Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sick.



I'm so happy at home these days.


That being the reason why the idea of going to a friend's birthday party this weekend seemed more grueling than exciting. She wanted to go a club after dinner at her place. Being that I am not an absolute recluse or hermit, I decided to attend anyway - having since regretted this at least half a dozen times and here's why.

I walk in there, totally decked out in my club outfit, which is not really appropriate if there is a parent present - in which case there was, unbeknownst to me. Regardless though, the fact that I was under the impression that it was a party I should attend alone, not with the fiance in tow (which, in mid-party turned out otherwise) and the fact that I was physically not very comfortable in my clubbing outfit sitting across from a parent, that's all trivial.

What is not trivial however, is the utter disgusting display of human intolerance and ignorance that sat across the table from me.

It all started innocently enough. One of the women, let's call her 'Brunette', commented on the other woman's (the Blonde's) uncanny choice of shoes for the given weather. The Blonde was quick to retort (and I swear, she seemed so stuck up that I could imagine her snorting as she said this) 'I used to live in New York, eeeveryone wears pumps in all sorts of weather there'. The Brunette gasped in awe, I pictured her as a little animal, flapping her limbs in adoration of a bigger one, clearly getting ready for a major sucking up session but unsure as to where to begin. There was a momentary silence, so I said 'Yeah, having been to New York and worn flats for the better part of Autumn because you mostly have to walk every where, I'm sort of not surprised'.

Silence.

'So.. having been to California now though, I must say, I loved it'.


'California is big and different'. The Blonde replied. Which is when I explained and agreed, saying that I really liked San Francisco but LA was not my cup of tea, albeit I didn't get to see much of LA except the tourist spots so I can't say much about it.

I get told that San Francisco weather is gross. I.. disagree, I quite like the weather but I didn't disagree in the conversation at the time. Then I get told that LA is unsafe. Fair enough? I guess, I wouldn't know, I've never spent more than a day there.. so I didn't dispute it. I mediate the situation by saying you know what, my dad is totally a New York person too, he wouldn't trade it in for the world..

I flip the awkward conversation onto a subject that at the time, seemed absolutely harmless to me: public transport infrastructure. I didn't have much in common with this snobby superficial blonde to begin with, so I was short of subjects to converse about.

Apparently, I was mistaken.

Soon enough, the topic was intentionally steered towards .. all people who are not 'white', vulgar vocabulary implemented and pure raw ignorance puked all over the conversation.

'Los Angeles public transport is full of -them-, and it's so dangerous!' The Blonde snorted. I suddenly realized how much I was beginning to loathe her. I was sickened with everything she just said and her very being. 'They all look at you!' she continued. I was brewing. Boiling. 'My father felt like being adventurous once, and he took the public transport to the airport, can you believe it?'. She blurts


I tell her that I never felt that way, nor do I generally feel endangered around people, regardless of the race. Demeanor can intimidate me but certainly it has nothing to do with the way a person looks.


'I was the ONLY white person on a bus in New York once, I was so scared, they were all looking!'. The Brunette soon followed up with her share of crap. Mind you, this woman is -NOTHING- to look at.

'I used to live in New York, I took the public transport every day and never did I feel so much as awkward'. I managed to reply, though I wanted to grab her and shake her - scream at her, that it's people like her who bring prejudice and hate into the world, they're the ones who help it live and the way she reasons and sees the world, through this closed-minded prism.. is wrong.

'I took the bus to school for two years in New York, and it is not pleasant!' The Blonde snorts again.


How I detested her in that very moment. Her snobby, sheltered world - how I wanted to make it crumble. To tell her that I hope she doesn't bring children into this world until she changes her mindset to something acceptable by society today. How 'tolerance' is not even the beginning of the description of what she needed. She needs therapy. She needs a reality check. She needs a life. She is nothing outside of her real estate awards given to the international investment bank where she works. She flocks with people just like her. They are all sick.

How I suddenly wished to expose her.. to all of her colleagues, her superiors - for the discriminative, racist, ignorant prude I see her as.

My friend lacked sensitivity to the matter and my shock when I came into the kitchen to talk to her, my utter shock at the fact that she'd put me at a table, knowingly with such people, given that I myself, am not exactly pure Slavic to put it lightly. She just told me stories about how 'tolerance' seems to be disappearing these days, especially abroad.  I called total BS on that, and I told her so. She mentioned some of the recent terror acts as an example.. to my horror, she didn't see to realize that these remarks made by the women she calls friends are all a part of that big, ugly picture - I told her that I hoped the two women would NOT bring children into this world until they wise up on what is reality these days, and how they are contributing NEGATIVELY to our society today.

For what I can usually articulate my feelings, that evening made me so angry because I cannot believe that people aren't ashamed for voicing these things so freely. I will not be caught dead in the same room with them anymore and I am very much shocked at the idea of my friend being a part of a consciously racist clique.. I thought she knew better, apparently I did not.

'Equity' has more meanings than your investment bank has taught you, you imbeciles.


equity - conformity with rules or standards; "the judge recognized the fairness of my claim"
non-discrimination - fairness in treating people without prejudice
sportsmanship - fairness in following the rules of the game
justice, justness - the quality of being just or fair
inequity, unfairness - injustice by virtue of not conforming with rules or standards





Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Proposal

I won't even get into how aghast I was at having to take such an impromptu trip - even though, after much convincing, I still decided to do it; the fact that we had just come back from a 3 week vacation and were leaving again - a decision that literally, was an overnight one, is in itself quite bewildering.

I felt like I didn't have much say - can you imagine just being told you have to take a 16 hour plane ride, with little explanation as to why except 'urgent paperwork' and a favor..? Well, that's what I was dealing with, when my boyfriend was booking tickets.

He had also been acting so strange, suddenly different - as though something had changed between us. He refused to answer basic questions, and if initially me being inquisitive was something that had never bothered him, suddenly it seemed to become a problem.

Friends hinted, that I had a beautiful surprise waiting for me - a part of me, that's been secretly really wanting this, but silently, was ecstatic. The other part of me however, that little skeptical thing, said if nothing of the sort happened the previous trip, then this trip was definitely too short notice for anything of the like. 

The first day of our arrival definitely reinforced me being skeptical. I spent the entire day running around, absolutely frantically trying to get said paperwork done. Some pretty mediocre shopping and a nap later - I realized that my boyfriend was close to an hour late for our dinner plans. I was back in San Francisco, again; tired and lonely, again.. and suddenly, this trip didn't look promising at all.

On Friday, I had my nails done at a nearby salon, got to meet some friends (BG ladies!) and so the day flew by - 11.11.11 - frankly, I thought if I got no surprise on that day (and I didn't, we had dinner and fell asleep immediately) then I'd get no surprises at all.

On the plane ride to San Francisco, we watched the new Planet of the Apes prequel. I loved the sight of Muir Woods, and instantly, we decided unanimously that we'll pay it a visit this trip.

Saturday, the first day that we actually got to spend together, that's what the plan was. We ran a few errands after breakfast, and were on our way.

Again, the boyfriend was somewhat anxious to get there, and reacted somewhat snappy upon the realization that there were a lot of people there, judging by the lack of free parking spaces - a reaction that is totally uncharacteristic of him; I'm the impatient one in this relationship, usually. 'It's muddy today too', my usually not squeamish boyfriend murmured.

I thought Muir Woods was a beautiful place, and I loved walking around there - until the boyfriend insisted that we go farther into the woods. I struggled a little on the trail, unsure of why exactly we went so deep in - we came to a clearing, and seemingly, for the first time, there were no people around. 'Let's take a picture here!' he exclaimed, and gestured towards the clearing which was definitely off the path.

'Are we even supposed to be here?' I skeptically asked. 'It doesn't matter, just get down here!' He quickly replied, and so I did. It was a beautiful spot - a little creek, a lovely tall Redwood tree and the forest was a beautiful shade of a wide spectrum of green. He fussed with his camera and then reached into his bag for a different lens, which something that he does all the time when we're taking pictures.

I was looking around, and I didn't quite realize what he got out of the bag until something that I can recognize in pitch black caught the corner of my eye, and I slammed my gaze straight into it - a beautifully wrapped in white ribbon, gentle aquamarine-green box with the distinctive "Tiffany & Co." print on the front of it.

"A late birthday present!" I chimed in my mind (Yes, I'm often that delusional). It only took me a few seconds to suspect the best though. He told me to unwrap it, and I was so.. wrapped in unwrapping my perfect little box, I didn't even notice the fact that he had got down on one knee.


'I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" He said.

'GET OUT!', I graciously, reply. This was not exactly how I had planned to accept a proposal from the man I have been in love with ever since our first meeting in August of last year. Promptly, I rushed to say 'Yes!' and opened the box that I have been holding.

Not only was it the purest, most beautiful diamond I have no ever owned but also that I have ever seen, the ring was nothing short of simply perfect. I would no have picked a different one out myself.

'One more thing...' he continued. But that my friends, is different story.

And so.. it was just like that, that my life changed! Now what?






ETA: The fiance says I didn't quite see the box until he was down on one knee already, and only after saying 'I will' did he say he wants to spend the rest of his life with me - goes to show that  I was lucky not to faint at all this all together, I have a memory gap ^-^ But I do remember one little detail, when he got down on one knee, he didn't even get dirty, so it really was the perfect proposal!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Away

I just came back from the most amazing trip of my life. Do you know what the only reason that made actually coming back worthwhile.. It's a little but really big reason - Nika.


I loved San Francisco because of the diversity of the people and how they were all equally nice. We had the most amazing sushi meal the first evening we were there .. A small and somewhat tacky looking but undeniably popular sushi place barely two blocks from where we were staying. I also got to see all the sights and hear Hugh Laurie perform..and kind of catch a peek of him at the Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass festival. Oh and of course a fantastic meal at Atelier Crenn with all sorts of cool molecular gastronomy tricks and treats, and the classic La Folie.. Where I walked out so stuffed, I didn't want to live! I got to meet my boyfriend's best friend, who's an undoubtedly intelligent, nice, hyper goofball of easygoing.

On Santana Row, I got to shop until I was too weak to walk - filling up a carry-on suitcase to a point of it almost rupturing.

Next was Texas. A task of 'Meet The Parents', initially, I had been nervous about the fact but in the end decided that most likely, if I made an effort to be nothing other than myself on my best behaviour, unless they let some sort of unjust prejudice get in the way of their judgement, then they should like me, and they did! I think..I hope.

There was shopping in a place I have deemed 'Screw DisneyLand, THIS is the happiest place on Earth' - San Marcus outlet mall.

Then there was beautiful Maui. Having grown up on an island, that island was brought complete to shame by the tropical, multicolored plants and flowers. The micro-climates of each region were pretty fantastic too. I loved the beaches and the people were all so friendly, much an opposite contrast of the way people are in Moscow. I've been back for a week now, the first days I was just in a piss poor mood, somewhat a ritual I tend to go through to get used to the gray, envy-stricken, rough, dirty, dog-eat-dog city I live in.

There were also phantoms. I suppose there are always phantoms but more evidently obvious when I get lonely, and I was lonely a lot before Texas because that portion of the trip was largely business for my boyfriend and he gave me absolute freedom and opportunity to do whatever it was I wanted.

It was as though things were knocking on the window - I actually had a nightmare, about it being precisely that. This phantom was knocking on the hotel room window, and it brought me that forsakened list I had in fright, stuck back into the guidebook, sticking the SF guidebook back into the bookcase and locking it, at home before leaving. It didn't help. Waking up startled, I instantly wished I had torn it up and thrown it out.

I kept telling myself that I was the one who involuntarily called on these things and thoughts to come to me, they frightened me, but as easily as I brought them on, I should be able to rid myself of them.

I am so in love, I'm flying somewhere up near cloud number 9, higher than these things and thoughts. Which is why I will go on to tell you about LA.

The fantastic 'London' hotel, right next to The Viper Room. I could help the morbid thought about River Phoenix dying right there as we walked on the pavement to grab a late night dinner. The next day I got to go to one of the most interesting museums I've ever been to, the La Brea tar pits. Got to walk on the walk of stars and had dinner at the original Nobu - the Matsuhisu restaurant, not without a glimpse of the superstar chef himself!

Plane ride. Washington D.C. Ooh the exhausting Washington, though I quite loved the National Gallery for its various exhibits! Even some Toulouse-Lautrec!

My feet have not hurt like that in a looong time!

Landing in Moscow was bittersweet. I couldn't wait to get one of Nika's clumsy, happy hugs. The city however, didn't go over well. Gray. Dirty. Rude. Difficult. I was in a piss poor mood for a whole week upon returning. With only one thing to look forward to, that being my birthday.

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