Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's Day...

Well, it has come and gone. As a single girl, I always hated Valentine's Day for obvious reasons; I was single and bitter. And while I was most definitely not single and bitter this year I can honestly say that many of my feelings about the holiday haven't really changed.

I always felt that Valentine's Day was terribly commercial; a holiday made solely to sell chocolate, flowers and greeting cards. It still feels that way to me, except this year I indulged in some of that commercialism. I bought two greeting cards. Why two you ask? I am horrible at choosing things so I just decided to buy my boyfriend two cards that were both really indicative of our relationship and figured when it came time I'd choose. I again couldn't make a decision so he got two cards. Did I also mention I bought these in January? Well I did. I noticed during Christmas time that if you wait until the last minute all of the good cards are taken. And since we've only been together for two and a half months, its gonna be slim pickings in the card department. I don't know why greeting card companies only create a few cards for people who haven't been in relationships long. We're not in love yet so that cut out half of my options right there. The next cut were the overly sappy cards. I HATE sappy cards for any occasion but especially Valentine's Day. It's sappy enough, why do you need a card that reflects that too? I think the cards I got were kinda sappy but like I said, I had a limited amount to work with from the start.

And flowers! Why spend that much money for something that won't even make it until the next weekend? I told my boyfriend from the beginning that flowers would not be necessary because I kill them within minutes of them entering my house. Sure, they're pretty to look at for a little while but you forget about them anyway. But there were roses everywhere! I want to know which florist had an overflow of inventory and decided to force roses on poor clueless Valentine's Day consumers.

One thing I am a fan of is candy. Even in my single days, my Valentine's Day angst was easy remedied by a Whitman's sampler. I mean, chocolate is a cure-all in my opinion. All I needed this year was a box of chocolate and a good meal. Now that I think about it I got the meal but not the chocolate. But I got two desserts so I guess that makes up for it =).

I do have to say though, my boyfriend did a great job at making my first Valentine's Day a memorable one. We had a wonderful day together. I know he was super nervous about pleasing me, even though I told him I didn't need any grandiose gestures. Just getting to spend time with him is always wonderful and special so I didn't really care what we did. Especially if I got fed. You keep my tummy happy and you've therefore kept me happy. But he pulled out all the stops. First, I met him at work in a killer dress and got my first surprise of the day. I had mentioned that I really wanted to see the movie Valentine's Day. I love romantic comedies and the list of celebs in it was enough to make my spend my $12.50. But I know that he's not really into those kind of movies so I was like, "but you don't have to take me." I swear that this wasn't a bait to get him to take me; I would have totally gone with a girlfriend. But he pulled the tickets out of his pocket and I was thrilled.

We had some time before the movie started so we meandered around Barnes and Noble for a bit to kill time. They had some really cute books, including "Love Letters of Great Men," which is the book that Carrie reads to Mr. Big in the Sex and the City movie. When the movie was made it wasn't a real book but it became so popular they actually published it! I thought it would be too cheesy to purchase on Valentine's Day but I may go back and pick up a copy =). The movie was super cute in a totally cheesy romantic comedy kind of way and that's why I loved it. I got a little misty eyed at one point which made my boyfriend promptly turn to me in shock. He has never seen me emote in such ways before. He once jokingly called me "Tin Man" so the tears were definitely out of character. After the movie let out, we decided to go uptown for dinner to a restaurant recommended to us by a friend. We got lost trying to find it but when we got there it was totally worth getting lost for! It is called Covo and it's on 135th and 12th for any NYC friends who want to check it out.

After dinner we went back to his place to exchange gifts and hang out. I know he was making a big deal about my gift but I could honestly say I had no clue what he was getting me. I got him the dvd of Michael Jackson's This Is It because that's the movie we saw on our first date (cue the throwing up sounds) but I also know that he really just likes the movie so he'd enjoy watching it whenever he wanted. So once we got in and settled he apologized for not having time to wrap my gift which was fine by me. It's not Christmas and there's no satisfaction in ripping wrapping paper off a gift. So he just told me to turn around and there sitting on his floor was an Easy Bake Oven!!!

That may sound like a really random gift but its a big deal. Out of all the toys I got as a kid, the one thing I never got and really wanted was an Easy Bake Oven. I've been bitter about it since I was like eight years old. It was the one thing I had that I could hold over my parents' heads. You know..."All I ever wanted was an Easy Bake Oven and you never got me one so that's why I went crazy." That kind of thing. It's come up in several conversations that my boyfriend has been involved in but I never in a million years thought that he would actually buy me one! Again, I wasn't dropping hints, promise. But there it was in all of its kitschy glory. When I told my parents, they were shocked and jealous. My mother then told me that they planned to finally get me one for my birthday this year. But it's too late! This is why I have the greatest boyfriend ever. He really did make the day special for me.

And I know that no other Valentine's Day will live up to this one because it was the first one I've ever really celebrated. But I can safely say that though I have eased up on my harsh feelings on matters of the heart, I still remain a skeptic of Valentine's Day. But I have to thank my wonderful boyfriend for temporarily making me see the holiday through rose colored glasses =D

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Wheels On the Bus...

Or train...or ferry...well not ferry. Ferries don't have wheels do they? I'll have to look into that. I don't think this will be a very long post but its something I've been thinking about the past few days. I'm from New York City. Staten Island to be specific and actually that's an important factor. I live on Staten Island but I work in Manhattan. Yep, I'm one of those commuter type of folks. Granted, I work nights so I don't go into work until the middle of the afternoon but honestly I think that traveling during the afternoon is an even bigger pain in the ass than commuting during rush hour. At least then, everything and everyone is prepared and expecting the large volume of people traveling. But in the middle of the afternoon, not so much. The other killer is the fact that I don't get off of work until what is pretty much considered "late night." Oh happy happy joy.

Since I live on Staten Island, most people assume I take the Staten Island Ferry. I do...occasionally. But I usually take the bus from my house into Brooklyn and then take the R train (and the N train) into the city. Why? Because the ferry in the middle of the afternoon is ridiculous. Most of the time it is one of the new ferries. Those are so cold and impersonal and terribly uncomfortable. Plus...there are tourists. And I'm not talking about at holiday times or times when you'd expect high tourist traffic. Oh no, this happens all year round. My question is...don't these people have lives and jobs? And don't their obnoxious children have school?! Tourists on the ferry are such a pain in the ass. I think they should create a separate ferry for them so they leave us poor mid-afternoon commuters alone. This is why I take the bus. It's generally peaceful save for the annoying teenagers or college kids. But I've learned how to ignore them for the most part. Unless they're being really bad. But more about that later.

When I take the ferry I'm a creature of habit. I mean I've been taking it for pretty much 23 years, except when I'm not in town. Even when I lived in Brooklyn I'd take the ferry back to visit friends, family, etc. Over these many years I've decided that I like to sit in certain parts of each ferry. What section, which seat, etc. I'm a little neurotic and maybe I have a little OCD. But whatever. Its more my habitual need for comfort. So, I do feel like my personal space has been invaded whenever people sit too close to me. But only if they're not with me. If my dad sat next to me I would not be bothered. The little girl I used to babysit always sat next to me which I thought was cute. But when a complete stranger sits right across from me or next to me it makes me annoyed and a bit uncomfortable. Especially if its not rush hour or a peak traveling time and there are plenty of other seats elsewhere. Take for example last night. I was traveling home from a very enjoyable evening with my friend Sarah and I got one of my favorite ferries. I love it because it is very warm in the winter. Mind you I'm on the 11pm ferry so it's not terribly crowded. While I'm catching up on the evening's tweets, these two foreign guys sit down directly across from me.

Let me say, I was not pleased. This particular ferry doesn't have very wide aisles and so with two strangers sitting right across from me, I feel cramped. There were plenty of other places for them to sit! And to make matters worse, one of them pulls out a banana and starts eating. Okay, I am not a fan of bananas and when I smell one I feel sick to my stomach. Even just smelling one in passing. Forget when it is right in my face. I was not a happy person. I know I probably sound like a whiny brat but I'm sorry. I should not have to be uncomfortable or annoyed on my trip home. That's why I don't like to eat while I travel; you never know who you may be offending with your food smells.

Then after the eventful and aggravating ferry ride, I take the bus home. I take the bus that has some of the most obnoxious passengers so I don't expect much. But I figured it was Thursday so maybe it wouldn't be so bad. I was terribly wrong. A very large group of very loud people proceed to get on my bus and talking obnoxiously loud their whole trip. Luckily they got off before me because I'd be so pissed if I spent my whole ride home with the people who believe using their outside voice is a way of life. I understand that they make have been traveling together or whatever but not everyone cares about their conversations. It's annoying and rude. Act like its 11 o'clock at night, not 11 o'clock in the morning. Loud travelers, no matter what time of the day is my biggest pet peeve, hence my comment about not liking to travel with teens.

All I want to say to my fellow commuters is please just be conscious of those around you. Just because you like to talk loud and eat bananas doesn't mean that everyone around you does too.