why so sensitive?

I hate the fact that I am so sensitive.  One of my friends said that my being sensitive is a nice quality, but that I should be a little more selective about who gets to see that side of me because I’ve been hurt by people who really were not worth my time in the first place.  He said I should learn to shrug off negativity from people who either have hidden agendas, are complete strangers or people I know but don’t particularly like or respect anyway.  When a close friend or family member hurts your feelings, it is ok to get upset about it and even harp on it for hours, days, months and in some cases years.  (It’s not recommended but it’s “ok”.)  But when some lady yells at you for accidentally stepping on her foot on the subway and continues to glare at you despite repeated expressions of sincere apology, to still be upset about it even one minute after it happens is unnecessary but, in my case, quite typical.  I am on this subject because, just today, I went to the Grand Central Market to pick up a salad at Dishes for lunch.  Usually, there is no line but today, there were at least seven people on line ahead of me.  I contemplated just going to the deli across the street from my office but figured it would take me just as much time to get there as it would simply waiting on line reading on my Kindle.  I was fine for the first few minutes but after a while, I noticed that the line was not moving at all.  The service was incredibly slow and some of the patrons were even slower. (If there is a long line, shouldn’t you know what you want to order by the time it’s your turn???)  I had already run an errand and taken a longer lunch than usual and I started to get antsy.  I turned to the guy behind me and said, “Wow, the service is really slow here.”  He didn’t respond.  He just looked right through me.  Self-conscious that he thought I was a bitch, I made a point to be extra nice when it was my turn.  I even smiled when I explained to the guy behind the cash register that there was absolutely no way it should cost me $27 for a grilled chicken salad (to go).  (It was $9.50 which isn’t exactly a steal either…) Anyway, my question is why did it matter to me that the guy behind me *might* have thought I was bitchy?  I don’t know him and I had no desire to know him.  Furthermore, maybe he was in a bad mood and not really paying attention to what I said.  Or maybe he was just some douchy guy who thought he was too good to respond to me.  Or maybe he was mute, hence incapable of responding to me!  The bottom line is that it really shouldn’t have mattered to me what he thought.  I know that I am not a bitch.  (Ok, I can *act* bitchy sometimes but my heart is pure and I never go out of my way to hurt anyone’s feelings.)  I am a good person. And if I was a bitch and he did think so, again, who cares??  I was still thinking about it after I left Grand Central Market, walked back to my office and started eating my expensive grilled chicken salad at my desk.  It propelled me to write this blog.  This was time I could have spent brainstorming new ideas for my novel-in-progress, getting excited for my upcoming five-day weekend or thinking about what I am going to wear to my beautiful niece Sarah’s Sweet Sixteen party on the 10th.    

This time sucker called sensitivity is really a thorn on my side!  Anyone else uber-sensitive out there?


Thanksgiving “grateful” list

This time last year, I dedicated my blog to Thanksgiving blessings.  I called it my “grateful” list and I shared some of the aspects of my life for which I felt extremely blessed.  I thought about re-posting that blog as “new” since, really, what is the likelihood that any of you actually read my blog last year?  But then I decided that would be cheating.

I actually drafted this yesterday but, as a result of my experience last night, I had to add another item to the list.  I’ll put it first since it’s fresh on my mind. I am thankful that hangovers don’t last forever and that eventually, no matter how many margaritas you drink, you sober up.  Ouch.

Moving on.

I’m still thankful for many of the same things as last year, like my family.  I’m not always great with change; in fact, changes makes me a bit uncomfortable, even though I eventually embrace it.  One thing that rarely changes is my family, specifically my sister Marjorie. Through the years, we’ve both gotten older, but I can still make her laugh with little effort and usually over the dumbest shit.  For example, I will sometimes text her lines from movies we saw in 1985, commercials we made fun of twenty years ago or just a random memory.  I’ll just write, “He likes to butt things with his head” and she’ll respond immediately cracking up.  It needs no explanation.  And she makes me laugh too.  If she gets to my parent’s house before I do for a Sunday dinner or a holiday and is hungry, she will always text me to see how far away I am in annoyance that we can’t start eating yet.  We try to plan these things perfectly so we arrive at the same time. I usually shrug it off if I’m the one waiting.  When she’s annoyed, I get the “Where the hell are you???” texts.  Her predictable impatience makes me laugh.  It’s just so “Margie.”  Or, if the Yankees are playing a really shitty game, you can bet that I will received text messages IN ALL CAPS with lots of curse words, i.e. “I FUCKING HATE JOBA CHAMBERLIN.”  I hate him too and I’m usually just as disgusted by the game, but the ALL CAPS angry emails never fail to illicit a chuckle.  I love her and she tops the list of people I am grateful to have in my life.

Another example, my mother.  I find much comfort in her predictability.  I have a new man in my life and even though he lives across the country, my mother will inevitably ask me during every phone conversation, “Anything new with Jason?”  I’m never really sure what she expects to hear, perhaps, “Yes, mom, he proposed last night via Skype.”  But when I *calmly* tell her there is no “news” to report, she usually laughs because even she is aware of how predictable she is when it comes to my love life.  I can roll my eyes, tell her to let things play out naturally, scream and yell, demand she mind her fucking business (I’d never say it that way…) but all it would accomplish is tiring me out because she will not change.  And for that I am grateful because I love my mom exactly the way she is.

Just like last year, I am incredibly blessed to have such great friends.  There are ebbs and flows in all friendships and I notice that the amount of time I spend with some friends fluctuates depending on what else is going on in our lives.  Life is constantly evolving and it takes effort to keep up, but it is a job I gladly work hard at because the awards are worth it.  Not only are my friends fun, but they are accepting and loving.  Sometimes they are brutally honest, but they are never fake.  Sometimes they are long-winded and sometimes they don’t call you back.  Sometimes they act like complete morons and I want to shake them silly and sometimes they make me laugh so hard I think I might pee in my pants.  Sometimes they inflict peer pressure to do shots on Sunday nights (or margarita Mondays) and sometimes they support “dry” activities.  My friends never expect me to be anything more than I am, although they encourage me to be better.  I never feel the need to impress them, one-up them, compete with them etc.  I love all of my friends but honorable mentions this year go to Ronni, my forever-friend, who recently got engaged and asked me to be her Maid of Honor; Abbe who, when told my family Thanksgiving was not being until Saturday, immediately invited me to spend Thursday with her family who has *threatened* to get me trashed (bring it on Mrs. Kalnick, BRING IT ON!!); Jenny, my brilliant and hilarious soul sista in Kentucky who constantly reassures me that I’m not as screwed up as I sometimes feel, usually by generously offering an example of how she is more screwed up than I; Shanna, who I wish I saw more often than I did, but we’re working on it; Dee, who lives too far away to see with any real regularity but with whom I have enough memories to last a lifetime; Megan, my fun, creative, incredibly intelligent, ex-mid-week drinking buddy who moved away but who I still love like the younger sister I never had; and Alan, who has a dual role as boss AND friend.  Not only is he an amazing boss, but he is the funniest man I know and he likes working with me so much, he takes me with him wherever he goes.  After 15 years, he still hasn’t had enough.  Boggles my mind, but I am eternally grateful.

Finally, I am extremely thankful to Jason who made such a great first impression, I was inspired to take a risk well outside of my comfort zone. I’m so glad I did.

Besides the aforementioned people, I am grateful to writing,  When I am stressed, afraid, confused or in any other state of “upset”, within five minutes of sitting down to write whatever novel I am working on, I am transported to a fictional world and completely lose touch with who I am and my own issues.  It never fails and I pray to God it never does.

Finally, (for real this time), I am thankful that with every year, I am becoming a better and happier person, I might have the same fears, but I gain more courage to overcome them.  I might have the same insecurities, but I grow more confident that most of them are in my head.  And I absolutely make mistakes, but not the same ones as the year before.  It’s not easy to be so self aware and it’s sometimes painful, but I much prefer it over living in a bubble, never learning, never growing and just remaining stagnant.

Ok, that’s it for me.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Watch the tequila!

Random facts about ME!

I’m in a very generous mood this evening, so I figured I would share with my readers.  I will not be sharing my paycheck, cookies or pieces of my favorite sushi roll, but I will share tidbits about me.  I’m sure you’d prefer the paycheck or maybe the sushi but get over it!  Here goes nothing:

It took me 3 road tests to get my driver’s license.  I was never comfortable behind the wheel but drove when necessary.  I blame it partially on my mom and sisters for freaking out the minute the “baby” in the family got behind the wheel, but maybe they just knew me well enough to predict I wouldn’t be a very good driver!  After years of living in a city with no car and various modes of public transpiration, I stopped driving for years and accidentally allowed my license to expire.  I dread moving out of NYC because, not only will I probably need to learn to drive again, I will need to take another (3) tests. 

I don’t own a coffee maker and am not sure I even know how to use one.  I am confident I’d figure it out.  sort of.

I am obsessed with my age.  Obsessed.  When I read the horoscope page in magazines with an example of a famous person born under every sign, I count how many of the famous people are older than me and how many are younger and am always relieved when more people are older.  I think it’s because while I go through the motions of being a grown-up, most of the time I still feel like a teenager. 

I sometimes have more fun going to dinner with my mom and her friends than standing in NYC bars screaming over too-loud music.

Every so often, I think I have too much fun in NYC bars screaming over too-loud music.  

Sometimes after one too many drinks, I come home, turn on the music channels on the television and dance around my apartment.

I have twirled my hair for the past 30-something years.  It is a life long habit that I will never break unless (God forbid) my hair falls out.

I died my hair blonde once.  More accurately, I had my entire head of naturally jet black hair highlighted blonde.  I looked awful but thought I was too “ordinary” looking as a brunette.  I now love my subtle blonde highlights, but I still feel ordinary sometimes.

I worry so much about my mom dying that I save every one of her voicemail messages so that I will have her voice on tape.  Totally morbid and (knock wood), my mom is very healthy.  Although an avid reader of my blog, she’s probably a bit freaked right now!  Sorry, mom. 

I drank so much beer in college that I got the spins almost every weekend and spent many mornings puking my brains out.  The thought of my nieces doing the same thing in a few years makes me sick, but I don’t regret a single second!  I also drank so much that by the time I graduated, I swear if you poked my cheek with a pin, beer would come pouring out. 

I don’t drink nearly as much now!!  I swear.  I still drink though.

One day, many years after college, I spotted a bitch from my class in high school running to catch a bus in Hoboken, New Jersey.  I muttered, “Miss is.  Miss it” and when the bus left, leaving her out of breath without a bus in sight, I silently cheered.

I cried hysterically during the movie “Monster” when Charlize Theron’s Aileen Wuornos was trying to make changes in her life and no one would give her a chance.  She then turned into a serial killer.  I called my mother afterward and thanked her for being a good mom and for making sure I got an education and became a *respected* member of society. 

I was equally hysterial at the end of “Marley & Me.”

I have serious doubts about my ability to work for anyone besides my current boss of 15 years.  When he retires, I’m so screwed.  Unless my books become so successful, I no longer need a “day” job (hint: buy my book!).

In addition to my socially acceptable taste in music, I have some seriously embarrassing songs downloaded on my Ipod, including the theme song to “Welcome Back Kotter”, “Greatest American Hero” and “Mary Tyler Moore” (and not just the cool Joan Jette version either) and Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits.  I also have songs I remember listening to in the back of my mom’s station wagon.  At the time, I wished she’d change the station from the “oldies” to WPLJ or Z100 but now, whenever I hear those songs, I’m brought instantly back in time and I love them.  These songs include, but are not limited to, Time Passages, Sharing the Night Together, On and On, Reminiscing and Summer Breeze. And, in the words of Stephen Bishop, I can go on and on, on and on, on and on..

I used to have an addiction to hand bags.  Now I have an addiction to hats. 

I was very aggressive as a child.  I used to bite people.  I even threw a stapler at a classmate once. My sister says I would have probably been on Ritalin if they had it back then.

Sometimes I still have the urge to throw things at people and bite them until they cry, but the urge generally passes.  

I had a memory like a steel trap but lately, I have trouble remembering names of new people I meet or characters on television shows. I think my brain is overloaded with too much other nonsense.  But until I forget my own name, I won’t worry too much.  My name is Meredith Gail Schorr!  

I love sleep so much that I wonder if I’d be a horrible mother.  Feed my child vs. sleep.  Change my child’s diaper vs. sleep.  Hmm, I just don’t know…

I am confident I am a good writer but I still fear that all good reviews of my book are people just being nice.  Maybe I’ll get over that once I have more published books under my belt, but I doubt it!

bits and pieces of novel #2

As some of you know, I’ve completed my second novel, working title, Taking Back the Fadeaway.  After working on it since 2009, I’m very excited to share it with you, but since I’ve only just begun the submission process, I have no idea when it will be contracted and eventually published. 

 Although I want you to wait until the novel is published to read it in its entirety, I thought of a fun exercise.  The novel is 301 pages.  I asked the fans on my Facebook book page to choose a number between 1 and 300 and for every number picked, I chose a paragraph from that page of the book to include in my blog post.  This way, you get a taste of the book which will, hopefully, leave you hungry for more.  I hope you’ll leave a comment and let me know what you think of the paragraphs and if you’d be excited to read the book from beginning to end. 

 Just so you don’t go in completely blind, below is a brief description of the book:

 “When twenty-six year old Jane Frank broke up with her boyfriend of nine years in a face-to-face conversation, no one awarded her a medal. One year later and ready for her second chance at love, Jane’s beginning to think she deserved the gold. Not one of the men she has dated since her re-entry into the single life has shown the courtesy of dumping her via phone call, email, text message, voicemail or even Post-it note, much less in person. They’ve simply disappeared. Convinced true love is a sham, and sick of being on the receiving end of the silent “fade-away,” Jane seeks temporary attention and ego strokes from any man who will offer them…” 

 Sorry, the rest is a secret for now!  

 So, without further ado, here we go!  

Page 9: I closed my eyes and imagined where Nate would take me on our first date, hopefully not Smiler’s Deli.  Later, I dreamed about swim-up bars and sex on the beach with Nate on our honeymoon.  The dreams were interrupted only once when I woke up in a panic remembering I had forgotten to study for the LSAT.  I made a mental vow to spend an extra hour the following night and fell back against the pillow, anxious to return to my dream.

Page 18: At first I missed sex terribly but I’d practically forgotten what it felt like at this point.  I let my hand wander to the front of my sweater and shook my head in disgust that no one had touched my breasts in over a year.  Was I considered a born again virgin by now?  What if I forgot how to do it?  Or what if it hurt again?

Page 33: I absently nodded my head at Lainie, who continued to call Randall various derogatory names.  But I was no longer listening.  And I had lost my appetite for spicy tuna.

Page 77 –

I turned to Cory.  “No pressure.  You don’t have to meet my parents if you don’t want.  At least not until she asks me directly.  For now I can play dumb.”

Cory shrugged his shoulders and said, “Set it up for whenever you want.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Really?” Claire repeated.

Laughing, Kevin said, “No.  Really?”

Page 85 – As I wondered where the hell Cory was and when he planned on calling me back, I shouted, “You’re a pig!” to Andrew who responded by tossing a box of condoms he apparently kept at the office onto my lap.  “Nail’em and leave ’em, Jane.  Trust me.”

Page 101:

Todd grinned.  “Great!  I’d hate my addiction to ruin my chances of a third date.”

Not a chance.  “I’m just happy you want to go out again,” I said sweetly.

The commercial break had ended and so, with one eye on me and the other watching the screen, Todd nodded.  ‘Totally.  The sooner the better.”

Page 127 – An hour or so later, I had switched my beverage of choice to water and my attention to Don, a shaggy-haired guy with kind brown eyes and a dimple on his left cheek.  He wore white jeans that until I met him, thought only worked on rock stars and Daniel Craig in Casino Royale

Page 215.  I pushed my plate away.  “Can we change the subject?  Is Claire coming?”  We hadn’t talked since we fought at my apartment and I really had no desire to see her except to bond over how annoying our mother could be.

Page 243 – Marissa smiled and finally took a bite of the cupcake she’d been holding the entire time.  “Yes we both have many fertile years left.  Thankfully.”

And there you have it, sentences from nine pages of my book!  It’s a really fun read and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Seattle observations

I just returned from a four day vacation in Seattle. Since it’s about time for me to post my weekly blog, I figured I’d let you all know what I learned about the “Emerald city” during my four days:

1. Seattle is sometimes referred to as the Emerald City. Not sure why, but will look it up before I post this blog.

2. It didn’t rain nearly as often as I feared. In fact, of the four days, two were completely void of rain – Thursday and Saturday. The sky was bright and sunny both of those days, although pretty cold on Thursday. Since shopkeepers everywhere I went commented, “so nice for the sun to come out!”, it was clear that the sunny weather was not expected.  Perhaps the sun came out in my honor!

3. Even when it did rain, it was much more comfortable then when it rains in New York. A) The rain came down much lighter than the downpours we get here and B), the air quality was better – not muggy or humid.

4. The coffee in Seattle tastes amazing and the presentation is pretty too. I had coffee in several different establishments and, with the exception of 7-Eleven, was sad to hit the bottom of my cup.

5. The coffee at 7-Eleven is just as bad in Seattle as it is in New York.

6. If you spend all day at the Pike Marketplace, you can probably snack on enough food samples to avoid paying for any meals all day.  The vendors are very generous with the samples, especially the fruit, jam, nuts and dried fruit.

7. The fruit is huge! I couldn’t even finish a whole apple and I’m usually a plate cleaner. 

8. The apples are amazing! I bought a bunch to take home.  Although the Honey Crisp were really good, I chose Jazz since you currently can’t buy them in New York. 

9. There appear to be more St. Louis Cardinals fans than Texas Ranger fans in Seattle, at least at the Crab Pot where we ate during exciting game 6 of the World Series.  I was rooting for Texas since they’d never won before. And yes, I am still a Yankees fan and no, I don’t think it’s hypocritical that I usually root for a team that has won more World Series championships than any other team!

10. No one jaywalks in Seattle. Even when no cars are coming, folks wait until the light changes and the sign says “walk.”

11. People in Seattle walk slow!

12. The security line at SEA-TAC moves SO slow and no one cares. (Aside from that impatient chick from NYC who was tapping her foot and glaring at the people in front of her.)

13. The cost of food, clothes and souvenirs is pretty comparable to NYC, read: expensive.

14. Seattle has bad drivers. Ok, this was Jason’s observation but he’s my new man and my chauffer while in town and so I’ll take his word for it since public transportation is limited.

15. Public transportation is limited in Seattle.  The monorail has two stops – the Space Needle and a mall.  According to Wikipedia, however, there is also a commuter rail.  And I saw a few buses.

16. Food is generally good but I still favor the food in NYC.

17. People actually get into soccer in Seattle. The bar we went to on Saturday night was filled with Seattle Sounders fans.

18.  People who reside in Seattle (well, the three people I know who reside in Seattle) tend to live for the summers when the weather is supposedly perfect. 

19.  Some residents of Seattle make fun of Tacoma, Washington the same way New Yorkers make fun of New Jersey.

21.  I did not see any rats in the underground city, very unlike the multitude of rats I see in the New York City subway tracks!

22.  People are very “green” in Seattle and recycling is pretty big.

23.  People are not very overweight in Seattle.  Maybe it’s all the “gluten free”, “vegan” and “organic options”.  It’s definitely NOT because people speed-walk…

24.  Seattle was built on greed and corruption and a lot of sex! 

25.  Seattle is called the Emerald City due to the lush evergreen trees in the surrounding area.  The nickname was officially adopted in 1982 as a result of a contest.  (See?  I told you I’d look it up before I posted the blog.  I’m a woman of her word!)

26.  I dig Alaska Airlines.  They rent out little computer devices so each passenger can watch movies or television, play games or listen to music.  I forgot to get a receipt and so I have no idea how much they charged me, but after playing about 50 rounds of Solitaire, I still didn’t win!  Oh, and I forgot how much I used to enjoy the television show, ER.  Even without George Clooney.

27.  The last observation was not about Seattle itself, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

I thought I’d stop at 27.  The number of World Series championships won by my precious New York Yankees.

What about you?  Anyone been to or from the Emerald City?  Any observations you’d care to share?