Tag Archives: Single

Part I: My Sheep Farmer Story Dethroned

Crush story winner about to be revealed. If you have a story you were planning to submit (you know who you are…) then get it in quickly to be considered! And I’m not going to acknowledge the several months lapse in posting, because in that time, my life has been rattled, broken, and rearranged…all of which are not www fodder, sooo. Pushing forward…

I've done this shearing thang.

Well. I realize that most of you out there haven’t heard the story of me being proposed to by an Irish sheep farmer when I was but 17 years old. (He was 65, if he was a day, had few teeth and had recently won the Irish lotto. Am I writing about that now? No. If you would like to know that story, pick up a copy of my book once published, or take me out for drinks.) But you should know that it’s a story I’ve been asked to tell and retell for so many years, that it’s sort of knit into the fabric of me.  Ha. “Knit.” Sometimes I catch myself spewing humor referentially. And I like it.

I bring this up now because, for the first time in over a decade, I’ve met my match when it comes to lamb tales, which is saying something, and it is my competitor’s story that I’m telling… in two parts, so let’s begin:

I’m sitting at the kitchen table with Mr. and Mrs. F, who are two elderly country folk I have just made the acquaintance of. The air is filled with the heavy scent of not-so-recent bacon grease. There’s the cabinets, the table, the chairs with our three posteriors in them, and then floor to ceiling clutter ranging from infomercial buys to grandbaby toys.

Mrs. F is in her housecoat apologizing for the smell and Mr. F is grinning at me, but it’s hard to tell because he has a pronounced under bite and features that would rival Uga, but there’s a twinkle in his eyes, and I can’t think of any reason he would be grimacing at me, so I’m calling it a grin.

It has just been said that Mrs. F knits. She has sticks and a pair of half-finished socks in her lap to validate her assertion and she promises to show me her pièce de résistance before I go (she uses those exact words). Her mention of self-cleaning the wool she uses to knit after shearing the sheep, which they own 9 of,  in their backyard is what sparks my recesses to tell the story of the Irish sheep farmer, but Mr. F interrupts.

“You should tell huh,” he sounds alarmingly like Christopher Walken, so I don’t look at him for the rest of the night so I can imagine he is.

“I was gonna tell her,” says Mrs. F. She is barely southern and sounds like no one we all know, but she has nice skin. Mrs. F looks at me, and says,

“Neil Diamond is my boyfriend,” she pauses dramatically and I scramble mentally to separate him from Dick Clark and/or Rod Steward because I have a terrible memory, “Mr. F is my husband,” she continues, “Neil Diamond is my boyfriend.”

“Okaaaay…” I insert awkwardly. Mrs. F goes on,

“And Christmas of ’09, Neil had a contest for the best Christmas sweater. The winner would get to come to his house for dinner and…” She’s cut off by Christopher,

“You nevuh set it. Up. Right. You don’t. You nevuh doah,” I picture Mr. F/ Christopher shrugging sharply in a blazer I know he isn’t wearing.

“I was saying…” Mrs. F tries.

“Every time. Each and every time.” Walken mutters whilst shaking his head and looking in another direction.

“You two sure know how to build anticipation,” I say. Eyes shining with possibility.

“Don’t mind him,” Mrs. F dismisses Christopher with a glare, “Let me tell you what happened. You’re not even going to believe it all.”

Best Christmas sweaters EVER, Mrs. Weasley. EVER!!!

“I already don’t,” I eagerly utter as I lean forward, “So your boyfriend, Neil?  You were saying that you were wearing only Christmas sweaters, I think…?”

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I Wouldn’t be Single, if America was Mexico

I worked in southern California for a couple of weeks, with plenty of downtime, and can I just say,  what a bunch of terrible drivers?  There isn’t enough time in my life to qualify this statement, but if you’ve been there, you know what I’m saying. It also rained for the first week I was there, and since that only occurs for the natives once a year, you can imagine the additional challenges to operating their vehicles.

After a day of driving from San Diego to LA, I bellied up to the hotel bar for dinner and a much-needed tranquilizer. I tucked in to my Thai calamari and edamame, but my chewing slowed when I noticed that 3 cooks of Hispanic persuasion were peering around the doorjamb that led into the kitchen.

This bothered me greatly.

Frank, the attentive barkeep with an excellent mustache that had just the right amount of grey in it,  strolled over to check on me, “Eez everee-ting ok, meez?”

I smiled, a little embarrassed that he’d caught my pause, and replied in a conspirational tone, “Frank…don’t look, but there are 3 guys staring at me from the kitchen. They sort of appeared right after I got my food, and, err….well, I am wondering if they put something bad in my dinner, and want to see my reaction.” I glanced back at the doorway, and seriously, all 3 were stacked like a totem pole, straining to keep an eye on me, but look inconspicuous…conspicuously.

“No. No, meez. Dey want to see you. Dey tink you are berry, berry pretty.”

“Oh,” I blushed, “That’s nice.” A little weird, and more than a bit awkward, but nice. So, I continued dinner, and Frank plied my with gin, and the kitchen staff started bringing me things I hadn’t ordered, like chocolate lava cake. “Wow, Frank. This is great- thank you! I didn’t even see this on the menu.” So bizarre.

“Eez not on dee menju. We make it juz for jew,” he beamed, and I glanced up at the cooks, in the doorway again, watching to see if I liked it. I smiled and winked, and they all fell out of their stacked stance against the doorframe, and smacked each other with dish towels.

“Meez,” began Frank, as I settled the check, and began to gather my things, “Jew said jur room wus a leetle noi-see, so I hab dee front desk move jew. Here’s jor new kees.” He smiled hugely at me, and puffed his chest out.

“Thank you, Frank!” I reached for his hand across the bar pulling myself over to smooch his cheek, and grinned as I heard  the collective groans back at the kitchen door. I felt like both the fatted calf, ready to be sacrificed to the volcano and the village princess simultaneously. It was nice, flattering, and educational. Perhaps my relationship status is indicative of my citizenship.

Frank handed me a huge bottled water as I hopped off of my stool, and I grinned at him. The free bottle of water was the coup de grace of a lovely evening of unabashed worship, but also reminded me of something I’m grateful for in my own country, which is fearless water-drinking, so perhaps I’ll stay right here, even if it banishes me to being just another face in a crowd of women.

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Baffles of the Week: Take 3

These were, like, totally my fav outfits in the movie. No duh!

I spent the majority of this week languishing in mild temperatures and breathing deeply of the subtle notes of fall that are beginning to populate the air. Working and writing from home, often mean that I am home too much, but this week, there was no place I wanted to be more than our screened in back porch. There were 2 days, I’ll admit, that I was in my lounge clothes (read: pj’s) until 4pm. I’m much more productive when not hampered by silly rituals, like getting dressed. I was able to write a significant chunk of my book this week, so I have not an ounce of regret regarding my circulation for the week.

When I was out, however, I was reminded of two things that baffle and annoy me. I realize I may alienate the lot of you, but I must be true to my knee jerk reactions.

1.       Married People with Children

There are many, many bullets I could throw under here, but today I will stick with the one that relates directly to me. Most folks in my peer group are married and have 2+ babies at this point. Those folks are both the first to ask when I’m going to settle down (which to me sounds like I’m bouncing of the walls, screeching at inappropriate times, and peeing on furniture), and they are the first to lament their married status and say things like, “I wish I was still single!”, when I report on a recent trip, or night out. This is confusing me. You’re sending mixed signals.

2.       Girls who Alooongate and Place EmphAAAsis on the Wrong SylAAAbles and Still Want to be Taken Seriously

I was dining at an old local haunt, the New Belmont. Our server was intent on giving a convincing impression that she was clueless/uninformed/unable to think for herself. This amused me greatly when two iconic figures pulled it off– thank you, Cher and Dion- -but it didn’t have the same affect when this sweet young thing waffled on what beers were and were not still available, and such. Granted, it was her first night, but instead of saying simple things like, “Not sure- let me run and check,” we heard instead, “Weeeeellllll, don’t hAte meee, buuUt, I am NOT suuure-ah.” Her intonation made me sad, for a few reasons. 

One- I planned on being there for at least an hour, and knowing my limit for annoying sounds, I was worried that my ears may begin to bleed, or I might break my kindness pact (which is biting my tongue) and say, “Sister, you can’t be without-a-clue AND talk like you’re freshly plucked from the Valley. It’s overkill. Especially since you live in Norfolk (Naw-fuhk), where we expect ding bats to say things like ‘ya’ll’ and ‘gosh’.  This is not working for me.”

Two- My dining partner did not notice, which tells me that men don’t necessarily pick up on affected deer-in-headlights nubile diction.

Three- I don’t think she’s alone in her wonky dialect, and I’m afeared that they’ll start printing dictionaries and such. The words in it will be the same as a normal dictionary, but the vowels will all be long.

Upside? I’m working to remove “like” from my vocabulary, totally.

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