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April 1, 2005

Knitting, car talk, and self-help

Shannon and Jen came over for dinner, Survivor and knitting. And drinking, which I think should go without saying. (Judgers: Diet Coke.) (Everyone else: Red, red wine.)

Shannon was appropriately impressed with the Kitty Pi. Thank you, thankyouverymuch. I meant to light the grill and make barbecued hamburgers and have a nice dinner for my guests. Instead, I served them the following:

1) One bag of Ruffles Potato Chips
2) One bag of Reese's peanut butter cups from Easter that were 1/2 off at Ralph's
3) Alcohol

The key to having a successful gathering is to always get your guests drunk enough that they don't care what they eat.

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In this next pic, Jen looks like she's wearing the Crystal Palace "Splash" scarf I made her because she loves it soooooo much. Actually, I phoned her ahead of time, "Bring that scarf I made you that you never wear so I can take a picture of it (you ungrateful wench)." And she was like, "Uh, I would wear it if it were, oh, you know, ever colder than 71 degrees (you neurotic wacko)." It's so good to have friends who understand you.

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Jennifer saved me yesterday when I had car issues. Here in California, sometimes you have to get your vehicle smog checked and get a certificate that says you passed the inspection before you can receive new tags. The lottery for who the hell has to get a smog certificate is the world's greatest mystery. This year, of course it happened to me. OF COURSE. With the way my luck has been this year, I knew as soon as I got the letter from the DMV that I would fail the smog test and have to spend one million dollars and some change to get my Jeep fixed. If it could be fixed. 'Cause that's the kind of year I'm having.

This should come as no surprise then:

smog-fail.jpg

Also, I discovered something new about myself on this journey of fucking self-exploration I seem to be on because try as I might I cannot avoid this journey, anyway, I discovered that now the way I handle bad news is to cry. Uncontrollably. So when the nice man at the smog check station came out to tell me I had failed the smog test, I cried. Like a baby. Because I am three.

As it turns out, however, being blonde and sad and crying while throwing in a "My husband is divorcing me and I don't know how to fix car things..." makes people feel sorry for you in a Blanche Dubois kind of way. It's magic the way they will do ANYTHING to get you to STOP CRYING right now, because really, please, I WILL DO ANYTHING if you just please STOP CRYING LADY PLEASE. The poor fellow at the smog station called a friend at a filling station down the road who can fix my car, and I took it there and he said he can indeed fix it right then and there and it will cost one million dollars but at least I have finally, Thank God, STOPPED CRYING.

However, while I have finally stopped crying (for now) I am stranded in Studio City with no car. For hours. And since I have to spend one million dollars to fix my car I can't really go shopping. So I called Jen and she came to meet me.

Jen: Where are you?
Me: I'm in the bookstore in Studio City in the self-help aisle.
Jen: Um, ok, anything good?
Me: I'm reading "To Love, honor and betray."
Jen: Nice.
Me: Also, there's "Why Men Cheat" and "What Men Are Really Thinking" and my favorite, "Why Men Love Bitches."
Jen: Self-help is a load of shit.
Me: Don't you want to know why men love bitches?

And so on.

So she came to Studio City and rescued me from self-help, and we went to Starbucks and drank coffee and smoked until my car was ready. And then I had an epiphany. About men and relationships and car trouble and what I really, really need. (Not that I ever want another relationship, because I don't, because I am a bitter old hag, but anyway, see fucking self-discovery exploration above, nothing I can do about it.)

You see, I have major car issues about three times a year. Without fail, I will get into a crash/get my car stolen/have a wheel fall off my Jeep and there is nothing you can do to avoid it. I have Bad Carma. This is just the way it is.

In the past when my Bad Carma flared up I would call Mr. X, crying, and he would be completely, utterly UNHELPFUL. Anti-helpful, really. Me: "(sniffle sniff sniff) My Jeep has flames coming from the hood." Him: "Uh, why are you calling me? Did you call Triple-A?"

Shithead.

Anyway, the point of all this is that Jennifer, who is a tee-tiny little thing and knows just as much about cars as I do (zero) came to my rescue in the exact perfect way that Mr. X, in eight years of marriage, never did. She said the magic words.

"Where are you? I'll be right there."

You see, Jen can't fix my car. But really, how many men can fix your car, anyway? You just end up taking it to a mechanic. None of us has a clue. That's fine. I don't need you to fix my car (I have Triple-A, THANK YOU SHITHEAD.) But you need someone to say, "I'll be right there." I need someone to say that. It's so easy. All a man has to do is hear me, on the phone, crying like a little girl with a broke-down Barbie Jeep, and say, "I will be right there. Then we'll go get drunk." This is easy, folks. It is not brain surgery.

And yet this was not mentioned in one single self-help book. Self-help my ass.

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Posted by laurie at April 1, 2005 8:21 AM