Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Forbidden Love

I'm having an affair. It started out innocently enough, a smile here, a flirtatious glance there. Suddenly, I was daydreaming about them all the time. One day, my daydreaming wasn't enough. In a moment of weakness, I found myself in their arms.

They were consummate lovers. Sweet, passionate every woman wanted them but I had them. I lusted for them with every fiber of my being and they never disappointed. It was like they were made for me.

Then we got sloppy. My husband began to be suspicious when every other night I was making excuses to be alone. Then one night, he found us together. Me and Ben&Jerry.

I made excuses. Said I was lonely. Said I had needs. Said I was more woman than one man could handle. To my amazement, my husband took it in stride. Said I was a fool to think I could succeed where so many women had failed before me. I ignored him. He didn’t understand.

A few months later I walked into Just Add Water. Our 10th anniversary was coming up and John booked a 5 star resort with a gorgeous view of the ocean. All I needed was a cute little bathing suit and everything would be perfect.

I picked up a few flirty numbers in the usual size and strolled over to the disgruntled fitting room woman.

“Hello. I’d like a dressing room please.” The anorexic fitting room woman glared at me with her “You better not try any funny business” eyes while she counted each ensemble. What’s her problem? Finally and reluctantly she handed me a plastic number and grunted towards the dressing room door. Seriously, where do they find these people?

But I’m in a grand mood, I’m on my way to Mexico and I quickly forgot all about her.

I picked my favorite - a sunny, yellow tankini with flirty white accents. I stepped into the bottoms and pulled up up - something was stuck. What the? I tugged at it again yanking harder this time as I turned toward the mirror. Just then, I heard a woman screaming. Not just any scream, a scream that would make Alfred Hitchcock go weak in the knees. I was so startled it took me a moment to realize that woman was me.

I looked away, braced myself against the dressing room walls, took a few deep breaths with my head between my knees and dug around in my purse for my inhaler. A knock at the door.

“Ma-am, I’m going to have to ask you to keep it down in there. You are disturbing some of the other shoppers.”

“Yes. OK. Sorry. Something just startled me.”

“Right, yeah, we get that alot.” She said.

My mind was racing. What was happening to me? I know! Someone washed it in hot water. When they realized it shrunk, they returned it. Of course that’s what happened. How silly. So many dishonest people in the world. Tsk Tsk.

OK, no problem, I’ll just try on a different suit. Careful not to catch my reflection, I slowly reached for a red, one piece. It had a gold, decorative buckle at the bust-line and cute horizontal slits coming up each side. It was the kind of suite Audrey Hepburn would wear with dark sun glasses and a big floppy hat. As I stepped into it, I smiled. I love Audrey, she’s so classy and beautiful. I could almost hear La Vie En Rose as I turned to the mirror.

There was the screaming again. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not only had Audrey Hepburn let her self go, but someone had stuffed Pillsbury biscuits into each and every horizontal slit in that poor bathing suit.

Knock Knock. Ma-am?

What the hell do you want? I yelled.

Ma’am, I believe this is the bathing suit you are looking for.

What I can only describe as a black tennis dress made of military-grade lycra came flying over the door and hit me in the face.

The nerve of that woman! If I weren’t half naked, sobbing and collapsed on the floor I’d definitely be shoving Ding Dongs down her scrawny little size 4 throat!! .

I called John.

“It’s OVER!”

“What’s over?” He asked

“I’m breaking off my affair with Ben&Jerry!”

“What happened?”

“They betrayed me. Our whole relationship has been a series of love and betrayal, love and betrayal. Now Audrey Hepburn is fat and the ding dong lady wants me to wear a dress to the pool!”

I slunk out of the dressing room with the black dress/suit, threw a wad of cash and a snickers at the anorexic shrew. Here’s hoping.

“I don’t know what to do.” I squeaked into the phone. “Why can’t I have a trendy eating disorder like everyone else?”

“Oh honey.” John said the way he does when he feels very very sorry for me; Too sorry even to say “I told you so”. “Just come home my little chunky monkey. Come home.”

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Public Enemies Movie Review

I’m never happy when a movie glorifies a criminal, but I really enjoyed Public Enemies, the story of bank robber John Dillinger played by Johnny Depp. Of course in true Johnny Depp form, he rocked the part of Dillinger, causing the audience to fall instantly and madly in love with him. Even so, while I sympathized with his character, I never for a moment forgot that he was indeed a criminal.

Depp portrays Dillinger as a man who lived by his own moral code. Fraught with contradiction he robbed banks, but didn’t take money from the pockets of the customers. He terrified bank employee’s, taking them hostage at gun point, yet offered a coat to a woman hostage who was cold. Above all, he hated the institution of government and felt entitled to steal government money.

An interesting side story that runs throughout the movie is the foundation of the FBI. Up until this time, no government agency existed that had the power to cross state jurisdiction lines. Catching and prosecuting criminals was very difficult and the case is made for starting the FBI. Of course being from Texas, I was excited when they opted to invite highly trained specialists from Texas to join the force of “G-men” because none of the Chicago guys could cut it in the field. While historically interesting, I have to agree with my friend Stephanie who said the investigative police work in the movie is confusing. In fact, I would take it a step further and say it is almost non-existent. Throughout the entire movie the “G-men” just seem to show up on the scene. Where did they get their information? How did they know where to find him? What was the logical process and time line of the investigation? I still don’t know.

Woven throughout the movie is the interaction of notable historical figures such as Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd and J. Edgar Hoover. I especially enjoyed the appearance of one of my favorite actors Giovanni Ribisi who played Alvin Karpis. It wasn’t a big part but it was such a grown up, mature role and Ribisi did a great job.

If you will indulge me a moment, I would like to set aside the morality of the character and the man he represents and discuss what I felt to be a thought-provoking theme that ran throughout the movie. Hope. There is a touching scene when Dillinger takes his new girlfriend Billy to a very fancy restaurant for dinner. Everyone is staring at her and she comments to Dillinger “They aren’t used to seeing someone in here with a $3 dress.” To which Dillinger replies “That’s because they are all about where people come from instead of where they are going”. However misplaced, the most compelling part of Depp’s character was his ability to keep hope and optimism that a better day was waiting for him around the corner. There was a part of me that hoped he would find it. That hoped for a moment that he would make a good decision and leave the life of crime and run away to a new country and start a new life.

Unfortunately his optimism and mis-placed belief that the public loved him was not enough to overcome Dillingers poor decisions, faulty logic and bad company. A life spent running and hiding was as good as it ever got and in the end he was betrayed by a friend.

Don’t see this movie if you are looking for a modern day, blood and guts, action packed gangster movie. This isn’t it. Do see it if you enjoy the exploration of a character. This movie definitely has a softer side. That being said, there is still too much violence for me to recommend it for kids.