Archives for October 2010

Monday Dare: the ten second rule

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Try, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please, feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: I will count to ten before reacting.

My friend Anne has a condition. I bring it up about every third time I see her because I find it endlessly fascinating and alien.

She was born without a single mean bone in her body.

Her condition manifests in different ways. She remembers my birthday. She mentions what we talked about in our last conversation and asks for an update. She regularly compliments her friends….and means it. She turned away a door-to-door solicitor with such grace, he actually apologized for bothering her and scooted away with his head bowed.

Once, a guest I brought to her house broke something. She just smiled warmly and assured us that it was about to break anyway and not to worry about it.

The last time a guest broke something in my home, I sent her away and told her to never, ever come back. She was dead to me and no amount of apologizing was going to resurrect the friendship. I was nine. It was my favorite tea set.

Last December, on our way to Cal’s 10th birthday party, we stopped by the fancy ice cream store in our neighborhood to pick up her highfalutin custom ice cream birthday cake. The one that I painstakingly detailed down to the last swirl in a fifteen minute phone conversation with the cake artist….who forgot to make it. 

I may or may not have lost my shit.

I may or may not have insisted that the cake artist on duty call the offending cake artist so I could leave this message:

“…..I would suggest you find another place of employment 
because this job is obviously too difficult for you….”
I can’t confirm or deny any of these details; rage makes my memory a little fuzzy. Obviously, I wasn’t born with Anne’s condition.
I mentioned my Monday Dare to Harv this afternoon. His response?
“Are you sure ten seconds is enough? Well….I guess if that’s all you can manage,
 then it’s all you can manage.”
I wonder if he noticed the long pause on my end of the line (ten seconds to be exact) before I via Better Homes and Gardens

how to win my heart

In my early 20’s, I got hit on by a fellow named Shady at a gas station. He told me I was beautiful and then asked me for my phone number. He offered to pump my gas. He wasn’t being chivalrous; it was part of his job. He was the station attendant.

Last year, at the tail end of a girls’ night out, my girlfriend and I ended up at a lounge. A particularly aggressive-looking young man made a beeline for me and introduced himself. His name slips my mind, but I do recall that he had just gotten out of prison and that most of his front teeth were missing. I vividly remember this last fact because a generous sprinkling of his salivary gland emissions landed on my brand new dress.

Which brings us to last week.

I challenged myself to embrace the museum experience as a Monday Dare, and after a few misstarts, I finally spent my Thursday afternoon at the LACMA. Afraid of repeating the Louvre debacle, I refrained from commenting or pointing. I’m not gonna lie….it was hard. I guess I’ll go ahead and mention that I leaned against some wood left over from the construction of an exhibit to steady myself while I adjusted my shoe, and come to find out from an official museum person, the wood was the exhibit. Oh, contemporary art, it’s never easy with you, is it?

I should really tell you about the genuinely delightful time I had at the museum but instead, I’m going to fill you in on the Dazzler (an official museum person, no less) that asked me the magical question that unlocks all the doors of my heart.

Are you Chinese?

Because I like to practice being classy once in a while, I smiled and walked away, politely throwing a “no” in his direction. He clearly wasn’t satisfied with my answer. He trotted along next to me and asked-

You gotta man?

I decided classy wasn’t really the way to go here, so I picked up the pace and curtly informed him that I was married. And that’s when he decided to bare his heartstrings-

Is he here?

Mom, wife, artist, and most certainly, bonafide Dazzler magnet.