Lately, I’ve been dating George Clooney.
Apparently, I’m not the only one.
Lisa Scottoline, an author I admire (and who feels like a kindred spirit), seems to think that she is also dating George. If she’s right then perhaps I will knuckle under and agree to some sort of joint-custody arrangement if–and only if–she’s dating 2013 George.
Because, fair warning, Lisa: kindred spirit or not, I’m having a full-on dalliance with George of years past.
1995 George is taken.
When I get home from work, I sneak in a little time with George before dinner. George, of the dark hair and yummy “twinkles” at the corners of his eyes. George, who is pining for me….or rather, Nurse Carol Hathaway.
Let’s not focus on her.
I found the first two seasons of the TV series, ER, at a garage sale. Brand new and a bargain little something to distract me while I exercise.
I’ve never really had a thing for exercising. But, I’ve always had kind of a thing for vintage dreamboats.
It started in my teen years when I had a James Dean phase. Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Rebel Without a Cause, great car (Porsche 550 Spyder), short life. It was like that song, Forever Young, by Alphaville.
You know: the sorts of things that make a teenage girl swoon. It was the 80s so, naturally, I had a crush on someone from the 50s.
But, I have matured and moved beyond vintage, Rebel Without a Hairbrush and Bad Boys of Broken Dreams. Now, it’s about the middle-aged twinkles and the beginnings of salt-and-pepper hair.
In other words, George, circa 1995.
“I’m going to visit George,” I confess to Practical Man breezily, as I head downstairs wearing obscenely coloured, breathable, spandex with reflective stripes in case someone tries to run me over while I’m on my treadmill or elliptical machines. A hideous, for-cardio-in-the-privacy-of-one’s-own-basement outfit that, thank goodness, George will never, ever see.
“Okay”, says Practical Man, “See you in an hour.”
Practical Man is not threatened by George. And he loves me despite the unfortunate exercise get-up.
The obnoxious outfit makes me feel sporty and athletic. It is all a ruse to distract me into the unfortunate exercising part. My shoes have “go faster” stripes on them.
I think they might be defective.
When I was young, my parents put me in soccer in a vain attempt to get me to be more sporty and athletic. I was timid (in life and soccer) and ran away from the evil soccer ball constantly. Anyone who tells you that heading the ball “doesn’t hurt a bit” is a big, fat liar.
Or possibly just sporty and athletic in a way that I will never be.
But, I loved my outfit.
It was blue and white with tall socks and despite my terrible soccer career, it allowed me, the shy bookworm, to masquerade every Wednesday night (and during photo ops in the back yard, under the crab-apple tree) as a jock.
That’s what’s really important.
Anyway, I feel like super-duper-fit girl with my day-glow, Olympic-wannabe outfit on. And, sure enough, ten minutes later, there I am, huffing and puffing.
With George, no less.
Unfortunately, not in the good way. Unless you count doubling your fainting-prone, half-dead heart rate as good.
Which, I don’t.
But it matters not, because 1995 George thinks I am powerful and glorious. I can just tell by the way he smiles at me sort of sidelong from the TV screen. He has faith that I will reach my slightly-less-zombie target heart rate and inspires me to hold in my (non-existent) stomach muscles when I just can’t stand it another second.
Sweating with George. It’s such a good part of my day.
Until, I rise from the depths of the basement, perspiring and red-faced from my efforts, to find Practical Man. As usual, he’s shopped for groceries, done the laundry, written me a sweet note on a Post-it, welded, constructed or repaired something and prepared dinner. He compliments my workout efforts without even noticing the obnoxious fitness ensemble and he’s got the requisite twinkly bits by his eyes.
Hands off, Lisa Scottoline. You can have George.
This vintage dreamboat is all mine.
I have heard it told that in every relationship, someone is the gardener and someone is the flower.
Apparently, in our house, I am the…can you guess?
But wait! I think you’re wrong.
So, try again please…I beg you to re-consider.
Which do you think I am?
The gardener? or…
…REALLY? That’s your guess?
If you guessed the flower, you are not alone.
I don’t like being the flower, even though a woman being the flower does harken back to something rather vintage. All that “the fairer sex” stuff. My Grandma Verna actually told me recently that when my Grandpa Howard had an accident at work in the ’50s, one of the doctors wrote in his report, “the patient’s wife is a seemingly intelligent woman.”
Seemingly intelligent. Because you know, intelligence is often suspect when it comes to the fairer sex.
Anyway, being the flower is new for me. I’ve never been the flower before. In past relationships, I was always the gardener; the very determined gardener, trying to get a (large and I was sure, misunderstood) weed to magically transform into the beautiful sunflower I just knew it was inside. I am a people-pleasing, care-taking, co-dependant, gardener sort of gal.
Still, I conducted a little survey among our friends. An innocuous little survey about gardeners and flowers. Traitors that they are, they all agreed that when it comes to Practical Man and me, I am definitely the flower.
Positively, definitely, no doubt about it, they said.
Harumph. Who needs friends anyway?
Well, fine then, if I must be the flower, I like to think I’m a daisy. They’re my favourites. They look so cheerful and they’re very natural (that is, not high maintenance at all) and of course, vintage, if you look at any wedding bouquet photo from 1972.
However, even I can admit that sometimes, just occasionally, I am less like a daisy and more like the 40+ kinds of roses Practical Man used to grow in our yard when we lived in suburbia. Or, the rose in one of my favourite books, “Le Petit Prince“. That is, just a teensy-tiny bit high maintenance.
Just, the odd time. For example:
1) I am afraid of cows, like in a shrieky sort of way (not an especially handy quality to have when you live in the country).
2) I can’t drink alcohol or I’ll faint.
3) I can’t get too hot or I’ll faint.
4) I can’t stay up past 9:00 pm two days in a row or I’ll faint.
5) I can’t shriek or I’ll faint (see cow problem above).
6) I can’t go on an airplane or I’ll faint (and cause an international incident where I’m almost banned from flying even though I’m thousands of miles and an ocean away from home in a German airport all by myself with somehow, unfairly, NO Ritter Sport chocolate bars on my person, but that’s another story).
You may be sensing a theme. There’s more but the long and the short of it: I’m like one of those fainting goats. Well, not so much recently because I take medication that actually works, thank goodness. But, that medication came about because of astute observations made by Practical Man which in turn, helped doctors finally figure out, after 17 years of swooning, what was wrong with me. Once again, proving that I am (darn it!) the flower.
7) You already know how I am with The Nature.
8) But you probably don’t know that I have a thing about chewing. Can’t stand to hear it. Even three rooms over. If I’m ever captured and tortured for state secrets, all they have to do is chew raw carrots in my vicinity and I’ll spill the beans (and possibly some of their blood) immediately.
9) Also, I must eat my potato chips in a certain order (broken ones first, then ones that are misshapen, then ones with bubbles until I finish with one perfect chip). I don’t know why. But, I realized a few years ago that my mother does the same thing so I’m pretty sure there’s a potato-chip-ordering gene that scientists haven’t quite discovered yet. There should be a study and then me and my mom will be vindicated (I can hear you mocking us even now) because the potato-chip-ordering gene could help solve important world problems, I’m sure of it.
10) I can’t tilt my head more than 20 degrees in any direction without getting spinny. I know, I know. You already heard that I was fainty. But, see, this is spinny, not fainty. Spinny and fainty are totally different sensations but I’m pretty sure that they both add up to the same thing.
That is: that I am the flower.
Luckily, like my Grandma Verna, I’m also seemingly intelligent.