Saturday, December 24, 2016

Home for the Holidays. Help!

Figuring out the logistics of Christmas travel when you’re in a relationship (one that has reached the level of shared holidays, that is) is something I wish I were better prepared for. One would assume I’d have a great handle on shuffling around to different houses having come from a broken home (referred to lovingly), but I didn’t grow up as one of those privileged kids of divorce. The kids that could leverage the guilt of one parent against the other with multiple birthday celebrations, those who learned the art of negotiation early in life – they were the real victors of divorce (as are the trap queens). My doting dad made a clean exit when he left us, and I was never afforded the learned values of effectively politicking multiple familial gatherings because of it. So, for Christmas this year, I'm made keenly aware of one more daddy issue in my wheelhouse. Thanks, Santa.

This is the first Christmas in a long while that I’m going “home” to Las Vegas. The past three Christmases as a couple, Steven has had to work. So, we stayed in New York and spent the holidays with some of his local extended family. Before we started dating, I used other excuses (e.g. I’m washing my hair) to avoid a Vegas Christmas. Though, more often than not, I simply didn’t want to couldn’t afford it. This year, Steven and I are both off from work and decided to take the full week between Christmas and New Years to visit family. Joy.

Steven absolutely loves spending time with his family. It’s one of the things I love most about him. I absolutely love spending time with myself. It’s one of the things I love most about me. I am also a fan of predictability when it comes to potentially stressful situations. I prefer to drink away the stress have a detailed plan and exit strategy. For this trip, I have been unsuccessful in pinning my family to a specific agenda, which means I am not in possession of a detailed plan or an exit strategy (other than locking down a hotel room for the length of our trip and grabbing a rental car for quick getaways – let’s just hope my mother doesn’t come across one of her many clubs while I’m there.)

As I mentioned in my welcome back post, I no longer have a therapist on retainer, and, as such, bring all complaints about my inadequacies (inadequacies that I can blame on others especially) here. Similar to my inability to suppress the urge to tell complete strangers personal details of my life, I have tried and failed at an effortless bringing together of family traditions in my relationship. I can’t say it’s my first or final failure in my relationship, but I hate losing. I hoped my many years spent as an indentured servant assistant to busy executives would have better prepared me for these scheduling crises. However, I’ve been quickly reminded that you learn much faster as a kid with their stupid spongy brains. So not only could I have been multilingual, I might have avoided unnecessary arguments with my soon-to-be husband had I learned from my parents early on. Thanks for nothing, Santa you fat fictitious motherfucker.

I realize that almost every other couple in existence has had to coordinate the holidays at multiple houses, most of them in different states or continents. I get it. I’m no saint for scheduling two family get-togethers in the same city (though, I would like to point out our families are on opposite sides of town). However, I am coordinating timelines with people I don’t typically deal with in this capacity. I’m very particular about my calendar and knowing when and where I need to be at any given point. My family does not operate like this. They are habitually late and timeline free – fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of people. However, they’re my people, and we’re going to drink more than is required do our best to make this one of the first of many joyous combined family Christmases, Klonopin at the ready.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Adopt. Don't Shop

I had wanted to get a dog for a long time, and decided that once I got my own place in the City I would do just that. That's the worst best part about being an adult - you can do what you want (but really, someone please help, tell me what to do!). I found the perfect studio - enough space to live comfortably and a part-time doorman to judge me keep me honest. I hurriedly signed the lease to triumph over the many people next in line to sign, and completely disregarded my puppy plan. I finally inquired about the canine rules of the building upon move-in and found that they hate dogs had a strict no dog policy. As an extremely indecisive person, I have to appreciate when decisions are made on my behalf, and in this case the verdict was in - no dog for me for the two-year lease term.

Within those two years, I began dating Steven.* After those two years, I moved in with Steven. We were too busy figuring out how life works as a couple to think about additions to our home. However, a puppy was still in the back of my mind.

After a year in our first apartment as a newly affianced couple, we moved (for the first time since my Manhattan residence began) away from the east 200s block to a perfect one bedroom near the river. As soon as we signed the lease, I knew this would be my chance at puppy parenthood - the apartment came with a large private backyard!

We settled into the apartment for the next year, and then, early last summer we began discussing dog adoption. We incessantly scoured Petfinder, sending each other pictures of our favorites. Like most decisions that include more than one person's opinion, finding a dog we both liked was a challenge. Steven prefers gypsy looking dogs - the longer their dog goatee the better, while I appreciate pretty dogs because I don't live in Brooklyn I'm not confident enough to make up for their shortcomings.

Finally, we found a dog we both loved - a hound mix ready for a home - for our home. I mean, look at that face. That's a dog I can take to the dog park with my head held high (unless I'm nursing a hangover - that's why the backyard is key).

We applied immediately, and I provided the contact information of the people I knew would lie about me best for their three required references. Once they all replied with glowing reviews (in the spirit of full disclosure - one which I wrote myself), the adoption agency called us to schedule a home visit. That's right, a home visit. I can go buy six great danes from a dog store right now, and no one is coming by my place to confirm it's not a closet. However, if a home visit was the final box to check before Elvis came home to us, come on over after I put away the sex swing.

[You may have noticed the puppy acquired a name - good catch. I named him Elvis for two reasons, (1) he's part hound (ahem: ♫ you ain't nothing but a hound dog ♫), and (2) Steven and I are both from Vegas. It was too perfect, and soon, we would all be one big happy multiracial family.]

I joked with Steven about the home visit because we both thought it was ridiculous. "Do you think it's just to make sure we're not operating a meth den?" I asked him. "Well, if it is, we better hide the meth." Steven's a forward thinker, it's one of the reasons I love him. After we cleaned up the meth apartment, we made an appointment and the next day, an adoption rep, with her pit-mix in tow, dropped by to sniff out the drugs.

She was a big fan of our apartment, and upon touring she joked "these visits are just to make sure you don't have a meth den." (We clearly employ the same writers.) We saved the backyard tour for last, and, after suggesting we adopt more than one dog with this type of space, she told us we passed the final test.

"Great! When can we pick up Elvis?" I eagerly inquired.

She then ruined my life explained their adoption process, which goes as such: step one - submit an application, step two - references, step three - home visit, step four - disappointment. Essentially, we were now officially approved to adopt one of their animals, and we could go to any of their events and leave with a new family member. And then I got punch in the fucking face - ELVIS WASN'T EVEN AVAILABLE ANYMORE. She had little to nothing to say in regard to the relevance of applying for a specific dog on their site. "Get out of my house," I screamed (in my head).

Since losing Elvis, I've been in mourning and our dog search has been dispassionate at best. Like being driven to drink, I've been persuaded to BUY BUY BUY. No dog shop or puppy farm is going to get my hopes up - If I pay, I play. Sure, Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" taunts my thoughts, but as an adult with abandonment issues, I can't survive another doggy disappointment. Does it count as shopping if someone else buys it for me? I didn't think so.

As such, I would like to ask Santa for only one thing this year - Elvis. Find whichever unworthy, meth-concealing family got him and pull a Grinch. Bring him to me. Or, if Steven's reading this - I'll take a dog (a good looking one) instead of all of those gifts under the tree. If you didn't keep the receipts, I'll take both.

*When I decided to start blogging again, I had a talk with my fiancé about what name he would prefer I use for the blog since I figured I would complain about mention him often. He offered the following suggestions: Mitch, Eucalyptus, Wiley, Sylvester, Reginald, Mohammad, Lars, or Simon ("as in 'Simon Says,' get it?"). As with most things, his opinions went ignored.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Don't Call it a Comeback

I debated with myself for quite a while if I should bring this blog back to life. Am I the same person? Do I still find myself in ludicrous situations at 2am? Do people even use Blogger anymore? The debates went as such:

Am I the same person?
Of course I'm not the same person - I'm 30 now (*cringe*). The girl that started this blog years ago never could have imagined she would make it to 30; yet she did (with the help of alcohol professional therapy). OK, but that's exactly how the concept of time works - you get older, age has nothing to do with being the same person. Of course, I'm the same person - I still live in Manhattan, and that will never change,* I still work a desk job despite tempting myself with the possibilities of pursuing my passions and making it work with odd jobs, and I still continue to make a fool of myself while intoxicated, though my now 30-year-old body generates more physically damaging repercussions than previously experienced. But now I don't sleep with date all the wrong guys - I'm actually getting married in six months. 20-something-year-old me would never believe I'd convince someone to do that (if the last post wasn't evidence enough). And, remember my high school superlative - most changed? I'm predisposed to become a new person every 3-4 years. So I agreed to disagree with myself - I am the same person and I'm not. At least I still revel in satirically judging others, and more so, I continue to enjoy musing at my perpetual mistakes.   

Do I still find myself in ludicrous situations at 2am?
Why did I make 2am a qualifier? What a terrible excuse. These days, I'm at my highest intoxication by 2pm. At the age of 30, bottomless brunching becomes even more important in order to create an adequate hangover preparation period. So, sure - I might not be out until all hours of the night looking for trouble anymore, but, per the aforementioned paragraph, I'm the same disaster of a personality, and that attribute maintains I bring the trouble with me regardless of the sun's position in the sky. 

Do people even use Blogger anymore?
I don't know that they ever did. However, I'm too lazy to figure out a different way to do this, and I don't have enough creativity apps on my phone to do the whole funny-text-above-a-stock-photo thing on Instagram.

None of these debates really mattered in the end. My company switched insurances and my therapist is no longer covered. I'd rather spend the money on Seamless and booze donations to dozens of charities, so I'm going to need an outlet in the interim. I figure I can just send my therapist links to the blog periodically, and maybe he'll decide some pro bono work is necessary. 

*Dear 40-year-old me, if you come back to this blog after years of absence and laugh at how 30-year-old me thought she would never leave the City, she will haunt you. She hates you. Why did you make her leave? Did your husband convince you? I bet it was the kids and "needing more space" or "we need to start thinking about their schooling." Coward. 20-something-year-old you is even more appalled - you're married...with kids?! We don't even know you anymore.