Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Tried to Save the Economy

I tried to save the economy. President Obama and Ben Bernanke you can stop worrying because I decided to do my part and get out from under the bed where I've been hiding with my money and spend. I would unclench my fist full of dollars and help relieve the country of economic woe. I gassed up my little car and headed from Palm Springs to LA. to shop 'til I dropped. I had my Saks, Neimans, Barneys, Visa cards and cash ready to go. Unfortunately I got a little lost trying to find LA but pulling over on the shoulder of the interstate to scream and cry did not deter me for long. First stop - my friend Ginger's house to watch the final episode of "All My Children" - my idea of pre-shopping calisthenics.

After a sorrowful good-bye to Erica Kane we hightailed it out to purchase. I gleefully headed directly into Barney's Co-op. Yes it's the cheap sister store but still expensive. Armed with my charge card I was poised and ready as I made a bee-line to the shoes. There I held in my hand for what seemed like hours a beautiful pair of teal suede high heels - they brought tears to my eyes and the price struck fear in my heart. My first impulse to buy them was thwarted by the cheap little voice in my head stopping me. "Gail, don't be an idiot. You have no place to wear them and besides it's money better put towards a colonoscopy. Get a grip on yourself and step away from the shoes." Sadly I put them back. In JCrew I clutched the cutest pair of skinny orange corduroy jeans but ixnayed them in the end. "Sorry Mr.President and Ben Bernanke but I'm not crazy about ankle length." I remained empty handed. My friend Emily joined us for dinner and we drank two bottles of a pricey Russian River Pinot Noir. I'm counting that as part of my economic recovery plan.

Day two of "Operation Shop 'til I Drop aka Save the Economy" started at Neiman Marcus. Imagine my joy as I had not stepped foot in the "mother ship" since I left Chicago 10 months ago. I didn't know where to start. I did however stop dead in my tracks by a pair of black suede Gucci high heels. I could have been arrested for fondling them. It was love at first sight and "deja vu all over again" as the cheap little voice returned to haunt me. "Gail don't be a fool, do you really need a pair of shoes that cost more than your car?" I blew them a kiss good-bye. Emily and I scoured every inch of the store. I tried, I swear I tried to purchase but felt sweaty, feverish and began to develop a rash. Yet ever the soldier committed to the President and Ben B. and regardless of being very itchy, we went to Santa Monica to peruse the shops on Montana. I rifled through rack after rack of clothes but couldn't pull my Visa card out of my wallet. Had I Super Glued it in there? My only contribution to the economy was ordering a plain omelet with extra fruit instead of potatoes for lunch.

I'm back under the bed with my cash. "President Obama and Mr. B. please accept my apology for coming home empty handed. My economic recovery plan also failed but call me and I'll buy you a nice lunch."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Collecting Husbands and Stamps

I've had two husbands which at one time seemed like a lot. I have however, met men and women who are on their third , fourth and fifth spouse. It's a little jaw dropping but seeing as how everyone is living so much longer it's apparently possible to collect marriages like stamps. (Btw does anyone actually collect stamps anymore?) I feel thankful I got married in the 1970s and then again in the 80's as I never would have met either husband in 2011. Why? It is necessary to LOOK UP to meet someone. Has anyone else noticed that everyone is looking down texting or talking on their cell phone? Truthfully I'm shocked more folks haven't walked into oncoming traffic or trains. Everywhere I go men and women are yapping away on their phones probably complaining they never go out. Wake up all you 21st century dateless whiners - get a 20th century answering machine and leave the cell phone at home.

I admit this is much easier said than done but let me take you back to yesteryear. I met husband #1 in an age when phones plugged into a wall. The year was 1976 and the place Central Park . I was walking my Golden Retriever and he was out with his Golden Retriever. The dogs started playing and we started chit chatting. Now if either one of us had been on a cell phone or texting we would never have looked up long enough to have a conversation. I would have been on my tiny device bitching and moaning to a friend how I was dateless and my future husband would have gotten away. Husband #2 was trickier but again I was looking up. I was meeting my friend Ellen at the Museum of Modern Art when I realized I was a $1.00 short of the admission price. (Foolishly I couldn't resist a purse in the window of the Coach store on the way over.) Panicked, I knew I had to borrow money from a total stranger to get in. It was 1984 and phones were still attached to walls - no texting or calling her about my cash shortage. I looked around the lobby and decided if I had to make a complete fool of myself and beg for $$ I might as well pick the best looking man in sight. Voila I got the $1.00 and another husband. Yes, I paid him back.

It's 2017 and I find myself spending a lot of time looking down texting or talking and complaining about my paltry dating life. Obviously I am not taking my own advice.  I am so far behind the marital curve that I would have to live to 120 to catch up, if it's even possible. Truthfully I think there's only one answer. I think I'll collect stamps.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"I'll Have What She's Having"

I have a psychological disorder. Many of my friends have speculated this for years. And in my defense they were presumptuous. I've checked the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" and my problem is not mentioned. It's either not officially recognized, not taken seriously by psychiatrists or I'm the first person to exhibit symptoms and give it a name. It falls under the general category of "envy" and it's not for a penis. I don't know what Freud was smoking when he thought up that idea. I've never wanted one of my own. A pair of Manolos or Jimmy Choos but not a penis. My problem is more troubling yet I'm too humiliated to seek counseling.

I have "order envy." Yes it's a real issue. I never order right in a restaurant. I look longingly at what is on everyone else's plate and despairingly at mine. It makes me sad and costs money. My friend Betsy has a perfect record when it comes to getting the best thing on the menu. It never fails I always want what she's having. So, why I don't follow her lead? This question haunts me. For example she gets a fresh farm veggie omelet and do I order the same thing? No, I ask for the turkey sandwich after sweating with indecision. Out comes her fluffy yummy looking eggs and my thinly sliced fake turkey. I'm green with envy as I pick at my loser choice and fight back tears.

"What are you getting?" is my restaurant mantra. I query everyone at the table and carefully consider their answers. The pressure mounts as I insist on ordering last and the waiter is impatiently hovering over me waiting for my selection and my friends are giving me dirty looks because they're hungry and I'm torn between Emily's choice of curried chicken, and Les's order of Trout. "I can't decide!" I want to shout and seek medical attention , but don't. Then it never fails the ill fated yet predictable words come out of my mouth. "I'll have the Salmon."