I don’t speak Long Islander.

You know how I like to document the cultural differences between life in Long Island/on the East Coast and life elsewhere? Well, I may have mentioned this before on here (Lord knows I talk about it in person enough), but there are a lot of language differences as well.

And I’m not even talking about the accent. (Next time we’re face-to-face, ask me to give you my Erin vs. Aaron schpeel.) I mean the actual language we use to express ourselves.

One popular term you hear on the Island is “jeat?” (Written phonetically…because it’s not a real word and therefore doesn’t have a real spelling.) What this means is: Did you eat? (Shortened to “didja eat?” shortened to “jeat?” Natch.)

Another term you’ll hear here? “Are you on line?”

Now, you may think I just made a grammatical error there. But no, I did not mean “online.” People in Long Island say “on line” instead of “in line.” For example:

Person 1: Are you done shopping?

Person 2: Yeah, I’m going to get on line now.

The first time someone said that to me, I was genuinely confused. You’re going to get on a computer? You’re going to browse the web? BUT WHY?

Once I figured it out, I still didn’t get it. You are not literally standing on top of the line. You are in it. You are a PART of the line.

I could get my new neighbors to understand why I didn’t agree with their terminology, but I couldn’t prove to them that it confused things.

UNTIL NOW.

I met up with my friend Sam for lunch today. I arrived at the eating establishment before he did, so I was standing near the line, but not actually in it. To pass the time, I was perusing Facebook on my phone.

Suddenly, a girl walked in, looked at me and said, “Are you on line?”

CONUNDRUM. Because while I was not standing in/on line, I was ONLINE. Therefore, saying “on line” is confusing and inaccurate.

Ergo, I’m right.

Justine: 1
Long Island: Goose egg.

Oh yeah…I’m going to be real popular here.

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Steal a kiss

I’ve lived in a lot of corners of the country. Born in California, a brief stint in Texas, a large chunk of my life in the Midwest, a year in Brooklyn, and now settled in Long Island, I feel like I have experienced a lot of the different cultures you find in America.

One of the most interesting parts of living in different places (at least to me) is seeing the quirks of the people raised there. Especially when it comes to their level of human contact.

I’ll explain.

In the Midwest, people don’t really touch. I mean, sure, you get handshakes and high fives and you hug people you know really well, but for the most part, your standard greeting is sans contact.

So one of the biggest things I had to get used to when I started spending more time in Long Island was not something you might expect: kissing.

No, I’m not saying every new person you meet will expect to engaged in a little tonsel hockey, but you are expected to kiss hello.

(Anyone else remember Jerry’s aversion to the kiss hello?)

I recently had my cousins from Ohio to visit, and it was kind of funny to watch them react to people leaning in for a quick smooch.

My advice was basically to react to cues from the other person. If they lean in, cheek first, they’re probably expecting a kiss hello or goodbye. The only time it’s ever awkward is if you both go for the opposite cheek, and then you end up doing that weird chicken bob trying to figure out which direction to turn your head. I’ve never accidentally kissed someone on the mouth in an attempt at a cheek kiss, but I’m sure it has happened.

Personally, I think it’s kind of a nice custom. It reminds me of high school when I had a French foreign exchange student come to stay with me and the group always did les bises, or kisses when they wanted to say hello or goodbye to their friends. But I can also see how it would be uncomfortable if you’re more of a big-wave-hello kind of person.

What about you? Are people touchy-feely in your area? Or do you keep your distance? Anyone have a good accidental kiss story to share?

A mish-mash of things.

For those of you concerned with the status of my health: The head cold has evolved to more of a chest cold.

Pros: Less nasal congestion, easier to breathe, not so much of that “out of it” feeling.
Cons:
The coughing has begun — and it sounds revolting. (You’re welcome, co-workers.)

Plus, I got these tissues that have lotion AND Vicks in them, and if I ever start feeling really congested, I just hold one up to my nose for a while and breathe real deep. It’s magical. And doesn’t make me look insane at all.

I think we’re going to pull through, folks.

For those of you not concerned with my bodily functions (humph…suit yourself), I GO TO ICELAND IN THREE DAYS.

Obviously, I am mildly jazzed.

For those of you not concerned with my life at all (in which case, what are you doing here?), it’s Valentine’s Day. I don’t celebrate it, but if you do, here’s hoping you haven’t already screwed it up. Or, at the very least, that you can still rustle up a $10 bouquet at the grocery store. (Hint: Get there early.)

Ok, can we go back to the Iceland thing for a second? (Listen, if you’re not concerned with my life at all, you should probably move along. It’s not you, it’s me.)(Literally.)

I’ve been looking forward to this trip since August of last year. For realz. And now that it’s finally here, it’s really starting to augment that feeling of “the year is pretty much already over“.

Because next thing you know, it’s March, which means it’s time to go to the hockey game that I bought Joey tickets for last fall. And then it’s time to FINALLY see The Hunger Games.

And then it’s pretty much April, which means it’s our one-year anniversary and Annie‘s bachelorette party.

And then it’s just about May, which means it’s time for our friends’ Bryan and Brittany’s wedding, and then oops, it’s summer. Surprise. Which means I’m officially 25. BAM.

I mean, I’m sure other stuff will happen in between there. I’m sure it won’t literally be like a quick blink and then suddenly it’s 90 degrees out. But I’m also sure it is going to go pretty quickly. And…I don’t know. I guess it’s weird when life starts to pick up so much. And honestly, I’m not even that weirded out about getting older. It’s just that 25 has always felt like such an adult age. You are officially, for real a grown-up.

I know that shouldn’t weird me out. I’m married. I have had a grown-up job for a few years now. But it’s still…weird. Am I ever going to actually feel like a grown-up?

This post has rapidly spiraled out of control. (Almost like my year! Full circle!)(?)

Oh well. Hopefully in all that madness, at least a few of you will read this and be like, “Yup. THAT IS HOW IT FEELS.” If not…well…then I’m alone as well as insane.

And just to end this post on a suitably random (and positive!) note, I bought the J. Crew pants. They were on sale, plus I got an additional 3 percent cash back from Ebates. (You HAVE signed up for Ebates by now, right?)(If not, please use that link there — I get rewards for referrals, so we BOTH win.)

And thus ends the most random post EVER. My apologies.

How fascinating.

Do you ever get fascinated by certain people?

I don’t want to use the word “obsessed.” Because obsessed implies something insidious or evil is going on.

I’m talking about fascination. When there’s some fringe person in your life (because if you know this person too well, fascination is officially obsession) who you just want to know everything they do so you can study it.

Because that’s really what makes fascination different from obsession. You don’t really want to be involved with the person. You just want to know everything about them. It fascinates you.

And don’t go getting all judge-y on me about how you wouldn’t dream of doing something as creepy as “studying” a person, because I know everyone does it. EVEN YOU.

So come on, ‘fess up. Who gets fascinated now and then?


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Wack Wednesday

Wednesdays are officially my roughest posting day.

Here’s a quick breakdown of my Tuesday:

1. Wake up around 7/7:15
2. Get to work around 8:15
3. Leave work at 5.
4. Get home around 5:30/6
5. Scramble to throw something together for dinner by 6:30
6. Eat dinner/do dishes/surface clean the living room and kitchen/get ready for meeting until we leave at 7
7. Meet up with our friend Sam for dinner at 9:30
8. Home by 11:15
9. Crash into bed.

See what didn’t happen in there? Anything worth blogging about. (Oh-ho! The irony.)

So even though I did make something new for dinner (even though we didn’t end up eating it last night…it’s our lunch today), I have zero photographic evidence. Or any input as to how it tastes. I’ll let you know.

I do have one photo for you….THE BOOTS ARRIVED!!!!!!

I seriously cannot overplay the gloriousness of these boots. I put them on, and the elements just seem to disappear. (At least for my shin-toe region.) They are perfect for Iceland. And really anything. I may start wearing them to weddings. (I’m kidding.)(OR AM I???)

Anyway, you’ll just have to sit tight until tomorrow when I can come up with something more amazing to regale you with. Until then, don’t forget to enter our FIRSTEVERSUPERAWESOMEI’MEXCITEDIFYOUCOULDN’TTELL giveaway from Much Love, illy.

The giveaway entry widget turned out to be kind of awkward (probably won’t use it next time), but your entry counts if you leave a comment or if you use the widget to leave a comment. (The only perk to using the widget is then it opens up all the options to get other entries.) And don’t forget, if you’re already subscribed, already follow me on Twitter, or already a fan on Facebook, you can still check off that entry option.

Just don’t try to play me by SAYING you did something when you didn’t. I’m a journalist. I WILL fact check.

But anyway. It’s super easy to enter, and the prize is pretty darn cute. (If you’re engaged, just THINK of the flower girl possibilities.)(Or you possibilities…lord knows I would wear that stuff.) You have until Sunday at 11:59 p.m. to get your entries in.

I feel like this is where I would insert a hump day joke, but we all know I’m wrinkling my nose and murmuring “gross” to myself from even thinking about making a hump day joke. Oh me.

Lesson learned: Wednesdays are not my best days.


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Letter to my future child

One day, my friend Erin and I were discussing how everything on the Internet lives forever and how just about anything can be found in a Google search, when the conversation shifted to how that probably means that if/when I have kids, they will someday find this blog. We concluded that the only thing to do was the write a post to them now, just to head off any awkwardness later. This is that post. FOR THE RECORD I AM NOT PREGNANT NOR PLANNING ON IT ANY TIME SOON. Again, NOT PREGNANT. Now carry on:

Oh…heeeeey there. So I guess…you found this.

If you’re in your mid-20s, hopefully we’re the same person and you now think I’m awesome. Or hopefully you’re like your dad and really like me even when I’m weird.

If you’re in your teens, you’re probably mildly humiliated. Sorry for being weird.

If you’re under the age of 10, WHAT ARE YOU DOING USING THE COMPUTER UNSUPERVISED???

So now you know that you mom wrote (writes? did I keep this up?) a blog. AND that she had the foresight to assume posterity would someday discover it. Wacky, huh?

See? I know EVERYTHING.

Actually, I’m kind of glad this happened. There’s a pretty good chance that (because I’m your mom) you only see me as a parent. (Unless you are in your mid-20s, in which case you might have discovered that I’m a human being too.) But in case that hasn’t happened yet, this will help.

I started this blog because a college professor told me I should have one. I kept it up because I really enjoyed it. I kept it up even when I didn’t enjoy it because I knew that stopping might mean I would stop for good. And the fact is, the best part about having a written record of my young adult life is that I will always have this perspective.

I can look back on the post I wrote right after I moved to New York and remember how mildly panicked I was at having my whole life up in the air. I can look back at the post I wrote the weekend your dad asked me to be his girlfriend and remember how excited I was about the possibilities. I can read the post I wrote the morning of our wedding, and even though it’s brief, remember the sweet, joyful emotions I felt while sitting on that couch in my hotel room typing frantically on my phone.

So basically, you found my diary. And since you obviously read it, I have no qualms about reading yours when I find it.

I’m kidding.

(But seriously.)

I feel like I should be using this opportunity to give you some kind of profound advice, but the fact is (as you can probably tell from my posts), you pretty much just have to figure things out as you go. (Plus I’m not anywhere near a parent yet, so I have no idea where to start.)

Obviously there are a lot of personal things I’ve learned that I can tell you (we still talk right? Oh man, I hope I’m not dead when you find this, that would be really awkward…) and hopefully I’ve set a good example for you in the “how to be a real-live adult” thing, but in general, you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to take jobs you hate and your priorities are going to change. You’re going to make friends, and you’re going to lose them.

Life is going to be so unapologetically cruel one day, and on another you will be humbled by how wonderful things can be. And for me, writing every bit of it out just…helped. It helped and it helps me get through the good and the bad.

So I guess that’s the extend of my profundity. (And because I’m your mom, I know you read a lot your whole life and appreciate my use of the word “profundity.”) Regardless of what’s happening in your life or how old you are, I hope you know that I always want us to be at least as honest with each other as I am in these posts.

So…that got kind of heavy. This post started as a joke. It was supposed to be a funny post. It was supposed to help AVOID awkwardness!

Well, if there’s one thing this blog should teach you about me, it’s that I’m usually awkward no matter what. Odds are, you are too. (Sorry about that…) I guess what all this means is that I hope you’ll let me know when you find this.

Now go clean your room.