Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"I'm Selling My Ferrari": A Repost

I never really repost entries. In fact, I don't think I ever have before today. I wrote this entry almost a year and a half ago, but something that was made painfully obvious to me in the months after writing it was that I didn't actually mean it. Not when I first wrote it anyway. I wasn't strong enough, back then, to actually go through with it, and really, truly mean what I had said.

So I repost this entry today, elated to realize that I do mean it. The weight of this burden is, at long last, beginning to lift from my shoulders. And with that in mind, I present once more, "I'm Selling My Ferrari".

I'm selling my Ferrari.

It was a tough decision, but I have to do it. It's just not good for me anymore. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like it. I love it, and I'm going to miss it like hell. But the joyriding is coming to an end. It was a rash, impulsive, and reckless decision that turned out to be too much fun to give up. Besides, it made me feel good. Scratch that. It made me feel amazing. I mean, come on. When you're driving something like that, it's impossible not to feel confident and sexy, right? Like, if you can get a car like that, you just feel better about yourself all the time. I learned that this feeling is fleeting but damn did it feel great for a while.

Walking away from it is going to be hard though. I loved that car - well, as much as I could anyway. It is just a car, after all. I knew it wasn't going to be around forever, so it's not like I let myself get unbearably attached to it, but I'll be honest, I was pretty darn attached. You invest that much time and energy into something, and it's hard not to. And I did invest time and energy into it - a LOT of time and energy. Because even when I wasn't driving it, I was thinking about it. You have to admit, it's pretty distracting. In the BEST way, but still, distracting.

The funny thing is, I almost got rid of this thing right off the bat. When I first got the Ferrari, it scared the crap out of me. Ironic, right, to have such a beautiful piece of machinery in front of you, and to be scared of it. I was scared of it though, I was scared of driving it - scared of TOUCHING it - because, let's face it, I'm new at this, and not a very good driver. What if I messed it up? What if it crashed? Because obviously, if someone's gonna fuck something like that up, it's going to be me. That's just the way my life tends to work out.

You don't start out with a Ferrari. It's just not a good idea. Because first off, there's really nowhere to go but down. When you start off with something that awesome, where the hell do you go from there? Exactly. You don't. So now I've gotta swallow my pride, take my ego down a few pegs, and settle for a nice little Honda, or a cute Toyota, and know that it's about as good as I can do. And trust me, when you're cruising around in a Ferrari feeling like the world is yours, getting behind the wheel of a Prius is somehow, not as gratifying. Second, totaling a Ferrari sucks a lot worse than totaling your dad's pick-up truck or your mom's station wagon. You didn't just destroy something that was gonna kick the bucket in the near future anyway - you wrecked something truly awesome. And finally, you don't know how to appreciate these things when you are starting out. Why waste it when you're not even going to appreciate it the way you should? You might as well scarf down a whole plate of gourmet food in one bite and chug your wine - it's the same thing.

But the fact that I'm selling it is important. I'm not just giving it away, or throwing it out, I'm getting something out of this transaction. The Ferrari, of course, remains in perfect condition. Even me, with my clumsy ways did not manage to total it. It's beautiful as ever. And doesn't that make it that much harder to part with? I'm the one that got totaled. I got totaled by sitting behind the wheel of that car in utter fear of messing it up. What kind of way is that to drive a car? It's toxic. So I have to admit that I can't handle the situation as it stands. But I won't walk away empty handed. I've gotten plenty of compensation for my troubles. I learned to drive, I got over my fears of actually taking it out of the driveway, and, at the end of the day, I had a Ferrari, even if only for a little while.

Yea, I'd like a Ferrari. Everybody wants a Ferrari, or something like it. But let's face it - we can't all have a Ferrari. Some of us have to settle for the Honda Accord, and the Toyota Prius. Some of us have to cruise around town in a ratty old pick up truck and a broken down station wagon. But you know, people love those cars just the same, and they manage to feel just as great driving them, even if the rest of us laugh or roll our eyes because to us they hardly look pretty, or useful, or worthwhile. But people love those cars anyway. And they can feel just as amazing when they drive them because they don't need that car to legitimate them - they can do that just fine on their own.

For those interested, this piece was featured in Xangans.

Have you ever written something that you realized you didn't really mean? Did you do it on purpose? How long did it take you to realize that you didn't mean it? Did you later discover that you did?


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back To Nature

Ah, modern society. We're so fancy and advanced, with our airplanes, and our high speed internet access, and our indoor plumbing. Aren't we awesome? Our medieval ancestors would be so freaking impressed, right?

Well, maybe...

It's convenient, no doubt, to be able to go anywhere, see and talk to anyone, and take a crap in the privacy of your own bathroom. I don't think any of us are in a hurry to give that up. But in spite of all that, if you look around, there's an overwhelming movement for us to work backwards. Get environmentally friendly lightbulbs so you use less energy and put less strain on the power grid. Drive a hybrid car so that you use less gas, and put less harmful chemicals into the air. Buy organic foods so that you're not ingesting all the delightful pesticides we've cooked up. Don't drink diet soda, it has chemicals that will give you diseases, and really, fast food and prepackaged food is no better, it's making everyone obese. Don't use too many antibiotics, otherwise the pathogens will become immune. Don't shower for more than 7 minutes or you're wasting too much water, and as much as you love indoor plumbing, if you can forgo a flush or two, you're wasting less. By the way? At any given moment there could potentially be a nuclear holocaust, because we have invested so much time and energy into building things that could destroy most of the world on a whim.

We've spent hundreds of years "advancing" ourselves, countless hours of time, and billions upon billions of dollars into discovering all of these "wonderful" new conveniences, and we're just now starting to realize that maybe, just maybe, all of this wasn't such a good idea.


We've expanded beyond what the infrastructure that delivers our electricity can actually handle, haven't we? We're dependent on other countries to supply us with resources that now, we've grown unable to live without, haven't we? We're working with limited natural resources, aren't we? We've created a whole slew of ethical and social conflicts by advancing medicine to the extent that we can very nearly play god, haven't we? We've created harder to cure diseases by our overly liberal use of medication, haven't we? We've destroyed a whole bunch of our planet, haven't we? Wow guys, maybe we didn't really think this one through.

Way to think ahead, guys. Way to think ahead.

And now, in comes the backlash. As it always does, eventually. Get back to nature, everyone says. Go green, go organic, go all of those lovely, idyllic things that are advertised with big green trees, and sunny yellow suns, and blue skies. Because that's what we want - we want to get back to that natural splendor that our post-Industrial Revolution society has been pillaging and plundering for quite a while. Which isn't to say that folks before that time are innocent, but let's be honest, it's a lot harder to destroy the rainforest with a hand saw. We've certainly speeded up the process in recent centuries.

So we're buying organic food and beauty products, washing our hair with sulfate-free shampoo, shunning prepackaged trans-fats and preservatives, and reusing our shopping bags when we buy groceries. We're getting environmentally friendly lightbulbs, and high efficiency washer/dryer units, and hybrid cars. We're turning to hollistic medicines and natural home remedies. Social movement, or mere consumer trend, I wonder?

Yet somehow, we're still going forwards even when we're trying to go backwards. Scientific research and grand feats of engineering are required to find new ways for us to exist in the world without being quite so hard on it. Someone has to manufacture the green lightbulbs, and the hybrid cars. And that's the new, more advanced technology. Our advancement is attempting to get us back to the way things used to be. You know, before the entire planet was a huge ticking time bomb.

I'm not sitting here saying that I want to give up my laptop computer, or my gas powered car, and really? Who would say indoor plumbing was a really awful idea, in the long run? Who thinks they could have figured out a better way to do it? I'm just especially intrigued by the current social views of our environment, and our technology. That's why I'm not sitting here throwing facts and figures at you - it's society I'm interested in. It's what people are doing, what people are buying, how people are thinking - that's what is interesting to me. And right now, we're thinking back to nature.

Do you think we should get back to nature? Do you think that our technological advancements have gone a bit too far? Do you think that our new research is actually an attempt to get us back to where we used to be before things got this far? Which modern advancement or convenience would you be most willing to give up? Which would be the hardest?


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dreams And Plans Are In The Making...

Success is out there for the taking
Wish it was as simple as it sounds
I have no choice, I have to do it
Face the future, walk into it
Now that I'm unfettered and unbound...


As of today, I have completely all 120 credits necessary to get my Bachelor's Degree! 

I also have been offered a job as a wardrobe assistant on two small shows this summer. 

I am so freaking excited.



Monday, July 12, 2010

Just A Passing Glance

Eye contact is a very interesting thing to me. Living in Manhattan, I find that there are an overwhelming number of people who weave through the hustle and bustle of the city with their eyes glazed over, never looking directly at anyone or anything. On the other hand, of course, there are the tourists who have their faces firmly planted in the sky, oblivious to anything going on around them. So when I make eye contact with someone, it's a less common occurrence. And frankly? It almost makes me a little uncomfortable at times, simply because I'm not used to it. 

My job probably doesn't help matters - I am a sales associate, so anyone who is not intending on buying something right that moment is expending a good deal of effort avoiding my gaze. Eye contact might prompt me to go into some sort of pitch, and we don't want that, now do we? Even those who make eye contact with me generally don't hold it for long. It's as though I might hypnotize them into spending money. It always makes me laugh.

But then there's those moments. When you catch the eye of someone you find attractive, or you're with a bunch of strangers watching something completely ridiculous, and you share a glance. And I love those moments. Even if it's just catching the eye of the person across from me on the train as a crazy homeless person walks by and sharing that knowing "look". Or meeting eyes with a cute guy as I'm walking down the street and not breaking it until we've both walked past. Those glances and those moments leave their mark on us - hell, there's a whole Craigslist section dedicated to them! And a lot of them say the same thing.

"We looked at each other, but I was too shy to say hello."

We make these momentary connections with people, but we're so scared of following up on them. I mean, half the time we're too scared or embarrassed to hold their gaze for more than a couple of moments, let alone actually go over and say hello. How many potential friendships do we miss out on just because we're too scared to advance that connection? Is it possible that the way in which we make eye contact with people (or, more often, avoid it) has to do with the way in which our society has developed to prefer textual communication? 

Do you find that you make eye contact with people a lot, or that you are more likely to avoid their gaze? If you make eye contact with someone who looks friendly, attractive, or interesting, are you likely to go up and talk to them?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh Baby, Oh Baby - Sexting Distractions

Much to the chagrin of the generation ahead of us, many young people these days "sext" - and yes, I'll admit that I'm one of them. Dirty texts and the occasional photo, when you get into a long distance relationship (or if it's just your "thing") it just happens.

I'm not here to debate whether this is a good or bad thing, because frankly, those who want to do it can go ahead, and it's no one else's business. Rather, I had an amusing thought the other night as I hit the "send" button on a dirty text while tossing some dirty dishes in the sink - a decidedly UNsexy task.

How many of you have ever been carrying on a dirty text conversation when you were doing something COMPLETELY different?

I couldn't help but laugh as I did it, because it's supposed to be something intimate and sexy, and here I was doing the dishes. And it made me wonder if others are doing the same. If you guy or girl starts up a naughty conversation, do you just go with it regardless of whether your head is in it at the moment, or do you give them a metaphorical "roll over" and put it off until another time?


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Family Barbecues: Answering THOSE Questions

So being that it is Fourth of July weekend, there are a whole bunch of barbecues and picnics and other such festivities that involve me getting to see a lot of friends and far removed relatives that I never really see. 

With these meetings come a couple of inevitable questions: "How is school going? What year are you again?" "How is work?" "Do you have a boyfriend?" "How is life in New York?"

hate those questions. There is no way for me to answer those questions without lying.

My life is complicated. I know that there's nothing special about this. Everyone's life is complicated. But I've yet to figure out a way to perfect my answers to these questions that makes it seem like things aren't complicated. Nobody wants to hear me try to explain that I'm technically a junior, but that I'm graduating in the middle of July, so I guess I'm sort of a senior too. Nobody wants to listen to me rant that my job is a disaster since they just fired my manager with no real plan for how to replace her. And forget the boyfriend thing. I know for a fact that not only does no one want to hear about the 3 different dysfunctional relationships I'm in (not to mention the 2 guys I'm attempting to date on some sort of normal level), but that my mother would strangle me if I mentioned anything remotely close to the truth. Life in New York?

It's good. School is good. Work is good. My boyfriend is good.

We're all good, and fine, and dandy.

It's just easier to lie. It's easier to say "Yea, it's great. It's all great." 

What makes this even worse is that I'm trying to answer these questions in the company of many people who are also in their early twenties who have perfectly simple answers to these questions. For all I know, they're lying through their teeth like I am, but they're a lot more convincing with their steady girlfriends, and husbands, and children, and houses that they just bought, and job titles that don't imply retail servitude. I just stand there telling half truths to end the conversation as quickly as possible, and retreat to a corner with my plate of food. 

Are there questions that you absolutely hate answering at family gatherings? Do you lie, or do you tell the truth?