Thursday, September 27, 2012


There are those moments, when you think, was I thinking? Especially when you know that it's a supremely stupid move.

Yesterday, I needed a pair of black suede heels with an ankle strap.  Needed them now. Needed them for my trip to London in ten days.  Since I am headed to New Mexico this weekend and swamped with work, yesterday was the only chance to buy the shoes.  I had an hour to kill between dropping my 13 year old daughter to make calls for the Democratic Party and seeing my massage therapist, which was plenty of time to accomplish my mission.

The store at the Biltmore hadn't received their shipment of shoes.

Unspent cash and 45 minutes.

I wandered across the way to Soma, the lingerie sister-store of Chicos - an old lady store filled with ethnic prints and chunky jewelry.  Chico's sizes are 0,1,2,3, 4.  You know that lack of definition in size means "comfort".  (Now, one of my favorite designers, Ted Baker, also uses a similar sizing scheme, I'm a 2 - clearly the clothes run tiny).

Soma is a tame version of Victoria's Secret.  I swear I never saw a thong in there.  However, I was on a new mission to find the "Vanishing Tummy" pantie that I saw advertised on TV.  I found them laid out on the display table in black, six shades of beige, a weird little beige polka dot pattern, and the ubiquitous "animal print."  That is the racy one.  I bought five (2 free with a purchase of 3),which were neatly wrapped in tissue and placed in a bag.

Still unspent cash and 30 minutes.

I know that in 30 minutes I will see Thomas, the Messiah, an Edgar Cayce who sees exactly how to see where my body aches emanate from.  Then his elbow has its way with that spot and every spot.  It's incredibly painful, but had made a huge difference in my ability to run.

Unspent cash and 30 minutes means one straight up vodka martini before the therapeutic torture.  I wander into the Crush Bar, strategically close to my car, and sit at the bar.  It's sexy.  Three larger than life photos of partially naked women loom over the bar.  Impossibly long legs and fishnets.  All bar seats are empty and I pick one.  I suddenly think.  What was I thinking?  I have a Soma shopping bag.  I glace behind me at the tables to see patron placement.  I angle the bag so that the label isn't visible (I don't put it on the ground because I know I will forget it if I do.)

All goes well.  I get a vodka Martini, sip it.  Prepare.  "I know this hurts and I am dangerously close to your kidney, but it will be OK".  " I don't know if this rock in your back is muscular or a tumor, but let's see."

As I am clearing my tab, I hear a woman say, "Your red hair looks gorgeous with that green in your dress."

"Thank you."

She doesn't stop.  "I love Soma."

I'm dejected.  Everyone heard that.  Even with the sensuality of the curves in the word "Soma," everyone knows that there is no thong in that store and no thong in that bag.

And now, no thong on me.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I've Seen You in a Movie

On a recent flight from London to Philadelphia, I sat next to a handsome, polite, extraordinarily charming 21 year old man from Nepal.  I rarely engage people whom I sit next to on airplanes, but he looked like he could use a "hello"  and I said something forgettable to him.  Really forgettable.  I have no idea how the conversation started other than I was the one to do it.  However, that was enough for Manjul to kill time chatting with another person on yet another leg of his journey from Katmandu to somewhere in the Middle East on Qatar Airlines, to London to Philly to somewhere in Ohio.

His English, even with his r that rolls on the aveolar palate, was perfect.  Not a surprise after I learned he was a TOFFEL instructor.  He was on his wayto Kenyon College to study physics.  The conversation bounced all around and he wished he could see a picture of me when I was young because he was sure I was beautiful then.  Eventually it became apparent to him that I am unmarried with two children.  "I have seen you in a movie."  I started laughing knowing exactly what he meant.  Single women are not ubiquitous in Nepal as they are here.  I was both suddenly exotic, and to be pitied at the same time.  But, I didn't care and he would soon learn that we are a dime a dozen in the US and would become very regular.  He laughed too knowing that he probably didn't say it quite the way he wanted to, but it sort of bonded us for the rest of the flight.  We kept talking until I fell asleep after a glass of wine and a tray of food with a salt content that could induce a stroke in a mastodon.

I've been told by a man schooled in Jungian psychology that I am the Hetaira archetype.  I see similarities and I like it, althought in many ways it is a lonely life.  But, I have aspects of the other Jungain archetypes.  One missing from Jung's pantheon of women is the "Single Mother" archetype.  I'd like to find the appropriate classical reference for this new archetype, like "hetaira".  I could only think of St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, but she was consumed with putting him on the straight and narrow.  My children are scholars.  This is not me.  There's Boudicca, the warrior-princess Briton - me at a much earlier age.  Let's not start with the Virgin Mary; she had a savior, well, two had one through the process of giving birth and had one rescue her.

What I realize is that single motherhood is a new archetype both withing the US and without.  Within the US, many of us are leeches on the public dole, both a child of welfare and creating more miserable people that will drain government coffers.  We are women who struggle to make ends meet, fail to support her children emotionally as she can't cope with her own, and endsup with the wrong man, only to somehow pull together a heart wrenching reunion with her kids at Christmas. 

To others, we are an army of tired, miserable low-paid workers struggling to make their way through a world with too many demands.  I went on three dates with a Jordanian pediatrician who told me that he could always tell who the single mothers are because they often worked and therefore brought their children to the latest appointments in the day to avoid missing time from work. They always looked utterly exhausted to him. After he semi-stalked me I told him never to contact me again. Which, thankfully, he hasn't.

What is the Single Mother Archetype to Manjul?  Who are we?  How are we exotic.?  If at all?  I know he talked to me until I drifted off and then he slept after I awoke.  He has stayed in touch, knowing there is a friendly person in the US.  My son may take him to the Scottsdale Clubs someday.  Who knows.

But, I wonder if to the outside, I am exhausted and not the muse I have been.  Or, is it just that my body doesn't know what time zone it's in?


Sunday, May 27, 2012

All Apologies

After Mother's Day I posted a blog filled with loathing for my birth mother and self-loathing.  I read it last night and removed it.  Not so much that I care if she ever saw my feelings, but that as much as this is a place for catharsis and self-psychoanalysis, there is a role for an objective and trained third party to deal with those feelings, not the world out there.

My apologies.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Third Anniversary is now a PPT

May 14th is the third anniversary of when I first met my partner.  Actually the 13th for me because of the 8 hour time difference between Phoenix and the UK.  But, we have agreed upon the the 14th. 

Last night, at a wine tasting with a friend of mine, C, I told him that I am creating a powerpoint to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of meeting Karl.  He looked at me in disbelief, chugged the bit of wine they give you in a tasting:  "What? What happened to paper, or silver, or whatever the hell it is for year three?"

I choked through the next small bit of wine they pour at a tasting (it was a syrah and too much for me), and  had to admit, on the surface, it seems superficial.  But, in reality, the ppt took not hours, but days to create.  Karl and I live 5,000 miles apart and each slide is a collage of each of our visits...21 over the last three years.  I made a slide show with animations and transitions.  It is a work of love from someone who has spent a number of years as a consultant creating these "deliverables".  And, my love is a person who spent a lifetime in film making of various sorts.  Visuals can be more evocative for a memory than merely prose.  But, there is prose included when I wanted to emphasize a particular memory.

McKinsey love making from a distance.

But wait.

What are the "real" anniversary gifts?  According to wikipedia, year 3 is "leather".  Jeezus.  Perhaps in the day this meant something like a saddle, which would have sat well with my Montana and South Dakota great grandmothers, but in modern times, "leather" could veer more towards sub/dom whips ala Shades of Grey, or visiting a gay leather bar depending upon ones proclivities.  I personally would want that new great looking Celine bag with the ends that vee out.  No pun.

On that note, I learned that the gift for year 5 is "wood".  Good God, I want wood on the daily anniversay of when we met not just year 5.  Best of all, if anyone can make it that long, is year 80 - "oak". 

No powerpoint can replace oak.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Alcohol Substitutions


This is not about finding ways to avoid consuming alcohol like exercising, talking to your 12 step sponsor or going to the dog park.  This is about the fact that bars - even high end ones - will substitute rot gut liquor for the brand I request. 

The most recent example of this occurred at Le Perigord in Midtown Manhattan, a throwback, the kind of restaurant that you went to in the 70s for important occasions like your grandmother's birthday, 8th grade graduation (against your will knowing that there would be no Bay City Rollers in the background), Mother's Day, etc...  I ordered a Crown Royal, neat, with a couple of splashes water.  There is no way to hide the taste of the whiskey when prepared this way.  I took a sip of what they brought me.  It was clearly some kind of "well" bourbon.  I mentioned to the waiter that I didn't think it was Crown Royal.  He offered to quiz the bartender about the drink on my behalf.  When he returned, he said that it was indeed Crown Royal and brought me another, rot gut bourbon.  About 10 minutes later, the head waiter brought me a Crown Royal explaining they had made a mistake and given me Makers Mark.  MISTAKE, NO SHIT!  I also drink Makers and it was not that either.  Do these people really believe bourbon drinkers don't have sophisticated bourbon/whiskey palates?

Now, I know you are thinking, "Crown Royal, who cares?  That's not a premium whiskey.  What's her beef."  Well, I am a consumate bourbon drinker and over the years have learned that bourbon triggers my migraines.  So, I search for bourbons/whiskeys that don't trigger the headaches, but are drinkable.  Crown is one of them. Therefore, it is extremely important that I don't get something that I am not ordering.

That aside, when I am paying $15 per ounce and a half, give me the fuck what I am asking for.  I will start calling out places that substitute bourbons/whiskeys on this blog.


A Fresh Start

Hello to anyone who for some reason stumbles upon this....

I am starting this blog because I can't afford a psychiatrist; so, gentle reader you will be my silent analyst while I write away from my couch.  Sometimes supine and sometimes upright.  If you read further, you will be subjected to my streams of consciousness as uncomfortable as that may be.  Feel free to close out of this window at any time if what I say gets annoying, cloying or more likely, boring.

I think that some will dip in once and leave, and others dip in from time to time; none will stick around.  I think has changed the way we relate to others and that finding a blog that someone likes can be similar in approach as finding someone to date - there is a database of thousands even millions of people vying for the attention of others through the internet.  So, as I disastrously (and unknowingly) competed with a database of women the two attempts I made at online dating (that doesn't even include my Craigslist experience), I am now entering the full-on competitve world of blogging.

Why am I making this foray?  Well, that gets me back to needing pyschoanalysis to work through my need to be accepted and rejected.  So gentle reader, the dance begins....stay tuned for my next post.