Happy New Year! I’m talking to you Chinese people….

I thought I’d share my favorite non-PC story involving my favorite Chinese friend in honor of today. I’m sure she won’t mind. If you are offended easily or think this is insensitive – please stop reading now. I totally understand. I once wrote a note to the New York Times condemning an Indian Cultural Day they had in Central Park called “Curry in the Park”. I was outraged that they would define all of the beauty that is the Indian culture and reduce it to a seasoning used in the food.  How dare they! They wrote back that it was, in fact, a showcase of Indian food. Oh. Anyway – I get it. Racism is terrible. But sometimes….it’s funny. On to my story.

Let me set the scene.

I worked in a very serious, very conservative private bank in New York City. This was the defining job of my career. All my biggest successes and f’ups happened here. It’s also where I learned the type of team that I wanted to be in (and lead eventually). We were hardworking, sarcastic, funny and silly. If you made a mistake in our team, you wouldn’t be walked through how to do it better – you would be teased and laughed at. There was no training or “on-boarding”. You just worked like hell to figure things out while the rest of the team rolled their eyes. It sounds rough. But it was amazing. You developed all the skills you needed to be a good planner – including the king of all skills – thick skin.

We were also quite a mixed bag. Cold, stylish leader without a heart? Check. Smart, creative Chinese gal who bordered on being mean? Check! Rich, Hermes wearing Euro daughter of a client? Put together, chic New Yorker with an accent? Check and check! And me, a married Indian gal with a baby in her late 20’s. Let’s just say we didn’t blend into a crowd.

Sorry about all the back story but you need to know this in order to really appreciate the situation. So because we dealt with billionaires and people who managed billionaires, the atmosphere in the office was always quiet and well-heeled. Except in our area. We were always laughing and shouting and eating. A mark of most good event groups. We also kept to ourselves most of the time – not that anyone was knocking down our door to be included.

Then, one fateful holiday season – it happened. Our guard was down. We were invited to join the secret Santa gift exchange on our floor. We decided to do it. We even decided to go to the party for the gift exchange. All of us. Except the head of the group who spent December in Prague or something. We were going to assimilate! At least for that hour.

We all shuffled into the conference room and pretended to be excited. One by one we opened our gifts. Oh look, the strange dude in graphics got me a cookbook. How nice. The lady in accounting got someone a candle. Charming. You get the point.

Then. Our Chinese gal opened the first of 2 gifts from her secret Santa. Hmmm. Geisha stickers. She smiled. We stared. We started to feel the corners of our mouth convulsing – we looked at the floor. We looked at the ceiling. We looked anywhere to avoid eye contact with her. We prayed the next gift wouldn’t be ethnic specific. We were wrong. She opened a box of Chinese rubber stamps. Ok – at least this was the right bucket of stereotyped gift. (You say Chinese, I say Japanese…) There was no ill intent. The person meant no harm. But we were all dying. Literally bursting at the seams laughing. We never participated in a gift exchange again. True story.

I know what you’re thinking. How awful – that person should have been reprimanded. Oh no. You didn’t go to HR for this stuff. You thanked the Gods that this happened so you could hold it over your co-worker’s head! That’s how we rolled.

For months after we talked, relived, re-enacted the moment. It was like a Christmas miracle to our team. It’s been 14 years or so since that day, and it still brings me joy.

Here’s to the year of the goat!

(Please note that the Chinese gal and I remain the closest of friends and she had to help me remember some details. I remembered the gift giver as a boy, it was a girl. I remembered 3 gifts. It was only 2. Thank god for her. Chinese people. They’re good to have around)

Sights and Sounds

I came home from my work trip and heard and saw the following:

“We think the cat peed all over the carpet, can you bend down and smell it?”

” Do we eat the leaves on top?”

“Day drinking never hurt anyone”

“So I go poop right….”

Welcome home to me. Not all pictures go with all quotes (you’re welcome).

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An open letter to the men in my life

Dear husband and child,

I am sitting on a late train home surrounded by two men. One in the seat in front of me. One in the seat behind me. The dude behind me has burped, coughed (with his mouth open, I can tell!!!) and propped his knee into the back of my seat – I know this because I feel his knee.

The guy in front of me is….letting off some gases.

There’s nowhere for me to go. No open window to jump out of. All the other seats are taken. At first I was so disgusted and grossed out, thinking that these were two of the nastiest people on earth. But I think that’s wrong. I think the truth is that they probably don’t behave like this at home. Near loved ones. They probably cover their mouths when they cough and help wounded birds on the side of the road. I’m sure when they walk in the door at home tonight, they’ll hang their coats nicely, put their shoes away and wash their hands. But here, in the world, they roam wild and free and dirty. No one knows them. There’s no wife, girlfriend or mother to scold them. Notice I don’t say boyfriend or husband because I’ve never met a sloppy gay man, maybe in the future I will, but I haven’t yet.

That got me thinking about the two of you. What are you like on a train or a bus? Do you sigh loudly? Do you wantonly take up more than your fair share of space? Do you burp, fart, cough a nasty open cough? I don’t think so. You are both clean, nice, considerate, well-mannered boys. Aren’t you???

I know you are. I have faith. But then again there’s probably some poor woman/mother walking around the world thinking she did a good job with these two walking germs. Or maybe they live in a zoo and this is the best it gets. I dunno.

So promise me that when you are sitting in your mass transit of choice, you’ll remember this and not do at least two of those gross things? Please?

Thank you,

Signed, the woman in your life who will be taking a long, hot, disinfecting shower tonight, xoxo

Perspective

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Sometimes it’s not about the dinner, it’s about the view.

I’m starting Deep Thoughts Wednesday. It’ll be a thing. I’m sure of it.

2015 day 19

What’s up buttercups? Whatcha been up to for the last two weeks? You’ve taken down the tree? The lights? The cheer? We are holiday gear and cheer free. And loving it. Bring on the dark, cold days of winter! I’m nuts right? Here’s a recap of what’s been on my mind and in my world (I know, again with the recap – but this is what I can manage right now. It’ll get better)

  • Work has been crazy super busy, but in a fun way. Can you relate? The great thing about events is that you get to see everything you planned come to life. The scary thing about events is that you get to see everything you planned come to life. For good, bad or OMG. Work that my team has been doing for, in some cases, over a year – will come to life. Wish us luck! I’ll post photos along the way.
  • On New Year’s Eve we kept it really low-key. We invited one of our favorite families over to ring in the new year. They brought all kinds of goodies – but the goodiest of the goodies was a box of Magnum ice cream bars. Why hasn’t anyone ever told me about this? Why isn’t this the only thing people talk about? Anyone else addicted?
  • My husband and I are well on our way to seeing all the Oscar movies. Current fave is Whiplash with American Sniper close behind. Although Imitation Game is amazing. And Boyhood. Boyhood was really really good too. And I can’t forget Birdman. Or Grand BudaPHESHT Hotel. Up next for us is Selma and Theory of Everything. And then maybe I’ll pick up a book or talk to my kids.
  • My girl made the cut for her school’s production of Les Miserable – she’s proudly in the pit playing keyboards. I can’t tell you how excited I am. She doesn’t know this but I’ll be helping her practice. I’ll play the part of Cosette, Fantine, Javert and Jean Valjean. I can do it! What – it’s not about me? Sure it is.
  • Had dinner in Philly with our New York friends and laughed so much I made an ugly face – ever do that? He sent me a cute photo of himself which I’m sharing below (also sharing my ugly laugh face which my husband captured).
  • My kids continue their love affair with our cat Lexi. Once in a while I ask both of them to send me photos they’ve been taking – I find that 99% of them are Lexie shots. I shared one below so you can see the love, attention and detail that goes into their photo shoots.
  • The other 1% are silly selfies taken by my son (wonder where he gets that habit from).
  • I also included a small pic of my man giving me some love. Just cause.
    I have been dying to tell you all that. In my heart I’ve been writing the blog every day. In reality I’ve punked out. But as I say to my kids when I forget to pick them up from somewhere, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. It just means that I got caught up in some TV. xoxo

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2015 day 2

So far so good. Aside from my incredibly powerful desire to put away all the Christmas decorations and take down the tree, I’m feeling pretty chill and relaxed.

I haven’t had this much time off in almost a year. It was so needed and appreciated. I’m back at work today – although the rest of the world isn’t quite there yet, which is fine by me. I’ll take it nice and slow.

The kids are back to school on Monday, and although both would deny it, I think they are excited to get back. Enough with the family already. Just kiddin’.

One of my favorite moments from the past few days was Christmas morning. The kids have always bought each other little gifts, but they’ve been tokens. This year they both took time and money and bought each other the perfect gifts. And when they woke up they weren’t tearing open the things with their name on it. They wanted us to open our presents from them and they wanted to give each other gifts first. It was as gooey and corny as it sounds. It was awesome. These are good kids. You’re welcome world.

My husband and I don’t exchange, that’s our special gift to each other. Aren’t we romantic?

Here’s what else went down in the past few days:

  • My little baby girl went to a winter camp for 4 days and has decided to go to a 5 week session in the summer. Let me repeat what I’ve said before. I do not like this growing up thing.
  • I became addicted to the app Trivia Crack – which is aptly named. But Trivia Crack is so not whack, so I’ll keep playing.
  • My son got a FitBit for Christmas and now tracks over 20,000 steps daily. Without even trying. Instead of motivating me, this makes me want to take a nap. This makes him want to do one handstands.
  • I’ve cooked and cleaned almost nothing and we’ve done laundry only in case of emergency. It’s been amazing.
  • I didn’t bake cookies this year and no holiday police came to arrest me. I’m going to try not decorating next year and see what else I can get away with.

2014 has been quite a ride. Can’t wait to see what 2015 brings. Happy New Year everyone!

Here’s some random shots from the past few days…

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I wore my pants inside out. Merry Christmas!

When I got home from going to the grocery store, the dry cleaners, the gas station (where I ran into a neighbor and had a convo), and the bank – I walked into the kitchen and both my kids said,” Mom, your pants are inside out.”
Come on 2015!

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