Tag Archives: R



R has not seen The Shadow, that terrible, terrible Alec Baldwin movie from 1994 so I watched it with him last weekend.

When Lamont Cranston (worst alter-ego name ever) dresses up as the Shadow, he wears a big flamenco hat and a bandana over his lower face.

Me: That is not Alec Baldwin.
R: Yeah it is.
Me: That is not Alec Baldwin’s nose. It’s huge.
R: The Shadow Nose!
Me: That’s not how that’s spelled.



I am not on top of this wedding planning stuff. At all. Not even a little bit.

At first, we said, “Let’s enjoy being engaged! Let’s not rush things the way other people have done.” It was not procrastination. It was savoring.

We savored. The holidays came. The winter rains fell. We reassessed. Were we savory yet? Would we get married this summer?

I was leaving my job. Too soon for a wedding on foreign soil. No. Not this summer. Too little advance notice for guests, too little planning time for us.

When then?

Next summer. No rush.

(Pause here for hysterical laughter.)

Apparently, there is no time too soon to start planning your wedding, even when it’s 16 months away.

Last weekend, Erica came from Dallas. On a table at IHOP, she spread out tear sheets of flowers and gowns and cakes. All I had to do was point to what I liked, like a cave man at Barneys.

She encouraged me to make a guest list. Just one thing. Just the list. Nothing else on the endless checklist, just the list of nice people. I could stop there and see where that left me.

I followed the instructions. I made the list. It took forever. I can’t remember what’s next. Apparently, all cars do not start when you roll them downhill.

Today, Sarah brought me a stack of books on bouquets and etiquette and, like gauzy heroin, Vera Wang on Weddings, replete with brides in heavy gowns in smudgy photos. Brides who are models. Gowns that cost more than a car.

It’s like a very genial, very gradual intervention.

I’m assuming another friend will show up soon to tell me what to do next.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Me: It‘s exactly what I thought it was going to be. Cheerful, not complicated. Like children. Like Harriet the Spy. Amateurs. God. Middle-aged women.
R: What are you going to be like when you’re middle-aged?
Me: Complicated. And I’ll wear a turban.
R: You’re going to be a freak, aren’t you?
Me: And you’ll be right there next to me.

The phone again…

I’m texting R.

I type, “I’m excited about our date!”
My phone types, “I’m excited about our fate!”

That’s also true. Huh.

All right, phone, you win. This time.


R: I’m so hungover.
Me: Maybe your job is to go get us some coffee.
R: I thought my job was to pack.
Me: It takes you four a half minutes to pack.
R: Then my job is to sleep some more.
Me: You have a new job.
R: I hate this recession.


Me: I don’t know, I guess we could go there for dinner tonight and your place tomorrow…

KT: Or we could go to dinner there tomorrow night.
Me: Yeah. But if we go to lunch tomorrow we won’t want dinner out too.
KT: So let’s go tonight.
Me: Or tomorrow, I guess, if we have an early lunch and go to the museum afterwards…
R: This is like decision-making Pong.


Me: What’s the word for that? Dysfunction?
R: Neuroses?
Me: That’s not what I’m looking for…
R: No one’s looking for it but it shows up anyway.
Me: You’re a huge help.

Wine Country Ladies

Me: Oh my God.
R: What?
Me: “Hmmm… What shall I wear wine tasting with my plastic surgery?… I know: my lime green blouse AND my fur vest! Hooray!”
R: We’re leaving.


R: We could go see Wendy and Lucy. What’s that?
Me: We’re not going to Wendy and Lucy.
R: Why not?
Me: Because you’ll hate it…it’s, like a girl…and her dog…it’s a bad situation….
R: A girl in a bad situation…with her dog?! Sweet. Say no more. I’m there. Where do I invest?

Facing Front


Everyone’s got an opinion about Facebook and now I’m joining the fray. We all could have seen that coming when I got some time on my hands, couldn’t we?

The bulk of the articles I read about Facebook involve who gets to see what. Does Facebook get to use your info / share your info / keep your info even if you leave, yada yada yada? I’m not staying up nights on this one. There are other people all over that and God bless ’em.

What is keeping me up nights is the definition of “friend.” Everyone from the New York Times to Burger King have weighed in on this one. It’s a tenacious question because it’s not a cyber problem but you’ve got to pick a cyber lane.

This is my offline friend calculus. Facebook, you’ve forced me to put it in writing.

  1. Your (super)friends. People who would bail you out of jail. Other people call these just “friends”, but I guess that depends on how many times you’ve been in jail and how much bail money your friends have.
  2. Your friends. Fine. You have dinner. You know some secrets, but not the ones you haven’t sorted out in therapy yet. Everyone’s got a healthy respect for boundaries, no one’s straying into no man’s land with weird-ass phone calls at 2AM when you’re drunk, and if you do call from jail, they pretend it didn’t happen. Done.

  3. People you have known for a long time. Once someone has known you for more than five years and you’re still on speaking terms, membership rolls over to the next highest level of service, namely “friends.” Think of it like a credit limit increase: it can be handy to have when you’ve been mugged in Uruguay but it’s a dangerous thing on your average weekend. Too late now though. You should have been more careful with those virtual Christmas cards.
  4. People who know your name. Traditionally, these are not called friends unless you are a politician or from the south. These are acquaintances.
  5. People who think they’re your friends because you shared something one time. That something might be, say, “being alive in the same place at the same time.” This category of person is particularly active on Facebook.
  6. People you thought were actual friends but who turned out to not be your friends when the chips were down and you only had that one phone call. If you’re an emotional bad-ass and not a public figure, you can kick these people to the curb and never look back. On the other end, if you’re the Dali Lama, you love them anyway.

    If you’re emotionally sophisticated and have better things to do with your time than worry about jerks, you demote them to acquaintances (without telling them) and leave it on the playground. That’s R. He does that. I don’t do that.

    If you’re me, you agonize about it endlessly and try to work it out in your head, then try to show your work on paper, then you bore your actual friends with talking about your former actual friends and how disappointing they are. Time passes. And then one day, they friend on you Facebook and…what the hell is going on??

  7. People you hate and who should know it because they were so terrible that they drove you to fire them (literally) or be rude to their faces (which is very uncharacteristic of me, I should note – I’m from New England and I generally prefer passive aggression.) Two such people friended me last week. My question for them is, “How dumb are you? Were you dropped on your head? Are you that guy in Germany with literally half a brain who acts normal but has HALF A BRAIN? You know who I mean: the one who had a stent when he was a kid but it closed and fluid filled his head where his brain should have developed but his brain developed anyway, just in half the space. That guy. Are you that guy? ARE YOU?”

How do these translate to Facebook? 1 and 2? Fine. 3 and 4? Also fine – you’re not going to sort that out online anyway. 7? You’re out. Forget it. You have dirt for what remains of your brains and there’s no helping it.

5 and 6 are tricky. “Accept” is the passive choice masquerading as the charitable choice, but you know, whichever, right? No harm done in taking the friending and we’ll see what happens, right? Things change – people change – whatever.

On the other hand, every time I log in now I’m seeing all your updates which remind me of why you aren’t my actual friend. Why aren’t you my actual friend anyway? What’s up with that? Now I don’t want to log in because there you are, all up in my business. It’s like I barely know you – or I do know you and we broke up – and then there you are, next to me at the bar, talking with my friends when I stop by for a cocktail and now what?

It turns out, just as this problem was starting to gnaw at me, Facebook came to the rescue. Now I can turn off updates from individual people. So as far as you’re concerned, we’re friends, but I’m not getting dragged into your daily life. Offline passive aggression creeps online. I guess Facebook life isn’t that different from real life after all.