Once upon a time, long ago, I tried to be the Cool Chick. The unfortunate incident occurred during my mid-twenties, years before I had embraced my current Square Peg status. Here's what happened:
As I was perched railside at my favorite watering hole gabbing with my bartender friend, a tall, handsome stranger sauntered in. Our eyes met. Locked. I swear angels were singing. Instead of following my usual Square Peg M.O. of giggling like a schoolgirl because a cute guy was actually checking me out, I decided to become: the Cool Chick. I coquettishly raised my drink in slo-mo, never breaking my bewitching gaze (I thought it was bewitching anyway) with this debonair stranger and proceeded to sip it. From the straw….because that’s what cool chicks do. I tilted my head ever so slightly to greet the teeny tiny cocktail straw, eyes still locked with his and…
...missed my mouth completely and instead poked the teeny tiny straw halfway up my right nostril.
Needless to say, The Cool Chick dream was crushed right then and there in that bar, as was any prospect of ever dating that guy. Listen, I’m more than happy with Jamie – he’s the love of my life, but geez – I swear I can still feel that straw up my nose every time I think about the time I tried to live the cool chick dream.
So why I tried to resurrect that dream again, I’ll never know.
This week is Spring Break -- a “Staycation.” Georgia and I decided to head over to Palermo’s Pizzeria in the Menomonee Valley for a factory tour (and a couple of slices). I didn’t particularly feel like making myself presentable, after all, I was on vacation. On top of that I figured, I’m 42 years old. I’m married. I have a kid. I’m tired; and who the heck am I trying to impress anyway? But rather than just unleash my…um…Natural Self on unsuspecting people, I figured I’d at least go with the bare minimum of lip gloss and mascara. But then I had another thought: Why not bust out those false eyelashes? They looked pretty good when I wore them to the Mad Men theme party a few weeks back.
It’s not like we’re on a schedule. Why not?
Twenty minutes later I was ready. Jamie looked at me: “So…you’re wearing your fake lashes?” No, my lashes grew a half inch in the past twenty minutes. [cue eye-rolling and internal DUH] Then it was Georgia’s turn: “I think you look better without those.” Oh, how sweet. I love how kids think their moms are pretty no matter what. [cue warm fuzzies, kiss her on the head]
We headed out to Palermo’s. I greeted the front desk lady and she directed us to the café where we met our tour guide. I exchanged happy glances with parents of the other waiting families – about five – that were there for the tour. Then we went on the tour which was concluded with a pizza snack served family style. We sat with four other really nice ladies and chatted a bit. With the snack concluded, Georgia and I collected our souvenir shirts and hopped in the car.
I looked in the rearview mirror to back out and caught a glimpse of something not entirely unlike this:
If you happened to be on the Palermo’s tour that day and saw the Grinning Crazy Lady with Spiders on Her Eyes, please don’t hold it against me: I momentarily thought I could live the Cool Chick dream. But I now realize that particular dream is far better off in the trash. The same place where I left those fake eyelashes.