Stephanie Lechner: Nametags and Hairnets

Failing career assessments since the 8th grade

Month: October, 2009

Don’t Ask Me Why

Google’s a funny thing. I love how Google will finish what you’re typing, trying so eagerly to anticipate my search needs. Sometimes, it’s fun to start typing in something to see what other people are searching for. Tonight’s entry: How To.

Google’s most popular searches (in order based on popularity)
1. How to Tie a Tie
2. How to Kiss
3. How to Get Pregnant (see #2. It’s a good start)
4. How to lose weight
5. How to make a website
6. How to lose weight fast
7. How to solve a rubix cube (really folks? i mean, that’s just cheating)
8. How to write a resume
9. How to draw
10. How to get rid of stretch marks (these are all the folks who finally figured out #3)
Yep, these are the kinds of things I do for fun.
What’s even more entertaining was typing in “why do” and realizing that a lot of people are concerned with why men have nipples. They are also wondering why those nipple-having men cheat so much.
Your assignment for the evening: go to Google and type in “Is Obama” and see what pops up.

I’m Just A Girl

My dating history reads like a bad novel. Ok, that’s not true. My dating history wouldn’t even fill up a nice pamphlet. That’s because it doesn’t exist. Yep, you read that right. Does…not…exist. 25 years. No dates. I could pretend to be self-righteous and claim that I’ve spent the last decade or so cloistered up with nuns or that I’ve just been too busy curing cancer and striving towards world peace, but that’s not true. It just hasn’t happened. I’ve been accused by many of being too picky with a long list of unreasonable expectations. But I’m really just a girl looking for a good story. I believe life is just a series of good and bad stories. All those events that fall in the middle can be spun in either direction and I think love is no exception.
Let me break it down for you:
Some Possible Good Love Stories:
1. Boy meets Girl in the travel section at Barnes and Noble when they both reach for the Frommer’s guide to Rome. After exchanging smiles and phone numbers, Boy asks out Girl.
2. Boy meets Girl at a rock concert and proceeds to pursue girl relying on his quick wit and clever song lyrics to win her over.
3. Girl meets Johnny Depp and they sail off in a big boat to their own private island.
See what I mean? Completely reasonable.
Now, let me share with you some of MY stories:
1. Boy meets Girl. Girl, moderately interested in Boy, goes out with friends and Boy gets wasted and takes home Girl’s friend.
2. Girl decides to be nice and ask Boy to sporting event. Boy threatens to leave Girl alone in bad neighborhood and causes Girl to have to endure lame conversation and the loss of $150.
3. Girl meets married Boy.
4. Girl meets gay Boy.
5. Girl meets creepy old Indian man who calls her Sexy Lady and follows her into the laundry mat.
And now you see my dilemma.
When it comes to who I date, the moment I lose the possibility of a good story, it’s OVER. Usually before it ever begins. Not to mention the fact that this city is notoriously tough for single people. But I still refuse to let go of the story. So I wait. And wear a lot of lip gloss. I mean you never know who you’re going to meet in the travel section of Barnes and Noble.
P.S. We at are currently casting the role of Boy. If interested, please email headshot and resume to

Have A Drink On Me

Homeless people stress me out.

Like, for real.
At this point you either think I’m insensitive or crazy. I’ve made my peace with that, but let me explain. I live in NYC. Homeless people are everywhere and they have no problems asking for money. Some stick with the basics: a sign asking for money for food or a simple “can you spare some change, ma’am?” Others are a little more creative like the guy who sells batteries and candy bars on the subway. And then there are the overly-argumentative folks on the subway who give long-winded speeches filled with guilt and anger designed to make you feel so bad about yourself if you DON’T give them a dollar.
But that’s not what stresses me out. What stresses me out is that I really would like to be able to help them. But I can barely feed myself in this crazy city let alone feed the throngs of people who live on the streets. And there’s the deciding factor of who to help, how to help, etc. I have a little argument with myself every time someone asks me for money. It goes a little something like this:
Homeless man: Ma’am, can you spare some change?
Me (thinking to myself):Wow, I wish I could help this guy. You know, I probably can spare SOME change, but isn’t it kind of patronizing to give someone a few pennies. If I give him anything it should at least be a dollar, but how do I know they’re not gonna spend the money on getting drunk? But wait, is it so bad if he uses my dollar for a beer? I mean I’d probably buy a beer too if I lived on the streets. Oh, I have an idea, I should go buy him some food. But I just used a credit card to buy myself a sandwich. Probably shouldn’t spend money I don’t have. But wait a sec. Why should that guy just get money for asking for it? I go to work every day to earn a dollar. He should too. Oh, who am I kidding. That guy didn’t even have any shoes on. How could he get a job?I got it! I should go buy him some shoes!
And by the time I reach some sort of conclusion, I’ve already walked about three blocks past the guy and missed my opportunity. And then I feel bad. Until the next time, when the argument starts all over again.
Sometimes it’s exhausting to be me.

Somewhere Out There

I have a problem. A mouse has invaded my apartment. Apparently this sort of thing is a normal right of passage for New Yorkers, but I am not handling it very well. To give you a small glimpse of my mental stability when it comes to small creatures, it would be helpful to note the following: when I first moved to NYC, a roach the size of my head welcomed me in my new bedroom on move-in day. I slept three days with the lights on and barricaded my air mattress with about 10 ultra-strength roach traps.

Anyways, back to my mouse. I was in complete denial leading up to the first confrontation. It was around midnight and my sleeping pill had just kicked in giving me a case of the late-night munchies. When I grabbed the loaf of bread off the counter, I noticed a small hole in the plastic had left my bread exposed. Upon further inspection, I noticed the hole in the bag led to a hole in the bread which led to a tunnel that spanned the length of the whole loaf! But it still wasn’t hitting me. All I could think in my medicated state was that I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t noticed the bad bread at the store. And then it occurred to me that maybe the GROCERY STORE had a mouse problem. I threw the bread away and went to bed. Ignorance is bliss.
Two days later, I head to the kitchen late at night. I flip the light switch and see the back side of a mouse seeking refuge in my stove! I froze, unable to catch my breath, my heart racing. This can’t be happening. My apt is so friggin clean!!!! My bread–he’s after my bread! After my temporary paralysis subsided, I gathered my roommates to let them know and we contacted our landlord. That night I slept with the lights and TV on, a blanket barricading my door and my contacts still in my eyes (I wanted to be alert and ready in case of a late night attack). I was so freaked out that I woke up every hour to make sure the coast was clear. Don’t judge me. I’m not here to convince that this is rational behavior.
We set up some traps and a week later, the little monster returned. This time I got a much better look at the little guy. So tiny and quite honestly, he reminded me of my childhood pet, my hamster Splinter. I couldn’t believe I had been so panicked. Knowing that I couldn’t do anything at that moment, I looked at my newest houseguest and said (aloud) “alright, i’m gonna go to bed. You stay there. Oh and don’t get your hopes up, I hid the bread in the fridge. Goodnight!” I slept with the lights off that night. Victory was mine.
He hasn’t been back since, but he seems to only stop by once a week. It helps for me to not think of him like this:


And instead, I think of him more like this:


or my personal favorite:


But don’t get me wrong. I still want him gone. But maybe I’ll use more of a catch and release method rather than a step in glue and starve to death method. I mean, who would do that to Fievel?