What are we fighting for?

Little A is named after the Game of Thrones character who’s not supposed to even have a name. Or a face. And yet there she was, being a bad-ass, boss-ass motherfucker on last night’s premiere, reminding those piece of shit Freys that the North remembers. A friend sent me a Facebook message immediately after: “Hot damn! That intro… when you guys named your daughter, bet you didn’t know she was going to be straight gangsta!” I responded with the “in-tears laughing” emoji, but what I really wanted to say was, “Well, actually, that seems about right.”

Continue reading

Destination Disney

Been a while since I’ve been writing, and it might continue to be. So much has happened in the last few weeks, and the work/life pressures only seem to grow exponentially. It’s funny, but back when I was waiting to hear from the Times–back when I thought Spiderman’s prophecy had everything to do with the blog, with my writer dreams and aspirations–time seemed to move at the most glacial pace. I was waiting on so much, and hearing nothing from no one, and wondering why.

Then, about a week before my 33rd birthday, everything happened at once. I moved from a soul-less cubicle to an office with a fireplace. We close on the house of our dreams this Thursday (initially planned for Friday, which happens to be my nemesis’ birthday). I’m well positioned to get a salary boost, but only if I kick major fucking ass at work (thus my limited time to blog). And we just returned from a week-long trip to Disney.

Disney. If there’s one thing this week has taught me, it’s that we are not Disney people. Not that there’s anything wrong with Disney. It’s perfectly fine, and not terribly overpriced (excluding $30 Minnie Mouse sunglasses; wtf).  Disney magic just… feels… kinda… forced. And I believe in the real stuff.

Is there a relationship between magic and marijuana? Is it bad that I only experienced magic that one night I got high?

Continue reading

Happy Wedding Day, R + B

The problem with love at first sight is that it’s too easy. Too outwardly simple. It leaves no room for the imperfect, unfiltered journey through which love often weaves. And yet it exists, this indecipherable, beautiful, almost magical phenomenon of how we love, whom we love, and when. As if the choice is made beyond our control. Something we fall into.

Continue reading

Unhinged on April 4

Another non-li.st list about my day. I want to write more in this High Mom Diary, but I’m feeling lazy, so, without further ado, here are some thoughts/insights/experiences/etc. from my Tuesday:

I had a stoned epiphany tonight about Enrique and beauty.

Funny thing happened today. Well, I guess it technically happened at Ms. Mahogany’s baby shower last Friday, but the funny part happened today.

Enrique had taken a bunch of photos of the work crew at the shower, which was especially lovely because, per the success of my office coup, we’re moving offices sometime this week. So while this means saying goodbye to people we love and genuinely care for, for me, it also means closure with my high school nemesis. To be honest, I was quite surprised when she showed up to the baby shower because (1) she doesn’t  really know Ms. Mahogany, and (2)  she fucking hates me. But no, she walked in, sauntered passed me, and in a moment caught in the lens of Enrique’s camera, my face reflected my bemusement.

“You look slightly unhinged,” he told me this morning, as we sorted through the album he had posted on the shared drive. I couldn’t stop laughing at my eyes, my smirk, the painted expression of a woman with a lot of petty thoughts on her mind. I later emailed the photo of my face and the sole picture of Anaid to Mr. D, with the note, “Enrique says he loves how I’m slightly unhinged in the first photo, but it’s only because my nemesis walked right past! She smiles for him though…” Mr. D didn’t respond, but Enrique followed up with a close-up shot of Anaid and one line: “THAT’S a smile???!!!”

God, I wish I had Mark Bowden‘s gift of description. Or Enrique’s casually biting honesty. The Kelly Kapowski of my high school… no longer looks like Kelly Kapowski. In fact, she looks quite feral. The combination of her face and his caption had me laughing so hard a coworker had to shut the door. I’m not doing a good enough job explaining the hilarity of it, so I’ll update this post later with an addendum from Enrique. (Speaking of which, Enrique is totally complicit in my blog, just in case Ivanka’s reading and needs help understanding the word).

Anyway, it was hilarious, and I brought it up with Mr. D tonight, and he called Enrique’s email mean (which always makes me wonder if he ever really fucked Anaid, which I know he never did, although I could totally see how he could have once wanted to, because there was a time when she was Kelly Kapowski Hot). But anyway, I told him how I couldn’t stop laughing, and I asked if my Facebook post was petty. (The same photo of myself, after Anaid walked directly in front of me, her body turned away, face hidden from the camera, along with the caption: “That face you make when your nemesis walks past,” and customized  mood: “feeling slightly unhinged, but in a harmless and friendly way.”

Ms. Mahogany saw the post and reprimanded me online, writing my name in caps locks, followed by an exclamation mark. My high school BFF wrote: “You’re bad” with two unhinged slanty face emojis and one “laughing in tears” emoji. I responded to my high school friend–but more broadly, to everyone looking at the post–with my meager justification: “The question literally haunted my dreams! For years, I’d wake up in the middle of the night and ask Mr. D why this person hated me, and even today, I have no answers. But I harbor no ill will! Just some slightly unhinged curiosity…

I wanted to talk about Anaid tonight, but Mr. D was not trying to entertain me. He called her photo “unfortunate,” and I agreed but added, “Enrique just has a gift for taking truly awful photos of people.” To be fair, he also takes some great ones; he just has a knack for capturing reality’s stark ugliness. It’s a skill that suits the persona of a man who says things like “We’re all doomed,” when reading the news.

Enrique is like an Asian tourist with his camera. For instance, we celebrated the completion of one of our big work projects by taking the day off and getting stoned at the Reading Terminal Market last fall. After devouring Dienner’s roast chicken and contemplating the universe, we pottered around the various markets until his bulky camera bag almost knocked over a tray of overpriced essential oils. We could have been very high, or he might just be an obnoxious Asian tourist trapped in the body of a grizzled former journalist. Hard to say.

Anyway, Enrique takes God-awful photos of people. Including me. There’s one from the conference last month, and I look like a man undergoing an exorcism. This atrocious image is followed immediately by one of me looking more feminine, but also like a woman who has just farted herself into an orgasm. The only thing more embarrassing than my three chins is the fact that nothing in the keynote panel was even worthy of such ugly laughter.

But I digress. I’m drunk writing now. No longer stoned, but definitely tipsy… tipsy plus. Testing out some Ernest Hemingway shit. What was I writing about? Enrique as a photographer? He took a brutally horrific photo of the Duck from the baby shower, and it was so bad I felt guilty for laughing at it over the weekend.

I started thinking of beauty tonight. Of thoughts I’ve had since this weekend, when I began an essay (still unpublished) about race, gender, skin color, frenemies, interracial couples, Jordan Peele’s Get Out, and some other scattered but somehow connected thoughts. I discussed some of them with Mr. D’s Jamaican-Indian-Chinese friend, Mr. T, who made a particularly insightful comment about race and perception, in which he said he never thought of himself as black until recently, in college, when he realized others perceived him as black, and then questioned whether that knowledge changed his perception of himself. (I’m going to interview him for a longer post on the topic).

Anyway, the bulk of my thoughts and conversation with Mr. T can basically be summarized in these two posts–the first of which is about Beyoncé. Then that got me thinking of Beyoncé, how her beauty is such a fundamental part of her appeal, and how she should have just kept it real and unapologetic with those Buzzfeed pictures.

When we drove down to the conference in February, I asked Enrique if he thought women shooed away from intellectual pursuits, or something along those lines. I’m drunkish now, but my question at the time had something to do with the Kardashian-esque-ness of my gender, to which Enrique responded: “beauty is easy power.”

Is that why I want to be beautiful? I guess that brings me to my next epiphany.

Continue reading

Birthday weekend li.st

Dear BJ Novak and Dev Flaherty,

I wish your li.st app offered greater compatibility with non-mobile devices. What’s the technical term for computers again? I dunno, and as I said in the last post, I’m still high. Maybe it’s worn off by now. It probably has. It was only a few small puffs, an hour back, but then again, it’s 11pm and I’m about to eat Honey Nut Chex cereal, so I might still have some lingering effects. Apologies, I’m digressing a bit.

Anyway, if there was a way for me to write this post as a li.st, I would do so. But alas, it’s too complicated to figure out, and perhaps the design was intentional, so I’ll just voice my complaint here, where you may never venture. I’m pretty invisible to the Internet gods, to the point my Weed Husband once googled “high mom” only to stumble upon some filthy porn, although I suppose anything is better than cake bukaki. Again, I digress.

I want to write about the past weekend, but I don’t know if I have it in me to weave one of my long-winded, non-epic epics. So, instead, here’s a non-li.st list–to be edited, a million times, at leisure, on the comfort of my laptop–of observations, memories, quotes, etc. from my birthday weekend:

Continue reading

What’s the word I’m looking for?

Nothing especially witchy happened last night, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a witch. I mean, I might not be a witch, but I don’t think it depends solely on yesterday. I feel like the witchyness emerges on more than a single day. Or maybe all women are born witches and they just choose to embrace their powers at 33. I haven’t really thought the theory through.

Also, I think it’s good to acknowledge here that I’m being fa·ce·tious. (Copied straight from a Google search, hence the dots). I can never remember how to spell facetious or what it means, but it’s defined as “treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.” Turning into a witch is not generally considered a serious issue, so perhaps there’s another word I should be using. I’m not sure. I’m also high.

There’s definitely a correlation between the witch thing and the weed thing. I feel like I connect on a deeper level with the universe and everything in it when I’m high. I also feel like I’ve been turning into more of a pothead lately, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Enrique and I were conversing over a bowl the other day when I asked if there was an acceptable frequency for getting fucked up. “One-third of your free time,” he said after a minute. “Well, pretty much, if you find yourself getting fucked up for more than 33 percent of your free time, then it probably controls you more than you control it.”

Thirty three. Point three.

Drugs are a powerful force in the universe, and they scare me. Everything in moderation, Mr. D’s dad used to tell him, but he was speaking broadly.

I interviewed Mr. D’s uncle back in December because I wanted to write about his father. That was going to be my Christmas present to him, but I never wrote it. I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to write, and I haven’t written them. Simon and Garfunkle’s Concert in Central Park, and how it serves as the soundtrack to my childhood and my parent’s immigration experience. The love story for my bride-to-be friend. My next project at work. Is it simple enough to say I’m scared of falling short? Is that even the answer? I don’t know. “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

Enrique and I were stoned and looking through magazines the other day when we decided the best writing is subtle. It’s the kind that pulls you in slowly, seductively, so smoothly you don’t even realize how deeply entangled you’ve become. Writing takes you on this strange trip to faraway places in other people’s brains, lost not in the tunnels of a writer’s mind, but in the minds of the characters they create. How wild is that?

Writing is my favorite drug. Maybe that’s the anxiety I feel. That I’m not doing it enough. Dan Jones, the editor of the NYTimes Modern Love column says writing is about discovering what you don’t know, not showing what you do.

I don’t know enough to be a witch.

I know I’m grateful, that not a single day passes by where I don’t thank the universe for my girls and Mr. D, and my parents, and my job, and my health, and my life. Nothing magical happened on my birthday, except for the fact that I spent it with people I love. There’s no force in the universe more powerful than that.

What’s in a name?

I wasn’t dreading the bachelorette party. It’s just… drinking isn’t really my thing, and I didn’t know the majority of the other ladies, despite the fact that I’m in the wedding, and I’m really only in the wedding because I’m one-fourth of The Dinner Club, and two of the other Dinner Club members weren’t going to be there, and… I just don’t know. I love the bride-to-be. She’s sweet and fun and eternally charming, but she’s also part of a larger group of friends whose massive social circle often resembles Game of Thrones, where the relationships are deep and complex and almost impossible to comprehend at first glance.

I realized I didn’t belong when I forgot the name of the Bride’s aunt during dinner. “Aunt B,” she told me when I asked, and I—a woman who has defecated myself, twice, as an adult, and can relate that anecdote now, with zero shame—felt mortified that I thought she was Aunt J. That’s how out of the circle I am.

But the night was fine. It was better than that, actually. It was fantastic.

The Bride was like a beautiful, brunette Malibu Barbie. She danced and drank and relished in her much-deserved weekend of celebration. Her maid of honor, four months pregnant, showed me that some women are just destined to be great mothers, and that the life growing inside her has been blessed by this great universe to belong to someone so kind and selfless.

I ran into a dear friend from the short-lived “party days” of my 20s. Her presence reminded me of the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies from Insomnia. The first time I bit into one at the store’s Center City Philadelphia location, I asked the lady at the counter if the exotic flavor in my mouth was coconut. She nodded, and I gleefully devoured the remaining bites. “Oh Mr. Coconut,” I exclaimed with joy. “You’re like finding an unexpected friend at a party! Such a delightful surprise.” That’s how I felt about my long-lost bar friend, who I hadn’t seen since our wild Thursday nights in 2008. Ms. Coconut didn’t drink much either, but she danced and partied, and somewhere around 1am, she drove three hours home to spend some precious Time with her seven-month-old daughter before heading to work the following morning.

All of the girls were fabulous, and I felt silly for my earlier anxiety. It turned into a great night. Especially after I smoked up.

Continue reading

Sober thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day

I’ve always viewed alcohol as the drug of the insecure. A way to shed inhibition and become a looser version of yourself. You, but askew. The You you want to be, but can’t quite get to on your own.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m all for a glass of wine. It’s just not my drug of choice.

I much prefer the introspection of marijuana. Of creeping into the weird and winding corners of my brain. Finding comfort there, along with other dear friends. Humor. Peace. Gratitude. Time. Always, Time. Where marijuana slows it down, alcohol speeds it up. Nights lost in darkness.

I’ve reached those blackout points myself on a handful of occasions, and they’ve always left me shaken. Horrified of the could-have beens. I could have been the victim of something awful. I could have driven home and killed someone. The possibilities are endless.

I say all this not to judge the drinkers. I get it. I’ve done it. I do it still.

I’d just prefer to spend my St. Patrick’s Day smoking green instead of wearing it at the bar.