Sunday, March 9, 2014

Farewell, in Four Parts

Part I:

Tiffany: "What are you doing?"

Me: "Trying to write a blog about not writing this blog anymore."

Tiffany: “Isn’t that an oxymoron?”

Part II:

Tiffany knows how to say thank you in Korean. She's not Korean, has never been to Korea, and, as far as I know, has eaten Korean food only once, at a little barbecue joint near our first apartment in Los Angeles where we cooked the food ourselves over a tiny grill at the table ("Can you put my beef back on for a little bit?" I whispered, "It's still bloody.")

Still, I went to pick up the pants we had hemmed the other day (at 5’3, all our pants require hemming) and was greeted at the cash register by the seamstress, who was beaming.

"Your friend," she said, gesturing at me in a double-handed wave that suggested another female with slightly larger breasts.

I blinked at her, then nodded. Besides thank you, I also don't know the Korean words for fiancée or partner or lesbian.

"Yeah?" I asked, suddenly nervous that Tiffany had forgotten to pay for our last batch or had dropped off more pants than I could afford to pick up.

"Your friend says thank you in Korean!"

I smiled.

"Really?" I asked. "How do you say it?"


"Well," I said, handing over some cash and folding our plastic-wrapped pants over my arm, "Kamsahamnida."

We beamed at each other, and then I went out the door, beaming at everyone I passed on the street, all the way home until I could beam at Tiffany.

Part III:

I haven't written a blog in a while, and it's not because there isn't plenty to write about. I still make silly mistakes in the kitchen; ask blonde things like whether the pay-to-play pool table at the bar knows I scratched on the 8-ball or is it okay to keep playing; and walk home twice, sometimes, to be with the woman I love. But, after four years of sharing those stories here with you, it's time for a change.

But not before I say thanks.

I'm lucky to have a life with more happy things than sad, to have people to share both kinds of things when they happen, to be in love with a woman who thinks it's important to say thank you, and to have had at least 49 of you read my blog, on occasion.

Farewell for now. I hope to share my words with you in some other form or fashion in the future. Until then…

Part IV:


Saturday, January 4, 2014


Outfit parity is essential in a relationship. Maybe it's a lesbian thing, but if Tiffany and I are getting dressed and I turn around to discover she's a 10 and I'm only a 2 or 3 on the hotness scale, I go back to my drawers and hangers.

Sometimes this can lead to less than pleasant exchanges.

"How does this look?" Tiffany asked one night. 

I glared at her.

"Well, you don't have to be so rude," she said. "If you don't like it..."

"Don't like it?" I hissed. "You look gorgeous! Now I have to start all over!"

It's moments like these that led me to believe I needed a pair of skinny jeans. 

Tiffany has some and because she's so fit and because they so fit, she looks fantastic whenever she wears them--fashionable. Next to her in my old-school boot cut jeans, I look, well, exactly like I did in the 8th grade.

Always of generous spirit, Tiffany promised to help me find skinny jeans, so the other day we went shopping. She loaded me down with multiple pairs in various shades of denim and black and then accompanied me to the dressing room.

And that's where I discovered that there is nothing about skinny jeans that makes me feel skinny. First of all, they're generally about 10 inches too long, so to start off I feel short. Second, by the time I pull them over my thighs, I've started to sweat, so now I feel, in addition to short, somewhere in the range of not-skinny-to-fat.

"Imagine having to pull these on and off on a regular basis?"I asked Tiffany, breathless, after the fourth or fifth pair was stuck somewhere between my knees and ankles. "I can't."

She laughed.

"No, babe, I'm serious," I said. "I can't get these off my calves and I'm starting to have a panic attack."

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Walk This Way...I Think

I don't always deserve the confidence I walk with in New York. 

Once, while trying to get my mom to the airport, I hurried us onto not one, not two, but three trains going in the wrong direction because we were so deep in conversation. By the time we got to the last train, which would take her on her own from the subway to the terminal, she was so late we hardly had time to hug.

"Go!" I urged, pushing her toward the turnstile.

She looked back at me, bewildered.

"I don't know where the f*#$ I'm going!" she cried.

"The train only goes one way!"

On an outing during her most recent visit, I changed my mind twice at one above-ground intersection, trying to decide which way to cross a street. Oblivious to my uncertainty and trying to finish some thought or another, my mom mimicked my every move like a shadow so that a crowd of people stepped back to watch. I think they thought we were some sort of pop-up vaudeville act. They don't know that's just how we are.

Anyway, being in charge of logistics in Manhattan can be exhausting, but it's more exhausting if the people you are logisticating don't feel like they can trust your decisions.

Last Saturday, Tiffany and I led my mom and five other members of my family and friend-family from the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side and back up the middle to join throngs of other people for photos in front of the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Of course, they could have found the way themselves. But they were deferring to us as their hostesses.

"Do you think they can tell we have no idea where we're going?" I whispered to Tiffany as the group trailed behind us through an underground subway passage. 

"No," she said. "Walk confidently, and they never will."

This worked perfectly until we walked with confidence into an exit barricaded with a metal gate.

But I'll tell you what, you have never seen a U-Turn so masterfully executed.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Packing a Pumpkin

I packed a pumpkin in my carry-on for my friend-family's Thanksgiving in Florida this year. First, I packed my cowboy boots, and then I put in my jeans and my one nice outfit, and then I made a little hole in the layer between my running clothes and my pajamas, and I put the pumpkin in the hole.

"You know they have pumpkin in Florida?" my friend Teresa asked. "In cans?"

Yes, of course I know it's possible to buy pumpkin. It's the reason I left my sweet potatoes at home (also, a several-sweet-potato-sized hole proved difficult to find in my small wheelie bag, and Tiffany said if I insisted on making pumpkin and sweet potato pie from scratch, "You're on your own.").

Anyway, it didn't seem ridiculous at all to me to bring the pumpkin until we got to the airport and I began to wonder if the squash in my carry-on was going to look like a bomb in the security x-ray. After all, a pumpkin does look a little bomb-ish, if your bomb reference is from old cartoons: a ball with a sizzling wick on top. My pumpkin's stem didn't sizzle, but still...

Would my pumpkin be confiscated?


Years ago, my friend-family slid down hills in turkey pans for fun. Now we are a little more mature. On Wednesday night, we went to the bar where everyone but me downed lemon drop and Fireball shots (when I kissed Tiffany she tasted like a piece of Big Red gum.). We danced and debated whether any of us could twerk and learned pretty quickly that I, at least, cannot.

When we got home at midnight, most of my friend-family went to bed, but I went to get the pumpkin out of my carry-on because I knew there wouldn't be time or oven space to bake it in a few hours. For a minute, I regretted the whole endeavor, but then Little Rebecca and Sam and Tiffany and I started slicing pumpkin and scraping out seeds and talking and laughing. Soon, Tiffany went to bed, and Little Rebecca and Sam and I moved on to sweet potatoes, checking the oven often enough to slow the baking process down even further.

I'm not sure our homemade sweet potato and pumpkin pies were any better than the canned kind. But, in my mind, you can't beat cooking from scratch. If all I had to do was wield a can-opener, I never would have stayed up until 2 a.m. with my friend-family, scooping soft sweet potato and pumpkin into bowls.

And if you don't stay up until 2 a.m., you don't learn certain things, like the fact that Little Rebecca, the former bald-headed baby, can twerk. Upside down against the wall, standing on her sticky pumpkin hands.

Monday, December 2, 2013

With a Little Luck

The first time I played horseshoes with Tiffany she got a shoe stuck in a tree. I've never seen someone aim so carefully and miss so completely. Her u-shaped piece of iron didn't make it even halfway to the pole across the way. Instead, it went straight up in the air, shooting through a leafy oak until it came back down to ring a sturdy branch.

"How did you do that?" I asked her, after I had removed my hands from my head and stopped laughing.

"I don't know," she said. "I held it just like you did and then I let go."

We weren't even dating at the time. Lucky for her, I wasn't looking for a permanent horseshoe partner.

Still, it turns out I found one.

Over Thanksgiving, the grown-up boy I used to play time machine with brought a set of shoes to keep us busy on the beach. When he and his mom ended up on one side with Tiffany and I on the other, I had a moment of preemptive competitive panic, visions of horseshoes being accidentally hurled into the ocean off to our left.

"You sure about your partner choice?" I called.

Tiffany glared at me.

"Remember to let go a little earlier than you did that one time," I whispered.

But it turns out the four of us were pretty evenly matched. We all hit the pole and we all missed it, and if Tiffany sometimes missed it more than the rest of us, well, a zero score is still a zero score. After we were tied for a while, we called sudden death. The first team to ring the pole would win. None of us had done so yet.

"Oh, so close!" we yelled back and forth until it was Tiffany's turn.

"Guys," she said, "I've got this."

And, would you believe it, she was right.

We all walked over to look down at the winning shoe in the sand as the sun began to dip into the water.

It was so lucky-looking and pretty that I had to take a picture. It felt like a sign of anything good to come, even if all that means is better hand-eye coordination. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sicky Sick Sickerson

I used to like being sick when I was little. It meant staying home from school, spending all day in my pajamas sipping Coke or slurping Campbell's chicken noodle soup, and watching old Bette Davis movies with my mom.

I don't much like being sick as a grownup. It means going to work anyway.

Tiffany, on the other hand, loves being sick. Well, she likes being middling sick--somewhere between scratchy throat and bedridden. She likes coughing in my direction until I look up from whatever I'm doing--

"Are you hearing this? I think I'm getting sick..."

--losing her voice--

"It's literally gone!" she croaks--

and generally playing up whatever ailment she has developed--

"Can you take my temperature?"

Luckily for Tiffany, she's adorable when she's sick.

"I'm sicky sick sickerson," she said to me a couple of weeks ago when I got home as she sucked on a cherry-flavored cough drop. "Sick sick sick!"

The next morning I left her tucked in bed while I went to the gym. But when I got home again she was up and moving.

"Get back in bed!" I said, "go!"

"But I want to spend time with you!" she whispered, her voice like sandpaper.

"You just want me to notice you have no voice," I said, fighting a smile as I pushed and prodded her.

"It's literally gone!" she croaked.

I wish I could tell you I rented a bunch of suspenseful black-and-whites and served Tiffany a piping hot bowl of chicken noodle. But Tiffany doesn't like scary movies and she had to make do with cabbage.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rabbit Food

Tiffany and I recently left a head of cabbage sitting in our fridge for three weeks (don't worry--we picked it from the farm ourselves, so it was nothing if not fresh). Every time I opened the door and saw it, I felt it judging me:

"You are not creative enough to cook me."

It's true; I'm not inspired much by cabbage. I love sauerkraut, but sauerkraut takes several days to prepare and, even by my standards, our cabbage would have been old by then. Another choice, coleslaw, felt too summery for the fall weather.

One night we finally decided on cabbage soup because it's easy and we had most of the ingredients. When I say cabbage soup is easy, I mean there's nothing to it.

Like, actually nothing. I googled cabbage soup on my way home to make sure I had everything and all the top results were: DIET DIET DIET. A little uncertainly, I bought some carrots and leeks. My stomach growled.

When I walked in the door, Tiffany had already started making the soup.

"Smells good!" I cried, willing the soup to satiate me.

"I think I put in too much cabbage," Tiffany said, warning me away from the pot with her spoon.

"Impossible," I said. "Apparently cabbage soup is for people who want to starve...HOLY COW, that's a lot of cabbage, babe!"

"I told you."

"How about adding more water?"

"I did."

After we each finished a bowl, we looked at each other. Tiffany estimated it would take us each another three bowls to feel full.

"Or we could just have leftover pizza," I said.

And that is why there is now at least three weeks worth of cabbage soup in our freezer.