Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The early bird gets a big eyeful of bad naked

I’m not an unpleasant morning person. Unless something forces me to rise before 6:30 a.m. Then, all bets are off. I can’t guarantee matching shoes, my hair probably won’t have its characteristic round-brush flip and I’ll have a really hard time offering up a friendly smile to the lovely gentleman who sells N Judah Muni passes at Carl and Cole.

So you can imagine the seriousness of my situation when I recently decided to wake up At 5:15. A.M. Three days a week. Oh. Holy. Jesus.

The process of making the decision was gut wrenching. I looked pensively into the distance for hours. I cried. I laughed. I cursed Jeff Goodby and Dan Wieden. I threw away the pen John Hegarty touched (but retrieved it later). I accused chestnuts of being lazy. I even ripped the cover off my copy of “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This”. And when the realization of what I had to do finally washed over me, I wept like a newborn.

My realization, in case you’re wondering was this: because of advertising, exercise no longer has a consistent place in my life. Used to be, I’d work out after work. Now I have no idea when “after work” will be. Even though I’m not working typical lowest-low-person-on-the-advertising-totem-pole hours right now, I’m so drained after work all I want to do is go home and sit. And do absolutely nothing until I fall asleep.

This has not been good for my psyche or my ass. Hence, my 5:15 a.m. plan.

I’m blogging about this for 2 reasons. The first is that by telling people about it, I’m hoping I’ll be forced to stick to it. You know, accountability and all. The second is that I’ve made a few key observations after 2 weeks of doing this…and let me tell you, some of them are really not pretty.

Bad naked: You’re familiar with shirtcocking. Many of you may even recall Tampon Lady. Allow me to now acquaint you with “Lather Up the Pubic Hair Like I’m Karen Silkwood and Forego Pulling the Shower Curtain Across the Rod” lady. Please also meet “Examine My Vagina With a Compact On the Locker Room Bench” lady. Add those to the normal assortment of “No, Really, It’s More Convenient To Blow Dry My Hair Completely Naked” lady and “I think I’ll Prop My Leg As High as I Can On This Locker and Apply Lotion So Everyone Has a View of My Gaping Hoo-Ha While Completely Naked” Lady and you’ve got yourself quite a crew. I get strange looks because I put on my Gap cotton pants and a bra before I leave the shower area. Perhaps in a parallel universe someone is blogging about “I Can’t Apply Makeup Without My Gap Cotton Toile Pattern Pants” lady. But hey, I’m fine with that.

Something about you seems familiar: You know how you see people walking around and you think to yourself, “I know them from somewhere…but where?” Imagine your confusion when you discover - on a routine, lunch-break walk to Walgreen’s - that you know the woman you just passed on the sidewalk because you saw her at the gym that morning. Buck-naked. And you observed to yourself that morning – as women often do in a non-sexual, complimentary kind of way that men can’t understand because they can’t apply the same behavior to their gender - “Wow, she has really huge boobs for a woman of her small size.” Only on the sidewalk you obviously see her in clothing and your brain registers a thought like “She looks really different with her clothes on” and you want to slap yourself at the sheer bachelor-sounding ridiculousness of the thought.

Now imagine having about 3 of those moments a week. It’s like I’ve been whoring around San Francisco, only without the sex and without the men. Just a bunch of naked, soppy-from-the-shower women. And where’s the pleasure in that for a straight, single girl, I ask you?

Bench Warmers: I’m apparently in the minority of people who find it disturbing to sit naked on the gym benches. I put a towel down, for God’s sake – who wants their girlie bits all up on the plastic covering of the gym bench? I mean, who’s been there before me?

Locker Creepers: I arrive at the gym by 6 am which means I have about 98 lockers to choose from out of a possible 100. But it never fails. I choose a locker, I come back from my workout and someone has chosen to occupy the locker directly below mine. The available lockers have red keys dangling from them, mind you, so it’s not like people can’t see the ample choices available to them other than the locker under mine. Generally, the inhabitant of said locker is trying to access their belongings at the exact same time I’m trying to access mine. And they’re naked, or bending over to pick things up, or, even worse, crouching to put on shoes. Need I say more? Bending and crouching. Naked. Why ya gotta be up in my space, lady? Take your crouchy ass down to spaces to locker 173. It’s available.

Trimming the Topiaries It has to be mentioned – because I can’t help but notice, what with people’s legs all propped up on lockers and the furious open-curtained pubic scrubbing going on – that there are some SERIOUS gardening problems going on down below for a lot of ladies. Bush has gained back some popularity points if you know what I’m sayin’. Someday soon, I fully expect to hear someone’s crotch scream “What’s happenin’, ROG???!!” Razors. Sally Hanson Home Waxing Kit. Tweezers. Please.

The Great Urban Energy Legend: The people who tell you that exercising in the morning gives you more energy? Those people are big, fat LIARS. I do feel great for about an hour. But sometime in the morning, something happens…a time lapse of sorts. In my mind the clouds are speeding by my window, the sky is darkening, the day is waning. I look at my laptop to confirm the time I estimate to be approximately 6:11 p.m. and it’s…9:57 a.m. FUCKING HELL. Right about now you might think would be a good time to take a break and go for a coffee. But you’d be wrong because…I gave up coffee during the week. I know. Crazy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


(This one’s been sitting in my drafts for a while. I was afraid it sounded too angry and that perhaps people who never read my blog might actually pop in and see this and maybe get their feelings hurt. But you know what? Maybe it would do them some good. Maybe it’ll do us all some good. Please enjoy…and please know I’m not angry. Just wondering why we (especially me) sometimes choose to ignore our internal editors when it matters most.)

Maybe I’m just experiencing an extreme and prolonged bout of PMS/DMS but it seems to me that people are either a) getting ruder by the second and/or b) are just incredibly stupid and insensitive about the shit that comes out of their mouths these days.

I know, I know, I can skew a little Sensitive Susan at times (yes, my eyes welled up at Reese Witherspoon’s Oscar acceptance speech. Fuck off! She said she was just trying to live an honorable life – I thought it was a sweet thing to say!) but come on, people…THINK. As I’ve aged, (read: gained wisdom) I’ve learned a few things about what to say and what not to say and unfortunately I’ve learned it by being both the deliverer and recipient of some real zingers.

Believe me, living in a world where I tiptoe my opinionated-self around on proverbial egg shells is not my idea of a life worth living. For God’s sake I’m in advertising. I’m paid to mock people and have an opinion. I’m just saying, perhaps a little caution could be used in certain situations outside our respective Board of Directors of Friends. (And sometimes within that group). I’ve been told by every writing mentor/teacher I’ve ever had to choose my words carefully and remember context. Good advice for all of us to remember from time to time.

Below are some of my faves I’ve either overheard or been a part of over the years along with some real (and fantasy) responses. Please feel free to add your own.

When are you two tying the knot? I especially love it when this question comes from people in an unhappy relationship or a boring marriage. Why do people constantly feel the need to rush you over to the other side? If married life is so great, why are so many of us divorced? I’d love, just once, to hear someone say something like “Well, we don’t know if we really like each other, let alone LOVE each other, but the sex is really great so this is it for now.” Or “I can’t afford a ring.” Or “Really she’s just a bookmark until I meet the right girl. I refuse to break up with her because I’m terrified of being alone.” Fun, huh?

When can we expect the pitter-patter of little feet? (effect southern accent) “Gosh, I don’t know, seein’s how my doctah just told me I’m BARREN.” This one gets me the most riled up as I’ve had many friends who’ve tried for years to have a baby and were heartbroken by the mere mention of children. Also remember, to have a baby you have to HAVE SEX, so people probably aren’t running around talking about the various positions they’re trying, the number of times they’ve shoved a thermometer into an orifice to see when they’re most fertile, etc. Not everyone gets it on the first try. (Thank God).

Perhaps a better way to inquire is “Do you guys want to have a family someday?” The “someday” takes the pressure off when it will happen and you’re not assuming that they actually want kids. Because not everybody does. Which leads me to….

She doesn’t even LIKE kids. A comment recently made ABOUT ME (raised voice) by close friends. Apparently because I’m a “woman of a certain age” and I’m living in a metropolitan area without husband or child it is now OK to jump to the conclusion that I simply do not LIKE children and that I don’t even WANT them. My feelings on this are clear and have never changed but just in case you guys are reading this let me be crystal clear yet again: YES I LIKE KIDS. If I’m lucky enough to find my wonderful, funny, hot, sweet, sexy Mr. Right and he TOO wants kids then we will have them.

But what if my Mr. Right shoots blanks? Or what if my eggs have no yolks? What then? I’ve always said I would never hinge my complete happiness on something that I may ultimately have no control over thus setting me up for disappointment. And let me be extra crystal clear on this: I will not SETTLE for an average marriage just so I can squeeze out some kids. I’d rather have neither. If that makes me the token Samantha in the crowd then so be it. She ended up with a male underwear model. Worse things could happen.

Have you thought about freezing your eggs? Have you thought about cryonics? Hair implants? Breast implants? Maybe sewing your mouth shut so you’ll stop saying such ridiculous things?? NOOOO!!!! Fine for some people, but not for a person who, at the time of suggestion had no health insurance. Again I’d have to say, my life is not guided each day by “will or will I not have kids?”. Maybe that’s wrong. Maybe that’s not wise. I don’t know. But for me, it’s right. I’m focusin’ on the MAN, right now, girl. (Snap! Yank neck and purse lips)

(after having a baby) Why did she go back to work so soon? Apparently this is a hot debate amongst new moms along with “why are you not breast feeding?” vs “Why ARE you?” and – the hits just keep coming for these poor women – “why are you STILL breast feeding” and “why did you feed your kid THAT at xxx age?” I mean, come the fuck ON, people. Shut it. Really. Advertising whores like me will nitpick and find enough to make parents feel guilty about (Now with Ziplock closures! To protect your loved ones from suffocation!). You don’t need to do it too.

When are you guys buying a house? Um, when we can get the $75,000 down- payment it takes in the city I live in without robbing or killing someone. And yes, I know that living in Monkey’s Backscratch, Middlestate would be a lot more economical but (for me personally) until a man can birth a baby out of his pee-pee hole and pigs can poop out Benjamins, I won’t be moving there. No, I’m not making fun of your choices but don’t make us urbanites feel bad for ours.

Is that why he had to do online dating? Yeah, so I’ve covered this before. “Had to do” implies that people who do this are desperate. We’re not. (Wait, hang on, I’ve got to chase down the clumps of my hair that fell out before it gets snagged in the fingernails I’ve chewed off.)

Why is he/she single? Why are you such a dolt?

Why is she having surgery? My favorite suave answer, overheard recently at work: “Because she had to”. Good one! Shut that person right up. Or how about this clever one? “Because her uterus turned black and was starting to smell.”

Why’d you get divorced? My all-time favorite question, asked of me once the asker found out I was about to get divorced: “So you’re just choosing to ignore God’s plan?” (I was asked this in Kentucky as I ran on a treadmill)

15 seconds of my stunned silence ensued, followed by me hitting “stop” on the treadmill.

“I’m pretty sure that I was out of the loop on God’s repeated messages, voice mails and emails when I hooked up with the wrong guy in the first place. So I’m not sure it was really a planning issue, per se. But thanks for your concern.”

Context, people. I’m just sayin’.