Have You Ever…

It’s no secret that I’ve never been shy. I genuinely dig meeting all different types of people and it’s always been that way. We’re an interesting breed and the more we can learn from each other, the better.
 
Within me lies a need to always reach out and communicate with others (I think I get that from my mother—her Midwestern roots give her the brazenness to say whatever is in that head of hers, and for the most part, she does.)
 
So it’s no surprise that when we moved from one house to another in the same town, it was my mission to get to know the neighbors. And I did. One sunny afternoon I toiled away with my crayons and construction paper creating what I deemed art work. Upon completion, I took my wares on the road. 
 
With my masterpieces under my arm I was ready to conquer the world. I left the house shouting after me: Bye mom, off to sell my art! And that was that. I was gonna meet the neighbors and make some money.
 
I went door to door, rang the bell, and each time someone answered the door they looked out and then realized I was…down. Probably wondering if they should call the cops, they listened to my shpeel: Hi! I’m Margaret Kelliher. I just moved to 12 Tack Street. My parents are Colin and Adrienne, and my sister is named Hannah. Nice to meet you! Would you like to buy some artwork? (Kill ‘em with cuteness, I figured. Who’s not gonna buy shit from a 2 foot tall blonde kid?) This lasted about 1 ½ – 2 hours; with an extra .26 to my name I was ready for some r&r and hard earned cookies.
 
I should let you know that the day before in my kindergarten class we learned how to call the cops in case of emergency. It was 631.1212. Pre 911 shit, yo. I have an uncanny ability to remember phone numbers, and I think this was the start to it. Ok. Got that? Good.
 
I strut back to my new house with some brass in my pocket, art work sold. I get back and yelled out to my mother: Mom! I’m home! I sold all my art! No response. I didn’t hear her voice or her foot steps…Mom? MOM?? I began to panic running from room to room, and realized that I was alone. In a new house. My mom had left me. Flipping my shit, I ran to the phone and of course dialed the only number I knew: the cops. I fucking called the cops on my mom, citing that I’d been abandoned and I’ve never been home alone before. I was told to wait outside for the police to show up.
 
I ran outside, waiting in front of my house. A cop showed up on a motorcycle and was asking me questions when all of a sudden my mother’s gold Mercury Sable wagon comes screeching down the street. She throws the door open freaking out screaming: MY BABY! MY BABY! flkJ OFIWEJFOH WEIOfh.
 
Turns out, she didn’t hear me shout that I was going to sell my artwork. So she tries to find me and realizes that I’ve either a)flown the coop (which could have been a reality–I did do it once before at an even younger age; she was gardening and had me next to her in our yard, when I decided to make a break for it and wound up in the middle of an intersection being held by a woman who stopped her car for me. I was then tied to the tree from then on out.) or b) I got snatched. She did the only reasonable thing she could think of to do which was tear around the surrounding areas: the beach, the main streets….which is when I decided to return home.
 
At the end of the day, the cop left, my mom returned and I made some money. Win win all around.

A Species Study. Part One.

The term hipster has become relatively mainstream, but it should be noted that its primary origin (I believe) to be in the borough of Brooklyn. Its numbers  have multiplied so much so that there is a site devoted to the absurdity of this group. It is hysterical, and a tad spiteful…but but so spot on. I didn’t realize it was more than a fashion statement until I moved back here and witnessed it first hand.
 
Upon initially moving back to the city, I was afforded a very unique experience: I was a wall flower, a voyeur. I went to different neighborhoods, walked around, ordered food at the bar and enjoyed truly amazing experiences unfolding before my eyes.
 
One such night I stopped into a lovely local boite (I.couldn’t.help.myself.) to enjoy a crisp beer with a childhood favorite: grilled cheese. Happily immersed in my caloric binge, a dude sat himself down beside me and ordered 3 neat whiskeys and a rolling rock. Seriously? All at once, dude? Sure, whatever. As soon as his neat-shmeat bullshit was delivered, the can of rolling rock cracked open, he drew from his Freitag messenger bag a book about 3 inches thick with a title on the spine boldly claiming its name: Existence. What the fuck? I looked around me, seeing if anyone else was laughing, or paying attention. I was silently shaking, and the people around me just kept on living their lives—but all I got was crickets! What the fuck! I promptly texted a friend in Boston who was quick to respond: Strike up a conversation. Tell him you train iguanas. Hipsters love that shit. I openly howled at this bar, by myself unable to contain my laughter. She was spot on, but due to such incredible comedic timing, I made an ass of myself. Eh, I didn’t care that much, as I ordered one last beer to continue observing.
 
Another evening, I ventured to another spot by my apartment. The bartenders were friendly and welcoming, and I felt like I’d found my spot, you know, like, the Cheers cliché. Next thing I know I’m witnessing what I think may be a first date. Guy: So, what exactly do you do? Girl: I’m a poet. (She said this dead serious.) Guy (a little bewildered): like, for a job? That’s how you make money? Girl: Yes. Guy: Uh, ok, like what’s one of your poems? Girl: Life. Grey. Your eyes: Grey. Your shirt: Grey.
 
I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
 
I think the reason I find these exchanges so fascinating and truly comedic is that this new strain of speices take themselves so goddamn seriously. They are the equivalent of Boston Yuppies, but with a disdain for polo shirts and a love for plaid. It’s as if they never stayed in on New Year’s Eve watching the Three Stooges. They seemingly were out creating woven quilts with frozen blades of grass only to watch it melt away with the dawn of the new day, sun—whatever the fuck it is they did as kids on New Year’s Eve.
 
So I’m enjoying my meal, chatting with the bartenders and the poet up and leaves her conversation only to come back gleefully 35 minutes later with a tattoo on her wrist in American Typewriter font with the German words: Seig Nein. Which I don’t even think is grammatically correct. She left the date to get a tattoo.
 
These instances happen all over the place, everywhere you turn when you live and hang out in Brooklyn. It’s rich with metallic hued Doc Martens, men sporting loose striped tank tops (which is a fad that men should NEVER under any circumstances participate in, yet all too frequently they do) and everything is local. I got an overwhelming urge to shove a snickers bar into the porcelain face of a 20 something as she was eating a bag of kale chips while riding the F the other day.
 
Hipsters (or almost neo-hipsters, actually) even compete differently. At a dive bar in Williamsburg with the words Country Club in the title, a group of intellectuals were circled together drinking PBR’s on a grimy run down mini-golf course in the back (it’s too much, I know) singing happy birthday to their friend. Not to be out done, another cluster NOT sitting on the fake grass closer to the bar entrance in plastic lawn chairs started singing happy birthday seconds after the first group, only louder and with a trace of snarky elitism gleaming in their eyes.
 
It was a new age Jets and Sharks rivalry, but with thick rimmed glasses and opinions regarding the latest documentaries.
 
Make no mistake, I am part of this weird mix of people, but have enough sense to realize I’m a fucking moron. Hopefully they’ll catch on as well, but in the mean time, I’ll continue watching this interesting breed and be sure not to laugh too loud.

Mystically Rushed

One of my favorite humans on this planet decided to pick up and move to San Francisco. Needless to say, anytime she makes it back to the East Coast, I do my best to get to where ever she is, if only for a brief time. Since moving to New York, all real conversations with friends have been subject to forgetfulness. So it’s no wonder that Friday, June 29th, Lindsey calls me in the morning to say hey! Just letting you know I get in tomorrow! Me, all baffled (see forgetful comment above) is like: Oh! shit! I forgot! Since I’m single and have a cat, my schedule is pretty flexible. I reach out to Linds’ brother and his girlfriend who are also going up for the weekend (and live in New York), call their sweet mother and basically invite myself up that night, with 2 1/2 weeks worth of laundry. (It was bad. I was on the reserve underwear. I hope you all know that i would not have lugged nearly 60lbs worth of laundry to another state had it not been that dire of a situation).

As I’m wrapping my Friday up, exiting a great meeting with a client, I check my phone and there are 9 texts from Jesse, Lindsey’s older brother. One says: You’ll earn immunity from my teasing for a month and the last one says: Answer me.  At this point, it’s 5:15, my train is at 7:45 in Manhattan and I still need to pack my shit at my apartment in Brooklyn then get back in to the city, as I didn’t realize I would be away for the weekend. Call Jesse (who’s all: Hey! How are you? How are things?! So…I need a favor…I forgot my backpack at the office…if I messenger it over to your apartment in Brooklyn, could you bring it with you tonight??) I of course say yes. Jesse: really? I mean, you’ll take my backpack?? Me: sure! it’s just a backpack, dude. Don’t worry about it. 

Turns out Jesse the wonder-kid didn’t messenger it over to Brooklyn, he had a loyal co-worker hop in a cab and deliver it to me. On a Friday night. During rush hour. In New York fucking City. The time is getting closer to 7 than I’d like I’m still waiting and I get anxious so I call his friend who STILL hadn’t made it over the bridge yet. Panic beginning to set in, I said: I’ll hop on the subway and meet you at Atlantic Avenue. I myself have: my work messenger bag, my bag full of weekend stuff, and let’s not forget my 890 lb bag full of dirty clothes. (And I’m in a dress. In literally 99 degree heat.) I get out of the subway stop, see the cab, and what happens next in my mind is a montage of torture rooms, psychological warfare and a very dark vivid red color, because Jesse’s backpack? The one he so innocently asked me to carry? It’s not a backpack like I was envisioning. This wasn’t a Jansport that you carry around campus with, oh no. This was a: I’m going off to discover who I am for 7 months as I trek across the outer mountain chains of Northern Mongolia backpack. Laura, Jesse’s co-worker, handed it off to me like a kid she was glad she was done babysitting, and I pointed my finger in her face and said: I am going to fucking murder Jesse MacDougall. Laura (the chick) giggled nervously then hopped back in the cab. So I strapped the fucking beast of a backpack to my back, slinging my other bags around me and went back into the subway. It’s 7:25, and I’m still in Brooklyn. I have to be at Penn Station in the next 15 minutes, other wise my 7:45 train is a joke. As I get on to the subway, I sit down, taking up approximately 4.6 seats and realize that when I put Jesse’s backpack on, the hem of my dress went with it, and I’d been walking through the subway station with my ass exposed. 

 
And ps: who the fuck forgets something as important as the bag they carry away for the weekend?
 
Long story longer, I had resigned myself to missing the train, but thank christ it was delayed. I hopped on and began to relax. 
 
Get off the train, Jesse picks me up and is like: awww, thank you! here, let me help you. fuck that, dude. don’t you touch a thing. if I made it this far, i’m gonna carry it all the way to the fucking house, you slick mother fucker. 
 
The weekend was amazing. I was able to spend time with Lindsey, catch up, laugh, sleep, and laugh some more. Summer at its best: egg tosses, volley ball, beer, family and happiness. Paula and Kevin (Lindsey and Jesse’s parents) are so lovely, kind and welcoming. I love the way the MacDougall’s only have one speed: go. Whispering to them means not using a megaphone. Relaxing to Paula means wearing a bathing suit and shorts while she vacuums the whole first floor at 8am. While most consider yard work to involve a rake and a bucket, Kev gets one of those electric company buckets to hoist himself in to cut down a branch. Lindsey wakes up, wants to go for a 10 mile run then plans her day. 
 
The first time I ever visited the MacDougall compound I noticed a few signs around the house: DON’T LET SHAINA IN. After having no luck figuring this mystery out on my own, I asked Lindsey: Who’s Shaina? (I’m thinking it’s like, the town nut who stumbles into people’s homes to sleep on their hallway floor) and in an ever so nonchalant response: oh, Shaina’s our cat. She’s so lazy, doesn’t kill enough mice, so we try and have her stay out as much as possible in the summer. WHAT?? A synonym for a house cat is lazy. Not on the MacDougall watch, no sir-ee. Shaina needed to pull her own weight. 
 
I get home from the weekend, make my bed with clean sheets, sleep soundly. Wake up the next morning covered in hives. I have never used fabric softener before that weekend, and now I know why. Head to toe hives. 
 
I guess my father called my godfather (his brother John) and told him the story. Uncle John calls me on Tuesday night and says: MAH-GRETT! YAH FAH-THAH TOLD ME WHAT HAPPENED! JEEZE! WHO YA BEEN DATIN’??
 
All in all, it was a successful weekend; I got to see a best friend, hang out with her awesome family, and do laundry get hives and get made fun of by my godfather. 

A Week In…

This is my first full week in New York–and so far I can say the feeling I have is that of a foreign exchange student. 

I arrived around 9pm last Saturday night with a dear friend who helped cart my shit into my apartment, woke up the next morning at 645 am due to my new upstairs neighbor b-l-a-s-t-i-n-g Otis Redding. Don’t get me wrong, I love Otis Redding just as much as the next girl, but when you’re camping out on the living room floor with a pillow and nearly dead from stress cat and a house guest you cant give clean towels just yet, you’re gonna want to sleep for as long as you can. I promptly went up stairs to the offending neighbor who opened his door in boxers holding a blue solo cup wearing a grin bigger than the cheshire cat. I politely said to him: dude, you gotta turn that shit down, people are trying to sleep. That was my first morning in new york. 

The next day, the movers (Rudy and Dmitri, god bless them both) delivered my furniture and it was time for me to set my life up. What is the biggest difference right away between Boston and New York? Your main transportation becomes your legs versus a car. That first Sunday, I got to work organizing and reassembling my life; I quickly realized that the 12 or 13 foot ceilings plus my 5 foot frame and a 2 foot stool wasn’t really a super equation to hang curtains. I recalled passing a Home Depot on the first trip down to Brooklyn…it couldn’t be that far away….right? 40 minutes later I was there–bought a huge ladder, screws and a tension rod. I looked awesome carting all that shit back home, and thankfully a cab pulled over and i happily threw my shit in the back and rode shot gun. 

Being an outsider has afforded me the ability to be a keen observer, a wall flower. Each day after work last week I walked through different neighborhoods, seeing the men sitting in their folding chairs outside bodegas listening to salsa music, monks commuting next to Wall Street execs with their earbuds in, mothers teaching their toddlers manners while protecting them from the other humans on the subway. 

Upon my way home last Wednesday, I stopped into a local pub to grab a drink and food (I forgot to call National Grid before I got to New York to have my gas stove turned on, so it just got turned on this weekend…yikes) and ate at the bar. I happened to be sitting next to a dude that ordered three ‘neat’ whiskeys and a rolling rock, and was reading a book titled Existence. What!! I looked around, looking to see if anyone else thought that this was hysterical. No one batted a mascaraed covered eyelash! The thing is, these fucking hipsters nestle in to New York because no one stands out–everyone’s a weirdo. So they can be heard, understood even. I texted a friend of mine that I knew would understand the humor right away and her response? Tell him you train iguanas. Hipsters love that shit. Well that made me howl enough to cause a scene and have people stare over at me…but oh no, no one gives a shit about the Existence guy. 

On Saturday I was wondering around aimlessly in nolita when I was passing a man wearing a python (a live one) wrapped around his arm and neck. I didn’t even register that the thing was real until I saw the glimmer of sun reflecting off part of its swamp colored scales.  I’m pretty sure my reaction was exactly what this snake wearing asshole wanted (I jumped about 4 feet in the air and quickly made a left in a 45 degree angle into the street, not caring about traffic) and he smiled and chuckled. I relayed this experience to a friend in Boston, and his response: The same thing happened to me in Boston, except it was a kitten. Again, I cackled so loud I am fairly certain a mother shielded her child from the crazy woman (me) on the street cracking herself up. 

New Yorkers carry snakes, Bostonians: kittens. Little different. 

Like all new endeavors, it takes time to feel steady and confident in your role….it’s thrilling to know that I will soon be fluid enough to speak New York without pause in the (hopefully) near future; and that is fuel enough for me to strive to be better and to appreciate all the daily stories that play out in front of me.

 

Magic Trick

I like to think of my self as reasonably organized. You, know average. What? You don’t organize your purse with pouches for things? No pen case? No lipstick case? No little first aid kit with bandaids and cure-all ointments? What’s that? Don’t you have all matching closed lid bins in your pantry so you don’t display clutter? Oh. Well I do.

About a month ago I was down in New York for some meetings and also met up with Darcy and Bonnie; two of my best friends. (To be fair, I was staying with Bonnie. She’s been a saint to me.) Darcy had just finished an amazing play and we went out to celebrate her success and also catch up. We laughed, we reminisced, we got to spend time together. I should let you know: when it comes to who Darcy and I are as humans, on paper it looks like we shouldn’t be close. In fact, opposite ends of a magnet. She exists in a world with no pouches, no storage bins. Her career is one that forces her to live a nomadic existence, so constantly being in 5 places at once is not only accepted, but the norm.

The time had come to head home, Bonnie and I to Jackson Heights and Darcy and her lovely boyfriend to Brooklyn. The bill came, we argued about who would be treating who(m) and reached a conclusion. We laughed some more, the bar became more vacant and the lights were beginning to be turned off. Then it happened: Darcy came out with the worst sentence anyone could hear at 2:30am: Wait, guys. Guys, wait. I can’t find my credit card. Cue me: steam emitting from not only my ears, but eyeballs, nostrils and mouth. (Apparently, I am not someone to mask emotions.)

She was pretty calm about it, saying: Oh whatever, it’s fine. I’ll find it eventually. No, Darse, let’s do this now, so you know you have it. We scoured the floors. She went back to the bathroom. We looked. In. Her. Purse. Her purse is the equivalent to Mary Poppins’ bag on acid. She emptied out on the bar two plastic wine goblets (props from her play, obvi) a wallet that didn’t really contain money or her credit card (shocker) some socks, and a plethora of other things like floating receipts, gum wrappers, half empty bottles of healthy organic bullshit to keep her hydrated all day–you name it. I did, it was called: My Hell.

Finally, she asked the bartender if he had her credit card. He was this very thin man (boy? he looked all of 20) wearing a bowler hat and had a lovely spanish accent. His outfit reminded me of Clockwork Orange with flair. He went through all the forgotten credit cards, and said: no, I’m sorry. Darse was kind and said, well thank you anyways. As a last resort, bartender extrodinaire suggested: did you check your underwear? Darcy’s eyes widened like those cartoons who finally fall in love with the birds and hearts circling their heads, as she took her hand, reached into the sweetheart neckline of her dress, and pulled out her credit card. It was in her boob this whole time. I turned to the wall and hid my face. Bonnie flung her self over a barstool, Lucas impaled himself on the bar. We were all so fucking shocked. Darcy? Nope, just a normal day.

As we were laughing and leaving, Darcy asked the bartender: How did you know? His response: My father was a magician.

 

New Season

These next two weeks will be the last time I call Boston home…at least, for a while.

This is my last week at a job with a company that has been my second home for most of my 20’s. It has seen me triumph, falter, laugh and love.

Sometimes it’s necessary to shake things up, get out of a comfort zone and try something new; so that’s exactly what I’m doing. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared shitless.)

In late March I was visiting friends in New York and on the last full day I was there it struck me: I need to give New York another go.  I have been in Boston for the majority of my 20’s, and as of late, I’ve felt this longing for something else, something more. As many of you know, I fell in love with a city at 15 years old, and it never has left me. I left my sweet and safe home of Marblehead to explore New York as a college student, and now almost 30, feel like it’s my time to be there as an adult.

I made a large goal to find a job; I did. Next on the list was find a place to live that hopefully didn’t consist of me in a cardboard box under a bridge using Elvis as a guard dog. That in and of itself was completely a stress beyond no other. I went down to New York a few weekends ago and stayed with one of my best friends (Bonnie), and she graciously went along with me to scout out my future apartment.

We saw a grand total of 3 apartments, and the last one I visited made me believe in the old beautiful New York apartments no one sees anymore. As Bonnie and I were looking around the space, all I needed was Bonnie’s affirming and curt little nod; she was saying: yup. This is a keeper. This is good. This is where we can have dinner parties every Sunday night.

So. The neighborhood in Brooklyn I will be calling home is Crown Heights–(I always knew in someway I was destined for royalty, now it’s part of my residence.) I have met my landlord, he seems lovely and kind, and when I extended my hand for him to shake, he politely refused explaining that out of respect for his wife, he is forbidden to touch another woman. I smiled and thought to myself: he should have taught my ex-boyfriends a thing or two.

The moving situation? I mean, sure. It’s going to happen. Just not sure exactly…how…ugh.

While this transition is bittersweet, I know Boston will always be here, with open arms and its wonderful accents to embrace me when I return; it holds my heart. I have bonds here that will last my lifetime. New York now holds my future, and as my story unfolds, I hope I am able to share it with you. xo.

Best Meal of My Life

The image above is the pre-cursor to the best meal I eat all year long. You see, we Irish are sturdy folk; we don’t need fancy spices; nope. give us vegetables from the ground, a dead cow, some hot water, salt…and we’re good to go. The simplest ingredients put in a pot and served hours later. Why oh why are the blandest ingredients the ones I yearn for all year long? I’ll tell you why: tradition. My mother of german descent becomes irish once every year to feed her mutt children and irish husband a meal where we don’t speak. we eat. this post is not long, but it is chock full of love. i over eat every year on St. Patrick’s day, and i hope i get to do so for many years to come. xo.
 

Brave New World

I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection as of late; (not to worry: i’m sure it’s a passing fad, much like the short lived phase of my life when I wore turbans), but to become introspective once in a while I think is healthy for everyone. Why am I here? Will I be successful? Is my family proud of me? Am I being kind, honest and respectful to myself and those around me? I hope to always give myself those checks and balances, and that when I do answer that question, it will always be a resounding yes.

This blog has been a space for me to write about moments of my life (good and shitty).  Since most of what I share has a light hearted nature, i have pressured myself to continue on that trajectory, yet there has been brewing within me a passion to share a little deeper, a little below the mascara, into what awakens me, striving me to be the best version of myself.

I woke up this morning dreading going to work for various reasons, called my poor father at 715 in the morning to bitch, and scooted my butt to work. (For the record, I do not make a habit of calling my parents at such early hours, but knowing that my dad wakes up at the ass crack of dawn, I figured it’d be a safe bet he’d answer without the slightest bit of sleep in his voice.) I have spent most of my day in Debbie Downer mode, mentally pouting and lamenting my life while others are out pursuing their true goals and dreams. Sniff Sniff, boo fucking hoo. I got home, opened up my absolute favorite blog and immediately got the kick in the ass I needed after he suggested to view this. Everything I wince about can be summed up in three snotty words: first world pains. Watch it: be moved. It certainly stirred something enough in me to compose a new thought here.

So. I will strive to be braver; when I do mental checks and balances moving forward, I will make sure to be kind, respectful and honest. To others, and myself.

Mr. Ed

It’s a known thing that I am not a nature lover. I genuinely get nervous walking in a field versus a sidewalk. (I mean hello? Snakes love fields. Everyone knows that.) It has been this way for as long as I can remember; as a child I would become quiet and nervous on boats and during my teenage years never wanted to learn how to sail. Or camp. In fact, I have been camping once in my life. I was 6 years old, and it was on my parents back porch. Hey, three walls of windows to a back yard that was full of nocturnal creatures was enough for me.
 
When my sister was deciding which colleges she’d appy to,, I was the inevitable extra baggage that got taken along for the ride. On one such visit up in Vermont, my parents suggested we try horseback riding. Never have been horseback riding, I was at once nervous and thrilled. Hannah always had a love for equine culture, but I was more skeptical and let’s face it, short. They brought us to the horses, and the instructor showed me the noble stag to which I’d been assigned. His name was Love Bug. Love Bug and I squared off and had a good solid 10 seconds worth of evaluation and it should be noted that he was the biggest horse on the farm. (I think the trainer and my parents conspired to boost my pint sized ego.) No sooner was I on the horse with a helmet when another group just finishing their trot through the woods was rounding the corner. One of them made the noise you make to speed the horse up—you know, the little noise emitted from the side of your mouth to giddyup (or whatever). Well Love Bug was having none of it. He heard that noise and took off full steam ahead in a full run or whatever the shit it’s called straight for the barn. Not knowing how to properly ride, (it being my first time on a horse and all) I was bobbing all over the place on my saddle, literally feeling my ribs detach themselves from their connective tissue inside me. Love Bug was running straight for the barn, and what was worse was how tall he was. Even at my short stature, there wasn’t room for me to clear the entrance way of the barn on top of this Godzilla like creature. It’s in moments of sheer terror and panic that perfect clarity of your existence flashes in front of you. I was in one such moment on the verge of certain decapitation when I realized that this whole nature thing wasn’t for me. Nope, not for me at all. By the grace of god I bent forward onto Love Bug hugging his neck, barley clearing the entry way of the stalls when he took an abrupt right and parked in his little apartment. He was at his destination. And I was fucking done. My sister was literally crying she was laughing so hard. in all fairness, I don’t blame her. 
Years later I had the incredible experience of spending time in the coastal village of Deauville with a friend and her family; being in Normandy during the summer has been one of the most sublime memories of my life. On a lazy afternoon, Marion suggested we go to the stables and spend some time riding horses. Not wanting to seem snobby or rude, I obliged. Keep in mind, this is in France. These horses respond to French commands, not English ones. We’re riding along, and all of a sudden, my horse (whose name I forget) decides to literally run for his life down the beach with me on his back.  I cannot imagine a more horrific scenario: the American tourist screaming for her life down a beach at sunset in France on the back of a horse: AH-REEETE! AH-REEEETE! It is exactly what French people think Americans do: over react with a graceless idiocy, butchering their gorgeous language while employing the grammatical wit of a four year old. I honestly think the horse was in on it, too. 
There are many things I’m good at. Nature and the animals in it, not so much. 

Snap Crackle Pop

When I was 11 or 12 I began my experience of going to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. In 6th grade, I was asked to go to a Bar Mitzvah of a girl who was a year above me. I felt not only honored, but super cool, as I was the only 6th grader going. The service was in the morning, and the party was later that evening, so the time in between needed to be filled. My mother arranged for me to go over to one of my friends houses that was also invited so she could do errands and stuff. (I mean, I guess, I have no clue…)
 
My friend (we’ll call her Zoe for the sake of anonymity) just moved into a monster house in a fancy part of my childhood town, so the house was pretty empty. Especially the basement.  So here’s the math: an empty Saturday afternoon, an empty house, an even sparser basement, and two friends. Add two pairs of roller blades and you’ve got the equation for a brilliant 4 or 5 hours.
 
Zoe and I strapped our roller blades and began zooming around the concrete cellar. No longer was our Saturday mundane, it was filled with purpose zig-zagging in between the metal poles keeping the house up, kicking a soccer ball to one another and laughing about nothing in particular.
 
Zoe and I were gliding all through our grey concrete kingdom when she kicked the soccer ball to me as I was going backwards. I dribbled the ball in between my feet for 2-3 seconds when I literally rolled into a metal poll, frantically grasped at the air and fell back, my right wrist and arm falling underneath the weight of my body and hitting the ground first. The first thing I felt after I fell was warmness all over my body. Then a searing pain set in and I just lay there screaming at the top of my lungs for a good 20 seconds. (Side note: my scream is one of the most heinous, banshee like shrills that no one really needs to hear. It awakens the dead, causes blood pressures to rise and can communicate with whales off the coast of Nova Scotia.)
 
Zoe’s mom appeared at the top of the stairs and looked down at me crying my fucking eyes out on the floor. I think I recognized the look in her eyes as terror. Not in the sense of: oh this poor kid, but more like: oh my god how do I get this kid to quit screaming/her parents are going to kill me. After I had given my vocal cords a sufficient exercise, Zoe and her mom helped me up and we made our way to the kitchen to put some ice on it.
 
My mother was called, and I sniffed and moaned until she got to Zoe’s house. Since Zoe’s mom and my mom were friends, they chit chatted and laughed for a bit before having to deal with the invalid: me.
 
My mom looked at me, and asked me if I could turn my wrist; it was her way to prove to herself and me that I was fine. I got half way through the wrist twist I yelped the way I imagine Old Yeller did when he got shot. My mom sorta got impatient, and then she was like: you’ll be ok Margaret. Just stay here a while longer because I need to run some more errands and catch the 4 o’clock mass. Catch the 4 o’clock mass? What the fuck? I sniffled and felt betrayed and also understood, because after all, we were catholic and to put up a fuss about my Mom going to church would be like saying I thought I was greater than God, in which case I would get struck down by lightning, die and get dragged down to hell. I certainly didn’t want to go anywhere besides home, so I sucked it up and tried to play video games with a pillow and ice packs under my right hand. (that went over really well, obviously.)
 
When I did get picked up later in the afternoon, my parents wisely decided to not let me go to the Bar Mitzvah. Instead, my father convinced my mom that we go to the hospital. We sat in the waiting room for what seemed like forever.
 
Finally my name was called and the doctor walked my mother and I down an empty corridor with sterile lighting. We got to the end of the hall and we were brought into a huge room with one single table in the center of it. The doctor asked I sit up on the table and began speaking to me in a saccharine tone trying to loosen me up. If there is one thing I can’t stand (even as a child) is when people talk down to others, no matter what the age. I was already in a pissy mood and this douche bag is trying to pretend like the world is all sunshine and lollipops.
 
The evil doctor then proceeded to try and tickle me to see if that would distract me from the matter and hand. I curtly said: don’t touch me. That made my mom uncomfortable and she said briskly: Margaret. Like: Margaret, mind your manners. This asshole is trying to tickle me and be weird and you’re concerned me being snippy to him reflects on your parenting skills? Bullshit.
 
So seeing I wasn’t taking to any of his tactics he read and studied in school like 50 years before, the pig doctor said ok, Margaret. On the count of three I’m going to readjust your wrist, ok? Me: ok. fine.
 
So he was holding my wrist with both his hands and went: one…*CRACK* and re-set my wrist. That mother fucker didn’t even wait til 3! If I thought I was in pain when I actually broke my wrist…this was about 20x worse. I didn’t even do the shrill banshee scream, more like a deeper yelp. All set! The doctor exclaimed cheerfully. If I had the power, I’d have snapped his stupid neck right then and there.
 
So I guess the bottom line is: don’t roller blade in a basement. That’s just dumb.