Interloping In My Own Weekend

Once, on a vacation to Palm Springs with Mads and Jazzy, we didn’t do our usual ritual of renting a midcentury modern home with a pool. I think funds were low or we couldn’t get enough people together. So we stayed at a cute little motel turned hotel with a motel-ish like pool. It was nice. But Mads being Mads said we should head to the Parker Palm Springs and use their pool. Jazzy and I were a little nervous at the idea of being a trespasser and the potential following embarrassment. But Mads assured us this was gonna be great. She was right. No one kicked us out and we enjoyed a nice pool-side afternoon. For me, it was during a lean time where Shaka was between gigs and I hadn’t fully understood how to best use our resources. I found myself being covetous of anyone looking like they were having a good time with money.

One of the things I noticed at the Parker pool that day was watching room service being delivered to the guests. Men and women in crisp uniforms bringing coffee in silver French presses to rooms just beyond my view. I was so envious that this wasn’t my life. I have since learned how to harness every moment as “my life.” Because it is. I mean, there I was at the Parker swimming among the people drinking their cocktails, looking no different than they were. Maybe they were interlopers too!!!

My thought patterns have changed from those days. I went through the Katification process where I started to shift my thinking. I even bought a silver French press to have at home.

Which is a long way to lead me into this past weekend. Of being grateful of the moments of luxury, of privilege, of health, of safety, of friendships and…well, just being grateful for all that is working.

During Quarantine, Shaka and I have been good about staying home, masking up and social distancing. For a very socially busy gal, this has had some challenges. But having lost a few people in my life to Covid and knowing I am very lucky to be able to WFH, I have weathered the tougher moments.

Shaka and I have had our first doses and are excited that we can start to do more things in the world like we used to very soon.

My hair hadn’t been cut since September 2019. I tried to do some DIY cutting but it…well…it wasn’t good.

Like many stylists, my usual hair woman, had to open and close as the state determined it. Once she was able to open for a longer stint, her appts booked up. I really needed my hair cut and it looked like it would be awhile before I could get in to see her.

In the back of my head, whenever I would look at pictures from 10 years ago, I would notice how I LOVED my cuts from a woman named Nikki. She worked in a mall hair place and she was masterful. I went to her several times. And then, poof, just like that, she moved to San Francisco. I never knew her last name.

When I saw that my usual cutter was so booked up, I tried to locate Nikki. I deep dove. I finally FINALLY found a woman who looked like it could be her but there was no mention of the mall salon so I wasn’t sure.

I DM’d her. I waited.

I got a response back and it was the Nikki I had been looking for!!!!!! Happy dance happy dance!!!

I finally got an appointment! She owns a salon with 2 other stylists in West Hollywood. Her prices had gone way up from when I had seen her 10 years ago but she should have charged more back then because she gave the kind of cuts that always had people stopping me to compliment my hair.

I didn’t care. I was going to pay it. I had thought about this for so long.

So this past weekend, I woke up and made my silver French press coffee and was excited for my day.

Without having gone to any kind of salon or nail place or facial place or massage place this past year, I dipped my toe into the world and saw Nikki!

Her salon is located near the iconic (not sure why it’s a number one tourist spot) Paul Smith pink wall.

The result: I loved reconnecting with her! I loved the cut! I loved the salon!!! I loved being out in the world again (even with a mask)!

I couldn’t resist and took a selfie in front of a wall on a side street after my appointment (you can see the Paul Smith wall in the reflection of my sunglasses).

Later that evening, Mads and ST8 had Zappy, Roni and Shaka and me over for the first time in a long time. Half the group is fully vaccinated and the other half is partially but we work from home. We ordered Lala’s take out and had a really nice evening of catching up, good food and good company on Mads’s patio. The weather felt like summer was upon us and the night blooming jasmine filled our noses. Our social skills, or at least mine, need a little bit of a refresh because there are moments when I seem like an awkward clod. But if the others noticed, they didn’t point it out. The only thing they made fun of was me trying to photograph Mads and her puppy in low light. And even though the pup wasn’t moving, he was blurry in every shot! But Mads wasn’t. ST8 finally said, “just stop…you’re embarrassing yourself,” which only made me want to keep doing it.

The next morning, I got up early to read some audition sides with Faye. She has had numerous auditions and when she needs to read on camera in her apartment, she asks a handful of people to read the other lines via the phone.

This particular morning, there were 4 auditions! And we did it in an hour!!!! I was so happy to help and to get to chat with her. She’s so good at her craft and me, well, I enjoy exercising that muscle memory of a long gone career choice.

After we hung up, Leigh called. We had tentatively planned to go to the beach. But this particular Sunday, the skies were gray and it felt a little chilly.

She still wanted to go. I debated about wearing a swimsuit under my clothes but decided in favor of it, even if I probably wouldn’t put more than my feet in the April cold ocean.

I drove separately from them to Santa Monica. I went into one parking lot by accident and happened upon a crazy scene of masked couples doing group yoga and modern dance with no music. I wondered if I was high. I wasn’t. But I was in the wrong lot, so I made my way to where I was to meet up with Leigh and her family.

Crazily, the weather was better at the beach. The skies were blue and there was a slight breeze.

Her daughters donned their wet suits and went into the water. Leigh and AJ and I lounged on the sand and chatted about life, movies and bitcoins. Leigh said that many of the people in her company are in landlocked parts of the country. For them, this would be a vacation. For us, it’s Sunday. I soaked in the gratitude along with the vitamin D.

Finally, I decided to see how the water was. Her daughters were thrilled. It took awhile but I finally was playing in the water dunked head and all. Leigh and AJ were napping side by side on the blankets. Her daughters and I had really cool conversations. I told them about how an actor on a show we all like was in a play with Faye and that I met him. I actually DM’d him on IG and he responded with the nicest message back. Leigh’s 9 year old screamed out to the ocean, “He DM’d YOU? That is so cool! I wanna DM SOMEONE!!!!” and we laughed.

After many hours of beach time, we went our separate ways. Leigh and her family to Porto’s, and I back to Shaka. It was the opposite of Sundayitis. I felt invigorated! I felt grateful! I felt so happy.

My nose and cheeks, despite having had sunscreen on, started to show a rouge I didn’t expect. I was exhausted. It had been quite a weekend. Not just from the actual socializing and activities, but also all the mental excitement of living a life that felt familiar but still not quite mine.

Just like the afternoon at the Parker Hotel pool, I felt like I had interloped into another person’s life.

However, this time, I knew it was my own.

PS I LOVE YOU

After taking a hard look at my diet and debt practices, it was time to face reality. I had been doing a lot of “investing” in me, ha! But I wasn’t yet getting a return on that investment other than in hiking poundage and interest rates. I used to live much cheaper, but I also wasn’t happy. I wrote about how I shifted into happiness through a process I called Katification. https://poppeacock.com/2014/07/14/katification-of-me/ The miraculous thing to me was that it had nothing to do with making more money or cutting costs. It had everything to do with shifting focus on what I wanted and what I felt I deserved. It worked. But as with anything, if you stop paying attention to your life, you can slip, even if it’s in too much “self-care.” So here I was, knowing that summer spending was upon me, Zappy wanted to do our annual girl’s trip to Palm Springs. It was going to to be a little tight financially. But Zappy is about to go back to school and we never see Jazzy anymore since she is always on the go go go with work and her man. So this felt like an important trip we just HAD to to take. My dad once said to me that you won’t remember the bad stuff around getting to a fun trip…you will only remember the fun experience. So I said yes!

It was exactly what I needed. I think it was what we all needed. Even though the film, “Wine Trip” was a bust (though I love all the actresses in it), it’s that kind of reunion with your friends that needs to be fostered and happen as often as schedules and your wallet will allow.

Every year, we rent a mid-century modern home with a pool. This year’s was perhaps our favorite (that bar is pretty high already). 

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Because I had been doing a LOT of spending on myself, I forgot that I needed to be being good to myself. And that meant living on purpose. Being present. And I found it was quite easy to be just that. It was absolutely fantastic!

Our friend J has a condo in PS and happened to be there as well that weekend. His place was just a mile away, so it was like the best of all worlds! Visits and instagram-worthy dinners and late night swimming conversations but not having to double up on accommodations.

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His place was a dream as well!

 

 

I was reminded that so much of what gives me fulfillment is connecting with my friends. They have such great taste, personalities, stories and love, that just hanging out with them made me feel a certain level of wellness that I had lost.

 

 

I also love these trips because we drink, eat and partake of the merry herb with no place to be but at the house. We burn palo santo and set intentions. We sing karaoke and play games. We watch cheezy movies like, “Always Be My Maybe” which will now remind me forever of PS even though it doesn’t take place there. And it turns out Randall Park is a crush of one of the ladies (I won’t say who, but just know, we ran with it, since he is nothing like anyone she has ever dated or her husband).always be my

We share summer beauty products (I mean…self care, right?) like hydrating hair cremes or (not sponsored) Supergoop Sunscreen oil. It smells amazing and works.

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Before leaving LA, I got my first spray tan. It was probably my last too because I can’t be trusted to maintain that kind of beauty treatment. Plus, I couldn’t tell that I had missed certain areas of sunscreen and came home with a nice red sunburn when the spray tan wore off. But that first night…I looked super tan and rested!

Zappy made an amazing orzo salad and Mads made a rice noodle salad both with fresh mint and fresh basil. We drank refreshing cocktails and sampled delicious, homemade romesco.

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The next day, J left back for LA and our other friends Roo and Col were in town celebrating their anniversary sans enfants. They stopped by for a cocktail and we all almost forgot this is not our normal lives. Bossa Nova played on the speakers and we cranked the A/C as we shared more stories and connected as you only can on vacation.

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The next morning, Jazzy had to leave back for LA before we did.

We bid adieu to the house.

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Zappy, Mads and I were not ready to call the vacation done and headed downtown for breakfast. Where to go? So many options, but not wanting to have a crazy wait, Mads brought out her superpower. She can find THE perfect place in ANY situation. Though I am prone to hyperbole, this is not an overstatement. She really is that good.

We were getting hangry.

And *poof* out of nowhere and very casually, she’s like, oh, let’s go to the Purple Palm. So we did. And no regrets. In fact, I want to go back with Shaka. If our weekend had a more 60’s mid century vibe, this breakfast locale (part of the Colony Palms Hotel) had an old California, adobe, bougainvillea vibe.

 

 

It was the perfect way to end a pretty perfect weekend!

Like a retreat from another time, I was in the best head space to conquer the real world with the diet/debt situation that was still waiting.  Stay present. Stay connected.  And find the fun, meaningful moments in between the obligations.