337: prognostication

When you donate blood, you get some juice, a few cookies, and usually a wee sticker that says something cute like “Be nice to me! I gave blood!” When I was in high school, the service committee would organize a sock and mitten drive. You could buy donated socks and mittens for homeless women and children, in return for which you’d get a label bearing the legend “I gave warmth”, written in my classmate Kaveri’s perfect penmanship.

I was thinking of this as I looked at pictures from Sunday’s election in Iraq. To prevent fraud, voters dipped their index fingers in purple ink after casting their votes. It became a badge of honor for those lucky enough to participate. Naturally, it wasn’t long before my mind wandered to other substances you’d dip your finger to prove you’d done something, visited someplace, like . . .

    the Liberace Museum in Vegas: Elmer’s glue and glitter

    Boston: chowder

    the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh (or any museum, really): paint

    the Erotic Museum in LA: lube

    Wisconsin: melted cheese

I spent Sunday doing nothing more than eating, buying Jacinda a small birthday present (and it’s too bad I can’t say what I got, because it would totally give away what I got her), and reading old Beverly Cleary young adult novels. I thought about going to the zoo. The sunshine and mild temperatures seemed to demand it, but I resisted. I found myself laughing out loud, talking back to the television, which to my mind sounds like I need to get out more.

I could spend more time writing, maybe some fiction, or working on my shopping blog. And by working I mean playing with makeup at Barney’s. Trying on shoes at Nordstrom. Buying the occasional truffle at Vosges. All the shops have finally put away their Christmas decorations to make way for the reds and pinks of Valentine’s Day. Why buy a normal cake pan when you can buy one in the shape of a heart? Why buy a plain pair of cotton underpants when you can purchase a pair emblazoned with pink hearts, red hearts, X’s and O’s?

A nearby lingerie shop is having adult director/actress Candida Royalle in to promote her latest book, How to Tell a Naked Man What to Do: Sex Advice from a Woman Who Knows. Which doesn’t sound like the most romantic thing in the world, but you can’t argue its usefulness. Not that I expect to have a naked man available to me anytime soon, but you never know. It’s like the opposite of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook — instead of useful diagrams showing me how to survive an alligator attack, Miss Candida will “point out some of the more common obstacles that may be getting in the way of [me] fulling accessing the pleasure [I] seek.”

I’m blushing already. Prude that I am, is it any wonder I find Groundhog Day (only 1 day away!) so much more safe to consider? No “I hate men” girls night out to plan and pay for. No diabetes-inducing heart-shaped boxes of chocolatey sugarbombs to consume. No singleness to defend against pitying coupled friends or mystified parents. Right now, you’re probably saying “Gee, Jasmine, for somebody so, well, resigned to her singledom, you sound pretty fucking defensive.” And you’d be right, but it’s pretty exhausting to have to explain to your loving though clueless parents that they’re the last people you’d expect to be surprised that you are not already married and giving them grandchildren when they were happy to send you to a girls’ school and have you spend the duration of your college career at the University of Chicago, an institution not exactly known for its hottie population. Parents were busy sending you care packages, calling you at 7am on a Saturday to make sure that you were home in your own bed, alone, and leaving phone messages that sound something like the following:

“‘Allo, Jusmean? It’s Mommy. Why don’t you pick up? Are you at church? Nako, I hope you are remembering to pray for your Tito Bob and your cousins, pobrecitos naman. Please write Gramma and Grampa, and don’t forget to study! Don’t you have a boyfriend [INSERT SOUND OF GIRLISH CACKLING]? Yet? Don’t marry a White boy! Love you bye byeeeee!”



“If I wanted your opinion, the subject would be pancakes.”


Ringo Starr – Photograph; The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps; John Lennon – Woman; Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out; Modest Mouse – Float On; Samantha Fox – Naughty Girls (Need Love too)





~ by Jasmine on February 1, 2005.

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