Monday, March 29, 2010

While you were sleeping

As usual, I checked out of the virtual world for an unintended, unexpected stay to do some work on my own reality shitshow. Over the past month or so, nearly on the eve of the anniversary of the death of my marriage (April 6 comin' your way! how does one celebrate such an anniversary?), I've had a pretty profound life epiphany. There's nothing about what was, what has been or what will be that I can change. And I'm always trying to change things over which I have no control, and that's some pretty futile shit. I waste more time trying to make "what is" better -- in my eyes -- that I lose sight of living all up inside "it is what it is."

The bottom line clearly indicates that I can't change what happened to my marriage and the family that came with it. I can't bring Granny back from the dead. I can't bring my cafe back from the dead. I can't make She of The Nameless understand me, and it's not really my business to care whether or not I am understood by others. I can just be how I am. I is what I is. And regardless of whether everything happens for a reason, things happen -- with or without my influence. I can only control (or not) my reactions and own them fully. Oh, and I do. I have examined my choices. I can enjoy the unhappiness of loitering around in what was and what isn't no mo', or I can get the fuck on with my program -- the exact same program I was rockin' when BMC was in full effect, the same program I was killing during my marriage, and not coincidentally for about almost all of the rest of my life, including the centuries to come.

The court documents haven't yet been finalized officializing the d-i-v-o-r-c-e, so I have refrained from recounting the final hours of the final days of our lives. Restraint? Moi? Nutz, I know.

Another admission from which I have refrained from making is that I have an actual friend. I mentioned her over the summer but haven't really exposed our friendom the way I did with She Who Shall Not Be Named because, well, that didn't end well. And then I realized, as if that ever stopped me.

So I'll go ahead and officially introduce my doppelganging associate, Chantessa of the Amazon. She has a mighty fine backside to behold. And she hates it when I say that. She owns the restaurant where I am her volunteer apprentice/bitch/entertainment/a*muse*ment/pastry chef/self-assigned understudy manager. She'd pay me, but she can't afford it. I'd let her pay me, but I eat and drink and break and waste as much at her restaurant as my time and value is worth. She's the reason I don't have adult food and drink expenses. She feeds me almost every single night, by way of the restaurant, but there's no way I'd eat that healthfully or well if I weren't on her company dole. In a word, she's been good to me for at least long enough now (9+ months) that I think it's fair to give her a nod on the Crazy Channel.

Let me break her down real quicklike:
+ she owns a successful restaurant and her staff and guests love her
+ she has crazy ideas and isn't afraid to execute them -- quickly, well, and without regret if it fails
+ she bakes for pleasure with a side order of business
+ she's a pisces (she post-dates me by 3 years and 2 days)
+ she's half funny, half bitchy, half brutally honest, half evil genius, half pussycat
+ she's fiercely driven to have fun in business and pleasure
+ she's a gen-u-ine genius, emotional and otherwise
+ she can do anything. anything anything. and everything, while she's at it
+ she's not afraid to fail because success is too easy
+ she knows and understands my brand of crazy because she's spent her life subduing her own
+ she once lived in vail and loved it
+ i laugh at almost everything she says because it's usually an even snappier retort than the snappy tort i torted at her in the first place
+ she's a brilliant creative mind
+ she calls me out when i entertain gentlemen callers who are beneath my intellectual station

It's like kicking it basically night and day and night with a funner, funnier, snarkier, more genius, more talented, more interesting, more insane and equally saner version of me. And as you can imagine, that tends to frighten people. the chef at her restaurant has been busted on many occasions recording us bickering/battling/badgering/belittling/beholding the inner beauty of one another through the bake station window.

"What the fuck are you doing, John?," I'll ask him as he skulks and snickers through the kitchen with a shitastic grin on his face. "Oh, nothing. Just a little research for my sitcom about a restaurant owner and her quirky friend. {ha ha ha]"

We'll stare at the kid, emboldened by the freneticism of our nobody-else-can-hear-us discourse; an air of "don't fuck with us" written in stone on our faces. He thinks it's funny. We think he doesn't even know the half, soon to be revealed. But we let him think his idea is for dummies. Let us just say that everything I ever said I would do is being done; and at the same time all of the things I ever have done, or will do, are all the same things I do, have done, and ever will do again. I always come back to me at the end of a major life episode. Phew. That ride took a while. Hey, me! Good to see you again!"

I could drone on about Chantessa, who speaks in empires, grandiose fantasies, and "when we's" instead of "what-ifs, but honestly, you couldn't even begin to get the frequency upon which we vibe.

Here's an example.

"Hey, yo. You wanna help me make a couple of aprons after work on Saturday night? I have a bunch of scrap from all the server's aprons, and I just want to use it up," casually mentions Chantessa.

"Sure. I actually have a bunch of scrap from back in the day when I bought an expensive sewing machine and did precisely one krunkt project with it. I'll dig that box out," says I.

"Cool. You can cut the patterns and pin them together. I'll sew. I sew fast and straight and you're a little more, uh, big picture."

"MMMMmmmmm, fast and straight. You know that's how I like my mens. But wait, did you just say I can pick the fabrics out for you? I have a $30,000 master's degree that says I can probably handle the aesthetics and the merchandising if you ever want to sell those little nuggets. If I'm getting promoted to Creative Director, I need to call my mother. She'd be proud."

"OK. But your title will be "My Sweatshop Bitch". You keep my prosecco full, and I'll keep your bong loaded."


And so it was done.

That was a week ago.

There was some discussion today about whether her apron-making project hijacked my life, or the other way round. I vote for Option 2. I will admit however, I find no greater exhilaration in anything besides that at which I can be or become good at almost immediately. FCKNA. Nailed it this time.

She created the patterns, sewed the shit out of everything in sight, and reverse engineered/project runway'd a couple of other aprons in the time it took me to cut one pattern. I assembled almost all of the designs, named many of those bitches (easily the best, most fun part), styled and shot the photos, wrote the "copy" and impressed the fuck out of the both of us in the process. (click on the album name to enter a whole new layer of my crazy)


Not sucking doesn't suck.

I never considered being happy without Britton. I never thought I *could* be happy without Britton. Turns out I was happy without him, I just wasn't happy he was apparently happy to be without me. But hey, can't do anything about that neither.

My body is wrecked from hunching, hovering, designing and self-deprecating.
Lemonade without the tragedy kinda tastes sweet.
I might just make it yet.

To quote an old ghost, Kisses on your faces.

The old girl is back. And I can't wait to see what else is up my sleeve.


p.s. i should probably mention that i am in the process of waiting for the results of a pretty significant skin biopsy that resulted in the removal of a completely exaggerated 67% percent of my flesh. i look like i've contracted a hot case of ebola in the spots where the sutures aren't wrecking my flow. i'm sure it'll be nothing, although i generally find subtle cause for alarm every time they tell me they want to scoop out a new spot. good times. however, i can't change how i abused my skin as a teenager. 96 sunburns too many on an authentic redhead, and you too would steel yourself against the inevitability of a cancer diagnosis, too. i'm unconcerned, but i'll keep you posted.


Staci M.W. said...

Vibrantly gorgeous apron!!!! You are so still such a professional amateur and I always wish we could be actual same-city friends. Mucho Love-o.

Anonymous said...

This made me this: :D Good vibes to your skins!! We love you, skins!

mama without instructions said...

the aprons are adorable! the utility pockets are great. sounds like you learned some lessons i need to work on myself. yay for a good friend and boo for skin biopsies. good luck w/that.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lurker, but the aprons have brought me out of the shadows. They are all beautiful! You should make some full length ones, but then I would want to purchase one or ten.

P.S. You're an amazing writer.

Cati said...

I absolutely adore those aprons. They are gorgeous, cute and have incredible names. Love them, for real.

Hope everything goes fine and you keep on rockin' it with your ladyfriend. Without Britt. It's really good to have you back.

You just turned a grey day into something a little bit brighter.


Anonymous said...

It's nice to hear a happy and upbeat tone to your writing. I'm so glad that the "veil" has lifted. You sound 10 lbs. lighter or was it 175? How much did he weigh? I'm liking this new happy you. You deserve some freakin happiness this year.

PS: The aprons are fabulous! There is trouble and success to be made by the two of you!!! Congrats!

Anonymous said...


scarlett said...

so happy to hear things are going well!

aprons are HOT. sending good thoughts for your biopsy.

uncletypewriter said...

Y'know, Dana, when your book is released (because we all know you're getting a book released), I'll be pretty proud to read it and think "yeah, I knew this chick when she was doling out the Cracks and writing about BMFs and all the rest of it." I'm glad you're kicking ass, lady. Nobody does it better than you.

Patricia in TO said...

cool aprons - how do I buy one? I like the Coffee Xanax one since I don't "do flowers".

I too am glad to hear the lilt in your voice again - life is good, spring is good, cracks are very very good!

fingers crossed on the biopsy.


t said...

"Happy whew blah blah friend good times. And by the way, I have maybe-cancer." Gah!

Good to hear things are well. Off to check out some aprons.

Misfit Hausfrau said...

Hey--how can I get my hands on an apron? How much? Seriously.