Allow me to introduce myself. I am a gainfully employed, God-fearing, law-abiding citizen, and I come in peace. I don't bet on baseball, I take excellent care of my gums, I keep my tray table locked and upright from takeoff to landing.
It is 2003; I sit eating a joylesss dinner as my pal Mamie attempts to soothe my wailing infant. She pats her back, she rubs her tummy, she sways, bounces, vibrates, runs water, hums softly, offers the kid a check for 1,700 bucks -- Mamie is nothing if not pragmatic (she's also smart, beautiful, and currently reading over my shoulder).
I just finished reading "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" for the 219th time. It's a quirky little autobiography in which the utterly charming Ilene Beckerman recalls her life's defining moments through the wardrobe choices she's made -- from Brownie uniform to bridal veil.
You could fill entire football stadiums with all the things that I don't know. I don't know how to make paella. I don't know how to do algebra or iron pleats or ski. I don't know how to sing on key, accept a compliment, interact at a party consisting of more than eight people or kill a lobster ... which brings us back to my paella issues.
In 1977, my friend Brenda and I went for dinner at a little Chinese restaurant called Empress Garden. She had the lemon chicken, I had the shrimp har kow, and we each had an egg roll because in 1977 you could eat sugar and fat and deep-fried everything without its signifying that the apocalypse is at hand.
On any given day here at "O, The Oprah Magazine," there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 69 very talented, extremely detail oriented, high-energy, hardworking women and men all doing their jobs and doing them well. I love a few of them, I like a lot of them, I despise one of them. She is the Magneto to my Wolverine, the Saruman to my Frodo, the Dr. Octopus to my Spiderman. I call her The Tinkler.
I had it all down to a system. Whenever a conversation would turn to the subject of age, I'd casually mention that I was 28, or 37, or 42, or however old I was at the time, and then I'd pause, magnanimously allowing people the beat they needed to acknowledge their surprise and commence with their compliments.
The love of my life is seeing other women. It started innocently enough, a bite to eat, a stroll through the park -- the stuff I never have time for. Then came the private jokes, the pet names, the stolen kisses, the bubble baths.