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Sedentary Socialites or Again, Why Do We Have Two Bars In Our House?

The older we get, the harder we fall.

Wait, no.

The younger we are, the higher our bullshit threshold.

Almost.

The older we get, the harder it is to meet people and actually want to meet people and feel like you have the time to be social and host dinner parties and rationalize why you have two bars in your house.

There we go.

***

I like to think of myself as a social person. I’m southern, which means I can talk to anyone about anything for at least six minutes, and possibly longer — especially if we’re standing in a long checkout line at the grocery store. I quickly become completely fascinated by other people and their lives and what they do (unless they flay the skin off of things and wear their creep show creations as masks). Throw all of that innate interest into a blender with an anthropological background and, wabam, socialite central. Which is why I figured that we might as well outfit our apartment with two bars.

The semi-mobile bar. The formal bar.

But these days I’m starting to put a little more stock in that saying I always heard about how hard it is to make friends as you get older. I mean, I guess I figured my drive to constantly connect with people would remain, well, constant. But I’ve just sort of slowed down. I mean, I know that that’s to be expected following a big move and new jobs and moving again and adopting a dog and doing every possible thing we’re warned against doing together together. Still, the past few months I’ve found myself super drained, and have felt like I’ve aged approximately 500 years.

So, is this the new normal? Is this what happens when I pack up one decade’s worth of experiences to drag behind me as I tip into the next? Or am I really 529 years old and am just now realizing it — like that dead teenager in American Horror Story?

Or maybe this is just evidence that I’m expecting way too much to happen in a relatively short amount of time. Being the insane control freak that I am, it’s typical that I want everything to be exactly the way it should be at exactly the right time, regardless of how much energy has to be front-loaded in the process. But I’m learning that it takes me a hell of a lot more time to bounce back from stuff than it used to. And that that’s okay.

Because we’re still working to make things happen, to cultivate friendships — and acknowledging that the good stuff takes time. Time that’s well worth it.

So I won’t completely re-purpose the bars quite yet. I’ll just keep dusting them off. Until the timing is just right.

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Developing Design

It may speak to my superficiality or materiality or some other -ality, but whenever I find myself completely overwhelmed by whatever I’m doing — like, say, trying to turn various stories from my life into a memoir — I like to take more than a minute to lose myself in everything around me.

Whether I’m in our apartment or a coffee shop or out walking around, I enjoy dissecting the designs that’re writ tangible all around us. What they say about us, our lives, our interests.

How they’re charged with the political.

Fun with political pins!

The unexpectedly beautiful.

Oh, light. You bring out the best in things.

The humorously macabre.

Disturbingly delightful.

The whimsical.

Apartment, etc 149

How everything we’ve built this past year has been layered with texture and life.

And while I know I’m no design guru, it’s funny to hear how certain things we’ve done in our apartment resonate with others. How adding a bit of this or that brings the whole room together — makes it actually feel like a home.

I’ve written plenty about how much I love design. But our latest digs are definitely the most mature and fun to date. And while its size might not compare to our massive Raleigh apartment, it’s still full of vitality.

When we first moved in, between staving off panic attacks and hauling things up the stairs, I had no idea how we were going to make this space work — what with its odd layout, the awesome but huge windows taking up valuable wall space, the tiny kitchen, and the dearth of storage. But after we culled a bit more and got creative with the space, things started coming together.

And I started embracing certain design faux pas I’d worked to avoid in the past.

(1) Don’t orient everything along the wall. When facing a lot less space, sometimes you have to orient most everything along the walls. But by floating a few pieces in the middle, and experimenting with different heights and textures — wood and metal and glass — things still work.

Walls can be useful.

(2) Don’t overload the walls with art. HA! That’s hilarious. After perusing photos of past apartments, I realized how awful — and overwhelmed — the walls looked: I’d tacked every possible thing to the walls with no real plan in mind. But you know what? When you’re unpacking boxes in a confined space and just want things up and off the floor, you have to get creative. So we pulled just about every piece of art out, made our cases for displaying some and boxing up others, and just started hammering. At first, I thought it’d look horribly overdone. But now, I like it — it’s a lot, but not too much.

Ah, art.

(3) De-clutter every surface. Now, I generally loathe clutter. But if done in a contained way, it can work. Especially in a small apartment where things that you need have to be within reach. It’s all about cherry-picking what’s most useful and making it accessible.

Lots of stuff. But it's contained. And works.

Above all else, though, you have to have fun. And that’s what we did. It took a while to find it beneath cardboard boxes and insane amounts of packing paper. But we’ve struck a happy medium between cluttered and ordered, fun and funky.

You gotta have fun, y'all.

A place that pretty much sums us up.

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Fadbulous

Author’s Note: I’m slightly tipsy after a bad day at work.

Do you ever just marvel at our media and wonder where it all went wrong? I certainly do. Which is probably why I stopped paying close attention to the news sometime last year. And definitely why I’ve taken a profound disliking to former news outlets I thought were somewhat worth their weight in editorials. Like, say, an outlet that rides their huffy bike all the damn time.

Maybe I’m just drunk and angry after a long, tiring day where it felt like all I was doing was barely keeping my head above water while smiling and smiling and smiling like everything was perfectly fine.

Or perhaps I’m tired of venturing into social media land only to be bombarded with “Which 1980’s news anchor are you?!” or “Which spirit animal best symbolizes your essence?!” — each one of those goddamned annoying online quiz things that I couldn’t care less about. It just makes me want to start a counter offensive, with quizzes like, “Which diuretic are you?!” or “Which manner of death does your life most closely represent?!”

Of course I’m blathering on about this stuff in the wake of our recent attempt at going gluten-free. But as I sit and type this, I’m surrounded by the leavings of three boxes of Girl Scout Cookies; so, yes, that horse is out to pasture.

I guess my hitch is the whole fadness of it all. Why do we do this shit? It’s not like it’s fun to stare daggers into a neighboring diner’s head as your mouth waters at the sight of their triple cheese-stuffed omelet while you poke at your under ripe fruit bowl speckled with bee pollen.

Are we becoming a coven of masochists — bending our bodies and minds and last bits of sanity to bizarre extremes to prove something to ourselves? Or are we just caught in a net of fads, while we search for something we find personally meaningful?

Author’s Second Note: It’s a week later and I still haven’t posted this. Whoops.

Clearly, I just needed news that was, in fact, news (which I’ve yet to find). And a cookie. Which I’ve since had. And you know what? It helps. And you know what else? That doesn’t mean that I’m a complete failure at maintaining some sort of eating regiment, or that I don’t eat healthy.

I’ve blathered on about food and eating disorders and every other damn thing related to food a bazillion times before, so this is nothing new. I guess what going gluten-free for a few weeks has taught me is this: Be healthy (especially if you discover that you have a legitimate reason to cut things out of your diet). But don’t be someone you’re not. I’m never going to go without a lot of the things that I love to eat (and y’all, I’ve been trying — but gluten-free baked goods are, well, a bit sad). Still, though, I’ve gleaned some tips about new, good things to reinsert into my diet, and those things I could really do without.

Oh, guac. How I love thee.

Like every activity, eating isn’t immune from being manipulated by the latest trend or coolest fad. So you just have to know when it’s time to say goodbye to those old staples and try something new.

Unless it’s the edible equivalent to acid wash skinny jeans. Then run. And run fast.