Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In Distance and in Closeness, for Richer and for Poorer

I was planning to write a post about some dismal thoughts I had a couple weeks ago. The distance between Hollywood (where I am) and London (where Mr. W is) was beginning to weigh heavily on me, and I caught myself thinking, This isn't marriage.

Marriage is about two people being together. Not apart.

Then I thought about military wives. And how I have nothing to whine about. Military wives actively participate in marriages where togetherness is impossible for long durations of time. Military wives have to worry that their husbands may never come home to them. Military wives are rockstars.

I then realized that surviving distance is exactly what marriage is about. It should be one of the worst-case scenarios covered in the vows. In sickness and in health, in close proximity and in differing time zones. Commitment is commitment even when external factors complicate it.

I thought I had a clearer perspective on marriage.

And then today I found out that my entire team at work is being laid off.

And that really gave me perspective on marriage.

Of course, Mr. W was the first person I contacted after I found out the news. After asking me if I was okay, he made a joke about us moving to Tuscany. Then he assured me that I didn't need to worry. He would be there for me. My soft place to land.

When I was laid off from my advertising job in 2003, my family and friends were really wonderful and forthcoming with their support. I knew I could turn to them. But there's something really incredible about having a husband to turn to this time. A partner I know I can count on. I really do love this whole marriage thing...

Friday, August 26, 2011

And My T-Shirt Says: I Went to a Burlesque Show and All I Got Was a Slap in the Face

My first (and only) trip to a strip club was about 9 or 10 years ago with three guys I knew through work. It wasn't some upscale club on Sunset Boulevard, or even a well-known diamond in a rough part of town. It was next door to a bowling alley in east Pasadena.

My judgment was high that night. I scowled at all the hungry-eyed lurkers, bristled at the strippers who came by our table, rolled my eyes at my companions. I was overcome by a mixture of disgust and pity, and I left declaring that I would never again watch a girl in a thong working it for money.

Until last night.

My girlfriend C emailed me a week or two ago and asked if I had any interest in going to see a burlesque show with her. Fairly certain that a show like that wouldn't be the same as straight up pole-spinning, I happily accepted her invitation.

So last night we ventured to Harvelle's in Santa Monica to see the dance troupe Harlow Gold. Six girls pretty much take over the entire space—dancing on the bar, running laps up and down the length of the floor, jumping on tables and hanging from straps attached to the walls and ceiling.

I found the differences between this show and the strip club staggering. First of all, the girls were real. No triple-F-cup stripper boob jobs. No tummy tucks. There were dimples and sagging—and the ladies all still looked sexy as all get out. Second, there were some thong-type items, but mostly fun lingerie,  tassels, fishnets, thigh highs and bustiers. The costumery all felt very Moulin Rouge, as did the heavy lashes and red lipstick.

What I found most impressive was the dance skill and choreography. Each number presented a different sort of story (like a military one, flight attendants one, and pin-up girls/bathing beauties)—making the actual performing more of the focus than the exposed body parts. I was genuinely impressed by their interaction and theatrics on stage. And yes, the swinging from bars along the ceiling and maneuvering from straps attached to the wall elicited the same sort of wonder for me as watching Cirque du Soleil.

What I didn't like so much was getting smacked in the face by the saucy blonde when she did her solo.

C and I were sitting at the end of the bar closest to the stage, and the girls' little staircase up the bar was right next to us. As saucy blonde sauntered up it, she stopped and grabbed C by the hair, pulling her face close like a dominatrix. I nearly took a high heel to the head as she swung around the horizontal pole above me. And then toward the end of her number, she ran past all of us at the bar with her arm out, whacking each of us upside the head. Took me right back to this incident.

I suppose she was just showing the audience who was boss. My cheek did sting through the entire next song, though.

Despite the small streak of violent behavior, I would definitely return to Harvelle's to see the show again. Or another burlesque show. Maybe like this Star Wars one. Strip club, though? Not so much.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Dingy Driver Dart System (Patent Pending)

Mr. Wonderful can be a highly impatient driver. I can't tell you how many times I've been in the car with him, gripping my seat as he speeds past someone or spews profanity like a dock worker. Because he's generally a mild-mannered guy, this kind of behavior always seems a bit out of character.

My go-to tactic for dealing with the situation is to reach over and play with the back of his hair. It's sort of like petting a barking dog to calm it down. Works pretty well usually, particularly when coupled with a few light-hearted sarcastic remarks like, "simmer down, Turbo."

Anyway, I chalked up this feisty-ness as just being another component of his multifaceted, sparkly personality.

And then I moved to Hollywood.

And months of driving in the company of morons started to wear on me. And suddenly, Mr. W's outbursts made perfect sense.

Because I don't often have another person in my car to pet my hair and talk me down, morning and evening commutes are routinely filled with Tourette-style rants and heart palpitations.

I really think there is a concentration of mentally-challenged motorists in the Los Angeles area. Hollywood being one of the thickest populations.

Given that these jackasses aren't likely going to leave my new neighborhood anytime soon, I have devised a system of communication that I think could help relieve my frustration and give other drivers valuable perspective about their habits on the road.

Remember in the old roadrunner cartoons when Wile E Coyote would whip out a bow and arrow that had a plunger tip instead of a spear? Well, I'd like to create something similar—or maybe a dart system with a plunger attached—that would enable me to shoot out messages and have them stick to other drivers' cars.

That way I could let the guy who almost just cut me off know that he was a giant asshat. Or I could notify the dude going 50 in the fast lane that he should, "Give me a frigging break, buddy!"

If all goes well, I could even extend the product line to include customizable phone number tags. That way if single people were stuck in traffic next to someone attractive, they could just shoot their contact info over.

I really think this could open an interesting dialog amongst the drivers in LA. And it might help calm down Mr. W and his now road-raged bride.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pink Wrigglers and Other Reasons I Miss Having a Man in the House

I was already running two minutes late to meet a friend for dinner when I opened the back door to retrieve a bag of trash and noticed two pinkish wriggling worms smooshed between the threshold and the kitchen tile. The tiny worm was flipping and twirling like a madman. The fat one just seemed to be sort of tensing and releasing in place.

I can't be 100% certain, but I think I did four squealing laps around the kitchen.

There was no way in hell I was picking them up with a paper towel, but I had to get them out of the house somehow. Thinking quick, I whisked my flip-flop off and scraped it across the floor at the assailants.

I missed.

And then I realized that they weren't worms.

They were two separate pieces of one very small lizard. The tiny breakdancing one was its tail. The fat lethargic one was its body.

It's amazing how fast a person can run with their toes completely curled.

I really wanted to just sit and wait for Mr. W to get an emergency flight home to come take care of this problem. But I had a dinner. So I had to solve the problem on my own.

I looked around the kitchen. Curse words may have been streaming from my mouth. That damn tail kept twirling the whole time I was frantically trying to formulate a plan. And then it hit me.

I grabbed a spatula from the drawer and flipped the tail out the back door. Then went the little lizard. Then I screamed and threw the spatula into the sink and did a few more flapping laps.

I'm going to have nightmares about that creepy little tail slinking into the house tonight.

Mr. W really cannot get back to the U.S. fast enough...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Turning the Other Cheek

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here, but Mr. Wonderful's house has a rental unit under it, and back in June we got a new tenant.

She's a bubbly little 24-year-old who just moved into the area and so far she has been a fantastic renter. Mr. W just told me she already paid him for September, and the only peep I hear through the floor is occasional giggling when she has a boy over. (Which lately, of course makes this old cat lady miss her hubby.)

Because she's such a sweetheart, I didn't bat an eye when she asked me if she could lay out in the sun in our backyard. Of course she could. She was quiet and she brought us guacamole one day. Totally won me over.

And then I saw her Brazilian cut bikini and 24-year-old butt.

I was cleaning the kitchen and glanced out our back window to see a perfectly tanned, smooth, and petite cheek hanging out the edge of her black bottoms. I winced.

I don't think my butt ever looked like that.

My 35-year-old ass (at around 30 I think it goes from being a butt to being an ass) most certainly doesn't. Of course I had to peek out the window a few more times as she stood up to adjust on her towel. Thank God Mr. W isn't coming home for 4 more weeks. I have a feeling he might be finding all sorts of new yardwork that needs to be done back there while she's sunning herself.

On the positive side, I'm more motivated than ever to train for my next half marathon!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Great Expectations (That Mr. W Will Be Home Sooner Than Later)

I'm starting to worry more and more that I'm on the verge of descending into a Miss Havisham fit, wriggling into my wedding dress and not taking it off until Mr. Wonderful comes home from London. I'll waltz around our house with a glass of warm chardonnay in my hand and mascara streaks down my cheeks, lamenting my lost love.

When he first found out he had to go back, I thought it would be less than 7 weeks; that he'd return by Labor Day. But now it may be closer to 8 1/2. And when you're on the brink of Havishaming, every day counts.

I find myself trying to quantify the time in smaller increments. It's only 4-5 more trash days. 3 or 4 Sunday dinners. 2 paychecks.

But oh how the days drag on...

It's not that I'm not keeping busy. I've jam-packed my social calendar. I have chores and hobbies up the wazoo. But no matter how many hours I spend with Etsy creations, blogging, running, girls' nights or family meetups, the clock still seems to be moving at a snail's pace.

And as my friend GeekHiker recently pointed out, sometimes you end up feeling MORE lonely when you're around other people. A night of solitude in front of the TV feels like a choice. It's easier to rationalize. But when you're alone and other people are around, you miss YOUR people. It's like the difference between them and your person is amplified and makes you feel the absence ten times more intensely.

I guess like training for a race, I just have to keep running through the pain. Just keep on going and try not to count the miles or minutes.

In the meantime, I'm going to go slip into my wedding gown and smear my lipstick a little. Just to see if insanity feels better than the missing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mr. W's D Cup Dreams Are Finally Coming True

I'll never forget the day I realized I needed to start wearing a bra. I was in 7th grade and we were having scoliosis tests done in P.E. class. While all the other pubescent girls lined up in their white cotton training bras, I stood by in a pink ribbed tank top. I was flat-chested and didn't see a real need to buy any sort of undergear. Until, of course, I saw that I was one of the only girls without it. And thus began my stint with the little triangle-top Calvin Klein training bras (which I could probably still squeeze into).

Nowadays, whenever I complain about being small-chested, Mr. W will try to reassure me with, "I like your little boobs." Kind of like "look at how darling that miniature tea set is" or "that small pothole is the cutest one on the whole street."

Given the adjectives usually associated with my mammaries, I was absolutely overjoyed to add a new one to the mix this weekend.

It all started when my 13-year-old niece told me she wore a 34B. Now, she's only 4' 11" and she's a tiny little peanut. The thought that she would need a bra size bigger than mine just did not seem right. So I introduced her to The Bra Lady:

Go ahead, watch the video, I'll wait...

I first saw this video a couple years ago when Daily Candy sent it out in one of their emails. I remember finding it interesting, but the only thing that stuck was that I shouldn't wear my boulder (or pebble, in my case) holder on the tightest hook.

After the niece and I watched it, of course we were compelled to grab my sewing tape measure to get our official stats. And that's where the magic began.

See, it turns out I have the same measurements as the first girl in the video - 27" ribcage, 31" bust. Which means...drumroll please...I am supposed to be a 30D. D CUP, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, D CUP!

My niece was right—her ribcage is bigger than mine (which is just bizarre) but her ratio is smaller, so she is technically a C cup. I'm sure she's delighted that I just blogged that.

I was SO excited to share this news with Mr. Wonderful when I spoke to him on Skype Saturday morning. Next time he tells me he likes my "little" girls, I'm going to remind him that these sisters are D's and that definitely doesn't stand for dainty!