September 4th, 2008
I have an eccentric friend. You know the ones? They’re so delightfully weird, that you just could listen to them for hours. I haven’t talked to my friend for awhile now, we’ve been so busy, we live 150 miles from each other, and general life gets in the way.
We spoke for the first time in months last night, and I remembered a few of the many reasons she engages me so — her turns of phrase and nicknaming of persons, places and things are so inventive and hysterical that I stand in awe. But most endearing are her food comparisons. I don’t even think she’s aware of it, but her descriptions always involve cuisine, and are by turns, frightening apt, brilliant and bizarre.
One of my favorites was when she talked about a recent breakup and likened herself to a McDonald’s tray, saying, “…So I’m the tray and there were still some fries left on it, and he just dumped the whole thing in the garbage. You know how you do? Just nonchalantly slide the whole thing in the trash with one hand under the tray because you don’t want to touch the ketchup-smeared, crusty swinging garbage can door?”
Didn’t really make sense to me either.
But then it kinda did.
But it’s classic, classic Carolyn. She put me in stitches last night when she talked about her bout with shingles. In excruciating detail, she compared her shingles skin to various food stuffs, with each food representing a shingles stage. First her skin looked like “pork rinds,” and then “grilled cheese pizza,” then that same cheese pizza “with all the cheese pulled off it,” until it settled into a mottled “corned beef hash,” appearance, before finally reaching its healing stage, looking like “duck liver pate.”
Oh man. When we worked together in the early-to-mid ’90s, she would often deliver these edible similes in a trademark Blanche DuBois meets Susan Lucci voice that would have been right at home on Saturday Night Live. Pretty soon, we both started talking to each other this way, kinda like a “Wwweyelll, what do we hyave heyare? What are you due-wyan’gg?”
You had to be there (are you even still heyare??), but it was soap operatic, and twangy and Golden Girls and hysterical.
Then the nicknames. High holy hell. I was “Dodie,” and her sister was “Puppy,” and her good friend Robin was “Mal” (delivered in the Blanche voice, which came out “Ma-yall.”
So anyway, I was just thinking about Carolyn today. She’s been a good friend to me for a long time, and is a single mom because her dippy husband drank too much and was a layabout and she’s having some troubles with her second-grader, and had to put her father in assisted living and she deserves a break.
Would ya-ah think good thoughts for heeyar?
Thank ya very kindly,