29 April 2009

Feeling the Burn

Ladies, we are a smart lot. When we set out minds to accomplish something, it's done. So why, in the history of womankind and snogging, have we not come up with a cure, balm or salve for beard burn?

Seriously. You'd have thunk we'd have come up with that by now. I mean, exfoliation is good to a point...but then you hit disaster.

The problem with beard burn is that you don't feel it while it's happening. Not if you're doing it right. It's not until you wake up the next morning, late for a meeting, and look in the mirror that you realize no amount of moisturizer or makeup is going to hide the fact you were up to some good the night before. Or a few nights before, depending on the level of the burn. It's clear your face has been met with some friction, even if the stubble was slight. A little stubble and a long snog can be big trouble. And, if you aren't wearing a ring on your left hand's third finger, or haven't declared yourself in a deeply committed relationship, you get a look. The look can range from "Good for you!" to "Hussy!", depending on who's shooting it. Either way, your private life is on display. It's a bit un-fun.

So, ladies, I'm putting it to you to solve the beard burn issue. We can't leave it to the guys because they already have the answer: SHAVE! And a girl should still be able to get caught up in the moment and take off half her face. So, send in your remedies. Put your chemistry cap on and save face. Thank you.

Oh, and guys...even if you think your Miami Vice-esque (be it a Johnson or Farrell), one-to-three day growth is hot, it's not. It burns. Take care of it and the ladies. Thanks. xo

16 April 2009

Bucolic Fever

The day after my birthday (which only sucked for part of the day; good friends rescued the rest), I woke up early. Earlier than intended. I woke up with an asthma attack, and I can't recall the last time that happened. I suppose it was one way to revisit my youth. I suspect the wine I ordered was not the wine that I drank. Or there was much more butter in the sauce on my cod than I tasted. Either way, I had to suck on my inhaler twice, then shake my way through a shower and packing before heading up the 405 to the 5 to the 580 to the 101 to Novato to see my friend, Joy, her amazing hubster, Dude, and their incredible son, Laddy.

The last time I made this journey, I had a little car trouble. This time, I knew it would be a smooth sail. And, outside of the asthma attack, it was. The only other hiccup was that Joy's chemo was postponed due to low T-cells, which wasn't unexpected. So, instead of her recovering from that over Easter weekend, we got to hang out and O.D. on Bravo marathons, Easter chocolate, and marvel at the energy packed into a three-year-old. He and I got to go to the park and blow bubbles into the breeze. Do you remember how much fun that is? I had forgotten until that weekend.

With her energy still low, I took over the chores and errands, which are actually enjoyable here. I had the distinct pleasure of taking Laddy to and from preschool. That necessitated having a booster seat installed in my car. Someone should alert Guinness to that. On Monday morning, out to my car we went and found an ugly clicking where the sound of the ignition engagement should've been. Being the stubborn broad I am, I kept trying, turning the key over and over, certain that "just once more" would get it to go. But, no. The battery finally expired. I turned to the young gent sitting in the back and broke the news. "That's okay. Let's just walk," Laddy said. And so we did. Which turned out to be rather scandalous, because every pre-K kid on the playground asked why he was walking to school. "BECAUSE SANDRA'S BATTERIES ARE BROKEN!" he explained at volume eleven. Awesome.

Did you know that AAA will sell and install a battery for you...and for less than the local mechanic? Neither did I. Love them. I told the two men (one who came to jump me and the other who delivered my new juice box) that they should be wearing capes.

The other reason I came up was that Joy was having pain from a previous procedure, which was going to be addressed on Wednesday. Dude took her in and I manned the home front. There, I did laundry. Four loads of it. I actually enjoy doing laundry (and dishes) when one's own, in-house machinery is involved. I was having quite a good time with it, I must say. At one point, probably during yet another episode of "real" housewives from somewhere, I got a little frightened when I realized that not once have I been bored. Not once did I itch to go home. Not once did my skin crawl at the sight of a minivan (which neither Joy nor Dude owns...we comprise a squadron of Jettas). I had found myself in a suburban town that does not nauseate me. Seriously. someone should alert Guinness on that.

I'm sure some of it has to do with the company I keep. And the fact that this town is not manufactured or "planned". Houses are not encrusted with beige stucco. This suburb has a touch of the bucolic to it. It's quietness does not creep me out, but calms me. I know that I am still somewhat "normal" because we have gone into establishments that housed screaming children and I did want to throttle them, so I'm not too far gone. But, the strangest thing is that I feel like I've always been here, and I have no desire to go back home. A place that I love. Again, that could be due to the company I keep here. But, as I head off to unload the dishwasher, having fully embraced my domestic diva, I think I'm going to have a hard time adjusting back to my life. A lot of that will have to do with missing my own washer, dryer and dishwasher. But, even more of it will be having my friends at such a distance. It would be nice to have them right next door. And, while I'm not sure I'm ready to be a "real" housewife of any sort, at least I know I won't have an allergic reaction to it. (And if I do, I'm armed with Claritin and an inhaler.)

09 April 2009

Some Day

Today's my birthday. Oh, stop. I'm not telling you that because I want a flurry of cards and gifts. No. Thanks, but no. I'm mentioning it because I have to remind myself of it. I'm the kind of geek who loves birthdays. Not just mine, but everyone's. After all, it's *your* day. It's meant to be special. This one was supposed to be special, but it's sort of lost its shine.

I don't go to extremes for my birthday. I simply gather friends for dinner. We laugh and eat and drink. No matter what is going on, that night is just us. But, in all honesty, I don't want to go to my own party tonight. There's a part of me that would like to call everyone and just say, "Let's put it off until next year, shall we?" I won't, but I want to.

Like so many others, the recession has slammed me. My main client, whom already cut the project fee in half, is failing to pay me at all. I know, kind of rude, don't you think? That flakeage puts me in a bit of a financial tailspin, and I know I'm not alone in that freefall.

Somewhere along the lines, I've misplaced my golden parachute. And I know I'm not the only one. But this sort of takes away the glow of the birthday candles. This is kind of not how I planned to ring in this new year of mine. I had bigger plans. Things that were supposed to be done. There was stuff that should have come through. And it didn't. And, even more surprising, other things slipped away. I know there are plenty of others going through a similar sitch. And, no matter how bad it might be, we all know someone else has it worse.

Wait. I'm not replacing my birthday party with a pity party. No ma'am sir. I'm just sitting here wondering the best way to handle all this as the happy birthday wishes roll in. I don't feel much like celebrating. I have to make a plan, and fast. For now, though, I will simply go to the gym, work for the client who does pay me (God, I wish I had three more of her), put on a party dress and give my lovely friends a smile. While I might not feel like celebrating me, my friends certainly deserve a toast.