Thursday, March 28, 2013

Handle with care.

I've listened to Alec Baldwin's podcast in which he interviews a particular inspiration of mine, Lena Dunham (26 year old creator, writer, director, and star of Girls on HBO) three times. Something in particular that she said sticks with me,

"’s like if you ask a girl in her 20’s, ‘Are you a happy person?’ I think she can say, ‘I have happy moments,’ but I don’t think it’s possible – maybe I’m – maybe people will radically disagree with me, but I don’t really think it’s possible to be sort of an at-peace human when you are between 22 and 30."

I can assure you, Lena, that Sass does not radically disagree with you but rather she completely understands and is so thrilled to hear someone else say it! In my reflection of this quote over the last week or so, it was really interesting for me, especially as a writer, to share Lena's quote with my boyfriend and then try to clearly articulate why it is that I agree. Especially since we are entering into a stage of our relationship where he might think I mean that our life together isn't an overall happy place to be. I also believe it to be ironic that I'm in this stage of life - radically changing, ever persistent quest for direction and stability - and I'm dating a real man who is obviously male (which makes our contemplation of life different from the start) and who is in an established state and quite comfortable with who he is. That's not to say that he doesn't have ambitions and some level of uncertainty as to where his life is going but he's got twelve years on me in terms of getting through those "figuring it out" phases. I tell him all the time that I'm more crazy than he even knows.

However, this dynamic forces me to really think about things and why I feel them because in order to explain them to him, I'm truly attempting to express emotions that I'm not sure he's ever felt (and if he has, it was years ago). I can't start a thought and trail off by saying, "ya know what I mean, right?" because he usually doesn't. Thankfully he's smart and worldly enough to at least respect and acknowledge my feelings even if he's never experienced them himself.

Anyway, why do we only have happy moments? Well I can speak for myself: to start, I've realized that my entire life until this point was completely structured and dictated by society. Go to elementary school, go to middle school, go to practice, be an athlete, learn an instrument, go to high school, pick a major, graduate college...........then what? After years of the world dictating the path I'm on, suddenly I'm supposed to come up with what to do next? Torturous. It's a constant quest for fulfillment and satisfaction that we used to get from our teachers and coaches on a daily basis.

Graduating from college:


It is also a time of great change within our friendships. People move away, we grow apart, and we are forced to acknowledge that the friends we used to include in our future wedding parties might not be there. For me, it's more about coming to terms with the fact that the friends I want in my future wedding party are people that I rarely get a chance to see and talk to. In a way, I've had to start over and make new friends. This can be absolutely daunting and quite difficult as adults since we aren't forced to be a room together for six hours a day getting to know each other.

In love, we're either so badly on the hunt for it or we're in it and wondering all the time if "this is it!"

The general message here is that our world is rocked when we step into "the real world" (or at least mine was). I often feel like I've stepped backwards - I used to be so motivated and such an over-achiever in school, what happened? Now I can't even get motivated to get my mail half the time. It's almost more frustrating knowing that my lack of motivation derives from a lack of direction. I have drive but I'm not sure where to place it.

I think it's pretty fair to say that 20 something girls are completely out of their minds (or at least I am). I over-analyze, I change my mind constantly, and I guess whether I'm actually out of my mind or I'm not...I feel it. I feel very lost most of the time, which is why I try to re-create the happy moments over and over.

Why do we party in our twenties? Because our bodies are more tolerable to the abuse and we like popular music? Yes but also because it is a happy moment. We can completely forget about all of the BS I just typed up, if even just for a few hours. Why do we sometimes crave too much attention in our relationships? Because we are a little immature and naive? Yes but also because it is a happy moment when someone is adoring you and outwardly expressing his love for you, we want it all the time. Why do we exercise and stay in good shape? Because it's easier to maintain a body at this age? Sure but also because running on a treadmill blasting Rihanna is a happy moment, again free from all of the crap I typed up there. So much about this stage is about escaping the uncertainty.

Sassarella Says...if you are one of my fellow 22-30 year old female peers, YA-YA! If you're not and if you think this is a load of crap....I'm telling you, it's not crap. It's very real. Handle us with care or we might just bite your head off :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Love is an equation: a me and a you derives a we" - Richard Fish, Ally McBeal

One of the shows I'm currently watching from start to finish via Netflix is Ally McBeal. I used to watch this show with my mom as a youngster and I was interested in watching it again as an adult. If you've never seen it, it's hysterical. It is about a woman, Ally, in her late twenties who comes to work at the same law firm as her now married, but once long time love, Billy. As the seasons go on, the drama ensues as we watch Ally date different men, Billy's wife comes to work at the firm with them, and we see how her cases force her to reflect on her life. We see her therapy sessions and the therapy sessions of her co-workers who are all in some way certifiably crazy. In the unisex bathroom at the office, choreographed dances to Barry White songs, acrobatics, and girl fights are the norm. Despite the hysterics and the quirkiness of the characters, the over-arching theme of each episode is Ally's quest for love. I'm always curious to see how I feel when I decide to turn off the TV and go to sleep after watching several episodes. Since I usually watch the show when the man is at work or I'm just sleeping at home by myself that night, it makes me miss him. It makes me thankful that I have him, even if he isn't there that minute, but knowing he's out there comforts me. I feel relieved in knowing that I'm not "out there" looking, searching, and hoping like Ally.

It made me think about how I used to feel years ago after watching episodes of Grey's Anatomy. I would let the DVR at home in New Jersey record all of the episodes so I could watch eight in a row on my breaks from school. I thought about this one particular time sophomore year when I was dating this guy. He had already moved away and our long distance relationship was really hard. These days I don't usually go more than 24 hours without seeing the man, I don't know how I went weeks back then. Anyway, I can remember sitting in the basement, turning off the TV, and feeling like I don't express to him enough how I feel about him. Grey's Anatomy is intense and it was during the crazy MerDer times of back and forth, up and down, and just woah ("Pick me, choose me, LOVE ME"). I would turn off the TV feeling the same intense feelings as the characters but I rarely acted upon them. However this one time I called him. I told him that sometimes I don't feel like I adequately tell him all of the lovey dovey feelings that I have for him. He really didn't understand because he said that he felt very loved but he appreciated hearing it nonetheless.
Fast-foward to now, I realized that perhaps I really didn't feel those things for him, which is why I had a hard time saying them. I also think that I'm just easily caught up in the moment and the emotions of a great show, kudos to Grey's for inspiring such intense reactions from me. I know I loved him, he was my first BIG love and I don't want to take away from that but perhaps it's possible that the overly expressive words didn't come out of my mouth because he was not the love of my life. Maybe you're only supposed to show, feel, and express love the way they do on TV and in movies one time. I couldn't be sure what the answer was but I went home this weekend and was coincidentally faced with the relationship in another way...

My parents are painting all of the walls in our house over again and so my mom is cleaning out and packing everything with the assumption that the house will finally sell this spring. She asked me to go through my "boyfriend boxes" and pack them away. I only have two old boyfriend boxes and they get easier and even a little bit more ridiculous to go through with each year that passes. I was able to get rid of a lot of memorabilia that I was never able to before but I still read through most of the emails I saved, letters and cards we wrote to each other, and pictures. I stopped and asked my mom, "How did I manage to find two guys that were so overly expressive in their feelings for me and our relationship? What's that about?" We speculated that it was mainly the age at which I dated these guys, "when they're young, they fall hard and fast," she said. I was equally as shocked to read what I had written to them and about them. I had no reason to feel like I didn't express my feelings because I really did, more than I do now. I think in my current relationship, we express it differently and dare I say, more maturely. We are not a couple who is afraid to say those three words multiple times a day but there's an older, wiser, more cautious approach we take.

As we get older, as in the general population, it gets harder to so freely express our emotions as it was when we were younger because we know now that things don't always work out. New relationships that were once all exciting and thrilling are now part excitement but also part fear and expectation. I have this strange notion in my head that I have to be somewhat more fully formed before I can choose a mate for life and I was reminded by my parents this weekend that that is quite ridiculous. I think of my age as a factor in how I couldn't possibly choose a mate now but after going through those boyfriend boxes from high school and college, I realize how much older and wiser I really am now. I knew what I was doing then and I have to trust that I know what I'm doing now.

It felt right to be with those guys and when it wasn't right anymore, I made little hesitation in ending the relationships. The break-up was usually ignited by an incident that forced me to re-evaluate and ultimately decide to end things but what happens when those incidents stop happening? Or what happens when incidents occur that we successfully work through and termination isn't even on the radar screen? I think for some time I was waiting for that incident to happen with this current relationship, feeling like it can't just be that good, I couldn't possibly have met the right one right now....

As Sassarella's dad says, "All you need to know you want this person in your life and is this person someone you can't imagine being without." I've answered those questions and I think I confused sleeping next to each other every night, spending time with our families, and considering each other in the life plans as really putting my all into the relationship but it's not. I never understood this before and maybe some of you reading this haven't yet either, but to really put my all into this I have to do away with the fear, the uncertainty, and the excuses for why it's not possible that I may have met my match. If I have fear, then how can I be fully and freely in this? If it's meant to stick then it can only be made better by my full attention and intentions. If it's not, then...well, let's not even go there.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, 
while loving someone deeply gives you courage. - Lao Tzu

This won't happen overnight. I'm way too analytical to completely disregard my over-analyzing brain but now that I'm aware of it, I can actively pay attention to situations where I might shy away from or be cautious and choose not to be. I believe the only factors holding me back are my fear in every aspect of my life of making a mistake and the fact that I haven't quite let go of how my life was supposed to go. I'm a type-A perfectionist who doesn't make mistakes, that's just the way it goes but I gotta take risks and trust that the risks are the right risks to take...ya know, since I don't make mistakes and all. And well, I don't think anyone can say that life is turning out just as they planned, (even though I had it written down, broken down by year, and such), I guess I have to start accepting that it's just not how it goes.

Sassarella's to us!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"You have exhausted all of your talking rights by being crazy" - Lorelai, GG

Big decisions: where to live, where to go to school, who to love, where to work, who to trust, etc. Smaller decisions: what to eat, how to exercise, when to vacation, train or bus, small or medium shirt, etc. No matter what the decision, big or small, I always seem to turn my mother for answers. Ecstatic, depressed, neutral, enraged....I turn to her for explanations. Now this is not a new epiphany, I've been doing it since I was old enough to make decisions and experience emotions but I've been thinking about it recently as I continue to grow into my relationship. I wonder when I will begin to turn to him for all answers and explanations. I wonder if I will ever turn to him in the same way that I turn to her. I wonder if it's okay that often, not always, but I often turn to him but still feel compelled to know her take on things before making a decision or coming to a conclusion. Does this mean I'm not a grown up? What does that say about me and will it ever change? Does it have to change and why is it something I even think about? I've been mulling this for a couple weeks now, trying to figure out how to make it interesting to write about, and on Sunday night, after a mini-meltdown of course, it came to me....

I had a really nice weekend. I worked at Rhino Friday night like I usually do. Saturday we got up and went grocery shopping; we bought fruit and veggies to make juice and I stocked up on snacks, sushi, and magazines for my night in. After he left for work, I nestled into his bed and watched three episodes of Shameless, followed by the Beyonce documentary on HBO, followed by another five or so episodes of Shameless. On Sunday we got up, went to the mall where I got new work kicks and mint green jeans for the spring and then over to Maddy's Tap Room for a friend's birthday celebration. I caught up with the girls, especially a Miss B.Ryan who had just returned from Peru the day before, it was a great night. We left on the early side, which I was happy about and he even offered to sleep at my apartment (WOWZA!). I danced around my room while blasting, "Pursuit of Happiness," the Lissie version, showered, and sat down on the bed. As I sat, he played his game on his phone, and I felt like crying. I couldn't tell you why, although, I believe some of my angst was about looming work projects that I just didn't want to go to sleep, wake up, and deal with, but they are not worth crying about!

"I'll be fine once I get, yeah I'll be good."

I text my mom to see if she's still up and as I wait for her to respond, he starts to notice that something is wrong. Rather than tell him that I feel like crying for no reason, I pretend like I'm fine but he's not buying it. A few minutes later, I step outside into the hallway to call her. I tell her what's going on, that he's here and it has nothing to do with him, that I can't pinpoint what the hell is going on, and she says, "well, maybe ya just need to cry...go ahead." I laugh a little and she goes off on a tangent about her day. By the end I felt better but I think he was a little freaked. "You never leave the room to talk to her, what's going on?" he asked. After some hemming and hawing, the only thing I could say was this, "I don't think you realize all the time how messed up and all over the place I feel. I think it's most definitely a gender thing, as much as I hate to say it, as well as an age thing. I get it...I'm in my 20s, I'm supposed to feel crazy, I'm supposed to feel jumbled up and confused, I'm supposed to have emotions that change at the drop of a hat....and frankly, I do. Sometimes when I feel those things, I turn to her because she has 24 years of experience dealing with me. She has 24 years of knowing me and while you and I are together a long time....1 year of knowing me is just not the same as 24. I consider myself to be more mature than most girls my age but sometimes I just want to be a kid and I think she understands that better because...well, because I'm her kid." This he understood. He loves me.

She's always going to have more years on whoever I turn to in tough times, decision times, and confusing times. Whether it was a conscious decision or it wasn't, she knew to just talk about nothing to me instead of trying to figure out why I was upset. I can't say that's a golden rule because sometimes I know deep down why I'm upset but don't want to say it so you have to dig it out (LOL craaaaay) but she can pretty much tell the difference simply because she's my mom.

It's funny and it's a weird dynamic because there are times when, for example, I'm ready to move in with the man but I feel like I have to have a conversation with my mom about it first. We've all talked loosely about it but before going in to sign any papers, I feel like I need to hear her say, "Ok, yes I support you." Does that mean I'm really not grown up enough to make that kind of decision? I want to say no because I want to say that if that were the case, I'd probably still be eating glue at a pre-school. I also want to say no because I want to move in with him and I don't want to hear that I'm not ready. Anyway....

Sassarella Says...I've decided that it's okay for me to turn to her and it doesn't mean I'm not mature enough to make decisions for myself. It means that I recognize her as the person who knows me best and that is reason enough to run some things almost everything by her...right?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's a girl thing.

On the most recent episode of Lena Dunham's show, Girls, her character Hannah spends the entire episode with a very attractive doctor. They don't know each other very well at all, in fact they had just met, but she spends the next day or two at his apartment. They drink wine, they cook dinner, they play ping pong, and have lots of sex. Although about twenty years her senior, he makes her feel comfortable, asks her questions about her life, but dodges any questions relating to his own story. He tells her that he's separated from his wife, who now lives in San Diego, but not much more than that.

The episode ends with Hannah getting out of the shower, sitting on his bed, and confiding to him about how she feels lonely sometimes. It was as if the feeling just hit her in that moment and a rush of emotions poured out of her. Once she composed herself she looked up to see his freaked out face staring back at her and she was hit with the second realization of the hour, that they are actually strangers. She calls him out for making her feel one way but reacting quite oppositely when she lets her guard down but ultimately she spends the night, gets up the next morning to an empty apartment, leaves, and we are left assuming that she will not see him again. (We'll have to watch next week to know for sure but that's just my guess). 

As the credits rolled, by boyfriend commented, "That would never happen in real life, especially to her." My first instinct was to defend Lena Dunham because lord knows what I might look like onscreen...they say the camera adds ten pounds! However I refrained and focused more on the first part of the comment. I responded very calmly and sincerely, "I related to that entire episode." He was confused and quiet but asked me how. 

I was that girl, and still could be that girl if I didn't have him, who sometimes thought that anything was just crazy and random enough that it might work out. Here she meets a guy on the street and spends a weekend with him, who's to say that it wasn't meant to be? As for me, in college and as recently as a year ago, we lived through my dating madness where I existed on a fine line between lonely desperation, hopeful romanticism/optimism, and bitter jadedness. I fell somewhere in between all three, expressing and feeling bits and pieces of each emotional state. I overlooked minor warning signs on first dates that I would never overlook today for the sake wanting something to work out. Sometimes I claimed to just do things or date people for the stories (which there were many) but let's call a spade a spade, I wanted a boyfriend. Not to mention the fact that I always dated men a bit older than myself, like Hannah. During that time I rarely hesitated when asked to...oh I don't know...jump in the Potomac River in February wearing nothing but a bra and undies. Sure it made for a great story and an experience I'll have forever but in terms of a happy ending with the guy? Not so much. He was emotionally closed off but I looked past this, which he made easy to do, by always keeping me on my toes. We crashed fancy parties, went to nice dinners, and jumped into rivers so it was easy to forget that I actually hardly knew the real him.

I think a lot of women experience this same sentiment, especially in their twenties when life just seems oh so possible of anything! We're told that "it will happen when we least expect it" so why shouldn't we have hope that meeting a random guy at a coffee shop and spending a weekend naked playing ping pong with him will ever work out? If I had seen this episode years ago or if I wasn't lying next to my committed boyfriend, I probably would've been in tears watching the closing scenes. I felt like she wrote that episode about me. Anyway, it was somewhere around this way less detailed part of my explanation with my boyfriend that I saw his face was still quite puzzled and I simply said, "well there's a reason why it's called Girls, not Boys." He concurred and we ended the discussion there. 

I didn't bother to go into this amount of detail with him because I was pretty certain that by the end of any explanation I would be left with one reason for him, "it's a girl thing." Our highs and lows are so extreme in our twenties that when we're on a high with a guy, we grab on and try really hard not to let go because we know how low the low really is. The low means sappy songs, old episodes of One Tree Hill, and five more pounds around the waist. It's miserable, trust me I know. So we let ourselves get swept away in the hope that it might just work out this one time....because really, you only need it to work out once so why not now? We are naïve and blinded by our own spontaneity but looking back I really would not have it any other way. Sure I was les misérable a lot but I had a lot of fun too. And I think pretty importantly, I really know that I'm happy now because I can tell the difference from a time when I was faking it.

Sassarella Says...there's nothing wrong with having hope that the craziest of situations might work out. The problem arises when you've got no hope left. Hang in there, mAh LaDiEZ. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I need a baby.

Growing up, Sammy and I always played house. We had a legit kitchen set, several real bedrooms to turn into fake rooms complete with changing tables and diaper bags. We had a living room, fake telephones, and a homemade Barbie house that took up an entire wall in the fake teenage girl's room. At the time, you are under the impression that it is your life's destiny to grow up, get married and have kids which is why you play games like house. However now that I think about it, I remember how I always opted to be the teenage daughter while Sammy always wanted to be the mother, it actually worked out quite perfectly. Looking back, this is fitting considering Sammy grew up to earn a lot of her money through middle school, high school, and college by babysitting neighbors, friends, and what would become consistent clients on a regular basis. Whereas I hated babysitting and only did it when a neighbor or friend called my mom to ask if I could do it but always started the call with, "I know she doesn't like to do it but I'm desperate." Sammy even grew up thinking she would be a teacher, (she's naturally maternal, I'm not, get over it) while I dreamt of professions that had very little to do with children. She has always wanted tons of babies and I've teetered between wanting lots of babies or having no babies at all.

My opinion constantly changes on the subject. One year I want six kids, all boys and the next year I don't want any. The periods of time that I thought I wouldn't have any correlated to my early college years when I would have melt downs every other day and ask my mother how she put up with me. "I'm too much work, I'm never having kids," I would say. But as I grow up it is easier to picture a happy picture of life that includes children. It also helps having someone in your life that you can see the happy picture someday with.

All of that aside, recently I'm finding myself really wanting a baby. This is coming from someone who has had a scare or two in her life and knows that she really doesn't want one right now, so why the sudden urge?

The other day I spotted a mother playing with her really freakin' cute baby boy on the metro. I felt the urge. I had had a pretty rough day and was on the verge of melt down number two for the afternoon and finally it clicked. I laughed at myself as a thought: I want a baby so I can worry about someone's life other than my own. Completely pathetic. Say it with me now, "I want a baby so I can stop obsessing over my own problems...." Good god. I don't have a hard life, relatively speaking to others, I know that, but my problems are mine and they exist. That day I was feeling completely overwhelmed wondering about the who, what, when, where, why, and hows about my job, my relationships, my weight, my life, my everything. I'm exhausted just reading that sentence.

My understanding is that when you have a baby all of your focus then shifts to the who, what, when, where, why, and hows of the kid and I would then become secondary. Obviously I'm not a moron. I'm fully aware that having a child is significant, life-changing, overwhelming, challenging, etc. I also know that my selfish reasons for wanting a child 100% indicate that I'm not ready to have a real one but I need a fake one.

A fake one? Yes. Ya know how when someone is working on an old car, fixing it up, and getting it in perfect condition, the friends and family of the person fixing up the car might call the car that person's "baby?" Well I need a baby! I need to figure out what it is that I can throw myself completely into to settle the roller coaster that is my brain and emotions. Nothing is overly fulfilling for me right now. My day job is what it is and will take time to really become something, if it ever does. My side jobs are what they are and don't quite satisfy my intellectual needs as they should. Any hobbies I have are often in third place after spending time with my man, my friends, oh and having 2.5 paying jobs. I need something that I and those around me can refer to as "my baby" other than my loving boyfriend. Part of my stress and anxiety is that I think I know what "my baby" could be but I have yet to allocate the time to get involved. Why is that? I wonder. Is it that the project feels so big that I don't know where to start? Perhaps. No matter what the reason, I really need to focus on "my baby" and not just say I'm going to do it.

Sassarella Says...I must go do. And if you know me at all, you will know that I will be working on this "baby" completely privately and you won't know it exists until I'm done...or almost done. Good day.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sign of the Whale's Bathroom

There's something fabulous yet very strange about living in the same city in which you went to college. I frequent many of the same hang-outs but I experience them so differently today than I did last year two years ago, or even three...four..five...yikes...five and a half, almost six years ago as a freshman.

Just a week or so ago I was at Sign of the Whale (a bar) to celebrate a friend's 26th birthday. I went to the bathroom by myself...which let's start there, when did you ever go to the bathroom, ladies, by yourself in college? Never. It happened in this instance partly because these days I'm normally largely outnumbered by men in group outings but I didn't even think to ask any of the other girls there. This might sound like I'm digressing but please refer to the title of this post before you judge.

Anyway, it was a slow Wednesday night so I had the bathroom to myself. I did my biz and while washing my hands and looking at myself in the mirror, I suddenly started to crack up in laughter. For whatever reason this one time in all the times that I've used that bathroom in the last year and a half, my brain instantly flashed to the outrageous amount of memories I have in and around that space.

While out at a bar, all of the action supposedly happens out on the dance floor or standing at the bar but for women, especially young women, a lot goes down in the bathroom too. For starters, we often discuss the action occurring at the bar or on the dance floor, one person peeing while the other one was holding the door closed. My brain flashed to the beyond numerous times that Meghan and I chatted in the bathroom about the dumb dudes hitting on us that Oscar then shamelessly tortured and reminded us of all night. Or the time Lauren visited and the bathroom was more of an escape route from the absurdity that is "The Whale," just needed a little break if you will. And then I thought about the night Allie won the Snooki hair contest and she, Maggie, and I cracked up in the bathroom because we shared a piece of gum. Or the time I went pee with my mom and sister on graduation weekend after we all did zingers. Insanity. I could picture everything from the outfits we wore, the shoes I was in, the clutch I used, the jewelry, the hair, the make-up, the complete college look. We always got dressed up. I could see the exchanging of t.p. from under one stall to another, and hear the crazy conversations, the exchanges with the bathroom attendant, and above all, I could remember the laughter.

 Me: "It's called G.T.L. Night"
Mags: "What is that? Should I know what that means? 
I'm just along for the ride, people."

In another how many years from now I'll think about the times I've had in that bathroom more recently and feel the same nostalgia. The most vivid memories now-a-days are sharing happy tears with Brittany over Lena Dunham winning the Emmy, discussing the latest Sunday Funday drama, or even making out with someone in there so no one else would see......yup, that happened. Anyway, the whole experience that Wednesday night was hysterical and completely ridiculous but made me think and whatever makes me think deserves a post.

Sassarella Says...every now and then, I miss college.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"To all the ladies in the place with style & grace." - Notorious B.I.G.

I figured it out! I figured out what it is that I'm lacking in DC that I had almost total fulfillment of in New Jersey, especially living so close to New York City. No, no it's not proximity to all of my immediate family members, talking and hanging out with my oldest and dearest friends weekly, my dog, or my car...nothing like any of those silly things...I'm lacking GLAMOUR. Washington, DC while it is uber important and very cool, there is very little about it that screams, "Living large in the big city!" Sure, the Prez and Michelle are glamorous in their own way, the White House, and the monuments are impressive but they are hardly sexy. This city is full of intelligent, politically-minded, and sometimes pretentious folks who think that having style means rocking flamingo pants at Smith Point. Actually, to be really honest, I don't think most people in this city actually think about style at all.

New York City, while it is many things, some might call it dirty, too big, even weird in certain neighborhoods...there is no doubting its incredible energy. Since I've never lived there, I can't say that I would really be able to handle it all the time, I don't know, but what I can guess is that I would feel more at home in the fashion district there than I do on H Street here. Whenever I get dressed to go to work or go out, I consider what neighborhood I'm going to and dress accordingly. If I'm going to a more hipster part of town, I'll wear black skinny jeans and tougher boots for walking around, definitely more casual than I would normally dress. If I'm going out in midtown I can dress it up a bit but I know no one else around me will be dressed up so I have to tone down the usual sass. Whereas in New Jersey or New York, I could wear black all the time and not worry about it. The LBD worked even for a Thursday night out but in DC you would look like a fool on a Thursday night. Going to clubs in Hoboken was expected and looked forward to: who's booking the limo, who's getting the bottles of Goose, and who's in charge of champagne? In DC, "Ohh, you like going to clubs? One of those types huh?" See where I'm going here? Like for my birthday, the possibility of going to a club was out there, bottle service, the works, but I didn't push for it because I didn't want my friends to be all like, "what the h-bomb are we doing here?" (Even though we did end up at a club, I LOVED IT, and so did they!)

Anyway, I feel like I'm trying to find my style in DC even though I was pretty happy with the one I was rocking further north and throughout college. Sure our style changes as we grow up but I should just get dressed in clothes that I like, not because I'm going to be surrounded by hipsters.

Back to my birthday, it really hit me last week when I ordered a pink Herve Leger dress from I ordered it knowing that I would be incredibly more dressed up than anyone else I would be with and way overdressed for any restaurant or bar we would go to celebrate. However, it was MY freakin' birthday and I could dress however I wanted to. Although, I couldn't help but reminisce on times when this was the norm. Going out used to be an event with hair, make-up, little skirts and tanks but now it is routine and boring (in terms of my style, of course, not the actual act of going out or who I'm going with). I also thought about the new heels I ordered, which I love, but know that I won't be able to wear them on just any old weekend night if I expect to keep up with anyone walking around DC. When I decide to dress as my old dressy self, I end up regretting it because we'll sit at a chill dive bar or I spend the night in pain trying to keep up with everyone walking all over town. So I don't do it. I'm lazy. It's to the point that I don't even blow dry my hair half the time. Oh sure, just let it air dry, who cares!

So these days I get excited talking to HilHoro Babes about Miami or Dallas with Tanya because these cities seem so G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S to me! As much of a party animal as I am, I know the constant clubbing in Miami would make me stressed and being an actual plane ride away from my friends and family in Dallas would make me nuts so my solution to this problem is not to move to New York City, Miami, or Dallas but I need to visit them more often. I want to make this the year of, "JUST BOOK IT AND GO." Years from now I won't remember the few weeks or months after each trip where money was a bit tighter than usual. I will remember the kick ass time I had with mah ladies, dressed up in stilettos and bandage dresses having a fabulous time.

I see those types on facebook. I'm sure you have friends like that too who seem like they're traveling constantly and I think, "how do they do it?" Well, it's very simple. They go online and book it!

Sassarella Says...if I'm staying in DC for awhile, I need to get my glamour elsewhere. I need to take more trips with glamorous people to sexy cities knowing that I will always come back "home" to comfy and casual DC.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Busy is the new happy.

"You have to find a way to carve yourself back into your own life," my mom said after I re-hashed a little spat my boyfriend and I had a few hours before about how we were going to spend a Saturday afternoon. Eff. We're really here again? I'm finding myself again?! Aren't I found yet? I guess not because we realized that I seem to be a little lost in the chaos of my 20-something mind, the uneasiness of a first job, and the ecstasy of a big and powerful love.

As I lied there on the floor of my studio, looking around at the clutter and the madness that often is my place, I knew what I had to do. I cleaned, I re-organized, I purged, and de-cluttered my living space part-time living space. I thought about what else I could de-clutter; my schedule is erratic, my sleeping patterns are effed up, and my life lacks lists.

Years ago I couldn't get through a day without a list. Correction: I couldn't get through a day without the list for the day that also correlated with the list for the week....which also correlated with the list for the month. Excessive? A bit. However, I felt no greater pride and joy than when I violently scratched an item off the list and eventually had enough items scratched off to throw the list out and start over again.

So, I must write more lists. I carry a notebook around with me, my bible, that used to be strictly for lists and creative purposes. Now that notebook is full of work BS....numbers, merchants, customers, revenue tabs, emails to write, calls to make, boring stuff. That being said, I need to write more in general. I almost hate to admit it because it's so g.d. typical but I recently watched the first season of Lena Dunham's HBO series, Girls, from start to finish and of course, I loved it. I swayed back and forth between adoration and envy with every sentence that came out of her writing, producing, and acting mouth. At least twice a week I think about how badly I want to take a two week vacation all by myself to write. I think about how much of a first draft of a novel or a pilot episode I could get down on paper with two weeks of nothing else to worry about. But then oh yeah, reality sets in and rent has to be paid, food needs to be in my belly, and the Internet in my apartment needs to be on so the vaycay will have to wait. I digress.

"I'm like the least virginy virgin ever." - Shoshanna

Now in this carving that I'll be doing, I need to be careful not to rock the boat in my big and powerful love life. I need to recognize that we are stable, as stable as a relationship can be since we're all examples of how these things are ever-changing and growing. I need to think back to the person I was when he first met me because there are aspects of her personality and tendencies that I want to be again. I want to make more lists, I want to write creatively, and I want to be an organized and busy neat freak like I used to be.

In the beginning of a relationship, it's positively thrilling that someone is happy to literally do nothing with you all day long. It's acceptable to lie in bed, cuddle, go eat, and watch television even though your single self would've most likely been doing something productive in those hours. Then one day you wake up and you realize, "Hey, this relationship thing is pretty solid and this is awesome but if that's the case, I can't do nothing for the rest of my life." What kind of life would we have together if we just lied in bed all day? In theory, it sounds lovely and on occasion it's just what the doctor ordered but what I know to be true is that my relationship will always be happier and healthier when I'm fulfilled on my own as well.

Despite it all, I wouldn't have it any other way than this ^

Sassarella Says...To be truly content (and to be truly complete in my relationship, especially one that's going to last a long ass time), I need to make lists, cross things off the lists, keep my place clean and organized, write a blog post once a week, go to yoga, and have time to be in my head. I need to wander around on my own, run errands, listen to music, and carve the individual out of the mosh pit that is a relationship. But what's really great is that the other half of this mosh pit will be there with me the whole time.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2012: The Year in Photographs

It's a little late but that never hurt nobody.

January * No hip hop New Years 2012

January * First kiss of 2012 OW OW

January * Cheers to me being 23!

January * Gabadabadoo in DC for my bday!

February * Happy Valentine's Day from BLT & Marek LOL

February * Dancer's pose?

March * First Caps game!

March * First Waterfront Sunday Funday of the year!

March * Happy Birthday, JC!

March * Boyfriend.

April * Biddies at Easter

April * Full BBC @ Sona

April * Mom-mom!!

April * Boomerang Party Yacht

April * JACKIE!!!!!

May * This one time we went to Pickles....and a Yankee game

May * Family dinner at Maggiano's

May * Starboard virgin

May * Samabigal in DEWEY

May * MDW full of jabrionis

May * Sums up MDW in Dewey

June * El Camino

June * Happy laughing baby

July * Nerds

July * baby canon

July * New Jersey is where da heart is

July * Dancer's pose....and Lauren Ann....

July * Simply the best

July * Bo Banya visits DC

July * Ireeena Beeeena

August * SUNDAY

August * Kenny and Tim Concert

August * OH HEY PUP

August * Sistuhs from otha mistuhs

September * Tedy got hitched!

September * Front Page Crew

September * CPs

October * my only sister got MARRIED!!!!

October * Irish Kevin's!

October * Wedding bells for Beth!

October * M.O.H and my hot date!

October * The Vin Man and his girls

October * Faja

October * Transfusions in Key West!!

October * Matt & Kim got hitched!

October * The groom!

October * HurrAkin party at The Corner

October * HurrAkin party at The Corner

November * Thanksgiving in New Jersey!

November * Camp Mom-mom & Pop-pop

November * Team Animal Print

December * Giants Game in DC

December * Rhino Xmas Party

December * ZINZI

December * ZINZI

December * ZINZI

December * ZINZI

December * ZINZI

December * Christmas at the Nigara's!

Sassarella Says...Peace, 2012. Great year but I'm very much looking forward to 2013!