Day Five: Are We Dead Yet?

Start at Day One here.

blog day 5

TUBE: Gloucester Road to Embankment. Embankment to Waterloo.
TRAIN: Waterloo to Alton.
TAXI: Alton to Chawton. Chawton to Alton.
TRAIN: Alton to Ashford. Ashford to Guildford. Guildford to Gomshall.
TAXI: … nonexistent at Gomshall.
TRAIN: Gomshall to Guildford. Guildford to Waterloo.
UBER: Waterloo to the hotel, as fast as you can, please.

 

A conversation with Rhett upon our return to the USA:

Rhett: So, you went to Jane Austen’s House Museum?
Me: Yes.
Rhett: That was fun?
Me: Yes!
Rhett: You saw a dead lady’s house–a dead lady who probably didn’t have a happy life and it was just the house and that was what you went to see?
Me: Yes! It was a blast, okay? We practiced calligraphy! And made lavender bags! And we SAW HER WRITING DESK!!
(Rhett dies of laughter because he is heartless and doesn’t get it, but you do, right?)

 

Pub, Alton. Let me say something about the pub across the street from Jane Austen’s House Museum. The place knows what’s up.

We didn’t go to the Jane Austen themed tea room across the road. I read poor reviews online, and besides its name (Cassandra’s Cup), it didn’t really sound like anything was very Jane Austen-y. I don’t need a Darcy impersonator (or do I?), but if you’re going to have a Jane Austen themed tea room, the least you can do is make a bit of an effort, right? Emma’s match of scone and clotted cream. Fanny Price’s spooky tea (weak tasting). Something.

So, we went to the pub instead AND IT WAS AMAZING. Imagine a super old, classic English pub. Got it? Now fill it with female patrons over 50. Add the soundtrack to every Nancy Meyers movie ever, and you have yourself the best pub outside of London.

I guess I should say take this moment to point out that our waiter was almost cute and somewhere in his twenties. (Looking back, I bet he got amazing tips.) It’s important to note that I am not good at talking to people I find mildly attractive. (Exhibit A.) This is exacerbated by the fact that we are across the street from Jane Austen because honestly, was there ever a more perfect meet-cute moment?

Mom: What’s your soup of the day?
Almost-Cute Waiter: It’s roast vegetable.
Mom: What?
I have to take charge. He has to see that I’ll hear him even when my mom doesn’t.
Me: Root vegetable, Mom. He said root.
Waiter: No, roast. I said roast vegetable.
Me: Oh.

Mom and I break into giggles because it’s how we cope when one of us is an idiot. The waiter sort of slinks away, and magically another waiter has been assigned to us for the rest of the meal. I start feeling bad because obviously this dude thought we were super rude and we hurt his feelings. He’s probably trying not to cry. Look at him. He has to bite his lip when he pours the beer–he’s that overcome.

I start thinking about how this boy is probably super embarrassed because the girl he’s falling in love with made fun of him with her mother. The poor kid. I knew I had to do something. Anything!

Me: Hi, there. It’s me.
The one who you can’t stop thinking about.
Me: My mom and I were hoping you could call us a cab to get to the train station.
Waiter: Sure.
Gosh. Worse than I thought. He’s so… broken.
Me: Look, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry.
Cute. He’s pretending not to know what I mean. Bless him and his almost-cute face.
Me: For the whole root/roast thing. I’m so sorry.
Waiter: Oh, well. Roast vegetables are roasted like you’d roast meat.

He pantomimes putting a roast in the oven, and my heart. just. drops.

Not only is the almost-cute boy (who should be lucky I ever LOOKED his way) not hurt by the roast/root saga, but he thinks I’m the kind of dumb person who doesn’t know what a roast vegetable is. That’s, like, beyond Lloyd Christmas dumb. Suddenly, I want to die.

Me: Right. I just couldn’t hear you correctly. I’m sorry. It’s my ears and I’m not used to your accent.
Waiter: Okay?
Come on. At least look like this breakup is hard on you too!
Me: We’ll just, uh, wait for the cab outside.

Mom and I finally get back on the train and go to Gomshall for the sole purpose of heading to nearby Shere to see the town where The Holiday was filmed. (I’m not proud.) We expected to take an Uber to Shere. We got off at Gomshall in the fading afternoon light and… uh, where are we?

In the middle of nowhere is where.

Exactly one other person gets off at Gomshall, a station without a conductor or a real station at all. It’s more like a block of concrete next to the train tracks. The other person is a red-haired teenager who must be laughing his rear off when these two American women frown and say, “I don’t see any Ubers nearby.”

I call the advertised cab company. “We can have someone there in about an hour and a half. Maybe two.” Click.

Me: Well, hey. Shere’s only a mile and a half. I bet we can walk it. Right, Mom? Mom?

We walk into the bustling downtown of Gomshall (two pubs), and I decide that we will not be walking to Shere. Light is fading. We don’t know exactly where we’re going. Oh, and the train back to the train back to our hotel only leaves once per hour. So, we do what we do best and eat.

Then, it’s time to walk back up the hill to the train station, and here’s where our overactive brains take a detour. Mom is worried about it being dark at the station, which makes me worried about it being dark at the train station. We try to time it so we won’t be staying at the creepy, almost abandoned train station in the middle of the woods for very long.

I get so scared of getting mugged that I steal a fork from the restaurant in case I need a weapon. (Current Hilary to past Hilary: Um, really? And also, why not a knife?)

When Mom and I make it to the train station without dying (by some miracle) there are two adult men waiting for the train. Were those our soon-to-be rapists? We were convinced they were. Mom takes short breaths. I grip the fork in my pocket and my eyes dart to follow their movements. If they want to charge, they’ll have to charge me head-on. And then,

the train arrives and we get on and they get on and we have zero problems whatsoever our entire way home.

Read about Day Six here.

I am Dusty

I bought this incredible hat.

I think I’m a hat person, though I haven’t worn hats since I got a pixie cut because the whole look was too shocking. Sure, I could rock having a virtually no hair on the back of my head, but wearing a hat without hair seemed too overwhelming.

But now my hair has grown, and hats are coming back into my life. So I bought a one. It’s a Pepperdine hat. I don’t have many Pepperdine clothes. Half my wardrobe is made up of Indiana University plastered t-shirts, but I hardly have anything for poor Pepperdine. That’s weird because it feels like I actively invested in my Pepperdine life more than my IU one without anything to show for it. Well, until my hat.

I bought my hat at a garage sale for a $1. I did not buy the double-decker bus that would be perfect for a future baby’s nursery because it was $5, and that was out of my price range. (Especially since Jill got a coaster collection for 75 cents.) (It’s my opinion that coasters and dusty toy buses should be close in price.) (This is all very important information.)

That morning Jill and I went rollerblading. I dressed in my running spandex, strapped on my helmet, and flailed my arms. Jill wore her sundress and brought the agility of Apolo Ohno. The two of us went rollerblading until I fell enough that Jill said we should stop.

So then we went to a garage sale. Naturally. I wish they had had kneepads there, but instead they had the love of my life: my Pepperdine hat.

I bought the hat as a half joke. To be honest, I’m not on board with the flat bill look. I’m pretty sure I made fun of my brother for wearing his flat hat last month. Rhett, I am sorry.

But I bought the hat. And I wore the hat. And I love the hat. But today I realized something about the hat.

This morning I put on just enough clothing to leave the house. I don’t mean it wasn’t much in fabric, but it wasn’t much in quality. That’s how I’ve been dressing lately. I pick out a shirt that smells decent, bottoms in varying length depending on how recently I’ve shaved my legs, and the same sandals. I repeatedly paint my big toenails before I go out the door. (It feels like they’re all painted if those ones are). So I walked through the June gloom to my car feeling awesome in my hat and my baggy shirt and wet two toenails.

And then I saw my reflection in the car door. I recognized that person, but it wasn’t me. Goofy smile. Big hat. Straw hair poking out everywhere. Crazy shirt that’s too big. Who do I look like?

And then it hit me. And here’s what this blog post is really about.

I look like Dusty from Twister.

dustyfromtwistertwister-435x580Maybe on a different day, I would have been upset about this. After all, Dusty looks like a slob and is a man. But on this day, I shrugged and completely accepted that I do look like Dusty from Twister. There was no denying it. I turned up Led Zeppelin and hit my steering wheel with the beat.

Then, I realized I not only look like Dusty, I freaking am Dusty.

Where do I go from here? Do I need to wear hoodies over my hat? Am I supposed to be a storm chaser? Do I need an RV? I think I need an RV. Dusty would like that.

My first move has obviously been to repeat this line:

FOOOOOOOD.

IMG_2275LL

Am I insane? Not for thinking that I’m like Dusty, of course, because that’s just the truth. But Dusty seems a little off. Does this mean I’m a little off? I guess I am if I’m Dusty.

And here’s the thing. Being Dusty means just going for it. 100% being yourself even when that’s weird and even when it’s not. I love that. To think of the time I’ve wasted trying to be a Bill Paxton–reenacting his emotional “Me, Joe” speech–or fearing I was an Aunt Meg. All this time, I’ve been a Dusty: a sloppy oddball with the most fantastic, loved, cheap hat.

Writing. That’s All.

Notebook

I think I’m going to start writing my first drafts by hand.

I know. I agree. It’s either insane or insanely hipster. I wouldn’t mind being one of those; I couldn’t stand the beards. (That’s why I pluck mine.)

It’s just… Emma Thompson writes her first drafts by hand.

I really like Emma Thompson. She’s often the screenwriter that Dad references in conversation with me. Nora Ephron is also in the rotation, but Dad believes Emma to have more sense. I think it’s the British thing.

But writing by hand. It just doesn’t seem smart. My penmanship is a little lacking, and by little, I mean that my penmanship would make Mimi weep. (Mimi is basically a calligrapher.)

I used to have nice handwriting. It’s kind of like how I used to have nice hair. They’ve gone away. (I suspect my years of rushing made them run off.) (Kind of like this blog post.) But now my handwriting is scratchy and unintelligible. It’s something between cursive and Klingon. I always want my hand to move faster. I’ve got to get the next sentence down before it goes away.

But maybe I should. If Emma writes by hand, should I? Should everyone? Let’s review the pros and cons.

Pro: I like crossing things out.

Con: My handwriting so bad I can’t read what to cross out.

Pro: Jotting it down. I love to jot. It’s such a happy thing. It also sounds a bit like an exercise move, falling between jogging and skipping. (Which I think is just skipping.) But jotting. That’s nice.

(I can’t tell if I meant nice about jotting or about the sip of tea I just had.)

(Starry Chai.)

(I’m trying.)

Con: Typing after I write. It just seems like such a waste of time.

Pro: Typing after I write. Another editing step. Huzzah. It just seems like such a time saver.

Con: The first draft existing on paper and the fears that come with it.

Fear 1. Someone will read my first drafts and realize that I cannot write. (This someone will be a writer who writes spectacular first drafts. I hate him already.)

Fear 2. I will never be published, but the collection of notebooks full of scratch marks will follow me from home to home to my cardboard box by the bay, and spectators will realize I am a hoarder and lunatic and will begin throwing me old bread.

Fear 3. My handwriting will be analyzed by future machines that can identify psychological disorders in one letter. (If alive, see Fear 2. If dead, my good name!)

Fear 4. My children will read the first drafts and believe that my handwriting directly correlates with my abilities as a mother.

Pro: I don’t need a computer for the first couple drafts.

Con: How will I casually do internet shopping while writing? (Oh… maybe this is a pro.)

Pro: Emma Thompson does it, and if you can’t get behind the sensibilities of Ms. Thompson, can you even believe in anything uh-tahl?

“Just write because you can dive in later… You’ve got to create your raw material first. Do the knitting… It’s spinning the wool… If you’ve got nothing to work on, then it’s neither bad nor good; it’s just nothing. So just write. It doesn’t matter what you write. It does not matter… Just drawing the chair up to the writing desk and writing. Writing. That’s all. It’s the only thing that works for me.”  –Emma Thompson

SoCal is Ron Weasley

Sometimes I feel really out of place in Southern California.

For a person who enjoys mornings and hot chocolate and orange leaves and soup, Southern California with its afternoon glow and Kombucha and sand can be difficult. Not in the way calculus or international trading agreements are difficult, but more in the way picking onions out of a burrito is difficult. And the sun. So much sun. Every day the sun is there, reminding me that I can’t be anything but happy. 

Even the sun is pressuring me!

I went from Southern California to a personified sun. The blog horse is running away again. Excuse me while I pull on those reigns. Neigh! Pull!

SoCal is a delight to many, and I get it. What’s not to love? But since moving here, loving SoCal has felt like cheating on Indiana.

Take the kindest, sweetest boy who wouldn’t kiss you on the first date because of he’s embarrassed by his sweaty lips; that’s Indiana. Falling in love with SoCal would be like leaving the boy and running away with People‘s “Sexiest Man Alive,” circa 1989, 1998, or 2005. Neigh! Pull!

Back to my point: it’s just not fair or nice, and it’s so… predictable. 

And so I’ve never loved California fully. Always one foot on the ground.  

But is it possible to love two places for different reasons? (To be clear, I’m asking this strictly about places. Please don’t run off on your sweet or even semi-aggrivating significant other, even if he does have sweaty lips.)

Like, am I allowed to love California for showing off days like this? 

IMG_1596

And this?

 

20140602_112751

And this?

IMG_1615

May I love it for its ridiculous traffic and unpredictable acts of nature, 

while still adoring Indiana for its autumn and small towns and Walmart? (Walmart is different in Indiana. Trust me.)

I think so. I hope so. I long for my Indiana home, but I’m learning to love California. It’s that slow friendship love that sneaks up on you like wet socks. (I only realize my socks are wet when I stop moving.) I think I can love California like Hermione loves Ron. 

But I’ll always love Indiana like Hermione loves Dobby. Maybe Dobby didn’t appear to be such a star to anyone until after he died, but Hermione saw the potential there. I’m not saying anything would have happened between them, but… you never know. I feel better about that scenario than Hermione/Harry. 

Neigh! Run free! Blog Horse is free.

1914231_1314035428189.67res_500_333

smile-hermione-hermione-granger-22596934-512-211

 

HP Images 1&2.

 

Never Been Dated

We’ve got bigger problems than kissing, folks.

I’m going to try to be very honest about this subject. You’ve been warned.

I’m not sure I get dating.

Let me put it this way. The closest thing I have had to a date was my prom. I went with a boy from my math class who was three years older. Need I even continue?

We went in a group, and I paid for my own meal at Panera Bread. You read that correctly. I went to Panera Bread in a prom dress and paid for my own soup in a bread bowl. Ah, to be sixteen! Ah, to be familiar with the sound of crinoline sliding into a vinyl booth!

This whole prom saga ended with me telling my “date” that yes, I liked him as a friend, but no, I didn’t like him as anything more and nothing would ever change my mind. Ever. In a million years. And that I was sorry that I could never love him. Ever. In a million years. He said he understood.

Then he gave me a song he wrote about how much he loved me.

Gordon-Ramsay

Since then I’ve had a few minor crushes. The largest being on Hayden Christensen circa Episode II. (I told you I was going to be blatantly honest.)

And so, I’ve never really been on a date. I am Josie Grossie from Never Been Kissed. I even say, “culottes.”

tumblr_m4e47r0imD1qa2ylwo1_500

These are the facts, but I want to know why. Why have I never really been on a date?

Here are ten hypotheses I’ve come up with so far. Let me know if you have further insights.

1. I don’t flirt. Well, I don’t flirt well. I mean, I don’t flirt in the way most girls do. I probably flirt the way some gross boys do. Any time I think a guy is attractive I try to do some sort of impressive (awkward) physical move, like jumping off of something really tall.

If I hold back from such impressive (awkward) moves, I usually do something like pull my pants up past my waist and pretend to use a monocle or make fart noises with my mouth or just immediately start walking away from the guy.

Why haven’t I been on dates again?

2. I’m marriage material, and boys my age aren’t ready for that. (Please ask my Italian Rachel for confirmation that I repeated this phrase throughout the entirety of high school. Josie Grossie, people. Josie Grossie.)

The problem here is that there are people my age who are married, so this excuse can no longer hold up.

3. I don’t see the point of dating.

I’m not trying to condemn anyone for dating here. I just don’t really see the point. A free meal? We already saw how the Panera thing worked out.

I think dating is something I’ll do after I get married, but at 23, I don’t really want that yet, which brings me to…

4. An actual line on my bucket lists (all versions) says, “Make it to 30 without having been married.” That’s right, folks. I’m holding out until my golden years.

I like being alone. I see people my age who are married who are so happy, but I’m just not ready for that yet. And since I’m not ready for marriage, I won’t date (see point #3).

5. I look like a troll, but not in a way that would appeal to LARPers.

This could be accurate, but my mom doesn’t think so. (Thank you, Mom.)

6. I’m too beautiful for men to even approach me. I’m like that smouldering celebrity who says men are too intimidated by her to ask her out.

Considering the number of unibrow jokes I have endured over the years, this is just absolutely false.

7. I could be asexual. I don’t really have that many crushes. Maybe I’ll join a nunnery.

But wait…

**cue shirtless picture of Aaron Taylor Johnson that I could not, in good conscience, actually post**

Wrong. Not asexual. No nunneries.

8. Two weeks ago, when the drive-thru boy (child?) asked for my number, I said, “Uhhhh no.” Then he said I made him feel like a creepy drive-thru man, and I said, “Yeah.” Then he gave me his number on my receipt.

Not sure what this has to do with why I haven’t been on a date, but it’s a pretty funny true story, right? It’s also recent evidence that I am not without a bit of womanly charm (at least if you look at me through my driver’s side window).

I guess it also made me feel a little bit good.

Cosmo-Kramer-Laughing-in-Car-SeinfeldBut still, no dates.

9. I believe in true love.

This could be a fundamental dating hiccup, actually. Believing this means I usually go ahead and pick my wedgie in front of the cute guy in the supermarket. “He’s cute, but eh, he’s not ‘the one.'” Resume tasteful picking.

(“The one” is away, turning down a modeling career to backpack across Europe. Obviously.)

10. God has really protected me.

I think this is absolutely true. I have MANY friends with broken hearts, and it looks… rough. I also have a wincy bit of a miniscule tendency to go whole-hog crazy over things that I like, and I don’t need to be throwing that affection from person to person all willy-nilly.

I suppose if the right boy came along, I wouldn’t purposefully show him the door, but I’m also not inviting him in, ya know?

CONCLUSION: I just don’t get this dating thing or why I don’t fit into it. Oh, well. Maybe I need to shout: “I’M NOT JOSIE GROSSIE ANYMORE!” or maybe I just need to work on my flirting game (i.e. look for taller things to jump off) or maybe the world needs to know that non-daters aren’t entirely off their rockers.

Off Their Rockers.

Betty White.

betty-white-valentine-etsy-photo-250x250Happy Valentine’s Day!

obsessed

One could see my life as a series of obsessions: times (varying from a week to several years) when a subject, movie, book, or show consumes me. One could also stop using “one” as a pronoun. One could try.

There’s a fun read by Polly Shulman titled Enthusiasm that speaks to this sort of crazy, following a character as she discovers Jane Austen.

I had a Jane Austen phase, too.

I don’t know if “phase” is the right word. Phase implies an end. Once I’m obsessed with something it never really goes away. The pain is just lessened. The intense heartache I feel in the middle of an obsession is eventually replaced with a dull twang.

Back to Jane Austen. Back to writing letters that began: “To My Future Mr. Darcy.” Back when my children’s names were planned to be “Fitzwilliam” and “Georgiana.” Mom doubts this is not still currently my plan. (Maybe I do, too.)

There have been other author enthusiasms and other book obsessions.

Boston Jane. A little series that made me like cherry pie, and I HATED cherries.

Ella Enchanted. Ella and I both “frell” for Char.

Harry Potter.

John Green could fall into this category as well, but it really all began with the vlogbrothers and not with his books. The land of Nerdfighteria is deep and fathomless, and I’m still a little in there.

There have been movie enthusiasms.

Mom says my very first obsession was with Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (or as I call it, “Diving Girl”), a movie about a girl who rides a horse into a pool. It inspired me to befriend my imaginary horse named “Wilburt with a ‘T.'” Obviously, this obsession ran over into the period of Anne of Green Gables enthusiasm.

There’s my killer whale stage, aided and instigated by Free Willy. I had a blow up Keiko -Willy’s real name, people- for the pool. I aspired to be a marine biologist. I considered the ways in which I could fill the lake outside our house with saltwater to properly accommodate a whale. Certain recent tragedies of SeaWorld have all but crushed my image of riding an orca (but now that you mention it, said whale would obviously be my best friend and have a super clever name like “Free Hilly.”)

There was the Age of Star Wars, one of my longest obsessions, strongest from ages 8 to 14. Highlights of this obsession include: attendance at Star Wars Celebration, a Queen Amidala Halloween (or maybe two or three), and several Tatooine-themed sleepovers (with only myself).

Does watching Mutliplicity at least once a day for several months count as an obsession? Add Multiplicity then. I’m not proud.

For television there was 7th Heaven, a show I recorded on VHS tape for my sister when she went to medical school. I thought she was probably going crazy without watching. (She wasn’t.)

There was the three months of watching every I Love Lucy episode multiple times. I read both Lucy and Desi’s autobiographies, watched several documentaries and miniseries about them, imagined living at Desilu Ranch, and cried several times over the couple’s failed marriage (and not over the fact that they are both deceased). I was 20.

The Young and The Restless. I blame Mimi (my grandmother) for starting this, and I blame the Nick/Sharon breakup for ending it.

There were the more odd obsessions.

Presidential trivia. In my memory, it was a blast to utilize on family road trips (but I have a sneaky suspicion that I am the only one who remembers it that way).

Crock pot recipes. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say it involves a “crock pot pancake.”

Crocheting. Two Christmases ago I made everyone in my family a scarf. I haven’t crocheted since.

Kristen Wiig’s Target Lady, which just consisted of me using that voice and severely embarrassing myself at actual target check-out counters (because the cashiers didn’t watch SNL?).

When I get into something so heavily, I often get hurt. Please see my fourth grade reading of A Bridge To Terabithia for evidence. **I devoured that book. Ate it up. Then I cried so hysterically that I literally made myself ill.**

Fortunately, I’ve learned to simmer down my tendencies to go bat-crap crazy over something. I do things to protect myself. While reading Divergent over Thanksgiving break, I got pulled in hard, so I looked up the ending when I was halfway through the second book. I know, I know. It was sacrilege, but knowing the end meant I didn’t have to go all in.

Going whole hog insane over something is a very selective process at this point in my life. There are farther stretches between obsessions, and when I do go there, I try to be very intentional about the amount of time I spend thinking about things like roast beef sandwiches. Because when one falls in love, one wants to really mean it (especially in the sandwich arena).

V1.10000

roast beef is a conversation starter

Today I had to make a very, very difficult decision.  Think Divergent: “One choice can transform you.”

What was the decision?  Turkey or roast beef.  Let me explain.

This December- Oh, gosh. December is too close to say “this.”  Start again.

Next month, I’m going to a writer’s conference.  It’s in Big Sur.  It will be full of rainy, gorgeous scenery, writing all-nighters, and a billion requests for queries.  Right?  Okay, okay.  At the very least, it will be full of a nice drive to and from the conference, writing afternoons, and at least one awkward conversation with a literary agent.

This conference has brought some beautiful things into my life, the best being my writing group, First Authors Club (FAC).  FAC is made up of Jill and Katie and me.  Jill is a fabulous dresser and fantastic, feminist writer of teen female friendships.  I tried to jam as many “f’s” into that description as possible because Jill stands for “fun.”  Fun real stories, fun fictional stories, fun Farrah Fawcett hair, fun, fun, fun.  Katie is a fantasy queen, but her letter is “g” for great.  Great writing, great mom (to her baby, not to me – that would be weird), great friend, great conservative mind, great, great, great.

Playtime with these ladies, aka story notes time, is the highlight of my week.

Back to decisions. The conference has made small decisions (like what to do with my hair) take on a large weight.  Today, it got more than a little ridiculous.  We were emailed asking what kind of meat we would like on our sandwiches at the retreat.  My first inclination was turkey.  I mean, turkey is the safe choice.  Turkey is “doctor,” if you pick a husband by occupation.

But there’s a side of you that wants to pick “rock star” for your spouse’s job, right?  The rock star of deli meats? Roast beef.  All of the sudden, you think it’s so much more interesting to pick roast beef, the unusual, off-beat choice.  Here’s the danger: your rock star husband could be a big party dude who leaves you all alone with the screaming twins; in deli meat terms: it’s limp and fatty.  Now the fate of my future career seemed to rest on this one decision.  Everyone will pick turkey.  Turkey is the obvious choice.  Roast beef, though, roast beef is a conversation starter.

Scenario #1:  “Oh, is that roast beef?” an agent will ask. “I love roast beef. I thought I was the only one here. What’s your manuscript about? I want to represent you, you fellow beefer!”

Scenario #2: “That’s roast beef!” someone will shout. “All the best writers who aren’t vegetarians choose roast beef. I shall read your book, now.”

Scenario #3: “Oh, you’re eating roast beef,” another one will say. “That’s so interesting. I find you so interesting because of your deli meat choice. Let’s talk.”

So there was the choice.  Turkey or roast beef?  The doctor or rock star?  Lab coat or leather jacket?

It was at this point that I realized I had been riding the crazy train for a few minutes, maybe for a few years.  I got off at the next stop and emailed my choice.

Turkey.  Plain, safe turkey.  Although, if we’re talking husbands, I’d go for a pediatrician who plays for a terrible garage band on Sunday afternoons.  What is that in deli meat?