My coffee shop surfing circus: the search for the greatest joe on earth.

If there is ever a movie made about my life story, I would like to choose the music for it.

That will be one of my only requests along with that the actress who plays me should obviously be a walking, talking, breathing sexpot. And none of this Kristen Stewart business either. I need my alter-self to not look like she needs to eat a hamburger. And the film should end with me marrying Joseph Gordon-Levitt. On a beach. Because apparently, my life ends after I get married. HA HA! Ok, only funny for me. It’s fine.

I digress.

I don’t want a lame soundtrack to my life story. Even if my story becomes irrelevant, I want the music to really resonate for a long period of time with a very eclectic and musically intelligent audience.

…So there should obviously be a lot of Justin Bieber and Spice Girls.

Is that someone’s job by the way? The person who gets to pick the music to movies? If so, sign me up for the next shitty chick flick, because I would be AWESOME at that. I would absolutely rock that career. People wouldn’t even watch the movies, they would just listen to the music and think, wow, whoever hand-picked this musical entourage really has got her shit together.

And I would blush and say, I meannnnn .. yeah I guess I am kind of awesome.

Speaking of careers, and my current lack-there-of, I’ve decided to opitimize the stereotype of “poor-starving- writer” thing by finding the perfect coffee house to write my memoir at (am I confused on the concept of memoir? Do you have to be dead to have a memoir written? Can you write one about yourself? This will obviously all have to occur post-wedding). Anyway, someday they will rope off a small corner of said establishment with a nice red velvet rope (movie-theatre style) and say, “here is where meg ruggieri spent hours writing her masterpiece. No flash photography please. Alright..you can take a picture. But only if you’re asian.”

Yep, I love asians.

Before I continue, you should also know just how terrible I am with directions. My GPS is not only a source of helping me get from point A to point B but also a close and personal friend who saves me from occasional constant directionally challenged doom.

My point is, I have no idea where I am right now. I know I am in LA, not far from where I am currently staying and that it is in a decent area of town. It is beneath some (most likely) over-priced pilates place and next door to a drycleaners. I find this all comfortingly cliche. It’s small. Dark (but not too dark where it gets shady and far too hipster for my taste). The clientelle kind of vary from soccer moms talking a little too loudly about god knows what, grad students studying with about 5 different cups of coffee around them and maybe the occasional business meeting/ awkward interview (or first date?.. this conversation taking place in front of me could really go either way). There’s free wifi and all the beverages sold are written on chalk boards in a montage of pastel colors. Which I enjoy. And they sell grilled cheese. Which I think is a nice touch. 

Some cons?

-That I just paid 1.25 for one apple (though this is kind of my fault and it was either make the minimum card limit with something healthy or cave to the red-velvet cupcake at 10 AM. I plan on drinking copiously this weekend so I decided this was a decision I really made for my health. Therefore, with this logic, the uber-expensive apple was an economically sound decision.)

-the fact that I had to pay for meter parking. However, this is Los Angeles and paying for complicated ridiculous parking is (as I am slowly learning) kind of synonymous with breathing.

my own personal hell.

– the lack of electrical outlets in my corner. WTF mate. This is a coffee shop. In America. Come ON. Electrical outlets should be plentiful. I should be overwhelmed by my electrical outlet options up in here. I should not be sitting here pondering just how I am going to climb over the nice young indian man listening to reggae to my left in the most effective/non-awkward way possible. This is extremely upsetting.

….I’m over it.

But still. 

Mostly, I picked this particular establishment to be my first contestant in my writing lair contest because it’s called “Bricks and Scones” and honestly who doesn’t love a good pun? Very clever, barista friends. How’s that working out for you? 

Tyler Durden on ‘Being Clever’

So, my plan is to go to a different coffee shop each day of this upcoming week and I’ll pick the winner by next Friday. Thus, through this, I’m going to be a caffeine connoisseur. (This is also code for: “I really have nothing better to do.”)

However, if I happen to get employed between now and then (or win the 640 million dollar lottery ticket, decide to go on a roadtrip to Vegas or get married), this contest might be put on momentary hiatus. I’ll keep ya posted.

Anyway, I’ve drank far too much coffee to write now. It’s all I can do to sit here and not sing along with Stevie Wonder over the radio while simultaneously doing jumping jacks and backflips and running around in short tight knit circles fist pumping like I’m at an Avicii concert. I think I’m also giving my Indian man friend to my left some serious anxiety with my constant leg twitching. 

Besides, it’s Friday!!!!!

And it’s nice outside!!!!!

And the Jayhawks are playing in the Final Four!!!!!!!

..Annnnnnd my meter is about to run out.

Rock Chalk. Rock Chalk. Rock Chalk. 

m

the excuses game.

So the other day, I was in a sunglasses store.

Actually this story starts way before this, when I was on an elliptical machine in my apartment complex in Kansas City, but for the sake of time, let’s start with the sunglasses.

Anyway, I overheard this conversation:

Girl: “So, I texted that guy. And it’s been like two hours and he hasn’t responded.”

Friend of Girl: “Maybe his phones off?”

(tries on pair of sunglasses. Probably to avert her clearly lying eyes)

Girl: “Yeah. Maybe. And he doesn’t really seem like a phone person either.”

Friend of Girl: “Yeah that’s what I got from him too.”

(another pair of sunglasses. Yeah, I saw what you just did there girlfriend.)

Then, they walked out of the store, on with their silly little lives involving sunglasses and boys who don’t respond to texts.

And it got me thinking about some stuff. First, what does “he’s not a phone person” even mean?

That he’s Amish?

That he likes to mail postcards for communication over using a cellular device?

That he’s a cat?

meow.

…My thoughts?

It’s the 21st century. Unless you live in some remote village in Africa, you’re a phone person.

Second of all, ladies. Come on. And you call yourselves friends?

Let’s be real here. Let’s sit down. Let’s level with eachother. Pull up a chair and write down my wisdom or go continue living your delusional little life. Your choice.

So. Ready? Whoever this guy is, and believe me, this exact conversation is going on in metaphorical sunglasses stores around the globe, is not not responding because his phone is off. He’s not not responding to you because “he’s not a phone person”. My guess is, 99 percent of the time, he just doesn’t feel like it. You aren’t high on his agenda. He saw your text and thought hmmm, nah. Or maybe (if it will make you feel better about yourself) hmmm, not right now.

And I know you know that. You may not want to, but you do.

So that’s exactly why the excuses game was invented.

Girls, for years and years, from Wisconsin to Germany, are making excuses to their friends about why some dude isn’t contacting them. And if it wasn’t so incredibly sad… it would be hysterical.

Let’s run through some scenarios for fun shall we?

Susie looks at her phone. Johnny still hasn’t texted her. WTF, Johnny! Cindy, Susie’s friend, sees her distress. And instead of just being honest and saying, Listen Susie, Johnny’s a creep and he’s flirting with some red-head chick from the Tasty Freeze drive-thru, she jumps right into the excuse game.

“Maybe, he’s at soccer. You know he doesn’t keep his phone on him when he plays. That would be just silly!”

“I mean I bet he’s driving. Not texting and driving is good! Safety! That’s like SUCH a good quality in a man!”

“I think I heard from Bobby who heard from Stevie who heard from Jimmy that he’s getting a new phone today. I’m sure he just lost your text in translation.”

“Did you leave a message? Sometimes, my phone gets messed up and I don’t get missed calls. I’m sure that’s happening to his phone too. Does he have Verizon?”

“I bet he’s sleeping. It’s only 2 pm. Guys sleep late on Tuesdays!”

“Omg. I bet he’s surprising you at work! He doesn’t want to ruin the surprise by responding.”

“He probably ran over his grandma’s boyfriends cat on the way to his sister’s 16th birthday bar mitzvah. That’s what happened to my aunt once.”

“He’s definitely dead.”

Are all of these possible? I mean sure. But, no. That’s not the attitude you should have. Whether it’s you telling a friend an excuse or you hearing it from your friend.

Let’s just be honest. He doesn’t want to talk to you. And if he does, he will. Stop making excuses. Just accept it. You do the same thing to guys too. And I bet they’re not all sitting around going: “Gee Chuck, I texted Lizzie 4 hours ago. Do you think her phone died? I’m like really freaking out right now. Ugh!”

Um, no.

So here’s my challenge. Man up and stop being an excuse friend. Next time your friend asks you why you think so and so isn’t responding just be real. Say if he wants to talk to you he will, and if he’s not, well screw him. Stop leading your friends on. Stop making them feel like there’s a chance if you know (and they secretly do as well) that there isn’t.

Sure, there’s lots of fish in the sea.

So why sit around waiting on a line that’s never going to get tugged?

Life’s a soap opera. (And I’m just changing channels)

The cleanliness of my room serves as a direct reflection of my current lifestyle situation. When my room is neat, tidy, orderly– my life usually follows suit. It’s not a for sure thing. But it’s a pretty accurate portrayal. 

So anyway, with that in mind, my room kind of looks like a shit storm right now.

this is not my actual room. but sadly, it's relevant.

I haven’t done laundry in a week and a half. I need to clean my kitchen. I need to make my bed. I need to do all of these things but when I come back at night, I just don’t have the motivation, energy or really.. the heart to do it. And because it’s bound to come out anyway, and you’re all dying to know what’s going on in the life and times of the fabulous, beach-dwelling, rich and famous hangout lifestyle of Nanny Meg, I might as well just say it. 

BUT WAIT! ….Not quite yet. 

It’s been 2 whole months since I moved out to beautiful cali-for-ni-a. Which I personally feel is enough time to really sit back and reevaluate some things. With this said, some self reflection was bound to occur, and I feel like it’s time to be honest with myself and just come out and say… it’s just really not working.   

Don’t get me wrong, I love LA! I plan on living here many, many more years to come. California looks good on me. And the people and atmosphere is something that I have come to love. I love it so much I just want to suck up every square inch and immerse myself entirely within it. 

me and la.. we was like peas and carrots.

But the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. Right? I’m sure my life looks fantastic to many of you. And yes, on paper, working for two European fashion designers as their nanny in beautiful Malibu, California sounds pretty damn awesome. I live right next to a beach. I work with two amazing kids. I sit next to Cindy Crawford during theatre practice for crying out loud. What’s not to love?! 

…Let me start by saying, this is not going to be an episode of my life where I write an article entitled, “why my employers are crazy austrian slave drivers”. I refuse to drop to some kind of hypercritical disgruntled employee level where I nitpick exactly where things went wrong, and where things weren’t communicated, and where I was treated wrongly, poorly, unfairly etc. etc. {Though for entertainment purposes, some small highlights include -but are not limited to- “bringing my $%&# boyfriend to the beach” and also a particularly loud vociferous monologue involving buying the wrong kind of (insert f-bomb here) oatmeal}

Because no, I think I am better than that. Which is what also makes this so hard to write. It’s hard to admit that things aren’t going as planned. That in many ways, you feel like you have failed. That you had an idea of how things were supposed to turn out, and they not only don’t go that way, but do a complete 180 and land your life right in the middle of a potentially bigger problem than you left with. That sure, the grass is greener on the other side, but if you’re also in charge of watering, weeding, mowing and coddling said grass into looking that way, that kind of defeats the purpose. 

So, I think I’ve skirted around the issue enough at this point. I’m leaving Malibu. I’m leaving the family I work with. Being a live-in nanny for this family is not a walk in the park. It’s not an easy job. Momentary perks aside, working for people from a different country with different expectations and standards for what is customary in their home, is a challenging and frustrating (and honestly, occasionally miserable) experience. And I am sick and tired of pretending otherwise. Of sweeping each little indignity under the table. And in the immortal words of Julia Johnson:

“These people sound cray…Sounds like you need to get out of there and they should to get themselves a very grateful illegal immigrant.

And so with that blessing, that’s exactly what I am doing. I quit. Life’s too short to spend it being unhappy. If I think I can do better and deserve better than where I am, then I’m going to be the one who falls on their sword, admit that things went wrong, and focus on trading up for the next round.  I’m a big believer in viewing each situation in my life as, how can I learn from this instead of why is this happening to me. It’s easy to see yourself as a victim. But that’s not what I’m about. Every failed relationship I’ve ever had I try to get something out of. Maybe that person wasn’t right for me. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn something from him or her. They still made me who I am today. And I’d like to think that makes me a better person than I was yesterday.

And finally…I take condolence in the fact, that many, many successful people failed continuously before succeeding. And why can’t I be one of those people? I am going to continue to do things my own way. I suck at ironing. I buy the wrong kind of oatmeal. I don’t mop. I make messes. Peace out Austrian Fashion Designers. I’m sorry I failed you… but not really. Because I learned a lot about myself from this experience. And I’ll do it better next time. 

Mostly….I’m going to miss Luis. That little boy was/is my best friend. He didn’t ask for this and he’s going to suffer the worst because of it. And that’s not fair to him. I wish there was more I could do/say in that regard. But sometimes, you have to be selfish and look out for yourself. And it hurts that he has to suffer because of that. I’ll miss you so much Lou.

And so that’s that. The cold truth all the way from sunny CA. A little message from the other side of the fence. That it didn’t work out. But I’m not defeated.. because guess what LA? I’m not going down that easy. I’m here to stay. 

And now I know what the question is that is on all your minds. 

Yup.

So what’s next Meg? 

Wellllll Wouldn’t you like to know?

I guess you’ll just have to..

 

Peace, love and gypsy living..

M

High Expectations (or why Annie had the right idea about tomorrow)

Welllllll…

Today has been a slight disappointment.

Is it really only Tuesday?

So I really wanted to go shopping for sunglasses even though I gave it up for Lent (shopping.. not sunglasses). But instead, I had to go to Sports Authority and buy a boy’s cup for Louis. Something I would have hoped I would never have to do again. Unfortunately, I bought the wrong size because according to Louis (who refused to wear it) it would make him look like he has a giant wiener and it would probably fit his dad.

….which is now an image that I unfortunately will never get out of my brain for probably forever.

um.. ouch?

um.. ouch?

So now I have to go back to Sports Authority and buy another cup. Oh and Louis wants the kind that is a strap-on…Or something along those lines. And now I’m cringing just thinking about how I am going to describe this to the sales-guy tomorrow.

“Yeah.. um… It’s like a band. around the waist. Like a strap-on? But nothing weird! Not that you’d have anything weird here. I mean it’s a sporting goods store. They wouldn’t sell anything like that. And he’s 7! That would be really messed up right? …. Also, would you mind directing me to the nearest restroom so I can go quietly die in a bathroom stall now?”

…I’m actually considering just buying sunglasses for this conversation alone because I know I am going to spend the duration of it blushing and avoiding eye contact. God will understand. Lent doesn’t cover this subject in the Bible but I’m sure there is a clause somewhere.

I’m also disappointed because I don’t get off until 11 on Friday. Which already puts a damper to my week because I know my Friday doesn’t start when everyone else’s weekend starts. America starts their Friday at 5, people. But apparently, this is not so for Austrian Family’s nannies. And yes, in case many of you were wondering, I have considered sneaking out and catching a ride to leave earlier, but the fact that I would have to resort to the type of antics I would have pulled in high school as a now college graduate is more depressing than it is thrilling. Furthermore, if I lost my job over sneaking out the window on a Friday night from the family’s house I nanny, I’d probably have to lie to everyone forever because there is no way I’d ever live that down. ..Though it is slightly tempting.

But it’s really not one particular thing that has made today disappointing. It’s not the fact that Louis decided to eat his rice concoction in the back of my car and now my backseat looks like Japan exploded and I am going to have spend a good 30 minutes cleaning up each individual rice particle by hand. (I just realized this sounds like a reference to Hiroshima though I assure you this was not my original intention. Unintentional politically incorrect jokes are kind of my thing) And it’s not that Adina is leaving on some 5th grade retreat tomorrow AM and she has yet to pack. Which is will be a horrific and terrifying experience for me because we will have to pull everything out of her closet and then she will go frolic outside and I will cry internally as I have to put pretty much everything we just took out, away again. And it’s not that today was cloudy and rainy even though I desperately wanted to go to the beach and meet Matthew McConaughey and convince him I am his soul mate and to leave his fiance and run away to Aruba together where we will play card games and watch the sunset until Justin Bieber is old enough to take his place.

No… it’s not necessarily one certain thing. It’s hard to explain. But if I have to… I guess it’s kind of like this:

I’m going to guess that ever girl can agree that she’s looking for that one kiss. You know the one I’m talking about. The spiderman-castaway-notebook-hybrid kiss in the pouring rain against a concrete wall wearing water proof mascara and some kind of expensive silk dress (that will be ruined because of this experience but FOCUS on the kiss people) which both flatters every single contour of your body even while soaked from head to toe AND makes you resemble a dripping Victoria’s Secret model while doing so (does this dress exist? Can I please have it in every color?). Yeah. You know what I am talking about.

THAT kiss.

Oh and for the sake of dreaming- David Grey’s This Year’s Love should be playing in the background. Or for you slow jams kids, maybe some Urrrsher. Or T-Pain. No wait… Chris Brown… is that too soon? I digress.

But I’m also going to guess that most people who are in relationships, or even not in relationships, hell, if you’ve ever been kissed at all, this is nothing but a figment of your imagination. Because truthfully, universally, this just isn’t happening.

…Which is just totally unacceptable in my opinion.

Why can I not expect this!? I happen to think high expectations are healthy. I think every girl should expect this kiss sometime in their lifetime. I think personally for myself, I will now proceed to expect it several times. I can even be flexible and nix the background music and sisterhood of the traveling pants magic -esque silk dress. I’d be happy for that kiss in sweat pants. …Tight yoga pants. Preferably black. But still. I think that’s a very mature compromise.

So basically.. I wake up each morning with high expectations. Hey, ANYTHING could happen today. I mean, sure there’s a large chance that nothing exciting will occur. That my biggest accomplishment today will be that I ironed ten 150 dollar t-shirts in record timing and didn’t burn myself. Or that I didn’t set Louis’s lunchbox on fire because he keeps using it as a trash recepticle and it smells like a rotten potato. Or that I didn’t spend 200 dollars on a pair of RIDICULOUS ray-bans that would have probably changed my life.

No, each day I wake up with the hope that maybe something a little more exciting than ‘business as usual‘ will occur. And once again, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. High expectations are pretty much the staple of any American girl’s childhood. Ask any fairytale Princess…. Yeah, I’m looking at you Disney.

So along with my daily expectations, also comes some unavoidable occasional disappointment. In many aspects of life. I expect more from experiences. From events. From relationships. And I know there is a very fine line between high expectations and being just straight delusional. I tend to think I tread that line very carefully. Because I know the difference between having standards and just being high-maintenance. Between completely settling and wanting the moon. I’m not demanding Justin Timberlake here, people. All I’m saying, is there’s a chance.

..But even worse than disappointment? Letting it jade you.

Because it’s easy to be jaded. It’s something I could very easily be. Something a lot of people are. You get disappointed enough and you come to expect disappointment as your expectation for each day. You settle. Maybe you don’t deserve better. You’ll probably never get that RIDICULOUS kiss anyway. Might as well appreciate the occasional peck. Better off sitting on your couch watching Desperate Housewives as you slowly (or quickly) let yourself go.

Honestly, I’d rather buy Louis the wrong cup size everyday of the week than adopt this philosophy into my psyche.

Eff.that.noise.

…Because I am getting that kiss.

And all the people settling for second best can watch it happen from their living room couch with all their jaded sub-par expectations and wish it was them.

Because the difference between me and them is this:

I know disappointing days are bound to occur. Sub-par, completely average days. Days where you buy the wrong cup size for a seven year old boy and waste 15 dollars in gas by doing so. Days where you wait for a phone call that doesn’t come. Days where you hope you’ll run into someone who never shows. Days where it rains all day long when all you want is one minute of sunshine. Days with green shit between your teeth. Days with coffee down your shirt. Boring days. Sad days. Days like the first Tuesday in the month of March.

I guess for me… disappointing days are necessary. Because it makes me appreciate the moments when my high expectations are not only met, but exceeded. And that’s true across the board. You need shitty experiences. Failed relationships. Things to not go as planned. Time and time and time again. Because when things do go right? When they go better than right? That’s what I’m talking about. That’s what I wake up expecting. Right there. That’s the kiss.

So Wednesday? I’m looking right at you babe. And I’m expecting big things…

m