fro margs and t swift

Summer 2019 brings with it frozen margaritas and Taylor Swift on repeat — I keep joking that I’m discovering my best basic white girl self.

There’s something about the fro margs at Guajillo in Rosslyn that’s totally and utterly captured my heart, ever since that impromptu dinner date at Pho 75 with the Baldwin. (It’s probably the frozen part and also the margarita part.) We didn’t mean to meet there, didn’t mean to hop next next next door for post-dinner margaritas, didn’t meet to linger so long, telling each other stories we thought we’d shared but really hadn’t. But the impact is real and it’s lasting.

Ever since that evening just two weeks ago, I’ve been back for those frozen margaritas two (three…?) additional times, each time citing Guajillo as my new fave happy hour location even though technically they don’t have a happy hour and technically I’ve never gotten any happy hour dealios there and technically technically I don’t even like Mexican food. Life. It’s a beautiful mystery!

And then this Taylor Swift resurgence. I’ve traced it back to our Seattle trip, when David and I were jamming out to tswift hardcore on our drive up to Vancouver. It must have awakened a little earworm in my noggin, and the lil guy is yelling, compelling me to listen to more, more, more TS. Yes. I know that’s not actually how an earworm works, but isn’t the image kinda cute?

As I find myself in music chamber situations (read: driving in cars) with people who aren’t as resurgence-y about TS, I find myself explaining — nay, defending — why I’m liking her so much these days. That her songs are fierce and fun and even just…kinda fun to make fun of, too (cue: Trouble Goat Remix.) But most of all, that she’s a good storyteller who writes simple, compelling lines put to melodies that are so. effin. catchy and tells her stories in an authentic voice that’s decidedly hers. She’s this girl and that, described by lovers and haters as this other girl and yet again that — but she takes it all and writes songs that are honest about what she thinks and who she is. She contains multitudes, eh hem, if I may borrow the timely phrase.

Frozen margaritas in a swirl of TaySwift. Maybe this is just one of those English major-y things where you’re reading several books for different classes during the same semester and your brain starts to make connections that aren’t there, but joking about being “my best basic white girl self” and defending Taylor Swift’s singer-songwriter honor feels oddly appropriate in light of my most recent life-nugget acquisition, when in a swirl of an emotional meltdown I had to actively decide to believe one set of possible explanations over what the evil voice in my head was yelling, in a situation that was making me want to believe and think the worst about myself.

I realized that a lot of those anxiety-ridden moments that make me question myself — because they happen in a vacuum of actual information — push me toward and over the cliff of self-doubt. “Wait, why would she have done that” too quickly tumbles me down into a pit of “She hates me because I’m untrustworthy and I probably shouldn’t even be here.”

The weird thing is, when other people come to me with stories of “Wait, why did x to y in z situation, do you think?” my reaction is never as dire and cliff-y as it is for the possible explanations I provide myself. There is zero grace for me. All grace and best-intention scenarios for everyone else. Why? That’s so silly. (And a whole nuther blog post, I’m sure.)

As difficult and counterintuitive as it was, I had to tell myself to give myself the same kind of advice that I would give someone else — to assume the best intent on this person’s part, that it might have been a mistake, that she most definitely does not hate you. Me. I had to shut down the evil voice of ~all those h8rs~ inside my own brain and embrace my fro marg-lovin, tswift-blastin self for all those multitudes contained inside.

The frozen margaritas and the Taylor Swift had nothing to do with this mysterious situation that caused such internal turmoil, by the way. But if it’s not the job of an English major to weave disparate threads into one colorful blog post, I dunno what is.

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running lightly with just a few cookies

Despite a disappointing show by my own aquafaba cookies, I braved the newly December-cold evening to join the Harvest ladies for a cookie exchange — partly because I wanted to check in with these lovely folks I’d been missing, partly because cookies, partly because a cookie exchange is a whiteppl (orrrr…americanppl?) tradition I’d never ever partaken of before and I was curious.

And the flat, crispy-chewy failure of choc chip meringues (half-batch, no less) felt somehow RIGHT and honest as a representation of my confidence in the kitchen anyhow.

It was FUN. We chit-chatted, oohed and ahhed over the mountains of other, successful batches of cookies, and just caught up on each others’ lives as ladies do. We prayed over Robin as she and Ben are looking toward their move to and new life in Texas.

After it all, we bundled back up and out into the cold(er) night air. I trailed Janelle down the steps and realized that we’d parked in the same row of visitor spots, but didn’t get to walk with her cause she was being carried away on the winds of her excitement to get home / desire to get out of the cold night air into that magic van of hers.

As I watched her skip, jog, run toward that car, I couldn’t help but laugh cause there was something so childlike about her skedaddle. I wanted to skip after her and race to our cars together, but was worried for the too many cookies in my cookie-haul bags. (Cause, what if the force of my gallops crushed the cookies against themselves? and the like.) I watched her dash faster and faster away and suddenly felt so old and weighed down, a bagful of cookies in each hand. Imagined her hands, free of cookie bags — or at least only holding one, lightly filled one, maybe — and grasping instead at the fresh night air.

I walked slowly back to my own car, waving Janelle off awkwardly with the coupla free fingers on my one hand with the smaller bag of cookies and laughing, still, at what a cute, kidlike run hers was. Sad for myself for being so weighed down by cookies, but conflicted about that, cause…like I said, cookies.

Unexpected notes to self re: cookie exchange: Don’t be so greedy with things that they keep you from running in the refreshing night air when you want to. Learn to live with less, to consume less, to enjoy lightness more.