Unhinged on April 4

Another non-li.st list about my day. I want to write more in this High Mom Diary, but I’m feeling lazy, so, without further ado, here are some thoughts/insights/experiences/etc. from my Tuesday:

I had a stoned epiphany tonight about Enrique and beauty.

Funny thing happened today. Well, I guess it technically happened at Ms. Mahogany’s baby shower last Friday, but the funny part happened today.

Enrique had taken a bunch of photos of the work crew at the shower, which was especially lovely because, per the success of my office coup, we’re moving offices sometime this week. So while this means saying goodbye to people we love and genuinely care for, for me, it also means closure with my high school nemesis. To be honest, I was quite surprised when she showed up to the baby shower because (1) she doesn’t  really know Ms. Mahogany, and (2)  she fucking hates me. But no, she walked in, sauntered passed me, and in a moment caught in the lens of Enrique’s camera, my face reflected my bemusement.

“You look slightly unhinged,” he told me this morning, as we sorted through the album he had posted on the shared drive. I couldn’t stop laughing at my eyes, my smirk, the painted expression of a woman with a lot of petty thoughts on her mind. I later emailed the photo of my face and the sole picture of Anaid to Mr. D, with the note, “Enrique says he loves how I’m slightly unhinged in the first photo, but it’s only because my nemesis walked right past! She smiles for him though…” Mr. D didn’t respond, but Enrique followed up with a close-up shot of Anaid and one line: “THAT’S a smile???!!!”

God, I wish I had Mark Bowden‘s gift of description. Or Enrique’s casually biting honesty. The Kelly Kapowski of my high school… no longer looks like Kelly Kapowski. In fact, she looks quite feral. The combination of her face and his caption had me laughing so hard a coworker had to shut the door. I’m not doing a good enough job explaining the hilarity of it, so I’ll update this post later with an addendum from Enrique. (Speaking of which, Enrique is totally complicit in my blog, just in case Ivanka’s reading and needs help understanding the word).

Anyway, it was hilarious, and I brought it up with Mr. D tonight, and he called Enrique’s email mean (which always makes me wonder if he ever really fucked Anaid, which I know he never did, although I could totally see how he could have once wanted to, because there was a time when she was Kelly Kapowski Hot). But anyway, I told him how I couldn’t stop laughing, and I asked if my Facebook post was petty. (The same photo of myself, after Anaid walked directly in front of me, her body turned away, face hidden from the camera, along with the caption: “That face you make when your nemesis walks past,” and customized  mood: “feeling slightly unhinged, but in a harmless and friendly way.”

Ms. Mahogany saw the post and reprimanded me online, writing my name in caps locks, followed by an exclamation mark. My high school BFF wrote: “You’re bad” with two unhinged slanty face emojis and one “laughing in tears” emoji. I responded to my high school friend–but more broadly, to everyone looking at the post–with my meager justification: “The question literally haunted my dreams! For years, I’d wake up in the middle of the night and ask Mr. D why this person hated me, and even today, I have no answers. But I harbor no ill will! Just some slightly unhinged curiosity…

I wanted to talk about Anaid tonight, but Mr. D was not trying to entertain me. He called her photo “unfortunate,” and I agreed but added, “Enrique just has a gift for taking truly awful photos of people.” To be fair, he also takes some great ones; he just has a knack for capturing reality’s stark ugliness. It’s a skill that suits the persona of a man who says things like “We’re all doomed,” when reading the news.

Enrique is like an Asian tourist with his camera. For instance, we celebrated the completion of one of our big work projects by taking the day off and getting stoned at the Reading Terminal Market last fall. After devouring Dienner’s roast chicken and contemplating the universe, we pottered around the various markets until his bulky camera bag almost knocked over a tray of overpriced essential oils. We could have been very high, or he might just be an obnoxious Asian tourist trapped in the body of a grizzled former journalist. Hard to say.

Anyway, Enrique takes God-awful photos of people. Including me. There’s one from the conference last month, and I look like a man undergoing an exorcism. This atrocious image is followed immediately by one of me looking more feminine, but also like a woman who has just farted herself into an orgasm. The only thing more embarrassing than my three chins is the fact that nothing in the keynote panel was even worthy of such ugly laughter.

But I digress. I’m drunk writing now. No longer stoned, but definitely tipsy… tipsy plus. Testing out some Ernest Hemingway shit. What was I writing about? Enrique as a photographer? He took a brutally horrific photo of the Duck from the baby shower, and it was so bad I felt guilty for laughing at it over the weekend.

I started thinking of beauty tonight. Of thoughts I’ve had since this weekend, when I began an essay (still unpublished) about race, gender, skin color, frenemies, interracial couples, Jordan Peele’s Get Out, and some other scattered but somehow connected thoughts. I discussed some of them with Mr. D’s Jamaican-Indian-Chinese friend, Mr. T, who made a particularly insightful comment about race and perception, in which he said he never thought of himself as black until recently, in college, when he realized others perceived him as black, and then questioned whether that knowledge changed his perception of himself. (I’m going to interview him for a longer post on the topic).

Anyway, the bulk of my thoughts and conversation with Mr. T can basically be summarized in these two posts–the first of which is about Beyoncé. Then that got me thinking of Beyoncé, how her beauty is such a fundamental part of her appeal, and how she should have just kept it real and unapologetic with those Buzzfeed pictures.

When we drove down to the conference in February, I asked Enrique if he thought women shooed away from intellectual pursuits, or something along those lines. I’m drunkish now, but my question at the time had something to do with the Kardashian-esque-ness of my gender, to which Enrique responded: “beauty is easy power.”

Is that why I want to be beautiful? I guess that brings me to my next epiphany.

I tried and failed to have sex tonight.

I wore a sexy thong and a lacy black bra that covers my massive areolas. (On that note, shout out to George R. R. Martin for writing about hot women with large areaolae. If you’re interested in knowing the gargantuan size of my National Geographic nipples, they’re large enough to recall this particular detail from Martin’s still unfinished five-book epic, where each novel is 1,000-plus pages).

Anyway, I felt sexy and wanted to fuck, but I got stoned and complacent and sleepy and not really in the mood, and the come-fuck-me clothes went to waste. Maybe we’ll get lucky tomorrow…

I bring up the failed sex only because I wish my body were perfect, which makes me mad at Beyoncé. Like, just let us have your Buzzfeed imperfections! Do you have to be so gorgeous? Can’t you be flawed, too?

I got high tonight and experienced the Dark Side of the Rainbow through Hulu and Legion.

I was wearing my sexy lingerie beneath my clothes, but Mr. D turned on the TV, and I smoked the bowl, and then we were thumbing through Hulu, and we started watching Emerald City, and we got tired, and I started thinking how Mr. D must have been listening to The Wall earlier in the day because Little A was singing Pink Floyd, and how I wouldn’t mind watching the Dark Side of the Moon synced up to the Wizard of Oz, and then we both lost interest in the show, and I said I’d read my Sun magazine, with its theme around mental illness, and Mr. D turned on Legion, and the episode happened to deal with mental illness, and I thought about the magazine, and my day, and before I knew it, I was singing “Breathe” and watching a trippy and unhinged montage to the first few songs from my favorite Pink Floyd album on FX.

I ran into Bryan.

At the skateboard park. He was respectful. The girls scooted about a half-mile down the road as I walked beside them, and when we reached the park, Bryan was there, skating with another young kid. The other guy had curly hair and glasses, kinda nerdy but sweet, and I was nice, but not overtly. The boys stayed off the cement as my daughters scooted, and less than five minutes later, another little girl came up and asked Big A if she wanted to play. The kids ran off, and Bryan and his friend kept skating. As Big A and the girl frolicked about, I pushed Little A on the swings. Beside us was an older girl, around 10 or 12 years old, squealing to herself. She couldn’t speak, so I asked if she wanted to be pushed, and she nodded, and as I pushed her, she grabbed my arms, and held me close, and I felt happy for being able to make her happy.

Her caretaker came over and said, “I hope she’s not bothering you; she can swing by herself,” and I said no, I wasn’t bothered at all. When I asked what her name was, the caretaker informed me that it began with a Z, but rhymed with the one we’d bestowed upon Little A (derived from the most bad-ass of Game of Thrones characters).

Little A was scared of her. I tried to explain that she loved swinging just like Little A loved swinging, that she, too, loved feeling the wind in her hair but didn’t have the ability to say how much she loved it, and that we all get different gifts from the universe, and sometimes we don’t even realize how lucky we are to have the gifts that we do.

By then, my girls wanted to scoot again, so we returned to the ramp for another five minutes, while Bryan and his friend waited. I thanked them for their patience and they responded kindly. As we left, I said, “Have a nice night, gentlemen,” and the sweet kid said thanks.

I celebrated Equal Pay Day (as Trump rolled back protections for women in the workplace)

Worth mentioning because Equal Pay Day is today, and also because I’m proud of myself for standing up to Bryan, that petulant piece of shit. Women don’t always stand up for themselves.

I said as much at lunch today, when I was telling some close work friends about the changes at work. “Does it come with a title change?” one of them asked.

“No,” I said, “But I’m hoping it comes with a raise. I asked for one yesterday.”

In honor of Equal Pay Day, here’s how I asked. (I thought it was a good email, even if I haven’t heard back):

Dear Fairy Godmother,

Good luck on the upcoming [BFD] event! These are certainly exciting times for [our organization], and I’m especially excited for [my main project]’s role in helping to promote [organizational] news to such a wide and influential group of constituents. I think the investments being made on the [project]’s behalf will go a long way in strengthening [shareholder] connection and broader [organizational] advancement, which is why I was hoping we could revisit the conversation regarding pay grade for [my title]. I noticed the salary grade for the [other advertised position, with a title identical to mine] is at 32, which is what I would recommend for the [project I work on] (I’m currently at 31). [My project] has a wider reach than [the other] and, I’d argue, a more prominent external brand, and I’m hopeful my recent performance appraisal, the [office] restructuring and the positive external feedback I’ve received would merit a larger discussion around compensation.

I also realize Enrique is interested in the [advertised] position, and as painful as it is to admit, I know this role was almost tailor-made for his talents. Additionally, if Enrique were to assume that position, his leadership there could enhance much of the preliminary conversations we’ve had around rethinking [my project]’s digital outreach, with strong potential for overlap and collaboration. (I certainly don’t want to lose Enrique, but I also see the opportunity for broader communications efforts with having him in such a role).

Again, I realize this is a very busy time for our organization and that some of these things are hypothetical and in their early stages, but I am hopeful we might be able to talk soon. I’m truly looking forward to working together and propelling [my main project] to new heights.

Many thanks again,

Witchy Woman

I bonded with a fellow witch and perhaps another spiritual connector to the universe

I’ve been thinking about the touched, wondering if the universe speaks to them on a different level. There was a boy in high school who was odd. Different. Physically, perhaps mentally. He was small, with a bad back, and he carted his books in a carry-on suitcase. I didn’t know him well, though we’re Facebook friends now. I think he voted for Trump.

Regardless, I like him. He posted something this morning that made me think of my fellow 33-year-old witch friend. As soon as I read the headline, I tried to find her on FB, but she had listed her name in an unusual way, and I gave up. Then, later tonight, just an hour or so ago, she messaged me completely out of the blue. Wild timing, for sure. In my stoned state, I wondered if maybe we really are witches.

The boy from high school posted another thing today that I thought was especially cool. It was a meme, but as an arrogant writer/blogger/wannabe witch, it spoke to me.

1 Thought.

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