Flaxen Haired Darling

“I’m the blonde! get to be the princess!” the words echo in my mind 25 years later. The year was 1989. The location, Hillsborough, California. I lived across the tracks in the less ostentatious suburb of Burlingame. Preschool was cancelled that day due to the rain and we’d just finished watching the biggest blockbuster since E.T., The Princess Bride. When the movie commenced, we decided to play the characters. “Well, I’m the prettier one! I should be the princess!” I stomped my foot indignantly. The girl’s mother frowned and picked up the phone. I’d insulted her flaxen haired darling. Play time was over.

I don’t remember her name now, but the point is moot. Blondes learn from a young age that they are special. Now that I’m an adult, the argument is less over who’s the princess and more over who gets the guy. Instead of, “I’m the blonde! should be the princess!,” they know they already are. It’s more like, “I’m the blonde! should get the d*ck!,” and they do.

Fast forward to 2011. After just 3 months of lessons, I’m dating the hottest guy in the studio. It’s against the rules, but we are barely discreet about it. A sideways glance across the Ballroom, a giggle at an inappropriate time, a hickey in a visible spot make it glaringly obvious. All the Orange County Stepford Wives at the place change their demeanor toward me. Instead of hello, now I’m paying $900 a month to be snarled at by spoiled brats on the sidelines and disgruntled divorcees. 

The whirlwind ends and another gets him. She gets him the same way I did. She’s older; crow’s feet show the wear of her ravaged mind. She’s like them. A golden haired mold of homogeny and silicone. She broke the rules but they don’t care. They flock to the golden one. Instead of hello, they get to know her name, inquire about the kids, invite her out for drinks. She broke the rules but it’s OK because she’s sameness and I’m different. He, too, adores the golden one, and not just because of her gold. He speaks to her in soft tones. He strokes her arm like the mane of a timid puppy. He stays with her for years, buys her petty things. He becomes a live in lover, masseuse, and nanny. He does all this because the light of this golden trophy enshrouds him in the glow. Society approves of this match!

Like the raven black of my hair, I fade like a shadow on the wall, a shadow in his mind, and then I’m not at all.

OC Duds Pt. 2

The second variety of these studley duds is far more dangerous than the first. They are not after your financial capital…yet. Rather, they are testing the waters to see if you really are the BBD, or “bigger, better deal,” and they should leave their current partner to be with you. These rovers of South County already have fiancees and girlfriends. But they are unsure about committing to the woman they’ve been stringing along for years, which is where you come in. They’re narcissistic athletic types who beat the Orange County odds. They did not end up in rehab for heroin or pill abuse. They know they are in high demand. They also know that their women know it. So when they make eyes at that brunette spinner waitress at Javier’s, Barbie orders valium chasers and pretends not to notice.

My first encounter with Studley Dudley Numero Uno occurred 4 years ago when I moved to Laguna Beach from San Francisco. I worked at a trendy health food store in the area straight out of college – hey, I’m a Liberal Arts undergrad who finished school two months after the market crashed, don’t judge me – and said dud was my boss. We’ll refer to him as Phil, short for philanderer. This dud’s backstory is narcissistic to say the least: good looking half-Polynesian surfer whose natural tan is the envy of all the South County WASPs. He’s dark complected, yet not swarthy enough to be considered too exotic for the demographic. Before the grocery store gig, he used to cut hair for Toni and Guy. This was most likely the plot to be Edward Scissorhands in the land of horny housewives. Nevertheless, I should have known by his former profession and noticeable lack of bulge from his skinny jeans (yes, skinny jeans!) that he was not the man he claimed to be.

Phil had phelt up all the new-hires prior to me working there. I was a 20-something cliché: a wide-eyed, giggly girl who was enthusiastic about the future (this was prior to Obama’s four-year flop). He was tied into a relationship that would probably end in nuptials. I took his flirting as harmless small talk. A brush of the hand on my hip as he passed my register, warm breath on my neck as he stood behind and examined my cash box, sensuous baritones rippling through my ears telling me to “go to break” when it was time for lunch. He looked hopeful as he inquired, “So, what are you doing later?” “Going to Hennessey’s with some friends. You?” “Oh. Eating dinner….with…..my……….girlfriend. Andthengoingtobed. She’s rich, you know. Well, her family is. She actually works at MAC, but she’s a good investment, you know?” **insert Hipster hair flick here**

I ignored it for a while. And then I was fired up. All this back-and-forth must mean something! It’s meant to be! He’s the soulmate I’ve been searching for! He WILL leave his girlfriend for me! We WILL get married and have gorgeous mocha colored children! He would not be saying these things unless he really meant them, right? RIGHT?

It was House night at Brussels Bistro, a tightly packed restaurant turned after-hours club in downtown Laguna. I was already 3 drinks in with my friend, Russian Supermodel, and we were grooving to the beats of Sander Kleinenberg, one of our favorite DJs. Phil shows up with his arm candy, escorts her to the bar, and dumps her there with some frumpy females. He stands in the corner, disregards Russian Supermodel, and watches me dance. When Arm Candy is not looking, he approaches me. Left hand on hip, breath on my neck, sensuous baritones rippling. He hesitates. “See you later,” he says, grabs Arm Candy, and goes.

Phil is in hot water with Arm Candy. He must redeem himself, so he does what any douchey dud would do: unfriends me, constructs your standard “psycho bitch” tale, and ignores me from then on. I’m convinced that Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder and lack of bulge must be directly proportional!

Late At Night

Loneliness is a dangerous emotion. It can trick you into thinking you still have feelings for an otherwise toxic person. Daytime for me is quite routine, but late at night, the onset of loneliness takes its toll. It grates on my nerves and drives me to places of desperate unhappiness. The unhappiness turns to bitterness. I end up snapping at those who don’t deserve it and instantly regret it. “What’s wrong with me?” I often think. And then I remember.

As time passes, I realize how limited my options are in love. Dating leads to dead ends. Chemistry is lacking. One person wants something different than the other. Personalities clash and I continue to dig deeper for the great love story that Disney promised. All these dysfunctional scenarios are more damaging than the first for one reason: they lead me back to him. The scent of him on my sheets. Waking up next to him in my bed. Marathon love making sessions morning, noon, and night.

Will I find that again? My eggs dry up as I relinquish the search.