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My mom tried to foist the Flintstones chewable vitamins with iron on me. Did she really think I wouldn't notice that Dino wasn't now entirely purple? I was too young to be offended by what could have been an assumption on her part, but I was offended otherwise by the brown metallic-tasting Dino attached to the purple/grape Dino and would slice it off as neatly as I could using a paring knife. I have a feeling I may have hidden those brown demon Dinos under the Naugahyde cushions of the family room sofa whose gnawed arms I found more palatable.
No matter what, she couldn't make him take his fingers out of his mouth, so one night at bedtime she said, "Since you like eating your fingers so much, one night when you're sleeping I'll replace them with chicken nuggets. Then I won't have to worry about fixing your lunch every day! Sweet dreams!" Donny asked if she could really do it. Of course, she said. The next morning, fresh from dreams, he chewed off his thumb. Funny, it didn't taste like chicken. He couldn't understand why she screamed when he asked if he could have ketchup for the rest.
Yeah, yeah, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, her cousin tells her. Easy for her to say when she's blonde and blue-eyed and there's no way anyone with even half an eye could find her anything but gorgeous. Meanwhile, Tara's looks are up for interpretation and consideration, not as readily accessible to anyone whose eyes land on her. "There's something about you that makes people want to look at you," the cousin insists, "and that's a lot better than looking like everyone else." Maybe that'll fly when she's old and 40, but that's 28 self-stamped ugly years away.
Abraham Lincoln's craggy face crunches beneath my fingers like a leaf, and I don't extract it from my coat pocket to pay for my light bulbs at Duane Reade. Instead, I swipe my debit card, yet another gesture free of texture, just like the sliding of my Metrocard at the subway turnstile. I am satisfied, at least with my choice of bulbs, because I still have the choice of a "classic" bulb shape rather than those weird curly-fry shaped things that will never look cute when drawn over a cartoon character's head when he comes up with a brilliant idea.
You cannot be Pablo Neruda, no matter how hard you try. You cannot be Dr. Seuss. You cannot be Pablo Picasso, even if you cross your eyes and perfect your cubes. You cannot be Charles Schulz. The Pablos and Seuss and Schulz did what they did already and made a fine mark, chipped their names into the granite of what I can loftily call a collective consciousness, and that is all so very well and good. But none of them is like the other, and you shouldn't try to be like any other, either. Paint your own rhyme, in time.
Ricky Gervais gets to come back to host the Golden Globes awards ceremony even though the so-called Powers That Be originally vowed he would not disgrace for a second year. Ahhh yes, whereas they dug in their heels before, not wishing to further ruffle the boa feathers of whomever was offended, all the while probably snickering behind their dirty hands like nine-year-old boys like the rest of us, now they're snorting and pawing at the ground like bulls eager to charge the red cape, while spinning around to also play the role or toreador, eager for inevitable goring and bloodshed.
I'm not the kind of person who can fling open her cabinets, and, from a dusty package of vanilla pudding, a can of kidney beans, a brick of light brown sugar, and a loose bag of tea from Chinese delivery, come up with a way to use it along with tofu with a "use by" date of today, an upside-down bottle of ketchup, semi-desiccated rice from Chinese delivery, and a handful of mushrooms, that will land me a winning spot in one of those TV cooking contests and not projectile vomiting in a taxi en route to an emergency room.
When Bubby was 56, a drunk mowed her down, rewarding her with a broken pelvis and a stroke that resulted in some brain damage. For the next 18 years, she showed no sign of being anyone other than "herself". However, on the night of her 50th anniversary celebration, she entered the restaurant grabbing Poppop's arm, apparently bewildered. My mother said, "She doesn't know why she's here," with an expression on her face I know she didn't want me to see. My mom is around the same age now. I'm terrified of seeing her expression on my own face sometime soon.
My landlord has taken a liking to hanging in my doorway like a hybrid of Mr. Furley and Schneider. Sometimes when I hear him on the other side of my door, futzing at the door leading to the basement stairs, I lift my hands from my keyboard and hold my breath, thinking this will serve as a deterrent to potential disturbance, not realizing that if I can hear him on the other side, he can hear me too, and he will have already heard me clacking and breathing away, which in and of itself he apparently interprets as an invitation.
I gave up all meat (including fish) (fish is flesh, thus it is meat) ages ago and shun dairy and eggs as much as possible. I wear very little leather, and any shoes , handbags, or belts I've bought in the past few years have been non-leather/suede.
I hate when I see ANYONE in fur (men in fur coats should just be fined for looking like such colossal tools), but when I see a "younger person" (how much do I sound like my own Bubby right now?) wearing one I think, "Oh come on. You're young enough to know better."
Around Thanksgiving, a friend showed me a monstrosity online called "cherpumple", described as "a cherry pie, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie, each cooked inside a separate cake, then stacked together and iced to form another cake", a dessert variation on the traditional turducken. Although the notion of turducken fills me with revulsion, the prospect of cherpumple fills me with delight. I couldn't stack a Ding Dong atop a Chips Ahoy and top it with a Pop Tart, so the mere construction of this thing impresses me. (I'm not even going to pretend to not want to eat it.)
My new pillows declare they're to be used for all sleep positions. I doubted the veracity of that claim, so I tried every traditional position. Still not convinced, and rife with the usual buyer's remorse, I tried other variations as well, including a headstand, handstand, several Pilates tricks, and that one-legged Karate Kid thing.
Meanwhile, the pillows' perkiness is making my bed look like it's wearing a push-up bra, which has earned the whole shebang the admiration of a "plush" moose named Harold and, I'm sure, my landlord the next time he comes down here to engage in uncomfortable conversation.
I cannot let the one photo of me with above-shoulder-length hair where I don't look like a too-tailored soccer mom detract me from my mission to keep my hair cascading down my back a la Ann-Margret/Mary Tyler Moore. However, once it reaches West Virginia homestead wife length, where it looks like it would get caught in a rickety wooden spinning wheel where I'd spend a heap of time spinning yarn from which I'd later knit scratchy gray long johns for my brood by the fire, I'll have to lop off a few inches to reclaim a modicum of girlish "glamour".
She who tries, without a professional degree or license or diploma on her wall, to diagnose someone else with an illness, disease, or disorder, must take several swift steps back and remember the horrors of high school health class lo so many years ago, after which she stared into her open full-length locker as if a paraplegic, positive she had scleroderma, a brain tumor, night blindness, Parkinson's disease, early onset Alzheimer's, epilepsy (grand mal seizures!), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and a whole host of cancers in various stages, including prostate, yet to this day has never been hospitalized, institutionalized, or euthanized.
Her frame is way too narrow and spare to have been naturally accommodated with the tits that are now blankly, pinkly staring at me thanks to the removal of her towel here in the locker room. However, as fascinated as I am by how unnaturally firm and high they are, even for a girl as young as her face and ass reveal her to be, I am more transfixed by the fact that, yes, the welcome mat perfectly matches the drapes. I wonder if this is by design or if it, too, is as contrived as the other decorator tips.
Plain and simple, no other way to say it, we all have our shit. We all have stupid shit that bogs us down and clogs our brains and hogs our hearts and makes us say things we don't mean, act ways that we'd be mortified to witness in someone else, and make an enormous avalanche of a mess that we think we can't clean or clear up. I wish we could step outside our own nonsense as it's crashing around us, view it less myopically, and instead of burning skid marks, just stop on a dime, like perfect stunt-car drivers.
Through her eyelashes, Carla sees her dad pull into a space in front of 7-Eleven. He needs cigarettes and for Mommy, as always, a Tab. He glances in the rear-view mirror, half turns around in his seat, and says, "A shame Carla's asleep. I thought she'd dig a cherry Slurpee." For a split second, Carla considers fluttering her eyes open in mock awakening, but realizes if she does so, she'll lose out on the opportunity to be carried into the house by her dad, as he always does when she's fallen asleep in the car. The Slurpee can wait again.
If I were given the option to either live an indeterminate number of years without interruption (as is now), or to live forever at a fixed age of my choosing, but afforded only two consecutive days yearly, which would I take? If the latter, I'd always be a visitor, with no bonds or continuity, unable to plan anything. Then again, I'd get to see how the world was progressing, check out crazy future fashions, and if my country were demolished beyond repair, I'd know that in two days I'd be outta there. I plan to ruminate about this until 4064.
I recently posted a photo of myself on Facebook with the Love Of My Life, my German Shepherd, Taxi, who left this world on 13 February 2008. A friend asked me how he came to have that name. This is how.
In January 2000, Bob's (my then-boyfriend) black German Shepherd, Max, um, crossed the Rainbow Bridge (I don't believe in that necessarily, but I hate saying that horrible four-letter-word!). He went online and found another German Shepherd in a shelter in Trenton, New Jersey, and that dog's name was also Max. He committed to that dog, sight unseen.
J tells me I need something called a "dongle" to connect the second monitor to my new computer. Without breaking stride, we both smirk and giggle into our hands like the nine-year-old boys we not so secretly are. (Nine-year-old girls are already too MATURE for such an eyeroll-worthy kneejerk reaction!) This is no shock, of course, because the degeneration spontaneously occurs when I'm confronted with less obviously giggle-handed words like "abreast" and "angina". Even now, even typing them, I imagine nobody else can read them either without being ordered to leave Social Studies and march down to the principal's office.
That dog, of course, was Taxi. We decided it was sad to call him Max, but also knew we had to call him something he could recognize, so I thought it'd be easier if the new name rhymed with what he already knew. So, I went through the alphabet (Ax, Bax, Cax, Dax) (even Eax and, yes, Iax!) and landed on Tax.
Bob was (is) a tax attorney, so I thought that was doubly cute. But since it was also a bit corny, I added an "i", which made it even cuter but not really corny.
Bob knew the name was a success when, while walking Taxi on a street in Center City Philadelphia (where we lived at the time), someone hailed a taxi and Taxi looked over and barked. I don't know if he ever did that here in New York.
The name was perfect, except now every time I see it, on a cab, a sign, a "taxi stand", wherever else, tears sting my eyes. And yeah, living in NYC, it's kind of hard to avoid it. We may as well have named him Duane Reade or Starbucks or Bank of America.
Rather than leave potential "treasures" curbside with the trash, people on my block place stuff on the low wall/ledge in front of their houses for others to take. The other morning someone left out a wooden crate filled with kitchen utensils and several small glass vases. At first I thought, "I'll leave it for the homeless," lying to myself that I was being sensitive rather than lazy, and passed by. Ten seconds later, I turned around and lugged the load into my apartment, evilly murmuring to myself, "Like the homeless use tongs and have a place to display flowers?" Nice.
At a Christmas party at one of my boyfriend's cousins, I am repelled by a large aluminum pan of gray-brown meat that I've overheard is osso bucco. I've never had it, and tonight, 32 years into vegetarianism, is not going to be the night I do. Pasta in vodka sauce is at the other end of the line, and I am comforted that I can at least pretend to get drunk on rigatoni. But none of that matters, because I'm enchanted by another large aluminum pan containing what I'm told is potatoes with cheese and a cornflake crust.
The cousin's secretive about the ingredients, but since I'm assured it's not meat, I ladle what, for me, is a modest amount onto my plate, knowing I'll be back for seconds at least, without even having tasted it. When I do, a unicorn appears, strumming a harp, bathed in pink light. I ask what the secret ingredient is, and am told, with a sheepish, embarrassed, apologetic tone, that it's TATER TOTS. I am elated to the point of tears. It takes everything I have not to run back to the buffet and dig in directly with a fork.
Glamorous City Life #262: I finally went to my storage space on West 43rd Street and collected some of my sweaters for the winter. I hadn't been to the space since I got it a few months ago, and I felt so URBAN and GROWN UP (no kidding), walking to the warehouse the other morning right after the gym, finding my "closet" without getting lost in the labyrinthe, unlocking its two locks, setting up the ladder, and futzing around among my stuff, selecting things to take home with me in two of the nylon bags I otherwise use for grocery-shopping.
I have no idea what she's saying, no desire to scoop the words into a cohesive earful to make sense out of what seems to be nonsense. Her words could be chocolate-chip-cookie-scented Dr. Seuss, Ray Bradbury's voice could be falling from her lips, she could be channeling Dorothy Parker's spirit, and I wouldn't have a cotton-pickin' clue because all I can do in her presence is stare at her enormous brown tits, unfettered beneath an orange top too flimsy to contain them, cockeyed crazy liquid tits that themselves don't know which way to look, one pointed southwest, one pointed east.
HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP! HAPPY ONE YEAR, PUP!
If I could somehow insert myself into the bog of Times Square on New Year's Eve, possibly (and so feasibly!) via jet-pack, and be assured as swift a retreat as an entry, I'd go down there and do it. I'd like to be a mindless reveler, my eyes, glazed with alcohol and wind chill, delirious behind huge plastic glasses in the shape of the numerals of the year that's breathing down my neck. It's not even the idiocy of the revelry that I'd mind. It's that I'd have to pee. All dressed up and nowhere to, yeah, go. Pee whiz!
They'll sneer when you ask what their New Year's resolutions are. Please, they say, they're not ridiculous enough to think they'd keep their promises to themselves. Why bother to pretend they'll go to the gym or never turn down an invitation from a friend and be on time if they accept one since it's all going to be for naught come January 8 at the latest? Meanwhile, on January 1, as they stare at a blank Word document, they pray they can come up with something to write so they don't break the secret resolution they'll never tell you about.
I have no end-of-the-year mega-post blowout-a-gogo. I don't have a list of my ten best or worst anything or anyone. I don't have any resolutions, words of wisdom, or a crystal ball or a fortune cookie or a voodoo doll to take care of my life or yours on the other side of midnight. All I have is a sincere wish that whatever you do or don't do tonight, with whomever you do it, however early or late you fall asleep, you do so with joy and laughter. Have a safe, relatively sane, truly joyous time today, tonight, and beyond!
The Tip Jar