Part of what I want isn’t good enough

If we were having coffee, this is how I would start out.

I’ve been seeing someone that is only around to scratch an itch. I had a “one and done” policy on this for a while because I didn’t want to get any hopes built up because I know how I am. Well, I broke that rule and saw this person more than once. I thought I could handle it only to quickly find out that I can’t.

It’s like “true and false” statements. If part of the statement is false, then the whole statement is false. A little leaven spoils the whole lump. Likewise, having part of what you want is still not having what you want. You might as well not bother.

It’s hard to tell myself this because it resembles what I want… but it’s not. Not at all. It’s only a mere fraction.

So why am I putting up with it?

Because I’m tired.

I’m tired of being alone, tired of people trying to tell me I’ll find someone, and I’m SO tired of hearing people say “You’re so pretty”, “You’re so intriguing”, etc… yet I’m still single and feel unwanted. The worst phrase that anyone could form their mouth to say to me is “I wish I could find someone just like you.” That’s the meanest thing you could ever say, because in those words lies the undercurrent of “I don’t want you though.” No one wants you. Just the idea of you. In the form of someone else.

I’m definitely going to stop seeing the guy for my own sanity, but in case you were wondering why I let things go on for a minute… here’s some insight.

Something I have in common with the black coffee I’m enjoying is the sweet taste of bitterness. I miss my counselor, but can’t afford to see her anymore. Maybe I wouldn’t be feeling the way that I feel.

#weekendcoffeeshare

A burned thumb, smoke alarm, and a broken blind

And now, welcome to my adventures in apartment cookery. This is the beginning of what is shaping up to be an interesting start to my life living alone and to my first year living alone in my own apartment.

I’m prefacing this story thusly: The first time that I cooked a true meal in my apartment was last week. Although it’s my first experience using an electric stove, all proceeded with little incident. The rice was well cooked and didn’t stick to the bottom of the dutch oven, the chicken wings that I made were cooked through and browned well after a shot under the broiler, and the Sriracha glaze… let me tell you. The Sriracha glaze was perfect. The most I had to worry about was cleaning the sheet tray used to bake the wings, and wiping the glaze off the refrigerator that had splatter while it was being made.

This time, however, was altogether different. I wonder if it went down like this because I was tired… but let me tell you. It was the perfect apartment cookery disaster. Luckily, there was no fire and the food didn’t burn, but let’s recount this incident, shall we?

  • the rice ended up sticking to the bottom of the dutch oven. Not the biggest deal, but it’s annoying.
  • While trying to check on the chicken, I burned my thumb WHILE USING OVEN MITTS, and dropped the tray! Thankfully, the chicken stayed on. In fact, it stayed on a little too well as I had forgotten to oil the tray so it wouldn’t stick as much.
  • I go to make the sauce… and bullocks! I’ve forgotten the soy sauce at my mom’s house. Part of me wanted to go get it, but I stayed. I thought I could recover it… ha! I should’ve gotten the soy sauce.
  • the fire alarm goes off. I frantically drop all that is in my hands, and try desperately to shut it off, as I am cooking at almost 10pm on a Wednesday. In a caveman-like rage, I rip it from the wall and leave it dangling mercilessly.
  • I try to check on the chicken, and it goes off again! I don’t know what I did this time, but it goes off completely. I run to the sliding door that goes to the balcony (which really took all of 3 steps), fight the blinds, and open the door completely. Blessed silence.

In the aftermath of the incident, my thumb is under cool running water to try to stop the tingling sensation. A pot holder is somehow on the floor next to the door, where the fire alarm is located. The spatula that I used for the chicken was tossed onto a pile of something on the floor, and yet another pot holder was in the middle of my bedroom/living room. Although the food didn’t burn, that sauce that I mentioned earlier looked more like a chunky tomato sauce than the glaze I made last week… and it didn’t get on all of the pieces of chicken!

Admitting defeat, I take my plate of food and sit on the floor on my “picnic blanket”. It was then that I noticed something long and white lying across the floor. In my frenzy, I had knocked off one of the long blinds. *sigh* Why me?

I sit and try to eat with my non-dominant hand since the thumb that I burned is, of course, on the dominant hand. I’ve stuck it into a measuring cup with ice water as I eat, hoping that it will stop tingling. I hate that sensation.

Maybe one day, I’ll be a capable adult. Or have the sense to get a frozen pizza next time…

And A Squirrel Scampered By…

…outside of the apartment building where I will now be living.

My apartment. My first apartment.

You guys… I can’t describe how surreal it all feels. I’ve been waiting for this moment for years. Out of all of the times that I have imagined having my own place and what that would feel like, fear isn’t what I expected to experience. Yet I find myself being afraid.

It’s not that I haven’t lived away from home before; it’s not so bad to be away from home. It’s actually pretty great. What’s scary to me is that I really am out this time. I’ve lived with roommates in the past when I was out of the house; therefore, responsibilities were shared.

This time, there is no such safety net; it’s just me. I, alone, am responsible for paying for the roof over my head along with other bills. I’m afraid that even with my job and my best efforts to stay afloat that I might not be able to maintain everything, let alone live comfortably. I’ve become hyper aware of what is a necessity and what is a luxury, and I realize how much that I’ve taken for granted because I didn’t have certain responsibilities. It’s one thing entirely to just help with paying bills; it’s something else when you’re the only one responsible for whether or not those bills are paid.

It’s the most frightening thing I’ve ever experienced. What if I fail?

There were times here and there that I felt a calm come over me. Yes, I do have a job and work it as much as I can; however, I will need a supplement income. As freaked out as I was about this, a peace would overcome me. In those moments, I told myself that things would work out and be fine. The journey, however, to that place where things are fine is one that tests your nerve, and your ability to press forward, even when you don’t know where you’re going or if you’ll get to where you want to be.

My friend A was very excited for me, though. She insisted on coming over to see the place, and bought hot wings with her. I felt a lot calmer being there with her. It’s one of my first memories, and I’m so glad it was a fun one. We’re going to have another fun memory when she camps out with me Friday night. I say “camping out” because my bed is not yet here, so we’ll both be sleeping on the ground. It’ll be like the old days in high school that consisted of sleepovers, and laughing until all hours of the night.

Most importantly, there will be no worrying. Things will work out as they should; I just gotta keep taking steps, and clinging to those moments of peace when I want to fret. I wonder if that’s part of the reason I was so focused on the squirrel. Its hindquarters were nearly white, but the top half of it was a light grey. It paused for a moment with a pine cone in its mouth to watch me haul a box across the parking lot, then bounded to the nearby tree, and scampered upward and out of sight.

If We Were Having Coffee…

“Welcome back Marge!”, said one coworker to another on the shuttle bus this morning. She must’ve been on vacation. It briefly reminded me of the coworker at my last job that would say “Welcome to work” every time someone started a shift. 

I started that job 3 years ago. 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that things-life circumstances, jobs, attitudes towards life-do change. 

I started my previous job this month in 2014. I left that job about a year-and-a-half later to pursue a career as a flight attendant. My life hasn’t been the same since then. 

Things that have changed:

  • I navigate airports at an insanely fast rate. 
  • I’ve become far more patient, and even compassionate. 
  • I own a car after not having had one for 2 years before getting this job. 
  • Even though I have hard days, I have a job that I actually love. Before this job, the other ones were just a paycheck. 
  • Possibly because of the above (and some other circumstances), I’ve become the healthiest that I’ve ever been mentally. 

My life has also changed outwardly because my job was better. My salary nearly doubled, I bought a car a year ago, and now I’m about to embark on one of the most exciting life events yet:

I’m moving into my very own apartment. 

After years of wanting to move, I can finally afford it and I’m ready. I sign the lease the first of next month. 

Now here I am in a new year, sitting on an aircraft before sunrise, watching passengers board as I sip on an iced red eye. I start work in Charlotte, NC today. 

So, to wrap up our early coffee date this morning, I’d say this:

If you find yourself in a stuck or unfavorable situation, be encouraged and don’t give up. Also, don’t make yourself miserable by comparing your life with someone else’s. You’ll get to where you want to be; I’m certain of it. 

I’ll be living my life in anticipation of what will happen next… and I’ll be cheering you on, waiting to see what wonderful things shall happen for you. 

Because it will happen for you. I know it. 

#weekendcoffeeshare

A woman with curly hair…

…talked me into trying pizza funghi at Ciao Pizza in Boston.

We’re at a different location for the layover here, and I’m loving it! It’s near a TJ Maxx and Home Goods, a grocery store, a brewery, and most importantly, a pizza spot where everyone seems to be happy.

Being the only flight attendant on your aircraft is lonely sometimes; so when one of my pilots said he was going out for pizza, I jumped at the opportunity. I had eaten only a couple of hours ago, but who doesn’t have room for pizza? Said pilot also introduced me to using Yelp. This shall be my new best friend, as it is how we came to discover this unique pizza place.

It’s a small joint with a counter along the window that faces out, and another counter that faces into the open kitchen. I’ve never seen so many kitchen workers with smiling faces, and I used to work in food service. If the atmosphere at any of the places I’ve worked at was like this, I probably would’ve never left. Sometimes it’s not the pay that keeps you somewhere; it’s the people you work with and the passion they all have for the job. This is what surprised and impressed me about this pizza shop. What also caught our attention was the fact that it has many Yelp reviews, yet still has a 5 star rating.

The only way to explain it is how the place makes you feel upon entry, and if you’re lucky enough to have the time to sit in.

A woman was sitting next to us waiting on her order. She is a well-traveled woman that knows my beloved Philly, and swears that this is the best pizza she’s ever come across. The pizza funghi was her favourite, which is one of the pies that I was thinking of trying. Her rave about it made the decision for me. I started to order it just as she did, with an extra crispy crust; instead, I decided to order it just the way they would make it.

Here is what appeared in front of me (not to mention that I had it in about 5 minutes after ordering it):

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The crust was soft, arugula was peppery and crisp, and the mushrooms along with the roasted garlic cloves was savory, satisfying, and rich along with that cheese. The texture of the cheese was soft and gooey, and I like that the arugula was there for a crisp component. However, just because of my personal taste, I may order it with a crisper crust. It was delicious and satisfying with red wine.

I finished up with two mini-sized cannolis and an espresso.

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These people went beyond just being happy; they were singing to the songs on the radio. To take it a step further, they broke out instruments! First it started with the woman at the counter breaking out a mini tambourine. Next thing I know, a guy in the back was playing a triangle. On yet another song, another kitchen worker snatched up a wooden flute or recorder from one of the shelves. Never in my life have I seen such fun in a kitchen. It was also a joy to watch these people at their duties; there was passion put into the work, even down to washing the dishes, and respect flowed amongst everyone. Even the owner of the store was there and chatted with us and other patrons.

That personal care is something that would have me eagerly hopping a flight back to this location. Let’s face it, I can’t count on my job to give me another overnight at this spot; sometimes, you gotta make things happen.

It would’ve been so cool if you all could’ve met this woman. She was worldly, and obviously has really experienced life. In some ways, I felt like I connected with her; she looks like a glimpse of what I may be like when I’m older. I hope to be like that when I’m older: well traveled, experienced in life, happy with where I am, and still looking forward to more.

Once her order was ready, she bid us adieu, welcomed us to the area, and stepped out into the chill of the night.

I Sat Next To Mushy Peas…

…which is the name of a 3-legged kitty at the Kawaii Kitty Cafe in Philadelphia. I don’t even recall how I found out we have this in PA. I’ve heard about them before and knew there was one in NYC. The concept, however, originated in Tokyo. All I know is that I was looking at #catsofinstagram, and came across a cute kitty photo that had the hashtags “kitty café” and “philly”.

“What?!” I cried out, even though no one heard. I know that was my inner cat lady. She looked up from her knitting long enough to hear that, eyes wide with surprise over her spectacles.

Yes, my inner cat lady is showing. No, I don’t care. I knew I had to pay a visit. I found out about this place at the beginning of the weekend while I was sick, and made a reservation to visit today. If you’re like me and can’t own a pet for whatever reason, here’s a good way to get your fix.

You do have to make a reservation, but it’s only $10/hr, and it’s totally worth it! I parked quite a distance away where I knew I could find cheap parking (heck, any parking at all!), but I had the time to walk down to the location and was still a good 20 minutes early. Mind you, it’s not necessary to be 20 minutes early; a good 10 minutes will do. It did, however, give me time to eat something before meeting the little darlings.

I sat on the couch in the cat lounge, next to my new found friend, Mushy Peas.


These cats have the best names ever! How can you not love cats with food names? Not all of them have food names, but the ones that do are: Princess Pizza, Bagel, and Pringle. Mushy Peas wasn’t the only handicapped kitty; there was also Lady Zombarella, who is blind. (I told you these were awesome names!).

If you tell a kitty that you’d like to take them home, guess what? You actually can! PAWS is partnered with this café, so every cat that you meet can be adopted. This café has been open since June, and nearly 60 of these lovelies have found homes! Maybe one of them will adopt you, and you can spend your days doing Netflix and chill. Cats are great for this, especially senior kitties. Older cats need love too; don’t count them out!

I wish you all could’ve met Mushy Peas. She’s a quiet cat, but loves to be petted when she warms up to you. I sat next to her when I entered, and didn’t realize she was missing a leg until she hopped down from the couch. She sat there very quietly next to me, and got a little closer when someone else sat on the couch. She ended up scampering out of sight for a while, but I got the best shot that I could when she came back.


Look at that little face!

I’m telling you. If I could, this cat would’ve been mine.

#adoptdontshop

 

The Side Eye

If we were having coffee, I experienced something that has had me wondering since it happened. This hasn’t happened in a little while, but I wonder if this will be something that I will now have to expect more and more, given the current climate in my country.

I was in the airport on a long sit (about 4 hours because of delays!), and I discovered that my airport has a Gap clothing store in it! I love the fit of Gap jeans, so I went in to peruse. I was trying on a jacket, and went to put it on when a white woman approached me. She started to pose a question about something in her hand, then paused and asked “Do you work here?”

Now, I understand that the people at Gap dress pretty casually. What I fail to understand is how she could ask me that question when I was not dressed casually at all! I was in my full flight attendant uniform with the scarf and all! Not even floor managers at the Gap are that dressy. I had to restrain myself from giving her a snappish answer, but I definitely looked at her like she was crazy.

So much of me wondered if she assumed I worked there because I was the first brown face that she saw close by. Like I said, I’ve had this happen before. I’m pretty sure most brown people have. Your class doesn’t spare you from the side eye and careless assumptions such as these.

Jon Stewart used to talk about matters like this when he hosted The Daily Show. I love that he, and a few others, have used their platforms to be like John the Baptist. However, their cry isn’t that the kingdom of heaven is near. Their cry is that “Racism is still alive and well! Prejudice and ignorance are still king in this country!” Any time that citizens of this country (people of colour that are legal citizens, LGBTQ folks, disabled persons)–people that have helped make up the tapestry that is this country–are fearful for their safety, that should be a concern for ALL persons. It’s not enough for merely those minorities to be concerned; sadly, their voices aren’t heard as well for reasons of which we’re all aware, even if we deny them.

There need to be others… more like him. Not everyone in this country is prejudiced, but not everyone is speaking out against those acting on their fear and ignorance. This is what makes me sad and afraid. More than anything, I wish that there was something I could do to stir change… but I don’t know where to start. I’m just one person. One black person and one woman. Who feels like her voice wouldn’t be heard.

#weekendcoffeeshare