Friday, October 15, 2010

I Can Hear the Allelujah Chorus

What a whirlwind of a week. One week ago I had off from work for the first time in forever and my mom drove up to PA with a carload of my stuff to store at my current homestead. I drove us back down to VA and spent the weekend with my parents and of course, Ralph, my adorable yet elderly dog. It was a short stay, but I enjoyed it very much. Inspired by the show, "Hoarders," I decided to de-clutter my bedroom and purge of all clothing that didn't fit and donate toys and other items to the needy. I then packed more necessary things that I'd like to have with me as I start my independent life in Philadelphia.

I was privileged to visit the Eastern Shore of VA Wal-Mart which was AWESOME. It has been a long time coming. I recognized about 20 or so people in the famous Wal-Mart but seemingly wandered the aisles un-noticed. It was like wearing a disguise and watching your neighborhood interactions. I think it is because the last time a lot of these people saw me I weighed about 70 lbs lighter and had bleached blond hair. :)
After the Wal-Mart trip, I treated the parents to some Chinese food at Dragon House. Now that I'm gainfully employed, I've decided I need to start paying "parent support."

Sunday came like lightening and it was time to pack up and head back North. My mom and I split the drive and she stayed with me for a few days in my friend's house that I'm staying in. I got to leave work a little early to spend the evenings with her. We got to go to the park and eat out a few times. It was really nice having her in that normally empty house for awhile. (My friend is on vacay).

That was the highlights of the week in short...oh wait one more thing. So I've spent a lot of time wallowing in self pity, complaining about my weight gain and thinking that "once I get my own place my life will improve." To be honest, I don't know if having my own place will solve all of my problems. Chances are, it will probably create new ones. Needless to say, I've overcome these self deprecating thoughts with a new hope.

Here is a worthwhile story:

Monday morning rolls around and I'm in work. I have TONS to do but I spend a good portion of my free time stalking Craigslist. My mother is in town and it would be great to take her on a few apartment tours with me. So I spend the day desperately finding places we can go look at so her visit here seems to be productive. I checked Craigslist every 15 to 20 min for new listings. I found out the house I wanted to see was already under an agreement. I was going to go look at a place in the ghetto if I had to. Well, suddenly I click on an apartment listing that is in an area that I wasn't even considering due to the price.

The ad was two sentences and in all caps. There were no pictures, no descriptions, just a number to call for showings. Normally I just move on to the next ad but something inside of me said "call this number." The end of this fairytale is predictable but we're going to enjoy the suspense anyway.

So I called and by the end of the phone call I had an appointment to see a one bedroom apartment right outside Logan Square in CENTER CITY at 4pm. I called my mother and she picked me up at 3:30pm. I drove us though the city, trying to suppress the panic attack welling inside of me and the heart attack that was bound to happen since we got lost twice on our way to the place. For some odd reason, my heart races, my lungs close up and I get really nervous before viewing an apartment. It happened at the last one which was a tiny little apartment covered in layers and layers of filth. As I'm driving through the city I think to myself "This better be worth it."

I arrived at the location 15 minutes late, but I called to warn them I missed the exit off the interstate. The guy who put up the ad told me to go to this pizza shop and ask for "Pop." "Pop" would show me the apartment and if I had any questions I could call this other guy. Ok...random...but I thought what the hey. It was in a great location at an amazing price. I figured it would be this small little hole in the wall that had barely enough room for a bed and a table.

So I walked in the shop, asked for "Pop" and was greeted by this elderly Greek man. We walked outside and I talked to him, trying desperately to make a good impression in case this apartment was indeed, the one. Meanwhile my mother is trying to parallel park and having some difficulty. I'm staring through the car like its not even there. So Pop steps in and helps her park with hand motions that aren't exactly helpful. She gets situated and then we were finally able to go see the apartment.

After three mini flights of stairs we stopped at a door down a short hallway. Pop opened the door and I walked inside.

To Be Continued.....






I'm kidding. Inside the apartment I was greeted by lime green walls which I found kind of charming. There was a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a HUGE bedroom. I couldn't believe the size of everything! I immediately fell in love with the place. It was charming, big enough for me but small enough to maintain.

That evening we drove by the place to see what the area looks like at night. Between the Brownstone mansion row homes and the plethora of museums, taverns, shops, and art galleries, I think I'll be fine. I'm a skip and a hop away from parks, shops, landmarks, and other fun things. I called them up and told them I wanted the place! They were going to show it again at 1:30pm the next day. Well, fortunately they were understanding and asked me to sleep on it. So I did, called the next morning, and once again said "I WANT IT!"

I should be moving in around the first weekend of November. I couldn't have asked for a more affordable price and a more amazing location. My landlord is Pop and his son helps out as well. Laundry is a Brownstone away. Everything is electric. The bus picks me up two blocks away and drops me off one block from my place at night. I'm in the middle of EVERYTHING Philly so I will never get bored. Ever. I'm beyond excited!

After a weekend home with the family and a whirlwind week where for once in my life "things just happen to fall into place," I couldn't be happier. Enough wallowing, enough complaining. It is time to live the life I dreamed of. I've got a great job. I've got loyal friends and I have an amazing place. What more could I ask for?

Until next time....

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Likely Story



Picture this. Girl meets boy. Girl likes boy. Girl falls head over heels for boy.

Boy might like girl. Boy clearly likes girl. Wait, does boy like girl?

Girl makes attempt to hang out with boy. Boy can't go. Girl makes attempt to hang out with boy. Boy can go but something comes up. Girl makes attempt to hang out with boy. Boy forgets. Girl makes attempt to hang out with boy. Boy has really good excuse.

Girl is scolded by highly feminist best friend. Girl makes attempt to hang out with boy. Boy has really good excuse.

A likely story, right? On my never ending quest to find Mr. Right...who am I kidding....Mr. Right Now...I've set myself up for a one-sided game. In a sense, I'm basically playing fetch with myself. I'm throwing the ball and waiting...and waiting...and eventually throwing my hands up and retrieving the ball myself. That is, only to throw it out there again.

No America, I am not that desperate. I met a very kindred soul that produced instant
sparks. Now I'm on a quest to capture the heart of that kindred soul. As you can see, I am clearly failing. It is kind fun, the chase I mean. In the eye of the feminist, I should just strap on my apron right now, tighten up my girdle, quit my job and begin practicing domestic living. It is a horror to actually pursue someone so...adamantly and with reckless abandon. Its kind of misogynistic.

It is not called desperation it is called fortitude. Never giving up. I once waited 8 hours in line just to be a foot away from Queen Elizabeth II for a hot second. I waiting in line for the Cage the Elephant Concert for 3.5 hours just so I could be in the front row. I'm good at waiting and I'm good at never giving up. It would be one thing if I kept trying and trying to throw the ball and picking it up where it landed. But honestly, I think I throw the ball and it does get picked up and dropped closer to me. Because each time I go to retrieve it...it doesn't seem as far away as the last time.

Until next time....

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Public Apology

Dear Friends,

Hey besties, family, friends, aquaintences, stalkers, and even enemies. I would like to apologize to all of you for my absence from your lives. From the bottom of my heart I am truly sorry that I do not call, text, Facebook message, reply to anything or e-mail. I used to pride myself as that person who never loses contact with the people I love...considering I still keep in touch with my first grade teacher. (Granted, I haven't sent any messages her way in awhile either). However, I can now shamefully admit that I'm not that person anymore.

Friendships and relationships take effort on both sides and I have been lacking on my side. I don't have excuses, but it is interesting how life just happens. You go from high school and hanging out everyday during the summer. Then you go into college where you lose daily touch with your high school friends but make new friends in the meantime. After college you have graduation day and suddenly your ripped from your little social circle and you and all your friends become young professionals.

You get your first job, you enter graduate school, you live with nuns for a year while doing a volunteer program or you take a year off to explore the world. Whatever it is, you're forced to make new friends, and try to keep in touch with your old ones. It is hard. Especially when you live far away from all your friends and your day consists of waking up, walking 8 blocks uphill to the bus stop, working for 8.5 hours, coming home, eating dinner, vegging out and going to bed. 5 days a week.

I've become a recluse. It takes enough effort for me to get out of bed each morning and try to do my best at my job (which as much as I complain, I do love). The extra effort it takes to call friends up on the phone or write a little e-mail is beyond what I'm capable of right now. This is sad, because I value my friendships even though I feel like I don't have any right now. I know I do...I just....yeah.

So I'm sorry I only have enough energy to get me through the motions. My life is not my own anyway. I really think that once I have my own place and my own life and my own schedule I'll be able to be social again. I'll call, post pictures of my new apartment, send texts to you when something reminds me of the good times we had and maybe even write letters by hand. Who knows. But until that happens I'm an exhausted caveman, waking up each morning only to count the hours down to when I can go back to sleep again.

I miss you all. I hope we'll re-connect soon. A life without friendships isn't really a life at all.

Love,
Mary Anna