Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tuna Cans

When I was fifteen I wrote down in my diary all the things I was afraid of:

-my friends not liking me
-being a bad kisser
-going to parties
-smelling bad

Now I am 23. And these are the things I am afraid of.

-men who would rather be boys
-bad sex
-cheap booze
-drug [tests] just kidding mom
-my friends not liking me
-going to parties and holding hands when you are not supposed to
-smelling bad

Some fears are universal, I learned. It was fun to see how un-far I have come in some areas of my life and now far I have come in others. Suddenly, being 23 feels not so old, perhaps I have started paying my own bills and burrowing into adulthood, but I am still scared of body odor and I am always worried that my people in my life will have heart seizures and stop altogether enjoying my company.

Some fears are newly developed, however. The fear of losing people now that I am 23 and understand when there is something worth holding onto. When, because of this person, ordinary things like camping trips and early morning nooky become 10x more exciting. Is making a sandwich routine? NO WAY. Grocery shopping is like an roller coaster. Perhaps we waltzed in the cereal isle. He can swing dance when boiling water and play dead for my tiny dog to sniff and sniff until he convulses with happiness because his other playmate is so much cooler than mom. He opens tuna cans by just looking at them. Together, the world is open for business. Brushing your teeth is sexy when you do it side by side.

And to watch the potential of your Disneyland relationship slip down through your hands like old bathwater is perhaps the fear that drains me most of all.

But ultimately, you mustn't lie down in the wake of the tidal wave of fear. You must stand up to watch it crash and destroy everything, hoping that when the water subsides, there he will be, waltzing his way back into your arms so we can head off to our next great adventure.

The Other Way Around

I knew a guy that had his heart absolutely smashed by the first girl he ever loved.

He was a successful man, at the top of his field for his age, and wanted to go further in his career. He had built a neat little empire form which to stand on, and finally found the right type of gal to stand with him.

She said no, though.

I talked with him a few times about it, desparing at his sorrow. It was difficult to watch someone who knows everything suddenly know nothing. Even if the moments were brief, they were there, and they struck a chord in my heart when I watched him put his head in his hands.

I get it now, though.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Mother, My Career

My talented teacher mother has been chosen to teach a study abroad class in FRANCE! Next year, isn't that spectacular? Claps for mama. It is so depressing that my mother's career is taking off like all those planes in LAX while mine sags like an empty balloon. Dramatic. Actually, its more like an elderly man's shlong. It's feeble, it's trying, but its not quite there.

And its not depressing, its utterly amazing. I am so proud of you...Mademoiselle Mama.

Anyway, I am at post college job number two, trying to gain my footing. I am having difficulty sleeping because I have an interesting set of responsibilities this time around. I have been doing research, brainstorming, pleading with my bored friends for ideas, trying to "become the job." So far I am only half of the job, half Sonia, half uber stressed and getting fat because to deal with halving myself three times my carb consumption is, like, way up there. But I am actually liking me a little more this time around so I am hoping for the best. Who knows, perhaps next week I will be digging my own vocational grave, but for now I'm alive and kickin!

Before this blogage, I was laying in bed, kicking my sheets around and I kind of did a little in-my-head career montage of all my past jobs. The summer of my senior year my mother told me solemnly, "You will work." Okay, whatever Mom. I'm 18 and AWESOME and no longer a virgin, so whatever no big deal.

Having absolutely no job skills, I was lucky enough to get a job through a dear friend of my mother's. I was an office assistant at a dental office. What means is I did things like filing, recording Perio charting (that thing where they stick a pokey thing in your mouth and a mirror and call out 3,2,3...4,3,2...224 until you feel like your jaw in unhinged), recording X Rays, putting the cookies out for the patients in the lobby. But mostly I cleaned. I cleaned and sterilized rooms, tools, chairs, trays. Everything you put your mouth on at the dentist I cleaned. In scrubs with my hair undid, no makeup, and a bad attitude that I quelled by stealing the frozen cookie dough for the lobby cookies, storing it in my scrub pockets, and eating it in between cleanings. It didn't seems to phase me one moment I was putting a bloody tooth scalpel in the sterilization thing and the next minute shoving frozen caramel chocolate chip into my mouth.

One of my jobs was to set up the patient rooms according to procedure. Hygiene was cake, it was the same every time. But the "surgery" rooms where they fixed rotten teeth or bleached out the highlighted and large-breasted soccer mom's smile until her teeth looked like Chiclets called for different set ups. My enemy was the tool tray where, depending on procedure, I would lay out a set of 8-10 metal sticks. They were supposed to be in a certain order, and discernible by their tiny little "heads" or end points. These things cost big money, and I was supposed to handle them delicately. I could. not. tell. them. apart. Many an hour I spent squinting at the tiny little spoon at the end of the metal stick asking myself :

"Is this a blah blah blah spoon for smoothing the gums, or is this the blah blah blah hooky thing he uses to cut people? Fuck."

Needles to say, it wasn't my dream job. All I wanted to be doing that summer was make out with my first cool boyfriend and pretend to smoke cigarettes. I remember one time being very upset I had to go to work the next morning and therefore had to go to bed early. I was so angry, resentful, and upset. Why the hell do I have to work? Hello? I'm going to college. I know everything. I hate wearing scrubs.

I was busy moping when my mother probably called me out on it. I let loose 18 years of spoiling and sheltered-ness when I raised back my in indignant fist and...

Grabbed a pile of discarded bank statements and threw them about the room. Take that Golden 1! Not paying you on time Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card! What, USAA Federal Savings Bank? Yeah that's right, YOU GOT THROWN!

My mother watched me get in a bar fight with paper and to her credit, did not laugh. Rather instead, she followed me to my room (where I had stormed off to, duh) and calmly talked me down from stabbing her VISA statement with my scissors. She told me that you have to pay your dues in some way or another because they will give you the background and tools to get where you want to go.

Great lesson, huh? It's funny that I only remembered it now, dealing with shady ex-employers and feeling truly hopeless as my second security deposit in 4 months is hungry for the meager amount that resides in my USAA checking. Because at the end of the day, I no longer look like an extra from Grey's Anatomy and spend mornings cleaning up blueberry muffin puke. I paid that due. I am past the minimum wage job! Its time to accept me, real people world, I am one of the entry level big dogs now!

...Although I do miss the caramel chocolate chip cookies.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Guilty as Charged

Guilt is an interesting bitch. It is not like anger, which bursts and subsides, but is always moving, coiling. It is not quite like fear, which seems distinctly haunting, the darkly twisted angst of what is to come.

Rather, guilt can die altogether in moments. It can stop itself autonomously. And you can go on waking up, brushing your teeth, and fetching a latte without the weight.

But just as inconspicuously as it died, it can be reborn. And the stench of it is so strong, it fills your throat and lungs until breath seems difficult as you struggle to wait out the day, the week, the month until it dies again.

It has been over a year since I had my first wrestle with the fleeting bitch. She still returns occasionally, with less vigor and momentum. There is less hangover, less temptation and her visits are tempered with my slightly newer perspective and strength.

When you do something you know is wrong, it ignites you with passion and fear. And when the adrenaline subsides, all that remains is a pile of dusty ash. There is nothing you can do but wait. Wait for the phoenix, wait for your next chance to go head to head with the bitch.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Bilingual a Plus

Within the hollowed depths of my job search, I have come across many postings whom list bilingualness as an incentive to hire. Living in southern California, it's a safe assumption that the tongue besides my native one is that of the sultry rolling r's, part one of the Romance: Spanish.

I've always sort of poked fun at the fact that I cannot speak a word of Spanish. My German born father and I once went to a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place, and both of us played charades attempting to spell out of orders much to the amusement of the lady behind the counter.

Being born to Peter Lucyga, with half my people living beautifully in Northern Germany, learning das language was always a part of my life. When we were children, my father bought this interactive language learning program. We sang songs, attempted grammar, and learned the words for things like strawberry or sandwich.

I still remember one of the songs.

Guten Morgen! Guten Morgen! Euch Kinder hier in Haus. Euch Madchen und Jungen euch grossen und kleinen, kommt alle zusammen, Wir fangen jetz an...

Good Morning! Good Morning! All the children are present in the home. All girls and boys, big and small, Come together, and we will now begin...

My sister and I were glad to learn the song, because it was oddly satisfying to sing in German even if you had no idea what you were singing about. But as I grew older, the disadvantages of living in California and not knowing Spanish began to make themselves visible.

For instance, getting a text message from a boy, saying "Calmate chica." Confused for a moment, then restfully assured calmate means some form of beautiful. Them ruminating on how much you are smitten with the charming, Spanish-learned rascal.

Then showing your sister the text message, expecting a similar conclusion. There is a quick debate on the actual meaning of calmate. It is remembered that caliente means hot, not calmate. Then rapidly pulling up and realizing that "Calmate, chica" does not mean "Girl, you are so fine." Rather, it roughly translates to "Bitch calm down."

I know that I should be more disappointed that my lack of Spanish speaking knowledge has held me back from applying for some really fabulous jobs, but it is my "Bitch calm down" scenario that truly grinds my gears. If I am to be honest, freeing myself of the chill girl representation I've built in this blog (haha), I curse the day I learned my first "Ich habe Hunger" specifically because for a good half an hour I was lulled into a brief euphoria of dreaminess and good feelings when I was really being chastised.

Spanish is a sexy to hear, especially that elusive Listhp that reverberates off the lips of my friends who have returned from studying abroad in Madrid. But when I think of Spanish, I don't think of sexy things, like, er, parted lips or...naked people. I think of things I could not understand. I think of someone trying to tell me something, and the message simply refusing to enter into my consciousness. Or better yet, my consciousness dressing up the sage advice in a way cuter costume. You know how the squeamish say a squirrel is just a rat in a cuter costume? Well, for me, in that silly instance, Spanish is all the words I don't want to hear in English. In a sexier, listhp-ier costume.

When I look back at my lack of bilinguality, I have to smile. I smile because the whole affair transcends job frustration or that push and pull of initial dating when things are "complicated." I like the allure of not understanding the words that people are saying. Because for once, I can just let the syllables and meaning wash over me without the strain of interpretation or analysis. I can just listen to the organic foundation of human communication and actually appreciate for a minute, the miracle of language.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


When my sister and I were younger, it seemed we were ages apart.

We are not quite two years, and she is really my best friend; so much so that it seems the only thing separating our ascent to doing everything together is her inability to legally drink in bars. She is my best gal pal, if not slightly on a protective sisterly pedestal. I start gnashing my teeth and cracking my knuckles when my boy friends talk about her sex appeal or whereabouts.

As in its 10 p.m. and we're all 5 shots deep and my charming neighbor inquires, meaningfully: "Sonia, where's your sister?"

Or, "Sonia, you're sister's so hot...Where is she?"

So, yes my sister is hot. And yes, if you try to hit on her in front of me I am immature enough that not only will I cock block you to Hades, I will also defriend you on every social networking platform, ever. I know, terrifying. Testosterone is quaking in its boots.

But anyway, when we were younger our two year span seemed more like four. We were different, and disagreed on many things. One large nugget of dissension was the welfare of our mother. My sister was very protective, she didn't condone any roughhousing like chicken fights in the pool or that weird game where you swim around, pushing your opponents head down into the water, trying to drown each other.

I on the other hand, was older and had an attitude. I saw myself as an equal opponent to my mothers head-dunking abilities, and would challenge her. When my 8 year old core strength failed, I would get mad, exact revenge, and cling onto my mother's neck like an enraged koala, hoping for an advantage.

My mother would laugh, my sister would cry, and then my attempts at winning the drowning game would be thwarted as we'd all have to stop to calm Sasha down.

But there is one moment in my sister's brief career as my mother's bodyguard that truly bested me. My mother is athletic, and growing up she coached quite a few of our sports teams. When we lived in Virginia, Sash and I were just starting to play soccer, and my mother was the coach for my Under 8 soccer team, dubbed "The Geckos."

It was one of our last practices. All seven year olds want to end every game or practice by throwing water or Gatorade on their coach, because it is hilarious and adults look funny wet. Exactly the kind of physical humiliation, however, that my sister did not allow in our house. The instant Sasha caught wind of my team's giggly plan, her protective instinct kicked in.

Meanwhile, I was deviously unscrewing the cap of my water bottle, chuckling to myself.

During our post practice huddle, all the girls are looking at each other, mischievously, clutching their water bottles. My mother knew what was coming, and began jogging away as 13 Geckos took after her, shrieking.

I hung back a bit, wanting my dousing to be just me and the coach, for full hilarity. As I began jogging towards the pack, something felt off. I began to hear a vague buzzing sound, getting louder. I stopped my cleated pursuit, and turned around to face the growing hum...



I was full on flattened by my midget of a sister. She sprang up from kicking my ass, wailing in fear and sadness, and took off like a demon towards my mom. I sat up in disbelief as I watched the back of her pigtailed head cover the field alarmingly fast.

"Mom! Sasha hurt me!" I immediately complained. I wasn't even mad, I was more humiliated that my awesome water throwing moment was ruined by a shrimp wearing a Winnie the Pooh shirt.

My mom couldn't really feel sorry for me, considering she was busy comforting my sister/bodyguard as well as holding back laughter at the grass and dirt in my hair, evidence of my ass beating.

It was the first time I was taught never to underestimate my younger sister. Though I may have height and 1.75 years of life experience, she assess situations in a different, and often far more bad ass way than myself. But now I feel like her protective instinct has grown to encompass me, and I am her quarterback instead of, er, the other team. She protects me, just as vehemently and insanely as she protected my mother that fateful day on the soccer field.

She was just giving me a preview of her services.

I miss you, Sasha.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If the shoe [doesn't] fit...

Hello, dear blog.

So my last few posts about Oceanside and a new job seem woefully unimportant now. The few weeks that I was employed by that company feel like a black hole, a hole where the site of my reporter pad would make me nauseous and I developed a brief interview stutter.

In other words, I was laid off.

So now I am blogging to you from a coffee shop, terrifically unemployed, unpaid (the former company of mine is having financial troubles), yet undeterred. If you can't laugh when life takes you to Oceanside and then shits all over your lovely yet childlike perception that the job world will give you as much love as you give it, then when can you?

I choose to laugh. HA. HA. Ha. ha.

So, let me dwell not and instead get to the real subject of this post: shoes! My brief stint as a reporter allowed me to meet a bunch of people and get to know a bunch of local business. Being the clothes hound that I profess I am, (I am! I am) I gravitated toward boutique business. During one interview, I found a pair of precious black patent wedges.

I yanked them off the shelf and immediately tried the price. $7.00! I'll take them!

Unfortunately they were size 6.5. I can squeeze into a 7.5 sometimes, and have bought a pair of 7.5 studded stilettos in a moment of reduced price desperation. But 6.5 was pushing it. They are uncomfortable, my toes hang off like pigeons on a phone line, and I can only wear them to outing that involve little walking and lots of sitting (read: movie, dinner, doing my makeup).

But I had to have them, very much. In fact if I left the store without buying them, something truly terrible would happen, like I'd get gout or be fired (ha.ha.ha.). My hands itched to possess the too small shoes, and my heart raced as she rang them up. Let's go! my silent thought process said. If I don't own these, someone else with smaller feet will. I should have them, because I want them, now. They will make me happy, now. If I don't, right now, they will sit, right now, and later, someone who doesn't really love them for all they are will get them, later, and I will be alone, for now, and for later.

And then perhaps, for ever.

Well, I got them, I now own them, and they sit along the top shelf of my closet gathering dust. I realize, regretfully, that I really should not have bought them, even though they looked great and made me feel great. When I'd feel dull or unhappy, I'd look at them and think "Well, at least I have that." And I'd feel giddy, and sneaky, and comfortable for the time being.

But you can't keep shoes on retainer, especially ones that don't fit. Shoes are meant to be worn, walked, and admired. They are meant to spend time with you, to be a part of your life. You can't just stay with shoes because it makes you feel good to have them around, just in case.

In case of what? Something bad happening? Like getting laid off?

Well, I got laid off. I put the shoes on, thinking I could salvage something from my time "on the job." And when push came to shove, when I most needed them to fit, they still didn't.

I know its silly to pin hopes of support onto inanimate objects. But my reverse Cinderella story made me realize that it is just as silly to pin hopes of support on ill-fitting relationships as it is on pretty patent wedges.