noctober

In MY LISTS by Stephanie Klein13 Comments

Lattice pies, toasted pumpkin seeds dusted with salt, mittens and gloves. Hay rides, Indian corn, cinnamon, and socks. Hand-outlined turkey shapes, Pilgrim hats, and jack-o-lanterns made of construction paper and Elmer’s Glue. Seeing breath. Doggie sweaters, tumbling gourd centerpieces, and knee-high zip-up boots. Tailgating, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, mugs and thermoses. Sharpened pencils, vests, knee-high socks and back-to-school plaid. Corduroy, fishnets, and Wicked Essie nail polish. Cranberries. Suede-patched blazers, pea-coats, scarves and cold noses. Brooms, outlines of black cats, hot caramel apple cider, walnut honey bars, layers. Mud, boots, leaves, chowder, and candy corns. Orange. Apple pies, roasted chicken, stuffing. Velvet, suede, leather, and argyle. Hot coffee, eggplant, rust, and forest.

winners

In LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein8 Comments

My friends are all beautiful, and I’m not saying that like a soccer coach who spits out, “you’re all winners” after the team has been pulverized. I’m not talking inner beauty–though duh–but mouth agape, head turning beauties. It actually almost makes me nauseous. I’m tempted to turn off the comment function because I worry I’ll hear “you’re just as beautiful” crap. That’s not what this is here for. I’m pretty amazed with myself that I actually go anywhere at all public with these women; this has to attest to my security with myself. I’m certainly not friends with these women because of their looks… or am I? It occurs to me just now, quite seriously, that I don’t have an ugly friend. Okay, I do have one, but she lives in Boston, so really she doesn’t count. I can’t believe I just typed that. Do we see our friends, also, as a reflection of ourselves–as accessories, like our children, choice of shoes, and breed of dog? If I were to velvet rope it with a crew of three other chicklets, each more recherché than the next, would men find me more exquisite than if I were in the same situation, flanked with homely fems, each more course and boorish than the next? Before you answer, consider Lohmann’s. Bargain shopping certainly breeds a rush of excitement when you reveal a gem. You almost have to check yourself, looking behind you, to see if anyone else is on to you. But bargain shopping takes work, digging through piles of mismatched clothes, whipping through wheels of hangers by sizes. Even when you reveal something you think you might like, you figure, how good can it be, it’s at frickin’ Daffy’s. Maybe you take it home but never really love it the way you love an expensive Bergdorf’s purchase. You don’t bother to fold it with scented tissue paper in your armoire. Instead, it gets put on a shelf atop the closet full of nothing to wear. You shrug at it; it’s something to throw on. Now consider a boutique store, with a trained staff and a clean scent. Natural light, nothing overwhelming; you’re surrounded by neat order. You want to buy it all, hoping your life will become the store, fresh, clean and airy, as if you’re life is all white. It’s hard to decide, but once you do, you walk home swinging the bag. You rearrange your shelves to accommodate it. You’re in love. Of course it’s the same item… er, same woman/man, but the scene certainly reinforces the sale. Of course, you know by now, I’m all diversion. It’s just the way my mind works. What I was going to say, even though I’ve said it before, was it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day how absolutely stunning all my friends are. If a man wants one of them over me (which they always do), then it wasn’t meant to be… and I’m not saying that like a soccer coach who just lost the game. View photos from the Lilah Fall/Winter 2004 Collection>>

morning rant

In LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein11 Comments

The best part about the occupational nerves is the eating, or lack thereof. I get home and race to the computer; there’s no time for food. And that means thin, which makes for nice photos, at least of me without a double chin. I guess it makes for dates too. Slim picking’s lately, but things have to pick up ‘cause I’m knee-deep in doing things I love. That’s the idea nowadays, right? Bars and online dating promise you mass, not quality. Yes, you have more chances of meeting people, but what’s the point in dating Mr. Red Flag, or Mr. Let’s Just Fool Around and Keep Things Light? Quality doesn’t smoke and drink shots of vodka on Monday nights. He’s out walking his dog, or taking photographs, or shopping for quality produce; he’s working on his next story. He’s passionate about something other than golf. I know too many people who don’t have hobbies. Their hobbies become sorting online dating profiles, or bar hopping to meet someone, and once they do, their relationship becomes a series of meals and movies. They love one another because it’s comfortable to have someone there at the end of the day, someone to order-in with, someone to just sit in front of the television with. They love their relationship because it’s comfortable. I have a news flash. Anyone can sit around and watch TV and enjoy eating fries with you. If when you speak of your relationship, you say it’s just so nice and comfortable, you should open your eyes. I’ve found that kind of comfort with nearly every other person I’ve dated. It takes more than a night of Six Feet Under and take-out for a relationship to be right. To really be happy, you need to make yourself happy. Read that line again. A relationship can’t make you happy. You need to discover and commit to things that bring you joy, where hours ruffle by like wind on water. Once you find what brings you this happiness, no one can take it away from you. You can’t find it in a relationship. People leave. People change their minds. People die. There, I’ve said it; I’m off the box. Go back to watching TV.

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intimate details

In LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein8 Comments

“Did you have fun at your party the other night?” I could be polite and make everyone comfortable with the expected, ‘yes’ then forget about it. But I won’t. “Yes and no.” Yes to the birthday wish and surrounding friends. Yes to the dancing and cab rides home with my closest friends who stayed with me through the night. No to the mingling and not getting enough of the QT. You become the Mayor at your own party. There’s shuffling and smiling until your cheeks hurt; you’re busy with introductions and quips. But it all happens fast, and you worry you didn’t spend enough time with this one or that. And you can’t believe how many people showed up, people you haven’t seen, and didn’t expect to come. High school, college, work, Hamptons, Internet, summer, fall, winter, bronze, silver, and gold friends. And you’re elated, so you want to show it. But you’re all over the place, so you can’t. It’s speed dating without phone numbers. I’m confident everyone knew how happy I was they made it out, despite my mere minutes with each of them. It’s expected. What’s not expected is feeling anxious when you’re trying to sleep that night, wondering why certain people who said they’d turn up didn’t. It’s never personal; sometimes it’s the rain, feeling fat, overbooking, or having out of town guests. Whatever the reason, you end up feeling a little sad. Reeling through the rsvp list wondering. I know my brilliant friends did everything in their power to make me happy, from the drinks and the planning, to the fondling of my camera, and for that, I’m very appreciative. It’s not my fault I’m only a good multi-tasker when it comes to crafts and careers. When it comes to people and conversations, I prefer intimate. I mean when you think about it, aren’t your best nights ones where you really connect with people? Mine are. But I suppose there’s a time and place for intimate. On subject, despite the porn makeout room at Pop Burger, and the free birthday table until 4am at Hiro, there wasn’t even any licking… unless you count my going home to Linus. Yes, yes, now you can view all the pics from the night >>

repeats

In LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein9 Comments

My first job in Marketing, I worked for Juno Online Services. While I was there, I worked with a man named Bob Cherins, a white haired marketing man from Livingston, NJ with a mission: ugly sells. “Better that, make it double ugly.” Bob was in marketing, speaking to creatives who rolled in at 11am four days a week. We’d need a day off to replenish our creativity. His double ugly mantra meant sometimes to grab a pair of eyes, you have to break some rules. You can’t follow clean modern lines; you need to break through ’em. It was about the time when everyone encouraged everyone else to “think outside the box.” Be the box; hack around the box. I was quite content with my own red box. To double ugly it is to beat ’em over the head with obvious. Just look at the chicken cartoon, with the little ol’ chicken lady who bops Fog Horn on the head with a rolling pin, to drag him away, unconscious, to marry her. The rest of the hens just clucked in the barn. It doesn’t get more obvious than a rolling pin. “If something is free,” Bob lectured, “say it often. It’s not like we’re ashamed of it.” So be ugly at every opportunity. Sell. Sell. I see it all over the streets of Manhattan, and I’m not talking billboards. Everyone is out there selling themselves. Some people even do it in a leopard print. It’s autumn in New York, so they blanket themselves in trend. They drip broaches, hug in fur, and drape a peasant blouse over their spray-tanned shoulders for good measure. They scream, I’m fashionable in a very ugly way; I’m about to get ugly. It’s my birthday party tonight. I’m celebrating not quite being 30. I’m not ashamed of it, so I’ll repeat it. POP BURGER 10:30PM, 9th AVENUE and 15th Street. Please come. I feel like you guys are my buddies cause you know gobs about me. I’ll be the redhead, cause I’m good at that. Oh, and in case you missed it, I’ll hit you on the head with it… I want to find a boy to lick. Oh, and just try to tell me it will happen when I stop looking for it. Buy me a drink, say it to my face, and stand back.

deleted

In LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein10 Comments

I posted something dirty last night. I was drunk. Now I’m hungover and pressing delete. If only drunk dials and one night stands could be erased with a big wide, rounded corners, delete button. Where’s Fisher Price when you need ’em? Maybe after my AM “fourbucks” run for the latte, I’ll be more apt to spread my proverbial legs to the world. Here’s the clean part: There has to be more than passion. But sometimes it’s so damn hard to keep your hands off one another. Still, passion alone never lasts, it’s just a reason for staying in the wrong relationship. These things never work out; chances are I won’t know him in a week. That’s why I’m here alone, listening to Linus whine because he wants to lick up my nose. “Get in line kid.” I tell him. And he crooks his head to the side, as if I’ve just barked at him. I’m just not the type to play it safe and right. It’s so boring to be a cliche. To be a, “well I’ll let him persue me” woman. Still, I’m cliche enough to send him home and spend the night alone. I don’t mind it so much. I actually like it. It feels like a beginning. Passion makes life better than anything fried or coated in chocolate. Lust, my friends, should be bottled. Maybe Merck should work that angle to make up for the Vioxx. Email me for the full story >>