Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Enjoy the view - for now.

As I was sitting outside, on my lunch hour enjoying the brief half hour of S-U-N Mother Nature gave me, I began wondering am I missing something?

Is that why my 20-somethings feel slightly off? But what could it be...I don't feel "incomplete" but somehow I don't feel complete either.

Hm? Something to ponder I suppose. For now I'll enjoy the view.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Strippers and Space Punch

I can tell you one thing the writers of Friends got right in regards to my 20-something life -- you never see the cast of characters going out and getting hammered on the weekends. Sure there was the episode where Ross and Rachel get drunk and married in Vegas and the "turning 30" episode that shows an intoxicated Monica at her surprise black-tie birthday party. But that was about it. 

Central Perk was a supplier of Mochas not Mojitos.

I should have taken my cue from our Friends and ordered a second espresso instead of the "Space Punch" from the Spaceroom last night...I learned something about this 20-something body of mine:

This ol' girl can't drink like she used to!

I wasn't a high school partier (my life was no Gossip Girl) - I was too busy dressing people in mythical creature costumes and turning a high school senior into the King of Siam. Admittedly once I got to college my alcohol consumption then increased (my college resembled the movie PCU...). Long weekends of Pabst Blue Ribbon and gallons of Carlo Rossi (hey don't judge, we were poor college students remember?) As the years went I lost my rank in the heavy weight division and eventually became the lightweight I am today.

A glass of Shiraz with my Pasta Puttanesca or even a good bottle of Mexican beer to accompany my tapas and I'm good for the night...I'm a cheap date and don't mind at all. That's where it started last night - a beer and order of Pollo Verde tacos from ¿Por QuĂ© No? - but by the end of the night my beer multiplied itself, add a pomegranate margarita and then relocated me to the Spaceroom where I was forced to pick between "Space Punch" and "Fresh Underwear" (and yes, this is a drink). 

Space Punch (L) Fresh Underwear (R)

The evening was wonderful: reuniting with old friends, making new friends, good drinks and greasy bar food -- not to mention a waitress with a Masters Degree in Strippers (really she did her master's dissertation on the sex and porn industry in Portland Oregon - but a MA in Strippers just sounds way cooler). In the end, however, I was the designated "Party-Pooper". Closing up shop to head home and get ready for the impending Monday-morning work shift. Amidst the "boo"s and heckles of my new (and old) drinking buddies I wondered:

How were they ready for more and why couldn't I keep up?

Most had work the next morning, two of them planning a three-hour drive they were planning for 5AM to get to work on time, and all of them older than me.

So what was their trick?

How were they ready to move onto the next venue?

So here I am coffee in hand, tired but thankfully no visible hangover, rain pouring outside making me want to curl back into bed and no idea how I got this way.

Where is the indispensable 20-something liver and tolerance I once had?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dress code

Everyone's familiar with Taz, the Tasmanian devil from Warner Brother's cartoons, right?  He spins and spins, like a whirling dervish gone wrong, then stops to grumble incoherently and then spins and spins and spins some more. All the while destroying everything in his path....that was me this morning getting ready for work.  

I had known pretty much all week what I was going to wear today; having just bought a new blouse this past weekend and getting up at 6:00AM to be on public transit by 7:00AM, I need to plan a little in advance. Jeans and undergarments on, i watched myself turn into the Tasmanian devil trying one shirt on after another, throwing clothes across the room in frustration, tripping over my Momma-Cat as she was wondering what the hell was wrong with me. It wasn't that I was having a moment of I-hate-my-body (which I have had plenty of in my lifetime) it was just every shirt I put on wasn't the "right-one"...didn't say what I wanted it to.   

But what is it exactly that I was looking for it to say?  

*    *    *  
I moved to Portland, Oregon almost six months ago and have been shocked by the overall "style" (or in my opinion lack-thereof) in Portlanders. Everyone appears to have a uniform - with some room for variation of course: sneakers or hiking boots, jeans or sweatpants, a giant oversized fleece coat (typically multi-colored), scruffy beards for the men and lifeless cuts for the women. 

Yes, I moved during the Fall/Winter when people are looking to bundle up and stay warm - but can't you do that with some style? I mean New York and Chicago folks are known for pulling this off just fine.   

I never had thought of myself as one of the "better" dressed people anywhere I've lived, until I moved to Portland. Now this isn't to say that all Portlanders dress this way. The men and women in my office are all very stylish and "dress-to-impress" for the most part. Perhaps this is because of where I work? Public representatives. Physical embodiments of an iconic Portland event? I don't know. I do, however, know that my "casual" seems to be pretty dressed-up around the home of Portlandia.  

*    *    *  

This morning's whirling dervish extravaganza got me thinking about why I put so much effort into my appearance? Why I feel it necessary to slap on some mascara and eyeliner before venturing outside my front door? Is it a manifestation of this fictional 20-something lifestyle I've been brainwashed to believe I need to obtain?  

I was a techie in theatre during high school; so the uniform for those four years was a pair of jeans and t-shirt to make crawling around in costume closets and hauling lumber for sets easier. When I started college the uniform wasn't much different: jeans and tanks - perhaps the occasional skirt or sarong. Then about my senior year I started wearing high heels to class, coordinating my earrings to whatever color my blouse was that day.   

What was it that changed?   

I wasn't ambushed on some style television show about how to dress my body. No one told me "Morgan you look a mess" No life altering event took place other than being well into my early-20s.  

Now here I am in my mid-to-late20s and I can't help but wonder: 

What does a 20-something dress like?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where did I go wrong?

I turned twenty-seven this year – fifty-two days ago to be exact – and while I’ve never been one to care about getting older, something this year was different. It wasn’t so much the being older either. My mother has always says “It’s not the age it’s the mileage” and if that is true my odometer rolled over a while ago! I guess what it was this year was looking back on the last seven years and wondering:

Is this what being in my twenties is supposed to look like?

I’m part of the generation that grew up yearning to have the characters on Friends be your bffs. I don’t know about you but I for one have never lived like this group of life-long friends; amazing well furnished and stylish apartments, working as a professional chef or archaeologist or being able to spend hours upon hours at the coffee house below my apartment.

I have to admit, the idea of my own “Central Perk” does sounds wonderful. I often think of my blood as being half coffee, but who has the time to sit around discussing “life” while sipping your latte? I’m lucky if I have time to order my Venti Dark Cherry Mocha before I have to run back to the office (which is far from being at the NYC Ralph Lauren office).

So here I am two months into being twenty-seven and I can’t help but wonder :

Where did I go wrong?

Perhaps this blog is to help me answer this question that plagues me lately.

Perhaps it is to connect with other 20-somethings and to realize I am not alone in this search for what it means to be “20-something”.

Either way I welcome the adventure that lies before me and I welcome you along for the ride.