I was planning for my first blog post after my long hiatus to be one talking about my first term in London; however, there have been recent events that I decided to use this blog as a means to vent about.
The apartment building I have been spending years of summer vacations in with my grandmother had always been a quiet one, familial one. It has always been a sort of serene escape for my family and I to recuperate after a long academic year. It is the last memory of Summer I have before I started my new “career” in London, and it is here that I planned on spending an easy end to 2013 after a long and intense first term.
The day after I arrive, I am walking down the stairs and the downstairs neighbour, a short, lanky, pale, English man in his fifties, dressed like he is trying to be 25, walked out of his apartment with a much younger guy behind him. He stopped me to say “Hello” and asked me my name. Not amused, I answered him. He then responded,” Well, I am CAPTAIN SIR (I decided not to include his name…for now). I live upstairs. I am leaving tomorrow…so you should come tonight.” I stared at him with my best bitch face, and said nothing in return. Firstly, douche. Secondly, are you kidding me?!
I don’t hate anyone, and if I do, it is because they have done something personal to me that I can’t bring myself to forgive, which is a very rare occasion. There was something about this guy though, that activated every aggravated nerve in my being.
Since that very unfortunately moment, it has become apparent that there are several people living in the apartment downstairs (most likely seasonal renters), and they have since had two parties within 4 days. I have thus written an open letter that I decided to post here to let off some steam and prevent me from immaturely scratching some profanities on the door to the apartment.
Dear “Captain Sir” and company,
I want to introduce myself to you. I am a student who is spending a well-deserved break after working hard at school to celebrate the Holidays with my grandmother who is rather unwell. There is nothing more rewarding than having the opportunity to spend precious time with my grandmother, especially being so far away from her for months at a time.
Anyway, enough about my sob stories—I have a feeling that you are new to the building. I would love this opportunity to tell you some things about the building to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
1. This is a very old building. I know…no elevators = NIGHTMARE. Here is a tip: When you and your friends come back drunk after a night of partying at 1:30am, I know the pitch darkness of the foyer is really surprising and really unsettling. I know it must give you want to scream, panic, and try to climb the echoey stone steps in the dark while you give all of your companions a play-by-play of your progress. Why don’t you try perhaps taking a couple deep breaths, and looking to your left. There is a small GLOWING circle that will turn on the lights when you press it.
2. I noticed that your door is one of those old school ones that doesn’t have a door knob on the outside to release the latch. I have one of those doors at my dorm. I know there are moments where I cannot be bothered to use an extra flick of the wrist to turn the key an extra rotation to release the latch, and all I want to do is slam the door as hard as possible, as you are doing now. Though, I realized something: when I am leaving or coming back, I have to use my key to lock/unlock my door. So since the key is already in the lock, I might as well expel that little bit of extra energy.
3. I am not a smoker, but I have family members and close friends who are. I understand that the need to smoke sometimes is so strong that you just have to get to the nearest area outside of your apartment to quench that nicotine thirst. I also understand that it is a little chilly outside to stand on one of your four balconies. Again, since the apartment is old and lacks in smoke detectors, I am assuming that the reason why you are not smoking in your apartment is because you don’t want to mess with the aromatherapy candles you have set up or whatnot. But let me impose my opinion on you: stepping into the hallway to smoke your cigarette isn’t going to help either. If I can smell your cigarette smoke one whole floor up, I am pretty sure the moment you open the door to your apartment, the vacuum effect is going to let in all of that lovely fragrance to mix with your lavender-vanilla serenity goodness. I would suggest a jacket, and an open window in the future.
I hope you find these tips helpful!
Thank you so much for your kind invitation to join your party on Thursday night. I, unfortunately, was not able to come. From what I could tell, it seemed like a very good time. The loud, piercing really, cackles, if you will, of one of your guests really added to my regret not being there. I particularly found it a really nice touch that you decided to change up the musical entertainment from your well-equipped bass-pumping sound system reeling out the latest club tunes with some live music by a cover-playing Bob Dylan wannabe accompanied by acoustic guitar and harmonica. I particularly found the “Hallelujah” cover particularly touching. I really wish I could have joined in with the scream-a-long fest that you and your guests participated in. Oh, and the Elvis covers were impeccable. I can only imagine from the incessant pounding on the walls, and clacking of your lady guests’ shoes to the beat, along with the whoops and cheers meant that your night was well received. I mean, hell, it lasted in 4am! That, my friend, is a marvellous accomplishment. No wonder you wanted to do at all again last night!
For real though, you seem like a rather intelligent guy who knows his way around the world— You are a Captain and knighted after all! So, let me be upfront: Do this again, and there will be nothing in the galaxy that will prevent me from ripping your bleached blond hair out and throwing hot oil in your face.
Look, I don’t want to rain on your parade. I love to go out and have a blow off steam at a party or a club, and I am sure I have annoyed people beyond measure with my good times. But, I grew up this past year. There is something about grad school that just makes you wake up and reprioritize things.
Anyway, I really hope you have a splendid and restful Holiday! I know once I get past the sleep deprivation and the slight heart attacks from the sudden loud slams of the door, I plan on enjoying these couple weeks off before heading back to school.
Happy Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year!
As I stated earlier this week, I am in France visiting my family. Although the weather has been amazing and the views absolutely gorgeous, I can’t ignore the concerns of my grandmother’s health, which is primarily the reason why I am here.
Since I don’t want to go into any personal, nitty-gritty details, I decided to write a blog entry on the characters and observations to bring some levity to the situation.
So here it goes: Observations in the South of France
1. Botox is easily accessible—and arguably abused in quantity and quality.
2. 80s hair is apparently not a faux-pas, but rather a go-to ‘do for women (and men) of wealth.
3. The amount of money a man has will directly reflect how drastic the high-end logos are printed on his shirt, the degree of neon coloring for his pants, and the amount of hair gel in his hair.
4. The fashion often seen on the female cast of “The Jersey Shore” is apparently a guide to the rich Northern and Eastern Europeans who step off their massive Yachts…may I, rather cruelly, note that these clothes, modeled by questionable twenty-something year olds, are being worn by people dealing with an equally questionable mid-life crisis.
5. Bus drivers are ridiculously good looking. (Side note: when I suggested to my mother that there could be a French version of the charity auctions and calendars done by firefighters in America, and that it would be a franchise, she calmly turned to me and said “…or more like a French-ise”…my mother, ladies and gentlemen…)
6. When your kitchen lacks a measuring cup, an empty wine bottle from the previous night will suffice.
7. French Pigeons are spawns of Satan.
8. Moroccan weddings make awesome sidewalk parties
9. French in the South love to dance…no matter where, no matter what.
10. A French, older woman may look cute and harmless, but they are the sassiest…and not in a cute way. This, of course, does not apply to my grandmother.
11. You can never have too much cheese…or bread.
And there you have it.
There is something a little “poetic” I suppose about these last couple days. As I walk around, I see the places I lived so many of my fondest memories. A lot of the memories are still alive, but they are hiding behind the frustration and heartbreak that comes with watching life run its course; people growing older, memories fading.
While walking around the town that I spent thirteen summers in, I realized that when you let go of the weight that comes with these changes, you re-experience the beauty and charm that made those memories in the first place. It’s not the same, but I guess if everything in life stayed completely the same, there wouldn’t be any excitement.
I know I said this was going to be a light blog entry…that was obviously false hope. I suppose it just hit me that what I am experiencing here is the bittersweet reality of growing up.