Sunday, December 23, 2012

walking through a winter wonderland

The other night we walked down through the Castro, as I was meeting a friend for drinks and the Sober Husband and children felt like going for a walk.

The walk was particularly enjoyable for me, because I was trying out some new performance socks I'd ordered at a holiday sale.  These particular socks are so advanced that a catalogue I'd received in the mail referred to them as "systems" and had a diagram pointing out the various features.  I had enjoyed ridiculing that diagram, but it was an effective sales technique, getting me to order them, and they are the best socks of my life.  As we walked, I kept reveling in my "systems."  "I am never wearing socks again!  I am only wearing systems from now on," I shared.

A particular child found this annoying and requested that I stop referring to my new footwear as "systems" as it was "dorky" and potentially embarrassing.

"You're not the boss of me," I said maturely.

"I should be the boss of you.  I'd do a better job managing you than you do."

We walked on, me reveling in the joy of my systems.  One particular bar with a balcony was full of festive drinkers, who were shouting at pedestrians trying to egg them into jaywalking.  They shouted and shouted at one particular pedestrian next to us.  "Don't be a little bitch!"  Then one festive gay drunk shamed the others:  "There are little kids down there!"  Much gay drunken guilt followed until I shouted up to them, "Don't worry!  She hears worse at home!", gesturing towards little Lola.  This met with a lot of loud, inebriated approval, and as we walked away, when the lights finally changed, one drunk screamed out, "I wish you were my mother!"

I turned and waved in acknowledgment.  "Are you flipping them off?" asked Iris.

"No, I'm waving!  He said he wishes I was his mother."

"Well, I don't wish that," said Iris fiercely.

"WHAT?" I squawked.  "You don't wish I were your mother?"  I knew she wants to go away to boarding school, but unwishing the very biological bonds that tie us together is another matter.

"No!  I don't wish you were his mother!"

After this misunderstanding was cleared up, mother-child love was restored, and we all parted ways:  the Sober Husband and offspring off to eat cake, and me to have cocktails.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

this isn't disturbing; no, not at all

The Sober Husband has been bored at work lately, and he calls me from time to time.  The other day we were chatting, and he shared, "Yesterday I was so bored I watched your dot."  He clarified that he has a program which monitors where my cellphone is.  "I watched you drive up Masonic, then wait on Waller, then drive off.  I was so bored, I just sat there watching for a really long time."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lola's wacky drug experience

Yesterday Lola went to the dentist, always an ordeal for dentist and patient alike (Lola, who has a huge dental phobia, has been known to vomit and cry during procedures).  One of her baby teeth had broken in half, but the jagged remains remained firmly rooted.  Normally I am the dental parent, but the Sober Husband decided to take Lola this time.  He was sure that the dentist would airily say, "Oh, everything's fine, just let it come out in its own time."  I, on the other hand, was sure that the dentist would remove the rest of the tooth.

Indeed the dentist did want to pull the wretched stump, and it didn't go easily.  After a rough beginning to the proceedings wherein Lola cried and the Sober Husband ordered all of the dental personnel out of the room, Lola took some time to compose herself, and the Sober Husband allowed the dentist and his assistant back in.   (When I heard this story, I winced and became nervous that our family would get blacklisted from this dental practice.  The Sober Husband was quite militant in describing this to me, and I had flashbacks to when we used to go to a particular vet who was afraid of him and would have to visibly brace herself to enter the room if he were with me).

Perhaps understandably the dentist chose to give fragile Lola plenty of nitrous, in addition to numbing gel and a novocaine injection.  As Lola described it later, "It was like I wasn't alive, but I wasn't dead."  After she was done at the dentist, Lola went to school.  She told me later that she was working on a project with one of her best friends, "but I got all giggly.  My teeth were shivering and I couldn't stop giggling, and A. didn't know what to do with me, so she had to take me to Ms. B.  And she didn't know what to do with me either!  So she told me to color or do whatever, and I was giggling and crying at the same time and my teeth were shivering."  Eventually Lola returned to normal.

"Well, Lola, that was quite a day you had today," I said, contemplating it all.  I imagined that the dentist could have used a few hits of nitrous after getting the wrath of the Sober Husband turned on him.

Friday, December 07, 2012

the embarrassment

This year I'm co-teaching a class at Iris's school, where we read and discuss books.  Today the students were trying to guess the age of a character, a rather raddled and frizzled alcoholic who is described as wearing gold stiletto shoes.  This sparked a lively debate, as the description of the character's face, with its wrinkles, made the kids think she might be in her sixties, at least forties, but those gold stilettos... she had to be in her twenties to wear shoes like that.  Maaaaybe thirties at most, but then how would she be wrinkled?

I pointed out gently to the children that I am in my late forties, but I wear stiletto shoes.  They were bemused but soon thought they had me.  "Not gold ones!"

But I was not to be caught out that fast.  "I do have gold ones."

They were nonplussed.  I promised to bring the shoes to our next meeting to prove that a woman in her late forties could wear gold stilettos.

At home I shared this story.  Iris interrupted me at the point where I said, "I told them I wore stilettos."  Moaning, she said sadly, "You had to.  You had to say that.  When did you say that?  So embarrassing."

When I got to where I promised to bring my gold stilettos, Iris erupted.  "When you come into my place of residence, you have a responsibility!"

Perhaps not surprisingly the conversation turned to Iris's obsession, going away to a prestigious boarding school.

"Can I come visit you when you're at boarding school?" I asked.

Evasively Iris answered, "I don't think you'll want to come."

"Well, you'll come home for the summer."

Pensively Iris mused, "I wonder what I'll do for the summers, whether I'll want to come home."

Monday, December 03, 2012

the life of a Debbie Downer

After perking up and feeling happy and energetic for a while, so perky indeed that I was back in the kitchen trying new things (like a homemade caramel and chocolate ganache tarte with a sablé crust and like pasta with baby spinach, fried chickpeas, and fresh mozzarella), I'm back in a slump.

Yesterday I not only went out to a party, but I talked the Sober Husband into coming with.  It's rare he'll socialize with my friends, as he views them as his inferiors.  At the party, there was only one person he enjoyed speaking to, and he was disparaging of my other friends after we left.  The disparagement didn't stop with my friends -- it continued to me.  He referred to "your suicidal bullshit."  I would have jumped out of the car and stalked off right then had we not been driving on an elevated freeway.

Obviously it must be difficult to be married to a suicidal person, but referring to it as "bullshit" seems completely wrong on so many different levels, so trivializing and so apt to provoke the very behavior being criticized.

This argument put me right back where I was, in that dark, deep hole.  I don't even want to look at him or hear the sound of his voice.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

how not to take a compliment

After losing over fifty pounds, I've been enjoying wearing smaller, form-fitting clothes.  Not long ago I indulged in a little retail therapy and acquired a dress which I call "my mid-range hooker dress."  It shows a lot of lace-obscured cleavage and is tight all over, and it is one hell of  a dress.  You could go a lifetime without finding such a rewarding dress, just the right amount of sleaziness.

Recently I had the right occasion to wear this dress in public:  a friend had a private party at a wine bar.  After I'd had a glass of wine, a former Marine sergeant I know made his way over to greet me.  "You look great," he said, hugging me.

"Thanks!" I said.  I turned this way and that.  "I call this 'my midrange hooker dress.'"

"That's exactly what it is," he agreed.  "It's good enough that you can go into a hotel or restaurant in it," but we both agreed a call girl would do well wearing it.

"Sexy!" was his final judgment.

"Thanks," I blurted out sincerely.  "That means a lot, because I know you don't like me."

Then came the awkwardness.