Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<

Trillian McMillian
Trillian McMillian
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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?

"50 First Dates"

Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

Find State Officials
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or Search by State

Contact The Media
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or Search by State

Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)



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11/17/13 12/1/13 - 12/8/13 12/15/13 - 12/22/13 12/29/13 - 1/5/14 6/29/14 - 7/6/14 9/14/14 - 9/21/14 9/21/14 - 9/28/14 10/12/14 - 10/19/14 11/23/14 - 11/30/14 12/7/14 - 12/14/14 12/28/14 - 1/4/15 1/25/15 - 2/1/15 2/8/15 - 2/15/15 2/22/15 - 3/1/15 3/8/15 - 3/15/15 3/15/15 - 3/22/15 3/22/15 - 3/29/15 4/12/15 - 4/19/15 4/19/15 - 4/26/15 5/3/15 - 5/10/15 5/17/15 - 5/24/15 5/24/15 - 5/31/15 6/14/15 - 6/21/15 6/28/15 - 7/5/15 7/5/15 - 7/12/15 7/19/15 - 7/26/15 8/16/15 - 8/23/15 11/6/16 - 11/13/16 6/24/18 - 7/1/18

Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue


It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations

Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"

Mail Trillian here

Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)


Alliance for the Great Lakes

Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras

The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.

Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.


Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto


Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.

Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Life(?) of Trillian

Friday, November 14, 2003  
I merely observe and report.

2:06 PM

8 Degrees of Separation

It's not all been for nothing!

It's official! I have made very real, very huge improvements since beginning physical therapy!

Last night was progress evaluation night at physical therapy. Let's just say I'm on the Dean's list.

"Kimmie" all but did back flips when she took me through my tests and tallied the results.

I was pretty darned excited, too.

I have been working very diligently during my sessions, but more importantly, says "Kimmie" is all the obvious effort I've been putting into my homework.

It's true. I have been nearly neurotic about my exercises twice or more daily. While I'm in my office I work on my various flexes and side rolls. (don't ask. it requires live or video demonstration. suffice to say they're weird, they're difficult and they hurt). I have gone from only being able to move 2° to moving 10°. For those playing along at home, adjust your calipers 8°. For those who have never broken a bone or gone through physical re-hab, and are reading this thinking, "10°? This chick's excited about being able to move her ankle 10°? What the...?" THIS IS AN ENORMOUS STINKING DEAL. It's like 0 to 60 in seconds flat.

It's real, measurable progress. And lots of it. Okay?! It's a big deal!

"Kimmie" says I'm in the top percentage for recovery progress time. I'm right up there in the athlete category.

And I owe a lot of it to "Kimmie."

Not because she's a stellar physical therapist, but because I want to be rid of her so badly that I am extra motivated to rehabilitate my ankle and get the heck out of there. (I toyed with the idea that this has been her plan all along: Annoy the heck out of the patient so she works extra hard to be rid of you. But that's giving her too much credit for deviousness.)

And my health insurance changes (and therefore won't pay for my therapy) January 1.

And I just want this to all be over.

Lots of motivational factors.

The question on everyone's lips (well, a few lips): Will I ice skate this year? No way. I was holding out a glimmer of hope, but "Kimmie" said even if I make a near full recovery by January (doubtful, even at my Olympian rate), skating is hard on the strongest and healthiest of ankles. I should work on strengthening it for next year rather than pushing it this year. I have to admit defeat and agree with her on this point. It makes a lot of sense to me. After all the work I've put into this I am not going to risk re-injury. I'm disappointed, but realistically I didn't honestly think I'd skate this year. Or ski. So watch us have the most perfect skating and skiing season in history. Skaters and skiers: You have me to thank if we do.

As usual, the very minute I allowed myself a moment of sweet victory, a bit of feeling good about myself, along comes harsh reality to slap me in the face. After my evaluation, "Kimmie" strapped me into the "Special Bike."

On a regular bike next to me was an old codger of a man. Dressed head to toe in status logo gear. Stupid little shorts, pristine little white socks, and a swutting Semper Fi towel far too systematically draped around his neck showing off the logo. The sort of guy who has always fancied himself as the cat's meow. And who knows, maybe he was and is. I wasn't really judging.

Until this really sweet lady on the treadmill made a comment about the cooler weather and her arthritis kicking in. Codger Semper Fi Man yelled over his shoulder to her, "Then move to Arizona." A bit uncalled for, I thought. But I didn't know their relationship. I thought it was such a snotty remark that maybe they were friends and he was teasing her. So on I rode. Minding my own business. Strapped into the "special bike."

Codger Semper Fi Man growled, "You need to work harder. You're not even keeping up with me. I'm going 25 MPH. What are you doing?"

I thought he was talking to someone else, so I ignored him.

"Come on, put some muscle in it. You're barely moving!" he barked. Obviously to me.

Wanted to say: "You strap yourself into these swutting open air ski boots on this rickety rig and see if you hit 25 MPH, you mean old coot. I don't care if you were a Marine. You're on "Kimmie's" turf now, your brand of discipline doesn't work here. So leave us alone. And my father was a Marine and he's nice to people. He doesn't wear it like a badge. I bet you weren't even in the Marines. I don't see any battle wounds on those pretty little girly legs or arms of yours. I bet you were some sissy desk boy in Marines. If you were in fact a Marine."

In reality said: "Yeah, I know, I'm trying, though. It's not easy. I have made a lot of improvement..."

"That's 'improvement'? (yes, he made air quotes while riding) Were you in a coma to start?"

Seriously. That's exactly what he said.

What really annoyed me is that for all he knows I was in a coma to start.

Wanted to say: "Mind your own swutting business you old pretty boy poseur."

In reality said: "Almost, might as well have been a coma - broken ankle and whiplash. I came from nearly immobile to here in four weeks. I'm quite proud of myself."


Bah? Okay Mr. Codger Faux Semper Fi Man with possible senile dementia. Whatever you say. After all, I'm the one on the "Special Bike."

But just you wait. You're old enough to have seen combat in at least three wars, but you obviously came out physically unscathed. I may not be a Marine but getta load of THIS! (In my fantasy sequence this is where I get all in his face (a la Large Marge) and point to my eyebrow scar, Psycho shower scene sound effect blaring.) You think I don't know pain?! Guess again old man. Guess again. 10 stitches by the age of five. And that's just how I warmed up. A little "initiation" to a life of pain and wounds. I've got Marine blood cursing through my veins so BACK OFF YOU PATHETIC OLD POSEUR.

So what if it's only an old swing set injury and not a shrapnel wound. Still. Garden play equipment can be pretty destructive when used improperly. And the scar is impressive when I raise my eyebrow either skeptically or wanton come hitherly. And when it's not camouflaged with concealer and eyebrow pencil. (She says: "One inch closer and you'd be blind!" He says: "One inch further and it would have missed me." Yeah. Me and Indiana. Speaking of senile dementia.)

"Kimmie" then announced from across the Socialized Room of Terror that my 20 minutes were up but if I wanted I could go another 5. I took the extra 5. I'm Marine tough. In capricious lipstick. Don't mess with me.

When she unstrapped me, Codger Faux Semper Fi Man was still riding. He bid me a look that I think was supposed to imply, "Lazy A*#."

Obviously he's just a mean old man making lame attempts at coolness in pathetic status logo gear. But why of all days did he have to get on my case? Why on the very day I had a great progress report? I'm not letting him get me down. Per se. But he certainly brought me back to reality. My little trip in Inflated Ego Land over my 8° triumph was short. Might have been nice to savor it at least until I got home and called everyone I know to excitedly share the news.

Oh, I still called a few people. But my tone was more Eeyore than Tigger. My parents lifted me back up a bit, they were jubilant - their reaction was akin to when I managed to make my first whole day without my bottle or begging for one. (I was four. I was brave. There had been "concerns." It was a really huge deal.) Frankie thinks I should celebrate with new shoes, even if I can't wear them. Not a bad idea, but I'm saving myself (and money) for an all out Shoe Extravaganza when I'm out of the aircast and can comfortably and realistically buy and wear real shoes. Arthur offered to help me retro-fit a stationary bike into a "special bike" for home use. Pondering that idea. He was a bit too enthusiastic about the idea. I can envision what he was envisioning - schematic drawings, power tools, and a Rube Goldberg rig resembling something out of Wallace and Gromit.

Who I really needed, the one person who would have made me forget about Codger Faux Semper Fi Man and my reality of a mere 10° of flexibility, the one person who would properly champion my efforts while pushing me to further is HWNMNBS. He's the one I needed. And wanted. I know. I need to be motivated and satisfied with and by myself. I know all the psychobabble. And it's all nicey-nice platitude designed to prevent single people from killing themselves.

Stupid Codger Faux Semper Fi Man. If he would have just kept his nasty old mouth shut I would have jubilantly left all pumped up on "Kimmie's" special brand of enthusiasm over my 8° triumph. But no. He had to bring me straight back to reality.


Still, 8 whole degrees in four weeks.

"Kimmie's" excited. My parents are proud. Oh wait. Those are both givens. Sort of control data. Swut.

Swut. Swut. Swut.

10:21 AM

Thursday, November 13, 2003  
Help Kittens in Need of Surgery
See? My life is nothing but ironic. The very day I bore the socks off everyone with a blog about Furry Creature, this comes across my path.

Some people have issues with blanket donating to causes, preferring to give to a specific person or something with real, tangible results. Here's just such an opportunity.

C'mon blogworld, help some kittens. If we each pony up a dollar, the surgery is paid. One item from Wendy's 99¢ Value Menu could save two little lives. What with the holidays fast approaching, couldn't you go without a Frosty for one day?

Maybe this time a small irony in my life will come to a good end.

Update: If you want something more than two saved feline lives and a warm glow in your heart for donating, head over to Random Musings. She's offering a free sock monkey to anyone who makes a donation to Stevie and Angel.

6:01 PM

Shameless abuse of reader alert: Furry Creature anecdote.

Of Mice and Men

I bought Furry Creature a new toy mouse. Furry Creature loves to play more than sleep, eat or any of the other stuff Furry Creatures usually do to occupy their time.

The anticipation of the toy was more than he could handle. Pacing around me as I opened the package, shifting from paw to paw in agitation and anticipation, offering the occasional paw in help, "Hurry up, cut off the packaging already! Hurry up! Use those opposable thumbs of yours! I need it, I need it bad, man! Come on, hurry up! I want my new toy! Please hurry! I can hardly stand it!"

I threw the new mouse. He chased it down and fetched it back to me. I threw it again. Chaos and confusion ensued. The mouse was tossed, cajoled and otherwise strewn about the living room.

"Hey Furry Creature, bring me the mouse and we'll play fetch."


"Bring me the mouse so we can play."

Scrumble scrumble.

He brought me one of his old mice. A mouse he has long since cast aside to the nether regions of his toy box.

He wouldn't look me in the eye.

"That's not the new mouse, that's an old mouse. Where's your new mouse? Don't tell me you've lost it already?"

Off he trotted.

Scrumble scrumble.

Returns with Revenge Rover.

"That's not your new mouse. That's not even a mouse. How stupid do you think I am?"

Hangs head in mock shame, strolls away with a rueful backwards glance over his shoulder.

Returns three minutes later.

Sits down and takes a bath.

When I pursued the issue ("nagged him about it") he stopped bathing, assumed classic feline sit position, tilted head, widened eyes and telepathed, "Yes, but I am adorable. It is futile to resist my wiles, for I am superior in every way. I will seduce you as my ancestors before me seduced your kind. I will now do what your kind calls 'smile' while activating my purr mechanism. Soon you will forget about the 'new mouse.' And you will scratch my chin."

He lost his new toy in seconds flat, then tried to pass off two of his old toys, one of which isn't even a mouse or anything remotely mouse shaped, as his new mouse, then evaded the issue by changing the subject, turning on the charm, and suckering me in to scratch him.

Draw your own conclusions, write your own reports. I'm obviously far too involved with my subject to maintain objectivity.

As I write this tale of kitty hijinx I realize just how closely associated Furry Creature's behavior is with that of men I date. In particular, suckering me in with beautiful eyes, a smile and a joke, taking me down with charm, always getting their way, and, in the end, me cleaning the litter box.

7:35 AM

Wednesday, November 12, 2003  
Update on the guy who posted the photo of Macs arriving at Microsoft on his blog.

3:33 PM

Wednesday Reality
The Wedding Guest

(This may sound like Four Weddings and a Funeral, but it's not. So leave your preconceived ideas at the video store.)

Several people who may or may not know each other are thrown together for two days of fun and festivities to celebrate a wedding. The bride and groom are not the subjects of this reality show. The contestant stars are the guests and industry related professionals. The contestants will vie for the honor of Most Obnoxious Wedding Guest. The honor of first place will be bestowed upon the wedding guest whom the home viewing audience votes as single handedly doing the most to annoy the bride.

We open at a busy world hub airport. The bride and groom are greeting guests who will be arriving in a three hour span.

The first of the guests arrives, tired from her eight hour overnight flight, but ready to assist the bride and groom with the details of their wedding. She is temporarily physically impaired, so the groom insists the bride and her tired physically impaired friend make themselves comfortable in the coffee shop while he greets the other two arriving guests.

Hours pass.

The bride and groom are in constant mobile phone contact. These two have perfected the art of covert conversation to the point that the CIA could learn from them.

These two clearly aced the pre-marital counseling topic of communication.

All the arriving wedding guests are gathered. The group boards the SUV hired by the bride and groom especially for the week of busy wedding chores and arriving guests.

They travel to a remote location. The location which will be: The site of the wedding eve supper (rehearsal dinner); the weekend boarding venue for the bride, groom and most guests; the site of Saturday golf for the menfolk; the site of the wedding; the site of the wedding reception; the site of the post-wedding brunch. The bride and groom have taken great pains to make the event a) easy for all the guests, many traveling long distances to attend and b) an intimate and therefore involved and weekend-long affair.

The site of the wedding/lodge/supper/brunch is in one of those swankily restored manor homes conveniently located smack in the middle of nowhere. Scenic, romantic and thoughtful, yes. Practical and relaxing for the bride and groom, no.

This becomes obvious upon check-in. The bride has graciously made the rooming arrangements for everyone who will be staying at the Combes As You Were Manor House. The bride has done this because she knows each of her guest's specific likes and needs and has tailor matched the guests to the room best suited for their needs. This has been but one of many painstaking details the bride has attended to during the course of planning the small, intimate and very personal event that is her wedding.

Upon the group's arrival, the bride is called aside by the proprietor of Combes As You Were Manor. It seems the bride's cousin, who lives an hour away, has decided that not only can she, her husband and their three children attend the wedding after all, they are able to make a weekend of it and stay at Combes As You Were Manor for the duration. They arrived two hours ago and the proprietor hopes it's okay with the bride that he "juggled the brides rooming arrangements a bit" to accommodate the family of five.

The bride is not amused.

The bride is, in fact, really pissed off.

The bride sees this as revenge for not attending said cousin's wedding when the bride was living in Hong Kong.

The Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend of the bride tries to calm the bride, and offers to "sleep wherever" if it will help the re-arrangements in any way. The bride's other friend also makes this offer, as does the groom's aunt. There's not another hotel or inn within 20 miles.

The bride is really on a roll now. The bride insists that her two friends and the groom's aunt, all of whom have traveled long distances to attend the wedding, and one of whom is temporarily physically impaired, will not be ousted from their pre-assigned rooms because Lucinda who lives an hour away couldn't decide before this morning whether or not they would attend the wedding let alone the entire weekend of festivities.

The bride has a point, the whole crew including the proprietor agree, but what of the two rooms required to house Lucinda and family? Combes As You Were Manor is only so big, only has so many rooms, and all are reserved for the weekend. The only spare rooms are three twin bed rooms on the third floor, none of which are connected and therefore unsuitable for Lucinda's young children.

The bride is turning shades of red her friends have not witnessed. The groom takes her outside. The bride's friends know the groom is giving the bride cigarettes and probably vodka. The bride's friends convey this telepathically with discreet raises of eyebrows and fleeting knowing grins. The bride has not smoked in years. The friends also telepathically convey this is sure to be the first of many stolen moments of passion, er, cigarettes and vodka the bride and groom will share during the course of the weekend.

The bride and groom re-appear, the proprietor has a rooming list and diagram of all the rooms at Combes As You Were Manor.

The bride, groom, friends and aunt retreat to the proprietor's office to allocate rooms to accommodate the arriving guests as well as Lucinda and her family. The room is soon transformed from a genteel, calm library to Churchill's War Room. They are soon joined by the proprietress, who is immensely helpful in re-diagramming the sleeping arrangements. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is feeling a bit nauseous, nothing serious, just long flight, not enough sleep and no proper food nausea. She heroically helps in the room re-arranging hoping to herself this is sorted quickly so she can have a lie down before the real work and the evening supper begin.

Within 45 minutes the rooms are re-arranged to accommodate all the guests, including Lucinda and her family. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is shown to her room, which is thoughtfully on the first floor so she will only have to traverse one mini-flight of stairs to her room. It also happens to be what Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend thinks is the room preferred by: Couples on their first "away outing" together, couples looking to spend a romantic weekend away from the kids, and men taking their mistresses away for the weekend.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend unpacks, flop onto the enormous four poster, dives under the covers, places a hot cloth on her aching head and falls asleep. Until there is a knock at her door. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend wakes up dizzy, head spinning, barely able to tell up from down and feeling very ill.

She locates the clock and realizes she was to have met the bride, mother of the bride and other friend for late a afternoon decorating and planning session 30 minutes prior.

Thankfully the bride assures Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend things are under control ("you look awful, are you okay?" yes, just tired) but they could use some creative help with the decorations because the guy the florist sent is dreadful. ("are you sure you can manage this? You really don't look well." yes, I'm fine, just tired, I'll be right there.) Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend manages to get dressed and plaster on enough makeup to hide her increasingly white complexion.

Bride, Mother of Bride, Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend try to direct Florist Guy in the proper arranging of flowers and decorations. Florist Guy is an idiot. Bride disappears on several occasions. Bride returns smelling like a pub at last call. This makes Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend feel ever more ill. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is getting annoyed that Bride is smoking again but does her valiant best to conceal her displeasure and illness.

Florist Guy reveals he has never decorated for a wedding, this is his first. He's just been promoted from flower delivery guy to Floral Designer Guy. Isn't that great?!
Mother of Bride produces several pages from several magazines, showing festive yet tastefully decorated wedding venues. Florist Guy agrees they are lovely. But he didn't bring the right "ingredients" with him, and the shop is nearly an hour drive, so with a cutesy shrug he insists, we'll just have to make do!

The bride is not amused.

Florist Guy is now tied with cousin Lucinda for first place.

Bride confides she is certain the Florist Guy was sent specifically to "mess up her wedding" by Mother of Groom. Mother of Groom is known in some circles as Cruella. Those circles are tightly woven and sworn under oath of much alcohol and pinky swear to keep this moniker within the circle. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend has never had the pleasure of meeting Mother of Groom, but as part of the circle has heard enough tales from the crypt to admit her being in cahoots with the florist is entirely possible.

There is a meeting between bride, Mother of Bride, Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend. It is agreed that Florist Guy is nothing but in the way (and really annoying Bride) so he will be ordered to turn over any and all "ingredients" in his possession and sent on his way. The four will take it from there.

In spite of her growing dizziness and nausea and impairment, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend devises a decorating plan that, while not exactly what Bride and Mother of Bride were going for, is a close approximation given the "ingredients" with which they have to work. The four set about working like elves on speed. They are nearly finished when Mother of Groom appears.

"Hello darlings. Can I be of any assistance?" the Bride feigns an Oscar worthy performance at being overjoyed to see her groom's mother. And introduces her to Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend.

"Good heavens, dear, what on earth is wrong with your leg?" she gasps at Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend.

"Broken ankle."

"I see. Must you wear this at all times? Are you in the wedding?" (not hiding her disgust and fright that her son's wedding photos may be marred with a crippled person.

"Well, yeah, for now, and no, I'm not in the wedding." (so don't you worry your stiffly coifed head, I won't ruin the photos)

"Oh. How very...interesting," everyone is uncertain if she means the broken ankle or the room, as she's scanning as she talks. "What do you call this look, Bride? I don't believe I've seen anything quite like this."

"We had to improvise, the florist didn't send the proper "ingredients" (giggles from Mother of Bride, Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend) and the shop is almost an hour away, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend had some great ideas, so we're making do."

"Making do." this was apparently the first time Cruella had heard the term. She needed a lot of time to think about what that might mean. She was in dire need of a Babel Fish, which is what Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend was about to offer when Cruella said, "Well, I'm sure it will suffice." And left.

"Bitch." from Bride, under her breath to Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend while making her way to another cigarette.

"Bitch." from Mother of Bride quite out loud enough for everyone to hear.

Eyes widened in shock from all three younger women.

Mother of Bride then takes Bride's hand and joins her in a cigarette.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend and Friend continue finishing the decorating. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is feeling very ill. But more twinkling white lights are required. Perhaps proprietor has some. Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend inquire. Proprietor says yes, yes, indeed, we do! But they're with the holiday decorations not yet taken out of storage. But the MegaMart "in town" has their holiday decorations in! And draws a map to the MegaMart.

Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend tell Bride and Mother of Bride they will go to the MegaMart, procure twinkling white lights and anything else required.
Bride mobile phones Groom, who appears within minutes with the car keys.

Friend has been living in Germany and is nervous about her right side driving skills. Friend seems very cagey. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is too ill and too tired and too diplomatic to point out that she has in fact been living in America longer than Friend has been living in Germany. So ill, dizzy, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend drives (painfully) with Friend as navigator, reading Proprietor's map. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend has the window rolled down and occasionally feels it necessary to gasp in air so as to not be ill in the car. While driving. With a broken ankle.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is at this moment nominating Friend for first place.

But then they spot the MegaMart, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend parks, Friend offers to run in and get the lights while Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend waits.

"Third place, then," Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend concedes to herself.

What seems like hours later, Friend appears triumphant with several bags. Not only twinkling white lights, but also more flowers, the very ribbony stuff in one of the photos from the magazine and a bottle of cold water for Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend.

On the way back to Combes As You Were Manor, Friend thanks Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend for driving, because Friend has had some "complications" with her driving license. Friend does not offer details and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is in no mood to hear them anyway. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend vows to herself she will re-evaluate the company she is keeping and just where her life is headed as soon as she feels better and gets through this wedding.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend and friend are greeted by a far too perky Groom upon their return to Combes As You Were Manor. "I need the SUV, little problem, not to worry, I'll be back in time for dinner."

"You're leaving us? You're swutting leaving us? You're the only one keeping Bride off the 10 Most Wanted Murderers List!" Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend exclaims. And then realizes she is really going to be ill. She looks around. No time to get inside. Bushes. Need cover. Bushes. Where. Help. Side of Combes As You Were Manor. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend barely makes it to a row of low bushes. She does something rather unladylike. Fortunately no one but Friend realizes what's happened and helps Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend get inside with minimal conversation. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend rushes best as she is able with her impairment to her room, cleans herself, longingly looks at the enormous, comfy bed.

In a dream or delusion sequence, the bed is calling out to her in soothing tones. "Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend, come here...I'm warm and comfortable and I want to take care of you." The richly embroidered silk bedding shimmers and beckons saucily with a sexy corner curling like a finger. "Come on sweetheart, come to bed. I've been waiting for you."

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend resists the lure. She's got twinkling white lights to install and a dinner to get through before she can relax. No matter how seductive the bed.

Bride and Mother of Bride now have less than an hour to dress and prepare themselves to greet the arriving guests a the rehearsal and supper. Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend persuade them to leave, ensuring they will finish every last detail and will see them at the Supper.

Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend work feverishly. They realize the time and "finish" 10 minutes before the event is to begin. They sneak out a back door and wind their way to their rooms.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend dresses yet again and tries to apply more make-up. Without Bobbi Brown herself to work some sort of magic, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend feels this is a lost cause. And at this point she doesn't care. It's not about me, she consoles herself. This is Bride's event. I'm supposed to look awful. That makes Bride look even better. No one will notice me. It doesn't matter. Just don't embarrass your friend the Bride.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend dizzily makes her way to the dining room. 15 minutes away from their handiwork is enough time to shed a critical new eye on the decorating. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend feels it's okay. While not straight out of the photo, it looks good. Friend appears and agrees. Proprietress appears and also agrees. To the extent that she rushes to get her camera to take photos for Combes As You Were Manor's new brochure.

Within seconds of Proprietress snapping photos of the room, approaching voices can be heard. One can be heard louder and more annoyingly above all the others.

Enter: Brother of the Groom.

Think: Hugh Grant if he were a stupid, foppish, arrogant prat. Oh wait. He is. Basically, Hugh Grant. Only without any charm. Oh wait. Hugh Grant has no charm. Basically, Hugh Grant. Without the looks. Oh wait. Hugh Grant has no looks. Right then. Hugh Grant.

Brother of the Groom has also brought along his Girl du Jour. She is likely hired. Brother of the Groom is known for using Escort Services. (huh. also not unlike Hugh Grant.) This is known to Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend because Bride hates Brother of the Groom and this is a reason on her list. Brother of the Groom tries to pass off the hired help as his girlfriend (ha!) as she sits herself down across the room from Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend. Her gaze is either icy or bored, impossible to discern which. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend decides she is definitely hired. Even through her haze of illness, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend can tell this girl is on the clock and most likely straight from her gig at a gentlemen's club.

Brother of the Groom announces himself to Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend with "Hello girls" and then proceeds to make his way around the table, studying the seating arrangement and making changes as he sees fit.

Friend, fortunately, rises to the occasion and politely tells Brother of the Groom that Bride has made the seating arrangements for specific reasons and would he please replace the nameplates as originally arranged.

"Bride doesn't know the intricacies of our family. This will work much better. Trust me."

"I don't. Bride and Groom, YOUR brother, by the way, have this worked out exactly how they want it, it's their wedding so replace them!" Friend yells as Brother of the Groom. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend agrees.

"Is she already drunk?" Brother of the Groom nods toward Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend.

"No, she's not feeling well. Long flight, no sleep." Friend defends Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend.

Brother of the Groom has no response. A woman swathed entirely in Laura Ashley followed by three children in matching Laura Ashley ensembles bursts in next. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend thinks the children are apparently Replicants. And this freaks out Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend. Because nothing even remotely resembling Harrison Ford is within a 100 mile radius of Combes As You Were Manor. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend vows to keep her distance from the Replicant children at all times.

Laura Ashley woman introduces herself as Lucinda. Ah. The Cousin. It is now obvious to Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend why they have never met Lucinda. Nor heard any mention of her. Bride has obviously been trying to keep her a secret. For good reason. She has Replicant children. And Lucinda is already re-arranging seating place cards. As she does so, she is inadvertently replacing some of them to their original positions prior to Brother of the Groom's modifications. This angers Brother of the Groom who then admonishes Lucinda with the exact same line Friend had admonished him with minutes earlier.

These two are clearly vying for first place.

The rest of the wedding party and family arrive. Bride looks stunning. But no one looks happy. There is much discussion about many minute details of tomorrow's ceremony.

Father of the Groom invites everyone to take their seats.

Mass confusion ensues.

Bride has minor conniption over Brother of the Groom's and Lucinda's re-arrangement. "As if it's not bad enough we had to squeeze another five people in sleeping rooms, we've also got to squeeze them into the table and feed those three brats, too." She hisses to Friend and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend. They can only offer apologetic smiles because the room has gone quiet and everyone is staring at them.

Brother of the Groom begins the toasting process. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is barely able to keep herself sitting in her chair. She is freezing and her head may actually explode, a la Scanners, in the next few minutes.

Once dinner is served and gotten through, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend makes a polite exit. Bride chases after her. In the hall, Bride thanks Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend for the decorating and reminds her hair and make-up is at noon. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is clinging to an oversized sideboard. Bride notices Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is shaking. "Are you feeling any better?"

"No, worse actually. I've got to lie down, I've given all I can today."

"Of course, and then some, go on, get to bed!" Bride shoos Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend. Groom can be heard calling for Bride, and Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend bids Bride good night. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend gets to her room, dons her sleeping attire and succumbs to the seduction of the bed.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend falls asleep immediately. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend sleeps for what she thinks is days. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is awoken by the sound of pounding on her door and the voice of Brother of Groom yelling.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend gets up, in a stupor, realizing she's only been asleep a little over an hour, and dizzily limps to the door.

She cracks the door open. "Yes?"

"Hello darling (don't you darling me you swutting jujuflub) we've got a bit of a favor to ask. Seems there's been a mix-up with the rooms. Stacia and I require a more suitable room. There are two of us. Bride said you were on your own. You won't mind moving, right?"

"Wrong. I'm not feeling well and I've already settled in. In fact I was asleep."

"Right, of course, I didn't mean you'd have to move your things, of course we'll have them moved," craning his neck over Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend to inspect the room. "Oooh, lovely, a fire, great. You won't be in your room all that much, Stacia has all day tomorrow to occupy herself, only fair, old girl, only fair." Brother of the Groom gives Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend a disapproving up and down eye. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is not exactly dressed to impress in the bedroom. She is wearing a Red Wings hockey jersey, sweats and two pair of socks on her uncasted foot. One has a moose adorning it. Sticking up over the cuff of her sweats.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend knows she must be really sick because she realizes Brother of Groom is eying her woeful state of bedtime attire and doesn't care. "We don't all lounge around like extras in a porn movie, you know. (casting a glance at Stacia) Besides, I'M NOT FEELING WELL, GOOD NIGHT." Slams door on Brother of Groom and staggers back into bed.

10 minutes later, more pounding on the door. Brother of Groom can be heard. "I've got my help here, and we're going to help move your things."

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is now furious and ignores him. A ruckus is taking place outside her door. Bride can be heard above the din. "What are you doing? Leave her alone! She's not feeling well. She made her travel arrangements months ago, she's traveled a long way, leave her alone! Your room is perfectly lovely."

"There's no fireplace. And I bet she's got a Jacuzzi. She doesn't need all that, she's on her own." Brother of Groom can be heard to say.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend staggers to the door and beholds Brother of Groom, Stacia, Mother of the Groom, Bride, Friend and Lucinda in the hall outside her door.

"Good Holy Swutting Christ! Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend are you okay?! I didn't think it was possible for you to be any more white - you're swutting transparent and blue!" Bride rather unvirginly exclaims and wiggles her way under Brother of Groom and into the room.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend collapses on the bed. "No. No I'm not okay. It's either a mutant virus (thanks, Replicants), a heart attack or food poisoning. In any case, I'm dying. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry Bride. I'm so really sorry."

All of the hall people are now in the room. Stacia is already unpacking. (Turns out Stacia does in fact dress like an extra in a porn movie. Big surprise.)

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend says, "You know what, if you want this room, if it means so much to you, if it will shut you up and make things easier for Bride, fine, I'll trade rooms with you."

Mother of the Groom says, "She's ill, I'm not breathing in this infected air. Get the proprietress to help you." Cruella has left the building.

Friend and Lucinda gather up Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend's things while Friend takes Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend to her new room. Up three flights of stairs. With broken ankle. And either a mutant virus (thanks Replicants), a heart attack or food poisoning. As they leave they hear Brother of Groom barking at the Proprietress, "We'll need the linens completely changed, of course."

Bride locates the room. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend falls into the bed not noticing one detail about the room. Because it's spinning on a 35° axis and is making her more ill. She's also shaking from cold. Bride thinks they are not shivers, but rather, convulsions. And runs from the room.

She apparently went to the dining room and announced, "Motherly care for a very sick girl a long way from home needed in room 32, STAT!" because within minutes, Mother of the Bride, the proprietress and Groom's Aunt appear with various remedies and implements.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is delirious, shaking with cold and suffering chest pains somewhere between an asthma attack and too much Pecs of Steel tape. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend suddenly feels inspired. Rolaids will take care of the whole problem. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend has never consumed a Rolaid in her entire life. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend doesn't even know what Rolaids are for or when they are to be consumed. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend cannot even place a current Rolaids commercial. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is bewildered by her need for Rolaids.

Mother of the Bride, Proprietress and Aunt all agree Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is very ill. Hot cloths, more blankets and aspirin are administered. Proprietor appears with a man claiming to be a doctor. Man claiming to be doctor starts asking Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend a lot of questions about food. That she can barely answer. He gives her a shot and within 10 minutes Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is not shaking as badly and can breathe without feeling like it will be her last breath. Mother of the Bride sends away everyone except Proprietress and doctor. The trio take turns standing vigil over Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend throughout the night.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is awakened by the sound of Proprietor bringing replacement hot water bottles for Mother of Bride to give Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend.

Once fully awake, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is told she'd had an allergic reaction to something, because once the doctor administered a shot of Benedryl things calmed right down. Man Claiming to be a Doctor felt it may have been a nasty nut reaction and that Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend should be tested upon her return home.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend thinks she must surely now be in First Place. She feels horrible for ruining her friend's wedding.

She is surprised to learn it's actually quite early, that the whole day is not over and she even has a few hours to sleep or rest or, and to then decide if she's feeling well enough to join in the hair and make-up festivities.

She weakly attends the hair and make-up session, helps the Bride.

An hour prior to the ceremony, Brother of Groom appears (eyes roll, ughs are muttered). "Bride, oh Bride? Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend? Someone? Girls? Groom says there's a problem with the cake, will one of you have Bride call the baker?"

Bride turns from lovely virginal seductress to Medusa in seconds flat.

Sister of Bride, who has finally arrived, takes the phone from Bride, steps into the hall where an argument can be heard. Sister of Bride reappears and pulls Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend aside. "There's a problem. The cake people got lost. They're now at least an hour and a half away, but we're not sure because they don't know for certain where they are. Here's their mobile number. Can you please find someone in this place who knows their way around this Godforsaken area and help the cake people get here?"

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend springs into action. She tracks down Proprietor, who is very pleased to see Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend up and about and wants to discuss allergic reactions at great length. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend appreciates Proprietor's concern and mildly informative anecdote, but finally interrupts saying, "We've got a bit of a cake crisis on our hands. Seems they're lost. Can you help me talk them in?"

Pleased to have such an important task and honor bestowed upon him, Proprietor talks to lost cake people. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is growing increasingly concerned over Proprietor's increasingly concerned tone.

Turns out the cake people are quite a distance - an hour or more. Proprietor gives them explicit turn by turn directions and instructs them to call him personally if they have even a ghost of an idea they might be off course.

Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is relieved to have the cake people in the good hands of Proprietor. She returns to the prep room where Bride has returned to her virginal seductress self.

The ceremony is lovely and goes completely as planned.

With the exception of several guests who arrive just as the couple are being presented. They, too, got lost on their way to the wedding.

As the guests are ushered into the reception room, Proprietor motions to Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend. Proprietor quietly informs Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend the cake has not yet arrived, but, it's close. You know the MegaMart? They're confused at the roundabouts there. Perhaps "someone" could meet them and lead them to Combes As You Were Manor? Once again, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend springs to action, grabs Friend, who fetches MegaMart map and the two, in full wedding attire, take the SUV to meet the cake people at the second roundabout.

They can't miss the cake people. They are in a bakery delivery truck. And appear to be Dumb and Dumber's not as bright female cousins. Who feel that the second roundabout on a busy road, three hours late delivering a wedding cake is the perfect place to have a nice chat. "No time for conversation, really, follow us!" The bakery delivery truck apparently does not exceed speeds above 20. "Little clutch problem." Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend feels perhaps they could trade it in for a lawn mower for faster delivery times.

"Where the swut did Bride find these people? I know she was trying to save money, but there's a point where it's not worth the strife." Friend agrees.

Finally the caravan of cake arrives at Combes As You Were Manor. They are greeted by Mother of Bride, Sister of Bride and Proprietress. When the cake is revealed from the back of the delivery truck, there is an audible gasp among the wedding group. A choir of angels can be heard. Dumb and Dumber's cousins beam proudly. The cake is nothing shy of spectacular. The women don't even try to hide their tears.

Proprietress exclaims it's much too lovely to cut! Transferring the cake to the dining room is similar to the process used to transport intensive care patients to the Mayo Clinic. Wheeled cart, bakers clothed in white, including cloth shower cap things and plastic gloves, and precision movements through the back service entrance. The cake is transferred to the waiting table. Fortunately most of the guests (many whom have just arrived, having been also confused at the second roundabout) are too busy chatting or drinking to notice the arrival of the cake.

Except Stacia.

Who is sporting the biggest hair, highest heels, shortest skirted most plunging necked dress in the room. In the county. Perhaps within the tri county area. And don't forget the seamed stockings with bows on the top back, "seductively" poking out from under the skirt that barely covers her bum. Apparently after the reception she's got a gig on either a street corner or Peppermint Elephant and won't have time to change into her working clothes. Stacia, in a voice that gives away her East End roots (clearing up any lingering doubt) cackles out, "OHMYGOD LOOK AT THAT!" And points a dagger nail polished in Vamp at the cake.

The room falls silent.

Bride and Groom are awestruck. It is lovely. Many photos are snapped. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is concerned that all the photos of the stunning cake will also include Stacia. Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend thinks it's the 8th Deadly Sin to have Stacia in the same room as this cake.

The reception is a huge success.

Once the band arrives.

Almost an hour late.

The band also got lost. Father of Groom, Father of Bride and Proprietor were busy talking the band in while the womenfolk were attending to the cake delivery people.

The next morning there is a brunch. At the appointed time, there are only eight guests. A few straggle in. Most look exhausted. It was a marvelous party, but it's nearly noon, where is everyone? Lucinda and family arrive (Replicants really freak out Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend this morning, they are all dressed in exactly the same outfits. Girls and boy. Exactly the same clothes. Exactly the same tired expression. Actually, today they look more like Children of the Corn than Replicants.) Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend is feeling much better today, almost normal, and greets the straggling in guests a bit too chipperly. Lucinda's husband is the first to speak of "it." Husband of Lucinda glances around the room, and looking at a similarly exhausted husband of a guest, says, "Where did he find that girl and how much does she charge?" Lucinda hushes him. "Not in front of the kids."

"No kidding. I thought it was Bride and Groom, but my wife said they have a suite in a private wing." the similarly exhausted guest says.

Confused, Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend and Friend inquire as to what or whom they are referring.

Apparently Lucinda and family's rooms were above Brother of Groom and Stacia. And similarly exhausted guests were next door.

Apparently Brother of Groom and Stacia had quite a night. Apparently this happened the night before, as well. Apparently Groom got his money's worth. Apparently any guest within a five room sphere of Brother of Groom and Stacia did not have more than a few hours of uninterrupted sleep Friday or Saturday night.

Bride and Groom arrive. They are resplendent in their post nuptial happy glow. They hear grumbling about Brother of Groom. Bride is livid. Bride exclaims to the entire group, "That's why we put them in their original room! If he'd just stayed there no one would have been bothered." Groom is furious and embarrassed.

"Welcome to the family," thinks Temporarily Physically Impaired Friend.

Many jokes and innuendos fill the brunch conversation.

Brother of Groom and Stacia are not to be seen again.

Guests depart throughout the day. Bride and Groom head off to their honeymoon.

Brother of the Groom is unanimously voted Most Obnoxious Wedding Guest by the other guests and the home viewing audience.

9:47 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003  
I Take Two Days Off and Return to This?

Am I a shrew of an evil spinster, or, is it okay and even normal to be bothered by what appears to be an 8-year-old boy riding a scooter through our office corridors?

The child apparently has no school today and rather than find and pay for day care, his father brought him into the office to spend a day with dad. Dad obviously thought bringing a scooter for the boy would provide hours of entertainment for the child.

The precious little dear just ran smack into newly returned to the office Boob Job. Who is still not feeling well. This little accident jarred her new twins rather uncomfortably.

I called the boy's father and asked if perhaps the child could refrain from riding in our sector of corridor.

And now from all over the office I am getting snide comments about being a child hater and a few digs at the state of my personal life including the snooze alarm on my biological clock.

All because I asked a guy to keep his scooter riding kid away from a newly minted boob job and oh, by the way, a client we're expecting in the office this afternoon.

I even refrained from making the obvious comment "If you can't provide or afford care for your child, perhaps you can't afford to have children, and perhaps you should have thought of this before you produced five darling children." No, saying that would have put me in the shrew catagory. So I didn't say it.

Yet I am now dodging comments about my asking him to keep his child on scooter away from our office and incoming client. Yes. I can see why people would think me a shrew of a spinster with a blaring biological clock because of that. Yes. Now that I spell it all out I can see the error in my judgement. I must reform. I must prove I adore children. (but not to the point of hating them because I don't have any.) I must insist I am not the least bit annoyed with an 8-year-old riding a scooter in our professional place of business.

Heck, let's invite the 8.5 months pregnant woman to have her baby right here in the conference room. And infant day care is so difficult, why not just bring the newborn into the office? See? I'm not an evil child hating shrew of a spinster!

Funny how no one seems to remember how I stood guard in front of an empty office used as a pumping station through the breast feeding years of two colleagues. Over a year I did this. And yet now I am a child hating shrew of an evil spinster.

Must. Find. Another. Job.

1:25 PM

I've lived to see another day.

One of the worst flights I've had in a while.

Confirms that while I am no more afraid of flying than I ever was (not at all) I have reached the firm conclusion that I do not want to die in an airplane. And as I tried to explain to Arthur this morning, just because I do not want to die in an airplane doesn't mean I am afraid of flying.

I simply do not want the faces of terrified strangers to be the last thing I see. I do not want the screams and panic and prayers for salvation and frantic calls to loved ones of said complete strangers to be the last things I hear.

Beyond that, I don't really care how I die.

I just do not want to do it hurtling through the air in an uncomfortable bus filled with hundreds of complete strangers all panicked and fearing for their lives.

There are lots of situations other than flying that present the opportunity to die with a bunch of panicked strangers. But I can't think of many, or any, offhand, offering the unique situation of prolonged element of fear and anguish as falling thousands and thousands of feet in the air, waiting for the inevitable crash and burn or at the very least, de-pressurizing of the airplane.

A guy I dated in college rented one of the Faces of Death movies. Thinking it would be a fun night of entertainment. "We gotta see this!" I, being younger and more gung ho for this sort of thing, and more willing to sacrifice personal integrity for the sake of the relationship, watched it. We broke up a few months later, and I trace the beginning of the demise of the relationship to that evening.

He loved these movies. Loved them. And while I'm always up for a good scary movie (I keep forgetting to mention, the third in that series, by the way, cracked me up, the Signs and Michael Jackson and Eminem slams alone were worth the price of admission) I love a good scare your socks off movie. Either to laugh at the stupidity or to get that rush of fear.

But I'm more of a suspense fan than a terror/slasher fan. So maybe I should have known, even back then, this relationship would never go anywhere. After we saw that movie, it was all this guy talked about. I had moved on from the movie about 20 minutes after we started watching it. Death is never pretty, I think is the point to be made in these movies. Um, yeah, okay, I think I grasp the concept. Move on. But no. This guy wouldn't let it go.

He loved publicly teasing me about it, mistaking my boredom for fear. So after mid-term break, just before it was time for him to consider purchasing a gift for me and attending holiday events together, we had a fight. An out and out "for the last time I am not afraid of that stupid movie, I'm just over it and bored with it and would rather watch and talk about something else" which escalated into a "it's not you, it's me" conversation. Which escalated into weeks of me rehashing the whole thing always ending up at the same weird place: "he broke up with me?!" In hindsight, it was a classic pre-holiday gift and event break-up. But at the time I was left thinking, "he broke up with me because I didn't share his enthusiasm for Faces of Death? He broke up with me?"

To my friends and I, he became known as Faces of Death, or FOD. I soon forgot about him (except as occasional proof of my disastrous dating history) and went on to lead a productive life without him.

But oddly enough, as I was falling thousands of miles per second, with horror stricken faces around me, for the first time since college, I thought about FOD. And how much he would enjoy this. This is probably his preferred way to leave this mortal coil.

Now that I've lived to tell the tale, I'm wondering if I should get in touch with him to share this story. To relay to him in excruciating detail, the worry, the fear, the panic and terror of my fellow passengers. He'd undoubtedly think it was "awesome, dude, way to go! Did you get any video of it?" (he annoyingly called me dude, too. and yet he broke up with me). And on second thought I don't have the sort of patience I did back then. FOD will stay firmly forgotten in my past. At least until the next time I am in a situation filled with panic stricken people fearing for their lives.

After we regained safer airspace, and the cabin was being cleaned, one of the stewardesses complimented me on how calm I was during the whole ordeal. She surmised that I must have a lot of flying experience or am an unbelievably calm person. It occurred to me both are true. I have been through very similar experiences (worse, in fact, which to anyone on my flight yesterday might be difficult to imagine) and remained fairly calm in those, too. I accept that when it's my time to go, it's my time. But the sadness and sympathy I have for the rest of the passengers who are not ready to go, who do not have this sort of acceptance, is too much for me to tolerate. I'll go quietly. Passively, even. But watching all these others resist, fear and fight it is not how I want to go.

And then it occurred to me: What if my apathy toward death could be enough to bring down the whole plane. Hey. Weird things go through your mind when you're falling through space. The thought that I might be calmly taking all these tormented souls down with me made me feel guilty. Sort of hindered my passivity. "Oh all right, then, if the rest of you do not want to die, I'll live, too." I know. Big of me. Very adult.

I'll have to die another day. And hopefully another day in which one of my last thoughts is not about FOD, or any other long ago boyfriend.

And today I still muse upon my current numeric gestalt:
Weddings attended this year: 3
Weddings attended since mine didn't happen: 5

Men I've bona fide dated this year: 3
Men I've bona fide dated since HWNMNBS: 5

Coincidence? Conspiracy? Dawning of the age of Aquarius? Nothing at all?

9:51 AM

Monday, November 10, 2003  
Thoughts from Way Up High in the Air
(If I Die on this Flight, My Last Thoughts Will Be Spread into the Universe. Hardly Let's Roll Material...)

Turbulance at this cruising altitude is quite rare. Worried? Not me. Would they tell us if something were really not right? Doubt it.

Is this why my flight was delayed two hours?

Business Class is Good. Very good. If I do die on this flight at least I won't go down in Steerage. At least the last words I hear other people speak will be in English. Maybe that's not actually a good thing.

Weddings attended this year: 3
Weddings attended since mine didn't happen: 5

Men I've bona fide dated this year: 3
Men I've bona fide dated since HWNMNBS: 5

Coincidence? Conspiracy? Dawning of the age of aquarius? Nothing at all?

That I have now unwittingly arrived at this numeric gestalt is plaguing me.

That this may be my last plaguing thought is supreme irony.

Ooops. No electronics. Aisle guy wants his laptop. Okie Doke.

Good-bye cruel world.

Or see you tomorrow.


7:41 PM

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