Fashion magazines. They have always provided a sort of comfort for me, see the second paragraph. This morning I took my dog out. There is still snow on the ground and in the street, but better looking than it was earlier this week. Towards the end of the walk, my dog is sniffing around in the snow at the very edge of someone's lawn. Every once and awhile I see this woman standing at her see-through door watching me. For a split second I see the door open and what I think I hear is "get out of here." I am stunned for a second and say, "what the fuck" to myself. I have never talked to this bitch, but the day I started to not like her she almost hit me with her car, as she drove past with a smile on her face. When I got back inside my apartment, I needed to calm down. I grabbed an issue of Nylon and forgot the fact that I'm in this shit desert.

Although not quite having reached the so-called 'height of sophistication,' I was under the age of 10 after all, my curiosity for the piles of magazines that adorned a wooden table in our house began with the perfume samples. I would glance at the cover, typically an issue of Vogue, and rummage through the pages desperate for new smells. Suddenly, there would be at least 5-7 samples of perfume waiting to be used. I hadn't the faintest idea that mixing perfumes makes for a disaster. I didn't understand why women would actually pay for their aroma when they could just get it for 3.99 out of a magazine. To this day, when I look through Vogue or something similar, I go for the perfume samples. Where else can you smell the way Marc Jacobs wants you to for so cheap?

The student surpasses the master. Trite? Yes. Regardless, this was my first thought a year or two ago when I went to dinner with my parents. I was using my "please" and "thank you's" the way a stripper uses charm (and her body) to secure a lap dance. I pointed out to my folks that I was the one who had not forgotten my manners. It certainly made me think, as it does for most aging idealistic youth. Once you are on your way to being a full fledge adult, the things your parents taught you have become your responsibility. This brings me to a situation that occurred yesterday.

A woman I barely know drove me to a tax training class twice this week. Yesterday was a long day, however, I found myself beginning to understand what we were doing and asking questions and getting more involved with the process. The class wraps up a little before 3, and I can barely sit still I'm so anxious to get home. The woman I rode with asks if she can stop at a store nearby to get some socks. I say that's fine, look the other way and sigh. In the store, she also decides she needs a new dog bed. Finally, we get to check out. I'm standing with my hands in my coat pocket. She finishes paying and I notice her looking at me. She asks if I would take the bed for her. NO PLEASE. She mumbled a half-assed 'thank you.' It would be a waste of keystrokes to tell you what I was thinking then and there. This would be a completely different scenario if this was a friend or relative or someone I actually cared about. I let this get to me, more than it should have. She just expected me to do this for her, with no fucking gratitude. And so we got back into her mini-van.

The solution to this problem was simple. Bourbon and ginger ale.

So, there you have it. The things that help keep my sanity here: magazines and bourbon.

Currently Reading: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Albums of the week:  Sleigh Bells  Treats
                                          Belle and Sebastian  Write About Love                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


  1. Very well written and you made me smile about the manners part.When you were 8 years old I told you and Will that some day you would thank me for teaching you good manners. I called my parents when I was 34 years and thanked them for raising me with manners, they were a bit stunned by the phone call but said , you're welcome. I had a bad day at work with pissy, spoiled employees and realized that they were not as lucky as I , because nobody had ever mentioned MANNERS. Congratulations, you are 25!!!!

  2. I definitely notice when people say please and thank you, and when they dont. I talk about the courtesy and politeness and charm of the south to a lot of europeans I meet... I dont tell them about all the rude people though. Anyway, please and thank you and smiles are the way to go, they always make someones day.


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