So, I was walking home from work with Stefanie Tweedle Wit this afternoon when we came across the following bizarre but freaking sweet structure with some kind of DC-themed illusion street art painted on it:
It's always been the little irritating things, piling up, that get me down. So, it stands to reason that it's also the little things that cheer me up.
I had a rough couple of workdays last week. Nothing huge, the kind of irritating days that wouldn't even make sense if I tried to explain. Just small things building upon each other, sending me into a funk that was tough to pull out of. Silly, really. But I left work on Thursday with a cloud over my head.
I trotted quickly down the Metro station escalator steps, anxious to get home and away from all things Farragut. To my one-bedroom, Southeast sanctuary, where wine is love and dvds of The Office are hope that maybe -- just maybe -- all the humor hasn't yet been squashed out of the world.
I got down to the platform as my train was about to close its doors. I made for the closest entrance but was brutally shot down by that "Step back, doors closing" bitch. I rolled my eyes and sighed a massively exasperated sigh, and turned to my left to see about the next train. Just one more tiny, stupid irritation in a long string of tiny, stupid irritations.
Through my Beck-induced iPod haze, I vaguely heard someone behind me say something.
"[something something], girl."
A pause. I ignored it. Then again, louder.
"GO ON, GIRL!"
I started to turn my head to the right, to see who kept hollering, and why on earth they felt such hollering was necessary. But my gaze didn't make it all the way to the kind woman who was urging me through the train's re-opened doors, as they fell first upon the doors themselves, and everything clicked.
I jumped onto the train and started to laugh. At myself, for being upset with something so ridiculous. At the kindness of strangers -- that it still exists, and that it's now coming in the form of sassy train riders who shout so you can hear their thoughtful deeds over your blaring iPod (sweet dears). At my allowing some stupid frustrations to override the overwhelming truth that life is pretty fucking fantastic.
"And you know what she said about my red satin strappy sandals? She called them Fuck Me heels!!"
I don't think you're ever adequately prepared to hear this from a grown member of your family. From a woman who used to babysit you. From a woman whose daughters you then, in turn, babysat. I know for damn sure that when my sister invited me to sip Kir Royales and nibble on peach crostata with our mom, cousin, and aunt on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the phrase "Fuck Me heels" was not one I expected to encounter.
They say you can never truly go home again; that once you move out for good, coming home will never be quite the same. Clearly this is true. But maybe this is a beautiful thing. I've always had a great relationship with my family, but I've recently entered a new phase with them. One where I'm finally seen as the adult I've come to be, and it is absolutely delightful.
This is a phase where my mother gives me tips on how to avoid a UTI. "Trust me," she said. "I had to learn the hard way." Thanks, Mom.
A phase where my father asks me about my HPV vaccine while reading a health article in Parade Magazine. "Hey -- Gardasil! Isn't this what you're getting?"
I never really thought about the fact that I would inevitably turn into my parents -- an ex-cheerleader, drama darling, and firecracker from the Bronx and a well-traveled ex-hippie nerd with a penchant for storytelling and working the grill. Turning into them wasn't ever outside the realm of possibility, but it never really crossed my mind. That is, until recently, when all of a sudden I'm asking my friends, "Aren't you taking a sweater?" and stirring my gin and tonic with my index finger. Pure Mom and Dad, respectively.
But hey -- when my family is open enough to use the phrase "Fuck Me heels" without an ounce of embarrassment, and hilarious enough to constantly turn Sunday night dinner into a fucking laugh-riot, maybe turning into them isn't so bad after all.
Now, where's my sweater? It's almost quitting time, and those cocktails aren't going to finger-stir themselves...