[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
dude, i bet bill clinton knows who richard marx is
i'm friends with a couple, k, and her boyfriend, r. they're sort of a study in contrasts, i guess you could say. anyway, i met r for the first time last summer at a cookout. we spent most of the evening talking politics. i had a great time, but i'm not so sure that r enjoyed it nearly as much as i did.
see, i was drunk. shocking, yes?
and, i think i might be some sort of liberal. and, uh…r is…uh…not one.
so, we had a great – albeit spirited – time talking politics.
for the record, i’m perfectly okay-fine with people who don’t agree with me. i can totally respect someone else’s divergent view on a subject. [ed. note: this smacks of an impending caveat. take cover.] as long as they don’t seem to be blindly following the party line. my grandmother instilled in me the value that, it’s okay to have an opinion…just be sure it’s a well-reasoned and carefully thought-out opinion. and, in her case, it should also be exactly what rush limbaugh thought.
rush limbaugh, lima beans and rhubarb: three things my grandmother never could convince me didn’t suck raw ass.
anyway, i digress. shocking, yes?
r didn’t seem to be one of those people who was okay with differing viewpoints. he wasn’t nasty or anything, but he seemed totally convinced that i was espousing “liberal bullshit” purely because i had been taken captive by a world wildlife federation junta and brainwashed into believing that global warming is bad. as opposed to actually having reached that conclusion based on my own independent reading and thought.
we had a lively discussion centering around his assertion that, if gary condit had been a republican, women’s groups would have been attacking him mercilessly during the chandra levy scandal. i assured r that all of the women’s groups to which i belong, and there are several, are opposed to skeevy murderers – be they liberal or conservative.
“well, then why aren’t they saying something, huh? if he was a republican, you wouldn’t be able to shut them up!”
“number one, r, i think it’s a given that people, in general – men, women, democrat, republican – are opposed to killing other people. even if they don’t populate the sunday talk shows with talking heads saying, ‘we think killing people is horrible.’ number two, the reason we hate you is because you say things like ‘wouldn’t be able to shut them up.’”
see, i thought that was kind of funny.
anyway, a couple of weeks ago, a group of us went out to drink over-priced “martinis.” these days anything served in a martini glass is called a martini. hell, over the holidays i saw oprah serve “mashed potato martinis,” which were nothing more than a scoop of mashed potatoes in a martini glass. all i’m saying is that i’m a little weary of shelling out $8 a drink just because you put my booze in a cool glass. dump it in one of those red plastic party cups [you totally know the ones i mean, right? the shiny red plastic cups that there is always a stack of next to any keg at any college party. i love those things.] and knock $4 off my drink price. i’m not proud. just thirsty.
what the hell was i talking about?!
so, we’re lounging on this nice couch at this swanky bar and r is sitting next to me. we are the two designated techies/geeks in the group, so he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a canon digital elph camera.
“check out my new toy,” he beams.
“nice! m has the same camera, actually. it’s really nice. takes great shots. i used it to take a few shots of my niece over thanksgiving, and then i photoshopped them and printed them out in black and white, put them in some really nice black frames with oversize white mats and am giving them as christmas gifts.”
“uh…anyway…it’s a nice camera.”
“i haven’t really had a chance to play with it very much. i just got it last week.”
so, i show r a few things about how his camera works. i show him the b&w setting. the sepia setting. how i use the high color contrast setting for the outdoor shots that i convert to b&w because i think it gives a more dramatic result. he’s pretty excited.
“i bought it for my trip to the white house.”
“oh, that’s cool…did you get to go on a tour? they’re still not allowing general public tours, though, right?”
“oh, this wasn’t a tour. i got to go meet the president!”
“very cool, r! i know that must have been really exciting for you.”
“it was amazing! i mean, i was so nervous! and they had to do a background check just for me to meet him for, like, 20 seconds! and, i got to shake his hand, and they took our picture together…it was so cool!”
at this point, k leans over and says, “tell her what an ass you made out of yourself.”
“well, i was nervous! i mean, i didn’t know what to say to him. so, i just introduced myself – i told him my name.”
“like the president is going to remember your name,” k laughed.
so, i thought i'd try to lighten things up a bit. make r feel less embarrassed.
“you know, r, i am totally familiar with that feeling. you meet someone famous, and you have no idea what to say, and then, after everything is over, you look back and think, ‘man, what was i thinking?!'
like the time i was working the door at bennigan’s in college. and, richard marx was in town for a concert. and, after their sound check or whatever, he and his band came into bennigan’s to get some nachos and some beer. and i’m working the door, and i turn around and say ‘welcome to bennigan’s!’ and it’s totally richard marx! and he says, ‘table for six…and we’d like something out of the way if you can do that.’ and, instead of saying, ‘why certainly, mr. marx!’ or even, ‘of course – i’m a big fan’ even though i wasn’t really a fan at all, instead of any of those things, i just looked at him and said, ‘wow. cool.’
my friend c still won't let me live that one down! so, anyway, i totally get where you were with that whole 'hi, my name is' thing.”
he just stares at me like i have a third arm growing out of my forehead, and then it dawns on me: maybe r doesn’t know who richard marx is. so, again, in an effort to make things better, i say,
“you know richard marx, right? canadian pop star richard marx? sort of a helmet hair guy. hold on to the nights? should’ve known better? don’t mean nothin’? no?”
“i know who he is. are you saying that your experience is similar to me meeting the president?”
“well, you know…uh…yeah…in a way…sort of.”
even though i'm thinking 'lighten up, francis,' i'm also feeling sort of bad, because i think r has the impression that i'm mocking him. probably because i'm an evil liberal sent to destroy the world and keep him from retiring early in the caymans or something like that. so, i try to smooth things over a bit.
"you know, r, uh...i'm not trying to make light of your experience. it's not like this is some liberal mocking of your meeting the republican president...."
at this point, our friend j catches some fragment of our conversation and leans in.
"the republican president? i can't fucking stand that jackass."
okay. so much for smoothing things over.
anyway, i'm almost 100% sure that he didn't really know who richard marx is. 'cause if he did, he totally would have appreciated my story.
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