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Posts Tagged ‘Courtship’

Echo and the Bunnymen perform for the elderly at Chastain Park.

Dear Fellow Concert-goers (aka Grizzled Old Beasts Just Like Me),

It was great to hang out with you at the Echo and the Bunnymen and Violent Femmes performance last night. Between the sets, I was taking a good look at all of you — people watching, as I do. You know, finding inspiration for this blog and other writing projects.

I noticed plenty of partial and full hair loss, beer bellies, socks pulled up too far, white shoes, varicose veins, gray hair, etc.

“Jesus, these people are old,” thought I.

That uncharitable thought was followed quickly by this one:

“Oh shit. These are my people. I’m old too.”

Dang. That was a rude awakening. I’m still 27. In my head. Forever. As I bet you are too.

 

Notice the beer (which was delicious). Then notice who is beyond the beer. Notice the cane and the socks.

How we feel ≠ how we look.

It’s depressing.

😕

But not as depressing as the thought of the geriatric dating game. Some of you were definitely hooking up (or trying to, at least). I mean, good for you.

Eddie and I ended up joking about that this morning (I’m in blue, in case you are cursed with an Android phone):

(Don’t give me flak for hating on the stout hairless men of the world. We all have a type, and that’s not mine. And they don’t like me either. So there.)

If forced, I guess I’d have to get some Botox and lipo and start cougaring. But then I’d have to forget knowing every ’80s song, including the Femmes’ repertoire.

I cannot live a lie.

Just like us (in our minds), the Femmes’ sound hasn’t aged at all.

So I think we should all agree to keep on keeping on, just as Hunter S. Thompson recommended:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!'”

Ride on, fellow geezers.
Beth

 

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Dear Readers:

I live in the South. That means it’s already summer here (91 degrees today). That also means it’s time for a new season of “Dispatches from the pool.”

Enjoy!
Beth

EPISODE 1: Oh what a tangled web we weave
Rated PG-13 for substance abuse and sexual conduct

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON, MOTHER’S DAY

About 20 people have arranged themselves in small groups around the perimeter of the pool. The only people in the pool, though, are FOUR CHILDREN: DOMINIC (13), GIDEON (11), MILES (11) and DARRYL (age unknown, possibly 8).

FATHER OF THE FIRST TWO and MOTHER OF THE THIRD have found themselves lounge chairs in the shade. (No one has ever seen MOTHER OF DARRYL.) MOTHER OF THE FIRST TWO arrives after making these:

Individual pineapple upside-down cakes. Thank you, Food Network!

The moment MOTHER sits down, FATHER and MOTHER OF MILES fills her in on all the pool gossip.

FATHER
You see that girl over there (points at TWENTYSOMETHING on her phone)? She apparently picked up some dudes at Whole Foods and invited them back to the pool.

MOTHER OF MILES
She said, “They seemed cool.”

MOTHER OF DOMINIC AND GIDEON
Wait … What?! Random guys?

MoM
I know, right?!

FATHER
But when they showed up, the girl maybe hadn’t told her fiancé.

MoM
Right. He seemed surprised when they shouted her name.

MoDaG
WHAT?!

Later, MoDaG spots canoodling among WHOLE FOODS DUDES and TWENTYSOMETHING’s friend.

Meanwhile, MOTHER (of D and G) marvels at other characters assembled at the pool, including PREPPY in a button-down long-sleeved shirt and someone who looks like SNOOKI. (Perhaps it is because MOTHER has been inside cooking and watching moreJersey Shore: Family Vacation.”

Isn’t he hot? (As in not dressed appropriately for the season and occasion, not as in hawt.)

Snooki (left) and friend enter the pool.

MOTHER also spies her NEIGHBOR reading an interesting book.

In case you can’t read the title, it is, “Why Men Love Bitches.”

MOTHER thinks whatever NEIGHBOR is doing is working because men are lined up outside her apartment constantly, including a dude in a Ferrari just that morning.

MOTHER is vaguely aware of a large group of people at the round table over her left shoulder. She becomes more aware thanks to MOTHER OF MILES.

MoM
Oh. My. God. That woman is rolling a blunt.

A few moments later, a particular, recognizable smell wafts over the MOTHERS. They look at each other in surprise.*

MoDaG
Really?! It’s a Sunday afternoon at a pool filled with people and kids!

Weed Central (Woman in orange is the Roller in Chief.)

MOTHERS (in unison to the CHILDREN)
Let’s go.

FATHER
What?

MOTHER
I’ll tell you later.

They exit.

* Only low THC oil is legal in Georgia at the moment.

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present “How I spent my first St. Patrick’s Day back in Atlanta.”

7:46 a.m. Wake up to the doorbell. Apparently, it is playtime in the neighborhood. The hooligans I live with head outside to terrorize each other and assorted friends.

11:30 a.m. Finish watching the last episode of the last season of “Game of Thrones.” I’m excited, aroused, worried, repulsed, mad, sad — all in equal measure. I need to talk to someone about it. I’m so far behind in finally seeing it, though, no one wants to talk to me.

2:10 p.m. Nap while watching recorded episodes of “The Voice.”

5:30 p.m. Make the soup that we like for dinner. Compliments all around. Pregame. Realize it is too early to pregame.

7:10 p.m. Take Nap Two. (I’m elderly. Leave me alone.)

8:50 p.m. Dominic notices that I’ve put myself together. The following conversation ensues.

Dominic: “Are you going out tonight?”
Me: “Yes. Rene and I are going to some thing called ‘Psycho Disco.'”
Dominic: “Well, don’t get murdered by a psycho. If someone comes up to you, turn your usual reporter mode off and run.”

8:51 p.m. Document the conversation on Facebook (because if it is not documented, did it even happen?).

8:55 p.m. Tell René I’m on my way. He tells me I’m early; he is not ready. I tell him I’ll cool my jets. Men.

9:02 p.m. Amuse myself by reading responses to the FB post.

9:15 p.m. Call for Lyft. Help Tarrant find me as I am on the side of the road (getting into apartment complex is a pain). Fetch René.

9:44 p.m. Arrive at The Music Room. It’s not open yet, but the barbecue place next door is. 9:49 p.m. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like I always do: by drinking an Irish Car Bomb. It’s tradition. Usually, this tradition involves The Royce, but he is in Savannah with Mike Pence and Mother (barf), so I had to carry on without him.

10:22 p.m. Go next door (now open) and meet René’s friend, DJ Tracy Levine. She is tiny, impeccably dressed and energetic. She also plays amazing house music for the seven people in the bar. It’s still early.

10:30-11:45 p.m. Listen to DJ Tracy upstairs. Go downstairs where there are more people to watch, but then have to endure a DJ that is not as gifted. Go back upstairs to dance. Go back downstairs to watch. Lather, rinse, repeat.

11:54 p.m. I’ve lost René.

12:30 a.m. Take Uber to Atlanta Eagle. I am the only one of my kind there. Also, it’s leather night. So.

1:11 a.m. Wait for Uber outside because now we are going to Blake’s. A woman rushes up to me: “Hi! So good to see you!” I don’t know her, but I see a guy right behind her. I quietly ask her if she is OK, or if she is trying to get away from this guy. Girl code. Then I see another woman with them. I ask her if everything is OK. She says, “Oh yeah, they’re together. She’s just drunk and friendly.” Aha. Then our Uber chariot appears.

She’s adorable, right? And extra.

1:24 a.m. “Do not pinch me. I’m wearing green,” I say to the fellow who has just tried to pinch me. I show him my shamrock. (My necklace. Come on!)

1:35 a.m. Blake’s is THE place to be, apparently. Let the mingling, chatting, dancing and whatnot commence! No, I do not want another beer. I’m good. Thank you very much.

2:21 a.m. Surprise stop at Waffle House on the way home. Scattered, covered, diced and capped, please.


3:11 a.m. Shower and go to bed. I’m too tired to take the towel off my hair.

8:53 a.m. Not taking the towel off last night was a mistake. My hair looks like a fright wig.

9:13 a.m. Text my friend Brian to tell him I went to the two gay bars he’s been telling me about. Without him.

9:30 a.m. Brian decides I’m going with him to see “Love, Simon” this afternoon. But that’s hours away.

Next weekend, René and I are supposed to go to the Northwest Georgia Bantam Club Winter Classic —  a poultry show. No, I’m not kidding. I can’t wait!

Stay tuned,
Beth

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Let me share mine through music.

FRIDAY

Out Tonight
From “Rent
René and his partner Cris accompanied me for more recon for my PR project. I actually changed out of work clothes this time to go out. That’s commitment.

All Night Long
Buckcherry
There were three bands scheduled for this venue: The Sagas, Dank (formerly Dank Sinatra) and Casual Cadenza. We had an interesting conversation on the Lyft ride over about the word “credenza,” which would have been a better band name. The ride to the bar also featured this quote from Cris about my college drink of choice:

There’s nothing good at the bottom of a bottle of Boone’s Farm.

So true. Did you know they still make it? (Did you get a case of the clap from just thinking about those days? Just kidding. It was herpes. KIDDING. Maybe.)

The Sagas

The Sagas: The best band of the night. I’m bummed I didn’t take the photo before the singer took off his gold tablecloth.

Deadbeat Club
The B-52’s
I really didn’t understand the audience for many reasons. They paid to see these bands, yet they stood like recently reanimated corpses, dressed like they were going to a casting call for L.L. Bean catalog work. The men outnumbered the women at least 10-1. And all of these guys seemed like they were one drink away from switching sides.

A Toe Needs a Shoe
The Replacements
Apparently, Dank was the main attraction. I couldn’t see why, but all the stiff white people were THRILLED that this band had gotten back together after a reported six-year hiatus. In that time, they clearly did not give much thought to their stage wear for the big reunion. Or maybe they did. (That’s worse.)

IMG_1022

What is going on here? This is a true wardrobe malfunction.

Mean
Taylor Swift
When I read “Southern rock sound” in the Casual Cadenza bio, I thought I would like them. I did not. They sounded like a bad lounge band. Like I could smell Nick WintersBrut by Faberge. René should be happy he had to leave early because he had an early-morning flight.

Little T & A
The Rolling Stones
At some point in the evening, I got the booking manager’s email on a napkin (for the aforementioned PR project). I stuffed it in my bra for safekeeping. Somehow, it went missing. (I don’t know how; I promise the only hands in my bra were my own.) I got the email rewritten on a piece of register tape. It also went missing for a bit. It turned up the next morning. When I relayed this story to my “client,” my friend Simon, he called it “the Narnia Bra.” That’s bloody brilliant!

Seen in the ladies room. Nicky will what?

Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
The Monkees
For the second time in a month, I was still in the bar when they turned the house lights on. No one looks good when the house lights come on. No one. Cris and I scuttled away like roaches.

SATURDAY

Morning has broken
Cat Stevens
Sweet mother of God, that came quickly. Got to get up, because …

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Jack Norworth
My youngest son is into baseball. I’m not into baseball. Yet there I was at his AAA game. Early morning. So early. Bundled up, sipping coffee, hiding behind sunglasses, and waiting for the Tylenol and English muffin to kick in. The game was a nail-biter. His team was up 6-1 going into the fifth inning of six. Then the wheels came off the cart. They went into the sixth down 7-9. My son managed to score the eighth run, but then the tying run was called out at home plate. The kid looked safe to me, but what do I know?

Gideon gets ready to score.

During the game, though, the coach used that classic line from “A League of Their Own” with a couple of the kids:

Lay off the high ones!

Pumped Up Kicks
Foster the People
My sons went to a paintball party for a neighbor friend. I dropped them off then dropped my top (of my convertible — come on!). Loud singing commenced.

I love my home town.

Don’t Leave Me This Way
The Communards version
When I got home, I resumed binge-watching “Game of Thrones” with Eddie, who had just gotten home from work. I know I’m late to this party; I’m only up to season five. I said to Eddie:

I really like Davos. I guess I’d better not get too attached to him.

I’m still attached to Jon Snow. I know, I know.

Chicken Fried
Zac Brown Band
I’ve lived in the South almost my whole life. I cook all the time, yet I’ve never made chicken and dumplings. Until now. Damn it was good.

Temptation Waits
Garbage
On Friday night, the bartender’s friend told Cris and me about another live-music venue we needed to try. Cris is only in town for a few days, so we decided to check it out. We agreed to go easy; our “check liver” lights were still on. The bar looks super shady from the outside, real dive-y on the inside, but we knew immediately it would be fun.

I love this photobomber.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me
The Police
Cris and I carved out a great space for ourselves off the dance floor, protected by a long table and a load-bearing column. We could dance in peace and still watch the excellent band — the Wasted Potential Brass Band — and people in the bar. So many interesting humans. It reminded me of the George Clinton concert: a medley of shapes, ages, colors, proclivities. We heard an older man say to a younger woman, “Can I pay you?” We watched a lady pull a whole wad of money out of her own Narnia Bra. We observed one fellow creep on every single female in the place. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my waist. Guess who!

Him: You have a way of galvanizing the troops.
Me: What?
Him: You are fantastic.
Me: Um … thank you.
Him: Do you want to dance?
Me: No, thank you.

And I slid closer to Cris.

Props to Creeper for creativity in opening lines, though. Here he is with his final score and her poncho.

“Let’s get out of here,” she said to him. Yes, SHE said that to HIM. And he had just grabbed her by the hair, all caveman style!

Closing Time
Semisonic
After the band’s second set, the atmosphere changed. It happened quickly. Suddenly, patrons were sloppy and desperate. Cris and I had enough. So had these guys, clearly:

Go home, fellas.

SUNDAY

Sunday Morning
No Doubt
Oof. That is all.

The Luck You Got
The High Strung
Brunch with Brian and Cindy, two friends from high school. There’s such joy in being with people who have known you since you were a wee lass and still like you (I think).

Back in Black
AC/DC
“Black Panther” lives up to the hype. Top-notch acting, strong women, great costumes and storyline. Go see it. Drop everything.

Atomic Dog
George Clinton
Gideon and his friend Miles started a dog-walking business in the neighborhood. My older son, well … unless you can get paid for playing “Fortnite,” he’s not going to be flush any time soon.

K-9 Kids Dog Walking, $5 per dog

Celebrity Skin
Hole
Oscar party at the home of the president of my university. I’m so fancy (Iggy Azalea) that I wore a fake fur scarf I picked up at a Leek thrift shop for £2. I had a great time catching up with a friend from college (even though we got shushed by a woman who didn’t realize she was in the fun room). The host kept score from our ballots on huge pieces of paper he taped to his French doors. (Have I mentioned how much I like my job?)

Can’t wait to see what next weekend has in store. Anyone up for a mission with me? Eddie just rolls his eyes as I revert to my 20s.

Don’t “Call Me” (Blondie) because I hate to talk on the phone (Right, Trish?). Text, tweet, FB message me or comment here if you want to “Stand and Deliver” (Adam and the Ants).

See you next weekend!
Beth

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Dear 1980s,

I’ve been thinking about you lately. It should be no surprise as I just wrote a post about growing up as your child. For those who did not experience you (or don’t remember because of all the crack cocaine), let me walk through your decade via all five senses.*

SMELL: Love’s Baby Soft and Polo by Ralph Lauren

Love's Baby Barf

Love’s Baby Soft, made of the tears of girls who realized they could never be real princesses, smelled like baby powder and desperation, roses and acne medicine. Every female wore it. How could our teachers stand it?

 

 

 

Polo by Ralph Lauren, made of the seeping testosterone of pubescent boys, smelled like cat piss in pine straw. Every boy wore it except my friend Rob. He wore Lagerfeld, I think. At any rate, it was something different, and I loved him.

 

 

 

SIGHT: Jessica McClintock and Bugle Boy

Little House on Central DriveFor any event — school dance, church, confirmation, scheduled pining for John Taylor, etc. — you were not a real girl unless you had a Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax dress. Every dress had lace or florals — often both. I don’t know what kind of fever dream we all were having, but we looked like we were trying to channel Laura Ingalls Wilder. These concoctions went well with the Love’s Baby Soft, and the hope by our parents that our vaginas would stay hidden forever. I think I had the dress to the left. I remember it itched.

 

Every boy in my school, fat or thin, tall or short, wore black parachute pants. No one looked good in them. No one. So many pockets. Yet you couldn’t put anything in those pockets because the pants were so freakin’ tight. I think the boys had to tuck to get them on.

 

 

 

SOUND: Pac-Man and Rush

There is no sound as distinctive as the sound of the game in action. That and, of course, the sound of the meet-cute cut scene with Ms. Pac-Man on her version. It was what was playing in the background of every attempted hookup in the arcade when we girls had shed our Gunne Sax dresses and slid into high-waisted acid-wash jeans. The boys remained encased in their parachute pants, probably until they could be cut out of them at night by their parents (who likely were thrilled that the sperm count had to be way down).

 

Every boy in my social circle went apeshit over Rush. “Moving Pictures,” “Signals,” “Grace Under Pressure” — they dissected each album like an archaeologist examines microscopic fossil fragments. Granted, I hung out with band geeks. In this dark period, we girls were left to our own devices, mooning over Rick Springfield, Duran Duran and George Michael (we didn’t know) until the boys started paying attention to us again in 10th grade.

 

TASTE: Jell-o Pudding Pops and Cool Ranch Doritos

At this point in time, the world loved Bill Cosby, and he loved to shill Jell-o Pudding Pops. We just added it to the rest of the sugar we were inhaling every day, all day. We started off with Smurf Berry Crunch cereal, gnawed on jawbreakers, Twizzlers and Nerds all day, then ended with Jell-o Pudding Pops. No wonder we loved neon. Our mood matched.

 

When Cool Ranch Doritos came out, our collective heads exploded. We had no idea such flavors existed in the world. And God help you if you had a party and did not provide the Cool Ranch Doritos. You would feel a cool breeze from former friends come Monday. (And yes, boys and girls, that is Jay Leno hawking them.)

 

TOUCH: Aqua Net and private parts

For our hair to reach such death-defying heights as expected, we needed Aqua Net. It would coat our hair with a layer of lacquer that repelled rain, hands, sonic blasts, etc. Pity the fool who would try to touch our perms crowned by sky-high bangs.

Here’s a wee little photo of me during the Aqua Net era (because any larger would make your eyes bleed). I think I’m wearing a half a can of Aqua Net. I could have fallen on my head from a great height and been totally fine.

 

 

In addition to getting to know our own parts, we also were getting to know the parts of others — at the arcade, on bleachers, in the back of movie theaters, in cars, in AP History class. (What’s that you say? Just me? Well then.) What a wonderful time to be alive! All the bits a tingling.

 

Some say there is a sixth sense. I can assure you that we did not have it then. For example, I thought I might have a chance with Mike M. When my friend Kari asked him, though, she was told to bring me back the news that I was a “dog.” Oh. OK. Back to Andrew McCarthy for me.

Anyway, I miss you sometimes, but I don’t miss the angst associated with growing up.

Thanks for the memories.

Love,
Beth

 

*I apologize that these reflections are gender- and heteronormative. These are my personal recollections as a cisgendered straight person.

 

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Dear Erin,

Thanks for letting me know about Eddie’s online dating habits. I had no idea. He has always passed himself off as a man who cannot even remember his iTunes password or use the calendar on his phone, but yet he has been able to carry on a secret life. I can’t even be upset because I’m too shocked and impressed.

This is just the kind of information I need around Christmas time. I’ll be sure to pay close attention to receipts for odd purchases. I won’t automatically assume they are gifts for me.

Also, what is the “thruth?” Is that the official name for realizing the truth about thrush? And what does that have to do with Eddie? Oh WAIT … are you trying to tell me something about my health? Egad! I didn’t even know that was considered an STD!

Erin, you have helped me out so much. Thank you for your interest in my well-being and marriage.

You are a true friend.

With gratitude,
Beth

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Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 9.16.35 AMDear Verlene:

I want to help you — I do — but I don’t know what a “sex body” is. Maybe you should send me a link. Is it like one of those blow-up dolls they sell in adult stores? If so, I really can’t help you. Here’s a link so you can shop online.

Wait — maybe it wasn’t a good idea to share that link with you. Is that the “shit” to which you refer?

If I want to get in touch with you, why wouldn’t I just reply to your message? The email address you shared isn’t like any I’ve ever seen. I did a quick search and found this:

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.49.46 AMWho is Jennell, Verlene? Who else are you contacting with the same message? I thought you loved me for me, and now I find out that I’m just some random person to you! How can you call yourself the “one and only?”

We’re through, Verlene. 

Over you already,
Beth

 

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