Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's Just Time Y'all: Equality for All

I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly political person.  I certainly have my opinions and enjoy defending them in lively conversation, but overt displays of one’s political beliefs has always seemed taboo to me. 

And yet, I can’t help but share my feelings on a topic for which I have a particular passion, gay marriage.

To offer some context on my views, I grew up in the South in a conservative, sometimes-religious-sometimes-less-so family.  I’m a heterosexual female, and while I know some gay people, I am only really close with one gay woman, a great friend from high school. 

How this became such a push button issue for me, I can’t really explain.  Running through some of the common, albeit thin, arguments for why gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed, I can’t understand how anyone could truly oppose it.  

No one is asking your church to accept gay marriage; but we are asking (shouting from the rooftops?) for the state to welcome it with open arms.  And by state, I mean federal government who should be setting the standard of acceptance and equality. 

The separation of church and state is one of the brilliant things about the foundation of this country, and one that is conveniently omitted from arguments about so-called moral issues such as this one.  The irony here is that being gay is no more a moral issue than being a redhead. 

I don’t understand the argument that anything is taken away from a so-called traditional marriage between a man and woman by affording equal rights to gay Americans who wish to marry.  If you don’t want gay marriage, don’t enter into one yourself.  But denying others to marry their loved ones is just wrong, period. 

It is my sincerest wish that the Supreme Court makes gay marriage legal and that this topic is one we’ll look back upon with pride knowing they got it right. 

It’s time to stop with the excuses and to do simply do what’s best and right for all Americans. 

JLH

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Love/Hate of NYC

Some days I wonder if I’m living in the wrong city entirely.

Don’t misunderstand.  I love New York.  Like I wake up every day happy just to be among the lucky few who call the city home.  I actually get a little high just walking around the city and absorbing all the New Yorkness of it all.

But sometimes I hate what it does to people.

I just had drinks with a guy who I like a lot.  He make me laugh, tells you exactly how it is, and is genuinely interesting.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s extraordinarily sexy.

And he’s so very, very broken. 

While having drinks, we started (over) sharing about experiences, fears and hopes.  I shared that I worry about being a nearly 30 year old who’s never really been in love. 

He replied that he truly can’t comprehend why anyone would want that.  In fact, he’s so unconcerned with the fate of potential loneliness, that he’d risk being alone eternally (which he doesn’t consider a particularly bad existence) just to get laid tonight. 

Now I’m paraphrasing, but his lack of empathy and affect was glaring.  As our conversation evolved, it’s almost as if I actually watched the sexy drip off of him like a melting candle.

Although I respect opinions that differ from my own, I really had a hard time grasping his jaded view. 

It gave me the much needed perspective that although sometimes the city and its frustrating dating scene can be disheartening, at least I still believe that companionship and love are out there.

For me, even. 

JLH

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Bleeding Big Apple Red & Black

Photo courtesy of Mack Williams

I feel sorry for anyone who’s not a college football fan.

Sometimes on fall Saturdays as I walk the sidewalks of New York, I see people meeting for brunch or enjoying a glass of wine in a wine bar and think about how sad I am for them, lacking a college team to support.  The depressing reality is, they don’t even realize what they’re missing.

They don’t know what it’s like to get chills seeing your team take the field.  Or the joy you feel when a new freshman wide out makes his first big catch.  Worse yet, they don’t know the shared community of what it means to be a Bulldog.

This week while traveling for work, I happened to meet several Georgia fans.  I wasn’t surprised by the instant connection that our shared affiliation brought, as it usually does, but I was reminded of some of the reasons I couldn’t be more proud to be a Georgia fan.

What it really comes down to for me is the sense of tradition-- the Chapel Bell, Between the Hedges, Silver Britches, Calling the Dawgs-- the list goes on. 

That’s why I’m so happy to have my own NYC traditions.  Somehow even when I can’t be in Athens, it still feels like gameday. 

Cocktailing starts early, sometimes so early that we get, err, interesting looks from the breakfast goers nervously eyeing our collection of empty PBR cans.  Then we head to the Village Pourhouse, the dedicated Georgia bar, where sometimes as many as 300 UGA fans gather to watch our game.  I’ve said it hundreds of times before, but there’s no where I’d rather be than there if I can’t be in Sanford Stadium. 

So as I enter my fifth (FIFTH!) fall in the city, I’m more excited than ever to continue the traditions we’ve made with my NYC Dawgs family.  GO DAWGS!!

JLH

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Jail Bait


Last week, I met a guy at a happy hour near my office. He was tall, attractive and employed, so when he asked for my phone number, I gave it to him.

Then on Friday when he invited me to a beer pong tournament on his private terrace at his apartment on Saturday night, I agreed to come and to bring a few friends with me.

We showed up a little over an hour after when he told me the party was starting. There were exactly three people there, the host included. A little odd, we thought, but there was plenty of beer and it was a nice night, so we stuck around.

We played beer pong and flip cup for a few hours and were generally having a great time despite the strange impetus to the party.

Eventually some other party goers arrived. All girls, they were hot and obviously young, though I didn’t think much of it at the time. We all decided to move the party to the bars and went outside to find cabs.

It was one of those nights where there wasn’t a cab to be found, and we were going to need four or five cars, so we broke up in smaller groups and agreed to meet at a designated bar. I paired off with one of the guys (not the one who invited me to the party) and started walking up the block in search of an available cab.

Finally one pulled up, but the off duty lights were illuminated. Typically an off duty cabbie will agree to take you anyway if you’re going in his direction, and sure enough this cab driver asked where our destination would be.

When the guy told the cab driver we were going to the East Village, he said sorry but he couldn’t take us. A normal reaction might be to stick your arm out to try to hail the next available cab. But that wasn’t this guy’s move.

Instead, this 31 year old guy screamed obscenities at the cab driver and even pounded his fists on the window of the cab as it pulled away. Instead of putting up with his temper tantrums and other immature behavior for the rest of the night, I walked away to find my own taxi home.

And just when I thought stories from the night couldn’t get any more entertaining, my roommate who had made it to the bars came home and told me that one of the girls from the party hadn’t been able to get into the bar because she was underaged and the bouncer took up her fake ID.

Somehow, I think I came out on top by pulling an early exit. It’s not really my style to compete with barely legal girls for the attention of immature men.

Good luck boys. You'll need it.

JLH

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Best is Yet to Come

It’s been a while since I last updated my blog.  I hate that for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I love writing and the catharsis it provides me in the busy, often stressful life I’ve made for myself.

The truth is, I’m finding it hard to find topics to write about anymore.  For 6 years now, I’ve written almost exclusively about late nights, partying and general avoidance of becoming an adult.  

It’s ironic, really, that while all these years I’ve publicly written about and occasionally even flaunted a Peter Pan lifestyle, I’ve actually grown up quite a bit. 

Don’t misunderstand me.  If I took the last month of my life as an example, there would be some fodder for my traditional type of blog post.  I traveled a ton... to San Diego, Miami, St. John and Atlanta.  I went on a few first dates.  I lead on a guy over text message just because it was amusing.  There were even some late and over served nights.

But taking a closer look, I’m finding that I’m just not the wild child I once was.  

Friday nights are much less likely to involve late nights in dive bars and much more apt to include a casual dinner with a friend and a bedtime that is p.m. instead of a.m. 
My career is just as important to me as ever, but it finally seems like I’ve found that balance of being responsive and available 24/7 and keeping my personal time for myself.  


I’m still meeting tons of men and dating often, but I’m finally seeing that my dating experiences in my twenties have really helped prepare me for what lies ahead.  I know what doesn’t work for me.  I’ve learned to stand up for myself and not to settle  I’ve learned patience.  I think all of those things have put me in a wonderful position for when I do meet someone particularly special.

One of the biggest changes personally is that after almost 11 years of living with roommates, I’m looking for my first apartment on my own.  Did you read that... ELEVEN YEARS!  If I’m doing my math right, that adds up to 20 different roommates during that time, not inclusive of the many people I shared cabins and bunks with at camp.  

So as I approach my last birthday with a 2-handle, I’m feeling grateful.  It’s a nice feeling to be both content and confident in the future, knowing that some of the best times are still to come.  


JLH

Friday, April 13, 2012

Becoming Your Best Self

I read and hear a lot about becoming your best self.  Some people find their best selves by training for a marathon, others by doing volunteer work.

I tend to think I am my best self after a few glasses of wine. 

My typically high strung, type-A personality gets some much needed relief, and my already low inhibitions all but vanish.  I become the care free, spontaneous woman that my fully sober self could only hope to be.

Many of my favorite memories involve spending time with my best girlfriends over a bottle of wine, complaining about bad dates and giggling about old college stories. 

So in the interest of being my best self, I am fully committed to having a couple glasses of wine a day as often as possible.  If it’s true that drinking red wine keeps you healthy, I might just live to be 100.

Anyone up for a long weekend in Napa or Sonoma?  With any luck, hopefully my next visit will be as memorable as my last.

JLH

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Lucky Ones

Life is so funny sometimes.  It takes you down unexpected roads, alternatively thrilling and terrifying at times.  You somehow push through, not really knowing what effect the decisions you make will have on the future.

Had anyone asked me at age 22 what I thought I’d be doing at 28, I would have described a life that in many ways is quite irreconcilable from the one I’m living today.  It’s hard to remember exactly, but I’d have guessed that today I’d be married, living in Atlanta, working in maybe PR or marketing.

If instead it had been suggested that I might be where I am now-- living in New York City and working on wall street, dating but not really settling down, going out most nights, working endless hours but loving my job--I might have brushed it off entirely. 
 

You see, I didn’t chose this path for myself; I like to think it found me.  I fell into an entry level finance job with the help of some small world coincidences and good timing.  I then left the industry when it became too cutthroat and I wasn’t enjoying it anymore to instead spend some time working for my family’s small business. 
 

But that didn’t last.  This life that was somehow meant for me, clandestine as it may have sometimes seemed, found me once again and brought me back.

There are times when I look at friends living that life I’d imagined for myself.  They’re getting married.  Starting young families.  Settling into a comfortable life.

The practical part of me wonders if I should be jealous, or perhaps worried that I’m not in the same place.

But more so, I’m delighted that I’ve found what makes me happy and I’m rigorously pursuing that life every day. 

Shouldn’t we all be so lucky.

JLH

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cheers to 2012

Quick! Someone pinch me!
 
Maybe it's the insight that comes with age, but every year really does seem to get better and better for me. If the first couple weeks are any indication, 2012 is likely to be simply divine.
 
In all of the life categories that matter, I feel on top of the world. My family is healthy and happy. My friends and social life are vibrant and fulfilling. My work is better than ever. And even my dating life, invariably the question mark, might even be leading all of those categories.
 
In the last month, my work has taken me on quite a ride. Some weeks it seems surreal to be bouncing from some of the world's best cities. Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, London, and of course the city where my heart lives, New York.
 
As I walked back to my hotel from dinner tonight down the streets of London soaking in every bit of of the charm and sophistication this city exudes, I had one of those moments where you just want to take a mental snapshot so you can remember every detail. Quite simply, I just wanted to freeze time to make sure I didn't lose a single second or detail.
 
So cheers to 2012. May it be the best year yet in this crazy, wonderful, mysterious Life After Athens.
 
JLH

Monday, November 21, 2011

Damn Good Dawg

It is a day of truly mixed emotions for the Bulldog Nation.  

On the one hand, it’s the beginning of Clean Old Fashioned Hate Week, one of my favorite of the year. 
  
With Georgia’s win Saturday against Kentucky, we clenched as Eastern Division SEC Champions.  Our beloved head football coach, Mark Richt, began the season with many doubters, but has replaced all doubt with renewed energy and excitement for the program.
 

But even with all this, today marks a day of great sadness for all those who bleed red and black.  Our venerable announcer and famed college football broadcaster Larry Munson died yesterday.

He holds a place of incredibly high esteem in the hearts of all Georgia fans.  If you asked fans who in the history of the program best represented the UGA spirit, I suspect you’d hear Munson’s name more than any player or coach.  He was legendary long before he died, and even before he retired in 2008 at age 86.

Munson’s calls were the kind that transported you just by listening to them.  Though some of his most remembered calls were made before I was born, you can still feel the energy and passion just by listening to them.  Run, Lindsay Run.  My God a freshman.  Sugar falling out of the sky.

I was lucky enough to have met Larry Munson a handful of times while I worked for the UGA Athletic Association as a student worker in college.  I was luckier still to have been a freshman still soaking in Georgia tradition when Munson made his infamous Hobnail Boot call.  I remember what it was like to watch a Georgia game with the sound all the way down while listening to Munson, and for that, I’m grateful.

Though we knew this day was coming, I cried when I heard about his passing nonetheless. For a man larger than life, this news struck me as nothing less than personally devastating.

Larry Munson, damn good Dawg, you will be missed.

JLH

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sometimes, a girl just needs to vent. A few things that bug me:
  • People who claim they listen to any kind of music "except country"

  • Misuse of there, their and they're

  • Toms shoes

  • Subway panhandler sob stories and how they always begin with "Attention ladies and gentlemen" and end with "God bless you all"

  • Anything Florida Gator

  • Ugg boots on anyone older than 15 or younger than 11

  • People who wear sweat pants, yoga pants or any workout gear to airports or on planes

  • Anyone who says they could never live in NYC and has never even been to the city

  • The feeling the morning after going out when you realize you can't account for the last of the cash in your wallet

  • That fully half of the recently tagged photos of me on Facebook were taken in wedding photo booths

  • How I'm starting to sound like my parents when I make statements about things that happened 10 years ago in college and how it feels like just yesterday

  • Every Old Navy commercial

  • When my DVR doesn't record House because the baseball game ran long

JLH