January 23, 2011


While I inadventantly quit smoking nearly 3 months ago, the only time I really miss it is when I think about all my cigarette breaks on Via XXVII Aprile’s balcony in Florence.
A typical day in Italy. Full of sheer class.
XOXO

While I inadventantly quit smoking nearly 3 months ago, the only time I really miss it is when I think about all my cigarette breaks on Via XXVII Aprile’s balcony in Florence.

A typical day in Italy. Full of sheer class.

XOXO

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July 26, 2011


A Better Woman Than You

One of the bad parts about staying in the same town that you graduated college in is that inevitably, you’ll run into people from your past who you would rather not see. Like today when I unexpectedly bumped into one of the ex’s little slips in fidelity. It had been awhile since I’d seen her; even longer since I’d seen her in the same room as myself and the ex. If counting my two relationships since him was any indicator, I’ve obviously moved on. I don’t wish her a quick slip and a bad fall anymore. I don’t spend my nights obsessively checking her Facebook profile to see what she’s been up to lately (answer then would have been, “having more of a life than you are obsessively checking her page, dipshit,”) anymore, either. In fact, it was kind of a shock to see her and instantly remember that, well, she exists. So I did the natural thing, which, in this case, also happened to the the right thing: I smiled genuinely at her, and said, “Hi, _____, how have you been?”

And she barely looked at me. She said a flat “hi” back, and moved on with whatever it was she was doing. For a moment, I was PISSED. Look, I’ve been the Other Woman (with the same guy, nonetheless!) in the past, so I know what running into the First Woman entails— You smile politely, but not too much, lest she think you’re mocking her. You speak first. You say a genuine, polite “hello” or “hey.” If she engages you in conversation after that, you stick to neutral topics— the weather, work, school, recent plans (that DON’T involve the man in both of your lives). You DON’T just ignore her. Because here’s the thing, if you don’t at least smile and say hi, then you’re being a bitch. And if you happen to the the First Woman, you end up having yet another reason to hate the Other Woman even more. Basically, I was mad because I slipped back into the thinking that if you have the balls to want to share my relationship’s bed, you BEST have the balls to meet my eye when you see me. Otherwise, I’m going to think that you’re a coward, not a threat, and start to question my partner’s interest in you in the first place and if you’re what he wants to run around with, than is he really the sort of man I should be with? There’s a very particular sort of woman who lurks around the outskirts of your life, looking in, wanting what you have, and is all bark behind your back and no real bite, and those are the women I can’t fucking STAND. And THAT is EXACTLY the sort of woman who doesn’t have the social grace or class to actually buck up, be a big girl, and converse like an actual person.

All of this flashed through my mind in about a nanosecond, dragging with it all the old feelings of spite and envy and mistrust and haughtiness. Then, something else happened— I suddenly realized that I had no right to feel ANY of those ways about her anymore, as I was no longer (obviously) with the ex, and neither was she, either. I realized that if she couldn’t even look my in the eyes now, over a year after everything between all of us went down, well, that was telling. About her, about her character, and about how she felt about the whole situation. And so, I kept on walking, letting it slide, and feeling vaguely protective of her, and the innocence and naivety that she exposed by not knowing how to do the right thing. Because, when it comes down to it, there are always going to be other women out there who are either trying to get a rise out of you, or you are trying to get a rise out of, yourself. (I would be lying if I said I was currently engaged in a game of electronic “chicken” myself.) We all have it in ourselves to be bitches. We all know exactly how to hurt other women. But that’s all rather childish, and should be behind us by now, like how I realized that what she thinks or does no longer has any impact in my life, not even if she refuses to respond to my greeting. What really proves who the bigger (and better) woman is is who smiles and says that theoretical “hi” first. And I am now DEDICATED to being that better woman.

XOXO

—-

- From SATCG.

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August 9, 2011


She gets respect when she respects you. She gets no respect JUST because she thinks she should; women get respect by having class, grace, and self-worth.

C.R

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September 14, 2011


September 21, 2011


Conversations With Complete Tumblr Strangers: Pay The Love Forward.

  • Actual Tumblr Message I Received: "Hey. I was just looking through my messages and saw that I had missed one you had sent to me about advice. I just read through the whole thing and teared up a little while doing so. I wish I would have seen that at the time because it would have been the perfect thing to put a smile on my face. I needed to tell you thank you soooo much for taking the time to go out of your way and message... It's nice to know some else cares!"
  • Actual Tumblr Message I Sent Back: "Oh, not a problem, love! I figure for every nasty, horrible, miserable anon message that gets sent on Tumblr, a genuine, caring, interested message has to be sent. I hope everything's working out better for you, and remember to pay the love forward to someone else who may need it! XOXO"
  • ---
  • This is my philosophy. A Tumblr message should look like, "I believe in you; you're smart, and kind, and important, " and NOT like, "This is a small town you dumb fucking slut...You honestly just look inbred." (Those were some of the kinder snippets of actual anon Tumblr hate-mail that I've received.) So, who's going to be the better, more mature and well-mannered person with awesome karma in the long-run, hmm, someone who wishes and sends their own ugly hate on to others, or someone who wishes the best and sends the love?
  • You will NEVER get anonymous hate-mail from me. I can PROMISE you that I have better places to put my own negative thoughts and channel energy from them than putting them in your inbox. If I have a problem with you, I'll either work it out on my own, or confront you, personally. I will solve my problems like an adult. And in the meantime, if I cannot do that, I will do my best to make sure that other people reap the benefits of the kind and patient words I can give them, because like all the duality in life, I cannot feel hate or disgust without feeling love and thanks for someone else. This is my promise to you. Can you promise me that you'll do the same?
  • Be smart. Be kind. Be important. Spread your love. (And if you do it physically, use protection!)
  • XOXO

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October 25, 2011


Sipping pumpkin brew while soaking in the Jacuzzi.

Oh yes, sweet baby lord, yes.

XOXO

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November 3, 2011


"I’m a good girl; I’m humorous and smart. I read books and, speak French and Latin too. My brain’s neater, than gin on ice."

XOXO

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November 28, 2011


February 14, 2012


Life Lady Lessons: Table For One

Other than how to walk over cobblestone streets in stiletto heels and how to lie to a man about being engaged in another language, another very important Life Lady Lesson that I learned while living in Italy was how to go out at eat at a restaurant…by myself.

I know this sounds like, “whoooo, big deal” to most grown-ups, men, or social pariahs, but for a young, (especially single,) twenty-something girl, eating solo is both a crushing fear as well as a long and painful art. Women have this innate sort of radar for being judged that makes us start to panic about the fact that we think we can read our waitress’s mind as soon as she seats us at our table for one and that she’s thinking, “God, what a loser— she can’t even find someone to eat lunch with her.” I’ll even admit it: I took myself out to lunch today as a  “Happy early Valentine’s Day to yourself, you fabulous single woman, you,” treat. (I highly recommend it to all the other single ladies out there.) It’s been two years since I started eating on my own, but I was STILL momentarily thrown off when my waitress started taking to the sushi chef in Vietnamese and was hit by a blinding wall of “OHMIGOD, WHAT IF THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT ME?!” It’s natural. So here are my tips for diffusing that nasty little neurotic bomb and becoming your own favorite meal companion:

1.) Make it a treat. Dress us. Put make-up on. Wear nice jewelry. Do your hair in some style that takes more than your fingers and 2 minutes under the blow-dryer to create. Slip on your favorite lingerie. Or, wear your favorite, comfy, “running-around-doing-errands-and-still-looking-cute” outfit. If you feel good about yourself, you’re already winning.

2.) Choose a restaurant that may be difficult to get your friends to go to, or somewhere that you don’t get to eat often. Maybe your boyfriend is totally against sushi or anything that smells like fish. (Hey-OOOOO.) Maybe your calorie-counting bestie considers the pasta house down the road tantamount to a Dollar Menu binge at McDonald’s. Maybe your hip, trendy, vegan-hipsters friends just don’t eat. Since you only have to account for the palate of one, whose tastes you should know VERY well, cater to yourself. And your stomach.

3.) If you’re worried about getting looked at weird, go at an off-hour, not during the lunch or dinner rush. Although, I will say this— if you’re worried about getting looked at, and you’re single, you have bigger problems than eating alone. I’ve some some startlingly great conversations that cropped up when a guy who was sitting at a restaurant’s bar with his friends noticed I was flying solo and came over to introduce himself to me. I’ve talked to totally random guys about wines, work, traveling, and yes, even my totally-made-up fiance. If you’re ACTIVELY on the prowl for your next piece of man-meat, sit at the bar to eat— you’ll get more cross-breeze in the Guy Zone there.

4.) Try not to do this, but if you’re really nervous, bring a book for back-up. I did this at first, and never ended up reading it. I then started bringing a small Moleskine notebook and twiddled away my time writing twee little restaurant reviews, just for fun, and to keep sharp while away from the newspaper. (I used to write a restaurant review with my college roommate-cum-common law-partner, Alli, called “Kitchen Bitches” for the campus paper.) Now, I just periodically check my phone from time to time, fire off a text or two, or check Facebook. Mostly, I find it more interesting to scope out the other restaurant patrons and make up stories about what I think THEY’RE doing. The more you go out and dine alone, the more used to being alone with yourself you’ll be, and thus, the more you’ll get to know yourself. Lunches for one are a great opportunity to navel-gaze and figure out where you are in accordance to your life and emotions.

5.) Tip well. Not the standard 15%…more like 25%. I know that this may sound odd, but I’ve noticed that waitstaff tends to spend more time chatting you up and giving you personal service when waiting on a single person than on a table with a few. It’s probably because they know the bill won’t be as big, but I also like to think some of it is them taking good care of you. Tip accordingly, and make their day, too.

Here are some extra-special cheat-sheet pointers, too:

- I know this is cliche, but Asian restaurants run a damn tight ship, and they won’t leave you waiting listlessly around for nearly two hours, preferring instead to get you through quick change-overs between courses. If you’re just dipping your toe into the water of dining alone, and don’t want to have to be alone with yourself and your own thoughts forever, try Chinese or the ever-trendy sushi or that new Korean BBQ place.

- When in doubt between soda, water, beer, wine, or hard liquor, order the wine or hard liquor. (Never both.) A young lady sitting by herself and savoring a robust red or nursing a dirty martini says, “I am deep, intellectual, worldly, and totally comfortable being on my own. I am magnificent and enticing. You can’t pass judgement on me, and your boyfriend is wondering who I am and why I’m single right…NOW.” A soda says, “I’m jailbait,” a lone glass of water says “I’m either in AA or very cheap,” and beer should be reserved for dive bars and pool out with your friends on a Friday night. Unless it’s made on premises or an artisan brew at a pub where you’re eating, of course. 

- Talk it up to your girl friends. The more women who go out and purposefully experience and embrace eating alone, the more we change society’s viewpoint of a twenty-something girl, or a thirty-something girl, or a sixty year old woman eating alone. We’re not people to be pitied, ESPECIALLY when we’re eating a bitchin’ butternut squash ravioli or sitting in a cafe in Italy on our own dime.

Just think, so many women will be eating out in restaurants tomorrow, either wishing they were somewhere else, eating something else, with anyone else, or by themselves. You single girls, like me, have the privilege and ability to be just as finicky and take-no-prisoners when it comes to your food as when it comes to your men and who you date and relate. Learn to make dining out by yourself a work of art that you craft with the utmost skill— where you go, what you eat, and who you invite to share your table are all parts that make the whole experience.

Happy eating!

XOXO

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February 20, 2012


My great-grandmother was a Southern society lady. She lived outside of New Orleans in a plantation house, owned a yacht in Florida before it was popular, had a bevy of handsome gay friends to take her to society events so she never had to show up with the same man twice (since it wasn’t her husband’s idea of a good night), and put my mother through finishing school and ballroom dance lessons and cotillions. She always let me crawl into her designer hospital bed with her, and fed me stacks of Oreos, which I was technically NEVER allowed by my mother.
She was, apparently, by everyone’s accounts, a very formidable lady with a nasty temper and quick and clever tongue if she didn’t like you or thought you were “beneath” the family status. (Yes, I’m partially Southern blue-blood royalty, y’all. Somewhere in there under all the Jersey genes.) I was her only great-granddaughter, and thus, could do no wrong and shit solid gold. This love and acceptance did not extend to every branch of the family, it’s said, and so, I count myself as being VERY lucky to have been young and adorable and guileless while she was still alive. To this day, it’s she who gets the credit for my inherent knowledge to wear a conservative yet age-appropriate dress and cardigan when meeting a beau’s grandparents; for giving me an innate knowledge of how to judge fake pearls from the real thing just by looking at them; and for my iron-clad blue-blood society skills. Work a room? It’s mine. Chat up strangers? I got this. Impress important people? I’m damn DARLING. (Actually, that’s how an ex’s grandmother described me to her daughter when she didn’t know I was on the front lawn and could still hear her on the porch— “She’s just DARLING!”) And did I write a thank-you card afterward for that generosity? You bet your sweet ass I did. Class. You can’t always learn it, though all these lessons and more were things she taught me from the aforementioned hospital bed as we ate Oreos and played with the truly awe-inspiring Barbie collection she amassed for me. Sometimes, you have to be born with it.
My mother can’t get through a single episode of Downton Abbey without commenting on the fact that Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess is her grandmother reincarnated. 
I am in agreement.
"I doubt you’ll see me again.""Do you promise?"
I nearly DIED at that line, and couldn’t help but having an “oh god, everything makes sense now!” moment tonight when the Dowager basically told Carlisle to his face that he was a sack of nouveau-riche shit. From now on in my life, when someone who is truly a waste of time and space threatens to exit right, this is how I will respond. Because I am 99.3% sure this is how my great-grandmother excommunicated unsavory parts of her family tree. Everything good and classy I ever learned, I got from my grandmama. And the Dowager of Downton.
XOXO

My great-grandmother was a Southern society lady. She lived outside of New Orleans in a plantation house, owned a yacht in Florida before it was popular, had a bevy of handsome gay friends to take her to society events so she never had to show up with the same man twice (since it wasn’t her husband’s idea of a good night), and put my mother through finishing school and ballroom dance lessons and cotillions. She always let me crawl into her designer hospital bed with her, and fed me stacks of Oreos, which I was technically NEVER allowed by my mother.

She was, apparently, by everyone’s accounts, a very formidable lady with a nasty temper and quick and clever tongue if she didn’t like you or thought you were “beneath” the family status. (Yes, I’m partially Southern blue-blood royalty, y’all. Somewhere in there under all the Jersey genes.) I was her only great-granddaughter, and thus, could do no wrong and shit solid gold. This love and acceptance did not extend to every branch of the family, it’s said, and so, I count myself as being VERY lucky to have been young and adorable and guileless while she was still alive. To this day, it’s she who gets the credit for my inherent knowledge to wear a conservative yet age-appropriate dress and cardigan when meeting a beau’s grandparents; for giving me an innate knowledge of how to judge fake pearls from the real thing just by looking at them; and for my iron-clad blue-blood society skills. Work a room? It’s mine. Chat up strangers? I got this. Impress important people? I’m damn DARLING. (Actually, that’s how an ex’s grandmother described me to her daughter when she didn’t know I was on the front lawn and could still hear her on the porch— “She’s just DARLING!”) And did I write a thank-you card afterward for that generosity? You bet your sweet ass I did. Class. You can’t always learn it, though all these lessons and more were things she taught me from the aforementioned hospital bed as we ate Oreos and played with the truly awe-inspiring Barbie collection she amassed for me. Sometimes, you have to be born with it.

My mother can’t get through a single episode of Downton Abbey without commenting on the fact that Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess is her grandmother reincarnated. 

I am in agreement.

"I doubt you’ll see me again."
"Do you promise?"

I nearly DIED at that line, and couldn’t help but having an “oh god, everything makes sense now!” moment tonight when the Dowager basically told Carlisle to his face that he was a sack of nouveau-riche shit. From now on in my life, when someone who is truly a waste of time and space threatens to exit right, this is how I will respond. Because I am 99.3% sure this is how my great-grandmother excommunicated unsavory parts of her family tree. Everything good and classy I ever learned, I got from my grandmama. And the Dowager of Downton.

XOXO

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December 29, 2012


January 9, 2013


January 28, 2013


Once, when I was 15 in driver’s ed, the only other girl in the class leaned over to me and whispered, “You know who you remind me of? Drew Barrymore.”

Basically, to this day, the best compliment that has ever been paid to me.

XOXO

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August 8, 2013


Nothing like a woman with a brilliant mind and a filthy mouth.

- I Don’t Know Who Said This.

But they should be given a medal and kissed.

PROPERLY KISSED.

XOXO

(Source: kbfoto)

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