It Takes Two

Yesterday at my Starbucks office, I sat next to the most amazingly awkward first date. In between long silences and embarrassed-sounding giggles, the future couple discussed the following. (Please note: this list could also be titled, “Things You Should Never Say to Anyone You Want to See Naked.”)
1. “So after I turned 50 I started gaining tons of weight because of my menopause-associated night eating. My mother did the same thing when she was my age because her hormones went crazy. One time I woke up on the kitchen floor drenched in sweat with the refrigerator door wide open and food everywhere. It was 2 in the morning! Ha ha ha!”
2. “I know everything you need to know about fatty oleic acids.” [Followed by a lengthy description of fatty oleic acids, cholesterol, and massive heart attacks.]
3. “I will tell you the problem with healthcare for the poor today: it is TOO good. That is really the problem.”
4. “Well, my parents were a little physically abusive, so that’s probably why I liked my ex-wife so much. She was batshit crazy. I am always attracted to crazy women! Ha ha!”
5. “Don’t you think the worst thing about living alone is not having someone there to massage you when you need it?” [Said in a deep, raspy voice, while walking behind the man and then squeezing his shoulders.]

I haven’t dated for 18 years (and what the hubz and I did in college doesn’t really qualify as “dating”). So I have no idea what I’m talking about. But I really think that if I heard any of those five subjects on a first date I would get up and run right out the door.

But these guys were planning a second date as I was packing up for the day. As my grandpa used to say, “Every pot has a lid.” And really, thank goodness these two found each other; it’s got to be hard to find someone who shares an interest in fatty oleic acids (or at least someone who is willing to pretend they give a shit about them).

Please oh please let them come back to Starbucks for their second date.

Also: for your terrifying scientific fact for the day, I just Googled “menopause night eating” and it is a THING. A real thing that can happen to women. Just another thing to look forward to, ladies!

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Hairy Styles

Getting old is not for pussies. But, as my mom says, it is better than the alternative. Which I guess is dying? Why is that not reassuring?

The last time I got my eyebrows did, my eyebrow lady was finishing up and said, “Anything else?” She had never asked this question before. I thought she meant my bikini or legs or something, so I said, “Nope, all good, thanks.” And do you know what she says?

She says, “What about your face.”

I said, “Um, what about my face?”

“Do you want to wax your face? Some women do. As they get older.”

WHY I NEVER. I stumble around for the proper response, politely say no thanks, then cover my wolfwoman face and run in shame to my car. By the time I get home, I am good and outraged. I’m not sure if it’s because she called me old or because she called me hairy-faced. So I tell my husband.

He says, “What! You are no hairier than anyone else.”

Is all the hair plugging up my ears, or did I really just hear that?

Sigh. So I pout about becoming an older, hairier woman, for a little while. And then I see this article about the 2013 National Beard and Mustache competition in New Orleans. I decide then and there that if this facial hair situation really gets out of control, I’m just going to go with it. I could totally pull off some lamb chops.

(AP Photo/Susan Poag)

(AP Photo/Susan Poag)

Celebrity Roundup

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for Celebrity Roundup!*

1. ALERT ALERT Benedict Cumberbatch update. Unfortunately it is not about his crumpets or monocle. And yes, I did intend for that to sound dirty. Lord Cumberbatch is not going to be in Star Wars, and that’s a really big deal because…well, I have no idea why that’s a really big deal. He’s just so awesome that not being in movies makes headlines? OH King Sir Cumberbatch Duke of Wales.

From Jordan Zakarin @ Buzzfeed

I can’t explain this. Just go to Buzzfeed.

2. At the end of our recent California trip, we went to Disneyland for the day. The highlight of the day was seeing the joy and wonder on my children’s faces. JUST KIDDING, it was totally seeing David Beckham AND Brandon Flowers (who I mentioned a while ago here) on the same day IN PERSON. Also, I am guessing the lowlight of the day for my sister-in-law was when I pointed out Brandon Flowers to her and, for no apparent reason, kept saying that I just wanted to rip my shirt off.

3. Seeing David Beckham and Brandon Flowers at Disneyland reminded me of how lame the celeb sightings are in DC. Once in DC I saw Hillary Clinton walking out of a restaurant, which was cool, until I told someone I saw her and they said, “Oh yeah, I heard she was in town, I used to work with her.” Well aren’t you fancy. Another time I saw Trent Lott walking downtown when he was in the news for being all racist and crotchety (which I realize does not narrow down the time frame). This was when I was working at the law firm. I happened to be walking with a super smart, outspoken Democratic colleague, and I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say when we walked by Trent. Imagine my pride when my colleague yelled, “YOU SUCK BOOO!!!!” right at Trent’s face. That’s the kind of nuanced takedown you can only learn at an Ivy League law school.

4. And finally, this is probably the only Celebrity Roundup in the universe this week that did not analyze Miley Cyrus and/or twerking. You are welcome.

*Please note that I will probably never do another Celebrity Roundup, much less on a Thursday.

Panda Tales

Have you guys heard the news about the baby panda born at the National Zoo? Well, it’s very exciting, although my kids’ reactions were strange. When I told them the girl panda had a baby, my son immediately said, “THEY SHOULD NAME IT MICHAEL.” When I asked why, he said, “I don’t know, I just want a panda named Michael to live at our zoo.” Um. Then I told my daughter about it, and she asked to see a picture. Here is the picture I think she was expecting to see:
BabyPanda
SO adorable, right? Well, here is the picture I showed her:
BabyPanda2
She said, “That is not a panda.”

Can we all agree that pandas should not exist? Really. If they weren’t so adorable (after their hair comes in, I mean, and they stop looking like a smiling hairy penis with tiny claws), we would not go to such ridiculous lengths to keep them alive. I read a New Yorker article recently about all the horrifying lengths zookeepers go to to help the pandas reproduce – including building platforms and weird plastic cylinder structures to help them, um, get comfortable. Some even dress up in panda COSTUMES so they can go in the enclosure and, I don’t know, get them in the mood or something? I hope zookeepers get paid a lot.

ZookeeperPanda

Also, if the pandas are fooled by that crappy costume, then they really are doomed.

I imagine that someday we will find ancient cave drawings about unicorns that are exactly like our modern day panda story: all the cavemen thought that unicorns were so adorable and magical, and then the unicorns stopped reproducing, and the cavemen were all “Ohhg og grunt what the hell grunt?” and used all of their caveman know-how to save the unicorns, and eventually said, “Eh, what are you going to do.” And bam, no more unicorns. Yes, I am basically an anthropologist.

My father-in-law is Chinese. He visited us once shortly after the National Zoo got its first panda years ago, and we asked him if he wanted to go see it. And he said, “No. I’ve already seen a panda in China. They all look alike.” Which is TOTALLY TRUE.

So I guess the point of this is: when the pandas all die, they really had it coming. The end.

Bee-yoo-tiful

Before school started this year, we squeezed in one last summer trip out west to California. We started in San Francisco and drove down the Pacific Coast Highway to Irvine. I don’t know why everyone thinks San Francisco is full of hipster-artsy-weirdo types; it is not like we saw a group of interpretive hula hoop dancers performing to tambourine music in the park. Oh wait.

HulaHoopers

[Note: that picture is blurry because I was worried if I got too close they would sense my incredible hula hooping talent and try to steal me away.]

The roadtrip was fun. We saw family and friends, and also, gigantic snorting elephant seals:
ElephantSeals
They were smelly and made obscene noises and fought constantly. I am talking about the seals, not the family and friends we saw. Just to be clear.

The hubz and I had done this road trip nearly a decade ago, right after I took the bar exam. That time we stopped at every charming coastal town along the way, drank wine, stared at the ocean, and wandered through boutiques and galleries with nothing but disposable income and free time. I knew the trip would be different this time with the kids in tow – less wine, more whine (ba dum, ching!) – but I couldn’t wait for them to see the coast. Because don’t all 4- and 6-year-olds appreciate scenic natural beauty? Answer: no. No, they do not.

I spent the first hour or two of our drive demanding calmly suggesting that they look out the window and enjoy the view. Here is a good example of the scenery:
Binky
That is a picture taken high above the ocean, while the marine layer rolled in over the water and melted away as it hit the mountains in the morning sun. The kids did a nice job of faking it, but they were not impressed. (And yes, that is a fake binky in my daughter’s mouth. The kids entertained themselves by pretending to be babies and “baby talking” for most of the drive, which did not drive me insane at all.)

Here is some more beautiful scenery from our drive:
Waterfall
You can just make out a tiny, thin waterfall splashing down onto a pristine beach, near turquoise ocean waters crashing into beautiful, rugged rock formations. Did my kids like that amazing scene? Sure, for about two seconds, and then they saw this:
Tunnel
That is a drainpipe/tunnel. They ran through that thing, laughed, made fart noises, giggled, and were thrilled to be running through a huge rusty pipe.

So after the tunnel o’ fun, I backed off and let them enjoy the car ride however they wanted. And along with enjoying the view and having uninterrupted conversations with the hubz (what?!), I was able to appreciate that my kids were cracking each other up in the backseat of our rental car for mile after mile after mile. They were whispering, and giggling, and saying totally naughty things, and making up silly games, and it was beautiful.

Not as beautiful as that freaking waterfall, but still pretty good. And now they’re back to school and I miss them like crazy. Even the baby talk.