Life is Beautiful

I had a bit of good news come my way the other day. Secretly, I am bursting inside, but because I do not want to tempt fate, I will keep my lips sealed. Just know that it is something which I have wanted for a long time now, and if all goes well, I will let you know. But, I am also sure that if I fall flat on my face, you all will know about it also, as I probably will be bitchin’ about it on here.

I had two women here at the office confide in me yesterday. Two different women, with completely different backgrounds, but both legal secretaries. One approached me early in the afternoon and asked me to meet her for lunch. We meet outside and walk to Hale & Hearty for our favorite soup, Creamy Tomato Soup with Chicken and Orzo.

As we are eating outside at the park, I watch her and wonder what she needs to tell me. In between gulps of her soup, she says, “I feel like killing myself.”

I nearly choke over my soup, but quickly compose myself enough to respond. “What’s going on?”

“I’m just so tired of my life. I’m broke, I’m lonely, and I just don’t know what to do with my life. I’m tired of caring, and I just want to give up.” She looks at me with glossy eyes.

Not knowing how to respond, and in fear of saying the wrong thing, I shove soup in my mouth, and then follow with a big bite of bread.

“I think,” I finally say after a long uncomfortable pause, “that you just need to get f*cked. Not just laid. But f*cked.”

“What’s the difference?” she asked.

With a bit of fake sounding authority, as if I know what I’m really saying, I answer, “Well, getting laid is just having sex. Plain and boring. Missionary. But getting f*cked… Well, my dear, that’s getting down and dirty and having mind-blowing, pain-numbing, explosive sex.”

She takes in what I say, and she smiles. “You know what? I think you’re right.”

We finish our lunch in companionable silence. I am relieved that she has temporarily stopped thinking about her sad state of affairs, and she, presumably, ponders on how she can go about getting shanked, as she finishes off the last slurp of her soup with a smirk on her face.

At the end of the day yesterday, I walk to another side of our floor suite to drop off some research papers on a Partner’s desk. I rarely visit this side of the building and I run into a woman that I had not seen in a long time.

“Hey, you, what’s up? I haven’t seen you in a long time. How are things?” I ask her.

“I’m hanging in there. I’ve been having a rough time lately. Work has been slow and I’ve been trying to stay busy by trying to date, but I swear, I’ve been on these dating sites and all I ever meet are losers.”

She is an actress, but she works as a legal secretary to fill in time between acting jobs. She’s been cast on Law & Order and CSI in the past, but hasn’t had much work in the recent months.

“It really is hard to meet people these days. I am not sure I would trust those dating sites, but I guess there aren’t many other options,” I answer, weakly.

She looks at me with the same glossy look I had seen on the other girl, just a few hours earlier. I start to breathe a little faster.

“You know, Nova, I’ve only ever wanted two things in my life, and that was to be an actress and to find a good man to marry. I’m failing miserably at acting and I’m now in my fifties. The chances of me finding a good man are becoming slimmer as each day, each year passes. If I had a gun here at my desk, I’d just shoot myself and get it over with.”

“Why me?” I ask myself. To her, I plead with exasperation, “Please, please don’t say that.”

“I’m sorry,” she says, “It’s just that sometimes I get so fed up with waking up everday, trying my hardest to change my life, and things don’t ever go my way.”

“Well, did I ever tell you that theory about how when you want something, the universe conspires to help you achieve it?” I say, trying to quote Paul Coelho.

I am grasping at air here, trying to come up with witty, but comforting things to say. I’m not a god-damned psychologist, for God’s sake. Why are these women telling me their problems? I’m not even allowed to make decisions about my finances or rent a damn car, remember???

“Well, it’s true,” I continue, again with an air of superimposed authority. “Supposedly, we have to really want something, tell the universe and the whole world about it, and nature and forces will contrive to make it happen.”

“I heard something like that, from a friend of mine,” she says, rather excitedly. She continues on with a story about how her friend had set a wedding date for three years in advance although she was not even dating anyone at the moment. Wouldn’t you know it, by the time her “expiration date” came, she had met the man of her dreams, and she did indeed get married on the date she had planned three years earlier.

“Wow, Nova, thanks for reminding me,” she gushes. “I feel better now.” She stands up and gives me a hug.

Life is beautiful again.


On the phone with my financial services company:

“Yes, I’d like online access for my account.”

“Could you please verify your information?”

I give my name, social security number and address.

“Well, it appears that your mother is the guardian on this account, and you are not the person that can make any changes on this account.”

“Okay… you mean even if it’s MY account and I just gave my Mom access to MY account, I can’t even apply for online access?”

“That’s right. Your mother is the Guardian on this account and since you’re underage, we can’t even talk to you.”


Although I am 37, apparently I cannot be trusted to handle my own finances.

“Mom, help!!!” (She so loves being needed.)

This reminds me of when I tried to rent a car last summer. El, you’ll remember this:

“Hi. I’d like to rent a car please. Could you please tell me what’s available?”

The woman at Hertz looks at me and says, kindly, “Honey, I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you can’t. You have to be at least 18 in order to rent a car.”

After showing her my driver’s license, we determine that I am actually older than she is.

Looking young and sounding young doesn’t always have its advantages.

A Lot of Fish and a Little Bit of Chips

This weekend:

  • I almost got robbed. I was sitting on the train, and an older Chinese woman sat down next to me. The motion of the train always makes me sleepy, but I wasn’t sleepy enough to ignore the woman next to me inching closer and closer. When I looked down, her hand was in my open purse. I slapped her hand away, and yelled, “WTF?!?!” She didn’t say anything, and quickly moved away and got out at the next stop.
  • I walked in on a man as he was using the bathroom. I went biking in the park this weekend, and stopped off near a wooded area to take a little breather. I didn’t realize that I had stepped into someone’s house, until I was assailed by a foul stench, and saw a homeless man behind a tree who just whipped out his junk and proceeded to urinate. I got onto my bike and pedaled away as quickly as I could go.
  • I ate the best fish ‘n’ chips this side of the East River. I always thought that the other boroughs of New York offered better food than Manhattan, and my impromptu search for fish ‘n’ chips brought me to this place.

  • BabyG kept saying “mama” over and over again. It’s music to my ears, and she is even learning to play the harmonica.

I live such an exciting life, don’t I?