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Posts from the ‘Humor’ Category

The next chapter

This is a post I’ve been writing for months. My comeback post. I’ve tried writing it as a metaphor, as a poem, in a way that is much more eloquent than the reality. I was lost, comatose, blind and now I am found, awake, and with sight. It was arduous, cliché, and self-indulgent. This is too; so don’t get too smug or relieved. So although delayed, today is the perfect day. And in the end it doesn’t matter the way I tell it.

About 10 years ago I wrote a book. It was inspired by my year in Florida Post College, although in no way reflective of my actual time there. I was motivated and inspired to complete about ¾ of the project. After that I was fairly complacent to pretend like it never happened, but it was always on my mind, harping me to close that chapter so to speak. Although I was also comfortable ignoring this sentiment, my mother was also present to remind me of my desire to publish this book with clippings of articles on publishing, the names of self publishers scribbled on scraps of paper, and reminders during our daily phone chats. We had even begun brainstorming a second novel that we would co-author once this one was finished.

After she passed away, I though this is surely the chance I have to finish this novel, to use writing as a cathartic process, and begin to heal. But I did not do this. I avoiding writing like I avoided most things that I knew were healthy coping mechanisms one might potentially say. But one day, several years later, an amazing thing happened and suddenly I realized my hardships as my strength and that it wasn’t too late to shift gears. So shift I did and I’ve finally been able to finish the book* I began several years ago. It’s not perfect (sorry everyone who already purchased it 😉 )but it’s my story and I laughed when I wrote it and I cried too. And I did both when I read it each time. And I feel ready for the next one.

With that, I honestly can’t believe how many wonderful people I’ve accrued through my life who have stood by me for all of my highs and lows. I am a better friend because of you. I am so grateful that I have such a loving family and support system that has only continue to strengthen despite our losses. And I am grateful to have my mom still such a big part in my life through her memory and the values imparted upon me. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given and that life has patiently been waiting for my return. Thank you for waiting. Thank you for believing in me. So on this day, which I can hardly believe is the fourth anniversary of her passing I am happy to say that’s one down, several more to go. I toast you every day, but especially today. I miss you and love you and thank you for everything including the publisher recommendation. 🙂

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*Although this post is slightly more serious in tone, this book is not. It’s a lot of fun if you would like to check it out! A Girl, A Dream, and SPF 50.

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Talking to strangers

I’ll be the first to admit I have a Hallmark Movie problem. I can’t help it. I don’t like surprises and they have perfected a Marissa approved movie format that I just can’t get enough of. I love the clichés. I love that romance is always the answer and most of all I love that there will be a happy ending. Recently, as I embarked on my third consecutive film, I was chuckling to myself at an overtly cheesy scene where a complete stranger spews incessant unsolicited inspirational anecdotes on the main character, which then propels her along the remaining plotline of the movie. I laughed at the idea that such a peripheral character would approach another and impact that person so profoundly. Or at least as profoundly as Hallmark can accommodate.

That’s when I was struck by the memory of a woman I met when I was traveling this past spring. I was in a very bad place in life. In technical terms I was “completely freaking out”. It was ‘crying on the subway on the regular’ bad and I knew I needed to take action. After I hung up from a call with my dad, during which he alluded to the fact that I should avoid sharp objects, I took up conversation with a woman to my right at the bar. She too was at a crossroads, haven taken a new job and was uncertain about the risks. We only spoke briefly, but both shared our fears and it felt surprisingly natural. Despite the fact that I credit this mostly to the desperation we both felt, I remember feeling a little bit better after our chat.

meadows make me pensive.

meadows make me pensive.

I boarded my flight home and fortunately everything all worked out. I made some changes and was able to shift gears in a way that has allowed me the ability to survive a subway ride without tears. That moment in the airport wasn’t the most pivotal by any means. There were many more compelling conversations, but I do think it was an important one. Misery loves company I suppose, but more than that it was comforting to feel a little more connected to a seemingly random universe. It was nice to be reassured by someone who wasn’t actually obligated to support me. Not that I don’t love that reassurance as well, I will take as much support as the world is willing to lend my way. Anyway, the point is that is why I will continue to interrupt and annoy perfectly innocent strangers in airports. Fin.

This is 30

This week a friend asked if this is how I pictured my life at 30 and my immediate answer was “HELL NO”. I then proceeded to escort myself on a self-guided journey into a pity party for one. After I moped around for a while, referencing a few indications of my perceived lack of success, I snapped out of that thought process real fast. Of course this isn’t where I pictured myself at 30 because I painted it when I was about 6 and I l was never very good at art. Or sports… I digress.

So this is 30 and to be perfectly honest I am quite happy to leave my 20s behind. The older I get, the more legitimate it is for me to leave places before 10:00 PM. It is one step closer to getting to wear muumuus without judgement. And discuss casseroles and crock-pots for longer periods of time. So there’s that.

I took risks in my twenties that helped me figure out what makes me happy and what makes me sad. I have trimmed and tailored and cut out the fat. I learned that while Edward 40 hands is a good idea when you are 24, Hendricks Martinis with your best friends are better. And even best when you do both with your aforementioned friends. I feel like the past year has led me to a calmer state of Marissa. And I can stand for a little calm.

So it was a happy birthday for me and a happy birthday for BJ. He’s 6, which is 40 in cat years. I wonder how he’s feeling.

Bitch didn't even get me a present.

Bitch didn’t even get me a present.

 

 

Somehow I got old and out of touch with reality.

As I stood in security at JFK this past Friday to attend a good friend’s wedding and a reunion with some beloved college friends, it occurred to me that I forgot the one thing I actually needed that weekend – my dress for the wedding. I was also 2 hours delayed, present-less, and on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

At least I remembered to pack undergarments, a shoe, and this cat.

At least I remembered to pack undergarments, a shoe, and this cat.

So when I frantically plopped myself down at the closest bar I could find I was pleased to be sandwiched between two sophisticated businessmen, clearly older and more established than myself. Sometimes when one is at one’s worst it is nice to be surrounded by stability.

I happened to notice the gentleman to my left was rather handsome. We begin to chat and I imagine our own impending nuptials He is a suit, in some type of nebulous banking pharmaceutical industry and clearly far more stable than some chick who is delayed without imperative luggage.

We share beverages, laughs, stories, and within five minutes it is revealed that he is also a recent graduate. From college. And I am old, a cougar, and a borderline rapist. Not to mention a lost soul teetering on the edge of unemployment… but alas that’s for another post. 😉 When did I become older and less established than most bar dwellers? When did my concept of age reality go so awry? Is my judgment that far from accurate? Deep thoughts…. mission get my life back on track commences now!

The name of my brand.

0001PoI have been thinking a lot about branding lately. As both a consumer and a marketer, branding is very important to me. I like to know from whom I am purchasing and I want to know the story behind this company as much as I want to truly know my close friends and family. I think other people agree, especially when you are committing loyalty to products or services. Brands become the type of long-term relationship that is much beyond filling a physical need. There is an emotional connection that develops with loyalty.

As such, people demand a lot more from each daily interaction they have, whether it be the procurement of a bagel, booking a vacation, or selecting a laundry detergent. There are now a million ways to communicate as a brand, each with a unique purpose. We all consume so much content it’s hard to cut through the clutter to understand what is actually at the core of what we want. It’s fascinating that there can be so many different layers of communication essentially conveying one basic message, “This is who I am.”

Even though there are a million ways to get the message out, in order to make a meaningful connection, the most important thing to define is who you are and what you represent. This makes perfect sense until I began thinking about what my brand would be. If I were packaging myself up and selling myself to the world, what would be my brand? Do I have an elevator speech that could sum up who I am and why I matter? Well not really, but I did create a cute word cloud based off of this blog and I learned a lot. Apparently really love Christmas. It does concern me a bit that the word Elf is as important to me as this blog indicates, but alas, it is a pretty fantastic film.

Happy branding!

 

 

The things I face.

pasta-types

 

The past couple of months have been what a diplomatic person might call interesting. Not bad, mostly awkward and uncomfortable,which I guess in my life would actually be considered standard,  I’ve endured first date over the table sweaty hand holding, not once, not twice, but thrice. Side note, this is incredibly strange to me and it has never happened to me before. Handholding seems aggressively intimate for a first meeting and if you grab a hand that’s beyond clammy, and this very considerate lady provides you an out, such as over the top gesticulation, TAKE IT. Don’t repeat the offense. It’s uncomfortable for both of us.  Anyway, the handholding is not my point, I have been derailed.

So that’s been happening, I’ve started a new job, which is a new exciting journey, but also a little bit scary. New culture, new responsibilities, newness all around. Okay I can handle it, I am an adult. Being alone with a homeless transient pleasuring himself while staring me down in a deserted subway car was mildly nerve-racking, but I’m a survivor. The most anxiety inducing experience of the past couple months?  An all out blowout amongst Upper East Side WASPS in the grocery line at  my favorite grocery destination, Agata and Valentina.

Picture it.  Saturday morning. The aroma of the finest specialty foods wafting all around. Cheese and pastry samples for all. Suddenly the beautiful murmur of seafood mongers and the banter of pastry chefs is shattered with the screeching of self-righteous shoppers. Hand crafted pastas are flying, specialty meats askew and nearly half of the line weighing in on who was to blame. It was legitimately frightening and I, one who is not necessarily known to shy away from confrontation, was genuinely afraid. I ran. I hope everyone survived the blood bath. I am not willing to find a new shopping routine. Enough change already. Happy January loves.

A few nuggets of wisdom

The other night I had a hard time falling asleep. It happens. I get wired. My sleep cycle has no boundaries. Anyway my mind began to wander and  I began making some fairly astute conclusions that I will now share with my vast following in order to better the universe.

  1. A low carb diet doesn’t work if you just cut back slightly on pasta intake and immediately increase your bacon consumption.
  2. If you are dating someone for less than 2 months and they break up with you listing the fact that they aren’t yet ready to open a joint bank account with you as one of the reasons, it’s called dodging a bullet
  3. If you don’t immediately realize this, you may discover the merits of crying on the subway.
  4. These perks include but are not limited to the following: the subway increases invisibility, the rocking motion can be quite comforting, and the Poetry in Motion posters can be rather inspiring. Bonus points if there is an underground bodega from which you can procure a travel iced tea to drown your sorrows.

I don’t know how it was possible, but I quickly found sleep amongst this scintillating thought storm. Another finding, sometimes the ramblings of one’s own mind can be the perfect remedy for a sleepless night. Happy Holidays.

 

 

He sees you when you’re sleeping.

I was recently perusing a children’s clothing/toy store when I spotted something called the Elf on the Shelf. I had heard mention of this Elf, but it wasn’t until now that I began to comprehend the concept of the Elf. Essentially parents move this little Christmas Elf around the house to offer the impression that the elf is Santas’s snitch monitoring the child’s behavior until Christmas morning so that their gifting level is commensurate to their goodness. It was then that I began to realize that most childhood traditions, much like Santa’s surveillance, are beyond a reasonable level of creepiness.

1. So we all agree that Santa is crossing some privacy barriers…and is a little bit of a stalker, but at least he brings presents so it works out… I don’t know this is iffy.

2. The Tooth Fairy? Gross. Why does she need so many teeth?  Is she building a model of the universe created entirely of baby teeth? Psycho.

3. The Easter bunny? Also kind of a weirdo. Why is a giant bunny delivering baskets of poor quality candy? I mean I don’t hate it, but it’s kind of all over the place as a concept.

In addition to a tooth hoarding fairy, a creepy bunny, and pervy old guy, Kids also have to deal with Monsters in the closet and under the bed, the boogeyman, and the chicken pox. Conclusion: the life of a child is absolutely terrifying. Side bar, I love all holidays.

He's watching.

He’s watching.