Tatiana Talks

The Jet Set

One of the best things about being single is that at any time you can pick up and go whenever you feel like. I mean isn’t that the very thing we singles brag about all the time when sitting with our coupled-off friends? Sure. Co-habitation is nice; always having someone to snuggle with on a cold rainy Sunday is awesome. However, if I want to spend the weekend in Europe, I can. Just like that. No questions to answer. Just pack my credit card and take off.

Except, who really just randomly takes off to Europe? Or Mexico? Or Africa?

Well, it turns out, I do.

Or at least it was offered to me. A friend of mine randomly emailed me late last night with a proposal. Along with a bunch of her friends, she was headed to Morocco. Now, one of the friends had back out. So, if I wanted to, I could join them for a week in Marrakesh.

Did I want to go?

Hell to the yes.

But could I go?

Well. That is slightly more complicated. I have the money (I would be eating Ramen noodles for a while, but I could make it work) and the time to take. But it would mean cancelling other plans and living under the weight of a huge credit card bill, and worrying that something should happen and the money or time that I now needed was spent in Africa.  

And therein lies the rub. Yes. I am single and childless. But I am not without responsibilities. I have a job and a credit score and bills. While it is lovely to fantasize that I can just pick up and run off to Rome at a moment’s notice, I can’t.

Or can I?

After all, work and bills will be there when I get home. I lived on Ramen noodles before, I can do it again. So why not take off for Morocco? I don’t have to make arrangements for a sitter. Or assure my boyfriend that my single girlfriends and I will be on our best behavior. I did just buy a maxi orange skirt that would look awesome wandering around a bazaar in Marrakesh. Isn't it my responsibility as a footloose and fancy-free single girl to go on this trip?

Maybe, but it's not me. I am neither footloose nor fancy-free. I tried to be. I got all the way to entering my credit card information and almost hitting the purchase button, but the anxiety and questions and nausea were just too much. I need to plan and map and chart and budget and see it all laid out in front of me. All I saw before me were questions I couldn't answer for sure.

So, I closed the browser instead.

A Tragedy on Spruce Street

I had a rough day at the office yesterday. Nothing I couldn’t handle, just a series of meetings, interrupting a number of emergency projects, punctuated with a ride in the elevator with Hot Attorney where I actually managed to not say something stupid but that is mostly because I was focused on not shoving my tongue down his throat so I kept my mouth shut.

So I was really looking forward to happy hour with some friends. But, my day got crazier and crazier, and then I learned my friends were having just as hectic days, and it was decided we should postpone happy hour.

As I finished up at the office, I realized just how disappointed I was that I wasn’t getting a drink after work. See, in an effort to lose weight, I have cut back on my drinking and I had even saved up calories so I could have two glasses of wine after work and after the day I had I was really going to enjoy them.

On the other hand, I told myself, I should be happy that I can just go home and make dinner and not have to worry that two glasses would turn into three would turn into four and happy hour would end with me making a late evening fast food run.

Unfortunately, no matter how many times I told myself this, I still really wanted a glass of wine.

Now, I suppose, I could have gone to a bar and had a glass. But that sort of thinking didn’t occur to me. Instead, on my way home from work, I stopped at the liquor store and picked up a bottle – promising myself I would only have two glasses (and not bottomless glasses either).

I then picked up the necessary groceries to make myself a wonderfully healthy dinner to go with my red wine.

Walking (actually, more like strutting) down Spruce Street I was pumped for my evening. Just when I thought things couldn’t get better, Florence and the Machine came on my iPhone.

I was adjusting my bags so that I could turn up the music when tragedy struck.

I dropped the bag from the liquor store.

I heard the crash; I saw the red liquid pouring out across the sidewalk.

I couldn’t move. I didn’t know what to do. I mean, I knew I had to pick up the bag and that I didn’t need to clean up the spill (it was about to rain, after all) but frozen there I wondered, who can I call? Should I take a picture for Twitter? Do I go back to the liquor store for another bottle?

A man with a stroller walked by and asked if I wanted a napkin. I looked up at him, then down at the spill wondering what a single napkin would do, then double checked that none of the wine splashed up on my pants (thank goodness I didn’t have to take another pair of pants to the cleaners with a wine stain on them) and then said, “No. I think I’m fine.”

Clearly, though, I wasn’t.

My Black Eye

I woke up the morning after running into Houdini feeling a bit out of sorts. Nothing serious. Just the aftershock of unexpectedly running into someone that has seen you naked and vulnerable and once made you cry.

Maybe more than once.

I took a shower and decided that regardless of how I was feeling on the inside, I was going to look amazing on the outside. I walked over to my closet, pulled out my favorite gray sweater dress, then reached up on my tip-toes to pull down my gray, suede shoe boots.

The box was about a quarter of the way out when I could tell it was empty. Naturally, I pushed it back into place.

Unfortunately the box that was precariously perched on top of it, didn’t slide back into place. Instead, it came crashing down on me; the corner hitting me right in the eye.

Did I mention the box contained a pair of five-inch wedges? I don’t think I realized just how heavy those suckers were until they clocked my in the face.

I ran to my bathroom to assess the damage. My eye was red, and starting to swell. The box had broken skin, only a small amount, just under my. I gently touched the afflicted area and cringed.

It hurt. A lot. As you may recall, I had a date that night with Ringo. I looked at my swollen eye in the mirror and wondered if this was the universe’s way of telling me something.

As I dried my hair, my swollen red eye slowly turned to a swollen black eye. It wasn’t super black – just a little black, I told myself. Plus, I had all day to bring the swelling down. For those of you that don’t know me personally – I have super cold hands. Which is bad because whenever I go to get a manicure the woman painting my nails always exclaims “your hands are so cold” and then, sometimes, she laughs. However, when your shoes attack, freezing cold hands are a bonus and they provide you two ice packs conveniently located at the end of your arms.

I did my make-up, got dressed, and went back to my bathroom for a final look. Even with my hair all fussed up and the 30 pounds of concealer, all I could see was the gash under the swollen, purplish skin around my eye. I was suddenly no longer in the mood for my super cute sweater dress and decided to change.

Now, you know how when you have a zit, it's the only thing you can see but then you are talking to one of your friends and you say something like “and then I woke up this morning with this huge zit in the middle of my forehead” and they respond, what zit? And they mean it. Because you think it is huge, meanwhile no body else notices it.

That is what I was hoping was the deal with my eye. I was hoping that because I could feel it and I knew it happened that whenever I looked in a mirror it was all I could see, but in reality it wasn’t noticeable at all.

That dream started to fade when I got on the subway and I noticed people looking at me and then quickly, guiltily looking away. Of course, maybe I was just being paranoid.

Then I got into work and the first words out of my co-worker Rhoda’s mouth were, “what happened to your eye?”

Still, the piece de resistance (as the French would say) had to be on my way to my date with Ringo. I was running to catch the el and bumped into a woman. She immediately turned on me, looking like she was about to yell, when she stopped and simply said “damn.”

Apparently, my icepacks hands didn’t do the trick.

Four hours later, I was finally home with a pack of frozen edamame on my face and a glass of wine in my hand, wondering if it was just too dark in the bar for Ringo to notice my eye or if he was just being polite by not mentioning it.

I also wondered if my mom would believe my story when she saw me later that week (she did, by the way, but then, she is just as klutzy as I am so she probably had something similar happen to her once).

I also wondered if there was a way I could blame my black eye on Houdini.

But mostly I wondered how the universe was going to top this in 2011.

I Got A Magic Skirt

Some of you may remember that a couple of months ago I was debating moving from my pad on Broad Street to somewhere a little bit quieter. After getting some feedback from you, I decided it was time to fly the coup.

Oh, just a quick side note here: for any of you out there in cyberland that find yourself in a situation similar to the one I was in – don’t be afraid to talk to your landlord when the time comes to renew your lease. I didn’t (because I was afraid and because I had already found a new place) but when I gave my notice, he was very amenable, asking what he could do to keep me. As I later learned from friends of mine that are also landlords, good, paying tenants aren’t always easy to find, so when they have one, they want to keep him or her. Important note for landlords out there: if you have a good tenant that you want to keep because she is quiet and never complains and always pays her rent on time, you may want to rethink raising her rent every year. Just sayin’.

Okay, now back to my skirt.

One of my last nights at my old place, I had the girls over to sit on my stoop, drink wine, reminisce and make some last minute decisions about what to do with things I wasn’t sure about taking to the new place – including some clothes. So, a la Carrie and the girls in the first Sex in the City Movie, Salty, Marie and Bridie laid across my bed as I pulled the unloved items from my closet.

Somewhere in the middle of this mayhem, after we determined I only need two (not six) strappy, black mini-dresses and that I would never be preppy enough to wear argyle, I pulled from my closet my lucky skirt.

My lucky skirt, soon to be referred to as my magic skirt. I bought her when I was still in college and needed something fun, but dressy, but also sexy without being slutty to wear to a banquet where both my parents and CK would be. You would think something I bought more than 10 years ago would be hopelessly out of style, but she is just a simple greenish-blue, wrap skirt that still looks pretty good – mostly because I rarely wear her. She is much to powerful to wield regularly.

The first night I wore the skirt I swear to god CK flirted with me. Of course, it is only in hindsight that I realize he was flirting, at the time, I was so nervous that he was talking to me, I smiled, nodded and walked away. I still shake my head in disgust about what a dolt I was.
The second time I wore her, when crossing Walnut Street, Bridie and I overheard some guy exclaim to his car full of friends, did you see that girl’s skirt. Bridie stopped me, “Did you hear that guy?”

I smiled.

She looked down at my skirt, “That thing is magical.”

The third time I wore the skirt – I met Hung. I don’t think I need to go into any more detail about why that night was awesome.

The fourth (and final) time I wore it was to Wharton’s going away party. Except I never made it to the party. Wharton was being a bit of a jackass (at least in my mojito-clouded opinion) and I decided he didn’t deserve to see me in the skirt.

I’m not sure why I never wore it again. Maybe I was afraid it’s magic had worn off or maybe I just didn’t have the occasion to wear it. But when it came time to clean out the closet, I decided it was time to pass the magic skirt on to someone else.

When Bridie saw that I was giving it away she was shocked and asked me what the heck I was thinking. And maybe it was because I had too much wine. Or maybe it was because I was surrounded by the women that love me the most. Whatever it was, I decided to be honest. Because the truth was it had nothing to do with passing the magic on to someone else (have I ever been that magnanimous?). I just didn’t feel like the same girl that wore that skirt.

Worse, I wasn’t sure I could ever be her again. So why have that reminder hanging in my closet.
A couple of days later, Salty was coming over to help me take my oversized, industrial trash bags to the Goodwill. I was pulling the third bag from the back room when I noticed my lucky skirt had escaped and was half hiding underneath a bookshelf. I inspected the bag for tears but found none. It seems, while I was ready to be done with the magic skirt, she wasn’t done with me.
I scooped her off the floor and stuffed her into my pocketbook.

Maybe there was some space for her in my future after all.