Six years into teaching, and I still get the back to work blues after every break.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Some people might call me manic. I am constantly moving, usually from the time I wake up in the morning to the moments when I (can't) fall asleep at night. I am always busy and moving around, even when I'm just chatting on the phone. I've found that I usually can't leave well enough alone in my home, so if I'm home, I'm straightening or cleaning or pretending to do those things so I feel productive. More often than not, rather than actually be productive in my home, I go out and take LONG walks. Sitting still isn't something I do well.
I've tried to get better about relaxing, and since he moved out, there have been a few weekends where I just laid around the house. Sometimes this is great. Sometimes, it makes me fussy.
Let me share a scene from our living room on Sunday afternoon. It's clearly about 5:00pm, and I am clearly still in my pajama pants. It is also frigid in our living room. (No, this is not ice queen like tendencies inherited from my mother. We just have poor heating systems in our otherwise lovely apartment.) I am wrapped in a blanket, whining and complaining. I may or may not be making awkward squawking noises. At this point, I could have theoretically gotten dressed and left the house so I would be less fussy, but I was committed to not leaving my home. So, I continued to make unearthly noises until finally my ever patient roommate came up with a solution.
He swaddled me. In the manner of a baby. I was freezing, so he wrapped not one, not two, but three fleecy blankets around my full sized adult self, so I could not move my arms, my legs, or at all, for that matter. I was cocooned in Target brand fleece. While he attempted to swaddle me, I obviously fussed and flailed.
Until I was swaddled. I stopped fussing immediately and got warm and cozy, and was able to turn my attention fully to the eighth episode of "How I Met Your Mother" that was clearly of epic importance.
His response to why he swaddled me: "You were fussy. Sometimes, swaddling helps a fussy baby."
Clearly, despite the fact that I am a grown adult woman, wrapping me in blankets is the way to get me to calm down.
Think this will work with all people?
Friday, February 10, 2012
Ok, so maybe that's an overstatement.
But I love me some Valentine's Day.
What's not to like? It's a day to tell people in your life that you love them. It doesn't hurt that yummy treats, good chocolate, and fresh flowers are all usually associated with it too.
I have always loved Valentine's Day. I loved it as a kid. I loved it as a high schooler. I love it as an adult. I loved it even when I was single. (I got dumped the Sunday before Valentine's Day my senior year of college because apparently I was still in love with my ex. When I wrote him a card, he called me drunk and told me that my grammar was wrong. I still love Valentine's Day.) Even when I couldn't be with person I was dating, my friends and I always did something fun and fabulous.
I think everyone should go out of their way on Valentine's Day to remind the people in their life that they are important and loved. It's a day to indulge in corny stuff. And personally, I LOVE corny stuff.
He and I spent TEN Valentine's Days together. We were never big V-day people. We were long distance for most of our relationship, so we usually just tried to go visit each other over that weekend. My sophomore year of college we spent the entire weekend in bed (still my favorite). At the time, there weren't a lot of flowers or candies or chocolates, because just seeing each other was enough. (And we were broke college students.) In 2007, we went to Chevy's for Valentine's Day dinner, because I (used to) love me a (virgin) margarita. (Seriously, though, tequila makes me sick.) We tried the romantic route once, and neither one of us particularly liked it. We went to London once (which was pretty spectacular), and then we usually just got ethnic food and cuddled. It wasn't that different from another night, but it was nice to be together.
Even though I am newly single, I'm STILL psyched about Valentine's Day. I'm not sure what I'm doing yet, but here is my Valentine's Planning/Gift Guide/Wish List.
Valentine's Gifts for Anyone in your Life:
You have to eat dinner every day. Might as well make it special. Personally, I'd prefer a hole in the wall local restaurant or a favorite diner, but going out always makes it nice. If going out isn't in the cards, I'd love for someone to make me dinner (as I'm usually the one doing most of the cooking) and take care of the dishes. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of take out, but it might work for some. Just put it on plates so it looks nice! Do this with your SigOt (that's an abbreviation for significant other. I don't think it will catch on.) Have dinner with your best friends. Have dinner with your mom. Have dinner with your roommates. But do something.
2. A walk
I LOVE taking walks. I love them. Part of that comes from my polar bear guilt associated with driving my car places. Part of that comes from being unable to sit still. Part of it was because he and I always had roommates, so when we wanted alone time, we often took walks. Still, walking is one of my favorite pasttimes. I especially love walking in the cold. So, an after dinner stroll? Yes, please!
Repeat after me: YOU CANNOT GO WRONG WITH FLOWERS. Flowers are pretty, and smell nice, and girls like them. They make a whole room seem better. With me, bonus points if they are bodega flowers that you picked up on your commute home. They don't need to be a dozen long stemmed red roses (ew), but they do need to be from the heart. I bought my college roommate miniature roses because she's small, and I bought my ex yellow roses because we were trying to be friends. Flowers win. Hands down. Even if she isn't your girlfriend, you will be a knight in shining armor in her eyes if you get her flowers.
I like Guylian chocolates. I also like those boxes that have the chocolates that are filled with something. I like Valentine's Day because there's chocolate I wouldn't normally buy myself present. Bonus points if you share it with each other. He always liked to buy me chocolates so that we he could eat them. Win-win.
5. Something thoughtful.
Pajama pants? a mix cd? Throw my clothes in the laundry? You're the best. It's about showing someone you care.
6. A card.
I LOVE cards. It doesn't need to be schmoopy. Just needs to be cute. I try to get Valentine's Day cards for all the important people in my life on Valentine's Day. Who doesn't love getting a card?
And a gift for your LOVAH:
I am, how would you say, well endowed. I have been well endowed for the entirety of my adult life. I have no shortage of nice bras (Literally, I feel like all bras in my size are see through), but lingerie was never on my radar. Lingerie can mean different things to different ladies. Boy shorts and a see through shirt? A soft cotton nightgown? Lace and bows and garter belts? Yes please. I would love to be on the receiving end of whatever my lovah wanted to see me in. (A word of caution though--GET.THE.RIGHT.SIZE. I'm very comfortable with myself, but it would have ruined my evening if something a received didn't fit.)
Happy Valentine's Day Kids!! Any big plans?
Friday, February 3, 2012
On a boat near Tampa, FL. Kim will turn progressively more red as the day goes on
(For those of you who don't know, BFFLs means "best friends for life."** Obvi. Duh.)
(For those of you who don't know, BFFLs means "best friends for life."** Obvi. Duh.)
For the last three years (ish), I've had the distinct pleasure of living with my bestie, Kimbo. Not only did Kimbo and I live together, we also have classrooms across the hall from each other. And we drove to work together. And drove home from work together. And gossiped when we got home from work. And went out to bars together. And went on a vacations together. And road trips together.
We basically spent the vast majority of our waking hours together.
We became friends kind of on a whim. She was a fun new first year teacher, and I was still in fun "I'm-still-young-and-pretending-I'm-in-college mode." There were a few tentative facebook wall posts.
Kimbo's second year of teaching and my third year of teaching, our classrooms were next to each other. (Actually, the admin kicked Kimbo out of her classroom so I could have it and moved her next door. I'm not complaining. The room is prime classroom real estate.) Not only were we hallway buddy lurkers, but we also had all the same prep periods. We found ourselves in the teachers' lounge together ALL the time. On Wednesdays, we taught the exact same schedule.
After Kimmy complained that she had no friends and basically never left the house on the weekend, we decided to set up a friend date. Lunch at a burrito place on the West Side and a movie. (We live fast paced here in New York.) Before we went to the movie, she just wanted to go this meeting about running a marathon for charity--would I come with her?
And thus, our friendship was born. I don't know if it was the excitement of leaving the house or the prospect of margaritas after the movie, but somehow, against all odds, Kimmy and I signed up for a marathon together. Namely, the ninth annual Country Music Marathon in Nashville! We trained for our marathon together. (Or we would instead take all of our running clothes to the west side, where we would then stop and get margaritas instead of going running. Margarita Tuesdays?) (Maybe this is why we didn't make any Team in Training friends?) We met far too early in the morning to run silly races in Central Park. Even if Kim didn't make the start line, she was able to find me in the crowd (of 5000 runners!! What's up with that?)
The first of TOO many races we ran together
Our roommate was moving and Kimmy decided to move in with us. The first night she moved in, I was wearing a garbage bag smearing overripe avocado on my head. She just took pictures. Not only did she move into our apartment, but our classrooms were now across from each other. The children just knew to expect us together.
Everyone thought that we should be sick of each other. Everyone thought that we may be at each others throats. Instead, we just spent ALL of our time together. I could look through the window in my classroom and give her looks that said, "Is it Friday yet?" We could go home and explode with work gossip and rage that no one else should ever have to witness. We could have Taylor Swift dance parties (both in our classrooms and at Karaoke nights at bars.) We could have ABC Family Harry Potter Weekends! (Although, I'm fairly sure we never did.) We could pretend to be running buddies (although Kim did more of the running, even though I had managed to sign up for another marathon.) She even turned me onto The Office! For the better part of two years, I woke up to Kimmy knocking on my door telling me our ride to work was on the way.
At a bar in CocoCay in the Bahamas. Yeah, it's like 2pm
We moved into new apartments, found new issues to gripe with in our classrooms (this, at least, will always be constant), had break ups and new boyfriends, and navigated into our mid to late twenties together. We went on a cruise to the Bahamas together. She helped me fully embrace the year of "Why not?" Kimmy was my girl compatriot in an apartment full of boys. (That said--Kim and I make more "that's what she said" jokes than all the boys combined. Woops.)
Unofficial Work Holiday Party with my other Bestie (and our roomie!) in 2008
Kimmy and I were reminiscing over our shared lunch period about a time when she still lived in Harlem and I lived in Queens. It's hard to remember. I know I have memories of living with Rachel, and they were happy hilarious memories of our first apartment and living at my parents' house for a while), but the idea that Kim and I didn't always live in the same space. WEIRD.
Kimmy has recently moved to her own beautiful apartment a little bit less than a mile from me. You would think that we see each other enough being that we still spend all day at work together, plus large parts of the weekend, plus the drive home. And yet, I still miss her.
Not everyone gets to have a classroom across the hall from their best friend.