OK, let’s see if we can get this puppy wrapped up today. Which honestly, is a little sad? Because that means it’s over. I was grocery shopping today and I realized that a week ago, I was grocery shopping for things for my trip to New York last week, and now that is a whole week ago. Sigh.
So let’s see. We are now at LUSH, shopping for bath and body supplies. LUSH is very crowded. It always is. LUSH stores are all very small, smell delicious, and are packed with people. It’s the rule, apparently.
So FIRST, we smelled all the soaps. This was kind of the most fun. Mostly I made comments like this:
- “I like this one. It smells like lemonade.”
- “Don’t ever buy this soap. It’s got raisins in it. RAISINS. And they get all over your bathtub floor and clog the drain.”
- “This soap is called Lust but mostly it smells sneezy and terrible, and if someone used it for sexytimes I think I would gag. That’s not lusty, it’s vomity.”
- “This is a good soap for you because it smells like men.”
- “This soap is good because it’s both lemony AND scrubby so it’s like two things in one. It’s a multitasky soap.”
- “This soap smells like nothing. If I wanted a soap that smelled like nothing I could get one at the drugstore and I wouldn’t pay a billion dollars for it there.”
So then Andreas picked out some soap and I picked out some soap and also I got a shampoo bar and then the salespeople tried to sell us things like a hair treatment that smelled like the beach and a tin for my shampoo bar and we nodded politely but we didn’t want that hair stuff and I already had a tin at home. Then it was time to pay and here is the best thing. So at LUSH, they cut you a piece of soap from a BIG piece of soap to order. Like, you tell them you want a quarter-pound of soap, and they cut it for you right there. They pride themselves on being fresh. That’s their thing. So the lady went to cut our soap (NOT A EUPHEMISM) and when she came back she handed us our soap. Andreas was getting BIG chunks of soap. “You are NOT KIDDING AROUND ABOUT YOUR SOAP!” she said to me. Because I’m a lady. She thought the soap was for ME. I totally told on Andreas. “Oh, that’s his,” I said. When I said that? He became the hero of LUSH. ALL THE LADIES AT LUSH LOVED HIM. They were all starry-eyed over a man who knew his soap. The checkout lady was all impressed, and then one of the salesladies was all impressed with him. It made me giggle. He was the hero of the good-smelling soap store!
Here’s my LUSH haul:
Ooh, look, I’m gonna be fancy. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sandstone soap (lemony and also with sand in it, so it’s scrubby AND lemony); Coalface cleanser (the BEST soap for my weird facial issues; unfortunately, it is very expensive, but if I could afford it, I would use it all the time); and Seanik shampoo bar (smells like the ocean and lasts forever as long as you keep it dry between showers; it’s very handy for traveling!) YAY FOR LUSH! Thank you for going to LUSH with me, Andreas!
Then we needed to find an outfit for his wonderful daughter. Now, sizes in Europe and America are different for little ones, but we were smart and researched it on the internet, and knew going into it what size to look for. WE WERE PREPARED!
We were not prepared for not being able to find a single place that sold children’s clothes on the entire street. And it was a big street. 6th Avenue. I mean, seriously. That street doesn’t dick around, you guys. IT IS THE AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS. MERKA!!!! If you walk far enough, it becomes TIMES SQUARE! And the Empire State Building is right there, I mean, come on!
So we walked and walked and WALKED and I really was just hoping for a Baby Gap, seriously. We went into Macy’s because we thought maybe there would be baby clothes in there (shush, I’m about to tell you a shocking thing, I HAVE NEVER BEEN INSIDE A MACY’S BEFORE SATURDAY, I know, I always thought it was TOO FANCY FOR ME) and come to find out there were no baby clothes, and it was the weirdest store I’ve ever been in. It’s not like I imagined it at all. It’s like all different counters for different very expensive things like fancy purses and super-expensive makeup. I thought it was going to be like an expensive version of Sears. I know. I’m a weirdo. Anyway, the music in there was SO LOUD. It was “Moves Like Jagger” which I hate anyway but SO LOUD. Like, we could not hear each other talk. It was like being in a disco where you could also buy a handbag or a tuxedo. We ran out of there like we were on fire, seriously.
Then we just kept walking and walking and walking and looking for a Baby Gap and guess what we saw in the middle of the street? SOMETHING TERRIFYING!
SCARY ELMO BUT NOT!
COOKIE MONSTER BUT NOT! *shudder*
They looked filthy and creepy and I was so afraid they were going to look at me or touch me so I went past them super-fast and with this noise: “EEEEEE!” because I don’t trust people in suits. I don’t know their intentions or that they’re not John Wayne Gacy in there.
FINALLY WE SAW A BABY GAP! It was like angels sang! So we went in and looked at adorable little-girl clothes that made me smile. Come to find out that the research we did was for naught. FOR. NAUGHT. Because at Baby Gap, they have sizes by WEIGHT or HEIGHT or AGE. That seems foolish. Just size things like normal humans, Baby Gap.
We found the BEST outfit, however, because we are AWESOME, and I told Andreas he could pretend he didn’t have help picking it out when he got home but he said he wouldn’t lie. AW! Listen, Andreas is possibly one of the most stand-up guys I know. Sincerely. It’s kind of awe-inspiring and makes me so happy. So we found a little pink skirt with a little crinoline peeking out at the bottom and a pink sweater that matched and it was so cute it made my whole ovaries cramp up. STOP THAT FOOLISH OVARIES!!!
(SIDE NOTE: I’m totally biased and I think all my friends’ babies are the most beautiful so it won’t surprise you that I think Andreas’ children are the most beautiful children ever ever EVER. Imagining her in that little outfit made me grin and grin.)
The salesperson was ALSO impressed with our shopping prowess and then I think he thought we were married until he asked “where are you from?” and we said “Albany and Finland” and laughed. ALSO, the outfit was totally on some sort of secret SALE, so as you can see we win shopping.
Then we decided to go back to the hotel and decide where to have dinner. Because guess what time it was? Almost time to go. Sigh.
So back to the hotel! Past the scary not-Elmo and not-Cookie Monster! Past men who attempted to hoodwink us and bring us to the Empire State Building and that was weird! ALL THE WALKING!
Stop trying to bamboozle me, people, I’ve already BEEN to the Empire State Building, it’s not like it changes up there!
Then we went back to the hotel and researched Thai restaurants because Andreas totally waited to get Thai until I got there because he knows I love Thai. Isn’t that so nice? Yes. We also played a game called “Amy looks at Andreas’ passport and says all the names of the animals in there in terrible Swedish and makes Andreas laugh and laugh at her pronunciation and also makes fun of the drawings because some of them were so awful.” Honestly, it was one of the most fun things. Partly because animals and partly because I got to hear Andreas speak Swedish and partly because it made us laugh and laugh so much. Do you know where a true friendship is born? If not, I will tell you. Laughing with each other. I am quite sure of this. Helping each other through hard times comes later; if you can laugh together, that’s the true test right there. And we totally passed that test. With all As. A PLUSES, actually.
I can’t find any inside-the-passport photos. Probably because of identity theft. There are ANIMAL drawings inside. ANIMALS!!!
Then we realized I should bring all my things with me, because I’d have to leave straight from the restaurant to the train station. Again: sigh.
We chose between three that were within walking distance. One was delivery only: RULED OUT. One was – I’m not even kidding – like a disco before 7pm? Odd. RULED OUT. That left…
It was a nice little restaurant and the food was delicious. I had something with a lot of seafood that I feel like was called “Deep Oceans” or something and Andreas had something with chicken and green curry and I was all “urgh I hate curry” but he said “you should try Thai curry, it’s different from Indian curry, you might like it” and totally let me eat some off his plate with a spoon and I DID like it so now I know I can safely eat that and THAT is exciting!
There was a man sitting behind us who was an asshat and he yelled at the waitress and then the manager because – I’m not kidding – he was charged on his bill for his child’s free soda refill, and it CLEARLY STATED it should have been free, and that was INEXCUSABLE, what were they trying to PULL, and that was embarrassing. Dude, it was like $2, right? CALM DOWN.
Then we talked and talked and talked MORE but also it was in the back of our minds that it was almost time to go. That’s the worst part of any wonderful trip, isn’t it? The whole time you’re having the best time ever, you keep thinking, “this is going to end soon” and then you are sad.
When we were done, we realized that we had a LITTLE more time so we walked over to Penn Station and almost didn’t find it because I’m terrible about such things but then we DID find it. And we had like 45 more minutes so we went to Starbucks for MORE COFFEE and also because I’d never been to Starbucks for anything but a cookie one time years ago and Andreas thought it was high time that I try only the most ubiquitous coffee in all the land. (I wasn’t the most impressed. I like Dunkin’ Donuts better.)
So we sat and we talked MORE and laughed MORE but also sad. Because twelve hours went by in a blink, no matter how many blog posts I turned it into.
Then I said, “Andreas! We didn’t get any photos of the two of us. People will think we LIED about being in the same city!”
So then this happened, and it is now the screen saver on my phone, because it’s possibly one of my favorite photos of me ever taken, because I just look so damn happy, and I’m with one of my favorite people in the whole world, who ALSO looks so happy and wonderful, and he’s someone I never thought I’d meet in real life, not in a million years. It’s just the most amazing photo. It couldn’t make me happier.
And it was taken in Starbucks. With a cellphone camera. Sometimes things just work out.
Then it was time to walk to Penn Station, which was only a few steps away from the Starbucks. So we walked over, and I gave Andreas one hug, and then said, “Nope, I’m giving you another hug” and did. And then I said I was going to go into the train station now, because I didn’t want to cry in front of him. (I have a weird thing about crying in front of people. If you’ve ever seen me cry, you know why. It’s not pretty. Plus I think it’s about as vulnerable as you can get, and I don’t like that. I know. It’s a weird thing about me. Like you’re at all surprised there’s another weird thing about me.)
Then I went into Penn Station and got on the train and rode home (and the train was SO HOT, I stripped down like a cut-rate burlesque dancer until I was down to a t-shirt and jeans, good grief) and texted Andreas and sj and tweeted all the way home and it just flew by. And I might have cried a little. Oh, shush, I cry over COMMERCIALS, if I didn’t cry over having to leave one of my favorite people after having one of the best days I’ve ever had, there’d be something wrong with me.
When I finally got home, I was the most exhausted. Also, my legs hurt for three days afterward, because that’s a lot of walking for a sedentary lady like me. (Why is it your legs never hurt WHILE you’re walking? Nope. The next morning you wake up all OW OW OW!)
Me when I got home. SO SO TIRED.
The last thing Andreas and I discussed before I left? When I was going to come to Finland. You know how I’ve been kind of jokey about it before? Well, the jokey has stopped. The plan as of now is summer 2014. Yes, that’s a bit of time from now, but a plan has been made. Andreas is in charge of finding me the best flight deal (because seriously, when I search, the flights are all like $1,100, but he finds flights for like $650, and I DO NOT KNOW HOW HE IS DOING THAT. So that’s his job.) I’ll be staying for a week or so; I’ll get to meet Andreas’ family; I’ll get to go to Finland and see Andreas’ islands and the ocean and so many wonderful exciting things. Surprisingly, Dad’s totally behind this plan; I think that’s because Andreas turned out to be not a female truck driver after all.
I’m going to Finland, you guys. Not even in a jokey “hey rich people, sponsor me a trip!” Nope. I have a good job with time off; I can afford to send myself to Finland. I have a place to stay. I have 15 months to learn some Swedish so I can talk to Andreas’ children at least SOME. I don’t want to be that weird lady who visits from America (with, let’s face it, THE BEST PRESENTS) and is unable to talk to them at all. That would be the worst.
Andreas thinks Lufthansa will be the best choice. Lufthansa here I come!
Now Andreas is home safely, and presents were distributed to much glee and his family was so, so happy to see him (as of course they would be, he is ANDREAS) and I miss him already. Why are my people so far away, I ask you?
Thanks for sticking with me for Andreas and Amy take New York City week, my favorite minions! It’s been the most fun to share it all with you. I promise we’ll be back to our regular scheduled programming tomorrow (or if not tomorrow, then soon – might have something going on tomorrow night, not sure yet. I KNOW SO SECRETIVE!)
Thank you, Andreas. I knew you were amazing before I met you face-t0-face; actually being in the same place as you was just the best thing ever. Thank you for one of the best days I’ve had, and one of the best trips to my favorite city in the world I’ve ever had. You are wonderful; I am so, so lucky to know you. Thank you for being one of my best friends. Thank you.
I’m going to get on the train (totally a euphemism) now so you don’t see me cry. All aboard!