Do you think of yourself as normal? I have never once, for as long as I can remember, considered myself to be normal. And I'm glad of it, although I haven't always been. I doubt anyone else finds me normal, either.

There was one woman who was married to my friend, a woman who made it a real point to seem different, kind of like that What's Goin' On chick, you know who I mean? 4nb6

Like, the second you meet her, she's got so much "Look how weird I am" happening with her look that you can't help but think, Hey, bundle of insecurity, how's it going?

Four Non Blondes. That was the name of the What's Goin' On band. I can't tell you how delighted I am that they made "non" stand alone like that. Like the cheese. Standing alone.

The point of my story is my friend's wife–the Hey World, Look at Me wife–found me desperately boring. "Oh, a tattoo on your ankle. How original." Yes, if only I'd had the creativity to get that feminine neck tattoo, Grace Kelly doppelganger, over there.

Other than that bitch, no one finds me all that normal. I don't think. Maybe they do and I just think my insides show, like one of those refrigerators with glass doors.

This might be genetic, this thinking I'm a rare flower. My grandmother, the one I'm turning into–and let's just call a spade a spade and call her The One I've Turned Into already–went to a restaurant when she was a kid, and she ordered a steak, rare, because she thought it meant it was this precious piece of steak or something. That there was no other steak like it in the world. When this bloody hunk of meat appeared on her plate she about died.

I don't know how I got on this tangent, other than I met this man from New York on one of my dating sites, a man from New York who's moved here, and my first thought was why did some fancy New Yorker pick a gal from Michigan like me, who likes sparkles and Real Housewives, and then I remembered the whole not-seeming-normal thing, which is probably refreshing for a New York man surrounded by women with french pedicures, Beach Girl bumper stickers and monogrammed commuter mugs. That was a short sentence.

Not that I'm saying there's a romance brewing in a commuter mug, by the way. I have no idea yet. I was just more stuck on the New Yorker thing.

Did y'all have those York Steakhouses in your malls? Those all dark in there places? I think it had burgundy wallpaper. We did for awhile, and I remember it was delicious after a day of shopping for Lip Smackers and Andy Gibb 45s. Also, welcome to how my brain works. As if you didn't know already.

There's nothing like steak served cafeteria style. If there were a York Steakhouse, I'd march right over there at lunch today. Because ravenous. I did that damn high intensity workout again last night, with my tenant, fmr., and listen to this. We decided to go a little longer, like Big Red. "You want to try two minutes more?" I asked. Believe me, two more minutes feels like to kill you when you're at the end of that thing.

Nevertheless, we persisted.

IMG_5457
In other news, not that I've given you even one piece of news so far, I saw this photo on Facebook–I think Faithful Reader Paula put it up–and was stunned to find Midcentury June. Everything about this photo is Midcentury June. I want to know everything there is to know about this woman. I wonder if she's still alive! She could give Late Century June some advice, such as never, ever get a Boxer.

I love that picture so hard. The more you stare at it, the more shit you find to love.

I'd better get ready for work, as I am wont to do. I finished my latest freelance assignment, but another is coming next week. And I still need to write a Purple Clover this weekend. I can't seem to figure out how to start this particular column. It haunts me. I should probably just start writing and I'll be fine.

Also, I wrote an animal behaviorist about making an appointment for Edsel, and got a VERY snooty note back about how my vet needs to recommend said behaviorist, that I can't just make an appointment, who do I think I am with my generic ankle tattoo. But then I read that Prozac takes 4 weeks to kick in, and it's not been 4 weeks, so I decided to see if he seems better in a week or two. Poor sad Edsel. How many times are we gonna say that? In this life.

He doesn't seem sad right this minute. He's over here developing a real crush on m'toast. Edz can see reel fewchur with towst.

I'd better go, but oh! Last night I started streaming The People v OJ Simpson OH MY GOD, riveting. They didn't make Marcia Clark's hair bad enough, though. I know from bad hair.

I'll catch you later. Let's all meet up at York's, near the Sears entrance to the mall.

96 thoughts on “Rare. In the bloody way, not the special way.

  1. lauradammit. (Laura Tapia) (L. Tap) says:

    Was just getting ready for work and thought of a comment on this particular post so here I am. I have never in my life considered myself normal but I also never considered myself a rare flower. When I think of how not normal I am, it’s always rather a lamentation of why oh why can’t I just be normal?

    Like

  2. Cabber says:

    LOVED Farrell’s! They had those cream colored quartet singer hats made from styrofoam. I remember picking the styrofoam off in little chunks.
    Everyone had their birthday parties there.

    Like

  3. Becky in East Texas says:

    I loved Wicks N Sticks!

    Like

  4. I think I remember you saying you’re a 4 on the enneagram. Me too. The “I’m like no one else” is definitely a 4 thing.

    Like

  5. mogo@chartermi.net says:

    I just finished watching the OJ series. It was riveting, even though I knew what was going to happen.
    If you lived through this it is wonderful to watch. If you didn’t live through it, it might be informative.
    I even got a bit more of a feel for why the verdict was not guilty in the racial tone of the times. Not unlike what is happening now.
    It makes me so happy that OJ is in jail and looks like shit. He was so vain.
    Enjoy.

    Like

  6. Amish Annie says:

    Oh my goodness, MARMOLEUM!! So after making contact with several local flooring companies about Linoleum, I contacted an out-of-area, higher-end company about Marmoleum. Oh man, I love that stuff, loved it!!! The only company in my state that carried Marmoleum was located in a super hippy dippy, higher income town. And the price was astronomical although if I had a ton of money, I would have totally ordered it. I would have had to find a contractor to lay it too, which is another barrier as many people do NOT know how to lay Marmoleum in the correct way, apparently, according to said higher-end company sales rep selling this completely green material. By about this time, I was like WTF, you have this awesome green material yet YOU do not have local contractors who lay the stuff since it’s so specialized and higher-end?? I think that was about the time when I shrugged my shoulders and ordered vinyl plank Core-Tec Plus from my flooring company which included installation and matched the rest of the flooring in the house. Thank you for mentioning Marmoleum, I had forgotten about that!!

    Like

  7. Laurie in TN says:

    Jean Nicole.

    Like

  8. Laurie in TN says:

    Town and Country. Casual Corner.

    Like

  9. Shannon says:

    I grew up on an island on the West Coast without a TV until I was 18 and even then, we got a channel that showed MASH and Friends. I’m a flaming liberal heathen living in SC so certainly not normal, if judging from the number of “Bless your heart”‘s I receive.

    Like

  10. Snow (pretending to be a grownup) says:

    I felt I should comment since “not normal” and “New York” were mentioned in the same post.
    This morning I was riding the subway to work and I happened to see the feet of the person sitting opposite me (fyi the only reason I could SIT and SEE the person opposite me is because my commute time is later than normal rush hour).
    This person was wearing yellow Timberland shoes (which I consider boy-shoes) with thin (almost sheer), pink, knee high socks printed with an ice cream sundae/ice cream cone pattern.
    “That’s odd,” I thought and looked further up to see she was wearing a faded pink mini skirt and holding a pink cloth bag that had a ‘totally 80s’ image on it. You know what kind I mean – abstract, angular shapes, splashes and streaks in primary colors.
    To add to the ensemble, she was ALSO wearing an acid wash(!!!) jean jacket(!!!) with puffy sleeves(!!!).
    “Okay,” I thought to myself, “maybe this chick is nostalgic for the 80s but those old clothes are looking a little tatty.” (snarky, I know)
    Then I casually glanced up to look at her face (BECAUSE I HAD TO), expecting to see big hair with bangs split and curled into uppers and lowers…..but found this woman sporting _NEON GREEN HAIR_ which was topped off with a knit hat (pompom and ear flaps included).
    It was soooooo “Look how weird I am” I couldn’t stop stealing glances at her. (I know, I know, rude subway etiquette!)
    Anyway that was my morning.
    P.S. Your image of ‘New York’ women crack me up! Then again, I’m thinking 5-boroughs New York City and not Buffalo New York so….. (but yes to the french manicure)
    P.P.S. What’s a Beach Girl bumper sticker? This isn’t sarcasm (I have my drivers license, although unused for over a decade – and I know what a bumper sticker is) but I don’t know what that means.

    Like

  11. Megsie says:

    Normal is over-rated. I have never felt normal either, but then I am not “out there” either. I am just weird. That is the way my friends and I described ourselves and each other growing up, and still today.
    That behaviorist is gross.
    That picture is awesome! Mid-century June! Ha!
    Lovely post, lovely June!

    Like

  12. I know they still make a product called Marmoleum that is green. Fantastic but pricey stuff. Feels great on bare feet and hard wearing stuff. Used it in a house we had in the kitchen to do a checkerboard floor.

    Like

  13. hot in az says:

    yes!!!! let’s do a mom photo day on pie face!

    Like

  14. Amish Annie says:

    I love Wisonart! Formica and Wilson Art have brought back some pretty awesome retro patterns. The old boomerang pattern is particularly cool. If I ever replace the original, mint condition gray cracked ice laminate countertops, I am totally going laminate again in boomerang or I like the pattern with the glitter and sparkles too (cant’t remember the actual pattern name).

    Like

  15. We ordered it for a flipper a girl was doing and I think it was Linoleum. It was about the same price as wood laminate. Maybe it wasn’t Linoleum brand it may have been Armstrong. Hmmm. Have to look that one up. The flooring guy called it Linoleum. I know she used Wilson Art laminate on her counter tops.

    Like

  16. Amish Annie says:

    Are you sure it’s “Linoleum” brand, Bee? There’s tiles and then there’s “Linoleum”. Shit’s expensive. Priced it out for a kitchen in a 50s charmer house I bought last year. Could not afford it. Linoleum is a completely green material. Cheap tiles at Home Depot may be just that.

    Like

  17. Home Depot has linoleum in vintage patterns and it is fairly cheap. Also and too we had painted and polished concrete floors growing up.

    Like

  18. I had a seafoam green crepe swing dress. I loved that dress. It was a size 0. It would not fit over my fat head today.

    Like

  19. Tee, who hates TypePad says:

    AA, that glass could be a jelly glass.

    Like

  20. Amish Annie says:

    They still make linoleum tiles but it is super expensive because it is a green material. They maybe still make rolled vinyl in vintage patterns like the one in the picture. That particular pattern is so totally cool!

    Like

  21. Tee, who hates TypePad says:

    Oh, to be able to fit into something from 5-7-9. I had a pumpkin color wool coat with a dark brown fake fur collar. It buttoned up the left side of the garment. I loved that coat.

    Like

  22. Persephone says:

    Christmas cards! Zoom in and then you can see the Christmas tree on the far left card.
    I am still living – a living miracle!
    Love this photo and your post!

    Like

  23. June Gardens says:

    I totally want to cover my terrible concrete floor with ’50s linoleum.

    Like

  24. Persephone says:

    I think that red rug is on top of linoleum. Look closely at the reflection of the chair legs – a rug wouldn’t do that. Check out this image search for similar patterns: https://www.google.com/search?q=1950%27s+linoleum+patterns&espv=2&biw=1440&bih=794&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi4v_fJsZXSAhWEMyYKHUGPAWEQ7AkIKA&dpr=1

    Like

  25. Missicat says:

    Looks like the dress had some sort of lining – wonder if that make it stick out like that.
    The dog’s face…what was going on there? And the cute possessed-eyes kitty!

    Like

  26. Susie says:

    Gallenkamp and Merle Norman

    Like

  27. Missicat says:

    I used to shop at a 5-7-9! Now I have to add all those numbers together. *sigh*

    Like

  28. Linda in CO says:

    Oh the expression on that doggie’s face. Also, what material must that dress have been made of to be so stiff at the bottom that it didn’t drape over her knee? Even ironing with starch wouldn’t have made it that stiff, would it?
    Lovely post, lovely June.

    Like

  29. Anita says:

    We had a Steak and Ale in our mall. I would go there with, huh, I can’t remember who it was. But they could get the ale and that’s all that mattered.

    Like

  30. Texas Kari says:

    I distinctly remember that my first clothes that were NOT from the children’s department were from 5-7-9!! I bought a Gunne Sax dress.
    Have mercy.

    Like

  31. June Gardens says:

    I thought those were birthday cards.
    Also, I had a friend who called Contempo Casuals “Casual Contempos.” The fact that she is still living is a miracle.

    Like

  32. Beverly says:

    Ups n Downs
    Lerner
    McCrory

    Like

  33. Karen in VB says:

    Nothing in that store fit me. I was told, by a not so subtle salesman, that my calves were too big for their styles. I was 16 and my calves were too big. Asshat.

    Like

  34. Amish Annie says:

    I always thought all of those Non Blonde chicks were kinda sex-ay.
    Nevertheless, we persisted. Dying.
    There’s only just a thing or two I like about that picture. Let me tell you what they are:
    xxii. OH MY GAWD LOOK AT THAT CUTE DOG PICTURE ON THE WALL!!!
    A. The coordinating wallpaper. So cool!
    45. The table with the mcm legs.
    **. The cute pink glass on the above mentioned table. (Blow the picture up.)
    XYZ. The AWESOME glass in her hand. Not familiar with that pattern and vintage glassware, dishware, tableware used to be my thang!
    12. That groovy atomic flooring. My life will never be complete since I’ve never had a space with that flooring.
    GG. Must have been Christmastime, cards on bureau or hutch or dresser are festive.
    895. Now I want to see what that hutch looks like.
    3. What if this was actually in her bedroom and not living room? Wait, people didn’t have tvs in bedrooms back then, did they? Who could afford it??
    xyz. What kind of bras did people wear back then that made pointy boobs? They should make those again for middle aged hags like me.
    You’re so pretty, Joob!

    Like

  35. We had Ponderosa Steakhouse, not York’s. It was great, in a very tacky sort of way.

    Like

  36. Just Paula H&B says:

    Suncoast.

    Like

  37. Just Paula H&B says:

    Suncoast.

    Like

  38. Just Paula H&B says:

    Suncoast.

    Like

  39. Just Paula H&B says:

    Kinney Shoes.

    Like

  40. Just Paula H&B says:

    Kinney Shoes.

    Like

  41. Just Paula H&B says:

    Kinney Shoes.

    Like

  42. Just Paula H&B says:

    Casual Corner.

    Like

  43. Just Paula H&B says:

    Casual Corner.

    Like

  44. Just Paula H&B says:

    Casual Corner.

    Like

  45. Amish Annie says:

    Camelot Music!! How do you remember stuff like that??

    Like

  46. Amish Annie says:

    I noticed the watch, too! Love it!!

    Like

  47. Tracey says:

    I thought the thing on her arm was a bruise.

    Like

  48. We didn’t really have a mall but we had a strip center and it had a 5-7-9 and a Baker’s shoes. We thought we had made the big time when they built a Bennigan’s in the parking lot.

    Like

  49. My husband is building a house in Beverly Hills for a Kardashian want-to-be and after the house was 95% finished she changed her mind and decided she wanted mid-century modern instead of French country. THE HOUSE IS BUILT! So… floors got torn out, the outside got remodeled and cabinets, murals and walls have been knocked down, cleaned out and moved. She ordered cabinets from Italy that look like the ones my grandmother had in her brand new house in 1959. Go figure

    Like

  50. Whatever with the insecure “I’m so weird” lady and the snooty dog behaviorist. Bleh. Love Midcentury lady. I’m glad you mentioned that you kept finding things you loved in the picture. I love the sweet doggies in the picture at the top left and the design on the rug.

    Like

  51. June Gardens says:

    Claire’s Boutique

    Like

  52. Beverly says:

    Merry Go Round

    Like

  53. dancer says:

    Farrells! I had a birthday there. Remember the Pig Trough?

    Like

  54. dancer says:

    you are so not normal. in a totally fun, cool way. that bitch was insecure and jealous. just sayin’.
    i’m not normal. also turning into more of an introvert as i age.
    i love the mid-century lady and her surroundings. retro is pretty ‘in’ these days. then i look at her and think – hell, what a shit time to be a woman.
    i think your conclusion about edz is a good one. as someone who manages depression it did take a full month to notice changes when i was first started taking meds. ps. that behaviorist is not nice.

    Like

  55. June Gardens says:

    WICKS N STICKS! Oh my god.
    Chess King.

    Like

  56. June Gardens says:

    I think it’s more a birthmark.

    Like

  57. Laura in Big D says:

    I laughed way too hard at your grandmothers steak story. Still giggling about it. In my youth in
    Texas we had a Farrells Ice Cream Parlour. That was THE place to go after shopping at the Wicks N Sticks, the Gap, and the Record store.

    Like

  58. Texas Kari says:

    Aww – I really wanted her to be your mother. We should have a Mom Photo day. What a hoot that would be!

    Like

  59. The 4 Non Blondes woman is Linda something and she is currently married to Sara Gilbert AKA Darlene Conner.
    Also, rare steak is my favorite food of all. I don’t know about York Steakhouse but the Fifth Quarter was very similar.
    I hope Edsel settles in to his routine and his meds soon.

    Like

  60. PJ says:

    And kitchen cupboards with glass doors. Perish the cluttered thought.

    Like

  61. PJ says:

    Ha! Decorating with period ladies. Will she slip her high heels back on to tiptoe out in the yard to pick up those plate-sized boxer poops?

    Like

  62. PJ says:

    Oh those early steak houses. They marinated chunks of meat in acid or something. They were practically mush when they hit your plate. We thought that was a good thing.
    Yes, children, those are pantyhose feet. And lovely they were, too, and not at all stinky from sweaty feet encased in unnatural fibers all day. Know what is not sexy? Panty hose. Imagine a nice cuddly foot massage in panty hose.
    My mother wore a dress every day of her life until she was in her 60s and moved to FL.
    The more I look at that red chair the more interesting it gets.
    Looking for a man, look for normal, not boring/stupid staring at the TV drinking beer and eating Onyums every weekend, but normal. Undisciplined guys like to say they are “creative”, Unreliable ones like to say they are “spontaneous”. And we don’t even need to discuss “free-spirited” do we?

    Like

  63. Sarah says:

    Moley, moley, moley.
    The mind always goes to Austin Powers when discussing moles.

    Like

  64. Amy in Md says:

    I always wanted to be normal.

    Like

  65. Hulk says:

    There’s fridges with glass doors?

    Like

  66. Rinaldi says:

    Oh I love it when you remind of things from my childhood. I just looked up York Steakhouse and there is one still operating!
    http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/05/the_last_york_steak_house_colu.html
    I’ve never considered myself normal.

    Like

  67. Beverly says:

    I’m in the process of buying a midcentury house. I need to find this lady to come sit in the living room as decor. I’ll provide her gin.
    The story of your grandmother and her steak is hilarious!!

    Like

  68. TinaDoris says:

    When I put Penny on Prozac, Dr. Whitley also prescribed Xanax for her to help before the Prozac started working. She was high for a month, but she was happy. I hope Eds perks up soon.

    Like

  69. Persephone says:

    Yes it does! They use it in their jingle: http://gawker.com/5745983/old-commercial-for-gin-brand-fockink-has-worlds-best-jingle
    That was one classy lady drinking some high-test hooch!

    Like

  70. Random Reader says:

    Has Edsel been to doggy day care lately? Maybe spending a day sniffing other dog’s butts would cheer him up.

    Like

  71. Just Paula H&B says:

    Midcentury June!

    Like

  72. Just Paula H&B says:

    Midcentury June!

    Like

  73. Just Paula H&B says:

    Midcentury June!

    Like

  74. I am not normal either but my family always tried to make me so. Remember on Laugh-in, yes I’m that old, the Farkle family. They had Ferd Farkle, Fred Farkle, Fannie Farkle and HER. I was the HER. I had a huge Ah-HA moment, as Oprah would say, the other day. I am AWKWARD. Not a little awkward but a whole lot awkward. I also realized that I always thought I was an extrovert but it turns out I am an introvert who can fake it. Enough about me and more about June. So Mr. New York tell us more. Is he gainfully employed? What are his intentions? Does he know you have a curfew? Does he have a matching ankle tattoo?
    June we need to talk about Edz. Maybe Edz needs a hump pillow like Bozz has. You know he could hump his frustrations and sadness out.
    The picture of 1950s June is great. I love those pictures. Also and too, I love the Boxer. He is being such a Boxer.

    Like

  75. Just Paula H&B says:

    HA! My mother preferred vodka.

    Like

  76. Just Paula H&B says:

    HA! My mother preferred vodka.

    Like

  77. Just Paula H&B says:

    HA! My mother preferred vodka.

    Like

  78. Kim, who used to live in California but now lives in Arizona says:

    Assuming that behaviorist is a woman, she sounds like a bitch. None of the behaviorists that I know require any sort of referral. That just disappoints me. Try another one. Oops, sorry. Didn’t mean to give you advice. Also, the OJ documentary on ESPN was so freaking good. So much better than the one you’re watching, although I did enjoy that one a lot. I love the lady with the boxer.

    Like

  79. Tee, who hates TypePad says:

    I don’t think so. Paula posted something on FB with a lot of mid-century photos and this is just one of many photos from that article.

    Like

  80. AcidMeFlux says:

    Maybe you could write your Purple Clover piece on A Typical Day in the Life of Mid-Century June. (Though I hate it when people give me “writing ideas” so ……

    Like

  81. Texas Kari says:

    Is that Paula’s mother?! I love the printed glass in her hand! Also, it’s a wee bit hard to watch tv in her home.
    I find you to be perfectly normal. You own a home. You have a good career. You have pets. You have kind friends. You love your family. You work hard. See? NORMAL.

    Like

  82. LaUral says:

    I seem very normal on the outside. Completely boringly normal. But when you start learning what goes on in my head and in my inner monologue, the normal wears off pretty quick.
    Maybe one of y’all can answer this question for me:
    When a bird eats a bee, how does it not get stung? I know that maybe the bee is really surprised and doesn’t think or have time to sting, but surely that’s not the case all the time. And since birds swallow stuff and it goes into their crop to get mashed up, that means bees go there, too. Whole. So I’ve always wondered but never remember to Google fucking it.

    Like

  83. Tee, who hates TypePad says:

    Normal? Maybe, but probably not. No. I’m not normal.
    My guess is that mid-century lady is in a nursing home if she is still living. She would be in her 90s, because that has to be the early 1950s. I LOVE her watch. She probably wore a dress every single day. I was trying to remember if my mom wore a dress every day, I know for certain my grandmother did, but for the live of me I can’t remember what my mom wore. I do have a photo of her with her hair tied in a scarf, like Rosie the riveter, and she was wearing a suit…to a kid’s birthday party. Now that I think about it I remember her talking about how poor they were after my dad returned from WWII, he had two pair of dress slacks and she had two dresses my grandmother had made her out of flour sacks and two kids with severe medical problems and a whopping house note of $33/month. Oh my goodness, we all are so blessed!

    Like

  84. Karla says:

    I have always considered myself to be off the beaten path, and glad for it. But based on all my friends and other people I seem to attract, that path is pretty crowded and not so off the beaten one as I think. Now I’m confused.

    Like

  85. Cheech says:

    I love me some focking dry gin!

    Like

  86. Cheech says:

    I can’t stop looking at that picture lady’s mole? on her elbow and the orange, jaundice feet. What is on her feet? I thought nylons at first, but the rest of her legs don’t look nylon-y.
    That’s Midcentury SDS on her lap.
    Did I mention that I’m not fully awake yet?

    Like

  87. Helen says:

    I guess I’m normal in some ways but I do not think of myself as normal. I’ve been the odd girl out/black sheep/loner my whole life. I realize some of that is because I had moved 27 times by the time I left home at 18 so I guess I would say life experiences can also make a person not normal.

    Like

  88. Greensboro Laurie says:

    I believe it is Focking Dry Gin.

    Like

  89. Cheech says:

    Does that link say “fockink”? That made me laugh out loud!
    OK, I’m not fully awake yet.

    Like

  90. Richard just another normal-less frenchies says:

    Normal is so over rated! The way I see it I’m the normal one, it’s the “others” who are off their rockers.
    “Not Guilty!!!” Darn I tried so hard to not give a spoller on the OJ’s trial but my keyboard took control.

    Like

  91. Missicat says:

    Love that picture so much. I wonder if she wore a dress and pearls everyday? And can anyone with actual eyesight read the label on that bottle?

    Like

  92. Persephone says:

    Now I want steak – rare. Oh – and what she is drinking : https://www.masterofmalt.com/distilleries/fockink-distillery/
    Lovely post, June!

    Like

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