Last night LB and I were watching the news -- you know, the one where Giuliana Rancic anchors -- and she announced that Bradley Cooper is her new "hall pass." I had not heard this expression before, though I'm familiar with the concept: it means the one person you would stray from your monogamous partner for, should the situation present itself.
I asked LB who his "hall pass" would be, and he got that pained expression he gets when I ask him a question with no right answer. Finally he said, "Salma Hayek," pretending to forget her name at first and pretending he had to think about it for a long time because such a conundrum had never crossed his mind. Salma Hayek is a very safe person for him to choose, being Hispanic, short, over forty, and the object of my long-time girl crush. Salma Hayek: good. Gwyneth Paltrow: not good.
It was then I realized that the "hall pass" I've had in mind for my entire adult life -- Dick Cavett -- has aged out of my comfort zone.
I fell in love with Dick Cavett as a child, as a direct result of OFD's reluctance to acknowledge that color TV was an idea here to stay and could actually enhance our television viewing experience. We had given up on even asking for color TV when finally, the picture tube on the black and white set blew. Now what we had was a large radio that aired programs not developed for radio. Still, OFD was reluctant because if we had a color TV, "We might go to the theatre less often." Years later, that would be his reason for not getting cable television.
Since shows designed for children's television tend to be heavy on the visual, cartoons and Sesame Street became infinitely less satisfying for me. Then I found a program that was all talk, and the host of this show had the most wonderful voice I had ever heard: his name was Dick Cavett. I decided I was going to marry this man, or someone who sounded just like him. Being a very young child I hadn't heard of most of his guests, but I began listening to his show religiously just to hear him speak. When we finally did get a new (color!) television set, I found Dick Cavett's appearance more than satisfactory.
LB suggested the obvious replacement hall pass: "What about Charlie Sheen?"
Tempting, but I'd be afraid Charlie wouldn't remember it afterwards. I admit there was a time when I purchased LB a bowling shirt, walking shorts, and deck shoes, but now my feelings toward Charlie Sheen have moved onto a more spiritual plane. A romantic liaison would cheapen what we have.
Perhaps it's time I bought LB a white turtleneck, and a blue blazer with gold buttons.
Moving right along: Joan has been cast-free for almost a week now, but still favors her weak and skinny left front leg. For the first three days she wouldn't even let it touch the ground, but now she forgets about it from time to time and uses it to swat Pam.
Joan is most decidedly a south-paw. I have always wanted to have a left-handed child and now I finally do...sort of. Lo, Hen and I are all left-handed, and Abel was ambidextrous before some teacher "corrected" him.
I thought it would be nice to have a left-handed husband, but have since learned the benefits of marrying a rightie. Whenever we're in a situation where we must sign a lot of documents -- like buying or selling a house -- LB sits on my left, we put the stack of papers on the table front and center, and we can both sign the same page at the same time.
Joan's not quite the ferocious pestilence she was back when she had her trusty billy club, but as you can see she still enjoys testing Pam's patience.
She has discovered the meaning of "wind-chill."
Joan is unsure of what to make of this freezing cold white stuff. She doesn't like it to touch her sacred left paw...
... but she does like getting her nose in it.
The afghan for Sabina grows and grows, and has become an awkward traveling companion.
I like imagining Sabina in her college dorm room next year, bent over her laptop, her afghan wrapped around her shoulders. When her roommate walks in puffing away at a clove cigarette, I picture Sabina saying, "Would you mind taking that outside? The afghan is in here!"