A Love Letter to Quarantine

3 Dec
Love letter sticker' Sticker by Mhea | Letter stickers, Sticker art, Love  letters

I used to write blog posts all the time – for six years, to be exact. Then I discovered stand-up, and Instagram, and “going out for drinks,” and I stopped. It’s been over a year since my last post…which makes me feel pathetic because I hate discontinuing things out of laziness and general lack of interest…which is why I have trouble letting go of romantic relationships that don’t serve me…even if the sex is great…which it usually isn’t. Anyway.

I miss writing long-form essays about myself – hilarious, because all I do is talk about myself and think about myself and make videos about myself. But I guess one can never have too much of oneself.

(One can.)

I’m not sure I have anything specific to write about. This blog was established on the promise that foolish shit would happen to me and I would write about it. And for a long time, it did. There was that time a hair straightener salesman at the mall told me I’d “never get a boyfriend with frizzy hair like THAT.” Or the time my grandparents met a young man during one of their trips and told me he was perfect for me because he had “really hairy legs.” And then there was the time I salsa danced with an old man in France and had to pretend I could understand what he was saying to me, through several whiffs of hot, old breath.

But that was all pre-pandemic. Pre-quarantine. Pre-unemployment. These days, the only foolish things that happen to me involve me falling off of my parents’ Peloton, or stepping in my dog’s warm shit, or “taking a night off from drinking” and then…drinking.

This is all to say: Hello, it’s me. I’m glad to be back. And I’m here to just…write.

Quarantine has been great, thank you for asking. It began on a cold, rainy day in March, when Drunk History closed down for “two weeks” and I raided the office kitchen(s), desperately grabbing things I’d never eat: chocolate-covered almonds, rogue Cliff bars, communal raspberries. Germs were of no concern to me back then. Starvation, however, was a pressing concern.

I rushed home to my roommate, Jasmine, who was still unsure how freaked out we should really be. I showed her my liberated goods, then told her to gather as much food as she could at work the next day. She did. Together, we could feed an entire family of six-year-old children with high blood sugar.

The days went on. Jasmine worked; I “worked”; together, we created meaningful Instagram content to mark the very thrilling first couple weeks of quarantine.

“When will we ever get this much time at home again??”

We made caprese sandwiches with toasted bread. We started drinking right at happy hour, and not a moment later. We designed elaborate cheese boards. We invested in adult coloring books. We started – and finished – ten million new series. We tanned on our tiny, cramped patio and shunned the mask-less people below us. It was a kind of fortunate paradise.

And then the days got long. Three o’clock would roll around and I’d tell Jasmine I was “bored.”

“What do you want to be doing?” she’d ask.

“Nothing,” I’d answer.

“Okay, then you’re not bored.”

She can be annoyingly correct, sometimes.

Eventually, we each decided to go home to our families for a period no longer than two weeks. I packed a suitcase for two weeks of lounging around with my dogs.

“I can’t stay home longer than two weeks,” I explained. “I’ll lose my sense of independence.”

Two weeks passed and I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. I didn’t want to fly. I didn’t want to leave my family during the prime New England summer months. Nothing was happening with my job. And I had my eye on a local love interest.

So I stayed. I stayed for five surprisingly quick months. I had a job and then I didn’t. So I applied to new jobs, and constantly reminded my family I might have to “jet back in an instant” for the right opportunity.

I did not “jet.” There were no “opportunities.”

I stayed. I stayed as Massachusetts’ numbers crept down. I stayed as one of my sisters left her job for law school and my other sister finished her junior year of college. I stayed as the days became hot and long.

I went to the beach with my quarantine pod. I tanned, and drank spiked seltzers, and ate ice cream. I went power-walking with my parents and had distance picnics with my friends. I wrote scripts and made comedy videos and did virtual stand-up shows.

I started seeing someone, and that was fun. But then I had nothing else to think about or look forward to other than that person. And that was not fun.

“Maybe it’s time to put boots on the ground?” Jasmine suggested. She was back in LA, alone in our apartment. I think she loved it, but I think she also…missed me, perhaps? (She’d never admit it.)

Mid-October, I finally decided my hometown wasn’t going anywhere, and that I could go back to LA, be productive, and then come home for the holidays.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I saw friends (at a distance). I went hiking. I watched the Biden/Harris ticket win the election. I drank champagne to celebrate the win. I drank more champagne. I almost felt like my life was back to normal. And I felt very lucky to have that feeling.

It’s now December. I’m still in my hometown, with my dogs, and my family, and the winter weather. I’m still – basically – unemployed. And I just ate a yogurt that tasted curiously old.

My blog posts usually have a thru-line, or at least some semblance of story structure. But this year hasn’t had structure. This year has been up and down and all around. This year told me it liked me, let me have sex with it, and then decided it didn’t want anything “serious.” (YOU GUYS, I’M FINE. I’M JUST USING THESE SEX REFERENCES TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL METAPHORS, OKAY??)

GUESS WHAT, 2020? I don’t want anything serious with you, either.

I don’t want to forget this year happened, because in a lot of ways, it’s been transformative and meaningful for me. And I know that’s a privileged, lucky thing to say, but it’s my reality. I did a lot of things this year that I never would’ve done were it not for the time, restlessness, and desperation that fueled my creativity.

I also don’t want to sit around and feel sorry for myself. Do I need a job? Yes. Would I like to have good health insurance? Yes! But have there been other, unrelated benefits to both of these things suddenly disappearing? Yes. (???) I’m kidding. Definitely. Yes.

I suppose that…stay with me here… just like that mall man insulting my hair made me stronger, so has 2020. It’s been one giant Tom Foolery, and I’m lucky for it.

But fuck that guy. My hair is great.



24 Oct


I got my ears pierced this week and immediately classified myself as “a rebel.”

I didn’t even get something technically outrageous, like a forehead piercing or a tongue piercing or an ass crack piercing. I got two little earrings on one ear lobe – a tiny hoop and a tiny stud. Any smaller and you’d think they were cupcake crumbs (I probably have a few of those on me, too).

Not badass enough for a tattoo and yet too badass to consider “swearing” a big no no, I decided I needed to get piercings to liven up my identity.

What grown, 26-year-old woman feels the need to “liven up” her identity? Me. I do.

The last time I felt the need to do something like this was at age 16. I decided to get my cartilage pierced at Claire’s. This was a bad call. Any place that sells cupcake flavored lip gloss should not be responsible for piercing perky teenage ears. I walked into Claire’s with a newfound pep in my step. Not only was I inside the store my mom thought signified loose morals and loose vaginas, but I was well on my way to doing something no one in my family had done before. Sure, my mother had let a friend pierce three holes in her ear lobe during college, but the cartilage was untouched. The cartilage was pure. The cartilage was my thing.

I got my cartilage pierced and then promptly developed a relentless, crusty infection. It hurt so much to sleep on my ear that I’d lie awake at night, trying to convince myself I was a back sleeper. But I couldn’t lie to myself! I’m a side sleeper. Always have been, always will be.

All of that side sleeping gave me a keloid the size of a white man’s ego. What is a keloid, you might ask? It’s a giant, bulbous mass of tissue that forms a hard little ball and prevents you from the identity-defining glamour you deserve.

I had to remove my cartilage earring. And I had to get several rounds of steroid shots to reduce the size of the keloid.

Flash forward ten years later and I’m not desperate to be cool anymore. I’m a badass bitch. I work in Hollywood, I’ve had sex, and I’ve got giant tits. I am completely at-ease with my identity. I feel no lingering desire to be “cool” because I’ve accepted myself as…

Just kidding. I mean, yes, all of the above statements are true but none of that makes me “cool.” No, no. I’m still not trendy enough; I’m not fashionable enough; I still hear songs like “Pony” by Ginuwine and ask my friends, “Hey, have you heard that great new song??” I need a physical representation of what I could become. I need a giveaway that will tell people, “Hey, that bitch has lived. She’s seen some shit. She’s not like everyone else.” I need…a piercing.

I decided to get my piercing(s) and then promptly heard that my mother and two sisters had gotten their “conchs” pierced during my sister’s college’s Family Weekend. Just three women, casually walking into a piercing parlor in Western MA and asking for someone to please pierce their conchs.

What is a “conch,” you ask? A conch is the giant bit of cartilage above the lobe. It’s not the upper cartilage, nor is it the bottom lobe; it’s the middle portion of the ear. For most people, it’s a no-mans-land. Only the brave dare to pierce at the mid-point. And of course, the women in my life decided to do just that.

This put me in a tough situation – was I conch-ready? Given my past cartilage issues, I wasn’t sure if I could handle anything above the lobes. Would I forever be relegated to a lobe gal?

It turns out, my friend Jasmine was also looking for a way to spice things up. Why sit on our couch watching Beverly Hills 90210 when we could put holes in our bodies?

I spent days wondering what kind of girl – woman – I was. Was I a cartilage 2.0 kind of gal? Was I a hoop girl? Or a stud girl? Or, worst of all, were my ears…gulp…too tiny for piercing at all? (If you haven’t seen my ears, ask to see them the next time we’re together. They are smaller than most moles and kind of look like deformed artichokes.)

Jasmine and I walked into the tattoo/piercing parlor, completely out of our element. Yes, Jasmine has multiple tattoos, but we weren’t there for those! We were there to get pierced. The piercing woman asked us what we wanted? And I froze.

What did I want? The mystique of a woman who fiddles with the dozens of earrings on her ear? The outgoing personality of a woman with multiple hoops, symbolizing her openness to the world? The easy-going personality of a woman who gets peace signs in her ears and then sips kombucha long into the night? Or, did I want to settle for an earring in each ear, symbolizing balance and normalcy?

I debated for several minutes. I texted my sister, Lydia. Then I called her because my texts weren’t going through. I was panicked. And, to add insult to injury, it turns out that quality jewelry is expensive. This was going to be a fiscal endeavor, and I was nervous.

Jasmine and I both settled on a hoop and a stud on one ear – mine on my right and hers on her left. She went silver and I went rose gold. We both survived what felt like a bee sting but sounded like shoving a needle through the thick skin of an orange…or an ear.

I’m thrilled with my piercings. I keep looking at them like they’re fresh boobies that just popped out of my chest. I think people will look at my ears (if they can find them) and think that I’m “cool,” but that being cool isn’t all that’s important to me. I think they’ll think I have other interests and concerns, and perhaps even a dose of self-assuredness. I think they’ll think, “Wow, what a stable woman – brave enough to push the limits, but sane enough to back away from the edge.”

And how wrong they’ll be. Little do they know, I’m currently researching tattoo designs.

Fakes and Lies

27 Sep


I am full of fakes and lies.

In my last blog post, I established my reputation as a business-teller. But that’s not all I am. I am also a teller of fakes and lies.

The other night, as I waited for my abnormally large chicken breasts to crisp in the oven, I made an announcement to my roommates, Charlette and Jasmine.

“Lucy’s moving to New York,” I said.

“She is??” Charlette said, concerned.

“Yes. She posted a photo on Instagram that said ‘last nights like these.’ Because she’s moving to New York…”

“Wow, I can’t believe she’s moving. It’s so…sudden.”

“I know,” I said. “It’s not like she’s moving to Malibu…I mean, she’s moving to New York.”

Charlette was shocked. Jasmine was upset. New York was confused.

“Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, ladies” I said.

There was a pause while Jasmine went to investigate Instagram.

“Sophie,” she said. “Her post says “late nights like these…not ‘last’ nights like these.”

“Oh,” I said. “Well I’m still pretty sure she’s moving. Ask Brogan. Brogan will know.”

Jasmine did ask Brogan. And Brogan confirmed that Lucy was not, in fact moving to New York. This confirmation confirmed that I’d managed to write an entirely false story in my mind. Then, instead of keeping it to myself, I’d decided to share it with the masses, creating a bunch of hoopla, in the process.

After the conversation, as Charlette helped me make sure my breasts were cooked, she said, “Do you ever notice that Sophie says something completely false every day?”

“Yes!” responded Jasmine. “But she says it so loudly and so confidently that everyone automatically assumes it’s true.”

They then started going through a list of my “fakes and lies” from recent weeks. These included the following quotes:

  • “Reese Witherspoon has a drinking problem.” Sophie’s source: she forgets.
  • “R. Kelly killed Aaliyah after their marriage ended badly.” Sophie’s source: her roommates’ recounting of The R. Kelly documentary…and her own brain.
  • “Edamame causes breast cancer.” Sophie’s source: an article she read once that mentioned something about soy.
  • “J. Lo is a bitch.” Sophie’s source: some girl she drunkenly met at a bar.
  • “Jasmine loves to cuddle her roommates at night.” Source: nonexistent.
  • “You can totally leave work early.” Sophie’s source: Sophie (to her friend, who then got in trouble for leaving early).
  • “Ben Stiller is a dick.” Sophie’s source: unspecified.
  • “Sian Clifford pronounces her first name ‘Sigh-On’.” Sophie’s source: her inability to pronounce words.
  • “Jasmine said she’s never eaten grilled chicken.” Sophie’s source: her poor hearing.
  • “Charlette just said something about goats being murdered.” Sophie’s source: her poor hearing and a loud pot of boiling water.
  • “Brogan said the washing machines are all full because it’s a holiday.” Sophie’s source: a dream.
  • “My eye twitches because I need glasses.” Sophie’s source: Web MD
  • “I have a ‘temple disorder.’” Sophie’s source: Web MD
  • “Vaginas are like Levis – you don’t have to wash them because they stay fresh all on their own.” Sophie’s source: a joke she once heard someone make that she assumed was science.

What do all of these statements have in common? They are all based on true statements that were filtered through my brain and so became muddled and altogether untrue.

Here’s how my brain works: I hear or read a statement and I immediately assume it to be true (because in my mind, unless Fox News is the source, every statement is true). Then, my brain takes these true statements and immediately forgets half of them. My brain is busy! It doesn’t have time for exacting details and figures! It doesn’t care that you’re doing “Keto” and not the “Atkins diet”; it doesn’t care that you’re “deathly allergic to peanuts” and not just “averagely allergic”; it isn’t interested in remembering that you’re from “New York” and not “Nova Scotia.” Do these details even matter, anyway??

Once my brain has decided what’s “true” and what’s “not,” it then keeps a list of “Sophie truths” to drop into any and all conversations. For example: if someone mentions J. Lo, my brain immediately thinks of that fact it heard at some point about J. Lo being a bitch. My brain sends this fact to my mouth, which speaks this fact aloud with great confidence and assuredness. I then manage to convince everyone else in the room that I’m correct, and then all of these people go off into the world with completely incorrect information. It’s a gift, really.

I’ve always been this way, but – before now – I’d never been called out. I’d gone through life spreading “Sophie truths” and thinking nothing of them! When you’re always right, there’s nothing to think about!

I blame the women in my family – specifically my mother and my grandmother. They’re always “making statements.” As a kid, they told me that “girls who took pottery class as an elective were ‘loose,’” and that I had to take band or I’d be “bad at math.” These statements seem like they were formed based on a combination of bias and slightly incorrect science from a New York Times article.

They also told me shaving the top part of my legs was “bad.” No context, no factual support, just “bad.” This was enough to keep me in hair capris until age 15, at which point I decided the future of my love life was more important than their “opinions.”

Additionally – this one’s mostly about you, Harrie – they were convinced that if I dressed “too trendy,” I’d end up a slutty smoker, loitering by the train tracks in my thong and harassing old people. All I wanted to do was shop at Aéropostale – which, I was told, was pronounced “the French way” – and buy a pair of white-wash jeans and a cheetah print tank top to show off my budding breasts (I was a D-cup by age 12 and those puppies were the only things maintaining my “cool status”). Instead of being granted my one wish, I was told that people who shopped at Aéropostale were “fresh” – and not in the “new, trendy” sense –  and that I had to shop at Old Navy.


Anyway. I digress. The point is that hearing a lifetime of statements based on hearsay, opinion, and “ideas about sluts” set me up for a lifetime of strong statements based on fact, fiction, and my inability to process information.

Luckily, my fakes and lies haven’t led to too much disaster…for me. They have, however, impacted other people’s lives. Let’s just say, my roommates weren’t the only people who thought Lucy was NYC-bound…and that’s on me.



Telling Business

27 Aug


I have a problem. I am a narc.

My sister has accused me of being a “narc” for a really long time. She’s very with-it, so I thought this was just a youthful way of calling me “annoying.” But then I learned it has a more nuanced definition.

It means I am always “telling business.”

“Telling business” is another expression I recently learned. My roommates, Jasmine and Charlette, told me they always got in trouble as kids for “telling business.” I assumed this meant revealing major secrets, like your dad’s age or the fact that he has a tattoo on his leg (these are the intimate details I got in trouble for sharing as a kid). I was wrong. Apparently, anything from revealing the color of your mother’s purse (green), to telling your grandmother your dad can’t come to the phone because he’s gardening, could be considered “telling business.”

Before I even knew about Norah Ephron, I lived by her motto: “Everything is copy.” That’s a fancy way of saying I don’t keep secrets…UNLESS someone tells me I absolutely need to keep secrets. I have a loud mouth and I run it like a skinny divorcée training for a marathon; I run often and I run hard and I don’t stop running until I get injured.

So far, this hasn’t really posed problems for me. Mostly because I’m pretty good at covering my tracks. And when in doubt, a little charm and a smile can go a long way.

But then, the other day, my dad made a joke about me. He said, “Don’t tell Sophie or she’ll tell everyone.” I was appalled. First, by his lack of subtext. Second, by his blatant lies!

“I don’t tell everyone everything!” I insisted. How could he spread such fake news!

“Yes you do,” my dad responded.

“Yeah, you do,” my sister responded.

“You totally do,” my other sister responded.

“Hehe,” my mom giggled.

Apparently, I’m a snitch…a narc…a business-teller.

I let this sink in. Surely being a narc is not good. But here’s the thing…

It’s hard to feel guilty for things you’re not aware you’re doing, and that you’re not aware are bad. For example: my sister recently told me something about one of her friends…let’s call her, Rosalie. Rosalie told Cecelia something personal and then revealed she “hadn’t told anyone else.” Then, Cecelia proceeded to tell me this business over the phone. Apparently, she said, “Rosalie hasn’t told anyone this.”

Here’s where things get tricky. I never once heard “Rosalie hasn’t told anyone this” and understood it to mean this was top-secret information. I suppose by the transitive property, this would mean that I, too, shouldn’t tell anyone. But I was one of those people who learned math for the tests and then forgot about it, so there’s no relying on my math skills.

During a beach outing, I proceeded to tell Cecelia’s other friend – let’s call her, Deborah – what Rosalie had told Cecelia. But I didn’t know this was a big secret, so I never told Deborah not to repeat what she’d heard.

After hanging out with Deborah, I called Cecelia.

“Deborah and I had such a fun time,” I said. “Oh, and I told her about Rosalie’s thing because I figured you’d tell her eventually anyway.”

There was silence on the other end of the phone. I thought I was going through a rough service area. Little did I know, Cecelia was gearing up to rip my head off.


“Yes…” I responded, tentatively.


“Ummm all of it?” I said.


Oh. See now, that’s what pulled me up short. If something hasn’t been shared, you don’t share it. Is this really true? Because in my world, unless someone says, “Please do not repeat this,” then I tend to share everything. I always thought this was part of my charm. A constant inflow and outflow of stories and anecdotes is what defines me.

My brain is like the Dewey Decimal System. While at a social gathering, I scan through my catalogue of shareable stories. The first sharable tier consists of stories pertaining to me, myself, and I. Then, if I run out of those stories, I move onto stories pertaining to my family – because what’s theirs is mine and they have to love me, anyway. Then, if I’m bored with all of that, I move onto the third sharable tier, consisting of stories pertaining to everyone else I’ve ever seen, met, read about, or heard about. This makes for constant conversation and absolutely no silence between me and the rest of the world.

Given recent events, I guess I should re-evaluate how I live my life. Like maybe, if someone tells me they got crabs in Portugal, I shouldn’t tell my coworkers? Or maybe, if my dad tells me he hates the new couch my mom bought because the color reminds him of a shit he took last week, I shouldn’t tell my mom? Or maybe, if my grandmother calls my sister a “loose woman,” I shouldn’t tell my sister?

I don’t know. This all sounds very foreign and confusing to me. I tell everything about myself, so why shouldn’t everyone else live their lives like that? If I’m constipated, everyone knows! If I’m craving chili, you’ll hear about it! If I’m worried about the hair growing out of my nipple, you better prepare some reassuring words for me!

If I stop sharing intimate stories about people’s lives, I’ll be relegated to discussing the weather, current events, and the price of gasoline. Tell me, if you met me at a party and I said, “Hey, what about those gas prices, am I right? Mobil’s robbing me blind!” would you continue to talk to me? Or, would you sip your scotch and soda (because this is a Mrs. Maisel/1950s themed party, I forgot to mention) and be on your merry way?

So here’s my PSA: tell me if you don’t want your business told. Use very specific keywords, like “DO NOT REPEAT,” or, “TOP SECRET,” or, “DON’T FUCKING SPREAD THIS SHIT OR I’LL MURDER YOU IN YOUR SLEEP.”

Because otherwise… everything is copy.

Ps. I realize I just told a story about a story I wasn’t supposed to tell… but that’s part of my charm.


22 Mar


I have an alter ego.

She comes out under the influence of hard liquor. Or soft liquor. Or when someone’s wronged her. Or when she’s listening to Earth Wind and Fire and having herself a good ‘ol time.

My alter ego came out this past weekend…as well as the weekend before that.

“What should we call Sophie’s alter ego?” my roommate, Brogan, asked.

“Ego,” I responded.

“Right,” agreed my roommate Jasmine. “It’s just Sophie’s ego.”

She’s correct. I have an alter ego and she’s just pure, unfiltered ego. She’s great. People seem to love her.

Two weekends ago, Charlette brought us to a birthday party in the Hollywood Hills. There were seven open bars, communal meatballs drenched in barbecue sauce, and many, many men wearing wide-brimmed Indiana Jones hats. It was your classic LA scene.

I am notorious for being unable to ignore or deny free stuff. As a child, I once ate seven plates of communal smoked salmon at a grocery store because smoked salmon was the “item of the week” and I have no standards when it comes to what I put in my body. The free, “was-sitting-in-the-open-air-all-day” salmon didn’t even make me sick, which is how you know my stomach has incredible tolerance from all of the free food I’ve given it over the years.

In addition to free food, I also love free booze. If you’ve ever invited me to a party and then wondered where your six-pack of Stellas, three bottles of prosecco, and two cans of independently brewed IPAs went, look no further than my bar cart! (But please don’t take them away from me.) I simply don’t believe in not taking advantage of free stuff. Which is why, on one occasion, at an internship event for the United Nations Human Rights Council, I drank so much free wine and so much free food in such a short period of time that I passed out in the bathroom, came-to, and then went back for more mini desserts.

But this isn’t about me. This is about Ego.

Jasmine and I saw the open bars. I was enticed by the free nature of it all. We sauntered over, like maybe we were just looking for two sensible glasses of Pinot Grigio and some light hors-d’oeuvres. (I was looking for a funnel and a steak dinner.) We noticed some mini bottles of Prosecco floating in a bucket. The bar was untended. Hmm we thought. What to do…? What to do…?

Flash forward 15 minutes and three of those free bottles are in Jasmine’s purse and two are in my gut. I’m feeling good. I’m speaking French to some random passers-by, and as a result, am completely excluding Jasmine from the conversation. I’m drunk and I’m an excellent friend.

This is where things start to change. This is where Sophie, as we know her – fun, loves to learn about other people, doesn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable – sheds her outer layers, Hulk style, and reveals…EGO. I blame it on the French conversation.

“Jasmine,” I say, as I push her into a corner. “Let’s discuss my talent.”

Jasmine, my unofficial manager, is a good sport.

“I know I’m no Lady Gaga,” I say. “But don’t get me wrong… I’m amazing.”

Jasmine nods. She takes it all in.

“Don’t you think I could be Lady Gaga?”

Jasmine is still nodding, which is smart. Ego doesn’t react well to disparate opinions.

“I don’t play an instrument, which poses a major setback. Why didn’t I ever learn? Do you believe you can teach an old dog new tricks? What if my fingers are too short and stout to reach the keys? I’m nothing without an instrument. But I still have a lot to offer. I’m amazing.”

Before Jasmine can speak up, Ego starts belting Tony Bennett songs. Because apparently, Ego is a 1950s man with a propensity for scotch and a heart that he left in San Francisco…

In retelling this story, I try to imagine how I would have felt, walking by a young woman belting Tony Bennett and double-fisting plastic cups of champagne. Would I have felt concerned? Would I have chalked her up to just another theater-kid-gone-bad and been on my way? (I always put myself in other people’s shoes, which is a major difference between me and Ego, who just wears her own shoes and talks shit about other people’s.)

Poor Jasmine wasn’t Ego’s only victim that night. A sleeping Brogan also got a good dose, when Ego came home, stood on the stairs, and belted the loud bridge of “Give Your Heart a Break” by Demi Lovato. Ego then followed the performance with a, “That was so fucking good,” and a, “Sorry, Brogan!” Spoiler alert: Ego was not sorry.

I’ve been known to dance and sing on tables because I really like performing. But Ego takes it to the next level. Ego congratulates herself for a job well-done and then beats congratulations out of her friends. Ego’s the kind of bitch who will watch a stranger hail a cab and then rush in front of that stranger to steal said cab, while wearing a pair of stilettos and smoking a long cigarette.

Ego also does not tolerate interlopers. We learned this over the weekend, when a man tried to talk to me and Ego had something to say about it.

This man – let’s call him, Greg – asked me if I went to that particular bar often.

“Sometimes, not really,” I said, hoping he’d leave me alone. I wasn’t in the mood for chatter. Also, I do go to that bar often, but I wasn’t about to tell him my business.

“Cool,” he said. “What are your hobbies?”

I hate when people ask me this. It makes me feel like I’m back in high school, feverishly signing up for “Shakespeare seminars” and “invasive species removal community service” projects, all in an effort to fill out my resume. What’s an adult “hobby,” anyway? Cooking stuff in my crock pot? Showering every day and complaining about it? Eating bagels? Please, enlighten me.

I put on a smile. “I’m a writer,” I said. “I write.”

“What kind of a writer?” he asked.

“A funny one,” I said.

This really got him.

“Wow,” he said. “I wouldn’t have expected that.”

It was at this moment that I could feel her. Ego was crowning, if you will. Getting ready to wade through that river of margarita and break up this party.

“Well you should have,” I said. “I’m hilarious.”

WHOA. WAIT A SECOND. WHAT IS SHE EVEN DOING? Did she just compliment herself in the form of a blunt statement? Shouldn’t he be running for the fucking hills?

He moved in closer.

“What else do you do?”

If he wanted a sexual answer, that was not what he got.

“I’m an incredible singer,” I said.

At this point, Jasmine – who was standing next to me, keeping her head above the fray (it pays to be tall) – turned to fully face me and give me a look that said I should stop talking.

“I spent my entire adolescence singing competitively,” I said.

“Like American Idol?” he asked.

“No,” I answered. “Opera.”

Cue the lights! Cue the music! Ego had arrived, and she was wearing a red gown and exiting a horse-drawn carriage. (For the record: yes, I sang classical music, but I wasn’t onstage marrying Figaro, for Christ’s sake.)

Ego persisted.

“I’m not one of those people who says ‘I’m a singer,’ and then sings a cutesty version of “Africa” by Toto. I’m legit,” I said. Had anyone asked? No. But Ego takes it upon herself to put down other people, so she can stand out.

(So sorry to talk shit about Toto like this, but I feel like Toto would understand.)

“Okay, then sing ‘Set Fire to the Rain,’ by Adele,” Greg said.

Ego loves a challenge. She started belting right in the middle of the damn bar.

Jasmine called an Uber and took Ego’s ass straight home, where Ego settled down enough to watch SNL and eat vegan cookies.

Ego is like a fine wine. Most of the time, she needs to stay on the bar cart. She’s not appropriate for every occasion, and, if ingested in bulk, she might do more harm than good. However, there is something to be said for letting Ego do the talking.

The day after Ego set fire to the rain, I got a text from Greg.

“Lol saved your name as ‘Sophie Adele.’ Still love that you had no hesitation. What cool shit you up to today?”

I didn’t respond because I wasn’t into it and I believe in letting things lie. (Which is why I willingly give out my phone number, even if I know it’s a “no” for me, dog?) But I appreciated the compliment. And I think Ego did, too.

*A note from Ego: I didn’t care. I was too busy practicing piano.














Let Her Eat Cake

24 Jan


I recently found out I’m allergic to everything.

When I say “everything,” I mean everything that’s edible and that you’d want to swallow. (I’m also allergic to dogs, cats, misogynists, horses, maple trees, fuckbois, pigs, dust, mold, ragweed, tobacco, and conservatives, but those go without saying.)

I’d give you the full list, but it’s more fun if we play a guessing game, with commentary. Please note that the following isn’t even a comprehensive list. I left off like, eight things because I got tired of typing. I also have carpal tunnel. It’s not a big deal. I’m fine. Really.

Anyway, here’s the aforementioned list:

Gluten? Yes.

Milk? Yes.

Eggs? Yes.

Cashews? You bet.

Peanuts? Look away.

Walnuts? THE HORROR.

Apples? You’ll never shit again.

Asparagus? Only if you want your insides to crumble.

Pineapple? You’ll feel like the roasted pig at a luau.

Turkey? Gobble gobble, put it down, girl.

Pork? Oink oink, you’re the pig at a slaughterhouse.

Cinnamon? Kiss that apple pie GOODBYE.

Pepper? The spice of life is the spice that kills you.

Pepper? The veggie is just as bad as the spice.

Corn? Run for your GODDAMN LIFE.

Potato? More like potat-NO, am I right?

Olives? Put them AWAY, you Greek wannabe bitch.

Lemon? Let’s not and say we did.

Garlic? You’re a vampire.

Celery? Thank God, this shit is nasty.

Popcorn? Well that just sucks.

A few weeks ago, I went to an allergist. I told him I have trouble breathing; I can’t sleep; my head always hurts; my nose is stuffy; I feel lethargic; I have eczema on my elbow; and that I have this constant need for attention that’s at-odds with my need for hearth and home because I’m a Cancer/Leo cusp. (That last one was a complaint I threw in for free, to see if this allergist could double as a therapist or an astrologist. It turns out, he can’t. But that’s OK.)

I’ve always had seasonal allergies. My entire family is defined by “seasonal allergies.” We pass around Claritin tablets like they’re crescent rolls at a potluck. “Did you get some? Do you want one? Pass it to Sophie, she wants some. Vin, leave some for the rest of us!”

I just thought allergies were normal. One time, in elementary school, my friend told me she “didn’t have allergies.” I told her that’s impossible and that everyone has allergies, but some people’s allergies aren’t “activated” until they’re older. This is partially true, but I was for sure talking out of my ass because I wanted to be correct. (That’s the Leo in me.)

It turns out that some people do not, in fact, have allergies. Some people wake up without green mucus and a raging headache. Some people don’t bend over to stretch and think their heads are going to explode into teeny, tiny pieces that scatter across the room.

My mother is one of these people. She just wakes up and “feels fine.” She gets up and “gets going.” It’s hard to be around. I wake up and “can’t open my eyes.” I wake up and “wonder if there’s a maple tree in my bed, or if he’s just happy to see me.”

Because there aren’t any maple trees in my bed (a separate issue that we can discuss over wine sometime), I decided to go to an allergist.

Visit #1:

The allergist walked in and I could tell he was prepared to treat me like any other patient.

“So you think you have allergies,” he said.

I rubbed my hands together and prepared to launch into my “woe is me” soliloquy.

“…and that’s how my fear of commitment began,” I said. (Every time I visit the doctor – literally any doctor – I find a way to make it into a therapy appointment. Does this mean I need therapy? Don’t answer that.)

My doctor nodded and listened. He decided to test me for seasonal allergies.

“Just a few needles. We won’t do the whole shebang.”

A very kind lady named Helga pricked my arms several times, and then filled my arm holes with allergens. (Kinky, I know.) She told me a lot of personal stories that I honestly had trouble understanding, due to her very thick Romanian accent. (Sorry, Helga. I still love ya!)

I waited 45 minutes for the results. My arms started itching. They turned red. I figured this was all part of the testing…

My doctor walked into the room and laughed – laughed! He then immediately ordered the rest of the “shebang”: three more tests.

Visit #2:

More talks with Helga. Did you know her daughter sells real-estate on the black market? Did you know this was a thing? More pricking. More laughter.

Visit #3:

More talks with Helga. Did you know she hates that the office only plays elevator music and that this is hard for her because she likes fun work environments, like black-market real estate sellers? More pricking. Less laughter.

Visit #4:

My doctor walked in. He looked at me. I looked at him.

“You are one of the most allergic people I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Really?” I gushed.

This brought me no shortage of pride because I love being a superlative, no matter positive or negative.

He told me to try to avoid all of these things, but especially gluten (because why not) and dairy. Then he sent me on my way.

Flash forward six weeks. I’m fine. I’ve been pretty good about avoiding gluten. I ask restaurants if they have gluten-free pasta, and if they do, I don’t order it. Cheese habits have remained the same. I now use almond milk. I’m feeling good.

It’s the 25th birthday of my friend, Jasmine. We have a late brunch and I eat half a bagel with hummus. It’s a whole wheat everything bagel (my favorite). I figure it’s all in good fun – my body will adjust. It knows what’s up. So then I have cake. And by “cake,” I mean cake. Buttercream frosting, moist and delicious. It’s amazing. I’m in Heaven. I’m finally myself again.

Two hours and several rumblings later, I’m catching up with friends at a house party, when suddenly, I have to excuse myself.

“Is she wasted?” people wonder.

“Is she crying?” others ask.

I’m not wasted. And I’m not a tearful drunk. I am, however, allergic to gluten, which is beyond evident as I take over the entire bathroom apartment wing like Beyoncé shutting down a hospital to give birth.

“She had gluten,” my friend, Charlette, sheepishly explained to the hosts.

Needless to say, we didn’t make it to the bar that night. But man, was that cake good.



The Three-Hour Mole

17 Sep


Complete the following sentence: “I recently spent three hours at the dermatologist’s office because…”

… I drunkenly passed out and they didn’t realize for three hours.

… the elevator malfunctioned and we were all stuck in suite 600 for three hours, until a team of firemen could finally – and dramatically – set us free.

… I met my future husband (one of the firemen) and we couldn’t stop staring into each other’s eyes and swapping previously secret childhood stories.

These are the ONLY three scenarios which, in my opinion, would lead to me spending three hours with my dermatologist. Which do you think is correct??

The answer? None of them. NONE of them happened.

I recently spent three hours at the dermatologist’s office because I was getting a tiny mole removed. A. Tiny. Mole.

“It will take ten to 15 minutes,” they said.

“Nothing you haven’t done before,” they said.

“Come at 2pm,” they said.

I’d like to preface this story with a story about my first visit to this particular doctor.

Because I’m a walking freckle with anxiety about my freckles, I decided I needed to find me a good ‘ol dermatologist out here in LA – a place where walking from the parking lot to the grocery store leaves my arms red as a diaper rash. I went on line and did “research,” until I found one who seemed… fine. (My taste in doctors is equally critical to my taste in men.) I booked an appointment for a (summer) Friday, and felt really accomplished and good about myself because I may drink like a fish and eat cake(s) for dinner, but my skin is fucking SAFE.

The day before my appointment, I received a text from an unknown mobile device. Maybe it’s someone who’s going to profess his love to me? I thought. Had I recently met any new romantic prospects? No. But I strongly believe in the Hollywood-promoted notion that random men from your past or present could text you at any moment and totally change your life, so I am always on high alert for that life-changing text.

The text was from my new dermatologist’s secretary. Let’s call her Tiffany. Tiffany was texting to “confirm” my appointment. I was taken aback. On the one hand, this was a very modern touch. On the other, it felt slightly invasive. Were we friends? Was I to refer to her as “gal pal”? Would drinks be the next step?

I responded with a phone call because I’m an old biddy who likes to make sure my new “doctors” aren’t just men in basements. Call me archaic.

Tiffany didn’t answer. I didn’t bother to leave a message, figuring I’d try to call again later, when oh? What was this? A text message.

“Hi, Sophie. Did you call?”

She couldn’t answer my phone call, but she could text me. I felt like I was communicating with a teenage babysitter:

“Ya, totally, I take care of my little brother all the time and I love 2 play w/ kids, c u soon Mrs. Spiers! ”

Strike one.

Tiffany told me free parking could be found in the “Office Depot parking lot, behind the building.” I thought it weird that a respectable doctor’s office would recommend parking illegally at an Office Depot. But nevertheless, I persisted.

I walked into this doctor’s office and was immediately struck by the paintings of naked women with giant breasts. What did these have to do with skin health? Why were they so naked? Why were their breasts so large? I had plenty of time to ponder because the doctor was 30 minutes behind.

Strike two.

Once inside the exam room, I finally saw the tall pile of silicone implants, and was able to put two-and-two together: this particular doctor was also a plastic surgeon.

Two strikes. One strike too few to not return and fight skin cancer.

Flash forward three weeks and I’m coming back to have a tiny mole removed that he told me “looked abnormal, but was probably nothing.” Better to be safe than sorry, he said, seeing how he knew a guy who “thought something was nothing and then died of a melanoma that was in his ass crack, and it wasn’t like he was ever in the sun because he was an accountant.” Okay. Sure.

I hurried to get to my appointment on time and opted to park at a meter because the Office Depot felt far away and besides, this shouldn’t take longer than an hour, anyway.

Once inside, I waited. And I waited. I stared at the large breasted women on the walls, who stared back at me like I was one of them. I felt superior because mine are real. Then I realized I was in a competition with paintings of naked women and decided I’d be better off distracting myself with Instagram.

I was on Instagram for an hour. My vision was going blurry. My throat was dry. I couldn’t remember my own name. (Luckily, my last name is in my Instagram handle, so that at least solved part of the puzzle.)

I sheepishly exited the patient room and approached young, bright Tiffany.

“Um, do you know where in the pecking order I am? Because I’ve been waiting for almost two hours, now.”

She looked at me like I was the first person she’d ever met who wasn’t okay waiting two hours for a doctor.

“Let me check,” she said.

She looked down – probably at nothing more than her empty lunch plate – and then said I was next. The doctor was just doing “something” and then I’d be next. (Screwing a nurse? Making a pot-roast? Planning world domination? We’ll never know.)

I scurried down to my car to add money to my meter. One hour more – that should be enough.

Back to the patient room. Thirty more minutes went by. My phone had dwindled to a mere 25%. I was sweating.

Finally, the doctor came in.

“Okay,” he said. “What are you here for, again?”

At that moment, my brain pictured a sledgehammer coming down on every single one of his precious silicon titties and just spewing juices all over the goddam office.

I told him why I was there. He said he was going to get “paperwork.”

Another 30 minutes went by. I was texting so furiously to my mother that I actually think I dislocated a thumb. She said I should “demand to be seen.” I said that LA is a city so full of people “demanding to be seen,” that the threat literally means nothing.

Nevertheless, I wandered out into the hallway for a second time. I lied and told Tiffany I needed to go and that if the doctor couldn’t see me, I’d need to leave. To me, I sounded firm and annoyed. In reality, I’m sure I sounded like a yoga teacher, calmly making *suggestions* for poses.

Finally, the doctor re-emerged. He sat down, and just when I thought we were getting down to business… he started texting. On his fucking phone.

In my mind, I took my giant sledgehammer and smashed his phone, and then proceeded to smash the damn TV that kept playing videos of nose job success stories.

Then, the doctor told me it was time. What followed was perhaps the most extra medical procedure to ever occur.

In the past, doctors have simply sat me down, shot me up with Novocain, and then removed my tiny ass moles right there in the exam room. But oh no. This doctor needed to take me to a special room, full of wires and tubing and monitors, lay me on a special table, dress himself in head-to-toe scrubs, put on those x-ray glasses, and then take my blood pressure. For a moment, I worried I’d accidentally booked a colonoscopy. (When I realized nothing was going up my butt, I felt a slight sense of relief.)

As he did the procedure, he kept saying, “Mhm. Mhm. Right,” like my tiny-ass mole was telling him some long-ass story about the time it went to Vegas and got a little too drunk and then yelled at everyone and ruined the trip, but didn’t see why it was its fault because everyone was drinking and besides, it was Vegas…

When he was all done, he said everything had gone “well,” which I already fucking knew, seeing how I’d been completely awake for the procedure and had heard him commentate the entire process like a scientific Jerry Remy.

Tiffany booked me a follow-up appointment for two weeks later. I smiled and waved, and then went home to eat a salad alone, in the dark. (It was the lunch I hadn’t had time to eat because I was rushing to my appointment.)

This week, Tiffany texted to confirm my follow-up appointment.

“Hi Elvira,” she said. “Confirming your 1pm appointment for tomorrow.”

It was at that moment I knew I’d rather gamble the results of my mole removal than return to that office.

I hope Elvira made it to her appointment.



18 Jun


Today, I called to cancel an appointment with a plumber. Except, instead of saying I needed to “cancel,” I said the following:

“Hi there, I need to postpone this appointment.”

“Sure. May I ask why?”

“I’m going away and won’t be needing this service.”

“So you want to cancel? Or postpone? Those are two different things.”

First of all: rude. Maybe English is my second language? Maybe my three kids won’t stop screaming in the back of the car, so I jumbled my words? Maybe I just ran over a dog and am flustered? Maybe I don’t fucking care?

Except here’s the thing: I do care. I did care. I was trying to be nice. I felt guilty for canceling on this particular plumber and hiring a different one, and didn’t have the heart to tell this man I simply didn’t want him.

But, in trying to be nice and use gentle words like “postpone,” and “rethink,” and “reassess,” I complicated his life. And my life. I wasted his time. I confused him.

This got me thinking: how often do I rely on niceties, when I could – and should – just blurt out the honest truth? It turns out, all the fucking time!

Because I’m a Millennial who’s constantly looking for ways to embrace change and self-improvement, I’ve created a list of such instances.

  1. “Would it be possible…”

“Would.” Conditional tense. Reserved for instances when I feel like I’m overstepping, and so try to lessen the blunt force trauma that I – apparently – assume is inflicted on everyone, anytime I ask for anything.

Niceties and their translations:

  • “Would it be possible to schedule this appointment for tomorrow?”
  • “I’m only free at 2pm tomorrow. Book me for then or I’ll scream.”


  • “Would you be willing to scoot down?”
  • “As nice as your ass feels pressed against my ass, and as much as I love when your sweat mixes with my sweat, I need you to move your ass far, far away. To another galaxy, if possible.”


  • “Would you mind resending that email?”
  • “Resend that email NOW because you didn’t send the attachment, but instead a slew of letters and numbers that mean absolutely nothing to me.”


  • “Would you happen to know anyone who could help me out?”
  • “I don’t feel like driving myself to and from my colonoscopy while under anesthesia. Call your friends. Post to FB. I don’t care, just FIND ME SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP.”
  1. “Thanks so much.”

An expression of gratitude. Used when you feel you’ve been dangerously blunt (for a woman, anyway,) and need to swiftly right your wrongs at the end of an email/text/message.

Niceties and their translations:

  • “May I take my lunch break? Again, thanks so much for my salary.”
  • “I recently started eating avocado toast, and that shit leaves you hungry by 1pm, so I need to eat a salad, or I’ll scream.”


  • “Please tell him he can call me on Wednesday at noon. Thanks so much for setting this up.”
  • “This is your job, Karen. I owe you nothing and you owe me everything. Make sure he calls me.”


  • “Please keep your dog off my lawn. Thanks so much for hosting that neighborhood potluck, by the way.”
  • “Don’t let your dog shit on my lawn. And P.S., your deviled eggs tasted like bowling balls full of seagull poop.”


  • “Please remove me from your call list. Thanks so much.”
  • “I don’t want to update my Google listing so go sit on a tack.”
  1. “Sorry”

Used either a.) When you can’t hear, but don’t want to place blame on the other involved party, or b.) When you’re not sure what to do, so you just start apologizing because everything is probably your fault, anyway.

Niceties and their translations:

  • “Sorry, I’m stuck in a wind tunnel.” *Is sitting in her living room*. “Could you speak up?”
  • “I don’t speak goddamn mouse. Use your vocal chords or I’m hanging up.”


  • “I won’t be able to make it tonight. Sorry, let’s plan for next week!”
  • “I bought this giant cookie the other day and I really just want to finish it while bingeing The Crown. Let’s reset for some time in the future when you’re different and I’m different and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company.”


  • “I’m sorry, I seem to have forgotten your name. It’s been a crazy few weeks for me!”
  • “Drugs, am I right? Susan. I’m just going to call you Susan.”


  • “Truly sorry for this mix-up. Please let me know if you need any other information.”
  • “This wasn’t my fault. Honestly, I’m not sure you’re qualified to do your job. Maybe you should quit?”

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Well, maybe not equal, but certainly opposite. Why, then, do I so often go with the nicety, when I have a translation all suited up and ready? What would be the harm in me speaking my truth? I get yelled at all the time by strangers, and am I sitting over here sobbing? (Yes.)

Some people go through life saying just enough to get what they want and need. Like my grandfather. When he orders at a restaurant, it goes like this:

“Salad. Caesar. IPA. On draft.”

His tone is flat and to-the-point. He doesn’t beg for his food and drink, or ask if it would be acceptable to get extra anchovies on his salad. He just says what he wants. Sure, some waiters look at him like he just slapped them across the face. But really, what’s so wrong with curt, fragmented ordering, spoken with a thickly intimidating New York accent? Do we really need to fluff it up?

My grandmother has a similar approach. Growing up, she taught me to order without asking.

“You don’t need to ask for your food. It’s babyish. You’re at a restaurant and the purpose of a restaurant is to bring you food. Just say what you want. Oh, and don’t just ‘stick with water.’ You’re having a meal. Get a drink.”

She credits her approach to being from Brooklyn, where a good waiter gets in, gets out, and doesn’t ask you where you got your blouse or how you’re enjoying your time in “the Big Apple.” I credit her approach to losing hundreds of dollars to iced tea and Diet Coke expenses.

When it comes down to it, I want to be a Brooklyn waiter. I want to say what I mean, and if people have follow-up questions/concerns, they can ask me. Maybe I’ll answer. Maybe I won’t.

Because why “postpone” when you can CANCEL?




Lock and (No) Key

1 Jun


The following three sentences apply to my weekend:

  1. I was locked out of my home this weekend.
  2. I locked myself out of my home this weekend.
  3. This weekend, while wearing furry slippers and indecent clothing, I spastically neglected to leave the front door open, and exited my apartment sans keys or phone.

The above phrases are all true, but one of them is slightly truer than the others. This is a prime example of *tailored messaging*, which is something I learned from a four-year career as a marketing intern. I can’t sew for shit, but tailoring? Tailoring I can do.

In order to lock oneself out of one’s house, several criteria have to fall into – or out of – place.

First, one needs to have doors that lock automatically. Under normal circumstances, these doors would be a fabulous security benefit of paying one’s entire salary in rent costs. But these were not normal circumstances.

Second, one must be excellent at ignoring one’s inner voice. You know, that voice that says, “Maybe don’t go talk to that man dressed as a clown,” or, “You should probably bring your keys outside with you, you know, just in case.” Ignoring this voice takes years of practice and the consistent inability to learn from mistakes.

Third, one must be blessed with a relentless disconnect between one’s brain and one’s body. If you’re the type of person who tries to throw a baseball to the left but always ends up throwing it to the right, then you’re a prime lockout candidate.

Here’s what happened.

The day was Friday. The hour was 2pm. The weekend was Memorial Day.

I was running around, getting ready for the arrival of my sister. I’d bleached my entire apartment from top-to-bottom, which is probably why my brain was fuzzy and demanded I eat hummus in my skivvies immediately.

The hummus I’d just purchased, however, was still in my car. And my car was outside. So I grabbed my car keys, opened my front door, and then – like Tom Brady at the end of the last Super Bowl – neglected to release my doorknob. I pulled the door shut and it locked. I frantically ran to the back door, which was also locked. I reached for my mobile, but my mobile did not reach back. It was still inside, along with my dignity.

I was locked out.

I walked out onto the sidewalk and wondered if now was the time to renounce everything and start walking cross country, à la Forrest Gump. I looked down at my Ugg slippers and decided walking to the Patrol Office would suffice.

The man at the front desk listened to my sob story and said I couldn’t possibly be from Boston because a Boston girl would know how to open a door with a credit card. He was right. I’m from the Boston suburbs, where we only know how to use credit cards to pay locksmiths. I was ill-trained for adulthood.

The patrol officer said she’d send someone to open my door, but that it would take a while. I returned to my stoop and waited.

It’s a funny thing, being stripped down to your skivvies and unable to access the “web.” It really makes you notice your surroundings and think about things.

Like neighbors. Nobody values neighbors anymore. Had I befriended my neighbors, I may have felt comfortable leaving them with keys to my place. Unfortunately for me, I burned that bridge when I punched my wall and yelled, “STOP CLICK-CLACKING THOSE DAMN HEELS,” like a Larry David impersonator. Leaving keys was never an option for me.

Or what about birds? Did you know they’re still singing? Do people even listen to them anymore? Like Miley Cyrus, they’re sounding better with age, and I really think everyone should tune in.

And the flute. I’m not sure why I used to complain about it so much. It’s a fun little instrument. Sure, it gets clogged with spit, but don’t we all? Maybe I’ll start playing it again.

And hot dogs covered in cheese. I never do eat cheese hot dogs, anymore. I used to love them as a kid. When did I lose myself?

And the Olympics. Have those happened yet? Did we win?

And roses. Do people still give each other roses? I’ve never received a rose. Maybe I’m unlovable. Am I unlovable? How can I know?

And my mother. I’m going to start being nicer to my mother.

And that stain on my carpet. I’m finally going to clean that stain on my carpet.

And Vodka gummy bears. Why don’t they sell these in bars?

And Playdoh. Why does it smell like that?

And tiny dogs? With everyone buying tiny dogs, what happens to all the big ones?

And pie. I could really use some pie.

The patrol officer pulled up to the curb and turned down his music. He got out of the car and laughed. At me? With me? Who’s to know?

“You caught me coming from lunch,” he said. “This one’s on me.”

I had no idea paying for entry was even on the table. Don’t I pay enough for those damn self-locking doors?

I thanked the kind sir and ran to my phone. I opened Buzzfeed and typed, “Am I Unlovable?” into the quiz section search bar.

Ahh. Normalcy.








Spin, Span, Spun

20 Apr


I’ve started spinning.

Not discs, but thank you for thinking I’m that cool.

I’ve started attending spin classes.

I want the record to show that I did spin way before Soul Cycle, or Flywheel, or Soaring Spirit Spoke (I made that one up) were a thing – back when all you needed were a pair of sneakers and the willingness to subject your ass to hard, little seats. I spun with the best of them. (That was also the summer I discovered almond butter. It was a fast-paced and exciting time in my life.)

And now, six years later, I am again spinning. But this time, there are eucalyptus towels and free bananas.

Walking into my first LA spin class was like walking into a Scientology meeting, or into The Bachelor house as a contestant. I knew I was about to make myself vulnerable to a cult; I was nervous, but also hoping the experience would change my life; and I was craving wine. (I guess that’s uniquely applicable to The Bachelor analogy, but regardless, it’s a truth I feel like sharing.)

First of all, the class was at 7:45pm. Nighttime. I have a very strict, “No workouts after 6pm” policy (which I began after I once worked out at 7pm and hated it), so I was already skeptical.

Secondly, it turns out that spinning is incredibly rule-bound. There are a lot of rules. And breaking them does not bode well for newcomers.

Allow me to explain.

First rule: Don’t park in the designated lot until the designated time.

I am never early to anything, so the fact that I managed to arrive 25 minutes early to exercise was mind-blowing. The valet did not agree.

“You’re early. Too early for parking.”

“What time do I need to get here?”


*Sophie looks at watch. It’s 7:17.

“I’ll let it go this time. This time.”

*Sophie and valet stare each other down. Their upper lips twitch from the energy of their power struggle.

Give me a fucking break. What’s going to happen to this lot if I park in it seven minutes early? Will it turn into a pumpkin? Will I turn into a pumpkin? Will we all just be orange and without limbs? Try moving this car, I dare you.

Second rule: Pay for your shit.

After being scolded for my early arrival, I accidentally left my wallet in the car. It turns out that paying for a class isn’t enough to actually allow you to do the class. You also need to pay $2 to rent shoes. Okay, fine, I’m willing. Here’s…nope. Here’s nothing but my charm and the shirt on my back because I left my wallet in the car. (A likely excuse for a vagabond who signed up via ClassPass and not a legit membership.)

They let me go. This time.

Third rule: Know your number.

Upon arrival, the front desk assigned me a bike number, which I promptly forgot. Fifty-one? Thirty-one? Oh well, it’s all the same between sweaty, fitness-conscious friends!

I put on my *cycle shoes* and hobbled my way over to bike 51. Fifty-one? Thirty-one? Who’s to know!

I got busy adjusting the height of my bike, which had clearly been expecting a Redwood tree as a passenger. I was on. Then off. Then on again. Then off again. I broke a sweat just adjusting the seat.

And then a lovely older couple came to join me in the very last row. They thought I was on the wrong bike. No way, friends! I am most certainly on bike 51. (Fifty-one? Thirty-one?) They were friendly and willing to move over. Definitely friendlier than the girl who proceeded to accuse them of being on the wrong bikes. She just kind of stared at them the way you stare at a puppy after shitting the carpet. You made a mistake this time, but I’m willing to forgive you because you’re new.

I couldn’t take it. I had to come clean.

“I think I’m on the wrong bike,” I told the woman at the front desk. She furrowed her brow.

“Let me see what I can do.”

She typed. She calculated. She called a lawyer. She called an accountant. She called Joe Biden. (Joe always knows what to do.) She called her mom.

Could we get this girl onto the right bike? And if so…how?

She looked up, sweaty but relieved. “Looks like you can keep bike 51.”


Was I meant to cry with joy? Put the kibosh on the beginnings of my will?

“Cool, thanks,” I said.

Fourth rule: Don’t quit. Or we’ll find you.

Fitness instructors are meant to be intense and motivational. I get it. And I appreciate it! It takes a certain kind of person to convince many people that you genuinely care for their health and well-being. It’s definitely not a job I could ever do…

“Just quit while you’re ahead, Beth. You look miserable.”

“Shouldn’t you be at home with your kids, Jason?”

“Oh, it’s past 6pm? Didn’t realize. Mind if I open this bottle while you squat, Rose? Actually, just join me, who cares.”

Our instructor was big. And tough. And loud. He wanted us all to push it. He yelled at those who slowed down. He reminded us all of our purpose.

Meanwhile, in row five, seat 51, I was sweating off my last layer of dignity and wondering how loudly I’d have to yell, “FIRE!” to be heard above the roar of the music. (Too loudly. It would’ve upset my nodes.)

He eyed one slacker. Let’s call her, Daisy. He made Daisy pedal, and told the rest of us we could stop. I felt thrown by this cruelty. How embarrassing! How abusive!

(It turns out that it was Daisy’s birthday and she’d taken eleven shots of vodka before class, so he was punishing her. Still punitive, but also kind of funny!)

Fifth rule: Every. Moment. Counts.

Our teacher kept telling us that every. Moment. Counts. You have to give every moment of your day the same amount of intensity. You have to never let up. You have to always be the best you can be.

I have several thoughts.

Every moment counts? That moment I spent today analyzing my two pointer fingers and wondering if one is fatter than the other? I sure hope that doesn’t count. Or those ten seconds I spent in the elevator at work, making bets (with myself) about how long I could stay in an elevator without food and water? Where does that fall on the spectrum?

Always be the best you can be? Sure, I’ll pick up the trash that’s rolling around the parking lot because hello, global warming. However, I reserve the right to give a phat ass stank eye to the valet in said parking lot because hello, it was only seven minutes. This is me, and that is my best offer.

When the class was over, I was drenched. My ass hurt. My face hurt. My fat pointer finger hurt. (Probably from carrying all that extra weight!) I had accidentally touched the sweaty arm of the girl next to me and was kind of grossed out. But I was also inspired.

I don’t really buy into the whole, giving your all at every moment of every day concept, but there’s nothing I love more than being part of a group. And as I looked around at all the drenched faces that were somehow – remarkably – able to keep their makeup intact, despite the journey we’d all endured, I felt like part of a group.

I grabbed a eucalyptus towel for the road.

It turns out, you’re not actually supposed to take the towels with you..but Lord knows I deserved it.

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