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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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Friday

Happy Chiwetel Friday.


This is Chiwetel Ejiofor. There’s not much else to say here. I love him and it’s Friday. 

Bon weekend, mes amis…

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Blogvember #24 and #25: Thursday and Friday.

#24: It was lovely being off work on Thursday. This is what I did, rather than blog. Sorry. Well, not really.


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#25: Since it’s Black Friday, here’s a poem I wrote a few years ago, entitled, naturally, Black Friday

and so she believed the hype.
she tipped her head toward the heavens and waited for the stars to descend into her eyes, and she waited, so quietly, to hear a skip, a jump, a tiny hop within her heartbeat, and she gazed at him and waited for an infiltration of memory to imprint his every nuance and niche…
they didn’t tell you, did they, honey?
you may leave with a shiny new gadget after that doorbuster sale, my dear, but hype isn’t the heart, and the feeling of his hand in yours will never not feel like a bag of nails tapping at the soft flesh of your confused palm.
behind silly platitudes and empty love songs is nothing but air and the truth and you.
and so you believed the hype.
and you were duped, conned, swindled, sandbagged, hoodwinked, and yes, so sadly bamboozled.
but didn’t you know? 
when did love ever need a sale?

Blogvember #11: Friyay.

My bestie is coming to town this evening, you guys. The bestie! Needless to say, I basically want to tap dance out of here so we can start our fun. And yet morning just began, so…Anyway, she’s my first visitor since I moved to Texas. Wonder how she’ll react to the absence of furniture. 

Bon weekend, my dears.

Geneviève.

That’s the name I’ve given my wig.

SN: wigs are like sliced bread when it comes to my eternal love and devotion. I can slap a wig cap over my two-strand twists that I didn’t feel like taking out–which is exactly what’s going on as we e-speak–and transform my entire look for the day. Pretty cool, no?

Anyway, this morning, I decided that my new wig needed a name. And why not? I name all the other inanimate objects in my life. Cars (Kelly Kapowski Corolla for my first car and um, Idris for my current vehicle), pens, etc. After mulling it over and realized that this particular wig is classy and smooth, I named her Geneviève. Yep, with the French spelling and pronunciation. The name Genevieve (American style) has always slayed me; I went to school with a Genevieve and was struck with wonder by her interesting name. Years later, when I wrote The Cruelty Papers, a short story that kind of transformed things for me as a writer, the protagonist was named–you guessed it–Genevieve. But the story doesn’t end there. When I first went to Europe in 2004, my lovely hostess and friend Clara and I were talking about baby names one afternoon, as we sat in a park in Geneva, Switzerland. (Sounds like a dream, no? Looking back, sometimes it seems like it was.) It was a random conversation for sure; at the time, she and her hubby didn’t have children and weren’t planning on having them (that changed some years later) and I loved discussing creative baby names but had no plans on birthing any (that hasn’t changed lol). Anyway, I told her about my love for the name Genevieve.

Clara: Ah, Geneviève. (Gen-e-vee-ève)
Me (gaping at her and drooling): I love the way you say it.
Clara (smiling): Yes, it’s the French way.

Indeed.

Bid a bonjour to Geneviève, won’t you?

The last pic on the far right is from today, as we e-speak.

Happy Friyay, y’all, and bon weekend.

Gen3

20 (Maybe) Weird Things.

I’ve said it before: we’re all weirdos. See the following.

seuss
Right, Idris?
  1. I read over people’s shoulders on the train, especially when they have hefty, voluminous books in their hands. I mean, how can I be a legitimate bookworm if I don’t hoard what you’re reading?
  2. If you stand too close to me anywhere, this is clear evidence that you want my kidneys.
  3. I don’t necessarily mind the scent of gasoline. (Stop raising your eyebrows. Doesn’t that acrid aroma take you back to the days of school buses and running to get to class on time? No? Fine, it’s just me then. Le sigh.)
  4. Speaking of school, I get a little sad when September comes. Reminds me of the return of school and losing summertime, air-conditioned basements, and leisurely family time/trips to the local library. Poor kiddos.
  5. When I hear this song, I weep. I don’t know why.
  6. Speaking of inexplicably sad songs, I crave them sometimes. The melancholy can be oddly uplifting.
  7. In elementary school, I was in class with a girl named Marni Levy. One of my Dad’s friends owned an auto shop which was next to another shop named Levy’s. In my mind, I believed that Marni’s father owned that shop. Because of the last name. It never dawned on me that the world is undoubtedly filled with millions of Levy’s.
  8. Can you believe I still remember Marni’s name? I just Googled her. And found her. Oh, the Google. We were in 4th grade together.
  9. By now, you understand that I’m a low-key private investigator. Let us give thanks for Columbo, Jessica Fletcher, and Hercule Poirot. I really believe in my skills, y’all.
  10. To this day, I can’t check my pulse. Because I have no idea what I’m counting. And really, does it matter? As long as we all know how fast or slow it’s going?
  11. I have safe songs. Songs that prevent me from throwing myself to the ground and bawling during stressful and/or anxious times. When I hear these songs, I calm down. It’s amazing. I’m sure there’s a psychological link to a relaxing memory somewhere. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears, Drive by the Cars, and Dancing in the Dark by my boyfriend Bruce Springsteen are a few. (By the way, the term “safe song” came from an episode of Ally McBeal. I latched on to the term immediately.)
  12. If I must drink a green smoothie (like being forced by a kidnapper or a bank robber), I don’t want to taste the green part. I better not taste that green part.
  13. My actual shoe size is 8 1/2. But I wear 9, 9 1/2, and even 10 sometimes. Because my toes are alive and sometimes cannot physically take being in certain shoes. Like they need room to breathe. It’s the weirdest thing.
  14. I inherently associate smells with memory. See #3. It’s not weird, per se, but it’s tough to explain to people why you’re backing away slowly from them because their perfume reminds you of terrifying kindergarten teachers.
  15. “Conspiracy theorist” is an appropriate description of yours truly. They’re watching you. All of them.
  16. I read the ending of books first before I buy them.
  17. For a long time during my adolescence, I truly believed that I was adopted. Like, really. Actual mother: Diana Ross. Or a queen from a faraway land. Same thing.
  18. See #15. There are at least two people in history that I believed faked their deaths. But we won’t get into it now, folks. Not trying to scare you this early in the morning.
  19. I’m a sassy, swinging, modern girl. But I may or may not be clueless about the lyrical content of most songs.
  20. When “LOL” became a thing, it took me a while to not use it as a verb in my mind when reading it. (“Wow, she’s doing a lot of LOLing.”) I also perhaps maybe Googled it at first to see what in the world it meant. Add “SMH” to that list, as well.

There is it, folks. A few quirks and oddities that I contentedly call my own. For the record, I certainly believe that “weirdness” is all relative; life would be quite shapeless and gray without the downright different ways we all perceive things. So take a deep breath, install Google on your smartphone, and enjoy your life.

Bon weekend, mes amis.

how dare you guess my actual age?

Thanks to the African juices/genetics (thanks, Daddy and Ma), I have somewhat youthful features. When I was a teenager, I looked younger. When I was in my mid-20s, a woman at a hair salon once asked me if I was excited about Homecoming. Her shock when I explained that I was 26 years old–and not 15, like the girls getting their hair done–was memorable. Even in this later-third decade of life, when I meet new people, I frequently get a prolonged, quizzical stare before the onlooker leans forward and asks, “how old are you?” At a dance party last year, my dance partner asked me if I’d ever heard the song playing on the loudspeaker. It was “Motownphilly” by Boyz 2 Men. I replied that of course I knew it and that I grew up listening to it. I couldn’t help but laugh at his reaction. All that said, a lady gets used to questions like this, at the raised eyebrows of surprise, at the declarations that they would have never guessed my age. By the way, any woman who claims to find these questions/comments to be a nuisance and complains about them is trying to pull a bit of wool over your eyes, dear reader. Sure, there’s a difference between questioning age and questioning maturity (an entirely different animal), but who doesn’t like a bit of surprise when you explain that you’re older than you look? Come on.

Anywho, keeping all of that in mind, imagine my reaction when someone guessed my actual age. About a year ago, while in Alabama to visit the bestie, a bunch of us were chatting.

Lady: Do you mind if I ask how old you are?
Me (with muted pride and a mischievous, tiny smile in expectation of the impending guess): How old do you think I am?
Lady: I’d say…36?
Me (muted pride and mischievous, tiny smile vanish): You’re right.

The sheer audacity of that woman, I later raged to my bestie, who was laughing so hard and hysterically that tears brimmed in her eyes. How dare she accurately guess how old I am? carriefisherI was well aware of how foolish I sounded, y’all. But that didn’t stop me from waving my arms in the air and pontificating on how she was certainly in the minority, that several people believed me to be younger than I looked. Later, after I finally came out of my age-related fugue, I joined my best friend in loud, raucous laughter. “Welcome to the real world,” she pronounced. “Indeed,” I replied.

Ah, vanity.

When I was 14 years old, I couldn’t wait to be 16. When I was 23 years old, I couldn’t wait to be 25. When 30 came and many of my (mostly toxic) views about myself, my beauty, my worth, my body, and other things changed for the better, I embraced this wondrous start to a new, epiphany-laden decade. For me, I can honestly say that aging has always been about exciting transitions, new realizations and understandings, growing further into adulthood…

But it’s nice when you don’t look like you’re aging. *wink*

Happy Friday, everyone. Because I adore you and because my 15 year-old self danced to this song in my bedroom, here you go.

Meanwhile, in Paris…

Parisienne4
Image courtesy of Pinterest, which was courtesy of Vicki Archer, who I am now following on Pinterest..

I think this Parisienne embodies my future life in the City of Lights. In every way you can think of.

Bursting with a thousand words, and I agree with every letter.

Happy Friday, and bon weekend, mes amis.

it is advisable that we not remain friends.

I wrote this in 2012. Stuff was happening back then. These days, my quiet life is unencumbered by angry poems about silly boys. (Primarily because I’m married to Idris.) Happy Friday.

it is advisable that we not remain friends.

i will sabotage your efforts.

you will bring this new girl to me,

forgetting that our failed transition from

friends to something more is as fresh as the

gash you created on my heart,

and you will ask me that silly question of

“what do you think?”

and i will respond about her niceness and pleasantness

and casually mention that hopefully her meanness

will go away,

and you will wonder about this meanness you hadn’t

seen before, and i will assure you

that women know women, and i see it there, that meanness,

lurking right alongside her lazy eye and her obvious materialism.

and i don’t want to do this to you.

so don’t bring her before me, ok,

and don’t bring her up, and don’t suggest

this friendship that we obviously can never have.

just let me tend to my poor, weak heart, and

just keep away from me.

or, rather, stay over there,

close enough where i can see you,

but far enough that my poor heart and i

can pretend you’re no longer there.

Meanwhile, (back) in Paris…

…we did a photo shoot in the City of Lights during our trip. One of my girls is developing a travel site and wanted some shots of the three of us gallivanting around the city. Here are three of my favorite shots (honestly, all of the photos are my favorite); I’ll share more as we merrily go along here on This Square Peg.

paris20161

Groupphoto1

groupphoto2

So here’s the thing:

  1. It was freezing that morning. That statement deserves italics: it was freezing that morning. As you can see, we didn’t have jackets, scarves, or gloves on in these photos, and we also wore our fancy shoes to and from le metro and on the streets. So yeah: cold, cranky, and craving a pair of flats. At least that was me.
  2. But I eventually appreciated, in line with the above, that such is the life of ladies who want lovely photos. My girls reminded me more than once about all those episodes of America’s Next Top Model I watched back in the day: you suffer for beauty and you smize while doing it. To get that dreamy light you see in the photos and to capture our chocolate selves in this amazing city, being cold/cranky/craving flats was worth it. And it really was. When we finally got back home and rubbed Aspercreme on our poor feet and limbs, we whooped with delight about the whole experience.
  3. My friends really are amazing. They didn’t have to ask me to join the photo (and real talk: I was minutes from going right back home on le metro when that cold air hit me) but they did. And I have these amazing pictorial memories to show for it.
  4. Our photographer was everything you imagine photogs to be: creative, intent on capturing awesome shots each and every time, and very comfortable with ordering us to “smile at each other!” over and over again. He was a delight.
  5. Parisians love seeing three women walking around the city as they pose for photos. We received more than a few smiles, curious stares in our direction, and a thumbs up from a funkily dressed lady who passed us by on the sidewalk.

It really was fun. As this Friday wears on and I find myself feeling slightly blue/down/not myself, it’s nice to reminisce and find a smile on my face as I recall that morning.

Have a lovely weekend, all.

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