Miss K Turns 4

PEOPLE people PEOPLE people PEOPLE pickles.

Imma start this Tuesday off with a photo that my sister sent me that pretty much sent me into catatonic shock from cuteness.

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LIKE HELLO LOOK AT THE PERFECT CAROLINE-SIZED SPACE THEY LEFT IN THE MIDDLE

Which brings me to my next point…

MISS KENDALL JOYCE TURNS FOUR YEARS OLD ON MONDAY!

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FOUR. YEARS. OLD!

If you know me, really even if you don’t know me at all, you know that I’m obsessed with my niece and nephew. Miss Kendall Joyce took the spot in my heart of favorite female on earth away from Lauren Conrad on February 1st, 2012. Luke Joyce took the favorite male spot away from Stephen Collettii on July 24, 2013.  I’m still holding out hope that one day we can all live in harmony and throw BBQs every day by Lauren’s infinity pool in Laguna Beach.

I also love that, because I’m 24, I have the perfectly round number of 20 more years on this earth over her. I would say 20 more years of knowledge –  but, let’s be honest – she’s already smarter than me. She can make any iPad her bitch and blocks out all the haters who stare at her whenever she dips tortilla chips in water at restaurants.  She doesn’t apologize for being her true self.  This girl has got life figured out.

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I’ve always imagined that someday, many many years from now, Kendall will be rolling my 110-year-old body in a wheelchair around my mansion because I insist on feeding my pet kangaroos myself, and she’ll ask me, “Auntie?”

I’ll stare straight ahead, as all of the face lifts I’m planning on having will probably leave me minority immobile, and respond, “Yeah, Miss K?”  She’ll wheel me around and ask, “What’s the secret to life?”

And I’ll say….

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I have no idea.

What will I say?  Order extra meat at Chipotle? Never live alone? Remember to buy Apple Care protection?

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I’ve been thinking lately about the nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned in the past year or so that I could pass on to my favorite little girl when she’s older.  My sister is going to teach her how to drive a car and ignore bullies, but what can I teach her? What kinds of things have I learned that can help her life run even the smallest bit smoother? How could I ever repay her for teaching me that applesauce serves as a great hand moisturizer? 

So, Miss K, here are some life hacks I’ve learned that just might save you from a few of the mishaps that come with the agreement of being a human.  BUT you are not allowed to read this until… well, until you can read. We’ll start there for now.

    1. When you’re at a restaurant and you want to order soup, always order the cup size instead of the bowl.  There is almost always the exact same amount in both and the cup is cheaper.
    2. When making scrambled eggs, put milk in the eggs before you scramble them. It makes them so much more fluffy and delicious. I know you don’t eat eggs right now but you also don’t know when you can truly trust a fart so I think, with time, you’ll start.
    3. Apply the quote, “There will be a day that I can’t do this.  Today is not that day.” in reference to any activity. There will actually be a day that you can’t do those things.  Go out twice in one weekend.  Stay out until 4am.  Push yourself to go on a really long and hard run.  Save 10 dollars and use a tennis racket as a pasta strainer.
    4. When debating between tip amounts, just add on the extra dollar. You will forget about it in two seconds and your waiter just brought you 5 breadstick baskets.
    5. One of the hardest dilemmas you’ll ever face as an adult is when you’re really tired with some free time during the day and need to decide whether you should nap or exercise to get some added energy. I don’t have an answer to this. I’m really sorry. Maybe I’ll save us both from this struggle and figure it out by the time you’re 6. So far, I’ve found it’s just best to commit to one or you’ll spend all the time you had debating between the two. Okay, that’s a lie, I usually choose Netflix.
    6. When someone says, “Oh, you don’t have to do that,” you literally do not have to do that.
    7. 1 ply toilet paper is not worth the money saved.
    8. When alone in your apartment, eat your food directly out of the pot to avoid more dirty dishes to clean later on.
    9. Brunches are expensive and usually not worth it.
    10. It is inappropriate to discuss with your boyfriend how you two will act towards each other after you break up.  The conversation assumes that you will, in fact, break up.  You probably will, but apparently you’re not supposed to be prepared or have a game plan. Trust me. It makes for an awkward conversation and they’ll bring it up, like, all the time.
    11. When going out to eat, put your friends out of those seconds of misery when the waiter first asks, “Drinks?” when everyone is waiting on someone else to decide if you’re drinking alcohol or not. Make the decision. Order a cocktail.
    12. Wear your favorite sweater again even though you just wore it two days ago.  Nobody remembers and you’ll still get compliments because you look just as awesome as you did the first time.
    13. Remind your friends that they’re amazing.  Like you, they forget sometimes.
    14. If you are dreading going somewhere and want to cancel, you probably should.  The other person is likely dreading it, too, and wants to cancel.  Cancelled plans serve as instant relief for everyone.
    15. On that note, don’t cancel just because it’s new and weird and you don’t know how it will go.  Chances are, it’ll be a good time.
    16. Unless it’s karaoke.  Cancel that shit now.  It’s literally never a good time.
    17. Everyone just stares at you while you’re attempting to sing and judges you on your song choices.  A friend will likely suggest “Barbie Girl.”
    18. If you forget my advice and are faced with the song “Barbie Girl,” always offer to be the guy part.  Everyone forgets that he only has like 3 lines and you’ll be saved from some of the embarrassment that inevitably comes from said karaoke activity.
    19. Your poor friend will have to sing so much on her own because she forgot, as everyone does, that Barbie Girl is really not a great duet song.  Somewhere during the song, usually around 2 minutes in, she’ll turn to you and desperately beg with her eyes that you jump ship and start to sing the girl part with her to save her from the sinking ship that she embarked on because she never had an Auntie Caroline to advise her on such things.  Because you are a nice person and a good friend, you will agree and sing with her, all the while wondering how you ended up there, singing a weird song in front of people you don’t really know.  Then you’ll call me and tell me, “You were right.” and I’ll come pick you guys up and we’ll go get cups of soup.
    20. When in doubt, you are probably parked in the red.

Remembering Tim Campbell

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I’m not very good at grief. That’s a weird thing to say, right?  I mean, who is good at grief? How can you be good at grief?  Who went to grief school and graduated with honors?  I’ve always struggled with what to do after someone dies.  I really don’t know if it’s appropriate to show your support to their loved ones or if it’s more appropriate to give them their space.  I don’t know if, when they come to mind, I’m allowed to bring them up during a fun party and not kill the mood and be pegged as the most inconsiderate person on the planet.  I don’t know how soon is too soon to make a joke. I don’t know if I should write about them in the past or present.

Last week, a friend of mine passed away.  It just took me 15 tries to write that sentence.  I kept deleting “friend” and writing “family friend” or “someone who was like a cousin” or “someone I loved” or “someone I’ve known forever.”  I settled on friend but, trust me, that sentence could have gone many ways.

I thought about skipping this week of blogging, but then decided that would be the dumbest thing I could ever do.  Tim read my blog.  His mom, who I adore, sends me edits every week with words I spell wrong and grammar I still can’t get right.  Tim told me once that he thought my writing was comparable to Mindy Kaling’s, which is such a colossal compliment that I can’t accept it, but do have printed on the back of all my business cards.

I can’t remember ever meeting Tim.  I think my brain’s memory card started recording after our families connected.  Tim is someone I’ve just known forever.

This past Wednesday, I woke up to a text from my mom saying that Tim had passed away the night before, surrounded by his family.  I cried and, though I could never accept as okay, I knew that this was a possibility.  Tim had been battling cancer for the past four years. When I saw him for the first time after his cancer diagnosis, I said, “Are you okay?” and he told me that he’d rather talk about anything than his cancer. He was always very open his diagnosis and would update anyone on how it was going, but having cancer was the least interesting thing about Tim.  He was a genius, funny, and so easy to love. 

So, I never really talked to Tim about his sickness when I saw him. Instead, I would rub his bald head without his consent and, most importantly, ask where his beautiful wife was so I could stare at her face and ask sly questions about how I could get mine to look like that like, “So… you just wash your face daily? Washcloth or no?”

Tim and Katie started dating in high school and fell in love in that way that you only hear about in movies.  From my perspective, Tim, the smart, kind, nerdy guy that I shared Easter dinners with somehow landed the beautiful, sophisticated, friendly girl whose hair was so luxurious I would purposely walk slower as I passed her in the hallway so that I could maybe catch a sniff and figure out the precise shampoo she uses.  They got engaged after college and married the same year they found out about Tim’s diagnosis.

Last summer, one of the moms of the crew asked Tim how his treatment was going. I was also curious as to how everything was going, so I leaned back as if to “look out” on the backyard and eavesdropped.  Tim told Beth that, at this point, the doctors were just focusing on prolonging his life as long as they could.  Beating the cancer seemed impossible.  I spit out my drink and broke my cover to turn to Tim, tears in my eyes, and said, “Seriously?”  Tim shrugged as if it was just a popped ballon at a birthday party.  “Yeah, I know.  Major bummer.  Who wants cake!?”

I ended up driving to work on Wednesday because, I thought, what else am I going to do?  Tell my boss that someone I knew died so that I could sit at home, alone with my thoughts?  No one around me knows Tim.  I’m going to go to work.  I’m going to be distracted and wait until I fly back to Oregon for his memorial to cry and mourn among my peers who knew Tim.

Tim once explained to me that what he was studying at Berkeley was basically conjuring up innovative ideas/inventions that would make life easier and then making them a reality.  He told me that if I ever had a good idea I should tell him so that he could create it but promised that I would have ALL bragging rights.  I took this challenge very seriously as I consider myself a creative person that complains a lot so thinking of inventions to make my life easier seemed easy peasy.  A few years ago, I LEPT out of bed with the thought I had been waiting for, the brilliant idea that Tim would create and I would cash out on, the spark in my brain that would mean I would never work a day in my life from my riches and retire in Cancun and only drink liquids out of coconuts.  I messaged him, “SELF FLUSHING TOILETS.”  Within minutes, my phone beeped: “Been done.”

While at work Wednesday, the texts started pouring in.  People who knew I knew Tim were texting me to offer their condolences, others were asking when I was going to fly home.  Taylor, another member of our created extended family, called me to see how I was doing after hearing the news.

I know how much Tim loved the village we grew up with.  If you look at the post I wrote on August 11th about the Murray Hill Network, you’ll see a comment by “Timo” thanking me for putting our created family into words.

When Taylor called me, I couldn’t contain myself anymore.  I couldn’t wait to be surrounded by people who knew him.  I started crying in that really ugly way where you can’t speak and can’t really breathe and your throat hurts and your eyes burn and you need buckets of water to keep your hydration levels up.  I cried and I cried and I cried and I walked around the Sony lot sobbing and angry at everyone around me for going on with their lives as if Tim, the greatest guy in the world, didn’t just die the night before.  How inconsiderate are you guys?  My shirt was covered in my make-up and I told someone to let my boss know that I needed to take a walk, maybe all the way up to Oregon, to compose myself.  My boss texted me minutes later saying, “Take all the time you need.  Fuck composure.”

I wasn’t thinking about how I’m bad at grieving or if it was appropriate to reach out or if it’s too soon to make a joke or if I should talk about Tim in the past or present, I was just unapologetically remembering my friend and barely breathing in between sobs.  I was just grieving.

When we were kids, Tim and his brother Sam believed that I was a huge spoiled brat.  I know this because they didn’t hesitate to tell me this every time I saw them. Truth is, I totally was.  But, also, they were boys who didn’t realize that I actually cared and got upset by what they thought about me.  I pretended to just play along, act more ditzy than I actually was, but in truth, I really wanted them to see me as a hard worker. They would roll their eyes when I would come skipping over Christmas Day with all my new gifts and I would get angry that they wouldn’t compliment me on how skinny my calves looked in my new Coach boots.

One Thanksgiving, per usual, my family went over to the Campbells.  I had a brand new iPhone with me.  This was the first iPhone to hit the market, no one really had them, and I felt like royalty with it in my possession.  I answered all calls, “Hi, this is Caroline speaking on an iPhone, what piece of shit phone are you calling from?”  Tim, the most inventive and inquisitive person I’ve ever met, started to play around with my new toy.  He made a comment about how I was “just given” this device without earning it, to which I broke out my fully rehearsed 6 minute speech on how this was my own purchase.  I had babysat my ass off to save up $250 which I used to buy this (very clearly stolen) first-edition iPhone from Craig’s List.  I needed Tim to know I worked for this.  It really really mattered to me that Tim and Sam knew I wasn’t just handed everything and that I had work ethic like they did.  He laughed at me, took my phone, and typed this:

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He definitely did NOT write that second part.  Not sure who wrote that.  I probably wrote it to myself.  The second part messed up the date because I know this was written before 2009, but I saved this note from Tim because it really meant something to me.  I don’t understand iPhone technology, but it has transferred every time I’ve gotten a new phone. This was proof that the Campbell boys were one step closer to thinking of me as something else than that spoiled girl with great boots.

Ten years after that note was written, I sat in my car after leaving work, bawling my eyes out realizing that I can’t show Tim anything else that I bought with my own money.

Tim, I still haven’t processed that you’re no longer around for me to send weird invention ideas to and strut around in boots that Santa brought me.  Your death still hasn’t hit me.  What I do know is that I am a better person for knowing you.  You were a one of a kind human.  I’m so happy you’re not in pain anymore. I’ve admired you and Katie for so long and I promise we will make sure she is okay.  I also know you’re with Parker, laughing at us loons for crying so hard down here.  I love you so much.  I’ll see you again one day. Save me a spot at the Thanksgiving table in the sky (Obviously, at the kids’ table).

If anyone wants to read what Katie wrote about Tim the day after he passed away, click here. Her tribute is so beautiful and so eloquently written.  I’ve only read it twice and it makes me snort with tears every time.

The Murray Hill Network

The MHN

Happy Tuesday sweet angel butterflies!

How are you? I have missed you.  I know, I didn’t write last week.  I also know I don’t have to tell you, as I imagine you are parked at this website hitting refresh from 7am to midnight on Tuesdays and weep an obscene amount of tears when I do not update.  DO NOT FEAR, MY READER, I am back.

This summer has been a freakin’ whirlwind. I went to Hawaii for my cousin’s wedding (Congrats Zach and Brittni!), Mt Hood for my mom’s wedding (Congrats Mom and Pete!), Lafayette for my family friend’s wedding (Congrats Sam & Amy Beth!) and I even made a weekend trip to visit my friends up in San Francisco amongst it all (Congrats Penney!).

Needless to say, I’m not getting on another airplane until someone pays me.  Or, you know, pays for the trip.  Or, at least, pays for my uber to the airport.  Or, maybe just invites me somewhere.

But, here I am, back in LA for a while.  I have been wondering a lot about what to write about for today’s blog post.  Often, when I’m out at parties or weddings, people will ask me if I’m going to write about the night in the next Tuesday’s post.  I always feel guilty saying, “YES AND INVEST IN SOME SHADES TO BLOCK OUT THE HATERS CAUSE YOU WILL BE THE STAR!”  because I know how impossible it is to write a good post about a really fun night out.  For me, it’s not interesting to read about how much fun you had while out with your friends and family. This is the same logic I have when clicking through 200 seconds of someone’s snapstory of them at a concert. I’m guilty of this, too, but you can never quite capture the fun you’re having no matter how many geotags or filters you slap on it.  So, with that said, I’m sorry for all of the amazing times with friends that I haven’t written about that you’ve asked me to.  Those memories are solely ours.  Truth is, I kinda like it that way.

Since the past two weekends were celebrating two vital members and two new ones, I’m dedicating this post to the MHN.

I’ve been a part of ‘groups’ my entire life.  Maybe I should just be real and call them cliques. Though that word has a bad stigma, being one of a group mentality has always been a huge part of my life.  I love feeling a part of someone bigger than just myself, I love a community feeling, and I love having long histories with people.  It’s a wonder I have never been religious.  This explains why I love sorority life so much and living under the same roof with a lot of people.  I love knowing that there’s a common thread that binds all of our lives together, even in the smallest way.  I’m usually the one that suggests we come up with a handshake.

This love for groups may be from the original one that has shaped my life: The MHN.  Have you ever heard the term, “It takes a village to raise a child”?

This group started off as the “Play Group,” which is what most people still call it today.  About 10 moms from the same neighborhood in good ol’ Beaverton, Oregon had kids roughly the same age. So, they decided to join together, bring their children to one person’s house to play with each other while they drank wine out of coffee cups.   Us kids were then shoved into a room and told to become friends.  They probably knew they were planting some seeds, but I don’t think they expected the garden that emerged.

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We all became incredibly close.  We went to school together, came home together, and played after school together for the first decade of our lives.  Living steps away from each other, there was no way to not learn every detail about one another.  Quickly, we began to share more than a similar address.

The most notable memories (aside from the band I was a part of or my wedding at 5-years-old) were the parties.  We had parties for every reason one can come up with to have parties for in the cul-de-sacs around the neighborhood.  Bouncy houses, hired clowns, talent shows, parades, and dried ice punch became the norm.  Once again, the parents drank wine and allowed their families to intertwine.

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Growing up in Beaverton, Oregon, I had no extended family who lived in the area.  Most of them lived in far off mystical lands like Florida and California.  So, these people became my nearest and dearest family.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter were all spent with some combination of the MHN.

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The MHN stands for Murray Hill Network.  Murray Hill is the name of a neighborhood in Beaverton.  Just a quick piece of trivia:  Pretty much none of us lived in Murray Hill.  We lived on the outskirts.  The MH neighborhood is virtually the same as where we lived, except for one very important perk:  A pool key. The Murray Hill pool was only accessible to those who lived within the exclusive boundary lines and, of course, was also the ultimate place to be/be seen during the summer months in our suburb.  Those of us who lived .25 miles outside of the promised land would find people who lived within it and coerce them into bringing you along as a guest (which were limited for them to bring) so that all the boys from middle school could see you in your new Pac Sun tankini. This is the sole reason why I am friends with Natasha.

I think only two or three families still live in the same houses that they originally did, but the friendships have not faltered.  Many of these families bought or rent cabins up on Mt. Hood, where we reconvene every summer around late July, beginning August.  This has been dubbed “Cabin Week.”

 

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The term “MHN,” or Murray Hill Network, was not made until around 5 years ago.  When everyone started moving away, we needed something to call ourselves when we all reunited.  It was tiring to say, “The Levichs/Hausmanns/Davises/Surbys/Campbells/Doughertys/Swansons *breath* Pauls/Johnsons/Gilfilains/Metkes/McLaughlins/Miskowitcz are BACK TOGETHER!”  Several times, the weekend was over before I could finish announcing everyone who was there. 

We fight.  We get annoyed with each other.  We gossip and start rumors. We’re the first ones on and the last ones off of the dance floor. We call each other to catch up. We don’t call each other to catch up. We’re not perfect but, to me, that’s what makes it so much like family.

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These are some of the the “kids pictures” (sorry, parent pictures too would make this post 700 miles long) that we started taking around seven years ago.  Everyone is never ready for the camera, someone is always missing, one will now always be, but these pictures mean so much to me.  I love how they capture who we were that particular summer and how much everyone changes year-to-year.  It also reminds me to never trust these bitches to let me know when it’s time step away from the spray tanning machine.

I know how lucky I am.  What we have is pretty special.  I can’t wait for our kids to run around while we drink wine out of coffee cups.  Last weekend, while we were all at Sam’s wedding, as we were laughing and crying and flailing about, a wedding guest asked me, “So you guys were all just neighbors?”

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We are not just any other group.  These guys are so much more than neighbors and so much more than friends.  These guys are my family.  These guys are my village.

Quotes from my 3-year-old Niece

Happy Tuesday Blog Day!

If you frequent this here blog, you’ll see that I’ve been furiously tapping my fingers away creating a brand new look for the site!  It’s just a little cleaner and easier to navigate than what I used to have.   If you click the menu options up top, you’ll find that it leads you to posts that only fit that specific category.  By the way, this shit is HARD.  I’ve watched The Social Network like 5 times and I still struggled.

I have stared at a computer screen for a total of 2038 hours the past week figuring out how to self-host my own site and change the domain and alter the design and, even after all that, you will find that the “dating” section looks all crazy and is not quite working. Which is ironic, because… well, you see where I’m going with this.

So just bear with me on that section. But, it’s still Tuesday!  This week’s post is all about my niece, Kendall.

 

 

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My niece is absolutely hysterical.

She is one of the funniest people I know and she has only been alive for three and a half years.  I have things in my fridge older than her.  But, just like my molding food, she makes herself known.

She says the funniest and sassiest things all the time.  Once, while I was in Oregon, I asked her if she would like me to move back home so that we could hang out all the time.  She yelled, “Yes!!!” with the excitement you’d expect of a three-year-old.  Then I asked if I could share her room and sleep in her bed so that we could spend even MORE time together.  Immediately, she told me that – on second thought – I have a pretty thing going over here in LA and I should probably just stay put.

This past week, I went to Hawaii with my family for my cousin’s wedding.  My mom rented a house on Ewa beach in Oahu to double the trip into a family vacation.  My aunt and cousin shared a room, my mom and her fiancé shared a room, my sister and her husband shared a room, Kendall and I shared a room, and my nephew Luke slept in a closet.  I held back from screaming “LUKE CAME OUT OF THE CLOSET” every morning.  Haha, I know.  Of course, I’m just kidding.  I didn’t really hold back. 

This meant that Kendall’s worst nightmare, that we would share both a room and bed, was coming to fruition.  This also meant that my biggest dream, gaining full access to Kendall’s quips at all hours of the day, was also coming true.

By the way, I don’t take favorites.  I’m sure Luke is just as funny.  Though, at the moment, if I gave you quotes that he says, it would just be different variations of “I’m hungry.”

Today, I will share with you some of my favorite quotes shared this past week by the one and only little Miss K.

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When I arrived at the house a few hours later than she did, Kendall was napping in the bedroom that we would share for the duration of the trip.  When she woke up, I ran in and yelled how excited I was to see her and told her to give me a big hug. She replied, calmly,

“Um, I don’t do big hugs.  I do small ones.  I guess I’ll just give you one of those.”
I was then greeted with… a small hug.

She then let me know that, for this trip, this room was hers and not mine. I tried to explain that it was much more mine than hers, as I was actually allowing her to bunk with me. She could be in the closet. To which, she replied that it was definitely hers, to which I said no it wasn’t, to which she said yes it was, to which I then realized I was in a cat fight with a 3-year-old.

That next morning, at around 6am, Kendall screamed in my ear for 30 minutes, willing me to wake up.   When I finally opened my eyes, she said,

“Oh good, you’re already up.”

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Later on, I decided to go swimming.  Kendall and Luke wouldn’t go into the ocean because the waves scared them.  So, I went alone. As I was walking out to the ocean to go swimming, Kendall instructed me,

“Not too far.  Stay where I can see you, Auntie.”

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My sister told me that Kendall became very upset with me because I swam past where she felt was safe.  She later put me into a time out because of it.

The next morning, Kendall wanted me to put the dress she was wearing the night before back on her.  I asked her why, as it was dirty.  She replied,

“Um, because I looked so good.”

Which actually… made a lot of sense.

One night, Kendall went to sleep hours before I did.  When I eventually chose to hit the hay, I snuck into the room, started to put on my pajamas and assumed she was fast asleep.  All of a sudden, a little voice piped up from behind me and said,

“I’d actually rather sleep alone tonight.  Thanks.”

This girl is THREE, PEOPLE.

When I finally did crawl into bed and she realized I wasn’t going to leave, she said “Ugggggh.  FINE.” and stole all the covers.

Among all her sassy quotes, this is my personal favorite:  Towards the end of my vacation, Kendall and I laid back on the Hawaiian beach. She was surrounded by her family, the sun was shining down, and beside her laid a plastic tea cup full of ice cold gatorade.  She turned to me and said,

“Auntie, this is the life.”
ending

What Father’s Day means to Me

Warning! This is not my usual funny post – but one that means a lot to me.

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I’m a lot like my dad.  I’m awkward in large social settings, I am weirdly savvy at technology, and I love to ski.

I skied mostly with him when I was a kid.  My mom and sister enjoyed the sport too, but they weren’t quite as much of dare devils as we were.  He taught me to ski;  He taught me to love it. We even had matching jackets to make all the other daddy-daughter duos weep with envy.  I thought he was the coolest.

My sister and I have different dads, though that doesn’t mean she wasn’t as affected by everything that happened.  I’ve actually always thought it was harder because, at a very young age, she chose to fall in love with him alongside my mom.  I had to love him.  And that I did.  I loved him a lot.  He loved me a lot.

I also miss him a lot.

I think I was about twelve when things started to change.  I remember that I was in seventh grade when my fun-loving mom started to take a different approach to alcohol when it came to my dad.  The changes started off small.  My dad would get drunk on nights that didn’t require it.  We would push his wine glasses away when he got up and my mom would drink it to ensure he wouldn’t.  He would return, too drunk to realize that his wine glass wasn’t empty before, and, to our dismay, pour himself another.  Things only got worse when he had back surgery and was introduced to pain killers.

I’ll save you the gruesome details that lead up to it, but he first entered rehab when I was thirteen.  If you ever want to know, I’ll tell you everything that happened up until I finally cut him off.  I’m really open with this story.  Though honestly, I can’t even remember most of the timeline.  My brain is wicked good at compartmentalizing things that bring me pain.  I think I was more upset that I didn’t get homecoming princess than that my dad was face planted on our kitchen table.

My mom and sister, which goes without saying, were my rocks through it all.  We were all each others rocks.  My mom was determined to never let our family drama get in the way of my life and dreams.  The first time he went to rehab, we all had to go to family therapy at the rehab every afternoon. I was just cast as Dorothy in Wizard of Oz for my very small, insignificant middle school class play.  But everyday, I would leave family therapy early to go to rehearsals.  When she was paying for him to go to rehab, she was also paying for me to go to a film camp in LA.  She never let it deter me from being me.

Ages 13-17 were all about trying to get him better.  He would go into rehab, get out, relapse, and go back in.  Over and over. That is when shit really went down. He cheated, went to the ER, lost control of his bowels, snorted Vicodin, went to jail, and could just not get his shit together.  I remember screaming at him, before an ambulance took him away, that I wasn’t an adult yet – I still needed him to be my dad.  My mom wasn’t being weak by trying to make it right.  She’s literally the strongest person in the world. She didn’t give up because she took her vows seriously.  You promise that you’ll be with someone through sickness and health, and this, we were told, was a sickness.

It is very difficult, at thirteen, to try to understand why your dad would rather know alcohol than you.  It makes it much harder when people tell you he’s just sick and that he doesn’t mean what he is saying.  Counselors would tell me that, deep down, he loved me.  He’s just really sick.  He’s your only dad.  This isn’t him.  I would ask:  Then who is this guy?  Why are you making me talk to him?  Why are you making me pretend like this is my dad?  Why am I forced to be let down over and over again?

So, I decided to take their advice.  If he’s not himself, then the man I knew is dead.  My mom eventually divorced him and I told him that I wouldn’t speak to him unless he was sober for at least a year.  Senior year of high school through senior year of college, I didn’t hear from him. He didn’t hear from me.

Then the calls started coming in.  I got a friend request on Facebook. He sent me a birthday letter.  He was sober, remarrying, and happy.  With my sister by my side, we agreed to meet with him and his soon-to-be wife during Christmas time.

It had been four years.  He looked like my dad did, but with an almost full head of grey hair.  He smiled like my dad did, but with a now a tired, puffy face.  He stuttered like my dad did, but his thought process was a little off.

I can attest, firsthand, that drugs and alcohol can absolutely fry your brain.  After that first dinner, we both knew that he had lost much of what we loved about him.  His nerdy but endearing personality wasn’t there anymore.  He seemed generally bizarre.  But, there he was.  In front of me was the missing second part of my “parents” ordering a diet coke at dinner.  Who am I to deny the chance at the relationship we once had?

For the next year or so, he and his new wife lavished my sister and I with gifts.  She had buckets of money and loved spending it on us.  She told me that she would be my new stepmom.  He played with my sister’s kids.  He introduced himself as their grandpa.  My sister and I decided that even though he wasn’t the same guy, we could keep them at a safe arms length away.  He came to my college graduation.  They paid my rent.  He paid so that I could join ski club. I should probably feel guilty for accepting his money, but I really don’t.  He didn’t pay for anything for so many years, not a dime of college, and had single handed torn apart my family.  The least he could do was buy me some Lululemon.

The next winter, he came to visit me at Mammoth here in California.  My sweet friends Nicole and Ebru were so excited that we would all be able to have dinner, just us and our dads.  I warned them:  He’s bizarre.  He wasn’t always like this.  The dad I knew, the one I can tell you great stories about, is dead.  You’ll meet the man who replaced him and we’re all just dealing with it.

Then, we went skiing. The two of us skied down double black diamonds, explored the back mountain, and spent the day enjoying the snow.  He taught me to ski;  He taught me to love it.  We didn’t need to talk.  In that moment, it was okay that his personality was fried.  Skiing was our thing, it had always been our thing.  In those silent chairlifts up and down the mountain, I remember – for the first time in almost 6 years – I felt like I was sitting next to my dad.

It didn’t last, of course.  About three months later, he relapsed, got himself in legal trouble with his now ex-wife, and is now in prison.  He wasn’t answering my calls for about a week, which was weird as he had texted me every day for the past year and a half.  I called my mom to express my concern and she told me, “Honey, this is what he does.  When things go wrong, he just doesn’t answer.”

The moment he finally answered the phone and I heard that drunk drawling voice, I cried harder than I ever have.  Seriously??  What are you doing?  How could you do this to me again?  He was in there!!! I felt it!!  He wasn’t dead!!  And YOU, you drunk home wrecker who replaced my wonderfully weird father, are just going to take him away from me again?

I’m not sad because of how it is now, I’m sad because I miss how it once was.  I mourn who he used to be.  Alcohol can devour your brain.  It is hard to grasp that the substance I use to let loose on weekends with my friends is that same one that took my dad away.

I’m also not telling my story to evoke pity.  I know that it isn’t nearly as bad as it can get.  I don’t live a hard life.  I’ll be just fine.  My mom will give me away at my wedding and my sister will scare away my boyfriends. I’m telling it because I want you to know how lucky you may be.

I actually really love this holiday and what it celebrates: That truly amazing relationship that you can have with your dad.  Don’t take it for granted.  The love between a father and daughter could move mountains.  I know this because I’ve witnessed my friends who have it.  I know this because I’m gaining a great stepfather this summer.  I know this because I see it in my brother-and-law and my niece. I know this because I once had it before it was taken away from me.  Not everyone gets to experience the special bond you can have with your parents. 

We are the lucky ones.  And it is so worth celebrating.

How to be an Aunt

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Step One:

Go home to spend time with your niece and nephew.  Your sister is moving into your childhood home, buying it from your mom, and you have time off of work to go home and help with the move.  Tell your sister that you’ll come and take the kids away so that they can move into the new house. She’s going to have a separate fridge in the garage just for drinks.  Which, we all know, is the American Dream.

Then give yourself a pat on the back and go shopping because you deserve it.  Even if you are unemployed right now.  You’re such a good aunt.

Step Two:

On the move-in day, decide that you’re going to have a full day of Mary Poppins-like fun with the kids.  How about a walk around Portland?  A morning at the zoo?  A photoshoot by the water?  Predict that people will watch you walking with your one-year-old nephew and three-year-old niece hand-in-hand-in-hand around Portland in envy.

“She’s such a good mom, but clearly not the mom because she’s so young and hip.” –Everyone.

Step Three:

Struggle to open up the stroller.  Push all the buttons and chuck said stroller to the ground because it’s definitely faulty and won’t work.  Shortly after, have your three-year-old niece put it all together with ease and a smirk.  Decide she’s going to be a nerd in high school and you’re not going to help her with the secrets to popularity you’ve accumulated over the years.

Step Four:

For lunch, buy the kids a quesadilla because – who doesn’t like quesadillas?  Then learn that they don’t like quesadillas.  Or hot dogs.  Or grilled cheese.  Or chicken fingers.  Or kale salad. They don’t eat. You’re so jealous. They just watch you eat a sandwich.  Have two bites and decide you just can’t deal with an audience.

Step Five:

Tell the kids that you want to take them to the waterfront.  Your three-year-old niece will misunderstand and think you’re taking her to a waterfall.  She will ask you if she needs her swimsuit as you pull into an overpriced downtown parking garage.  When you explain that it is a waterfront, super beautiful and perfect for instagram photos but not for swimming, she will start to cry hysterically.  Harder.  And harder.  And harder.  And screaming.  She needs to have a really high-pitched scream that makes onlookers really uncomfortable.

Step Six:

Decide that you’re going to change your one-year-old nephew’s diaper in the car before you go to the waterfront for fun and frolic.  How chic is it going to be?  When you open the diaper, there will be stage 17 diarrhea poop.  Ponder where it came from because the child didn’t eat anything!  Gag 5 times.  Then look in the diaper bag.  There will be no more diapers.  Panic for 3 minutes.  Wrap your nephew back up in his poopy diaper and determine that you must go to the store before your waterfront adventure.

Step Seven:

This part is really important.  You must lose your keys.  In the car, while you were consoling your niece and not changing your nephew’s diaper, the keys to your sister’s car have been lost.  Search everywhere.  The children need to be crying while you’re doing so.  And running around parking garage in all sorts of directions.  That can’t be safe.

Step Eight:

Find the keys in the storage area under the trunk 15 minutes later.  You know those things that are marketed as a “Mom’s best friend” where you can store soccer balls and shit in those stupid commercials where everyone is smiling?  No one has time for that.  Get the kids and start on your adventure to the picture perfect waterfront adventure you had planned.  Of course, you must first buy a diaper somewhere.  And don’t bring the stroller – it’s much better to rely on carrying a 30lb baby and dragging a 3-year-old around downtown on your own.  You’re so smart.

Step Nine:

Go to a 7-11 that is about a 6 block walk away while carrying a poopy baby.  Make a note to learn why Portland doesn’t have more grocery stores.  Then, learn that 7-11 doesn’t sell diapers.  Tell your niece she can’t have a bag of m&ms while in the store.  Cue the tears, again.

Step Ten:

Walk 10 blocks more to the nearest drug store.  When the cashier asks what size diapers you have, hold the baby up and say, “THIS SIZE.”  Buy diapers, ask where their bathroom is, and learn that they don’t have a bathroom.  Yell “BULLSHIT.  WHERE DO YOU BITCHES GO TO THE BATHROOM DURING YOUR SHIFTS?!” while walking out the door.  Tell your niece to stop repeating “BULLSHIT.”

Step Eleven:

Go to Pioneer Square mall and find a public bathroom to change your nephew in.  While doing so, get a call from your sister that she needs you to get a mattress pad at Macy’s and aren’t you right there just walk across the street and also could you make sure it’s deep enough for her new mattress and how are the kids and did the zoo pass work and then promptly hang up on her.

Step Twelve:

Make your way to the Macy’s across the street and go inside.  See a sign for “mattresses” on the basement floor and take the kids down to see if they have mattress pads.  Makes sense, right?  Mattresses. Mattress pads.  This isn’t rocket science.

Step Thirteen:

Yes it is rocket science.  Ask the salesman where the mattress pads are.  He is really snooty and tells you that it’s with the bedding on the fifth floor, obviously.  You need to go up five floors.  Tell him thanks as you peel your niece from jumping on the pristinely made beds.  He’ll remind you that he has to re-make those now. Sorry.  (But not that sorry)

Step Fourteen:

Realize that there is an elevator only after you go up one of the escalators and your niece now wants to go up every one.  That means that you have to lift your very healthy-sized nephew up and down at every entrance and exit of the escalators, as he wants to walk and can’t be trusted.  Ten times.  Up and down.  Up and down.  Up and down.  I can’t even write it ten times.

Step Fifteen:

Arrive at the fifth floor completely covered in sweat.  Your niece and nephew will go sprinting in opposite directions.  Decide to just allow them to run and use this time to practice your yoga breath and look for the right mattress pad.  Does she want 15 inches deep? 18 inches deep? 22 inches deep? WHY ARE MATTRESSES SO DEEP!?  This is about the time that the sales lady will ask you to control your children.  Tell her THEY ARE NOT MY KIDS, I’M JUST THE AUNT AND DO YOU THINK I CAN CONTROL THEM CAUSE I CAN’T.

Step Sixteen:

Cue the tears.  This time, you.

Step Seventeen:

You have to get your shit together to purchase the pad and leave the store now because the clerk is threatening to call security if your nephew doesn’t stop eating the potpourri out of vases.

Step Eighteen:

Now carrying a mattress pad in addition to your healthy-sized baby, walk back down the escalators because your niece continues to refuse to take the elevator.  Because… the escalators are so. much. fun.  Up and down.  Up and down.  Tears and sweat.

Step Nineteen:

Walk 90 blocks back to your car.  Don’t remember where you parked.  By this time, you need to be completely drenched in sweat because your 170lb nephew absolutely will not walk on his own.

Step Twenty:

Get in the car and drive home.  Tell your sister that the day was great!  You made some real memories and everything went smoothly.  To which, your niece will reply, “BULLSHIT.”

6 Life Lessons I Learned From My Mom

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I started to write this post on Christmas Eve.

It was the first Christmas Eve after my grandma, Jojo, passed away. It’s really weird to hear my mom tell people that her mom has passed away. Jojo was my last living grandparent, but she was my mom’s only mom. In my lifetime, I have come to comprehend that losing your grandma is heartbreaking, but common. In no way am I saying that Jojo’s death was easy for me, but it was expected. She was 91 years old and lived a full and incredible life. She affected more lives than any of us can hope to. I was prepared. I knew it was coming. You’re supposed to lose your grandma. You can try to be ready. I don’t think you’re ever ready to lose your mom.

I know it happens. Logically, you’re likely going to lose your mom before you die because she’s older than you and we can only hope we all just die from old age (or I’m my case, I have this crazy sensation that I will die by getting shot protecting orphans from an Italian mob. Different story for a different day.)

It was very, very bizarre to me to hear my mom say, out loud, “My mom passed this year…” and go on with what she was saying. I thought to myself: Am I going to have to say that someday?

I’m in love with my mom. She’s literally the greatest human on this planet. If you’ve met her, you would agree. I do have an unstable dad, but I think I would say this even if I had the best dad in the world. She’s the kind of woman that you just want to be around and learn how she handles life like a roller coaster she paid to be on: Just enjoying the ride.

Every boyfriend I have ever had has liked her more than me. I think, in times of trouble, they looked at my mom and thought, “Caroline might turn into Beth, so I’ll stick around.” I’m only half joking. Actually, I’m not joking at all. The first question my ex boyfriends ask me is, “How’s your mom?”

I have thought about writing about my mom and at first decided I should wait until it’s her birthday or Mother’s Day or even Father’s Day, but then I realized that she has never waited for an occasion to gift anything to me. She gives me everything, to the point where you could very accurately describe me as spoiled. Christmas is tough, as she gives my sister and me presents every day of the year.

So, I’m going to share 6 life lessons that my mother has taught me. Certainly she has taught me more and these are not even among the best, but these are 6 tidbits I’ve had the pleasure of learning from the one and only Beth Levich.

1. Take pride in your appearance.

Back in my teens I had a friend over. Let’s call her Polly. Polly and I were getting ready for the homecoming dance in high school. We spent hours curling our hair, doing our makeup, and squeezing into our dresses that we convinced out parents weren’t too revealing. Polly walked up to my mom after the battle of getting ready and asked her how she thought she looked. My mom responded that she probably looked great but no one would be able to tell because of that very large, disgusting booger hanging on of her nose. Polly didn’t have a booger. It was her nose ring. We were 14. Beth wasn’t a fan of the nose décor.

2. Find creative ways to comfort your kids.

Another instance in high school, a girl stopped being my friend for what felt like no reason at all. She just stopped answering my calls, didn’t sit next to me at lunch, and ignored me in class. I was so upset. I told my mom that I couldn’t understand why she didn’t like me anymore. My mother’s response? She informed me that it was clearly because my former friend didn’t want to be in photos with me anymore because I was so much prettier. She was absolutely convinced and entirely inaccurate, but you better believe it made me feel better.

3. Strangers are just friends you haven’t met.

When we went on vacations as a family when I was young, I would complain nonstop about having no one to hang out with, as my sister is much older and usually wanted nothing to do with me. It’s a talent, really, that I somehow found a way to make myself and everyone else around me miserable in the most exotic places in the world. So, my mom would make me friends. She would walk up to anyone under the age of 30 and say, “You’re vacationing here until Sunday? Wonderful. Great news: You’re going to be friends with my daughter.” Then I would creep out from behind the bush I was hiding behind and meet my new best friend for the next week.

4. Find pleasure in everyday life.

My mom will call me and ask me what I’m doing, to which I’ll reply (tired and meek) “Just driving home” or “Just got my oil changed” or “I haven’t moved from my bed all day.” She’ll answer, “UGH, you are just LIVING THE DREAM, GIRL!!!” They are entirely normal occurrences. She finds positivity and excitement in absolutely everything. She makes me explain stories of my life in exact detail so she can close her eyes and pretend she was there. She’ll tell me she has a great story that I should write about and then tells me a very mundane story about going to the grocery store when they were out of the wine she likes.

5. You’re broke, not poor

As a newly college graduate, I tell my mom all the time, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, I’M JUST SO POOR.” She corrects me, “You’re not poor, you’re broke.” Poor is a way of life; broke is a number in your bank account. If you see yourself as poor in any part of life, you’re labeling yourself as such. If you understand that you are simply broke, you can then see that you are so very rich in relationships, dreams, and love.

6. Remember that you’re a bad ass bitch.

My words, not hers (Beth Levich is a lady). If I have learned anything from my mom, it’s to remember what you deserve and to love the person you see in the mirror. I joke about my mom all the time, but she is so very comfortable in who she is. She knows what she brings to the table and isn’t afraid to eat alone. I think the only way I could let her down in life is if I stopped believing in myself and depended on anyone else for my own happiness. I love that so much about her.

I know you have a mom and I know you probably don’t care how I feel about mine, but if I got to choose, I would choose her. Relationships are funny; I try to explain to my two-year-old niece that her mom is my sister and her grandma is my mom. She just stares at me, says “Sure, Auntie Care-wine” and returns to pulling everything out of my purse like it’s her job.

My mom lost her mom this year. I can hear the break in her voice and the tears held in her eyes every time she delivers the news to someone. I loved my Jojo with my whole heart, but I absolutely can’t imagine losing my mom. I don’t want to imagine. I couldn’t function. All I can do is stop imagining and cherish the moments I do have with her. So, Mom, thank you for everything. Cheers to the lifetime you’ve given me to share with you. Pass the chardonnay.

My Thankgiving with a Selfie Stick

I spent Thanksgiving with a selfie stick (my family, too).

My mother bought this lovely piece of machinery while on vacation and acted as though she had stumbled across an unpublished Harry Potter book.  She called me from Europe to tell me that there is something called a SELFIE STICK that you attach your phone to and can take pictures of yourself!  From a distance! She even bought a clicker, which you can hook up to your phone through Bluetooth. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!!!!

She took hundreds of pictures like this, where she was convinced you couldn’t tell she was the one taking the photo.

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When I arrived home for Thanksgiving, I decided to give the thing a whirl.

I know I barely ever post photos on this blog, so I feel like I should make up for the lack of photos by now posting a photo of myself from every angle imaginable.

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I didn’t quite have the handle of it at first.  Don’t worry, I figured it out REAL QUICK.  Please refer to clicker in hand, it makes for selfie convenience.

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How easy are family photos with this thing!?! We’re likely using this for the Christmas card this year.

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You can even twirl with a selfie stick.  Action shot!

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More twirls. The arm out shows a more laid-back approach to the action shot.

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This is my sister.

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Sister love! She was just as excited about the selfie stick as I was.

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Aren’t we cute? Getting this one framed.

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Finally I found my bestie, Kendall, who would smile with me.

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Then she got occupied with something else.  I was back to loner pics.

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Nice clicker shot here.

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Here is my mom. We are clearly enjoying Thanksgiving together.

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Doesn’t she look a lot like me?  Dunno how that happened.

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Had to include a picture of Luke eating, of course.  He does little else.  This is his favorite holiday because we all almost eat as much as he does on a daily basis.  Please note my hand in the bottom right corner of this photo.  I wasn’t invited in it.

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Just experimenting with angles.

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Oh, hey.  Didn’t see you there.

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This is what I would look like if you were 15 feet tall.

I had a lightbulb moment and told Kendall we should take some artsy lying down pics. LOOK at these gems.

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Quickly, she was over it.

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UGH.

We went over to Natasha’s and got her fam in on it.  Our clicker stopped working (Must have worn it out from all my excellent photography) so we had to go back to the stone ages and manually hit the phone to take the photo.

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No human should ever be this close to the camera, but there I am.

That’s really all.  I just didn’t know what to do with all these photos.

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!!  Check out my new “About Me” page!  Feelin’ like Mark Zuckerberg.

My Stay at Shutters on the Beach

I do not belong at Shutters at the Beach.

Shutters is the most beautiful hotel my $2 Old Navy flip flops have ever stepped foot in.  While visiting to witness my graduation (WITH HONORS!) from Loyola Marymount University, my mom and sister were guests of the fine establishment. (Side note: I was very excited about graduating with honors.  That is, until the poor degree reader got laryngitis from saying “WITH HONORS” 12,000 times.  I, unfortunately, was not as accomplished as I would like to believe; given that the majority of my film school classmates did as well.)

I cannot tell you a lot about the events that took place after the graduation ceremony. This was due to the fact that I took fulladvantage of the nice beer the parents bought.  I’ve been drinking keystone light for four years, people.  My body reacted wildly to beer that came from a glass bottle as opposed to the of aluminum can I became accustomed to.  It was 12 hours later that I woke up on my floor with a text alerting me that my family was on their way to retrieve me.

Shortly after, my mom and my sister picked me up from my house, commonly referred to as “The Brothel.”  Our home has been referred to by such name due to the fact that it has housed eight female occupants for year after year… people have been calling it that for years, okay? I didn’t make it up myself.  No funny business happens there.  At least in my room.  I can’t speak for the others.  I’ve heard the rumors.  I won’t confirm or deny.

Anyways, my mom and sister took me to this luxurious oasis they were staying at: Shutters on the Beach.  At first, Shutters and I got along beautifully.  They have built in iPhone stands that only fit iPhone 4, which is horrible for the millionaires with the latest technology that stay there but wonderful for me.  The bed was great, decor was on point, and chocolates were waiting in the room.  It’s like they knew I would be severely hungover.

However, for the next three days my family would not take me home.  Driving from the beach to the brothel was, apparently, too far out of their way.  I would politely ask the woman who raised me, “Mom, can you please take me home?”  But no, she was too busy laying by the pool.  “Mom, I need clothes.”  She offered me to wear hers.  “Mom, I need my face lotion and my skin is starting to peel.”  She booked herself a facial appointment.

So, here I was, walking around Shutters without any of the comforts that one usually travels with.  For instance, their conditioner was not very luxurious and a dread was forming behind my left ear.  The employees started to take notice.  Everyone knew I was missing my moroccan oil.

I had reached disparity. I was at the pool, bribing people to please take me home to my brothel. That’s when I ran into him.

When I say ran into, I am not lying.  I was by the bathroom, scaring a child with my dreaded hair, when a black man came out of the bathroom as I was trudging in.  His blue eyes were piercing, his skin was black, and I couldn’t remember his name.  He’s an actor and I’ve seen him one hundred times.  I have cropped him into photos when showing my extended family who I’m dating at the moment.  Who is he???

I did what any rational person would do and ran to my phone to look up “black man blue eyes actor” so that I could return to the pool and act like we were old friends and maybe go on a date later.  The hotel had a nice restaurant and he would probably take me there.  I will order crab cakes.  Nothing with garlic as it would ruin our inevitable make-out session after.

I ran into the stairwell only to realize…. The door locks behind you.  I ran up and down the stairs.  All the doors were locked.  The building knew what I was up to and Shutters was not happy.  I was now its hostage. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, SHUTTERS?!

I called my mom.  She answered, unfazed about her daughter caught in the stairwell, and told me she was finishing her facial.  She would tell someone to come get me.

I called the front desk.  They asked me what stairwell.  I said THE FREEZING ONE THAT SAYS STAIRS ON THE DOOR WITH NO WARNING OF THE AUTOLOCK DOOR.  They said they would come.  I had my doubts.

I called my sister.  That is a lie, actually.  She was napping and I know better than to call my sister when she’s napping, even when I am at the brink of death.

I laid on the stairwell floor and welcomed death.  My life has been great.  They will tell great stories about me at my funeral.  Maybe mention how great I looked when I had access to my own beauty supplies and a good instagram filter.  I’m smart.  I graduated.  With honors.  Maybe they won’t mention everyone else did too.  It’s my funeral, damnit.  I’m special.

I wrote a status on facebook alerting my “friends” to come save me.  All I got as two likes and a friend request from someone in New Jersey.  Still unsure of where Old Jersey is.

17 hours later I called the woman who birthed me again to see where my rescue team was.  Black blue-eyed man had probably already taken another girl to dinner and I notified my mother that she had pretty much ruined her chances of having blue eyed half black grandkids.  Way to ruin my dreams.

She informed me that she was still in the facial and, still on the phone with me, told the security to please go retrieve her daughter from the stairwell.  He gasped.  She corrected his thought: No, she’s not 7, she’s 22.  She just graduated from college.  With honors.

Eventually, my mother’s facial was over and she came to get me.  I was 40 pounds lighter and my nails were 5 inches long.  Figures you can only rely on your own flesh and blood these days.  Those security guards are now my shit list.  I plan to get my revenge some day.  Hand in water while their sleeping, powder in hand when they sneeze, I have a few ideas.  I WILL have the last laugh.

My sister awoke from her nap, my moms face was as smooth as my nephew’s bottom, and they were prepared to give me my graduation gift: They would take me back to my brothel to change for dinner.

The actor was Michael Ealy, by the way.  I wonder how his dinner was with the bitch that he replaced me with.  She probably ordered a garlic dish. I shutter at the thought.