Am I Really Cranking Mötley Crüe While Smearing on Anti-Wrinkle Cream?

I am a bit of a head-banger. I’m also pretty sure that term is not used anymore, but who cares, you get the idea.  I am that lady you see driving down the road singing (and I use that term loosely here) to Van Halen, Def Leppard, or insert hair band of choice here. Pulling into my daughter’s school I have to remind myself, “Turn it down, you are a grown up now, this is a place of education.”  But honestly, I would rather be a few minutes late for pick up than miss the end of Photograph.

I love all types of music, but the heavier the better for me. This love of crazy guitar riffs, big hair, and tight leather pants began a long time ago and has settled deep into my DNA.  I once dated a guy who picked me up in his car listening to Erasure. I think I laughed at him and then asked if he was on his period. I like it loud.

Just ask my mom. During my early high school years you could not find an inch of white wall in my boudoir because of all the posters. One would think a pimple-pocked thirteen year old boy resided there, if not for the girly bedspread and playbills from A Chorus Line and CATS.   A life-size photo of Jon Bon Jovi hung on the back of my door (you know the one), posters of Ratt, AC/DC , Ozzy Ozbourne, Dokken, Poison, and of course, Mötley Crüe adorned my lair.

As a kid I moved around, a lot. No, not because I was on the lamb, but because of my father’s job. The one thing that helped me feel safe, accepted, and pretty damn good was music. Not just any type of music – straight up Rock. If I had a crap day in Algebra, if the boy I liked did not ask me to Homecoming (you know who you are!), or if I got food stuck in my retainer, I could slap on my headphones, press play on my sweet-ass Walkman, and let Ozzy carry me away….far far away from my hideous perm.

I was enamored of these rock gods. They had millions of adoring groupies, got to ride in pimped out tour buses from city to city, and their eyeliner never seemed to smear. When you’re a kid who is not yet legal to drink, dependent upon your mom to drop you off at the mall, and still wearing the My First Bra, the rock lifestyle seemed magical.

One of the highlights of my heavy metal-loving career came the summer I was turning fifteen.  My friend Amy and I had tickets to see Mötley Crüe and Whitesnake. It was their Girls, Girls, Girls tour and we were giddy at hell.

I tried to find the sluttiest clothes I could, which proved a severe challenge since I had limited civilian-wear (Catholic school my whole life) and I was fourteen. I did my best with a black mini-skirt, an old tank top from eighth grade P.E., and sprayed my hair with so much White Rain and Aquanet that a buzz saw could not penetrate it. Perfect!

Locating our seats, we were disheartened to find they were in the nose-bleed section. Seriously, when Whitesnake performed it looked like a bunch of ants with curly wigs.

“We need to get down there,” my friend Amy said to me.

“I know but how?” I responded, wondering if the couple making out next to me (Jesus, she had to be pregnant by now) would notice if I chugged their beers.

“C’mon, let’s go,” Amy said. So we swooped up our purses matching our flats and began our descent to the first floor.

Once on the ground floor we hit a roadblock. We had to get past the guard.  Ugh, so close to floor seats! I could smell the sweat of bad-assness from where I stood.

“Hey there, what’s your name,” I heard Amy coo to the guard.


“So can we get onto the floor Miguel?” Amy was doing her best to be seductive, with her braces…and some bad eye shadow.

“Do you have a ticket?” Miguel asked, clearly mesmerized by the lights pouncing off of her teeth.

Bam! That’s when it happened. Amy started macking down with this guard.

I remember thinking, Eeeeeeeeeeeewwww you’re fourteen and he’s like 30, or 40, or 60 whatever he can shave – gross.  Then I remembered she went to public school.

Miguel, clearly appeased, swung open the gates of heaven [insert religious music here]. We scurried up to the fourth row, jumped up onto the chairs next to some random dudes and the rest was history.

To this day, I thank God my friend Amy was a skank. How else would I have been able to see, up close, Tommy Lee downing a bottle of Jack Daniels while his drum set rotated during Wild Side? How else would I have been able to dive onto the beer-sludged floor to catch a guitar pick (I didn’t really, just tried, and then was dog-piled – but still awesome!)?

Of course my tastes have grown as time has progressed. There are so many amazing bands out there. For instance, I will forever pledge allegiance to United States of Foo [Fighters].

I don’t care how old I am, I will never change this aspect of myself, ever. Music is amazing, transcending, and downright kick ass.

So pump your fist into the air and bust out the rock sign because Rock n Roll will never die!

Well… maybe some of the lip gloss and mammoth hair can go.

Am I Really This Romance-Challenged?

Lurking just around the corner, with its paper doilies and chalky heart candies, is Valentine’s Day.  Therefore, it feels appropriate to discuss aspects of romance, wooing, and amore.

Or lack thereof.

Each of us is born with a special talent.  Many have the genius in the area of love. They walk among us as mere mortals, but have been hit by Cupid’s arrow. They spread love and joy while throwing rose petals in the wind. They compose sonnets, look passionately into the eyes of their lover, and say things like, “Your skin is like fresh calf’s milk,” and mean it. They are romantic.

I am not one of these people.

But I married one.

My husband is a writer. He does not do it for a living, but he is excellent at it. Since I have known him, he has written me poems on cards, sticky notes, and emails – all beautiful, all from his heart, zero gag-factor. He loves to surprise me, more than enjoys giving well thought-out presents, and should win a blue ribbon for his gift wrapping skills.  He plans ahead for special occasions. He is romantic.

I, on the other hand, am slightly challenged in this arena. I like to tell my husband that my gifts lie elsewhere – such as properly loading the dishwasher and sneezing.

Oh I remember every holiday and birthday, but I don’t go all out. I get a card and sign it,

“Love, Me”

Sometimes I like to add my own flair such as: “Love Always,” “You’re the best!” or the one that makes my husband look at me as if I just ate cocaine for breakfast, “We’ve made it!” I figure if I just spent $3.99 on a card proclaiming eternal love and soul mate companionship, what the hell else can I say? Hallmark took care of it. Done.

I have tried to be amorous in the past – epic failure.  Many moons ago, I once made heart-shaped muffins for a boyfriend. I obtained the recipe from Cosmopolitan in a section entitled, “Ways to Show Him You Care.” It was part of their Valentine’s edition and I thought, “Sure, I care.” The result was a bunch of rock-hard inedible lumps that (and trust me on this) looked like a zoologist’s collection of shrunken heads (or whatever profession collects those).  Apparently I didn’t care enough.

I feel totally phony when I try to be romantic. It’s just not my thing. I come off sounding like the Nasonex Bee with a speech impediment. Ridiculous.  Also, prolonged eye contact freaks me out. It’s not a staring contest people, look away.

Aside from my husband and me, the law of opposites really does apply to romance.  I have witnessed this polarized attraction in other couples as well. One must be slightly dull for the other to pour on the adoration. It works; it evens out the scale and keeps the earth revolving.

Can you imagine if both parties in a relationship were romantic? What would that look like? 1) They’d never get out of bed causing job loss; 2) They would have a hypoglycemic problem with all the chocolate eating; 3) They’d develop a severe form of dry-eye due to staring at each other for hours; and 4) even Harlequin Romance novels would vomit a little with all the usage of gooey language. Yuck. No thanks.

I think I’ll stick with the way things are – even Stephen. I love my husband, and he loves me. He knows it because I tell him (sometimes) and I take care of him (daily). He can make it rain pink hearts, See’s Candies, and nights of passion.

Because at the end of the night, someone’s got to take out the trash. And that someone is me.

Am I Really Wondering if Sofia Vergara Cleans Her Own Toilettes?

No, of course she doesn’t, but these are the thoughts that enter my head when I am disinfecting my porcelain commode.

Here’s what I like: sunshine and cold beer.

Here’s what I don’t like: sweating like a 7-11 rotisserie hot dog while scrubbing the tub. Yet I do these tasks…every week.

Clearly I am doing something wrong with my life.

Enter the sensationalized super star thinking. When boring life takes over, I might wonder what J. Lo is up to. Probably having someone else re-apply her lip gloss.

We as a society are pretty obsessed with celebrities.  US Weekly has an entire two-page layout of “Celebrities: They’re Just Like Us.” If you’ve seen this section, it has photos of McDreamy (Patrick Dempsy) paying a parking meter; Jennifer Garner pushing one of her daughters on a swing; and my personal favorite, Kim Kardashian walking with a Starbucks coffee (wtf?).  I have not seen that much photojournalism documenting a person walking since my daughter took her first steps.

Um, let me clue you in US Weekly, Extra!, and other tabloid media – celebrities are NOT like us. Not even a tiny bit.

Do famous people shop at Forever 21 so they can look like other famous people at a fraction of the cost? I think not.  Do movie stars nearly freak out when they misplace the two-for-one granola bar coupon at the Stop N Shop checkout line? I doubt it. Does a starlet wake up in the morning (late) and think, “Oh crap, I forgot to wash little Mable’s uniform. Maybe I can just wrap her sweater around her waist to hide the grape jelly stain. And why do I smell like ginger and feet?” That’s a negative. Hence the fascination.

While we stick these folks in a fishbowl and stare at them like rare birds at the zoo (or rare fish, b/c let’s face it, birds don’t last long under water), another phenomenon takes place as well:

We lay people feel like we actually know the rich and famous?

A few times I have though to myself, “I would like to give Ben Affleck a call and go grab a beer.”  Or, “I wonder if Reese Witherspoon would go get a mani/pedi with me? I bet she would, she seems so nice.” Or, “[insert boisterous laughter] Oh Ellen, I love it when you make people run and Velcro themselves to the wall for an IPad! Pick that guy with a toupee in the third row! Do it! Do it!” She can’t hear me, so why the hell am I yelling?

Oddly, I have never looked at my neighbor down the street and thought any of these things.  And I physically see that old bat everyday!

My mother is also plagued by this celebrity/friend issue. Her people magazine has come every week like clock-work for the past twenty-five years. She sits down, opens it, and then the comments start pouring out like Elizabeth Taylor’s Exs. It has gotten to the point where she has been able to predict celebrity “conspiracy theories” before they even surface in the media. And you know what? She is usually right. If I could teach my mother to blog she could seriously rival Perez Hilton. But no one would get mad at her, she is nice lady.

Do I know these people? Nope. Does my mother, or any other regular old Joe out there? No. Then why do we feel such a connection to them?

I don’t have a friggin’ clue.

But I do have a theory.

Celebrities emulate everything we want in life. A beautiful face, a beautiful body, and what looks like a fun life with parties and cool clothes. It is so easy look at these people up on the screen, the TV, the pages of a magazine and think, “Yes! I do want that!” Especially when you are trying not to burn another Stouffer’s frozen lasagna while paying your overdue cable bill while your child wails in the background she simply will not eat a raspberry – ever!

It is a better life.

But we have our lives – good, bad, and crazy. They have their lives – good, bad, and Gary Busy.

And since we can’t be them, let’s be their imaginary friend.