When your friends meet your boyfriend and love him
I don’t know a lot. I know a little of some things and a lot of general crap that is only useful in a pub quiz. I don’t know my own gut. I never stretched that muscle all that often. I don’t know how to feel most of the time. I know what is ‘appropriate behavior’, but that is not always the reaction in my lungs. So I swallow it down. Make them happy. Show gratitude. I know that’s what they want to see. I know they mean well. I don’t know any other way to be.
Sometimes when I listen to Alexi Murdoch, I know what it feels like to love, to be loved. To be held and it not feel forced or uncomfortable. I know the feeling. And yet I cannot explain this to anyone. Not without, “You’re not trying” smashed back in my face. Give it all you got. But what if it’s not got what I want to get.
I hear a simple melody over plucked strings and basic cords. I hear words sung in deep soothing tones. I feel a blanket of warmth surround me. It feels familiar and right. It’s where I want to be. But I don’t know where it is. I just wonder if it is here. I know maybe I don’t know.Thanks to Alexi Murdoch for helping me hear my heart.
When I was first introduced to Pinterest, I was at the back end of a job that, well to put it politely, I was at the back end of. Pinterest was a happy distraction. It was a place where I could collect pictures and recipes that I came across and share them with my friends. It was also not blocked by my company, unlike Facebook. And it was addictive. Once you pin you can’t stop! I was rediscovering the internet. I was finding new and exciting websites and blogs I had never heard of before. I was collecting ideas from photographs I planned to take, food I planned to eat and cook and haircuts, tattoos and shoes I would one day get.
Now 6 months later, in a different, more fulfilling job, I find I am still pinning as often, even maybe more often than before. Other than at the weekend, when I make every effort to cut myself off from the online world, I pin every day. Even if I never open the platform itself, I am continuously pinning pictures of stuff I come across on my RSS feed and other sites I see. As a somewhat early adopter of the platform, I have smiled with pride when see people reposting Pins to their Facebook accounts, for all those not yet pinners out there (oh the poor lost souls). When asked to review other websites and platforms out there, I have found myself half-heartedly looking at them only wishing that they would have half the sex appeal that Pinterest does. Yes Pinterest is sexy.
Seriously sexy. Despite the crazy pinners out there with 90+ boards of the same pictures but in different colors. Despite the little bugs and glitches. Despite having to refresh the board every now and then to make sure you get new pins, Pinterest is one of the sexiest sites I have come across… ever. The tiling of content upon content; videos, photos, word art all mesh together in a visual feast on my screen and I eat it up.
So the question asked is “Why?” and it’s a tough question to answer. For the most part I have simply responded with inviting a friend to join and asked them to answer the question themselves. Two hours later of no contact and I’ll receive a ‘mouth-filled’ excited email of thanks from the friend, “I am in love with this website! Thanks so much for introducing me!” or “I’m sorry for not getting back to you. I’ve been repinning every single pin on your Food Porn board.”
But when asked by a couple of my colleagues to explain, in fact and not just love, how and why I use the site pretty much every day, I needed to put my love aside and remind myself what it was about Pinterest other than her sexiness that got me hooked. So I tried to elaborate…
Organization, for me at least, is boring. There is nothing sexy about my RSS feed. Cold tabs of random words that on a screen jumbled together (not even in a word cloud formation) fill me with dread, rather than organizational relief. To be honest, the only reason I deal with my RSS feed at all is that the thought of 1000+ unread posts fills me with more dread than the boring linear page it appears on. Pinterest on the other hand, is visual. I group together my favorite pages by boards which I title as I wish and my pages are clustered together with mini preview pictures. It’s like having a pin board. A pin board of words and pictures mixed together. Which means, my favorite recipes are easy to find; that funny link that I know my mate would love is easily reopened and the Eli Saab dress I will one day buy, once I win the lottery, is only a couple of clicks away.
I feel like there was very little set up involved on Pinterest. In fact I think the less you set up your boards to begin with the better. Let it happen fluidly. Start with an “About You” board and then let your Pinterest go wild. As you come across new fodder, assign a new board to pin it to if you don’t already have an appropriately named board. I just request that you try to refrain from creating pin boards per color. Seriously. Unless you really love one color. Labeling each and every one of your boards with the entire spectrum of the rainbow is dull, unimaginative and will make me ultimately stop following your pins you boring cow!
She likes to give and take
On Pinterest I am both contributor and user. For there would be no pins on Pinterest without users adding new material, found outside of the platform itself. It feels good to see a pin that you posted repined by another pinner months later. It is also a nice reminder to look back at some of your earlier pins for inspiration. Or maybe, finally do just one of the craft projects you pinned to your board, collected the equipment for, and have since never made…
Screw it! I love her!
It’s difficult to put into cold hard facts why I use Pinterest. It’s a passion project, a site to pluck at your emotional heart strings and inspire you to share the things you love. I pin the images that catch my eye, that evoke emotion and speak to me. And I am not alone, which is why it is no surprise to me that most of the users are women.
In truth, I would not recommend Pinterest to everyone. It definitely has a cute and fluffy feminine quality that would not necessarily speak to many guys I know. I’ve seen guys sign up, to find out what all the fuss is about and to in part see if it might be a good way to pick up women, only to never pin a single thing and never to log in again when they realize that they cannot direct message to ask a girl for her number.
But for those that speak the language of love, try it. For those who want facts, figure it out yourself. I am unashamed to say, that in the case of Pinterest, it comes down to organizing my shit in the prettiest way I know how.
Back in the day, this blog was more of a collection of stories, comical interludes of my life, love life and building a life in Tel Aviv. Somewhere along the line that all changed. I got sad. Depressed. okay I admit it, I was heart-broken and torn. And to be fair I didn’t really want to write about all that stuff all day long, if you can forgive me for admitting it. So instead I simply chose not to write. I tweeted. I avoided my Facebook account. And I tweeted some more. I found it helped to let out the rage.
But now I am passed the rage and I miss writing about the funny shit that happens to me on a daily basis. During my time in New York, a friend informed me that every ‘yes this happened to me’ story I told her, sounded like a Seinfeld episode. Perhaps that is my ability to see the funny side of the crap that gets thrown at me seemingly everyday. I mean how is it that a non-gum chewer such as myself, gets gum stuck to some part of her shoe, or clothing, or both on a weekly, if not daily basis? I know! Ridiculous!
So I figured that starting a new job would pass with some level of nervousness. Perhaps even a piece of toilet roll stuck to my shoe. I even braced myself missing my mouth while drinking, falling down on the floor instead of on the chair or banging my head trying to walk through a glass door. I think I could have even mentally prepared myself for a little post lunch flatulence. You can all breathe a sigh of relief that non of these things were an issue.
Instead my first week, so far, has run a little like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Only I have been visited by the ghosts of Dating Past.
Guy number one: We dated for a little while, while the ex and I were on one of our breaks. I don’t really remember how it ended. I think perhaps it was with me getting back with my ex. I remember how it started though. We met on Facebook. He came with my to parties. He spent the entire night, buying me drinks, cock blocking me from other guys and not making a move on me. After a week or so of this game I decided to give the bull the ultimatum to take himself by the horn or bugger off… or am I the bull? Either way, after the second drink of the night and after another guy was shooed away I turned to him and said, “Look this is fun and all, but when are you going to pluck up the courage to kiss me?” He was dumbfounded. I was a little embarrassed by my own brazenness, but I stood my ground with a little cheeky grin. “I was thinking maybe I would walk you home.” I grabbed my coat and we walked out of the bar.
I never thought I would ever see him again. In fairness I think he was recently culled from the Facebook friend list for that very reason. And yet my first day in the office, looking through the list of employees connected to my group, whose old Facebook profile picture do I see staring back at me? Yup exactly.
I tried to remember if we ended badly. If maybe I just stopped answering his calls, or if he stopped answering mine. I am pretty sure there was never a fight or an official break up, which just made the whole thing all the more awkward. And although I am partial to an awkward meeting every now and then (seeing the ex on the street could be my all time favorite) I am not sure that awkward moments and making a good first impression on your first day at the new job, go hand in hand. My nervousness turned to mild panic when I realized that if I could see his internal profile, he could see mine and this was therefore not a situation that I could just stick my head in the sand and pretend never happened, or that I didn’t notice. I had a choice. I could either wait for awkward moment to come to me, or I could face it head on. And going back to how we got together, the whole taking the bull by the horns analogy, I decided (after some wise words from a workmate) to send him a message, “Hey Dude! Long time! I guess we work together now! Awkward!”
In the end it was fine. I still don’t remember how it ended, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he remembered me. That we sat and had a great catch up. And I now have another drinking buddy at the office parties.
Then ghost number 2 appeared in my Facebook inbox (I see a running theme here… blame Facebook!). Turns out ghost of dating past number 2 works in the same building as me. Thankfully there is no awkwardness here. I mean we barely dated. As I recall we went on a date, he informed me that I was very photogenic, as in much better in picture than in person and we became good friends for a while. Time passed and things change and we lost touch. Once a year we would check in with each other, get updates on our weird and wonderful love lives and then not speak again for another year. In some ways it is a perfect friendship. Plus I can always rely on him to speak his mind.
So here I am. Starting the new chapter of my life. Moving towards a new adventure and yet waiting for me in the doorway are two men from my past. I am not sure why. I am not sure what it means, but I am seeing it as a good sign. A reminder of how things were. Of the girl I was when I met them, versus the girl I was for a while there, versus the girl I am now. And right now… I fucking rock!
The world keeps turning. Six months have flashed by like lightning and yet such changes have taken place I am pinching myself to check that they are real.
Day three in the new job and I am starting to realize that there are no right or wrong answers. That my opinion is accepted without having to build trust. They hired me. they trust me. It is a whole new world and I am loving it and getting used to it all at the same time.
I feel myself getting back into the groove and feeling a little more like my old self every day. I walk to and from work, take deep breaths and thank my lucky stars that I am where I am. It’s hard. It is change. It is the change that I need and I feel liberated.
I am itching to write. Thoughts and ideas spill from my mind at a constant rate and I catch myself giggling aloud at the thought of a blog post that I want to write. All in good time.
A boat took my family and I over a deep blue river to a green town dotted with terracotta town houses each with second story balconies, white railings and white underlay of curtains hanging in the windows. We walked among flower beds and drank grape juice to quench our thirsts. I held the hand of one of the children as we walked on following the leader my Aunt to a location unknown. She began to tire, being the oldest member of the tribe, and suggested a friend’s house where we would be welcome to stop, take bathroom breaks, drink tea and eat biscuits before we resumed our journey.
The house was a four story town house, taller but otherwise the same as all the rest with green bubble trees in front of the door way, but we were not entering the house from ground level. Our entrance was via a ladder placed on a ledge which began around the second story and led up to the guest tea room beyond the giant oval balcony on the forth floor. One by one the family scaled the ladder and hopped over onto the balcony to their rest. I was nervous, but as family members far older and younger than I had managed with no trouble I had faith that I would be the same. I climbed up the ladder to the top, expecting to climb straight on to the balcony, only to find at the top that the ladder did not touch the balcony, but instead a large drop separated the top of the ladder from the solid ground of the balcony. I began to tremble, I looked down to the ground beneath, I measured up the space between the ladder and the railing of the balcony and knew that the gap between was wider than my legs would stretch and that I would have to jump. My cousins beckoned to me to try, but no matter how they insisted that I could make it I knew that I could not. I knew that I would fall and yet I was ashamed that I was the only one who could not make it to the other side.
I climbed downward back to the ground and made my way towards the ground floor of the house to find my way in. As I walked around the side of the hill from which the ladder began, I found myself in the middle of a picnic laid on tables under cream canopies. As I walked in I recognized the people all sat eating and drinking from a bar which had been set up in the middle of the area. I saw him sat on one of the benches among his friends. I could not turn back, not that the thought really crossed my mind, but the thought of hiding did. But I had already been spotted and immediately asked to join the party and take a seat by his side. The usual banter resumed and it was as if two years had not passed. It was as if no other girlfriend had since been introduced to the group. As they smiled in my direction I wondered if they had smiled as widely for her or if they secretly wished that she was there in my place.
All the time I could not look at him and instead I sat with my back to him trying not to show my discomfort. He was talking a lot and everyone was laughing and joining in the fun, and soon I felt the warmth of his chest on my back and his arm around my waste, his chin resting on my shoulder and his breath in my ear and I sighed, leaned into him and felt safe. A few compliments were sent my way and could feel him smile as he squeezed me a little closer with approval, the tip of his nose grazing the edge of my ear. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to switch off all the thoughts of reality and forgot for a moment that this was a dream; that it was long gone and someone else had already been and gone in my place.
Yet no sooner than I had found my peace, he was insulted by the teasing of an old friend and immediately stood to stomp out of the meal, but before he did he whispered an apology in my ear for leaving in that way and said he had missed me. I looked up at him above me, confused and unsure what to do and he leaned over and kissed me on the lips. Not passionately… but like old times… like an old married couple kissing goodbye as one leaves to get the shopping.
Shortly after, his friends began to leave, each one coming over to say their goodbyes and say how they had missed me being around and hoped I was doing well. In the corner of my eye I saw him back the bar glaring at his friend and drinking a Coke out of a pint glass.
I turned around to find my nephew waiting patiently behind me. He held out his hand and led me back towards the house, back up the hill to the ladder and ushered me to the top. My cousin was leaning over the edge of the railing again trying to convince me that I could make it as she dangled a small child who had climbed over me to the top and insisted that she was safe, though the child almost slipped from her hands and she herself looked like she was about to fall from the railing. I could feel my nephew beneath me growing impatient and I began to cry, because I knew that I couldn’t make the jump.
It was so cold last year. Bitter cold, as I walk down Lexington Avenue towards Grand Central Station to get my train home to Wall Street. I had been at a Latino bar salsa dancing with a devilishly handsome Dominican who kept smacking my ass for not letting him lead, “C-Hannah you have to let me be the man.” Not one of my strongest suits. So after 2 hours and a number of whiskey sours I decided to call it a night, refused a walk home and jumped out into the cold night air.
Such a companion was New York that I could have walked the streets of Manhattan all the way downtown by myself and not minded. The smells, the sounds and the sites of the city fed me through the cold and somehow, and I know this is a big fat cliché, I never felt alone. Outside in the cold night air I felt like I had a companion by my side, which is probably why I had ventured out on the first night of Chanukah in the first place. Because the thought of being alone on Chanukah, well that scared me.
It would be the first year in a long time where I would not automatically be expected to be lighting candles with a certain someone… The wax stained menorah would have a new set of wax on it this year and I would not be lighting the candles. I did not even have a menorah. Religious artifacts were not really on my priority list while packing and now I was so sad to think that I may not light the candles at all. “Whatever it is just a dumb tradition” I told myself. But that yearning for days gone by… well that was just silly because they were long gone. This year would be a new tradition, a tradition of salsa dancing!
I had planned to treat my senses with a walk through the market in Grand Central. I could have stood in that market for hours if I had not been afraid of being trampled over by the overly eager holiday shoppers. The little patisserie with its delicate cakes all lined up so pretty with frosting of yellows and pinks and the flower and Muppet shaped icing. The chocolate store where the owner, although a “connoisseur” of chocolate, had somehow never experienced chili chocolate and would ask me to describe in detail the taste and texture so that he could remake it. Everything about that place lighted my senses and lifted my mood.
The Lexington entrance was in site and I began to strut towards the lights when a little boy dressed in black, with a velvet yamukah and paiyot called out to me, “Are you Jewish?” I recognized this kid. I had heard of the Chabad guys stood on street corners before Chanukah giving out menorahs and dreidels, but I had never seen them. When I told my friend that I was not doing Chanukah this year because I did not have a menorah her response was, “Find the Chabad guys!” But after a few disappointing trips down to Time Square only to find that I had just missed them, I gave up and decided that I was never going to get my menorah.
Only here I was in the middle of Lexington Avenue, in the middle of the night, being asked by one of these elusive (well they were elusive to me!) Chabad kids if I was Jewish, “I most certainly am!” I replied. And so he handed me a menorah, and candles and a dreidel and some chocolate money and he blessed me. And in return I lit my candles every night of the 8 nights, alone and with company.
And now today, on the first night of Chanukah I find myself remembering last year with somewhat of a melancholy feeling, because New York was my love and although I know we had to part, I will love her always and who knows what may happen in the future… New York I love you. ChannahbooKah everyone!