Instead of saying “sorry, I have a boyfriend” say “thanks, I’m a feminist.”
Although I feel as if it’s been cold for fucking ever, which I suspect is because of our nation’s undying allegience to the movie Frozen, it’s finally warming up at long last. With the days of bundling up and screaming at the snow coming to a close and the dawn of being constantly sweaty and unhappy inches upon us, it’s time to think about changing up the foundation and skin routine. Why? I don’t know about you, but in the winter my skin is a dry fuckwad mess and in the summer it’s oily and just ready to create gigantic pimples if I’m not careful. That’s Mother Nature’s way of saying “you decided to put up Subway Sandwich Franchises where my flowers were, so screw you.” So. Here’s the jist: my skin is relatively clear so I’m comfortable minimizing my makeup in the summer, but I know plenty of you don’t feel comfortable going without foundation or a heavier makeup look…and screw everybody who makes you feel bad about that. The tips below are useful for those looking to wear any amount of makeup in the hot months.
It’s never occurred to me to leave New York City.
I couldn’t. Every weekend is somebody’s birthday, every weekday is a glass of wine with a friend, a finally getting around to the gym, a trip to the store to find something useless I’ve needed for months. I don’t have the time. Sometimes, many times, I want to. I dream of places with open space, leg room, sunlight, and forgiveness.
I do not look at New York like a love and I do not look at New York like the way you look at things you blindly love. I look at New York City like something that could never love me back and more often than not, I am resentful of that. Sometimes I am jealous of the people who hold it tenderly, who look at it as a vast jungle of pizza slices and opportunity. Those people believe more strongly in baseball, in coffee, in bagels than I ever could. The distaste I feel leaves me no closer to leaving than yesterday. I tick off the reasons why not and finally, settle on “cue that skyline at sunset” and a place nearby that serves decent Bloody Marys.
New York City makes you angrier than you were before, specifically at people. People who innocently grab the subway pole near you, or take your seat, or bob their head to headphoned music, or walk slow, or block your entryway to the bodega freezer. You become immune to real things on the way to whiskey bars, you wish you could scream your name and have a flicker of recognition somewhere, and you know that you cannot. You walk past police tape on the way to grab a sandwich. You rent an apartment in areas where your presence forces people out of it. You hear stories of people getting shot, and they are a cough swept under the rug. Your only thoughts: the quickest subway route, the money in the bank, when will I go on vacation. You become a planet slowly orbiting in the middle of nowhere: if you lose your keys your friends are oh, so far away to help you. If you cry, nobody notices. You are responsible for keeping yourself in orbit, and all too many times you forget how. A weekend out in the suburbs or Massachusetts reminds you only of how you are out of place and how you dress funny and it still keeps you dreaming of someplace different. This place, you feel, might not exist.
In New York City, the elements are soot, fire, tap water. You buy expensive face cream to imitate what the sun and open air do. You believe love is in dark corners, you believe 4am is a decent time, you cannot leave your phone anywhere or it will be gone forever.
Some days, like yesterday, I pulled out Google Maps and it wasn’t working and this made me feel so critically alone I thought my chest would burst. Where would I go, I thought, and I had no answer so I just kept walking. I found where I was because I kept going, and in that moment, I remembered why I liked New York City so damn much. It kicks you, I think, and almost pats you on the back while it is doing so.
And maybe, sometimes in the spring, I love baseball a little more. I use “smear” in instructions to the bagel man. I walk on cobblestone streets and feel the sun on me and try something like a dosa or a street taco. I meet a friend who has become a room to me in the house I am trying to build. I feel greater successes, I wipe my tears, I keep going until I find the place I am looking for. New York City is not my lover but it is my toughest love. I want to leave, often, but suspect I never will.
Then again, here I am on the subway ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and the city skyline still feels like a miserable, beautiful beast I’m not sure I’ll ever be allowed to claim.
I want to go out tonight.
I want to go out tonight in a short skirt. I want to go out in the kind of see-through top that shows my bra off. I want to hear my heels click-clacking on the floor, I want my boobs to look fantastic, I want my ass to look fantastic, I want to feel amazing.
No. I want to go out to the grocery store in sweatpants, the same ratty t-shirt I have spilled on, cried into, wiped my hands on when I was too lazy to wash them. I want to wear my hair in a floppy top bun, I want my skin to be makeup-free with the visible zit on my chin, I want to wear my glasses and have little dry skin patches on my skin.
I also want to meet a friend for dinner in jeans and a plaid or mint-green top. I want to laugh loudly and get our split dish, the truffle-y mac and cheese, on the collar of this shirt. I want to sit next to my friend at a bar and lean my head onto her shoulder when she orders us another round of shots. I want to walk home from the gym in the black yoga pants that cut off at the ankle, I want to walk home with my sweaty mesh shirt and my calves burning and my sneakers supporting my footsteps. I want to go to work in a blazer, in a jacket, in a button-down. I want to go out, and then I want to go home.
I want to walk home. I want to walk home safely. I want to walk with confidence because I like what I’m wearing. I don’t want to think about who likes it. I don’t want to think about who likes it too much. I don’t want to think about who wants me or who is watching.
I want to go out tonight. I want to do what I want because I want to. I want to say no when I want to, I want to feel like my “no” is listened to. I want to feel happy and I want to feel safe. I want to kiss who I want to. I want to take home who I want to.
I don’t want you to think about me. I don’t want you to think about if I’m acting right or looking right or if my thighs are too big. I want to eat a big green salad with olive oil and a kale juice spiked with ginger. I want to eat a gooey nacho platter or fries or a big tub of ice cream. I want to wear purple lipstick that you think is too bright for me. I want to wear what you don’t like or think is flattering if I think it is flattering. I want to speak too loudly, I want to speak softly, I want to wear my hair in a giant braid with bright pink streaks, I want to wear my hair short, I want to sing loudly or call people “DUUUDE” or dance or flail my arms or laugh or say what I’m thinking. I want to sit cross-legged or with a wide stance. I don’t want to apologize. I want to go out tonight and I want to say what I mean.
The thing is, I want to make my own choices. I don’t want you to make them for me.
Do you live in the DC area and want to get drunk brunch with me? Come watch me speak at this thingie and get blog girl wasted with me. Link here. Would love to see you there!