Princess and the Pee

Posted on Saturday, June 8, 2013

I’ll admit: I was peed on. No, I’m not using that as a metaphor, I’m not trying to say that someone didn’t like one of my ideas—that wouldn’t be surprising or interesting. Nope, it was actual wet smelly pee that moisturized my legs one Wednesday morning. And it’s taken me the past two weeks, alternating between blocking it out and looking back through squinted eyes to set my mind at ease about the situation.

I was on my way to LA. I had been home for three days and the reality that I was no longer at college and without a dining hall at my fingertips was so painful that I ran (flew) cross country into Madison’s waiting arms to use up her extra meal swipes... I had also heard a rumor that the frat parties were in mansions instead of dingy graffittied basements. 

I boarded my 8am flight nervously, praying that my seatmates wouldn’t be morbidly obese and hoping that I had packed enough Cheez-Its as a snack (but definitely not enough to share). The woman immediately next to me was beak nosed and a trendy try-hard but holding a manila folder labeled “vogue shoot” which piqued my interest and had me reading conspicuously over her shoulder. The older Hispanic woman occupying the window seat was the type who would wake up at 3am for an 8am flight. Her curled hair was hair sprayed into submission, her makeup executed with a practiced hand, and you could tell that she had perched herself in the exact way that would allow her to endure the next 5 hours without wrinkling her crimson pants suit.

I had strategically selected my aisle seat when purchasing my ticket two months back, correctly predicting that I would pee half a dozen times before the flight ended. After bathroom trip #3 I was once again strapped in when Red Suit motioned that she too had to pee. While trying to unbuckle to prevent this 65+ lady from having to preform acrobatics to escape the crevice we were wedged in, I was shoved back into my seat as she urgently tried to propel herself through our knees. I looked down at my lap to see a pile of red polyester and brown curls. She stood up and a mysterious warm trickle wound a trail down my (luckily) bare legs. I looked over my shoulder as she climbed out into the aisle, wishing to see a now empty water cup or bottle in her hand as she passed. But alas, I was greeted by the sight of a long wet stain down the back of her pants. Not unlike the one Emily had down her pants on St. Patrick’s Day.

So I was peed on. What does that mean for my life? Is it a sign that in the grand scheme I’m nothing more than human kitty litter? Or was it a re-baptism? The christening of a new era, a fresh chapter in my life? Maybe at this point I don’t deserve water because I’m not necessarily as innocent as when the priest originally gave my bald baby head a swirly. But my trip to Cali was the first that I had completely planned, paid for, and executed on my own (minus Madison). It was definitely one of my first great acts of independence.

When I raised two wetted fingers to conduct a sniff test I didn’t yell or cry or even whisper conspiratorially to my fashionable neighbor. I chose to remain on the plane, to quietly wipe the pee off my legs and embark on my first solo adventure. I felt sorry for the woman who had urinated on me. She who obviously cared meticulously about her appearance and had seemed so dignified, but was now scurrying desperately down the aisle in pants that were not only wetted, but also wrinkled.





Culture Shock

Posted on Monday, March 11, 2013

Still recovering from a Hungarian-crazed weekend, I’ve been left pondering the importance of culture and heritage in my and generally everyone’s life. Because, yeah, I’m deep like that. But really, we spend so much time claiming “I’m 50 percent Hungarian and 25 Italian” or “can’t you tell I’m Irish?!” like where our long ago relatives hailed from has directly had some profound impact on us. Maybe it has, or maybe this whole lineage thing is just something we cling to in order to seem cool and unique… I mean I’m Hungarian OKAY, I’m like totally exotic (aka round faced and into hearty foods #holla). Ironically enough by trying to be “more than just a number” and stand out through our roots we’re just  re-labeling ourselves as partials and percentages.

We all do it. Anyone who has more than 25% of a specific cultural influence will chalk certain traits up to foreign inheritance. Personally, I’ve grown up with immigrant grandparents, a bi-lingual mother, and likewise with her sisters. So yeah, I dined regularly on paprika heavy dishes/creamed filled pastries, learned to recognize when the adults were utilizing their language skills to talk about me in front of my back, and was forced to participate in a “Hungarian Debutante Ball” (aka was fawned over by the elderly Hungarian community). But more than all of that I’ve come to associate some specific familial traits with my heritage. For example, the quick temper that seems to be genetic, or the thriftiness that is borderline stinginess—okay so really just stinginess—and the tendency to save everything “just in case”. All of these things would easily be classified as “classic Hungarian-isms” by my cousins and I. Family gatherings are often accompanied by eye rolls and sighs of “it’s a Hungarian thing” from the men as our mothers/ the wives fall from normality and descend rapidly into screamed conversation.

Funnily enough I’ve found that it’s only Americans who do this. I’ve been lucky enough to live in an international learning community at school and meet exchange students from all over the world (my roommate is from Ireland…try not to be jealous). So I’ve heard varying opinions of the temperament of each country is: “most Irish can take a fair amount of slagging(being made fun of, yeah I’m hip wit dat Irish lingo)” or “the English are generally snarky” or “I’m from Amsterdam, high is our natural state of mind”. And for the most part these seem to be true. Even so, aren’t their evaluations of cultural influence different than ours? At this point you should be nodding your head and saying “Well, obviously Arrie…duh”. I mean, for foreigners these statements aren’t attempts to make a multigenerational connection. Nah man, they’re living it. Instead of pulling from stereotypes and stories passed down by word of mouth, my roommate and all of the other exchange students are really just citing observations from every day life.
Yet, just because I’m Hungarian doesn’t mean I dominate the hot-headed market. Nor does it mean that I’m destined to be frugal (s/o to Ruelala addicts everywhere). Really all it means is that my grandmother left her home in Hungary at sixteen to escape communism. And that she came to America without even a change of clothes and has been reluctant to forfeit any of what she has earned (which is a nice way of saying hoarder xoxo love you Mama).

So why are Americans so obsessed with ancestry? Why do we believe that all of these fractions have such an influence over our lives and who we are/become? I mean really, more than anything, isn’t it our experiences? As for my foreign friends, I’ve met Asian-English and an Australian who’s entirely too pale to be completely from down under. Even so, they’re not rushing to identify with countries and cultures outside of their immediate homes. So maybe all of the stress on America’s “melting pot” origins has forced us to try and identify with our forefathers/mothers. Yes, my grandmother has an accent and makes traditional food, but her personality and habits are definitely more indicative of her experiences as an immigrant and a female. Therefore all of the “classic Hungarian-isms” are really more “Tancos-isms” (my mother’s maiden name). And while it’s cool that I have cousins in Budapest, I really haven’t been influenced or shaped by this. Instead I am who I am because of what I’ve experienced and the experiences of those around me. So really we should be giving more recognition to what our predecessors endured and passed on to us rather than the complexions, hair colors, and round faced-ness that we seem to find so fascinating.



Tancos Family Misadventures:


Global House Chaos:


My Only Flaw

Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013

Besides the literal language barrier* that sometimes arose in my Hungarian-American family, there has been a subtler, sneakier obstacle that has come between me and effective communication. Everyone who knows me knows not to take anything I say seriously. Quick wit and a sharp tongue (casual humblebrag) have proved to be great allies over the years, but they have also made me some frightening enemies (namely my mother). While the use of the word enemy might be drastic, there have definitely been times where sarcasm has done me no favors. It has shown itself to be both an instrumental tool and a conversational brick wall at the same time.

My mother is a deadly practical, completely literal, so-reasonable-she’s-the most-unreasonable-person-I’ve-ever-met. My father is laidback, calm, and sarcastic with a quiet underhanded humor that is both hilarious and biting. In my family, seriousness rarely exists, and you learn from a young age to brush criticism right off your shoulder... In a Jay-Z type manner. I once tried to complain that my brother was the favorite child because of his mad soccer skillz and heatedly referred to him as my father’s prodigy. That was six years ago, I’ve yet to live it down. (For the record, he’s totally the favorite. And completely undeserving. Yeah Teej, I said it.)

So, guess who I’m more similar too, mother or father... (Yes, I actually am doing that whole Dora The Explorer interactive thing, and yeah I did just pause for response. You responded, right? RIGHT?!) But obviously in that regard I am more like my father. Temper/rationality… not so much. With my parents, for the majority, their polarity is a force for good. They balance each other out, my Nonnie referred to them once as a “power couple”, but they just get shit done. Between my mother and I my sarcasm has raised questions of “why would anyone be your friend?” or “how can people stand being around you?”. To which I obviously reply in a witty manner.

Beyond my family, sarcasm has both opened doors and set limitations (this is me trying to refrain from using the cliché “double edged sword”  wait it’s too late? Too bad). My inability to hold my tongue has made me a lot of friends and earned bountiful favorites on twitter (like 6). But it also makes me unable to be openly sympathetic and compassionate or just plain able relate to people generally. (Or as pictured, just plain insensitive... She yelled at me later, don't worry.) Typically nothing I say can be taken at face value and that trips a lot of people up. As my brother dearest likes to say, I’m “difficult and terrible to deal with”. And while my snarkiness earns me hella laughs, no one (except a privileged few) comes running to cry on my shoulder. Additionally, when paired with stereotypical teen angst causes problems with respecting superiority. And yeah, calling people ‘Sir’ in ROTC has been a struggle. But I’m getting there. Sir.

So like yeah, wielding this double edged sword has been quite the burden. I’ve been called all sorts of names and even had ice cream   thrown at me. But I don’t pretend to be the lone bearer. Nor do I deny that I enjoy being sarcastic/heartless/cruel/whatever. Nope. So I don’t mesh well with certain people, and I’m not really into hugging and talking about feelings. But it is what it is and I am who I am.



*none, unless you know what anyád picsaja means and have ever heard my cousins and I shouting it in public. And yes Mom I know I’m in trouble for publicizing that. 


For Your Eyes Only

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever. I love social media. Sosososo much, in fact I spend 70% of my conscious time scrolling through various newsfeeds—in class, mid conversation, half asleep, I’m basically always online (except when you try to text me, you’ll probably get a response in 3 hours – 2 days). And after spending so much time this way, I’ve realized that a lot of people are misusing social media (or is everyone else doing it right and I’m LIKE TOTALLY using it wrong?!?!). But before I get into what I mean by that I’ll preface with an explanation. I mean I wouldn’t want everyone to think I’m completely coldhearted… Wait, you don’t right? Wait, I don’t care? Wait, does that mean I am?

In my opinion: sympathy sucks. I hate being babied, coddled, comforted, the works. Yes, even when I’m upset. Leave me alone. I don’t want or need the “I’m sorry’s” or “Are you okay” or “I’m here for you” especially the pitying looks that come along with it. And generally pity. Pity helps no one, it makes everything worse when people won’t let the topic go, I’m trying to get over it and move on so you should too, because chances are if you’re my friend I know you’re there for me and I know you want to help. Friendship and all that jazz is unspoken. I’ll come to you. Likewise, if you’re upset don’t assume I don’t care, I do, I’m giving you the space I know I’d want and sparing the awkward pity exchanges. Again, obviously if we’re friends call me, text me, I’m here. But only if you ask, I’m not going to intrude on your grief, it’s not about me and I don’t want to make it about me, so basically call me beep me if you wanna reach me. (If you didn’t get that quote you, sir, (or ma’am) did not have a childhood.) But what, my lovely mice, does this have to do with social media? Ahhh great question, and so you shall see… Cue the transition!

On Facebook I have 700+ friends (after the post graduation purge), 120+ twitter followers (I only follow like 70 people, so I’m pretty damn popular OKAY), 80+ Instagram followers (okay so my pictures just suck), and like 4 people who snapchat me regulary. Basically the epitome of popularity, right? RIGHT?!?! (Also note to self, learn how not to write run on sentences). Anyways, my followings and friendships are considered small. But seriously, are there really more than 700 people that I can call my friend? Or that I take interest in the happenings of their lives? Heeeeellllllll naw. Let’s face it, if these pages actually reflected my real-life close friendships there’d be about 10 people on each (maybe fewer).

But is that what social media is really about? Facebook is a place to make connections with old and new friends. It’s for sharing pictures, videos, little tiny snippets of our lives to the people we’ve encountered along the way. Twitter is even less of that, can you really form or upkeep bonds in 140 characters or less? Again, I repeat: heeeeellllllll naw. I follow comedians, celebrities, parody accounts, NYC_Blonde (<3333), and sure, my friends too. Twitter is about laughs, baby nuggets of information, and the sharing of non-problems like tripping in public or complaining about the weather. And the same goes for Instagram and snapchat. These are public forums, and most times open to anyone and everyone.

So the problem is, that people are using these places to air dirty laundry and to express serious problems. I am definitely not saying that your problems aren’t real or that what you’re going through isn’t tough. Not at all. But I am trying to be realistic. Realistically, how many of your 100+ followers actually care? How many of them will actually want to help you? Oh yeah, I’m sure you’ll get plenty of “keep your head up” replies or “stay strong” comments. But how many of them are invested enough in your life to share your pain? How many actually have your phone number and can call you to make sure you’re okay? And what do you really accomplish by publicly announcing a bad break up or a serious health issue? Nothing. Except lots of uninvolved people involving themselves in your business. It's like spreading rumors or gossiping about yourself. Pointless. Do yourself a favor and keep your private matters exactly that way: private. Besides, all of the empty/obligatory sympathy really helps no one, it's just a constant and fresh reminder of what you're going through. Like pouring salt in a wound, people.

And believe you me that I do not want even a fraction of my followers to try and comfort me. I sleep easier knowing I have Madison on speed dial and that Taylor will run across campus to see me. And that my other close friends, no matter how far away, will sit with me in silence on the phone until I want to talk. Moral of this wayyyy too long story: you have real friends, use them. Because when Facebook and Twitter go the same way as MySpace, most of your ‘friends’ will disappear faster than Guinness in the hands of an Irishman (yeah, I know you guys read this).

Did that make sense? Did you care? Are you completely offended? Oh, well. 



Also sometimes I say funny stuff so maybe you should like totally follow me: @arriehoos


Cooties and All That Jazz

Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013

 In response to requests from my readers (yeah, I have readers weird right?) I’m going to write about relationships. No not about being in one because I never have been, but general thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Well not exactly, because unlike a lot of other girls out there who have Pinterest boards filled with wedding ideas, I don’t think about relationships. I don’t have hopes and dreams of finding Prince Charming and to be honest I don’t really care.

Boys are cool, boys are fun, and yeah some boys are attractive too. But why do they have to be more than that? Not even that, but why do girls search high and low to find “the one”? It seems that everyone is looking for someone, looking for “their other half”. I’ve seen twitter and instagram profiles of 16 year old girls that are plastered with posts about “the perfect boy” or “wanting to be treated like a princess” or whatever other ideals/fantasies they may have. And almost every girl with a Pinterest account has a “Wedding” board. But all of these notions about love and relationships are empty and unrealistic. Movies, the cheesy quote pictures on instagram, and (as much as it pains me to admit) even books paint pictures of unrealistic relationships, where men shower women with love and affection. Don’t get me wrong I’m a sucker for a good love story, but not for a minute have I ever believed that any Jane Austen plot was even remotely plausible. For that matter I don’t think a beautiful corny love story is even that desirable.
(Not even a fraction)

If I was ever going to even consider entering into a relationship, I wouldn’t want or expect these perfect blissful unions. Because lets face it, I am far from perfect and why would I want something that isn’t as flawed and quirky as myself? (Quirky is a weird word, say it five times fast). I want to be able to fight with someone, because even though I’m always right I’d at least like them to try and stand up for themselves. I’d like to be able to quote/reference Harry Potter ten times a day without being judged. And more than all of that I’d need someone who could handle my family. My whole family. (So basically, no one whaddup.)

But until I run into someone who is a confident-bookworm-Hungarian-Italian-accepting human being, Imma do me. It’s like Samantha told Smith in Sex and The City The Movie “I love you, but I love me more.”—God, what a great break up line. Hopefully I’ll get to use it someday.—But what she meant was that despite her love for Smith, the most important relationship in her life is the one with herself… Still following? I feel the same way. How am I supposed to be happy with another person if first I’m not happy with myself. I’m 19. I barely know what I want to wear tomorrow let alone what I want to do with my life. I don’t know who I am or where I’m going, and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone else or myself if I didn’t attempt to figure myself out before figuring out who I am with them.

Well, kids, there you are. Another fascinating blog post from the desk of Arrie. Remember, you asked for it. Also, everyone, do yourself a favor now and watch everything Sex and The City related immediately.