ArchivesSeptember, 2012


This morning as I headed to the bagel store, I noticed a woman lurking at the entrance observing me. It was clear she was poised to speak and based on her appearance I gathered she was indigent. (Okay, I know, I know, first bad thing- do not judge people by how they appear. Four namastes and a hair shirt for me.) Anyway, this woman appeared to be a little not all there. She was neatly and cleanly dressed but had a couple of overfull shopping bags. (Always a tip off for New Yorkers.) I didn’t want to be accosted, although not so unwilling I would forgo bagels. So as I neared I put on my “stranger face”. We all have one, and I have many variations. There’s the “Don’t fuck with me I am a badass despite my yoga clothes stranger face.” The “If you’re lost and don’t speak English I will have patience for you for up to three minutes while I explain to you where the Ghostbusters Firehouse is stranger face.” And of course the “I know you have power tools and appear to be working on a construction site but if you say something rude I will scream at you like a banshee but secretly be pleased because I’m not twenty five any more stranger face.” In this case I reserved the one I use for people asking for money and when she said to me “Can I ask you something?” I replied “Good morning” and sailed by into the bagel store -whereas I promptly felt like shit. She clearly needed something and I blew her off.

So, I bought my bagels, tucked a well intentioned small bill into my hip pocket and headed back out. She looked at me with defeat, knowing I was that savvy New Yorker who said “good morning” instead of stopping. To her credit she rebounded quickly when I stopped and said “I apologize. Was there something you wanted to ask me?” She immediately replied, “Yes, I was wondering if you could loan me some money.” I, even quicker than she, whipped the bill I had put aside out of my hip pocket and told her I was happy to give it to her, and there was no need to repay me. I then asked her if she would like a bagel.

Her response was; “I don’t like bagels. I like muffins.”


Beware of Witch

They say the first one is always the hardest. I’m a painter but also a storyteller. I make things, on canvas, or with words.

Now as a writer- I always want my narrative laid out, the resultant arcs defined, blah blah blah, insert boring writer talk. I know you’re out there going “Who cares? Write something interesting/funny that we actually give a shit about.” Okay then, fair warning; there will be no arcs, character growth, or lightening bolts of realization. There may be guilty secrets, tales of raccoon invasions, outpourings of artistic angst and head banging. A good head banging is worth a thousand words. We live in anxious times, and I’m an anxious human being- all the better to amuse you with my dear. Humor seems to be an excellent outlet for inner mayhem.

Let’s call today’s topic getting to know you. No Julie Andrews. In fact no singing at all. There will never be singing. I suck at singing. And no notes need be taken. No pop quizzes, and no name-tags please. I’ve wandered away from too many functions with my name emblazoned across my chest wondering why people are checking out my boobs. I always imagine it’s because I’m having a particularly good day in that department- the girls are riding high and looking particularly perky. But once I realize my name’s scrawled on a white rectangle highlighted by whatever black garment I’m wearing, I curl my shoulders and remind myself to buy a new bra.

So, what do I know about blogs? I’m a bit of a Luddite. To me, blogs were the domain of those who sport fedora hats and corpse colors on their nails. Blogs belonged to people who were raised clicking things besides their teeth and mice that didn’t require glue traps. It’s old dog, new tricks time. There’s a lot of that in my life lately. Besides, it’s good for me to write every day and when writing plays, there are days when the characters go into seclusion and the words refuse to stick to the page. So in the interest of keeping my writers muscles flexed and making me feel less like a failure, I will always have this default setting of cyber-therapy. I can put it out there and know that at least I’ve written something that day. And perhaps someone will laugh, just a little. Or maybe see themselves on the screen. Not in a Gloria Swanson way, (I am never ready for my close up) but see some tiny aspect of their own lives in the words I’ve sent winging onto their computer screen.

I started the ball rolling by sending an email to 300 of my nearest and dearest. Some of whom may have said:  “Why the hell is she sending this to me? What have I done to deserve this?” thinking it was an invitation to join a recipe chain,  a plea for funds supporting an ousted African prince, or the honey badger link on youtube. (I can’t help it, I love the honey badger and I plead guilty on that one, but only that one. The African prince gets no love or money from me.)

So here are the rules. My rules, not yours. You are lawless and unbridled. You have my permission to go take off your bridles right now. But here’s my rule and promise:

I will post every Thursday. Pinky swear. So please become a subscriber and stay in touch. I love feedback as long as it’s about my great wit, genius intellect, or sensitive nature. Negative reviews must be kept to oneself. I’m a delicate flower. Not a wallflower, and no shrinking violet. But delicate. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Listen to your mother’s voice from decades ago, some adages are actually worth hanging onto. We all know running with scissors is a bad thing and crossing your eyes will make them stay that way.

So please add your address to the subscriber box, and I won’t have to keep cyber-poking you to remind you to check out my posts. Those of you who know me are familiar with my very pointy fingers and elbows.

Now I am going to get a pedicure. After all, if a girl’s got pretty feet, it’s easier to put one foot in front of the other. That’s what it’s all about these days. And I’ll keep tossing out bits of gingerbread along the way.

~ Gretyl