Tuesday, March 30, 2010


My style, if I had to name it, is a bit retro 80’s. I never stopped wearing leggings, although bike shorts have been long banned from both my active and everyday wardrobe. In the Aqua Net days of running after boys in eyeliner and hair bands, I felt the noize in black bike shorts under baby doll tunics or long jackets with comically triangular shoulder pads (always long to cover the mound of Venus; a cotton/spandex blend shows knuckle and toe, moose and camel), pulled over opaque hose and worn with cowboy boots (black, natch). God I loved that silly, silly look.

God it was awful.

I dress for my body and that’s always meant slick on bottom, forgiving on top. My weight hugs my middle, what little waist curvature I have is high, while my legs are long and the slimmest part of me. My look is stylish blousons or hugging-the-bosom empire waist tops over dark washed skinny jeans (always generously cuffed at the bottom), long sweaters worn as dresses over dark tights and swingy shifts over leggings. In the summer, a wedge peep-toe sandal; I can walk miles in them, comfy as a gym shoe. I love anything pointy toed, flats, boot, heels. Slippers. And I only adorn with large hoop earrings, always silver and never smaller than a bangle I could slip over my wrist.

That’s about to change. I found a fresh style and it’s 1960’s mod London.

I’ll keep the hoops and heavy bang (née, "fringe") and maybe add a bit of bump to the crown.

But I declare the summer froth with side-zipped, ankle skimming easy Capri slacks, loose fitting, sleeveless shells, soft as butter ballet flats (rounded, no point) and simple cotton cardigans.

All because of a movie called An Education whose style made me want to smoke gorgeous pastel Russian cigarettes, drink champagne in jazz clubs, twirl my dark locks up into a chignon, traipse in kitten heeled sling backs and swing in shiny, tight-fitted brocade and floral cocktail dresses.

Plus I've gone nutty for a man in bold navy suit, crisp white shirt and skinny black tie.

With a clip.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

...and the horse you rode in on

This will be less than eloquent. And decades in the making.

I drank too much gin, two strong tonics, alone at home two nights ago. It’s self-medication, I know that, a response to the tired felt in body and passion. And I did something mean-spirited and unlike me, I know that. Sent an e-mail to an ex-sister-in-law. I have two of them, neither I’ve missed much. I wasn’t kind in my short message, the first in over a year or maybe two (I don’t keep track of such nonsense things). I asked when she planned to screw over the man she ran too after flying away from 13 years of marriage, on the sly and her then husband’s dime and with the diamond ring he bought her. Absolutely cunty and out of character for me, I know that. I can't and don't want to know what happened on the inside, the implosion, but I know she wasn’t there as the house was foreclosed on, or to watch me bring sandwiches and paper cups of miso soup in the hopes he’d put something on the alcohol in his stomach. She ran as I wondered who would heal after another agonizing rip in the family seam and who wouldn't. Myself included. Thought she was a friend, and she left me too.

She didn't see a lot.

She’s never had to fend for herself, really. She won’t tell you that, instead insist on stories of strife and suffering. She was never as put-upon as she believed herself to be. Mostly she was dead.

She probably should have run.

Her reply the next morning to sober eyes, the first of three e-mails, gave the impression she’d changed. Felt bad I’d let something out-of-control in me release pent up anger. Half a bottle of Tanqueray went down the sink that day. Thought for a moment she’d come away from the chaos like he did. I reacted sadly to the zinger tucked in that first note, a tactic employed by most of the women in my family. Passive aggression is an art form.

I typed back nothing, more embarrassed at my own behavior than anything. Then a second e-mail moments later destroyed me. Briefly. A man cheats on his woman and she first asks, “What does she look like?” A woman cheats on her man, he only wants to know how big the other guys dick is. Insecure woman call out and shine a light on the flaws they most fear in themselves. I attacked first because I'm jealous of women who seek a man to make all the bad go away. I've never been helpless, or allowed to be. To retaliate, she turned the blade where it hit major organs to call me fat, belittle my relationships and sing-song 80's clichés like the really bad blonde Heather.

Know what's not passive aggressive? Fuck and you. Fu-huhu-huhu-huhu-you.

And fuck those who hold you up for a time, offer shelter on their terms only to later reveal arms covered in barbed wire. Who allow no mistakes and demand apologies for what they think is wrong with you, but never accept them anyway.

I’ve got magic beans, women who talk to me in truth, raise an eye when I behave badly but allow me to move past it. And men who stand by me, not over me. A family of friends who don’t allow my wonder and joy to be fouled by latent unhappiness and joy in others suffering.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Short but sweet

The closest we've come to words of affection is...

You're my girl.

I'm good with that.

The manfriend and I had just sat down to dinner Monday night, long enough to order a round, when the three-table next to us got up to leave. A middle-aged couple – a man and a woman, maybe a husband and wife or even brother and sister – and a much older gentleman. Tall and broad and well-dressed, yet still fragile and white, both his hair and skin. As he stood he needed assistance with his coat. He held the younger mans arm as he shuffled more than walked to the upscale pub door then out to the car brought around to the front by the woman. He stopped several times for achingly long seconds, hunching over as if to catch his breath or reeling from a tickle or punch to the abdomen.

Diners turned to look. Including me.

“Gosh, I hope he’s okay,” I said.

Then corrected myself.

“He’s with someone who’s taking care of him. He’s okay.”

That's real love. I'm good with that.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

(What's the Story) Morning Glory?

Last night at dinner out with the manfriend, the waitress immediately recognized me from brunch there previously. She even sat with us later as the pub cleared out for the night, to chat and take a load off her black chucks that I told her I loved and brought fresh hazelnut cream for my Irish coffee and extra shortbread cookies to take home.

I have that kind of face, happens all the time. Like the young girl who once served me sushi and mochi balls and paid a visit (special) to our table months later to tell me she'd joined Navy, about how excited she was. I told her they do have the cutest uniforms. It's the hat. And she laughed. Or the tattooed waiter who asked a bit too warmly given I had a boy at my side, “I’ve seen you in here before, haven’t I…winkwink?” I found it sweet.

Or the clerk at the organic market whose line I always make a point to check out through, that one time to hear if she made it to her 10-year high school reunion or not. Or the Sunday morning yoga sub, or the boy foaming my latte or the guy who patched the back tire that had picked up a nail and rotated the rest, all at no charge.

And I love that.

I like making and leaving an impression. Chatting up the people around me, grabbing for bits of their stories. People like to tell their stories, the meanings behind the tattoos or favorite spot for a burger or reaction to a finally spring day so lovely you smell it before you even step out into it.

All you have to do is ask, and a bit more of the world opens up.

And I love that.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Who's on first?

Until recently I was hitting the gym 5-to-6 times weekly. Spinning Mon-Wed-Fri, plus yoga and maybe a kick box or strength training class. Then I met the manfriend (and found him a better way to spend my free time) and work got nutty and I've been pants down and sleeves rolled up in more doctors offices since the beginning of the year than all of last...and...I feel like crap.

I just want to drink wine or dirties, eat roasted sweet potatoes and watch reruns of the "The Office." And it’s not just about sickness (which I’m not), it’s about not putting myself into the mix.

So fuck that.

Decided this morning to try new classes and new teachers at the gym all next week. As of late I prefer to do on my own, just me and the headphones and the treadmill. I don’t want to be part of the group which I whole heartedly correlate to work pressure. Suddenly I'm leading meetings and taking issues to management yet (soon) will be just another writer in a pool of workhorses, already hounded for "availability" when projects have me booked through next week, classes beyond that. I don’t take authority or direction well because, well, I purposefully chose a career that lets me work mostly solo and don’t need Mommy with a clipboard on the job. And mostly because the direction comes from those with no creative juice and ju-ju, but management speak. I already understand three weeks into this new role why the writers in my group feel a bit like the rowers in the underbelly of a boat, simply and tiredly pulling on oars. Because although we’re now set up like a creative agency (in theory), we’re not. We’re a corporation, a mass of project managers and coordinators and advisors and schedulers and specialists and other titles that mean little in the real world. Told my writers I’d buy them all magic wands. Some like me, some don’t. I already get that.

And I’m not happy.

The tired I don’t wholly blame on a body out of sync. I just want to do and be and write and live and sweat and take care of me. Actually meet up with the long-distance-phone-call friend an hour down the highway and sneak away with another for a Friday afternoon snack last minute. Take the improv class I keep talking about, or the cooking lessons the niece just mentioned. Type on my laptop in the coffee shop and not my pajamas.

Take a proper damn vacation.

So I'm gonna.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

And it don't get better than this

From an e-mail received at 6:04 p.m. Today.

"Is life good? You almost always sound like it is, or at worst as though you know it is within your power to make it so. I love that."

I've never been paid such a high compliment.

And I do know it. Better yet, I believe it. Not so difficult, really, because wallowing only gets you tired arms.

And who knows better how to save yourself than your self? If you tell the truth and own your shit.

And I'm eating dark chocolate at the same time. Tastes better than dirt.

And how long can one chew on dirt. Really?

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