Granny Panties, Bitch Slap Coffee and a Hundred New Yorkers…

Imma come right out and say it… er repeat it… I just want girls to have ALL the things! It has been a good week for women’s hineys here in Gotham.

~ Mayan Toledano

Photo by the amazing Mayan Toledano of itsemeandyou.com

Between the return of the granny panty and the full-bush Brazilian wax… I’m feeling pretty righteous. No doubt, everyone has read the NY Times piece on the granny panty’s stunning comeback… Ladies, set your crotch free and cry hallelujah! I have been voting for this one since I first put on my real granny’s panties… What? I was 4, it was laundry day and funny…and fun. (They were so big they came up to my chin!)

The cherry on top of that literal cherry is that NYC has entered the era of the full-bush Brazilian wax… To be clear, this is when the butt strip (a technical term… and I’m down with it) and bikini line are waxed, but the technician leaves a full bush on the outer labia–rendering the process ever so much more bearable. (You don’t even need to drink!) This is bigger than mere Boho nostalgia people… this is about self-determination and forgiveness… your hoozie is already awesome, it always has been, so wax like nobody’s watching! (or not at all… straightjackets of acceptable womanhood be damned)

New Yorkers know about forgiveness… you see it thousands of times a day in the streets… Subway deodorant fails, opera-singing neighbors, people who missed the Obama PSA and manage to sneeze directly into your mouth, dog poo skid marks on the sidewalk… the trace evidence of some poor sucker simultaneously cursing and forgiving his way down the street. Pseudo intellectual TV shows like True Detective make the case that there’s no such thing as forgiveness–only short memories and forgetting–time is a flat circle, blah, blah, blah…

Forgiveness is intentional. You have to mean it and express it for it to be a thing. (You don’t necessarily have to deserve it) The universal sign of it is the smile. They say New Yorkers don’t smile… that there’s the whole rule of not-looking, of minding your own business. Not so. The lady who knocks into you at Zabar’s sheepishly flashes one, you return it–a momentary connection, a split second of reciprocity and all is forgiven. Yes, in Grand Central, at rush hour, it’s more of a tacit thing, but it’s this ability not just just to roll with things, but to forgive the sins of the city and its people, moment-by-moment that seems a prerequisite for living here… We even have the Dad Mayor… who forgives constantly. Some say too much. I bet he wears granny panties. (People are actually irritated that he’s so reasonable, but that’s for another post…)

I notice it more than ever now that I can’t smile. It’s 3 weeks since the surgery, and while I feel pretty decent… i.e., everyday, I wake up at 7, ply myself with coffee and go to the gym where Marvin has me lifting weights and things. He says, now that I no longer have “Mom-bod” it’s the perfect time. And it’s true, I am pretty little as of late. I’m sure the “straw” diet has helped, but he also says months and months of no booze beforehand will do that to a person too… I don’t know what happened. It was like when I was pregnant… I was just going along when suddenly, one day… wine tasted like complete ass. Now, for a girl who spent her early kid-hood in Sonoma, playing tag in the vineyards, whose family still makes wine, it would seem a bit of a sacrilege, but go figure… So, I feel good, but I still can’t smile or talk much. I have about an hour’s worth of words in me… daily. And while I can totally deal with a mostly-silent, Amelie existence, the not-smiling-part suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.

Why? Because it means I can no longer take part in those critical moments of street forgiveness/redemption. I can’t smile back. I recently read an essay somewhere that women who smile are less successful business, that more than anything, a woman needs to bring an inscrutable game face. I hate this idea. It’s worse than a thong. I can’t stay like Kirk Douglas… Not for all the money in the world. Walter (my oral surgeon whose real name is Dr. Ira Sturman, the Oliver Sacks of maxillofacial stuff) and his nurse will do anything to make me laugh, smile and/or open my mouth at this point. Yesterday, they presented me with this:

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Today, I’ll go out to do errands in a bit (in my granny panties, yes) and I just hope a hundred New Yorkers bump into me, step on my toes and steal my cab… I hope that somehow the city can bitch slap a smile back onto my face. But before I do that, a bunch of you have written in wanting to know actual, useful things about the city… I’m not very good at that, but friends of mine are… so am posting next…. I swear.

xx – gg

Still dirty, still perplexed…

Going outside kind of sucks right now. It’s total icy badness in the streets.

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cartoon by the amazing Allie Brosh – hyperboleandahalf.com

This was me the other day. Right as I was falling, I started laughing and everyone around me turned to help, but then they started laughing too and boom!… Epic banana peel.

When you have crappy-ish little NYC moments like these, it’s important to reach back and remember why you love this city. I have always been obsessed with movies about people who are just arriving in NYC and trying to make their way. There are heaps of them: When Harry Met Sally, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Devil Wears Prada-ish, Coming to America and The Out of Towners, to name a few (although the woman in Out of Towners is so crazy-shrill, she makes me want to gouge both my ears out with a white hot fire poker…that’s how much I can’t stand her).

My newest favorite moving-to-NYC movie is a little known flick called: Casse-tete chinois (Chinese Puzzle) about a writer-guy in Paris whose girlfriend up and leaves him for New York (with their children). Needless to say… he sublets his amazing Rue Du Bac apartment and hightails it to the apple.

I love this movie for a wild and wide variety of reasons…

1) the guy’s a really good dad–not cliche good– but good for reals.

2) he ends up living in an uber-shitty apartment in Chinatown with no furniture, and it doesn’t bother him one bit. He knows why he’s there. (the chitlins!)

3) he is obsessed with how complicated everything seems, which only makes for more mayhem.

4) he has imaginary conversations with Schopenhauer and Hegel, and he actually understands them. This totally blows my skirt up.

5) the last thing I love… is Audrey Tautou’s character. She only sees things as simple. Even when people are wetting their pants to tell her that things are not, she shrugs them off and makes one of those little Frenchy faces that says, “Beh, oui…but what can you do?” I identify with that girl… I’ve spent decades, since the time that I was a neurotic 7 year old, thinking everything was a mess. Now, I too shrug 🙂

So, if you need a quality flick to distract yourself while you are stuck inside because you no longer trust your gross motor skills when it comes to ice, Casse-tete chinois is a charming diversion.

I also think that when you are housebound… like when we all were when dealing with Junot (the sassy pregnant teenager of storms)… what better time to cook something completely fancy and impossible?

My latest idea came from Central Park. It’s squab stuffed with foie Gras and wrapped in prosciutto. I know… I know what you’re thinking, “Wait, squab? Isn’t that pigeon?” Yes, it is and it’s delicious. Besides pigeons are so damn dumb, Darwin would agree, they pretty much deserve to be eaten.

I’ll spare you the encyclopedic recipe. Suffice it to say, there is something gratifying about standing around your kitchen doing silly chopping tasks while doing your best impersonation of Julia Child and sipping a lovely glass of red, that just makes things right with the world. You may be asking… how the heck do you find squab, foie gras and prosciutto during a storm? Hellooo, it’s New York…the fine people at Zabars will gladly deliver these items fresh to your door. Only last week, my girlfriend Alisa and I actually bought prosciutto at Duane Reade in Soho, during a blizzard at 2am–they are open 24 hours and you never know when you are about to have a pork crisis.

Last, but not least… if you have watched every “meh” movie on Netflix and it’s still too slippery to brave the great outdoors, try getting your blood boiling with this wise little tome, What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justifies the Meanness.

Z

This book should be required reading for anyone moving here… Even if you are not trying to hold your own in a toxic work or home environment, you’ll still laugh your guts out. For me, it was particularly helpful as I am waaaaaay too nice, and it never fails to screw me…  with work, with boys, with my editor…  I need to be more of a rascal. So, while it’s practically zero out… now is the perfect time to brush up on my ruthlessness. It’s the ideal time to practice saying things like Linda Wachner, CEO of Warnaco, would say to her VPs… “You’re eunuchs. How can your wives stand you?”  or also… “You can either eat lunch or be lunch… I’ll have you on rye with a gallon of Russian dressing…”

I know I have it in me… 🙂 XOXO – gg