Hairballs and Fridge Dolls

February 29, 2024
3 mins read

Author Hugh Prather said, “No matter what we talk about, we are talking about ourselves.” Whoa, nowhere to hide?? Normally I work with safety harness and a spotter, but I’ll start this off with a mention about the Victorian series, Miss Scarlet & the Duke, and its plot line of female ambition in a man’s world. Big deal, so I watch PBS. I could stray off center with a lengthy ramble about the blue lighting and stage sets. Yawn. But hold on, there’s a progression here. Let me spike the punch by admitting my TV is smeared with hand prints from the weekly rabid pawing at both characters’ impossibly tidy hairstyles. Look out; I’m on a roll… and enough with the sexual tension already! When will those two yahoos finally jump in the sack?? Oh boy. Intended or not, every breath yields self-disclosure in all its glory… and its hairballs. 

Can you stand another quote? Ralph Waldo Emerson in The Poet: “It is in me, and shall out. “ I love that!  We slither through life, leaving a shiny, mysterious trail like upright snails, each moment being a snapshot of us. (Does this shell make me look fat?) Right now we’re sharing a bit of suspicious slime I created from a pile of words that slugged it out to make the final cut. And jeepers! As usual I’m surprised at a few twists I never see coming. So here’s my slime selfie, make of it what you will. I’m okay with it, but your mileage may vary. Welcome to DILLIGS, aka “Does It Look Like I Give a Sh*t!?”

QUESTION: Isn’t a dating website like a gallery of self-portraits? 

DILLIGS: More like an online costume party in the fun house of “buyer beware.” To deal with deception, invest in a decent decoder ring, and abandon ship if you hear scary music. We can now spit-shine our avatar with no risk of self-betrayal by in-person quirks, gruesome social skills and inevitable sweat stains. Be thou merciful, O Goddess of Obfuscation, and grant peace, if not a match, to lonely souls who doth shun both reality and spell-check.

QUESTION:  At a restaurant we sat near several stone-faced silent men dressed in camouflage. Would that be a group portrait? 

DILLIGS: Well, birds of a feather seem to flock together, but do we really know why? Were the men aware they could be seen as Armageddon bunker rats hoarding barrels of mac-n-cheese? Did they dress alike because their sewing club scored a pallet of irregular cammo fitted sheets? Were their “stone faces” revealing despair when the buffet ran out of raspberry crepes? Were these gents silently processing a shared vulnerability after confessing secrets? Juicy stuff, of course, like Todd’s “Get thee behind me, Satin” lingerie preference; or Jason — he of the baggy cargo pants — upping his game with a Brazilian Butt Lift. After bragging for years about my BBL, I’m stunned to learn it’s not an imported cigarette holder, but a trendy implant surgery on our rear bumper. Holy hippos! No wonder I got funny looks. 

QUESTION: I don’t paint or draw, but my home decor is a self-portrait, isn’t it?

DILLIGS: Sure thing, darlin’, even the doodads we slap on the fridge reflect ourselves: the goofy photos; yellowed cartoons; and inspirational items like my magnetic Michelangelo’s “David” and his array of outfits. To reign supreme over the fashion world of a fridge doll is, frankly, intoxicating.

Our self-image bruises easily when we’re young, and in high school I was appalled that classmates had written in my yearbook that I was “a sweet girl.” Although I was no longer smitten with martyred saints, being “sweet” was the teenage kiss of death! Panicked, I anonymously added, “Be good to the boys this summer!” In hindsight, I had settled for a Band-Aid instead of grinding out a useful algorithm to harness the emerging superpower of cleavage. Oh well. Let’s just say that train has since left the station.

Nevertheless, I’m still racking up many “trophy case” achievements. Why, lately I’ve been known to throw my arms up in a victory pose after sucking back a sudden line of drool before it hits my shirt. What a dandy example of “It is in me, and shall out.” Lightning reflexes may not be what Ralph had in mind, but I takes my glory wheres I can.

Mary Tompsett © 2024   

Since 1995 have written for numerous publications. Two previous humor columns: POSING AS NORMAL, and THE VILLAGE IDIOM. Won a few contests. No fame, no big money, but having a blast.

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