Thursday, February 10, 2011

Your Humble Servant, Ma'am

Well, I ushered for the Dallas Theater Center production of Arsenic and Old Lace on Sunday. Somehow, I double-booked myself a second shift on Friday, so I’ll wait until next week to tell ya about it. Sunday was a little rough, and my guess would be because of lack of run-through time because of all the damn snow last week. We’ll see if the engine is idling more smoothly tomorrow. Just to be fair. I can report in advance that the sets and costumes are quite incroyable right from jump street. But more on that later.

Anyway, the thing that had me giggling on Sunday was this one patron who ran up the aisle at me just as the lights started to dim, holding her blackberry like it was a live hand grenade. I do my humble servant bit and ask if I can help. She tells me, with a look that only be called aghast, that her phone battery died before she could officially shut it off. She asks me if a call can still come in its current semi-defunct state. I’m about to say “Oh, you’re probably safe” when I realize the terrified look on her face is because she’s afraid of her phone going off in the middle of some big moment, and the theme from Sex & The City interrupting Betty Buckley (yeah, the Betty Buckley, recognize, bitches) who swoops down into the audience and goes all Patti Lupone on her ass. I’m sure the prospect of getting an Anderson Cooper Cairo Beatdown in the middle of the Kalita Humpries Theater by a genuine Broadway diva was enough to scare the poop out of the poor woman, and “probably safe” wasn’t gonna cut it. I bravely threw myself on the grenade and sat in the back of the theater with the cell covered with a handy blanket (I didn’t want to have Ms. Buckley lupone me either, better safe). Anywhoodle. I was able to assure her after the final bows that her little one had been quiet as a mouse, and no problem at all to babysit. We, the few, the proud, the valorous volunteers in vests.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Your little fat, naked dude of love

You know, as a bit of counterprogramming to the endless champagne/perfume/car/diamond/ mortgage-your-soul-and-your-children’s-future commercials that are out there as a run-up to Valentines Day, I’d like to break my track record of pointedly ignoring St. Valentine and give a little buying advice. Truly, if your hunny bunny doesn’t believe it’s the thought that counts, you need to rethink the bestowal of your affections.

One way to go is, of course, spend a lot of time thinking about the beloves of your beloved, and then find some way to cleverly deliver on their secret wants and desires. I had a friend who, while she and her boyfriend were starving students, was a huge Doors fan. Her fella gave her a box of matches with the note “Come on, baby, light my fire.” Nice, right? Alright, cheesy too. But, cheese is the food of love on Valentine’s. And the matches probably came in handy considering their love of nag champa incense. Sweet, smart and practical. She married that guy.

But, really, it takes a lot of effort to come up with something like that. And no, you can’t just go out and do the same (unless you’re in love with a Doors fan, then rock n roll). My personal advice would be to go out and buy your snookums a big ass bag of Heath Bars. No, they’re not a box of Jacques Torres. Which, while flattering, will set ya back. And the response to a bag of top drawer chockies is, “You understand that I’m a classy individual with refined tastes. I’ll send you an Outlook meeting request for some classy and refined nooky. Tentative for next Tuesday.” The response to a bag of Heaths is, “Heath Bars are a cheap and dirty gift. And you really get my cheap and dirty side. I like that. Let’s go do something salty and sweet, and a little bit crunchy. I’ll meet you in the back seat of the car. Bring the Heath Bars.”

It’s all about the love, my friends. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Return of the "Belt & Cinch"

It suddenly dawned on me why my niece as categorically sworn that she will not wear high-waist pants. The child has never in her life worn a shirt tucked-in. For her entire 19 years, pants have been south of the belly button. In some cases, far enough south to be in Mexico. And with low-rise pants, tucked in shirts don’t really work. For awhile, it was pretty much de rigeur for people to have 2 or 3 inches of midriff showing. But at the very least, most shirts barely met your waistband. And, if you’re not going to tuck in your shirt, there’s really no point in having high-waist pants. You’re just going to wear what you’re comfortable with. And since she’s never known anything different, my niece is comfortable with pants at her hips.

I think the 80s were a real breaking point. Those over-sized t-shirts came into style. But I can still remember my aunt sniffing that it just looked sloppy, and the only reason to wear a shirt untucked was if you were fat. And when she was a teenager in the 70s, that was absolutely true. But a baggy shirt covers a number of sins. It’s a great fashion equalizer. And in the last 30 years, a lot more of us have become sinners. Hell, “skinny” jeans come in Women’s sizes.

So, does fashion follow form, or form follow fashion? Once people didn’t have to stay trim to wear the latest, was it just easier kind of let things go? Not that everyone did. There are still skinny Minnies among us. And they’ll probably be the first on the bandwagon for the new high-waist trouser pants that people are panting about on the fashion blogs. And they’ll look great. But if you’re not a size 6 or under, or 5’5” and over, not so much. The question is, are there still enough of them to cause a fashion trend? The Minnies may all run out to buy them, but if there aren’t enough to cause a wave, that little trend will die a swift death. They may blather a lot that fashion is art, but it’s still the clothes business, and if it don’t sell, it ain’t going to be around next season. There are enough skinny girls to start a fad. But I’m guessing there aren’t enough of them to start a trend. There’s a reason why bootcut mid-rise pants stayed in fashion so long. They look good on everyone.

There has to be some sort of happy medium, style-wise. A cut of clothing that encourages a healthy body weight. Going anorexic because you want to wear a sample size is a bad thing. But an occasional waistband cutting into your waist isn’t such a bad reminder to keep one’s girlish figure.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow

Okay, I'm just kind of over it at this point. I'm kind of used to Dallas weather being . . . impish. It's kind of our thing. We live in a pinch zone for weather, where fronts can basically come from any direction and occasionally collide spectacularly. It's part of our kooky charm.

But this has been the 4th day in a row where the weather prediction has not just been off, but waaaaaay off. 6 inches of snow off last Friday. And by my count, they've been wrong 7 of the last 10 days.

Again, the weather here can be . . . capricious. I get occasionally being wrong by a long chalk. And I get getting it a tiny bit wrong frequently. If you're predicting 60, and it's 62, no harm, no foul. No big whoop. But there is a big ass difference between how you dress for 33 with possible icy rain, and 52 and sunny (that was yesterday, people). I do not mind preparing for weather. I do mind bringing a knife to a gunfight . . . because you told me it was going to be a knife fight. It's getting to the point where you have to carry around Mary Poppins's carpetbag in order to be prepared for what might or might not be blowing your way. Of course it seems to be the one thing you don't have to prepare for is WHAT THEY TOLD YOU.

All I'm saying is that obviously, something has changed. Perhaps it's time to look at the weather models and tweak that little ol' logarithm a little. Just a skooch. Because I don't mind you being a trifle off when our weather is . . . fickle. I do mind you being just plain . . . wrong.

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