Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Craving Creamsicles

I almost couldn't believe my ears.

I was walking home from the metro after checking out the new Columbia Heights Target (it's pretty good, I guess, two stories and all, but let's be honest -- it's no Van Nuys) when I heard something curious. An unoffensive tinkly bell melody playing "Do Your Ears Hang Low," of all things. It was so nostalgically familiar, and yet for a few seconds I still struggled to place it.

And then it hit me. This was the unmistakable siren song of the old-school ice cream truck. You know, the kind that drove around our neighborhoods when we were little, doling out classic treats with which to cool off. The kind that made its appearance only during the hauntingly beautiful dusk hours of California summers, when the sun dropped below the hills and the suburbs were bathed in dusty lavender hues; a light that still warms me all the way through because, for an hour a day, it makes the world look just right.

I started to crave something cold and sweet, but not the dulce de leche sundae cups or SpongeBob-shaped popsicles or double chocolate ice cream bars with bittersweet chips and pomegranate ribbons that seem to be so in vogue these days. This craving was simpler, the kind of thing I'd always order from the snack bar at the JCC's pool -- old-fashioned delights like vanilla ice cream sandwiches, fudge bars, and creamsicles. Maybe a drumstick, if I was feeling spendy and risqué.

As I stood on 14th Street SE, salivating at the thought of the unexpectedly dreamy marriage of orange popsicle and sweet vanilla cream, it occurred to me that I didn't even know they still ran ice cream trucks. It's incredibly reassuring to discover that such a symbol of innocence still exists in this sometimes fucked-up world.

...Even if it has turned me into one of Pavlov's dogs.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Biking in Heels

I've been in a much more positive mood lately. Must be the almost palpable approach of spring. I'm trying to let go of my near-constant cloud of negative energy, because really -- what good is it? I'm going to give myself an ulcer or some such.

Yesterday was at least 70 degrees, and it felt just like Los Angeles. It sounds clichéd, but I have very much missed the feel of the sun on my skin. So I dusted off the ol' bike, and rode to work, in a skirt and heels, no less.

You know, it's funny. I very rarely get catcalled when I'm walking around the city, no matter how fly I look. But the second I get on my bike, guys are hollering at me from every angle. I'm not sure what it is about cute girls on bikes that drives men completely bananas. Is it that I'm straddling something in public? Is it that I'm sweating? Or breathing heavily? Maybe it's all of the above. But especially when I bike in skirts, DC males turn into sailors on leave.

On my way home last night, I was stopped at a red light on E Street, and this group of teenagers was crossing in front of me, one of them singing "Low" by Flo Rida. I laughed at his antics. After they crossed, they turned right to head up the street on which I was stopped. He took a sideways glance at me, then turned to his friends with much fanfare, and shouted "Yo, this girl's ridin' a bike IN HEELS!!" One of his female friends replied "Wow, that takes talent."

Biking in heels isn't as hard as it sounds. Although, it is a much better workout, as it requires a specific subset of leg muscles. The Mad Hipster always told me I should be riding with the balls of my feet on the peddles, but I always get lazy and ride with my arches, which is completely poor bike decorum. But high heels offer such a conservative surface area for the peddles that I am forced to ride correctly.

So here's to sunshine and toned thighs. Here's to cute girls on bikes, peddling in heels. But most importantly, here's to spring.

Bring it on.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Letting Go

I've been mildly irritated with Tweedle Fun. She's my little baby bird, my protégé if you will. Our friendship began on a fateful July roadtrip; me, a new college grad, and her, a soon-to-be sophomore. Crazy, in a fun way; her face lights up when she talks -- which is almost painfully often, and usually about sports. You know, the kind of girl who can drive to the Alexandria Target with her boyfriend's roommates and end up in Nashville instead, just because she can (true story). The kind of girl who could tell you said story without you being the least bit surprised.

She always said she moved out to DC because of me, a fact I always denied, as it's a fairly strong statement at 3,000 miles. But I've started to believe it. Although her desire to come to DC was her own, she was only able to make such a scary life change because someone was here to welcome her with open arms. On my birthday of last year, she professed her undying and unconditional love for me. And I didn't doubt it for one second. She's my girl.

She was joined to my hip when she first moved, but lately she's been blowing me off. At first I chalked it up to the near-fatal Finds A Boyfriend, Starts Ignoring Me syndrome. After all, I've lost many a good girlfriend to FABSIM. And I let that slide, just for her, because I really like the boyfriend -- he's a good guy, and I can tell he's way into the relationship just based on the way he looks at her. To be honest, I'd love for someone to look at me like that.

But after eating brunch with her this afternoon, I realized it's more than FABSIM. It's that she's finally found her niche. A cute rowhouse with fun roommates, a solid group of friends who accompany her on spur-of-the-moment midnight Tennessee roadtrips, a job she really cares about, and a city that she's making her own.

And really, that's all I ever wanted for her, to help her get started and then let go once that niche had been found. But being a role model is tough, and this is a bittersweet victory for me, as I feel like she no longer needs me. And now I realize that it truly is time to man up and let her go.

So fly, little birdie. Make mama proud.