These Streets Will Make you Feel Brand New?

photo(6)Well, yesterday was not a winner.

It all started when Facebook decided to change my sidebar ads from cute little bridesmaids dresses and elegant flower arrangements to SPERM FERTILITY HOME TESTS. I kid you not. I hadn’t the foggiest idea there even WAS such a thing until my baffled eyes were bugging out of my head as I stared at my computer screen in disbelief. By the end of the day there were two uncomfortably pregnant bellies prominently displayed in advertisements for terrifying contraptions that I’ve never even heard of, and one ad touting the sustainable value of cloth diapering. Which was perfect, really, because if there’s one thing I’m excited about, it’s the prospect of shaking my hypothetical baby’s turds into my washing machine.

I’d like to thank Facebook for encouraging me to produce a human life. Clearly, I am very ready.

I had tea with a new friend that I met through this blog [can I just say how much I truly enjoy getting to talk to you? It’s one of the very best things about writing.], and the excuse to get out of my yoga pants was enough to make me want to burst into song. Alas, it was in a new part of town [granted, all of Albany is a “new part of town” to me], and as I got in my car to leave I hadn’t the foggiest idea where I was.

Given that I am going for wife of the year, [or, more realistically, let’s-still-be-married-by-our-one-year-anniversary], I decided to run to the grocery store to pick up orange juice for my sweet husband, who has been feeling a bit under the weather. I punched “Hannaford” [our local grocery chain] into Fancy [my GPS for those of you that are new around here], and my little blue bug and I sped off into the sunset.

…unfortunately, half an hour later, I was still driving aimlessly through the GHETTO, wondering what on earth I’d ever done to Fancy to make her quit on me. For an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris, I could not have told you where I was or how to get back to my apartment. In fact, for all I knew I was IN Paris. I felt exactly like the characters on Lost when the polar bears showed up on the island and everybody was all like WHAT?! Yes. That.

As I slowly, wonderingly attempted to find my way, every car that knew exactly where they were headed decided to let the confused little brunette in the bug know precisely what they thought of her and her North Carolina plates. DEATH TO THE OUTSIDER. An angry chorus of honking followed me down every suspicious looking street, and while plenty of hands were thrown out of car windows, I’m almost certain they weren’t trying to wave hello. If a semi truck full of enraged, bipolar piglets had suddenly toppled in median and released a thousand vengeful, squirming baby pigs into the road, I don’t think it would have been any more chaotic.

I felt like giving the whole stupid state a giant spanking, and then passing out copies of Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette and sending the sorry lot of them to Finishing School. Or Guantanamo. Nine lifetimes later, I finally stumbled onto a grocery store by happenstance and was so terribly rattled by the whole miserable ordeal that a two dollar and thirty-nine cent bag of trail mix became my emotional impulse purchase for the day. Given my unfortunate history of over-sharing with cashiers and customs agents, the poor bag boy got an earful when he asked me how I was doing while he attempted to bag my trail mix with the milk and hand soap. The barely contained, nuclear glare that I shot him was something akin to what I imagine the Chernobyl reactor looked like just before it exploded. GIVE. ME. THAT. TRAIL. MIX. RIGHT. NOW.

The bag boy escaped with a mild decapitation, and I found myself sitting alone in the parking lot munching on peanuts and raisins and off-brand M&M’s [HELP me, Rhonda!], growing more indignant with each passing car. New Yorkers are the devil. I hate this dumb state and now I’m going to die in this parking lot. These people are so mean they’ll probably just step over my body on their way to the cereal aisle. AND THIS TRAIL MIX SUCKS. 

Insult to injury, friends.

I truly don’t know how it happened, but after more of the aforementioned New York road charm, somehow Fancy and I made it home again. I think she was concerned about what would happen to my butt if I kept emotionally eating trail mix in the parking lot. I stumbled into the living room HOURS later than planned, and promptly collapsed spread eagle on the dark living room floor. Which is where Kellan found me when he got home from work half an hour later, curled up in the fetal position moaning “I caaaaaan’t.”

In retrospect, I believe this had something to do both with living in New York, and with making dinner. I told him in no uncertain terms that if he was hoping for scrambled eggs and cheap trail mix IT WAS HIS LUCKY DAY. As long as he scrambled the eggs.

He grinned, pulled me off the floor, and took me to Five Guys for a burger because everybody knows you can’t emotionally eat an egg. As my blood sugar rose back up, the world became a little brighter.

New York, I don’t hate you. And I’m a little bit sorry I called you the devil. But maybe we could work on our please and thank yous?


  1. Natalie McCauley says:

    C’mon Ashley you forget you got 1/2 Yankee in your blood. You can do it girl. You’ll get over your lollygagging ways soon enough. P.S.: You might wanna try getting rid of the NC tags (fyi: they are called license plates up North), that may help.

  2. YES. I think it’s actually a good thing you live in NY… bc if we still lived in the same state… our shared affinity for comfort/emotional eating might lead me to your doorstep with two crying babies… daily.

    I fear me, you, and the twinsies would be eating pie all day long.

  3. Debbi Howard says:

    I love the way you write! I suggest losing the NC tags and the Yorkers might be a little more pleasant. I live in Georgia where EVERONE is pleasant! Lol. Such a sweet husband to rescue you!

    • You are kind! Thank you. :) Yes, I know I ought to get my plates changed…it’s on the to-do list. :) And yes, I am very grateful for my sweet husband! :)

  4. Kristin says:

    1. Put the Waze app on your phone. Use that, not your GPS. Changed my life.
    2. Get a paper map. Seriously, it works.
    3. I love you.
    4. I love Hannaford! Miss having those in NC.
    5. Be thankful all your Facebook ads aren’t about single dads in the Triangle.

    • I just adore you to pieces. Paper maps are not happening–they make me hyperventilate. Great perspective on the facebook ads–…facebook just needs to stay out of our personal lives. Period. :) Enjoy Colorado for me!

  5. Ashley, if you must give up your NC tags, at least keep a UNC sticker somewhere on your car. Also, I suggest you submit some of your writings to a local newspaper. Perhaps you can write something along the lines of a “Mrs. Manners” column. They obviously need it. They seem to move to the south like flocks of birds in winter, so there is an obvious appeal for them. If you were to impart a bit of southern charm on them, maybe, just maybe, they would incorporate a more laid back, pleasant attitude into their frantic lifestyles.

    • Haha! Now THERE’S a way to endear myself to the locals. ;) I love it. And yes, you’re absolutely right–a UNC sticker is definitely in order! I don’t want anyone thinking I’m FROM New York. Heavens. ;) Love you!

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