I Need to Stop Swallowing Things

December 2014. ‘Tis the night before Christmas and about twenty bacon-wrapped scallops rest menacingly on a white porcelain serving tray in the buffet area of a festive celebration. They appear to be delicious. Succulent. I love succulent. I grab one with my dirty Christmas-Eve fingers and quickly pop the whole thing into my mouth, enacting a sort of self-inflicted reverse five-second rule. And, oh! It is delicious. It is succulent.

At first.

But then I notice that the bacon is extra, extra tough. Jesus, I think to myself as I vigorously chomp my way through the remaining shred of it that just won’t budge. Is this bacon or is this, like, really fucking old beef jerky?

Jesus doesn’t respond, presumably because it is approaching midnight on his (His?) birthday, which means he’s probably busy pre-gaming with some sheep/shepherds/disciples and is drunk on homemade wine/Fireball shots/whatever the good shit is that they only serve in heaven.

So I finally get that last piece of extra-hard bacon down a few minutes later and go back to enjoying the company of family and friends. Some time passes before I return to the scallop tray. They still look delicious and succulent, but are now tainted with the recent memory of having had to chew on a single piece of stubborn-ass pig for minutes on end, so I’m almost like, Ugh, not worth it. But then I’m like, Eh, fuck it. It’s Christmas and I should be grateful to have a bacon-wrapped scallop in the first place, even if the bacon is absurd and requires inordinate amounts of chewing.

As I reach for the new one, I notice something I didn’t before. The scallops all have TOOTHPICKS in them! Short, inconspicuous, bitchy little toothpicks that barely peek out from the hors d’oeuvres in which they dwell. Short, inconspicuous, bitchy little toothpicks, ONE OF WHICH I have most likely just EATEN!

But I have to be sure. So I remove a toothpick from a new scallop and eat it, and guess what? The bacon is as tender as a fucking Babyface song from 1996. It goes right on down with minimal chewing effort, thereby confirming that I currently have a chewed-up toothpick wreaking havoc inside my fragile little 6’3” body.

toothpick

In the past, if someone were ever to have asked me how I’d react if I found out I’d just accidentally ingested a toothpick, I’d definitely have said, “Well this is an irrelevant question; only a total dumbass would accidentally ingest a toothpick.” But I can now say that a) I am a total dumbass, and b) my natural reaction to finding out I’ve just accidentally ingested a toothpick is to freak out in the car with my mom as she treats the whole thing with an alarming amount of nonchalance.

  • Me: “How are you so calm right now? Your son just ate a piece of fucking WOOD! What is this going to do to my insides?!”
  • Mom: “First of all, it’s not wood. And second of all, you’ll be fine.”
  • Me: “How do you know I’ll be fine?”
  • Mom: “It’s a toothpick! People have shit out diamonds before and survived.”
  • Me: “Have you ever shit out a diamond?”

And then I realized that I had just asked my mother if she’d ever shit out a diamond, which is usually a pretty clear indicator that a conversation has gotten a little off track. (For the record, though, she never has shit out a diamond. Though she did give birth to me, which I’d like to think counts for something since everybody knows that I shine bright like a diamond and also am many a girl’s best friend.)

I texted my boyfriend (of three months; I promise I’ll post something with more details for you guys REAL SOON because he’s amazing… but right now this story must be told) when I got home and explained my dilemma to him. He too was convinced that this was not a big deal, saying that he swallowed much worse than a toothpick during his wild college days, and for a second I wanted to be all, “TELL ME EVERYTHING,” but then I was like, You know what? I actually don’t wanna know.

So I just went to sleep.

The next morning the BF and I talked a little more about my situation and then I sent him a bathroom selfie in which I stood sexily in front of the mirror in my cute little boxer briefs, with the caption: “About to confront my toothpick problem!”

And then I realized that I had basically just sent my boyfriend a selfie saying “GONNA GO SHIT [OUT A TOOTHPICK] NOW,” which is always a great way to set the mood with your significant other on Christmas morning.

He didn’t respond for about fifteen minutes, during which period I wondered if I had officially crossed the gross-line with him, but then he responded with the IPhone poop emoji and a thumbs up, so I figured I was fine.

So anyway, enough about poop! The moral of this whole story is that I survived. The toothpick came, the toothpick went, and now my life has resumed to normal and I’m blogging about having eaten and digested a toothpick on Christmas Eve, and I’m pretty sure this is the “Circle of Life” that Elton John sang about in The Lion King. Happy 2015.

 

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26 Words to Live By for My 26th Birthday (AKA NicRiah Day)

Today is the anniversary of Mariah Carey’s and my respective births, and why this isn’t a federal holiday yet is beyond me.

But I mean, I’m sure it will be someday, because Catholic people are always in the midst of lent during this time and so they’re likely very irritable for having given something up that they love (unless they’re that guy who’s all “I give up Sprite!” when really his drink of choice is vodka and/or crack – can you drink crack? – but I digress) and so they kind of need a day off from work to help deal with all their Sprite vodka crack withdrawal fits, and so I’m sure a moment will eventually come when the Pope is all, “I have an idea! March 27th is the perfect day for a holiday and it shall be called NicRiah Day” (because why wouldn’t the Catholic church spontaneously create a new holiday in honor of a large-breasted pop diva who loves to be almost-naked on stage and a wacky tall dude from Connecticut who loves to be fully-naked…in beds with other dudes…?), and then before you know it the U.S. government will catch on to the trend and be like, “Well if all these damn Catholics are calling out of work for this new holiday anyways, then why the hell not just make it a thing?” (I think this is how Christmas happened.)

So basically when the future is here and it’s March 27, 2025 and your Jewish coworker is all, “Thanks for the freebie, Catholics!” I hope you’ll turn to the guy and say (in a stern voice), “Don’t thank the Catholics; thank Mariah Carey and Nicolas DiDomizio.”

You’re welcome.

NicRiahDay

That’s me perched upon Mariah Carey’s left ass-cheek. (Side note: That’s me perched upon Mariah Carey’s left ass-cheek — I think this is the sentence I was born to write.)

In totally unrelated and slightly more spiritual news, here’s an unabashedly redundant, cliché, and (seemingly) trite list of 26 words I plan to embody in my approach to life during my 26th year:

  1. Presence
  2. Awareness
  3. Gratitude
  4. Simplicity
  5. Peace
  6. Truth
  7. Stillness
  8. Serenity
  9. Laughter
  10. Ease
  11. Consciousness
  12. Meaning
  13. Energy
  14. Laughter again
  15. Healing
  16. Forgiveness
  17. Laughter again
  18. Absurdity
  19. Transparency
  20. Growth
  21. Trust
  22. Faith
  23. Love
  24. Sprite
  25. Vodka
  26. Crack

KIDDING ABOUT THE CRACK. I HAVE NEVER DONE CRACK.

(I don’t know why I felt the need to scream that. My apologies.)

…Okay, so this post is supposed to be over, but it felt weird to finish with a parenthetical just now. Especially a parenthetical that basically says, “I’m sorry for joking about crack and then screaming at you with caps lock afterward about how I was joking about crack.” That crack joke, really, was just a horrible idea. And now it seems to be holding me hostage. In my own blog. ON MY BIRTHDAY. WTF. Is this what they were warning me about in D.A.R.E. when I was too busy singing Mariah Carey songs in my head to pay attention? Ooh! Mariah. Full circle. Okay. Happy birthday to me. Byeee.

 

I Really Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Participate in Halloween (So I’m Not)

The last time I dressed up for Halloween, it was 2010 and I had just moved to New York City to pursue my master’s at NYU. I was skinny, naïve, unprepared for city life, and in a ridiculously unhealthy Taylor Swift-esque non-relationship with an older businessman who ended up more or less destroying my faith in mankind for about a year and two-ish months. (Not that I counted.) Ah, youth.

So why am I oversharing with all of this life context?

Because frankly, a general state of personal distress is the only way I can begin to justify the fact that I was a makeshift leprechaun that year.

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Yes, that is a beard. And yes, that is a black athletic tank that I sliced in half, poked holes in, and tied together with a shoelace. Because poor, because grad school. (It was supposed to be a lepre-vest.)

I mean, can we just talk about the fact that I’m 6’3”?

What was I trying to do here? Singlehandedly smash the leprechaun height stereotype? Break the leprechaun glass ceiling? Just confuse people? Or was I supposed to be like, a totem pole of three leprechauns all concealed in one outfit to present the illusion of being human-size? I don’t even know. (But I’m going to go with that last one, because I’ve just decided that it’s borderline genius.)

Other misguided costume choices of mine over the years include Bo Duke, a pregnant nun, Superman and – most often as of lately – That Guy Who Refuses to Dress Up for Halloween but will Happily Spend the Night Watching Scary Movies and Eating Candy in His Pajamas.

And so that will be me again in 2013. I’m thinking it’s for the best, lest I have another stroke of genius and decide to be Verne Troyer or something. (And by “or something,” I obviously mean a totem pole of three Verne Troyers.)

Happy Halloween, y’all!

P.S. Here’s a note regarding the pregnant nun ensemble, because I know you were wondering: It was during one of those summer camp “Halloween in July” things, I was ten years old, and all I had at my disposal was a pillow and accompanying pillowcase. So I improvised. (The fact that Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit was my favorite movie at the time probably also factored in somewhere there.)

P.P.S. While I had put very little thought into the pregnant nun costume at the time, it just occurred to me as I was writing this that I was actually kind of making a poignant socio-religious statement with the whole thing. So maybe I should be allowed to participate in Halloween (thereby changing the world one costume at a time) after all!

P.P.P.S. Or, actually, no. Because candy and pajamas.

 

Keep Hating, Pope — and I’ll Keep Loving

Moments before digging into our Christmas Eve feast this year, my mom suggested that I lead the table in saying grace.

As the recognized wordsmith of the family, I typically agree to perform this task with no qualms — spouting off whatever cliché, prayer-ish things I can think of, while maybe injecting a modicum of nonsensical humor into the mix (i.e. “…and bless my non-existent husband, and please remove all the calories from the meal we’re about to eat so that he may one day become a real boy, like Pinocchio? Like Pinocchio. Except a grown man, and without the nose situation. Amen.“).

But this year, I decided to push buttons and be all like, “Well, I called the Pope an asshole on Facebook the other day. So maybe I’m not the best person to be leading our Catholic family in prayer right now?”

And then we had a brief discussion about homophobia and religion and Italy and love and being human — and we all agreed that the Pope kind of is an asshole for calling me less than human in his annual Christmas speech.

And then we laughed. A lot.

And then I realized how grateful I am for my family.

And then I said grace.

 

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