Thursday, July 20, 2006

Throw Down Your Arms

First of all, every last one of you Midwesterners needs to check in if you can! I hope y'all are okay.

Now for my problems. I am such a wait-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop person! I guess because it's been dropped so hard in the past.

A sentence that comes up a lot in my relationship is, "*sigh* She talked me into it." The sigh is always present. Usage follows.

L'Ailee's Friend: "Why is your refrigerator blue?"
L'Ailee: "*sigh* Lilo talked me into it."


Lilo's Friend: "Why are your bangs blue?"
Lilo: "*sigh* L'Ailee talked me into it."

You can see a trend there, huh? New looks for the house are usually my idea, new looks for me are usually my personal stylist L'Ailee's idea. When we use that sentence to account for why we have those new looks or why we're going someplace we usually wouldn't, we say it like that should explain everything. And to people who know us, it actually kinda does.

What L'Ailee talked me into last night was shaving my arms for the first time. Technically, I used a homemade Egyptian sugar paste/candy (seriously!) to get some of the hair off, then L'Ailee shaved them for me. It has never occurred to me to do that. I know younger women do it sometimes. L'Ailee has hers professionally waxed, like most everything else below the neck. She has thick black hair, whitey-white skin, awesome musculature, and a job where it's an unquestionably good idea to show off awesome musculature. But I don't have such contrast between my hair and skin, especially not in summer, when my arms get tanned and freckled and my arm hair gets blond. Besides, Mom always told me, pits and legs, not arms.

Right now I'm wondering whether my arms really did look bad to others, and if they were just too polite to tell me. I'm getting unsolicited positive comments about it. I can't believe people noticed like that; then again, I notice things in others. Also, it feels weird and drafty. I don't know if it's going to become a habit or not, but it just might. Regrowth's a bitch.

L'Ailee prefers TV news to newspapers and the internet, unlike her wife. I sat down and watched a bit with her this morning. We were amazed at how gorgeous Haifa and the areas around Beirut looked. There should be tractors and golf carts and cars full of tourists, not tanks! The sky was blue, the water by Haifa looked downright inviting, and there were trees. Beirut's architecture was a fascinating mix of modern and ancient, what was left of it. I could see why tourists would have been there. I actually teared up. The rubble and the soldiers and the tanks looked so surreal, almost, in the middle of all that natural beauty. It would have been a tragedy even if the area was ugly, of course. It is a tragedy. But it's easier to cry for a squished butterfly than a roach.

Speaking of beauty, I am amazed at the interior decorator in me blossoming. That was rigorously held in check by my mother growing up. We couldn't change the beige carpets and white walls in our apartments, of course. And then my mom was so controlling that she restricted things like my bedspreads. She made me think of it as the room she let me stay in, not my room, if that makes sense. I was very glad I wasn't in slapping distance when she said she never thought of me as a decorator, because I never really tried growing up! Right, because all those times I marveled over interiors and brought home paint samples to look at meant nothing, right?

The interior decorator came out when I became Pagan and needed a space for my altar. I decided to sacrifice my security deposit to make it special. I painted my walk-in closet hunter green, because green is a color that speaks of life and nature for me. (If I were to do the same thing now, I'd choose a September sky or ocean blue. But back then, I was in a deep jewel-tone phase.) I painted the ceiling silver to reflect light. I lavished love on that little space. And it became my favorite place in the apartment. I then got inspired by a trip to a hardware store for toilet parts. I passed drawer knobs that looked much prettier than the ones I had. In the store, I passed a mini-class on refinishing furniture. I took home paint/varnish remover, a white glaze, and a bunch of beautiful painted knobs as well as my toilet parts, and refinished my thrift-store dresser after the commode was fixed. When I moved into a rented house where I was allowed to paint the walls, I became a little kid with a new box of crayons! I learn by doing. I kept doing and learning. The plant had been pruned to the quick, but it was still only needed a bit of space and encouragement.

I thought I was in a great place to be a writer. I knew my creativity would blossom anew when I left Orlando--I kept thinking of how Radclyffe Hall's very English main character in the Well of Loneliness blossomed in Paris. I figured my secretarial skills were much more portable than the rather unique skill set L'Ailee's got. I never expected this.

I have one almost-done job, one definite upcoming job with L'Ailee's help, one possible with L'Ailee's help, and two neighbor kids who want their room redone for their birthdays the way their sister's was. (Okay, not exactly the same way--the brother is impressed that I came up with a palette of marine blue with accents of black, silver, and cantaloupe for him.) I haven't even gotten business cards or my certification yet. WOW. I *am* getting my certification. My mom's friend gets hers renewed, even though she's not a decorator now, so she can shop to the trade. That's motivation right there! Plus, there's only so far you can go by teaching yourself, even if you are a hands-on kind of learner.

Link time:

Halawa Sweet, a/k/a Egyptian Sugar Wax. The super-clever part of this is that it's sweet, sticky, and completely edible, so a smart mother can fix a double batch, give a bit to her kids to keep them occupied, then take the rest into the bathroom! :-)

If the altar bit made you curious, check out this page on altar basics.

What do kids need civil rights for?

The "gentle Christians" at Operation Save America desecrate the Koran.



SassyFemme said...

I don't think I've ever noticed any woman shaving her arms, other than swimmers. I'm curious if it'll be itchy after a few days regrowth.

Clandestine said...

Hi! :)

I didn't know people shaved their arms. hmmmm...and I can't imagine I'd notice if someone did.

What else? Oh! The MA Vote thing - it's not officially going to a vote yet. First it has to pass in the constitutional convention twice, which hasn't happened yet. The concon was on July 12th and they reconvened for Nov. 9th. So keep your fingers crossed, my hyphenated friend! :)

I've missed you!

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad about the blue fridge. My fridge is a vomit green color. LOl

alan said...

Survived the first heat wave; been mostly sleeping and catching up on laundry after our vacation. Ignored the lawn all week, so going out to mow today (it's 80) then work on my car.

I always thought the pits and legs thing was started by King Gillette to double his sales...

Wonder how many kids have pulled what Mama already used out of a wastebasket?

I'd love to see some digipics of your work sometime!


sjobs said...

I cannot say I have ever heard of shaving your arms. My arm, on the arms is so blonde, one has to look closly to see it.

Let me know how it feels when growing back.


Inanna said...

Shaving arms? Ummm... no.

Loved the part about your altar and I wish I had just part of your decorating savvy.

Jon-Marc said...

Shaving arms? Hmmm, since I only shave my face I guess I cannot relate.

As for decorating, Ric is the man with the eye for design in our relationship. I on the other hand, did not get that gene. My Dad has it but he did not pass it on to me

belledame222 said...

Egyptian sugar paste! wow.

and uh yes, of course it must be that you're not "spiritual" enough to understand her DIVORCE.

i take it specifically that means "not spiritual enough to understand why the Lard and the Baby Jeebus, who normally cast adulterers into the Fiery Pit, are making an exemption for her."

hey cl, whereabouts in NY are you, anyway?