Smart is the New Pretty: For the Dogs

By |July 9th, 2014|Smart Is the New Pretty, WhyDid Wisdom|

ocean dogWe take special care to ensure that we don’t scorch our skin in the sun by slathering on SPF.  We tote around jugs of water to prevent dehydration in the midst of inclement climates, but what about our ever loyal, very hairy best pals?  They come along for the ride because isn’t that better than being stuck at home in the a/c?  Maybe not if you aren’t just as steadfast in planning for your pooch as you are for yourself.  Here are a few summer safety tips from the The Pampered Pup’s Guide to keep your best friend frisky:

dog at the beach



WhyDid Wisdom: Darlimination

By |June 27th, 2014|WhyDid Wisdom|

The-people-who-wantWe’ve all seen the quote above.  Maybe we’ve even posted it somewhere.  We pass around all these inspirational quotes on social media sites and we like the shit out of them and put the “raise the roof” emojis in the comment section, but how long do those messages actually stick with us?  In a society with fleeting attention spans being diagnosed as ADD, we’re on to the next photo, conversation, or task in the swipe of a finger.  As great as all these digital “good vibes” are, how many of us are actually living them?

As I nearly melted on the roof of Soho House earlier this week with someone who came quite close to self eliminating himself and is still perilously toeing the line, I explained my theory to him.  For a long time I held onto people in my life who probably didn’t want or better yet, deserve to be there.  I thought that made me a good friend or a loyal person.  I was giving it the ol’ college try.  I was expending lots of energy on people and situations that were serving no purpose in my life and adding no extra happiness or value to my existence.  In reality, they were holding me back from becoming the person I want to be and from the things I really want from life.  It’s a sneaky form of self sabotage that I didn’t even realize– because let’s be real– I excel in self sabotage.  I love putting my little hand right on that still lit stove.

When I stepped back and released my death grip on relationships, the good ones survived and the bad ones choked.  By basically doing nothing except removing myself from the situation and seeing the relationships objectively for what they were, I eliminated a lot of unnecessary drama, hurt, and general fuckery from my life.  I felt lighter, I had more time to spend on things I actually needed to be doing, on people who I enjoy my time with, and didn’t really miss the past at all.  It was literally a relationship detox except there were no violent mood swings, hunger pangs, or wheatgrass shots.

The entire process was pretty much effortless, something else in which I excel.  I didn’t have to sit and ponder and sigh and shrug causing unneeded wrinkles and excess stress as to whether that person should stay or go.  They were doing it for me.  They were eliminating themselves from my life by acting like assholes and I didn’t have to lift a finger.  I just sat back calmly and watched it all play out.  It was survival of the fittest for relationships.  Darwinian.  Hence, “Darlimination.”

After commenting on the flecks of rose gold nail polish (Essie Penny Talk) still clinging to portions of my nails, he nodded his head in agreement (a real life “raise the roof” emoji).  I should probably copyright the name (and probably eliminate him for his manicure commentary, but there’s nothing a chocolate covered cinnamon gummy bear can’t cure).

A perfect example of Darlimination is something that happened a couple of weeks ago.  I had sworn off one very toxic and recurring relationship for the 400th time, and a friend of mine who’d I’d been spending a lot of time with had been missing from the scene.  During that time period, I woke up every morning and was happy.  I didn’t have anything really giddy worthy to smile about- no love life to speak of, still not able to make it rain with hundreds on a Tuesday, and an extra five pounds that seems to have signed a ten year lease and invited over some friends.  However, I was happy.  Like smiling at strangers (okay, strangers’ dogs) happy.  There was absolutely nothing that could bring me down, not even an Instagram feed strewn with photos of an ex and his new Snooki lookalike girlfriend.  Nothing.

And then my little Narnia was blown to bits after allowing both of those emotional vampires back into my life.  I didn’t recognize it immediately.  Well, the bad ex-boyfriend, yes.  How many times must I sing that sad song?  I was depressed and drained and didn’t feel like doing much of anything with anyone.  Poor Smitty.  I became aware that I was letting other people’s bad energy, shitty attitudes, and lack of shared goals and values pollute my otherwise very pretty world.  As much as I’d wanted to share my happiness and hoped it would rub off on them, they just wanted to flounder about in misery and that’s not my kind of party.  So after one too many irrational temper tantrums incorrectly directed towards me and another disappearing act by him, I let them go (“hand wave” emoji).

While this all may sound very selfish, anyone who actually knows me, knows that I’m probably too nice.  But we all have our breaking points and when you start to give too much of yourself helping others, you’re not only hurting yourself but hurting them too.  If you offer someone a piece of your world and they don’t take it or treat it like garbage, let them go.  Smitty is the only one allowed to shit on my floor and even he knows better… most of the time.  Not everybody fits into your life and instead of feeling hurt by that, feel thankful you’ve been shown that they don’t.  Now you have more time and more space for the people and things that do fit.  Rip the Band-Aid off and move on.  What is meant to stick will always stick, what doesn’t wasn’t meant for you  and will disappear.  You just have to learn to be okay with that.  If you’re feeling sad and can’t pinpoint the source, do a relationship audit and figure out if you’re clinging to emotionally depletive relationships.

On the flip side, don’t forget that if you want to be in someone else’s life, you need to put in the effort and be the friend, lover, human that deserves to be a part of that person’s life.  Think about what you’d expect because remember, you can just as easily be extricated.



Smart Is the New Pretty: Pitch In

By |June 13th, 2014|Smart Is the New Pretty|

beach babesSummer weekends are meant for bikinis, barbecues, and making new friends.  Last weekend while we all chipped in to chop vegetables, pureé rotting mangoes, and grill up scallops (in our bikinis), I smiled to myself thinking how much fun I was having and how thankful I was to be surrounded by a group of lovely humans who were not only unafraid to get their hands dirty, but were also smart, funny, and interesting.  (I was also thankful we actually made it safely out east after our non-teen driver texted away).  Ugh.  Who wants to be the pouty girl in the corner who doesn’t dare lift a finger so as to not chip her manicure?  Not you.  So, if you aren’t that awesome in the kitchen, volunteer to craft up a clever cocktail (have you heard of the “Phrostie”?) and be sure to have something worthwhile to talk about.

So, enjoy the weekend, but always be an asset- not a liability.  Otherwise, this might be your last invitation to dinner.



WhyDid Wisdom: Role Playing

By |May 16th, 2014|Why Did You Date Him?, WhyDid Wisdom|

role playingA true fan of a good prop and almost all excuses for a theme party (except for 80’s and ugly Christmas sweaters- I will not participate, so just don’t ask), I began to think about role playing.  Not only why it is so fun to slip into someone else’s persona even if only for an evening, but where some people fit into our lives and why they ever bothered showing up– especially without RSVP’ing.

My human wrecking ball reared his ugly head again and this go round completely demolished me and basically left me for dead.  An abandoned building with no plans for reconstruction.  Needless to say, it was a very difficult breakup to shake.  One that even after an extended stay in California post Smitty surgery I couldn’t manage to completely cut off.  Either that or I truly am a masochist.

I’d boarded the plane in Monterey late January/pre-birthday after having no contact for nearly two months, until ol’ Wile E. Coyote realized he was blocked and started bombarding my iCloud email with “I miss you” messages and invitations to cover seedy stories with him in Las Vegas.  True romance.  How could I not be hooked?  I kindly declined and upon arrival back in New York, I felt strong and assured that I’d kicked that nasty habit once and for all.  Sixth time’s a charm, right?  But just as all men must be born with one, his radar went off and he was able to track me down and catch me during a moment, wherein I was lonely, cold, and a few too many glasses of wine in.  The instant the door shut behind him the next afternoon, I immediately regretted having given in so easily.  His half assed apologies and falsified justifications were hardly enough to have allowed him to even take me to a shitty bottomless brunch.  Yet I had suffered what would be considered a relapse which had adorably been renamed by my friend- the only way of making it sound less tragic than it actually was.

block number

Numbers were re-blocked.  iMessage turned off.  Celibacy sworn.  Don’t worry, I was sure to repeat steps one through three two more times before finding out about his other concurrent victim girlfriend.  True to form, it had taken something terribly awful for me to finally throw in the towel.  This was ultimately the point of no return and surprisingly, it didn’t hurt as bad as I’d expected though it did disturb me a little for more than many reasons.

When a new (and wonderful) girlfriend asked that I please accompany her to meet up with some friends in the East Village one Sunday night early this spring, I was not expecting to walk into a startling and bewitching mix between Johnny Depp and John Lennon.  As someone who is normally all but immune to the male mystique, I was completely thrown off guard while being simultaneously drawn in.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if my mouth had actually dropped open onto the vintage wooden table where he and his bearded friends sat (visit BeardBro to get the secret of the star beard!).  Covered in tattoos and stone cold sober, he wasn’t my standard breed.  He was actually nearing the polar opposite of the past, but after some bonding over Lionel Ritchie lyrics and exchanging of Instagram handles (the new phone number), I was sold.

johnny deppTurns out, the feeling was mutual.  At least for the next week and a half.  We made plans soon after and we spoke all day everyday following our outing.  We shared the same quick, sick, twisted humor and had similar ideologies as well as professions that complemented each other’s.  Though I thought he could potentially have had some staying power- there are very few people who can keep up with my undaunting and sometimes indecipherable wit- he all but fell off the face of the earth after having made lots of “future plans” with me and Smitty.  Oddly enough, this actually ended up upsetting me more than being dumped for someone who can’t legally buy a beer in the US.  After a few pow-wows with girlfriends and coming up with nothing but a lot of shoulder shrugging and ice cream sandwiches, we chocked it up to the “blackhole of dating” that is New York City.  The best way I was able to come to terms with the jilt was realizing that while he may not have been a forever in my life, he was an all but crucial bridge in the road to my recovery and healing.   And even though his behavior was only slightly north of total douchebag, I am so grateful to him for getting me over that little week long hump that could have just as easily sent me right back down the rabbit hole straight into another relapse.

It would have been just as easy to start wondering and obsessing about what was wrong with me and feeling angry at him, but instead I was reminded that I can not only be incredibly attracted to someone else, but there are other interesting fellows still out there.  Gentlemen who like you- if only for a moment in time.  Even if they do wear weird jeans and in retrospect probably wouldn’t have fit into your life longterm, it’s nice to be reminded how it feels to be pursued.  To be reminded that you are smart and funny and worth being treated with more respect than a dirty dishrag at a C grade sushi restaurant.

So, you see, not everyone is meant to be a lifelong soulmate, friend, or boyfriend.  Sometimes people are strategically placed into our lives at the exact moment we unknowingly need them to teach us lessons, save us from ourselves, and prepare us for what lies ahead.  And instead of feeling bitter and holding onto the anger about being abandoned, passed over, or neglected it’s best to look more intently into their ultimate purpose and thank them for coming to our party.  Even if they left without cleaning up, they technically did bring a hostess gift and it’s up to you to figure what that was and be grateful for it.



WhyDid Wisdom: Release Party

By |April 17th, 2014|WhyDid Wisdom|

post ranch innJanuary is the time of year when everyone fools him/herself into thinking he/she is going to right wrongs, fix all flaws and become a whole new “me.”  The gym is suddenly full of soft bodies that hadn’t bothered to lift more than the remote for the last year, but are now walking on the treadmill so slow it’s giving me anxiety because I have to wait.  (Patience, that’s something I should have signed up for in 2014).  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for self improvement.  It’s the only way to grow, but it’s now four months later and we seem to have ditched all of our goals for the new year, but yet have managed to hold onto a lot of other baggage.  Why is it so much easier to let go of the good and not the bad?

We swore we’d lose that extra five pounds by summer, but those nachos at Cowgirl were just too damn tempting and so what if I had three cheat days this week?  Despite the return of the polar vortex, spring will last but a week before a sweaty, scorching summer sets in upon us and no one will be able to hide out under baggy black clothes and layers upon layers.  This is the second time of year when Equinox sees an influx of gymnasium delinquents and I have a near meltdown upon waiting for a stairclimber.  Despite my disdain for faux fitness junkies, I’m a proponent for good health in any form… even if temporary.  And like the mantra emblazoned upon the wall at Flex Studios, “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness,” there is another kind of weightloss that may be even more beneficial to your health and heart.

We cut dairy out of our diets, but continue on with toxic relationships.  We purge our closets, but forget to purge our personal lives.  Sometimes we hold onto people because we feel an obligation to do so.  However, in doing so, we impede our own personal growth and crowd our lives with emotional clutter that blocks anything new and quite possibly better from entering.  In turn, this might be the real type of fat that is weighing down our lives.

I kept saying I wanted this or I wanted that.  All around me, others were moving forward with careers, relationships, families, and goals, yet I seemed to be stagnant.  I couldn’t figure out why I was being left behind by normal social standards and then I realized something.  My actions were contradicting my wishes.  For example, I was in a very volatile relationship for most of the past year and after one too many early morning blow outs and a “vacation” from hell, I finally threw in the towel.  While I had long since stopped answering phone calls and late night incoherent text messages, I was still friends with some of his friends and I was still checking in to see what he was doing. It was far too easy to see what he and his new 18 year old NYU dorm habitating honey were doing and really, why did (or should) I care?  I would gut check myself against what I wanted in a mate versus what I was getting from this relationship and rationally knew it was far from matching up at which point I had to actually say to myself, “Who gives a (expletive)?”  I’m romantic and nostalgic so I find it grueling to cut ties at times.  I am capable of seeing what “could be” rather than what IS.  Sadly, some people are emotional vampires and as hard as it may be, we have to wish them well and part ways.

And maybe sometimes it’s not a specific person that has to be eliminated from our lives, but maybe something that someone has done to us.  We all make mistakes (even me), but there is no use in holding onto difficult and at times traumatizing events from our lives.

A friend of mine who is an up and coming star on the music scene spoke to me about what gives him motivation.  His son was, of course, first on the list along with close friends and family.  But then he told me that the naysayers and haters fueled him.  I reminded him that those people did not deserve his energy and the more time he spent thinking about them, the more of his energy he was allotting to people who, quite frankly, did not deserve it.  The more time spent focusing on your foes, the more you are actually feeding them.  I suggested he only give pieces of himself to people who deserve and appreciate him and to (bleep) the rest of them.  I’m not sure I swayed him to my way of thinking, but sometimes it’s helpful to remind myself of the same thing.

It may be a late start, but too late is always better than never.  Shed those extra five pounds and shed those extra people who are weighing down your health and your heart.