Unlike most folks I know, my first kiss was onstage. It was ninth grade and I'd been cast in a Christopher Durang one-act play, ‘Dentity Crisis, where the stage directions instructed me to kiss the other guy passionately. I was flummoxed about how one could kiss a guy passionately when I didn't even know his birthday.
Like most girls, I'd had plenty of conversations with my friends about how to kiss, but a stage kiss was different. How passionate I should be? Should be a French kiss or not? What exactly did you do in a French kiss? Of course, having never kissed a guy before, I had no idea what exactly a passionate kiss was - other than planting my hands on either side of his face and moving my head back and forth like on a soap opera.
When we finally around to blocking the kissing, it was fast and awkward and nothing to write home about. Definitely not something I should have wasted hours worrying about. But that set up the routine for my lifetime; I’d get cast in a show where kissing was to happen. I’d freak out and spend countless hours discussing the ins and outs of kissing on stage. The kiss would be incidental and life would go on.
The next year, I had to kiss two guys on stage in the play Hayfever. I thought I was a pro at this point. I'd kissed a boy or two since the last time. I knew how these things were supposed to go. Or so I thought. Opening night I had a scene with one guy - the same guy I’d kissed on stage the year before - where he kissed me passionately – yes the stage directions said that - as he told me he loved me. I said something brilliant in response and I sauntered sexily off stage. He followed me off a minute later, dropped his fawning character and proceeded to scream-whisper at me backstage at my apparent stupidity; I had not blotted my lips after applying my many coats of bright red lipstick. The lipstick had not stayed on my lips but rather had smeared all over his. He was not pleased and told me so in many different ways, using many different colorful whispered obscenities. Hard to take a guy seriously when he's shout-whispering cuss words at you with a large bright red lip smear where his mouth should be.
Flash-forward to last Sunday, I’d auditioned for a play that isn’t very well known, one I’d not read but I got a callback email. In the email, the director cautioned us that there was a part in the show that we needed to be comfortable with before committing to the callback; at the top of Act Two, the two actors are naked in bed.
I laugh-snorted out loud when I read that. And then I passed my phone to Husband to read the email and watched as his face went pale. To say he wasn’t comfortable with me naked in bed with an actor would be an understatement. To say his being uncomfortable about my being naked in bed with an actor didn't amuse me would also be an understatement. There is something very wrong with me.
Last show I was in where I kissed a guy, Husband left the theatre before it happened. Even though he knew the guy I was kissing was gay. He blatantly said he wouldn’t come to this one. Or talk about it. Ever.
As Husband wasn’t willing to discuss the possible ins and outs – and no, pun is not intended – of my nakedness on stage with another guy, I had to call, email and text my girlfriends for conferences. I needed input on the possible pros and cons of my jiggly bits out for all to see. Of course I was worried about Husband’s feelings but it would be my jiggly bits out there. Could I handle the exposure? How much grooming would have to happen? I’d obviously have to stop eating right now so that there would be slightly less of my naked self. I realize that’s not very “rah-rah all females are awesome no matter their shape and size” but vanity takes over when there’s a potential for more than one person to be looking at your naked self. Not to mention, some actor having to see and feel it all up close.
My friends and I discussed this actual scenario years ago when we were in our teens and we were all going to be in the movies. We discussed what body parts we would let them film. We wondered how actual sex scenes were filmed. With a certain amount of bravado, as none of us had actually had sex, some of us decided that we would have no problem pretending on screen. But only with certain actors we liked and would want to be naked and pretending with. As if theatre and film works that way. So yes, we discussed this particular situation many, many times.
What we never took into consideration was what our significant other might think about our possible rolling around in bed with someone that wasn’t him. Or that hundreds of people you don’t know might see you naked rolling around in bed and then chat with you in the lobby afterwards. Or, because Nashville is so small, have a conversation with you about the play in the grocery store over the fruit. Or that when you finally get considered for a naked role, you would not be at all happy with your naked self alone in your bathroom, let alone on a stage for all to see and judge.
Years later, the email/text/phone conferences conversations with my friends were very helpful. Yes, I got giggling much like we’d giggled as teenagers. Heck, I couldn’t stop giggling myself. Not at the part, at the thought of my life with Husband if I got the part. There is something very, very wrong with me. But giggling aside, my friends were very helpful and supportive, just like the friends I’d had as a teen. The advice was solid. I had a loose plan of how I might proceed with Husband and with the part.
And then yesterday, I got the “I wish I had a part for everyone.” email and the point was moot.
Husband was thrilled. Though he made sure to tell me I would have been the better choice, he could not stop smiling. I’m not sure what he would have done if I’d gotten the part. He’s always very supportive and complimentary about my work but this might have pushed him too far.
And I’m not sure what I would have done - other than wax every bit I have and stop eating French fries for the foreseeable future. I’m thrilled I don’t have to worry about it right now. That I can push the possibility of nudity on stage off into the hypothetical like we did all those many years ago. And I like that, all these years on from our giggly conversation about what we would and wouldn’t do, it’s still a discussion that needed to be had.
Totally flattered and absolutely terrified is an entertaining way to live.
Father-in-law (FIL) got here last night after a missed connection in Detroit, a lost bag and a three-hour delay. Thankfully his bag was on the Nashville end when he arrived somewhat groggy with a travel hangover. The prospect of him having to wear some of my clothes until we could get him more was entertaining but probably not realistic.
As I write this, he’s puttering away in the kitchen taking care of his morning routine – OJ followed by cereal followed by coffee followed by eggs followed by coffee followed by something…I’m totally going to catch hell for this by the way though he knows that I write this and that I write everything.
Anyway, poor FIL got the guest bathroom with the hideous brown granite walls, the wonky draining tub and the toilet where you have to hold the handle to get it to flush. But of course, after a day of missed connections and missing luggage, the toilet handle decided to break off entirely. So now FIL has to take the lid off and stick his hand in the tank to make the toilet flush. After which, he will take a shower where the drain doesn’t drain.
We treat our guests right here.
Broken toilets seem to be a theme with FIL’s visits. The first time he stayed with us in our new house in California, we’d not quite finished remodeling the guest bathroom and FIL had to use ours. Let me tell you, even if you know someone will be tromping through your bedroom to use the master bathroom in the middle of the night, it still will scare the snot out of you when it happens. And then getting back to sleep will not happen but when you finally do sleep, your dreams are peppered with monsters and murderers who go bump in the night.
When we finally got his toilet installed, it turned out have a crack in the base and so leaked all over the new bathroom floor. Then FIL and I had the privilege of going shopping for a replacement with Husband’s OCD specifications. It was a bonding experience for us new in-laws. Nothing says “Hi, you’re stuck with me for life or until your son finds someone he likes better.” than shopping for a toilet in a home improvement store where people won’t help you. Ever. Unless you have your boobs on display as my friend is known to do. Lots of people help then. I even got helped once because I was standing next to her boobs. Boobs are magical like that. FIL refused to get his boobs out so we were forced to trap a store employee and make him do his job.
And now here we go again, FIL and I off to the home improvement store looking for toilet stuff. The good news is that folks here in Nashville are way more customer-oriented. We’re likely to have more than one employee helping us - boobs or no boobs. Now whether we can understand their accent and they can understand FIL’s will be the challenge. Picture me ping ponging between two folks trying to make this happen while speaking non-standard plumbing speak.
In-law bonding is awesome. Indoor plumbing is better.
Also, this guy has been hanging about the yard. He is MASSIVE. The pictures don’t do him justice. Note the same "What do you think you are looking at, Lady?" pose he's giving me? I've been getting that a lot.
Between him and the several sets of mamas and babies we’ve been seeing, Tigger the Dog is almost blasé about having deer in the yard. Of course, this is because she's viewing them from behind large window. We’ve not let her outside to play with the deer yet. Me thinks she’d freak out just a little bit and never go out again. Husband is not willing to try. He’s a responsible dog owner like that. Me, I’m curious.
And just a little bit evil.
Hence my punishment to got to the home improvement store with FIL. No idea what he’s done wrong to have to go with me…
Last night, as I lay on the couch with my poufy water on the knee elevated and iced, I did a very stupid thing.
Husband was out at a gig, the TV was not as captivating as it could be, Tigger the Dog was running through some field chasing chipmunks in her sleep and somewhere in that emptiness, I thought to myself, “I wonder if I can drain the fluid out of my knee?”
And that is when I did the stupid, stupid thing. I Googled it.
And then I did a stupider thing. I watched the videos of someone doing it.
And it was sickening and gross and cringe inducing – and I could not look away.
And then, I remembered watching this show years and years ago where some guy had gotten an STD and it had shown up in his eye!!! And was telling my nurse friend this and she was all blasé about the whole thing and then she told me a particular icky story about having some guy come into the ER with Gonorrhea IN his knee. IN HIS KNEE! And I thought that was horrifying and gross and, for some reason, that memory popped into my head last night while watching people drain water out of their knees and so I did another stupid thing, I Googled Gonorrhea on the knee.
DO NOT DO THIS PEOPLE!
It was and is a stupid, stupid thing to do. Because Google will show you gross pictures and those gross pictures will lead to other gross pictures and sooner or later, you’re in a loop of awful and cannot get out. You’ll find yourself on WebMD making sure you don’t have diseases you don’t have but that will only convince yourself you do.
After hours careful studying, I have determined I do not have Gonorrhea of the knee or eye or penis or any other possible body part.
I also do not have a penis. Husband will be relived to hear that one. It wasn’t really an option but after checking loads of pictures of pus filled lesions, I have confirmed I really do not have one of those penis things. Thank goodness. They are funny looking.
Thanks to WebMD, I do however apparently have; Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Lupus and a possible tumor. I’ve also got a myriad of other things wrong with me that WebMD assures me I’ll be dying of soon. It is imperative I write my Will out today before the fluid bursts, sends infected cells to my heart and I have a heart attack from the shock.
While I’m writing things you should NOT do, put ‘write your Will out while panicking about your water on the knee’ on the list.
Thinking about dying suddenly from these tumors and diseases I’m sure I have means I’m suddenly aware of all the things I haven’t finished. For example, cleaning my desk off has been on the To-Do list for weeks now. If I die, Husband will have to deal with that and I know all the precious stuff I’ve accumulated during this short lifetime will end up in the trash. And my stories and poems that are mostly thought blurts at this point, what the hell will happen to those? Husband doesn’t like to read so he’s sure not going to finish any of them let alone do something other than let them die on my laptop with me. And when I start thinking of all the important stuff I’ve saved over the years that is now in boxes in the basement that someone - not Husband please - will have to sort through and give away or toss, I start hyperventilating, and my heart started racing and my left arm hurt….
Which led to another Google search…
Let me just say now, it’s been nice knowing you all. When you speak of me and all I did or didn’t do here on earth, be kind. Be well, my friends. Be well.
And if you’re not well, DO NOT GOOGLE!
I don’t know whether it’s remnants of my caffeine overdose on Friday from the two large cups of mocha and no water or the fact that I have fourteen more writing days of this yearlong challenge but, I find that I have nothing to say this morning.
Rather, I have lots to say but trying to grab a thought and finish it is much like trying to grab that damn mosquito that was buzzing about me yesterday. The harder I try, the more the thoughts flit away. And while the damn mosquito landed on me more than once and I have the bites to prove it; I can’t get a thought to morph into more than just a thought -
- I had a callback for a part yesterday that calls for nudity. The director she would not require the actors be naked, but “there will be the suggestion/illusion that they are.” And that if we were “not comfortable with the audience believing you are naked on stage” to let her know. Husband was not thrilled with this possibility. Brother wondered how anyone would be uncomfortable with the suggestion/illusion of nudity. I am just concerned about all the parts I’ll have to buff, polish and wax if I get the part…
- Yesterday afternoon I happened to look out the window as a huge buck deer chewed away at a bush at the bottom of our garden. I tried to get a shot of him and his antlers but he wasn’t very cooperative and I was looking more than taking pictures. Which I guess is as it should be - seeing and experiencing Buck not taking pictures to prove that he was there…
- I dreamt last night that I was on the whale watching tour and we were surrounded by sharks in the clear turquoise water and I was trying to get everyone to see them but they were all looking at the horizon for the blow of a whale. And then finally I got husband to look down and see the sharks and he freaked out and then everyone looked. And right in the middle of the sharks was a giant crocodile. Like massive monster of a thing just doing his croc thing in the middle of a pile of sharks…
- I don’t know what to say when someone tells me they like my hair or my “look.” Laughing seems to not be the right response but I’ve got nothing else to say but “Really? This?” And that seems insulting and rude. Not that the laughing is much better….
Yup... That’s all I’ve got folks.
And then there were thirteen.
I have one more week of my Internet Fast and I’ve been cheating people. It’s cheating-lite but cheating all the same. At least according to Husband. I've been able to explain away most of it.
Giving myself the permission to search on the internet can be loosely interpreted as spending time on Amazon looking for crap I don’t need or trying to find out more about an author and getting side-tracked by various murders that relate to a book they might have written. The next thing I know, hours have gone by and my brain is bloated and stupid again.
I was doing fine with short forays on until Husband called to let me know Robin Williams died. One short search to verify Husband’s facts and I was in a loop of reading this to find out why and that to find out how... And then, it was a search to read about Lauren Bacall… and then what was happening in Ferguson and just like that, I was off the wagon and full on in trash mode again. Little facts I do not need to know were filling my quiet spaces in my head and I was spinning down the tunnel again. Thankfully, I pulled myself out and managed to get back to a peaceful quiet again.
But then the damn ALS ice bucket challenges – and yes I’m going to hell for saying that - happened and Facebook came rushing back into my life.
Being off Facebook hadn’t been the hardship I thought it would be when I first started this adventure. The first few days were lonely. It’s amazing how full your life can feel reading about what other folks are doing and getting the occasional ‘like’ on your edited version of life. But a few days in, it didn’t matter. I chatted with friends via text message and email. I called my mother more. I actually went out and saw people face to face. It was good. It was great even. Yes, I had no idea what my virtual friends were up to but that was okay. Yes, I’d popped onto Facebook a few times when a search lead me to someone’s business page or to check in with a quick message but I didn’t scroll down and look at pictures or read anyone’s mini opus of their day. I was good.
And then a friend nominated me for the ice bucket challenge. Husband told me it had happened and that I’d 24 hours to respond. So I did and I posted and it was good. Husband told me about the snarks that folks were posting and I was still good. I peeked at other people’s challenges but that was it. For the most part…
And then I volunteered at this conference this weekend.
The thing that is hard about being off Facebook or the Internet in general, is when I’m standing in line I need to kill time. Or when I want post when something spectacular goes down - like when the dude at the writer’s conference was upset because I had no idea whom he was. And later when he "you people"-d me because his sound and projector weren’t in place yet. Or when I got yet another “Did anyone ever tell you, you look like Robin Roberts?” again. Or when I hit my knee on the coffee table Friday night after standing and walking at the conference all day and then did more standing and walking on Saturday and my knee swelled to the size of a small egg. I finally know what ‘water on the knee’ looks like and I can’t post a picture because that would be cheating… and yet my knee is huge and squishy and funny looking…
At this conference when there were issues with some of the set up and instead of being able to register folks or stuff bags on Thursday, I was standing around. Standing around when you don’t know anyone is boring. That’s when Facebook becomes your best friend. A little peek here while waiting, a tiny troll there and I was back on. I didn’t ‘like’ stuff. I didn’t post my amusing retorts or a picture of my squishy knee. I didn’t even read my notifications. I just scrolled and trolled and filled my time with virtual life again.
I guess it would have been fine if I’d stopped there but then there was an earthquake in Northern California and my knee was swollen and I was icing it and I had nothing to do soooooo, I got back on again. I had to look and see what had happened to my friends and family, right? Who’d been hurt? Did anyone have pictures? Did anything funny happen – like during the ’89 earthquake when Brother was on the toilet and stood up, pants around his ankles in the doorway until the shaking stopped. Or when the toddlers I was watching in the yard kept falling off their trikes and getting back on because they thought they were falling, not at all aware that the earth was pushing them over. I had to see if there was any comedy gold that came out of the shaking…
It was at this point that Husband caught me looking. There was glee in his voice as he shouted and shame in my face as I admitted it. I shut down the laptop and sheepishly shoved it away from me. And then I sat there, unsure what to do next. A few short hours trolling and I’d forgotten what to do with my free time.
This week will be hard. Father-in-Law comes in on Wednesday and the crazy is about to begin. I’m going to do my best to resist but that little taste of time waste is teasing me. Wish me luck and strength and something to waste time with that isn’t on the Internet.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me