Facing the Music (about all the hair on my face)

A favorite game I play with myself is to open the internet browser on my phone and compare the open tabs to one another. I feel this is the truest representation of a person: impulse searches, emergency searches, drunk searches, bored searches, I-know-I-recognize-you-but-from-which-show searches. Tabs with noble causes or lofty ideals: a link to Save the Food; a New Yorker article about immigration; a list of most anticipated books to come in 2018. Tabs with no lofty ideals, but I will keep open forever: images of lewd cake toppers; a direct link to a Florida Orange Juice commercial featuring Robert Loggia. And then there is another tab, one that I have returned to again and again, because it is too important to dismiss.

It’s the search results for “best bleach creme.”

What are you trying to bleach? You might ask.

It is my mustache,  I would say in response.

I’ve written about this topic before (or at least I did years ago on some other now-defunct blog) and the topic comes up so often because it’s on my face and I look at it everyday. I am also a vain, vain woman who still maintains a host of crippling physical insecurities, so obviously I am aware of it, and yes, I think about it all the time.

A brief history: I started getting my upper lip and eyebrows waxed when I was, I believe, 12. It was necessary. I walked into my first day of 7th grade, fresh from the full facial waxing, and I was greeted by a classmate saying, “Awww. Katie got her eyebrows waxed!” And I was like How can she tell but, come on, you could tell. I had a whole new, hairless face! And it was awesome. I continued to get my face waxed every 4 weeks for the next 10 years solid. Then I moved to Chicago and just stopped doing it. It was crazy how quickly I went from being fully dependent on getting waxed (I would drive home from college to have it done) to just not seeing it as a necessity. It was a financially-motivated decision, a I-don’t-have-time-to-research-this-I-don’t-even-know-where-the-grocery-store-is decision, a I-don’t-think-I-care-about-this-anymore decision. All the anxiety about what I looked like was eaten up by the anxiety of being a new college grad and not knowing what to do next. And then that anxiety turned into a different one, evolving and expanding and taking on the form of things that had never before been anxiety-inducing. And so it goes.

And yet, here we are, back on the upper lip train. The truth is that I never fully got off.  I have used creme bleach off and on over the years and I like it so much because, frankly, it doesn’t hurt. Getting your lip waxed hurts. I had a good callous built up for a number of years but I don’t know that I can go back. I was braver when I was young, willing to do whatever it took to be smooth and hair free. But now, I just don’t wanna. I’m scared! I’m not going back. I also had an unfortunate incident in college where I tried to give myself cleavage and to do so, I used duct tape, and when it eventually came off (ripped off) it was a real bad scene. Anyway, this is all to say, there was a time when the sound of my face getting waxed awakened some traumatic memory in my bones, and I could feel the tape ripping off all over again. (There is a WHOLE story about that, complete with what led me to the tape in the first place, why I felt my cleavage was insufficient, if it made a difference at all and if anyone ended up caring. Let me pitch this story to your publication! The personal essay we need right now! Or I’ll type it up and whisper it under this rock, aka, My Blog.)

But eyes up here. I was fully reintroduced to my facial hair when I took stock of all the zits that had broken out on the left side of my face. This was last week. They were mostly hidden by my grown-out bangs, but when looking closely, the zits were a deep red, blood immediately under the skin types, tiny molehills ready to burst into full-fledged mountain ranges. And from the temple they cascaded down, turning into big lonely pimple oasis,  sprouting arbitrarily from oily pockets in my cheek. And then finally, of course, the chin zit cluster, tiny dermal boulders arranged just so: craggy, rough to the touch, only ever on the verge of popping or having just popped. Why the break out? I don’t know, skin is weird, I guess. I suppose it was a perfect storm of periods, sleeping on my left side, and being right-handed, therefore, having my left hand available for face-resting and chin rubbing. I’m also extremely oily. I mean we’re talking, like, a lot of oil. This actually isn’t much of a mystery. The point is this: I was following the trail of acne when I stumbled into the brush.

And I looked at my face and kind of had that moment of Whoa! Hey, that’s my face! Which is a little insane sounding, but a valid reaction nonetheless. And I took note of the ever-darkening upper lip hair, yes, but I also saw how tired I looked, and wondered if it was just for the moment or a new normal. And I inspected the bump on my nose and I ran a finger over my weird pointy chin and then I smiled as big as I could to see the dimple on my right cheek. I checked each item off, one, two, three, all there as they have always been, but just a little different. And to be clear, this is not commentary or a reflection on beauty, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the features of one’s face and how one day you look in the mirror and things have changed. “Aging,” I think, is the official term for this, but I know better than to tackle that topic at age 28. But I do reflect on my own relationship with my face, the hours I’ve spent removing hair, rubbing the driest eyes, shellacking perpetually chapped lips; all the upkeep and the maintenance required to simply be comfortable. Imagine if I regularly wore makeup! I would be writing a different post, perhaps. But this is no complaint, merely a reflection on what it means to be a vain woman who also happens to have a host of physical insecurities. But who isn’t?

The zits are all gone, they’ve had their way with me this month, and the upper lip hair is here for now, until I bleach it and it’s invisible for a little while. And then I’ll grow my bangs out and cut my hair and start wearing under eye liner to look less tired and I’ll decide that bright lipstick is the best way to distract from zits and facial hair and it will all be okay because I will have made all these decisions on my own. And then I’ll find myself in the bathroom mirror again, staring at a woman I know and understand to be me, but also kind of asking Wait, but really? And then I’ll pull out my phone and see all the photos of lewd cake toppers I have saved, just because they’re funny and I want to imagine a wedding cake topped with the weirdest most hilarious items imaginable and then I will say Yes, really. 

 

 

One More Wedding Thing Then I’ll Stop Alienating Some of You

Two things:

The first thing is that we’ve selected a date and place for getting married and then celebrating said marriage. We have signed all our documents and sent all our deposits. So that’s done–and it only took a small amount of anguish!

The second thing is that I bought my wedding dress this past Saturday. It was fast, easy, and not stressful at all. I’m being serious, it was a perfectly breezy experience. It was breezy because I stacked the deck in my favor; the Hornberger System of wedding dress shopping, really. This entails that you know which thing you want. But in order to get buy-in from other people, you feature it as part of a series of things, each item in the series making the thing you want look better and better, until the thing you want emerges as an obvious but organic choice. I have provided this simple, typed out explanation of the Hornberger System because YouTube does not feature a clip from this particular episode of 30 Rock. The only failure of the system was that I didn’t end up buying the dress I had picked out ahead of time; instead, I picked out a better dress. What’s it called when your strategy works but then you abandon the strategy for another, cooler thing? Is that called living your best life?

Prior to my appointment, I had found a dress online that was pretty and cheap. To be clear, It was more than just pretty; it looked like me, it fit the kind of wedding we were planning, the reviews were high, and yes, the cost was low. In my appointment request, I asked to try on this dress (knowing I would buy it) and then selected two other gowns that an algorithm had decided were garments I “might like.” A few days before my appointment, I was sent a mildly terrifying email from the bridal shop, telling me that if I didn’t confirm within the 24 hours before my appointment, they would cancel me and give it away to one of the countless bridezillas-to-be on the waiting list. This is a Beverly Hills shop we are talking about–there was no way in hell I was losing my spot to some lady who double-parked her Land Rover and didn’t have the foresight to make an appointment. As instructed, I emailed my confirmation the day before the appointment. And then, because I had a feeling my email confirmation was not enough, I also called. To reiterate, I confirmed twice. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at my appointment the next day and I was met with two stunned employees, telling me they thought I had canceled.

“We have it here that you canceled,”said the now-nervous hip girl behind the counter, adjusting her large fake frames and flipping through pages of schedules and lists.

I looked down and saw a large black X over my name.

“No.” I said. “I confirmed twice.”

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, the joy of LA is that everyone is exceedingly nice to you on account of not knowing to whom you might be connected.  They don’t know who might have a meltdown; they don’t know who will threaten to sue; they don’t know who will tell their famous dad that they were dicked around at a bridal shop. It’s a game of chance, interacting with other humans in LA. So with this in mind, it goes without saying that I was immediately assured that yes, of course I would still have my appointment today and yes, absolutely, it was their fault for the miscommunication and please, please, look through the dresses, pull anything you want! (Some minutes later, the source of the issue was revealed. Turns out another Katie canceled her appointment. Normally I would be a little critical of this no-last-name system they are apparently using, but they were truly so nice that they needn’t be ridiculed further.)

My stylist, Catherine, took my dresses and me back to the changing area. I had selected a 4th dress to try on, because it was the most expensive one I could find. On my way back, I made my way through throngs of future brides, many of which were in full-on ball gowns, veils that started in one room and finished atop their heads in the other. I saw mothers with pursed lips and Botoxed foreheads, murmuring, “Well, that’s nice, if that’s how you want to look at your wedding.” I heard one woman in a wedding dress pleading with her stylist, “I’ll be smaller for my wedding! I promise! I know it!” Her stylist simply reassured her, reminding her that she’d just order it in her size, which only made the woman more upset.

I had invited two friends, and they weren’t quite there yet, so I opted to try on the worst dress first. Catherine followed me into my changing room, and it occurred to me then that there was likely the expectation that she would watch me get undressed and then physically put the dress on me. I have always been a person to change clothes in private, even amongst best friends. I was the person in high school theatre who put on a full crinoline in a bathroom stall before I dared took anything off in the hallway with the  other girls in their bras, gleefully singing the complete soundtrack of “Rent.” Am I a Never Nude? I don’t know, maybe. But the point is, there were these heavy few seconds where I wasn’t getting changed and Catherine just stood there and no one said anything. Finally she said, “So I can help you….or you can just put on the dress yourself.” And I tried really hard to pretend like I’m cool and so whatever, man but it’s very possible I was physically pushing her out the door as I gave a carefree, “Doesn’t matter to me!” laugh.

Before my appointment, I was also sent a list of things I was supposed to bring. Those items included a strapless bra, a pair of nude underwear, and heels that would more or less be the same height as my wedding heels. Once Catherine was out of my changing room, I took to my bag of tricks (which is a canvas bag that basically says “Books! Books! Books!” on it.) I made some changes and then slipped the dress over my head. This all took about 15 seconds; Catherine was back in the room as though she’d never left. (Some might argue she didn’t need to leave at all, and there is a reason they change you into the dress in the first place.) Now, because I wanted to prove to Catherine that I had read the instructions, and that I deserved an A+ for Being the Very Best Bride To-Be, I said to her, “I brought some shoes…like the email said.” I deeply and truly wanted her to tell me I’m great for reading an email. She came close though, telling me that was cool, and then asked if they were kitten heels. Here’s the thing: they were not. I had actually brought a kind of shitty pair of black pumps, because the heel height was the closest to what I would eventually buy. But I said, “Yes.” I don’t know why I said “yes,” but I wager it had something to do with wanting to prove how very good I am at being a bride/human who can read emails. So I said “yes” but then I proceeded to pull my shoes out of the bag, assuming she would want to adjust the dress accordingly. Or to prove to her I owned shoes. I’m not too sure about the thought process on this part. What I pulled out was one black pump and one black high-heeled bootie.

“I thought these were the same when I packed them,” I said.

Instead of waiting for a response I awkwardly put on the one pump, all but toppling over. See? my face said to Catherine. A shoe! I was standing on one foot at this point, trying to channel Audrey Hepburn, while Catherine patiently waited for me to stop showing her my one shoe. She was very very nice about it before she told me that she actually didn’t need me in heels for this fitting. I also want to note that one time (at a different store) I went to a bridesmaid dress fitting, didn’t bring shoes, and they gave me god damn earful about it. So. I just want my baggage to be known.

My friends arrived for dress number 2, and they brought a nice camera! So I was able to see how the dress and subsequent dresses photographed. That was a very happy accident, and I think that’s probably a good tip for any of you readers who plan on trying on a white dress someday. Dress 2 was supposed to also be a part of the Hornberger System, but what do you know, it was lovely. Too lovely I thought, eyeing myself up and down. The peanut gallery agreed, though; it was a pretty good dress. #3 was meant to be the ringer, and while it was also very lovely, AND I had told them out of Catherine’s ear shot that this was the dress, I found myself not believing the plan anymore. #4 was pricey and I looked Catherine in the eye and said, “You know I’m not buying this, right?” In the end I tried on #2 again and chose it for the following reasons: 1) It showed a clear choice and represented a specific point of view 2) Spoke for itself without accessories 3) Looked and felt adult 4) Small dramatic details. 5) Butt-centric; one must know what to emphasize.

I’ve heard that some shops will ring a bell or do something showy to announce the selection of a dress, but Catherine was like, “I’ll bring you some paperwork.” She also brought us cans of champagne, which we drank while sitting  directly in the middle of another bride’s fitting. She was up on the step, in front of the mirror, the whole Say Yes to the Dress thing, and we knew we shouldn’t be there when we realized we were oohing and ahhing along with her family. We moved on to another faux-Victorian pink sofa, and found another bride at which to ooh and ahh.

I know I’ve made my opinions pretty clear when it comes to my wedding. No ceremony! No walking down a thing to meet another person at the end of the thing! No more aviator sunglasses! (I haven’t explicitly written about that one, but woof, can we get a memorandum on synchronized dancing into a banquet hall wearing aviators, I mean, Christ, if there is something on my top 5 list of things to do away with forever, it would be this. Anyway.) YES PARTY! But there was a time when I was “no” to the wedding dress. I thought it was too frivolous to have a place in my “simplest wedding ever” plan. It didn’t make logical sense, like there would be no buy-in from anyone else if I asked for one thing but not the others. But it was enough people telling me I was going to want one, and then looking at dresses online and deciding I did. The Hornberger System can only work for so long until a disrupter comes along, throwing the whole thing off. Like Dress #2. And lots and lots and lots of other disrupters before it, and I’m sure, many more to come.

 

 

 

Weddings and Walnuts (but mostly weddings)

When I started writing this post (which was yesterday, if you can believe it) I began with this little joke about it being a week into the new year and then asking if everything was fixed yet. Since then, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the leader of our country (Donald J. Trump) spoke up about certain “shithole countries” from which we are allowing immigrants. I don’t know about you, but there is rage happening in my home, about these comments, this language, these sentiments, how that affects children, how that affects humans, etc etc. We are grossed out and appalled as usual. And also as usual, I am going to ask you to give time, money, energy, and kindness when and where ever you can because none of those things are coming from those in power or leadership.

Ok, now time to blog about how…annoying it has been to find a place to get married. Consider the privilege checked.

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This has been a rough week for coming up with something to write about. No particular reason for it, the well of creativity and keen observation just feels a little dried up after all the excitement of the holidays. I made a short list of ideas, focusing mostly on what I’ve been up to, but the list ended up being mostly about how I keep incorporating walnuts into everything I cook. (Does that sound interesting to you? Please advise.) But when I asked Tony what on earth I could possibly write about, he looked at me with confusion. His face read you know what we’ve been up to and then he literally said the words, “You know what we’ve been up to.” And that’s when it hit me: Oh, right. We have been living in the endless hell scape of trying to find a place to get married.

Let me walk you through some history.

A long time ago, before we were even engaged, Tony and I talked about the shared dream of an elopement and then a big party to follow. (To get ahead of your questions, yes, we were talking about this plan as it pertained to us and our future together; not just like, Oh hey, new person I am dating, let’s have a very serious conversation in between episodes of Cheers.) This idea worked on several levels, chief among them being cost and my deep, deep desire to not have to walk down an aisle. (I’m very grossed out at the idea of like, presenting myself? to a man I’ve already been living with for a pretty long time? and to my family and friends? I just…look, I think I look pretty everyday. It’s insulting to think that a crowd of people might want to get a picture of me on on this one day because god only knows when I’ll ever be that cleaned up again. And I also think the wedding ceremony is an antiquated ritual, one rooted in women being objectified and monetized, that’s all I’m saying. I feel this way FOR ME. For you, betrothed readers, you are killing it in whatever way you want to plan your wedding. Also I would never, ever make a friend buy a bridesmaid dress. Use that money to take me to the Magic Mike Live Show in Vegas, FOR EXAMPLE.)

After we got engaged, though, (which was our first mistake; “elopement” entails you literally just disappear for a weekend then come back married, like Jim from work) we had a few family members mention that they of course would be there. And frankly, I didn’t say no. Because as it turned out, I didn’t want to say no! Yes, ok, our tiny, shared inner circle of people could be there. We are talking a single digits guest list, with big party to happen in the future. It would be fine.

When we got to California, we decided we would get married in California. We decided this because California is fucking gorgeous. That’s literally the extent of that thought process. In addition to being beautiful, California (Southern California in particular) also boasts an impressive amount of historical courthouses that are known for being used for intimate marriage ceremonies. It was perfect, really. We would invite our immediate families out to California for a nice weekend and at some point in that weekend we would have a courthouse wedding (but a beautiful one!) and then everyone would smile and sigh and say, “Gosh, Katie and Tony sure did this the right way. And look at that view!”

And yet. This task has not been easy!

The “task” in question is selecting one of these historic courthouses, which is what we’ve been up to for the past week. We began this process by Googling “best courthouse weddings Los Angeles” or some combination of those words, and the same basic list popped up over and over again on several different websites. And it was easy to see why: all these places were gorgeous. It was an embarrassment of riches, really. How could we pick just one? Oh, how young and naive we were.

Without getting into the nitty gritty of our sometimes-petty list of preferences, Locations 1 and 2 were both viable options, but with a healthy list of pros and cons. Neither stood out as the clear winner. We took a day trip last week and another one this week to see for ourselves. (And because they are both viable options, I’m not not going to disclose their exact locations to you.) The pros and cons were such that neither of us could really agree on one over the other, and the more we focused on the cons, the more we kind of drove ourselves (and each other) crazy. And I don’t think it had anything to do with winning or being right, it was just that the more I thought about certain details, the more I couldn’t unthink them. For example, I was (and remain!) very focused on a burnt-out and boarded up Subway restaurant across the street from one of the courthouses. For Tony it was learning that the doors to the other courtroom had to remain open at all times, thus making your private ceremony, well, public. But these were just things that once we saw them, we couldn’t unsee them. We couldn’t stop playing out scenarios in which the burnt-out Subway or the open courtroom doors somehow ruined our day. (My second mistake was telling myself I really didn’t care about this stuff, and then when I found out I did care, it was weirdly earth-shattering. I am having my “I’m a princess” moment.)

But then there was Location #3. I am going to out this location, because it broke our hearts and it deserves to be mentioned by name. (This is how “dragging” works, right? Am I using that correctly?) Rated as the number one City Hall Wedding on nearly every list we saw was the Pasadena City Hall. It’s rated number one because it’s drop-dead gorgeous. The city of Pasadena is gorgeous, too; out of towners would be so impressed! Tony and I walked the courtyard and the building, oohing and ahhing at every turn. The landscaping! The fountain! All these trees! No burnt out Subways here! But then I noticed that the building directories had no indication of wedding spaces or offices where one could obtain a marriage license. I also saw no women in wedding dresses milling around. At the other two locations, these indicators were very very obvious. But not in Pasadena! I thought that was odd, but I stayed positive. I also stayed quiet because I knew in my heart of hearts, just by looking around, that it was not a place where people actually get married and I didn’t want to say it aloud. Because if that were true, then that would mean the internet lied to us. Not just the internet, but several highly reputable crowdsourced websites, claiming that this was a top City Hall wedding spot! Finally, I called a phone number and inquired as to the specifics of a Pasadena City Hall wedding. Here is what I was told:

  • You can’t actually get married at Pasadena City Hall
  • The city of Pasadena doesn’t even distribute marriage licenses
  • The city of Pasadena doesn’t do civil services
  • We would have to legally get married somewhere else, like say, Los Angeles. But THEN we could rent City Hall…as a venue for our ceremony
  • What do I not want? That’s right, it’s a ceremony
  • Venue rentals begin at 3,000 dollars plus a shit ton of fees and permits, for example, obtaining and hiring private security for your event
  • But yes, Pasadena City Hall is a beautiful spot for wedding…photos! And that’s it.  That’s kind of what you’re interested in, right?
  • In conclusion, you tricked us, Pasadena; you are neither a City Hall wedding nor a courthouse wedding nor anything that is affordable and low-maintenance

If I were a smaller person, I would take this to Yelp. But alas, I will only complain about it on my personal website, like a grown-ass woman.

These hiccups are minimal, almost non-existent, and I know that, but any hiccup at all when you plan to have zero can be a little jarring. But assuming there will be zero issues at all is very naive and out-of character for me, since I have a running list of things-that-can-go-wrong going in my head at all times. (Walking with a hard candy in my mouth? Forget about it.) I don’t know what else to chalk it up to other than wishful thinking. Oh! And back-patting. A healthy dose of ego led me down this road of Katie-and-Tony-did-it-the-right-way. Which, for the record, I still think we did.

 

For your troubles, here are two excellent recipes that include walnuts:

This pasta is nuts! 

This chicken is…also nuts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year New Jacket

Three years ago I walked into a store in Akron and bought the dress on display in the window. I’d always wanted to do that, to see a dress on a mannequin and just know that it’s the one, like Cher does in Moonstruck. And since the dress was perfect and I’d just gotten some cash for Christmas, I decided to make the movie moment a reality. The dress had a gold sequin- covered bodice and no back, with a black tulle and taffeta skirt that almost looked like a tutu. It was unlike anything I owned or wore, and the sudden deep dive into shiny things seemed like the perfect way to start a new year. At the time, I had just been through a breakup and my bangs were only a few months old. It was time for a small reinvention of self. The dress with the sparkles would be one of those early steps.

Fast forward to three years later, yesterday, New Years Eve 2017. I was at the Marshalls at Western and Hollywood Boulevard. To begin, I am not, historically speaking, a Marshalls shopper. I would sometimes go to the Marshalls on Halsted in Chicago, the one connected to a Michaels craft store, where I would cut a deal with myself that IF I gave Marshalls a chance THEN I would be rewarded with going to Michaels. (And if I was really really good, I promised myself a gyro from Gyro Mena. What constitutes “really really good” behavior you might wonder? I’m not sure, but I do know I went through an aggressive gyro phase.) I recognize the many good qualities had by Marshalls, but I am deeply stressed out by the Every-Man-for-Himself element of the shopping experience, the rummaging through racks and racks of unorganized clothing, the near-constant body-to-body contact that is unavoidable on account of all the people who all love discounts. It’s why I can’t go to Nordstrom Rack. I found myself at Marshalls yesterday, though, because I needed to buy a pair of tights. Also, if you throw a rock really, really hard from the front gate of our apartment, the rock might hit the Marshalls. I was dead-set on wearing the sparkle dress again, the one I had worn to welcome the new me three years prior. This time, however, it was a welcome to the city of Los Angeles, a welcoming of myself to this new place, a leaning-in to the gold and glitter of Hollywood in the most literal way possible. But I needed tights. I had thrown away most of my sock drawer when I moved west, and part of that purge was all the hosiery and tights. That is why I went to Marshalls.

Upon my entering the Marshalls at Western and Hollywood, I was immediately overcome with both a sense of dread and of manic delight. There were a lot of people at Marshalls, all of whom swiping frantically through hangers like bad Tinder options. It seemed everyone was on a mission to find the best deals before the clock struck midnight. As you know, I was on a focused mission, one that would not be distracted by all the other stuff happening around me. I tracked down a sales associate toot suite.

“Excuse me,” I said. “Where can I find the…hose.”

I hesitated before I let “hose” leave my mouth. It occurred to me mid-request that no one says “hose” anymore. In fact, I don’t even think I say “hose” anymore, nor do I ever really find myself saying or thinking about “hose” often enough for it to matter. The sales associate was young, maybe a teenager, and I watched her eyes grow wide and confused upon hearing my request.

“Like, you know, tights,” I clarified.

My guess is that she heard “tights” but assumed I meant “leggings.” I have to assume this because her very earnest and not ironic response was:

“Oh. They’re just like, hanging up. With all the other stuff. So. You’re gonna have to look. You know, like, look for your size. Like everyone else is doing.”

Look for my size like everyone else is doing…at Marshalls? This is not what I signed up for. This was not supposed to be part of the focused mission. But I said “ok, thanks” because I TRUST OUR TEENAGE YOUTH and off I went to elbow my way through the throngs of ravenous shoppers.

Within seconds it became clear that neither hose nor tights nor anything nylon and vaguely transparent were hanging up on the racks, which I knew because that’s not how they’ve ever been sold in the history of time, but I had chosen to trust our teenage youth instead of trusting my own experience buying hosiery (big mistake!). But as I started going through the racks in any effort to show my respect to the sales clerk’s guidance (New Years Resolution: be less patient with teenagers), a mad sense of giddiness washed over me. “This place is so stupid,” I cackled to myself, holding up kitty cat t-shirts to my torso and checking the mirror. “My god this is ugly!” I said about a thin little jacket with feathers on the sleeves, adding it to the growing pile in my arms, a pool of sweat forming on my upper lip.  What is it about the blue and white Marshalls tag that tricks you into thinking you’re special? What is it about seeing the price that everyone else pays, but truly believing that Marshalls has set this new price just for you? “This is their Katie price!” I said, picking out a workout top that looks exactly like one I already have at home. It goes without saying that the mission had been abandoned.

I eventually made my way to the socks and hosiery display, which was shockingly picked over by the way, I assume because everyone also threw out their tights before moving to Los Angeles. I settled on a pair of footless tights, which would certainly do the trick. Also, they were out of tights with feet. I sighed to myself, seeing how easy it would have been to only buy what I needed, but instead I had accrued a hodge podge of hilarious but endearing shirts. So endearing, in fact, that the ugly little feather jacket I had picked up earlier was worn over my perfect sparkly dress for New Years Eve. How strange and comforting it can be to combine the old with the new. I also bought a t-shirt with a cat on it.

I don’t know what the takeaway here is, though it might be something along the lines of “Take risks” or “Remember what makes you feel good” or “Buy more cat t-shirts in 2018.” I think these are all very good things to remember. And though I’ve never really subscribed to the school of thought that says New Years resolutions are necessary, I do think it’s beneficial to have a mantra or two, or three or four, just a quick reminder of the goal of which ever mission (or missions) you’ve decided to embark upon this year. The new year is upon us! May we all bask in the freedom of this fresh start.

 

 

Thank you for giving me the confidence to take this bar bathroom selfie, weird feather jacket!

 

(I also want to note that I think teenagers are totally fine. You should trust them!)