I Enjoy Being a Girl

cap2

“I didn’t know girls were allowed to wear hair pants!”

I was in third grade.  This was shouted to me across black asphalt by David Mugadem – an always dirty-looking male peer who I had taken the creative freedom of altering the pronunciation of his last name to “Mug-a-dumb.”  Ours had always been a contentious relationship.  When the group of boys he was sitting with erupted into laughter, I had no response, no witty retort.  I looked down at my tan legs and saw my bright blonde leg hair glittering in the sun.  He was right.  I did have hair pants.

I cannot be entirely sure whom I inherited my peach fuzz from.  My mom seems an unlikely candidate.  She never struck me as the type.  My dad has always been the one to test out the sharpness of a knife on the coarse blonde hair of his arms.  Never mind that he has absolutely no hair on his legs; this is the result of decades of wearing jeans and jeans only.  If he could he would wear jeans to bed.  Of course, I couldn’t think of blame in a time like this.  I just had to fix the problem.

When I got home I pleaded with my mom to please let me shave off the hair that was my scarlet letter in a village of malicious children.  Not wanting to admit that her daughter was growing up and was perhaps indeed a little bit fuzzy, she initially resisted.  Eventually I broke her down with my wailing away about how “I will never be able to keep friends with legs like these” and “I’m a freak”.  She acquiesced.

My first hair removal procedure was to be supervised and under the instruction of my mother.  As a child she had taken the initiative on her own while her mom was at work.  That story ended with a sliced artery and a trip to the hospital.  She didn’t care for history to repeat itself.

Mom made me sit on the countertop in the bathroom, my legs bent over the sink.  I smoothed my dad’s foamy, white Barbasol shave cream from my knees to my ankles –Mom thought it was inappropriate to go any higher than that, being as I was only ten years old.  Then she handed me a pink, disposable Bic razor and told me to be careful around my knees and my Achilles tendon.

With each stroke I felt freedom from childhood scrutiny, of self-loathing, of Band-Aids that sent searing pain into my follicles when I ripped them off.  It was a most glorious sensation.  I was inching my way towards womanhood.

Nothing further was said at school by David.  No mention was even made of how silky and smooth my gams looks sans fur.  But months later, while at summer camp, a boy walked past me and asked, “What are those?  Hair shorts?”

That night I took the liberty of shaving up to my belly button.

Standard

Summer: Me Vs. Phil

diane_arbus_nyc_1960

Near our house in Woodland Hills was Pierce Community College.  It was a roaming hill of a place: agriculturally and animal friendly.  Horses had stables, pigs had pens, cows milled about in dirt fields off of De Soto Blvd.  Before developers prematurely bulldozed it over, there was a barn-like structure that served as a farmer’s market of sorts for the surrounding crops.  In October, it hosted hay rides and a pumpkin patch.  In July, we’d park the truck next to the defunct train tracks and watch fireworks launched from the inside of the football stadium, our backs propped against ice chests filled with beer and Capri Suns.  The setting drastically changed a few years ago when all of the land was sold and a mountain of sage and burnt orange apartment complexes were lodged into the hills.  But back when I was younger it was reminiscent of a time when American children still had home-ec and shop class in high school.  For Christ’s sake, I learned how to churn butter there once.

Each summer my brother and I were enrolled in a series of different organized activities there.  I took gymnastics a few years.  Diving was something I dabbled in until the 3 meter board actually began to frighten me; it was that summer that my sense of  immortality began to erode.

Once a week I would buy a new round pack of peppermint Certs from the vending machine in the hallway next to the sloping lawn, the grass turning a lesser shade of green with each passing day of summer.  I would tear into the copper and blue paper, pop one in my mouth releasing a rush of chemical created cool.  My mouth felt like the inside of an ice box.  My cheeks were hot and sweaty.  The few air conditioners that actually existed on campus banged on and off noisily in an otherwise quiet place.  The heat hung around in the oppressive stillness.  But that was summer and it was good.

There were a few places to take refuge from the often 100 degree temperatures.  Woodland Hills is typically the place you hear about on the local news channel when the white-smiled weatherman gleefully announces the “Record Heat” list.  Sometimes I would walk through  sea foam green doors into the gymnasium when no one was in there.  The lights would be off and the huge space covered in light gray darkness.  A fine layer of grit trecked in by sneakers and the breeze rested on the birch-colored wood floors.  I would sit and listen to nothing.

My brother routinely signed up for The Brahama Bull Baseball Camp.  This was the part I loved about having a brother: it was my opportunity, my excuse, my fufilled longing to get closer to members of the opposite sex.  In my head I would collect them like stickers and attach a select few on my heart.  Of course I never talked to any of them, but I prayed for foul balls that I could run and throw back over the fence to them.

One day, in the middle of my diving class, my mom came rushing in to get me.  It was too early.  Something had to have been wrong.  Something happened to Phil.  I pulled a towel around me and we walked past the parking lot and past the tennis courts, water still dripping from my hair, turning lukewarm in the summer air and running down my back.

Before we made it around the chain-link gates to the baseball fields my brother came into view, being hurried our direction by one of the counselors.  His face was beet-red and covered in dirt and tears.  He wasn’t looking at us or the way ahead.  He wailed away, staring into his open hand.  There, in his right palm, were his two front teeth.

He was beyond consoling and I was too young to know what that even was.  He looked up at my mom and I.  There was a giant gap in his smile, a gap bigger than two teeth.  A third tooth had been lost in the grass.  Someone kept yelling that we needed to get his teeth in milk if we wanted to save them.  They were cracked and damaged, the long roots still attached.  It was horrifying.  Phil had been standing on the line near third base, with his back to home plate.  He wasn’t playing.  He wasn’t wearing a glove.  He was just talking to his friends.  When he heard the ball connect with a bat, he turned to see where the ball had gone.  And when he did, the bat a boy had so negligently let go of mid-swing flew directly into his face.

They were able to save his real teeth for awhile, until his body rejected them.  The years following consisted of consultations with dentists, a won legal battle with the college, retainers with fake teeth.  From age 7 on, Phil never smiled the same again.  His new smile resembled something of a slightly agreeable smirk, covering whatever new replicas of teeth he had at that moment.  I always harbored a secret loathing of whatever kid did this to my brother.  I so angry that someone could rob the ease at which a child expressed joy or friendliness, how that accident changed the way in which he interacted with life.

Standard

House Hunt: The Gypsy Woman

The house is pink with white bars covering the windows.  The yard looks well-kept and bougainvillea crawls over the patio.  It is positioned in a nice but rather treeless area surrounding Larchmont Village.  I almost drive past it, thinking it be too charming to be interesting in any capacity.  I ignore the little naysayer in my head and park the car.  The serenity ends when I walk into the front door.

I feel as though I have never been in a house so filled to the brim with useless chatchki, emotional mementos, and questionable collectibles.  The wall, the entire wall, adjacent to the front door is covered by a black lacquer display cabinet filled with so many things I have a hard time focusing on what’s really in there without looking like a tourist at the Louvre.  The place hurts my head like those multi-colored, blurred, 3-D images we used to use when we were young – the ones you start with your nose touching the paper and drawing further away from it, keeping your eyes crossed, hoping that a dinosaur or a bowl of ice cream will reveal itself eventually.

I greet the male realtor and the two neighbors who have come over to chat and size up customers.  They make a joke about me not needing to worry about them because they are nice.  I am caught off guard and laugh and then say something like “Good, because I’m not that nice.”  I run to the kitchen not wanting to embarrass myself further.  The kitchen has glass cabinets which serve to further display all of the things this woman has ever collected over the course of her entire life.  Cups and cups and cups and plates and plates and other plates and other cups.  You’d think this person ran a catering business.

The backyard shares a similar zen feel as the front yard, yet it too finds itself marred by more things.  So many things here.  I walk into a bedroom and everything starts to make sense.  There is a massage table covered in a leopard sheet (soothing), a blue sky painted on the ceiling (unsuccessfully deceiving), and myriad bottles of massage oil (questionable).  Although my initial instinct is that I have stumbled into a high-end happy endings pleasure zone, I notice that half of the wall to my left is covered in this woman’s certificates of therapy and touchy-feely degrees.

I walk back into the large dining room where my new friends are.  They all have a sense of humor and are doing a good job not letting on whether they think I’m a weirdo.  I peak into what is an absurdly large clothes closet.  The realtor tells me that this used to be a sun patio and the two built in display cabinets filled with black champagne flutes and yellow light used to be windows.  Great, room for more of your shit, I think.  This woman has traded sunshine for four dozen shoes and a walk in closet.

Her bedroom is the most minimalist of all of the rooms.  Largely because there isn’t as much room to stay in keeping with her design taste.  There is a pillow on the bed that has “I’d Rather Be in Paris” embroidered on it.  The bathroom is big and buried in toiletries, bottles of perfume, decorative jars filled with bars of soap.  Her office area has a desk, a humming desktop computer, and two Moroccan influenced benches lying side by side.  This is perhaps where she psychoanalyzes patients using an Eastern school of thought.  There is a bookshelf with rows upon rows of books.  All of a sudden I feel as though I’ve been here before.  It reminds me of every single yoga studio gift shop I have ever stepped foot in.

It amazes me that this woman, or any of her clients for that matter, were able to find peace in a place so thoroughly covered in stuff.  On my way out the neighbor recommends that I try to envision the place with my things.  You’re not kidding.  This woman has created a place intended to calm and soothe and heal.  All I’m left with as I exit the front door is that there’s-a-little-man-sitting-on-my-chest anxiety that I get when I go shopping at Century 21.

Standard

Won’t You Be…My Neighbor

mister_rogers

Growing up, neighbors were an understandable and quantifiable entity.  They were sung about to me daily by Mister Rodgers.  On Halloween they opened their doors and plastic cauldrons to all of the kids.  Sometimes there was cause for gossip, but by and large things were peaceful, amicable, homey and uninteresting.  This is something that I found has all but disappeared since my tenure on Leonora between 1986 and 1998.  The insular feeling of that place has never been replicated.  What amazes me is how often I was welcomed into these people’s homes.  They are permanent memories and childhood fixtures.  Characters in my head playing on 8MM film in my brain.

Van Vanvandervlan: the gray-haired, most likely of Finnish descent man next door.  He lived in a pale blue house with his sometime girlfriend Penelope.  She made chocolate cake and bean dip for parties.  They would have garage sales and I would buy her decorative clothespins for a few quarters.  It was at his house that I watched the only part of The Shining that I have cared to see – the two girls in the hallway purring “Redruuummm….Reeeddruuuummm.”  They were about my age and my size and even though it was light outside they scared the hell out of me.

Van starred in plays produced by the local community college.  I watched him bounce around in tights singing “I Vish I Ver a Vich Man” in his performance in The Fiddler on the Roof.  Being of retirement age, Van had an RV parked outside of his house at all times.  It was a nice one, nicer than ours.  He and Penelope would take cross-country trips and one day he packed up all of stuff, sold the house, and left for good.

Directly across the street lived two different families at two different times.  Before the second family moved in and tore out the trees and remodeled the house, a vaguely white trash family lived hidden under bushes and brown paint.  I never went inside.  The older son once gave me a stolen studio copy of The Little Mermaid on VHS.  Every ten minutes “Party of…illegal copying of this tape is…” would scroll in small white letters underneath Ariel and her magical underwater kingdom full of talking fish and crustaceans.

The mom was a storefront window painter – the kind that filled in words like “Blow Out Sale” and “Look at these Prices” in sherbet-colored neon paint.  One Christmas she offered to paint our sliding glass door with a caricature of Santa and some reindeer.  When she came over to assess the space, she slammed face first into the glass not seeing it was closed.  This seemed strange being as she worked with windows so often.

I was more familiar with the second family that moved into that house.  It was a family of four: the parents and two daughters.  Both girls had changed their more exotic Persian names to ones more graspable for 1990s white suburbia.  The one my age went by Goldie.  Goldie and I hung out often.  I’d sneak out through my window when my mom put me on time-out and hang out in their house of tile floors and white walls.  There was a chicken coop in the backyard.  Goldie’s mom did my hair and makeup the year I was a harem girl for Halloween.  My mom spray-painted a toilet paper roll to put my ponytail through like a dinner napkin ring.

Alas, the bonds of friendship were tarnished on the day I realized a few of my not-so-precious-stones – ones I had so painstakingly hand milled in my little stone grinder back in the garage – were missing.  My suspicion that Goldie was the culprit of this crime was confirmed when I did a little snooping in her bedroom.  She was in the kitchen getting us snacks when I found my rocks on her bookshelf.  I never confronted her and I never hung out with her again.

Down the street, my friend Rachel lived with her mom and brother.  I don’t think they had a dad.  She had translucent skin and dishwater blond hair.  I would imagine she grew up to be quite pretty.  Her family’s house always struck me as being dark and slightly unwelcoming.  Our friendship reminds me of the days when I used to sit on the carpet next to my stereo and play tape-recorded chunks of “I Got 5 on It” and Blackstreet: clips of songs earned by diligently listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite tune, and pressing down on record.  Obsession was so time consuming back then.

I ate dinner there one time and one time only.  The menu was macaroni and wieners – chalky white cheddar macaroni with cut up pieces of hot dogs.  Politely and carefully, I took small bites, chewed slightly, and then hid the food in the recesses of my cheeks.  When I found it appropriate to excuse myself to go home I ran to the street and spat out an entire dish full of pasta into the nearest bush.

There was Mrs. Hostettler who sold us her RV.  And the family that moved in to the same house when she left.  I would babysit for their little boy.  I was terribly young and I imagine they were betting on my mom to hold down the fort if necessary.   Another friend of mine lived across the street in the pretty green and white house with the ivy-covered front yard.  Once I threw up all over their bathroom floor.  I felt badly.  There used to be a schizophrenic that lived above the detached garage.  He made my mom nervous.

We had Robby, the bad kid.  We had Ian, the even worse kid.  Jenny was the older woman whose husband passed away.  His church service was held in an A-Frame church on Burbank, I think.  There were the people on the left of us with the dogs that barked all the time.  Mom would open up her window at night when she couldn’t take another minute and scream “WOULD YOU SHUT THE HELL UP??!!”  This is a problem that follows her to this day.  Her tactics remain the same and similarly ineffectual.

The people I call neighbors now are no more than strangers who I observe on occasion.  We don’t talk, we don’t nod ours heads as we pass by on the street, we don’t have summer bar-b-ques.  I don’t know them and they don’t know me.  The children are so abundant in number in most households it is impossible to tell any of them apart.  The only thing resembling closeness is the physical proximity in which we live.  By definition this means that these people do qualify as neighbors, but they resemble nothing familiar to me.

Standard

Seattle Highlights

Seattle

1.  An elderly, thin woman wearing a purple and pink ensemble a la my third grade yearbook picture.  Every minute and a half she could be seen from behind stomping her patent leather cowboy boots on the sidewalk pavement.  I give Whitney the WTF face and then she points out the woman has turrets.  As I gawk at the woman – now on the other side of the street – she does, in fact, turn around and start yelling inaudible obscenities into the ether.

2.  Our three and a half hour Zac Posen (don’t get excited, this is probably the 16th time this collection has “showed”) fitting, complete with visually intriguing but physically punishing S&M-like belts, headbands, and necklaces.  Gold and silver spikes were affixed to thick leather straps with screws and washers.  On top of that were delicate and very sharp metal leaves, one of which caught me off guard when I bent my neck down to check my shoe and it stabbed me in the throat.

3.  Standing barefoot, waiting around like idiots.  (See Number 2)

4.  Standing in shoes, waiting around some more.  (See Number 3)

5.  Four of us ladies had a lovely stroll down by Pike Place, shopping for nonsense and looking at trees.  We decided to switch things up a bit on the return back to the hotel, taking a less crowded street.  Ah, but appearances were quite deceiving.  As we approached a lovely park with a giant totem pole of an eagle with saggy tits we couldn’t help but notice that this was the outdoor patio of about 19 homeless gentlemen.  They weren’t shy either.  Thank god they were too drunk to understand what they were yelling at us.  As we quickly scamper past back to the safety of a street with Pita Pits and Starbucks and tourists, I notice a wall mural of pirates raping ravishing some busty babes.  Wouldn’t that have been ironic.  Life imitating art or something of that nature…

6.  The hotel bellmen that called me “ma’am” as I walked out of the hotel this morning.  This is something that always bothers me, as I am far too young to be called anything but “miss.”  Aside from that, I was wearing acid wash cut-off shorts up to my you-know-what: if the wind blew a certain way my butt cheeks showed.  Now would a ma’am pull that off?  I think not, boys.  These fellows obviously didn’t graduate college.

7.  Unfortunately I did not wake up in the middle of the night to what I understand was quite the 2 AM commotion.  Apparently some woman was screaming something, sounding like she was organizing a late night protest rally to no one.  Lucky enough for the girls on the second floor with their windows open, they were able to decipher the gist of the conversation, which went something like, “STOP SHOOTING THAT DIRTY SHIT INTO YOUR VEINS!”

8.  The taxi driver who kindly left his window open, allowing me to get some fresh air and allowing for him to chew his nails like a nine year old and spit them out with a classy, wet “PUH.”

9.  During the two hour wait for my uber-hip Virgin America aircraft to arrive, I had the pleasure of sitting next to an elderly couple who never went to charm school.  The man introduced himself with a burp and the woman followed with the presentation of their thoughtfully and economically prepared-at-home food (rice and hard boiled eggs, which smelled just delightful).  After they were all done, the man slowly hobbled off somewhere and the woman started picking her teeth and making sucking sounds when she was successful with the dig.

10.  Zac Posen talking to a room of distracted people not paying any attention, saying “Now, ENERGY!  Let’s bring the ENERGY!” with a flute of champagne in his hand.  “We’re in Seattle, let’s bring the sunshine!”  Ordinarily this adorable little pep talk would be greeted with the obligatory giggles and head-nods…but no one was there to do so and I felt bad that his enthusiasm went unrewarded and only served to make me feel awkward.

11.  Right before I boarded the airplane I heard a man yelling, among other things, “FUCK.”  I look over in the direction of the sound and he is sitting in the middle of the walkway with his legs stretched out, banging his hand on his cell phone and laughing to himself when he’s not busy swearing.  I wasn’t aware this type of behavior was even allowed in airports without the impeding probability of a full cavity search.  I am the last person in line to board and I stare back at the terminal, making sure this guy isn’t on my flight.  Relief washes over me when the red door closes and locks, keeping all sorts of crazy out of this plane.

12.  When getting to my seat I had to tell the woman breast-feeding in it that, “Sorry, you’re in my seat.”  After I did so, I felt like an asshole.  Are you supposed to give up your aisle seat for pregnant or may-as-well-be-pregnant-still women for their center ones?  Is this like letting an old guy take your seat on the subway?  I was wondering if anyone had judged me for being rude or inconsiderate, but the gentleman by the window was her husband so it would have been a shame to separate the family for too long.  The baby started crying immediately and of course I made the grumbly mutterings in my head – “Come on, REALLY?!” and “This is going to be the worst flight of my life.”  The mom looked at me and told me that he’s usually really good.  Of course I was nice and said “Oh, I’m sure.”  And then I looked at the kid.  He was a cute little fucker and I forgave him immediately.  He barely made a peep the rest of the ride home.  And to boot, on my way out I got a gander at the mom’s boob in mid-suckle.

Standard

The Realists Guide to Los Angeles: The LAX Dropoff

1750-9998~Airplanes-Formation-Taking-Off-PostersI’m not pointing fingers at anyone.  I am as guilty as anyone else for harboring the lofty expectation that somebody loves me enough to want to wish me bon voyage from a traffic jam in Inglewood as much as I want to not take a taxi.  The honors have been bestowed upon my mom, my brother, two friends at one time a piece, and my boyfriend on occasion – might it be noted that two weeks into dating he even offered to take me to LAX at 6 in the morning and I graciously declined, not wanting to send this boy who actually showed interest in me running for the hills.  And although we are still going strong after one year, the offers have since rapidly decreased.  My sheepish requests are often met with a wrinkled forehead and mild groans.  I have found that my kind-of-employed, kind-of-in-school brother is the easiest target.  I will usually bribe him with twenty bucks and a breakfast sandwich from Jack in the Box.  If that doesn’t work I remind him that I gave him my old TV.
I understand their reluctancy.  It’s all easy breezy for the person being picked up or dropped off.  Yeah, you’ve been traveling.  Yeah, you’ve been in a fake leather seat next to a fat guy that smells like Old Spice for six hours.  Blah blah blah.  I’ve had to drive from Hollywood to LAX at 5 in the afternoon.  Try that on, motha fucka.  Oh, and how was your trip sweetheart?

Even when there isn’t traffic going there, the second you attempt to leave the actual terminal you’ve so kindly hugged and kissed your loved one goodbye, waved them off with a “Have a safe flight!”, you’re fucked.  Traffic bottlenecks for no apparently reason.  People double park.  Cops hang around just waiting for you to cross a double white.

“Excuse me, ma’am.  Are you aware of what you’ve done?”
“Yeah, I said yes to fucking dropping some asshole off here.”

The quickest it’s taken me to get from the innards of LAX to the cusp of Century Blvd is about 12 minutes.  I’m not even sure that qualifies as a distance.  I couldn’t tell you in meters or feet or percentages of a mile.  It’s two seconds away.  And it takes BLOODY FOREVER.
But I digress.  The point of this article is not to wax angry about why I want to stop having friends in this godforsaken city.  The point is, that if you are stuck in this situation, here are some pointers on how to make a fun day of it.  The following are my recommendations  that might just keep your family together, your friendships light and airy, and your relationships heading in a positive direction.

1.  The Morning Ride
If you’re feeling some light rumblies in your tumbly head on over to Pann’s Diner.  Admittedly I’ve never actually dined here but I’m pretty sure they used it in Little Miss Sunshine, and what’s good enough for Hollywood is good enough for this girl.
If a full breakfast spread isn’t what you’re going for, there’s always Randy’s Donuts.  This place is a surefire way to keep you happy and a foot-in for adult diabetes.  Getting a baker’s dozen to go?  This is a perfect opportunity to make a sloppy mess all over your shirt and steering wheel.  For your two hour trip back to the real world you can kill time by picking sprinkles out of the gap between your seat and your crotch.

2.  Afternoon Delight
Let’s say your friend (if you could call them that) asks you to please pick them up from LAX at say…6 PM.  This means you have to leave your house by 5 PM, giving yourself about an ulcer inducing hour of traffic to go less than 10 miles.   Here’s my alternative: today I discovered the Century City ice skating rink.  This enlightening experience was brought to me by the 11 am gridlock on the 405 forcing me to take Sepulveda.  Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!  God, I’m so positive and uplifting these days.  So here’s the idea.  If you’re unemployed or in the entertainment business – not to say that the two are mutually exclusive – you’re most likely the only one that’s going to be able to pick up your friend at their beck and call.  This is your punishment for having a flexible schedule.  So, assuming you have the entire day off, my suggestion to you is to just roll over to the skate rink and get your skate on with a group of kids and their tired moms.  You’ll not only beat traffic, but the excercise you put in with help the muscles that have begun to atrophy since the moment you opted to move to LA.

3.  The Anytime Scenario
If none of the aforementioned ideas strike your fancy, perhaps this will.  There happens to be a firing range nearby – LAX Los Angeles Firing Range.  Thank God!  Whenever I have a really trying day, nothing feels better than murdering a piece of paper in the shape of another human being.  This has the added side effect of not wanting to kill the actual person who you will be seeing shortly.  Please be advised that you should leave your personal weapons at home, opting for a rental situation at the range.  This way, if you don’t blow off enough steam, you won’t resort to actual violence later.

Sources:

Pann’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop

6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045                 (323) 776-3770

Randy’s Donuts

805 West Manchester Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301        (310) 645-4707

Century City Ice Rink

4545 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230                 (310) 398-5718

LAX Firing Range

927 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301             (310) 568-1515

Standard

It’s a Spy-ers Market

First stop on my illegitimate open house search: Bel Air.  Bel Air is one of those places that you actually go to maybe a handful of times in your life, unless you hit the lotto, sell twenty blockbuster screenplays, or a very wealthy uncle leaves you his estate.  The times that I have had actual purpose to visit the neighborhood clocks in at about five – two times to play softball against Harvard Westlake, one time to a Halloween afterparty of a brother of the dead brother that used to own the joint, and two runway shows.  The real part of Bel Air, the windy streets shaded by old trees not torn down by idiotic developers, is stunning and completely intimidating.  It’s like meeting the President of the United States in your pajamas.

At least that’s how I felt today.  When I left the house for a four hour adventure to Mom’s, I felt too lazy to put together an outfit that would make me look like a legitimate million-dollar home buyer.  Last week I donned a black blazer (Goodwill find), Moschino shorts (ridiculous sale), a Jenni Kayne top (free), and some Sigurson Morrison flats (also, ridiculous sale).  Dressed for the part, I’d say.   I did try on a pair of my brother’s size 34 golf pants left at Mom’s, thinking that the absurdity of its bagginess around my crotch and butt would make me look like the hobo-chic daughter of a millionaire.  But I’m wasn’t sure if real estate agents get fashion so I opted to keep on my skin tight gray jeans with zippers on the side and a white tee shirt.  Rich people go casual too, right?  I made the mistake of cleaning my glasses with the front of my shirt.  Dirt smudge.  Damn it!

I walk up to my first open house, a traditional, brick drivewayed, stately place with roses and a copper colored dog in the front yard.  The sign reads “Su Z so and so.”  Who spells their name like that?  Su Z is a nice, mild mannered woman with giant glasses I would have killed for.  She gives me the spiel: two bedrooms upstairs, lovely sideyard that you could open up the living room to with a French door if you liked, blah blah blah.  This is a speech I hear her repeat to each person who walks through the front door she’s manning.  I nod my head attentively hoping that she doesn’t think I’m full of shit and regretting my decision to act like the devil may care sloppy trust fund kid.  The other people looking at this $1.4 million dollar home are at least a decade older than myself, a few of them carrying babies.  I look like an asshole.

Su Z finishes with me and I make my way into a wood paneled sitting room.  There’s an Eames chair in there I’d like to get my hands on.  A fully stocked bar is located in a room the size of a closet.  Brandy snifters, crystal glasses, etc.  It made me think of 1950s group alcoholism disguised as good hostessing.  Then I thought about when Mad Men was going to come back on…

There are rugs EVERYWHERE.  Small rugs.  Persian rugs.  Oriental rugs.  Round rugs.  Big rugs.  Small rugs.  Outdoor/ Indoor rugs.  I can barely remember if the place had wood floors.  Rugs, rugs, rugs.  I’m wishing that the realtor had opened some windows to let life air in.  It all just felt so stagnant.

I head upstairs to the living quarters.  The blue carpet is covered with more rugs, a design choice I find redundant and unnecessary.  The master bedroom is painted a violent shade of periwinkle.  The bed is a giant king size, brass poster bed.  Two bathrooms connect to it, which I can’t understand for the life me.  It wasn’t like a his and hers thing; it seemed like they took the liberty of retrofitting a walk in closet with a toilet.  God knows why.   There’s a cute little sitting room that is the saving grace of the place, filled with light and seemingly a delightful place to read the paper and have a coffee.  However,my absolute favorite place in the home is the hallway connecting the master and the adjacent bedroom, solely for the visual absurdity of it, the overzealous use of busy wallpaper.  The walls, the ceiling, every inch.  I sensed that the place had the ability to give you vertigo and send you flying off the banister and down to the first floor, so I move on.

Boredom sets in quickly as I run run out of things to critique.  I give a thank you to Su Z.  Unlike the couple that left before me, she does not offer me a bottle of water.  Damn these pants and the smudge on my shirt!

Standard