April 30, 2005
Frozen feet?
Doubts, fear, stomach aches. Calling the wedding off! Telling your parents you've made the wrong choice, and that their $50,000 is mostly nonrefundable. Passing out/running away/choosing the best man over your fiance. I can take it.

Inspiring a national frenzy, worrying your parents sick, wasting taxpayer and law enforcement time and funds and making it just that more difficult for women who really find themselves in jeopardy to be taken seriously is unacceptable to me.



April 28, 2005
I'm on a totally different plane
I have a fear of flying and it makes me do strange things.

I ended up in a cockpit once. This was pre 9/11, even pre 9/11 1998, and I was on a flight from Newark to London. I hit up an MD to give me some valium, took five on the five-hour flight, and drank so many mini-bottles of white wine that I stopped being able to count. For much of the last half of the trip I played the role of cruise director, wandering the 747 with a smile and making idle inflight conversation.

I applauded loudly when the plane touched down, but not before I discovered free tampons in the plane bathroom and defied the voices that told me to pull down my oxygen mask. I was alive. I was drunk as all getup, and my parents were waiting for me at the other end of the customs line, but I was alive. I was the last one off the plane, and I begged the flight attendant to let me meet the Captain and Tenille who had helped me to glide gracefully across the pond. She agreed.

I should never have asked. As the cockpit door flung open, I was disturbed to see that all three pilots were between 30 and 32 years of age and wore hoop or diamond stud earrings. One looked like Scott Baio. Even my excessive vino consumption could not double their 12 years of combined flight experience. I left quietly, emotionally scarred, on the cusp of a hangover and without my AA wings.

I still bring my own supply of white wine when I fly. It has helped me to get over much of the agony I once associated with the skies. I have never, however, gotten over the thrill of free tampons or, for that matter, Scott Baio.


April 27, 2005
We have Grilled Silence on special tonight.
My beau and I sat on baby blue chairs and ate Italian tonight at a small bistro in D.C. The food was good and the company even better.

A father/son pairing sat down next to us, at first chatty. Son looked something like the man who most recently pulled together the boy band formerly known as In Sync. Pops had a little bit of Burgess Meredith to him (although that may just be because he's the only old man I know). Son helped Pops up the single stair into the restaurant, ensuring he was comfortable on his 3/4-inch cotton and plastic seat. They talked with the waiter about the best the menu had to offer. Son and Pops laughed and looked at one another and smiled. I waited for the soundtrack to be cued.

They then pulled out dueling newspapers and sat for the remainder of the meal, reading the Style section and commenting on Grandpa's tight circulation socks. And they didn't look up at one another for a second.

We left before they fell asleep in their cannoli, but it really has me wondering where all of our conversations have gone. Do you not go out to dinner to catch up with a friend? To seek solace in a kind face and laugh at each other's embarrassment? To bond about your days and to create shared experience?

Maybe we are the only ones left who crave conversation and savor human interaction, even if it is at a Wendy's. And even if it is in the drive through.

April 22, 2005
A needy woman does what?
Today I brought in two dozen donuts to work. That should make the nice people like me.

And make the mean people fat.

[insert maniacal laughter here.]

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April 20, 2005
Shhh . . . the baby's sleeping.
I expect people in my environment to stay awake under very few circumstances. First and foremost, I would like you to stay coherent should we be out to dinner together, so I don't have to interrupt my bean burrito to check for signs of life with my compact mirror. I generally expect that my beau will remain alert during sex, but even that is negotiable. I firmly, believe, however, that by the time you have graduated with a master's degree, probably have given birth to two or three rugrats, and are trusted with operating two tons of Toyota Corolla on a daily basis, you should be able to stay awake during a professional presentation.

This, however, seemed to be a tall order for several attendees at my presentation yesterday.

I was warned to bring 60 copies of any handout materials with me, so this being a relatively large presentation, I brought out the big guns. Mama even got up early to get her curl on, and with the assistance of some Finesse non-aerosol, perfected a do that even Ms. Paula Abdul would envy. I prepared a great presentation, avoided caffeine, shot myself in the thigh with a tranquilizer dart, and prepared to impress the masses.

Sixteen people showed up, and three of those were on the panel with me.

One would hypothesize that the limited attendance would cause you to be even more alert, given that the sound of your head hitting the table would be easily detectable in a crowd that size. Oh, no. That was of no concern to these folks.

Clearly tired from having to chew so much at lunch, one gentleman began reading his USA Today. He had hardly made it through his first colorful graphic before his chin was in his chest. Another gal in the back moved her seat to the front of the room at the beginning of the presentation, only to PUT HER HEAD DOWN AND SLEEP THE REMAINING 60 MINUTES. That's right, an entire episode of Maguyver. I'm gonna kick your little turtlenecked ass, I thought.

But that would have involved jumping over the other woman who had passed out with only ten minutes remaining. "Someone get Nancy Narcolepsy a brownie and turn on QVC, STAT!" Ah, the small joys that keep our attention.

At least I can put the presentation on my resume. If I can stay awake that long.

(Oh, and the cyborgs followed me to the motherland, too. The whole way home I saw signs for "Terminator" slots in Atlantic City. Mothergrubbing Stalkers.)

April 15, 2005
What Las Vegas has taught me (v. 1.0)
Being able to smoke anywhere you want is way overrated. My hair, clothes and wrinkle lines may never recover.

The lengthy line for David Copperfield's performance was noticeably disproportionate to any measurable talent.

White stretch pants are probably not a great choice in any situation or climate.

Margaritas taste better when you've just won 50 bucks playing nickel slots. Regarding the card issue, however, I found it disappointing that hundreds of nickels didn't shoot out of my machine. I mean, it made the "ching, ching" sound we all know and love, but it was hollow. When the card came out with my winnings on it, I felt betrayed. Much like I did when Daddy left.

April 12, 2005
I'm off to Vegas on an earrrrrly flight.

I fully expect to:

1) sit next to/in front of/behind only baby on plane who has inner ear pain during flight,

1a) play nickel slots immediately upon arrival, prior to leaving the terminal,

2) successfully fight my inexplicable urge to see Celine Dion in concert, and, of course,

3) check my blog incessantly due to my complete and utter blog dependence.
(At least I'm no longer gassing people in my dreams, right?)

Happy Tuesday, Sigfried and and semi-mangled Roy!

April 11, 2005
I'm really not right: Part Deux
Last night I had the strangest dream . . .

One of my female co-workers (we'll call her Kathi, using her real name to expose the innocent) was a serial killer and was mercilessly stalking me and my family. She had strange super powers a la Harry Potter and could make herself invisible. Kathi would then hide places and take Polaroids of my family just to let us know that she could take us down if she wanted to.

Crime buff that I am, I used my super keen skills to catch her. The pursuit was awesome. When I finally put the cuffs on her, it was only then that I realized that she was my co-worker, a super fun gal who plans happy hours and the like, and that I had clearly sealed her fate.

And then some of my other co-workers and a few of my sorority sisters put her in a closet and gassed her.

So, A number 1, do I have some sort of problem, Freud?

And B number 2, I confess most everything to everyone because I have no filter; do I tell her?


April 9, 2005
I'm really not right.
When I see a picture of a new baby with its parents, I never, ever think about the baby first. I care not how cute it is or whether it has both its eyes. Instead I always, always find myself taken aback by the plain fact that its parents have undoubtedly had sex. Gross.

The same is true when I find out someone is pregnant. When a person bestows this news upon me, my view of them immediately changes. Before that point, they were pretty much asexual beings with whom I worked or associated or went to church. After that, they become vixens in teddies or men who have seduced their wives after a dinner topped off with a bottle of white zinfandel. Yuck.

Yeah, I'm definitely not right.


April 8, 2005
There is so little in this world that entirely makes sense to me. There are the reliable things – the love of my parents, the sun rising too early, and my removal of all traces of makeup just before my doorbell rings. But I am just like you, in that other phenomena do not fit into the reliable equations that I firmly count on to both explain society as well as keep the Earth steadily on its axis. Take, for instance, the extended love affair between David Copperfield and that toothy yellow model. That when someone warns you of a foul odor you cannot resist inhaling deeply and at great length. That your mother can make you feel two inches tall on cue.

Occasionally, I find myself bombarded by these nonsensical oddities. The following are two of the things that struck me one morning, even before my first 64-ounce Diet Coke.

1) Cellulite on my calves.

Isn’t it enough that it has claimed its territory on my hind quarters, and its brethren, the stretch mark, has taken over my other essential nether-regions? In an effort to rationalize, I have convinced myself that stretch marks and cellulite must fulfill a very important biological function. That is, they must serve as surefire evidence of the fattiest of tissues, and, therefore, I will surely be the last consumed should my tour group’s Cessna plummet to the ground prior to reaching base camp. A survival of the fittest. Of sorts.

2) The self-flushing toilet.

I know I am not alone. I hear the cries of those in neighboring stalls who shriek in fear as the toilet commences its flush prior to them returning to their upright stance; visions of their buttocks being sucked into the gritty pipes of the Hilton or Wendy’s or Hooters basement flashing through their startled minds. I once had a theory that these new contraptions were supposed to serve as a combination toilet and bidet, showering your backside with recycled water before you were able to argue to the contrary. How Parisian.

I recently attended a conference in a facility well known for its limited space. Upon entering the ladies lounge, I was struck by how spacious the room was, equipped with a makeup room with ample space for after-dinner dancing and two – that’s right – two working paper towel dispensers. While standing in line, I laid eyes upon what I knew would be the bane of my existence for the next three days of my stay: the half-stall. That’s right; this bathroom had three full-sized stalls, and one that the evil genius bathroom architect man had squeezed in there against the building codes and anatomy textbooks that had argued otherwise.

My turn arrived, and, as expected, the halfsey was mine. The toilet was flush against the right wall, so I was forced to brace myself with my left limbs so as not to fall into the handicapped stall next to me. Brilliant engineering. When I had achieved balance that would have been the envy of one Miss Mary Lou Retton, it was then that the toilet beneath me flushed not once, but two times, showering me with Marriott holy water. Sopping wet, I reached with my nearly immobile right hand into the Kimberly-Clarke toilet paper dispenser. And ah yes, it did not fail me. As expected, it greedily parceled out one sheet at a time before angrily breaking off and denying the next. I was sure that a FOX studio audience someplace in America would benefit from my moist misfortune courtesy of hidden cameras.

After blotting my bits with paper ample only to cover a toddler’s palm, I quickly reassembled myself and started out, only to realize that the toilet had not flushed after its first two attempts at fully bathing me. Late for a conference session at this point, I waved my hand frantically in front of the porcelain king’s red sensor eye. I moved my body to and fro, bum and puffier parts careening off of its tiny walls, thinking that maybe my presence in the stall was unintentionally fooling it into inaction. Nearing exhaustion, I gave up. It had won. I left behind the empty stall and by now barren bathroom, head hanging, thighs still a little damp from the ne’er requested shower of my lower 48.

And damn it if I didn’t hear that satanic toilet flush when I was halfway down the hotel hallway.

April 7, 2005
I hate Hillary Duff too.
My hair is almost black now and I wore my Chucks to work today.

Damn you, Music Television. Damn you for airing 24 consecutive hours of Ashlee Simpson.

April 6, 2005
Wednesday's Bold Statements
Hark young women of the world! Contrary to popular belief, thongs were meant to be worn inside of your pants.

It is never, ever okay to post a request for ob/gyn recommendations on your company's intranet.

April 3, 2005
She's no Bea Arthur.
I enjoy dining out alone. It gives me a chance to relax, eat slowly, read a good book and, of course, eavesdrop on conversations at neighboring tables.

Saturday was no exception. A table of six early twenty-something men sat beside me, their ages revealed by their choice of cheap beer and the presence of yellowing college tees often sold in dorms. They at first made me uneasy in the way that boys always have. They totally won't think I'm cute. They're going to talk about me after I leave the table. Are these new jeans too tight?

This group seemed a little different, however. Over pitchers of Coors Light, they talked about travel to Moscow and the books they had read recently. They used SAT words without effort and actually ate salad with their pizza. Apparently, homo sapien males had evolved past a mental age of fifteen and I had not yet been informed. I settled in, more comfortable in my own skin now that I knew they were of an enlightened crowd.

And then the inevitable happened: the conversation turned to chicks.

The Sociable One queried about a hookup the Tall One had brought home earlier in the year. Was she as good looking when he woke up next to her the next morning? The Tall One said yes. The group liked this very much.

Next Guy in Line had clearly waited for some to tell his story, as he chimed in quickly. "There's a joke at the office that my new girlfriend is into the social security debate because she's literally invested in the program!"

Acknowledgment quickly came from the males in the form of grunts.

"Oh, dude," the Young One said, his voice full of pity, "how old is she?" Frosty plastic mugs were suspended mid-air as the boys eagerly awaited his response.

"Thirty-one," he replied, nearly ashamed.

The crowd had a tough time with this one. I sensed that at least two wanted to run for the buffet bar so they wouldn't have to talk about such offenses.

"Well is she at least hot?" the Tall One queried.

"Yeah," offered the Young One, "it's ok to date them that old if they're super hot."

I half expected them to start beating on their chests in agreement.

Next Guy in Line guffawed and assured the others that this new love was indeed hot, and apparently still of child-bearing age.

I tuned things out after then, feeling once again like I was in the lunch room in high school. Did they not see me sitting right next to them? Were all men destined to be simple-minded in the area of relationships with women? And of course, most importantly, are these new jeans too tight?

I sat for some time thinking of something to say to this bold group. And then I decided that bickering with them was something an old lady might have done. So I paid my tab with my platinum credit card, picked up my leather handbag, and moved proudly to the door, this time, without the support of my walker.

April 2, 2005
"Excuse me, Friar, where's the beer garden?"
The Pope died today. After his death, CNN covered mourners in St. Peter's Square, tears streaming down their faces, some gripping their rosaries.

In one shot, the cameras caught a young blonde man behind some of the faithful. There were no red eyes; his lips did not move along with the prayers of the group. Instead, he was talking on his cell phone. He began to nod his head and then looked up at the camera and waved wildly to his friends back home.

The brothers at Sigma Nu must be so proud.