There are certain words I love.
When I was a little girl, I loved the word Mystical. It sounded beautiful – it sounded like what it meant.
I loved Forsythia. Isn’t that a lyrical word? At the beginning of Spring, just hearing someone say Forsythia made me feel refreshed.
As I got a little older, Mystical was replaced with Ephemeral.
And Decolletage. Why would anyone use the coarse and ugly Cleavage when you could whisper Decolletage?
Right now I am enamored with Algorithm.
I just love that word. It’s a sturdy word. Not gossamer (which I also rather like, by the way). It’s precise. Scientific. Strong, but it ends lightly… with rithm. (I got rithm. I got music…)
Which has gotten me, eventually as usual, to my point.
The Internet Algorithms.
They are as perfect as the word itself.
Facebook, Amazon, Google – they have discovered the formulas that explain us.
They know me. My brain doesn’t see connections between what I write one day, and what I read the next day, and what I will buy tomorrow. But the Internet Algorithm knows.
The Algorithm knows what books will captivate me, what clothes I will adore, and what cartoons will delight me.
I used to think, though, that sometimes the Internet got it wrong. Like suggesting crochet patterns, or 3-day purge programs, or $149 sleep solutions.
But OMG, I just today had the most incredible revelation!
My brain is scattered.
Facebook is logical.
What if Facebook KNOWS me better than I know myself? Given Facebook’s recent accurate prediction that I was about to become completely infatuated with Anthropologie…
What if Facebook’s algorithms are actually foretelling my future?
Maybe in the next year I will start crocheting during my insomnia-inducing three-day purge.
I think it is very likely, given the precision of the algorithms.
So this week, you can imagine that I was a bit concerned when Facebook suggested I join a support group for Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Holy Crap, the infallible algorithm sees bone marrow failure in me!
I know I should be very grateful though. Early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment. And you can’t get any earlier than getting your diagnosis before you even have the disease.
But to tell you the truth, I am even more scared by a “Suggested Post” that Facebook has sent to me at least eight times this month.
Not only am I destined to be a… (yikes)… Republican…
I am going to be a Republican in UGLY SOCKS!!!!
My first Blog on the Huffington Post!!!!
And on the very bottom of the page! The BEST location! (right?)
P.S. Give me a “Like” on the post. (If you do, that is….). Huffpost counts all those little thumbs-up.
This is a story of a childhood friend.
But the story isn’t really about the friend, or about me, or even about friendship in general. When all is said and done, this is a story about my mother. Today is her 91st birthday, and this story is about the kind of mother and person she is.
I met Daisy when I was twelve. Daisy is not her real name, because I don’t know what happened to her, but my guess is she is a very interesting person today, and I would never want to embarrass her with my probably distorted reminiscences.
Diane, my neighbor-across-the-backyard fence, introduced me to Daisy. Diane was a year younger than I, and Daisy was a year older, but they were both in the same grade. This was not because Diane skipped some grades. They went to public school, which, in my mind, meant they were getting a lesser education from the get-go. This conceit was a direct product of the Catholic school I attended, since the nuns told us so at least twice a week.
So Daisy, repeating grades in an inferior learning institution, was at first the object of my disdain. But she grew on me. As a matter of fact, she mesmerized me.
She was as skinny as a rail, with little breast-buds that she enhanced by sticking a sock in each bra cup. I was equally as skinny, and equally as flat-chested, but had not even dreamed of using my socks in such an imaginative way. She teased her hair (at thirteen!) And sometimes wore eyeliner – those times being when her mother wasn’t around. Which was often.
Daisy chased after boys relentlessly. And she swore. And she smacked her little brother once in while. I had never done any of those things, but I was considering it.
She came from the wrong side of the tracks. Literally. You went over the railroad tracks and then down an alley behind the Post Office, and there was a cluster of very ramshackle tenements. Before I met Daisy I had not even noticed that alley. We were hardly rich ourselves, but this was Connecticut, and I suddenly felt like I had stepped into a John Steinbeck novel.
From the broken steps to the dishes in the sink to the always burnt-out lightbulbs, Daisy’s apartment was a wreck. There were too many kids and not enough rooms. And not enough bureaus, apparently. I had never seen so many clothes on the floor.
There was a lot of screaming going on at Daisy’s house, so mostly we hung out at my house or Diane’s. We sat in Diane’s garage, where there always seemed to be a new litter of kittens. And we walked a lot. We walked miles and miles, just wandering the town, looking for boys or talking about boys.
Daisy bragged about kissing lots of boys, but I never saw her do so. Mostly she just hollered rude things at her older brothers and their friends.She also claimed that she shoplifted regularly, but I saw no evidence of it. I did however, see one item that she stole. In the midst of her bedroom mess, I found Daisy’s fifth grade music book.
“Didn’t you have to return that book at the end of the year?” I asked.
And she told me she kept it because she liked one of the songs, and she didn’t want to forget it. It was “The Minstrel Boy.” What kind of maybe trashy, certainly boy-crazy, eye-liner-wearing girl doesn’t want to forget the words to “The Minstrel Boy?”
I was friends with Daisy for about six months. Then one night – I think it was November – she came banging on my door to tell me her father had killed himself. I thought at first that it was just Daisy’s brand of drama. But it was true. It was front-page news the following morning.
I had never seen her father sober, and I had avoided him as much as possible. But I also knew that Daisy loved her Daddy.
Suicide. A mortal sin, per the nuns at my school. I had read a few stories, seen a few movies. There was always a note: “Please forgive me.” Not with Daisy’s father. He left a note blaming everybody.
Daisy and her family moved away sometime after that.
But I remember a late summer day earlier that year when I was reading in a shady corner at the bottom of our porch stairs. I was practically invisible in the late afternoon. And I overheard my mother and my aunt discussing Daisy.
“I know the whole family,” said my aunt. “They’re not good people. And Daisy is rough and fresh, and is always getting into trouble. Maybe you should think about not letting Nancy hang around with her. Daisy might be a bad influence on Nancy.”
I strained to hear my mother’s response.
“I tend to think,” my mother said quietly,
“… that Nancy might be a good influence on Daisy.”
I read today of the death of Mary Ann Mobley, the former Miss America. I wrote about her in February 2013. Back in 1959, She was the most beautiful woman my eight-year-old eyes had ever seen.
Remembering that lovely woman and that hopeful child, Here’s that post:
WHEN NINETEEN WAS FAR AWAY
I’m sixty-two today.
It’s true what they say about time passing more quickly as you get older. The last twenty years especially are like a book that I just skimmed through. I wish I had read every line more carefully. I may had missed some hidden meaning in my race to the next chapter.
There was a time, though, when I thought being grown up was so very far away.
My cousin recently shared a photo that I had never seen before.
It’s me at eight:
I love this picture. I love my ragamuffin hair, my Bristol Girls’ Club sweatshirt, my blue sneakers with droopy socks. I even love the plaid shorts with matching shirt – because it reminds me of my mother, who loved to dress me in plaid, which I hated. I remember that shorts set. The shirt was a white polo with a plaid collar and placket.
I especially love the eight-year-old sweetness I see in my crossed hands and pigeon-toed self-consciousness.
That little girl with the shy smile thought she would never grow up.
I recall exactly what I thought grown up was.
I couldn’t even fathom twenty.
But nineteen. Oh my.
I knew what happened when you were nineteen. Because I had witnessed it.
On September 6, 1958, I watched the Miss America pageant. Mary Ann Mobley was crowned Miss America 1959. She was the prettiest woman I had ever seen.
And she was nineteen.
That’s when I knew what I wanted to be.
But it was so very far away.
The next summer at the penny arcade at Lake Compounce Amusement Park, I memorialized my goal. There was an engraving machine that made little medallions. It was very expensive – fifty cents I think. But I had saved for this occasion.
I spent a lot of time at that machine selecting the letters that were stamped onto the outer circle of the aluminum ring:
Yes, 1970. So distant I could hardly imagine it. I would be nineteen. I would be Miss America.
I kept that charm for a very long time. (My mother believes that she still has it in a drawer somewhere — maybe with her autographed Frank Sinatra record.)
But somehow 1970 got by me. And many subsequent years. Forty-three since I was nineteen.
And fifty-four years since I was that little elf-child who wanted to be Miss America.
But with my enduring and complete adoration of the accoutrements of beauty: makeup, fashion, hair – I realize that I am still that little girl, still dreaming of being Miss America.
Maybe sixty-two will be my year.
Because everyone likes a good deal, and a little freebie…here’s an excerpt from my novel, “Just What I Always Wanted.”
And the good deal is that you can purchase the Kindle Edition on Amazon for just 99 cents through Sunday, Dec 14.
“She’s home,” I whispered, though I didn’t know why I sounded guilty.
I excused myself and went into the kitchen. Shannon was standing at the fridge. She’d already found the purple drink and was sucking it down with the refrigerator door still open. She was sunburned and her shoulders bore little white lines where the strings of her bathing suit had been. Seawater had given her hair that mermaid dreadlocked look.
“Did you like the beach?” I asked.
“It was better than I remembered,” she said.
“I have company,” I said. “Come meet my friend, and you can tell us all about it.”
She followed me curiously to the dining room.
“Shannon,” I said, “This is my friend Ben.”
Ben stood up and came to Shannon and shook her hand, very formally.
“Nice to meet you, Shannon,” he said, almost bowing, but I guess it just looked that way since he was so much taller than she.
Shannon looked puzzled and slightly annoyed.
“So what was the best thing about the beach?” I prodded.
She just stood there and stared at Ben.
“The beach?” I asked again.
She twirled the straw around to soften up the icy bottom of her drink, and then slurped up the last of it.
“I guess the best part was this kid Flaine—he was such a prick, and what a stupid name—his parents must be morons just like him—anyway, he got stung by a jellyfish. He was bawling like a baby. An ambulance had to take him away. I think he wet his pants even. I came close to peeing in my pants too—I was laughing so hard.”
“That certainly sounds like fun,” I said dryly.
“Why don’t you sit and have dessert with us?” asked Ben.
Shannon stiffened and glared at him. “I don’t think I need an invitation to eat in my own house,” she said.
I had already experienced how quickly her mood could change, but I was mortified that she showed it to Ben so soon. He didn’t react though; it must have been all the legal training never to look surprised.
“You’re right,” he said calmly. “That sounded kind of rude.” He didn’t actually say which one of them had sounded rude. “Cynthia,” he turned to me, “Do you have dessert to share with us?”
“Absolutely, I said. “Sit, Shannon.” And she did sit down, albeit with her arms crossed in suspicion. I hated to leave them alone for even the few seconds it took to go to the kitchen, but I didn’t have to worry, because not a word was spoken while I rushed in and out with plates and cheesecakes and cherries.
I gave them generous helpings and they occupied themselves with a concentrated eating effort. My relaxed meal was gone. I tried to start up a conversation.
“So what made this Flaine prick such a prick?” I asked as if that were the normal language of the house, for in the last week or so, it had become pretty much the case.
“Oh you know the type,” answered Shannon. She looked hard at Ben. “You know, the kind of pricks that think they own the place.”
Ben refused to take the bait. “Yeah, I know. Always trying to boss you around.”
“You got that right,” she said.
“Didn’t work though with the jellyfish,” Ben pointed out.
Shannon narrowed her eyes down to two large streaks of eyeliner. “Some animals you can’t boss around. They sting.”
I needed to jettison this uncomfortable subtext.
“Jellyfish come out when the water’s warm. This is pretty early for warm water in Rhode Island. Did you think the water was warm?” I asked.
“No, I froze my ass off,” she said dismissively, keeping her eyes focused on Ben. She leaned towards him. “Are you like Cynthia’s boyfriend?”
He leaned back and smiled at me. “I think maybe I’d like to be.”
She snorted. I had always thought that grown-ups all look about the same to kids—old. But I was wrong. She cocked her head, her voice sweet, her smile nasty. “How did you guys meet?” Shannon asked him. “Did you go to school with Cynthia’s nephew?”
Ben went for the wine.
Shannon pushed back her chair. “Gee, thanks for the wonderful dessert.” And she strode out of the room and shortly the music started to reverberate.
Ben looked at the empty seat where Shannon had been. “Holy shit,” he said.
“Yup, that’s my kid,” I said.
He put his elbows on the table and held his face in his hands, like he was waiting for story-time to begin. “Tell me again why you took her in?”
This was my opportunity to set myself straight with him. But honesty is an elusive place, and I only got halfway there. “Don’t judge her too quickly,” I said. “I know she can be quite nasty… and she is most of the time. But a tiny bit of the time, she is just a scared kid. Someone needs to take care of her. I don’t want you to think I’m crazy, but… I like her.”
“You like her,” Ben repeated, not asking a question, just considering the idea.
“Well, not right this minute of course.”
I love Facebook quizzes.
Where else can you learn what your Hippie name should be? Or what other people find attractive about you? Or who you were in a previous life? Or what type of vegetable is truly your soulmate?
And who knew that all these important insights could be gleaned by answering a few simple questions about your favorite color, childhood imaginary friend, and late night drink?
Last week I took an amazing quiz:
What Is Your Sixth Sense?
I told the quiz-maestro my secret teenage crush and identified my hobbies and certain cloud formations, and Presto!
My Sixth Sense: An uncanny ability to sense when something bad is going to happen!
And – Oh My God!!!!
It’s so true!
All my life, I’ve been able to predict bad things!
I was seven the first time I became aware of this special ability. I was in second grade and coming back from our scheduled bathroom break. My teacher had taken the boys over to their side of the rest rooms, and the other second trade teacher accompanied us girls. We were marching back to our classroom, and we were a little noisy and not exactly in perfect single file, as the teacher required. And she said, “Now girls, walk like ladies.” And for some reason I thought this was hilarious. And I began to sashay with an exaggerated swagger – sort of a cross between a streetwalker and the Queen of England (although at the time, I didn’t have the vaguest idea of who either of those two were).
And then I noticed the teacher watching me.
And I thought to myself: I don’t think she will find this amusing.
And guess what???
Oh yeah, I could predict bad things.
Here’s another astounding example:
In my sophomore year of college, I went to a peace demonstration instead of reading Macbeth even though I knew I had an exam the next day. I figured that since I read it in high school it would come back to me and I could fake my way through the test. Nothing terrible happened at the peace rally (which was a bit of a disappointment – I kind of wanted to be arrested), but I was still glad I went and expressed my opposition to the Vietnamese War.) And the next day I went to my Shakespeare class and came face-to-face with my utter lack of any memory of Macbeth. But I could see the future.
I thought to myself: I may not get a great grade on this exam.
And I was right!
Then there was the time I was driving down a hill in icy blinding snow. And my car started to skid sideways. Then it did a complete 180 and I was sliding backwards towards the intersection.
I thought to myself: This may not end well.
How prescient is that?
I can foresee bad things in my work life too.
Ten years ago I had a very horrible boss. And after a dismal year of trying to please her and never ever succeeding, I had my review. She told me I had no management skills at all – which was true, but I had never found that to be much of a problem, since I had always just disguised my lack of executive ability by hiring really good people and then leaving them alone. But this particular boss didn’t appreciate my solution. She said that I needed to me more like her. And in a moment of irrational frankness, I said, “But I don’t want to be more like you.”
And I thought to myself: This may not be good for my career.
And a few years ago, I had yet another incredible psychic experience.
I woke early one Easter Sunday morning and decided to surprise my husband with fresh blueberry pancakes. As I was taking the eggs, milk, and maple syrup out of the refrigerator, I lost my grip on one of those items. Each one has its own messy potential.
It was the maple syrup. The half-gallon jug of maple syrup. And as it slipped from my fingers…
I thought to myself: This could be difficult to clean up.
That quiz was right! I’m clairvoyant!
Some of my friends have been posting old photos on Facebook for Throw-Back Thursday. It’s really cool to see those old pictures. I especially enjoy the photos of my newer friends – so sweet to see them as the teenagers I didn’t know. Like a flashback in a movie. A time machine that gives you just a peek at the past you missed.
So I decided that this week I would post a TBT photo. And looking through my desk drawers, I found this:
Printed on the back: May 1976.
I was 25.
At first, I didn’t even recognize me. Then all of a sudden I remembered. I remembered my mother taking this photo. I was doing some stretches before my ballet class.
I wrote a while back that I never got the dance lessons I wanted when I was a kid. So when I got my first job, I took a ballet class for adults.
I remember the leotard I was wearing in the photo.
And that’s it.
I don’t remember where the class was, what the room or the building looked like, who the teacher was, any of the other students, and not one dance or even one single position. I can’t picture myself at the barre. Or at the bar, afterwards, for that matter.
I have a really fantastic memory, and I have been sitting with this photo, just waiting for it to all come back to me.
Granted it is much more recent, but I remember every little move, every piece of music, everybody who has stood next to me, everything everybody has worn, every bounce of my teacher’s ponytail – EVERY SINGLE THING – from my Zumba classes. And I think I always will.
Who knew that the earnest, studious, careful woman trying to learn ballet at twenty-five would -
at sixty-three -
prefer Pitbull to Pas De Deux?
Today’s my 23rd wedding anniversary. In recognition of that special day, here’s my anniversary post from two years ago.
I Love Him. I Love Him Not.
Recently on a friend’s blog, I commented about romance. To those people still hoping to find everlasting love I gave this advice:
“Don’t expect perfection. After many years of marriage, I still love my husband very much – but NOT EVERY MINUTE.”
Friday was our twenty-first wedding anniversary.
And even on that special, happy day, I don’t love him every minute.
I take the day off from work so we can spend time together. We have a leisurely breakfast (we have a leisurely breakfast every morning…we’re not exactly quick to get going).
He presents me with an anniversary card. This does not make me love him more, since I had forgotten to get him one. I’m sure you understand if I admit that I rather resent the person who makes me feel guilty. But then again the card is exceptionally pretty, and I know from many, many minutes of exasperation that he spends an inordinate amount of time picking out a card – (hint: bring a book to the drugstore) – and the verse describes how lucky he is and what a saint I am to put up with him – so okay. I get over the guilt-resentment and I love him again.
After breakfast, time to shower. And he waits for me to get completely ready – hair, makeup, the works – before he gets in the shower. Now he knows I hate to share the bathroom, so maybe this is anniversary love, and not ordinary procrastination. Sweet.
Of course, he’s not one of the guys who takes five minutes in the bathroom. So added to my forty-five minutes is HIS forty-five minutes. And then he finally comes into the den with his coat on, “Are you ready yet?” he asks – like he’s been waiting for ME. Grrr.
I’m not the only one in this house who’s lost weight this year. My husband has dropped a ton, and he really needs new clothes, so I’ve planned a trip to the LL Bean store in Danbury, so I can buy him something decent to wear. Shopping is not his favorite past-time, but he likes it a bit more now that he looks better.
But first there are errands. “Right on the way,” he says. I’ve heard that before. But I agree – unfortunately it is HIS anniversary too, and I didn’t even buy him a card.
After the second errand, we’re a little far from the direction we were heading, so I ask, “How do we get back to the highway from here?” He tells me we’ll pick up the highway by Costco. But then about a half-mile down the road, it seems like we are getting further from where I believe Costco is. “This is the way to Costco?” I ask.
And he answers “Yes, Dear” – emphasis on the ‘dear’. I can’t stand being condescended to, and I can’t stand him.
But about two blocks later, he says “Oh shit” – and he turns around.
I love being right. So I love him again- sort of.
We finally get to the Mall. The parking lot is jammed with crazy Christmas shoppers. (I was crazy myself to get married over Thanksgiving weekend, but I had to plan my wedding around the budget schedule at the office. And I was NOT going to be a forty-one-year-old bride.) If I was alone, I would park way out in the boonies, since I can’t park for shit, but seeing as he is driving, he squeezes into a very tiny space close to the door. He’s my talented hero.
And it’s already noon. He wants to eat. I look longingly at the Mall, and agree to lunch first.
At least we pick the nicest restaurant. As I comment on the menu, he comments that the battery in his hearing aid has just quit. Then the other one goes. So for the rest of the meal, we have a conversation where I say something clever and he says, “What?”
An hour later we are finally ready to shop. He hates everything. I hand him stuff to try on and he says, “Yuck.” But I coax him into the dressing room, where I linger outside the door. And linger. He’s not quick at removing his shoes in order to try on pants.
But finally he appears in a nice looking shirt and navy chinos. He looks okay. I show him another shirt, which he does not want to try on. “That plaid offends me,” he says. An offensive plaid? I should have shopped on-line. (which I plan to do for Christmas presents, but I am no longer sure what size to order, so I NEED him to try shit on.)
I find an inoffensive plaid – which looks just like the other one – but he agrees to try it.
When he finally reappears (I’m telling myself that perhaps it had a million pins) he looks pretty good. He checks out his backside in the mirror and says, “Do you think these pants are too girly in the ass?”
This is LL Bean. Not even the women’s pants are girly.
I try to get him to try on parkas. He does, reluctantly. He hates them all.
So we buy the two shirts and one pair of pants. Okay.
We leave LL Bean and he says, “Let’s go home.”
I say, as nicely as I can, “As long as we are here, let’s check out a few of the other stores.”
So we enter the Mall itself. (LL Bean is a separate building – we haven’t even gone in mall yet. It’s 2:00 PM.) We look around to get our bearings. One anchor store is Macy’s; one is Lord & Taylor; one is Sears.
“Let’s go to Sears,” he says. “I could use a torque wrench.”
So we look at torque wrenches for a while. It’s romantic. We stop and buy him some new underwear. He complains that it is too expensive. I sympathize. Heaven knows the underwear at Sears is pricey.
And he says, “Let’s go home.”
And even though I planned this as a shopping excursion for HIM, I thought that he just MIGHT want to buy me a little something too.
So as we walk back to the exit, I linger in front of a few windows. And he FINALLY says, “Do you want to shop for something too?”
We go into Lucky Brand. He picks out a pair of black skinny jeans. YES! I find what I think might be my size (what the hell is a 30?) and I try them on. They are way too big. YES again! He goes back to the rack for me (Is that unbelievable? How sweet!), and brings me a much smaller pair.
They fit. I model them for him, and he says: “Nice. Do you think they are tight enough?” Now this isn’t my mother being sarcastic back when I was 18. This is my husband wanting me to wear ass-hugging skinny black jeans at 61.
I love him again.
Back at home, we have a couple of hours before our dinner reservation. He starts trying on his coats. He doesn’t need a parka after all. He has saved all his coats from the last twenty years, and he fits into one of the old ones.
Then he tries on his better coats. They are big and baggy now. He goes up to the attic and finds an old topcoat from prehistoric times. Dark gray cashmere; double-breasted.
He stands before me with a big smile. “I look great in this coat.” And he does.
And he brings back a sweet memory. On our honeymoon, he bought himself a black T-shirt emblazoned with a gold Mayan calendar. I remember him putting it on back at the hotel and saying to me – in all seriousness – “I look stunning.” I love him again.
We go to our favorite fancy, elegant (ridiculously expensive) restaurant.
We order wine.
I say, “Happy Anniversary, Honey.”
He says, “What?”
Yesterday I went shopping.
My husband came with me. This is not my preferred method of shopping.
I like to shop alone. I like to take my time looking, trying on, comparing. I may return to the same store an hour later and try on an outfit again. This is my right. I don’t take it well when someone might look at his watch and roll his eyes. I’m not naming names.
I was shopping for sweaters. It’s cold. I want new sweaters.
I am easy to please. I want warm. I want cozy. I don’t want thin, but I don’t want bulky. I want cool and funky, but not teenager. And I want something different from what I already have.
How hard could that be?
I was gracious about my husband tagging along. Because we went to the mall. And he can park.
I had to go to the mall because I wanted to check out a store whose clothes look very very cool on its website. But what if it’s all photography, and the clothes are really dumb? And the only store within 50 miles of me is at the dreaded mall. And my husband can park. He can park his truck in a space the size of a bathmat. So I let him come.
And he was really good. He followed me and stood at a comfortable distance from me, and watched me fondle sweaters.
I was contemplating a burgundy pullover. It was long, tunic-style, which is my current love. But it was a little too thin. Not lush enough. I want lush.
But I was thinking about it anyway. Because the color was nice.
And Hubby finally came over.
“That’s okay,’ he said. “But I bought you a sweater that color last Christmas. And you told me you loved it. But you never wear it.”
Well, now that is totally possible. I have an item or two (or twelve) in my closet that I told him I loved but I may not have been telling the exact truth.
But honestly, I couldn’t remember it. And I have a memory for clothes that, with all modestly, is unsurpassed. I can describe the dress I wrote to my National Honor Society induction in 1969. (yellow, billowy sleeves, very short, floral border at the hem)
But a burgundy sweater just last Christmas? Or red? or cranberry? or wine? Or the year before?
I drew a total blank.
“You gave me a burgundy sweater?”
“Yes, I did. It was some kind of dark red. And it had a really fancy pattern in it.”
“The only sweater I remember from last year was the Ralph Lauren. Longish. V-neck. Cabled. I wore it this week. Tuesday.”
“It’s navy blue,” I added.
“Yeah,” he said. “That’s the one.”
I received an interesting email yesterday. I believe it came from the same gentleman who needs me to help him get four million dollars out of Nigeria. Currently, he wants to employ my services to sue a client for breach of contract.
I want to do that. I want to sue someone. I want to defend someone. I want to prosecute someone. I want to be an attorney.
And I have the experience.
I’ve seen every one of the 456 episodes of “Law and Order” at least five times each – and that’s 2,280 episodes, not even counting all the S.V.U. and Criminal Intent episodes. And my overall legal education is even more vast – I go all the way back to “Perry Mason” in 1957. And then there’s “The Defenders,” “Arrest and Trial.” “Owen Marshall, Counselor-At-Law.” “The D.A.,” “Ally McBeal,” “The Practice,” “Boston Legal,” and “The Good Wife.” And a dozen other shows that I won’t even count, because I sometimes fell asleep watching them. But do you know how many house of legal procedure I’ve absorbed?
You only need 90 hours of classes to graduate from law school. I’ve got 25 times that in Law & Order alone!
I could SO sue someone.
And I could be a doctor too! Why, a few years ago, my brother-in-law phoned to say he was on the floor with excruciating back pain. And I said, “Kidney Stone!” And I was right. Of course I was, thanks to: Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, MASH, Medical Center, Northern Exposure, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, St. Elsewhere, ER, and House. Medical shows are extremely educational: My mother was a nurse in the newborn nursery, and one day many years ago she asked the doctor to come see a baby that had a rash. The doctor took a look, threw up his hands, and said, “Egad! It’s Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever!” – which was the previous night’s mystery illness on Marcus Welby, M.D.
I could also be an Olympic judge. Or any judge, for that matter. I’m remarkably judgmental. But Figure Skating is my forte. I understand the balance between technical difficulty and artistry. Unlike my husband, who excels at judging the ability of costumes to ride up and reveal a good portion of ass, I know what a triple sow-cow is – although I admit that may not be the exact spelling.
Even though my background may be a bit more limited. I could also conduct an orchestra. I’ve watched the Boston Pops. I could wave a baton around in time to the music.
And I could write TV commercials. Have you any idea of how many I’ve seen? My parents bought their first TV in the late 40’s, and their most precious baby, the 1951 Sylvania, entered their lives the same year I did. I’ve done the math, I estimate that I have seen 1,839,600 commercials. I have the format down pretty well: Mom is smart, Kids are sassy, and Dad is a Doofuss.
Getting back to my first love, the practice of Law.
I only need to choose what type of attorney I want to be.
But on thorough reflection, I have concluded that TV lawyers are pretty much all the same. I have the potential to be extraordinary. I need to be more than a television lawyer. I need to be a movie lawyer.
I want to be as classy and honorable as Gregory Peck in “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Or perhaps I can have the redemptive determination of Paul Newman in “The Verdict.”
Or the understated humorous logic of Spencer Tracy in “Inherit the Wind.”
But when all is said and done, I vote for DRAMA!
I want to be Al Pacino!
“YOU’RE OUTTA ORDER!!!! YOU’RE OUTTA ORDER!!!!