Let’s face it, everything doesn’t appeal to everyone. What you may find breathtaking could quite easily make me vomit, in secret of course since we rarely voice personal opposition unless you happen to be someone’s mother.
I can still hear mine say, “You’re wearing those?”
She never did like my red vinyl Iggy Pop pants that didn’t quite fit.
“You look like a matador Susannah.”
My mother was so fond of food it’s a wonder she didn’t just eat me like Medea to put us both out of her misery, a moot point I know but I’m just getting started here.
I’ve always prided myself at being relatively tolerant toward the aesthetic vagaries of others however, as I age (ouch) this unwritten law appears to be in flux.
Every Saturday I get my nails done by a sweet, sweet girl named Angelina Hollywood. I didn’t make that up, that’s really her name, however the woman (who I’d like to kill) that she slaves for not only will not permit her to use it but has even gone so far as to change her first name to Ann (when one has no papers, one has no voice). I could rage about this till the cows come home (which is pretty scary when you actually consider it, where would they sleep?) but prefer to stay on topic.
When I casually asked Angelina what she’d like for Christmas (nail talk), she said without pause, “A silver tongue ring.”
Of course, for someone who’s asking Santa for a new Cuisinart this concept kind of threw me.
“Why in the world would you want a piece of metal drilled into your mouth like that?” I asked Angelina, “what has your tongue ever done to you?”
She looked at me with the grin of a demonic angel giving my Connecticut roots goose bumps. “OH,” I said, I see.”
I remember the day when I thought more of a boy’s pleasure than the sanctity of my body’s. However, this just meant that I kept beer in the house. Alrighty then, this may top the list of items that confound and perplex and I do wish I still had those vinyl pants, to prove to myself mostly, I too was hip and hot once.
As Angelina Hollywood (a perfect name for a porn star) soaked the acrylic tips off my thumbs she suggested that I change the color.
“Meese Suzinita, no tired of same rojo co-lur, yes? Nuevo co-lurs, here, I show you.”
Out came a parade of iridescence that I so hoped came with complimentary batons that let’s just say, weren’t me. I wondered how they made a blue that blue and was convinced those who wore it caused 4 car pileups.
Always polite, I told Senorita Hollywood that I was just too old for such a display of hue. (the one time age came in handy besides pretending I’m 62 at the movies).
“You don’t look 62!”
“I don’t know who said that but would you like to come to dinner?”
Her next suggestion, that made me feel she should work for Avon, (the commitment) was let’s paint them black.
How do you explain to a 19 year-old who wants to maim body parts that could interfere with her speech that isn’t so great to begin with, black nails could disinter your mother.
I’m serious, that was the first thing I thought of when she handed me the bottle. I suddenly saw my mother bursting through the front door covered in dirt.
Why anyone would want to, with the exception of patio furniture, paint anything black is right up there with understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls. The girl next to me had actually opted for ‘licorice sunset’ that made it look like she caught all ten fingers in a car door.
After this, I don’t know what happened, but I was off to the races offended at every turn. Even when Angelina Hollywood asked if I wanted half of her deep fried tortilla did I go into an inward tailspin over the colon of the person holding my hands. No wonder she’s dreaming of secret piercings, I thought, she’s clogged.
This brings us to bare middles on the middle-aged.
My friend Ed likes when I say, the only time I’d ever show my abdomen would be in post-op, but I’m not sure he realizes I’m dead serious, or would be if the Connecticut police ever caught me flaunting flesh without just cause.
Where I come from you cover your parts unless you’re alone, having hot sex or at the morgue.
What possesses women of a certain age not to mention body type to prance around with all that dessert, they knew they shouldn’t have had, for all the world to see just puts me in an instant trance. I always want to run over (or run them over) and give them my sweater.
“Here, quick, put this on.”
“Yeah but Susannah, have you ever considered these women are just comfortable in their own skin and maybe like themselves exactly as they are?”
“Oh please, this is New York not Wichita. Unless you’re a belly-dancer and have a license, put some clothes on. I will say this, if you’re looking to lose a few pounds it’s a great appetite suppressant but you better be prepared for a series of side effects starting with hives and hallucination.”
“What happened to live and let live Susannah?”
“They blew the dress code and who asked you anyway?”
“Go ahead, offend your readers.”
You know, I’m beginning to feel sorry for how I scolded Angelina Hollywood over her Christmas wish. I mean, she’s entitled to add extensions other than on her fingers even if this means going on a liquid diet for 3 to 5 months. What’s a little gazpacho through a straw when you think about it?
I was thinking, maybe I could buy it for her instead of giving her the usual fresh fifty in a bank envelope with that cheap stenciled reindeer across the front. (I hate Chase Bank) I wonder where I should go? Hammacher Schmemmar sells gadgets, or maybe Amazon. I have one of their cards so for every purchase I get points.
“What about Ebay?”
“You mean a used tongue ring? I don’t think that’s a good idea. You forget, I like this girl.”
Oh no, I knew it. “Yes Ma?”
“Yes Ma. Can I get you something while you’re here? Bet you could use a manicure.”