What's up with me and all the pretzels lately? I just can't seem to get enough. Snyder's hard pretzels, a longtime favorite (a "classic", I suppose), Happy Herbert's Penn Dutch (usually the "extra dark" [burnt] variety), Rold Gold or Snyder's rods (why does that word make me snicker?) ... and if New York had a decent soft pretzel, I'm sure I would have indulged in those, too. However, I am going to Philadelphia today, where soft pretzels reign absolutely supreme. But I vowed last night, after surveying my usually fabulously flat stomach and noting that it looked a tad bloated, to lay off the pretzels already.
I suppose I've been crazy with the pretzels because I gave up "sweets" sometime in February. I had been treating myself to far too many impossibly fudgy brownies, outrageously perfect chocolate chip cookies, and other sundry (fresh-)baked goods. And it wasn't like I was savoring each morsel the way I know I should have. No, I was wolfing them down the way my dog does with his biscuits. Three bites, a snort, a snuffle, some drool, and my ears would perk up as I turned my head around looking for more.
I suppose this is just supplanting one "addiction" with another, the way alcoholics frequently turn to coffee after turning away from the harder stuff. And I suppose it could be worse. I could have substituted heroin for the baked goods, or maybe taken up meat again.
In other compulsive news: I thank "god" that I didn't have any money in my wallet this morning on my way home from the gym. I almost bought In Style for the train ride down to Philadelphia, a magazine that, every time I buy it, makes me believe that I will actually implode if I don't have the latest trendy whatever. Had I had money, I know I would be coming home from Philadelphia with a braided leather sash/belt, a puffy white peasant blouse more hideous than Jerry Seinfeld's, and some sort of wedgy sandals. And why waste all that money on trendy garbage when it'd be better spent on the classics, such as Snyder's hard pretzels?
Last night, or early this morning, I had a dream about Val Kilmer. I guess it was only because he appeared on Live With Regis and Kelly yesterday morning -- because I generally don't think about Val Kilmer too much. It's nothing personal. It's just that I can only focus on one man at a time, and I'm not about to forsake my longtime (and true) love, Johnny Depp, for anyone else. Johnny's just too ... well ... dreamy. (Someone who shall remain quite nameless, a devout reader of this page, has recently used this adjective to describe Johnny Depp as he appeared in Chocolat. )
Anyway, I dreamt about Val Kilmer. In my dream he had straight hair, not the curly luxurious mane he was sporting on Monday morning's show. And in my dream I was sorta kinda backstage at the show, which was also someone's private party, and Val and I were separated by a few anonymous party people (I refuse to say "partiers"). But there was no mistaking that it was he, in all his 6'6" (remember, I said it was a dream) golden boy glory (a dream, I said). Other people were clamoring for his attention, but he pushed them away, and they fell back into the white mist *ahem* through which he passed smoothly as if on wheeled feet. His outrageously square jaw dropped at the sight of my unspeakable beauty, and even the simplest of words failed him. I deemed him silly, and improbably tall, and when I finally spoke to him it was with a slight, faux, lilting accent from an unidentified European country of questionable existence. I don't know what I said to him. I only know that my words enchanted Movie Star Val Kilmer. And even in the dream situation, I was all too aware of my incredible phoniness -- and I wondered if he could/would see through my asinine charade and realize that although I was playing it cool, I was actually quite taken by him and his pouty lips and devastating gaze, if only in the dream. Alas, he was none the wiser.
Val Kilmer remained utterly captivated, hanging on my every word. I played hard to get.
He pursued me, pushing his way through the mist. Oh, the boy was relentless! But I, ever the coquette, blinked my eyes slowly in dismissal, turned my head away ever so slightly, and ... woke up ...
... mad at myself.
Now I know that if I were to run into Val Kilmer on the street (I'm assuming he's in town for something, through the weekend; I didn't watch more than one minute of his segment on Live yesterday), I'd feel as if we shared a special something, and if I smiled at him, he'd think, I know I know this captivating stunner from somewhere. But where ... where ... where??? And I would want to ask him, "Just what did I say in my dream that riveted you so!?
OK, I take it back (but only a little).
One of my favorite people in the world will be sending me a few mp3s soon. Now I think I want an iPod, or whatever I would use given that I have a PC and not a Mac (not like I know the difference).
(Oh, and by the way, I wrote the earlier stuff, below, before I noticed that tonight's 11:00 p.m. episode of "Seinfeld" is the one about "regifting" the label-maker. Just so you don't think I'm using "Seinfeld" for inspiration. Please. What do you take me for? Or, for what do you take me?)
I'm sick of high tech whatnot and whozit. I am so "over" Palm Pilots, pagers, and cell phones. Cars that talk back, give directions, and flip pancakes. Breast implants. TiVo, mp3s. Even speakerphones are too much for me. Actually, with the exception of my beloved computer, blow-dryer, and flatiron, I'm not too enamored of all of this gadgetry, even though I do think it's "neat". (Hello, have you seen Potsie around?) I think pacemakers are pretty cool, and artificial hearts, and really life-like prosthetics, and plastic surgery that can restore a face or body that has been horribly disfigured. But for the most part, I really prefer the old stuff.
I like rotary phones. Gas ranges. Stairs that actually require people to use their legs. Record players. Pencil sharpeners and can openers that are operated by hand. Cars without turbo or sassy reminders to close my door, and with push-button non-LCD tinny-sounding radio. I want things back the way they were before I was born, damn it -- but of course with me already born and old enough to appreciate all of it, while wearing pedal pushers and strewn across an overstuffed chair talking to my kooky friends on my Princess phone without Call Waiting. I want to be so far removed from the year 2002 that my only conception of it is as a time far in the future when everyone will be wearing sleek silvery spacesuits, travelling either by cars that hover over the surface of our fun new planet Mars, or by jetpack. But most of all, I want one of these so I can obsessively press labels on all my good ol' stuff.
A South African with the apropos last name of Shuttleworth has paid $20 million for an eight-day space excursion (starting today) that will take him to the International Space Station.
I just don't get it. At all. Now, I know it's his prerogative to do whatever the hell he wants with his money, but still. I think we have enough stuff down here on earth that could benefit from those millions. I've never quite "gotten" the purpose of space travel, anyway. His blast-off pisses me off.
Further evidence that this man needs a bit of a beating can be found on the website devoted to this mission, which includes a listing of Mark Shuttleworth's likes and dislikes (kinda like the "Turn Ons" and "Turn Offs" found in Playboy centerfolds, except without the loopy, toddler-esque handwriting), as follows:
Likes: spring, cesaria evora, slashdot, chelsea, finally seeing something obvious for the first time, daydreaming, coming home, sinatra, sundowners, durbanville, flirting, string theory, linux, python, mp3s, reincarnation, snow, mig-29s, travel, lime marmalade, mozilla, body shots, leopards, the african bush, rajhastan, russian saunas, weightlessness, broadband, iain m banks, skinny-dipping, fancy dress, flashes of insight, inexplicable happinesses, post-adrenaline euphoria.
Dislikes: admin, legalese, running, London winters, salary negotiations, anxiety, public speaking.
Uh, Mark ... didn't you forget "Likes: wasting money"?
Please. If you're going to list your Likes and Dislikes, can we at least be treated to a super sexxxy shot of you vacuuming your plush living room carpet in kneesocks, high heels, cut-off baseball jersey, and backwards baseball cap?
I've been at my parents' house since Saturday afternoon. I came down to celebrate my sister's birthday, and decided to spend a few extra days here because I needed a change of space/place/pace/face. I needed to get away from the hustle and bustle and the hoi-polloi and hubbub and hoopla of Manhattan.
The first night, I slept in the basement, in my old trundle bed (I slept on the "regular" bed, not the actual trundle part, even though I thought it would've been more fun to pull that part out and sleep on it instead), just a few feet away from my old bedroom furniture, a set that I thought was the most beautiful stuff I'd ever seen when it was new back in, oh, I'd say 1970. It was strange to see it out of context, in the basement, and not upstairs in my old bedroom. I wanted to open the drawers and find all of my old clothes and school papers still inside, but when I opened every drawer, I was, of course, disappointed. I knew the old things weren't there, but I still sort of thought they would magically appear like in a bad short story (or a short story I may one day write, which may or may not be bad).
Last night I slept in my old room, next to one of the walls that I'd stucco'd (yeah, that's right -- stucco) many years ago. Although it's a fairly large room (about the size of a friend's studio apartment on the Upper West Side), it wasn't nearly as huge as I used to think it was, back when I had a blue and brown shag rug remnant in the center of the floor, twin beds that I was always rearranging, and my most favorite piece of all, my dark blue denim beanbag (which eventually was rendered quite useless after our Lhasa Apso peed on it one too many times), where I nestled for countless hours listening to eight-track tapes (Queen's "Jazz", Neil Young's "Harvest", and whatever Beach Boys album contained the song "In My Room"), daydreaming of the day when I would have my own fabulous apartment -- which I envisioned as looking just like my bedroom (even down to the blue lightbulb I installed in the ceiling fixture), except with a mini kitchen off to one side (I had a romantic image of a "Pullman"-type kitchen), which I would stock with Tab.
Now, 28 years after moving into this house and into that bedroom, I live in a rather large (at least by Manhattan standards) apartment, where I have two bedrooms -- one that's large and one that's quite small, the latter of which is home to the bedroom furniture that I used in Philadelphia and a wonderful computer set-up. Now that entire small bedroom is the equivalent of the denim beanbag chair, and I actually daydream about installing a little dorm-sized refrigerator in one corner, stocked to capacity with Diet Coke.
John Knowles was right. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The other night I actually stayed up to watch David Letterman, sacrificing my "beauty sleep" (not that I need it, of course) so I could see just what the hell is up with Cher. I hadn't seen her in a while, but my mother had told me that she's gone the way of Michael Jackson and looks ridiculous and not like herself anymore. So of course I couldn't just tape the show and watch it the next morning. No. I had to watch it "live". (It turned out that it was a rerun, but I stayed up anyway, because the image wouldn't be quite as sharp if viewed on a VCR tape, and I wanted to be able to see every detail possible.)
Well, on the same night, the show included "Stupid Human Tricks". And yes, they were stupid. Some guy split an apple in half with his mouth; an eighth-grade girl "sang" through her nose, which sounded like that "fart" (please beat me for using that word) sound that some funsters purposely make under their arms; and two doofi, both guys, did some thing where one of them crawled along the standing body of the other, without touching the floor. (Sorry you asked? Oh wait. What's that? You didn't?)
But perhaps the stupidest trick was Cher's. She seemed to think that she could get us all to believe that she's 25 years old.
Years ago I used to actually think she was kind of cool. I used to applaud her for breaking some sort of mold, for having the kind of offbeat, "kooky" looks that no one else had. But now that she's repackaged herself as some sort of Britney/Christina/Shakira wannabe, I have lost any shred of respect I ever had for her. And what's worse is that her attitude is out of control. She had the nerve to get all offended when David Letterman asked about her white-blond wig, and she didn't accept the compliments he heaped on her either.
Sure, Cher, your face may be as smooth as only the most costly of fine vellum, and sure, your tight jeans and the rest of your outfit could have easily come directly from the conservative section of Britney Spears' closet (does such a section exist?), but you might want to do something about your giggle. I really hates ta breaks it to ya, darling, but your Marge Simpson giggle gives you away.
M E M O R A N D U M
TO: The Humidity
FROM: The Heat
I'm sorry that you've always had to take all the blame. I just want you to know that I've done a lot of thinking about the situation, and I'm now willing to shoulder some of the responsibility too.
Are you cool with that?
Earlier this afternoon I was walking down 24th Street, feeling pretty damned cute (today is one of those days when I "know" I'm cute, and I've got the pep in my step and enigmatic Joda Leesa smile on my face to show it), when I approached a guy who was talking on his cell phone. He was probably in his early 50s, dressed more like he belonged in Montana than New York, with silvery hair and a mustache, not bad-looking but not good-looking enough for me to actually remember the details of his face. Anyway, I just knew he was going to have to give me the "once over" at least twice, so I ever so slightly braced myself inside while retaining a calm exterior. (By the way, it's warm out today, and I'm wearing a quite stunning white shirt that I know looks good. I'm really full of myself today, am I not? I sound like one of the fat girls on Maury, defending herself against a jeering crowd: I look good, I know I look GOOD!) As I passed, he spun on his heel to check me out from the other angle, in that really subtle way guys do when they're trying to pretend they're not really the beasts that they are. When I was about two feet away, he said into his cell phone, purposely loudly enough for me to overhear, "You should see what just passed by!"
I'm not so much of a "feminist" that I get all het up when a man makes a comment on my appearance. In fact, I even kind of like it, but only if it sounds sincere and I don't hear him saying the same thing to someone I deem unworthy just moments later. What's worse is if I pass a group of men (particularly construction workers) and they don't at least smile or say hello, because then I instantly think there's something wrong with me. This happened the day I was recently in Washington Square Park. When I left the park, there must have been at least 30 construction guys on the sidewalk and in the street, and there was no way for me to get where I had to go without passing through them. Not one of them smiled or said hello or even grunted when I passed. I was devastated. And tried to convince myself that they were so astounded by my beauty that they didn't consider me approachable and thus didn't dare address me, and that I was so "classy" that they just couldn't say anything untoward. Ordinarily, however, I get more than my share of obnoxious hoots and hollers, but also a lot of smiles, regular hellos, and stuff the guys probably wouldn't mind being said to their own sisters.
So anyway, Mr. Montana's comment this afternoon, certainly designed to garner my attention if not my affection, had quite the opposite effect. Had he only substituted the word "who" for "what", I would have done my demure little half-turn of the head in his direction to acknowledge that I heard what he said, and allowed the coyest of girlish smiles to play upon my lips, just to let him know that I appreciated his appreciation and didn't consider either him or his comment the least bit offensive, stupid, or asinine. And as it was, I didn't consider his comment offensive. Just stupid and asinine.
But at least he said something.
I'm a vegetarian, but when I'm nervous, like before a big math test, I tend to chew the skin around my fingers, often to the point of near-amputation. Sometimes I spit out the little bits of skin onto the floor, but other times, like when I'm at my grandparents' house or in church, I just swallow them. Does this mean I can't call myself a vegetarian anymore? And also, my grandmother told me that if I keep doing this, a small, deformed boy is going to grow inside my stomach and then I'll really have something to worry about. Is that bad?
* * * * * * * * * * * *
If you enjoy eating your own skin, then by all means, I heartily encourage you to continue doing so, even if that means you won't technically be a vegetarian. But that's OK. I mean, what's more important: being a poseur who announces to the world that you don't eat meat, or making sure that that little boy gets his protein?
Just moments ago, I separated the laundry into the three usual piles: darks; lights; and towels. I considered adding a fourth pile, designated as "colors", and then wondered if that would be the "politically correct" way to refer to it. Shouldn't it be "clothes of color"? And is it OK to continue calling the other stuff "darks" and "lights"? (I'm pretty sure "towels" is "safe".) Let me know what you think.
Yesterday morning I experienced an unprecedented lapse of any sort of sense whatsoever, and in blatant disregard of any notions of safety or self-preservation, found myself in the "ladies" room in Washington Square Park.
OK, so I had to "go". But it wasn't like the need was so urgent that the only other option would be to blithely lower my pants, squat by the curb between two parked cars, and calmly "TCOB" right there, the way I saw some bedraggled scamp of indeterminate gender do that same day. And it most certainly wasn't like the time a few of us were on an uptown bus on our way to The Cloisters (why we took the bus, I still don't know) and we had to get off the bus so I could pee in a sink at a Wendy's somewhere in Harlem. (For the record, the toilet was not an option.) (Like the sink was? you ask, curling your lip in disgust.) I actually smiled to myself when I saw the ladies room and marvelled at the serendipity. At no time prior to my entrance did I stop and think, Rape! Murder! or even No toilet paper! No smiling attendant handing me a soft-as-suede paper towel! No. I just thought, This park is great!
As soon as I stepped inside, however, my Miss Mary Sunshine thoughts swiftly turned to rape and murder and how much money I had in my wallet so that I could offer it to the three people who lurked inside in exchange for the privilege of not being the next victim of those crimes I knew they were waiting to commit on the next hapless idiot who invaded their "turf". But did I instantly "turn tail" and leave? No. Of course not.
Why? Because I worried that the three obviously drugged-up bathroom denizens, smoking butts they no doubt pried from the bathroom floor, peering at one another through half-closed eyes as they exchanged blurry words, would think I was rude if I left the bathroom without availing myself of at least one of its usual services. So I leaned against the cruddy sink, tied a rubber hose around my bicep, shot up some heroin, acknowledged my three new best friends with a lazy nod, and then went into the first stall ... where of course there was no toilet paper.
My first thought, after the standard reflex "Fuck!" was, Oh god. I'm sure they know there's no toilet paper in here. I hope they think I have some in my purse and that I'm not just going to go without! But my worries were far from over.
My next dilemma was this: To wash the hands or not to wash? If I don't wash, I fretted, then they'll definitely know that I'm scared of them, and they might think I'm some stuck-up white bitch who can't handle the grit of this place ... so I'd better at least run my hands under the faucet.
Which led to my next pressing issue: They're going to notice that I didn't use soap, and they're going to think I'm a slob. Or they're going to think I'm just lingering here as a pose because I'm a little scared of them and want to show them that I'm not afraid, and that I'm accepting of all kinds of people. (By this time, of course, any worry of rape and/or murder was eclipsed by my concern that the lurkers would consider me rude or unhygienic.)
So I lingered further, slowly dried my hands (there was actually paper towel in the dispenser), licked the floor (to show them I wasn't stuck-up), and left, relieved in more ways than one.
The people I live with are such absolute cretins. To celebrate my second-year anniversary with her at the beginning of the month, HE brought home a piece of chocolate mousse cake (I'm surprised he didn't chuckle and call it chocolate mouse cake), SHE jammed two candles in its center, lit them, turned out the kitchen light, and then the two of them lamely sang "Happy Annmewversary" to me, laughingly alternating their own voices for those of me and the dog. And then she ate some of the cake, and saved the rest for the next day, when she scraped off the frosting with her finger and licked it like the drooling dog she is.
So what do I get out of all of this? Well, every morning I get to see her naked. And every morning all I can think as I stare up at her is, So that's the thing people name after me? You've gotta be fucking kidding me.
I'm not a big fan of clichés, but I suppose they must be at least somewhat true; otherwise, they wouldn't have become clichés. But then again, maybe that's not entirely true. I offer the following three examples:
- It takes one to know one.
No it doesn't. I don't have to be a rude, ignorant, oblivious zombie to know that the person who didn't know how to utter the difficult three-syllable phrase "Excuse me" at Candle Cafe the other day as she pressed her three-foot-wide ass in the six-inch gap between my table and hers was, indeed, a rude, ignorant, oblivious zombie. It was quite possible for me to make that observation without being the beast that she was.
- Don't knock it 'til you try it.
I can knock suicide bombing without actually going through with it myself. (Oh look, she's so topical!) (And here you all thought I was lost in my own special sort of oblivion, didn't you.)
- You never know unless you try.
If you've ever seen the end of Pink Flamingos, you'll know that this is a bunch of bullshit. Or dog shit.
I recently posted this as a comment on someone else's site, but thought it deserved a place here as well.
Ahhh, neighbors. Darling noisy neighbors. When I lived in Philadelphia, I had the great fortune of living across the street from a medical school frat house. If you think that the pursuit of a medical degree would somehow translate into respect for humankind, well, kids, think again. For years I had to endure the parties that STARTED at 3:00 a.m. and the relentless bad bad oh so bad boom-boom bass-intensive music that polluted the entirety of my block. But did I lie idly by and merely curse the miscreants from the comfort of my apartment? Indeed I did NOT!
I would quickly pull on my boyfriend's big black boots, throw on a coat long enough to cover my bathrobe or whatever ratty thing I was trying to sleep in, fling open my door, dash down the stairs, and bolt across the street ... whereupon I would bang on the offenders' door with all my feminine might. To this was added language that some would excuse as "French" but which I offered to the offenders unapologetically and quite vehemently. Since their music was so uncompromisingly loud, they rarely heard me ... which was why I had to take to yelling maniacally THROUGH THEIR MAIL SLOT. And even when that failed, I had a last resort tactic. I would push open their front door (because the doors were always open at Gamma Gamma Fuckhead) and start my tirade there. Only once did one of the cretins bother coming out to see what all the hubbub was, at which time I told him to "please" quiet down because my four-year-old son could not sleep.
"He has to go to SCHOOL in the morning. He cannot SLEEP. PLEASE. PLEASE be considerate!!!"
Other times I would call the police and have them "send a car" to the frat house. When the car finally came (sometimes as much as an hour later, even though I called 911), I would rush from my yenta-like perch (spying on the street below from between my blinds) and into the street to tell the officer about my son's inability to sleep and the lack of consideration demonstrated by my neighbors.
My four-year-old son remained four years old for the entire nine years I lived there. And no, it's not because the lack of sleep stunted his growth or development, but because he didn't really exist. It's just that I actually thought that someone would care enough about a kid's welfare to stop behaving like such raging assholes.
But no one cared. The music and the parties continued, and I left in November 2000, with my four-year-old non-existent son in tow, ready to use him again when I moved to New York. But believe it or not, I have had no real problems with noise here.
Tonight a situation arose that forced me to confront parts of my psyche that I hoped to keep buried forever, and which prodded me to finally answer the hand-wringingly difficult question I ask my
Guest Book visitors:
Which do you hate the most?:
- Emptying Dishwasher
- Folding Laundry
- Making the Bed
- Wiping Up Spills in Refrigerator
This afternoon, in a fit of domesticity, I actually made a pot of coffee. I transferred part of the coffee into a glass bottle with a lid and the rest into an enormous lidless glass, added One (my fun way of saying "half and half"), Splenda, and ice cubes, and placed the gorgeous concoction in the refrigerator to enjoy later, ignoring my own warnings to myself that it wasn't really a good idea. And it wasn't.
(So. Can you guess my answer to the question?)
As I ran to get towels to sop up the perfectly light and sweet coffee that would never have the unspeakable pleasure of kissing, and then passing, my lips, I thought, Well, you know what, there are people out there who don't even have refrigerators. There are people in other countries -- no, people in this country, people who sleep on this street -- who don't have homes, warm comfortable homes, let alone big white cold refrigerators, and who would gladly trade places with me right now. We're so spoiled in this country. I'm so spoiled in this apartment. You know what? I should be happy I have a refrigerator to clean!
And then, when I got back to the kitchen and saw that not only was the refrigerator's bottom ledge affected but also the "crisper" and wire shelves, and realized that that meant that my obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist psychoses wouldn't allow me to even think about going to bed until the entire refrigerator, even those parts that weren't affected by the spill, was scrubbed, I wished I was lounging on a big steamy grate behind a nice quiet Dumpster across the street.
I know it's only been about two weeks since my first list, but just after publishing those 44 items, I realized that I'd inadvertently neglected to include several key offenders. So here I offer a continuation of that list, again in no particular order, of words and phrases that, if you want to alienate me, you will use in my presence:
- [Number] years young
- Twenty-four seven
- Going postal
- Badda boom badda bing
- Yadda yadda
- Network (as a verb)
- Power lunch
- Busting [one's] balls
- Lucky (as in "Did you get ~")
- Laid (as in "I'm gonna get ~")
- Cum (and I don't mean as in summa cum laude) (besides, it's spelled "come" -- please consult the dictionary, not Hole magazine)
- Party animal
- Big guy
- 411 (when used to mean "information")
- Fuck buddy
- Kleenex (used when the tissues aren't that brand)
- Brother (when used by white guys, especially when they say it to non-white guys)
- Cool beans
- Shore house
- Emotional rollercoaster
- Mental health day
- Spitting image (it's "spit and image")
- Process (when used to mean that someone is "taking something in" and trying to make sense of it)
- Steely Dan
- Same shit, different day
- Same ol' same ol'
- Going ballistic
- Craft (when used by actors)
- Jello shot
- Old fart ("Fart" by itself is cringe-worthy too)
- Make love
- Boob tube
- Oy (but only when used by goy) (also, all other Yiddishisms if the speaker isn't Jewish or married to a Jew)
The last time I went to Live With Regis and Kelly, two of the young actors from All My Children were in the audience. (In case you're an AMC fan, they were Maggie/Frankie and the "new" JR.) After the show, I walked down Columbus Avenue to catch the 1/2 (I still think of it as the 1/9 though, because I'm now an old veteran, since I've been here before "9/11", when it was still the 1/9) (what is this -- "Fun With Fractions"?), and I was right behind the two of them. They were joking around, acting like the krazy kidz I'm sure they are, and about a block away from the studio, "JR" turned to leave. That left me on the sidewalk right behind Maggie.
The way I gawked at the back of her head (her hair actually looked a little greezy), you would've thought I was sharing a sidewalk with Sarah (or maybe even Sandra) Bernhardt. Of course, the first thing I had to do was compare her, size-wise, to me. She's shorter, I noted with a touch of superiority, and probably a touch thinner, I realized with swift hatred, but then again, that's probably an illusion because she's shorter. Thus satisfied that the short, slender actress and I were really of the same size, I was free to note/gloat that she was wearing a ton of makeup that she certainly "needed", while I, of course, was a natural beauty whose oh so subtle makeup was worn out of desire and not of necessity. Still, her jeans were certainly hipper than mine, her boots snappier (I instantly lamented not wearing a kickier pair), her jacket funkier. But that didn't stop me from taking advantage of my proximity to her when both of us stopped at a red light a couple of blocks from where she and "JR" had parted ways.
Say something, I goaded myself. Just fucking say something. Don't just stand there. Say something.
So I kicked myself in the ass with my not-as-groovy boot, turned to my left, tapped her on the shoulder, and said, "I'm so glad you're back on All My Children!" (In case you don't watch the show, "Frankie" was killed, the actress was off the show, and then she returned as Frankie's twin, "Maggie".) (I'm sorry, but I don't write the stuff.) I don't think I "gushed", but I may have. I do think I was "cool", though. Even though I may have grinned excessively. She grinned (nice teeth), laughed (cutely), and thanked me (graciously and genuinely) (I think).
So I followed her for about another block and a half, until thankfully she stopped at the entrance of a building to talk to some guys she apparently knew. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have followed her around town like the stalker I was quickly, shamefully and lamely, becoming.
Now what does this have to do with anything? And who the hell cares if I saw a minor actress who is virtually unknown to anyone who hasn't watched All My Children in the few months since her character was introduced? I mean, hey, it's not like she's Tori Spelling or anything.
Well, I began to think how funny it would be if a "celebrity" were to come up to a "normal" (you know what I mean) person, such as, well ... ME ... and, grinning maniacally, tap me excitedly on the shoulder and breathlessly say something like, "Oh, I just adored you as Word Processor #2 at DiPaolo, Bach & Freeman in 1986! And you were riveting in your three-week temp position, in 1991, as Relief Receptionist at Margolis & Fine!" And then that celebrity would follow me around town, taking note of the cut of my jeans, the swing of my hair, the heels of my boots, the size of my hips (slim, and oh so trim!), and what I bought at the convenience store (just a bottle of Evian, thank you). And then go to the studio, and, while in the makeup chair, sipping her Evian, rethinking the cut of her jeans and the hipness of her boots, grab the arm of her co-star in the adjacent chair, and say, "You'll never guess who I saw on the street today!!!"
And then the co-star would ask what I was wearing, where I was going, if I was half as gorgeous in person as I looked on TV ...
... and at the end of the day, when we'd all be lying in our beds, worrying about tomorrow and what to wear, maybe one of us would realize that the next day we'd all still be just a bunch of ridiculous girls in jeans and boots, walking down the same city sidewalks.