A Fox Is A Fox Is A Fox
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

As I get older, there are so many things I wish I hadn't taken for granted. 

Mainly the fact that I could make a lunch out of a thick, cheesy pizza, a colossal ice cream sundae, a party-sized bag of Doritos and wash it all down with an extra thick milkshake and never gain a single pound. 

Man, if I could do that over again, I would be at the Cold Stone Creamery twice a day, weeping as I shoved Birthday Cake ice cream fudged together with Reese's peanut butter cups, Butterfingers and brownies into my overjoyed mouth. 

And to show off my Speedy Gonzales metabolism and my long-forgotten abs, I would wear my bikini everywhere, even to church and to work and when visiting sick people in hospitals. 

I would laugh in the face of every guy who would eventually break my heart. Or better yet, I'd throw a drink in their face before they could step into their future role of slimebucket, telling them that the burning alcohol in their eyes was for the opportunity they would never get, to shit on me. I would smile as I walked away from their shocked, drippy face knowing that there was a beautiful Prince Charming of a man waiting for me just down the curve in the road. 

I would, of course, spend even more time with my father, telling him every single day how much I loved
  him and how his love and influence and song-singing had shaped my life, all for the better.

And speaking of good men, I would hop a plane to Australia, find Steve Irwin and wrap myself 
around that crazy crocodile hunter's leg, pleading with him to never, ever swim with the big rays.

Same goes for Tim Russert. I would bombard him with daily emails with the one message, "Trust me on this one, GO OUT AND GET YOURSELF AN ANGIOPLASTY REALLY DARN QUICK!!!"

Because for me, there is no more lamentable of a mourning than the loss of grace and goodness on this earth. 

And lose we did, black gaping holes of virtue, gone, with each one of those fine men.

I would relish the luxurious hours I spent in my bed, sleeping peacefully with no obligations to anyone but myself.

I would have stayed out of the sun and not taken my ivory skin for granted, pampering it 
and maintaining its lilly whiteness instead of trying to fry it into a bronzed state of perpetual tan, 
a hopeless cause. 

I would have soaked in every minute of school, relishing the lectures and the required reading and the pleasure of learning instead of just plugging away to get through it. 

Except for Math. I'll never enjoy math. And maybe geography, too. And you know, science is like a major snoozefest. Seriously, does anyone enjoy the Periodic Table of Elements? Because, if they do, I'd just like to know this one thing—why?

And I know it's awfully vain, but there was this one special thing I would have gloried in, knowing that someday it would come to an end. 

All the attentions of men. 

That's right. I'm not too proud to say it. 

I've always been a flirty girl and I have always luxuriated in the attention of a doting man. And back in the day, doting men were easy to come by, by the handfuls, unbidden and constant. 

I'm not trying to brag, not at all. It's just a known fact of life for women. It's as innate as our breathing, the certain fact that men love us. We are glorified, adored and yes, objectified by men. 

And I for one, like a little objectification. 

I'm not talking sexual harassment, here. I'm just talking about the harmless flirting, the acknowledging looks, the stream of admirers from the pizza boy to the co-workers to the dude turning his head as 
he walks down the street and yes, even the construction workers. 

It's something you take for granted until that one day, that inevitable sad day, you're called ma'am and your young flirty girl life becomes an unstoppable slide into the deep, murky pool of matronhood no matter how high your heels or how red your lips.

And please, I've already been tarred and feathered over the ma'am thing thanks to a newspaper editorial I wrote over the horror of being called ma'am for the first time. Let's just say people who are serious about their Confederate flags do not understand the subtleties of tongue-in-cheek humor. 

Among other things. 

But, as my favorite Southerner would say: That's all I have to say about that. 

There are probably some ladies reading this who are horrified at my admissions, but whatev' . . . 

I've never been a huge Gloria Steinem fan. I like my doors opened for me and I never realized how much I would freakin' miss a catcall until I noticed men were looking at me in a different way, in a "Let me help you across the street, ma'am" kind of way. 

Here's a woefully sad True Story:

One day I was in a restaurant having a lovely, lingering lunch with a dear friend. Both my friend and I noticed a gorgeous young man in a beautiful suit, sitting at a table filled with other nice-looking young dudes in impressive suits. This one guy though, with his thick, wavy hair and his sexy stubble kept staring our way. We finally realized to my extreme surprise and pleasure, that he was staring at ME. I say ME with a prepubescent affliction for a Jonas Brother, kind of squeal. 

I just knew it had to be my new rockin' jeans with pockets that are the perfect size for making my ass look 20 years younger than it really is and my freshly-highlighted "blonde" hair. 

I laughed and drank and ate with such a giggly, showy confidence knowing that Girlfriend had it goin' on since he now had the whole table of men gazing my way. 

I thought I would fall off my chair and on to my pretend 20-something-year-old ass when, as he was leaving, he stopped directly in front of me. MEEEEE!

He bent down, bringing his gorgeous face close to mine and with a big, sexy smile, said, "Excuse me, I was eating lunch and I couldn't help but notice you."

And I was all, "Uh-huhhh." Like, of COURSE you did, you sweet thing. Rrrrrrooooowww.

He cocked his gorgeous head and said, "Are you Mrs. Wrigley? Mrs. Anna Wrigley?"

I shook my head no, wondering why Mrs. was even part of the equation. 

And he saaaaiiid, "You look just like my mom's best friend. I haven't seen her in years, but she used to babysit me when I was a little boy. She made the best goulash. Are you sure you're not Mrs. Wrigley?"

The thoughts that ran through my head were (in no certain order): "People still eat goulash?" "I know who I am, assbag and who I am is not the goulash-making Mrs. Wrigley and you've got something brown in your teeth which I am totally not going to tell you about." And most importantly, "I am either going to throw up or burst into hysterical tears and then go buy myself some orthopedic hose and wrap-around shades, draw the curtains and not bother to wax or moisturize ever again."

It was a dark day, Internet. 

But then, a wonderful thing happened. We had a little gathering at our house, a small, informal gathering. And when I say that, what I really mean is, one night our close group of neighbors all got together and had a little too much wine and cocktails. It was an impromptu progressive cocktail party, for wont of a better description. We started out at one neighbor's house and halfway through the night, ambled over to another neighbor's house and at the end of the night, the whole drunken crew ended up at our house for some late-night wine, because we all really needed more wine by this time. 

One of our neighbors, a tall handsome pilot and a dear friend might have had a toxic amount little bit to drink, but I know this has nothing to do with the outcome of where I'm headed. 

He asked if he could use the bathroom and as I led him to the bathroom, I realized one of my Dung Beetles had been using the bathroom as her personal Dung Dump. I quickly threw her makeup and straightener under the sink as he objected to my fussing. As soon as I finished my quick tidy, I turned to him with a smile and told him it was all his. 

He smiled in that admiring way I'd almost forgotten and said, "You're really cute, you know that! I think you're really cute."

Now two things here: He was not in ANY way saying it in a lascivious, lusting kind of way. He was just stating an opinion. 

And two: The fact that he was slurring his words had nothing to do with his ability to have clear and astute observations. 

I shyly thanked him and reminded him to sign our bathroom book. It's a little book someone gave us as a present long ago, a book for guests to sign while doing their business. It has served up some amusing mementoes for us along the way, especially when wine is involved. 

I didn't think about it again, until a few days later, when I was cleaning the bathroom. I spotted the book and quickly flicked through it, curious to see what sort of gems our partygoers had left. I didn't notice anything new until I was about to close up the book. There, on the back page, sat all the affirmation I need to keep me going for the rest of my days on this earth:

It did not matter that he was using a term last heard in the 80's. It did not matter that a large amount of alcohol was involved. My dear, lovely friend had seen beyond my crow's feet and my fake ass and had expressed his true feelings.

I called his wife to let her know her husband had made my day. She, in turn, called him, cracking up. He said, "I did what? And who calls anybody a fox anymore? Why didn't I just say she was hot?"

It doesn't matter, my friend, that you don't remember writing such flattering words or that you called me a small, furry mammal. It's there in writing for all the world to see. 

I walk with my head held high today, knowing someone thinks I AM A FOX! 

I might just frame it. 

Today's Definite Download: Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'." Such an awful, fabulous song. 

And I'm gonna go down fighting the ma'am in my highest-heeled dang boots. 

"These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do
one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you."

A little somethin' for my restaurant friend with the brown shit stuck in his teeth. Don't mess with Mrs. Wrigley or you'll get a stiletto in the eye and some rat poison in your goulash. 

"Are you ready boots? Start walkin'!"


Mrs. Ohtobe said...

Man girlie - at first I thought you were taking the My Sharona's singer death a little too seriously....and frame it hell: I would rent a billboard. I don't think I have ever been called a fox; now or in the 80's....fox no, other canine critters yes. LOLOL Anywho you brighten my day and had me snort laffin as always through your posts.

The Furry Godmother said...

Get on down with your Jimmie Hendrix foxy layday self!

Oh! I wish I had appreciated my flat abs and long legs back then! Youth is wasted on the young...

Tiffaney said...

Joann, I can always count on you to bring a smile and make me forget the &^%$ people I'm dealing with on a certain crappy project that shall go nameless but ryhmes with -- oh never mind. THANK YOU. And BTW, you are the epitome of hawtness! ;)

sandra said...

Oh, that is too sweet. And the idea of a guest book in the bathroom!! I think you are foxy, hot or whatever else you would like to be called. Bono will be all over you once he meets you!

Suburban Correspondent said...

I hear you, sister. Flirting makes the world go 'round.

I posted the YouTube video of that song once - it's a kick! (no pun intended)

Lisa said...

Love this!

I miss the old days too - the able to wear a bikini days. Sigh. I really, really miss them. And I hate my old self, because my old self used to whine about being fat and having a big butt when my ol self only weighed about 100 lbs! I'd like to kick my old self's skinny butt.


You go, foxy lady!

rockygrace said...

Sad to say, several years ago I reached the age where hot young guys would only consider me if they were drunk. And that's just creepy.


Insanitykim said...

HAHAHHAHA this was a great post! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I am pretty sure you're the one that put the GRRRR in...wait, what is it again? Dang. I can't remember anymore. Oh! Is it tiger? No. Cougarrrrrr...wait, is that a compliment or not?uh

Sigh. Someone help me.

confused homemaker said...

I wish I could back to my teens & early twenties & shake myself silly. I would have worn that bikini everywhere. And fox is still a hot word, it's in again. Like leggings.

Betsy (zen-mama.com) said...

I enjoyed reading this! I love that you have a bathroom guest book! What a wonderful idea!! I'm here from the SITs Sharefest

le Chef said...

Oh hon, you make me laugh! Glad I found you through SITS .. I'll be back - and I don't mean that in an ominous way.

Unknown said...

This was just great. Really. For my part, I love the periodic table. I think it is fascinating that, with everything there is in the world, everything can be boiled down into those identified elements. That's insane if you think about it!

Anonymous said...

Wow - thank you for visiting my blog this morning - your story about your dog made both my husband and I teary - that is quite a beautiful story!!

Not only was your story powerful, your blog is absolutely awesome!! And all thanks to SITS!

I hope you publish your book, if the way you write on your blog is any indication, the book will be a bestseller!!

MrsBlogAlot said...

Joann, this was fabulous!!! Loved every line!!!!
Does my heart good I say!!!!

Took me a while to stop laughing over you going everywhere-including visiting sick people in hospitals-in a bikini!!!!

I am so glad that I've found you!!!!

Dawn in D.C. said...

I was just yesterday lamenting the fact that I didn't appreciate my figure back when I had one. *sigh*

Now I just smile and look at the girls and know they, too, will someday lose all the perky they are taking for granted.

Lula Lola said...

I'm with you! I wish my bathing suits didn't have skirts now! Ugh! Though, my last paying job was pushing a lemon twist cart in a bikini. Like 19 years ago.
You're bringing "foxy" back!

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