staircase wit as a means of evaluation.

i have slow reflexes.

impossibly late come-backs.

as a child i would practice long, drawn-out speeches in front of the mirror. my own what-i-should've-said lecture series. responses well-formulated weeks, months, years after the date of expiration.

i can be witty.
and let me be clear that i'm using this "sometimes" liberally. because more often than not, i am not.
witty, that is.
jokes, when thought of at the appropriate time, are mostly abandoned half-way through.
and come-backs come twenty minutes too late, leaving me wishing for the offender to do just that, come back.
come back. please.

there is a term for this.
a condition that i suffer from, if you will.
l'esprit de l'escalier. (it's french, which means i'm practically french, don't you know?)
now bear with me, most of the following info comes from wikipedia:
the term, coined by french philosopher diderot, roughly translates to staircase wit. what? you ask. fear not, i'll let diderot explain: a sensitive man like me, overwhelmed by the argument leveled against him, becomes confused and can only think clearly again [when he gets to] the bottom of the stairs.
staircase wit?
get it?!
isn't it brilliant, isn't it just absolutely perfect?

so i met this guy. and on that first night l'esprit de l'escalier fled my "sensitive soul" and my remarks were witty and quick and cute (might i add cute?).
at least, this is how i remember it. do me a favor, don't ask him, he might see it all a wee bit differently and i don't want to burst the bubble just yet, okay?

and this is how i knew.
that i might just like him.
diminished esprit.
or the flee of l'esprit, if you will. (credit to kate for this).

a very good sign.

who i am at 24.

this morning i woke up to a new year. 

i buttoned up my brand new, crisp-as-they-come, white blouse, took a good long look in the mirror and decided that yes, 24 felt different in the best possible way. i was different. better. immediately, i knew.

then i gave one squirt of smashbox foundation into my waiting hand and ended up with five gloriously large makeup blobs all over my brand new shirt--my never-been-worn shirt. and i was brought back to reality. this would not be the year of the immaculately clean white blouse. a new year, a new day does not a different person make. i am still the girl who gets make-up on her shirt (or food--more often food), stumbles over her words, and does not realize that the restaurant has not been serving broccoli now for a full 34 days (as my boss so kindly pointed out). 

and you know what? thank God above for my persistent little foibles. they're glorious. and i love them.

my girlfriend from high school and i were speaking on the phone today. about boys. (what all young, twenty-something women most love to discuss). and she mentioned a boy she had dated several years ago that she would be meeting up with soon. she expressed trepidation about the time elapsed and said, i'm not same person i was at fifteen. to which i replied, thank God,  whitney. thank God we're not the same people. 

okay, so i am different today. and i'll be different tomorrow. each day brings a new and exciting adventure. 

i may not be so young as i was last year. but i have a year's worth of knowledge along with a new number. and for the first time in my life i feel like i am on the precipice of... everything

so 24. who am i. well, here goes.

if i could have a constant supply of anything for the rest of my life it would be flowers and paper toweling. 

at the grocery store, i most love coming away with the tall, slender bottles of pellegrino. it makes me feel...french.

i hiccup any time i've had too much food or eaten too quickly. so... often. very, very often. 

there is a direct correlation between the quality of my mood and the cleanliness of my home.

laughter. above all, i need laughter. small hiccups of laughs and roaring guffaws. when i think of the man i'll marry there is so much i dream of. but the only thing i know--i mean really know--is that he'll laugh at my jokes and my constant mistakes. and himself. oh for a man who can laugh at himself! he'll make me laugh and for this i'll love him as though our lives depend on it. 

i'd like to tell you that ned isn't following me into this new year. but he is. two weeks ago i would have said, no, no way. but with the onset of bed bugs and thus a disrupted sleep cycle, he has taken taken this opportunity to creep back in. when i am healthy it's as though i've found a little pocket of air in which to breathe--and i ride it for as long as i can. it's a sweet spot where ned can't touch me. and i know that in the process of recovering it's important to fall out of the pocket so that i can figure out how to get back to it quickly. so i'm trying to give thanks for the fall out. but giving thanks isn't always so easy. nor is finding my way back in. 

back in april i gave myself a year to fail, to fall on my ass again and again. and i'm doing it and loving it. and i've still got a good six months. 

i promised myself that come 24 i would take pictures. all the time. every day. it would take work and practice, but i would make it a habit. and it would be a crushing blow to ned. but i'm not feeling very picture pretty today. so i make this promise. it will be a week late, but come this weekend i will post some photos. full length photos. photos that pretty or not will show you who i am in a way that my words cannot. 

i feel good about this age. this 24 number will be a good one. ned will end. and i will fall in love. (that's my divination for the future...i guess we'll see if my predictions are on point!). 

ps: i have a crush on a man who snaps his fingers. and when he does it's strong and clear and reminds me of my father and this inspires great confidence. 

photo via sabino.

this thing.

anytime i develop the slightest inkling of...mmm...let's call it infatuation, i experience the complete breakdown of the english language--or rather my grasp of it.

my native tongue becomes a foreign anomaly. foreign anomaly? can i say that? or is it repetitive and therefore grammatically incorrect and unnecessary? see what i mean, this thing is throwing everything off.

words do not come.

except when they do (see above rambling for example).

which is no better. because, as if collected in too small a space during their forced hiatus, they catapult out. slamming, careening and ricocheting, abutting

this is not the worst of it.

my hearing goes as well.

he speaks. i listen.

and do you know what i hear?

words interspersed with blips. great, universe-descending blips. holes in sound. and i am left to look questioningly and ask him to repeat himself. once.again. at which point, if i still hear more blip than word, i simply smile and nod, hoping it wasn't a question.

he must think the elevator doesn't quite reach the top floor.

but its just so hard when i so like the way his eyelashes curl.

image via daydream lily

dear crush,

Dear Crush,

If you think I don't know your name. If I don't say hello or goodbye. If my eyes dart to the floor every time you look in my direction. If I scowl or pretend to ignore you. If I act like I'm much too good. If you wonder why I'm friendly and charming with everyone but's because I like you. It's because my whole body gets warm when I see you. It's because I'm actually shy. It's because you've missed the countless sidelong glances I've thrown in your direction. And because I am completely terrified that if our eyes were to ever meet, it would all be over--that in that instant I would unwittingly confess to the thousands of little lies that kept you from knowing just how hard I might (and maybe want) to fall for you. 

the girl you think has a crush on your friend.

image found at ffffoun (of course).