Thursday, September 2, 2010

Well, She's No Bryan Adams

When did I first tell myself I couldn't paint?  That I am not a good dancer, lacking any and all rhythm?  That I am not artistic, aesthetics losing the battle?  Exactly when did I relegate myself to a boring life full of greys and browns?  All I remember is when I decided I couldn't sing.

I was 10.  In music class, our teacher would have us line up on these mini-bleachers in the classroom.  While we all sang whichever ditty (most likely, "Everything I Do, I Do it for You" by Bryan Adams.  Teacher had a real hang-up on that song), she would walk down the line and listen to each of us.
As class went on, she would point out the good singers among us, and ask the bad singers to stop and listen.  Most of the people she stopped would be allowed to start up again after hearing the talented choir she'd cultivated.
When she halted my spastic harmonies, she kept it that way.  Sat in silence the rest of the period.
About the 3rd week in, she testily asked me if I wanted to go to the principal's office.  I was so bad at conveying Bryan Adam's melodious sensibilities, she thought I was misbehaving.  She asked me to stop and listen to what singing is meant to sound like, and then proceeded to down some aspirin she had conveniently stored inside her piano bench.

Your father has a nice singing voice, too.  That's what my mum told me, as we drove about town one day.  It's the "too" that's misleading.  The implication being that among my many inherited traits, a vocal acumen was bequeathed.
Looking back, that was awfully kind of her.
Maybe she had a value size of Tylenol stashed away in the glovebox.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On Feminine Mystique....and Chili

I made my first chili the other day.  Came out really well, so very proud.
At the end of the night, as boyfriend is clearly ready to go to bed, my mouth decided to get all serious.
Do you still love me as much as you did?
"I love you more."  (boyfriend, I should note, is genius at deflecting the crazy)
But are you still attracted to me?
He ignores the hardened clump of chili on my chin, "Of course I am!"
Yeah, there still that feminine mystique?
"...Are you saying you once had a feminine mystique?"
Indignant now.  Yes!  Of course I did!  And then the chili decided to take that moment to stage an encore.
"Oh my god.  Was....was that the dog?"
....It was the dog.
"That was you?!  That is foul!"
It was the dog!  Shuddup!  We're talking about my mystique!
"Right.  Of course you still have mystique, baby.  Wads of it.  Like a cloud surrounding you.  Right now.  Your mystique can really clear a room."  Boyfriend hurriedly goes to bed.

Monday, August 30, 2010

For My 16-Year-Old Self

Did you ever meet someone, but never really get to know him?  Have someone going on with his life, never knowing he made an impact on yours?  I'm going to pretend we all have that someone, so I won't feel embarrassed, and I'll write him a letter from a girl he never knew existed.  Because sometimes, you want to go back in time and tell yourself to just ACT!  Do something, even if he laughs, if they all laugh, so that when you're old you won't wonder why you didn't.
So, here goes:  To you, for me.

Dear So and So,

We sat next to each other for only a semester in my junior year, your senior.  The class was music theory, or something like that, taught by Mr. Something Or Other.  He was fat.  Obese, really.  With a mustache.
There was no assigned seating, but we sat next to one another, in the back corner.
You were....tall.  Taller than me, and gangly, with scruffy brown hair.  Your uniform was jeans and a t-shirt of a distant, long-dead band.  I would light up when you wore Pink Floyd's The Division Bell, because I just knew we were destined to be friends when I saw that shirt.
The days we had class together, I would wear my band t-shirts, so that you could see I was cool, also.  So that one day, you would declare, "Hot damn!  The Who kicks ass!  Let's hang out!"
But you never did.

Instead, we would crack quiet jokes and make brief eye contact.  And then the teacher would shout, "Good cracker!" as he was wont to do, and you would burst into laughter.  I only just recently learned that good cracker could be construed as a racist term, and wish I'd known then, so I could laugh with you.  I always thought he was talking about Saltines.  Don't know why...

I never asked to be friends.  Looking back, I don't know why.  I suppose that awkward teen I was must have had some pretty important reasons.  I was so lonely, though, and thought we would have gotten along pretty well.  I spent my solitary hours listening to music, looking at pictures of the 70's in my history books, and reading Aldous Huxley.  You would have liked me, I think.

But you were a year older, and gone before I knew what hit me.  The school flooded, but I think you knew that.  One of the mean girls, who always wore pink, and put hairspray in her bangs got an infestation in her locker from all that water.
I wanted to thank you for that.  Like a weird going-away present, one you didn't even know you gave.  I missed you when you were gone.  Continuing on with music theory, watching Mr. Something Or Other balance precariously atop a small stool, and having no one to impress with my limitless knowledge of Pink Floyd.

I hope you're well.  Let's be friends.

Good Cracker!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In Which I Write a Book

I've decided upon an idea for a book.  Pretty sure it'll be a best-seller.

How to Tell if Your Dog is an Asshole.

Chapter 1:  Does Your Dog Look Like This?

If so, then clearly your dog is already an asshole, and you have failed.  Big time.  Better luck next time, sucker.

You have many things to look forward to as an unwilling, embarrassed owner of an asshole dog.  Things like, coming home to find your dog has raided your entire underwear drawer, and eaten all the good undies, leaving you with only granny panties, and that one pair with dinosaurs all over them which are completely uncool, but you're not about to throw them out now that you have no options, now are you?  So stop asking!
Your asshole dog will also raid your landlords' compost heap, and then wake you up by licking you right on the mouth.  Except your mouth was open, because, let's face it, you're one of those mouth-breathers, and now you have a weird piece of compost grit stuck in your teeth, and your boyfriend realllly doesn't want to kiss you.
Your asshole dog will also steal your belongings, and everyone else's belongings, run away with them despite your repeated shrieking, and then taunt you, a mere ten feet away, leaping just out of your grasp.  He will do this with your purse, and your socks, or your friend's books or shoes.  Anything he can get his jerk teeth around will fall prey to this behavior.  Just as he tires of the game, he will make eye contact with you, drop the object, and pee on it.

Maybe it's your own fault, though.  Remember that first car ride, when you held him in your lap and he looked up at you with those cute puppy eyes and then unleashed a massive pee flood?  You should have turned around and brought him right back for a refund and an apology.  But you didn't, did you?  No, you thought I can train this little sucker.  He'll be a star pooch!

But you were wrong.  You were so wrong.  Your dog is an asshole.  And now everybody will think you are an asshole for keeping him.  And here's the thing about asshole dogs:  they are invincible.  They can fall off cliffs, get hit by cars, whatever.  Asshole never dies.