Another Awkward (slash Awesome!) Week [5.30.14]

Good morning, pals! I am all thrown off with this short week - I almost forgot it's Friday. But oh, it is. T to the G-I-F, dudes. This week the coolest thing ever in the whole wide WORLD happened: I wrote something that was published on a national website. VOGUE.COM. AAAAHHH!!! This is a double-brag if you're my friend on Facebook so forgive me - I'm just a scoonch excited. If you've not yet read it and would like to, I'd be honored! You can click-click-click away riiiight HERE.

Long story short, I was semi-tipsily chatting with an editor I know at a work party a little while back and we got to chatting about Facebook and relationships and how and why and when we use social media to share and define said relationships. As we parted for the evening, she asked if I'd write something for her on the subject, for Vogue.com. Outwardly I said "sure!" and inwardly I said "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and she put me in touch with her editor, we talked details, I tried to pretend I knew what I was talking about and like, did this all the time and Vogue.com? Not even a big deal, has anyone even heard of Vogue?, and she gave me a deadline of ONE WEEK and then I frantically drafted and worried and thought and wrote and flopped around a lot like "this is a disaster! My one shot in life and I'm about to blow it and be a failure forever!!!!"

Dramatic much?

I finally came up with a draft I liked (thanks to Claire, Brian & Maggie, my reader/editors) and oh-so-casually cooly submitted it. They liked it! Sent over some edits! Annnnd: posted to the web.

The piece mildly complains about how we share everythinggg on the Facebook, so naturally I immediately shared it on the Facebook. HAH! I was prepared for some thumbs-ups from my mom and besties but Oh. Em. Gee I was not prepared for how freaking nice everyone else would be! Friends were sharing, commenting, liking, emailing, all with praise and encouragement. I got some super sweet notes from friends I haven't talked to in years. My brother tweeted it.

And at work! I am shy to share any writing at work because I don't know why. I guess because I always write about myself and I don't want them to know what a psycho I am? Well apparently they all totally know and love me anyway. Our marketing manager tweeted the link via the department official twitter, work friends shared from theirs and sweetest ever some of my beautiful, genius designer friends put together THE cutest and funniest email, which they then sent department wide in the same style we send our publicity emails:

LIZ

File me away with Junot Diaz and Anne Lamott! It's all happening!

I was genuinely, no joke, bowled away with a combination of emotions that is difficult to put into words and is really best summed up by this: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I felt like Sally Field at The Oscars + like, Brandy Chastain at the 1999 World Cup + Marie Curie when she discovered radium + every nerd in a high school movie who then gets elected prom queen. I've been published! And everyone LIKED it!

What. A. Day.

This also lights a little fire under my bottom. I love writing (obviously) and would like to try for more opportunities like this. I've now eradicated fears that no editors would like my style or that readers will hate it, effectively just leaving laziness as my final hurdle. A hurdle I need to smush to smithereens ASAP.

So SERIOUS thanks dudes, I promise I'll remember you all when I am famous!!!!!

And lest you worry I'm already changing, don't you fear: I'm still keeping it WAY too real on the daily. So why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

 

This Face/Hair:

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Sunday, while I was home  in Pennsylvania, I arranged a hair and makeup trial for the wedding. Now, hair/makeup trial, you ask? I know. The part of me who thinks weddings are ridiculous is like "come on, ladies, do you really need a test run, it's just one day" but then the other (louder) part of me who is vain and girlie and wants to look beautiful on that one day is like "DUH."  I'm tryyyyying to do it on the slightly cheap, so was put in touch with a former student of my cousin who is a cosmetologist and I am very glad we set up this little trail because she, unfortunately, was not the right match for me.

I'm not going to throw a ton of shade on this girl - she's young and incredibly sweet and learning as she goes along.

We had confirmed for her to come to my mom's house at noon. By 12:15 she wasn't there and I just KNEW she forgot. I knew it. I'd emailed her to confirm and she didn't respond and I just instantly got the sense that she forgot and I could tell right then that she wasn't going to be the right person. I just sensed it. Deep in my hair follicles. Bones predict other stuff but when it comes to sensing beauty disasters: the hair knows.

I should have just put a stop to it right then and there and told her not to come, but I wanted to give her a chance, the benefit of the doubt, so texted her to remind her and she arrived an hour later. Right from the start we were not communicating well and I could tell she just didn't grasp what I wanted her to do. My mom, sister and friend (wife!) Maureen sat watching as we made small talk and I internally freaked out.

NOT because my hair looked bad, I'll figure out a plan B, but because now I had a person in my house with whom I as going to have to have an awwkward conversation. Thsi sweet girl seemed to think things were going OK and I didn't know how to tell her, to her little face, that she was super not getting hired on our wedding day. I just wanted her to leave! But I didn't know what to say! I am SO BAD at these kinds of conversations. I just want to be nice and funny all the time, forever, and avoid all confrontation.

After she did my hair, she was set to do my make-up and again, I should have told her right then and there that we were done for the day/life, kthxbye, but I didn't have the heart and maybe she was really great at make-up! But first I went and hid in my mom's room, right off the living room where we were doing the trial, to ask Schmoopster for advice. I didn't want her to know I was talking about her so I pretended I had to go to the bathroom - I even flushed the toilet for emphasis. I then, of course, actually had to go to the bathroom but couldn't because I already lied to her and told her I just did that and I didn't want this hair-stylist girl to think I had some kind of like, raging bladder infection, so I just sat there, clenching my legs, rushing through a make-up trial and praying for the day to end.

It did, I awkwardly told her I'd be in touch and did, eventually, let her down over email.

I don't know if I did the right thing - should I have told her to her face? Cancelled on her when she was late?! AAAAH I hate interacting with human beings sometimes. I need an assistant to do all my dirty work for me. Except then I might sometimes have to yell at the assistant and I wouldn't be able to do that so I'd have to hire another assistant do to that and then on and on until I just had one million assistants yelling at each other while I hid in my mom's room pretending to go to the bathroom.

Oy.

This Cheese:

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On the train home to NYC later that night I realized I was STARVING and didn't pack a snack. I did, however, have some blocks of cheese that my mom sent up with me so OH YES I grabbed me a hunk o' swiss and straight up gnawed on it like a mother flipping rat.

Pro-tip for getting your own seat on public transportation: see above!

This Ticket:

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The cheese was not cutting it, sadly, so I practically lept with glee when I realized we had a brief stop-over in Philaelphia, enough time to run upstairs to the train station and grab some real food before we continued no our trip. I asked a nice young man sitting across the aisle from me to watch my suitcase (direct quote: "you're wearing a suit and look trustworthy, would you watch my bag , I'm starving?") (His internal monologue was probably like "DEAR GOD why is the cheese lady speaking to me?!") and sprinted to the Au Bon Pan, where I quickly grabbed a pre-made Ceasar Salad, which is weirdly my go-to snack in stressful travel situations (why?!) and a Kind Bar which is one of those horrible monster snacks taht pretends to be healthy but is really like 450% chocolate.

I realized I'd have to re-show my ticket before boarding the train again and a horror washed over me: I had used my ticket as a recepticle for old chewing gum earlier in the trip. I pulled out the ticket an sure enough, there was a blob of gum RIGHT over the barcode they'd need to scan for reentry.

Kill. Me. Now.

I took my usual approach when faced with a tricky situation which is to over-explain in a wildly flustered manner until whoever I am dealing with just tells me to go away.

To the woman checking tickets: "Hi! Oh my gosh, OK I was on the train, coming from Elizabethtown and I got off to get a snack? The conductor said it was OK? I was starving! And I am SO embarrassed but I spit gum into my ticket...here...OH MY GOD I know so gross, I'm so sorry, can I just get back on I swear I'm coming from Elizabethtown."

All this complete with some wild gesticulating and a positively insane smile  on my face.

Cha-ching, she let me through.

LADIES: it might not be considered Leaning In but I fully support the power of occasionally playing dumb.

This Bike Tire:

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Flatter than your mother's chest, Trebek.

Unfortunately I didn't realize that until I had hauled this 567 pound beast down the stairs and ridden it a full mile to the park, the hardest bike ride of my life. You guys know I've had plenty of shenanigans with this bike but this one took the cake. It was so slow, hard to pedal and making loud clanging noises, but I just assumed it was my old bike being old. I was mortified: here I am running half marathons, in the best shape of my life, and I can't ride my bike half a block without getting winded?

I pushed and pushed and pushed and finally I made it to the park where a kindly (ish) stranger yelled out "YOU HAVE A FLAT!" in a hard to distinguish Eastern European accent and I yelled back "WHO ME?!" and almost crashed my bike and then looked down and yes, sir, I did have a flat and probably caused a huge scene all the way up to the park and OY YOY YOY.

And that, beautiful butterflies, was my week! WHAT A WEEK!!! I'm still riding so high on the Vogue thang, both pride for myself and flat out amazement and joy over all the enthusiasm and encouragement from my peeps. I am metaphorically doing that move where you jump up in the air and gleefully click your heels together.

YAY!

Have the BEST weekend, y'all!

xoxoxoxo Liz Ho

Some Awkward Housekeeping

Hello, hello! Notice a few changes? You never miss a beat, now do you?! Please bear with me as I take care of a few blog housekeeping (blog keeping?) / self promotional / organizational items:

Step One in my never ending Operation Good Blogger is to make the layout look a little more presentable so check aaaand check. I'm not 100% sold on this scene but until I can master the ways of web design, which at this rate will be like 2049 at which point we'll all be living on Mars and I won't be blogging anyway because I'll be a famous talk show host / princess / cheesemonger, well, this'll have to do.

New things to note: The incredible header image, About ME! & Say Hi! pages. (I overuse exclamation points, I am aware) & slightly cleaner layout. If something is in green font, it's a link, so click away!

Step Two: link this blog to a facebook page for easy self promotion. Donezo. It only took four months but I'm finally linked up. SO, if you would like to, and gee whiz, it sure would mean a lot to me, you can click the button to your right (the one that says "Like me, PLEASE!") (so subtle and not at all desperate) to 'like' One Awkward Year on facebook. The page will automatically update with every new post so you can always stay on top of Liz Ho.

FIGURATIVELY not literally, ya pervs.

Step Three: show off this painfully stunning photo of myself in my younger days, just straight killing it on the mean streets of Charleston, South Carolina.

young liz

I mean, if a more flattering pair of shorts have ever been made, I have yet to see them.

Step Four: Stop talking about all of this boring crap and write? I'm on it, I swear! You know what they say, Patience Is A Virtue!

(But, they also say "A bird in the hand is worth two in a bush" and "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" so you might not want to listen to them, whoever they are, they sound pretty weird and confusing.)

Ok, SO! That is the haps round these parts. Thank you for tuning in to the latest technological developments and, as I say every time I write a dumb placeholder post: stay tuned.

xo Liz Ho

PS: Please do like me on facebook, you know I'm desperate to be loved!

One (Slightly) Awkward Reunion

Oh god, ouch. You guyyys! I have to tell you about my college reunion! The other weekend I was down in Baltimore celebrating 5 years since graduation and now, approximately 216 hours later (but who’s counting?) (yes, I used a calculator) my hangover seems officially, finally gone. College is over, folks, and as I draw rapidly closer to legal subscription to AARP: The Magazine it has become all too apparent that I can no longer hang. Not that I ever could hang all that much, if we’re being completely honest with ourselves. Maybe some of us were never meant to hang, maybe we were built to stay in, eat oreos and debate the pros & cons of various American Girl Dolls (Samantha = snobby, but gorgeous hair & pinnafores, Molly = spunky & spirited but who wants glasses?) before tucking in for a decent 10 PM bedtime. The reunion bled into a crazybusy work week - Book Expo America, the largest annual publishing conference in the Western Hemisphere (toootally made that up) was in NYC all last week. I won’t bore you with the details but to give you a sense of what we were dealing with, I’ll quote 2011 presenter and one of my good personal friends Mindy Kaling: “There’s more tote bags here than in Terry Gross’s attic...It actually looks like a high-school reunion where all the jocks died in a plane crash on the way to regionals, and the plane crash killed all the minorities too."

So yeah, that was exhausting. And just to prove how very little I have changed since leaving college, the only industry #swag I took home from the conference was a stack of flyers from the American Girl Corporation teasing the release of their newest historical doll, Caroline. They have yet to reveal any deets but girl needs to work if she wants to be anywhere close to Felicity or Kirsten (pronounced Keer-sten!) level amazingness.

I need so much help.

Anyway! The reunion! I don’t know how to say this without bragging so I’m just going to come out with it: I am extremely popular. So SO many of my former classmates revealed themselves as fans of my esteemed writing, I am a major internet celebrity. We’re talking like, Charlie Bit My Finger...that kid who questions life after getting gassed by the dentist...One Awkward Year. That’s it. That’s all you need to know about the internet and the world. Done and done.

I am only slightly exaggerating! People really did approach me from all angles --ALL ANGLES! -- and confess to reading the blog, despite having limited contact since college and I obviously loved every goddamn second of it. Everyone kept saying “oh! I’m sure this reunion will make for an awkward blog!” (so demanding, my fans are) and it did, kind of, but not in the ways I thought it would. There were some run-ins with old foes, I guess, and some small talk and a lot lot LOT of that thing where you see someone and don’t know if you should like, hug them or air-kiss or high five or whatever so you kind of just like, half wrap your arm around one side of their body and pat them on the upper back while trying not to spill the giant gin & tonic you’re holding in your other hand, but for the most part, the awkwardness came not from catching up with long-lost acquaintances but from trying to suppress just how much I’ve been keeping tabs on said acquaintances in the past five years.

I know a billion words have been written on The Facebook and its role in the socializing of the youth or whatever, I don’t really read much not about celebrities and/or food, and as a member of the social media generation, I have no idea what reunions were like before the interwebz took over our lives. All I know is that I walked into a room of people I hadn’t seen in half a decade and I knew every. single. thing. they’d allll been up to. Everything! I knew who got married, who got fat, who got thin, who came out, and who questionably still wasn’t out but like, come on, dude, really? I knew it ALL!

Every conversation was a struggle for me not to reveal how truly creepy I am. “I like your hair that length!” was totally a cover for:  “I like your hair that length! So glad you got rid of the bangs. Remember how badly the reacted in the humidity when you took that trip to Puerto Rico for your parents’ 30th wedding anniversary? The one you went to right before your sister had her baby! He is so cute, by the way! I love the name Jack too, though it’s getting a little trendy, but at least it’s not Aiden, am I right? How’s your boyfriend? How many tattoos does he have, like 12? Is he enjoying his new job, at the courthouse? How do I know what he does for a living? Oh, because I’m a terrifying stalker, bye!”

It was so hard to play it cool! But I’m so clearly not the only one. So many people admitted to the same behavior. But instead of feeling solidarity with them, I mostly denied my true nature. Sometimes, especially after someone would out themselves as a fan of the blog, I would pretend to have no idea what they were up to so as to appear cool and aloof and above it all which: haha nope! Sorry, just kidding, I know everything and thanks for reading!

I actually only had one particularly awkward moment related to this cultural phenomenon, in the ladies room during the Dinner Dance/Late Night portion of the evening (there was a martini bar involved, god I love you, LoCo) when I asked a mild acquaintance about her little girl and she asked “How did you know I had a daughter?” and I replied “Ummmm, read it on the internet.” And then her friend, possibly even best friend, a girl who perennially wears magenta bandage dresses and has Barbie bangs announced to the entire room (bathroom!) that her friend’s baby was unplanned and reminded us all to take our birth control. Calling out your bestie on her illegitimate child in the middle of the college reunion? Ouch, way harsh, Tai.

  But that was it! I Went To My Five Year Reunion And All I Got Was This Lousy Story About Facebook Stalking and Bathroom Conversations. I truly, truly wish that I could have had better stories for you, especially those fellow graduates who revealed themselves as fans...and fellow creeps. Would that I could have fallen on the dance floor (again!) or accidentally made out with a former professor or pooped my dress or just, something, anything at all. Alas, I kept it classy.

I suppose there is always the Ten Year! See you there, friends. I promise to cause a scene!

 

And now, because I am vain and I read somewhere that people like blogs with pictures, here are some choice photos from the weekend. I’m so demure!

We have to go back, Kate! We have to go back!

Some Awkward (Hypothetical!) Questions

Some quick totally hypothetical questions: 1. If you are looking at a person's profile on The Facebook, sayyyy maybe a girl you went to HS with but haven't spoken to in like 8 years and accidentally "Like" one of her posts (let's say it is a video about Michael Vick, who you DO love but wouldn't necessarily give the 'ol FB thumbs up) and then very quickly "unlike" the post, will the person know you did that or will your creeper activities just disappear into the abyss?

2. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being Kate Middleton and 10 being Pigpen from Peanuts, how gross is it to sleep in a t-shirt for a few days and then wear said t-shirt to the office? Does it make it less gross if it is kind of cute and fitted, not like a giant thing you got free at the college job fair?

3. How much Vitamin C is too much Vitamin C?

4. How long do you think it would take for this kid's parents to notice if he suddenly went missing, Elizabeth Smart style? (Except not taken by a horrible cult leader but a beautiful, loving blogger?)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=haH1mCZGpts]

5. How soon is too soon to make Elizabeth Smart jokes?