Archive for the ‘Blawkward’ Tag

New School vs. Old School

One thing you should probably know about Doubleawk is that she’s a fiery feminist, always ready to point out (and blame) the power of the patriarchy for one wrong or another.

But another thing you should know about Doubleawk is that she likes to look pretty.  True, she might not always (ever) shave her legs (not b/c she is a feminist, but because she is lazy and practically hairless), she forgets to brush her teeth, and she plays fast and loose even with the shower every other day rule.  But when it comes to nighttime, or to having her picture taken, she likes to be seen in a cute outfit, heels, and a face full o’ make up.  Blame the patriarchy.

So when the New School, which she will be attending for her MFA in nonfiction (starting a week from today!), told her she could send in a photo of her choosing for her student ID, she grabbed the camera and started posing.  She didn’t even wait for photog hubby to come home, but took pictures of herself.  Why not use a preexisting photo?  Well, the ID folks had specific parameters; plus, picking the right photo was a complicated calculus.  She couldn’t look like she’d picked the best photo of herself.  It had to be a natural looking photo, with enough make up to be pretty but not so much as to look like she was wearing any.  So she took, like, a billion photos, each one not quite right–one too shiny, one with a creepy smile, one from too far away.  And she had bags under her eyes.

There's a reason we call her doubleawk.  But by that logic, we could also call her shiny head, luggage eyes, or funny lips.

There's a reason we call her doubleawk. But by that logic, we could also call her shiny head, luggage eyes, or funny lips.

A bit of cover-up, and finally, she got one she could live with.  But the excessive glow and under-eye satchels continued.  What’s a girl to do?

It’s called retouching, and once you start, it’s hard to stop.

I swore I’d tell no one.  Then I sent it in, and afterward felt the caffeine-like buzz of an irrevocable secret, like midday cookie binging or a crowded-train fart.

Let me say this again:

I retouched my school ID photo.  I’m a thirty-one year-old self-proclaimed feminist and I airbrushed my school ID photo.  And then I admitted it to you.

Ah, much better!  But it still looks like me, right?  I should take this moment to state that I wholeheartedly disapprove of plastic surgery.  Really, I do.

Ah, much better! But it still looks like me, right? I should take this moment to state that I wholeheartedly disapprove of plastic surgery. Really, I do.

So today, when I went to pick up my ID, I was excited to see how it turned out / nervous that the retouching would be obvious and people would judge me.  This is the New School, after all, where I should be super-comfortable with my appearance, esp. if said appearance involves tribal facial piercings.  But I digress.

The man who went to retrieve my ID hesitated.  Oh, God! I thought!  Does it look so young that it doesn’t look like me? Then I saw it.

This Leda Eizenberg was younger than I am, to be sure, but that wasn’t the problem.  She was blonde.

“That’s not me,” I said.

“I didn’t think so,” he replied.  “But it’s ok.  You’ll just have to get a new photo taken.  They’re taking photos today.”

The blonde on my ID looked something like this.  Or maybe I've just got Jennie Garth on the brain because I watched a million episodes of 90210 on IMDB this weekend.  The man at the ID table wouldn't actually let me see the wrong-photo-ID very closely; perhaps he thought I'd run off with it to see if I could pass as a blonde.

The blonde on my ID looked something like this. Or maybe I've just got Jennie Garth on the brain because I watched a million episodes of 90210 on IMDB this weekend. The man at the ID table wouldn't actually let me see the wrong-photo-ID very closely; perhaps he thought I'd run off with it to see if I could pass as a blonde.

“Can’t I just resend my old photo?”

“It’ll be faster to retake it.”  He clearly wanted to help the next student in the line that had built up behind me.

“But it was a really cute picture.”  I tried to do the funny, goofy thing.

“This one will be even better!  It’s exciting–your first day of school and all!” The woman next to him chimed in.

Do I look like an eager freshman? I thought.  “But, but…”  I was desperate.  “It’s hot out.  I’m sweaty.”

They shook their heads.

I kept trying.  “I’m not wearing make-up,” I mock whispered.  “I haven’t even showered.”  When they looked at me like I was crazy, I tried another tactic.  “Will there be a huge line?”

“I’ll call them now and tell them to let you go straight in.”  He pulled out his phone.  I was dismissed.

Naturally, I got hotter and sweatier on my six block walk to the building where photos were being taken.  I had mascara and a kind of ugly lip gloss on me, so I ducked into a bathroom to apply, then sat down in the hall, popped open my lap-top, and resent the original photo just in case they would make me a new ID using it.

Predictably, a mob had formed, consisting mostly of young co-eds, all pretty and made up, not one tribal piercing in sight; maybe I had the wrong impression of my new school.

They whisked me in for a new photo, ignored my pleas that they use my old one, and took my picture.  As I waited for my ID to be printed, I emailed John:

Subject: Grr…

The stupid new school put a blonde girl on my id, so I had to take a new photo, and I’m sweaty, unshowered, and only had mascara and lip gloss in my purse.

So much for my retouching efforts.

(In a weak moment, I had confessed my retouching to him about a month after submitting the photo).

His reply:

I’m sure you look beautiful!  Also, your obsession with how you look on useless photo ids is possibly problematic.

Well, honey, one out of two ain’t bad.  I fully acknowledge that it’s problematic.  It’s just that when I look good in an official photo, I feel like it’s official proof that I’m good looking.  Young in an official photo?  Officially still young.

The bags are back!  So is swath of flesh (the excess of space between my neck and my breasts), but that's a topic for another post.

The bags and shininess are back! So is swath of flesh (the excess of space between my neck and my breasts), but that's a topic for another post.

Officially disturbed?

To quote another woman who set back the feminist movement 100 years, “You betcha!”

On the bright side, this goof-up saved me the trouble of having to argue with people about whether my (undated) ID was current when trying to get student discounts.

On the not-so-bright side, I’ve just revealed myself as terribly shallow.

Blame the patriarchy.  Or blame my awkwardness.  Better yet, let’s just blame the bags under my eyes.

Gossip Girl here…

Gossip girl here.  Your one and only source into the mildly interesting lives of Brooklyn’s slightly embarrassed celeb-stalkers/teen soap fiends.

One of the exciting things to do in New York is celebrity-watching.  It’s like bird-watching, except instead of birds, you watch skinny and attractive people engage in a range of human activities.  Yup, it’s true: there are celebrities here, and anyone can watch them walk, talk and do things. But once you’ve seen a few celebrities walking their dogs, drinking coffee, or tripping on the curb, and  you’ve learned that they really are “just like us,” what’s left to do?

Photograph them without their knowledge or consent.

Blog about them.

Try to become one of them.

I should be upfront about the fact that today’s celeb-sighting wasn’t the first since my recent move to New York.  While lunching at Chelsea restaurant Cookshop with filmmakers Morgan Faust (Shout it Out, The Treasure of Thomas Beale) and Max Isaacson (Banned German Sprite Ads), we spotted Martha Stewart eating with a young man.

Martha Stewart, young buck, my creepy reflection.

Martha Stewart, young buck, my creepy reflection.

Who was he?  We have no idea.  What did Martha eat?  Deviled eggs followed by some sort of salad with meat in it.  Max, too, ate the eggs (Ever the vanguard, Max actually ordered the eggs before Martha did, and proclaimed them the best deviled eggs ever).  I surreptitiously snapped a photo with my trusty iPhone, and sent it to several people I thought might enjoy it.  Husband, mother, and culinary goddess/dear pal Chrissy.  Mom’s response: she enjoyed my ridiculous open-mouthed reflection more than the picture of Martha.  So much for my first attempt at life as a paparazza.

But I am not one to be deterred.

So when the fates handed me a golden opportunity to once again insinuate myself into the celebrity world, I took it.

Spotted: Which Brooklyn newbie had a bump-into with Gossip Girl star Connor Paolo?  Better watch out big J: L could be shopping for more than corn at the farmers market.

That’s right.  It’s 10am, and I’ve just sat in the car for an hour so I could hold onto my space during the weekly street-cleaning.  I’m on my way to the farmers market.  My teeth are unbrushed, and I haven’t showered since Friday.  Suddenly, bam! There’s Connor Paolo, better known as Eric Van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl.  He’s wearing the St. Jude’s blazer, which means that GG is actually filming in my ‘hood!  So after buying my farm-fresh local produce, I scurry home to strategize.

Upper East Side Leda. Also the outfit I will wear for my anniversary dinner tomorrow, which will, in fact, take place on the UES. Coincidence? I don't think so. A key part of living in New York is dressing the nabe. And by nabe I mean neighborhood, not something dirty. It sounds kind of dirty, doesn't it?

Upper East Side Leda. Also the outfit I will wear for my anniversary dinner tomorrow, which will, in fact, take place on the UES. Coincidence? I don't think so. A key part of living in New York is dressing the nabe. And by nabe I mean neighborhood, not something dirty. It sounds kind of dirty, doesn't it?

I decide it’s best to put on an Upper East Side disguise, rather than my usual Brooklyn wear.  (And I even shower!)  My ensemble consists of a white dress from JCrew (circa 2002), a black belt with a big patent leather buckle from Target, a black cardigan from the JCrew outlet, and red patent leather pumps (Chinese Laundry).  I pick the pumps because on my first walk-by, I’d seen several teenage extras sporting bright red shoes.  Clever, huh?  And no, these aren’t exactly UES brands, but wouldn’t  Michelle Obama be proud?  Plus, I top it off with a pair of Dior sunglasses, so that helps.

I’m obviously hoping that by looking like a UES lady-who-lunches, maybe I’ll get to be an extra.  Let’s just take a moment and acknowledge how ridiculous it is that I put on a costume to visit the set of Gossip Girl in the hopes that they’d let me walk by in the background.  Remember, I’m thirty-one years old.

So I get to set and loiter around, trying to look like I belong there, and like it’s totally normal that I’d be wearing this outfit at 1:30 pm on a Tuesday.  They haven’t started shooting yet, so no celebs in sight.  That looks something like this:

Set of Gossip Girl, aka, Packer Collegiate Institute.  No celebrities yet.

Set of Gossip Girl, aka, Packer Collegiate Institute. No celebrities yet.

Then, after much shouting and fanfare, the shooting begins, and I’m kept outside the margins of the shot. Although I’m on the side of the street with the background actors, I’m not asked to jump in as one of them.  Bummer.  Costume strategy fails.

But I do manage to strike up a conversation with a young man in a St. Jude’s blazer.  He’s been here since 5:45 this morning.  And although he’s been focusing more on his own career as an off-Broadway actor, it’s not his first time working on GG.  So, what kind of gossip does he have?  I tried to get the inside track by asking him how many times he would have to walk back and forth (obviously envious of the fact that he got to be in the background of the shot).  He replied, “Between seven and thirteen.  It depends on how well the actors know their lines.  And on this show, forget it.  We could be here forever.”  Then, on the next take, the PA scolded him for talking to me, so I got no further gossip.  But I can tell you that they have people repeatedly drive by in Mercedes and Lexuses to give BK Heights a bit more of that UES feel.  Oh, and it barely merits pointing out, but isn’t there a bit of gleeful irony in the fact that Constance/St. Jude’s is actually shot in Brooklyn, a place in which Blair would shudder to set a Jimmy Choo clad toe?

So here are the money shots: Chuck and Jenny, chatting outside his limo (which is dinged up on the non-shot side and has…gasp!…Jersey tags).

Ed Westwick and Taylor Momsen.  Small and far away.  I only had my phone with me, not my camera.  Bummer.

Ed Westwick and Taylor Momsen. Small and far away. I only had my phone with me, not my camera. Bummer.

Ed and Taylor again.  By which I mean, Chuck and Jenny.  Looks like she's (thankfully) changed her hairstyle.  But his took more work from the stylists!

Ed and Taylor again. By which I mean Chuck and Jenny. Looks like she's (thankfully) changed her hairstyle. But his took more work from the stylists!

Last one.  Guess I shouldn't quit my day job(s).

Last one. Guess I shouldn't quit my day job(s).

So, having failed to become an extra or get a good picture with my phone, I set off for Trader Joe’s, where I learned that looking like a UES lady-who-lunches at the Cobble Hill Trader Joe’s earns you plenty of attention.  But not so much that I won’t try again next time…

You know you love me.

Xoxo

Awkward Girl

I’m Black!

Hmm…Somehow that title doesn’t work as well.  What I wanted to say is that I’m back to blogging after an overly long hiatus.  Instead, I’ve told a lie about my race.  And made everyone uncomfortable.

This reminds me of what I found to be the MOST awkward moment of the eight or so hours of joyfully tearful inauguration coverage that I watched.  The inawkuration award, if you will.  ABC interviewed Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist, campaign manager for Al Gore, and all-around ass-kicker (although, to be frank, it might be a different world today if she’d kicked just a bit more ass in 2000.)  But we really can’t blame her.

Anyway, Donna was telling Diane and Charlie about how she’d swiped the official inaugural fleece blanket from Barack Obama’s chair because he’d left it behind.  In full-on yuck-it-up mode, Charlie said the legal staff would look into whether it was a felony or a misdemeanor.

“We have a black president now,” Brazile replied.  “So it’s neither.”  Wow, I thought. That’s awkward. Everyone laughed, and moments later, she backed off the comment, which Charlie pointed out and she admitted.

See the clip here: http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6691517

Stupid annoying people on other blogs complained about how this was a double-standard, if a white person said it, blah blah blah.  Whatever.  It would be different if a white person said it.  ‘Nuff said.  But I actually think it’s sad that Brazile said it, that she made such a joke, suggestive of internalized racism, on that most significant day.   It’s a comment she made without thinking during a lighthearted interview; she probably was too happy to be thinking–I know I was.  And it was clear she wished she hadn’t said it.  Equally disconcerting Charlie and Diane’s uproarious laughter.  Surely they wanted to keep the tone of the interview and the day celebratory, rather than probing what such a comment really meant.  Still, the ease with which they giggled made me uneasy.  All of this behavior indicated the issues of racial perception and stereotypes that we still need to work on as a society.

Anyway, that’s why the awkward award of inauguration day goes to Donna Brazile, even though I like her a lot.  (Sorry to all those who were wishing for Cheney-on-Wheels.  Shame on you.  That’s mean.  Like I’d ever award him anything.)

Just Another Blawkward Monday…

I’ve arbitrarily decided that Mondays are the days on which I will blog about awkward encounters.  Each Monday, I pledge to recount an awkward story from the previous week.  Should social graces and/or fortuitous week-long awkwardness avoidance prohibit my detailing a recent event, I’ll dig into the endless cesspool of awkwardness known as my past to tell you a story.

I will protect the innocence of those involved by giving them code names, which will involve inserting either BL or AWK somewhere into their names.  The reasons why should be obvious, and frankly, so should the identities of my awkwardness victims.

Today’s tale comes from my recent past.  John had a recruiting event in New York, so we decided to make a weekend of it.  We journeyed down under separate cover so that in case one of us died, the other would still be able to care for Awkus and Blydie.  Ok, so we did it because the company flew him down, whereas I had to take the bus because our society places a greater premium on degrees from fancy business schools that it does on wannabe memoir writers who spend a lot of time in sweatsuits.

John got to New York way before I did and proceeded to partake in  corporate initiation rituals.  He briefly swung by the hotel to let me in to the room so that I could watch Sydney White, a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves starring Amanda Bynes.  The film takes place on a college campus, and instead of dwarves, they’re dorks.  Yup.  Did I mention poignant ending, in which the dorks are elected to student council in a rousing defeat of Rachel Witchburn, made me weep?  And that’s not even the blawkward encounter.

Post-crying jag, I joined John and the gang at a bar.   The venue played a lot of late-90s hip-hop—embarrassingly, one of my favorite genres—although being a broke writer rapping along to “Money Ain’t a Thang” with a mob of consultants feels like kind of a lie.

I ultimately latched onto Blaudrey, the other Sloanie at the event, and Awko, her boyfriend.  Blaudrey is someone I don’t know terribly well, although I’ve enjoyed chatting with her the few times we’ve found ourselves in the same social setting.  This time, our conversation went something like this:

Me: Awko, you’ve done quite well for yourself.  I think Blaudrey is the most beautiful girl in your class at Sloan.

Awko: Uh, thanks.

Me: No, really.  She’s, like, really, really hot.

Awko: Thanks.  Yeah, I think she’s beautiful.

Me: No, like, seriously.  The hottest.

Awko (scuttles away): Hi, random stranger.

Me (sidling up to Blaudrey): Hey, so I was just telling Awko how you’re the hottest girl in your class at Sloan.

Blaudrey: Oh, uh, thanks?

Me: No, seriously.  I’ve thought about this a lot and discussed it with a lot of people.  You’re totally the best looking girl in your class.

Blaudrey: What about Blog and Awkward?

Me: Oh, Blog doesn’t do it for me.  And, yeah, Awkward’s hot, but not like you…

Blaudrey: Gee, thanks (begins looking around for Awko, or for anyone else who will rescue her from me).

Me (hating social cues): Seriously.  I’ve thought about it a lot.  You’re hot.  Ooh!  I love this song!  “One, two, three and to the fo’  Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre is at the do’… ”

Blaudrey escapes under a storm of the requisite hand-gestures which accompany my rapping.

END SCENE

Now, this scene is in some ways an upgrade from another game I’ve been known to play, “Get Drunk and Talk About Myself,” which often precedes a stirring round of “Who Wants to Come to My Pity Party?”  But Blaudrey may well wind up working with John next year.  And now she’s probably afraid of me.

But she is really pretty.