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I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but 2015 Was Actually Pretty Okay

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When I considered writing an end of the year retrospective, my face scrunched up in disgust as I reflected on 2015. Not my favorite year by a longshot. So much of it felt like a continuous struggle – like I’m in the middle of a significant lesson which I’ve tired of learning. Part of that may be the depression talking. It’s been one of the roughest years for me in a long while on that front and I know how much it can cloud and distort a person’s view of situations. A year is a fairly arbitrary measure of time and in the space of those bookends much transpired – good, bad and adjectives in between. There are layers to this life thing.

Instead of dwelling on the year’s lows and looking at the year simplistically, I opted to capture the essence of each month – a reflection of what was going during that period in time – including the books I read, TV shows I binged, trips I took and posts I wrote that resonated with people. It turns out that 2015 wasn’t as “garbage” as I initially thought.

2015: Year in Review

January

Highs: Woke up in Prague after a fun New Years Eve. • Designed and ordered my first box of business cards as a writer and blogger. • Was excited to be followed by Taye Diggs on Twitter until I found out he follows practically everyone.

2015, like every other year, had it's highs and lows. It's important not to let the lows overshadow the highs. | Read more from "2015 in Review: I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears..." on The Girl Next Door is Black
Just hanging out in Prague on New Year’s Day 2015 | Sculpture: In Utero by David Černý

Lows: Driving 90 miles north to UC Davis’ Veterinary School to see if my beloved, 13-year old cat has cancer (inconclusive, tests are $$$$)
Binge-watched: Frasier (all seasons – there are 11!), The Originals (s1)
Read: The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year ☆☆☆☆☆
Traveled: Prague • Warsaw
Wrote: GoodBye Weave; Hello Curls! (Most viewed post in January and in all of 2015)

February

Highs: Littlest sister visited from Texas!
Lows: Littlest sister went back home.

2015, like every other year, had it's ups and downs. However, it's important not to let the year's lows overshadow the highs. | Read more from "2015 Year in Review: I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but It Actually Wasn't That Terrible" on The Girl Next Door is Black
Showed my sister one of San Francisco’s favorite ways of spending a sunny afternoon – at Dolores Park: picnicking, drinking, smoking, “smoking”, laughing, celebrating, etc. We ate the best strawberries that day. I scored three baskets of plump berries for $5 from a street vendor in The Mission. I almost felt like I got away with something.

Binge-watched: Frasier cont’d • Arrow (s1-3 )
Read: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple ☆☆☆☆
Wrote: Essential Blogging Resource Guide (one of the top 3 “pinned” posts in 2015)

March

Highs: A photographer friend profiled me on his site • Heard Talib Kweli speak on race and hip-hop at The Commonwealth Club • A friend sent me surprise flowers for my birthday. I love surprises like that!
Lows: Not being able to fly to Texas to celebrate my (Texas) mom’s milestone birthday
Binge-watched: Arrow cont’d • House of Cards (s1-3)
Read: Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America by Eugene Robinson ☆☆☆☆
Wrote: No, I’m Not a Mommy (most comments of the year)

My dad actually recommended this book to me and mailed me his copy. I’m glad he did because I found it enlightening. I highly recommend this book if you want to learn more about Black Americans of today – the media only gives attention to a small segment – and the socioeconomic factors which underlie our progress and pitfalls in the US.

April

Highs: Being invited as a guest on a radio show. I thought my nerves were going to get the best of me, but I did it and I didn’t make myself look like a fool! • Caught up with a good friend from L.A. who was passing through San Francisco for a blip. We laughed so hard; it was just what I needed.
Lows: The Uprising in Baltimore, Maryland after the death of Freddie Gray – specifically the way many mainstream media outlets distorted events, as well as how excessive policing goaded and further traumatized people already in emotional distress.
Binge-watched: Marvel’s Daredevil • Bones (s5-9)
Wrote: 5 Myths About Black Americans That Need to Disappear (4th most popular post of the year)

May

Highs: My friend’s super fun bachelorette weekend in Palms Springs • Attended my first blog conference (Bloggy Boot Camp in Temecula – Nia Peeples was there!) • Reunited with my Europe travel buddy for a weekend
Binge-watched: Bones cont’d
Traveled: Palm Springs • Temecula / San Diego
Wrote: Not Your Grandparents’ Brand of Racism

2015, like every other year, had it's ups and downs. However, it's important not to let the year's lows overshadow the highs. | Read more from "2015 Year in Review: I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but It Actually Wasn't That Terrible" on The Girl Next Door is Black
In Palm Springs I had a carefree weekend

June

Highs: Watched two friends who seem made for each other get married • Saw an excellent and poignant one-woman show at The Marsh called Black Virgins Are Not for Hipsters • Danced to tracks spun by Ryan Hemsworth at 1015 Folsom • Saw Kim Kardashian talk about the sexual objectification of women in the media (yes, really) at The Commonwealth Club (While I’ve never been her biggest fan, I have to admit she gives a charming interview and is likely smarter than she’s given credit for). My friend J and I are now technically in an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians since the cameras were there with Kim and panned over the audience.

A friend sent me an email out of the blue saying “write a book please” – it meant a lot. • Bree Newsome climbed a flagpole and took down the anachronistic Confederate Flag waving in front of South Carolina’s capitol building!
Lows: A delusional white supremacist befriended and then murdered 9 black parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina church. Being in the office – where I was one of very few black employees – feeling alone in mourning the lives lost, because no one else seemed care about what had happened – at least not to the degree I did.
Binge-watched: Orange is the New Black (s2-3)
Read: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ☆☆☆☆
Wrote: Don’t Call Me “Girl”

July

Highs: First BlogHer conference •  Spent time with my (New York) mom and my grandparents • Took in another one woman show, this time by Anna Deavere Smith called Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education at Berkeley Rep – disquieting commentary on the US educational system and the “school-to-prison” pipeline. • BlogHer.com picked up my post What Emotions Am I Allowed to Have as a Black Woman for syndication!

BlogHer 2015 is hands down the best conference I’ve ever attended. Among many highlights: I learned  more than I probably am even aware; shared an inspiring moment of solidarity led by the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement; met one of the bloggers I admire, Awesomely Luvvie (and acted like a fool incapable of forming proper sentences); listened with great interest as the talented film director Ava DuVernay imparted words of wisdom; and engaged in refreshingly honest discussion on sexual harassment, intersectional feminism, and domestic violence helmed by three formidable women behind a few of the most powerful “hashtag activism” movements on Twitter in recent years.

I also met some wonderful new people, and to wrap it all up we celebrated with a party where Boyz II Men performed, Nick Cannon DJed, we “whip and nae nae”d, and dined on all the McDonald’s we could eat!

Lows: My friend died from cancer  • In a case of police abuse that hit frighteningly close to home, a 28-year old black woman named Sandra Bland was found dead in her jail cell under extremely suspicious circumstances – after a questionable arrest. This just weeks after the murders in Charleston. Again, working in the office – trying to get through the day coherently and without breaking into tears – seemed like a form of self-flagellation.
Binge-watched: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt • Veep
Read: The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman ☆☆☆☆
Traveled: New York
Wrote: What Emotions Am I Allowed to Have as a Black Woman? (3rd most popular post of the year)

August

Highs: Reunited with my friends/favorite ex-coworkers to celebrate the life of our friend E- who died in July • Caught up other good friends in Los Angeles for Mexican food • Went to a San Francisco Giants game with a friend in town from L.A. • Surprised and honored to be included in Quirky, Brown Love’s 200 Amazing Black Bloggers (among great company).
Lows: The reason for the reunion • Took an unscheduled break from blogging to recharge

2015, like every other year, had it's ups and downs. However, it's important not to let the year's lows overshadow the highs. | Read more from "2015 Year in Review: I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but It Actually Wasn't That Terrible" on The Girl Next Door is Black
My friend E’s brother is on the far right; along with E, the rest of us worked at the same company for several years and became good friends. We dined in Koreatown in honor of some of E’s favorite things – good food, good drink and lots of meat.

Read: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins ☆☆☆☆☆ • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates ☆☆☆☆☆ • The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae ☆☆☆☆
Traveled: Los Angeles
Wrote: White Supremacy: I Don’t Know How Much More of It I Can Handle

September

Highs: Visited my Vegas grandmother, got her signed up for seniors’ internet classes at her local library, helped her secure her membership at the ‘Y’ where she now enjoys taking chair yoga, and took her shopping because as I told her, just because you’re working out doesn’t mean you should dress any ol’ way and she was going to be a “fly granny.” 79 and still going strong. Get it granny! • Second youngest sister visited from Texas! • Danced my butt off at the Oakland Music Festival with said sister. • Invited onto The Unconventional Woman Podcast as a guest.
Lows: Had a mammogram to check out a lump (everything’s fine). • Second youngest sister returned home.
Binge-watched: Sliders (re-watched series) • Power
Traveled: Las Vegas
Wrote: San Francisco, I Think I’m Over You

2015, like every other year, had it's ups and downs. However, it's important not to let the year's lows overshadow the highs. | Read more from "2015 Year in Review: I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but It Actually Wasn't That Terrible" on The Girl Next Door is Black
Sister selfie at The Palace of Fine Arts

https://www.instagram.com/p/8Mjn-qKrjh/

October

Highs: Saw the hilarious duo, Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu, from one of my favorite podcasts Another Round at Popup Magazine’s inventive evening of live storytelling • Took Mattieologie’s Full Time Formula webinar on making real income as a blogger that got me all fired up • Caught up with two former co-workers • For Harriet published my piece Growing Up “Keisha” in a World of Ashleys and Joshes! • Did an urban hike on Halloween with the Outdoor Afro Club and my friend K (black people like the outdoors too!).
Binge-watched: Person of Interest (s1-4) • Charmed (re-watched from the beginning)
Wrote: Growing Up “Keisha” in a World of Ashleys and Joshes

November

Highs: With my second youngest sister, I spent my first Thanksgiving in over 20 years with my (New York) mom and her side of the family. Met a bunch of new-to-me and new-to-this-earth cousins. • Saw a live taping of The View and softened toward Raven; DJ Tanner was there!; left with a $100 gift card to Lulu’s and an Alessia Cara CD (the musical guest on the show).
Lows: A job I wanted that would have allowed me to work remotely didn’t pan out
Binge-watched Chicago Fire (whole series) • The Fosters (s3) • Being Mary Jane (whole series)
Read: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ☆☆☆☆☆ • Syrup: A Novel by Max Barry ☆☆☆☆☆
Traveled: New York
Wrote: Quit Talking about the Lack of Diversity and Do Something

2015, like every other year, had it's ups and downs. However, it's important not to let the year's lows overshadow the highs. | Read more from "2015 Year in Review: I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but It Actually Wasn't That Terrible" on The Girl Next Door is Black
My sister and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan for the first time

December

Highs: Hung out with a high school classmate I haven’t seen since we graduated almost 20 years ago • Traveled to my 5th continent – Asia • Came in 2nd in my fantasy football league (I started playing again; I’m a hypocrite.) • Checked out a cat café in Oakland. So cute.
Binge-watched: Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce • Casual 
Read: The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs ☆☆☆☆☆
Traveled: Ho Chi Minh City, all over Cambodia, Bangkok, Shanghai

2015, like every other year, had it's ups and downs. However, it's important not to let the year's lows overshadow the highs. | Read more from "2015 Year in Review: I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but It Actually Wasn't That Terrible" on The Girl Next Door is Black
Oh, I also tried fried tarantula in Cambodia (just a leg). It was…crunchy.

Once I put it all down, it’s clear that I have a lot to be grateful for this year. It’s far too easy to focus on what you don’t have, haven’t accomplished, who’s not with you, or how much money you didn’t make. It’s important not to let the year’s lows overshadow its’ memorable highlights.

I am healthy, I have a safe place to live, I don’t have to search for food, my family is safe and generally healthy, I have friends and people who love me. So take that depression!

With all that said, 2016 I hope you are planning to bring it.

2015, like every other year, had it's ups and downs. However, it's important not to let the year's lows overshadow the highs. | Read more from "2015 Year in Review: I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but It Actually Wasn't That Terrible" on The Girl Next Door is Black
According to Spotify I pretty much listened to Drake this year with breaks for Kanye and A$AP Rocky.

How did you feel about 2015? What were your highs and lows? What did you watch/listen to/read/create? Travel anywhere interesting?

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How I Broke Up with Comcast (Well…Kinda)

Circumstances forced me into a relationship with Comcast when I moved here. In Los Angeles, I’d been a loyal DirecTV customer for years. Unfortunately, when I tried to transfer service and have a dish installed in my new place, the DirecTV installer shared his dreadful assessment, “San Francisco sucks for satellite! The building behind you is blocking the signal. Can’t hook you up.” Then he told me I should move back to L.A. because he hates San Francisco. Uh…thanks for the welcome, homie!

Photo cr: Photo cr: Jason Rosenberg, flickr.com How to Cancel Cable | The Girl Next Door is Black

I searched and hoped for other options and came to the sad conclusion that Comcast is my only option for cable here. Internet service options are no better. AT&T was like, “We don’t have cable here yet, but we’ll give you internet for a $200 equipment set up fee!” The hell?. I’ve had financially-vampiric relationships with Time Warner AND Comcast in the past along with shitty service, bait-and-switch package “deals” and calls with customer service so painful they make you want to kick that jerkface who kicked that poor puppy. The worst.

Resigned to my last resort, I grumbled and huffed as I spent two hours – TWO HOURS – on the phone with a Comcast rep trying to get the least wallet-rapey deal on a cable / internet bundle. This fool came at me with $200 a month for a bunch of channels I didn’t want, along with landline service that I had to include to get the best discount even though I said I haven’t had a landline since 200-I don’t remember and then tried to get in my business about splitting bills with roommates and such. Filled with frustration at the foolishness of this whole ordeal, I bit my tongue because I know he’s just doing his job.  My beef is really with his evil overload monopolistic employer. But, dude why are you up in my budget? If I say I don’t want to spend $200 on service I resent ordering to begin with, I don’t want to spend $200, whether I have roommatehomieloverfriends to share in the swindle or not.

Given I’m currently not working, I know the responsible, adult thing to do (sigh) is cut back on some of my non-essential expenses. In my world, television is close to essential. I mean yeah, food, shelter, love, world peace and all that, but it’s TV and I’m a pop culture junkie/former wannabe actress. Cutting cable has always been a last resort to me. For me to even seriously consider cutting off the source of my visual pacifier represents a significant shift in my world. But, homegirl ain’t got no job and Comcast isn’t speaking any my love languages. Ultimately, I decided to put on my big girl bikini, take the plunge and tell Comcast that I needed to take our relationship in a different direction. This relationship is expensive as hell and I can’t even talk to them about it because they know they have the power! It’s wrong.

Photo cr: Steven Depolo, flickr.com
Photo cr: Steven Depolo, flickr.com

I know for some, cutting the cable cord is no big deal. Either they’re not big TV watchers or they have other, higher priority vices or kids who make it impossible for them to even sit through an entire show without distraction. However, if you are thinking of cutting the cord and scared of what life is like on the other side of cable, or if you’ve already cut the cord and want to maximize your viewing options, I’ll share how I did it.

Calling It Quits

I’m sure you heard about the infamously horrendous call from the annals of customer service fuckery between the Comcast customer who tried to cancel his service and a Comcast rep who was like, “But why you trying leave though?” on repeat. I truly wasn’t looking forward to calling and being harassed for trying to save some coin. I did some research before I called. Yes, girl/boy, I RESEARCHED this shit. That’s how serious it is. I learned the following from customers who were able to exit a call with Comcast unscathed:

  • If you want to cut off your service all together, no internet or cable, tell them that you are moving to another country. People swear by this. It’s important that you say you are moving internationally. Down the street or to Kansas doesn’t count. They will insist on following you like some stalker mess.
  • Be kind to the rep.  This should go without saying, in general, but with Comcast’s reputation, I recognize it’s easy to be defensive from the jump, busting out the Vaseline, before you even pick up the phone. Just try to put your stankitude aside and think of the rep who just wants to work, hopefully without headache, and call it a day like the rest of us.
  • Find out in advance if there are “hidden” packages. The package I ended up with, Internet Blast, is one of their cheapest packages and not one they advertise. I got the low down on it from a friend.

I ended up with a cheery rep in Utah whom I charmed with quips and compliments about her disposition. I explained to her that I was recently laid off from my job, knowing that’d score me sympathy points and set the tone for what I am not here for and that’s a $200 package or even its cousin the $150 package. The call took less than 15 minutes and when it ended I didn’t feel like I’d gotten my whole body threaded. I traded in all those channels I don’t care about, as well as HD service and a DVR for a basic basic cable package with high-speed internet, saving myself nearly 60% each month.

Now What to Watch

Cutting the cord has never been easier with all the streaming TV and film options available. Easing my transition is the streaming trio of Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix and Hulu Plus.

  • Amazon Prime Instant Video isn’t cheap, but I share my account with a few friends (they allow up to 4 people on one account), making the cost more reasonable. It seems like a good deal of their television content you have to purchase, but they have free episodes of entire seasons of some sitcoms and dramas, as well as some free and cheap movies. You can also buy TV shows by the season. Even if you do decide to by a season pass of your favorite show, the one time cost is still likely cheaper than paying Comcast an arm, a leg and a lung.
  • Between Hulu Plus and Netflix there’s plenty of streaming TV content. Netflix is killing their competition with their indie film and documentary selection. I’ve never heard so many people care about whale welfare until the Blackfish documentary blew up on Netflix. As with Amazon, you can share your account with others, though how much sharing you do is up to your personal ethics. Both services are $7.99/month, which is $2 more than the $5.99 “convenience fee” Comcast charges for conveniences I’m sure I never saw. “Comcast” and “convenience” are words that don’t belong anywhere near each other.
  • iTunes is another option and like Amazon isn’t cheap. However, similar to amazon, they offer the option of purchasing entire seasons of currently airing shows, so if you’re a semi-Bravoholic like I am, that’s an option for staying in the loop of those shows if you want to pay the price…which I’ll reiterate is still cheaper than promising a gaggle of goats to Comcast.

How to Watch It

I bought myself a Roku two Christmases ago and it’s on the list of my favorite electronic purchases. It’s relatively inexpensive and need I say, the one time cost is cheaper than giving one of your silver fillings to Comcast. The Roku allows you to watch your favorite streaming apps (they’re called channels) directly on your TV.  Roku has something like  over 500+ channels available including Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Crackle, Plex, YogaGlo, PBS and tons more, many of which are free. Lifetime even has a channel and I discovered that you can watch some of their movies of the week.

Apple TV is another option for streaming channels. It is similar to the Roku, but integrated in Apple’s cult network of products.

Roku 2 Photo cr: Mike Mozart, flickr.com
Roku 2
Photo cr: Mike Mozart, flickr.com

The package I settled on includes a standard definition box. I bid a sad farewell to my HD DVR and in its place received transmission so bad I thought it was the ’80s again. What’s next? The Poltergeist screen of “things are about to get really bad for you”? I’m paying for this box and the channels keep fading out. That’s some nonsense. I remembered a particularly frugal friend of mine swearing by his indoor HD antenna. He let me borrow it once when I bought my first HDTV a few years ago. I thought it was cool that I could get these random channels I’d never heard of like Bounce and stations that end in .1 and .2.

There are many options for HD antennas, both indoor and outdoor. They enable you to watch the broadcast and multicast channels in your area. The signal strength depends on your distance from the station’s broadcast tower. You can check the DTV website to see what channels are available in your area. I purchased this one on Amazon and I have 33 channels including ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.  At least 10 of these channels are in Chinese, Vietnamese or Spanish; there’s even French news and a KPop channel; coming in clear, crisp, beautiful HD. Comcast, I’ll be sending back that standard piece of crap you sent me. What a joke.

AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin High Performance Indoor HDTV Antenna  Photo cr: amazon.com
Amazon Basics Ultra-Thin High Performance Indoor HDTV Antenna. It’s black on one side and white on the other.
Photo cr: amazon.com

It’s been a couple of weeks since I cut the cord and while I do admit to missing the ability to flip channels to find random content to watch, and I keep making phantom DVR movements (what do you mean I can’t rewiiiiinnnnd?!), I am surviving. I haven’t melted into a puddle yet. I’m not going through withdrawals. Eventually, I may want to invest in purchasing my own DVR/Tivo, but that’s a bit of a pricier endeavor. I am even at relative peace with the fact that I’ll not be able to watch my biggest TV addiction, The Real Housewives, in real-time, especially given Beverly Hills (real estate porn) and Atlanta (ROTFL-type shade) return soon. I’ll miss my fairly new habit of nerding out to Melissa Harris-Perry’s show on weekend mornings, but I’ll be okay. I’m happier and less cash poor since I changed the terms of my relationship with Comcast.

Have you gotten rid of your cable? Do you have any tips for surviving life after cable? 

This post may contain affiliate links. 

My “Mindy Project” Moment With a Guy On the Elevator

photo cr: Demom Media
photo cr: Demom Media

I marathoned season one of The Mindy Project during the summer television drought. I developed a girl crush on the lead character, Mindy Lahiri, almost immediately. She’s me. She’s my friends! Mindy’s an educated, single, professional woman in her early 30s, living in Boston. She’s a relatable blend of endearingly awkward, at times second-hand-cringe-inducingly awkward, feisty, ready to go head-to head with the funniest of dudes in a battle of quips, unabashed lover of pop culture, with a fabulous style exhibited by her flyass enviable wardrobe. And she’s brown! She’s a brown girl on TV, Indian-American to be more specific, and her brownness is not the focus of her character’s life. She gets to be “normal.”

Mindy, much like the Rachel McAdamses, Reese Witherspoons and Sandra Bullocks of the romantic comedy films she adores, is steady meeting cute dudes in random places, like the elevator. Elevators are like a goldmine for hot dates in her world. I remember in college reading stupid articles in Cosmo with titles like, “How to Get Him to Notice You,” which they seemed to repackage every issue using similarly uninspired titles and not dissimilar content. [How many different sex positions could Cosmo possibly find in the almost 50 years of its existence? They are either making shit up, inventing new and uncomfortable positions or slowly parsing out pages of the Kama Sutra until they run out.]

Cosmopolitan (magazine)
75 moves? Yeah right! | photo cr: Wikipedia

As Cosmo explained, eligible single men are everywhere! That cutie in the grocery store eyeing those cantaloupes? He’s hoping you’ll make the off-color joke about the large melons he’s checking out. The hottie at the gym who’s grunting like a warthog as he bench presses 500lbs? He’s just trying to get your attention. Do a little booty shake as you do your lunges and he’ll drop those weights and make a beeline for you. Or there’s the good ol’ elevator. Don’t be afraid to make eye contact with that handsome stranger in the business suit! He could be your soulmate.

I don’t know where to find these magic elevators from the Cosmo world, because most of the tech dudes in my office building act as though they fear exchanging words with females. “Have boobs? Won’t speak.” Furthermore, nobody wears suits in this city and if they do, they stand out like a contraband plastic bag in the grocery store.

Yesterday evening, I had a Mindy moment!

As I walked out of my office suite into the elevator bank we share with the company across the hall, a guy asked me, in a way that made me think his own question surprised him, “How was your day?”

Was he talking to me? I looked around. Yep, juuuuust me.

I smiled with hint of confusion and answered, “It was pretty good. How about yours?”

He was wearing a faded-red shirt and jeans. The shirt wasn’t faded, red as in “bled out in the washer”, but a distressed shade of red. The distinction is important. A messenger bag hung from his shoulder. I decided he was cute, his voice appealing and best of all, age appropriate.

Elevator Ride (what I have done for a living s...

The elevator arrived (“Doors opening,” announced the disembodied voice who for some reason has a British accent) and we entered. I figured the conversation would naturally die as others were already in the car.

“I’m leaving at 5:30,” he continued, “so it has to be good.”

“Oh? Is that not normal?”

“Nope, I usually work until 8:30. There are only four of us, so it’s not like anyone is forcing us to work late. We just do.” He seemed bemused.

Hold up.

Am I actually having a conversation with this dude? Like for real?

We exited into the lobby. I thought, say something funny!

“Haha. I wonder why that is. Maybe the force of the…(blah blah blah not funny, you fool!).”

Were he not present, I would have slapped myself upside my own head.

I added, “Haha. I don’t even know where I was going with that theory.” Like a damn fool who doesn’t know how to have a proper conversation.

He chuckled. “No, I think I get it. Haha. You’re probably thinking, ‘this guy is weird!'”

Uh, no. Not at all.

Intersection
Intersection dilemma | Photo cr: lukeroberts

We were on the street outside now. A few feet away was the intersection. Now what? Are we walking the same way? If we are, do we keep walking and talking? What if he was just being polite and wants me to stop babbling at him? If we’re going separate ways, should I pretend I’m going his way anyway in case he is chatting me up? This is what I hate about being single at my age. You’re always second guessing your natural instincts because even though you know you do “put yourself out there” and “present yourself as open and receptive to attention” and all the other repetitive phrases with undercurrents of unintentional judgment from helpful loved ones who want to see you boo’d up and not end up a crazy cat lady, you can hear their words in the recesses of your mind. By this point, Mindy Lahiri probably would have rattled off three or four cute quips and scored a date. Yes, I am aware she is a sitcom character.

I could see our bodies subtly moving in opposite directions. We were headed different ways.

“Well, I’m this way,” I tried to say as brightly as possible with a subtext of “I am open to more conversation possibly over a drink, but not in a desperate ‘make me your baby mama’ way.”

“Ok,” he replied. I couldn’t decipher his expression. He smiled though and said, “See you tomorrow.”

Will we? See each other tomorrow? I don’t recall seeing him ever before. This man from the elevator who talks to humans who have ovaries. Will there be more to this story? Who knows? At least I got an elevator moment! Well…kinda. No date. No soulmate (I don’t even think I believe in that). An elevator conversation with someone cute? I’ll take it!