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2003-07-20 | 11:52 p.m.

corduroy licorice's pillow had a hole in it that was leaking feathers. no wonder he had been feeling down in the mouth every morning.*


only girls will care about this, but i found the cutest dress on a sales rack this sunday. a red and white seeksucker number sporting little appliques of a sassy sailor girl paired with a skull and crossbones. plus, little red anchors on the white buttons running down the front.

as i admiringly placed my pirate's booty on a hanger in my room i thought to myself:

"i'm only beginning to realize how cute this dress is."

speaking of pirates, to whichever movie studio honcho who thought of making johnny depp a high-seas hooligan i must say: thank you and god bless.


this weekend i officially became old. what transpired to create this landmark in aging? i attended my 20-year high school reunion.

while i hesistated about going even on the drive down, i'm really glad i showed up. sometimes i'm amazed by my ability to show up.**

the night before the to-do, i went through my yearbook to refresh my memory of faces and names and any meaningful events that had slipped out of the portal of my brain. a stroke of genius, i tell you what. it really helped me i.d. the alumni, since so many looked totally different.

weight gain was the main thing that altered familiar visages. the gaunt, but good-looking guy i had had a crush on since fourth grade wasn't so much overweight as puffy-headed. like a macy's thanksgiving day parade inflatable was floating above his shoulders. i didn't even know who he was until a more informed classmate clued me in.

hair color changes in the girls were a big red herring, too, although i was the only one with red hairing. most of the chameleon tressed gals went bleach blonde with mixed results. most of the high school beauties had kept themselves looking lovely, although there was speculation about some plastic surgery enhancements here and there.

from a urologist to an unemployed amusement park ride operator, everyone had found their own path in life and seemed more comfortable in their skins. and less clique-y than they had been at the 10-year reunion--thank goodness a decade didn't pass without some kind of mellowing effect.

the biggest mind-blower of the evening for me was talking to a guy who i never thought would make much of himself. he seemed directionless and unmotivated back in the day. turns out he's a surgeon now. not too shabby. he's part of a battlefield response crew for the military and told some pretty harrowing tales about his work in most of the hot spots that have become household names over the past several years. somalia. kosovo. baghdad.

while he reassured me that he's never been shot at personally, his partner has three bullet dents in his kevlar helmet as a memento.

he explained how he has to pretend he's canadian when not on his home base in europe since the u.s. is now seen as an international bully.

it made me happy to hear that he is no fan of dubya, even though he is a member of the armed forces and is risking life and limb to heal others in the service.

he personally has done about 150 amputations on u.s. soldiers and iraqi p.o.w.'s who have been injured in bomb blasts since the invasion of iraq. one female soldier lost three limbs. i wonder if rummy would have pushed for the war if part of the bargain was that he'd have to give up an arm and leg for the cause. methinks not.

he told me about his happy marriage and asked how my social life was. when i explained i was single, he told me to feel free to fly to his base and he'd introduce me to about 2,000 lonely soldiers who the euro gals won't date.

i guess i could think of it as my one-woman uso show. a little song, a little dance, and 2,000 uniformed men willing to get in my pants.

i've had worse offers.

*thanks to jenny j for pointing out that this corduroy licorice is a blatant ripoff of a line in the movie mary poppins. as i told jenny, i'm not sure what to be more embarassed about--being a humor thief or not having seen the cinematic classic. apologies on both counts.

**while i'm apologizing for stealing, might as well say sorry to tv zero for lifting his movie quote gimmick, but extra points for getting that movie reference.

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