Monday, March 28, 2005

Real men don't wear pink.

It's a Wednesday afternoon - maybe 2 o'clock - and my friend Will (who I've decided not to leave nameless in this piece) has skipped down the stairs of a New York brownstone. We have left our small group and are making our way to the train. It is gorgeous out; still too cold to go without a jacket, but apparently nice enough to skip down the stairs.

I am waiting for Chris at the top of the stairs and I watch Will looking around for the garbage bin. I see the bin, but am enjoying my lofty position and Will's determined pursuit. He is peeking over someone's stone wall, looking around the gate, slinging the white plastic bag full of Chris' bathroom undesirables all over the place. (Luckily it was a Hefty Hefty Cinch Sack.)

He looks up at me and notices my smirk. "Do you know where the trash bin is?" he asks accusingly.

I divert the question and ask him if he has a sister. He then admitted to the fact that not only did he have an older sister, but she enjoyed making his youth miserable, especially by forcing him to play "dress-up", (a game I've always loved). I couldn't help but smile. Here is a grown, married man, frolicking around the sidewalk and shouting his cross-dressing experiences up to me... Not his strongest hetero-moment.


I can't help but think back to putting my little brother through the same torture. Barbies were great, but Matt?! Now that's a doll for you! I would take Mom's old dresses and find the perfect look for him: business wear, casual, stripes, heels, etc. I would don something too, - a dress, some blue eye shadow, (okay LOTS of blue eyeshadow) - but nothing was more exciting than seeing my brother's bowl cut accentuated with a sash tied around the head, or his pout marked with bright red lipstick.

He would oppose to the entire game, of course. I can still hear his quiet little whimper, "Sissy, do we have to play this again? I don't like wearing dresses. What if somebody sees me?"

However, he was dealing with the Propoganda Queen and I would promise to play trucks or build a fort or play Atari later... anything to get us through the make-over. (Just as I had no sister, he had no brother, so these deals worked at the time.)

This got me in loads of trouble with my dad. "He's a boy!" our macho father would say. "Go outside and play, Matthew. Alecia, I've told you and told you that your brother is a boy. Matthew, get back in here and change clothes first! You can't climb a tree in your mother's dress! Agh! Alecia Kaye..."

Now, this man has assumed that I am ignorant of my brother's gender. (I am totally aware that he is a boy: No. 1. He definitely has cooties. No. 2. He hates My Little Pony - of course he's a boy.) I just needed someone to play dress-up with and he was the logical choice. I mean, Bobbie Jo was still a baby and Mom never looked miserable enough in her make-up. Nope. Little brothers are the just the best targets when it comes to this sort of thing.


Chris finally comes downstairs and the three of us head to the train. I've got to work a pretty long shift, but man, I'd give anything for another lazy afternoon at home with nothing to do but force my little brother into shoulder pads and pencil skirts. Ahhh, those were the good ol' days indeed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Another Blog

Hello darling readers!

My friend Ellen Hagan and I have our own Blogspot called BECOMING WOMAN (yes, just like our show).

We've been writing in it and I would like to direct you to its whereabouts. It's a little artsier, but you may find some things you enjoy. Go ahead - expand your mind.

Who Dun It?

"Miss Scarlet in the Lounge with the Knife."

My roommate April says this with confidence and I cringe because I'm sure that it's Miss Scarlet and I'm positive that it's the Knife, but how did she narrow it down to the Lounge so quickly?! Agh! She is smug as she opens up the small manila folder marked Confidential. Her lips stretch into a slow, evil grin as she peeks at the cards inside. We know she is correct. Maggie has strep throat, which she was treating with apple martinis, and therefore couldn't care less who dun it, but I was fuming. How could April-Smiley-Face-Bell be a better gumshoe than me? She didn't even know what a gumshoe was until I defined it for her at the beginning of the game!

As they shuffle the cards for the second game, I call for a small break while I make peanut butter cookies; April spills her apple martini into Maggie's freshly made guacamole. I am thrilled by the accident as they have tried to force me into having a martini and trying the guac, so as both things green are ruined, I am left alone to enjoy cookies and milk. As April scurries around to clean things up, Maggie checks her email and I finish polishing my cowboy boots. The kitchen smells of comfort.

As Miss Scarlet, I get to roll the dice first when we resume Clue. For the first time in the evening (since the spaghetti devouring) there is silence. We are comfortable together: three girls thrown together in a cozy apartment in the most confusing stage of our lives in the craziest city in the world. I look at April's furrowed brow as she concentrates on her suspects and at Maggie's closed eyes as she fights off the sickness she's feeling; I almost feel Home.

I ask them, "Do you ever think that this is how life is supposed to be lived? A board game, a dinner, an entire evening without interruption - just shared with people who love you?"

"I think that a lot."


I wonder, then, if the dream I am chasing that my family and friends call "brave", should instead be labeled "blind". I wonder, then, if I left the dream behind.

When I lose the second game to a semi-drunk and very sick opera singer, I realize that a career change is not in the cards (pardon the pun). I should stick to the things I'm good at, writing and acting, and continue living this dream - wherever it leads. And maybe, fingers crossed, I will perform or create a masterpiece that will leave the world wondering, "Who Dun It?"

Sunday, March 20, 2005

In an interview, dated March 18, 2005, Jerrod Pace (when asked why he badgered others into writing in their blogs while his remains utterly stagnant) replied with an annoying whine,"I'm tired of blogs. Blogging is sooo February."
My dad always questioned me bringing home a Corbinite, but how did everyone see it but me? I'm engaged to a Valley Girl!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Identity Theft

I love those CITI CARD commercials. (One might assume that, since I have 2 CITI cards, I love the institution as well, but this is not the case. I'm just a sucker for credit card debt. That and ice cream - can't seem to say no to either.)

But I really love those identity theft commercials. For those who haven't seen them, I'll try to explain. The commercials open with some stereotype (tough guy, grandma, mom, etc) who is speaking in a voice that doesn't seem to belong to them, and they typically talk about expensive activities that you wouldn't expect them to be involved in. This is because the voice we hear actually belongs to the person who stole their identity and used their credit cards, leaving them in financial ruin while the aforementioned thief lives a grandiose, adventurous new life.

Now, for the record, I see NOTHING funny about identity theft. But the commercials are cute.

I gotta share this: I know a little something about new identities. Most of my life, I was Alecia. Alecia Kaye to my dad and grandparents. E-K to a cousin who had trouble with all three syllables. But Alecia was the standard term used to address me. Late in college, a friend of mine dubbed me A-Whit... as in the first letter of my first name and the first four letters of my last. This was after A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez the professional baseball player) and before J-Lo (Jennifer Lopez the booty icon). A-Whit really caught on and even my fiance calls me that. A-Whit. I like it. Fine.

Okay, so now that I live in New York, allow me to explain that neither Alecia nor A-Whit seem to work for my fellow employees. The Bangladeshis seem to have it down okay, but even the Americans have trouble remembering ALECIA vs ALICIA.

Correct: Alecia (uh-leesh-uh)
Incorrect: Alicia (ah-lee-see-ah)

Jose, the pastry chef at Sardi's, has been practicing for months and has made miraculous improvements. He finally realizes that my name is only 3 syllables, although he still needs to work on his pronounciation: now, instead of saying Alicia, he shouts "Hola Aleecha!" with the biggest proudest grin you've ever seen. I cringe, nod, and we work on the "sh" sound.

The French chef just plain doesn't try, constantly referring to me as "Kentucky" (pronounced ken-too-kee) which I find to be a cute nickname. State pride.

Two bilingual American guys refer to me as "whitey", "snowflake", and/or "wonderbread", which I find to be a bit on the hypocritical and not so politically correct side, but deal with.

Ever since getting engaged on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, an older Chinese man named Kim calls me “Star”. Now Kim is soft-spoken and shy, rarely speaks unless spoken to, but as soon as he catches sight of me, a big smile unfolds from under his thick mustache and he always bows his balding head a little bit and says, “Hello, Stah!"

My favorite nicknames, however, are from the Mexicans, Ecuadorians, Dominicans, and Columbians:

Carino: dear (pronounced ca-reen-yo)
Muneca: doll (moon-yay-ka)
Rubia: blonde (roo-bee-ah)
Preciosa: precious (pray-see-oh-sah)
Princesa: princess (preen-say-sah)

Juera: white chick (wear-ah)
Flaca: skinny (flah-kah)
Reina: queen (ray-een-ah)
Loca: crazy (low-kah)
Linda: pretty (leen-dah)

I pretty much answer to any thing that is shouted at me, (which could be cursing for all I'd know). The thing is, I just got my roommate April a job at Sardi's. Although they usually call her January, March, or May, I did overhear a kitchen guy refer to her as juera. I seethed. Identity theft really is the pits.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Golden Period

The unfortunate truth is that I don't look good in hats. I've tried several varieties: trucker caps, baseball caps, toboggans, cowboy hats, beanies, visors, berets... you name it, I can't pull it off. I'm not sure if it's my ears, my thick hair, or my large head. I think it may actually be a combination of the three.

This Christmas, my mother bought me an awesome winter coat, accompanied with a scarf, set of leather gloves, and black winter hat. Now, I see the hat and think, "Why did Mom even try? She knows I look like a bum in hats. People actually offer me the spare change from their jeans pockets when they see me in a hat."

But 'tis the season for miracles and incredibly, the hat fit like a glove - (Not to say a glove would fit on my head or that my fingers would be as nimble in a hat, but you understand the metaphor, I'm sure.) Quite snug, and impossible in a pony tail, but if I pulled it on using enough force and kinda flattened my hair, this hat became a beautiful part of me. I loved the hat... wore it every day. Not only did it keep my head warm and block the harsh winds from freezing my ears off, but I somehow managed to look normal.

So on March 9, 2005 around 11:30am, I found myself on the 1, 9 platform searching my pockets. It was a little chilly in the subway tunnel and my ears longed for their protector. My search, however, was frugal. I was finally hit with a sordid image:

Twelve minutes before, I had taken off the hat to eat a sandwich on the subway. A man was looking at me hungrily, (staring I should say), so I moved to the seats "reserved for handicapped" so that I could put my back to him and munch away. Well, being disgruntled that I didn't offer him a bite, he must have giggled with glee when he saw my beautiful black hat sitting alone on the yellow seat - abandoned - lost forever.

The lamenting in the following hour and a half was intense. I am trying to tell myself that the hat has probably found a new home, but then the thought of the hungry man nibbling on its soft brim leaves me in great angst. I have decided against children; I mean a hat is one thing, but what if I forgot my child on the train?! Also, I have decided not to attempt replacing the hat. I need the time to mourn first, and I think of the last two and a half months as "The Golden Period".

I now pray for a speedy spring.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Packing Up

In the silence of our embrace,
I hear you whisper your fear.
Your confession is not from your lips,
but it seeps through the lines on your fingers as you trace my spine.

You are holding me tight. tight.
Ask me not to leave with the pounding of your heart,
beating against your chest so hard that
I think it wants to break free and spill out all over mine.

The regret in my hazel eyes tells you
that I have to leave. Your pretty blue eyes darken,
like a window shade being pulled down,
andI see them water before you shut them tight. tight.

I peel myself off of you like a Hello name tag when the convention is over.
I need to pack. You adjust the covers so that you can see me,
watch me fold you up into your red suitcase:
black button-up you bought me for Christmas,
sweater so soft you can't stop touching,
stiletto boots, jean skirt, red lace bra, zip-up hoodie.

You ask me if I think you could fit in there too.
I look up to see if you're joking, but the crack
in your voice and the frown on your trembling lips
reveal that you're not. Reveal the pain you are trying
to tuck under the covers tight. tight.

I whisper my fear, too.
You hear it in my footsteps as I leave.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Missus

I'm ready to be a missus.

Not ready to go home, but excited to build one with him.
Not ready to forfeit this dream, but open to entertaining a new one.
Not ready for children, no matter how hard he wishes.

But I'm ready to be a missus.

Look forward to practicing new recipes and then calling out for pizza.
Look forward to painting walls that will provide refuge for our love.
Look forward to each new day's kisses.

I'm so ready to be a missus.