A Scent to Call Your Own

When your memory fades, scent is the last to go, if at all. But with him, scent was the first to go…

I know he smells of “cigarette and cologne” but I can no longer remember the exact combination that made the scent unique to him. They’re vague words that I use singularly and combined; they create generic scents but I can’t remember the version that is his. I can no longer pull it up as I pull up a file in my memory like when I think of dove soap, imagine the smell and remember the time I buried my nose in his neck and inhaled that intoxicating I-have-just-showered-and-put-on-a-freshly-laundered-shirt smell. OR when my best friend tells me her scent is Ralph Lauren Romance, and I laugh because I swear I can smell him (“Junior and Jolie’s dad”) right there and then. Just as real as the first time I pulled the bottle off the dresser, sprayed it mid air and he watched me dance under the falling mist.

If my subconscious could speak, it’s probably telling me, “I’m keeping the ones I  like, doing away with the ones that break, burn, and end.” and I would probably reply, “Patience, I think we’re almost there.”

 

 

It’s not that easy

Cheating.

I tell myself, it’s one of the most disgusting things a person can do to their significant other.

There’s something so inherently ugly in the word itself, like trying to get away with more than you deserve. Than what is due to you. You’re trying to double the benefits, while weaseling out of the work.

And yet, when it happened, I felt nothing other than a deep, profound sadness, doused with disappointment. There was anger, but that was momentary. It was a side thought to the awning black hole of feelings of grief and loss that were building up in me.

Like when you’re playing Monopoly, 3 hours in, and an opponent flips the board out of anger. Chance cards and Community Chest cards littered about, metallic dogs and hats strewn on the floor, Property cards everywhere. There’s no fixing that, you can’t just put all the pieces back on the board. There were so many cards, tiles, pieces that went into that game, even if you tried to restore everything by memory, something will always be missing, and you’ll realize that it takes little for that situation to happen again.

Who knows what could have happened in our future? Now I’ll never know. It’s not fair that someone decided to end the game for me before I was ready.

During a normal breakup, reasons come up – you weren’t good enough; I don’t love you any more. I would have preferred that. At least I would know he was no longer invested. But he couldn’t tell me why he did it. He wouldn’t even tell me he didn’t love me anymore.

They all wanted me to be mad, angry, furious. Even he was surprised I wasn’t yelling at him all the time.

I couldn’t see the point, and I still don’t. It wouldn’t make me feel better.

He wanted me to give him another chance, to move past it. That was inconceivable to me. How could I take back someone who didn’t hold sacred the same things as me?

As if a person in shock, I wandered around for a while, not able to understand why people were telling me the things they were. Like a victim of a natural disaster who has been rescued, dazed and confused, people tell you to do things, and a lot of the times, they don’t make sense to you. It might seem natural to someone who hasn’t just had their entire world flipped upside-down, but to the person who’s just gone through it, it’s all just background noise.

The part I’m still trying to get past, is how people couldn’t understand how much I still cared about him, even in the weeks that followed. You don’t just go from loving someone to hating their guts in one day (unless of course there’s physical abuse). You are angry with them, disappointed, furious, but you can’t just stop loving them. Not immediately, at least.

I guess though, I still don’t hate him. I pity him. And apparently, that’s one of the worst things you can do to a person.

Aggressive.

I’ve always considered myself the strong, independent type… the no-nonsense-get-in-the-guy’s-face-if-he-crosses-the-line kinda girl. I think because of this demeanor I’ve been pretty fearless when it comes to guys who I have deemed ‘aggressive’ and I’ve always been able to hold my own when they say inappropriate things or manhandle me, like the time I punched a guy when he grabbed my ass one too many times.

What I didn’t realise though is that those kinds of boys don’t really mean any harm. Idiocy and alcohol were key factors in their inappropriate behaviour.

I never thought to bring this up because I’m still shaken by it when I think about what could have happened, but I suppose I feel the need to write things out for closure.

Last fall, a guy I had been on a few dates with insisted on picking me up from the airport. He had been a perfect gentleman for the most part save for a few unsavoury, tasteless jokes about women that I had brushed off but he hadn’t done anything that raised any immediate red flags. I thought it was sweet that he had wanted to pick me up but now that I think about it, it was strange how he had continued to insist despite my telling him he didn’t have to.

When he picked me up, he gave me a hug, grabbed my suitcase and we made our way back to the city. Halfway through the ride, I realised that he was going in the opposite direction from my neighbourhood.

‘I just need to swing by home for a minute,’ he said.

‘Actually, would you be able to drop me off? I’m really tired from the flight and I’d like to go to my place,’ I told him.

‘It won’t be too long, I promise,’ he insisted.

After a few minutes of my insisting that he just take me home, he pulled the car over in the middle of a deserted street and jumped on me, pressing his lips against mine while I struggled to push him away. I screamed at him to get off and kept pushing and pushing until he moved away in sheer frustrating. He then called me a tease and asked what was the point in him picking me up if he wasn’t going to get any.

I jumped out of the car and demanded that I get my suitcase back.

‘Fine,’ he sneered, grabbing my suitcase from the back and sped off.

Twenty minutes later, I was able to flag a cab down and silently made my way back home. I threw away the blouse he had torn, the skirt that was pretty much unwearable and stayed under the hot shower for an hour trying to wash away his presence.

When a guy decides to become truly aggressive, there isn’t a whole lot that a girl can do. If I hadn’t fought back as I had or if he had chosen to disregard the fact that I had been fighting back and had forced himself on me, I don’t think there is much I could have done.

Stay safe ladies. I know there are good people in the world but there are some horrible excuses for human beings around too.

Parisienne Style

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It’s always a little strange when a guy who isn’t gay or your personal shopper tells you what to wear… My friend C is perpetually trying to get me to evolve my style to suit his tastes. I’d just like him to shave off that irritating goatee of his.

I err on the side of simple. Classic lines, monochrome palette and none of the bells, whistles and froufrou. C on the other hand has really been trying to get me to dress in a certain way: ankle length trousers, striped shirts,  flats and no makeup. Sir, you have to look like Marion Cotillard to pull off that look, I tell him, but he has very consistently and insistently attempted to brainwash me into thinking this is the way to go.

He recently sent me a photo of a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo flats that I own as heels and suggested that I break the heel off. Are you kidding me? I have always admired how French girls are just able to throw things together in a haphazard way and look amazing but you don’t ruin a pair of perfectly good pumps in the name of fashion.  There are some things that a girl just can’t pull off ya know? And how to be Parisienne chic is probably something on that list.

Bring on the Sweats (Part II)

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This is Part II of the Bring on the Sweats series: How House Clothes Almost Killed Me — For Part I, click here.

So house clothes almost killed me. Well, more like I almost died* while wearing/lack of wearing my house clothes…

It’s Friday night and I’m starving. I have to eat before meeting up with friends or the night will end badly. I consider cooking but don’t want to wait for chicken to defrost so I opt to get food delivered instead. Delivery in NY is pretty quick and painless. Everything is done online; all you have to do is browse, click, and open the door. I play on the internet until my doorman calls to let me know that the delivery man is headed towards my apartment. “Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap! I’m not wearing any pants!”

I quickly get off the couch and put on pants (my grey sweats… you know the pair). I walk towards the front door then, BAM. I pass out out of nowhere. I wake up on the floor of my foyer, fully dressed but disheveled. I’m not sure how long I had been lying there but shortly after I come to my senses, the delivery man rings the doorbell. It turns out that I only blacked out for a couple of seconds. My blood sugar was low and I got up too quickly to put on pants and get to the door.

After the shock of falling on my face wore off, I ate dinner and lounged around until it was time to get ready to go out (I may or may not have started bawling in between). Now most of you don’t know me but in the not-so-distant past, I was the queen of going out. I’ve done boozy brunch (with bottle service) til 5 pm, only to go out again for dinner and drinks at 8 pm and come home after eating breakfast around 5 am. But that single girl is long gone.

Nowadays, if I have tentative plans, by the time 9:30 pm rolls around, a very strong wave of laziness washes over me. On the night I almost died*, the laziness was also met with a lot of pain, ugly scratches and bruising. I obviously didn’t make it out that night, but even on any other night, it’s become a nearly impossible task to take the single girl out of her house clothes. The most common excuse for not getting dressed is, “Ugh, but I’m so comfortable right now!” For the same reason why I put on the house clothes after work, why would I want to take them off?

My girls and I have spoken about this phenomenon ad nauseum and after much scientific testing, we’ve concluded that house clothes are to be blamed for about 70.3% of the time we don’t go out on the weekends. I look at it like this; once you pull a new umbrella out of it’s casing, it’s nearly impossible to stuff it back in. The same goes for me and nice (i.e. tight, fitted) clothing–once I shimmy out of a pencil skirt, why would I want to stuff myself back into a bandage dress? It’s just that much harder…

Or am I just too lazy for my own good?

*May be exaggerating a tiny bit.

Bring on the Sweats (Part I)

I’m a pretty low maintenance girl. I don’t have a skin care regime, rarely wear makeup and frequently forget to wash my face at night. Call it youthful ignorance, but I ain’t got time for all that. Despite this, when it comes down to it, I still love getting done up. Now, it doesn’t happen too frequently, but even I enjoy putting on a full face of makeup and fuck me heels once in a while–but that story’s for another time. Today, I’m going to talk about my everyday, after work look.

I work in a fairly formal office and my outfits usually consist of pencil skirts, slacks and blouses. While the clothes aren’t that bad, it’s still not something I would choose to wear outside of work, and most definitely not at home. From a very young age, the clothes I wore to school and work were different from what I wore at home. I grew up, and still do look forward to house clothes time. I mean, what’s more freeing than shimmying out of a form fitting pencil skirt and into a soft, baggy oversized pair of pants?

Now, what are house clothes you ask? Well, it’s different for every girl. For me, it’s a pair of men’s sweatpants and a random XL shirt I acquired for free. For some of my friends, it’s going pantless, braless and putting on a worn in, oversized sleep shirt. It doesn’t matter what you end up wearing, but we single girls know that once the house clothes come on, there’s no turning back.

My House Clothes

My House Clothes

I’ll be honest. It’s not the prettiest of sights–but you best believe I’m loving it. When in my house clothes, it’s a judgement free zone. I can open that pint of ice cream and binge on reality TV with no shame. That is, until someone comes to the door; then immediately I regret my decision. This can be a delivery man (because you definitely aren’t going out looking like this), your maintenance guy, or a friend, but regardless of who it is you need to think and move quickly. For those of you who choose to stay pantless, you scramble around looking for pants. As for me, I hide behind the door because I realize I don’t have enough time to look “normal.”

House clothes are acceptable because they aren’t permanent. Once you wake up the next morning, you slip out of your 10 year old dingy pajama set and into your sleek pencil skirt with heels, ready to face the world… but what happens when you need to face the world only hours after changing into the comfort of jersey cotton and fleece? It’s a frequent dilemma of mine and it usually happens around 9:30 pm on a Friday night. What do I do? I’ll tell you in Part II.