she's writing a novel

a lot of her writing tends to be tongue-in-cheek. this is because she grew up in an evangelical tradition which was more concerned about where else she might be putting her tongue.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The other campaign banner tells the blind guy to look out for his neighbors

On a Septa bus today, I saw one of those public awareness banners that extols Philadelphians to do something about the violence in our city. It was of course a very politically correct campaign; the people dipicted on the banner represented "diversity." "Diversity," when it is employed thusly, always looks the same: a 30-something white woman, a 50-something white man, a 40-something black man, a 20-something asian female, a hispanic teenager, and the guy in the wheel chair.
But this Ode to All of Us, self-conscious of its "let's include everybody and offend nobody" motif, was trying so hard to be sincere that it was blithely unaware its own irony.

I mean, it just doesn't seem very sensitive to the physically challenged to locate the motto, "Don't Give Up. Stand Up!" right next to the guy in the wheel chair.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Quit yer whining

Yesterday at the gym I was watching the music video station while listening to a CD I'd brought. A video by some R&B/hiphip/rap/etc etc artist came on- I think she was some diva or wanna be diva or has been diva. Anyway, from the pained look on her face I could tell that this video wasn't about how good her man's lovin' makes her feel. Neither was it about how that boy needs to be a man and figure out how to give her some lovin' that makes her feel good. It was also not about that bitch who thought she was going to step in and get some of her man's lovin'. Neither was it about a no-good man who used to give her lovin' to make her feel good but now only brought her trouble.

No, this video was about how the world done her wrong.

She parks her luxury SUV next to the curb because she's running inside for just a minute to grab the Versache /Gucci /Dolce&Gabana/etc dresses that have come in for her. But what is this? She comes out to see she's gotten a parking violation ticket! The expression on her face upon discovering this indicates that she is not just irritated, not just inconvenienced, but emotionally anguished by this turn of events.

But there is hope to be had, long-suffering diva, even in this time of trial. If you can afford the Lexus SUV, if you can afford designer dresses, if can afford the 5-bedroom house you walk around crying in later on in this 3-minute testimony to your stupidity and lack of gratitude, you can afford the goddamn parking ticket. Even I can deal with a parking ticket, emotionally and fiscally.

Also, fyi, you do not get to cry about how the world is conspired against you when you live in a house featured on Cribs, when you drive an imported car, when you are wearing a $3000 outfit. Doing so is more vulgar than ripping your top off and letting your song's featured rapper pour champaign down your gold-lamé covered tits.

If you're going to whine, go back to whining like a diva and cry about something like the fact that while your man's sperm has already found your egg, his dick still hasn't found your g-spot.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

She wore an...

Today, I bought a bikini.

Swimsuit shopping is horrifying. If you gave me the option of trying on bikinis, or having a gynecological exam, I would jump on the latter.

When I finally went to the gyno for the first time, I could not for the life of me figure out what everyone had been bitching about. You have your breasts fondled. Then you strip naked, spread your legs, and the gyno fingers you with a latex-gloved hand. To be honest, a visit to the gyno ranks higher than some of my sexual experiences. I mean, at least at the gyno you're guarunteed a little foreplay.

Ah, but trying on bikinis. Hello, cellulite. Hello, strange skin discoloration which I might have remained ignorant of indefinately were it not for the flattering flourescent bulbs in this dressing room. Hello, inadequately-sized breasts. Hello, retained water. Hello, fact that I haven't had a good shit in three weeks. Hello, sagging ass. Did I already greet thee cellulite? Hello, hello.

It's an honest moment: My body, a bikini, and a mirror. I used to psyche myself up with an image of what I would see when I finally squeezed into the thing and opened my eyes. But I was usually setting myself up for failure, because the image in my mind was always from some magazine or another. But today, after a year of running 25 miles a week (and putting the ice cream down and stepping away from the ice cream), I opened my eyes and my first thought was not bad.

This is the sort of breakthrough moment that makes me wish I had a therapist to run to. I opened my eyes, I saw myself in a bikini, and I didn't cry.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Clever marketing or Freudian slip?

On the walk home today, my eye was drawn to a rather non-descript flier stuck to a signpost; I only noticed it because the banner across the top read"Become a Sperm Donor!" in bright blue lettering. A handsome white man in jeans and an oxford shirt --clearly virile, this one-- grinned out at you from the poster, and next to his smiling face were the words "Helping others never felt so good!"

Now charity can involve masturbating something other than your conscience.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Not my style

Saturday was sweltering. The Russian lover and I sat across from each other with our morning coffee, panting and lethargic, and decided to flee. We would trade one unbearably hot East coast city for another, in what was not so much an attempt to beat the heat as to disregard it.

So, instead of spending our Saturday wandering around Philadelphia, we spent it wandering around SoHo. I like SoHo; I like how quiet it gets on a summer weekend evening, after being busy all day with the tourists and shoppers.

But we arrived in the late afternoon. Downtown was still congested with people shopping and tourists gaping, and we crawled along Green Street. We got stuck behind a taxi hailed by an older, round balding man. A younger, heavily made-up brunette leapt into the car ahead of him, and he struggled to get in after her with an overflowing bag from Agent Provocateur. One long tissue-wrapped item threatened to spill out onto the street as he wedged himself into the backseat; no guesses as to who was using that whip on whom later that night

While we waited for the light to change, a double-decker sight-seeing bus going the opposite direction miscalculated and ended up “blocking the box.” Our light finally turned green, and the bus still hadn’t moved. Perhaps this was intended on the part of the guide, so that the tourists could experience first-hand the disposition of irate NYC drivers. Because not two seconds had passed before a symphony of horns started tuning up; I looked over just in time to see the Russian lover roll down the window and wave his middle finger at the perplexed convoy. I think a Japanese grandmother took a picture of it.



The only sensible way to walk around when it was 95+ degrees was to intersperse sprints of walking with ducking into air-conditioned stores. Like swimmers coming up for air, we walkwalkwalked then gasp! into the arctic tomb of Armani to look around and lust and then GO! back onto the street to walkwalkwalk then gasp! into the cool dark cave of Costume Nationale to try on winter coats and fantasize about autumn. We made our way around much of SoHo in this manner.

When it comes to clothes shopping, designer names entice me, but SALE signs compel me. We came to a door that announced 60% REDUCTION and, while we had never heard of the line, we decided to go in and give it a try. We wandered around in confusion at what we were seeing. There's no way to describe it, really. If Barbie, the Gastineau girls, and your mechanic's girlfriend had collaborated and launched a clothing line, it might have turned out something like this.

I tried to like a jacket; I held it up for the Russian lover who simply made a face of pain. One of the salesmen standing a few feet away observed this. He leaned in conspiratorially, and in a low, even tone he said, “It’s not your style.” I looked at him, confused. Wasn't it his job to get me to buy as much of this crap as possible? “It’s not your style,” he stated again. I relented. I put the jacket down and stood there, looking around me at the store – maybe there was something wonderful hidden here that I wasn’t seeing. He saw my sweeping gaze and marked it. “It’s not your style,” he said in a firm voice that suggested I should not even consider a purchase from this store. I looked at him, and he said it again. But this time our eyes locked, and I heard the pleading underneath his refrain: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOMAN WAKE UP THIS IS A STORE FOR PLATINUM-DYED BROADS FROM LONG ISLAND AND THEIR THUG JERSEY BOYFRIENDS. I WON’T BE RESPONSIBLE FOR A REASONABLY DRESSED WOMAN DESCENDING INTO THE DEPTHS OF FASHION DEPRAVITY. LEAVE THIS PLACE AND NEVER RETURN, BUT THINK OF ME SUFFERING HERE IN JESSICA SIMPSON’S CLOSET AND WISHING I WAS HITTING ON THE BOYS AT DIOR HOMME.

I turned to the Russian lover. “Well, I guess it’s not my style.”

We made for the door, escorted by the clerk. He ushered us out protectively, eyes darting like he expected another sales person to ambush us at any moment to try and convince us that the jacket was a good idea. “It’s not your style” he said again, mostly to himself, as we walked out. He watched us briefly from the window with a weary smile that spelled his relief at having saved another one.