CAUTIONARY TALES

My beau and I are doing everything in our power to stay alive. We might increase our chances considerably if we never leave the house. Sometimes we sit in front of the television taking one anxiety attack at a time when watching commercial ads that try to sell us supplements for our aging bodies that might just result in dangerous disparity as well. With all their product liabilities and my atrocious luck, I’d probably choke to death trying to swallow their publicized pills. Those ads certainly don’t let us sit very comfortably when they are warning: Don’t take if you’re a marmot, pregnant, almost pregnant, have been pregnant, prone to sudden bursts of tears, or have moles. And, at the first sign of paralysis, call your doctor immediately. My mate asked how he could possibly make that call if he’s paralyzed.

As we sit in quiet bemusement, we can’t help but wonder what’s the worst that could happen if we took these questionable capsules? I would probably find a forest and lay on the ground exploring the stars and the deep dark galaxy, in broad daylight, during bear mating season. The last time I took something that had significant side effects was about eight years ago. I was walking down the street where saw a sign on a building and swore it said Do not enter or trespassers will be prostituted. I wasn’t sure if I should be an example to others and not go in, or prove to myself that my body was still worthy. Because the heavier side effects that day could have been tricking, possible prostitution, jail time, and loss of family and close friends. That was one excited corner of crowded onlookers who were hoping I would drop everything and play strip poker or dance the hip hop boob and fanny flop. Meanwhile, my boyfriend at the time didn’t take anything and still experienced side effects. Just viewing a picture of Jessica Alba in a bathing suit resulted in uncontrollable manliness. I needed to find something that would settle his horny self down.

When you think about it, there are impending dangers to everything. I refrain from jogging because according to every episode of CSI, there’s a big chance I’ll run across a dead body. And with all the child protective warnings, it would have been easier just to get rid of my kids. When my middle daughter was small, I was very much aware of warning labels. For one of her playdates, I bought that moldable silicone based substance called Silly Putty which comes in original, glow-in-the-dark, glitter, and four bright colors. Yet the stuff contains colorants that could cause serious side effects of staining, and direct contact can make it stick to hair, batten down eyelashes, and be used as permanent ear and nose plugs when dried. Of course during that lovely little incident, my daughter’s girlfriend’s mother came over and saw what my darling did to her child. She had been a delightful woman in the past, until she asked if my daughter was a demon. She also inquired what I fed her child for lunch. She gave me the full facts and folklore about hot dogs claiming the meat is simply manslaughter. Little did she know the girls washed their weenies down with 100% healthy fruit juice.

To calm this woman’s nerves, I offered her a 100% hefty glass of fruit stomped juice known as wine. But she said the Surgeon General insists that if we drink violaceous substances, to be prepared for headaches so bad that we will want to scoot directly to the hospital for a brain scan. She went on to tell me the other un-dietary side effects that include devouring copious amounts of bar nuts, besides poisoning the bloodstream and explaining all the seventy made up reasons why country singers chant about love gone wrong. I almost drowned myself that day from the goblet filled tsunami of fermented relief. I turned to her teasingly and warned her, “Don’t try this at home!” After they left, I ended up reading a book to my daughter about Alice’s titillating Adventures in a Wonderbra. She read one to me called Are You My Mother?

Some memories still come so vividly to me. Many moons ago I housesat for someone who left whimsical warnings throughout his manly shack. The comical and jocose gentleman must have had a jolly time writing me those notes. I went to use the bathroom and found one near the toilet that read, This area might be lethally hazardous. But zip-a-dee-doo-dah zip-a-dee-ay, just walk away and have yourself a wonderful day. I should have married the guy. Not for his poor cleaning skills, but for his farcical talents. The gun owner even made his own warning label that read, Not only will this weapon mame you if you mess with it, it’ll hurt the whole time you’re dying. Even the washing machine had the warning, Nothing over fifteen pounds. Only a moron would try to wash the dog in a front loader. The next note was far less convincing. I proceeded to do his wash and a shirt label advised, For best results, wash in cold water and tumble dry on low heat. If I had been a laundering extremist, I would have been going for the worst results by tying the garment to the top of my car and driving it through the car wash, then drying it by speeding through town at two hundred miles per hour. But doing that could easily cause injury, frivolous lawsuits, or early onset mortality.

What if we are all forced to wear warning labels? I’m fairly certain mine would caution that I’m known to spontaneously combust and spew liquids, and I shouldn’t be left unsupervised under a full moon… or with Italian men. God forbid if I ever have a suffocation warning attached to me that says: Keep this bag away from babies, pets, and alcohol.

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR

In an unexpected moment of devotion, my doting boyfriend came up to me and said, “I love you.” I asked “Why?” He responded, “I don’t know. I haven’t figured that out yet.” I don’t always whimper. But when I do, questionable fondness is probably involved. But I am convinced that this man adores me so much that he would never use me as bait on a safari if it were a choice between him and me in a tiger attack. I like to be the reason he smiles when he knows he’s going to get eaten alive. Here is another endearing phrase he uses. “Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you.” But the relationship will continue to grow and prosper and mutually benefit both of us if he doesn’t stand over me with a pillow and a gun when I snore.

Speaking of such profound adoration, both my Dad and my boyfriend think Sophia Loren is simply the sexiest woman ever. I have often wondered out of the millions of women on earth, why Sophia? Is it the curvaceous figure? Or the fact that she wows a crowd with her movie star glamour? Is it the charcoal winged eyeliner she so pointedly paints above and below her eyes that extends almost to her earlobes and screams Here I am boys? People may not recognize me anymore once I start penciling in wickedly black and lengthy enhancers. But I suspect the good Lord did not intend for men to ogle over just one woman.

Recently my beau and I stayed in a Hollywood hotel where every elevator is plastered with actual size movie stars. You walk into one and cannot help but become enchanted by the famous highnesses of Hollywood who have you mesmerized when they stare into your eyes. After a night of moderate drinking, we proceeded back to our hotel where Casanova and I entered one of the big square hoists and he immediately zooms in on the female stars. “Hey girls,” he says followed with, “Nevermind.” As if they weren’t exactly the girls he wanted to flirt with. I asked him, “What about Marilyn?” He answered, “Nope. It’s gotta be Sophia Loren.” We walked down the hall to our room that was lined with more photographs of classic stars. I mosied by each one pointing out Greta Garbo, Montgomery Clift, Veronica Lake, and Lawrence Olivier. Then I yelled, “No way! They placed Sophia Loren right next to OUR room?? What are the odds!” I’m not normally a jealous woman. But I was in star hell that night having to share my beau with a classic Italian pin-up actress, listening to the kind of coquetry carried on by my lover and the sexy Sophia. Her smirky smile threatened to reduce me to something very much like a creature from another planet. Is it a coincidence that I brought along my current reading material Why Men Die First? I’m sure there are chapters coming up about crushes, homewreckers, infidelity, and bloodshed.

Sure, it could have been the three glasses of wine. But I had to explain to my sweet sugardumpling that when a woman wants a guy, first she has to make sure he isn’t with another woman. Then she should catch his eye and hold his gaze for five seconds. I’d say the sultry Sophia was holding his gaze for the entire time we stood there talking. Then a woman is supposed to flip her hair and walk away. I tried telling mister stud muffin that women who can’t flip their hair and walk away are needy and can clamp onto a guy like a bloodthirsty parasite. I’ve done more research on domestic intelligence than the FBI, and sometimes the smallest step of reassurance can activate the mightiest of miracles. I wondered if the aging star suffers like I do from memory loss, and if she too disguises her midriff. In fact, I wanted to go home and look into the dilapidated factors of other famous women. I tried gaining his attention back by laughing at his sleek Casanova impersonation, and restructuring the conversation towards something a little more intriguing like the Louisiana Purchase. After all, I’m no stranger to wine’s magical powers myself. I was almost sure I heard the urbane actress offer my guy a lovely lap dance.

No wonder my beau was so amorous that night. He burst into the room and grabbed me passionately. He claims it’s not about sex with Sophia. It’s more about sensuality. Even though I knew our love would burn stronger than a wired tungsten filament in a see through bulb, I wasn’t born yesterday, or the day before that. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t stay awake that night wondering about the women he dreams about. At about 4 am I told him, “Honey, it’s been three years now. I think it’s time we seriously thought about cutting ties to past loves.”

Women want trust, loyalty, affection, and no gaping at other gals. Then we will do most anything men want, except move to a remote fishery in the Yukon. As we left the room to check out, my fella said, “I’m walking right by her since I only have eyes for you babe.” That was special. I think crazy girlfriends are the best because you never know what you’re going to get. You might get eight hours of solid sleep yourself, or be awakened by a slinging of catcalls by your mate who swears she is Batwoman but looks more like a disheveled Lizzie Borden on some mission to murder somebody. I usually need seven hours of healthful beauty sleep. Ten if I’m deplorable.

According to Sir Jiminy Cricket, when you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are and your dreams come true. I thought maybe the rapturous Sophia was going to come down off the wall and have her way with my man. If that had been the case, I would have been searching that wall for Cary Grant.