Monday, June 25, 2007

I like Monday.

Today, I like new tires. And learning how to accept help and kindness.

I got a flat tire Friday night. I was on my way to meet Mr. eHarmony and some of his friends for dinner when an SUV pulled up alongside my trusty Honda. The driver honked and said my rear tire was really low. I thanked him and drove another four blocks to the restaurant.

How I managed that, I'm not really sure. The tire was flaaaaaaaat.

That sort of stuff freaks me out because I am not practiced in the ways of car maintenance, and it had been a really long day anyway. I'd flown back from California, made a quick pit stop to change my clothes, and then rushed to dinner. I was tired and flustered, and headed back out of town the next morning for a reunion with my pledge class. I didn't have time for a flat tire.

Long story short, I left my car at Mr. eHarmony's house. And he picked out some new tires for me. And washed my car. And filled the tank.

Now, I'm writing him a check for the tires - obviously. But it was such a relief to have someone who knew what they were doing offer to help. I've been on my own for so long - and as my mother pointed out, I was on my own even when I was supposedly in my last relationship. I'm not used to the luxury of a partner in crime, and it's made me forget how to ask for or be open to help.

I don't want to be the bitter, closed-off spinster. But the more I fall for Mr. eHarmony, the more I realize that I've slid down the slippery path more than I'd like to admit. Opening myself up to a new person - even though that person is kind and generous and has the best intentions - is frightening.

I firmly believe that you choose the way you want to live your life, and I refuse to live in fear. That's probably why I don't watch the news. But when it comes to really, really scary things like getting everything you've ever dared to dream of - well, I need some practice. But I like it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I left my heart in San Samsonite.

I’ve been in the city by the bay for a conference. Let me just state again how much I love to travel on some one else’s dime. I’m not a freeloader, but I was raised to never order appetizers or dessert, and that first class is for people with more money than sense.

However …

I do love me a nice hotel. Especially a nice hotel with an incredible bar on the top floor, where I enjoyed a glass of port, a decadent dessert and a sunset falling on the Golden Gate Bridge. Life is good. And the conference I came out here to attend wasn’t bad, either.

If I lived in San Francisco, I’d have the greatest ass this world had ever seen. Like, people wouldn’t be able to look at my hind regions directly or their retinas would explode – sort of like looking directly at an eclipse.

The reasoning behind my behind? The hills. Lord almighty. I stayed on the crest of Nob Hill, which is within walking distance of Chinatown and Union Square. It’s downhill everywhere – and way, way uphill coming back. Like, waaaaaay uphill. Like, I was zig-zagging around blocks instead of just walking straight up the street because my little lungs needed a break. But my ass? I’m just positive that after two whole days of this, it’s looking fine.

The other thing about San Francisco that struck me was the backpacks.

Backpacks? Yes.

Now, I love me some handbags and lost count on my own collection somewhere around 35. So, I’m always interested in how people schlep their shit. Seems to me that to live in San Fran, you must own a backpack and pass some sort of coolness course on how to look suave while wearing said backpack.

One guy in my conference obviously wasn’t from the city. In lieu of carrying a backpack to the conference, he wore … a fannypack.

A grown man. Wore a fannypack. At a conference. A conference that didn’t involve any sort of wilderness adventure unless you count the long line at the loo. What the hell?

I was tempted to pull him aside in a random act of kindness, but decided against it for whatever reason. It made me think of a boy I had a wicked crush on in college, a boy who was perfect and darling and perfect – until the day I saw him sporting a fannypack at the rec center.

Because I am shallow and a cold, heartless bitch, my crush was quickly absolved.

But thanks to San Fran’s love of the backpack, I will be back. She cannot deny my affection.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Signs of the apocalypse.

This summer is Cha Cha’s Summer of Live Music That Kicks Ass. In two weeks, Mr. eHarmony and I are going to see Def Leppard, Styx and Foreigner. Yes, that’s right – a triple bill that will rock the pants off of any slightly inebriated child of the 80s.

And then?

Then, we’re off to see Crowded House. My prayers have been answered and these sweet Aussies have reunited. Thank you, sweet, merciful, eight-pound, five-ounce baby Jesus.

And then?

Loggins. Kenny Loggins. And then? REO. Speedwagon.


Def Leppard, et al, can be written off as a nostalgia tour. Strangely, a ton of my friends are going – a decision we all made independently for fear of being outed as freaks. But we’ll all see each other there. And Crowded House? Well, they’re just brilliant and that’s just all there is to it.

But Loggins and REO?

I love them. Loooooove them. It’s not cool to love them, I know. But I will remain true, even though my level of excitement over these two shows is embarrassing at best, completely psychotic if we’re being honest.

And the best part?

My enthusiasm is matched only by that of Mr. eHarmony. It’s official – I’ve discovered what’s wrong with him. His taste in music is just as disturbing and flawed as mine.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My dad is the smartest man in the world.

Our good friends at Post Secret posted this card today, and it brings to mind a myriad of important facts that I learned from my dad. In honor of Father's Day, I bring you the top three:

1. Your belly button is where they inflate you when you start to deflate and fly around the room like a balloon.

2. Garbonzo beans come from the Valley of Garbonz.

3. Jell-o comes from Canada, where it is harvested on vast plantations. Typically, each plantation has fields for the different flavors, and the Jell-o has to be carefully harvested out of the pod, much like cotton. The real difficulty with raw Jell-o is transportation. The wigglyness makes trains jump the tracks, semis roll and planes veer dangerously off-course. That's why they dehydrate raw Jell-o for transport.

I can't wait to visit Canada and try real, raw Jell-o. It's a life-long dream.

Happy Father's Day, dad. You're the best.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A conversation with the geriatric poodle

"Hey, peaches, c'mere."

"Excuse me, but I'm a little busy rubbing my ass across the floor."

"C'mere, pup. Yeah, it itches when you have shit stuck to your ass."

"What the? Get that toilet paper away from me, you gypsy witch!"

"There you go. See, it's better when you ..."


"... get the shit off your ass. All better!"

"Rip hair off my anus one more time and I'll give you rabies, bitch."


So, I met Mr. eHarmony's almost 4-year-old daughter last night. She seems like a pretty normal kid, and very cute. She was really tired, so she had a bit of a meltdown, but all-in-all, it was a pretty good night. She didn't announce her hatred of me. Yet. She's 3. Right now, I'm just another random adult. This is good.

Most of my friends have kids, so I'm used to being around younguns. But these women are my friends, and so of course I step in and stop junior from taking a header down the stairs towards certain brain damage. But eHarmony's daughter?

That's somebody else's baby. An ex-wife who probably hates me without even knowing I exist. So whatever interaction I have with her child is probably wrong. I can hear the dialogue in my mind: She likes to be held like this. Don't offer her peanut butter; it makes her throw up. How could you not know that a bag of glass shards is not an age-appropriate toy?

Mr. eHarmony is very laid back about the whole thing, but he's also honest about being cognizant of his child's needs and how he'd have to talk about me to his ex if/when I start to spend a lot of time with the child. I respect this.

I'm pretty laid back about it all, too. Except ... if I do stuff like rip shit-encrusted hair off my dog's ass - and use terms like shit and ass to narrate the process - how in the world can I pretend to be even remotely capable of spending time with a 4-year-old human? And when did I lose this ability?

I babysat a ton as a teenager, and I can be counted on at social gatherings to hold any baby and lull that kid to dreamland. Cha Cha? She can put anybody to sleep.

So I shouldn't be nervous about this. Maybe I wouldn't be if I didn't care so much. If I didn't really like Mr. eHarmony, I wouldn't give a shit.

I mean, I wouldn't give a care. A care, that's what I said. No, I would never use a naughty word like shit. I mean, naughty words suck. I mean, don't fucking cuss.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

You don't know from white trash.

I just finished a terrific novel - Sister Mine by Tawni O'Dell. This is her third novel, and I've devoured all of them, even though one was backed by the high priestess of literature herself, Ms. Oprah Winfrey.

All of O'Dell's novels take place in mining towns of Pennsylvania. Her well-crafted characters are flawed and honest and live normal lives. They don't have McMansions in the suburbs - they are miners and fallen hometown football heroes and people with broken families but resilient spirits.

My book club read one of her novels maybe two years ago. My friend Lynn and I were both gaga over the story and the honest portrayal of small town life, a world where small town can mean small world, but doesn't always. We were dismayed by the reaction of other members of our book club.

They talked about the characters as white trash.

I wanted to cry.

Granted, this was during a rather wounded period in my life. I cried at infomercials. But white trash?

Lynn and I are the only ones in the group who grew up in small towns. And sadly, it seemed that we were the only ones who got it, the only ones who understood that a trailer doesn't make you trash, that families patched together the best they can manage are families nonetheless.

I'm amazed at people - especially people I consider my friends - who assume that everybody worth knowing lives the way they do. Or maybe they're just scared of anything different. I read these books and feel like I do know the characters, and I'm better for it.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Pasta with a side of bird flu

Last night. Mr. eHarmony and I had dinner with my friends Alice and Jack. It was a gorgeous June night, and carefully planning ensured that we had reservations at an outside table at a nice restaurant.

It was fun. When Mr. eHarmony excused himself from the table, Alice and Jack were both very kind, saying they really liked him, giggling like junior high girls about how super nice he was.

Ok, maybe Jack wasn't giggling like a junior high girl. A manly junior high girl who's really into softball, maybe.

The night was beautiful, the conversation was entertaining and the wine was flowing.

And then?

And then there was a loud crash. And a dead, bloody bird dropped into Alice's lap.


Evidently, a hawk had kidnapped a bird. And the bird's little bird friends were all, "WTF! Let our friend go, you big hawk bastard!" So, the hawk let the bird go, leaving it to careen down to earth with a bloody thud.

Alice's beautiful white blouse was spattered with blood. There were feathers in all of our half-eaten entrees. The entire restaurant turned in shock, and a true gentleman at the next table jumped up and scooped up the dead bird in his napkin before we could even react.

I hustled Alice off to the ladies, where we stripped off her shirt and doused her bloody arm in mouthwash ("I'm sure it has alcohol in it - it will prevent bird flu!"). Luckily, I was wearing a jacket, so she had a replacement top. And we thoroughly entertained the ladies in the restroom. We couldn't stop laughing.

And then?

And then we got back to the table, where everything had been cleared, with the exception of one glass of water. And the bill. The complete bill with no discount.

Excuse me?

We addressed that with the manager, but I'm still peeved. Umm? We wanted more drinks? And dessert? Not even for free, but like, because we were hungry? And now? We just hate you?

Alice called me this morning and left this voice mail message: "Cha Cha, it's Alice. Listen. I woke up this morning thinking that a dead, bloody bird landed in my lap last night. And then I thought, 'Did that really happen? No WAY did that really happen.' So, I'm calling you to make sure that yes, I really had a dead, bloody bird fall from the sky into my lap last night. As you do. Call me back."

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I am Violet Beauregarde.

So, last night I was cleaning my disgusting, frat-boy-esque bathroom. While talking to Mr. eHarmony, headset in place and cell phone tucked into my underwear because my new skirt didn’t have pockets. As you do.

And when I got to the toilet, I realized that the seat was purple.

Purple. Not white like the rest. Purple.

And because I evidently have no clue how to maintain intrigue in dating, I, of course, told Mr. eHarmony all about it.

“WTF? It looks like I sat in something purple and then sat on the john. What the hell?”

“Purple? Are you sure?”

“Yeah. And it’s not coming off with those little Clorox wipes, either.”

“Oh, you use those? I love those things!”

“Yeah, I’m all about the rockstar cleaning products. These wipes are right up there with Swiffer.”

“I have a Swiffer – I was at Target with my sister and she just put it in the cart and said, ‘You need this.’ It’s pretty cool.”

Obviously, we are all about super deep, intelligent and almost philosophical conversations. About this time, I put a little astringent on a cotton ball and wiped it across the back of my leg. And then I started yelling.

“Holy shit! Oh my gawd! I’m purple! The cotton ball is purple!”

Because I’m sexy like that.

My new, gee-I-wonder-why-this-was-on-the-clearance-rack-at-Target skirt is black. And it bled purple onto my skin. And I then I sat on the toilet and stained the seat. I am HOT.

Mr. eHarmony laughed his ass off. And then I realized that it looked like I had a suntan line, except instead of my skin being pink or red, it was a weird, bluish, I-don’t-get-enough-oxygen sort of shade. Sexy!

One long shower, lots of exfoliation and a ton of lotion later, I think I’m back to sort of normal. The fact that Mr. eHarmony claims that he still finds me attractive is a sign that he’s mentally ill, but whatever.

And has anyone ever noticed that the original Charlie looks like he could have grown up to be Jon Bon Jovi?

Monday, June 4, 2007

I like Monday.

Things I like today:

I like sitting around in my nightgown at 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon, watching vh1 and eating roasted garlic Triscuits.

I like helping a girlfriend break in her new convertible on a sunny afternoon, even if the wind does give me a Jackson 5-worthy 'fro.

I like meeting up with Mr. eHarmony after not seeing him for 10 days and feeling like no time has passed.

I like kissing Mr. eHarmony on his couch and having a rush of panic thinking that his parents will walk in on us.

Because he lives with his parents?


Because I feel like I'm in high school.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I have been Away. In the land of Away, I have refrained from checking my work e-mail for SEVEN WHOLE DAYS. I've hung out with my parents, attended the 91st running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, and I've learned, yet again, to never, ever go to Target with my mother.

Seriously. If you're in Target and you see my mom, run. She will use her Jedi mind tricks to make you believe that you really do need that cart full of stuff, even when you just ran in to buy pantyliners or some such thing. Mom + Target = Danger!

So, now I'm back home with two more days to do whatever before returning to Corporate Behemoth. Usually on Saturdays, I'm pretty stoked with a long to-do list. But today? Today it's 12:30 and I'm still in my nightgown. And feelin' fine, actually. I've been putting off buying stamps for a whole week - what's another two days?

I knew I needed to unwind a bit. I think I've accomplished that. And EGG seems to be beating the shit out of BOB. While I was Away, I talked to Mr. eHarmony for a total of three hours and 27 minutes. I received 14 text messages and three e-mails.

At first, I was all, "Hey, stalker! I'll try to remember to wave to that van that's always parked outside of my house." But then I realized that a) this guy, while perhaps not good at pretending he's mysterious and dangerous, is a seriously a really, really nice guy. A really, really nice guy who happens to think I'm the cat's meow. And b) that of course this feels weird, b/c I'm not used to having anyone give a shit about what I do or where I go.

He Who Shall Not Be Named, I'm looking at you.

I mentioned this to Mr. eHarmony. His response? "I give a lot of shit!"

And so the crush deepens.