Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Crazy in Love

On Valentine's Day 2014, I did the unfathomable and had dinner with my cousin Rick and his then-fiance, Annie.   I knew it wasn't a great idea.   Unabashed in their affection and dementedly in love,  Rick and Annie are the grossest couple ever.

They were only in LA for a couple of days, though, and I  didn't think it was physically possible for them to be any worse than usual.  But still,  I made Rick promise to keep the soulful staring to a minimum.   Or I think I did.  I've repressed all  memories of that night.  I only know it happened because I have evidence of it.  I took a photo of Rick and Annie with their arms intertwined as they fed one another chocolate mousse.

The bridesmaids force themselves to smile. 
Not surprisingly,  I'm not much of a fan of Valentine's Day.  Over the course of my very long life, I've enjoyed it only four or five times, and all of them were with Scott.  He referred to me as his not-girlfriend,  I referred to him as Fucking Fucker Fuck, and our greatest pleasure as a not-couple was based on finding new ways to insult one another.   There were no unmet expectations on Valentine's Day --  no disappointments, and no grasping for perfect Hallmark love.  If our arms were intertwined, it was by accident, and if there was chocolate mousse, it was because we were stoned.   

No:  I'm not a romantic.  But I'm not alone in my aversion to Rick and Annie's  lovestruck presence. Even Rick's brother Rob, who's been known to get gooey about his wife Renee, is horrified.  

"You're definitely not the only one who notices," he wrote when I emailed him, ever diligent in applying journalistic standards by seeking second-source verification.    "We all notice and are thoroughly disgusted by it.   Anytime I spend more than 20 minutes with the two of them,  I just want to punch Rick a few times to remind him that he's not nearly as great as she thinks he is." 

When Rick and Annie got married in New Orleans in October,  I was prepared;  by then, I'd had well more than a year to acclimate to their demonstrations of togetherness, and I'd become  more charmed than repulsed.   But there were four wedding-related events before the big day, and by the time the ceremony rolled around, I was queasy again.   So was everyone else.   When the bride kissed the groom, an 85-year old guest yelled "Get a room!,"  and even the 10 dressed-in-white children who sang "It's a Wonderful World" during the nuptials looked ill.    Later, after a toast, I discovered that when a roomful of celebrants simultaneously roll their eyes,  it actually makes noise.   

They allowed me to use this photo,
  which kinda says it all. 
Technically, it was a shotgun wedding, and Rick and Annie's son Asa was born on Super Bowl Sunday.   I'm thrilled.   Rick and Annie are as extraordinary as people as they are revolting as a couple, and their son will grow up to be spectacular and sound.  There's already proof. According to Rob, who saw a video of them singing "Happy Birthday" to their one-week old,  "despite the fact that he doesn't yet know how his arms work, Asa attempted to strangle them to make them stop."

I've been dying to talk to them since Asa was born, but I know the new baby drill, and I thought I should wait until they'd had a chance to settle in.   I emailed Rick last Sunday to  find out if the time was right,  and it was.   He suggested we Skype, and then  added a warning. "Beware, you thought we were the worst before? With a baby we've taken it to a whole nother level."   Since then,  I've tried and failed to get in touch every day.  I can't wait to lay eyes on the baby, but I need some time to get ready for it.  It may be today, but if it isn't, at least Rick and Annie will know via this post that  I'm thinking about them.  

Welcome to the world, Asa Burke Farman, and know you are blessed.   Your parents, two of the best people on earth,  will raise you to be confident and strong.  And thank god for that -- no one likes a pukey kid, and by the time you're eating cookies,  you'll have the strength to keep them down.  


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Here Comes the Regular

I thought that since I posted about aging a few months ago,  it was too soon to write about it again. But then I checked my archives and found out that I published my first and only post on the subject more than two years ago.    

As I've gotten older, my take on time has changed dramatically.  It was no surprise to discover that I can't tell the difference between two years and three months; if I was surprised at all, it was only because my perspective is the same as everyone else's, and that almost never happens.  To invoke a meme that I'm too old to even know about, "I can't believe I'm 51!  I feel like I'm 51!," said no one, ever.

 In much the same vein, I sometimes forget how old I am.  Unfortunately, the amnesia doesn't last. There are constant reminders that I'm en route to elderly, and no, I'm not referring to the hair on my toes again.

Last week alone it happened twice.   I took an Uber to a friend's, and as I got in the car the driver looked at me and immediately turned down the radio.   On the way home, the driver looked at me and didn't.  I was irritated by both of them, the first because the driver assumed that loud music would bother me due to my advanced age, and the second because, due to my advanced age, loud music bothers me.

On Friday, a musclebound  guy at the gym walked up to me, introduced himself as Ricardo, and told me I inspired him. I was feeling all proud of myself and my finely chiseled physique until it dawned on me that he was inspired not because I lift heavy weights, but because I lift heavy weights and I. Am. Old.

People always say I don't look my age, but I know better than to believe them.  I tell people they don't look their age all the time, and I'm rarely telling the truth.  If someone says it to me, and they're actually sincere, it's probably  because I've been eating Ding Dongs and there's chocolate on my face, or I'm wearing an "I'm With Stupid" t-shirt and 6-inch heels.

Ironically, despite my age, I remain remarkably immature. I went to a funeral for a Guatemalan friend with  Katie last month,  and because I laugh when I'm uncomfortable,  my reaction to the funeral was not dissimilar from my reaction to the Grammy Awards.   I couldn't stop laughing.  At first I kept it together, but then the music in memory of the deceased kicked in, and convinced I was hearing "On Top of Old Smokey," I cracked up.  I regained my composure after I looked at Katie, who stared straight ahead and looked properly somber, but then they played  what I thought was "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" and I lost my shit again.  

Later, Katie told me that I was right about the song selection -- that they had played American folk songs at a Guatemalan funeral --  but it didn't make me feel any better.  Given that Katie remained perfectly composed during the service,  it served only to remind me that despite being a woman of a certain age,  I still don't know how to be an adult.

Sometimes, though, it serves me well.     Being an adult means acting my age, and as long as there are Ding Dongs to eat and high heels to wear, I'd just as soon avoid it.