Posts Tagged ‘bars’

i’ll be home for christmas (almost)

In Home, News and Politics, Religion on December 28, 2015 at 9:25 pm

I bought a house today. My agent was my friend Laurie. I met Laurie ten years ago at a long-defunct bar called The Lab. It was a bar in Over the Rhine and being just a few years out from the riots, having four people there on a weeknight meant the place was poppin’. I was recently out of a poorly-considered reunion with an ex and Laurie was annoyed enough with men in general to lend a sympathetic ear to my story of mid-20s love gone wrong (or rather, was never love in the first place).

Over the years, that barstool friendship evolved across husbands and boyfriends, jobs and different jobs, debauchery of youth and the circle back to good conversation over a few beers. After referring a few friends to her real estate agent services, I got serious about buying my own place. And when I finally found The House of Dale, I wrote the following heartfelt letter in hopes of swaying the sellers with my earnest declaration of emotions (it turns out all I had to do was want to buy it rather than rent it, but who knew?):

Dear Brad and Angelina*,

Attached is my purchase offer for the home on Pennsylvania Avenue*. I also wanted to share what has led me to this place.

I never thought I’d be able to own my own home. After unemployment left our family leaving Detroit unexpectedly when I was 14 years old, we moved to a small town in Ohio, renting a house from my sister and brother-in-law. My parents still rent that tiny house, 22 years later. After three years of dorm living, I started 18 years of renting. Mostly apartments, a couple houses, usually alone, sometimes with roommates. I thought my “property” ownership would be limited to my car and a square foot of an island off the coast of Maine (life is weird).

A year ago, I got a new job. Previous obstacles to my gainful employment, mostly health-related, had diminished to a point where I could consider what had seemed impossible: home ownership. This not merely a purchase for me; even the mortgage pales in comparison to the true meaning of this contract: security and a willing responsibility to the commitment of providing my life’s sanctuary.

I love this house. It’s a place where I can feel at the home for the first time since we drove away from our house in Detroit 22 years ago. Any dollars and cents in this contract is eclipsed by the heart I offer for my American Dream come true.

Thank you for considering my offer in its entirety.



Brad and Angelina didn’t give a shit about my heartfelt letter. They are business people who flip houses for a living. If they gave a shit about my heartfelt letter, they wouldn’t be good at their jobs. It’s okay. I still got the house.

But those words are still true. This hasn’t been so much a financial transaction as the fulfillment of a dream deferred. A home is security. A home is safety. A home is where you have the liberty to wear robes all the time and eat cookies and pizza for breakfast and enjoy privacy for multi-flush poops. You can play music loud and take long showers (but please be responsible in your water use). A place to lay your head is what keeps you going when you’re out in the world, with its unpredictability and disapproval of robe-only ensembles.

When weather is bad, we want to be at home. When we’re sick, we want to be at home. When we’re tired, or scared, or stuck in traffic – especially when we’re stuck in traffic – we want to be at home.

The refugees of Syria, of Sudan, of Afghanistan, of dozens of countries where unspeakable abuse – trafficking, child soldiers, pirating, blatant violence – has driven its people to flee with only the clothes on their backs, risking their lives and the lives of their children, are looking for homes. They are looking for the most basic of necessities – shelter. They are looking for the most essential of liberties – safety. They are looking for the most sacred of blessings – serenity in the comfort of a home.

Any refugee seeking asylum could have written that heartfelt letter. The refugees who are being turned away, who are dying – quite literally – in their efforts to find a home, are being turned back to nothing. Their home is gone. When refugees are turned away, we – the countries that are homes by the very nature our liberty – not only deny them the dignity of acceptance but we shirk our responsibility to care for our neighbor. Their blood is on our hands because we refuse to shield them from the sword.

When we turn away refugees, we. are. Assholes. As my mom said about the sellers after reading my heartfelt letter, “If that doesn’t make them want you to have the home, they are heartless awful people, and I’m sure that isn’t the case.”

Many Americans just celebrated Christmas (and/or the War on Christmas). We are told There is a Reason for the Season. That reason started with a young couple looking, if only for the night, a home. Somewhere safe to bring their child into the world. Somewhere that if say, a deranged king was trying to hunt down and kill their child, they would be secure against the danger. The really Christian thing to do is to help people who are looking for home – a safe place to birth their child, a land where their lives are no longer in daily danger, an urban bungalow for robe-wearing. The Christians would want those refugees to have a home. Because they aren’t heartless awful people. Mom is sure that isn’t the case.


*Names have been changed

a real lifetime movie

In Communication, Entertainment and Nightlife, Relationships on December 21, 2010 at 11:21 am

I’m not much of a movie person.  I realize that this puts me in the minority, but I’m just far too restless.  I also don’t like getting all worked up and emotional about people who don’t actually exist.  Worrying about whether Jennifer Aniston and her mildly gay co-star will be able to work it out just seems really silly.  I don’t even care if Jennifer Aniston and her real-life mildly gay boyfriends work it out.
I do love to watch human interaction though.  I just prefer the real-life variety.  Instead of going to watch a movie, I’ll go to a crowded bar and sit in a corner and observe.  Watching real people do the dance of interpersonal attraction is infinitely more interesting than watching actors do it.  The power dynamics, the intimacy transactions, and what happens at the end of the night?  Now that’s cinema.
I have an MA in Communication, and even though I no longer am an active Communication scholar, I still do studies all the time.  If being able to tell how people feel about each other ever becomes a marketable skill, I’m going to be a very successful woman. I know when someone loves someone.  I know when someone wants to have sex with someone.  I know when someone is repulsed.  There are stories all around us.  Why pay $10 to watch one on a screen?

a different kind of beer goggles

In Communication, Entertainment and Nightlife, Food and Spirits, Relationships on November 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Everyone is familiar with beer goggles (if not personally, at least conceptually).  Something about alcohol lowers our standards, our expectations, and sometimes our pants.  There is plenty of analysis on beer goggles out there (not to mention an Android app and Gmail setting to prevent booty calls/texts/emails).

It is time to bring to light an equally distressing result of alcohol’s side effects.  No, not liver cancer.  I’m talking about drunken friend-making.

Some people are mean drunks.  Some are sad drunks.  Some of us, however, are happy drunks.  While my drunkenness is rare, I do fall squarely into the happy drunk mold.  I love everyone.  I think everyone I meet is the most awesome person to walk the planet (I kind of feel like this sober too, but I digress).  I want to be best friends with everyone.

The next morning I have 7 new phone numbers in my cell phone but only a faint recollection of who they belong to (it’s even more difficult to distinguish them from each other).  I realize I’ve promised to help people move, find them jobs, start businesses together, and possibly serve as their lookout for some sort of investigation or surveillance or stalking of a past significant other.  While I avoid making promises in my regular, non-bar-based life, I am full of promises with a bit of vodka in my system.  The next morning, my regrets aren’t about a man in my bed so much as a to-do list.

Granted, I have actually made great friends on nights out drinking.  I have met wonderful people, had enlightening conversations, and most importantly, lived life in the moment.  The only problem is when living life in the moment leaves me indebted for the foreseeable future.

I’m sure I won’t be able to avoid making new friends and new promises when I’m wearing my goggles.  It’s considerably less likely to leave me with an incurable disease.  I’m sure that some of these drunken friends are just as glad as I am that we haven’t followed up on our promise to start a non-profit and save the world.

Still, please consider this post my disclaimer from any promises I make with a glass in my hand. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to help someone move.