New shoes always make me happy. Especially when they were on sale. ESPECIALLY if it was 30% off the sale price. Win!!!
Even though the back of both my ankles are missing a patch of skin and it burns like no other in the shower, I still looooove themmmmm. Shoes! Why do you hurt me so?!?! New shoe, new callus =/ I think every pair of flats and heels that I buy end up giving me a blister or rubbing off some skin, somewhere. I still wear my sneakers too, many of which date back from high school. The nice thing about San Francisco is that *most* of the time, nobody cares what you wear...Although I probably wouldn't walk into a J. Crew store wearing my Nike sneakers and a sweatshirt. I think a guy can pull that off and not be judged, but a girl would definitely get some side-eye. That kind of sucks, because a lot of "weekend lay-zee wear" for women looks awfully contrived and most definitely not effortless.
Which leads me to the topic of weekend get-togethers with friends. A friend of mine, Katie, recently moved into San Francisco and through her, I started to learn more about the San Francisco night-life, like:
K: "Did you know that most people prefer to date along their bus route?"
K: "I'm serious! You have to plan your dates around the bus schedules! If you plan to go home, you have to cut your date short so you can catch the bus, and transferring buses is a pain, so most people go to bars along their bus route to work.
It just seemed funny, but it does make sense. A lot of adults in their mid-20s to early-30s move into the city for various reasons, and I guess it's pretty much the only way to meet someone in a big city. I hate it though. I hate having to dress up and put on make up, and then going to a place where people stink, or step on your toes, or spill booze on you, or almost barf on you, and then you go home and you stink, you're sweaty, and your feet hurt.
But clearly, I don't get out a lot, because my idea of going out at night is meeting up with nearby friends for an after-dinner, post-studying beer at a neighborhood bar in sweats and a t-shirt, and then walking home to crawl into bed. However, I do like jazz lounges and don't mind dressing up a little to go to one because most people go to enjoy the ambiance and music.
In AmeriCorps, the Volunteer in Service To America (VISTA) program held a pre-service orientation in Portland, Oregon. I felt like it was a huge waste of time. We spent the first day (8 hours) talking about "Poverty." Supposedly, it would lessen the culture-shock of working with The Poors (note: sarcasm). My memory of that orientation is unsurprisingly vague, but I DO remember some dude who kept repeating his story about "being from a very well-off family" and how, when he was volunteering for XYZ organization, he met a woman and "could feel the pain and suffering she was feeling" and something about "seeing it in her eyes that she was grateful" and by the way, my family is really well-off." I wanted to rip my ear drums out. I also couldn't believe that other girls in my group were going all googly-eyed. Seriously?
I think instead, the three 8-hour-day workshops could have given us concrete skills like how to write an effective grant proposal with a mock-grant application. Or discuss different options for fundraisers, drawn from the non-profits that many of us were being sent to, or how to deal with staff who were not treating us with respect and as a useful/free resource (there was a lot of that in the forums). The orientation ended up being more like a mini-vacation for me, because I got to explore Portland a little bit, AND AND AND I got my own hotel room (Naked time!!!! Just kidding) Powell's Bookstore was also a very cool bookstore, with lots of new and used books at a good price. I hung out with the other AmeriCorps people once, but I felt like a lot of them were kind of....ditzy, or, openly planned to stay in their home town for the rest of their life.
By contrast, the AmeriCorps HealthCorps group was more down-to-earth, adventurous and more fun...I kind of wish I joined that volunteer program instead. They held a lot of group overnight retreats to beautiful state parks, whereas I was kind of on my own, doing my own thing.