Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Avoiding Dates Like The Plague (But Not Dressing The Part)

Uh-oh. I'm thinking I might be dressed to sexy for the office.

This morning in the breakroom, a female co-worker was giving me the up-and-down-times-ten. The kind of look I get when I'm working on the corner of Two-dollah and Me-Love-You-Long-Time Streets. Not in, you know, my day job. And this contemptuous look was accompanied with, "Wow." (Not exclamation wow but ironic wow.) Believe you me, if I had a button to button, I would have buttoned it. Instead I said, "I know my heels are really high!" and kicked my leg up like a reject for the Rockettes. (Forward extension of the leg, Original Me. Forward.)

For the rest of the day whenever one of the girls in the office would give me that look (that "how much?" or "work it!" look), my insecurity would take hold and blurt out, "I know I am probably too sexy for the office." Which comes across like: I'm too sexy for this shirt (so sexy it hurts) ... too sexy for your love...and, perhaps, I am too sexy for this song. (Which did you know has a guitar riff straight from Jimi Hendrix, "Third Stone From the Sun." Just to show you I am a fact-finder and not a poster child for lycra tube dresses leaning into car windows or face down in men's crotches. In my day job.)

Perhaps I should not have put together a new ensemble of existing pieces from my wardrobe, thrown them in my gym bag, and then dressed AT the office. You sample the recipe FIRST -you know, before you share it with the people. (Southern Living, Vol. 1, No. 1)

Is it that my silk blouse (Shakesperean-esque in its bustier-clinging empire waist and princess neckline) gives way to a cinching of my tiny-tiny little lady bits thus giving the appearance of a girl who carries the world in her bosum? (Lipstick? Check. ID? Check. Two dollar bills? Check. Small baby? Check.) The suppressed rack makes me look like, well, I have a rack. I could get on board with that. Is the pencil skirt too flirty with the little dip in the back hem? So the silhouette is more va-va-voom (and actually begs for fishnets)? Are the shoes - the shoes! - in their 3-inch platform leapard print heel too bedroom-sexy for the boardroom? I wanted to wear my hair in a bun but I needed the hair on my back since the blouse kind of dips in the back. Yeah, kinda lower than I anticipated. I don't like wearing my hair down in the office. That's street-wear.

Edited to add: OK, in all honesty, after all is said and posted, I just now looked at myself in the mirror (Confidence, you know, giving myself the one-over), and it MAY appear that the blouson-effect of the princess- empire- seaming of the blouse?...yeah...I may appear pregnant. Soooo, the up-and-down body-to-shoes-body-to-shoes-body-to-shoes look MAY just have been: she-looks-pregnant-but-fuck-me-shoes-say-perhaps-not confused look of someone who may just be ready to ask: When are you due?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Two pizzas walk into a bar...

My motto on friendship: A good friend is someone you call when you are in jail...a best friend is in the next cell over saying, "Damn that was fun!"

And so it begins.

It is the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and Mav and I can not believe we are actually in town. It is her birthday weekend after all. But after the debacle of last Memorial Day, it really isn't that bad - this being in town business. And since her and Morgan are "working from home" in some wireless environment that wasn't a bar, and I was "slaving" away at the office catching up on the music blogs and zines, it was only a matter of seconds until the three of us jumpstarted the three day weekend.

So Mav, Morgan and I settle into the glorious summer day on a deck with a grill (insert Miami joke here) and like a gazillion beers. I know, settle if we must. After all this consumption of food and I should pause right here to give that a mention. Mav WAS the grillmaster of some lovely kebabs - steak AND chicken, veggies, corn on the cob and various sausages (andouille, hot AND sweet italian). The food being swished down with the beers. But somewhere between beer number 1 and 20 (I'm not sure where as calculations were not being kept and none of us are accountants), things took a turn for the worse, as Mav suddenly found herself hanging off the deck writhing in the pain of what could only be alien babies taking over her stomach because her stomach was giving her that sign - the one that closes up shop and says, "Enough, bitch! Get this shit out of here." Except the shit - or the alien babies - whatever was terrorizing her stomach -was having a little problem finding a new home, which Mav was choosing to be a pile of leaves - her hanging off the deck, just inches from the citronella tiki lanterns.

Those buggers in her belly needed some coaxing along. Our dear friend was in pain! So good friends that we were, we each took turns holding Mav's hair back as we concocted the following story to help her along to feeling better.

So in the name of releasing alien babies, this story was born, as told by Me, Morgan and (enter stage left) Diamond who had just returned with a bottle of Moet, a birthday cake and three iPod shuffles for the gals. Best housewarming gift ever? Oh, that's right, it is his house. How about - best boyfriend/fiance ever! (Seriously awesome, Diamond!)

The Perfect Storm (Or I Licked The Tongs)

Two pizzas walk into a bar. (And not just any bar, it's Jay's Elbow Room.) Meat Lover Pizza says to Anchovy Pizza, "J'u wanna pizza me?" And Anchovy P. responds, "I'll slice you a new one, Meat Head!"

The Pizzas could go on all day talking like this, this was their song and dance. But today was unlike no other because just when Sausage, the bartender (Hot Italian) - pipes into the bad joke gone awry with, "I'll blow a casing if you guys don't stuff it!" a Raw Chicken Breast Cutlet walks into the bar and saddles up in between the two pizzas rubbing against them as breasts will do. One could say she might be flirting. Others might call her "easy." Hot Italian Sausage Bartender offers them up a round of shots. That dirty fella - Anchovy P. - wants the Buttery Nipple and Meat Lover wants the Three Kings. So two shots they do.

The Breast gets on top of the bar top and does the chicken dance to nobody's interest but Mr. Peanut from the peanut bowl. Then the Marlboro Man rides in on...a horse? A Harley (on account of Memorial Day in DC)? No - he chooses a dirty ashtray as his magic carpet ride. And he rides into the Elbow Room in a cloud of smoke as only the Marlboro Man can do. He looks around the Elbow Room and then flicks his lit cigarette which gets embedded in the breast that is the raw chicken which slowly cooks her to...a Southern. Fried. Chick. Which, incidently, cures the dirty whore of any disease she was walking around with.

But the Salmonella is out there. The Pizzas and her didn't use protection and certainly didn't wash up afterwards. And Raw Chicken really got around this evening in the Elbow Room. At this point, the pizzas are not feeling so hot as Salmonella has opened up a Disco ontop of Meat Lover Pizza and a Third World Country on Anchovy P.

But now Chicken Breast is Smoking Hot. This is when the illegal immigrant working in the back of the Elbow Room - Del Taco - decides to get him some of that Breast now that she's all warmed up. Only he has no arms and no legs, him being a taco. So he pours a stream of tequila on which he slides into the Elbow Room. Southern Fried Chick jumps off the bar, excited for her third drink of the evening, swims into the tequila, and slides into the fold of the taco. The cigarette butt still stashed in her breast.

While a disco inferno is brewing on the pizzas and Marlboro Man is pulsating to the beat of the disco music in his dirty ashtray, Sean Connery walks into the bar. He is hungry and sees the taco and takes a bite. A bite that has the lit cigarette.

Well, the combination that is the Hotness of Sean Connery (we had to scratch Louie Anderson for this very important plot development) and the burning butt caused Sean's head to BLOW RIGHT OFF. But he is still hungry so a headless Sean Connery sits on the Pizzas. Hot Italian Sausage has backed into the corner - he doesn't want to be anywhere near that region, even if it is Sean Connery. He takes off for the Sausage Factory. Mr. Peanut, dancing across the bartop, ditches his cane and heads for the Peanut Gallery. And the Marlboro Man goes up in a puff of smoke - the Big C finally taking him over and leaving tobacco lobbyists without a job.

End scene: It's closing time in Jay's Elbow Room and Jay sweeps up the reamins of the day....sausage bits, pizza crusts, taco shells, peanut shells, and the town drunk with no head (little does Jay know he has a movie star in his dust pan). To Jay, it's just another day in the life of the Elbow Room...

The end.

An hour and half later, the story came to a close, but not until Mav had finally released a stomach's worth of discontent all over the back yard. More fodder for the dust pan at Closing Time. The story was a successful means to that end, Dear Friend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Selfless Acts Of Love Will Get You A Seat Right Behind Your Ex and His Wife

"You can't control an independent heart, Can't tear the one you love apart" -- Sting on If You Love Someone, Set Them Free...“Free, free, set them free…” Just like Sting said.

On being the bigger person...

The Yukkell – not the guy who drove me to drinking, but to blogging actually - was my best friend/confidante/lover for five years. Our relationship was not traditional by any means but you could hardly say we were on-and-off. Barely a day went by when we didn't talk. But sure, you could say we were up-and-down. He picked me up, he put me down, but he was always THERE and I knew he would always be there. Or something like that.

One night in January of 2005, he called me to give me the kind of news you sit down for. I was sitting on my kitchen counter and not the crapper, which is where the shitty news should have gone. (But, remember, I am being the bigger person.) I don’t know what I was prepared for, perhaps I assumed he was going to say that he met someone. I never expected it was going to be what it was. The-One-Who-Got-Away (herinafter TOWGA) came a’knockin’ after – what? – ten years. The story unravels – details aside, and in my opinion they don’t put TOWGA in a good light and this isn’t TOWGA bashing so details omitted. But the relevant punchline is that she is now widowed with four tiny little girls, one barely a year old.

We spent the weekend together talking about all this. I knew a good deal about her already - more than she probably cared for me to know. But the situation needed hashing and slicing and dicing. I was doing what I did best by him - offering unwavering support. His perspective that weekend was just to help her from a professional standpoint (i.e., a legal standpoint).

As the days rolled on, TOWGA pushing the Hopeless card (and not to fault her on that), wants him to come see her. He doesn’t want to and tells her as much. His work can be done by afar. I nudge him to reconsider. I was buying that she needed him. It was He, himself, who told me much later on in this story: She needs me more than you do.

"Run South then, darlin'." But the day before he goes I panic and tell him what I am most afraid of happening at this point, which is that I don’t want to lose him.

He smiled that way and looked me straight in the eye and said, "You won’t ever lose me."

That wasn't going to prove to be true. Up until that moment he set foot on her swamp turf, he needed me. In fact, up until our last conversation when he was at the airport on some layover and reminded me that he doesn’t even want to be doing this. "Remember??" Being a cheerleader paid off, as I poured on some fake charm in the form of a you-can-do-it rah, built him up as I always did. I think he was most afraid of what was going to happen which was what did happen. They rekindled. And he knew that if he opened that door, he would never be able to close it again. Not on her situation being what it was.

I won't lie. I cried all night as being the bigger person was proving to be difficult.

We continued to talk but not every day now. He talked to her every night. We went on like this for a couple months up to our last weekend we were to spend together as a couple. He told me that she was pushing for him to marry her and had picked a July date. Yes, folks, we are still in 2005. He was pushing for me to say something...

"What do you say about that?" taunting me with his you-or-her torture. His own torture.

I couldn’t put myself down that path of "Pick Me." THIS wasn’t about me at all. And THIS wasn’t about her either. This was about HIM. I always put him before my own happiness and I wasn't going to start now, it seems. And why did I put him first? For things in his past that haunted him and made him the unhappy person he was. His demons is what he liked to call it. Sure, he loves her. Friends, he did say, “I loved her no more than I loved you.” And, “If this was you in this situation, I’d do the same thing for you.”

THIS was about him righting a wrong that happened – independent of her and independent of me. Something that has haunted him. His story that I will keep with me. But it was about him taking responsibility. Being a father. A part of me thinks I could have fought for him. I considered it. But I couldn't offer him the panacea he needed to deal with his past, his guilt. I always prayed for something to release him from his demons. I was not enough. Who knew it was to be the TOWGA and the ready-made family?

I had to be the bigger person.

They didn't get married that summer, but they did a year later. We ceased communication after that weekend - to the point where he would blatantly avoid me - the equivalent of crossing the street if he saw me coming.

Except one time. I got to see him a year ago at a mutual friend’s birthday party. We had a nice private chat. And he started that whole song-and-dance with me again. Trying to coax something out of me that I couldn't give him. It's not romantic love that I feel for him. It’s more soulful. It's selfless. It's the love of a good friend. A best friend. THAT person I would take back any day of the week, no matter where I was.

So he’s married now. We don't talk. I don't know whether he is happy. Knowing him, I think it might be possible, but then I also think it might not be. Did he bring the demons with him? Or do the cherubic faces he now fathers slay them? I hope so.

This past weekend, I had the distinct displeasure of sitting directly behind Him and Her in a church as we watched our mutual friends get married. The spurned lover in me wanted to tear her apart in critique and showcase my smoking ass that he loved so much right in front of his face. The discarded friend in me wanted to tie a friendship bracelet around his neck and pull tight on the ends.

But, alas, I want to be the bigger person.

We shared no more than a "hi." When she is around, he won't talk to me. He avoids me. (I have had one other distinct displeasing occasion to be in the same room.) I don't know if it is out of respect for her, or because he simply does not care anymore, or because he is afraid of getting sucked back into the attraction. Most likely they are his issues or their issues and I have moved on so I don't worry my pretty little head over the details.

Nevertheless, in one awkward moment on the dancefloor, she came right up to within my circle, right next to me, to join in the dancing. And for one moment, I thought she might not be as lifeless and sad as she appears. Maybe she really is a good person. The moment was right there. I wanted to turn to her and offer my hand as an introduction. I wanted to tell her that I am glad that they found their way back to each other - her being "the one who got away." I thought that maybe we - as two people who love this man dearly - could share a moment. Maybe we have more in common than I think. Maybe we would share a laugh as we tore around the dancefloor. Maybe we would actually like each other. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. Or I wouldn’t?

I couldn’t be that big of a person.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Run for the Black-Eyed Susans…or the Bourbon...sometimes it just is about the bourbon

I’ve said it before: I get into the Triple Crown. I read about the horses, I study them, and then I make my little chump change bet based on those statistics and the horse’s underdoggedness quotient (i.e., the blind horse is getting my vote or the one with "chips in his hoof".)

Taking the science out of it, the one thing I really like about the horses is the names -- born of lineage and a play-on words...and kitsch. Based on this art, now you can rank them on the cuteness factor.

Let me lay it out for you,* by post position:

Mint Slewlep – AKA “The Drunk”

He started drinking at the derby and, frankly, never stopped. And I haven’t researched him yet but I am guessing he is a product of Seattle Slew (which is another fun game to guess the lineage, see?). He gets his words mixed up and he is always fun and he takes his drink in a collins glass. He missed work for this bender.

What he will be wearing: A jersey with the following written upside-down: If you can read this, pick me up, and put me back on my barstool.

XChanger – AKA “The Cyberpunk”

He likes stories about giant robots and dreams of a world of fantastical structures and weapons. Blade Runner is his favorite movie. He might apply time travel to everyday life.

What he will be wearing: He is made of steel and he has bionic prosthetics.

Circular Quay – AKA “The Parrothead”

He moved to Key West to live the life of leisure and become the beach bum persona for which he aspired to when he first heard “Margaritaville,” in a parking lot. Count on him to blow off a flip-flop, for lyric's sake.

What he will be wearing: A Save the Manatees jersey and flips flops.

Curlin – AKA “The Canadian Jock”

Not the one with athletic prowess, but strategy and skill instead, much like a game of chess. He gets the good sportsmanship award as nobody is a loser, and if he wins, he is buying you a drink...because that is the spirit of the game.

What he will be wearing: The team uniform and carrying a broom.

King of the Roxy – AKA “The Club Kid”

He does his business after dark. He associates socializing with elaborate lighting systems that throb to the beat of the music, smoke beams, a disco ball, podium dancers, and girls get in free night. He always makes it past the doorman. He is music mixed by a dj and dancing mixed by alcohol.

What he will be wearing: A Jean Paul Gaultier knock-off.

Flying First Class – AKA “The Socialite”

He is not shy about publicity...does he love or hate his picture taken? I can’t tell. He is not known for any artistic merit or intellectual genius, but only known by his less-tangible ability to dominate the social scene and use personal charisma to achieve prominence.

What he will be wearing: God knows, but he will have a dog in a pink shirt and a Cartier-encrusted collar.

Hard Spun – AKA “The Knitter”

He is missing the craft fair for this, kids. He has a blog about knitting, called KnitWit or The Happy Hooker, where people can share tips and techniques, run competitions, and share their patterns. He also participates in chat groups as a means for social networking with like-minded crafters. Non-essential craft my ass.

What he will be wearing: A beanie, some mittens, a scarf, and wrapped in an afghan.

Street Sense – AKA “The Gang Member”

Well, gang member but not in the pejorative sense. Think a Jets/Sharks face-off, facing the other horses, nuzzle to nuzzle, and rhythmically snapping his fingers. That's how this horse rumbles. Even better if he breaks into song.

What he will be wearing: Hopefully a wife-beater.

C P West – AKA “The Preppie”

He attended an elite college preparatory school. His motto is "Choose Juicy." He will be heard asking the other horses where they summer. You can call him "Chip."

What he will be wearing: A button-down Oxford cloth shirt, cuffed khakis, and cordovan loafers.

Who will you be rooting for?

*I assure you, no stereotypes were hurt in the making of this list.

Friday, May 11, 2007

On Being Vulnerable...It'll Get You Hugs

Lately, I’ve been bopping around my life...happily. And after the past few months of the doldrums that have battened down my hatches for a cold winter’s nap – it was most welcome and refreshing. The pony tail swings now as opposed to a little constricted bun at the nape of the neck, y'know? Last Saturday, I even stopped into a neighborhood bar all by myself (there was a pull of a sound check and some guy with a guitar, gets me all the time) on my way home from watching the horses. After a few rounds of eye contact, I was striking up a conversation with a James Dean look-alike. Damn hot. I proceeded to share a few beers with him and then mysteriously disappeared into the night. Or maybe he didn't notice. He hasn't filed a Missed Connection yet.

So...happy with and by myself. Right?

But then something happened to slap my happy face into Fuck! This sucks! all over again. [Cue: Violins. Crickets. And an annoying harmonica. All in black and white.] This week was enough to remind me that I DO need that hug at the end of the day because hugging yourself is only fun when someone is watching you from behind.

This week I was selected to report for jury duty. And out of the 70-or so people reporting that day, I was actually selected with 6 other people to sit on a jury. We were hearing a drunk driving case.

I thought the odds were against me. Especially after I was questioned on being a law librarian and my training to that end. I explained my legal research training and general law librarian code of ethics (I left out the geekiness of that line) that does not in any way, shape, or form allow me to interpret the law. So: clueless. AND after I admitted to being rear-ended by a drunk driver when I was 15. I left out the severity of the accident and when questioned on this, I admitted that I could, in fact, remain impartial. (This proved to be true.) I also had to admit to driving under the influence at times. We all did.

Damn, I wish I would have fought harder for dismissal - the excuses were there for me. Because in the end, I – along with my fellow jurors – had to send some guy who made a really bad decision one night to get behind the wheel of his car to jail. For 10 days. It is two days later and THAT still sits with me.

We listened to this case for 2 days and we deliberated on it for 3-ish hours. I won't talk about the specifics of the case, because there were dynamics. It wasn't cut and dry, yet it was. The defense could have had a case but had no hard evidence to dispute the one piece of evidence that stood - which is the guy blew a .24, three times the legal limit. But there was no reason not to believe that result given all the evidence (of which there was none) and witnesses (of which there were none) that the defense presented. YET, it took me that long to get on board. I wanted to cut the guy a break. I wanted to bring it down to just a DUI. But in the end, I had to check the (bleeding) heart at the door – the compassion that believes in the general good of people, good being redeemable, and the ability to make mistakes and correct it and learn from it and give-a-guy-a-break philosophy. Looking at the issue objectively, resulted in a conviction. Objectively, there was no other way to rule.

Yeah, he was wrong. But it did not feel good. I was emotionally invested in that case. At the end of the day, I went home and sobbed into my pillow. I hated that. It felt hypocritical to say, yeah, I've been there dude, but nanny-nanny-boo-boo you got caught so go sit in the corner for 10 days and think about it. What high horse am I on? See? THAT doesn't sit right with me. [Disclaimer: I don't do that anymore. I, thankfully, live in walking proximity to watering holes, cabs, and metro and Mav is marrying our Designated Driver when locations take us yonder.]

I was emotionally-invested and, as such, I got emotionally-attached to one of the jurors. (Which I didn't even notice at the time.) He was cute but that is really besides the point. I didn't see Cute. I saw strength. He was smart (very) and he helped me, in his way, find where I needed to go with this. I guess I identified with him. He thought like me, but more rationally. He helped me wrap my mind around where it should have been. He had that kind of presence. Something I haven't seen since my dad. It was something I could buckle to. So somewhere between conflicted emotions, vulnerability, and being scared shitless, I approached Needy territory (or what felt like neediness). Something I never thought was "pretty." I would never show a guy - who didn't know me - THAT. I felt like I wasn't having a big girl moment. I should be confident! And sure! And tough! But in succumbing to something so innate to my being - some vulnerability - I saw what it could get me. Because as we were walking out of the courthouse, His Sweetness reached out to me and gave me a hug. And it wasn't a gratuitous hug. He reached for it, he meant it. He asked me if I was going to be alright. I said, I would be. He assured me that we did the right thing. I trust that.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Friday Night Date

I came home from work, put on a low-cut sundress, slid my feet into new summer sandals, layered some necklaces, squirted my signature scent, Angel, on my neck, and brushed a coat of lip gloss. I smacked my lips, did a double take in the mirror (someone's got to give me second glances, the cat's dead and even then she just gave me those evil stares plotting my death).

There was a kick in my step. Where did this newfound....what is it...not necessarily happiness...but contentedness, yeah? ....where did THAT come from.

I don't know but I am going with it.

I picked a bouquet of flowers, a rotisserie chicken, pilaf, greens, chocolate mousse, raspberries, a red, a white, a champagne, a Chimay. Just some accessories to a good date.

I thought the wine sampler guy was flirting with me so I tried all six then went back to the Zin for another swig. He was buying.

I put the pilaf on simmer, settled into a bath, glass of wine in hand.

After dinner, I dipped some raspberries in "vegan" chocolate mousse. Finished the bottle. And called it a night.

Tomorrow I have a date with a horse.

Wedding Registries: The Good and Bad of It

This post has been a long time coming. Born from that awesome day much like our parents may have experienced circa 1960’s (before the Beatle invasion) when Mav picked me up from the office in a Prowler (yes the Betterman’s PT Cruiser). The car upstaged us. Hell, we could have been the British Invasion by the attention we were getting.

I’ve said it before: Wedding Registries – I don’t get them. Well, I get them in theory. It’s like not showing up to a party without a bottle. The people want to bring you something for your hospitality. Because this one bottle I bring you? I am going to double my profits at your kitchen bar. This – you know, getting the “idea” of a registry - is just my little disclaimer for when I do get married because then I will register for things I really need – that third car…vacation home…an orphan in Malawai. Because isn’t that what people are really waiting for after you exchange vows before Elvis or at least before I exchange vows before Elvis? (I did just get back from Vegas. Just so you know.)

…OK, so registries…

People in their mid-thirties – professional working people in their mid-thirties, with homes and cars and pots and pans and turkey basters – STILL insist on registering for things our mom and dad’s registered for when they were teenagers and "starting their home." Registering for the "basics" - much like tossing the bouquet to spinster single chicks in tafetta and letting the men seduce a woman’s leg, the words “honor and obey” really just “cop a feel” – is (or should be) an antiquated practice slowly dying a vanilla-frosted cake-in-your-face death.

My thoughts are if you live in THIS WORLD and breath 30-year old air and put yourself to bed every night without your mama tucking you in and take yourself out for steak every once in a awhile, then you might have the following:

China...Because isn’t that just NOT paper plates? Grandmas have china and should be passed down. And even better if it's got nicks and mismatched - you know I love.

Measuring spoons...seriously, they're maybe 4.99 at Target.

Baking sheets, baking pans, bundt pans...Perhaps that is what marriage does to people – drives them straight to pineapple upside down cake.

Wine glasses...How are you drinking your wine already? All grown-up drinks have a context. As such, a proper container from which to serve is pertinent to the enjoyment of the beverage, be that champagne, margarita, Long Island, martini, wine. There is a glass for it people! I have pilsners and pints and 99 bottles of beer on the wall...doesn't everybody?

Sheets...And would you like me to throw some mood lighting and Barry White in too? 8MM film? Because I like THAT thankyou note: Thanks for the sheets! Mr. and I enjoy rolling in them! (See: turkey baster below.)

Casual china...Which are really just paper plates, right? Plastic Ronald McDonald plates? I eat the chicken out of the bucket.

Salt and pepper shakers

Turkey Baster...Honey, that is not a kitchen utensil. ooh la la, is all I'm saying. This is universal, isn't it? (See: sheets above).

Salad we still spin our salad? I thought that was a 70’s concept, much like polyester, the hula hoop, the Village People, the AMC Pacer (bubble car!), and betamax (i.e., better "technologies" now). If I can't push a button, I'm not making it. I blame that on Y2K.

Professional working people owning city condos, driving imports, drinking imports, and shopping at the NOTWal-mart must have all this stuff already, eh? I have all this shit and the nice shit to boot. I bought the Williams Sonoma cake can, cookie sheets, the spring form pan, and three different colored spatulas when I went on a baking kick a few Christmas' ago. Yet, I do not own a baby blue KitchenAid mixer that I do covet but I can't ask my guests to buy me a $300 piece of machinery. (See above: bring one measly bottle of wine to party, drink four in return.)

I don’t look at marriage as an excuse to get shit. Well, just the things I need (see above: 3d car, 2d home – oh, we are combining properties so 3d home (my bad), and 2.2 orphans).

YET, I say all this and just so you know...I DO believe in the gift-giving. Of course! And for each wedding I go to, I happily buy the roasting pan or blender (because that is a gift that keeps on giving..margaritas on deck and I'm the houseguest that never leaves) for the lovebirds. If that is what you want. A lot of this is JUST ME because, like I said, I happen to have most of this stuff - and quality stuff too because I happen to buy myself really nice things. If I can, why can't I, said the girl who owns all these kitchen gadgets yet doesn't even cook. And quality is not over-rated, my friends. I can get behind that. So, you should have a nice set of measuring spoons (and only a girl or the Ace of Cakes will get that). But I do admit to sometimes tweaking the gift. If you want a cutting board, I might go to Torpedo Art Factory and get you an artist-crafted one. Is that acceptable?

There is a reason why guys dread Registry Day - it's domesticatingly BORING. Their wig doesn't flip for some measuring spoons. But when I see the turkey baster on the registry, I just nod my head in recognition. Yeah...please send the turkey baster.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Doppelgangers...Real, Imaginary...Find Them On The Internet (or Whole Foods)

I’m obsessed with this idea of doppelgangers lately. My intro into what exactly is a doppelganger was care of a Lifetime movie starring Melissa Gilbert (Half Pint! times 2! And I’ve left the joke book on that one at home, folks. Fill in your own punchline). I guess in true definition – and what the movie projected – a doppelganger is a shadow-self that only the self can see…so it has mystical or spiritual, namely devil-backed, connotations – as evil incarnate, a portent to death, etc. But in keeping with the light and fluffy and spreadable (and off the horror screen and any kind of Witch’s Brew), my definition of a doppelganger is merely a resemblance of oneself (either in spirit, characteristic, or physical form). And since I believe that all living creatures are inherently good and redeemable, my mind, wander as She may, can not go THERE, devil boy.

So doppelgangers are gooooood.

For example, when I say someone is a doppelganger of someone I used to date, I am inferring that the named doppelganger is actually perhaps the Good Twin because he is not tainted by the Past and Whimsy of the particular Copy, who was merely posing as the Original. As it relates to guys I have dated (read: Past, Unwanted), the doppelganger is the essence of what this person SHOULD have been or what I imagined him to be. (Who said Imaginary Boyfriends weren’t acceptable? I don’t think Dr. Phil has touched this one.) So I might build this Unknown Twin up to what should have been. So you know what happens next? Cyber-stalking is in order, Webbers! Because I really have to give him more context than: the Asst Manager at Whole Foods, in Chucks, who looks like Pompadour with a better hair cut. I like to call it: Dating at a Distance. I would argue that this is actually healthier, Heartbreakers and Breakees.

But let me expound on one obsession at a time.

I vaguely remember years ago someone claiming to know my dad from somewhere. “He looks just like you, everything about you.” Well, there was no way in hell these people knew each other unless my daddy had a double life and appeared at dinner every single night of my life growing up as a hologram. (What's good for Elvis is good for my daddy. But he shouldn't have to suffer Celine. I'm just saying.)

I tuck that way as my daddy having a doppelganger. And if anybody should be cloneable, it shouldn’t be a cow named Dolly, but it should have been a Pollack named Ski. And this is not After Death or In Retrospect talk – or Polish propaganda. (For that I would just say: Go stuff a sausage. Pass the pigs. And fly the Polish flag.) So I find myself looking for my dad wherever I go. Sometimes I just imagine what it would be like to see him walking down the street - looking lost, of course, because he can’t find us - as me, my brother, my sister, and my mom all live at new addresses, new cities…new states, even. Perhaps it is unhealthy and too psychologically-revealing to tell you that a huge factor in why I stayed renting at my old place for so long – was so he could find us. To flash the sanity card and stave the straight jackets, I will tell you that I mean that in the spiritual sense. And it is also why I don’t understand why people wouldn’t want an open casket funeral (unless gruesome circumstances demand not) because I had to see his body otherwise I would never have believed that he just didn’t exist in this world anymore. And, y’all, it took me a long time to actually say it like that: exist in this world. Because, doubters, and I was one of them, there has got to be a silver lining to death – there has to be. So keep a girl hopeful and don’t tell me otherwise.

While I have never seen his doppelganger, per se, I do see my dad in people – not as in "i see dead people" see, mind you - it might be in an expression, emotion, a look. An indescribable. Recently, I’ve seen him in a baggage handler at Raleigh International. I’ve seen him in a guy on House Hunters. And in a saxaphonist in Wynton Marsalis' band. All these people looked nothing like him, yet, there was something familiar. Even he has seen a dopelganger. I remember one time sitting on a bar-chartered bus (bar to ballpark, ballpark to bar, because that is how he rolled) coming back from a Chicago Cubs game and him talking about this old lady sitting a few rows ahead of us. He thought she, eerily, reminded him of his mom: my dear grandma, who incidently died too young too. I wondered what it was about her that got his mind wandering There. But now I know, you never let it go. It's impossible to forget. You wonder (and you wander). But you can change your address because he will be everywhere, if nowhere.

So, seeking out doppelgangers….it keeps me believing, see?

An off-shoot of this theme (that try as I might to steer otherwise, brings this back to dating blog material), is lately I have been seeing double of Pompadour. That guy in the pool in Vegas. That guy walking over the Key Bridge last week. The manager at Whole Foods. Hell, in Blakissey even! And why? The shoes? The hair? An expression? An Indie Posturer? I have let IT go because I have had the "he's just not that into you" kick in the ass and puddles of tears that I just can not go through AGAIN. But yet...there he is. But this He is the Good Twin. In theory, at least. And in Whole Foods. Hey, they can't all be corporate cowboys.

And so, where does cyber-stalking fit into this? Yeah, well, I'll just say, I'm good at my job, which equates to: finding information. And, it sometimes seeps into my personal life. It's like the porn star who likes it dirty at home too. It's not just all there in your briefcase or your crotchless panties, it's in your blood. That is why you do what you do and you do it good.

So let me show you how this works.

I'm doing some grocery shopping, trying to mind my own damn business, and I see this guy with dark, shaggy hair lingering somewhere between Organic and Recycled - or Romanticized and Doppelganging, in the Land of Writerly Metaphors where Cheese most always abounds. Can't. Help. It. So this is all I know about him: He works in Whole Foods, wears an apron, and roams the aisles. One time near Dairy. And one time near Yoga Supplies. That's all we know, kids. Not even a name. Well, that was 2 hours ago. Because what I just did was this:

1. I went to the Whole Foods homepage.
2. I just took a wild guess that he could be the Assistant Manager, soley based on name, which is a cute boy name and my very first, 3d grade boyfriend's name who showered me with his sister's stuffed animals.
3. I googled him.
4. Common name so I googled my neighborhood with his name.
5. I found a myspace page to confirm.
6. I never said library science was rocket science.

From which I learned: He is from a southern town I think is pretty cool, he write/plays music, he blogs on his page and is a great, witty, insightful writer, and he loves his job. See? That right there tells you that he is the Good Twin of Pompadour (or, as I like to call him now, G-Top). This unknown blows the reality away. And I'd like to stop right there because this is a guy I could "stalk." You know, if that was part and parcel to being a Cool Chick. But then I also found this out: He drives an Xterra, goes on three week hiking trips, and has a girlfriend who doesn't shave her armpits. Alright, let's go back to the beginning -and add that to the mix now...he loves working at Whole Foods. See? There might be a crunch to G-Top's step which might not match up to the clicking of my heels. He might not be the closet rocker I desire.

So I will continue to scan the doppelganger lineup. Believing. I think I'm getting very comfortable being alone. Accepting it even.

And in topic and for the subscribers at home: If Brad Pitt's doppelganger were writing a blog, it might go like this.