Sunday, May 19, 2019

A tale of two blondes

This past week, we lost Doris Day. I have always adored her. In her way, she was as natural and affecting onscreen as Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift strived to be. She was also important as a pre-feminist feminist. She spoke her mind, she was spirited and always, always true to herself. When critics joke about her being the poster girl for virginity, they miss the point completely. The Doris Day heroine wasn't constitutionally opposed to giving up her cherry; she hated being lied to. It's isn't sex that she objects to, it's being maneuvered or tricked into bed.

Watch her again, with fresh eyes. Admire the ambition, independence and honesty in her performances. She was the quintessential All-American Girl, and her screen persona will make you feel good, and feel proud.

Peggy Lipton also died this week at 72. I grew up on her, too. Or, rather, Julie Barnes of The Mod Squad. That show was the center of my grade school Tuesday nights. Three kids ("one black, one white, one blonde") went undercover and fought crime.

I had handsome Pete's picture in my locker. He was the rich kid rebel, misunderstood by his Beverly Hills family. But Julie was the influential one in my group. The way she wore her hair. Her sweaters and fringe-trimmed purses. Her backstory was also important. She was a runaway. Something bad (sexual abuse?) was going on at home, so Julie did what it took to save herself and she ran. While she appeared vulnerable, and the boys were always very protective of her, we girls never doubted Julie could take care of herself. We just knew no one could take Julie Barnes down.

Also, her relationships with Pete and Linc were fascinating to us. Obviously, she couldn't have an affair with Linc. I mean, it was  primetime TV in the 1960s and interracial romance was simply not on the table. But what about handsome Pete? Julie had platonic friendships with men. This was a big deal at the time. It was liberating. You could relate to men without romance or the scary idea of sex seeping in to it. You go, girl!

Speaking of sex, Peggy had an on/off affair with Himself, Sir Paul McCartney, between 1964 and 1968. Meaning he called her whenever he was in Los Angeles and she came running. By all accounts, including his own, he treated her rather badly during their relationship and dumped her unceremoniously when he fell for Linda. I didn't know any of this at the time, since the Beatles had quite the squeaky-clean image in real time, but I admit it adds to her aura. She had her heart broken by The Cute One!

RIP, Girlfriend.

Sunday Stealing

This week, Sunday Stealing borrows from Unconscious Mutterings, one of the most venerable memes in the blogverse. If you enjoy Q/As like this, I recommend you visit there again some time.

I say ... and you think ... ?

    Hurry! :: up
    Dumb :: Dora
(she was the subject of many Gene Rayburn questions on the old Match Game)
    Fudge :: Sundae
    Sturdy :: Solid
    Printing :: Press
    Itch :: Scratch
    Creaks :: Floor
    Paste :: Cut
(as in "Cut and paste")
    Waste of time :: Kardashian
    Let down :: Lift up
    Cancellation :: Notice
    Suspect :: Defendant

    Fireplace :: Firewood
    Spring :: Fever
    Commute :: to Work
    Places :: People, Things
(you know, "People, Places and Things")
    Fraud :: Alert
    Adoption :: The best way to get a dog or cat
(Adopt, don't shop)
    Election :: Day
    Moving day :: New start


I suppose you want to pout now, too

 Everyone seems mad at me these days. Everyone seems on the verge of a tantrum. I'm trying to rise above it, but it's not easy. Let's face it: I'm not exactly the gold standard for tranquility myself.

Brian. He's the president of our condo board, I'm the secretary. He hasn't answered any of my emails in a month. Some of them were kind of a big deal -- like where are we in terms of selling our building. I mean, where we're all going to be living come Christmas is important. He caught me in our laundry room while I was folding and told me he's just been "too busy." For a month? Really, Brian? 

He asked me what questions I had. I've got a month's worth of questions and I'm supposed to just recount them off the top of my head? That's not fair. He asked me if I realized how busy he was, how many emails he gets. I don't really care. It's insulting to me, and all the other unit owners, that he just ignores our messages. Also, no one is busy around-the-clock for a full month. I've had relatives to visit in the hospital. I have a job that's not without deadlines and stress. I've been sick. I've even had all three at once. I've never let a month's worth of emails pile up.

Brian made a strange accusation -- that I just want people to like me. That's so not true. I don't much care if my neighbors like me at all. I do want them to feel as though they are heard and respected. This nuance seems lost on him.

After much arguing and scowling, he stormed off and went back upstairs. (I, after all, could not storm off. I still had sweaters to fold.) He has since been very friendly, and prompt!, in answering emails. So I shall try to move on. But that was more stress and more drama than I need.

Braverman. My neighbor at the end of the hall. He never attends condo association meetings. He never sends emails to the address set up for questions. But he has lots of strong opinions and waited until we were alone in the elevator to share them. After sharing pleasantries about one another's day, he started peppering me. Why? How? Then what? I gave him topline answers and he kept going. I told him this felt like an interrogation, when all I wanted to do was get to my front door. That if he wants to know about the running of the building, he should check the board meeting minutes on the website. This made him angry and he stormed off up the hall. Like it never occurred to him that a person may not wish to be ambushed with demands about "a ten year plan" for elevator renovation. 

There are pluses to being on the condo board. I like knowing what's going on and being able to improve things. (For example, a mass email is soon going to unit owners about more effective recycling.)

But I hate all the sturm und drang. I appreciate that where we live, and our living conditions, are important. But there are ways to work together. In this building, that doesn't seem to be a priority.