Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Litchfield: The Grocery Gamble.

There's a trend that I just have to address. It involves the kitchen at our beach house in Litchfield. Lately (well, probably all along..it's just now I'm writing about it) I've noticed that it's common for family members and friends to arrive at the house, pour a cocktail, and...forget about food.

Case in point: This past weekend, my mom, her best friend Lorraine, and I decided to hang out in Litchfield for a couple days. We all got there on Friday afternoon and--you guessed it--immediately busted out the beer, wine, and spiced rum.

"What are we having for dinner?" I eventually asked, already two drinks in.

"Uhh, well, I brought us this roast," Lorraine declared, pulling it out of her cooler. "And here's some...potato salad. But it'd be nice to have bread, wouldn't it? Or some kind of real side?"

We peered into the freezer and were greeted with a loaf of freezer-burned Sara Lee. It was not appealing.

"Hmm," Lorraine mused. "Well, I suppose we don't need bread."

"Someone should have gone to the grocery store," I sighed. "Why does this always happen? It's like, everyone gets here, starts drinking, and we just have to make do with whatever is here because everyone is too blitzed to go to the PIGGLY WIGGLY!"

Another time, my poet-friends and I started imbibing and woke up the next morning, famished and craving a hearty breakfast. Of course, there was nothing in the fridge or the freezer except for old biscuits and American cheese. Not even eggs. And while we laughed at ourselves while eating our eggless, cruddy, cheese biscuits, I know we were all secretly disappointed.

So, now that I've gone and made this issue public by blogging about it, I think I'm going to have to fix the problem. Therefore I solemnly swear, the next time I go to Litchfield, I am stopping first in Pawley's Island to buy the essentials. After all, drinks are best accompanied by food.

Y'all hold me to it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Urge to be Honest.

On this blog, particularly lately, I fight the urge to be 100% honest. After all, I know that most people who read it don't REALLY care about me and my inner thoughts; they're just looking for something clever or funny to peruse over a morning bagel.

Well, maybe it's because my life has been so crazy lately, or maybe it's because I don't do that much writing in "real" diaries and journals these days, but I've been tempted to just spill the beans here about what I'm thinking. No filter (which my boss claims I don't have anyway). No white-washing it for public internet consumption.

So here goes: I've had a lot of change this year. I've ended a relationship, I've contemplated ending my housing situation and moving to other parts of the Lowcountry, I've started a new job, I've even talked about getting out of Charleston for good. And yes, there was the whole phone thing. (By the way, for those who don't know, I returned the iPhone and got an Android. Crazy, I know.)

Moreover, the iPhone/Android stuff is just the tip of a crazy iceberg. I can't seem to decide on anything lately..in fact, I've dubbed 2012 "the year of indecision." Every time I think something is nailed down, I end up second guessing it. The crappy part is, I've always relied heavily on my own intuition, whether it was about situations, people, whatever. Now I'm questioning my intuition, wondering if it has led me astray.

But I think the REAL truth of the matter is that I have too much noise around me to hear it. I think if I just sit quietly, sans smartphone and computer and other people, I can hear it. The problem is, once I step back into the noise, I forget what the quiet voice says. See, back when I was a lonely child with very few friends or lovers or technological distractions--back in the nineties--I had no trouble hearing the quiet voice.

It's harder now that I'm grown, with tons of other things going on. And my quiet voice didn't used to have to work so hard.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

iPhone iNdecision.

Last week I bought an iPhone. The BlackBerry, unfortunately, stopped taking a charge. I don't know what it is with charge ports and me, but that's always been the death of my phones.

I literally spent two whole afternoons in the Sprint store. The first afternoon, I went with the intention of getting my Berry fixed, or maybe getting another phone, although admittedly I wasn't emotionally prepared for another phone. The Berry had been with me for two years, and even though people are always telling me that BlackBerries are "on the way out" and that iPhones and Androids are enormously superior devices, I treasured my phone. 

So, I guess that emotional attachment is the reason I behaved so ridiculously at the Sprint store. I say ridiculously because, well, I'm positive that by the time I left with my new iPhone 4 on Thursday afternoon, the employees were ready to smack their foreheads in exasperation. The assistant manager, Jimmy, had spent many patient minutes explaining to me why I should buy an iPhone and not another BlackBerry or another unpopular, underdog phone. 

"It's an investment," he said. "When the software updates happen for iPhones, you'll be included." 

I sauntered over to the Android choices, unconvinced, and played with one Android that had both a keyboard and a touch screen. "Maybe I like this one...it still has a real keyboard," I mused. 

"No," Jimmy insisted. "I mean, if you want to get an Android, get the [insert name of fancy, brand new Android whose name I forgot]."

I said that maybe I should forget the whole damn thing and just have the BlackBerry repaired or replaced or whatever the hell. The salespeople all shook their heads. "That's throwing money away!"

So when I left Sprint on Wednesday, the first day, I was thoroughly puzzled. I knew I would have to do something, though, so I went back on Thursday with the mission of leaving with either a working new phone or a work order for my old trusty. 

Still, I couldn't make up my mind. "I'll be back in twenty minutes," I said to Jimmy. "I need to see if the universe will give me a sign." 

"You're putting a lot of thought into this," he sighed. "Most people just grab something and go!" 

I walked around Town Centre, soliciting the advice of perfect strangers in Bed Bath & Beyond, American Eagle, and Banana Republic. I asked folks of all ages, genders, and technological levels. 

"I need your advice," I'd begin, with the salesperson of each shop thinking that I'd be asking about the fit of my jeans or a new, fall-friendly scent. But I will say that once people realized I was just asking for advice on my life, they were still friendly and helpful. 

In the end I went with the iPhone and I'm pretty happy with it. I'm still not used to typing on a touch screen but everyone says I'll get used to it. Plus, downloading apps for everything from Nietzsche quotes to closet organization tips takes the sting out of not having a keyboard.

I'd have to say that the most rewarding part of the whole experience was not exiting the Sprint shop with my new phone. It was talking with perfect strangers and getting their input. It reminded me that when I feel frustrated, icky, or flat-out alone, I can seek out the perspective of people around me. And maybe have my perspective changed a little.