Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ambien and Fireworks

The pharmacist at the DiscoKroger really didn't want to let me pick up my Ambien without an ID today. I suspect she was even less inclined when she saw the contents of my basket, which consisted of two lemons and a lot of fireworks. Something about the look on my face must've conveyed to her that things would not go well if she made me walk back home to fetch my driver's license. (I might've found a new home for those sparklers, one not to her liking.)

I couldn't possibly walk another block out of my way today. I am definitely a summer girl, not a winter girl -- but I have my limits -- and this week's heat has done me in.

As much as I love all the fairs and fests and cookouts and picnics this time of year, it requires a lot of coordination.

For example, I have to balance the need to hydrate against a refusal to go near a Porta-Potty. (I take that back: I have been inside the Porta-Potties at a few Swanky McSwankerton parties -- but those are real bathrooms with real doors and real plumbing -- they just happen to be mounted on trailers parked in the middle of verdant pastures. They have flowers and candles, and mostly I just go in them to take pictures...which is sometimes frowned on.) If I have reason to believe there will not be indoor plumbing that meets with my fastidious approval at any venue (whether it's a disgusting bar or a music festival), I go before I leave home. Barbara Walters has always said the secret to her longevity and success is her capacity for never going to the bathroom, and I think, in this one area, I can match her. If there is a story to be had, it is unlikely I will miss it because I was in the restroom.

In this heat, however, it wouldn't take anyone long to dehydrate... further complicated by the fact that I don't sweat. Neither does my Mom. It's a genetic thing. There's a name for it, but basically, we're like pigs. We don't sweat, we just overheat until we pass out. My former manservant, HopSing, used to always chide me for this comparison, "why can't you say 'we're like gazelles?'" or anything that would call to mind a more pleasant image than hogs, but my answer was always that I don't know anything about gazelles. I bet they do sweat. But I know pigs do not. As a kid, I was often in charge of hosing them down whenever we had to transport them from Point A to Point B if it was hot out. If they had to be moved very far, it meant a very early start to the day. I have also been hosed down a time or two myself, as has my Mom.

Then there's the shoes. I prefer to walk everywhere in the summer, but that's balanced against my vanity and my need to wear cute shoes. Walking is much easier than struggling for parking spaces and fighting traffic -- but it's impossible to find attractive footwear that can go the distance.

Last night was fine at the rubber-chicken/drinking-for-charity dinner -- I wore kitten heels and parked across the street from the hotel. Because it all could have hardly mattered less once we got inside and realized a drag queen was wearing the same dress I was. That never happens. Although we speculated later that she must have gotten three or four and sewn them together, or that perhaps she rented hers from Fayette Tent and Awning -- and they planned to have a wedding (or a funeral) underneath it later.

The next day's Fest was equally blistering, but conveniently, there was a margarita booth. Sure, they were $437,000 each, but darn well worth it. It was a crazy-long hike, but at least the shoe-problem was solved in that attendance at this particular fest was predominantly lesbian -- stereotypically, but perhaps not unfairly, not known for their discriminating footwear choices. Comfortable shoes were entirely the dress-code mandate of the day, and my 24-year-old Birkenstocks held up just fine, and easily translated later to an afternoon of artsy picnics, followed by late-night burgers at a bar.

I have a lot of indoor plans for July 4th weekend, but I'll do my best to be a good sport for the outdoor stuff too -- how else would I get to overhear parade conversation like Chef Tom's comment yesterday, reflecting on band days, "why did we elect 13 cheerleaders every year? Because at least one always got pregnant."

I just hope somebody's standing by with a hose. (Somebody always is.)

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