SWIRLED FLORAL MERINGUE
IN SHALLOW CHINA BASIN
* Is GARDENIA technically 3 or 4 syllables? Hmmm. For this purpose it will be 3. Thanks as always to B.D.E. for the actual Gardenia.
Yeah, so, THE MIDDLE OF LIFE and clothes shopping. Good times!
I had to venture into the retail world to find a dress to wear to an event. Okay, I didn’t HAVE to, but every woman knows a new dress can make you feel like a million bucks. Truth be told I’ve been feeling like about 50 cents for the last few weeks and needed a boost in my dollar value.
Hence, Banana Republic. I read they were having a big sale and the clothes are often good, sometimes great and I have this one black dress I bought there ten years ago that I still wear. They consistently produce clothes that can outlast fads and trends and become classics. This sounds like an ad for BananaRepublic, but I assure you THEY HAVE PAID ME NO MONEY TO WRITE THIS. And hey, why IS that BANANA REPUBLIC???
I was in the dressing room with my choices, none of which were a cute dress to wear to to said event. I couldn’t find one in the racks. But I did find a more corporate style out-of-season dress that I thought might be good for a general work day. And some totally inappropriate for work pants and cute T-shirt for $9.99.
The boring corporate dress ended up not fitting. It was in a size that was at the high end of my personal size scale. AND IT WAS TOO TIGHT. Strangely enough, the same dress in the same size but in a different color didn’t fit either…
As I stood there looking in the mirror that was not the slimming kind (Banana Republic, you should really invest in the slimming mirrors), my brain slowly tunes in to the girly chatter in the dressing room next to mine;
Oh my god! Thats so cute? Really? Oh my God I love it, Amazing. Tweet a picture, Yeah, Tweet it.
I’m thinking, Hey, kids we’re in Banana Republic with the Big Girls so let’s try and use some Big Words.
And then I hear it.
Girl 1: I need another size. This is too big!
Girl 2: Too big? Do you need the size 2?
Girl 1: No! This is the size Zero! Oh my god I don’t think there is anything smaller and this dress is so cute! OMG OMG OMG infinity OMG!
I dropped the corporate dress to the floor and gritted my teeth. Really? SIZE ZERO Banana Republic? I knew it was out there, but this was not the day for me to be confronted with it.
Even in the 4th grade when I was 5’6″ and weighed 45 pounds my Toughskins jeans from Sears were a size 6x. I’VE NEVER WORN A SIZE ZERO.
By this point in the post, if you’re still reading, you may be wondering where the TAPEWORM fits in to the story (and whatever you do, do NOT google Tapeworm images. Grossss).
As most women know, a new dress can make us feel great for an event. We also know (and please don’t tell me it’s just me even if it is) that some days during the month we feel as though we have a tapeworm ingesting our ingested food so that we don’t ever ever EVER feel full.
Here’s how it goes for those of you who are immune to tape worms:
You eat breakfast, a lovely piece of fruit and some non-fat yogurt. And then, the tape worm takes over your stomach and mind and makes you think, BACON BACON BACON. You give in and have bacon, maybe some hash browns, and a buttered English muffin for good measure.
Then it’s lunch time! A colorful salad with raw broccoli? Pretty and nutritious! The tape worm sings its siren song again; BREAD AND BUTTER BREAD AND BUTTER BREAD AND BUTTER. And you have some. Or the whole loaf.
By the time dinner rolls around you have had numerous snacks that most likely include Peanut M&M’s. Or FIVE HUNDRED OF THEM to tide you over.
For dinner, sometimes an entire pizza is just not enough. Sometimes instead of one pizza we buy two and some dessert because two pizzas MAY NOT BE ENOUGH for the tapeworm.
It’s a tapeworm, people, and it is taking over your body and making you bloated so that you can never, ever fit in a size zero at BANANA REPUBLIC or any other republic.
That is what happened to me today. To re-cap:
TAPEWORM + ME = NO SIZE ZERO IN ANY REPUBLIC, BANANA OR OTHERWISE.
True story. If you have a tapeworm, just stay at home with your pizza where it is safe to be whatever size you are.
THREE WORDS. Three little words.
They can fill up your emotional balloon and send you soaring.
Three little words can pop said balloon in an instant and send you crashing.
It’s like riding a roller coaster on air.
THREE WORDS we like to hear (and say) that fill our balloon:
I MISS you. I LOVE you. You LOVE me. I am HAPPY. I ADORE you. I HEART you. You HEART me. I WANT you. I am SORRY. 🙂 Yay!
THREE WORDS that we don’t really want to hear (or say) that pop our balloon:
I dislike you. You dislike me. You hurt me. I hurt you. I fear you. 😦 Not so much “Yay”.
THREE helpful get-off-the-rollercoaster WORDS? 1. RELEASE 2. THE 3. BALLOON.
Onward and Upward, (yep, that’s three words too!)
PS: Yes, I realize my posts lately seem to be trying really hard to win the coveted BLACK-CLOUD BLOG OF THE INTERNET Award, but I promise I will get back to some humor soon. I PROMISE you. Okay, I’m done with the three word thing now…
And in the meantime, I read THIS BLOG because it is pretty darn FUNNY and I believe is partially written by an “attention-deficient squirrel on PCP”. How can you resist?
I wrote a post a few weeks ago listing some of the things that make me happy and for me happiness often correlates with beauty.
FIREFLIES were on that list. In the interest of writing about happy things, I thought I would tell the story about the first time I saw fireflies.
ITALY has always been a dreamland for me. Until 1994, my travels had not taken me there. I had written numerous stories as a teenager about Italy. They were short stories of romance. Love lost and found, love found for the first time, but always love and joy and human connection. Italy radiates so much passion that it can inspire romance in a young girl who has never been there.
When I knew I was finally going to Italy, I pictured myself kneeling on the ground upon my arrival like a long lost refugee weeping with joy at coming home.
After navigating the Roman airport, I boarded a train to Florence. I sat in the dining car at a table with a pristine white table cloth, silver flatware, and a crystal glass full of champagne. I raised a toast to the fields and fields (and fields!) of sunflowers rushing by. I did not weep at all. I was filled with joy and an unrelenting smile. Hello, Italy! I’m finally here.
I was met at the train station in Florence by a friend of a friend. He whisked me very quickly from the heart of the city in his Alfa Romeo, top down, blasting loud American music from the 1970s. I slumped with travel exhaustion in the passenger seat. We spoke very little due to the language barrier and the noise created by the warm June air rushing through the car, but I got the gist that we were going to his friend’s house just outside of Siena to meet more friends for dinner.
I dozed off and on as we wound through tiny towns of old stone and vineyards. The car skidded to a stop in a gravel driveway under an olive tree.
We stood in front of two monumental wooden gates. He pulled a cord that rang a distant bell. The gates creaked open revealing a courtyard surrounded by three stories of a house, the walls covered in bougainvilla and jasmine. In the middle of the courtyard was a long table and another pristine white table cloth. Candles ran down the middle of the table and were the only light source. There were probably fifteen people seated at the table, someone was playing soft guitar music. As we approached, everyone got out of their seats. We were greeted with CIAO, CIAO, CIAO, BELLA, CIAO SUSANA, CIAO. CIAO!
Kisses. Hugs. Kisses. Complete strangers to me, but so warm and welcoming.
I was ushered to a seat and given a glass of red wine (the villa was an old winery, but that’s another story). My plate was filled with penne pasta mixed with tomatoes, olive oil, and CINGHIALE (wild boar, killed on the property).
We toasted to my first time in their country. I listened to them speak and joined in when I could, but speaking a foreign language when you are tired is really, really difficult. My translation synapses were completely dead. They laughed and forgave. I finally sat back and listened to their lyrical language and drifted into a haze of travel weary bliss.
They talked and joked as old friends will do forgetting, not unkindly, the English speaking American in their midst. I wandered from the table to find a way out of the courtyard. I pushed open a small wooden door that took me through a short tunnel of stone. The end of the tunnel deposited me into a wonderland that was the villa’s rose garden.
It was a warm June night. The stone walls of the five hundred year old house behind me radiated the heat that remained from the day. The roses gave off their night perfume. A full moon was halfway up the indigo sky, illuminating the sea of vineyards rolling out below me. I slowly moved through the rose garden and then – there they were.
FIREFLIES. For the first time in my life.
It was as if someone had shaken the immediate world in a snow globe. It was as if a magician had waved his wand to create magic trails of glitter. They were all around me, rising on the aroma of the roses. But what were they? My mind fuzzy from jet lag, exhaustion, and red wine could not place these magical lights. They touched my hands and I imagined them getting tangled in my hair, not an unpleasant thought.
The tolling of a distant church bell came in waves across the vineyards. It reminded of good things and life and magic and here it all was as if captured in a bell jar. I did weep, then, from exhaustion and beauty and the possibilities of the days ahead in a new country.
The door burst open behind me.
SUSANA, DOVE SUSANA, COME STAI?
I recognized a few other words; RAGAZZA, BELLA, VINO, FORTUNATA, ROSA, LUMINOSO.
And heard a new word; LUCCIOLE. Fireflies.
The group had come to find me. And they found me wandering in moonlight through an ancient rose garden, hands outstretched, surrounded by fireflies, with tears on my cheeks. As a hopeless romantic, I had come home to the mother ship.
And they completely understood.
DID THE POST TITLE GET YOUR ATTENTION?
I’ve been reading today about how to stimulate traffic to one’s blog as well as get picked up by more search engines. It would seem to be the consensus that catchy, controversial post titles are one of the keys to success in both areas.
So, apparently my weekly post titled SCREENPLAY ON A MONDAY (which is pretty much NEVER on a Monday, but that’s beside the point) does exactly nothing for my blog traffic or visibility in cyber world. It’s too boring. Too simple.
If I titled it THE EPIC SCREENPLAY POST THAT INCLUDES A LOT OF SEX, NAKEDNESS, PIRATES, SWEAR WORDS, AND FREE MONEY FOR EVERY READER I would probably get more traffic. Because everyone knows sex sells, most people are intrigued by pirates (thanks to Jonny Depp), and who doesn’t want money? At the very least it would get your attention long enough for you to click the link.
At the gallery in which I work we are often trying to come up with catchy titles for our exhibits that will drive traffic into the gallery as well as make a lasting impression upon people who see the exhibit so that 5 years from now they will say, “Remember that *SUPER CATCHY EXHIBIT TITLE*? That was cool and how clever of them to have such a super catchy exhibit title that I still remember five years later and, honey, we should BUY A PAINTING based on that fact alone! Where’s my check book?”
The gallery owner and I were musing over possible upcoming exhibition titles the other day and I said,
“Well, you and I both know that SEX sells.”
He said, “Yes it does. What are you suggesting?”
I said, “How about an exhibit titled “A Decade SEXYNAKEDWOMEN of Abstract Expressionism SEXYNAKEDWOMEN from 1945 to 1955 SEXYNAKEDWOMEN in New York City.
Or something along those lines”.
And he said, “Blondie, I think you’re on to something”.
Now let’s just see how many spam comments I get from using this post title….
Miss SEXYNAKEDWOMEN MoL
THIS MEMORIAL DAY my Super Gal Pal and I went to the beach. We’ve known each other for (yikes) thirty years now. And in that thirty years we have sunbathed by swimming pools, on the beach, mountain pools, and hot tubs, all in various stages of dress.
More than once in high school we were sunbathing TOPLESS by her pool and had to inform the bug-eyed pool cleaner that he would just have to come back later. As in, “I’M SORRY! I know you’re trying to work, but all we have is this afternoon to get a good tan and drink Diet Coke, so your job will have to wait! I’m sure you understand”.
Let me just say, I am so sorry Mr. Pool Cleaner. We knew no better, but I can’t help but think you enjoyed the toplessness aspect of your job as compensation.
We would then apply more Johnson’s Baby Oil to our teenage bodies, flip the album (U2, Pretenders, Police, Journey, Foreigner, The Knack) on the record player and make sure the giant portable phone with the elongated antennae was close by in case any one decided to call.
Neither of us have had issues with our skin, knock-on-wood. I harp on her to wear SUNSCREEN and have for years, but she is not as fair as I am, so she’s doing fine. I recently had a good check up. The dermatologist didn’t believe me when I said I’d grown up in Southern California. He said I had Swedish skin with no problems and it was a bit of an anomaly in So Cal. But I’ll take it.
My friend said that after ten minutes of direct sun she would put on sunscreen, but we got to talking and forgot. I had coated myself before even leaving the house, so I didn’t even think about it.
Anyway, this Memorial Day weekend 2010, we went to the BEACH. Neither of us had our bathing suits handy (she lives in Los Angeles and didn’t bring hers, mine is in storage at the moment). So what do you do?
Present day LINGERIE isn’t much different than swimwear. Seriously. The same fabrics are used as well as the same styles. So, my friend wore her black bra and panties and I wore my red sun-dress (hiked up) and underwear that matched even though I hadn’t planned it.
There we were, lying on on a very crowded beach in our underwear. I said to her,”So what? The Sherriff is going to come along the beach and say, ‘Excuse me ma’am. That bathing suit looks like UNDERWEAR'”?
Yeah. Probably not. And if he did say that we could take him to court for discrimination of intimate apparel. Or for trying to expose Victoria’s Secret…
MEMORIAL DAY 2010, I hung out at the beach, in my forties mind you, with one of my best friends in our UNDERWEAR in full un-forgiving daylight. Can you imagine?
And it was WONDERFUL! There’s a lot to be said for that delicious vitamin D, even if it’s filtered through SPF 30. Our moods lifted, our anxieties calmed, our bodies relaxed. We let the stress of our work lives leave us for a little while. We remembered why we baked ourselves by the pool thirty years prior. It was a welcome respite from the drama of teen life and now this present adult life.
Shushing water and sun-warmth entering deep into our bones make the rest of life seem bearable, no matter what may come.
Dear MJF, here’s to the next THIRTY years of friendship and memories. I hope that in our seventies we are still laying in the sun in our black and red underwear, but maybe with more sunscreen, a cocktail for me and the CABANA BOY of choice for you who won’t interrupt the moment by wanting to clean the pool…
Enjoy your summer, everyone! Even if it means wearing your underwear to the beach.