Posts Tagged Tucson
I’m pretty bummed out, guys. The Cactus Moon, which was my favorite bar/nightclub in my college town, has closed up shop. Hard to believe the girls and I were there just dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle” there two weeks ago for Dyanna’s bachelorette party, when we had no clue this was going to happen. The Arizona Daily Star had this to say about it:
The urban saloon- a favorite midtown watering hole for redneck gals and long-haired country boys since 1989 – has closed.
As for those good-hearted women and ramblin’ men who may fall to pieces over closure of the Cactus Moon, they will have to ease their achy breaky hearts with suds in a bucket from another country-Western establishment.
On my last trip at the Moon, I commented on how crazy it was that I could get 25 cent drinks on Wednesdays before 10 p.m. — Ladie’s Night. After 10, each drink cost a whopping $1.25 for women. It was such a good deal and an amazing time. During the first semester of senior year, my creative writing professor assigned his students to write an essay about a Tucson spot that meant a lot to them. I chose Cactus Moon, which was a ton of fun to research. I interviewed regulars, staffers, and the bathroom employee, who was tasked with watching the stall doors.
Several reports attest that the club was struggling financially, and I wouldn’t be surprised given the low drink prices and entrance fee. What a shame, though.
Thanks to this guy over here. He survived quite a hectic journey from Tucson:
I still need to name the cactus. May as well call it Tucson! Speaking of cacti, I received an interesting bit of information the other day. Though I was preoccupied while Dyanna and Kyle were reciting their vows, someone told us that two doves landed on a Saguaro cactus at that very moment. Too weird! Here are a couple more snapshots of the ceremony:
I miss them so much I promise this will be my last wedding blog entry (or at least one of the last posts on the subject), but here’s a copy of the speech I delivered at the reception. I’ll upload footage of the whole thing shortly:
“Hey everyone. I’d like to say a few words about Dyanna and Kyle, two of my really close friends and favorite people. Now, I’m the only one in the bridal party speaking tonight, so bear with me if it feels a little long. But when it comes to Dyanna, I tend to be greedy. Sorry Kyle, that’s not changing.
Before I started classes at the University of Arizona in fall 2006, a string of reliable sources told me I would love every second of the experience. They basically said I’d be in love with all things college right after setting foot on campus. The problem was, I wasn’t sold on university life yet. Meanwhile, all the other freshmen seemed totally acclimated. I didn’t get it.
But one lonely Friday evening in Coronado Dorm, I stumbled upon a status update by a fellow club member named Dyanna. We hadn’t met in person yet, but had become FB friends to have a familiar face for the first club meeting of the semester. Unlike the flock of students boasting about how much they loved everything about school already, Dyanna bravely wrote that she was struggling with the transition to higher education. It was refreshing to come across someone who wasn’t interested in putting on a show. She told it like it was, and that’s the kind of friend you want to begin your adult years with. We got to talking and the rest is history.
Much to my relief, we had fun at college in no time. We attended a mind numbing political conference together our freshman year, when Dy first had exposure to my less than polite side. Though we developed connections with others at a rapid rate, we watched a lot of friends come and go, but we stuck together. Sophomore year was freeing, as we made a habit out of stuffing our faces with the most gluttonous taco salads ever made each Tuesday at the Highland Market, and were essentially incapacitated afterward. And yet we were in the best shape of our lives — thanks to our frequent visits to the gym, where we’d cringe through weight lifting sessions and inappropriately named sit ups. Maturity just wasn’t for us back then.
The next year was tough, as we were 20 and expected to act like real adults. Of course, we weren’t ready for that yet and chased trouble a lot. We fell for people who would ultimately let us down, something Kyle is incapable of doing.
We also caused trouble of our own by probing some of the unusual characters of Tucson by the UA. The volatile U-Mart employee, briefcase man (fake business man), the guy with the triangles on his car, the perpetually grumpy Cactus Grill restaurant cashier. You name the infamous Tucson character, we had a story about the person — and a hysterical one at that.
By senior year Dy had matured considerably. She made a choice to grow up and love what was good for her. She knew she just had to find it first, but she saw no reason to rush it. As the poem goes, love is patient. Love is kind. The former is most important.
Good things come to those who wait, and thankfully Dy didn’t have to wait long for true love to knock her off her feet. Kyle showed up at the right moment, and though she had just spent the last year and a half in a constant state of disappointment, she knew in her heart that Kyle was different and would make her happy forever. Everyone did. You’d be hard pressed to find a happier, more fun couple than Dy and Kyle, but I respect them most not because they’re great to each other, but because they’re so attentive to the people they care about. They work tirelessly and have different schedules, but make time for friends regardless. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for those they love, and that makes their own relationship all the more rewarding. They have adventures and try new things, and their three adorable dogs are equally excited about life. When you’re around Kyle and Dyanna, you know you’ll never be bored or without good stories.
Dy, I’ve known you for six years and watched you grow into a feisty young woman with big dreams and so much to offer, so its fulfilling to watch you settle down with the perfect guy for you. As I’ve said before, Kyle is proof that quality young men still exist, and you were smart and special enough to recognize one the instant you met him. I wish I knew the kind of love you have for each other, but you guys give me hope that everyone can be be blissfully happy. You’re going to continue bringing great hope into this world, and I eagerly await the day you expand your family and create even more exceptions to the rule.”
Love love love that girl. I was reading some old Facebook interactions between us — like when we first met freshman year of college — and they’re a riot. Here are a few money segments from fall 2006, if you care to read them:
From me (after being embarrassed about calling a man a f—ing asshole. Hey, I was really sweet back then and cursing was so not me!): “Haha Im such a liar, I lied because I was really humiliated. I didnt mean to sound so ignorant and insensitive and felt so bad that the guy heard. Anyway, it was me and you have definitely added to my recent vulgarity. The thing is, I NEVER swear, but when I do, all my friends laugh and say WHATS WRONG WITH YOU?! At least you’re consistent.”
From Dyanna (after I told her I was jealous that she lived in Kaibab-Huachuca (KAHU) Dorm): “omfg, you have got to be kidding me…im lucky to live in kaibab???? i effing hate it. there are a bunch of mean ass sorority bastards running around, and i just switch rooms because i had a situation happen and yeah ill have to tell you about it. but im desperately trying to leave that building. everyone i know that lives there hates it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! stay away from the KAHU!”
This was, of course, the aforementioned Facebook post I put on her wall following her status update of concern (confused? Read my damn speech!). It was the first Facebook note I posted on her page: “Hey, it looks like Im not the only lonely one “
To which she responded, “well, glad to know im not the only very conservative redhead here ahaha are u in the college republicans? if not, u should beeeeee.”
Several weeks ago, D.C. was hit with a major thunderstorm. I wasn’t there for it, but I heard all about the damage that was done. My cousin lost power for a week. A tree collapsed onto a friend of a friend’s house. People died. My buddy Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller briefly took his family out of the area, but before they fled the district, he observed the way people around him reacted to the extreme weather:
“A few interesting things happened Saturday morning. First, we started talking to our neighbors (you know, the people we normally just wave to as we’re ducking in our door with bags full of groceries?) They were outside in the cool(er) air, doing work like picking up tree branches left over from the storm. Because they were already outside, it was easy to talk to them. All of a sudden, despite the hardship, we were all more friendly and talkative and neighborly.
We had nothing else to do — no TV to watch, at least — and we now had something in common to talk about and a shared community to watch out for and clean up. I’ve seen this with snowstorms, too. (I have neighbors that I only know because of natural disasters.) Just add wind or a foot of snow, and all of a sudden, Alexandria, Virginia turns into Mayberry.”
I agreed with his point — that the neighbor dynamic has changed overtime — but shelved the thought away until this evening, when I returned home to a moldy windowsill. As you know from yesterday’s post, the AC unit of the person above me is leaking into my room. I contacted the landlord a few days ago, but he said he couldn’t help until Sunday, so I figured I could just leave mugs underneath the holes for a few days. My roommate said she’d keep an eye on the cups while I’m out, but it wasn’t until tonight that I knew immediate action had to be taken.
Anyway, there’s now a ton of mold on my windowsill. Have a look for yourself, if you dare:
After I saw that, I phoned the landlord and asked him to please arrange for someone to clean it up while I’m away. That he agreed to, but said I first needed to contact my upstairs neighbor about their leaking AC unit. I left a note on their door and received a call from one of the occupants a half hour later. He was very friendly and the conversation actually made me sad that I’ve never taken the time to get to know any of the people in my building. We walk past each other every morning and wave, but say nothing at all. Of course, my hilarious roommate Jen is enough entertainment for a lifetime, as no one is funnier than she, but we could always use more friends.
Bottom line: Matt is dead on that neighbors just aren’t what they used to be anymore, at least in our respective situations. This was the first interaction I’ve ever had with any of my neighbors, and that’s not at all what it was like for me on my childhood block. Maybe it’s a suburb thing? I’m not sure. All I know is that neighbors once felt like extended family to me. Now they’re more like emergency contacts.
It’s been quite an exhausting and exciting week, and it’s only going to get more intense in the coming days. Tucson, here I come.
For the past few months, New Yorkers and east coast residents alike have reminded me that I’m lucky to have moved to the area during NYC’s first non-winter in years. I thought relocating up north from D.C would be difficult, but I’ve barely needed a jacket this whole time. February was unusually warm and I even had the chance to run around in my sundress on a few occasions. It seemed we completely skipped winter and were on our way to an early spring.
But then it became really gloomy, rainy, and windy, and it doesn’t look like the uncomfortable temperature is going anywhere. This is what I get for indulging in a mild winter, I suppose. Maybe summer will never come. That’s what I feared last April, when it was 40 degrees in D.C. and completely unlivable when it should have been scorching hot. Sometimes I think I’ll never see sunlight again, so it’s that much harder for me to dream of pleasant weather and beaches.
That’s what happened to me last night. I dreamed of running through the streets in my new upper east side neighborhood in 100 degree sunshine. Everyone around me was complaining about the humidity, but I wanted to soak up every last ray, and if the surrounding folks didn’t want it, I’d take it all for myself. I desired nothing more than to absorb the sun, whether it fried my skin or not.
Then I awoke to drizzle and gray skies. Such is the icky reality of the east coast. The sun is only generous to this portion of the world during a few short months. Though I’m a sun dweller if there ever was one, she’s been shortchanging me lately and I don’t like it. I’ve said time and time again that I’m solarpowered, and without the sun, I literally have to dream of the sun to get what I need. Fingers crossed we’ll be in the triple digits within six weeks. You must hate me for wishing that, but heat is good for you. Never forget that.
Keeping my sunshine deficiency in mind, you’ll understand why I intend to plan a third trip to Vegas — this time, with Nikki, who I actually mentioned during my last appearance on Doug Giles’s Clash Radio. I’ll do anything to talk about that young lady, and as a Nevada native, she knows the place better than anyone else in my network. Hopefully we can make it out there very soon. I can only go so long without visiting the west. I may thrive off the grit, hustle, stimulation, energy, and ambition of New York City, but I need the comfort of the sun, to surround myself with smiling people, and quality burritos every once in a while. As my friend Anna said the other day, it’s tough to reside in a place that charges more than $2 for margaritas. Oh, the joys of Tucson living.
Speaking of Tucson, I’m heading out that way in three months for Dyanna’s wedding. Did I mention how awesome it is to be a maid of honor? I could hold this job forever. We have some fun stuff planned for the bachelorette party, which will be a much needed reunion for us girls.
Two weeks ago, I mourned the loss of summer. Nikki returned to Reno, the weather cooled down, and all my new friends fled D.C. Thursday was like a dagger to the heart because the last of the interns finished up at TheDC, so I thought the transitional month of August couldn’t be more disruptive.
Last night was a good boost from all the uncertainty. I got together with a few University of Arizona friends for drinks, dinner, bar hopping, and nostalgic purposes. It’s truly amazing that the five of us moved to the same spot across the country, especially considering the sluggish pace and Zen culture of Tucson. There’s no question that we miss the southern Arizona mentality and lifestyle, which we abandoned for better employment opportunities in D.C. Though I’d love to divorce myself from college as much as possible, I’m very lucky to have my classmates and old friends in the area. That way, I won’t forget my pre-Washington self.
I also had the chance to meet non-UA folks, all of whom were very sweet, well educated, and fun. Later on in the evening, one of the girls ran off to dance with a fabulous young man from San Francisco. He quickly waved me over, screamed, and gave me a big hug. We couldn’t contain our excitement when we found out we’re both from the bay area, although he metaphorically slapped my wrist for saying I’m a San Franciscan. I’m from the Santa Cruz area, Scotts Valley to be exact, but San Fran is more likely to ring a bell than either of those locations, so I stretch the truth on this side of the country and say I hail from San Francisco to avoid confusion.
After chatting with Luis, I know to be more careful next time! The truth shall set you free!
When one door closes, several more open. Nikki may have said farewell to D.C. earlier this month, but Joey, who I’ve known since the first week of freshman year at UA, just relocated to the nation’s capital to study business at GWU. We met in the College Republicans club as freshmen, back when we both pined for our home state of California and hadn’t yet acclimated to college life. He ended up joining my favorite fraternity, so I spent lots of time at the K.A. house. It’s great to have an old pal in this new, disorienting place.
Joey went out a lot more than I did back in school, so he knows how to assist people in bad conditions. Last night, I hurled onto the metro platform in front of dozens of passengers who had just boarded the train. I got sick before the car doors closed, giving the poor saps a perfect view of my inebriated state at its worst. Joey got me some towels, but I was pretty embarrassed. When I fall ill, I prefer to be alone and not put others through any trouble, but he wasn’t going to leave me stranded.
I lost control again after we boarded the train. If there’s such a thing as Metro Hell, I’m fated to end up there for throwing up inside the train and on the platform. I wiped down the floor with some newspapers but was pretty useless all around. Joey is a good friend for sticking around and offering me a hug while I was covered in sweat and reeked of vomit. I could really benefit from an iron stomach, which he and the majority of my buddies have acquired after years of adventure.
Now that I’m through regaling you about my low tolerance evening, here are some of the weirdest search terms that people Googled to arrive at my blog today. These will surely crack you up:
virginia hicks online dating
angela gross arch enemy
instruct me to jerk off please
“natural redhead” pubic
dreamstreet it’s happen every time
how to make thank you cards
weird pictures of the week
bubble tea powerpoint background
laura donovan speach
Get excited: My one year anniversary is coming up. No, I’m not referring to relationships with any of my numerous pretend-boyfriends (I can’t keep track of them). It’s been almost a year since I moved from California to the D.C. area.
As my friends know, the relocation wasn’t actually that simple. I graduated from the University of Arizona in mid-May, flew to France at the end of the month, enjoyed my time abroad in spite of the critics who called my trip irresponsible, and returned to Tucson in the middle of June. I spent another three weeks in southern Arizona heat, which I adored regardless of the fact that I have unrequited love for the sun.
Redheads who pine for sunshine will almost always get burned and perhaps destroyed. I pined for the desert anyway, perhaps too much. I stuck around my university town for nearly two months after graduating and ended up projecting my feelings onto strangers. Every time I ran into a classmate, I assumed he or she was wondering why the Hell I hadn’t taken off for bigger and better things yet. In reality, I was projecting my own self-conscious views onto others. No one judged me for attempting to maintain my college life for a short while longer.
This, of course, excludes family members. In mid-July, my mom flew out to Tucson to accompany me on my drive to her northern California home. Though I said I’d be safe to make the journey myself, she thought the road trip would give us a chance to talk about my future, which was as uncertain to me as my eventual death date.
When we hit Salinas, my mom confessed that she’d recently had a disturbing dream about me. In her dream, the two of us were running late for a flight to Europe. We got to the airport a half hour before our plane was supposed to take off, so my mom told me to check our bags in to the airline kiosk. Somehow, I failed to do that. Instead of checking our luggage, I slipped into a pair of roller blades, put my hair in pigtails, jumped into a ballerina tutu, and began skating and laughing in the terminal area. Furious, my mom screamed that we were about to miss our flight, but I continued playing around carelessly in the airport.
That, my mom said, was the first time she had ever been angry with me in a dream. During the drive, she explained her interpretation of the dream, stating that she’d been concerned about my progression and lack of motivation to start my adult life. In truth, I desperately longed to begin my journalism career. I’d been depressed, lost, and terrified since turning in my final May column for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, the college newspaper for which I’d spent three years editing, writing, and reporting. I felt purposeless without a publication and was too afraid to seek out another.
Even so, I’d had a vague idea in my head to return to the nation’s capital, where I’d interned in 2008. Though I felt D.C. lacked personality, soul, and warmth, I loved the work pace of its residents. My true dream was to head to New York City, but with zero connections or close friends in the concrete jungle, I decided to start off in a place where I knew people.
The night I got to my mom’s California house, I heard her whispering to her live-in boyfriend.
“This is only a temporary situation,” she said downstairs. “Laura’s moving to D.C. by August 12. Don’t worry, I’ve given her a deadline.”
I’m not sure if they were worried I was planning on living with them forever, but the thought of that actually made me dizzy. Though I love my mother and her special someone, I had no intention of staying at that house for more than a few weeks. The only incentives to stick around were California burritos, the beach, Peets Coffee, and my Jack Russell Terrier Roxy, the nicest dog I’ve ever known:
So, I dedicated the entire month of July to locking down a D.C. apartment with my buddy Anna, who was also committed to the idea of relocating to the district.
In between calling Anna, stalking Craigslist openings, walking my dog, attending yoga classes, and running errands for my mom, I babysat my toddler nephews Sawyer and Lukey.
I watched the boys a ton last summer, and while I’ve had the chance to do a lot of exciting things since then, I still consider my time with the kids some of the greatest moments of my life. Lukey and Sawyer constantly slayed me with their bluntness, questions, and observations. Here are some funny clips from my July 2010 blog posts about babysitting the nephews:
Sawyer was really nice. He said he liked me better than grandma because I make silly faces. We went to the park, ran around the playground, did gymnastics in the backyard, played catch with the dog, and went out to see Toy Story 3. To our luck, we had the entire theater to ourselves…I get to see them tomorrow morning as well, and I can’t wait.
I took the boys to the park at 9:00 a.m., when it was still pretty cloudy outside. The sun wasn’t up yet, so the kids weren’t too hot for playground activity.
Sawyer, who is three years old, wants so badly to be a “big kid.” He interacted with older children on the playground. They were all playing tag, and he’d join in on their games. Luckily, they were all sweet and inclusive.
At one point, we found a 6-year-old boy playing with a toy on the asphalt. I walked over and noticed a crowd of kids around him.
“What are you showing them?” I asked.
“My shoe,” he said. “I can put rubber bands and money inside it.”
Being the nervous adult that I’ve become, I said, “As long as you don’t flick the rubber bands at anyone…”
“So what do you need money for, anyway?” I asked.
“He probably keeps it in his shoe in case someone robs his house,” responded a little girl, and I laughed.
After a while, the others left, but Sawyer stuck around this boy, who had a bandaid on the back of his head, which he apparently cracked yesterday upon toppling off the slide.
“Where is your mom?” I asked him.
“She’s doing torture right now,” he said.
“Wait, what?!” I asked, laughing.
He nodded behind me, and I saw two women jogging by a field. I laughed again.
“Did your mom literally say she was off to ‘do torture?’”
What she meant was that she had to exercise. As the ladies did squats, little Lukey giggled and pointed in their direction. I guess workouts can look rather unusual, especially to a two-year-old.
Apparently, Sawyer has been cartwheeling nonstop at home ever since I taught him how to do one. I think it’s really cute, and I’m proud to have taught him something fairly useful/fun.
I’m really going to miss the kids when I move away. They’re so hilarious, and they’re the sweetest people I know.
When I wasn’t looking out for my brother’s kids (or choking up after saying bye to them), I worked out at the Scotts Valley gym, where my dad and I had gone for my early years of high school.
I preferred this particular fitness center because it was tiny, personal, and free of meatheads, but sometimes the small-town feel became unbearable.
After an hour-long treadmill run one afternoon, I walked up to the front desk to clock out. Drenched from head to toe in sweat, I approached the gym manager and said I was heading home. Before I could leave the building, he said there was something he’d like to share with me.
“I heard your father died,” he said. “That’s horrendous, he was always so friendly to everyone here.”
I shrugged, having heard the same apology thousands of times. After a while the condolences blur, but I always remember those who wish me well.
“It’s hard to believe that was almost five years ago. Everything is fine now, but I appreciate your kind words,” I said.
With that, it was time to flee Scotts Valley. Hopping into my car, I dialed Anna and said we needed to bump our D.C. move-in deadline up to August 8.
Two days later, she picked me up at Dulles Airport for our apartment search trip. Unemployed, we were uneasy about the prospect of moving somewhere without work lined up, but I assured my future roommate that amazing things would happen in time. Here’s how the car conversation went, courtesy of my July 2010 blog post:
“Our lives are about to get better than ever,” I said.
“But they’re already so good!”
“Imagine now multiplied by twelve, and that’s what we have ahead.”
Nearly a year later, it’s safe to say I was totally right with my prediction that our lives would be incredible. We both got our dream jobs, albeit a little later than we would have liked, but we did well for ourselves in this economy. I temporarily viewed myself as a failure for not having a gig right out of college, but The Daily Caller was absolutely worth the wait.
For eight months, I had an unhealthy longing for my alma mater. I fixated on college friendships, strained relationships, former flames, and even some frenemies just to hold onto my Wildcat status. In October, I flew back to Tucson for Homecoming. Though I enjoyed myself, I relied on Arizona far too much. I denied myself D.C. happiness because of the friends I’d made at school. Why strive for anything more than that? How could I possibly expect to surpass my college experiences?
I flew to Tucson for the second time in January, when D.C. was getting its ass kicked by snowstorms and miserable weather, which I loathed with every cell in my body. I still hate winter and am actually worried about how I’ll handle the next one. At the beginning of this year, I knew a vacation to warm Tucson would restore my sanity.
Unfortunately, my favorite place in the world had just been struck by tragedy. Jared Loughner attacked the otherwise cheerful city, allegedly shot Congresswoman Giffords, killed several innocent bystanders, and injured many. As soon as I heard about this nightmare, I knew another Tucson visit was crucial.
Luckily, I flew back to Tucson, absorbed the heat, drank milkshakes, went out with former classmates, and was finally in my element again. Additionally, I saw the shooting memorial, which was almost too much for me to handle:
With the help of friends, I had an amazing time regardless of January 8′s horrendous event.
The January visit was just what I needed, but when I came to Tucson for a third time in April, I gave myself Hell for booking the flight. I’d had no reason to go back again, and when others asked for the justification behind my trip, I couldn’t formulate an answer.
“Why the fuck are you going back? You were just there,” I mumbled to myself the evening before my flight. “D.C. is warm now, you can’t use Tucson sunshine as an excuse to fly across the country anymore.”
The trip was relaxing but totally unnecessary. It was time to establish a life in D.C., and I couldn’t do that by flying out west every two months.
I’m happy to say I’ve successfully acclimated to my new home. Tucson remains my favorite place on the planet, but I’ve overstayed my welcome there. I have a lot more to look forward to in D.C., and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.
I can’t keep track of the dates following my vacation, all I know is that I left DC on April 7. Now, I’m back in the district, where people miserably dodge thunderstorms every day during “spring” and only interact with others when the correspondence serves a relevant purpose.
On a more positive note, I had a peaceful vacation to Tucson. My short-lived trip was much more relaxed than my last two visits, and although I upset some friends by not hanging out with them, I’ll admit it was a relief to not feel so rushed and pressured to please everybody. All I wanted was to chill out and laugh with long-time companions, and thankfully I got to do this.
Friday was warm and I had a massive facial sunburn by noon. Call me negative, but it’s clear that I’m a prime candidate for skin cancer. I’m a half Irish, pasty redhead who was never meant to live anywhere besides Europe or the northeast, where my father grew up. Ironically, I despise east coast weather and truly believe it eroded my sanity, so it’s interesting that most of my family hails from Boston and New York. Considering my heritage, I should not have been brought up in California, and I certainly should not have spent my beginning adult years in Arizona, which gets much more intense sunlight than the bay area.
I can’t tell you how many sunburns I’ve had, but I’ll just say the number doesn’t do wonders for my health. I had some life threatening sunburns in childhood, one of which left me with no choice but to lick and salivate over my burning hand until I could get home and basically glue an ice pack onto my lobster arm. I’d been at the Boardwalk with day camp and forgotten to lather on sunblock as I’d been instructed, so I assumed my parents would punish me for neglecting my health. Rather than get angry, they rushed me to the doctor, who prescribed me a special aloe to soothe my burns.
When I was 15, I got an unattractive leg sunburn that actually caused my skin to fly off like dandruff flakes. What’s worse is that I wore shorts to a date while my skin was peeling. Even weirder is that the guy asked to see me again after that movie night in spite of the fact that my flesh had been falling off my body.
Anyway, I definitely got some sun on this weekend adventure. I’m pink now, but in the words of my friend Kyle, who happens to be in a relationship with my best red-haired friend Dyanna, “Sunburn is the ginger’s tan.” I’ve been told I look sickly when I’ve
gotten no sun, so I guess having a red hue is better than maintaining a pale face. I tend to look pretty washed out, all thanks to my father’s Irish roots.
Angela and I caught up over coffee on Friday. It was nice to gab and rant, I could use a DC wingman with whom to vent and exchange stories. (Thankfully, my new buddy Kate has agreed to get drinks with me, hooray for being more social!)
It was particularly wonderful speaking to Angela, my France partner-in-crime. We traveled to Cannes last summer with our generous friend Lola, who gave us free room and board for a month. I didn’t get to catch up with Lola on this trip, partly because I got a massive headache on Saturday that sort of debilitated me, but more on that later. Angela and I have a unique dynamic that I haven’t really found with many other people. We could literally spend every waking moment together and never get on each other’s nerves. We did this in France, where we constantly told jokes, snapped photographs, and told stories.
For lunch, I met up with Dyanna, Kyle, and Kendra at Paradise Bakery. It was great chatting and joking with them, I wish we could do that every single week. Later on, I had an awesome dinner reunion with Jazmine and Luke, my good friends from the college newspaper. We only knew each other during my final semester, but they’re some of the most fascinating, intense, hilarious, and hard working colleagues I’ve ever had.
Because they keep me asking for more, I ended up making a total fool of myself at dinner. Within five minutes of sitting down at No Anchovies, I accidentally poured water onto my paper plate. Jazmine and Luke laughed a little, but they had no idea what was ahead. It didn’t take long for me to knock my tray over, spill my entire cup of water onto the table, and send the pizza slice onto my lap. Luke dashed for the napkin box and I glanced down at my outfit, relieved to see my dress miraculously had no water droplets or food remnants on it. I’m not sure when I became such a maladroit, but if I weren’t so apathetic to my obvious clumsiness, I’d probably creep out the world. I pat myself on the back for embracing this eccentricity.
For my next social outing, I’ll ask my 3-year-old nephew Lukey if he can recommend any quality sippy cups. He’s outgrown them, but I clearly have some work to do in a social dining setting.
Luke and I hung out at Auld Dubliner, a college bar I not-so-secretly loathed during my university days. Whenever my friends expressed an interest in going there, I complained that the atmosphere was stuffy, loud, and perfect for washed up old men. Sure enough, I like the bar now for precisely those reasons. I used to love Gentle Bens, and I still miss
it from time to time, but when I want to relax and have a single drink, Auld Dubliner is the go-to place. Oh, how priorities change in six months!
Tucson wasn’t as toasty as I expected, and hoped, for it to be. I wanted 95 degree blistering heat. I expected more than just a light sunburn. After such a brutal DC winter that has truly taken a toll on my mind, I was desperate to paint the sunlight onto every inch on my body. I longed to surrender to the UV rays, but sadly there was no battle this weekend.
Saturday was fun, but disappointing because of my health restrictions. It rained and I had a pounding migraine, which left me feeling incapacitated. I went out to lunch with Anna, Maddie, and Katey, all of whom are spectacular in all sense of the word, but I was not too happy about the downpour or my throbbing head. Even so, I watched lots of cute movies with the lovely ladies, ate Nutella with a spoon, and laughed a lot. Anna was worried I’d be bored doing nothing that day, but I was incredibly thankful to veg out and turn of my brain. It’s impossible for me to chill out, so this was a much needed mental health day.
By Sunday, the sun reappeared and I had a nice conversation with Kendra at the Cereal Boxx, our favorite campus breakfast spot. It was great seeing her, Anna, Jess, and everyone else who brought me back to my old life in such a vivid manner.
When I originally penned this post (during my Tucson to Chicago flight), I wrote that the flights home seemed to be free of any oddities (unlike the trip over, as you’ll learn if you read my previous blog post), adding that this kind of normalcy was beyond my realm of understanding. I wrote: “Considering all the creepers I met on the
last flight (and I’m not even mentioning the guy who asked me to go on a date with him), I was relieved to have a calm travel experience home.”
Well ladies and gentlemen, I should have knocked on fucking wood before typing out this blog entry. Little did I know, one of the most awkward encounters of my life awaited me the following connecting flight. I kicked myself for speaking too soon and assuming my trip back to DC would have no surprising run-ins or weirdness.
Here’s the thing: On my Thursday flight to Arizona, a polite young man asked me out. He was a nice person and for a while I considered taking him up on his thoughtful offer. I even gave him my phone number. But after further consideration, I realized I wasn’t down to meet up with this fellow. Sweet and well-mannered as he was, I felt our priorities and interests didn’t align. I’m often told I have impossible expectations, but I’d truly rather be alone forever than lower my standards.
Much to the detriment of my health, which has surely been damaged by my innate high-strung personality, the same guy showed up on my Chicago/DC flight. As soon as I saw him on the plane, I dashed to the back of the aircraft, frantically texting my friends that I’d just stumbled upon someone I had no interest in seeing. To make matters worse, the dude text messaged me in that moment, asking if I was on the same plane. I did not respond.
The Liberian guy seated next to me kept insisting that I eat some of his Ritz crackers, and though this force feeding incident was a bit bizarre (especially since I had my headphones in and was playing on my iPad when he tapped on my shoulder), it was much less uncomfortable than everything else I’d previously gone through. I’ll admit I was rude not to write back to the man who texted, but it’s easier to do that than to explain why you don’t think something would work.
My first flight of today was more amusing than stressful, even though I became annoyed by a prissy, high maintenance straight man behind me in the boarding line. He repeatedly bragged about how amazing his McDonalds dinner smelled and spoke to his girlfriend in a baby voice, which literally gives me the chills because it’s so damn irritating. One of my biggest pet peeves is a person (male or female) who speaks like a child to acquire something. It’s not cute, it’s actually insufferable.
Naturally, I had a good laugh during the flight when I saw the female stewardess dropped coke all over this douchebag’s designer pants. He swore, whined, and yelled at the Southwest flight attendant, who profusely apologized to this distressed Nancy boy, but I maintained somewhat of a grin. He couldn’t handle having sticky True Religions, I guess. Anyway, I am not afraid to admit that I smiled to myself when Karma repaid him for being a loudmouthed tool.
I unintentionally whacked his shoulder as I waited in the aisle to exit the aircraft, and even though I said sorry, he proceeded to moan and bury his blond head in his hands. Life can’t be easy when someone wrecks your $300 jeans, I suppose. I can’t say I regret pissing him off.
At the beginning of this week, I had an absurd idea. For health purposes, I considered slashing coffee from my diet. I chug a minimum of 2.5 cups a day, and this consumption might be too hard on my body. I couldn’t completely cut coffee, especially since I adore everything about coffee shops, but I could certainly benefit from opting for tea on most days. Tea has soothing effects, but it also tastes like boiled toilet water.
So, the whole “let’s be healthier” challenge might be too great for me to tackle. Oh well.
In my last post, I said I’d planned an April trip to Tucson. I scheduled my flight on a whim, and for a day, I felt this might have been an irresponsible financial decision on my part. Then I got a call from my close Tucson friend Dyanna, whose best childhood friend had just been killed. She’s crushed and devastated that one of her closest lifelong buddies is gone forever, and I know the tragedy will take a while for her to process. Anyway, we both agreed that it’s great I booked a Tucson flight for next month, as she’s going to need lots of moral support and advice. She’s also going to need me around, and I will do my best to talk her through it.
Yesterday, I caught up with another best college friend, Tracey, who lives in the D.C. area. Believe it or not, she’s actually part of the reason I moved out here.
Tracey and I lived in the dorms together as college freshmen, but we didn’t get to know each other until a Kappa Alpha party sophomore year. Late that night, all of our mutual friends wanted to eat at Nico’s Taco Shop, but we wanted to stay at the fraternity house, so Tracey and I hung out on the front porch while the others indulged in southern Arizona Mexican cuisine. Tracey and I figured out we had a lot in common and were pretty much inseparable from that point on. The same thing happened junior year, but unfortunately Tracey graduated early and left me to live out my senior year without her. Luckily, we road tripped together from Arizona to D.C. in 2009, and I’ll never forget the memories from that adventure.
Anyway, she went back to D.C. every summer during college because she grew up in northern Virginia. Oddly enough, I received an opportunity to do a journalism internship in D.C. in summer 2008, and that experience led me to ultimately move back there for good.
To my luck, Tracey still lives here, and no matter how much time we go without seeing each other, nothing changes.
For example, when she picked me up at the metro stop yesterday, I knew she was going to laugh at my scarf and jacket. As soon as I opened her car door, she threw up her hands in disbelief.
“It’s 65 degrees out, Laura, this is not Antarctica! Look warmer!”
I missed our long-winded conversations, and I feel luckier than ever to have her around. I met her new roommate and his friends, and they were all really chill. It’s kind of a relief to meet people who don’t by default ask me what I do for a living. After a while, it’s annoying to feel interviewed/interrogated, but I’m not arguing that I’m above this. As I’ve said thousands of times, I hate small talk, so I was thankful that these people had no interest in pretending like they cared about what I do career-wise. There’s nothing I love more than writing and journalism, but I’d rather talk about what’s on my mind and bothering me.
Tracey and I cooked some risotto, which I absolutely love. As much as I adore my Irish heritage, a part of me wishes I could be Italian, as the food is Heavenly.
I also hung out with Tracey’s cat, Coffee (she has two felines: Starbucks and Coffee), and I’m still in disbelief that a kitty could be friendly. Having grown up with a feral cat who died from too many heart palpitations, I’ve always believed cats are mean, nervous, hot-headed, and boring. Coffee was fun and sweet, although he did arbitrarily bite my fingers every now and then. My old cat used to do that. One moment she’d be purring and the next she’d grab your arm and scratch you.
My roommate sort of wants to get a cat, and while I’m sure I’d love the company, I prefer dogs. If I had it my way, I’d have my pup Roxy out here in D.C., but she’s far too old to adapt to such a drastic change. I’ll be seeing her in a few weeks, so hopefully she never leaves me side while I’m home.
The sun sets later and later every evening. You know what that means. Summer is near. Hallelujah! As the new season approaches, I can’t help but marvel at the fact that I’ve been in D.C. for more than seven months. The Daily Caller changed my life and I count my blessings every day, even during hectic spurts. I’m lucky to be able to write what I want, manage an incredible batch of fabulous and hilarious interns, work with creative people, and take vacation time when I’m in need of an escape out west.
Here are some things I’ve learned after living in D.C. for seven months:
1. Shopping can be fun. I’ve never been one of those girls who enjoys going to the mall or buying new things, although I did love indulging in sundress purchases while residing in Tucson. After moving out to D.C., I realized that shopping could be a decent and inexpensive experience. I fell in love with H&M, which has reasonably priced attire, style, and good quality. When living on the east coast, you have to dress well and swaddle yourself in warm clothing, so hopefully I can man up sooner than later and be more trendy.
2. The month of March is a tease. Just when you think the horrendous winter has ended, you step outside to wind-chill, hail, and thunderstorms. Don’t lock up your long fluffy coats yet, you have another month and a half to go before safely donning t-shirts and shorts.
3. When winter hits, it dictates everything. For four solid months, I bundled up in gloves, a jacket, scarf, sweater, hat, long pants, boots, and tights every day before heading to the office. I was leaving my house before 5 a.m., which is basically the coldest time of day, so I had to take extra measures to keep warm. I huddled up in my jacket during the work day, causing many to joke that I looked like an Eskimo. My skin saw no sunlight for at least five months, so I resorted to my sun lamp to curb the effects of Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD).
4. D.C. residents can’t handle snow. Enough said.
5. Wind is worse than snow and rain combined. When walking in windy conditions, my face became so numb it was as if I’d just been to the dentist.
6. People here are more laid-back than you’d think. Before I came to D.C., my friends warned that east coast people are rude, hostile, and perpetually angry at life. I wouldn’t say this is accurate. During crowded metro days, everyone is kind, and no one screams or throws a fit when some dim-witted asshole stands on the left side of the escalator (in D.C., this is a huge no-no). People are much friendlier than I expected.
7. Georgetown is awesome. I’d love to live there and never, ever leave the area.
8. People stay informed. Even if they don’t care about the news, chances are, D.C. folks know whats going on in the world.
9. There are plenty of cool hotspots outside D.C. Northern Virginia and Bethesda, Md., are just as exciting for twenty-somethings as downtown D.C. In fact, I prefer northern Virginia nightlife.
10. Adam’s Morgan is a blast, though. I praise the bar Madam’s Organ for selling select discounted drinks to redheads.
This has been one bizarre week, to say the least.
My good friend Carolyn visited, so we had a blast catching up and touring the city. Yesterday we went to Georgetown, which is my favorite section of D.C. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again: The District has absolutely no character or soul, so it’s nice that Georgetown has mom-and-pop coffee shops, cobblestone streets, family-owned restaurants, etc. I love everything about that part of town, and if I were wealthy, I’d totally live there. Someday!
But I will say some of the restaurant servers are strange. Carolyn, Kaitlin, Anna, and I had drinks at a sports bar, which seemed to only employ eastern European female waitresses, none of which appeared happy or enthusiastic about their jobs. Even so, I indulged in Happy Hour specials.
An hour later, we browsed H&M and walked around in the 75 degree weather. Within moments, two yellow school buses of teenage boys serenaded “Build Me Up Buttercup” to me and Carolyn. I couldn’t stop laughing, nor could I resist chanting along with them. It was funny until Carolyn threatened to throw me into traffic!
The weather is perfect this time of year. I was so ready for winter to end, and everyone else seems to be thinking the same thing. D.C. has definitely livened up a bit this month, and I can only pray we won’t experience a surprise snowstorm.
I’m going to Tucson and California next month! There’s nothing I love more than the combination of vacation and sunshine. I can only hope Tucson will be 90 degrees of dry heat when I arrive. I miss the scorching hot Arizona sun, and I especially long for its positive effects on my mind.
There are a lot of things I’d love to write at this moment, but I will be the bigger person and hold my tongue. Here’s what I will say: I encountered a parade of rudeness in my personal life this week (from tons of people), and that’s just not how I wanted to spend my spare time.
With that in mind, you might understand why I was frustrated by Best Buy’s petulant Geek Squad worker, whom I stumbled upon this afternoon. He eventually warmed up to me, but when I first approached him with my computer problem, he couldn’t have been ruder.
I brought my laptop to Geek Squad so someone could help me install my anti-virus CD, which seemed to be broken. The computer technician guy told me to just go home and keep trying, but I was unwilling to do that, as I’d traveled an hour to get to this particular store. I argued that I’d be better off attempting to solve the issue with the help of a professional, but he seemed content to just send me back to northern Virginia.
He was pretty short with me and spoke in a very condescending manner, but calmed down once I said I’d pay the $30 in-store installation fee. I guess he was just nervous that I was out to score free service, but my mom is a Rewards Member as well as a valued customer, so I wasn’t asking much when I asked if he could look at my faulty anti-virus disk.
At the end of the visit, he installed the software free of charge, probably because he knew he’d been extremely hostile and unprofessional. I’m not going to pretend I know anything about technology, so if I come across as dim-witted at the Geek Squad table, it’s because I have the courage to ask for help! I repeatedly offered to pay the listed price, but he urged me to quit worrying.
After that, I headed back to the metro, where I met an unusual hobo. He said my hair was pretty, and he offered me half of his sandwich, which I declined. If you accept food from a homeless man, you have either hit rock bottom or are on the fast track to Hell.
The guy spoke with a southern twang and complained about Cosi workers, all of whom expressed unease at the sight of him. He also tried to convince me that birds won’t eat Cosi bread, suggesting that the company serves contaminated products. Later on, he asked about my career. I said I was a journalist, but lied that I worked for CNN’s website. I didn’t want him to track me down, so I chose not to provide him with the name of my real place of employment.
Oddly enough, this man claimed to have a computer and know all about news sources.
“CNN is on my Google Chrome bookmark page,” he said. “What do you think of the AOL/Huffington Post merger?”
I didn’t say much, and I left soon after he asked if I’d accepted Jesus Christ. I may be Catholic, but I don’t enjoy talking about religion with proseyltizing kooks. Plus, he said I wore nice colors, and I had zero interest in hearing him give any further details on my appearance.
Earlier this week, I met a puzzling character in line at Potbelly. As I typed into my BlackBerry, a young man approached me and asked for the name of my cellular device.
“This is a BlackBerry,” I said, feeling like a spoiled dunce as I uttered that sentence.
Up until I saw his iPhone, I thought he’d legitimately been confused by my phone. But really, if you have the King of Smart Phones, you know what a BlackBerry is! No use pretending otherwise!
Nevertheless, he was funny and nice, and I ended up ranting to him about one of my many irritations, so that was a cathartic release. Hooray for having listeners, even if they happen to be strangers.
The crazies of D.C. won’t leave me alone, but I never have a shortage of unusual stories on hand. In a year, I’ll be able to tell you all about a hilarious but highly awkward meeting I had with a deranged jerk, but I need to wait a while to inform you about that.
One of these days, I might put out a book chronicling all the weirdos who cross my path. They make for hysterical stories, but cause me a lot of stress when they first come along.
One of my D.C. friends, Monique posted a hilarious Facebook note this afternoon about what she dislikes most in this world. She selected moles, public transportation, and Russia and included anecdotes on all the problems she had with each of these things.
Because I agree that our culture focuses a little too much on positivity and filler conversation at times, I’ll quote Monique’s prompt and add a list of my own three least favorite things:
“I have come to realize that in order to break the ice with someone there are three go to topics people utilize. 1. Animals 2. Jobs 3. Complaints. While not everyone may like animals or have a job, everyone has something to complain about. This being said, I will now compile a list of my least favorite things with the hope that maybe others share in my miseries.”
1. Physical Education class
To call me a poor sport would be the understatement of the century.
Though I personally love exercising, I was never a fan of P.E. class growing up. I may actually be the only person in the history of the world to have been banned from P.E. I was seven years old when prohibited from attending class, too. My teacher coach Kelly just couldn’t handle my poor sports abilities, so every time P.E. began, I was sent to the office, much to my satisfaction, but more on that later.
I thoroughly enjoy running, rock climbing, and yoga, but I’ve never been a fan of team sports. The rules of baseball, basketball, football, tennis, and other mindless ball tossing games are complete mysteries to me. I never grasped the rules of sports at a young age, so why start now?
I knew during my early elementary school days that I was more bookish than athletic, so I spent a lot of time during P.E. class making up stories in my head. Coach Kelly, an impatient twenty-something P.E instructor, got so fed up with my admitted bad attitude and downright awful attempts at sports that she forbade me from coming back to her class ever again. Mind you, the ruling came after several parent-teacher conferences, and the end of the year was close, anyway. I found it rather amusing that she thought she was punishing me by ordering me to go to another location, but I reveled in the chance to miss gym class. It gave me more time to construct fiction tales.
As you may assume, I was rudely awakened by middle school, where I had to engage in P.E. class regardless of my negativity. I had my ways of avoiding participation, however. During baseball games, I’d run to the very end of the outfield so the chances of having to catch the ball were slim. When I had to wait in the softball dugout to go up to bat, I’d sneak to the back of the line and stay there until someone figured out my conspiracy and told the teacher I was manipulating the system. Fortunately for me, I was such a useless team player that most people didn’t even bother ratting me out because my contributions to the game would have hurt their chances of winning.
In junior high, I wrote myself sick notes, forged my parents’ signatures, and basked in the glory of sitting out of dodgeball. It didn’t always work, though. I was once paired up with a rather large female classmate for scooter hockey, which entailed me sitting on a scooter and being pulled by strings like a sled dog.
Well, my lovely partner was so excited about the activity that she raced around the gymnasium with me trailing behind her. Within ten seconds, she inadvertently sent me flying face first into the mattress-padded wall, the scooter whacking me in the head after I plopped to the floor.
As you can imagine, the entire class laughed hysterically, as they should have. If I hadn’t been in so much physical pain, I would have laughed as well, but at the time I was concerned about having a brain aneurysm.
P.E. wasn’t so bad in high school, when I had a stereotypical hippie California teacher who told us all, “As long as you’re doing you’re best, I’m happy. If it takes you 15 minutes to run a single mile, well, I salute you for putting forth your best effort.” This was the same guy that scolded us for “losing our class rubber chicken privileges.” That story is for another blog post.
For sophomore and freshman years, my friends Day, Shannon, Katherine, Josh, and I would just prance around in P.E. class to kill time. Members of the school’s Drama organization, we often sang, danced, and passed notes. The teacher loved us because we were cheerful, and he’d often complain that everyone else was too stuffy and superficial. Suffice it to say, I aced gym those years and did nothing more than don my P.E. uniform.
But I was still haunted by P.E. memories when I hit college. In my final semester at UofA, I signed up for Dance 100, which is specifically marketed as a dance education class, not as a movement course. Before signing up for what I expected to be an easy A class, I made sure it didn’t require any actual dancing. I love dancing like a fool with friends on occasion, but I have about as much rhythm as Mitch McConnell, so there’s no way I could ever pass a dancing skills course.
So, when the professor announced three weeks into the class that he’d amended the syllabus so we’d be dancing five times a month, my palms began to sweat and I experienced heart palpitations.
It wasn’t until the following Friday, when I actually had to partake in his salsa dancing lesson, that I knew I absolutely needed to get out of that class at all costs, even if it meant having to graduate an entire semester late or taking a summer session. I was seriously willing to put off my graduation if necessary because the course brought too many traumatic memories of my clumsy, disoriented old school P.E. days.
As soon as the session was over, I sprinted to the administration building and asked if there were any teachers still accepting students into their classes so late in the semester. Sadly, most professors were unwilling to add me into their sections by that point because I’d already missed too many assignments and sessions.
But this is where I take some time to worship the ground of Dr. David Soren, who I’d previously taken a class from.
He was the greatest professor I ever had at during my entire undergraduate career, so even though his only open course section would be held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 a.m., I jumped at the opportunity to get in his Classics class. Sure my schedule looked nothing like a graduating senior’s should, but I didn’t have to dance!
He was welcoming and extremely helpful, and he saved me from having to endure a semester of torturous and humiliating physical activity. I didn’t go to college to relive my horrendous childhood P.E. days, and it’s because Dr. Soren was generous enough to let me into his course that I didn’t have to go through any terrible flashbacks. Thanks, Professor Soren, for being the reason I graduated college on time!
2. Fancy Food
If you’ve ever read my French Riviera travel blog, you know I think the foodie lifestyle is overrated.
I’ve kind of been at war with fancy food since age ten, and by fancy food, I mean anything deviating from simple American style cuisine. I can’t get enough grilled cheese, soup, eggs, chicken, and sandwiches, but I won’t try most new foods, and it’s actually strained some friendships of mine. Thankfully, my high school boyfriend only jokingly teased me about my picky habits and called me a bird, but family members continue to shake their heads and wonder where they failed at breaking me of this habit.
You should check out my slideshow on protected foods to take a look at some of the meals and food items that repulse me.
I’ve tried to explain my theory to others before, and no one seems to understand. In my opinion, the most demanding thing you can request of someone is to put something gross in his/her body. The way I see it, you’re asking me to taint my most precious God given gift for the sake of politeness. When I eat something I dislike, I almost immediately feel ill, whether that means experiencing headaches, vomiting sessions, or unease. Hence, I opt for the kid’s menu more often than socially acceptable for an adult, and I rarely experiment with new foods. It’s too bad there’s such a stigma against unadventurous eaters. Really, though., who wants to live life around food? What kind of a fulfilling existence revolves around consumption? Deadly sin, anyone?
3. Pageboy hair
My parents never allowed me to have long hair when I was growing up, so I always had a sad looking pageboy cut.
For the longest time, I actually believed my mom when she said my hair was too thin to grow out like all the other little girls I knew. In reality, long hair was too much upkeep for my parents. I don’t totally blame them, being that they had other children to attend to and full-time jobs, but I do fault them for not even at least allowing me to have a trial run of long hair.
I’d always pray for my hair to lengthen, but as soon as that happened, my mom would schedule a salon appointment and assure me that I’d stop in for “just a trim” and nothing more. Lies!
In middle school, I was old enough to take care of my own appearance, so I let my hair grow. Aside from severing split ends every few months, I haven’t had a noticeable hair cut in more than a decade.
I don’t think I will ever, ever, ever opt for the short hair look, all because I grew up loathing my pageboy style bob. Even so, I take my hat off to the ladies who can pull it off. Whether or not I’m in that category, I just don’t want to be, having spent the first eleven years of my life wishing to look different.
Mark my words: I will be that 60-year-old woman with extensions. My hair will never hang above my shoulders as long as I live. If ever I have to shave my head, I’ll purchase a long wig, but short hair will never again be in the cards for me.