You’re probably still digging out from the recent snowstorm, and you’re also freezing but hey–the sun is shining!
Time for a gentle PSA: Years ago my vitamin D levels dropped to single digits. I had no idea (and was used to feeling tired and out of it, so I hadn’t noticed any deficiency). But apparently doctors had gotten a recent memo to add this to blood testing, particularly for women. To get a good dose of real vitamin D, you need to be in steady sunlight for about 15-20 minutes daily. (When does that happen? And in the winter?) What stayed with me was that as an African-American woman (melanin in my skin blocks quick absorption) working full time in midtown (where huge buildings block the sun) in the Northeast (where our high sun hours are limited to begin with), it’s realllly important to work in that D however I can. Now I take daily supplements and look for vitamin D-rich foods, but you know, just something to keep in mind. Now, back to the polar vortex, and beyond!
I am Baptist now, but was raised Catholic. Twelve years of school in a uniform and attending Queen of All Saints for service and Sunday school. You know what else Catholicism gets you? CAMP. An all-girl, Catholic camp in upstate Nyack with uniforms and cabins named after Native American groups. And almost no Catholic girls. These girls were crazy in the best way possible. We’d listen to Dr. Ruth on our Walkmans after lights out (naughty!) and wolf whistle at our very mature (20 year olds!) counselors as they headed out for dates on their nights out in ‘real clothes.’ Sister Veronica (head nun in charge) found a circulating copy of a prostitute’s memoir & made all our heads hang in shame over her disappointment (“but do we get the book back?” someone whispered.) I wore braces and never smiled with my teeth (see below). Movie nights included viewings of Pollyanna on a projector screen in the mess hall and small ziplock bags of popcorn. We’d regularly barter canteen goods: I craved candy, and would trade off a Coke or Sunkist for a Baby Ruth. Daily mail call was similar to the scenes in “The Wire” where dealers threw out free samples of new product. The library–always a sanctuary–was a schoolbus set on cinder blocks with no circulation. Enjoy.
Hey! Here’s that story I promised. I’m a woman of her word.
So this asshole… Oh my God, you can’t start a story like that! What a terrible setup. What’s that saying about being told not to think about elephants…
Let’s try it again. Fresh start. In 2006, I was dating a guy who worked for MTV. I’ll call him Johnson. He gave me a day’s notice that he had a plus-one for the New Year’s Eve party, the gold party.
When I wasn’t panicking over what to wear, I was panicking over meeting Johnson’s entire staff and his boss at what I felt would surely be the world’s biggest holiday party. What does a person wear to MTV? I wasn’t watching the channel actively anymore, and TRL was a season away from wrapping for good, but outside the city, I knew the channel still had cachet. This was a cool invite, and I wanted to fit in.
“So what do I wear?!” I demanded immediately.
“Just look cute,” he said offhandedly. Look cute, I thought. OK, I can do cute, surely. The day of, however, the boots I wanted for my conservative, cute look were missing. I knew cops were putting the city on lock, avenue by avenue, street by street. My zone was tightening as I hopped on the train and rode past 42nd Street to my job, where said boots were tucked into a cabinet among assorted other slingbacks and flats. A temporary security guard I didn’t recognize followed me from the security desk to my cubicle. “I have to get downtown really fast,” I said. “I’m not here to for computer stuff or paperwork.” Nevertheless, he watched solemnly as I changed out of my sneakers, and wished me a joyless New Year on my way out. Awesome start.