Monday, September 27, 2010


Faithful readers, you may have noticed by now that embarrassing moments in the life and times of me are my favorite items to blog about. They're the easiest stories to tell.

I've posted about about the weird freckle on my bum (and the hot doctor who examined it), my habit of dancing like a crazy person in front of my mirror and the very proud moment when my mother announced my bathroom troubles to a new suitor.

I'm an open book- in life and in blog.

That being said, I have something pretty shameful to admit. Yesterday I took down a post seconds after publishing it because, for the first time, I was afraid of appearing a little too uncool.

I know. You're probably thinking, "Vanessa, you're the coolest chick on the face of the planet. What could possibly cramp your style?"

I present to you, unedited, yesterday's post. But I'm warning you, you may find me far less fabulous when it's over.


I work in the events industry. A day rarely passes without some mini-catastrophe, e.g., a wedding cake topples over, a buffet table catches on fire, Barbara Walter's Dover sole is over-salted.

I like my job because I'm pretty good under pressure. But last Friday, when crisis hit in the middle of my workday, my response was nothing less than desperate panic.

I really had no choice, you see. My front tooth fell out.

Yup, first bite into an Oats & Honey Nature Valley bar my front tooth popped right off.

Some background: When I was about 15 I opened my dad's car door right into my face and shattered about 70% of my front tooth. We had it fixed right away and up until about 12:30pm Friday afternoon all was good up in my grill.

Then, it fell out. I felt the gap with my tongue before running to the mirror in front of my cubicle.

"Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God."

My coworker, on the phone at the time, looked up confused.

"Oh my God, my tooth just felt out."

When I flashed her a nervous mouthful exposing the gap, literally smack dab in the center of my smile, my coworker screamed, hung up and sprung into action.

I sat back down, buried my busted smile into my hands and started crying. I looked like the freckle-faced Mad Magazine cartoon. My short-term plan was to sob and call my mother (in Florida). My coworker called my boss over to my desk. He assessed the damages, looked at me with equal parts surprise and sympathy and called his dentist.

In less than 10 minutes my extremely well-connected boss was able to convince his dentist to leave Central Park where he was enjoying a day off with his wife and meet me for an emergency appointment at his Rockefeller Plaza office.

I rushed to the appointment in full panic, frantically cutting off cabs and elbowing packs of tourists on 5th Avenue. I didn't open my mouth until I reached the revolving door outside the doc's office. I caught my reflection in the building's shiny black glass.

Then, finally, I started laughing. I was a total toothless freak show. I imagined myself greeting a client at work or smiling at a cute guy next to me in the subway. The snaggletooth was nothing less than startling.

At the building security desk, I attempted to speak with my toothless mouth turned toward the floor.

"What was that?" the security guard barked as I told the floor I was here to see Dr. Hurowitz. "Who are you here to see?"

"I'm here to see Dr. Hurowitz, the dentist, because I just lost my front tooth and I'm freaking out!"

Did I mention I was now speaking with a horrendous lisp as the acoustics of my mouth were totally thrown off? Hurowitz came out more like "Hurowithz".

The guard's comforting response, "You know it's expensive to fix a tooth."

Pacing the dentist's waiting room I wondered what I would have done without my boss' connections. It was a Friday afternoon. I don't even have a dentist in the city. Without strings to pull the earliest appointment would have been Monday. And, at that point, my only option would have been to check out of society for the weekend- hide under my covers or if an outing was totally necessary, wear a burka.

Sure it's adorable on a 5 year old. But I learned the hard way, as an adult there's no way to function without your front teeth.

A couple hours after the run in with the Nature Valley bar, I was good as new. But days later I have to admit I'm still a little shaken up by the fiasco.

That one little change to my appearance flipped my world upside down. I went from confident to a sobbing mess in seconds. Is my sanity that precarious? Am I too vain?

God, give me bad hair days or big zits, but please oh please leave me my teeth.

So why did I pull the post yesterday? The truth: I imagined the next dude I date browsing my blog, coming across this post and finding the whole fake tooth thing unattractive.

Sure, it's sorta TMI. But it was also hilarious, and after careful consideration, if a man can't handle my (rather sexy) fake front tooth then I'd rather not handle him.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When in Rome...

Pizza is my desert island food. I could happily eat it for more consecutive days than I should publicly admit. I don't indulge as often as the Cathy comic managing my cravings would like (because of the consequences to my badunk) but when I do it's never less than blissful.

Last weekend I was in Chicago visiting my big sister and her husband who recently moved there. My sis rattled off our agenda as soon as I arrived: architectural walking tour, a few museums, Lincoln Park, authentic deep dish pizza... She probably listed at least 5 other exciting Chicago to-dos after that but I wouldn't know. Cathy and I were drooling over visions of fluffy crispy crusts and bubbling cheese.

We skipped lunch Sunday in preparation for dinner at Pequod's Pizza, a 40-year-old pizza joint in Lincoln Park (named after the whaling boat from Moby Dick). My brother-in-law bragged about its "locals only" status. Walking in it looked like I wanted it to- exposed brick walls, neon beer signs, those tall red-tinted plastic tumblers. To cut to the chase, our large half-peperoni/half-sausage looked and smelled nothing less than glorious when it was plopped onto our table 45 minutes after we ordered. I'm pretty sure I clapped when it arrived.

As my slice was carved out of the cast iron skillet and hunked onto my plate the local we were eating with explained that Pequod's is famous for a black "caramelized" crust that comes from decades of baking in pans that they supposedly never really clean. Sure enough this "dirty crust" was my favorite part, adding a toasty hint of nuttiness to the slice. The couple inches of bread weren't too soft, holding up the gobs of cheese and sauce well. To be honest, it didn't really taste like pizza. It was this decadent slab of saucey cheesiness that strangely felt like dessert.

Better than New York City thin crust? They're apples and oranges- both perfect in context, impossible to compare.

Deep dish might just work better on that desert island. More carbs. Cathy agrees.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Manly Men

After four days and five nights in Portland, Oregon I came to one very sure conclusion: I dig West Coast guys.

To unfairly stereotype, they're nothing like the big city boys I've gotten used to- with their Molton Brown lemongrass shave wax and professionally manicured nails.

Out West they're all hunky, tall, broad-shouldered, mountain-sun-kissed manly men with carabiners clipped to their keys and hobbies like whitewater rafting or, I don't know, lifting heavy things. Exhibit A: Chris Sharma, big deal rock climber and dreamboat

Back in New York this week I shared my observation with a group of coworkers. The men got instantly defensive and asked me to list one thing an Oregon boy can do that they cant.

Change a tire?

Both sheepishly admitted to never having done it."BMW assistance is a button away and I probably wouldn't do it right." Point proved.

Full disclosure: As much as I swear up and down that my type is rugged and outdoorsy with a pinch of hippie, the last handful of guys I've dated have been buttoned up bankers/lawyers. So the suit does it for me too. If he hikes on the weekends and is big and strong enough to pick me up and throw me, even better.