Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maybelline Chic Chocolate

This polish is from...a while ago.  I don't remember when I bought it.  Probably 2010.  One day while I was home for winter break, right after my grandmother died, Ben picked a polish out for me to wear.  He chose this one because he tends to like darker colors and I've noticed he also likes shimmery things. Anyway, I wore this one back in January and I just remembered the pictures were on my camera.




These pictures aren't that great even though they were taken with a "real" camera and not my iPhone (which I think has been doing pretty well; but Ben reminded me that he got me this camera for a reason, so I'm pulling it out of its box...finally).  The sun was that too-bright afternoon-y time sun that tends to wash everything out.  But you can still tell that this brown is really pretty and lights up with red and gold shimmer in bright light.  My nails were super short then and I was having the worst of dry skin problems.  But anyway, I pretty much hate Maybelline polishes.  Mostly it's their brushes.  It's like the bristles are too stiff and always result in drag for me, as you can see.  The formula on this one was fine, it was just its mode of delivery that was flawed.  But this was two coats.  It chipped really quickly on me, too, which is probably why I forgot that I had even worn it.


I also found this picture of me on the camera, in which I appear to be engaging in my favorite wintertime pastime of scarf snugglin'.  But you can see how the polish looks on my hands; namely, nice 'n vampy.

You know what can be kind of great about New York, in a way?  You make a million tiny connections with people every day.  Glances on the subway, being smooshed together walking down 5th Ave., those sorts of mundane things.  Yesterday I was waiting for the 6 train at 33rd Street and I knew there would be trouble when one train completely passed the station by.  More and more people started piling up, and a woman squished in front of me on the platform.  I knew that her end-game was to get on the next train no matter what, so I just sort of let it happen.  When the next train stopped and the doors opened people rushed it, but I hung back because I knew there'd be another train.  But this woman who had stepped in front of me got on and gently moved everyone aside until there was a spot for me.  She made eye contact with me and said, "Come on, love.  You'll fit right here."  I didn't have to be told twice, so I got on.

During the course of the ride from 33rd to 86th she told me all about her daughter.  The woman herself was 51, but she adopted a 5-year-old girl who came out of a bad situation.  She told me that she had to get on the train no matter what because she couldn't be late to pick up her daughter from daycare.  The little girl gets nervous if she's late, apparently.  And then she asked me what I was doing in New York and I told her.  She noticed my ring and asked about a partner, so I told her about Ben.  I told her about the PhD thing and how I feel sort of torn between academia and...well, normality.  She took my hand and said, "love, get married and have babies.  You always have time for the PhD.  Don't worry so much."  I'm not sure whether or not I agree with that advice (hence my dilemma) but it was funny because of course we were sort of squished together like little sardines on the train, and older women all around us had heard what she said to me.  They all nodded their heads.  When we got to her stop she patted me on the shoulder and said good luck.  And then she was gone, out of my life forever.

Things like that are funny.  But it did make me think all the way back to Harlem.  No one my age would ever give me that advice.  In fact I had a conversation the other night with a classmate from UChicago where I said to her something like, "I just want to get married and have babies and have a house and a job and a car.  Like a normal person."  She said to me, "It's hard to do that when you're so special."  Which is, of course, debatable.  But these two conflicting viewpoints were offered to me within 24 hours of each other, and it's so interesting to me how differently my own situation is viewed by different people.

ANYWAY.  It's almost Friday.  And for the first time since moving to New York, I'm glad the weekend is coming.  I've been swamped.  I can't wait to sleep in!

18 comments:

  1. You are pretty special. You'll figure it out for yourself. And you have a great guy who will be with you all the way.

    Have I ever mentioned that I love vampy polishes on you? No? Well I do. You look very chic wearing dark colors.

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    1. Thanks boo. I don't think I'm very special. Hundreds of women at my school alone are probably going through this exact same thing...

      Vampy polishes are nice! They contrast so much with my skintone that they're super noticable on me. That's probably why Ben likes 'em.

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  2. People can be really awesome sometimes. I love that. :)

    And if reading this blog for so long is any indication of how things will unfold, you will figure it out. You've got a lot going for you either way. <3

    P.S. Maybelline polishes are so weird. I haven't loved any since the Sweet Thing ones!

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    1. GIRL holy shit. I remember those Sweet Thing polishes. Everyone was crazy about them and I found myself hunting them down in Rite-Aids. Have I used them since? Nooooope.

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  3. This is a pretty color, but I have a deep and longstanding hatred of Maybelline polishes. I refuse to even browse them anymore.

    Two things, both of which you can feel free to ignore:

    A) I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but I'm out of my PhD program, and married. I have a car, and rent a house. I have the two cutest dogs in the world. I still struggle with whether I should find something less stressful to do and just have some damn babies and be done with it. What I keep coming back to is that, deep down, I'm just frustrated because being an academic is HARD, and it makes me think that I want something simple and easy. But making a choice out of frustration is rarely a good idea, and when I had a simple easy job, I was bored out of my mind and wound up applying to a PhD program. There's a reason for that.

    B) You probably already know this, but take advice from re: PhD programs and their general accessibility from random old ladies on the subway at your risk. Don't let her belittle the choice you're making or the commitment it requires (even though that probably wasn't her intention). This isn't a masters degree. You can't "just go back later". You understand that, and she doesn't, and that's why it's a struggle. The biggest cost of graduate school isn't the loans, it's the years, especially for women.

    I wish I had some insight that would make your choice easier, but the best I can do is commiserate. When I was miserable in grad school, what helped was not looking for something to make it easier, but to just kind of embrace the struggle. Like, "yes, this is hard, but it's supposed to be hard, and the fact that I'm struggling doesn't mean that I'm doing anything wrong." To quote the best romantic comedy of all time, "Wallow in it. Til your fingers get all pruney." You'll figure out what's right for you.

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    1. I won't ignore any of this advice. It all seems solid. Another thing for me to stick in my MIND-ROLODEX.

      Thanks for taking the time to write that out. And yes, it's true that it would be difficult for me to quit and return to it later. All of these points that you raise are incredibly valid, and it IS more valuable coming from someone who knows what's up in academia (although does anyone EVER REALLY know what's up in academia...?).

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  4. I love the color, but I agree about Maybelline polishes!! Especially those older ones. I really wanted to like the bottle of Purple Trend that I hunted down, but the brush made it SO difficult!

    As far as the Ph.D...I will forever have my BA (Music-Voice). Chances are, I'm not going back. If I do, it probably won't be to further my BA degree. I chose to get married right after graduation, and two years later, we started making a family. I wouldn't trade it for the world! That being said, I wish that when I had the chance-before I got married, before I had my children-I had gone for it. I really do. I admire you for sticking it out, even in the face of loneliness and doubt and dealing with a new city and all the challenges that brings. I don't envy the choices you must make, or how you must feel when you leave Ben again & go back to NY for another month.

    Feel what you're feeling, but DO try to enjoy this time and find things that make you happy, even tiny things (like NAIL POLISH, LOL!!). The right choices are made apparent to us when we wait, even if it's not so patiently. ((HUGS))

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    1. Thanks. That's all very sweet. I try to find things that'll make me happy here, but sometimes I feel like nothing will.

      But I'm going to keep going. For now.

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  5. I hate Maybelline polishes as well.

    But I absolutely LOVE that conversation that you had with the lady; it's a nice reminder that there are still awesome, genuine people out there.

    It'll take some time to sort out the dilemma, but I'm sure you'll figure it out & it'll work out fine~ :)

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  6. I love that conversation you had with that lady. Random connections are fun. I agree about taking what she said with a grain of salt. I personally didn't go for a PhD but an MD in a surgical field instead but I have friends in PhD programs. Personally and through my friends and co-workers I see the same struggles, questions, self doubts on a regular basis. Even my brother, being a male in med school is going through the same thing. One thing I can say is, none of your choices are going to be easy to make but try to identify some role models around you. People who have achieved a balance in life and give you some inspiration that you can do it too. It definitely helps to have a supportive partner so let him know how much you appreciate that (which I'm sure you do). I didn't find my husband till the end of a five year long residency and up until then, it was struggle to think whether that kind of normalcy was even possible for me. I'm sure things will work out for you one way or another. Happiness is a very subjective thing and eventually you'll find what works for you. Until then, here's hugs :-)

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    1. Bless you for being an MD. I could never do that. I'm thankful for the people who do!

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  7. There is no right answer for everyone, and probably no matter whatever you choose, you'll wonder how things will have turned out if you made a different choice (or at least you will, if you're anything like me.) You just take one day at a time, trying to do your best, you'll be just fine.

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    1. It's true. I definitely always wonder "what if?"

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  8. I am five years older than your train lady and I couldn't disagree more. As an earlier comment said, I don't think that woman KNOWS what a PhD encompasses, in time, money, motivation and many other intangibles. A Phud is not something you can pick up at the local CC once you've packed the last fledgling off to college, not to mention the momentum required. You don't go into a PhD program from a cold start. I also wonder how easy it is to get back into a PhD program when you've dropped out of one and taken a 25 year break. Basic statistical numbers do not fall on her side of the argument.

    How long do your have left? And how many years do you already have invested towards attaining your lifelong dream?

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    1. You're probably right. But I know SEVERAL women your age who are just coming back to their doctorates after taking a lot of time off to raise kids.

      As for how much time I have left, it's debatable. Less than a decade. Probably around five years. How many years have I already invested? Well, there was undergrad (4), then grad (MA-2)...so, six years of academics so far. This will be my seventh.

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