Monday, April 28, 2014

No Remorse About Forking Over for This Rent

More than 10 years after seeing it on Broadway, I have now watched the movie version of Rent - an underrated tour de force that’s not as gratifying as seeing the play live when you’re very young and its message was just what you psychologically needed at the time. I listened to the original-cast soundtrack on my yellow Discman, non-stop, for weeks afterwards, which is how I still know most of the words.

Ten years ago, I developed a crush on the guy who played Angel, the street-drumming drag queen. I (ONCE, AND ONLY ONCE) semi-strategically placed myself in the bar next to the Rent theater on 41st Street, knowing the show ended an hour earlier and any after-partying would soon begin. He didn’t come in that night, although Scary Spice (who didn’t scare me at all; I would describe her as sociable) did.

Another night, without even trying, I saw him on an escalator in Port Authority. He was the only one coming up, I was the only going down, like a scene out of the movie adaptation of Rent. (The movie, more than the on-stage production, made me wish daily life were a musical. Philosophers might insist it already is. But I mean a literal, verse-by-verse musical, where people are expected to suddenly break out into song while jaywalking or hauling sandbags out of Home Depot, or right before digging into a Shake Shack cheeseburger, instead of Instagramming proof of it.)

His real name is Justin and we both hail from the Midwest.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Unfashionably Late vs. Unwaitably Late

Sometimes I walk into certain meetings, chaired by certain people, 5 to 10 minutes late. Just to make a statement.

I don’t like when people show up to plans too early, especially when the plans are at my home, and I’m still setting or tidying up. My rough definition of “too early” is more than 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

My rough definition of “too late” is more than 15 minutes behind schedule. Like most who lead hectic lives, I’ve been 15 minutes late, and occasionally 30 minutes late, due to forces outside of my control, such as traffic-related delays or other appointments that went into overtime.

A few months ago, I told someone about a nice night out I had - with a person who arrived at the venue 1 hour and 15 minutes late. “Why would you have waited, by yourself in a public place, that long, instead of getting up and leaving?” I was asked.

Last week, I made plans with someone who apparently arrived at the restaurant a full two hours behind schedule, for no good reason. I left after having waited for 90 minutes.
Should I have waited those 90 minutes? Should I have continued to wait, beyond 90 minutes, for someone who kept texting “almost there” and “2 minutes away”? At what point, after how many minutes, do you make the statement of standing up and walking away?

Monday, April 14, 2014

There’s No Place Like the Home of Marble Memorials, Rooftop Bars, and Really Clean Subway Stations

Some time ago, I stood in a line behind two men who knew and randomly ran into each other. "I appreciate you,” one said (in lieu of “hello”) when he first made eye contact with the other. A few minutes later, he shook the other guy’s hand and said (instead of “goodbye”), “I appreciate you.” Three of the most meaningful words you can say to another person.

Or to another place. Because I whispered those words to Washington D.C. this weekend, when I was down there for the first time in several years.

I’ve spent a summer in D.C., many of my friends have lived in D.C. at some point, I’ve had two of the best birthday bashes of my life in D.C., my family took trips to D.C. when I was growing up, and “I appreciate you” sums up my thoughts whenever I roll into town. It doesn’t feel like home, it just feels good and comfortable and I’m glad it’s there. Even though it seems smaller each time I return, when I sit in the back of someone’s car looking out the window, catching glimpses of row houses and major monuments, the insuppressible smiles that spread across my face as a kid on a family trip haven’t lost their breadth. And this past weekend, it didn’t hurt to see the cherry blossoms in peak bloom.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Eight Reasons Why I’m Upset That Winter Is Over

*Now I have to comb my hair before greeting the general public, instead of pulling on a hat or hood as a cover-up. It’s oppressive.

*Icier coffee is pricier coffee.
*There’s an increased likelihood of getting jumped – the warmer the weather, the greater the odds of violent crime. I know I read that somewhere, sometime.
*I don’t want to sweat.
*In about 6 weeks from now, when I first begin to complain about the sweating, an acquaintance will be all, “Well, it is summer.” Yes, I know, but when this person spent the better part of November, December, January, February, and March complaining about the shivering (and less than a foot of snow), I companionably stayed quiet.
*Back to hats. The fedora has made a comeback. Tastemakers seem more brazen about throwing one on when the temperature soars above 35 degrees.
*The chirping about summer homes and time-shares in two specific locations – the Hamptons and Cape Cod - has already begun (à la, “You’re on the Cape, right?” “No, silly, you’re thinking of my ex-in-laws and my grandfather’s new girlfriend. We’re in Sag Harbor. We are Sag Harbor”).
*My ankle boots (the “aggressive girl’s” footwear of choice, researchers report) have a way of effortlessly optimizing my posture, and I report that our posture says more about us than our shoes. As much as I adore flip-flops, I would continue wearing these boots through the spring and summer if I didn’t worry about this being a gateway to hitting the streets and beaches in fedoras.