Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Single in Seattle

I have begun understand why people join cults, shave their heads, and begin worshiping in large groups. Now, don’t get me wrong I am not going to start attending meetings where you have to bring your own bed sheet and a live chicken...I can’t afford the livestock (or the bed sheet for that matter). What I mean is I suddenly understand the need to belong, the desperate urge to not feel alone.

Some supplement this daunting feeling with getting married, which I don’t understand. I have a hard enough time trying to steer myself through my own constant and rather unfortunate bouts of the ridiculous, legally binding myself to another hopelessly lost, young idiot would just be asking for trouble. Besides this Saturday I am celebrating my four-year anniversary of having absolutely no romantic plans, let alone an individual who qualifies as even a possibility -why ruin such an impressive streak?

Besides, on the infrequent and unlikely chance that I happen to stumble onto someone who sparks some interest, they either: A) aren’t attracted to me in “that” way, but would love to be my friend/fuck-buddy; B) are completely incapable of a real conversation, unless it revolves around themself; C) have some sort of weird condition which renders them a socially inept retard; or D) they’re gay…and they have better shoes then me.

I am not saying that I want to get married right now, I know that I am not in any way ready. And, that is saying a lot considering I am from a town where the average marrying age is 17, (and if you’re not married by my age then you’re pregnant with your second child and unsure of who both their fathers are, but you can name the parties they were conceived at.) Yes as long communities like mine exist shows like Springer, Rikki Lake, and Maury will have a spot on daytime TV as well as an audience.

As a single woman, who is expected to be independent and brimming with sexual energy, for some reason I can’t shake the feeling that I am tripping over the glamorous facade. Young women seem to believe that during their twenties they have to live out “Sex and the City”, while waiting for their white knight to come along and magically turn their lives into “Sleepless in Seattle”. Complete with a handsome, non-commitment phobic man, who declares her his soul mate while promising to love her through thick and thin (yo-yo dieting, post-baby weight gain, menopausal hot flashes, marriage counseling, etc.) Then after their blissful dream wedding, 2.5 children, a mini van, and a low interest home loan, they settle in for a long life of suburban bliss. From wild and crazy nights of youthful debauchery, to happily ever after.

However, my idea of a hot Saturday night is turning into, working until 8 PM, walking back to my place and on the way picking up a can of diet coke, teriyaki chicken, with a vegetarian spring role. I never seem to have the energy to make it a blockbuster night, so instead I go home and turn on my neighbors cable (yeah it’s illegal, but it’s cheaper) then at around 11 PM, I take a bath. If I’m feeling especially racy by the end of the evening, I read a few pages of

my Cosmopolitan. My life, as a young, vibrant, and single Seattle Barista, is sizing up more to be “Sexless in Seattle”. Why can’t I retain something good, like a boyfriend, instead of water weight?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Seattle is colorful

Almost every day I step outside of my office to take myself away from the of the every-day work-related hassles, to walk myself down the street and find myself something to eat. While I could make this blog entry about some of the (many) great eateries in and around the Seattle area, I am instead going to use this time to describe some of the many, many colorful sights I see on my daily constitutional.

Imagine my horror when I looked down while patiently waiting at the crosswalk to see an uncomfortable large woman also waiting to cross the street, wearing a pair of yellow fleece-lined black Crocks. The very concept of Crocks is inherently wrong and upsetting, but fleece-lined Crocks with contrasting and garish colors is truly disturbing. Whoever thought of that should be shot on sight. Whoever willingly bought those things should be tranquilized and collected into an area wear they can be retrained in their choice of footwear. While I watched this woman waddle uncomfortably toward the other side of the street, I couldn't help but feel like it was my duty to tell her the error of her ways. The only thing that held me back from doing this was the fact that this woman could obviously take me down and crush the life out of me.

After such a disturbing sight, I entered the supermarket with a newly diminished appetite and a slight headache. I made my way to the sodium filled snacks and made my way to the checkout. While in line to purchase my food I was confronted by yet another VERY disturbing sight. A very, very large man in full drag and makeup. While I completely support anyone’s right to be who they are and to express themselves, however, if you’re going to express yourself in public I would hope that they would want to do it in a flattering way. If you’re going to make the life decision to become a woman, then go all the way and adopt a sense of fashion as well. It seems that if you’re going to take the time to paint your nails, grow out your hair, and squeeze your man feet into a pair of size 12 narrow heels, then make sure to coordinate your outfit in an appropriate size and choose makeup that compliments the decision you have made in life. Wearing makeup that screams “Hey! I am a man dressed as a woman with a 5 o’clock shadow! Please notice me” is not really a great face to put forward (literally).

Finally on my way back to the office after being thoroughly weirded out I noticed on the same corner as Crock lady was a gentlemen dressed in scrubs holding two leashes. At the end of both of these leashes were two squirrelly looking ferrets in little harnesses. Both ferrets were wearing what looked like tube socks as sweaters to keep them warm. I didn’t want to get too close for fear that they would want to run up my leg, look me in the eye with their beady little red devil eyes, and bite me with their evil little mouths. I am not a big fan of ferrets as you can tell, I am even less of a fan of ferrets on a leash out in public on the street.

I do take a little bit of solace in the fact that these are things happening around me and I am not the one wearing fleece-lined Crocks, walking ferrets, or dressed in an inappropriately matched outfit. However, it does make me worry that I am in for more and more of these delightful encounters before my time in Seattle comes to a close.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If you brew it, we will come.

I have been inhabiting the fair Emerald City for a few months now on a temporary freelance assignment...and loving every second out of it. It’s easy to forget that there are parts of the world that have actual seasons...instead of stapling fake snow to ones roof, or wrapping a string of lights around the palm tree in your front lawn, or asking your weekly Mexican gardeners to wear Santa hats while blowing the leaves and trash out of your driveway, people here have natural indications of seasonal changes. It’s amazing...and inconvenient for those of us who have forgotten what it feels like to have the thermometer drop below 70 degrees. The first time the temperature dipped I thought, ‘Oh my! That’s chilly, well at least I live in an area of the world that encourages layering.’ Now when I step outside of my house I think ‘Holy shit! I can feel that in my bones!’

It’s funny, people here seem to be quite content to perpetuate many of the comical stereotypes that Seattle has been known for. For instance, there is a coffee house on EVERY corner which ALWAYS has at least one person sitting in the window writing on their laptop as if to say “Look at me, I’m creative and tortured”. Each morning I walk to work (ok some mornings I walk to work, most mornings I drive) and I pass by people clutching their cup of morning coffee as if their very life depended on the caffeine in that cup of joe – come to think of it their lives probably do depend on it. Much like the magical and inexplicable voice that called the likes of Shoeless Joe Jackson and countless other players to that cornfield baseball diamond, Seattle-ites seem to be drawn by a quiet voice that whispers “If you brew it, they will come.”

Another stereotype that makes me chuckle is the amount of flannel that graces this city. Regardless of the fact that flannel seems to be making a comeback in the fashion world, it seems as though flannel has been here the whole time and has no intention of leaving. I’ve heard it said that jeans and a denim jacket are referred to as a “Canadian Tuxedo”, I would like to volunteer then that the North West Tuxedo is comprised of a Flannel Shirt and Corduroy Pants. It seems to be the uniform here, and while I think that it is a helpful piece of clothing to have in ones wardrobe, I do not think that it is something to don with EVERY outfit. Much like coffee, Nirvana, and rain, flannel seems to have established itself as a quintessential piece of North Western existence and you are simple not cool if you don’t wear it.

I have also noticed the amount of Kurt Cobain look-alikes up here. Almost as if they are trying to channel the great Grunge God himself by growing out their hair and refusing to wash it frequently. Don’t get me wrong, like every woman out there who has a hankering for the moody bad boy that we can never quite “get” or save, I think it’s sexy...however, it becomes difficult to identify one’s date in a sea of look-a-likes at some Seattle concert (and yes, this has happened to me).

It truly is more than slightly soggy up here. Don’t get me wrong, on a clear day when the sun is shining, I would hazard to say that Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, however the chances of you getting a clear day (especially in the winter) are slim to none. I have started to embrace the idea of closed toed shoes, which at first horrified me at first. I am now ok with the idea that this season I will be buying lots of boots and perhaps a pair of high-end Wellington boots. Though sadly I seem to not be able to hang on to an umbrella for more than a week at a time. In fact, I am doing my part by pouring my money into our troubled economy buying umbrellas in bulk.