In my first post, I included an excerpt of a rant I scrawled in my Moleskine between auditions one day. For your amusement, here is the rest of it.
“Famine and fascists get me in the mood. My favorite romantic evenings are spent canoodling on the couch with a bottle of Riesling watching The Military Channel. Ask Hal. Getting handsy to “Wings of The Luftwaffe” puts my rockets in launch sequence, especially when the delicate lilac scent of a Saint Germain candle burns in the background. Maybe it’s the shiny guns. The magpie in me is easily impressed with objects that gleam while my inner tomboy loves artillery that bangs. Nostalgia helps too. Servicemen of yore look the way I want a man to taste–classically delicious like Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla ice cream. Crisp uniforms, buttocks of callipygian perfection, and arms that make a woman long to be held. Wait. I think that was the premise of Top Gun.
Oh, I’m full of shit. I know exactly what melts my butter and it’s not just that men in uniform know how to take orders. There is magnetism in their fighting spirit. Some have sexy accents to boot. Enter Mr. French whose English accent filled me with desire. But brogues and burrs be damned. The quality that lumps them in the same French enameled casserole is a rock solid faith in their homeland’s cause. These soldiers possess the sort of conviction I want some darling man to have in me—a conviction that ends with family and friends buying me cookware. Maybe some linens too.
I already require napkins to clean my messy heart of red velvet cake. I would appreciate if they were not made of paper. Cotton would do. Hold the phone. Screw the armed forces. Where the hell is my parade? My Medal of Honor? Bagpipes should be playing for me. I have endured more heartache and beaus than Tara’s mistress survived husbands she never deemed worthy. Bet you dollars to donuts, I can also drink more brandy than she ever could. The adage that men love a woman who can hold her liquor is true. Louis, King of the Lost Weekend, loved the fact that, whenever he lost me at a party, he could always find me right by the rosé. But he, like all the others, was no Rhett Butler.
Scarlett’s captain was an egoist who never pledged allegiance to either side during the Civil War. He made people believe his sole passion was for himself. What a sham. Scarlett made him fall harder than a bottle of Bolly on a brick floor. She baked his passion in a pie until the center stewed and bubbled and nothing was left but pulp. How cruel the fates! Or rather, how fair the gods! Hurt scrolled across Scarlett’s eyes the day Rhett left her in a caterwauling heap on those magnificent parlour stairs. The moment he gathered his strength, she lost hers.
Like Miss O’Hara, I exclusively have romantic misadventures. Most tend to be brief, but their finales do render me broken. I have learned to bounce back like a champ. Now, as compared to my early twenties, the sharp pain and breathlessness last only as long as it takes tomatoes to ripen. And when I start to break out in hives, I know it’s nothing serious. Just time to change my pajamas is all.
I wonder how long Scarlett wore the same nightgown. On second thought, I don’t care. She was an unt-cay. Beautiful and abusive, a veritable Naomi Campbell of her day. Sure she lived through the war, but her charmed life adds insult to my injury. Even when Rhett stormed out faster than an angry maid, she still had the amenities of a well-appointed mansion to help glue herself back together. The least of which I guarantee was a fully equipped kitchen. All I ever have to mend my broken heart is scotch tape (the generic kind) and whisky (the cheap kind). None of which equals a viscous enough frosting to bind the cupcake crumbles rolling around my right atrium.
Look at the time, already half past nervous. At twenty-seven, I am too young for a midlife crisis, too old for a quarter-life, and still more vintage than The Skip-It. I am wholly without prospects. For hand-painted china. And even if I did find the Shiva to my Shakti, my best friend is unwilling to aid and abet my need for cookware. Something I do not consider a frivolous yen. You have no idea how much I love tea sets. I am a greedy squirrel hoarding acorns before the snow where Limoges is concerned. My only get-out-of-jail-free-card for a collection of that nature is matrimony. If folks inquire, I’ll smile, roll my eyes and say, “Wedding presents.”
I have prematurely reached the point in life where my shoulders are tight and my forehead is loose. I remember when the reverse was true. I admit I’m not as springy of a chicken anymore. Which is why I complete courtships faster than laps in NASCAR. I have to date like it’s Daytona. My face is falling. Smoking one Nat Sherman visibly deepens my nasolabial folds overnight. With the paltry residuals I receive, La Mer is too expensive to use as often as toothpaste. Say I wake up one morning and my light wrinkles have settled in the way water freezes into the crevices of winter rocks. I will have been permanently weathered and pushed into my spinstery Bridget Jones years. And what in Christmas hell will I do then? I already spend Saturday nights reading in the kitchen in my underwear and glasses, dipping pretzel croissants into full fat chocolate milk while Andrea Bocelli hits the high notes of Con Te Partiro. My Tina Fey frames and I cannot fritter away any more time wondering if there is potential with someone. Otherwise we’re gonna get a cat.
So I have honed my skills. I can detect bullshit within seconds of any man darkening my door. I know instantly if there is a spark or if Glossy needs to phone with a fake emergency demanding my attention. Some sparks never catch fire. They quickly turn to ash and die. Others live to be embers that sear themselves into the wood, providing ample warmth and light. Their glowing remains smolder against the cool blackness of soot. Sadly, my suitors have proved nothing more than a series of chilly hearths full of charred kindling. They are incapable of emitting enough heat to roast a mini marshmallow. Even the best of these men have been ineffective barbecue coals, really, when compared to the conflagration I desire.
Thank God for snacks. And cashmere blankets. Without either, I would have surely perished in this frosty world. I am a Libra hopelessly in love with love. My greatest pastime is trying to find my happily ever after–or at least my first. Balderdash. Food is my first love. Which is why I’m looking for a man very much like a fine wine to enhance the flavors of my life.
At age seven, I stapled some construction paper together and wrote a book about two animals. But it read more like the incriminating diary of a Weight Watchers recruit than it did a children’s story. An early obsession with haute cuisine was evident in my kinder scrawl. Legibility is lost in passages recounting repasts of epic proportion. Though my characters were only fictional house pets, I made sure they supped like kings. Literally. I copied a menu from Henry VIII’s table from a cookbook my grandmother owned. Everyone who is anyone dines on swan. Nota Bene: None of the men I have ever dated have had the least interest in eating swan. What peasants I have had in my court.
Ipso facto, here I am. A disenchanted romantic hoping to be proved wrong, desperate for a darling man, and always appreciative of a new recipe. I knew what moules frites was when I was five. I learned how to use potato rounds for greasing blini pans by ten. Russian friends from figure skating camp taught me all I needed to know about caviar the summer between fifth and sixth grade. Beluga is pretentious. Osetra is superlative. And only non-Russians care about the difference. Though just because I prize squid ink tagliatelle with seafood in saffron sauce, make stovetop popcorn with truffle oil, and recognize the absence or presence of bergamot in any authentic cup of chai, does not mean I cast aspersions on peanut butter pies nor any kind of bar that Midwest soccer moms have to offer. I respect a good toad in the hole as much as the next frog.
I am a gourmand. I am a writer. I am desperately seeking . . . Stan? I am the vanguard of delectable dilettantism with a taste for champagne, interesting men, and rich desserts (or rich men and interesting desserts as the case may be). Perhaps one day, my Le Creuset set will be completed after all. Until then, I must do my best to enjoy life and the humiliations that comprise it. All of which seem best when peppered with humor and Hungarian paprika.”