Personal Intrusi(un)

I think I can speak for the wider non-gender specific audience when I say I’ve been told a lot of things in my life “are a privilege, not a right”. Examples that immediately come to mind are: driving, voting, enlisting, pet ownership and rhinoplasty.

But I believe many of us overlook the luxury of privacy. It’s perceived as a right by most but I say nay – this state of being is, too, a privilege.

Making a conscious effort never to assume, I think (most of) my fellow females out there can best relate to this statement. Now, I make this statement very loosely, but in my experience both in real life as well as scripted television and film, men are less inclined to give a shit if, say, another dude walks in on him getting changed/showering/watching porn.

Growing up a soccer player and a dancer taught me to be fairly lackadaisical about privacy but I also have to draw the line at some point, you know? I think it’s only fair to say I’d prefer not to have someone walk in on me eating a pint of ice cream from the container balancing on my stomach and wearing my action-getting-repellent granny panties.

I mean sure, marvel all you want at my balancing act, it’s my attire which I’m less than eager to have you bear witness to.

Fair Warning (again, I say this generally): A stranger of the female sex can sometimes cause temporary emotional disturbance/discomfort and/or confidence imbalance. The sidewalk is oft not place to force interaction with an UF (unidentified female), but is simply a moment to steal a quick glance at an outfit, purse, maybe shoes; do your best to avoid eye contact and continue on your merry way.

But(!) the bathroom, on the most surprising of other hands, does not fall under the same category as the above. Rather, it is a place where females can take refuge with one another. Remember the Seinfeld episode when Elaine runs out of toilet paper and asks her neighboring stall-mate to spare a square? Not so! I find there is a sense of unity between women in the bathroom; a place to escape forgettable first dates, creepy bar dudes, reapply and sometimes a place to snag a free mint after that pickle juice martini that didn’t stand a chance (don’t knock it ’till you try it, I promise).

I cannot say the same about dressing rooms. We wait in line with added pounds of fabric (avg 5-15 lbs) on top of our purse (avg 1-6 lbs) and usually in someones way because they JUST CAN’T WAIT(!) for that blouse you’ve been soooo inconveniently blocking for 45 seconds.

The dressing room is a sanctuary and after a painstaking 15 minute wait, we expect zero interruption besides the occasional “is anyone in here?” No ma’am, we just stuck a pair of mannequin feet in there to fuck with your head a little.

Taking refuge, I’m yes-ing and no-ing my items when I feel a brief tickle across the top of my foot. Eh, probably a dust bunny. But in the mirror I become acutely aware first by the Sketchers Shape-Ups then by the Swiffer duster in the dressing room next to me. I’m not sure how that brush could have been an accident – she had to fully extended her arm engage contact. The cleaning woman simply figured she’d cover all rooms in one fowl swoop and my dressing room was just next on the list. No need to wait for me to leave – a waste of precious time! Wanting to see how far she would go, I remained still. She continued to swiffer. Under the mirror, behind the chair, between and around my feet but very considerately never making contact again. The first time was a sloppy mistake on her end never again to be repeated.

I shall forever call her The Swiftiest of Cleaners.

Oh and since we’re on the fast track to becoming best friends, might I suggest burning those shoes? Additionally, I’m interpreting this as an I’d-like-to-clean-your-apartment-for-free olive branch.

a sense of urg(un)cy

Thankfully, I’ve avoided any life-altering diseases, surgeries, infections and wardrobe malfunctions. When I was a wee one though, I was inflicted with, but not limited to: jaundice (a flattering yellowish tint), chicken pox (twice), pink eye (tri-yearly for about four years) and random unidentified bodily rashes.

So when the doctor told me – more so my mother – I had a UTI, my nine-year-old self was obviously unfazed and unconcerned. There were meds to quickly diffuse the issue. The root of the cause was because I “didn’t want to miss a damn thing.” I wanted to be in the thick of the action – who could blame me? So peeing hurt a little more than usual; a small price to pay.

Fast forward 14 years – cue: Reality Check – I can now successfully manage my restroom to anti-action-missing ratio; a self-taught accomplishment but an issue many struggle with to this day.

These days, leaving work usually means walking home well after dark and subway rides with New York’s finest pieces of work, all while keeping my tote bag tight under my arm to be used as my D-Lineman blocking drill tool. Stepping off the escalator, I cut the corner tight to find my usual waiting spot, knowing I’m right where the subway doors will open, when a small Hispanic man whizzes by me and clips my right shoulder. Contact was made since my bag is always perched on my left shoulder.

An adoptee of the hands-in-the-air-“Hey Asshole” move, I turn on my heels to initiate arm-flailing and instead come face to face with the same small man: junk out, taking a whiz and just looking. All at me. Guy: at least aim toward the tracks, the mice, the “Please Stay Behind the Yellow Line” line, WHATEVER.

For a small fellow, he had some serious arc, though.

Leering and slightly concerned my feet would surely receive residual spray, I merely asked, “Why, though?” Focused on me and without a word, he finished, shook, zipped and skipped up the escalator.

I almost wish he slithered off the platform and dramatically ran into the oncoming subway track’s dark abyss.

Let me teach you the ways of the ratio, little man.

Happy Val(un)tine’s Day

The first person to wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day was the homeless man who, fail not, is always going hard at some half-eaten thing he dug out of the trash and asks me how “dat fine ass is doin’ this morning”. The man is persistent and consistent, kudos.  

I came home to a used condom woven through the iron bars of my front door. 

People, I give you beyond reasonable doubt that romance truly has no monetary value.  

So, I see your roses and heart-shaped box of chocolates and raise you the daily reminders of how painfully single I am.

Ladies and gentleman, I am back.

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comm(un) commute

A girl likes to feel petite, no matter what her size. Sometimes, you feel your petite-est in a mans arms. Other times when you’re holding a cupcake on steroids (a la Crumbs). I’m not going anywhere important with this stream of consciousness, I just felt it important to share my current state of being – I’m looking for the kind of comfort 300 calories can offer rather than muscle. Mostly because the calories won’t talk back.

Judge me when I refill my self-serve frozen yogurt cup at no charge – people know me – you’d do it too, I just have no shame.

No shame – it’s a way of life I’m becoming acquainted to in this Big ole’ Apple. Unplanned wardrobe malfunctions (always wear cute underwear, just not granny panties; no one likes a VPL), perspiring quandaries (reaffirming why I should never own grey), and relinquishing all self restraint to lip sync when my favorite song comes on and turn it up so loud the entire subway car can feel beats they’ll never quite appreciate.

You don’t want to admit it but you’ve developed a daily routine. There are 845 ways to get to the subway, but you wind up using the same route because it gets you from A to B without obstacles. Or maybe because you’ve developed a crush with the barista at your coffee pit stop. You scope out the numero uno square inch to wait for the subway because when the car pulls up, you’re just to the left of the door, allowing passengers to exit and you’re the first one on.

Allow your subway ride to be the variable in your life of constants. Sometimes I feel like a lioness in a jungle full of fresh meat, luring young thirty-somethings in with my best Babmi stare. Other times I wonder if the suited-up men getting on at the Penn Station and Grand Central stops are enjoying the arial view of my cleavage because they’re “squished in”. Mhmm…..Sir, I know this train is packed, but this is not the pole of love – please find another square inch to grope. Oh, and ma’am? Don’t give me those dagger eyes. You think I’m vacating my seat because you’re “high priority”. I’ve got boobs, too. Not moving.

Public Transportation System

photo credit: funny-pictures-blog.com