Friday, November 11, 2011

In This Issue: Strangers Insult Me With Childhood References

After a long day at work yesterday, I stopped by the grocery store on my way home. Threw things into my basket without really thinking, and headed to the checkout line.

"How are you tonight?" the cashier asked.

"Hungry," I responded. My stomach grumbled in agreement.

"Hungry hippo," the cashier nodded.


"Nom nom nom!"

"Thank you for the comparison."

"No problem, loved that game!" Cheerfully clueless, he handed me my bag of groceries and I grumped off into the night.

I don't think I look anything like that when I eat.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eight Inches Make A Difference

Guess who has brand new mom hair?

Sorry for the facial expression. There's an unwritten rule about how many self photos you can take in a Starbucks before people stop pretending they don't notice. I was perilously close to the limit and couldn't take another.

That's right, this lady right here. And while I'm really annoyed with the salon that didn't book enough time for my appointment (I told them I was donating my waist length curly hair and might need extra seat time) and the stylist who didn't listen to what I asked for or look at the photos I provided, it isn't entirely bad.


Because according to the National Cancer Institute, 774,370 women will be diagnosed with cancer by the end of this year. It's a terrifying journey to find oneself on -- and in addition to the stress of diagnosis, treatment, and debilitating medical expenses, many of these women wake up every morning to a new face in the mirror, one they don't recognize.

I'm good at a handful of things, but science and doctor-y things haven't ever made the list. I am good at growing thick strong hair (thanks, Greek ancestors!). So yesterday I went in and had eight inches of my locks chopped off, walked out with a bag of hair (creepy), and tomorrow will mail it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Along with donations from about five other women, it will be made into a wig for one woman fighting the hardest battle of her life.

So while my hair looks like a small town newscaster's, I know someone else is going to end up with some great hair days. That makes it okay.

Curious about hair donation? Read my guest post from 2009, Frizz for a Cause, over on

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hello, I'm Not Stalking You

Some things, I can't wrap my brain around. Like sending emails such as the one below.

From: --
To: Christina
Subject: Stalking

Hey, Christina, how are you? I'm not stalking you. Yet!


Here's to you, future stalker! You and your uncomfortable emails!

Console me in the comments, please. I don't want to think I'm the only one who gets head scratchers like this one.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Helpful Phrases For Small Talk Scenarios

Chit chat. Small talk. It serves a purpose, but there's a reason it makes us yawn and roll our eyes when we think about it. All you're doing is saying the same thing each time, and wasting the precious brain cells you still have by uttering inane comments.

Here is my gift to you: a series of responses that you can memorize and use, allowing your brain to focus on quantum physics or the last episode of Dance Moms. Also, if you get the delivery right, you won't have to worry about making small talk much longer.

Please note: while these are conversations I often have, your experience may vary -- so please feel free to adapt them.

"How are you doing today?"
"[fill in long explanation with unnecessary details and tears]"

"What are your plans for this afternoon?"
See above.

"Your hair is amazing!"
"That's what I said to the last owner."

"You're kind of conceited."

"What great weather we're having!"
"It's a trap -- they want you lulled into a false sense of security before they unleash the zombies."

"Would you like the ravioli packaged to go?"
"No, I plan to grill it immediately -- I hear it tastes best that way."

"So what do you do for a living?"
"I've found eating food and sleeping regularly to be highly successful for me."

"Is that debit or credit?"
"Klout, actually."

"Hi, my name is [name]. It's so great to meet you!"
"It's great to meet you, too. Good thing I won't remember your name, so we can do this again."

Okay, so my idea of "small talk" extends to nearly "all talk." But I find the above responses infinitely helpful in sparing my brain the pain of ordinary responses. Tell me in the comments -- what do you (or have you) said in a common chit chat scenario?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rejection: For Fun And Profit

When I was on a work trip a few weeks back, my co-workers and I were chatting over dinner, and somehow got to to talking about the Rejection Line. Never heard of it? One of them hadn't either, so I called it and put it on speakerphone for group entertainment.

(Call it right now if you never have -- 212-479-7990).

Someone suggested that Seattle needed a local Rejection Line, since the New York area code kind of made the whole thing fishy for us west coasters. Last weekend, I discovered there IS a Seattle rejection number.

It's mine.

"Hey :-)" came the text message from an unknown number.

"I'm sorry, but I don't recognize your number. Who is this?" While my gut reaction was to respond with a little more attitude, I have my cell listed on my business cards and toned it down a bit.

"It's Don. We met on the bus this evening. The guy with the Bud Light sign."

I don't use public transportation. This was clearly a mistake. I let him know, he apologized, and I thought how strange it was that this had happened the previous weekend, too.

Minute later, a new number texted me:

"Hey :-) It's Daren. Nice to meet you today. That was fun on the bus. You work tomorrow?"

All of these people mentioned the bus... and it clicked. Some crazy itchy bee was giving out my number as her own to men on public transportation.

"Someone has been giving out my number as her own, but I'm afraid it isn't me. I don't ride the bus. I'm sorry."

"Oh wow. So sorry. I had no idea. That is really messed up," came the response. Then: "Well, I guess it's never too late to make a new friend! How was your weekend?"


"Thank you but no. I don't really want to talk. I'm sorry someone was rude to you but you can throw away this number now."

He apologized and left me alone... for two days.

"Hey, I know you weren't really in the mood to talk before. But I couldn't help but to ask how you are doing? How is your week going?"

So. Anyone want to sponsor this impromptu career I'm starting? I will happily mention your company in my rejections.

"I'm sorry, but I'd rather be eating ____while watching _____, my favorite ____, than text or talk to you. But for comfort during this terrible time of rejection, may I suggest trying _____?"

Get in touch, sponsors. I'm open to your offers.