Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Starbucks? Betty Ford? Tale of a personal dilemma

I'm boycotting Starbucks. It's either that or go into a 12 step program for "buyer's remorse," which I don't think the Betty Ford Clinic recognizes yet as addictive or risky behavior. Sadly I beg to differ, as a trip to my local Starbucks yesterday made me spend a few moments alone in the car holding my empty plastic cup and feeling dangerously remorseful. Why you ask? Please ask. It was hot, I was thirsty and had time to kill between the Dentist and the Dermatologist - where I was NOT getting Botox. I stopped in Starbucks for a drink. I couldn't decide what I wanted and the barrista asked over and over , "Can I take your order?" The pressure was killing me. I had no clue what I wanted because the drink menu is in an enigmatic language they didn't offer in school. I started to get a little nervous and sweaty. Since I didn't have a quick answer to her persistant line of questionning I considered leaving - but felt it would be a sign of personal growth to stay.

"I'll have a tall chai tea latte with soy milk," I finally blurted out. Oy, I was one of those crazy people who had to have special milk. I checked to see if I had a fever.

"That will be $3.71," she said and smiled. I stared. Was it too late to leave? $3.71! Huh? And should I have called Ben Bernake? Interest rates are at 0% , how could my tea be so freaking costly?

I think I turned a soy milk shade of white as I reached into my wallet for the astronomical sum. I ordered tea not drugs. I felt like bolting for the door .... but paid. The barrista handed me my drink and I left with my head hung in financial shame. But before I even reached my car which was parked right outside I had finished the drink. Three teenie tiny sips on the straw and presto chango all I had left in the cup was ice. All the precious chai tea and special milk were gone. Vanished! Three itty bitty sips and there was only ice? I'm bad at math but I figured I had 50cents worth of chai and $3.21 worth of ice. I thought ice was free? I sat in my car contemplating going back and demanding a re-fill or making an impromptu "Boycott Starbucks" sign out of a scrap of paper I had in the glove compartment and spending the rest of the afternoon marching in front of the store. The nostalgia of picketing almost got the better of me but I opted for buyer's remorse.

In an effort to cheer myself up I saved $1.00 by taking back roads home instead of the tollway.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Obituary for a Cell Phone

OMG, it was a nightmare, a special 21st century nightmare. "Oh no, this can't be happening. Not to me! I don't deserve it. I gave at the office....well I would have given at the office if I went to an office. I gave at church, whoops, I'm Jewish. I'm a good person. Or am I? I love puppies. I promise to go to temple for the High Holidays. (When are they?) The next telemarketer who calls me I'll invite over for a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc instead of hanging up. I'll do anything but please little cell phone don't be dead. WAKE UP!!" I screamed shaking the tiny silver object in my sweaty hand. I was panicked and my face started to itch.

I always take my cell phone out runing with me. Why? In case I have a heart attack of course. Truthfully, I'm looking for any excuse to stop and wait longingly for the phone to ring so I can walk, talk and end the torture. Ok, ok, I know that isn't the point but I do not feel the need to run every single step. Whew, that was purging. It was very hot and ridiculously humid that fateful day. I ran with the cell phone in my sweating hand waiting desperately for it to ring. Ah ha, a mile up the lakefront call #1 . "Hey Patrick".....blah blah blah. A ten minute chit chat with the phone held up to my sweaty ear. I wiped off the phone three times during the call. It was another 2 miles before my second "time-out." "Hi Adria, what's up?" I continued to wipe the phone off knowing perfectly well water damage is THE KISS OF DEATH for my dandy little device. Admitedly there was call three and four.

A mile from home I decided to call Sandy. I flipped open the phone and the screen was blank. I think my heart stopped. Oh God the heart attack was coming and the phone didn't work! I frantically pressed every button, wiped it dry on my sweaty t-shirt, shook it, stared at it, thought about throwing it on the ground and jumping on it....even in my addled state I knew that would be counterproductive and stopped myself. "Work!" I pleaded. I"ve kept you from large bodies of water, I don't deserve this." I stood frozen in panic on the corner of Columbus Drive and Madison. I had a mile to go and a dead phone clutched in my hand. Life was almost not worth living...except I had a really fab party to go to that night and was going to wear my cute little black strapless dress and Kate Spade red high heels. I reconsidered.

Sadly, I spent the rest of the afternoon cell phone shopping. It took three stores and four hours before I held a new shiney blue device in my hand. Unfortunately, "Can you hear me now?" took on a whole new meaning. No one could hear me. I'm on my third phone. I've kept the old one hoping it will miraculously come back from the dead. Maybe if I give at the office...or about those High Holidays?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo?

"To tattoo or not to tattoo?" that is the question. Everywhere I go and everyone I see has one or more. Not just a teenie tiny picture of a daisy on their shoulder, but arms , legs, and torsos covered in colorful ink. Who needs to go to The Art Institute? It's cheaper to stand on Michigan Ave. and look at the walking people paintings. Truthfully I'm kinda jealous. Or am I? That's another good question. I haven't seen see an 80 year old woman with a pirate on her upper arm yet but I bet she's out there. Maybe I could convince my Mom to get a tattoo. She is a fashionista and determined even at 99 to keep up with the most current trends. Mom could be persuaded especially if they had a fancy little tattoo counter at Neimans. Maybe we could have a mother/daughter tattoo experience and then a nice lunch.

It seems very hip and cool to be one of the tattooed generation. I used to be hip and cool but it only involved long hair, bell bottoms and a joint, not ink applied with a needle! Oh God I'm a needle phobe. Do they have defibrillators at tattoo parlors? And what would I want inscribed and where on my body would I want it? My head is about to explode from all the questions. "Does anyone know where I left my cell phone?" might be a good choice for a tattoo as I would be hip and know where I put the phone . Ixnay to a flower image as I don't need a further reminder that my plants are always on the brink of death. "Stand up straight" would be a tribute to Mom as would "Do you like your hair that color?"

It might be fun to be one of the tattooed folks as my hipness level dropped along with my hormones . I am worried however at how well an image will hold up as my arms wrinkle and sag.  Regardless of the exactness of the original image do they all ultimately become abstract paintings? Before I do anything I need to check out the 80 old woman with the pirate on her arm.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I was Delusional not Memorable

I thought I was memorable. I was delusional. Ha! It wasn't a pleasant discovery but I had to face it - not everyone I dated remembered me. This disappointing realization all started with an afternoon run. Unlike some joggers I do not consider my running clothes a fashion statement. They are old, ratty and gray. Nor do I comb my hair but put it up in a messy ponytail . No make-up either which is not a good look at my age. Lately I put on sunscreen so my face has a Kabuki white palor. Most of the time I've shaved my legs. I'm explaining all of this to make myself feel better. Bottom line I looked like crap even before I was out the door. It has been hideously hot and humid this summer in Chicago - another excuse but true. It only took 1/8 of a mile before I was soaked in sweat. This included my hair which morphed from ponytail to rat's tail after three blocks.

I was 2 1/2 miles into my run with sweat pouring down my face, legs, and arms when I found myself waiting for a light to turn green behind a tall thin man. The back of his blond head look oddly familiar so I took a step in front of him, turned and stared. Yep, I knew him! He was a man I had gone out with quite a few years ago. Having a big mouth and an addled sense of self confidence considering how sweaty I was I blurted out,

"Don't I know you?!" He looked at me, stared and said nothing.

"I know you, " I insisted. Silence.

"Aren't you an architect?" I couldn't stop myself even after the light turned. I kept walking waiting for him to remember me too.

"Yes," he mouthed and glanced down at me.

"I'm not trying to accost you but I definitely know you." I was like a bulldog on a pant leg although he looked at me like I was an alien from a distant planet. We kept walking and I kept talking.

"Didn't you live in Barrington and collect cars?" I quizzed as I sweated and walked next to him. Poor guy I was dripping on his clean blue shirt.

"Yes" was his answer but nothing more. Ok, I was disturbing his peace. But how did I remember him and he didn't have a freaking clue who I was? Finally I had to say it regardless of my now very self conscious state. I gritted my teeth and blurted out,

"DIDN'T WE DATE?" Naturally I was dressed better and not sweating when we went out but was I that unrecognizable? I didn't know if I wanted his anwer, a plastic surgeon, or a therapist. Although a martini might have been good.

We walked along for a few blocks and he became increasingly chatty but I could tell he still didn't know who I was. Thankfully when I got home the dog remembered me. My ego had been bruised but I didn't call a plastic surgeon or therapist. The martini was helpful however.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Need a Push-up Bra

Damn. I missed the "Cougar" convention that was held right here in Chicago. Now that could have filled some of the long holiday weekend . Instead of worrying about getting corn on the cob stuck between my teeth or choking on a hot dog and no one knowing the Heimlich Maneuver, I could have stood in front of my closet and fretted over the fact I didn't have a dress low cut enough to attract a "cub." A what you ask? I learned watching a news feed about the event that a "cub" is a man under forty. That's what the Cougar women are huntin' for - the little cubbies. They sure looked cute, fit , trim, sexy and smiley. Who wouldn't want one ; they're like puppies. "I'll take that one and that one and that shy one in the corner." It's like ordering from the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue, only better and cheaper.

I don't know if I have what it takes to be a "Cougar" however. I think a push-up bra is a staple from what I could tell on the news. And is it necessary to have something to "push up?"  My Mom recently asked when we were out shopping, "Gail, what happened to your breasts? I remember you used to have them." Is there an answer to that question? I hope not. I also noticed the Cougar women wore a lot of make-up which looked nice but "uh oh" again. I've never had the patience or mental fortitude to look in the mirror long enough to apply much make-up. In fact these days I try to do it fast and blindfolded. And then there's the wardrobe issue. How many low cut dresses would I need to catch a "cub" and can you also wear them to the gym?

The convention really looked like fun. Everyone was drinking and laughing. I hate cash bars however, so if you had to pay over $5.00 for a drink I would have been cranky, sulky and not smiley enough to attract a cub. It was better I stayed home and got a puppy.