Sunday, December 19, 2010

JLo I'm Not

I made the mistake of asking my husband who he thought the hottest ladies in Hollywood were.

"Hmm...." he mused. We were sitting in a coffee shop downtown, he was reading Keith Richards' Life, and I was perusing US Weekly, my favorite gossip magazine. I eagerly leaned forward, excited for his answer.

He sipped his organic coffee delicately, like the effeminate yuppie he was. "I really like Kim Kardashian- she's really stunning- great curves. And Salma Hayek- she is gorgeous, as is Penelope Cruz. And Eva Mendes- I LOVE her. Wow....she is also so hot...." he trailed off and stared out the window, his eyes glazed over with lust.

What?!

"What?!?" I choked, in horror.

On a good day, I look like Macaulay Culkin. On a bad one, I resemble Gollum from Lord Of The Rings. My skin is so pale I could be the daughter of two pieces of chalk. My eyes are a colorless gray, my body, a stick- a curve-less, unisex, stick.

"You like dark-haired, curvy chicks with tans?!" I sputtered. "Latinas....and- and Kim Kardashian is Armenian! Jesus, honey-" my voice lowered to a harsh whisper. "I look like a fucking ten-year-old boy and you want JLO?!?!"
"You're cute, honey," he assured me, patting me on the hand. Then he frowned. "Are you getting sick?"
"I'm not sick," I snapped. "I'm pale. We've been over this before. I can't believe you are attracted to people who look exactly opposite of me."
"Well..." he looked for words. "Don't you think those girls are really hot?"
"Of course I do," I replied exasperated. "I'm jealous of their dark glossy hair, big brown eyes, golden skin, and big tits- you think I LIKE dumping half a bottle of sunscreen on my clear-ass skin everyday?!? Under florescent lights I look blue- I'm Smurfette, for crying out loud."
"Now honey, there's no need to get upset- what did you expect me to say?" my husband asked, gently, like I had a mental disability.
"I don't know, Dakota Fanning?" I asked, hopefully.
My husband cringed. "She's- creepy looking. Like an alien."
"She could be my fucking twin." I stated, pouting.
"Maybe you just need to get a little more sun," my husband suggested helpfully.
"Vampires get more sun than I do," I answered, irritated.

That evening, I decided to become a dark-haired siren. I was going to do a full-blown makeover- genetics be damned!

I started with my hair. I marched into my favorite salon and had them dump inky-black dye into it.
"So a lot of this dye is going to fade over time," my colorist stated, snapping her gum. "'Cause you have really pale, thin hair- and I just don't know if this color is going to hold."
"Gee, thanks," I said, sarcastically.
An hour later I came out of the salon looking like a Russian bride- a dead Russian bride. The dark color magnified my pale skin and, if I'm honest- I looked like I was wearing a wig.
"You look weird," my husband stated, confused. "Are you trying to look like Suri Cruise?"

The next day I decided to tackle my second goal- dark skin. I decided to avoid the tanning bed, as my fear of looking like a leather-skinned Florida retiree won out against my desire to look like a Latina- and went for the fake bronzer instead.
"What in the hell is all over the sheets?" My husband asked, horrified.
"Um...." I was orange and smelled like a chemical factory, but at least I wasn't pale. And while I could have passed for Snookie from MTV's Jersey Shore, I couldn't help but feel a little more like JLo.

My final step involved brown contacts, but then my boss thought I was high because my pupils 'looked dilated', and I had to take them out. My attempt at curves involved two falsies that looked like chicken cutlets- I tucked them into my bra and went out with my friends.
"Have you put on weight?" Bree asked me, confused.
I stuck out my chest, showing off. "I've put on weight here."
"Oh my god, honey- those look SO fake." Bree rolled her eyes. "Like, really? Did you shove rolled socks in your training bra?"
"You're just jealous," I sniffed.
"You're right, I am," she said, sarcastically. "I just had to get it off my chest."
"Very funny."

"We need to talk," my husband said, that evening. I was sitting next to him on the couch, my hair dark, my skin tan, my eyes brown, my breasts large.
"I'm really entertained by your makeover, honey- I really am." He paused. "But honestly?" He held my hands. "Really, honey, it's YOU I love. Not the totally hot Latina women. Just YOU."

As I looked into his eyes, I wasn't buying his bullshit for a second, but I went with it, mostly because keeping my roots dark was both expensive and exhausting, and my bronzer was ruining the sheets. "So you DO think that Macaulay Culkin is attractive?" I asked, sweetly.
"YES," he replied, nodding furiously. He would have agreed to anything to get me out of the Suri Cruise hair. "He is unbelievably hot. And so is Dakota Fanning, and Gollum," he finished.
"Good," I said, satisfied.

Time to stock up on some more sunscreen.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Birthday Girl

I love my birthday.

A lot of people hate birthdays, but for me, it's the one day out of the year I can lord a small but significance amount of power over my friends and family- and get away with it. I'm sure it's how Paris Hilton feels every day of her life.

I usually start two weeks before my birthday by requesting my girlfriends take me out to an overpriced restaurant. I always tell them we'll 'keep it small this year', and then proceed to invite about twenty extra people (my friend's niece, the guy in the mail room at work, etc.) to the list. After my friends end up scrambling to negotiate with the restaurant to add additional people to the reservation, I usually 'change my mind' and request another venue.

"But we had to move heaven and earth to get twenty-six people on the 8:45pm reservation Saturday night," my friend Bree complained over the phone to me. "I don't know why you don't want to eat there anymore- I even got us seated up front by the window."
"I just think the lighting washes me out at that restaurant," I sighed into the phone, staring at my cuticles. "I mean, it's my birthday. Shouldn't my guests be able to view me in soft candlelight? I don't think that's asking too much."
Bree sighed. "I'll figure out another place."

A few days before my big night out, I like to complain that I have 'nothing to wear' for the birthday dinner, and then my friends all rush to calm me.
"You have that adorable red silk dress," Holly cooed to me over drinks at our favorite happy hour place. "You are SO gorgeous in it."
"So you want me to look like a fat fucking whore on my birthday?" I accused, bitterly, and slammed the rest of my wine. "Because that's what I look like in that dress. A fat fucking whore. It's like you don't care about my birthday at all." I managed to tear up a little bit.
"Um...er- no, no, honey!" Holly quickly tried to back pedal. "Really, you look great in that dress- but- well, did you want to borrow my new BCBG dress? You know, the one with the sequins? I haven't worn it yet, but it's your birthday and all..." I could tell she didn't really want to lend it to me, but I had her painted into a corner.
"Well, if you insist," I sniffed, pouting.

On the night of my birthday, my friends picked me up and drove me to the restaurant, fawning over my cute hair and wardrobe and basically tiptoeing around me like I was a minefield really to blow. I was seated at the head of the table like a Russian Czar and then proceeded to complain about everything, mostly because I was enjoying the negative attention I was receiving from my friends as they breathlessly assured me how great everything was.

"What is this wine?! Grape juice mixed with iodine? It tastes like shit," I complained dramatically, spitting some of it back up in my glass.
"No, it's great wine, the best, the most expensive- we spared no expense." Bree talked quickly. "We spared NO expense," she repeated.
"Well, okay, but the waiter hates me," I whined, sticking my bottom lip out. "I can tell."
"No, the waiter LOVES you," Holly interjected. "When you told him he's moving slower than a resident at an assisted care facility, I think he thought it was cute," she said, lying. "Here, open this gift I got you!" She was trying to distract me with a shiny pink package.
"Thanks," I said, sadly, like an abandoned orphan, and opened it to reveal a spa gift card for a facial at a fancy salon. "Oh...." I frowned.
"What?!"
"Well, a facial- I guess you think I need one with all the wrinkles I'm going to be getting in my old age," I said, a tear sliding down my cheek. "It is hard enough turning 34 without you rubbing it in my face- no pun intended." I dramatically put my head into my hands.
"No no no, you look so young," Bree said, with Holly nodding furiously next to her. "Like a college girl- no, like a HIGH SCHOOL girl, NO- you look like a pre-pubescent 6th grader," she continued, emphatically.
I sniffed through my tears. "Really? A 6th grader?" I felt a little better.
"Yeah, like, I'm surprised they didn't bring crayons and a coloring book over for you when they sat us all down." Bree didn't even flinch as she was feeding me these lines.

When the check finally came and everybody took out 2nd mortgages on their homes to pay for it (probably because I had ordered both the steak AND the lobster), I clinked a fork to my glass, and stood up.
"Speech!" The guy from the mail room at my work shouted from the end of the table.

I cleared my throat.

"First of all, I'd like to thank you all for coming out tonight to celebrate my birthday," I said, as I looked out on a sea a faces staring back at me. My girlfriends, who had organized the event, looked tired but relieved that the night was finally ending.

I continued. "I'm sure there's a lot of people in this restaurant wondering what a beautiful girl like me is doing at a table full of degenerate misfits, and I have to be honest- it's partly because there's nothing good on television on Saturday nights, and partly because some of my other, more attractive friends are busy tonight." I paused and sipped my wine, watching the smiles on my friends faces grow tighter. "But really, I am glad each of you are in my life. I mean, sure- do I know hobos with brighter futures than half the people at this table? Maybe. Do dogs have better tables manners than most of you? Yes." I paused again, and dramatically looked off into the distance. "But that's not what's important. What's important is that we're all together- celebrating my birthday on this cold December night. And while youth fades- friends are forever." I raised my glass as my guests awkwardly did the same, their eyes shooting daggers at me.
"To me!" I shouted, gaily.

Later that evening when my friends dropped me off in front of my place and peeled away, the tires of their car squealing on the asphalt, I sighed as another birthday slipped by.

Can't wait until next year!