I honestly don’t remember what my New Year’s Resolutions were for 2012. A year ago, I rang in 2012 in my pi’s, sobbing into a couch cushion, because three days prior, the “love of my life” picked me up from the airport and promptly told me that he had been lying to me for “a long time”- and that he did NOT, in fact, love me. Maybe ever. (Doooouuchebaaagggg!)
It’s amazing how much can happen in a year…
Yes, it was dark and scary in the beginning, and- ok, maybe in the middle too- but the end of the “road,” the end of the heartache, the end of the loneliness and sadness… it has been so much more beautiful than I ever imagined it to be. I’ve loved and I’ve lived more in the past 12 months than perhaps I ever have in the past 10 years. And it’s all because I was free. [cue cheesy church music]
If I were ever to run into the aforementioned feminine hygiene product, I would simply say… “Thank you.” (And then finish removing the bits of his eyeball from under my fingernails.) But seriously, I couldn’t be any more grateful… Life is beautiful.
Here’s to another new year filled with way more laughter and way less tears- unless, of course, those tears are from laughing. To that, I say BRING IT ON!!
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
Six and a half years ago, I fell in love at first sight. Secretly. Six and a half months ago, in what can only be described as the most bizarre twist of fate in history, he was holding me in his arms and, just for an instant, he was mine… Secretly.
The other day, I could have sworn that I saw him waiting in line outside of a movie theatre, in the rain, with another girl. (How very Zach Braff indie film of him.) And although I spent the next two hours of my life picking up the pieces of my shattered dreams [insert heart in butt], I knew deep down that I’d do it all over again if I had the chance. You see, he held my hand and led me through the crowds outside of a Bruce Springsteen concert once. (*swoon*) And when I kissed him, I had to stand on my tip-toes. And once, while delirious with fever, he told me that he loved me and said, “Just be my girl.” It took every ounce of strength I had not to run to the rooftop and scream “YES!!” loud enough for him to hear 3 miles away.
Truth be told, what we had… or almost had, barely existed in time. Some would say that nothing really even happened. And maybe they’re right. I mean, compared to the great loves of our time, it really WAS nothing… Tristan and Isolde, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Edith and Archie Bunker… And, ok- maybe I never told him how much our “nothing” meant to me. And maybe it was because I dreaded seeing the how-do-I-tell-her-I-don’t-feel-the-same-way-without-hurting-her-feelings look on his beautiful face… But every now and then, I whisper into the cosmos, “… our little nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings”… and hope that, wherever he is, he’s never seen You’ve Got Mail.
Dating in Los Angeles can be tricky… You never really know whatyou’re going to get. In Chicago, you can pretty much assume that your date: a.) is either a Bears or Packers (*vomit*) fan, b.) likes beer, c.) pronounces the number 100- “a’ hunerd,” and/or d.) wears a backwards baseball cap after work and on the weekends. You can also assume that he likes to eat. Like EAT eat. Hot dogs, burgers, fries, Italian subs, taco salad… If you come from a “big pants” family, like I do, you know exactly the type of food I’m talking about. I have grown accustomed to this way of life. I’m a 5’6”, 120lb, size 0 that can put away a plate of hot wings like the offensive tackle you shared a dorm room with in undergrad. It’s normal for me. So imagine my surprise when I move to California and the people (men included) eat, on a daily basis, food such as “steamed quinoa with fresh fruit and goji berries,” or “creamy hemp seed pesto pasta with kelp noodles.” (<—wtf?) Where is the pizza? Where is the Portillo’s roast beef??… Upon further inspection, I found that California just simply does not produce this kind of calorie-laden food. Yes, we have fast food. But it’s not in Beverly Hills! Nay nay! You want McDonald’s? You’re going to have to drive to Koreatown, porky. Thus- I adapted. (Even though I live in Koreatown…) I can now eat certain types of raw sea food without an upchuck reflex, and freshly steamed broccoli makes my mouth water almost as much as the $40 steak it’s sitting next to. (Baked potato with butter and sour cream? What’s that?)
There are just some things I can’t let go of…
Our story begins with the new rash of foreign men I have been dating. Raised in a different country, their tastes are often slightly different than my own. For instance, Israeli homeboy, who I am currently allowing to entertain me, hates cinnamon. Thinks it’s “dees-gustink.” How does a person come to hate cinnamon?! This is bizarre to me… But, then again, I hate olives. To each his own, right? You would think… mais, non!
There we were sitting in a delicious Brazilian BBQ restaurant, my card immediately on green, waiting and ready to go!… The server comes by and offers us slices of this amazing, juicy, still-hot-from-the-grill polish sausage (yum)- when homeboy drops the bomb on me. “I don’t eat pork.” Wwwwwhhooooaaa… Pump. The. Brakes. Um, what? He doesn’t eat pork?? Suddenly, I am watching visions of hot dogs at little league games, and breakfasts in a sunny kitchen nook (the smell of bacon still in the air) slowly die… Silent for a moment, taking it in, I remember- he was born and raised in Israel! Der! “Oh yes! I’m sorry,” I say. “Jewish people aren’t supposed to eat pork, right?” Right! How silly of me… It’s religious thing. It’s fine. I get it. Crisis averted… And as I am considering whether or not to accept this delicious hunk of meak in front of my Jewish friend, he says, “Oh no. I’ve only been to the synagogue like twice in my whole life. I don’t even think I believe in God. My parents eat pork all the time. I just don’t like pork.” Riiiiiiight. “One slice for me, please,” I say to the server, and quietly eat my sausage. Strike one.
A week later, homeboy and I are having a lovely brunch at the Venetian in Las Vegas. I order scrambled eggs. With sausage. AND bacon. (ie- Hangover food. He can get over it.) He orders fruit. Lame. At this point, I’m starting to think this guy IS a fruit (in that he’s nuts (heh), not that he’s gay… although…). The server, acting purely on instinct, places the fruit plate in front of me (“For the lady…”), and the “meat plate” in front of him. My date nearly recoiled in horror at the plate of seared *gasp* pig flesh![Dun dun DUUUNNN!!!] At this point, I was so hungry and annoyed (at my date, not the waiter), I growled, “If you give him my bacon, I will destroy you.” Clearly shaken at my brazen response, the server quickly switched plates, mumbled an apology, and practically ran from our table. (Probably to go spit in our orange juice.) But, what can I say? Fabian the Fruit Boy over here practically gagged at the sight of my savory, delicious bacon. This offends me… Whatever- Strike 2.
The following night, we were enjoying a very fancy dinner at an Italian restuarant in the Palazzo. The server brought us garlic bread to nosh on before our meal. Being the effing sweetheart that I am, I offered homeboy the first slice. “Oh, no!” He said, curling his lip. ”I don’t eat garlic.” …Guys. I swear. I tried (I really did) not to sound too judgemental and bitchy, when I looked at him incredulously and
shouted replied, “WHY THE FUCK NOT?!!” He shook his head and said, ”I just… it makes your breath smell. I don’t know. I don’t like it. Yuck.” Yuck, indeed. So, I ate the entire g*ddamn loaf.
Strike 3 (and thanks for playin).
Listen, I’m a pretty easy-going, live-and-let-live kinda chick. I can’t tell you the number of times in Chicago that I overlooked a guy’s penchant for Toby Keith music (*facepalm*), or my California boyfriend’s collection of DC footwear. But food… Guys- if you want a future with me, you HAVE to love food. If you don’t love to cook it, you sure as shit better love to eat it. And for God’s sake, if I say I’m making bacon wrapped jalapeno popper chicken for dinner, you better eat every frickin bite. (Preferably, with a smile on your face.) XO
I was once told by a frustrated director, while rehearsing for a show in Chicago, that my “problem” was that I was “too pretty.” Not really seeing how this could ever be viewed as a “problem,” I said, “… Thank you?” To which she responded, “I just mean… People are going to see you and just cast you because you’re so pretty.” “… Uh huh…,” I said, looking at her like she was nuts- because clearly she was teetering on the edge of cray-cray. “Um, so what you’re saying is people are going to cast me because I’m pretty?… And not necessarily because I’m talented?”
WHAT. THE. MOTHER. EFF.
Who says that???
I came to find out later that she was just trying to get me to a heightened emotional state so that I could perform the scene properly (she succeeded)- but it didn’t matter. The damage had been done. Complex= created. From then on, it was a constant series of second guesses. Trying to hard to PROVE I was talented. Moved to L.A. (probably should have second guessed that a little more than I did), packed on a few pounds, and went spiraling down into a depression. I no longer had my looks to rely on, and I wasn’t getting parts or agents- so CLEARLY she was right and I wasn’t talented. Right?
The issue was that I had become lazy. I had stopped putting to use all of the thousands of dollars in training my parents had spent (I was THAT kid. Guilty!), and instead decided to sit in the OC and eat junk food with my boyfriend. What I needed to do was get my fat ass off the couch, get back to the gym, resume classes, workshops, showcases, ANYTHING I could get my hands on, and HUSTLE. But nooooooo. I wasted my time making excuses for myself- not once stopping to think that the woman who told me I was “too pretty,” was one of the most revered directors in Chicago. Too smart to ever cast a girl just because she was “pretty.” Whatever bug she had up her butt that day that caused her to say such a thing to me, had crawled its way right back out by the time closing night came, and she had given me a card that said, “We loved you from the beginning.” DERRRR.
In the last 6 months, I’ve somehow managed to wake up from my loser-coma and realized that I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it- PEOPLE LIKE ME. In two weeks, I achieved what it had taken me nearly 5 years to do. I have an agent, new portfolio pictures, business cards, a website, improv classes, a ton of outside work… And ok. Sometimes people will give me a break because they like the way I look. Meh. Whatever. I once made a director laugh so hard at an audition, he literally fell off the chair he was sitting in. I’m not doin too shabby…