“I was paying over three grand a month for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco. And that’s why I decided to move here and buy a house. I get that I’m displacing people … and families. You should have seen the family that sold their home to me. Nice people. Wish they could have stayed, but it just made sense for them – financially – to sell their house to me. They wanted to be able to send their kids to college one day. And there’s nothing I can do about that – it’s just true,” my date looked down at his drink, swirling the ice around. It took him eight minutes to order it. And now he was looking down at this top shelf liquor with mild disdain. I guess we were all feeling some buyers remorse on this date.
This little speech about “displacing people” was his way of letting me know that he owned a big fancy house. But mostly it felt like a douchey ploy, veiled as a confession to absolve him of his classist guilt and create a veneer of intimacy.
I could hear myself say, “that sounds tough.”
Not sure how we got to the next topic: FRUIT. He told me that he didn’t eat fruit. WHY? When he was four years old, he ate a bad cherry and that turned him off fruit forever.
“I think it must have been rotten,” he said.
“How about peaches?”
“Nope.” Continue reading
And he wore a hat
And he had a job
And he brought home the bacon
So that no one knew
He was a mongoloid
Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
Happier than you and me
– Devo, “Mongoloid”
The date took place at a bar. We sit at a table, across from one another.
Approximately 5 minutes in, I learn that my date went to (insert name of prestigious east coast design school here) and studied with (insert name of famous person here.) He eventually landed a job at (insert equally prestigious edgy advertising agency) – but not until he traveled and “experienced” (insert names of various countries that I’ve never even heard of.) Then, he pointed to the label on a beer bottle and said, “I designed that.” He pointed to a pair of tennis shoes that a person was wearing, “and I designed those.” And then, modestly, “just the color scheme.”
My date took a sip of his craft beer and stared into my eyes – waiting for me to talk.
Neil knows me. The way that coworkers can know a person.
Neil sits four feet away from me. Most mornings, he’s there before I am. He sees me from the moment my day begins, as I slip off my shoes into other shoes – leaning into the mirror, inspecting my mascara, questioning the cleanliness of my blouse.
Neil stares at his computer, but he knows what I’m doing. When you are forced to be around a person for 8 hours of a day, five days a week … you can’t help it. They are your environment. That’s what we are to each other, Neil and I. There are natural exchanges – gum, tea, cash, snacks, snide emails, and inside jokes that make zero sense to anyone but us.
A coworker like Neil will know your weaknesses. Continue reading
Here is some of my early work. 2009. I realized I had a calling. A purpose. Finally.