I have to apologize for not remembering exactly when Jennifer Maher sent me this portrait of Coco along with one she painted of Marlo buried underneath a mountain of stuffed animals, only that it happened right as the Downward Brain Spiral of Marathon Training and Veganism 2016 had reached a deafening pitch. Even if it was after that spiral, I still couldn’t hear it.
She once sent me a portrait of Marlo’s security blanket, and I was right! That blanket did not survive Marlo’s toddlerhood—very few people did—but we have that painting to remind us of the
years our brains bled out of our ears good times.
Jennifer sent a lovely note with both portraits, and that note is now packed in a box that is buried underneath a giant mountain of chairs in my garage. Marlo collects stuffed animals, I collect chairs. I will admit that her habit is far less expensive, easier to store, and more acceptable to dry hump. This hasn’t stopped me, though.
If the threat of losing my planet isn’t going to stop me from being an absolute embarrassment, I wonder what would? I am 41 years old and have yet to run into a religion that can guilt me into acting my age. Oh! But you know what can, for like, five whole minutes? You printing out pages of my website and threatening to use them against me in court. That was a fun five minutes.
I have been decorating rooms little by little in the new house, and there was a blank corner in the living room staring at me like the back side of the bald heads of a string of men I went on first dates with last fall. All of those men, completely bald. Like, five in a row. It’s not a bad thing at all, but it made me wonder if this is peculiar to Utah? Is it an age thing? What about my energy is attracting bald men into my life? Do not even think about answering that question with an educated or insightful answer.
What that DOES answer, however, is whether or not I’m going to write about you on my website. I love it when people ask me this question, as if there is nothing else going on in my life other than scheming to divulge private details of a conversation or interaction. I’m sorry, you’re important to me—you really are—but I have no desire to write a blog post about how dirty your house was when I stopped by to drop off the coat your kid left at my house. I mean, my god. How can you live in such squalor? The stench, even! It’s been three days and my nose hairs still haven’t grown back! Also, here’s your name, phone number, and street address so that all of us can drive by really slowly, lean our heads out of the window of the car and shake them at you in judgment.
I live with two packrats, a herding dog who regularly rolls in her own shit, and I am smelling my shirt right now to see if I can detect the aroma of last night’s dinner on it. I am not judging you. I am instead using that brain power to survive daily life.
I do, however, have to warn you when I put your face in an Instagram photo that there is a high likelihood that a certain sleazy group of people will spend hours if not days of their lives looking up everything they possibly can about you to find the names and addresses of ex-husbands, previous employers, and ages and names of your kids. And they will inevitably say something really mean about your hair. Or your thighs.
No, really. Someone once said that my friend looked like she could crush someone’s skull with her thighs, and my friend was like DAMN STRAIGHT I CAN.
If called as a witness, I’d have to tell the jury what I saw, that, yes, her thighs are that spectacular.
I guess I did reveal the baldness of specific men just now, yes, but I could have spilled so much more. And like I said, being bald isn’t a bad thing. You will note that it did not prevent me from continuing to say yes to going on subsequent first dates with bald men. It’s not a deal breaker. Not like, oh, you know… being unemployed.
But we shall not go there. Not today, Jesus.
Today I’m showing you a tiny glimpse of how I decorated a wall in my room that reminded me of what a horrible nightmare it’s been to try and date in Utah, for all sorts of reasons, baldness not among them. You should commission a portrait for Mother’s Day if there’s still time. Or maybe one as a present for a summer birthday. I GOT TO THE POINT EVENTUALLY.