See now this is why I’m always in a good mood.
See now this is why I’m always in a good mood.
October 13, 2006
The day after the signing,
we had a full eight hours of movie screenings on our schedule. I was especially
excited to see “Betty’s Treats” as well as a few others. I was excited because I promised that I would attend these screenings and I
never break a promise. Except I didn’t go to any of them. As it turns out, Robin’s friend Sharon made
me an eyelash appointment for that day.
So instead of keeping my
promises, and watching cool movies all day, I allowed a woman to glue fake eyelashes
in between my own eyelashes for two hours. And let’s just say it didn’t go well.
First of all, she had to
tape my bottom lashes down before she could begin the process, which made me
feel a lot like Alex in “A Clockwork Orange.” And I hate that feeling.
And secondly, I still have a
little cough left. And so every time
she came near me, I had a little attack, which caused me to jolt forward, so
she was forced to poke me in the eye. With glue.
And then every time she’d
add an eyelash, I’d say, “Ow!” and she’d say, “Sorry” and then I’d say, “No,
We apologized to one another like this from noon to two pm non-stop, except for
the brief period of time when I must have fallen asleep.
When I looked in the mirror,
I looked exactly the same, except my eyes were bloodshot. I asked her how long
the eyelashes typically last and she said, “one month, but you might want to
fill them in –in two weeks.” And then I got the bill, which we won’t
So then we went home and I
sat in the car, looking in the mirror, all the way home, trying to see myself
with my eyes closed.
That night I had dinner with
my friend Cheryl, (my one and only single friend/ former Ford model –go
figure) who still looks sixteen, even though she’s my age, and Sharon and Robin
and Rory (single male, tall) at a small Italian restaurant near our hotel. We
had a really good time. The food was
delicious, and it’s always fun to look at Cheryl and imagine what it’s like to
be 5’9” and wear no makeup whatsoever.
In fact, everything was
going great. Cheryl and Rory were
talking up a storm, and the rest of us were laughing and drinking wine, until
all of a sudden Robin turned to me and said, “What are you doing?”
“One of my new eyelashes is bothering me,” I explained. “I think she glued it a little too close to
my eyeball. I’m just trying to readjust
it a bit.”
‘You can’t readjust them. They’re cemented in. Stop
playing with them.”
And that’s what did it. The
more I thought about not touching them, the more I couldn’t keep my hands off
of them. It took three days but I got
every single one off. I can’t tell you what a relief it was. Of course, I’ll never be the same, what
with the huge chunks of my own eyelashes that are now missing along with the
fake ones, but it was worth it.
The important thing is that I’ll never do another
beauty treatment again for as long as I live. And that’s a promise.
the Ali/Cindy reunion, I met up with my sister back at the hotel. She had flown to L.A. that morning from
Florida to meet me so I wouldn’t have to go to the signing alone. Signings typically make me very nervous, so
she wanted to be there for me, I guess just in case I accidentally flung myself
out of a moving car or something, just to avoid going.
she had nothing to worry about. I
wasn’t about to injure myself simply because the last signing brought on a
little acid reflux that lasted eight months, and that I’d mistaken for throat
cancer. Granted, I was beginning to feel a little tightening sensation in my
was fine. In fact, I got undressed,
slipped on my hotel robe and casually flipped on the TV. “Click” was playing again, so I flipped it
off and decided to read instead.
come your book is upside down?” my sister asked.
have a drink,” she suggested.
I can’t breathe.”
”That’s why I suggested a drink.”
”Can’t. Drunk make me nervous.”
”What? Nevermind. How about if we take a walk or something. This room is a little stuffy.”
”Nope. Sit here.”
”Are you okay?”
really. Pass the beer nuts.”
”Don’t eat beer nuts, Steph. You’ll get
my goal. I want to induce vomiting now
to get it over with so I won’t throw up later, in front of everyone.”
”You won’t throw up.”
”Yeah, I will. I feel it coming on.”
when she started talking. She talked
for two hours without stopping. I never
even once acknowledged a single thing she was saying, but that didn’t stop her. That’s what my sister does when she’s
nervous and when she doesn’t want me to be nervous. She talks incessantly. I love her for this, but she was giving me
”Oh, here. I happen to have some right
here. Anyway, did I tell you Sharon is
coming tonight? With her friend Rory. And her assistant. And she also invited this other girl. So matter what there will be at least five people there.”
”Don’t say ‘people’.”
“Sorry. Anyway, so I was going to wear black pants
but I think I’ll just wear jeans. Are
you going to wear jeans?”
”Don’t say ‘people’.”
didn’t, I said, ‘jeans.’”
I thought you said Jean was coming.”
We went on like this until it was 7:30PM. My signing was scheduled for 7. But I couldn’t get up.
going to be late,” she said.
you just go and say you’re me?”
does look a lot like me. Even I can’t
tell the difference.
not. You have to get up and get
of my clothes will fit me. I’m
bloated. From the beer nuts.”
”That’s ridiculous. Just put on this
shirt and these pants,” she said, rummaging through the little closet.
feel like we’re reenacting a scene from ‘Miss Understanding.’”
too. Get dressed.”
did get dressed, in the end. But I
didn’t look very good and my eyes were still swollen from the facial. But I got myself to the signing and it was
nothing like anything I could have imagined.
of all, the reason for the signing was that my book was featured in the goody
bags of the “La Femme Film Festival.” Which I know you know, because I only brought it up every day for the last
month. So there were a lot of
filmmakers and agents and producers there. I was seated next to my poster, with
a little table next to me, and my sister at my side, and a whole bunch of books
on the table. And nobody came near me.
about we get a little snack?” Robin suggested.
but no carbs,” I said, kicking myself that I didn’t stay upstairs in my room.
on a diet.”
”Since I started repelling people.”
”Stop it. Nobody even saw you sitting
there or they would have come over. You
were hiding behind the poster. Next
time sit in front of it.”
”I want to go home.”
Just then Sharon came over to us with her assistant and this guy Rory, who she
dated a few times, but then became a friend. I filed the name Rory in my mental Rolodex, under “single male,
tall.” I have one single friend and I
never stop looking for potential husbands for her. I’m on call at all times.
started chatting away with Robin and some other girl came over to us and said,
“So what are you, sisters or something?” She was very friendly, all evening. We became an instant fivesome. Me, Robin, Rory, Sharon, Sharon’s
assistant and the friendly girl. I
realize that’s six, but it looked like five. I typically count Robin and me as one. That’s how much we look alike.
do you want to eat?” Sharon asked me.
”Alrighty, cheese it is.” And she made
me a little plate.
we all sat down by my cozy signing area. Something about our little groupage had a bizarre effect on the
crowd. People were suddenly
swarming. I must have signed 200 books
in two hours. I never stopped. All I did was sign and eat the plates and
plates of cheese Sharon kept bringing me. Then some girl and her mother came over to interview me.
”Let’s go outside,” she said. And so I
did. I never even asked her who she was
or why she was interviewing me or where it would appear. I just kept answering
questions and holding in my stomach.
whole night was a blur. And then we
were back in our room.
“See? I told you it would go well,” Robin said.
only because you were there.”
no denying the fact that it went well. I can’t even lie to make you laugh. It
was just perfect. Because my sister was
there. She always makes everything
had written something in “miss understanding” that eventually got edited out,
but it was all about when Chloe and Zoe were babies and how their mother used to plop Chloe down next to Zoe
whenever she was crying. All she had to do was sit Chloe near Zoe and the
crying stopped. She used her as a human pacifier.
I’m not saying I’m Zoe. God Forbid. And I’m definitely not saying Robin is Chloe. I’m just saying there’s no such thing as
So where was I?
Oh right, the flight
landed. And then I went to my hotel,
which was not good. The lobby was cute,
very cute actually, so I thought it was going to be a great place to stay: white
book covers on all the books (turns out the books were all bibles though) and
green apples everywhere, but my room smelled like it had been smoked in, so I
ordered up dinner and went to bed holding my nose.
The next morning I went to the Peninsula and spent the day in the
spa waiting for Cindy, a.k.a Ali, to arrive. We had plans to meet in the outdoor rooftop cafe at 12:30. I got there at 8:40 am. and got a facial,
which promised to make me look ten years younger. And by ten years younger, I guess they meant swollen and shiny.
By noon I couldn’t wait anymore so I went outside to the
Rooftop and got us a table. At 12:15 I
ordered an iced tea and while I was ordering, Cindy walked in. She looked like a movie star and every one turned
around to see who she was. Either that
or they were turning around to see why I was suddenly sprinting across the
room. I ran right into her and hugged
her, and was shocked to realize that I must have shrunken over the years. Somehow she was at least five inches taller
than me and I was wearing enormously high heels. She never mentioned that she’d gotten taller. I naturally assumed she’d be the same height
as the last time I saw her. But people
We didn’t waste so much as a single second on small
talk. We got right into exactly what
really happened with our lives from the moment we left Mademoiselle until
now. You can’t do that sort of thing
with most people because most people typically make up all sorts of great stuff
about themselves when they haven’t seen someone in eighteen years. But not Cindy. She tells it like it is, with
both hands up in the air at all times, somehow trying to define and contain the
context of each story with some sort of invisible frame. I tried to get her hand motions on film, but
she stopped doing it as soon as I started filming. I tried to get her ordering her food too, which is priceless, but
she doesn’t order the same on film. In
real life she does it like Annie Hall, but on film she does it like a normal
person, which was too bad because I wanted my daughter to see her in action. There
was so little of the Annie Hall version of her left, I wanted to savor every
The thing that impressed me most about Cindy, the girl who
had made such an impression on me in my twenties that I put her in my book, is
how she is no longer anything like Ali. I still love her just as much, but for completely different reasons this
When she was Ali, back in the art department of
Mademoiselle, she was this sweet, funny, vulnerable, accident-prone beauty who
had no idea she was pretty or smart or how talented she was. I loved her for that. I loved her for getting so nervous when
someone walked by her that she’d just slam the phone down even if she happened
to be talking to her boss.
But that Ali is long gone. Cindy is now a grown woman. Just
as beautiful, just as sweet, but incredibly confident, accomplished and
mature. She’s so together and
articulate, I was tempted to call her Mrs. Sinclair.
We talked about her career designing textiles, her
experience adopting her daughter from China and her husband, who she loves and
adores. And I must say, I can’t really blame her. Apparently the man can take apart an entire refrigerator and put
it back together again. We’re still
working on changing light bulbs in our house.
We talked about old friends and new friends and how she
learned over the years to distinguish between people who make her happy and
people who suck the living breath out of her. She made a point about how important it is for our girls to learn how to
take care of themselves, as opposed to using up all of their energy trying to
take care of people who might not necessarily want to be helped. She also made another very important point
that I want to share with my readers because I have a feeling many of you are a
lot like Cindy and me and you might fall prey to the same sort of people that
Cindy and I have always been drawn to.
There are, as well
all know, all sorts of toxic people in this world. Most of the time, we aren’t affected by other people’s poison
because we have the sense to stay away from people who are unappealing in their
negativeness. You don’t exactly have to
pry yourself off some screaming, preaching lunatic walking down the street. You can see at a glance that he’s not your type. But then there are those other people— the ones who are extremely
appealing in their negativeness. Their
arrogant charm is an opiate for unsuspecting pleasers who think to themselves,
“If I can get that asshole to like me, then I’ll have really accomplished
something. That would make me, what?
like the coolest person ever.”
But it doesn’t work that way. Ask Cindy. All that really happens is that you end up married to
a screaming lunatic with a subtler rap.
After being married to two of these guys, Cindy’s brother
told her, “Next time, go normal.” And
she listened to him and that has made all the difference.
It’s amazing how much I miss the other Cindy. She was a
character in her own right. The type of
person you never forget, but I wouldn’t trade the new Cindy for anything. I learned so much in the short time we were
together. I came away with so many
words of wisdom to pass on to my daughter and I felt like I’d made a new friend
instead of reconnecting with a person from my past.
After a few hours, Cindy had to leave to pick up her
daughters and I had to go back to my hotel to ice down my face in time for the
signing that night. After she left, I
bent down to put my camera back in its bag and in doing so, I noticed that my
hair was dipping into the sauce of our half-eaten chocolate cake. I quickly jerked up and the contents of the
camera bag spilled out all over the floor.
“Are you okay?” our waiter asked, running over to help me,
as I scrambled to collect everything.
“Yeah, I’m okay,” I answered, “Actually, I’m more than
okay. Just channeling an old friend.”
If I learned nothing else from my trip to L.A., I will
never leave flight arrangements to the last minute, ever again. Never, ever, ever. Because of my previous cavalier attitude toward planning ahead, I
now know what it’s like to make-out with two strange men at the same time.
Two strange, hairy, disgusting men.
At least that’s what it felt like while I was wedged
between them for six hours, in seat 6B all the way from Newark to LAX. For six hours, one of them snored, even
though he was wide-awake and the other one had the same breath as my eleventh
grade English teacher. I remember my
teacher’s breath perfectly, every molecule of it, but I never dreamed I’d have to relive it for six hours straight
with no means of escape.
When I first caught sight of my seat assignment, I
thought to myself, “I can get out of this. No one deserves this kind of torture.” And immediately I began to outline a plan that I thought was fool
proof. I put my suitcase in the
overhead storage compartment and flung my handbag onto the middle seat, neatly
avoiding eye contact with either of the hairy men. I put my hand on my throat and walked down the aisle to the
“Um…Hi. . .
Excuse me. . . I know you’re very busy but I have a terrible problem.”
“What’s your problem?” she asked, one eyebrow up. A bad sign, but I’m very good at pretending
I don’t notice deliberately suspicious facial expressions. I’m a lot like a door-to-door salesman in
“My problem is that I need to change my seat.”
“I’m sorry, but this flight is full.”
person might have left it at that.
“There’s not even one aisle seat left? Because the truth is I’m very ill.”
“I’m sorry, but every seat is taken.”
“Well, regardless, I think you should know that I’m
probably going to throw up soon.”
“Why don’t you use the bathroom then?”
“Oh, I’m not ready to throw up yet. I’m probably going to throw up in a little
while. That’s why I don’t think a
middle seat is right for me. It’s not
fair to the other passengers. I think you
should switch me with someone.”
“I’m sorry but I don’t think anyone would be willing to
give up their seat at this time. As a matter of fact, you should be seated as
well. We need to prepare for take off.”
“Don’t you think that if you explained my situation
someone might want to help me?”
“Fine,” I said. “I just hope I can hold out.
“Would you like a glass of water?”
“A glass of water? What the hell for? I can even
move my arms in that seat.”
Eventually I sat down and apologized to both men, in case
they heard me trying to get out of sitting next to them.
I settled into my seat and tried to imagine myself
somewhere else. “Pretend you’re Kim or
Jesse,” I said to myself, “And that
you’re just having a normal day at school. Pretend you just sat down in homeroom and lunch is only in four
I tried, believe me I tried, but they were both using
their armrests so I had to keep my hands under my thighs. And the more I tried to hold my breath, the
more they breathed like there was no tomorrow. It was so intimate and repulsive, I felt like crying.
I tried counting to 60, 360 times, but that never works,
so I picked up my book, opened it to page 200 and placed it over my face.
Every time the flight attendant passed by, I tried to
make a nauseated face so she wouldn’t think I was faking, but I could already
tell she was talking to her fellow attendants about me behind my back.
I don’t know how I made it until the movie, but somehow I
managed. And I was happy to see that they
were playing, “Click,” a movie I hadn’t seen! I was really enjoying it at first. I even laughed out
loud at one point, but then the flight attendant passed by so I pretended my
little chortle was the beginning of a coughing attack. As soon as she was gone, the smile returned
to my face and I even nudged the guy on my left a few times, conspiratorially,
because he was laughing too! I was
actually having fun. So much so that I
had to stop myself from linking arms with the two hairy men. Until, all of a sudden, Adam Sandler was in
the hospital. Out of nowhere! The movie became a horror show. And the son was so nice to Adam, despite his
failure to be a good father. I just
couldn’t take it. I think I might have even said, “Please Adam. You can’t die. Please don’t leave me!” out loud.
Suddenly I felt a pat on my shoulder and there was that
damn flight attendant again, with a couple of tissues.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“Yes, I mean, no. I think I’m still sick.”
“Would you like a glass of water?” she asked me. Somehow I think she was being sarcastic
“It’s the movie,” I said, sobbing, coming clean.
“I know,” she said. “It’s very said.”
“Am I the only one crying out loud?” I asked, looking
She patted me on the shoulder and walked away. I kicked myself for not using her attention
better. I could have gotten an extra
snack or something.
By the time the movie was over, I was a total mess. Tears and God knows what else was all over
my face and I think I even peed a little, I was so emotional.
I turned to look at the guy next to me to see if he was
crying too, but then I realized he hadn’t even been watching the movie. He had an episode of “The Simpsons” playing
on his laptop. And to think I nudged
When the flight was over, I looked over at my two
husbands and wanted to say something. Anything. Maybe something
like, “Sorry for not speaking to you
for six hours” or “Call me!” But
nothing came out of my mouth. I felt
like an ungrateful houseguest but they didn’t seem to mind seeing me go.
To be continued. . .
the character, Ali, in “She’s Got Issues?” And remember how “She’s Got Issues” is purely fiction? Yeah, well I was lying and the good news is
that I’m going to see Ali in two days. Two days! In L.A. Because I’ll be at that film festival that I
keep reminding you about.
truth is her name is Cindy and she’s meeting me at the rooftop of the
Penninsula Hotel on Friday. If you want
her autograph, and you should want her autograph, email me and I’ll tell you
what time we’re going to be there. If
you can’t make it, for whatever crazy reason, I’ll post pictures of her after
my trip- if I can work Kim’s camera- so you can see what she looks like in
person, a mere twenty years later. Twenty years isn’t that much by the way. You’ll see.
Check this out today. It’s a three day on-line book fair hosted by FSB Associates.
And come see me in L.A!! I’ll be at the Luxe Hotel in Beverly Hills at 7Pm signing books. Part of the La Femme Film Festival.
If you can’t find me, check the bathroom. I tend to hang out there a lot when I don’t know anyone.
those of you, Susan Henderson and Ashley Blake, who enjoyed my movie
reviews, I’ve got great news. I’m still sick. I did, however, muster up
the strength to walk my dog this morning, which means I’m getting
better. I’m about to turn on the television so check in later for more
The only reason I bothered to get out of bed
is because I wanted everyone to know I have the flu and how much I don’t
recommend it. Feel free to send me all sorts of sympathetic notes. I love when people feel sorry for me.
good news is that I outlined an entire book on Saturday because the only thing
I could move was my hand. It’s a
bizarre book, I admit, but like I said, I’m very ill.
also had the opportunity to watch the following movies, any and all of which
you should rent as soon as possible. I
will give a very short review of each of them to help you choose.
The Gunmen – He was cuter than her.
Sound and The Fury – The King and I
– Not believable but I cried
Grapes of Wrath –I would have killed myself
and Sex (I saw this one twice by accident) – She’s cuter than him.
can’t remember the others, that’s how sick I am, but I’m going back to my bed
now to watch some more. I’m so glad we
got Channel 190!! But of course, I’m
still very sad about how sick I am.
find it disturbing that someone called our President the devil, and what’s
worse is that it was said with absolute certainty. I mean, how can you prove something like that?