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.