you even speak to the president but I have heard you say, about five hundred times, that you have a "really good relationship" with him. While that always made me think you were delusional, apparently that has been making other people think you have a really good relationship with the president. Who knew it was that easy?

So it would seem that I’ve been wrong about you all along. You’ve been semi-brilliantly toying with the minds of others, knowing how easily they are led astray from logic just by telling them “Hey, this is a fact!”

Congratulations on fooling everyone! But please don't talk to me.

Love,
CB

Wednesday

I arrived at the subway station this morning only to be informed by an exasperated policeman that the subways weren't running due to the rain.

Riiiight. I thought. Rain. That's probably code for terrorist activity.

But back at my apartment I discovered all of the local news outlets were telling the same lie--which probably meant it was true. Rain had virtually shut down the entire subway system of New York City. Rain.

So now I am sitting in my pajamas and trying really hard to relax. But I keep calling my co-workers to make sure that they're "relaxing" too, not going to work and making me look bad.

Update: I am at work. When your co-worker, who takes the same subway as you, calls to tell you it's running (as though you would be happy to hear this news) it's time to disentangle from Re-Boyfriend and run a brush through your hair. I am NOT pleased.

Sunday

Well, We Got In This Time

We went back to the club. We had to prove it wasn’t too cool for us.

“One drink and then we go,” I told S. as we crossed the street. “I don’t want to hang out here all night, all the men look like they wax their eyebrows.”

“One drink,” S. agreed, adjusting her cleavage for the eighth time. S. had run into the age old dilemma while getting ready: How much boob is too much boob? Trying to combine the best of both worlds, she was wearing an extremely low cut dress with a small tank top underneath.

We got into the club with an ease that can only be described as anticlimactic and two drinks later (like we ever actually have one drink) our egos were appeased. We were ready to meet up with our friends at a less pretentious bar.

Making the requisite stop at the bathroom, we found it to be one of those single stall types and went in together. (S. and I were roommates in college and if you tell me you’ve never peed with any of your college friends then I think you’re either lying or my mother.) We were all set to leave, when we discovered we literally could not.

S. pulled, S. pushed, S. jiggled the handle but the door remained closed. She even smacked the wood a few times in an attempt to open the door through brute force, but it remained firm as I stood in the corner, helping no one by giggling uncontrollably.

“CB, what are we going to do?” she demanded.

Suddenly there were agitated voices outside the bathroom. I looked at S.

“I can’t handle this right now,” I announced, turning to the mirror. “I’m going to put on eye shadow.”

“I’m going to take off this tank top,” S. said, either following my lead of ignoring the problem at hand or thinking that more of her cleavage could solve the situation as it has solved so many situations before.

It was only when S.’s tank top was half-off that the door flew open, revealing a concerned looking busboy and a small crowd of anxious, would-be bathroom goers.

S. quickly pulled up her straps.

“Uhhh…we heard the door move, we thought you might have needed...help?” The busboy looked embarrassed to have caught us in a passionate, door shaking, girl-on-girl bathroom tryst.

S. looked like she might try to explain, an event that could only make things worse (“No, see I was trying to get out, but couldn’t, and then I took off my shirt! Get it?”) so I gave her a shove, brightly said “Thanks!” and darted past the smirking on-lookers.

And then, with people still looking after us curiously, a sudden gust of air blew S.’s skirt up. She screamed, clutched her ass and ran outside while I strolled, faux-casually, after her.

“So now we can never go back,” I explained to Re-Boyfriend.

He smiled.

“Why not? I bet they’d love to have you back.”

Wednesday

Crazy. In Love.

I have been told that other people do not think about the possibility of their relationship ending every single day. Then again, I have been told I seem like a really chill girlfriend, so who the hell knows what to believe.

In any case, a fact would be that at least three times a week, I think that Re-Boyfriend and I are going to break up.

Example:

Today one of those crap morning shows discussed the “science of love” and declared “But couples can still say they’re in love with each other years later even though their initial feelings may change from the scientific definition of love.” Re-Boyfriend called from the bedroom, “Like us!” Then he laughed while I stood in the kitchen CERTAIN OUR RELATIONSHIP WAS OVER.

Naturally, I then didn’t want to have sex with him. DOOM.

Then, when we walked to the subway, Re-Boyfriend was quiet, probably because he was thinking about how he didn't love me anymore. MORE DOOM.

I then spent the entire subway ride to work telling myself that single life can be fun, and though there would be the minor problem of living together to sort out, in general breaking up with Re-Boyfriend really wouldn’t be that bad.

Then I realized I was insane. This is a realization I have come to before, most notably when I got annoyed with Re-Boyfriend for telling me I was beautiful because what if he couldn't love me once I was old?

It's really exhausting to love Re-Boyfriend and be happy while at the same time trying to convince myself it would be totally fine if he were gone.

Monday

My Present



Re-Boyfriend calls it "Mini-CB." And it just occurred to me that he thought he was being really funny when he told me that he bought me "something small."