September 17, 2010

Sunday: a review

Seven days in the week, and fewer than half are distinguishable among the fray. Monday’s reputation is well known and irrefutable. In fact, today is Monday and I would be remiss in describing it any way other than dreadful. Wednesday’s “Hump Day” moniker, while lending itself to sophomoric elbow prods, is embedded in our collective unconscious as a recurring attainable albeit low-slung goal. Saturday’s starring roles in numerous blockbusters, both film and song, have established its status as frat boy of weekdays. Tuesday and Thursday, seemingly content as the placeholders of the week, come and go all but unnoticed. But one rotation of the Earth remains a day of mystery, a day of ever-changing meaning, content, import and implication: Sunday.

By the time you are forty-six, you will personally experience 2,392 Sundays. Each will essentially begin the same, sun rising in the east, and end identically as well, sun setting in the west. However, every five hundred Sundays or so, elemental changes will take place. Saturday will always precede, and Monday will always follow, but what happens in between runs the gamut.

September 3, 2010

Doppelgangers Among Us or Who's That Girl?

(This column first appeared in the Good Times Weekly on August 18th, and can be found on their website here)

A few weeks ago, during a typically foggy, chilly Santa Cruz morning, I decided to take a brisk walk to get the blood moving, revitalize the senses and energize my mental state. It was early in the day and as such I chose to simply hide my comfortable almost-pajamas and disheveled almost-awake self with a black trench coat cinched dramatically at the waist, a pair of extra large sunglasses, and a neatly tied black scarf atop the leftovers of the previous night’s fantastic hairdo. As I headed for the front door, a brief glance in the mirror told me I looked a lot like a movie star in a clich├ęd disguise, more specifically (and fantastically, in the true sense of the word – the derivative of “fantasy”) I imagined I looked a lot like 1970’s era Elizabeth Taylor dodging the public eye. (Need I remind you that it was very early, and I probably had not yet had my reality-inducing first cup of coffee, so humor me.)

Basking in my newfound, if wholly undeserved confidence, I adopted a slight swagger in my step, thinking, “How would La Liz exercise?”  I committed to my own inner monologue and avoided direct eye contact with strangers, as if I were Someone Important who did not want to be bothered. I reminisced about my marriages to Richard Burton and my perfume empire. My journey led me toward the Boardwalk, and through small groups of early arrivals at the beach: groups of families, friends and a church group or two. My intent to breeze through on the wings of the starlet express was halted mid-step as a teenager muttered, “Is that Rosie O’Donnell?”

My personal Mancini soundtrack skipped a few grooves, my stride de-glamorized as I tripped over the offending comment, and my mouth fell open in shock. Rosie O’Donnell? The reality of my true demeanor fell over me like a breaking wave. Not the kind of wave that lifts you up and carries you like a graceful water goddess to the edge of the sand, but a wave that knocks you over unexpectedly, rolls you on the sea floor and tosses you out with sand in all the wrong places. How could I have been so delusional? Nothing against Ms. O’Donnell, but when one is trying to feign paparazzi dodging, one usually does not adopt a personage that requires dialogue along the lines of, “Yo! Exercising here! A little privacy?!!"

The remainder of my stroll lacked zing. I trudged home to resume life as plain old me. I thought about the mistaken identity perpetrated by the teen (whom I pegged immediately as a Taylor Lautner look-alike), and the doppelganger tribes among us. I admit to being one of those people who regularly says things like, “He’s a Robert de Niro guy,” or “She’s one of the Jessica Tandys” when describing someone. Apparently what I hadn’t considered was that I might be “a Rosie O’Donnell.” Doctor heal thyself? How about “judge pigeonhole thyself.”