Friday, June 27, 2008
A few figs from thistles...
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light.
Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!
So I'm having a lovely and non-sensical chat with my mother about my hypothetical tattoo dilemma. I do not have any, and will probably not ever have any, because I'm freaking petrifed of needles and need to be distracted at the doctors office by puppets and promised ice cream in order for them to take my blood. Also, if I did in fact have a tattoo, I would drive myself insane trying to coordinate my outfits around it. Because I'm like that. However, I still like to postulate about what sort of tattoo I would get were I to get one which I won't. My mother sometimes worries that I am serious, and reminds me of my 8th grade plan to get a butterfly tattooed on my ankle (I know.) and also how cool I thought my naval ring was at age 15- and she tells me that it's just a bad idea anyway, because they always end up looking dirty somehow. I will add here, that when I was 17, she said I could get a tattoo, but only if it was a giant battleship across my chest.
My current idea is that I would get a tattoo of two figs- which, I explained to her, would be problematic because they'd probably look like balls... and that would take a bit of explaining, I would imagine. Oh, and possibly somehow the poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay would be woven in- but even though it's quite short, it would still be a lot of words. This was my problem with trying to figure out a Dorothy Parker related tattoo. And who feels like explaining who Edna St. Vincent Millay is every day of one's life? I imagine it would be exhausting, and difficult to do without sounding pretentious. Where would I even put these figs? Why am I pondering this?
So, anyway- I tell her I came up for the idea when I decided recently that were I ever to have a daughter, which I won't because I'm too selfish and squeamish about biological things- I would name her Vincent- which would be neat, because a) That's what EVM called herself, b) it's the last name of my dad's best friend, who I'm probably closer with than most of my relatives, c) I would be keeping a long standing family tradition alive of people being named Vinny, and d) I like boys names for girls. Oh, and her middle name would be Ray or Rae- after my grandfather and my favorite uncle (and my mum, I guess, since that's her middle name as well).
My mother agrees. "That's why I named you Robyn. I also like the name James for a girl."
"Ooh- that's a good one." I said, "Except it would remind me of the Elvis impersonator's son* and also of that one guy I dated who got all "Why aren't you being funny?? Waaah!" After I lost my keys and fell in a puddle."
"Maybe you should join a convent?"
"I know, right? Oh, I also like whatever Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland's names were in that one movie they were in that wasn't 'Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte'"
"Oh, yeah, that movie! What are you even talking about, are you on drugs? You sound like you're on drugs" (Spoken by a woman who gives directions based on where things used to be. I digress.)
"No- give me a second. Um... you know, they're sisters and they both have men's names, and Bette Davis steals Olivia de Havilland's fiance and ruins everyone's lives? And Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen are in it too?"
"Oh... I think I know that one. I can't remember what it's called. Is it the one where she says "What a dump?"
"No, no- that was another one- the one with Joseph Cotten. Give me a second- it'll come to me."
"You go do that, hun, I have to do laundry"
"Ok- I'll talk to you soon. I own it, I know it's somewhere, I'll go check."
Ten seconds later, I call her back...
"It's In This Our Life, and their names were Stanley and Roy! I like that, I think Stanley is a neat sounding name for a girl."
"Oh, that's Obama's mother's name."
"Crazy! Who knew!"
"Oh, you're right, I did."
"Maybe you should go drink some coffee?"
*Back when we lived in Massachusetts, we lived next door to a creepy Elvis impersonator. True story. The whole house was like a shrine to Elvis, except this one little section that was the wife's little shrine to Dolly Parton. The whole family was frightening. Maybe I'll tell you about them some other time.