Thursday, December 31, 2009

So long, 2009 (No seriously, it was soooo looong.)

Ah, 2009. You heartbreaker you.

As I sit in my Charlotte apartment with sun blazing through my windows, I think of the New York apartment in which I began this year: a dark, first floor walk up with a gorgeous view of a brick wall. Based on the amount of light coming through the windows, I couldn’t ever tell whether it was day or night without checking a clock. Nonetheless, I joyfully trudged through snow and sleet to get to my magazine internship, where my work involved grueling days of discussing Real Housewives of Orange County with the creative director on beauty shoots, picking up cupcakes to go meet Zac Efron, or scooping books, makeup, and clothes galore off of the freebie table. (I think I may have made some copies at one time or another as well.)

I imagined a life in which I teetered on stilettos as the beauty editor at a women’s magazine, yelled at underlings, and became the close confidante of the editor in chief. Maybe I could have even done some Today Show appearances showcasing new beauty trends. (What can I say? The camera loves my face. Plus, I have a knack for discussing current events. Like the latest episode of Real Housewives.)

While I didn’t get offered a position at said magazine, I did get offered an art assistant position at some teenybopper (imagine Tiger Beat) magazine. They wanted to pay me $10/hr and were located about thirty minutes outside of the city in New Jersey. During the interview, they flat out told me that “this isn’t a job for someone who is trying to support themselves.”

NEWSFLASH: if I didn’t have to support myself, I wouldn't get a job. I would be perfectly fine living a life of leisure like they do on Real Housewives. Did I mention this job was in New Jersey? Decision made.

Somehow, during all of this, I had begun to think that New York wasn’t for me. (Shocker.) The horrible weather, shoebox apartments, and job offers from New Jersey had started to wear me down. I was tired of ambulance sirens, heat emanating off of the concrete, and people. People are everywhere in New York. They are pushed up next to you in the subway, brushing past you in stores, and cutting in front of you on the sidewalk. They talk loudly on their cell phones, sing along to their ipods, or sometimes just carry on conversations with themselves.

I realized I wanted more out of life than a fancy job title and a closet full of designer clothes. (Not that I had either of those, but obviously that’s where I was headed.) New Yorkers live to work, but I wanted to work to live. I wanted a job and a life that had a sense of purpose, whatever that entailed.

So I made the leap of faith to head back below the Mason-Dixon line to Charlotte, a city I had spent the past four summers living and working in. I sublet my apartment, bought a car, and headed south. Three weeks later, I had a job as a kindergarten Montessori teacher. Three weeks. A few days later, my lovely friend Elise and I found a gorgeous two bedroom apartment (pool views! washer and dryer included!) for which a I pay about a third of what I did in NYC.

These days, instead of getting calls from creative directors, I get kids coming up to me on the playground yelling “Miss Ensley, I just farted and a little bit of poop came out in my pants!” Hmmm.

I also get storytime, naptime, and little hands that magically find their way into mine while walking down the hallway.

Ah, 2009. You taught me to be more open minded and to never say never. Within twelve months, you had given me everything I thought I had always wanted-internships, a big city, a new boyfriend-but I realized that just because it seems perfect doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. It took me finding out what I don’t want to be (a waitress, an angry New Yorker) in order to find out what it was I really wanted, which is everything I have now.

Happy 2010. Carpe diem.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Not Me, It's You

I definitely didn’t see this coming. After nine months together, I just broke up with someone tall, dark, and handsome, who I've had a crush on since I was a teenager. He's rich, thrilling, lives to work and never sleeps. For a while, I thought he was The One.

I just broke up with New York City.

I thought we would be the perfect match. When we first got together, it was the middle of winter, so I assumed any problems we had would only get better come spring. As summer showed up, he made promises of sunny days and better jobs. Instead, he was rainy, cold, and miserable most of the time. He was distant and didn’t seem to care whether I was stuck at home waiting for him to cheer up, and he certainly didn’t follow through with the promise of a job. He caused fights between my friends and I. Plus, I thought he smelled like garbage and urine. (Hey, pheromones are pheromones.) I waited for things to get better. They didn’t.

New York, if you were a real boy, I would have soooo broken up with you before graduation.

I’ve learned that maybe relationships that seem perfect from a distance aren’t always so great when seen up close. Before New York, I thought happiness meant sky-high heels and fancy Meatpacking clubs. Turns out I’d rather be in flip-flops with a sweating Bud Light in my hand any day of the week. Life is what you make it. (Apparently, I make it country.)

Like all breakups that are meant to be, I feel nostalgic about the good times and am trying to iron over the bad. I feel inspired and new and more like me than I have in a very long time. I know there is a better fit out there for me somewhere, and I’m excited to find it.

And if I never hear the wail of a siren again, it will be too soon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We put the "fun" in dysfunctional

As it turns out, a “fun family reunion” is not an oxymoron, even if you are all crammed into the Courtyard Marriot in Beckley, West Virginia. (Never heard of it? Not surprised. ) Here, a few requirements to keep things running smoothly:

A good response to “How’s the job search going?”. Mine consisted of “Well, my parents had to pay for this plane ticket to get me here soo…” The conversation ended rather quickly after that.

Scattegories. Makes the hours between meals fly by! (Though I don’t need Google to tell me “wooie wooie” disease doesn’t exist. Nice try.)

Tequila. One aunt brought hers in an earth friendly stainless steel thermos, but a water bottle shoved in your tote bag works just as well.

A handy sweater. As in “good thing I have this handy sweater!” when your grandparents insist you are freezing cold. Which they will. Every. single. time. they reach over to sweetly pat your hand.

An outing to Jimmie’s Place. One of about four bars in Beckley, it has no windows and a bartender with teased bangs named Charla (pronounced CH-arla. She’s named after her dad, Charlie. Go figure.) The price of seven people drinking Bud Light for three hours? $25.00. Wonderful West Virginia, indeed!

Teaching seven year olds the Art of the Prank Phone Call. (Even if their prank calls merely involved them shouting “hola amigos!” before dramatically hanging up. Apparently this was intended to “confuse” the caller. I have a feeling they were already pretty confused.)

A DUI checkpoint, just to keep things exciting. We didn’t get stopped, but only because the po-po were breaking it down. At 11pm. Luckily the driver had been nursing one Corona over a three hour period, but it got everyone’s heart rate up a little.

Note to self: while peach cobbler is delicious, eating half the pan is a bad idea and may induce vomiting. Also, thinking you can keep up with your fratty nineteen year old cousin while drinking Jack and Cokes may result in you getting a little toasted and calling him a “d-bag”. Sorry Reilly.

I Heart You, NY (well, most of the time)

I just spent the smartest $125 of my life on a window air conditioning unit.

Open summer windows allow some to lull themselves to sleep to the buzz of cicadas, the sound of ocean waves breaking on sand, or the next-door neighbor’s yapping dog.

Instead, as I peel off my sweaty restaurant uniform (whoever mandated black pants in July is a sadist) after a ten hour workday and bus ride home, the sweet sound of vomiting drifts towards my ears. By “sweet”, I mean it sounds like this girl drank about a gallon of Smirnoff Ice and is now suffering from the drunken, splattering sort of retching. Hitting-the-concrete-and-bouncing-back-up-kind-of-retching. i.e.: Disgusting.

Something our broker failed to mention while we signed our lease: my window’s direct proximity over the garbage disposal area would result in many a jolted wake up on garbage day, as well as a smattering of projectile vomit. Oversight, indeed.

Despite the nausea, I have to admit this is also what I love about New York. Only here would I pay $1,000 in rent to hear vomiting out of my window and have a view of a toilet graveyard from my back patio. The biggest difference between the Big Apple and Anywhere, USA is that we’re all in this together. There is no privacy or personal space. On the bus ride to work I am usually sandwiched between a homeless man who apparently bathes in his own urine and woman toting a Birkin who probably bathes in Evian. We cannot retreat to our suburban cocoons of cars, malls, or privacy fences .

So I’m sleeping more soundly these days thanks to the soft hum of my window unit. But some mornings I can still hear the clink of bottles as the recyclables go out. And like a good New Yorker, I just roll over and fall right back asleep.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sweet Summertime

Summer is definitely different in the Big Apple. Here, a few of my seasonal requirements:

1. LifeSavers Wint-O-Green mints. Don't ask, but I basically freebase them.

2. Road trips. To anywhere, really. As long as we're on the open road and I'm not behind the wheel.

3. The smell of Coppertone. This one is a given, but luckily New Yorkers slather in on by the truckload, being so pasty white as they are. It's practically floating in the air.

4. Sailboats. Preferably Sunfish with bunches of giggling campers in them.

5. Swimming pools. In lieu of anything closely resembling one in this concrete jungle I call home, I've settled for the rooftop deck at my gym. Close, but no cigar. What are you supposed to do when you get all sweaty? Marinate?

6. The hum of a lawn mower. Now I settle for muffled sirens.

7. Icy-cold A/C as I'm huddled inside watching mindless television. Real Housewives marathon, anyone?

8. Lake Wylie, SC.

9. Iced coffee. (Is a gallon a day too much? Thought so.)

10. Outdoor/daytime drinking. It's a lot easier to justify that Blockhead's margarita marathon because it is just such a beautiful day outside! I am simply enjoying the weather.

It's funny how a move to New York will make you appreciate the simple things. What are YOUR summer checklists?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

May I Take Your (Fendi) Bag?

Being the wily temp-tress that I am, I was beyond excited to land a three-day gig at Fendi. Fendi, as in gold and glamour and interlocking capitals F’s that scream “cold hard cash!” I knew I would do such a great job answering phones or whatnot that they would practically beg me to accept a full-time job with them while throwing Spy bags my direction.

Turns out, my assignment was the Fendi sample sale.

Not to be discouraged, I reminded myself that, besides “free”, “sale” IS my favorite word in the English language. The hour before the event started, I eagerly awaited my job placement while the employees got to set aside a few items (a “few” being bags and bags of fur coats and strange, shearling purses). Since I still can’t afford a $4,900 bag, even when it is 75% off, I spent a lot of time picking up items, pretending to examine them carefully, and putting them back down. The entire Fendi line seems a little like J. Lo’s wet dream. Racks and racks of wildly colored fur coats, cut out leather jackets, and sunglasses with more bling than Lil Wayne’s grill were common offenders.

Finally, it was time for job assignments. Where was mine?

Coat check. Naturally.

I spent the next four and a half hours lifting various Birkins, Balenciagas, and Prada onto racks until my arms were literally shaking. Dear Women of America: when planning on coming to a sample sale, please leave your bowling balls and bricks at home. I can’t imagine what could have possibly weighed more, unless it was a body bag in which said body had ingested various bowling balls. Sometimes it took one of the interns and me both just to get a bag from one rack to another. Get a rolling suitcase! It could practically see the wallets of the nation’s chiropractors thickening.

The silver lining is that by tomorrow I expect my arms to look like Michelle Obama’s after all that lifting. And they gave us free pizza. Very un-Fendi, very Ensley, very delicious.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cats and a muumuu: One step closer

This video aside, what's a self-proclaimed "cool" New York girl to do on a Saturday night?

Why, read her book and go to bed, of course!

In all fairness, I DID work in hell (I mean, the restaurant) until midnight, but for some reason finding out the ending of "Shopaholic and Baby" won over going out and having a life. (Spoiler alert: she has a baby. Huge shock.)

While most fabulous 20-somethings are waking up this morning, hungover and trying to figure out how to get rid of the stranger they woke up next to...I cleaned. ( I may have also been watching Gilmore Girls at the same time. It's terminal). By "cleaned" I mean I scrubbed the hell out of my apartment. You may need sunglasses to handle how sparkling our stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are, THAT is how clean this apartment is. There may have been a Swiffer-mopping incident as well.

Needless to say, the "plan" is not going well. The only thing worse could be a Home Shopping Network Addiction! (Stay tuned.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Spare some change sir?

I woke up the other day (ok, today) and decided from this point on I was going to be a "cool" New Yorker.

The exact meaning of that? TBD.

For starters, it COULD mean turning off the HGTV and actually taking advantage of the city I'm living in. Unfortunately, "taking advantage" usually also means "coughing up cash." Also, after spending $1,000/month for my apartment, I kind of feel as though I should be hanging out in it. Why don't we just add some cats and a muumuu while we're at it?

Step one in cool, New York, plan: seeing an indie movie. (Star Trek doesn't count.) First on my list, the biopic "Valentino: The Last Emperor" about his final couture show and his 50 year plus relationship with his lover and business partner. Ca-ching! It's chic, couture, luxurious, and therefore I must be all of those things! I am the viewer for whom this movie was intended! A close, personal friendship with Valentino himself can only follow, right?

Wrong. Once again-wrong, wrong wrong. I arrive breathless to the theater at 12:15 (start time: 12:10) after a bus and subway transfer to get there. (I mean, Town Car. Which dropped me off around the corner. Which is why you didn't see it.) Tickets are $11, and I have a $10 in my wallet (so maybe I had more before I went to Tasti-D-Lite last night-get over it). No prob! Charge it!

One teensy problem: the sign in the window that says: NO CREDIT CARDS. I beg the ticket teller. Do you give a student discount? What about a "future close-personal friendship with Valentino himself" discount? Surprisingly, no to both. After digging in my wallet and coming up with seventy cents, bringing me to a total of $10.70, I gave up and walked towards the subway.

So I'm back to the HGTV. I'm not cool or chic or lounging in couture. From here on out, however, I will be a bit more sympathetic to the guys begging for change on my corner.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Be's a Graduate!

After five great years of undergrad, a few secrets I wish I'd known about college graduation:

1. Actual ceremony: pretty boring.

2. Caps and gowns=universally unflattering (reference above photo for proof).

3. What you are wearing underneath said gown really isn't a big deal and therefore,

4. not worth getting in a fight with your mom over. (Oops.)

5. Despite it being your own, you know, college graduation, you will still be banished to the kid's table at dinner afterwards.

6. While it IS totally appropriate to ask the fellow graduate next to you to get off his Blackberry (in the front row, no less), abstaining from use of the f-bomb might have been a bit more polite. But seriously, get off your f**king Blackberry.

On the bright side, the margaritas were flowing and I got a Target trip out of the whole thing (Target is the one thing missing in the life of a Manhattanite), which to me equals Best Weekend Ever. And don't even get me started on the Tiffany's I got from Mom and Pops....

...come to think of it, I could have graduation every weekend! See you in another five years...

Go Gators!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gladi-hater No More

After (many) months of denial, I've had to admit the truth: gladiator sandals are here to stay. For now.

Yes, I may have grasped this simple concept about a year after everyone else. But with money tight, I was determined to stick with my classic (read: boring) Jack Rogers and simple Rainbows, instead of shelling out cash on fleeting trends.

Though when something is still "in" after a year, I think you are no longer allowed to refer to it as "fleeting".

With warm weather approaching (quickly? Not so quickly? It's hard to tell), I've got to hop on the bandwagon sooner rather than later. The question now is, where to start? (Hint: a store sounds like a good place.) Even then, gladiator sandals are everywhere. Every storefront seems on the verge of bursting from the sheer amount of these sandals that they contain. The choices are unbelievable. For starters: how high should my sandal be? Ankle? Mid-calf? Knee? (Neglia, Aldo. com, $125.00) Will my heel be covered or uncovered? Now for colors-metallic? Snakeskin? Nudes? Perhaps a neon or multi-color? (Rosenberger,, $75.00))

How many buckles do I want? Should there be laces? Will my toes be strapped in or out on their own? Zippers? FRINGE? I'm dizzy.

Then I must ask whether I could choose studs, grommets, beads, rhinestones, or ruffles. (Pour La Victoire Ella,, $215) What about "earth toned stones" or bedazzled adornments? Do I need embedded sole studs?

Luckily for you, gentle reader, I've thrown myself into the trenches and narrowed things down to three choices. However, if you need excessive embellishment (see above) or have twig-like gams that will look good in anything, you're on your own.

Option #1 is Groove's "Charmer" (, $55.00) Wear them with something above the knee, like these denim Bermudas from the Gap ($49.95):
Option#2, Matt Berson's Gladiator (, $170.00)Love the embedded sole studs! Use it to dress up something simple, like this cotton cobalt dress from Express ($39.50):
Option#3: J. Crew's "Rimini"(, $78.00) Pair this delicate little flower of a gladiator with your cuffed boyfriend chinos and a breezy summer top.

"Genius!" you say, "Pure genius!". I must agree. It's time to bite the bullet. When it comes to gladiators, my new motto is go big or go home-but sure as hell don't go up to my knee. I've putting preppy aside (just for a second) and going trendy. I'm a gladi-hater no more!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chasing Harry Winston

After four months of toilet paper buying and cat feeding, my photography internship paid off in the form of a high end bridal shoot for Modern Luxury magazine. (On newsstands in June, check it before you wreck it.) Though I was basically delegated to being the assistant to the assistant, I found myself trying to be the stylist's assistant. Which wasn't my job. "Who made THAT!?!!?!?" I would ask every. single. time. a model came down in a new couture bridal gown. They were sparkly, champagne, cream, ivory, beaded, v-neck, strapless, sugary confections of wedding deliciousness. No wonder the divorce rate's up! How are you supposed to just choose ONE of these to wear for your WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE? Based on my (fabulous) taste, I'm going to have to get married 12 times just to really show the fashion world what's up.

And then let's talk about the jewelry. There were five (armed and dangerous) guards protecting even more amazing confections from Harry Winston and Van Cleef and Arpels. Yes, they were scary, and yes, I talked them into letting me touch them. Imagine million dollar, 35 carat necklaces, 5 carat emerald cut diamond rings set in platinum...hand me a spoon. The fact that one of the guards was a retired grandmother named Barbara made it even better. We quickly became BFFs after I uttered the words "I die," to which she replied "Oh, I work with Rachel Zoe all the time!"

Obviously, I needed deets. Which she told me. Unfortunately for you gentle reader, they are top secret because Barbara's packing heat.

And let's not leave out the "Ensley" moment of the day! As I was packing up to leave, I thanked the guards for trusting me not to scoop up their gorgeous jewelry in my sweaty paws while hightailing it for the hills by saying "Thanks for letting me look at your jewels! I mean...your goodies. Um...those are some rocks!" Ooops.

All in a day's work folks, all in a day's work.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em-Buy 'Em

Last week, one of the restaurant's regulars-an older gentleman named Clem with a heavy thirst for Jack and coke-took the courtesy of asking what my name was. Upon introducing myself as Ensley-since that's what I answer to-my coworker Ron (who I also like to call "Mr. Helpful") shouted: "Doesn't that sound like a quintessential WASP or what?" Clem chuckled and agreed. He then asked me what religion I was raised in, the answer (Episcopalian) eliciting another round of laughter. This confused me, so naturally...I Googled.
This led me to believe that:

1) the power of Google is awe-inspiring
2) I probably shouldn't be having to Google acronyms I am being called
3) basically, when you look up "WASP" my photo comes up-I blame that whole Episcopalian episode, and
4) Ron and Clem basically called me a JAP who loves Jesus.

Here's a few tidbits I aquired from Urban

1. W.A.S.P.="White Anglo Saxon Protestant". The most common place for W.A.S.P.s would be New England. Smart, witty, posh, classy, old money, top of the social chain, good looking, country club members, nonchalant, old school, boat owners, capable of outdoing anyone on anything, original prep (none of this new popped-collar, tacky pearls, and ribbons), boat shoes, Polo's, Lacoste, scandelous in private, small stature.
There are two types of people who go to country clubs:
People who let you know that they attend a country club, and those who you had no idea because they don't go about telling everyone. We call those people w.a.s.p.s. {See: Preppy}

Smart, witty, posh? Boat owner? I could get used to this. On to the next...

1. Preppy
A true preppy is someone who:
Wears, but is not limited to, Polo, Lilly, Brooks Brothers, Lacoste, LL Bean (ie duck boots), ribbon belts, prints (ie cords with embroidered whales, palm trees, etc), sweaters tied around the neck, collar always popped, looks neat and put together. Hair ribbons or ribbon headbands, pearls, and other classic jewelry pull the look together. Preppies are partial to monogrammed and engraved items (ie tote bags, oxford shirts, jewelry, money clips, etc). Colors are always brite (favorites include pink and lime green). Preppies may not always match EXACTLY but they are always coordinated. Hats are worn (ie polo player, Lacoste, Brooks Brothers), but they are unique- not designs you would see in the mainstream and the "mall".
Preppies often attend prep schools (ie Middlesex School, Governor Dummer Academy, and Belmont Hill) followed by New England private colleges.
They are confident and unafraid to express their own styles and be daring in their fashions. Preppies vacation on Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Delray Beach, and on the coast of Maine. These vacation locales are places their families have been going to for years, and have histories there.
It is a common misconception that preppies are snobs. Many people view them as unapproachable, and as a result mislabel them. Preppies are not as rich as people may think they are, but they are often well off. They buy into classics rather than trends, and don't change their lifestyles with fads.
Preppies tend to have bizarre connections with other preppies they meet, always finding mutual friends/ family and people that run in the same circle.

Preppies don't:
* Wear tight, skin exposing clothing (ie fitted Abercrombie sexual tshirts with tight flared jeans)
* Limit themselves to mall shopping and chain stores. They gravitate towards long-established classic stores and boutiques unique to quaint New England towns.
* Wear heavy makeup and endless hair products. The phrase "less is more" is a preppy creed.
* Glue purses to their arms, especially when going to school. Lip gloss and if need be, a wallet, are thrown into tote bags along with books.

Now, I could refute any of this above information. But then I would be lying. My name is Sarah Ensley Gilchrist and I'm a big ol' WASP. My parents, their parents, and their parent's parents all have skin the color of 2% milk. Real world example: last Thursday, I about had a heart attack and died when I found Vineyard Vines pajama pants (see above photo) at Filene's Basement (I mean, uh, the super-exclusive Vineyard Vines boutique on Martha's Vineyard itself!) for a mere $19.99. Hel-LOOO! They are perfect for lounging around my sunny condo on the Upper East Side. Or my summer house on the beach in Nantucket! (Or my tiny ass, sardine can of an apartment with a view of my neighbor's gorgeous brick wall. But whatever.)

So I'm a WASP. I like bright colors and would like to live in the Lilly Pulitzer store on the UES. (That's Upper East Side for all you low-lifes.) I die for boys in blue blazers and drool a little when I step into J. Crew. Get over it.

And also keep an eye out for my upcoming book on style, titled "How to Not Look Jewish, Trendy, or Cool".

Monday, April 6, 2009

You're A-Pee'in

This morning I was up early, packing for my trip to Europe with my roommates (we're flying British airways with the beds and everything!). I was in a great mood because I just found out my manager had given me the time off work for our (extended) trip...a huge weight off of my shoulders! From now on, when my roommates and I:
1. Watch Roman Holiday, Under the Tuscan Sun, or
2. discuss "Eat, Pray, Love", or
3. look at a photo of the Eiffel Tower together,
I can actually do more than nod and fake laugh as they start stories by saying "When I spent that spring in Paris," or, "Italians are so...(fill in the blank: pushy, loud, greasy, etc.)" I am going to wear full, bouncy skirts and flats as I zoom around on my Vespa! I'm finally going to see the sights that so far I've only experienced in photographs!

...and then my alarm went off.

There is no trip to Europe. There is no packing to be done. And there is no airplane bed so I can wear a glamorous sleep mask and appear as if I'm a professional jet-setter while getting some transatlantic shut-eye. Nothin'. There are no bouncy A-line skirts or ballet flats-just April drizzle and a crowded Subway commute.

Why can't my mind just freaking get to the good stuff? I could have actually HAD A DREAM ABOUT EUROPE but nooo-I had to request off from work and pack toiletries in containers smaller than 3 ounces!

There is a bright side. Based on my customer service to anyone foreign while I'm waitressing, I wouldn't be able to understand those crazy Europeans anyway. (Seriously. They need to slow down and AN-NUN-CEE-ATE.) At least that's what I'm telling myself. Until then-I'll keep dreaming.

Note to Self

1. Avoid watching online episodes of the Tudors at midnight on a Sunday-it makes for a rough Monday. (Case in point: It just took me five minutes to compose that sentence.)

2. Indulging in a large, post-lunch brownie "because it's Monday" is a bad idea, mostly because tomorrow you will be eating cookies "because it's Tuesday" or a tub of ice cream "because it's 10am".

3. Refer to #2 when you wonder out loud why you can't lose 10 pounds even thought you claim to be working "sooooo hard!"

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Only Medical Advice You Will Ever Need

So unfortunately I can't claim credit for this genius, but if isn't the most true thing you've ever read, then my name isn't Ensley "I love margaritas" Gilchrist. I mean, just look at this picture to notice there is an extreme healing process going on here:

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
Do you suffer from shyness? Do you sometimes wish you were
more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your
doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and
more confident about yourself and your actions.

Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let
you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do
just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost
immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can
overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life
you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you
will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop
hiding and start living, with Margaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are
pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas.
However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming
pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Margaritas are also available in
generic form, known as tequila. Just as effective and
costs only a fraction.

Side effects may include:

:-( Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration

:-( Erotic lustfulness

:-( Loss of motor control

:-( Loss of clothing

:-( Loss of money

:-( Loss of virginity

:-( Loss of bladder control

:-( Attraction to ugly men

:-( Table dancing

:-( Headache

:-( Dehydration

:-( Dry mouth

:-( And a desire to sing Karaoke


The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are
whispering when you are not.

The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your
friends over and over again that you love them.

The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you
can sing.

The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can
logically converse with members of the opposite sex without

Total Body = Total Nottie

In my not-so-extreme efforts to become a Skinny Bitch, I ventured to New York Sports Club's Total Body Conditioning class this morning. Being that it was mid-morning on a Friday, the class was mostly populated by grandmother-ish types and stay at home moms who stuff their kids in the playroom with a bored, under-eye bagged Hispanic woman. Since I was one of the youngest people there, I thought that maybe, just maybe, this would be one fitness class in which I didn't make a complete fool of myself.

That lasted about five minutes.

To start, we were supposed to get two sets of weights-heavy and light. Seeing as how I've been increasing my weights recently, I got a variety that included 5, 8, and 10 lb weights. WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. Halfway through the first set I switched from 8 to five pounds. Then I ran over and got some three pounders while the 80 year old grandma dressed like a ballerina (there were pink legwarmers involved) almost punched me in the face. By the end of the first arm exercise I was lifting...air. Pure, sweet, oxygen, that's all the resistance I need to feel the burn! I mean really. Maybe once I get a little more fit I could start lifting pencils? Or empty Aquafina bottles? Whatever it takes!

Problem number two. Since I tend to get off-beat very quickly, I'm usually looking around to make sure I'm in sync with everyone else. Imagine my shock and disgust when I realize that the woman standing directly in front of me had the most ass sweat I. Have. Ever. Seen. It was truly distracting. And disturbing. On the upside, it totally took my mind off of the fire that was my entire lower body during our squat session. On the downside...I was staring at ass sweat. A lot of it. But she WAS a skinny bitch. So I had to wonder, is this what happens when you are a skinny bitch? I mean, my ass wasn't sweating, but then again I was lifiting AIR. Not exactly working hard. Maybe having a river of ass sweat that could rival the Hudson in width and total liquid volume is what it takes to fit in single-digit pants? Maybe.

If so, I'll stay in my size 10's forever. That's just nasty.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Queen of the Bargain Bin

Continuing on my path to become a "real" New Yorker, I completed one of the (many) initiation rites necessary today: attending a sample sale. Before you start licking your lips and reaching for your credit card just yet-it was a J.Crew sample sale. Don't get me wrong-I love J. Crew more than anything, and everytime I go in to that beautiful store I get the urge to weep with joy while simultaneously purchasing every. single. item. However, when I relocated to the city, I (loudly and quite obnoxiously) told everyone how cool and "trendy" I was going to become. Yet here I am, parked in line for good ol' J. Crew. Old habits die hard? (Or they die soft-as in cashmere cardigans! Plaid dresses! Beach totes and bathing suits!)

During lunch break (which was, um, a little extended), Emily and I (see above photo) were surprised to find a line around the block just to get in the freakin' door. It looked like an audition for America's Next Top Model: Under 5'7 and Preppy! After the tenth or so person walked out holding GARBAGE BAGS full of clothing, we also doubted if there would be anything left for us (see above photo, inset). Alas, the catch to sample sales, as my ego quickly discovered, is that they are selling SAMPLE SIZES. Luckily J. Crew is my friend and samples at 6-8, or S/M. Work with me people! As long as we've got some stretch, we're ok. Also, it helps to keep the bank account in check when you know you have to completely steer clear of anything that would touch your bottom half, based on the small range of sizes. Tops and dresses it is!

Sample sales are also a bit like fumbling around in the dark. There are no dressing rooms, so one must hold an item up to the glaring florescent lights until they recognize something that could possibly make their Amazonian/pear shaped body look, in essence, smokin' hot. Once it meets initial approval, you must pass said item to your partner in crime (aka the friend you came with) while she secures the perimeter (meaning gets in line while you toss her items). One can then rendezvous with said partner, deciding which items to toss or keep while productively standing in line. And it's still kind of a crap shoot. But a totally worthwhile one, as my new purchases do, in fact, make me look smokin' hot.

To sum:
Gold, gauzy beach dress: $25
Cobalt cotton tank: $10
Using lunch break to sample sale: Priceless! (Ok, not really. The value is actually $35 if anyone's counting)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shut Yo Mouth

Reason #885 I need to keep my mouth shut occasionally:

The Scene: The Editor-in-Chief (Ann) of Seventeen and I arrive at the water cooler/coffee station at the same time. While I stand in awe of her (it's hard not to when she's towering above me in Louboutins), she's awkwardly reaching around me for stirrers, cup lids, and straws. Being me, I decide a good ice breaker would be to say (loudly): "Man, it sure is a tight squeeze over here at the watercooler!"

First of all...what?

Second of all, she just blinked at me a few times and then walked away. I think there was a faint ringing of crickets in the background.

So my joke didn't go exactly as planned. I was HOPING that she would laugh, strike up a conversation (maybe starting with "what's your name?"), and wonder where I've been all her life. She'd invite me into her office just to gab and get my feedback on all things Seventeen (or maybe just allow me to update the miniboards while she's in there?). Everyone would be super jealous when they walked by her office and could see us laughing and laughing through the glass walls. She'd come grab me from my intern closet and toss me in her Town Car to go to lunch, and maybe we'd hit a sample sale on the way back to the office. I'm exhausted just thinking about the fun we were meant to have together.

But obviously she does NOT get my sense of humor, so where could this really go? Not that many people would have laughed at that, it being so stupid and all. I'll take a pity laugh Ann!

That is all...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


A lesson in karma: The past few days, I've been trying to cajole my roommates (with no success) into braving the bitter cold and hitting the gym in the mornings before work. "It's so empty!" I tell them enthusiastically, "you'll NEVER have to wait for a machine!" Not suprisingly, they haven't budged. Maybe they knew something I didn't. This morning, the machines were full. No ellipticals or treadmills available as far as the eye could see. And you know who was on them?

Skinny bitches.

Now, if you know me (which you should-I'm great), you know I HATE skinny bitches. To clarify: there is a difference between being thin and healthy (such as in the book Skinny Bitch-which I love) and being a (dreaded) skinny bitch. Skinny bitch ain't natural. Skinny bitch is looking like I could snap you in half like a little toothpick. Skinny bitch is saying things like "I only eat desserts on Tuesdays," or..."I'm sooooo hungry. I need a salad!" A skinny bitch worries about whether she just poured 1 1/4 cups of All Bran vs. the 1 cup serving size, because that might mean thirty or so extra calories. Oh, and after all that? Skinny bitches ALWAYS think that they are "fat". I can't handle it. Just thinking about it makes me want to eat a brownie. For their sake.

How did this happen? Perhaps they had all turned to the side at the same time, rendering them invisible to the naked eye?These women were SCARY looking. It was straight muscle on bone, with no fat or curves for padding. They went straight from running to jump roping to doing pushups. I felt like I was working out just watching them. Why isn't "being critical" a workout? It takes a LOT of effort!

Perhaps in the future I'll be more admiring of the rewards their hard work at the gym has given them. For now, I'll unapologetically mock while not-so-secretly being glad that their existence means more cupcakes for the rest of us...

oooooo girl!

Needing entertainment last week, my favorite ginger, Ashley, and I went to see "Madea Goes to Jail." Those of you unfamiiar with Tyler Perry's genius may be confused-this is your own fault. Anyone who hasn't seen "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" is no friend of mine. Or at least no friend who knows good movies! Though Madea is in fact, Tyler Perry dressed as a large, fat, grandmother, his are no "Big Momma's House" type movies-just great stories with humor and depth. And you'll be talkin' like Madea in no time!

I must note, being the only two white folks in the movie theater is definitely an experience. An AWESOME experience. (Plus, thanks to our big, juicy boot-tays, Ashley and I look remarkably like black women when the lights are dimmed.) Watching a Tyler Perry movie is more of an interactive experience than traditional movie-goers may be used to. There were times the audience felt the need to direct characters, like when they get caught lying ("bitch, you best back up OFF IT") or needed to know how to escape from a pimp ("climb out that window bitch! RUN!"). At every pinnacle moment, there was a whoop, a clap, or extremely loud cackling.

And you should have heard how everyone ELSE was carrying on!

In the words of Madea: The LORT is GOOT, oh yes hes is!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lady Crush

So I have a MAJOR new lady crush. Seventeen has "meet and greets" between new artists and interns such as moi (though I have to pretend I'm an editorial intern and like I have some idea what they are talking about) and today's artist was the singer/songwriter Caitlin Crosby. If she's not the epitome of SoCal boho I don't know who the hell is...she almost got me thinking I could pull off an over the forehead headband! Until I looked in the mirror. Gross. She was SUPER nice, shook hands and introduced herself to all of us....

...and then I went all sorority recruitment on her ass. Oops? I quizzed her about where she was from, what L.A. was like...blah blah blah. She didn't go for my suggestion that we switch places so I could spend the rest of the winter in California and she could just live here. Weird. Note to Self: don't interview someone while they are already mid-interview. Scratch that-just refrain from speaking AT ALL TIMES. Just shut your trap! For instance, when she tells you that she went to speak at a National Girl Scout convention about body image, DON'T go on and on about your bazillion-ish years as a Girl Scout until her pretty little blue eyes glaze over and crickets are now the background music. Whatever. We are totally BFFs, and the best part is that, being from L.A. and all, she knows a ton of hot actor guys! (I didn't ask her this, we just watched her music video and she said it was all her guy friends in it.) Suh-weet!

But seriously-her music is wonderful and she is making it her personal mission to promote healthy body image for young people, which I'm all about. Click on this post's title to watch her music video!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Charmin or Angel Soft?

When deciding to become an intern in New York (doing two internships, at that) I
thought I understood that grunt work was the name of the game. Errands, coffee runs, making copies-it's called working your way up, people! And, being an almost college graduate while doing so, I hoped that I could blow those other eighteen year old wimpy interns right out of the water. Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

Now I must admit, I've gotten a bit spoiled at Seventeen. I've yet to go on a coffee run, have made an insignificant amount of copies, and get to run to beauty shoots and do other fun things to help out. They also tell me when I'm doing a good job and say things like "please" and "thank you". Weird right? Totally.

Enter in the two days a week I spend at my other internship. My desk is a couch, I have to feed the cat food that smells like asscrack, and as for the errands I run?

I had to buy her TOILET PAPER.

Charmin or Angel Soft? Double or single roll?
I mean, thank the lord I spent four years studying photography, or I'd never be able to keep up! She will toss returned mail at me and bark "find this current address!". I then sit in cold sweats for twenty minutes while trying to figure out WHERE I could find this address before I just ask her, and it ends up being on her computer which she has BEEN ON for the past twenty minutes. I believe this goes with the saying that sometimes it's faster to do things yourself....

The sad things is, that's not the worst part. The worst part is....we have to listen to New Age music. All. Day. Long.

I don't really even know how to qualify the sounds that come out of that stereo...the term "whale music" seems much too pleasant. It's more of a gutteral humming that builds up from silence and then makes me almost fall over my desk (I mean, couch) when the loud humming chorus rears its ugly head. Seriously. Even the cat hides from it. But maybe he's just digesting asscrack. So, life lesson learned: avoid all music with titles similar to the following: Sounds of Yanni, Kindred Spirits, Winter Mornings, Awakenings, New Awakenings, New Kindred Winter Morning Awakenings (featuring Yanni). Seriously, if we subjected Al Qaeda detainees to this crap for even a small amount of time, we would KNOW where bin Laden was by now.

That is all....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Who Moved My F*&^ing Cereal?

Something strange is happening to the young women of America:

I call it "The Hills" syndrome.

Symptoms include: talking for hours while not having anything particularly interesting to say, drinking lots of iced coffee while running about town, and going to the same bar over and over with the exact same group of people. However, you KNOW you have The Hills syndrome when you begin picking fights with your friends over absolutely nothing. at. all.

Case in point: Friday morning, after I had gotten up early to drag myself to the gym (hold the applause), I reached up to grab my cereal out of the cabinet only to palm my roommate's oh so delicious bag of prunes. (Apparently I also live with an 80 year old.) Strangely enough, my box of cereal was now UNDER THE SINK. Next to the disgusting rusty pipes and cleaning supplies. Scusi? When she awoke from her princess-like slumber, I calmly (ok, rudely) asked her why she moved my cereal, to which she rudely (ok calmly) replied "it was on my shelf."

A healthy, Hills syndrome-free person would have had a conversation somewhat like this: "Wow, I had no idea we had assigned shelves-let's divvy them up. It's so fun to be organized!" followed by a big bear hug. Instead, it was nearly time for purple tears. (See above image as reference). I went on an assigned shelf rampage. (To understand, we currently have three girls living in a two bedroom apt.-meaning I share a room with a certain cereal-moving mcgee.) "I gave you the closet in our room!" I shouted as I pointed to the living room hanging rack that holds my meager wardrobe, "and you can't let my BOX OF CEREAL on your shelf?" I mean, it was like, sooooo hurtful, you know?

Overreaction? Check.
Meaningless waste of energy? Check
Strange stares from roommate who had no idea why I was carrying on about nothing? Check check.

All in all, a CLASSIC case of "The Hills Syndrome".

Treatment: getting a life, becoming normal, letting little things slide, being a good friend, or just plain ol' getting over it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Note to Self

1. Watching "The Tudors" online for five hours straight may induce nausea and/or bitchy, Anne Boleyn-ish facial expressions.

2. Repeatedly watching the same episode of "Millionare Matchmaker" on your TiVo is still not the same as being on a real date.

3. Accepting your roommate and her boyfriend's invitation to go to Central Park and kick around a soccer ball is always a bad idea, based on your aversion to contact sports and cute couples.

4. Also a bad idea: Central Park hot dogs.

5. Next time you are at a piano bar on a Sunday night with your sweet friend Brooksie, show a little more decorum than yelling "WHY ARE WE AT A GAY BAR?" just as a song is ending.

6. Your daily horoscope may not be accurate since it is, in fact, written for about 500 million people at a time.

Retail Therapy: Commence!

I would love to be an anthropologist, except then I would have to study people-the majority of which I can't stand anyhow. Also, most of my scientific "research" consists of eavesdropping on customer's dim conversations and then mocking them silently. Cold, hard facts-that's what I'm all about.

Whatever. Making out so feverishly in a booth that you don't even notice when you're food comes makes you a toolbag. And puts you at risk for getting a heart-shaped balloon shoved down your throat.

Also, when you come into a restaurant at 12:30am on Valentine's Day that generally closes at one, try to keep your exclamation of "DAY-UM" down when the waitress (possibly named Ensley) brings you your $40 (dinner for TWO) check and you've now made her stay until 1:30 am. Get out before I kick your DAY-UM! ass. Oh, and thanks so much for that five dollar tip!

All in all, my Valentine's consisted of 10 long hours on my feet, watching couples make kissy faces and having only Ron, the 35 year old Jewish comedian bartender to talk to.

On one hand, Valentine's Day can only get better. On the other hand, I couldn't get approved for all the credit cards it would take for retail therapy to repress these emotions.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh St. Valentine

So in trying to avoid being THAT GIRL-the one who bemoans Valentine's as the root of all evil, until she herself gets a boyfriend, I inevitably became HER. I don't even want to be around myself right now.

It began quite innocently. I was leaving work at the restaurant and excited to meet some friends who are in town that I haven't seen for over a year. They were on East 53rd, which should have immediately been a red flag since I'm on West 80th. If you don't live in uptown Manhattan, you probably don't realize that it takes a degree from NASA to get across town when you are a waitress/unpaid intern/everybody's bitch who doesn't want to shell out $$$ for a cab. So two out of the THREE subways into my journey, and the B/D trains are nowhere to be found. My patience was wearing thin based on my proximity to a LARGE number of highschoolers in Uggs and American Eagle sweaters, and I waited for the train for TWENTY MINUTES. Not being a smart New Yorker, I had brought neither book nor ipod, which resulted in me staring at the 'tweens for entertainment. I was hoping they would begin discussing Miley Cyrus skankaliciousness or something, but they just took the same picture of themselves with 10000 digital cameras.

When I popped out of the subway, thirty minutes after I had left, and ready for some alcohol to hit my bloodstream, I naturally had a voicemail from aformentioned "friends" saying "hey-we're home. see you tomorrow." ?? Scusi?? This led me to a few questions:

1) Who leaves a bar at 12:30 in NEW YORK, and
2) Why God, why?

Naturally frustrated, I called a few other friends who were in the same area. No. one. answered. Frustration led to anger which led to feeling completely, utterly alone, which made me realize it was almost Valentine's Day, again came the feelings of utter aloneness, which caused me to tearfully blubber like an idiot all the way home.

And no one is dating me? I'm SO shocked.
Once I was back in the privacy of my own home where blubbering could be considered appropriate, I of course snapped back to reality and realized I was being THAT GIRL. You know what also didn't help? When the PROFLOWERS delivery man dropped off a package at 2pm with the kudos "somebody likes you!" I had almost fallen into this man's trap of thinking that maybe, just maybe, somebody really DID like me...until I looked at the label. They were for my roommate. From her ex-boyfriend. Who she dumped.

Sick joke, Mr. PRO FLOWERS. Sick joke.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sticky Fingers

I have a problem.

My name is Ensley and I'm a freebie table addict.

On a clean, white countertop in the offices of Seventeen exists my kryptonite: THE FREEBIE TABLE. This is where editors (aka people on salary) discard items they have been sent so that lowly urchins (I mean, interns) like myself can descend.

This is also my permanent hangout. I refill my water twenty times a day in order to make a quick pass. A trip to the bathroom involves taking the long way in case a new little something has arrived. I am DESPERATE for might say I live for them. (So I'm a loser. Get over it.) Items that end up on THE TABLE include CDs, books, beauty products, clothes, bags...

...they might as well be crack rocks.

My supervisor at Seventeen knows to grab things and leave them on my desk. A day without freebies is a day lost-that's what I always say! ("Always" being a relative term.)

I've aquired quite the arsenal of goodies, some of which I might have actuallly shelled out money for in an alternate universe...maybe. I know I'll get tons of use out of my white Micheal Kors beach a few months, when the sun stays out past 5pm. And I'm REALLY excited about the $160 yummie tummie shapewear slip I picked up the other morning. Unfortunately it's an extra small (for those perfectionists who aren't content just being "small") and I almost threw up from the sheer effort of trying to put it on. But it's pretty and pink and has rhinestones on the bottom. I'm keeping it. If you're an extra small, do you REALLY need shapewear anyways? Didn't think so...

Despite all of that, I can and do excercise some occasional self-control when it comes to THE TABLE. Case in point, after squaling over cute, pink patterned dog leashes and collars for about five minutes, I realized the hiccup: I don't own a dog. As luck would have it, a cute, pink gardening apron was sitting right next to them! But alas, a garden is also lacking in my cute, pink domestic life. But maybe I should just take ONE collar...I could give it to a friend who has a dog...and maybe I WOULD garden, but haven't been able to because I have no where to put my gardening tools! Genius!

Just a minute ago, I picked up a black Gap skirt in my size! Never mind that it has some freaky drawstring on top, and I have no idea what to wear it with, IT WAS FREE. I can tear it up and use it to dust my TV if I want to! Tie it to a stick, paint on a skull, and make it into a pirate flag if I want to! Split one seam and wear it like a superhero cape if I want to! The bottom line is: I DO WHAT I WANT. With freebies.

Ciao-I'm off to make another pass.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Diet Starts Tomorrow

I must include an except from Ashley Dannewitz (check out her amazing headshot below..whoever took that is super talented...*clears throat*) from our last email:

"more about me and how great i look. (oh wait, did i say that out loud) just KIDDING. actually, it is quite humorous because everyone was like, OMG, you are going to NY, and you don't have a car anymore, you are totally gonna lose so. much. weight.

yeah, that's bull shit.

all you do up here is explore the city, which is parks with hot dog stands, cute little restaurants, cute little bars, cute little bakeries, cute little bagels...everything has to do with food. wanna meet up? sure! lets meet for a drink! lets meet for some food! lets meet for some dessert! lets meet for some bagels! (okay, so the last one may be not what people say.) so the first two months i would get up and go for a walk in the park, go for a run around columbia, go for a run in the park, etc..etc..and then it got fucking cold. the last thing i wanted to do was to go outside."

wise words my friend, wise words. as ashley and i will tell you, without the motivation of a spring break cruise, the only time we would run is when being chased. even then, we might just call a taxi or scurry along in a speed walk.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Be Kind To Your Waitress

Just so we're clear: I am the world's worst waitress. I'm awkward, I'm clumsy, and I get bored easily. I also have a bit of a staring problem, so whether you are exceptionally good looking (or fugly) you may look up to find my eyes boring into you. Oops?

I fling pizzas off their trays, break glasses, and my response to "what is the soup of the day" is usually: "why, that's a good question!"

My customer service varies widely by the customer themself. There's a reason I wasn't a hospitality management major (besides the fact that i unapologetically mock those who are). Kissing ass? Not my strong suit. You're chicken's too dry? Your steak is too rare? Your drink is taking too long? I'm sorry.
FYI? There IS a place where food is made exactly how you like it...

....your house.

Then there are the great customers who bring out the best in me-by making LL Cool J references, doling out high-fives, or just talking to me. I still cling to the hope that my cuteness factor will win people over...causing them to open their wallets and shout "take everything!"...but let's face it, that doesn't even work with my mom, and she MADE me this cute.

Tip big!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Year, New Me, New York

A checklist for the new year:
Squeeze three girls into a 2 bedroom apt: Check!

Find waitressing job: Check!

Look forward to the day in which waitressing job will no longer be required for survival: Check!

Buy winter coat: Check!

Curse self for buying white winter coat after trying to walk the New York sidewalks with coffee in hand: Check!

Pounce on Seventeen's Creative Director in the bathroom and introduce yourself: Check!

Stalk reality show D-listers when they come into the office (Jay from the City anyone?): Check!

Walk by the freebie twice hourly: Check!

Collect books from said freebie table that were written for 13 year olds: Check!

Love life in New York, despite the fact that there is slush and rain simultaneously: Check Check!

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