Analog Girl in a Digital World

As you can tell, though I am immersed in the technological, social media world, I am firmly grounded in a retro-vintage kind of realm.  My friend Elaina had made mention of this the other day, the irony of my new lifestyle.  I mean, I still have a land-line.  I buy minutes for my mobile phone at a gas station.  People ask me for my number, and I give my home number, forgetting that people don’t really call each other anymore.   I heard on CBC2 that apparently it is considered poor manners to leave a message on someone’s mobile voice mail.  Oh brother.  What is happening to the world that you can’t leave a meandering message?


I miss that…the phone ringing and the mindless gabbing.  I have one friend who does not have a mobile phone, and she even leaves me messages on my answering machine.  (I really appreciate that girlfriend!)

yellow pin up

Though my career is becoming extremely internet dependent, I still yearn for the retro elements of past eras. I miss record stores, good manners, doctors recommending cigarettes, and rotary phones.  I used to own a fire engine red rotary phone, which I loved…you know, until you had to call a government agency and you had to, oh I don’t know…press one or something.  And then you find yourself screaming “I JUST WANT TO TALK TO A REAL PERSON” into your vintage phone.  Which is not look I was going for.


So, as it stands, the land line is feeling a bit shipwrecked.  There’s not a lot of incoming action.  The occasional long distance calls, and a lot of telemarketers and my mother.  Oh, and my one friend without a mobile phone.  The phone rang the other evening, and I was preparing myself to politely dismiss someone selling products direct from their office in a call center in the third world.  And then I realize that I am getting a text message.  Through the land line.  This happened once, the summer before, when I was living at my parent’s house.  Twice the phone rang, and a robot voice asked me if I could “possibly switch shifts”, and the other time to invite me to some “candle party”.  This must be nice for folks like Rosie from “The Jetsons“; times must be tough for futuristic characters whose present is not as futuristicy as once predicted in the past.  But I must admit, I have to wonder if the robots ever see the scripts and say…”I couldn’t possibly say that”.  For when I accepted the text through the phone, I was asked a most personal question.


“What kind of IUD do you use…copper or hormonal?”.

I’m sorry, but did a robot just call me to ask about my method of birth control? Can robots even get pregnant?  And…if it wasn’t a nosy Rosie calling me about the brand my uterus prefers, who would text me that?

phone girl

Luckily, the caller had the good sense to send an email as well. And so a memorable conversation was carried on via instant message.


I offered the best advice I could, made recommendations with care.  And ultimately, I suggested that when the day came, to make sure you have a pashmina and large sunglasses for before, after, and hell, even during.  Because it’s dignified.  Because it’s a little bit ladylike. Just because it’s fabulous.  I’m kind of old school that way.


All Images Courtesy of Google

Cheque Mate

Whenever possible I like to live as, say, Audrey Hepburn would.  Graceful, elegant, chic, effortlessly gliding into rooms and humbling people with my ballerina-like ways.


Of course, this is rarely the case.  While I often hope that I can glide in to spaces, I mostly crash into them. What I’d like is to be elegant to the point of invisibility.


Today, I opted for a delicious sleep in (7:06am, but whatever).  Ben took the car, and so when time came to run pressing errands, I had to walk to pick up the vehicle.  The first order of business was to retrieve my final cheque from my former employers.  I handed in my resignation notice last Friday, incidentally on payday.  I was dreadfully nervous, fearful of retribution or confrontation.   I had  just come from an hour long yin yoga class, one that focused on hips and upper thighs, so when I stepped out of the car, my knees nearly betrayed me.


I came into the building on my jello legs.  And stood in the reception area for a moment.  I could not, for the life of me, remember the word “resignation”.  I just stood there, my sweaty palm moistening the envelope.  “Resigning”? “Resignatory”? “Resignative”?  No matter, I could go into the office, drop the perspired paper purposefully on the desk, recite a haiku in German, and it wouldn’t really matter.  But somehow, I needed a grip on that exact word…like it was a mantra.  I offered the letter to the only person in the office.  And she took the letter without a fight.  Not that I wanted a fight, but in the same way you want to glide all over town like a chic starlet, it wouldn’t hurt for a wail, a cry to the gods, a shaking fist  to the sky, or my favorite, the ‘on the knees begging you not to go’.  “You have to let me go, I’ve just given my reignignatory letter, please, you’re only embarrassing yourself”.  She wished me the best, we shook hands, and I wobbled out on my rubber legs.  And I made it all the way to the car before I realized:  “Ah frick, I didn’t get my cheque”.  There’s nothing worse than having a tense or emotional moment with someone and then pop your head back in and ask if they validate parking.  Luckily, I was able to get my pay without having to pop back into the office with a cute “Me again!” kind of shrug.

Anyway, today, heading down the hill in black leggings and tank top, wearing black flip flops.  Listening to Erykah Badu on my I-Pod, and envisioning myself walking into the building, grabbing that cheque and walking right back out.  Don’t look back.  I was grooving to Badu, negotiating my way down a dusty hill, and imagining the end game. I pictured myself picking up that cheque, already basking in the closure–check mate, bitches, I don’t have to play this game anymore.


I’ve walked this way plenty of times before, but this was a first in these shoes.  It was lightning quick, the sliding, the levitation that occurs before a fall, with just enough time to know that you are about to eat shit, but not enough time to do anything about it.

falling pinup

Lying in a cloud of dust, I propped myself up on my elbows.  This is when I see the blood.  It appeared that my big toe decided to separate itself from…itself.  There was a strange, dusty, dirty divorce on my left foot, and still a small distance to walk.  I stepped gingerly down the path, loathing the fact that my in-and-out plan was thwarted.  This is the moment to walk through that door, coolly pluck that cheque that out of someone’s fingers, and go back the way you came.  You never, ever want to smile weakly and say “There’s actually an awful lot of blood here, mind if I raid the first aid kit for old times sake?”  The receptionist was very kind, she guarded the first aid kit politely, (as if I had tried to cut my toe off just to get my hands on unlimited antacids, PMS tablets and finger condoms). After I was washed and bandaged, I took my cheque, and excused myself.  Not the graceful exit I had hoped for.

It was not glamorous.

Actress Marilyn Monroe with Actor Robert Mitchum

Not chic or elegant.

jackie o crutches

Not adorably injured, I was bleeding like a hobo after a parking lot knife fight.


And let me tell you, with the money I just received, you can just forget about buying a 24-karat gold wheelchair a la post-hip surgery Lady Gaga.


I  limped away, covered in dust and dirt all, my foot throbbing, final cheque in hand.  I exhaled. No matter the exit, at least the job was over.  And I hobbled  towards the future, whatever it held for me, forgetting the injuries of the past.

mm with swin instructorAll Images Courtesy of Google

Dance All Night

You know when you are working towards a goal, a date, a time–graduation, marriage, holiday, and it takes forever to get there, and then it happens and suddenly passes? It all goes by so quickly, doesn’t it?  This weekend has come and gone and it was wonderful.  I was participating in two improv shows and a festival at the university.  I was prepared, I was excited, I was…perfectly terrified.

sad hep

What if…I choked?

audrey-hepburn marbles

In the end, ll was perfectly successful, which absolutely lifted my spirits. Home late last night, watching “Pretty in Pink” at midnight,  I felt like Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady”.  Undressing after the ball, when all the hard work paid off, and no one recognized her as the cockney flower girl she really was and totally bought her as a fictional aristocrat.  When she got home, she was singing “I Could Have Danced All Night”, and mooning dreamily all over the bedroom.  Those poor maids were hard pressed to get her ready for bed with her dancing all around, and admonished her: “It’s after three now/Don’t you agree now/She ought to be in bed”.

If my maids clucked about me swooping around my four post bed about my fantastic weekend, they would hear about it.   I can go from zero to sixty on the diva scale (which zero being Audrey Hepburn, sixty being Naomi Campbell) in ten seconds flat.


I’d shriek, “I don’t pay you to hold me back when I’m celebrating my fabulous good fortune through the majesty of song“.  And then I’d throw whatever was within reach at the offending servants before commencing with my song about loving the shit out of my life.


Don’t worry, I pay them handsomely.


I’m sort of basking in the glow of knowing so many good people.  I feel blessed. I feel reconnected to this feeling I’d thought I’d lost, a sort of existential emptiness with which you could not identity the source.  Turns out…having a stone-cold pack of theatre weirdos back in my life is what was lacking. My heart is bursting with happiness.

Cheers for the love everyone.  You know who you are.

audreyhepburn-myfairladyAll Images Courtesy of Google

Take This Job/Shove It

Amongst the ubiquitous job interview questions, “What are your pay expectations?” is my favorite.  What I’d like to earn and what you are willing to pay are two entirely different things.  “I want a diamond tiara, a million bucks and a fucking pony”.  Just once, I want someone to answer “yes” to that question, instead of being escorted out of the office by security.  You ask me an honest question, I’ll give you an honest answer.  I wasn’t kidding about the tiara, and you best believe I don’t joke around about ponies.  They are majestic creatures, and they knit a mean sweater.


Or maybe, the interviewer would stare at me with an unintelligible expression, lean in to the telecom as I steel myself for the brusque handling of the security guards.  “Angela…do we have any more of those ponies? This girl needs a ride to her new office”.  He would commend me for my refreshing honesty, and call Tiffany’s personally to look into that tiara.


Ah, dare to dream.

“Why should we hire you?”

“Because I’m a god-damned delight, that’s why…also I’ve got a lot of gambling debt”.

“Why do you want this job?”

“Because I love folding sweaters for eight hours/because I need to feel the weight of a tray in my hands/because I want to wear a head set and apron at a bubble bath and candle chain/because I think I look great in hairnets/because I can’t seem to sort out a career for myself/because I have bills to pay, and I don’t have the figure to be an exotic dancer”.

The last job interview I went to was degrading at best. We were interviewed the day before, and told to come back the following day.  I was interviewed with another fellow, and we were asked the exact same questions from the day before–minus the one question that I’d never been asked but personally enjoyed.

“Who are people you admire?”

“Tina Fey and Audrey Hepburn, because they’re never above working hard, and both women are fabulous”.


But, as we all know, what I really want is to be professionally fabulous/being paid to write at home in yoga pants, listening to CBC 2 all day long.

It’s not an unreasonable request.

Two young men come in the room…and I mean young men, I could have babysat them when I was in high school.  The main interviewer was wearing running shoes, unhemmed trousers, a wrinkled, untucked dress shirt and a fedora.  His goatee was scraggly and disheveled.  His associate was wearing a brown leisure suit, had a pimply,crater face and wore a pink alien ring on his wedding finger.

Needless to say, I didn’t mean for the threesome to happen, but when surrounded by such animal charisma, and classic good looks, a lady simply cannot be tamed.

In truth, I kept my trench coat tightly fastened, and kept my purse on my lap, clutching it like an elderly woman surrounded by gang members on the subway.


How’s that for intimidating?

The office is filled with boxes and piles of paperwork.  Not a single picture hangs on the wall.  The job posting described a ‘marketing position’, these sons-of-bitches were talking above getting out there and knocking on doors.  The fedora wearing gentleman, who kept promising  ample opportunities, that he has only been there seven weeks, and already he was conducting second interviews. “Eventually, you could be like me”, he smirks, which made me grip my purse tighter.  He grabbed on of the many loose sheets of paper and drew a crude pyramid-like design of how the job worked, how the pay scheme worked.  “Don’t think of it as $10 an hour, think of it as $80 a day”.  Plus commission.  Oh, the bounty to behold if you actually knock on someone’s door, bother them at home, and attempt to sell them something they already have.

Where do I sign up?

Once the interviews were conducted, both men left the room. The man other interviewee and I looked at each other, and burst out laughing?

“Is this for real?”, I ask.

“I was thinking the same thing, kept wondering where the cameras were”.

When the first interviewer returned, he rubbed his hands together as if at  some Hawaiian pig roast.  “So, what d’ya think?”

He looked at the man first, who shook his head before speaking.  “I have never seen this level of unprofessionalism, those kids were condescending, and I’m embarrassed to even be sitting here”.

My jaw dropped, and the interviewer blanched.  “Well the company is throwing us a party today, it’s a pretty big deal, so that’s why some of us are dressed casually.  But I won’t waste any of your time, thanks for coming in”.

The man leaves, and I am amazed…wishing I had the guts to say it like it is in an interview.  To say, “I want to be paid fairly, I want to be treated with respect, you want me because I’m the best, I want to work for you because I had my pick of the lot…but what it comes down to is you need me just as much as I need you”. But I say nothing, still gripping my purse.  The interviewer starts shuffling the papers around him, not once looking at me.  “So…you interested?”


But I politely ask a few more questions,  take a business card, and try to leave calmly and casually, not bolt as if being freed from a kidnapper.  Once outside, I see my fellow interviewer smoking a cigarette, and clearly waiting for me.  He tries to get my number and explains how he knows people, and that I could get in on the ground floor of a few shading sounding business opportunities.  I politely give him the email address of an unused account, and hustle to the car, where I promptly burst into tears.  How promising the job sounded, an oasis in a vast desert of job postings.  I drove home, back to sanctity of my office, to my unpaid position as writer in residence.  They say, “Do what you love, and the money will follow”, but that just sounds like another scam.  Another pyramid built by slaves, creating an empire they have no rights to.

Pyramids on the beach

All Images Courtesy of Google

Red Wine Meets White Carpet

After a hectic work day, I was driving home in the rain with crumbs all over my lap.  There was a lone bran and berry muffin left in a Tim Horton’s box from the morning staff meeting.  Standing alone in the staff room, I stared at it the way a predator hones it on its prey before attacking.  That muffin didn’t stand a chance.  I snapped it up and just sort of shoved the peak into my trap.  I wanted to hurry home, so I continued the attractive mushing of muffin into my mouth from behind the wheel.  Loose and reckless morsels of muffiny goodness; this kind of eating is not a tidy enterprise.    This is exactly how Audrey Hepburn looked whilst feasting.  Classy as hell.

Love in the Afternoon (1957) - Audrey Hepburn, Gary CooperSome bastard pulls out in front of me, and I bark an obscenity out, mouth full of muffin.  I catch a glimpse of my reflection.

Girlfriend, you look so stressed.  And you are seriously just covered in crumbs. Like, it’s all over your face.  

This was totally understandable, as I was all but chewing of the muffin lining.  This is what I was doing when I got cut off, and when I snapped out loud to no one in particular.  Behold, my finest hour.

Naturally, I stopped by the liquor store for a bit of vino.

After a hot shower, and a proper meal, and two glasses of the California red blend, I was feeling far less crumby.  Relaxing with my husband, watching a movie, I took a sip of water, and intending to put it back on the table, I  clink it into the wine glass–cheers darling–knocking it over, the scarlet liquid cascading onto the cream colored carpet.


This isn’t a huge surprise.  These are things you need to know about me.  I cry all the time.  I mix past and present tenses when I write.  I’m terrible at basic math, I’m incapable of giving directions, and I’m a certifiable food and beverage spiller.  That’s why I wear so much black, it’s 5% wanting to be chic, and 98% wanting clothes I can wear again after an inevitable staining.

One night, when Ben and I were first together, I was all tucked up in bed in one of his t-shirts and sipping a huge glass of water.  I don’t quite know how I did it, but I just kind of relaxed and let go of the glass.  Water everywhere.  I just sit there in the spillage, not quite sure how to proceed.  Ben came in, smiling at his new girlfriend, the ‘super soaker’.  He climbed into bed, and he puts his hand down on the mattresses, and his smile wavered as his eyebrows turned into a “what the…hell?” kind of squiggle.  I’m holding the empty glass, soaked through the sheets, down to my knickers, smiling like it’s a beauty pageant, and the other contestant’s name was called over mine.

But he’s used to it by now, and it was absolutely not a surprise to him when we were assessing the crime scene last night.  “With the amount of wine that goes through this house, I’m only surprised it didn’t happen sooner”.  I am seriously one klutzy son of a bitch, in fact, that would be my rap name “DJ Spilly Britches” or “Notorious SOB”.  Although truth be told, as you can tell by my rap names, the closest I could get to being a rapper would by being the old lady in the opening credits of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.  That’s another thing you should know, I don’t rock that hard…at all.


The wine is spilled, and there is this split second moment where we looked at each other, and looked at the mess.   We then lunge into action, attack the stain with paper towels, hoping to lure the liquid from the clutches of the carpet.  I search the internet for stain removers.  There are a variety of options, but here’s a step-by-step approach of what worked for me:

1) Panic

2) Lament your bumbling butterfingers.

3) Paper towel that shit, while wondering if Nestle still makes Butterfingers.

4) The internet recommends vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, laundry detergent.  I suggest layering all of these ingredients and scrubbing like a post-regicide Lady Macbeth.

gp-Macbeth_t614My god woman, how much wine did you spill?

My favorite tip was to pour white wine over the red, which sounds a bit wasteful.  But hey, maybe carpet sangria has yet to sweep the nation–what do I know?  It seemed to me that it was a bit like putting out a fire with more kerosene.  Plus, I’m not much of a chardonnay kind of girl.

Once the stain was out, I congratulated myself with a little Butterfingers re-con.  Good news y’all, not only is it still a thing, but they are putting it in ice cream now.  So that’s just another thing for me to bring home and spill on the carpet.  The possibilities are endless really, my clumsiness knows no bounds.

pin up boozeiAll Images Courtesy of Google

Fancy Meeting You Here

There’s an old joke that I’ve heard from time to time: “I ran into my ex today…then I backed up and hit him again”.  I don’t really care for that joke, because I hate the thought of hating someone like that.  Why, just yesterday, I read one of my favorite blogger’s postings, and it literally hurt my heart to read her angry essay about her cheating ex-boyfriend.  I feel for her dealing with the betrayal and anger, that’s a huge pill to swallow. But I can’t help but think–you lived with this person, were married or engaged to this person, you shared secrets under bed sheets,  you laughed, shared meals, payed bills, you once loved that person so much that it hurt…to hate that person after the love died is like hating that whole chapter in your life.  Do that enough times, hate every person that left before you did, you’ve got a lot of hate in your heart and a lot of bitter chapters in an already short life.  Of course, these things are painful, and nothing heals like time, but I’d prefer to be on friendly terms with all my ex’s.  I don’t plan to go on an Alaskan cruise with any of them, but in the off-chance you run into them on the street, I’d like to think that a hello and hug would be in order.

Still, running into an ex can be a bit of a minefield.  It is wholly dependent on your new station in life… or your place in the world compared to their place in the world.  If you’ve gained weight, recently gotten an unsightly scar, have just been fired/dumped/punted off a reality show, and he’s looking better with age and his new wife looks like she invested being young and hot…then yes, it’s a struggle.    A girlfriend of mine once told me that she saw her ex-husband  in a grocery store.  She had a moment where she recognized him, then took a step towards him, before realizing that they were divorced, and had been for quite sometime.  It’s sort of surreal, like being a kid and seeing your teacher out of the classroom. “So you don’t exist solely to teach me life lessons?”  I ran into my ex on the way to the post office.  It’s all very friendly and respectful, but there is a strange moment when you think… remember when we were a thing? And then years later, after all the dusted has settled, exchanging pleasantries by the cash register, wearing the turquoise American Apparel hoodie you pinched from him the day you moved out. Afterwards I headed to my appointment with my massage therapist.  Once on the table, she asks about my day.

“Well, I just ran into the man I almost married”.

“How was that?”

“Oh, it was nice to catch up, but I think as a rule, you’d like to be stepping off George Clooney‘s speedboat, or wearing a ballgown when you run into any of your formers”.

“I hear ya.  You always wish you looked prettier, were ten pounds thinner, and dressed smarter”.

But, then you’d never bump into them.  That’s Murphy’s Law; you could spend your whole life dressed like a fashion model, and the one day you nip out for a quick sweatpants-wearing, make-up free errand,  looking totally bland and pedestrian,  that will be the day you bump into those kinds of people.   The massage therapist’s comments about wishing you were all different kinds of things made me think about how you want to be perceived in this fleeting moment.  So, I’ve compiled a list acceptable times to run into an ex.

When looking effortlessly striking…


On a horse, amid winning a polo match:

polo player

Fresh from winning an Oscar…

audrey oscar

Being admired by millions…


…somewhere in between being a star and a princess…

grace kelly

Or just passing by, hiding behind giant sunglasses…

Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Or while casually glimpsing over your shoulder, looking impossibly young, fresh and stunning…


Furthermore, most ladies want to run into the ex with new lovers in tow…

“Oh that’s just me with Richard Burton…pissing of the Pope in Italy”…


“Have you met Paul Newman? He’s possibly the most gorgeous man ever, so that’s what I’ve been dealing with these days”…


“Oh him? That’s just Steve McQueen…no big deal”.

mcgraw mcqueen

What you don’t want–is to run into said ex–sans make up, or post stomach flu, or maybe ten minutes after you’ve given birth or had your mug shot taken…


Don’t let him see you making your sex face, out of context it just looks weird…


“Oh hey…how are you?” “Good”.  “So…Things are good?” “Oh yeah, real good” Good…I’m good too…” “Well you look good…your hair is…completely gone, which must be…cool in the summer?” “Yeah…it gets so hot when I beat the shit out of random vehicles with my umbrella”.  “Oh I’ll bet…”


You want to be bubbly, not blasted.  It’s wise not to get drunk as fuck and fall on your face, you never want you ex to see you flat out like so…

polo fall

Don’t we all have ex-husbands/wives, ex-boyfriends/girlfriends…and whether we run and hide, or march up and say hello that’s your prerogative.  But you don’t want to duck cowardly into an aisle, and have them pass you as you try to cram yourself behind a display of hemorrhoid cream or personal lubricants.  “Oh hey…I just dropped a penny back here, just trying to retrieve it….”

It’s like the end of “Annie Hall”, which is a small montage of them running into each other with new partners, and having lunch and laughing over old times, mixed with flashbacks of them meeting and falling in love.  And in the last shot, standing in the street, they shake hands and go their separate ways.  Rather, she walks away first, and he watches her go before he turns and walks in the opposite direction with this thought in his head:  “It was great seeing Annie again…I realized what a terrific person she was and how much fun it was just knowing her”.  The love story happened.  And then it ended.  But there’s no bitterness or anger, no regret or vengeance.  Just gratitude.  And it’s always nice to say hello.


All Images Courtesy of Google

Filter Skelter

The art of marriage is a delicate tightrope walk–and I lose my balance all the time.  I have a patient, organized, gentle husband, he is a tightly structured concerto and I am a  jazz fusion of creative, emotional, occasionally hysterical chaos.

Yesterday my husband asked one thing of me, “Could you please pick up coffee filters?”.


“No worries!”

“Will do!”

“Not a problem!”…  Are examples of things that I said and that could be used later in court transcripts.

I did not pick up coffee filters.

I blogged and worked against a looming deadline for an essay contest, which of course meant mostly fucking around on Twitter in my sweatpants.

I’m building a platform Benjamin, I’m developing a process.  I don’t have time for coffee filters!

Which of course I did.  And there’s actually a shop right down the street.  And it was on the agenda, my husband didn’t assign this simple errand and I agreed flippantly, cackling wickedly with ill-intent.  I wrote all day, made dinner, and then went to a rehearsal for an upcoming show.  This naturally led to a stop at the pub afterward.  I said to my friend Vivi, “Don’t let me forget coffee filters”. So really, I think it’s his fault.   I drove him and another person home, and then went home, sat in the office, worked a bit, and somewhere around midnight….


Coffee filters!  I briefly consider going out and getting some, but I crawl into bed instead, poke my deeply sleeping husband.  “Psst.  Psssst. Psssssst! Hey…how important is coffee to you in the morning?”

And of course my husband bore his caffeine-free morning stoically.  And yes, I did feel guilty dropping him off and then immediately heading to a Starbucks. But I never said I was perfect, and there is no reference to ‘getting it right ever time’ in the marriage vows.  There are mild undertones of guilt flavor in my beverage…I wonder if caramel would cover that up.  But I feel bad, it’s such a little thing–filters, but coffee in the morning–I mean, that is the whole point of getting up.  We set the timer the night before, and it acts as a pre-alarm clock. You hear the brewing before your actual alarm goes off, and though soon you have to go to work, you know that there will be coffee waiting for you in the kitchen; this hot black liquid that has the capacity to make your day better before it even begins.

And I’m the monster that denied him that.

Sitting in the office with my guilt-laced latte, I think about potential blog topics.   I think about how someone once said “If you forget, it means you don’t care”.  I disagree.  I care.  I just forgot the fucking filters.  It doesn’t make the the world’s worst wife.  I search the web for a decent ‘bad wives’ list, and you know what? I’m not on any of those lists, so that’s the good news…or maybe that also means that nobody knows who I am so that’s the bad news.  But then, if I did become known, is that what I would be known for? Being a filter-forgetting insensitive wife?  But also, I didn’t find a really satisfying list of bad wives.  So I’m going to compile a wee list of historically bad wives (famous & fictional), which will be my way of saying…”it could be worse Ben, I could be Sharon Stone in “Casino'”.

sh stone“Yes, while I’m a heartless, ball-busting, drug addled, villainous hustler who cheats on Robert DeNiro with James Woods and Joe Pesci…but seriously, just how fabulous is my hair?

Ginger McKenna appears on all cinematic bad wives lists; it’s almost enough to watch me re watch Casino, but then I looked it up on IMDB, and shit gets real in that movie.  It gets an all round 48/50 for intensity levels, and I love whoever wrote the list. Amongst all the pen stabbing, hammer smacking, baseball bat smashing and head in the vice gripping, is a note in the Sex & Nudity section: “There is a brief shot of a woman’s bubble butt”…and it is (spoiler alert!) “beautifully shaped like a ripe peach”.  How is that a spoiler? “I want to know if I’m going to see some ass…but I don’t want to know if it is shaped like delicious fruit”.kurt and courtney

I bet Courtney Love forgot coffee filters from time to time.  It could not be easy to be married a woman who “Rolling Stone” magazine refers to as “the most controversial woman in the history of rock”.   And I can’t imagine her being a tidy bride either; heroin and housework are well known mortal enemies, a bit like Courtney Love and marriage.  In fact, in recent years their daughter, the unfortunately named Frances Bean, filed a restraining order against Love on behalf of herself and the family dog.  Apparently Love is not only a hoarder, she also just leaves uncapped pharmaceuticals strewn about, killing a slew of pets.  But there are also theories that Love was responsible for Cobain’s death, whether she pulled the trigger or he killed himself just to get away from her unhygienic ways. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors.

Surely Kim Kardashian should appear on a bad wife list–and most don’t realize that this was her second marriage.  She  married music producer Damon Thomas when she was just nineteen, and kept it a secret for a period of time.  Apparently he once punched her in the face and told her she needed liposuction.  And, before they were to go skydiving with Justin Timberlake, he smacked her around.  I love that she name-drops even in court transcripts, (though no woman should suffer physical abuse).

kim k

You know I love me some Drew Barrymore, but she had a rather lengthy run in the bad wives club.  She was engaged twice, the first time at sixteen, then married for the first time at nineteen.  Barrymore and the Welsh bar owner split up in less than two months.  Her recent marriage–her third–seems really positive, and they have a little baby, and she looks amazing.  Although anything after being  married to gross-out comic Tom Green, you could be married to an antique lamp, a lawn mower or a piece of masticated bubble gum and it be more mature and meaningful.


Cher wasn’t a perfect wife either.  She met Sonny when she was sixteen years old, and there relationship and career grew together in tandem.  At a height in their career, Cher grew tired of the Bono’s controlling ways, and their marriage crumbled (as did their show).  Three days after their divorce was final, she marred Gregg Allman, who she then divorced two years later.


Believe it or no, but I am writing this blog in almost the exact same outfit.

Hey, no bad wives list would be complete without ole Liz Taylor, that lady collected husbands like diamonds–and that bitch had a lot of both–even famously marrying Richard Burton twice, later spawning the delicious terrible Lifetime special, Lindsay Lohan vehicle “Liz and Dick”.  But really, you could drop Burton from the movie and the title would still make sense.


Also, bonus points for Taylor, as she also appears on many lists for the shrewish wife in “Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?”.  She is possibly one of the most boozy soul-crushing literary wives ever.

Virginia Woolf 1966

Marilyn Monroe was a gal who could not master marriage, but really wanted to get it right.  She took a crack at it three times. The first time, she was basically given away in marriage to get her out of the foster-care system.  The second time, to Joe DiMaggio lasted less than a year.   Her final marriage with Arthur Miller was the topic of “After the Fall”, a scathing portrayal of woman who could not be loved enough and could not be saved.

marilyn miller

Audrey Hepburn broke off  an engagement saying that she didn’t have “the time to be really married”.  She married for the first time–to Mel Ferrer who was already married with four children when he met Hepburn.  She remarried years later, to a philandering Italian doctor, had a baby at forty, and got another divorce.  At the time of her death, she had a long term partner, but they never married.  Jackie O did the same thing–twice divorced can still be classy, any more than that is edging on Taylor territory, and it’s a rare breed to make multiple divorces looks that look fabulous.

audrey-hepburn-wedding-mel-magpie-jewellery-dressAll images Courtesy of Google

And sadly, me–Alicia Ashcroft, unpaid writer,  a distracted, forgetful, messy, and occasionally hysterical wife.  But I’m always quick to apologize.  Okay that’s a lie, I hold onto apologies with pretty tight fists sometimes, but it’s a part of my ‘tough but tender’ charm.  But I am sorry.  I love my husband, and I want to make him as happy as he makes me. And I’m going to the shop right away. …now what was it I was supposed to pick up?

The Mean Reds

This week has been a real doozy.  It’s been emotional and frustrating and exhausting.  Today I don’t have much to offer and I sit in front of the computer screen, frowning slightly and wishing I felt brighter.  When not blogging, I’ve recently been working on a piece for a contest; the theme being ‘sustainability’.  I decided to explore the topic of rebuilding after natural disasters, and my personal experience with the massive earthquake in Christchurch.  And these are not fun topics.  And now I have enough of an essay, and the deadline is close enough that I don’t want to change topics, but it’s not a fun place to visit;  the memories of that treacherous time, the universal idea of disaster and destruction.  The world can be such a frightening place, tornadoes are ripping cities apart, soldiers are being hacked to death in the street, Kim Kardashian wore than horrible dress to the Met Gala (yes those are matching gloves and shoes)…nothing makes sense anymore.

kim k dress

My problems are all definably ‘first world'; the immigration process is moving at a glacial pace, my university degree is gathering dust, and I’m not yet living to my potential.  I have so much to be grateful for–a loving supportive husband, wonderful friends, and an amazing family.  I’ve got a roof over my head, bit of money in my pocket–I live near two different Starbucks, it’s hardly Darfur.  I have a solid support system who act as a life raft as I try not to drown in this rushing river of my life.  Still, why is it that I feel I can’t catch my breath?  That I feel so hopeless that I can’t stand it?

In “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”  Holly Golighty describes her mood to Paul Varjack:

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

All too often Ms Golightly, all too often.  Though I don’t have her problems either.

Mickey Rooney isn’t living upstairs pretending to be Asian.


I’m not a thinly veiled prostitute that has to cater to the boozy (and I mean 1960’s boozy) clients for “cab fare” or “powder room” money.

diamants sur canapŽ

I’m not a former child-bride being stalked by Buddy Ebsen.

buddy ebsen

I’m not refusing a gorgeous man who would love me unconditionally; (and who would one day star with Mr T in “The A-Team“–hello? how could you refuse?)


But sometimes I feel tired, stripped down, like I’ve been emptied out of hope and good humor.

sad Audrey Hepburn - Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

And I don’t quite know what to do with myself.  Holly Golightly reckons that the only thing to do about the mean reds was to “hop into a cab and head down to Tiffany’s”.

AH looking into window

Or if that doesn’t work, a hot shower and “Moon River” on the fire escape always does the trick.

Breakfast at Tiffanys moon river

But what do you do when you don’t feel fabulous at all? When the happy places won’t do.  When it won’t stop raining and you can hardly lift your lips into a smile?


No…seriously, I don’t really have the answer.  And I’m not sure Holly Golightly does either; nor do I think she’s an suitable role model for good life choices.  I don’t think she has the slightest clue what’s she’s doing with her life, and guess what? Neither do I.  She’s just trying to save a bit of cash for when her brother Fred returns home from the army,  so he can gorge himself on peanut butter on a ranch in Mexico.  I know what I want.  I can close my eyes and see the future as I would like to paint it, but when I look around me, I see nothing but obstacles.  This whole big world is saying “Don’t Walk”.  It’s not the time to make a move; though every fiber of my being is electrified with intent. But there are so few avenues where it seems my purpose has a place.

Breakfast-at-Tiffany-s-don't walk

Sigh–apologies to my darling readers for this lashing of  blues and reds on your fabulous Friday.  But I thank you for making time in your day, and for giving my thoughts a place to go.  Your eyes on my words is my diamond-gazing, little-black-dress wearing, pastry eating and coffee sipping in front of Tiffany’s.  And it means so very much.

25044-breakfast-at-tiffanys-sleep-mask_1                  All Images Courtesy of Google

Downward Facing Dog

Yesterday I was feeling slightly blah, so after I wrote my blog, I decided to partake in the lunch hour Bikram yoga class at the studio I occasionally visit.  I used to go regularly, and somewhere in the middle of the class I thought to myself “Why don’t I do this more often?”  Because of the $20 drop in fee? Perhaps, but mostly it’s because I often feel like that ballerina hippo from Disney‘s “Fantasia” in a roomful of beautiful swans.


Of course, that’s not the point of yoga; the point is breathing and stretching and pushing your body to the limit, all while quieting your mind.  I’d like to meet the lucky bastard in the room who has a clear head and limber body, because I’d like to shake their hand, and immediately karate chop them.  Especially those women who are head to toe in Lulu Lemon, with elegant topknots exposing graceful necks.  While I’m sweating like a hooker in a Baptist Church, they are simply glowing as they extend limbs with perfect straightness.

audrey hepburn yoga

Yes, that’s Audrey Hepburn practicing yoga…what a fun, serendipitous find on today of all days.  But this is the kind of gal I am dealing with.

audrey hepburn yoga 2

At the exact moment you are trying to twist your torso, breathe deeply and quiet your thoughts;  you are simultaneously dissatisfied with yourself while coveting the body types, abilities and outfits of others.  I’m pretty sure that’s also not the point of yoga.

vintage yoga

This is my kind of gal–just take a big ole nap in stripes a la Child’s Pose.

In reality, I hold my own in class and enjoy the exercise.  The yoga instructor was a robust woman, extremely curvaceous, but relaxed and smiling.  She looked happy, why shouldn’t I? Why should my life be less fabulous because I feel more like a cartoon hippo than a movie star.  In one breath I think: “I need to come here more, I want to look better, feel better”.  In another breath I think:  I want to be at peace with myself, but have skinnier thighs”. Then, “but I really need to be at peace with my body”.  Because in reality, I look perfectly fine–Victoria’s Secret would not hire me to model lingerie…

I also don’t look like Honey Boo Boo‘s mama.

I’m somewhere in the middle, and I need to remember that the middle is perfectly fine.  And another breath; the inhalations and exhalations like the ocean lapping the shore.

After class, while changing in the cramped change room, I overheard a variety of conversations.  Children, husbands, careers, renovations, travels, and weekend plans.  One woman was struggling with energy levels after a series of immunization shots, as she’s off to Germany before zipping off to Zimbabwe.  As for me, I’ve nothing planned other than going home to make the scrambled egg wrap that I started thinking about mid-way through class.  Then I will write, and accidentally mash hot sauce onto the keyboard.  It’s not Zimbabwe, but it was delicious nonetheless.


Courtesy of Etsy/Google &Disney

Slipping Away; Holden On

In “Julie and Julia”, Julie’s mother warns her: “You have a full-time job, you have a husband, and now you’re gonna get sick from blogging”.  I won’t blame having a cold on blogging, but today I don’t have much of an attention span.  But—I will prevail…sort of.  This morning I woke up feeling bloody awful.  How infuriating, I went through the entire winter without so much as a sniffle, and suddenly spring breaks, and I am knocked flat with a bug.  I remedied my unhealthiness with a piping hot bath, more sleep, several oranges, and a black & white movie.  All tucked up under a blanket, watching “Sabrina”, my mind, as always, wanders to a variety of places.


As I half-watched the movie, I remembered a morbid catch-phrase my mother and I had developed.  For years I lived in bachelor apartments alone, which was a concern to my mother, as if I could apparently slip and fall, and not be found for days.  She’d call and ask whether I had “pulled a William Holden”.  Holden was one of Audrey Hepburn’s love interests in “Sabrina” (and her lover in real life, until his admittance of having had a vasectomy put Hepburn off).  They reunited ten years later, in 1964 for “Paris When it Sizzles”.


Hepburn was a style icon, a big star and married to Mel Ferrer.  Holden was in decline…at least physically.  From all accounts, his drinking got out of hand because of her presence.  He made some embarrassing attempts to rekindle their romance.  Which included, but was not limited to–trying to drunkenly climb into her balcony hotel one night.  In 1981, Holden, a long time alcoholic, slipped on a rug and fell at home, cracking his head on a bedside table.  He apparently just laid there, not doing anything to help himself, and then just bled to death, and was found four days later.  That my friends is known as: ‘pulling a William Holden’.

holden hepburn

After “Sabrina” and subsequent research about Hepburn, Holden and Humphrey Bogart (who was rumoured to have disliked Audrey, and was a genuine prick to all those around him) I was feeling unable to do much else but continue resting on the couch.


I searched Netflix for another film; I came across “Valley of the Dolls”, a film I had never seen, but had heard a lot about.  And I soon learned why it was voted one of the “Fifty Worst Films” of all times.  It stars Patty Duke, Barbara Parkins, and Sharon Tate, about a bunch of gals trying to make it in Hollywood, who inevitably succumb to the lure of booze and barbiturates or “dolls”, as they are referred to in the film.


The movie is so bad, but not a “good-bad” kind of movie, it’s just bad…which suits me fine because I’m not really paying attention.  The film has inspired the mother of all internet research webs: from “Valley of the Dolls” to Sharon Tate to Charles Manson, to the Manson murders to “Helter Skelter” to Roman Polanski, then back to “Valley of the Dolls”, and Jacqueline Susann, (the book’s author), which lead to Judy Garland (meant to star in “V of the D”, but was then fired, because of her own ‘doll troubles’).

a Mark Robson Valley of the Dolls Patty Duke VALLEY_DOLLS_D1-1(1)

Garland died in 1969, (the same year as Sharon Tate’s murder), and was found on the bathroom floor by her fifth husband, twelve days after her 47th birthday.  It’s all so tragic, how people destroy their lives, they don’t mean to, sometimes they just…slip, and can never get up again.  The film has ended, I’m not feeling any better, and this blog has taken a terribly grim turn.  But I can certifiably say I’m doing better than the gals in that god-awful movie …but it makes me want to lay off the cold meds nonetheless.

Judy Garland dramatic photoImages Courtesy of Google