Tag Archives: getting older

too old for standing room only

Roseland Ballroom, NYC

I went to Something Corporate’s reunion show last night with my friend Mery. Once we reached Grand Central, thus began my hunt for a bank after a much needed pretzel pit stop (aka dinner). I know what you’re thinking – for every Starbucks in Manhattan there are probably about four banks/ATMs, so why must a “hunt” be involved? Answer: I’m not about to pay to withdraw my own money. I was going to include a simile here but quite frankly I can’t think of anything quite as ridiculous, especially when the sum of my fees – between the ATM itself and my own bank – would total $4.50. No thanks. Turns out, there are not as many HSBC banks as I previously assumed. After trying my bank card in four different machines – when did they stop posting the fee upfront so you don’t have to waste your time being asked what language you speak or if you’d like to check your balance first four separate times? – I finally reached an HSBC. Bada-bing.

Next was standing in line. Good news: we arrived late enough in the day that we didn’t have to stand there for 5+ hours waiting to get in. Bad news: the line was four blocks long. I’m all about band-loyalty and whatnot, but peeps, there is no need to arrive at 1:30 pm when doors open at 7:30. You already have your ticket. Do you really think once you get inside and park yourself front and center after waiting outside for six hours you will remain in that very spot for the entire evening? Get real, hipsters. Here’s what really goes down: you show up insanely early, park yourself in the perfect spot, and as soon as the band comes on, everyone shoves forward as though running for dear life and before you know it you are parked behind some six-foot-four, drunk frat “bro” with pit stains the size of Alaska. And to add insult to injury, halfway through the show you are elbowed in the jugular by some three-foot-nine teeny-bopper groupie who shoved her way from the back after arriving just moments ago. Lesson: those that show up at 1:30 and those that show up at 8:30 look no different through the eyes of the band looking out from the stage. I could’ve told you that after seeing Ryan Cabrera in concert in the tenth grade. (Yeah, that’s right. I was a fan.)

So there we were, standing on this line full of self-proclaimed “#1 Something Corporate fans” which, to the untrained eye, could’ve easily been mistaken for the line to audition for a new reality show that combines High School Musical with Jersey Shore and the Osbournes. However, at this particular show, I was a little surprised at the variety of wardrobe choices. Normally at a show like this, the majority of guests are 13-16 year old girls who have recently ironed their band tee for [insert band name] or opted for their favorite hipster/scene outfit, probably purchased at either Hot Topic or Pac Sun for this particular occasion. They want to appear “part of that world” right down to which/how many bracelets on each wrist, or whether they should leave their fake black, thick-framed glasses at home. Braided pigtails? Bump-it? Some dudes may even arrive with a [insert OTHER band name] tee, maybe to appear cool by association or in hopes to strike up a conversation with an unassuming stranger about how “totally sick” that band is as well.

Sure, there was plenty of that last night, but mixed in with that whole subcategory of ridiculous was another in which girls wore dresses and heels. What is this, the homecoming dance? The Oscars? I personally opted for a solid tee (admittedly of a neon color), jeggings (do not judge) and flip-flops. Seriously. If Joan Rivers approached me last night asking “who” I was wearing I’d be inclined to tell her “probably some young sweatshop worker.”

In my flip-flops, my knees buckled as tightly as the belt of a 400-lb. man trying to hide his “love handles.” My heels dug through the bottoms of my shoes as I felt all their little nerve endings slowly dying, standing flat with no support below the toe. And then they expected us to stand for another two hours?!

Cut to inside the venue, post-overpriced-tee-shirt-purchase, post-more-waiting, halfway into the show: there I am, having the time of my life, shaking what my mother literally gave me to the sounds of a band that got me through high school, when this ass-crack of a human being shoves his way in front of me and – get this – stops. Right there, two centimeters away from standing on my bare toes. I could’ve sneezed down the back of his shirt if I wanted. And in hindsight, I should’ve. Because the only reason he pushed his way back was so he could stand on top of some innocent bystander’s toes and smoke a blunt. I mean really, dude. Don’t you have some backseat in which to do that? Or maybe a basement party? And as if that was bad enough, he began dancing. Picture someone spinning onion rings on their index fingers while looking down and repeatedly picking his feet out of the gum he stepped in. That’s kind of what Homeboy’s dancing looked like. In a word, atrocious. In four more words, too close for comfort. At one point I caught the eye of a girl next to me, rolled my eyes assuming there was some kind of unspoken girl code about this sort of thing, and that she agreed. Then she tapped Homeboy on the shoulder and I thought, Sweet, I have a supporter. Then I realized she was asking for a hit of his joint, to which he graciously complied. Then they were friends. There goes that. Eventually he left and I was able to at least enjoy the encore knowing that I didn’t have to close one eye and turn my head sideways to see the lead singer.

There was a time when I could tolerate being surrounded by sloppy-drunk, overweight, shirtless undergrads that swung their sweaty blubber around as they body-slammed into each other for no apparent reason (“moshing”) just so I could be closer to the stage. There was even a time I could tolerate having one of them inadvertently slide his man-boob/armpit – where did one start and the other end? – against my fifteen-year old arm. All in the name of Yellowcard circa 2004. But now I’d much prefer staying towards the back where I have little chance of having a scene kid’s Chuck Taylors land on my ear as he crowd surfs above me, forcing me to participate. Kind of makes me sad, but really, how much am I really missing out on?

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empty juice boxes + other ways to carry on

I feel so empty. Like a juice box that has been squeezed past its limit; all my juice is gone and my straw is just sucking up a loud, slurpy air of nothingness. I try squeezing, flattening, even twisting myself for that one last drop. But there is simply. Nothing. Left.

*                    *                    *

So since my last melodramatic post, not much has changed. I was told that these kinds of things happen. People change and not everyone and everything last forever. I can appreciate that statement, since just about every person who has entered my life has just as easily removed him/herself from it. But when did growing up mean giving up? Giving up your friends, your happiness? Am I doomed for absolute loneliness with each day that gets crossed off the calendar? No. Because I was also told that this doesn’t last forever either. I was told I get past this and eventually things become easier. Well yeah, that has the same impact as telling a blind man he’ll see brighter days.

I have to learn to be a bitch. It seems that the bitchy people always get what they want. The girls who lie, pretend, manipulate, cheat, steal…they are happy. Albeit, it’s only a temporary happiness, like when I take a bite out of a Cinnabon, feel completely euphoric for, oh… 10 seconds and then realize I’m about to slip into a food coma. Too much of a good thing never lasts. “They get theirs in the end.” Well, I’ll be marking my calendar for that fateful day.

But really, I’m not really focused on tomorrow; I’m not interested in what happens later on when things “get better.” Do you pop a romantic comedy into the DVD player and skip to the last 10 minutes? I didn’t think so. No, you strap yourself in and board that emotional roller coaster like a champ… you laugh, you cry, sometimes it’s painful to watch. And then at the end, just before the credits roll and they begin that cheesy love song, you feel somewhat at ease with what has just unraveled before you.

I guess it’s a little cliché (and unrealistic) to compare my life to a movie. Okay, point taken. I’m just saying that yeah, I’m sure it’ll all work out. I know I should look to the positives and let everything else just fall into place, blah blah blah. And I’m not dismissing the advice of my mother and boyfriend and everyone else who stuck me with that line. I’m just saying excuse me if I can’t exactly see the positives of this situation just yet. Excuse me if I roll my eyes or pfft at the idea that something good will come out of this shithole of a situation I am in. Because it’s not so much wah wah my friends forgot about me. It’s more like goddammit some of these people turn the other way because some big-haired bitch told them some crap lie about me. Yeah, I went there. I’d be totally fine with knowing that people in this world don’t like me for what I am, because I said or did something totally out of line. But having them stare me down like I just murdered their puppy for no reason, simply because someone told them to? Pardon me, I didn’t realize I stepped back into high school. Was that the homeroom bell? I should grab my brown paper bag lunch and scurry along.

I know I’m just thinking too much. (What the hell else is new?) In the back of my mind I know I should just go with the flow, let all my friends leave me in the dust, and just march forward because in the end, I’ll come out on top. And maybe, ten years from now, if I have a spare second in my busy, precious day, I’ll think about them and either laugh or feel sorry, because they’ll probably still be acting like children at age 30.

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the moment it all changed – when was that exactly?

Bear with me people, I wrote this next post right before falling asleep a few nights ago. Decided not to post it out of fear that it sounded too self-loathing. After editing it, I realize it is still self-loathing. Deal with it.

*

At the risk of getting all existential right before bed, I can’t help but pose the question that’s been on my mind the last few days: When/how did I become this person I am now?

Allow me to elaborate:

In high school I was a little bit of everything. I was smart – getting A’s in all of my classes. I took calculus in 10th grade for Christ’s sake. By today’s standards, you’d think that qualified me for four years of ostracism, but despite my good grades (and my pride that came with them), people liked me. For starters, I had a best friend, the same best friend from the start of middle school all through high school (and some of college). In high school, we did everything together, and in the rare times when we weren’t there to delight in each other’s success or grieve in each other’s defeat, we told each other everything. From there, I had a small group of friends to fill my weekends with activity and adventure. And then I had what I could only refer to as “marginal” friends. Sounds harsh, but really, what I mean is that aside from my group of close-knit friends, I had various other people whom I talked to in/before/after class. I was close enough to befriend each of them on Facebook, but only a select few did I see on the weekends. It was a mutual and unspoken understanding. My weekends were booked up weeks in advance, and although this probably was not a reality, I felt popular, surrounded by love. Sure I wasn’t a cheerleader or beauty queen, but people enjoyed talking to me, laughed at my jokes, appreciated my company.

Point is, I talked to everyone. I was highly intelligent. I bore the gift of creative talents, such as painting and writing. I was a walking smorgasbord.

And if I could, I would love to pinpoint the exact moment when all of that changed. Instead of going out every weekend (and weeknight, for that matter), I’ve recently been couch-bound on the computer or in front of the television every night. When instead of getting text messages or phone calls out of the blue, I now sit by my phone pathetically awaiting hours-overdue text message responses. When my inbox remains empty, I wonder what I did wrong. Whereas I once was “popular” I am now unnoticed and paranoid.

Until recently, I was under the false impression that social interaction was supposed to get progressively more bearable as you got older. Sure, as an adult you worry about careers and money and taxes, so life itself isn’t “easier,” but in the midst of all that chaos, I thought, one needn’t worry about asinine drama and foolish text message misunderstandings. I thought high school was the time in one’s life set aside for angst and feeling left out or misunderstood. But now, as a 21 year old with a squeaky-clean social track record, I feel as though my prime has passed. This cycle is working in reverse for me.

When in the hell did this happen? When did I become a “friend” (notice the quotes), someone that people sacrifice in the name of fun? When people have to cut down the guest list, or have a choice of inviting me or someone else, why am I suddenly the person to get cut out of the equation, if I’m even lucky to be considered in the first place? Most days I feel restless, like there’s something I should be doing but can’t. I walk around a mall and instead of getting shopping fever, I mourn the loss of my former life as a somebody.

I know that college had something to do with it. We all dispersed, creating our own place in a new world. Coming back home after that is hard. But it seems as though everyone else pretty much stayed in touch, kept things as they were, minus me. I’m sure that’s partially my fault; I’m sure I left a few texts unanswered myself, a few parties ignored. But can it really all be my fault? Doubtful. It’s one thing when the aforementioned “marginals” – people whom I can easily convince myself I don’t care about – exclude me from this world, but to have some of my oldest and closest friends – people I thought I could count on – cast me aside is a feeling too painful to ignore.

I should be happy with my life, and I suppose some days I am. I have an increasingly close relationship with my family, a boyfriend who – for some crazy reason – loves me and is not afraid to show it, and I just recently found out that my internship seems to be turning out a job for me when I graduate. Then why can’t I have it all? When did everyone decide I wasn’t good enough for them?

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a rebirth, of sorts

I feel like a negligent parent. This blog has now been in existence for well over a month and I have barely written a damn thing. Without sounding like I just make excuses for myself all over the place, I believe the reason I haven’t fully pursued my new goal of becoming an accomplished blogger is because, quite frankly, I didn’t know how to blog. Sure, I know how to push my fingers against the keys to make letters, then words, then sentences, then perhaps even a thought here and there. But I was unaware of what it took to maintain a blog – a little corner of the cyber world that I could call my own. I had unrealistic goals, such as trying to include as little details of my daily life as possible. Yeah, okay, Self. I’m pretty sure 98.643% of what I write about derives from my daily life, the mundane details of my mundane little existence. I thought that if I wrote about my experiences at work, or on the bus to work, or at the gym, this blog would qualify to rank with my high school LiveJournal (Love LJ, don’t get me wrong here). What I didn’t consider was how interesting I can make things – like the faint but ever-present smell of urine on 5th Avenue or the self-proclaimed “drunken fool” on my afternoon commutes – amusing, or even relevant. Clearly, with a limiting rule such as “omit all daily activity,” this corner of cyber world was headed nowhere fast.

Okay, so it’s settled. I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I can admit failure. It’s just that I also have so many thoughts up in my noggin – that things works overtime all the time. And I was going about this all wrong. Not just what I wanted to write about. But how I was approaching it. I’d cuddle up in bed with my laptop after a long day of work/commuting/exercising/self-analysis and BAM! I was asleep in 5 minutes. Or, I’d be too engrossed with syndication (more specifically, Roseanne and Golden Girls) to want to think about my own life. Some people might call this behavior lazy. They would be 100% correct.

Well now that I’ve finally owned up to my laziness and pleaded my case, I suppose I should move this baby along. Perhaps start it off with the basics – the 4 W’s. Call me old-fashioned (or lame) but I find this always works when I’m at a loss for words.

Who: The name is Liz. I’m not going to bore you with a laundry list of likes, dislikes, and favorites. I am 21 years old majoring in English (Creative Writing) and minoring in Art Studio and Jewish Studies You weren’t expecting the last one, I know. I’m a non-practicing Jew but I’d to feel Jew-y somehow. I love to paint. And photograph the world. And create things in general. Huge fan of music. And food. And sleep. My goals? I have many, some yet to be discovered, but for now I’ll offer up my long-term goals. I’d like to decorate. Create. Until now, it seemed definite that my decoration dreams were those of an interior nature, but because of my aforementioned New York-style brain (never sleeps. get it? no? moving on…), I have started to consider other options. One example: a career in party decor. Centerpieces. Sounds lame on paper, but I spend all my time (and money) in Michael’s anyway. And I’m always the first to steal the centerpieces at a party. It seems logical. In addition to spending all my days drowning in ribbon and silk flowers, or paint chips and fabric samples, I’d love to write. Reword: I’d love to become an author. Get published, have my writing mean something to someone other than myself and my writing professors. As mentioned in my last and long-lost blog entry, that’s why I started this thing (see: Why).

What: I want to say everything. I want to tell everyone what I’m feeling, what I’ve been through, and how it’s all affected me, while keeping in mind both the elements of eloquence and realism. I want to finally be honest, as opposed to biting my tongue and reading half-truths off of cue cards. I don’t think there is enough honestly in this world, or at least my world. Think of it as a therapy session, minus the comfy chair. And the confidentiality, I guess.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the boundaries of what’s appropriate for a public forum and what’s not. However, I have spent most of my adolescent-adult life hiding how I really feel, in fear of the reactions of others. And as a result, I let people rule my life. And as a result of that, I guess, I have fair-weather self-image and lack of confidence to boot. A frustrating and unrelenting cycle: I let people walk all over me, so I never feel that I deserve what I want, so I let people walk all over me. Quick, someone please tell me if the chicken or the egg came first because my head is spinning! But seriously. What I’m getting at is that I need somewhere to release all this bottled-up bullshit. The fact that I still even have to deal with petty nonsense is bad enough. But if I can’t find a place in this world for my side of each story, then I may just have a stroke before I’m 30. And I figure if I can channel this passion into writing, I may just come up with something potentially prize-winning or best-selling.

Where: Here?

When: I’d like to contribute to my little nook of the world every day. HA! Who am I kidding? I spent an entire month a slave to syndication; I’d be lucky if I can conjure up a brilliant thought once a week. But I’ll push myself, for now, to write three times a week. Hopefully my life will get more fascinating as time goes on, thus causing an increase in updates. I have an on-off relationship with reading, so I’ll be throwing in my two cents in that department every now and again.

Why: I guess I sort of covered this category with, oh I don’t know, this entire post, but going back to what I was saying in Who, I decided to start this as a way to jump-start my writing career. I haven’t sorted through the details yet, like how I’m going to gain enough readership to achieve relevance in this world, but for now it doesn’t matter. I’m using this blog as a cathartic release. It’s about time I take life by the balls and run with it and stop whining (internally) about the fallen state of my life. Or my social life, to be more specific. I’d love to say that “I don’t give a shit about all a y’all!!!!!!” like some crazy person. I’ll admit, I tried it. But it doesn’t work. Thus, this blog. I can’t keep running from how I feel, but I can make life a little more bearable.

So in conclusion, I apologize to the blogging world for my negligence to my non-existent (for now) readers. I hope everyone who reads henceforth enjoys listening to my honest and hopefully enjoyable and occasionally humorous rants. Oh, and we can’t forget humor. Because no matter how intense and mind-numbingly unbearable life gets, I always try to smile through it. Even if it’s just a happy face on my Post-Its.

Until next time,
xx

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