Monthly Archives: April 2010

Letters From The Bay, Week 41: Trashy, Part II

Part 2: I am a sad lady

I’ll be honest, I almost gave it up before I started.

I knew what was coming.  I knew it. 

A +B = C.

Tiffany ring + trash truck = that’s right.  You know where.

I went to to figure out how much it would cost to replace my ring.  I breifly considered never telling anyone what I had done, and just replacing the ring and forgetting about it.

I also considered limping around the house and waiting for someone else to offer to replace it for me. 

I even started developing the start of a terrifying story wherein I get robbed on the street, held up at gunpoint and forced to fork over my precious heirlooms and sorority girl jewelry, but that seemed more likely to open up a great big can of Hilary Please Move Home Now, and even Tiffany is not worth starting that conversation.

I don’t know if I’m too stubborn, too cheap, too bad a liar, too Lutheran (which is a combination of being stubborn, cheap and a bad liar) or something else – what’s the feeling? Ah yes!  Too guilty.  But I couldn’t do it.  I had to try to get my ring back.  And if it were not to be found, I would have to apologize to my parents and go Tiffanyless for the rest of my days.  I clearly cannot be trusted with nice things.

And I clearly knew where I was going to have to go if I wanted to get my ring back.


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Letters From The Bay, Week 41: Trashy

Part One: I am a crazy lady

There’s a song by Joe Purdy that I love.  It’s called “Stompin’ Grounds” and I don’t really know why, because the part of the song I always hone in on is not about stompin’ – it’s a line about how I can’t wait for the weekend…blah blah blah. Like I said, I really love this song.

That line pretty much sums up how I feel about my life in San Francisco.  I can’t wait for the weekend because that’s when all the good stuff happens.  The city comes alive, my friends cross the Bay, my dear partner in crime, my Friend Horse*, joins me in my generally illplanned exploits, we cross things off THE LIST**, and it’s all good.

To sum up: the weekend is the time when we explore and discover new things.

Well, my friends.  I am here to tell you what.  You can do that during the week, too.

Case in point: my little field trip last week.

I came home from the Gala exhausted.  What with all the Oscar award winner hugging and Benjamin Bratt ass bumping, I was pretty much shot for the evening.  I also had the brilliant idea of putting contacts in my eyes – contacts with neither I, nor my dear sweet boyfriend***, could get out of my eyes – so while I could still see at 3 a.m., it burned. IT BURNED.

When you’re tired and your life feels disorderly, what helps?  That’s right, cleaning!  And when your eyes are aflame and you’re very very tired, everything feels disorderly, and so, at 3 a.m., through the burning haze, what do you do if you’re an anal retentive nutjob? That’s right, CLEAN!

Through the burning haze I decided it would be an awesome sort of idea to clean my room.  In my evening gown.  Wearing a hooded sweatshirt. At 3 a.m.

Nut. Job.

Now, in hindsight, even without my contacts, I am able to tell you with 100 percent certainty that this was not an awesome sort of idea. It was a bad idea.  Some ideas are little sprouts of brilliance whose time has come.  This idea was not an idea whose time had not come, but instead, was an idea who really needed to suck it and just go to sleep and clean up later, or maybe even drink more and then go out and try to get laid.  A rebellious teenager of ideas, this Very Bad Idea.

Sadly, The Very Bad Idea prevailed, and in my fiery frenzy of cleaning up and throwing away, I threw away a small bag in my purse.  A small Forever 21 bag which, in the switching out of earrings and jewelry pre-Gala, no longer contained cheap sparklers from Forever 21, but now contained the Tiffany ring my parents gave me for my college graduation.

“Who needs this empty bag?!” I said, annoyed with my pre-Gala, normal self for holding onto plastic bags for seemingly no good reason.  “I’m no bag lady, I’m throwing this away!”

And so I did.  Tiffany ring and all.

Flash forward ten hours.

Normal Hilary wakes up.

Normal Hilary starts getting dressed, and realizes Tiffany ring is missing.

Normal Hilary realizes Tiffany ring was in Forever 21 bag, which is now in trash.

Normal Hilary does the sad, yet likely comedic “Noooooooooo!!!!!!” move one sees in sitcoms.

Normal Hilary races outside in her pajamas to retrieve the ring from the trash can.

And it’s empty.

Normal Hilary is then forced to do something gross.

If you want to know what it is, check back here in a couple of days.

*You know how, at horse races, there’s the actual race horse? And then there’s the horse that walks next to the race horse, to keep it calm and say nice things to it, tell it it’s pretty and that it’s definitely going to win?  That’s a Friend Horse.  And sometimes people need one, too. We all need someone who walks next to us sometimes. Someone who keeps us calm, says nice things to us, reminds us that we’re pretty and have worth, and that one day, maybe not today but one day, we’re going to be okay.  Even if we don’t win, it’s going to be okay.  I have a friend like that.  How lucky am I?

**When I first moved here, I started keeping a list of all the wonderous things I’d like to do.  I’m a list maker, it’s what I do.  My Friend Horse has joined me in my list making efforts, and now it’s become a beast of a thing, taunting us, daring us to cross things off.  We are very busy.  Usually on the weekends.

***Yes, I made him put his fingers in my eyes at 3 a.m. and yes he is among the world’s most patient men.  If they had a club of patient men, I feel like he would definitely get to join, and possibly rise to officer status.  They could have their meetings outside of women’s restrooms or in the fronts of Gap Body stores, holding purses, staring peacefully at mall fountains and dreaming of televised sporting events.  Who wants to start that, you?  You?

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Letters From The Bay, Week 41: The Benjamin Bump

If I haven’t said it enough, I’ll say it again: I love my job.

Sometimes work means writing a letter or essay that thousands of people will read. Sometimes it means submitting work to well-known authors and directors.  It will frequently involve invitations and tastings and cupcakes oh my.  And often enough, it means stuffing envelopes and just plain getting shit done.  It’s an oddly pleasing balance of head scratchingly strange and just shoot me boring, and I never thought I’d say this, but it’s just right right now.

I love my job.

However, sometimes, my job goes beyond, “I really love it here” to a “You’ve got to be kidding me that I’m getting paid to do this right now” level of awesome.  And that was pretty much Sunday, our Season Gala.

Because if you boil it down to the basics, on Sunday I got paid to hug Olympia Dukakis and direct her to the bar, toward which she made a hasty advance; accidentally ass bump Benjamin Bratt (a happy accident I’d repeat any day of the week now) and then promptly stare at his gorgeousness; and chat it up with a Tony-award winning Disney princess, while wearing an evening gown and flip-flops.

Okay that last one wasn’t my finer moment of the evening, but still: I ASS BUMPED BENJAMIN BRATT.  No Anika Noni Awkward moments are going to take down that high.

I love my job.


Filed under Fiesta!, Letters from the Bay

Letters From The Bay, Week 40: Progress

Last week I bought a chair.  Or, to be more precise, a project.

A project masquerading as a chair.

How nice.

It’s ugly, this chair.  Oh yes.  Only I can see its true potential. The rest of you would look at my chair and be all, “Girl, WHAT. IS. THAT.”  Or, if you’re my sweet boyfriend The News, as you’re lifting this chair into the back of the car, you just go, “This?  We’re exerting and sweating for this?” Shakes head.

What I can say?  Beneath its ugly beige interior lies a swell spirit, like Betty Draper in a house dress before she fixes herself up for her illicit lover man who is so much less attractive than Don, causing confusion and sadness among Mad Men-viewing households everywhere.

My chair might cause you some confusion and sadness too, and that’s okay, but to me, it’s just a little project.  A work in progress.

But isn’t everything?  Aren’t we all?

I put contact lenses in for the first time yesterday.  And I took them out for the first time…today.  Yes, do that math and you will know how my eyes feel right about now.  Was vanity worth it?  Was it worth it, not having to wear glasses?


Or maybe not.

My struggle with vanity? Work in progress.  

My ability to do my new job, in a city that still feels new sometimes, is a work in progress.  Is it worth it to work to be good at this job, this new job that I love so much?  Of course.

My relationship with my roommate who is also my boyfriend is very much a work in progress.  Sometimes it’s just work as we both attempt to figure out what it means to be newly dating and also sharing a bathroom.  And a kitchen.  And everything else. It’s definitely not easy, but is it worth it?  More than anything.

Even my relationship with San Francisco is a work in progress.  For all the days of bad trannys and hookers and Olympia Dukakis sightings – days that remind me why I am endlessly fascinated and entertained here – there are also days that are terrible.  Days of rain and fog, of biting cold, of no parking spots and too many tourists and $12 bottles of lotion. Days that make you long for the square state when life was easy and boring, but easy, and did we mention, it was easy?

And so, I work.  And as I work, I progress.  Into a better person, a stronger woman, a more patient girlfriend, a more careful roommate.

Sometimes this city, like the very ugly chair I’m sitting in now, causes me angst and sadness.  But just below the surface of any bad day is a swell spirit.  A lovely, swinging time in my life that, whatever the future holds for me here, I will never forget.

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