Friday, July 23, 2010


Yesterday I had the bright idea of having Chip take a picture of me. After my high school's thirtieth reunion, FB is inundated with photos of lots of people with arms around each other, grinning at the camera, each in various states of inebriation. All partygoers on FB and bother to write about the Big Day write about how great party it was, how great it was to see everybody, and how great everybody looked....

I figured, I'll post my own "reunion" shot. All I needed was for Chip to take it. We had to hurry. Kristen (therapist extraordinaire) was to arrive in the next few minutes and after my appointment, we'd have lost the light. (I look especially awful being photographed with a flash.) We tried to get the damned shot in. I have found if very difficult not to look sad. Hell, I really do think I'm smiling for the camera. It's such a shock (less so because it has become the norm) to see myself looking so worried and sad. Over and over and over again. I must wear that face most of the time and just not be aware of it. Crap. Finally, we got one where I look okay. (Not sad.) I'm not looking miserable, but I'm just appalled by my physical appearance. I feel so damned ugly. I was going to post that shot here today, but it really makes me queasy to see it.

I can't post (at least not on FB) a photo that says, hey look guys! Don't I look like a piece of shit! Sorry I missed the shindig! (I told you I have issues about my appearance.) I finally get it that I looked good, real good, for a long, long time, some time ago. But since I was unable to see it back then, it wasn't so. Fuck me. I never allowed myself to enjoy it. Or, I didn't allow myself to enjoy it all that much. Damn.

After school, I used to wander Manhattan with an acquaintance who became a very good friend. We were and are total opposites. One of my favorite stories, when I was living with one of her buddies sophomore year because of the vagaries of Penn's "Random Room Draw." (They really called it that. Isn't it awful? But it was most certainly accurate. The four of us in that highrise room were about as random as you can get.)

She calls looking for Leslie (my random roommate). I tell that she isn't here at the moment. "Can I leave her a message?" "Sure" "Please tell Leslie I need a black Lancome mascara desperately."

I begin writing this down and get stuck, "What's a Lancome?" I swear up and down. I said that. This really happened. I didn't know about this stuff. I didn't care about this stuff. And I still feel like a little kid if I attempt to put on makeup. I think it makes me look grotesque. Especially lipstick. (Not good at all.) Well my girlfriend-to-be patiently spelled out Lancome for me and told me it was a brand of cosmetics. Ohhh.

But my new friend was quite a beauty. I really think she was every Jewish boy's and then some's dream girl. Even before I met Chip, I would go out with her knowing I wasn't going to meet anybody. Even if I were hanging with an ogress instead of my gorgeous bud, I wasn't going to meet anybody anyway. I loved to dance at a club. I liked drinking at a bar. (I'm sure I still would.) But I cheerfully knew I wasn't going to meet a boy for me at either of those types of establishments. I think I gave off skunk vibes there. I'd meet my boy, whoever he might be, elsewhere. (And I did.) So I really didn't give a shit if were Ms. Pepe LePew or not. That's not why I went out. I went out to have fun. I always did.

My girlfriend was looking for real. And boy did she get attention. I saw heads turn almost, but not quite, like Linda Blair's in The Exorcist to take a gander at my gorgeous buddy. I was more than little amused that in these situations, I was the "ugly sidekick." It was funny then, and it's funny now. I enjoyed my nights hanging with my girl immensely.

Hey, y'all, this is another instance of Franny's perceived masochism. I did love both clubs and bars. But never to meet anybody. If I did expect to meet Prince Charming, I'd be miserable. My nights out wouldn't be fun anymore. I knew my guy wasn't to be found there. And my Chip. He just hates those places period. He never went trawling for babes. It's not his style. So I met my Prince Charming at the office. Now that makes sense to me.

Besides looking at yesterday's photo, there has been something else I've been avoiding. If I were still in Fran Part 1 I would have gobbled it up immediately. No such luck. As I wrote in post "Huh," I had a visit last week from my college beau's freshman roommate Alan. That was a terrific visit and as a parting gift he left me a DVD 4013. 4013 means 4013 Baltimore- the boys' address for two years. An address filled with happiness, sadness, misery, and a whole of fun. (Not necessarily shared with the girlfriends of said boys. I definitely fall under the rubrics sadness and misery. Don't feel bad. Isn't that what college is for? And I had an awful lot of fun so no big woo.) The DVD is said to contain pictures of all of us. Mark (old beau) has called me three times since the visit and posted a line to me on FB that I "...will love it."

After a few days of that DVD sitting prominently in my living room just itching to be played, come to realize I've been avoiding it like the plague. I'm so afraid I'll fall to pieces looking at it. Since Fran Part 2 is only a toddler-if that- she'll have a really hard time watching Fran Part 1 having such a damned good time. I know I will. I don't want to cry. But I know I will. Yesterday's photo, where I tried so hard to look...carefree? bogus. I am unhappy. Not every single minute of every single day. But I'm sad. I have what to be sad about. I'm not depressed. I take handfuls of drugs to take care of that. But those reunion photos, that DVD, I don't want to them until I can look...brave...and maybe even a little...pretty. That won't be easy.

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