“It is nostalgia. Everyone knew what that Old El Paso box meant.”
So said the ever-wise Jessica Crockett as we conducted a conversation about last night’s dinner.
I had had a hankering for tacos. But not el pastor tacos. Or lengua or chorizo. Heck, not even chicken. The truth is, I didn’t want today’s terrific tacos at all.
I wanted tacos from the ’80s.
You know, the ones with cheddar cheese. And iceberg lettuce. And taco seasoning poured from a pouch.
Last Thanksgiving, I conducted an experiment. After having made enough mashed potatoes and gravy to feed a not-very-small army, I decided I would test my limits. I would eat mashed potatoes and gravy every lunch and dinner until, a), we ran out, or, b), I got too sick of them to eat anymore.
Result? After seven days and 14 straight meals, we ran out potatoes.
Last week, I lost my daytimer.
That may not sound like a big deal, certainly not one deserving of its own paragraph, but I can assure you it-a was-a veray bigga deal to me. I even temporarily developed an Italian accent.
There are a few elements that made the experience especially disturbing.
- I am too stupid to graduate to electronic daytiming, so everything is written down in my old-school daytimer, including (and don’t tell anyone) all of my passwords.
- I was keenly aware of the last time I used it, which was only 16 hours before I couldn’t find it.
The event made me remember interesting behavior that surfaces when I’m looking for the lost. This thus (and yes, I’ve been waiting my whole life to place those two words beside each other) made me curious to know if you react in the same way.
Yesterday, I opened my inbox to discover I had 627 new messages. This was interesting to me, given that:
- I am not important.
- I am not popular.
- I don’t especially like to shop.
- And I am not overly interested. In general.
But, somehow, over the course of a year, my incoming mail has become an onslaught. And so, I find myself smack dab inside Unsubscribe Season, during which I scrutinize every email I receive and decide whether or not to breakup forever with its sender.
Well, folks, you’re looking at one big, fat hypocrite over here. I’m not proud of it, although, surprisingly, I’m not especially apologetic either.
Still, it seemed important to make that admission and to make it publicly. Because, at the end of the day, I know what I am. I’ve become something I’ve always felt pretty comfortable being critical of.
It started, as all good stories do, at T.J. Maxx last weekend.
The goal was to get home for Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend.
Standing in my way was a monster blizzard that seemed intent on sitting over Winnipeg, Manitoba, and blowing two feet of snow upon it.
But, sitting with my snuggling dogs in Kentucky the night before my trip, my flight still showed on time. My brother was flying in from Edmonton with his wife Jennie. My Tante Denise was flying in from Montreal. And my mom was excited, desperately excited, to have her family finally assembled together once again.
So, the next morning, I set out for Cincinnati. By then, the snow had been falling in Winnipeg for 24 hours. When I texted my Australian stepdad Peter how things were looking, his response was, “Quite shitty.”
I knew there was a problem when I heard the second yelp.
I had just come back from Lexington, and Tilly the Brave, our youngest Boston Terrier, had run gleefully outside along with Fitz. While they ran into the grass, I began carting the day’s purchases inside.
When I heard the first yelp, I figured Fitz had maybe bulldozed Tilly a little too hard while they were playing.
But when I heard the second yelp, I looked over and saw that my two dogs were spinning in circles. Tight, fast circles.
A few minutes ago, I found out that the three-course dinner I will be hosting Wednesday has grown to 30 attendees.
I was expecting 15.
Which was already a little ambitious.
And, for that matter: forks.
But, in this life, we all get adrenaline rushes in different ways. And I can tell you that cooking either for a lot of people and/or preparing a crazy number of courses is how I get myself amped up to supersonic level.
We’ve come to the fourth and last week of the Makeup Monologue, and I think I’ve saved the best for last. Or I should say the worst for last since, if misapplied, this kind of makeup can really make you look like a clown.
I’m talking, of course, of skin makeup, that vast panoply of products meant to make you look like your skin is flawless and, thus, you are too. This can include, but is not exclusive to: foundation, powder, blush, highlight, contour and coverup.
Some of these are meant to make you look dewy. Some rosy. Some sparkly. Some unshiny. But always, always smooth.
Our makeup discussion continues, which I hope makes you as happy as it does me. This week, I want to focus on eyes, a treasure trove of discussion points given the galaxy of makeup options that are available to dress up your orbs.
Now, in discussing lipstick last week, I got a little personal, sentimental and even confessed my career in shoplifting. This week, we’re going to talk about eye makeup in a general way, in a “you know what I mean” way. Because there are some universal truths here that don’t need to be clouded by personal narrative, amIright?