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It's In My Blood

A few years ago, I used to be called weird and/or creepy because my hobby was researching crime scene photos. Now, it's just considered quirky, everyone and their plus one uses the line, "I love serial killers, it's like so edgy." Listen up, if this is recent development for you, you're not into murder, you're into attention. It's not something you learn to love, it's a curse you're born with.

During my early childhood, I would spend countless nights at my grandma's house while my mom went out and drank, I assumed. This was something I encouraged not only because my grandma would let me eat all of her Jenny Craig pre-portioned desserts, but also because she let me watch CSI. This ritual of climbing into her bed with my quarter sized serving of a flan and turning on the Investigation Discovery channel, may have been what started my debilitating fear of getting murdered. And maybe also my sweet tooth?

I moved to Los Angeles in June 2017 and it's not at all like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I may drive past where Dorit showcased Beverly Beach by Dorit, but I am not included in that narrative. Maybe I watch too much TV or have too high of expectations, but I really thought it would be a little more glamorous to live here. I haven't even been invited to one Botox Party!! I practiced walking in high heels for God's sake! Instead, I've been working a full time job and finding myself saying things like, "Let's do something fun, like go to Burger King" and "Excuse me, where's JCPenny?"

Instead of adjusting to this new normal person life, I decided to escape it. But, because I only have two weeks paid time off, I have to escape mentally. I started listening to podcasts, but like all the time. In the car, at work, in the shower, anywhere I can. It started with Serial, but then I finished that, then a few episodes of random true crime stories, then I fell in love with one podcast in particular. Has anyone here listened to My Favorite Murder? While the two hosts make me laugh out loud to myself while in public (one of my biggest annoyances when someone else does it, but not me though), they also have made my childhood fear of getting my throat slashed, shot in the face and then dumped in a river, a much more everyday concern.

"Keep walking past the car, I think he's following us." I say about anyone who has been walking behind me for more than one turn. I woke up in the middle of the night to what I thought were three distinctive gunshots but was actually someone throwing away three bags of trash in the dumpster behind our apartment. I have a detailed escape route of what to do in case of a home evasion and it involves an "every man for themselves" type of mentality. I even applied to be in FBI but withdrew my application when I learned there would be a physical assessment. I'm more suited to just read and listen about murder and maybe think I solved who killed Jonbenet Ramsey. It defiantly wasn't that guy who just confessed a few days ago.

While my crippling anxiety about the noises coming from the apartment next door were becoming more frequent, they were not new. My mom was convinced I was going to be kidnapped, which in turn made me convinced I was going to be. Why wouldn't I be? I was adorable and pocket sized. This fear wasn't something that went away when I became an adult. I'm now 23 and still haven't gotten kidnapped, so I'm pretty sure it will be happening anytime now. After learning that it was entirely possibly that I could be taken from the street or even from my very own bedroom, I decided for my own safety, that I would learn everything there is to know about horrific crimes and survival stories. The more you know, the more you'll know how to act in that situation. My mom was very proud of me for taking on this task and encouraged it because she too, was insane. Before I went to Italy for a high school trip, my mom gave me a homework assignment of her own. I was forced to watch Taken and not only take notes, but write a short essay on what I would have done differently. (Answer: not get in the car with a hot foreign stranger.)

One afternoon, as I was doing my daily check of my address of Megan's Law, it hit me, "Oh my god I am my mother." The rest of the day I spent convincing myself that I was at least the upgraded version of her. Sure we looked alike and had the same genes, but I was like the new and improved version of her, right? While we both may have thought that the man alone at the gas station was going to rape one or both of us, she was the one to call him out on it! I merely think these horrible thoughts, I don't let anyone know that I think they look like a pervert! Nor do I blog about it! Oh wait...

I used to not want to be associated with her. I hated that she made me hold her hand to cross the street up until I went away to college. The way that she greeted her friends "Wassup muthafuckaaaa" in the school parking lot. If anyone would say "Oh you two are so similar," I was the first to try to get them arrested for character assassination. But recently, I've began to think about it a little harder and realized, I would kill to be as cool as my mom was. Sure she was a huge bitch and never brushed her hair, but she had this undeniable extra factor that drew everyone in. She had this effortless way about her, everyone wanted to be her friend. Bombarded with "Is it ok if I come over?" texts, I was always jealous of my own mother's popularity. I just wanted to be one of her friends until I realized that it was so much better to be her daughter. Also she probably wouldn't be friends with me if she hadn't given birth to me.

This past weekend I had invited over a few friends to my apartment to play some board games and to also have some human interaction from the comfort of my own home. As soon as the plan was confirmed, I immediately got to scrubbing my bathtub, because if I noticed how dusty it was, someone else would too. "Why am I doing this!!" I asked myself mid 409 spray, but continued on. I marched on to the coffee table in the living room and reorganized the Assouline coffee table books to appeal to the crowd that was coming over, "They should appreciate this Valentino: At The Emperor's Table book." I quickly organized the fridge by region of origin, just in case someone opened it. I sat down on the couch and fluffed the pillows the way I was taught, a karate chop like motion through the center. "Why the fuck did I just do all that?" I asked myself while already knowing the real answer, I am Ellie. I got so mad when she copied my haircut, but little did I know I copy everything she has ever done. It has all been instilled in me since birth! I obsess over the little details of my home, I won't shut up about the Housewives franchise and I'm terrified of everyone! But, even post mortum, I try to make her proud. She's the Lisa Vanderpump and I'm the Kyle Richards, starving for her approval.

This year, I'm going to embrace being my mother's daughter. I'm going to continue being on high alert for rapists and murderers. I'm going to be as generous. I'm going to always look on the bright side and believe anything is possible. I'm going to remember to take my birth control and have a green juice every day. And then I thought this sounded like a whole lotta work and got cute bangs instead!!!
Right after my haircut

Happy New Year! I'm working on the book and trying to loose 10 pounds before I go to Paris next month, so I can eat said pounds back in their French equivalents. I don't want to ask everyone's new years resolutions because most of us have dropped those by now. So, is there a podcast anyone can recommend that might be more soothing than my preferred current choice?

Thank you and bye bye - Gracie