Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Frankly, when we started out, no one thought our union would last more than a couple of weeks, but today my kidney stone and I are celebrating our two-month anniversary. It's almost better than Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cultural signifiers

1. I think it would be good if I could eradicate from my personal repertoire flashing two thumbs up at people. I do this strangely often, but never well. Despite the enthusiasm that presumably sparks the action, I lack follow through and often forget to actually employ the critical thumb part of the thing, leaving me with my two puny fists raised toward someone in a baffling, albeit cheerful salute. The whole thing lacks dignity.

2. My French friend tells me he was watching "Breaking Bad." There was a scene in which Jesse Pinkman and his cohort were greeting each other. "What up, biotch?" they said. Unfamiliar with this charming form of address, my friend heard, "What up, brioche?" and was briefly hopeful that French pastry was taking American slang by storm. Would that it were.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Marry Christmas

Last night, I went to Evany and Marco's Christmas party. This is not all that unusual. I've gone to Evany and Marco's Christmas party for years. I used to go to it when they lived in an apartment in another town, before they had a child and bought a house. There has been the phrase "Evany and Marco" for a long time. For me, there has been "Evany" for even longer. (I've mentioned her before, for sure.) Almost forever, really. There were parties in other apartments. There were other pre-Marco boyfriends, but I don't even remember their names. And, can we just be frank? I'm pretty sure they were nowhere near as good-looking as Marco. Marco has many excellent qualities, which would be well worth enumerating, but he is also a hell of a handsome guy. It is impossible not to notice this.

Last night's party seemed to be sort of dialed up a notch: more crowded than its predecessors, no child or dog in evidence, a taco truck in the driveway, balloons filling the hallway, paper pom-poms festooning the ceiling, catering help in the kitchen, Evany in a shimmering cocktail dress along with gold shoes with butterflies in her hair, Marco in a suit. But the TV with the yule log was, as is traditional, blazing in the back room. All the usual guests were in evidence. So not so very different, maybe?

Except that, yes. Different. Historic, in fact.

Because in the middle of this party, Evany and Marco got married.

photo by Brian Mello

I have never been to a surprise wedding before, let alone the surprise wedding of two people who--for years--have already been joined by a conjunction in my mind and by their child and their home and their life together. Two people whom I thought had long since decided to forego this particular formality. But now, having been to just such a surprise wedding, I can tell you that the rightness of it is nearly breathtaking.

Evany talked about Marco's extraordinary generosity. She said that he brought out in her the best possible version of herself. She said that when she comes home in the evening she's excited to see him. Marco said that, before Evany, he had always seen love as a supplement, not as a completion. Now he gets it. He said he misses her right away whenever she leaves.

photo by Jill Stauffer

I cried. Obviously. Then we all drank champagne and our friends were married. Marco came out and changed the "e" in on the Merry Christmas banner to an "a." And then we danced, as was only fitting.

That the happy couple could make such tributes to each other eight years into their union is extremely affirming. I want, more than I can say, to find just that with someone. While it is--oof--lonely not to have yet found it, it is greatly encouraging to know that it is not a thing I only imagined to be possible. Indeed, it's right there in my friends' living room. I'm holding out for it, people.

Marry Christmas.

photo by Jill Stauffer

Evany and Marco, long may you reign. I love you crazy kids.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Insomnia haiku

Three A.M. has passed
Whole flocks are accounted for
Yet still I'm awake

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What? Oh. Not that.

To be added to a long list of misunderstandings.

As I have surely mentioned, I am currently fruitlessly engaged in the project of online dating (as seems more or less always to be the case). The site I'm using bases its "matches" on users' responses to a vast number of questions, of which I have answered less than a hundred, but of which there may well be thousands. Yesterday I happened upon this statement, requiring a yes/no response. "I enjoy animated nudity."

I puzzled over this for quite some time, imagining it to refer to some preference for a frolicsome approach to nakedness rather than, perhaps, being naked and just lying around. Then I thought it might be trying to politely address the level of vigor one might desire in one's sexual collaborations. But then, there are many other questions that address that very issue with, if anything, disconcerting frankness, so why would they suddenly be coy? It finally dawned on me that the question referred to comic books? X-rated cartoons? Something? I'm sure there's some approved term for those, but I have no idea what it might be. So I guess maybe I'm a "no" on that one. Having sorted that out, I'm sure to be united with my future spouse shortly.

Then this morning on NPR, I heard part of a series about people doing community-service oriented jobs. I heard the introduction as, "Today we will hear from an emotional Management Counselor working to help women transition from prison back into society." I thought that it seemed reasonable that that sort of work might make someone emotional, but also thought it strange that they mentioned it. "Well," I reasoned, "Maybe she cried through the whole interview or something." Only well into the segment did I realize that Oh, wait! It's Emotional-Management Counselor. Not emotional Management Counselor.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rock steady

To answer your question, yes. I do still have a kidney stone. Every time you think "Man, I sure am tired of her talking about that." I invite you to think about how tired I am of having it. There. Do you feel duly chastened?

In brighter news, the Human Dermal Product is coming along nicely. My oral surgeon did a great job, as he will be the very first to tell you. If I had anything like the, um, let's call it "self-confidence," of my oral surgeon, I would probably be in charge of the world by now. But then, no one wants a poorly trained namby-pamby in charge of sewing things into their mouth, I suppose. I have been eating apples with gusto.

Yesterday, I went downtown to return some misguided online purchases and I felt rather sentimental about living in a place where my very glamorous Gap cashier, with long hair, flawless makeup, beauty mark, skinny jeans, and chiffon blouse was a youth named Kevin. I hope Kevin gets a fantastic employee discount. Gap clothes should be so lucky as to be chosen by Kevin.

The Banana Republic staff were very friendly, though not one of them shared my feeling that the song playing in the store was the stupidest song ever written. I don't know what this song is called, but I'm going to guess it's "I'm Waiting at the Airport." Do you ever musically narrate your day to yourself? Well, I do. Perhaps I wouldn't if I didn't live alone. However, it's not uncommon that I might sing a little ditty about, say, eating lunch. It would go something like "Hey. You should eat some lunch now." The tune would not be an act of musical genius, but it would pass the time.

That is exactly what "I'm Waiting at the Airport" is like. I don't know who sings it, but he tells us over and over again that he is, indeed, waiting at the airport and then, at some point, in a pretty dramatic plot twist, he sends a text. I tried to share the moment with someone, but, incredibly, no one else seemed stunned or amused by the relentless inanity of this--possibly very popular--song. It was a lonely time. But then, though all I did was return a tee shirt and mock the Banana Republic soundtrack, they presented me with a small complimentary jar of jam.

Christmas magic.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

If they want it, they give you a cup

In the ladies' room near the urology department, I discovered that not one of the toilets been flushed following its last use.

I attribute it to either an over-enthusiasm about urology or a slight misunderstanding of how it works.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Sudden springtime

As I was driving down Oak Street, there was a car from Tennessee slightly ahead of me in the next lane. I saw a young woman in the passenger seat reach back to throw something out the open rear window. I was getting ready to be all tsk-y about it (no one likes a litterbug) but it proved to be a handful of flower petals. Pink. Possibly from a peony.

She did it three times. The petals fluttered behind their little hatchback and gave the busy street an air of a parade or a spring wedding. It was quite lovely. Then, having finished her work, she reclined her seat all the way back so she could smoke politely, holding her cigarette out the same open, back window.

I think her life might be markedly improved if they got the front window fixed. Maybe Santa is looking into that.