Scissor sisters

“Are you sisters?” is the most common question I field from strangers when I’m with my wife. “No,” we usually answer in unison, only she smiles while I scowl.

This question angers me for many reasons, but mainly because I resent the implication that I’m fucking my sister. Take note, it’s a very fine line between pleasant small talk and incest.

It also angers me because I’m certain that we look nothing alike. I am the proud owner of a prominent nose, a set of wild eyebrows and prematurely sagging jowls, while her features are perfectly proportioned and her skin makes porcelain jealous. She is polished and put together, while my distinct (and hard to pin-point) fashion style and general demeanor ranges from messy to possibly unstable.

Less than a week from last being asked if we were sisters, and offering the questioner my most disgusted look, I found myself practicing her smile in front of our bathroom mirror where I had propped up her driver’s license.

Ho Hey

“You know how I’m signed up to The Lumineer’s mailing list?” she asked as I was serving dinner. “Well, I got an invite to a secret concert.”

My excitement was cut short when she explained that it was not a two-person invite.

“I love you so much,” she said. “I can’t imagine enjoying the show without you.”

I stood in the kitchen with a hand on my hip and the other one holding tongs and considered to wait until after dinner to tell her that I would gladly take her ticket and leave her behind without hesitation or guilt. Instead, I decided to say it right then and there because, let’s face it, I’m an asshole. I began my blurt with, “I love you too, but…I can’t let that ticket go to waste.”

We sat down to eat and continued the conversation.

“It’s not a ticket I can give you,” she said. “You need to show my ID.”

IMG_0288Big Parade 

She left for work that morning and also left behind her state-issued identification card
along with a print out of the email confirming her invitation, which contained a long list of demands:

  • Be in the lobby at 6 o’clock sharp
  • No additional friends or family members will be allowed in
  • Absolutely no mobile phones, cameras or recording devices
  • A state-issued ID is required to enter the show

Throughout the day I was particularly busy with work, but every once and again I’d remember what was ahead. But instead of rejoicing, I would descend the downward spiral. At best, they would take one look at my ID and deny my entry in the most embarrassing way possible. At worst, they would call the cops and arrest me for impersonating a librarian. To avoid either scenario, I decided to practice her smile.

ID

But the more I tried, the less and less I looked like her and the more and more I looked like a psychopath about to have a mental break.

Stubborn Love

Not before long, I headed out to the theater. I locked my phone in the car and walked right up to the check-in table armed with nothing but an ID that clearly was not mine.

I was nervous, suspiciously sweaty and smiling wildly. For some reason I kept repeating my wife’s name in my head in the event that I would suddenly blank out.

“ID?” the young lady at the desk asked.

I handed her the piece of plastic and she checked my fake name off of the list and wrapped a black wristband around my arm. She took one more look at the license as she picked it up to hand it back to me. We locked eyes and she said, “Enjoy the show.”

Just before putting the ID back in my pocket, I looked down at her smiling face and whispered, “Thanks, sis.”

thelumineers and me
“Me” and The Lumineers during their performance on the AT&T LIVE stage at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles on March 3, 2016 in Burbank, California.

(Please note the slightly illegal, alleged events that occur in this story cannot be proved and will be vehemently denied in a court of law…which might also be illegal.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old man and the grief

I arrived at this city six months ago. And from that moment I became instantly enamored, the way a ninth grader in a teen movie falls in love: fast, intense and riddled with insecurity.

To continue with this ill-constructed analogy, the city plays the part of the popular high schooler, slightly older, more experienced, surrounded by adoring worshippers who fight over lighting her medicinal cannabis. Obviously I play the new kid, dressed for the wrong decade, using unintelligible slang in a heavy accent and still wreaking of humidity.

And so begins our unlikely courtship. I attempt to resist her charms by clinging on to an old receipt from La Carreta, but it’s useless. The more I try to suppress my feelings for her, the more she showers me with explosive sunrises, ridiculous vantage points, breathtaking beaches, delicious food, incredible events and those impossibly tall palm trees scraping gorgeous blue skies.

As the plot goes, we eventually declare our love for each other, but before she can turn me into a vampire or trick me into eating poisonous berries, we get side-tracked by a villainous group, one I had never encountered before: Old Angry White Men.

In Miami, Caucasian males between the ages of 55 and 70 were exiled to the next county, but here in Los Angeles, they are the only ones that can afford mortgages, so they get to stay…and be very angry about it.

It’s a talent to be that pissed off all the time. I don’t know who else could turn every mundane moment into a shit storm of apprehension, rudeness, aggression and stupidity. They are brash and acerbic in everything they do – especially when conforming to social norms or waiting for their turn.

I recall a pensioner at Porto’s that pummeled his way to the bakery counter and instructed those around exactly where to stand. Then, at the Hollywood Bowl, another senior citizen lost his mind when music lovers were not in a single file line. And most recently, two elders who got into a verbal altercation at the Van Nuys Animal Clinic when one of them didn’t have their dog on a leash. Things turned scary when one of them threw a yellow caution-when-wet sign in the direction of the other old-timer, which happened to fly ever so precariously over my head.

What is wrong with these viejo verdes?

I have a few theories. First, I believe their anger has  everything to do with the census. As I’ve mentioned before, the only thing this dumb survey accomplishes is to scare white men by projecting that they will be in the minority, eventually being forced to eat beans and rice and learn Spanish. Second, they might’ve spent their youth jamming out to (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, but it seems to me that they feel the blade of the sickle on their necks, consequently shitting through their pants and on everyone around them. And lastly, after more than half-a-century of conforming to norms, working at bland jobs, trying their very best to control their ingrained instinct to sexually harass and racially profile, they realized that no one gives a fuck about them. No one is revering their efforts. No one finds them interesting or exotic. No one, from their off-spring to strangers on the street, has said thank you for existing.

As a result, they are running rampant throughout Los Angeles county and destroying my ridiculous and far-fetched love story. It’s as if Old Man and the Sea is playing out in the middle of Pretty in Pink, it’s not a good look and an awful mash-up. So, in an effort to curb some of this cockblockage, I’ve written an ode to old white guys of the greater Los Angeles area:

Hey white mature man, you are special. Your silvery-dandruffy-thining hair is very attractive and the lines on your face tell the riveting story of your legendary athleticism in high school or your ability to work at the same job for thirty years. Your crisp khaki shorts tell me that you are in charge of your life and can easily maintain your Costco membership status, two things that are impressive to everyone you come in contact with. The shade of your skin is alluring, like an unscented bar of soap from a Days Inn. And no one, absolutely no one, is going to round you up and send you away, or shoot you without consequence, or pay you less than what you deserve, or deny you admittance or housing. None of those horrible things will happen to you.

However, if you are looking for purpose, perhaps a legacy to leave behind before the reaper finds you, use your anger to fight for those that do have those horrible things happen to them. I bet more people would like having you around if you did.

Now, please, leave me and Molly Ringwald alone.

oldmanandthesea
Advice from a dead white guy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk about six

Today marks the sixth year of my blog. It also marks the one year anniversary of the post where I swore to never move again, and look where that got me. As is tradition on this auspicious day,I’m recapping the last year in the life of this blog in the hopes of finally learning my lesson to stop making veiled threats to the universe, as it has a much darker sense of humor than me.

I also learned that pairing music to alcohol should be left to professional DJs and Pitbull. But, undoubtedly, the greatest lesson I learned in the last year of blogging is that love is greater than marriage, but marriage is pretty fucking great.

Just before this anniversary, I arrived newly wedded to a brand new city, where I can’t pronounce anything right. And now that I’m finally getting my bearings, I can’t wait for another year of gargantuan mistakes.bedazz

Happy anniversary Relativity!