Chipp-ed, Crack-ed, Crumbl-ed.

A wise (and fabulously spectacular) woman I know reminded me this morning that it's important to "Always remember you're you regardless of the other people around you."  We were discussing relationships and how positively terrifying they can be at times.  Imagine letting someone else in, depending on them, caring for them, (deep breath) even loving them, only to find that they aren't about to stick around.
Then what happens?  If we're lucky, we survive with minor chips and cracks.  Like water that freezes in the crevices of an old concrete sidewalk, we expand with the presence of others.  When spring comes and they melt away at the first sight of warm sunlight, we're left with cracks and holes.  Cracks and holes that will eventually be filled in with moss and inevitably the frost of the next winter.  Every once in a while, we crumble completely, leaving behind only particles of sand from the strong, solid block we were before.  But no matter what state we end up in after a hard winter, we still exist. You're still you.  Sure, the elements have taken their toll, but there is never a spring that arrives when we can't somehow make the necessary repairs.

Though through the winter, the ice seems adhered to the sidewalk as if they were one in the same, it is important to recognize that they are in fact separate elements.  When the ice melts, the sidewalk remains.  When a relationship melts, the most important parts are still intact.  In essence, you're you regardless of the relationship you're in, the friends you associate with, the family that supports you.  The people and situations around you will always change, but you can handle anything as long as you believe it's possible.

Often we forget this simple adage.  We're so afraid of letting anyone in, in fear that one day the ice will melt and leave us broken beyond repair. We forget that one day, too, the pulverized particles of sand left from the crumbled concrete might wash away and be at peace at the depths of the sea.


What would you say if I told you I franci-ed him?

An old fling from my time in Paris sent me a note this morning and it got me nostalgic for my days in the city of love.  Why is it that the minute we have a new prospect in line, all of the exes come out of the woodwork?  Who alerts them that life may just get a little too close to perfect for an old amour, so they need to step in? Is it a test?  A reminder of all the standards we have set for the new guy?  Usually, the distraction is enough to divert my attention and make me question my current situation.

But this time was different.  There was no hesitation.  I didn't even have to think before hitting 'delete.'

Ironically, the new guy in question right now is also French.  At risk of jinxing it by saying anything more, I'll stop at: he is fantastic, and I totally "france-y" him.


Bath-ed in Deep Lavender.

Let's run away together, shall we?  A nice, warm sunlit porch. A soft breeze that rustles our hair.  You lean into me and tell me I'm the one.  I smile as I smoosh my face into your neck.  We waste away the day doing nothing in particular except loving one another.  But loving each other seems to take up every ounce of energy we've got.  I reach out for your hand and you pull me closer.  How did we ever get so lucky?  Slowly, the sun dips below the horizon and we're bathed in the deep lavender of twilight.  I feel your chest rise and fall with every breath, and it intoxicates me.  We're so exhausted from doing nothing all day that we drift off to a peaceful slumber, and wake to find that nothing has changed.  Yes, I do believe it would be quite boringly blissful.


Hook-ed, Lin-ed, and Sinker-ed.

I believe there are a few stages to the beginnings of every legit courtship.  Like all matters of the heart, things get messy and we play out of turn, but I believe these couple steps stand true for most, well, couples. 

  • Stage 1: The Hook - Don't you love that gut feeling that tells you there's something worth exploring about a person (his smile, his corny jokes, his manners, etc.)?  The hook is not something we can plan to find (or try to ignore, for that matter..thanks, Nature!), it is simply the biological/psychological/sociological response our body and minds have to another human being.  It's beyond explanation, and it is unavoidable.  And then, I think we all know what comes next... 
  • Stage 2: The Game - Just admit it.  Once you realize you're attracted to someone, you initiate the game.  Whether we like it or not, we all do.  Some have better game than others, but the fact of the matter is that we all play at some point. The minute we get hooked on someone, we go into strategy mode.  How long do I wait to call her? When do I let him kiss me? What cute little thing am I going to do to make him think I'm the best thing since pumpkin beer?  Whatever you have to do to get to step 3, we do it...and then comes...
  • Stage 3: The Mutual Confession - From a very young age, we are taught the "Do you like me? Circle yes or no" trick.  It's an easy way to set expectations up front and prevent wasting our time on someone who is not even the slightest bit interested in us.  In a way, it is a method of self-preservation.  Sometimes the confession is just that: a direct "I like you...what do you think?" type deal.  Other times it is more subtle.  We use different words and gestures to accomplish the same goal (think arm graze, lingering stare and sometimes a 'kiss and run' tactic).  However it is accomplished, we cannot proceed until these first three steps have been taken. 
  • Stage 4: The Discovery - Now that we've established I like you, and (hallelujah!) you like me back, I want to know everything about you, and for you to know everything about me.  You know what I'm talking about...the three hour dinners where you make broad statements about your past and your preferences "Have I told you about how I broke my arm in second grade?  I've always been uber-athletic" and "I like vanilla so much better than chocolate, but I'm no plain Jane."  You've told these stories to a dozen others in exactly this same setting, but for some reason, that story about your trip to Europe is brand new again.  And what's even better is, they're hooked!  You might as well be telling them the surprise ending to that new Flash Forward show.  They are completely enamored.  Not only do you verbal diarrhea all over each other (sorry for the graphic mental picture), you have to discover every inch of each others' bodies too.  It's not good enough just to hold hands, you have to trace the outline of his fingers; kissing his lips isn't good enough, you have to taste his neck, his ears, his cheeks.  And oh, those first few delicious kisses where you're not entirely sure of his next move, which in turn makes you hyper-aware of yours.  Life couldn't get any better when we're discovering new territory.  And as it goes with any unclaimed territory, we eventually need to leave our mark...
  • Stage 5: The Decision - Now it's time to face the facts.  Up until this point everything has been one giant (more or less painless) social experiment.  And now it's time to evaluate the results.  We're hooked, we engage in a game of flirtation, we admit that we're enjoying ourselves, we divulge personal information and seek information in return, and now we have to decide whether it's worth it to continue onto the next step.  Sometimes this decision is easy: Heck no!  (my best friend hates him, I can't stand the way he snorts when he laughs, he releases deadly farts in his sleep, etc.)  And even though this decision doesn't always present itself so clearly, the decision to stop at stage 5 is the easier one.  Trust me.  The harder part comes when we decide that we want to enter into (cue 'Twilight Zone' theme song) STEP 6.  Because this is when things no longer are as cut and dry.  There is no rule book.  All of a sudden someone has cut the lights and we're fumbling around in the dark because no one ever exactly tells us how to keep the guy once we get him.  Everyone readily offers up advice on how to land the man of your dreams, but the scariest part about keeping him around is that there is no game, no strategy, no step-by-step guide.  He'll stick around because, well, he likes you.  And it's really that simple and really that complicated all at once.  So, if you've made the decision to dive head first into Step 6, also known as...
  • Stage 6: The Unknown - ...Good luck.


It's good to be lov-ed.

All the good stuff in the world was meant for my friends.

(Thanks for being patient.  A new post is just around the river bend.)


Repeat-ed and Repeat-ed...

You know that stage of a new crush when you listen to a song and you feel like every little quirky lyric is speaking to you?  This song has been on repeat since a few days ago...a list, a song, a little love, and a lot of French.  I'm hooked...please enjoy my new obsession.

Listen to: "La Liste"
(I've translated below for your convenience.)

Aller à un concert / Go to a concert
Repeindre ma chambre en vert / Repaint my room in green
Boire de la vodka / Drink some vodka
Aller chez Ikea / Go to Ikea
Mettre un décolleté / Put on a low-cut shirt
Louer un meublé / Rent an apartment
Et puis tout massacrer / And then destroy all
Pleurer pour un rien / Cry for no reason
Acheter un chien / Buy a dog
Faire semblant d'avoir mal / Pretend to be hurt
Et mettre les voiles / And hit the road
Fumer beaucoup trop / Smoke way too much
Prendre le métro / Take the subway
Et te prendre en photo / And take a picture of you
Jeter tout par les fenêtres / Throw everything out the windows
T'aimer de tout mon être / Love you with all my soul
Je ne suis bonne qu'à ça / I'm only good at that
Est ce que ça te dé-çoit ? / Are you disappointed?
J'ai rien trouver de mieux à faire / I haven't found anything better to do
et ça peut paraître bien ordinaire / And that could seem pretty ordinary
et c'est la liste des choses que je veux faire avec toi / And this is the list of the things I want to do with you
Te faire mourir de rire / Make you die laughing
Aspirer tes soupirs / Inhale your sighs
M'enfermer tout le jour / Stay inside all day
Ecrire des mots d'amour / Write love letters
Boire mon café noir / Drink black coffee
Me lever en retard / Get up late
Pleurer sur un trottoir / Cry on the sidewalk
Me serrer sur ton coeur / Hold on tight to your heart
Pardonner tes erreurs / Forgive your faults
Jouer de la guitare / Play the guitar
Danser sur un comptoir / Dance on the counter
Remplir un caddie / Fill up a shopping cart
Avoir une petite fille / Have a little girl
Et passer mon permis / And pass my driver's test
Jeter tout par les fenêtres / Throw everything out the windows
T'aimer de tout mon être / Love you with all my soul
Je ne suis bonne qu'à ça / I'm only good at that
Est ce que ça te dé-çoit ? / Are you disappointed?
J'ai rien trouver de mieux à faire / I haven't found anything better to do
et ça peut paraître bien ordinaire / And that could seem pretty ordinary
et c'est la liste des choses que je veux faire avec toi / And this is the list of the things I want to do with you
ha ha
ha ya
ha ya
ha ha
Je sais je suis trop naïve / I know I'm too naive
De dresser la liste non exhaustive / To build a non-exhaustive liste
De toutes ces choses que je voudrais faire avec toi / Of all the things I want to do with you
T'embrasser partout / To kiss you everywhere
S'aimer quand on est saouls / Make love when we're drunk
Regarder les infos / Watch the news
Et fumer toujours trop / And still smoke too much
Eveiller tes soupçons / Raise your doubts
Te demander pardon / Ask you for forgiveness
Et te traiter de con / And call you a jerk
Avoir un peu de spleen / Feel a little blue
Ecouter Janis Joplin / Listen to Janis Joplin
Te regarder dormir / Watch you sleep
Me regarder guérir / Watch me heal
Faire du vélo à deux / Ride a two-person bike
Se dire qu'on est heureux / Tell each othe we're happy
Emmerder les envieux. / F*** the envious.


Paris, Revisit-ed.

We met for a coffee at café Buci on the corner of my street--the only downfall of living in the best part of town is that you never venture elsewhere.  We sipped from tiny cups of dirty, bitingly sweet espressos at a cast iron table.  We both grasped madly for understanding, fumbling words and language in a way that only lovers can.  Sometimes I wonder if he would have understood if we spoke the same language—part of me thinks it would forever be lost in translation.  I loved it this way.  I hated it this way.

I arrived in Paris a different person.  I don’t mean that I changed throughout my séjour—although I did—but that I was “different” in the sense that I didn't fit the mold of the 20-something American girl looking for her soul mate—especially if he comes with a sexy accent and the dark mysterious stare that all foreign men have mastered, a stare that seams to effortlessly capture helpless, painfully gullible American women.
When we grew tired of translating, he suggested a walk.  Still not accustomed to the French practice of injecting oneself with an hourly dose of caffeine (it’s as if this is the only respectable French pastime besides smoking and cycling in the Tour de France), I thought a walk would sweat out some of the nervous, caffeine-induced jitters.
The sky threatened rain, but because the Parisian skies suggest rain nearly every day, it is never commented on.  Perhaps this is why there is a café every five steps, and why they are never empty—the Parisians need a place to duck out of the rain and drink dirty coffee and Beaujolais. 
As we walked he took my hand in his.  My palm was damp from humidity and sweat, but he didn’t seem to mind, or perhaps he was too polite to say anything.  He seemed perfectly content just to walk; however being the anal retentive American that I am (and always will be—even 6 months in France couldn’t change my ways) I insisted we pick a destination.
A friend of mine had suggested I meet him around 5 at the Panthéon for a special exhibit commemorating those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.  I phoned him to let him know I’d be joining him and then had le francais steer us toward the landmark.
Leisurely, we strolled past the movie theaters, talking of the films we had been meaning to see, past the McDonald’s where the line snaked out the door, and uphill past the Sorbonne where I had been taking an orientation course.
We turned a corner and the monumental building seemed to spring from the ground, towering over us in all of its grand glory.  Suddenly, he turned to me, breaking the silent language barrier. “It’s beautiful, no?” he asked.  I found it odd that he didn't ask this question in French, the language of love and beauty and all things spectacular. 

“Yes. Yes, it is beautiful.”
Just then, it began to rain.  Droplets the size of cherries fell on our foreheads, splashing at our hair lines and trickling down our faces like freshwater tears.  Clumsily, I fell into him, the tips of our noses kissing as we leaned against a building in search of shelter from the overhang.  In the time it took for our gaze to wander from each other, the rain had penetrated our beings, melting away all inhibitions.
“Si j’étais un vrai français, je t’embrasserais maintenant.” He whispered.
Translation:"If I was a real frenchman, I'd kiss you right now."
I wondered what he meant by this.  All afternoon I had teased him about the French men and their charming ways.  He pulled out my chair and I snickered, he paid the tab and I shook my head.  I told him that real romance is wasted on me.  It embarrasses me.  He seemed to think I was lying, that what I really wanted was for him to try harder. 
I smiled and turned to dart across the street and into the Panthéon where he held my wet coat and told me about the famous “vrai français” who were buried in its tombs.
Our moment outside in the rain had escaped us. So instead, I let him kiss me on the stairs of the metro station, as his cigarette burned a whole in my jacket.


I haven't OD-ed on pumpkin, yet.

Just a few things we love about fall...

1.  The Madison Square park fall festival where they serve cold beer and warm pumpkin puffs (chunks of spiced pumpkin wrapped in pastry dough and fried until flaky and golden brown)
2.  Long walks in Central Park as the crisp fall air turns your cheeks the perfect shade of rose.
3.  Waking up to a steaming cup of pumpkin spice Keurig coffee.
4.  Cashmere socks.
5.  Stuffing skinny jeans into broken-in Frye boots.
6.  A perfectly wrapped scarf that serves equally as a brilliant accessory and as practical outerwear.
7.  A little extra wiggle room to enjoy warm, comfort food.
8.  The Halloween costume brainstorming sessions had during Monday night football commercial breaks
9.  Primetime TV in full swing.
10.  The return of creative window displays and a reason to shop again (sweaters and boots and scarves, oh my!)
11.  Brisk air gives you an extra excuse to cozy up to that special someone.
12.  Apples, apples, everywhere!
13.  Not sweating on the walk to work, hair that doesn't frizz the minute you step outside, and lightly moisturized skin tucked under soft layers.
14. The return of red wine.


    Happiness List-ed Here.

    Let's start a happy list, shall we?  Please feel free to add...
    1. crossing things off a to do list
    2. red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
    3. the happy freak out first moments alone after a first kiss
    4. the voice of my father on the phone
    5. running further than i thought i could
    6. anticipation
    7. a really fabulous pair of new shoes
    8. reading aloud to each other in bed
    9. the first snow
    10. finding you have things in common that you thought you'd never admit
    11. driving with the windows down and the radio up
    12. the way the bare trees look in winter from your bedroom window
    13. brunch
    14. when my mom laughs so hard she cries
    15. seeing a new text from him
    16. whispering in french
    17. really crunchy pickles
    18. looking at the photos of a night out and giggling with your girls the morning after
    19. wandering
    20. making little noises while i eat
    21. the first moments of seeing an old friend when you just want to keep asking her how she's been
    22. christmas lights
    23. twilight


    When you're hand-ed lemons...

    Anyone else abhor the saying "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade (or add some tequila and make a margarita)" or some other equally retarded version this cliche?  I can't STAND it! 

    So, I'd like to take it upon myself to revise the saying.  How about this: "When life hands you lemons, get mad, and throw them back at her.  Life can be such a bitch sometimes."  Please help me in abolishing the cheesy lemonade remark from any and everyone's standard encouragement responses.  Thanks in advance for making my life just a little bit sweeter!

    Ironically, things have been going pretty well lately and I have little use for this phrase.  Work's been busier than usual (hence the lack of recent posts) and the social and love lives have picked up quite a bit too.  Now, if I could only get to the gym a little more frequently...but hey, I guess life can't always be perfect, huh?

    And I'd rather get fat on chocolate cake during the best of times, than thin out on a liquid lemonade diet during the worst.

    PS (and totally unrelated...) - Follow me on twitter for post updates: theedchronicles!


    Because I Ask-ed.

    I am a firm believer that if you ask the universe for something, (as long as it's reasonable) it will do it's best to get it for you in some way, shape, or form.  For instance:

    'Dear Universe,
    Please give me the strength to get through this work day without pulling all of my hair out.

    Universe: Ok, start a blog.


    'Dear Universe,
    Please send me someone interesting.  And, if it's not too much trouble, could you tell him I'm pretty darn interesting myself.

    Universe: I'll work on it.

    It seems the universe does listen.  What are you putting out into the world?  Ask for something...you might just get it.


    Wast-ed Away.

    Things I hate about being hungover:
    1. The pounding headache
    2. The tendency to binge eat carbs and grease
    3. The "did I really do that last night?" feeling
    Things I LOVE about great nights out:
    1. Dirty martinis with your roommate
    2. Free hot dogs that come with a cheap pitcher of beer
    3. Getting told you have beautiful skin by an Adrian Grenier look-alike who then asks for your number. Yum.