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<

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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
Enter ZIP Code:

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

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

Monday, November 30, 2009  
The more I learn the less I know. This is a fact. But.

I do know there are at least two constant, absolute certainties in the Universe: Change and death.

I’ve always chosen to believe that all change is good. Even change for the worse is good.

The alternative, stagnation, is worse than the worst change for the worse.

Evolution = good. Not so good for certain types of dinosaurs and plants, but, you know, “good” that the planet continues to evolve on its progression. Strong arguments could be made against that point of view – evolution = humans = raping and pillaging of the planet ergo change = bad. But there’s strong evidence that the dinosaurs were raping and pillaging the planet in their own way.

I like dinosaurs. For the obvious reasons. They’re cool. And also because they ended up as fossil fuel.

Hang on, hang on a minute. Don’t get all up in arms shocked at my sudden vulgar inhumane flippant attitude about animal life. I don’t like that they ended up as fossil fuel in the sense that I like to burn fossil fuel because I like to rape and pillage the planet and whoooo boy, aren’t we lucky to live in modern times where we use fossil fuel to power our conspicuous consumption of natural resources so that we may have things like NASCAR, space rockets, iPods and, ahem, blogs. I like that they ended up as fossil fuel because it serves as a daily reminder that even the mightiest, coolest beings had their day, failed to evolve, change, died and…yet…even in death, even (and especially) after lying stagnant, decayed and fossilized, they serve another purpose. Sinclair petrol is one of my favorite brand trademarks for that reason: Straight to the point, their dinosaur silhouette logo says it all: Yesterday’s dinosaur is tomorrow’s road trip. That dinosaur is a harbingering warning: Change or else. Or else you’ll end up in someone’s Honda bound for the Mystery Spot.

Change and death. Change or die. Change and die. There’s no choice, really. If you don’t change, evolve, you will die. If you do change, evolve, guess what? You still die. Change and death. Welcome to Absolute Certainty. Population: You.

I grew up in a really, really, really, really small town. I mean really small town. I didn’t hate it the way many people raised in small towns hate small towns. I don’t resent my parents for leaving the city when they had kids. They had solid, valid reasons for raising us outside of the city limits. Okaaaaay, perhaps they took it to an extreme, perhaaaaps the exact center of the middle of nowhere, the bull’s eye on the nowhere target as I affectionately call it, wasn’t necessary, but they had good reasons and honestly, none of us are any worse for it. Fortunately my parents traveled. A lot. So we got out of the inner circle of Hell quite often and for prolonged periods of time. I was lucky that way. Best of both worlds, I guess. I got to see and experience outer circles of Hell on a regular basis.

And when we returned to our really, really, really, really small town I felt, you know, okay with it. Except for one thing. One thing I really, really, really, really hated about our small town. One thing fueled my desire, my compulsion, my need to get as far away from that really, really, really, really small town as possible. One thing. One singular, unwavering lament.

Nothing ever changes.

I know. I know. Many people view that as a good thing. Many people don’t like change. Or at least not in their town. People who don’t like change usually like small towns. They like the stability, reliability and security of knowing their churches, schools, local authorities, restaurants and neighbors are always going to be the same. It makes them feel like their ship is anchored securely in a safe harbor. No matter how stormy their sea of life is they know they are anchored in a safe place.

I get that. I understand. Kind of. The thing I think they fail to recognize is that the harbor itself isn’t what provides the stability and safety. It’s the community, or sense of community, that makes them feel all cozy and snug (and smug) and secure in the knowledge that tomorrow will be just like today which was just like yesterday. They fail to recognize that change happens. Everything changes. Even them.

Except in my hometown. Nothing ever changes in my really, really, really, really small hometown.

Until about 10 – 15 years ago, that is. And then a bunch of stuff changed. A growth spurt. A mini housing boom. A couple new restaurants, an addition on the high school and a new traffic light with a left turn arrow and everything. I know, I know! Big time, we’re on our way, we’re making it!

And then crash bang wallop, a couple years ago things started digress. A little too much change too soon, too fast, and there were repercussions. The new addition on the high school isn’t paid for, yet, but it’s already unnecessary. The new people with their progeny left almost as quickly as they arrived and the extra space in the school isn’t needed. Uh-oh. Back where we started. Some things changed, and then those things changed again, so if you happened to have missed the little growth spurt, the change blip, and returned now, you would never know anything ever changed in your hiatus.

It’s weird. I’m part of that town because I’m from there. And because my parents have lived there since I was born. I am from there. And I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of that.


It was always more part of me than I was of it. I never really fit in there. People were nice enough to me, are nice to me, but I’m sure that has less to do with genuine concern and feeling for me and more to do with respect for my parents (who are well liked and fit in very nicely) and small town politeness. It's part of me because it's where I'm from. Small town values, way of life, all that. There's no denying that no matter how bad I want to be, no matter where I go or what I do, there's a part of me, a core part of me, that is a good girl from a small town. Even though I never fit in there. Even though I'm not exactly the Local Girl Makes Good success story. There's part of me that is a good girl from a small town. Not exactly Doris Day, but not exactly Briget Bardot, either.

What I’m starting to realize is that I don’t really fit in anywhere. I think I might be a drifter. Or just another disaffected GenXer. Or just run of the mill depressed.

But I don’t blame my small town roots. It’s not my hometown, it’s me. I knew it when I was a kid. I knew I was lucky to live in my hometown. It’s a nice place with nice people and good schools and everything a kid could want. I knew that. I just didn’t see myself staying there one day longer than required. But not because I hated it or the people.

I left when I went to college and apart from landing there a few times between moves I’ve never been back for any reason other than to visit my parents.

Consequently I have a unique perspective on the whole mini-boom and the current “bust.” I’m from there and my parents live there so I “care,” but, I’m so distanced from it that I can see it for what it is. It’s like I have one subjective eye and one objective eye.

Things, now, have swung back to how they were when I was growing up. The new people and their new restaurants have left. No one’s “happy” about this but most people kind of expected it, I think. And everyone thought one of the new restaurants was overpriced and had a weird menu – and you had to pay extra for a salad and that salad had dandelions in it! Dandelions!!! The only “new” businesses that have managed to last now that the “new” people have left are a Tim Horton’s franchise and a pet store. The township has a Walgreen’s and there’s a new McDonald’s out by the highway, now, but that’s on the other side of town. Not really part of my hometown. Not really.

But here’s the thing. The thing that makes me feel old and sad and lonely. All the things that I thought never changed are, well, changing. And not in a good way. In a tomorrow’s fossil fuel kind of way.

My parents live way out on the township borderline, way past the city limits and a half mile from the county line road which is the last line between “civilization” and “no life guard on duty, travel at your own risk.”

When I talk about my really, really, really, really small town I’m talking about the place we traveled to for school, church and groceries. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Little House on the Prairie it’s kind of like that. We “went into town.” We still “go into town.” Except now the road is paved and there’s not only a stop sign but also a traffic light on the journey there. And when we “get into town” there are a couple gas stations, small grocery, a 7-11, a few mom and pop restaurants (a pizza joint, natch, where the Rotary meets on the second Tuesday of the month, natch), a couple clothing/gift/liquor stores, a pharmacy, a funeral home, the once/week newspaper, a flower shop, a cemetery (with a ghost, natch), schools, churches, the library, a few doctors and dentist offices, an insurance agent, a lawyer, a vet, Elks, Moose and VFW, a fire/police/post office/municipal building and a dry cleaner.

That’s it. That’s the sum total of my home town. 10 – 15 years ago things changed, new businesses came in, fancy high falootin’ places, but now most of them are gone. Things changed and now they’ve pretty much changed back. Which is still change.



The dry cleaner has been owned and operated by the same family ever since I can remember. Mr. and Mrs. Yee. I’m not going to cat dance around this. It is what it is. The dry cleaner is run by a Chinese family. Okay? Yes. Yes. My hometown is so stereotypical that our dry cleaner is run by a Chinese family. When I was growing up they were the only Chinese family in our town. They had a son a grade behind me in school and guess what? He was so good at math he was bumped up a grade for his math classes so I knew him. And guess what else? The lawyer and dentist are Jewish. Okay? Look, I’m not saying I like the stereotypicalities of my hometown. But for all the cringe-worthy stereotypicalities in businesses, the residents have always been diverse and at least from my perspective there weren’t any racial issues.


So. Mrs. Yee died a few years ago. Everyone thought for sure Mr. Yee would sell or close the dry cleaner. Mrs. Yee was the face of the dry cleaner. She kept that place spotless and was always there to greet customers. Mr. Yee was more behind-the-scenes. He’d work the counter when it was busy, he was friendly, but Mrs. Yee was the social one, and the one everyone knew.

People just assumed Mr. Yee couldn’t or wouldn’t stay open without Mrs. Yee. Everyone figured he’d sell or close and move out west with his son the fancy schmancy software developer. So far that hasn’t happened. Mr. Yee is still at the dry cleaner removing spots and pressing suits.

But I dunno. I’m starting to worry about Mr. Yee. When my dad died and I needed to have his burial suit cleaned and pressed ASAP Mr. Yee took care of me. He had my dad's suit and my clothes funeral home visitation ready in a few hours and he didn’t charge me. That's an example of really, really, really, really small town life.

Everything seemed, you know, normal on the dry cleaning front. That was (gasp) 16 months ago. Since then I’ve taken in or picked up a few things for my mother. The once spotless and perfectly maintained building needs some work. And I’ve noticed Mr. Yee isn’t quite as sharp as he used to be. He doesn’t rush to the counter as quickly as he used to and the smile isn’t as ready and easy. Instead of talking about his son’s MIT degree and job in software he kind of mumbles perfunctory greetings.

Okay. So. I needed a jacket cleaned and pressed. I took it into town to Mr. Yee.

Nothing, and I mean nothing in my weird life full of strange people and strange experiences prepared me for what happened next.

Whooo boy. I don’t know how to say this. Just thinking about it has me all weirded out.

I walked into the dry cleaner, which is starting to show signs of lack of upkeep, and the second I opened the door I was greeted with a rush of stale air. And when I say stale air I don’t mean “hmmmm, Mr. Yee brought his Pekingese into work today and then had stromboli and coffee for lunch and that whiff of perfume can only mean Mrs. Anders was in here this morning and left her lingering scent.” I wish it was that kind of stale air.

Unfortunately the kind of stale air I’m talking about is the kind of stale air no one wants to associate with older people, especially older people they’ve known all their life, especially older people they’ve known all their life and happen to be the parent of a classmate.

All right, I’ll just come right out and say it.

Mr. Yee was obviously smoking pot in the back room of the dry cleaner.

The last time I was in there I thought I smelled a faint whiff of it, but there was a heap of newly dropped off clothes on the counter and I just assumed it was wafting from those clothes.

But this time there was no heap of clothes. Just the skunky, musty, fieldy smell of pot.

When I rang the little bell on the counter it took Mr. Yee a really long time to appear from the back room. And when he did he was, well, how to say this in a way that doesn't weird me out even more...he was...well...clearly baked. Red eyed and wispy and grinning.


You know.

Whatever. S’cool. It’s all cool. Man.


Mr. Yee???? Really???? I mean, huh???? You think you know someone, for your entire life and then all of a sudden he goes and gets stoned in the back room of his business.

And worse, yes, there’s a worse part to this, the dry cleaner building happens to back up to the fire/police/post office/municipal building.

I’m cool, but the local cop is definitely not cool. I was in orchestra with his sister and I kinda got to know him a little thanks to him picking us up and giving me a ride home after rehearsals.

He was two grades ahead of us.

He was Jr. ROTC.

He was a douche.

Considering he never left town and became the local cop, and based on the ridiculously self righteous police blotter reports in the local newspaper, it’s safe to assume he’s still a douche.

One whiff of Mr. Yee’s pot and he’d go Barney Fife on Mr. Yee in seconds flat.

I feared for Mr. Yee. I like the guy. I’ve always liked the guy. And his son. And his wife.

His wife. Oh God, his wife. Oh God, Mrs. Yee. Mrs. Yee would never go for that kind of behavior. Or. At least. I mean, I don't think she would.

Then again...she always was exceptionally pleasant...

She was always nice to me when I was little. She let me pet their many pet Pekingese dogs and gave me fortune cookies around Chinese New Year. As I grew taller, and taller, she teased my mother that my mother needed to stop feeding me bamboo because I was growing so fast and tall. She started calling me Little Bamboo and eventually, just “Boo.”

For a couple days in 10th grade I had a crush on the Yee’s math wiz son. A trip with my mother to the dry cleaner cured me of that particular crush. The thought of going out with a guy whose mother called me Boo pretty much killed all romantic notions my 10th grade imagination could fathom. Still, I hold the Yees in an affectionate place.

The thought of Mr. Yee getting busted for possession of pot and public intoxication by douche local cop bothered me. A lot. I felt protective of him.


This is also the father of a classmate. A friend of my parents’. I mean, awkward much? What was I going to say? Or do?

“Uh, Mr. Yee, I’m cool with the, uh, ‘cleaning fluid’ but you know Captain Zuhlkes is on duty today, I just saw him pull the cruiser into the back lot, and you know what a stickler for the law he is…”

“Duuuuuude! Awesome!!! That smells like some good shit, man! But duuude, that ROTC douche Zuhlkes is right outside, man.”

Instead I just pretended nothing was weird. “Hi Mr. Yee. Got a jacket for you. No hurry. Sometime next week is fine.”

He kind of giggled and told me he’d have it ready Monday. Or Tuesday. Or maybe Wednesday. And grabbed a couple chips out of a giant bag of Lay’s tucked under the counter. Can’t stop eatin’ ‘em.

I presume one of three things is going on with Mr. Yee. He’s got glaucoma or cancer and it’s medicinal pot; he’s sad and lonely and going a little senile without Mrs. Yee and he’s turning to drugs; he’s been a stoner all along but I just never noticed it.

The more we learn the less we know.

Everything changes.

Even in my really, really, really, really small town. Where nothing ever changes.

Everything changes.

Here’s the thing that scares me: I fled that really, really, really, really small town because nothing ever changes there. I craved change. I wanted to evolve. I thought predictability and routine were boring, stagnant and sure to bring a small mind and an early grave. So I left as soon as I could.

And I ran and ran and ran and ran and never looked back, never got homesick, never longed to be back in that really, really, really, really small town.

Yet standing in that dry cleaner with stoned Mr. Yee I realized: I haven’t changed. My life has changed, I’ve lived in lots of places, traveled around the world, seen a lot of things, met a lot of people, had a lot of experiences, taken a lot of classes, worked a lot of jobs, dated more men than I care to admit, and yet, really, I’m pretty much the same little girl my mother used to tow into that dry cleaner to pick up my dad’s suits.

All the time I’ve been other places looking for change, right there back in that really, really, really, really small town the local dry cleaner was changing into a stoner.

To add final punctuation on this epiphany, that afternoon I had an ill-fated run-in with a former classmate.

After my, uh, trip to the dry cleaner I fetched my mother and took her into town to the grocery. I was standing there examining the calories and fiber in a serving of Lucky Charms (I dunno…maybe I got a little contact high off Mr. Yee…hey, at least it's not cookie dough) when I suddenly became aware that my mother, several feet away from me, was talking to someone.

I dread grocery store run-ins in my hometown. No matter how hard I try to steer the conversation to the other person inevitably the conversation

Yes. Yes. I’m still single and I still have a career and I’m a gal, okay? Crucify me on the spinster cross, whydontcha? I know. I know.

Sensitive. Defensive.

It’s my issue, not theirs. I shouldn’t get defensive and angry with them when it’s myself I hate. But honestly, why do people probe and spear unmarried women like this? Nail us to a cross because we're not married? Maybe if people wouldn’t be so eager to nail me to that spinster cross I would hate myself a little less.

Or at least feel less self conscious about it.

And now that I don’t even have a career I feel like a total loser. A spinster career-gal without a career.

I’m just a gal. A spinster gal.

Which in my hometown is the female equivalent of a gay son dying of AIDS. We had a local family whose son was gay and died of AIDS. (Not my high school dating debacle. Another, different gay guy a few grades behind me.) The local townsfolk held a charity fun-run in an effort to raise money for his medical expenses.

No one’s organizing a fun-run to help offset my medical expenses. Not that my foot issues are in any way comparable to AIDS, but, I’m just sayin’…I need a surgery and medical care and I can’t afford it and my parents are pillars of this community but there’s not a public fundraiser for me, the unmarried careerless gal. Being gay and having AIDS is less humiliating and more charity worthy than being single and careerless.

Being a spinster in my hometown is suspect and shameful, but having a career gives the long-suffering parents a consolation topic. “No, no, our girl’s not gal, you know…”

“Oh yes, we know.” Sympathetic pat on the shoulder.

Now that I’m unemployed my poor mother gets a lot of sad looks and sympathetic pats on the shoulder. More sad looks and sympathetic pats on the shoulder than the mother of the gay guy who died of AIDS. At least the mother of that guy got support in the form of a community fun-run. My poor mother just gets worried looks and tut-tut shakes of heads cast her way.

I was pulled from my Lucky Charms reverie when heard my mother say, “Oh yes, Trillian’s home for the holiday, Trill, darling…you remember Martha.”

Oh yes.

I remember Martha.

And even if I didn’t, her sunny blonde hair, bright blue eyes, perfectly honey bronzed skin, perky petite frame and dazzling smile would jog my memory.

Martha’s that girl everyone would be so envious of they’d hate if it weren’t for the fact that she’s also nice, funny and smart. You can't hate her. It's impossible.

Martha and I kept in touch via another classmate for a while. And her mother and my mother kind of sort of know each other via a charity thing they worked on a long time ago. Martha went into advertising, too, only she went into the finance/account side of things while I stayed in my creative safety zone. I lost touch with the classmate friend we had in common, but my mother runs into her mother now and then so I’ve had occasional Martha updates. I knew she got married and I knew her husband was a surgeon of some sort. I knew she had at least one child.

And there she was looking almost exactly like she did in school. I mean, you know, yes, she looks a little older, but not that much older. If anything she looks better.

Everything changes. And in Martha’s case, everything changes for the better apparently.

She had two perfect blonde, blue eyed, honey bronzed adorable children with her. She was home visiting her parents for the holiday. With her cardiologist husband. She took a few years off from her career in advertising to be home with their kids.

And she recently rejoined the working world at an agency. The woman was gone from the the working world for 5 years and walked right back into an executive job a few months ago. About the time I was laid off, in fact. With her new job they were able to move into their dream home, they got a steal on it.

Everything changes.

"What agency are you with, now Trilian?" she asked.

Of course I felt like a pile of crap, for myself, but even worse, I felt like a total embarrassment to my mother. Martha was in no way condescending or bitchy or mean. To the contrary, she was exceptionally nice and upbeat. ("Oh, you were always so creative and talented, I'm sure you'll find a great job soon.")

But the most interesting upbeat things I can say about myself is that I went to a Pixies concert and I’m back to wearing underwear every day. Kind of pales in comparison to a happy marriage, two great kids, a new home and a successful re-entry into a career after a five year hiatus.

Worse, she recognized my mother, not me, and when my mother said, "Oh, Trillian's home, too," and pointed at me a few feet away Martha was clearly shocked at what she saw. She tried her best to politely stumble out of the fact that she clearly didn't recognize me but the damage to my self esteem was already done.

Making that matter worse was that I actually thought I was looking "okay" that day. I was having a decent hair day and didn't have the sleepless night dark circles and wrinkles as badly as some recent days. I was dressed, complete with clean clothes and underwear. I’d had several days of regular meals containing actual nutritional value. I mean, for me, lately, I was in top form.

And I had on a Pixies shirt, feeling all cool.

But obviously even on a rare "good" day I look old and tired and unrecognizable from the person I used to be.

And like a pathetic old spinster desperately trying to look cool and, worse, still going to concerts instead of working at her new executive job and spending time with her husband and children.

Someone needs a Snuggie®.

And it ain't Martha.

One of her perfect progeny pointed to the be-haloed monkey on my Pixies concert shirt. “What’s that on your shirt? Is it a monkey angel?”

“Yep. That’s exactly what it is.”

Death of embarrassment in the cereal aisle in 3-2-1.

Martha chimed in, “Oh, the Pixies, my gawd, remember when they were the bomb? That’s so cool, did you ever think it would be vintage?!! Geeze, Trill, we’re not old, are we?! (ha ha ha) I didn’t save any of my stuff from back then. You were smart, it’s all cool now.”

I tried to pass the Doolittle shirt off as really old. Even though it’s less than a week old. There’s no date on it, just a monkey gone to Heaven. And Martha gave me cred points for it.

Everything changes.

Except me and my taste in music and apparel. To Martha’s eyes I have not evolved. I’m the female equivalent of a computer porn perv who lives in his mother’s basement.

Or the personification of our hometown. I had a little growth spurt, a boom, there for a few years, but if you missed that, didn't happen to catch me during that phase, and just saw me now, again after many years, you'd never know I ever changed.

I haven't felt so embarrassed and pathetic in years. My sad little world came crashing down around me. Not that I bother to care about what I look like anymore (I’m ugly and that’s that, I accept it now, and interestingly, I feel a lot better about myself now that I accept that I am an ugly shrew), but when combined with a lack of job, lack of man, lack of children, soon to be lack of home, well...

The whole change, evolving thing really, really, really slapped me in the face.

I was the one who fled looking for change and I’m the one who’s landed right back where she started without changing anything.


Just what I needed long about now.

A reminder that I, too, will be a form of fossil fuel.

Sure, of course I'm envious of Martha. Sheesh, I mean, duh, of course. I'm sure things are not as perfect and happy in Martha's world as they seem to me, but, they've gotta be better than things in my world. Martha has a job. Martha has a new home. Martha has a husband who apparently loves her enough to make two adorable well-mannered children with her. From where I'm sitting, jobless, single and on the verge of foreclosure, Martha's world looks like a pretty nice place.

I know envy and jealousy are as futile and stupid as hatred and anger. I know this. Wastes of time and energy and brain matter. But. Um. A little help here? How does one not feel envious of the Martha's of the world? Accept. Forgive. Heal. Peace. Love. Duh.?

Accept, yeah, I can accept her, as is.

But. Um, forgive her for what??? Forgive her for doing everything right? Forgive her for having a happy, successful life? Hmmmm. Gotta think on that one for a while.

Sure, ultimately Martha and I will end up dead and then we'll be equal. Equally dead.

There’s some comfort in that. Not that I have a deathwish for Martha. I don't. I don't begrudge her her success and happiness. (In spite of how this may read.) Yay Martha. Yay happiness and success for Martha. She's nice. And funny. And smart. And pretty. She "deserves" happiness and success. It's the way it's supposed to be. Nice, smart, funny, pretty people achieve success and happiness. That's just the way the Universe works. There's a lot of comfort in the fact that that rarely, if ever, changes.


Martha’s going to be fossil fuel, too. Her successful, all-falls-into-place, happy life isn’t going to change that fact.

Except. She’s done her part for evolution. She changed. She evolved. She bred. The species, her successfully careered, happily married, perfect blonde honey bronzed species, will continue.

Survival of the fittest.

Change and death.

Snuggies® of compassion for everyone, even me.

5:02 PM

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