Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm Underwhelmed

No I did not get up at 4 am to watch the royal wedding.  I didn't do it in 1981 and I didn't do it today.

First things first.  The dress is pretty.  It's really pretty.  It flatters her.  It's elegant.  It's also a total knock off of Grace Kelly's dress.  And if I read one more nasty comment about Pippa also wearing white I think I'll scream.  She looked lovely.  Thank God she's not wearing mauve.  Or puce.  Bridesmaids dresses are notoriously horrible (ask me how I know).  I'm sort of glad that the future Queen of England broke with tradition and had her sister also wear white. 

Next up, the commentators keep referring to how young they are.  Let's do a reality check here kids.  They're both 29 years old.  As far as I'm concerned, that's full grown.  Diana was 20 when she married.  That's young. 

And maybe that's why I'm underwhelmed.  These two have been together for years.  This wedding was no big surprise.  They are every other couple who ever met, fell in love and married.   Diana came out of nowhere.  If you look back at some of the early photos and drew a thought bubble on her, it's very easy to imagine it saying "Oh shit, what have I gotten myself into."  In many ways, she was Cinderella.  Yes it was a beautiful story but there were major elements of fear in it. 

But, then again,  maybe that's why we were all so enchanted by Diana.   It was so random that it could have been any one of us who became a princess.  I was 16 in 1981.  Don't think it didn't cross my mind.  As we aged with her, she kept doing things that were cool and made us want to be like her.  My generation were the first teenagers who had to consider HIV/AIDS in our sexual growth.  That was a big deal!  It was terrifying.  And she dealt with it.  We also didn't experience war in the way that the generation immediately before and the one immediately after us did.  And yet, she brought our attention to land mines.

Yes, much of her early career as a princess was Disney-fied but at some point, she walked into Cinderella's castle and rather than finding a wicked step mother, she found Gloria Steinem in a mini skirt and a "Cunt Power" button and she became the woman that we all hope to be. 

I wish Will and Kate the best.  They seem like a lovely couple and it's a genuine delight to see a royal couple who seem truly in love without any of the messiness that Charles brought to the table.  I'm happy for them.   Yes my feelings are a little hurt that I wasn't invited but then again, I don't really look good in a hat.

And of course, I had this stuck in my head all day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

Or maybe you do!  I tend to be a bit of an open book.

The other day I accidentally bared my soul (add overly dramatic hand gesture here) to a big group of people.  I told some things about myself that I hadn't gotten into with anyone else.  And you know what, it was fine.  I think I may have felt some sort of shame about it all but no one called me a loser or a jerk.  Both friends and strangers were loving and kind.

So I decided to tell you some more things about me that you may not know.

1.    I don't leave home without perfume on.  Ever.  I actually keep perfume in the car in case I forget.  If I don't have makeup on--no biggie.   If I forget to put my earrings on--so what.  No perfume--I faint.  And I wear old fashioned perfume.  Either Chanel #5 or Miss Dior.  And I love them.  My grandmother wore Miss Dior and when I was a kid, I went Christmas shopping at Wanamaker's.  Honestly, what the hell was a 10-year-old supposed to know about "gift with purchase"?  In this case, it was a purchase with purchase.  Dior had a special gift package that you could buy for $15 if you bought a bottle of Miss Dior perfume.  It had that great houndstooth check that is the signature of their brand and it had soap and lotion and little bottles of pretty things that smelled good.  The 15 bucks might as well have been $100 when it came to my budget.  There was no way I could afford a bottle of perfume and the "special gift" but I wanted it for my Nanny so badly.  The saleslady was SOOOOOOOO nice to me and she waited until someone bought perfume and didn't want the gift and then let me buy the gift.  Lesson learned--your little act of kindness may be remembered close to 40 years later.

2.  I learned how to knit from a book.  It was EZ's "Knitting Without Tears" and I still have it.  I was home sick and I was bored so I decided it was time.  I was nine years old and I've been doing it ever since.  I even tried knitting with thread and straight pins the next time I was home sick but it was way too fiddly for me.   When I was about 12 years old I pretended that I didn't know how to knit.  We were visiting my grandparents in Florida and the neighbors daughter was a bit of a loon.  I think she may have just gotten out of rehab or been rescued from a cult (I'm not being silly here--I remember there being some sort of big 70s issue with her) and she decided she was going to teach me how to knit.  I didn't want to hurt her feelings and I sort of got the sense that she needed to make the connection with someone so I let her "teach" me how to knit.  In college, I pretended that I couldn't play the piano but that was only for an easy A.  I finally had to confess to the teacher that I had about six years of piano lessons under my belt because he was getting ready to send me to Julliard because he thought I was some kind of savant.  I had to tell him the truth because, yes, I can read music, and yes, I can technically play the piano but I have no gift for it.  He forgave me and actually ended up get me a lot of work turning pages at local classical music concerts.  I went to college in the Hamptons so there were a lot of them.  P.S.  Remind me someday to tell you about my piano teacher and her son.  Hello, Mr. Hitchcock, have I got a story for you.

3.  I love cheese but I hate cubed cheese.  It's like biting soap.

4.  I can handle any kind of blood and guts unless it involves snot, puke or poop.  In a nutshell, if you chop your head off by accident, I could easily pick it up and carry it to the hospital for you.  If your head got a runny nose on the way, I would gag, then gag some more and eventually vomit.  And for some reason, there are people who find this funny. 

5.  I thinks it's funny when people fall.  I don't know why but I always laugh.  The only thing funnier to me is when I fall.  When my friend Kathleen and I went to Paris for our 40th birthdays, we were walking through the Marais and I was not paying attention to where I was going and disappeared off a side walk.  One minute I was there, the next I was gone.  We laughed for hours (actually days).  When we finally got to dinner and I staunched the bleeding from my knee, we had to explain to the people next to us why we were laughing so uncontrollably.  Apparently, the French don't find falling as funny as I do.  And, a bonus note for you, I am always amazed at how much damage you can do your knees without ripping your pants.

6.  I can whistle through an acorn cap (or in a pinch, a bottle cap).  It took me the entire summer of 1976 to learn how to do it but it was worth it.  Whenever conversation lags, I find that "what's your most useless talent" is a good question to get things going again.  Whistling through an acorn cap accomplishes nothing more than annoying the shit out of everyone around you.  (Actually, learning how to whistle through an acorn cap is worse--I left a lot of spitty acorn caps around the house that summer.)

7.  I can sing the soundtrack of Evita and Les Mis from start to finish.  Please  note that I didn't say I sang it well but I do know all the words.

8.  I met Colleen Dewhurst when I was 16 years old.  She was one of my favorite actresses and I was so excited that I started laughing.  Which made her laugh.  Which made me laugh harder.  Which made her laugh harder.  And so on and so on until we were both in a puddle on the floor.  My father, who knew her from his work, thought it was hysterical and my friend who was with me was so freaked out about it that she started to cry.

9.  I prefer a rainy day to a sunny day.  I hate having the sun on my face.  It's hot and I can't see.  I think there's a bit of the Irish poet in me (or potato farmer) that appreciates the drama of the weather.   Ironically, I love a sunny day at the beach.  Sunburn be damned, I just enjoy it so much.  I have a weird thing about swimming alone so if I want to go in the ocean, someone has to come with me.  I will occasionally swim in a lake but I have a wild fear of bony hands grabbing my ankles in a lake.  I can trace that fear directly back to the movie "Let's Scare Jessica to Death" (or as my father calls it, "Let's Scare the Shit Out of Jessica".  If I have to swim in a lake I will actually keep swimming until I am on the beach without ever putting my feet down.  Not an attractive process so I try to avoid it on first dates.

10.  At one point in my career, I was the highest paid commercial DJ on Long Island.  Which really meant nothing because radio pays crapola but it was still a distinction that I relished.  I don't have a pretty voice at all but I do have a very distinctive voice which apparently is valuable in radio.  When I first started, I loved it because we put together our own playlists and had some control over the music (within format of course).  Then computers took over and they told me what to play, in what order and what to say at every break.  Bleh.  It sucked.  Especially when I had to play the Divinyls song "I Touch Myself" and the format said that I had to come out of the song and say "I'm Karen Tumelty and I Touch Myself".   By the way, I still know all the words to that song too.