The other night, I rented that ’80s movie Sex, Lies, and Videotape.
“Videotape” is such a funny, antiquated word now, as is “renting” a movie. I drove down to the Blockbuster, got a chunky videotape, shoved it in my machine, and then afterward I was sure to be kind, rewind.
Anyway, I STREAMED the movie Sex, Lies, and Videotape, a movie that chose to use the Oxford comma.
It’s possible you don’t remember the plot to the movie, or maybe you were the kind of person who only went to see movies like The Terminator in the ’80s, in which case I have nothing to say to you. In the movie, a very cute Andie MacDowell is married to old eyebrows up there, the guy who’s now with Grace on the show Frankie & Grace. Peter-something, I think. But old eyebrows is CHEATING on cute Andie MacDowell, which just goes to show you that when men cheat it’s about them, not the person they’re cheating on. Anyway he’s CHEATING on beautiful-and-yes-she-has-a-bit-of-an-abdomen-but-come-on Andie MacDowell with HER SISTER, played by old gold coat up there, whose name I do not know but I’ve seen her in other things.
Eventually Andie MacDowell runs off with thin James Spader, and good. No one tell her that eyebrow guy ages better.
But telling you the entire plot to that movie was not my point. My POINT is that the sister, old gold coat, lives in a tiny little house and I know you enjoy my use of “tiny little.” She bartends, but then is also an artist and is very sexy and wears cowboy boots a lot.
Edsel and I were watching this show the other night here, and there was a scene where old gold coat is alone in her house, her tiny small house, painting. She’s concentrating so hard on her painting that when the phone rings, she doesn’t even look at it. She lets it ring a few times, then eventually picks it up, never taking her eyes from her work, and says, “Yeah.” She knows it’s likely going to be her brother-in-law, with whom she’s sleeping, probably while wearing those cowboy boots, but she’s more interested in her painting than in him.
I’d completely forgotten this scene. But when I saw it, it all came rushing back to me. Because I remember when this movie came out, in 1989, I was so envious that someone could have, you know, a passion that involved anything other than a man calling.
This is pathetic, but picture this: The year was 1988. I’m in a red, blue, and green plaid robe. And I’m curled in a ball in a rocking chair, just waiting for Giovanni Leftwich to call. I’m not painting or writing or dancing or even taking off my robe and staring at my 1988 body, which was likely something to behold. No. I’m curled in a ball waiting.
That was me from about ninth grade until, well, until I’m not sure when. I know my GOAL for a long time was to be someone who had any other interests besides getting some man to like her, and I know I faked it with friends and jobs and clothes and cats, but really I was just someone who wanted a man to be interested in her.
Usually when you change, it’s usually so gradual you don’t even know it’s happening. Change is not the mom in Poltergeist getting a gray streak overnight.
There was this documentary Marvin liked to watch when he wasn’t watching all the other documentaries on the planet. It was an ’80s film about kids drinking in a parking lot before some heavy metal show. There was one kid in particular who had on zebra-striped pants, and he was the most absurd of them all. He was hanging his goat high. Marvin watched that film about 49 times.
There was a follow-up documentary, and you can imagine Marvin’s glee, where the filmmaker found those kids all grown up. And of all the people, zebra pants was the most depressing. He lived in a house in the suburbs, and had some finance job in the city, wore suits and was 100% humorless about the first movie.
When did that guy change? He couldn’t have had zebra pants on one day and a suit the next.
I once was doing some fact-checking on a story a guy at work, Thousandman, wrote and in doing so, I accidentally came upon his “official work picture” taken at his old job. I knew Thousandman had started eating better, but the change was DRAMATIC when you compared how he looked in the present day to his old official work picture. It was happening in front of me and I wasn’t seeing it.
I also don’t really notice how the Curly Girl method is working, but that photo above with Dick Whitman’s mom, I thought I was having an excellent hair day. This photo above I took yesterday, after I’d slept in my curls, and I took it to make sure my hair didn’t look TOO insane. It’s so much better than that head of cotton candy I used to sport. I do have paint in it, though.
My point is, change does happen, and now I can see it. Because I AM the person who doesn’t wait by the phone anymore. I met, believe it or not, a nice man on Tinder. We had a really funny exchange on Sunday. Then on Tuesday night around 8:00 I got another message from him. “Hey, what happened? I thought we were off to a nice start.”
Since the Sunday I’d talked to him, I’d painted my dresser and written in my journal and gone to work and played with the dog and talked to fencing people and had not even noticed that time had gone by.
“Nothing’s happened,” I wrote back. “I was just over here living my life. What’s new?” And then we looked at the moon together.
I guess the thing we need to think about from all this is, do I need cowboy boots?
P.S. The coastal one. That’s the hand sanitizer I bought. It doesn’t smell like fish. It has that lovely fake water smell.