Thursday, March 28, 2013

"People who read the tabloids deserve to be lied to."*

   I haven’t written a lot in the past few weeks. I’m sorry. And you’re welcome because you know what? Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say. I think it’s important for me to shut the fuck up when I don’t have anything to say. It’s something I’ve been working on my entire life, and I think I may just be getting ever so slightly better at it.
   But see now I have a bunch of things to say and they’re, as usual, unrelated. So this is one of those rambling-type posts. Oh no.
   Let’s start with this cover from US Weekly:
Why wouldn't I buy this magazine?
   This pretty much says everything I love about US Weekly. Here we have a cover that gets right to the (embellished) point and almost makes it seem as though Lindsey Vonn has been quoted as saying, “I’m in love with a sex addict!” Which, as far as I know, she’s never said. But I like how US Weekly has no scruples
(PAUSE: I think my downstairs neighbor has recently taken up weed smoking. It wafts into my apartment in the afternoons and then, about an hour later, I hear him playing the very first line of chords from “Fly Like an Eagle” over and over and over again. You would have to be high to not be bored by just the first few chords, right? But who am I to keep a person from learning an instrument?)
about making the cover all about Lindsey Vonn and her penchant for sex addicts. They just know how to sell a magazine. And they don’t care if any of the things they write have to do with anything. And that’s why it’s fun in much the same way as comic books or psychic friends networks. Because it can’t possibly be real. And even if it were real, none of the stories in the magazine matter in the real world. But I have to read it every week anyway. And that’s why I call it the news: because it’s all the news I can handle (aside from my intense and sad efforts to read the WSJ). (Sort of like how this guy I once went out with told me he liked to pretend The West Wing was the news. He probably had a better case than I do.)
   And then there’s this magazine called Real Simple that is so amazing: all the articles are about organizing and cleaning and getting your finances in order and cooking recipes with only 3 ingredients. The fact that I love this magazine makes me feel at turns both mature and unbelievably lame. For instance, this month’s cover is a picture of cleaning products, which I may not have found exciting in past times but these days it’s like porn. I can’t wait for them to tell me how to clean my floor with bacon grease and Epsom salts. I can’t wait for them to instruct me on which documents to keep and which to throw away. I really can’t wait for them to tell me what delicious meal I can make from the three items that are always in my fridge (eggs, pickles, and string cheese, in my case). I really get on board with this magazine. And last night, they helped me figure out how to put one of my deeper concerns to rest:
I'm jealous of everyone on Facebook.
   I DO have Facebook envy. Everyone else on FB is always doing fun stuff and traveling places and I’m never doing anything! But now I know it’s because people only put good things on Facebook. People don’t brag on FB about how they skipped class Tuesday and made deviled eggs and watched the entirety of Burning Love Seasons One and Two. Because why would you tell anyone about that unless you were mild-to-moderately insane? Quit bragging about your baby or your job promotion! I painted my toenails green and refilled my water filter!
   And one more thing: and get ready, because this is one of those things where I try to put my life into some kind of manageable perspective by pointing out the adversity that others go through while I can’t tolerate waiting in line at the grocery store.
   Yesterday I took two of the kiddos to the Third Street Promenade to visit the Apple Store. We had some questions about a computer. We waited a while, and nobody came. While we waited, I pointed out the fellow that I hoped would wait on us. He was across the room, but you could see him from a mile away. He had short, wavy black hair and star-spangled skinny jeans and bright red lipstick. But he was helping another customer.
   We eventually talked to the “host” (William) at the front of the store who told us he would send someone over momentarily.
   Within moments (well done, William!), William brought over the very man I’d hoped we’d get. William introduced him as Dickie and explained that Dickie was deaf so he would have to type all of his responses.
   What he didn’t mention, but what Dickie soon explained, was that we’d have to type our responses as well. Dickie was very funny and very helpful. He typed the way you know he would’ve spoken, if he spoke. He wrote things like, “Totes. 8 GB is completely sufficient for photo editing.” And “No worries. You probably just need an external HD for storage.” And he didn’t make fun of my typos or my inability to articulate anything that has to do with anything technological.
   And here’s how Dickie’s life relates to me (because everything does, right?): I had this outfit all planned for the next day that I wasn’t sure I could pull off. The outfit involved different patterns and a slightly out-of-the-norm color palette. And I really wanted to wear it, but I wasn’t sure if I could make it happen without feeling silly. I haven’t been fashionably adventurous since I was a teenager.
   But Dickie, the deaf guy with red, star-patterned skinny jeans and bright red lipstick who went and got a job at the ENORMOUS Apple Store on 3rd Street Promenade, made me feel stupid for worrying about it. Of course I could wear my outfit. And then I started getting all deep, a few hours later, thinking about how we only live once and all that and what if, one day when I’m 80, I regret not wearing more often the things I felt like wearing? What a sad, avoidable regret. So I wore my neat, fun outfit today and I felt really good about it, and I’d like to give Dickie a mental high-five. He is getting it done.
Dickie's patterns + my patterns = America. Coincidence? I think not.
That’s all I’ve got for now. 
*The quote is from Jerry Seinfeld. 

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