C’est Moi

Guys, I’m so tired.

I’m out here going to bed at four in the morning, dancing on balconies, waking up at six-thirty to try to take pretty pictures of the sunrise. Basically living my life like a thirteen-year-old on summer break forgetting that, of all my friends, I was the one who needed the most sleep when I was thirteen. I’ve got about two full days in me without sleep before a meltdown is imminent. But, like…having a meltdown in Paris? A French meltdown?! I can’t even be mad at that.

I’ve got things to do and see, so I can’t have a meltdown. That’s why I took a nap a few hours ago that I’m just waking up from, and I feel brand new. But maybe I’ll go to bed by midnight tonight, just in case.

Maybe.

Today we went to take a look at the Ritz Carlton because we were curious if we’d chosen the prettiest hotel in Paris. The Ritz was opulent and glamorous and luxurious. But I still think the Four Seasons is prettier–more modern decor, which I like. We may go to the Mandarin Oriental tomorrow to see what their hotel looks like during Christmas. I’m dying to know. But across the board, I can say the French know how to do Christmas. I’m in awe of every single Christmas setup I see here. I couldn’t even begin to think up, let alone create, some of this stuff. It’s stunning.

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I also went to a few pharmacies today. A pharmacy in France is where they sell a bunch of skin care products. I mean–french moisturizers? I felt like I had won the lottery, kids. While I was in the second pharmacie I visited, another customer asked me what products I use and what my French skin care regimen was.

Let me repeat that.

Another customer asked me what products I use and what my French skin care regimen was.

A tourist thought I was French. A tourist thought that my skin looks like it’s on a French skin care regimen.

OOOMMMMMGGGGG. Day made. Call Macron and ask him to sign my citizenship papers. I’ve met the necessary criteria.

Later, I was reunited with my loyal and steadfast friend:

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Yesterday I went to Hermès just to bear witness to some extravagant French luxury.  Saw a handbag for thirty thousand dollars and was, like…

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Alright, I’m on my way to eat dinner. It’s 9:30pm. I’m sooooo fucking French.

Bisous !

Paris, Je t’adore

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We made it to Paris tonight! I was tired and dirty when we landed, which would have sent me running to my hotel immediately for a shower and a nap under normal circumstances, but… I’M IN PARIS! THERE WILL BE NO SLEEP! But, don’t worry–there will be showers.

It’s a little rainy and cloudy right now, but I’m going out to sing in the streets, take pictures, and somehow pretend to be Parisian while I’m doing those things. Gonna fool all the natives. That’s my goal. We’ll see how long I can go before I’m found out. I’ve got a big day planned tomorrow, so I hope it stops raining. But, if not, I’ll just get wet! Alright, kids, Paris beckons.

Maybe if I have the energy tomorrow night, I’ll come back here with some pictures.

Bisous !

Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?

Isn’t it crazy just how many things can change in five years? Like somewhere in the course of just living, we form long term bonds that weren’t there before, we say goodbyes that were never anticipated, relationships change and strengthen or they change and fall apart, we have big career failures and overwhelming career triumphs. There are personal coups and collapses. We learn wonderful and scary things about ourselves and about our friends and about the world. We have little moments of humanity, of  meanness, of pettiness, of valor. We fall in love. We learn what love is and what it isn’t. We become better friends. Better citizens. How can one predict all of that?

I did all of the above in the last five years. I lost my grandma, which was crushing. But what a wonderful stroke of luck to have been her granddaughter and to have had her as long as I did. I lost a friend to cancer and was racked with grief. But how lucky I am to have memories of her that make me swell with laughter.

I’ve had new successes and made lovely new friends in the last five years, but I’m very thankful for the things that have stayed the same, too. My best friends. My family. My ride or dies. They helped me rip out my first gray hair and then helped me laugh about it when it grew back. They talked me through grief and heartache and wanted the best for me. They’ve celebrated my accomplishments. They’ve been reliable, they’ve been truthful, they’ve been loyal.

I am very lucky.

I’ve got a birthday coming up, kids. I have a markedly different life than I did five birthdays ago; some of it sad but the overwhelming majority of it so good that I couldn’t have dreamed it up five years ago had you asked me to.

Cheers to another five.

Black Friday

I made it through Black Friday having only bought one thing. A blanket. It may seem silly, but I needed one. I like to keep the temperature in my place pretty cool. Like a meat locker. Or an igloo. I hate being hot. This works fine when I’m cleaning, cooking, etc., but if I’m sitting still I freeze my ass off. Like shivering, teeth chattering, the whole nine yards. I know–I know it’s ridiculous to shiver in my own house. Like…turn up the heat, you idiot! Right? But what if I start folding clothes or…dusting? Then I’ll be hot again! I don’t know. I consider myself to be an intelligent person, but this is pretty dumb. And yet… ‘Round and ’round I go.

During the summer when I’m watching TV or taking a nap, I use a blanket my grandma gave me. It’s my favorite. But it’s not long (or heavy) enough when it’s cold. Either my shoulders are out or my feet are out. I can’t get warm enough to drift off to sleep. I also can’t get in my bed underneath the covers, because making the bed is an entire production that I can only be bothered to do once a day. Also, napping in my bed turns a short nap into a three-hour nap and there goes my whole day.

So I needed a blanket, and not just any blanket because I love naps. I went to Williams Sonoma and found the softest, prettiest, heaviest faux fur blanket in the world. And it was half off. Victory. I also consider it a victory that I didn’t buy anything else this past weekend, because I really wanted to. But I’m trying to stop buying things I don’t really need. Trying to save this planet for my kid(s), ya know?  Don’t want them growing up in Hunger Games just because I couldn’t stop buying crap that ends up in the landfills and oceans.

And that seems like a good place to end this blog and get off the internet, because it’s currently Cyber Monday, and it’s taking untold amounts of willpower to not hit up Glossier for more body wash and Boy Brow.

Get Angry

Yesterday, in Chicago, Dr. Tamara O’Neal was shot multiple times and left to die by her ex-fiancé because she dared to call off their engagement.

Recently, my anger has been bubbling to the surface more often. Anger over lots of things; children in cages, mass shootings, poor people getting poorer and being treated as if deserving of their poverty, cancer patients being bankrupted, domestic abusers and rapists being treated with kid gloves, sexual assault and harassment being waved and laughed off… The list (and the suffering) goes on and on. And fucking on and on and on.

I don’t know where the line is between staying informed and being crushed under the weight of our collective everyday anguish, but I’ve been skating a little too far toward being crushed. I could probably try therapy, as right now I’m lucky enough to have decent insurance. But…I’m not a sharer. Especially with strangers. And I hate crying about my feelings to people, even if I love you madly. So I joined a gym.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been to kickboxing class almost every single day. And beating the shit out of something for forty-five minutes a day has really turned my mood around! I have boundless energy, I’m always sailing on an endorphin rush, and my butt ain’t looking half bad either. And seriously, guys, don’t accidentally run into my thighs. They’re like brick walls right now. They can fracture bones.

I feel more like myself again–happier, calmer, belly-laughing, and more able to manage the world’s injustices. I mean, one day I’ll probably acquiesce to periodic therapy sessions but right now I’m just really interested to see how high and firm my butt can get.

If I were to offer my advice to anyone also struggling with the overwhelming, it would be to find whatever (or whomever) makes you feel like yourself again. And if that something happens to give you a nice butt? Stick wit’ it.

A Couple of Things

You know those scooters that everyone either really loves or really hates?  I finally got around to trying them. On the street–not the sidewalk. It was…terrifying. But also exhilarating! But trusting Atlanta drivers not to mow you down? Terrifying. Trusting my clumsy self to not fall off or crash, head first, into a garbage can? Terrifying. But I did it successfully and trust myself more. Still don’t trust Atlanta drivers, though. We’re the worst.

You know where I was going on this scooter? Sephora. Yeah–I know. I was really shocked and embarrassed about the amount of money I spent at Sephora and possibly becoming a Rouge member, but you know what? That was then; this is now. I need bath salts and eye shadow, okay? I’m a Rouge member! This is who I am now. And while I did restock my bath salts supply, I wasn’t there just for myself this time. I was buying gifts. Kids, there isn’t much that makes me happier than Christmas shopping. I want to express to you how excited I get when I find the perfect gift for someone, but I can’t. It’s impossible to convey. I don’t want to sound cliché, but it really is the most wonderful time of the year. Gah, I can’t believe I just said that. But I also stand by it.

Yesterday I went to CVS to get my flu shot. I stood in line for over thirty minutes, which was kind of annoying. But I’m a flu magnet, so I just had to wait it out. When I got up to the counter, the pharmacist told me that I had really glowy skin, which made me feel like this for the rest of the day.

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After my flu shot, I bought some travel size toiletries for my upcoming trip to Paris. A trip I’m paying for solely with credit card rewards. I’m very impressed with myself. I tell anyone who’ll listen.  Usually that’s just my goddaughter, and that’s only because she’s three and doesn’t have anything else to listen to. Why do you think I write this blog, guys? I’m very chatty sometimes and no one listens to me!

Alright. I think that’s it. I’m on my way to the Nike store to buy clothes for the Pilates classes I signed up for. I’ll tell you allll about it next time.

À la prochaine !

I Hope You Dance

About ten years ago (ohmygod) I was at a club and the DJ played this song and immediately every. single. woman. in the club screamed, jumped up, and ran to the dance floor. And then, of course, all the men followed the women. And we all danced and sang and laughed for, like, four minutes. It is one of my fondest clubbing memories.

On Saturday night around 8:30, I heard this song on the car radio and was instantly transported back to that unencumbered and happy feeling. When I got home I called my friends to convince them to go out. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the friend to call past 8:00pm and ask to do something last minute. Fortunately for me, my friends are those friends. It didn’t take much any convincing.

Around midnight we all arrived at MJQ and danced and danced and danced.

And danced.

There may have been some drinking in between the dancing, too. Although, definitely not as much drinking as there was ten years ago (ohmygod).

From Doug E. Fresh to Biggie to Pac to Drake to Cardi to Kendrick to Mac Miller…

On over to Taylor to Demi to Bey to Jay…

What a magical way it was to put the world on hold for a few hours.

We weren’t even tired at 3AM, but the the club was closing. So where do you go when you’re not tired but everywhere else is closed? Waffle House, obviously. I hate the Waffle House, but even I can’t deny the siren call at 3 in the morning. It’s just something you have to do.

I stumbled into bed around 6:30AM. It was a good night (morning?).

See you guys in the club in another ten years (ohmygod).