Que Sera Sera

Blatantly Ripping Off Dooce:

How to charm me: suggest with a completely straight face that what my mother needs for her birthday is a WWF Smackdown calendar for her locker.

Happy Easter:

Today we went to my aunt and uncle’s house for lunch, and then my dad and I hid the eggs for my cousins’ kids, ages 4-9. Afterwards there was some soccer and bubble-blowing and wine and cigars in the backyard, and although some people had the gall to tell me that I suck at soccer, you must consider the source, and especially consider that this particular source at one point this afternoon laughed so hard that he wet his pants.

Human Nature:

I know I’ll run into my ex-boyfriend at a mutual friend’s party tomorrow, and I know his new girlfriend broke up with him last week. For the past two days, I’ve been imagining our conversation:

Him: Hey. How are you?
Me: Good, you?
Him: Well, X and I broke up, actually.
Me: I’m sorry to hear that.
Him: Yeah, I’m sure you are.
Me: Don’t flatter yourself.

This conversation will not take place, at least not anywhere near this form. And I was the one who broke up with him, over a year ago, and I’m happy and swoony over someone new now, and I honestly wish him the best. So why have I spent the past few days perfecting my nonchalant delivery in the bathroom mirror while I dry my hair?

For the same reason I still have scathingly triumphant conversations in my head with X, that bitch from middle school, I’m guessing.

Cruel Semi-Irony:

Some days, when I’m feeling so inclined, I use a large curling iron to flip out the ends of my hair—a la Sandra Dee, only a tad more punk rock. While doing this yesterday, I incurred my first-ever curling iron burn.

I actually never owned a curling iron in middle school, when big bangs were all the rage. (I, sad sack that I was, used my mother’s hot rollers to achieve my do, which probably accounted for its lackluster height.) I also never incurred any hickeys in middle school—not sure if this is something to be proud of or not; they always seemed pretty tacky, but hey, so is French kissing on the church bus, and I wasn’t above that back in the day. Hell, I’m probably not above it now, were the situation to arise.

Anyway, my fresh curling iron burn is right in the traditional hickey spot on my neck, and I’ll be damned if it looks just like one. This is so unfair! Whenever people actually got hickeys in middle school, (and by “people,” I of course mean Samantha Micelli on Who’s The Boss?), they were always busted by trying the curling iron defense, because it never looked like an actual curling iron burn; it looked like someone sucked their neck until the blood vessels burst. So why does mine? Is this life’s way of reminding me what a huge dork I was in middle school?

I’ll say it again: I will never be cool.


Based on a quip to Brian in the car the other day that I was rather proud of, I’ve decided that if I had to design one T-shirt with a slogan to wear for the rest of my days, it would read:

Your misspent youth is not my problem.

So Let it Be Written:

I always look forward to this time of year, not for the bunnies and chocolate and redemption, but for the airing of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. It’s such a sprawling spectacle—Egyptian eye makeup! Vincent Price! A young John Derek as Joshua, presumably before he fit any battles. And a script based on the old testament! You just don’t get that anymore. Not to mention Yul Brynner as the Pharaoh Ramses. God, do I ever love me some Yul Brynner.

One year, they didn’t air it, and I pitched a fit, so my family actually went to Blockbuster and rented it. Two tapes. Four hours long. Everyone but me fell asleep, drugged by the Easter ham, long before Charlton Heston’s beard turned white. It’s best for the first and third hour. The whole finding-God-in-the-desert part is boring, but the Egyptian court and the plagues are awesome. It’s all worth it just to hear Anne Baxter purr, “Moses, Moses…”

Jewelry Revelation:

When someone is living with you, even if only for a week, new worlds are opened up to you, and one of those worlds is being able to leave the house wearing bracelets.

Hey Beavis:

Is it bad if you’re more of a thirteen year old boy than your beau, who actually once was a real thirteen year old boy? Words or phrases, misheard or not, that made me lose it this weekend: crack infection, butt cancer, Mount Gaylor.

Things that made him lose it this weekend: me losing it to crack infection, butt cancer, and Mount Gaylor.

Major Cute:

Doing a Google search on your own name uncovers gems like this, this, and this. Not to mention this oddity. (Who knew?)

Also: I have got to get a better nickname.

Odds and Ends:

Best Friend Ever:

Tonight I am attending a Natalie Merchant concert with my friend Laura. I hate Natalie Merchant. I don’t care for her music, not one tiny bit. When I was a freshman in college, my roommate and I had one steadfast rule: she wasn’t allowed to play any Natalie Merchant while I was in the room, and I wasn’t allowed to play any Green Day while she was in the room. (Hey, it was 1995. I was young and confused. I had a weakness for loud immature boys.)

Anyway, Laura’s not really a big Natalie Merchant fan either. This all came about because her boyfriend suddenly got a job in Arizona and left within the same week, and while I was in the midst of comforting her, she mentioned he’d bought her tickets to a Natalie Merchant concert for Valentine’s Day, and now he won’t be here to goooooooo. Like any caring friend, I said, Don’t worry; I’ll go with you.

Stupid stupid stupid.

She brought it up again this week, and I said, “Wait, are you really going to hold me to this? Besides, They Might Be Giants are playing here the same night! And since when are you a huge Natalie Merchant fan?”

She got excited and said, “They Might Be Giants! I love them!” Then she became solemn, as I guess many Natalie Merchant fans are wont to do, and said she really felt like she should go, since they’re like second row seats and it was such a sweet present and he’s so far awaaaaaaaaaaay.

Second row: that means we’re close enough for Natalie to see me rolling my eyes.

The Evolution Revolution:

Last night, while walking through the mall:

Emily: Why are there two Bath & Body Works stores here?

Sarah: I can’t believe they’re still in business. I mean, doesn’t everyone in existence own every single one of their products by now? Every teenage girl in the world smells like goddamn raspberries.

Emily: Maybe it’s so widespread, people will just start to evolve that way.

Sarah: You mean, we’ll be born with hair that smells like apples and skin that smells like freesia?

Emily: Complete market domination.

Sarah: Scary.

Say YES to the universe:

I love this.

Meeting Cute:

This weekend, my indie rock next-door neighbor found my tiny diamond earring that had been missing since January in our dryer’s lint filter and returned it to me. This morning, while lying in bed, I felt something poke my leg and retrieved a guitar pick from between my freshly-laundered sheets, which I returned to him.

If my life was a romantic comedy, we’d end up together and Bounce would sponsor our wedding.

Ladies Room:

As I walked into the restroom at the movie theater, two barely-teenage girls happened upon me. That’s the only way to describe it, because while they were shy, they didn’t say “excuse me,” but they weren’t loud or sudden or anything. They were tiny, with braces and lip gloss and long shiny hair and Abercrombie & Fitch baby tees. They couldn’t have been a day over thirteen. Anyway, I walked in, and one said, “Can I have a dime?”

My first instinct was to ignore them and keep walking, since most strangers who start conversations with questions want to tell you about Jesus, but then I realized what she’d said and decided to be coy and playful. “That depends,” I said. “What are you going to spend it on?”

They both got a strange look on their face, and one turned pink and pointed to the tampon and pad machines on the wall.

“Oh,” I said, and opened my purse. “Wait, do you just want one? I have one, if you want. Which one were you going to buy?”

They got an even stranger look on their faces, and looked at each other, then back at me.

“You can say,” I told them, smiling. “It’s okay; I’m a girl, you know.”

I thought they both might just die of embarrassment at this point, so I handed them the dime and walked on. As I went back to my seat, I recognized the look on their faces while I was talking: it was that look you get when your mom says anything, and you’re thirteen. You could die of embarrassment from anyone talking, including yourself. And then I realized: to those girls, I was a Lady! As in, Go ask that lady. I’m too young to be a lady! I still call moms in turquoise ski jackets ladies! I can still remember the feel of lip gloss and braces! I’m only 24!

No use. To them, anyone out of high school may as well be 35. Was it wrong of me to offer a tampon? Was that creepy? I was just trying to help a sister out! I bet they ran out of the bathroom and shrieked to Tiffany and Jamie, Oh my God, there was this crazy lady and I told Amber to ask for her a dime and she did, and then the lady tried to give us a tampon! Out of her own purse! Oh my God!

I will never be cool.


Today I babysat for R, age 5, and she told me her list of top five fears: vampires, hot lava, time outs, zombies, and people walking on glass.

I find these all to be very reasonable fears.

My top five fears, both rational and irrational, are alligators/crocodiles, being buried alive, choosing too soon, choosing too late, and sharks. And probably hot lava, too, now that I really think about it.

With Old Age Comes Wisdom:

1. At the grocery store, I bought some Froot Loops on a whim. I haven’t eaten Froot Loops in at least a decade, and in my absence, there’s been some major changes. Where did the green, blue and purple come from? What happened to the yellow? And what the hell is a striped lemonberry?

2. Sitting at the stop light in my black Honda Accord, bored with the radio, bored with my music, bored in general, I notice the sign outside the body shop that reads “Flame Kits $99” and think heeeeeeeeeeey.

Sick Day Revelations: Some Tips, from Me to You.

1) Do not attempt to watch TV to soothe your cough. You will only end up aggravating every other fiber of your being. In the 17 minutes that I withstood it, I witnessed the following unspeakable horrors:

a) Someone let Queen Latifah have her own talk show. I recall Martin Short and Howie Mandel and that girl from Wilson Phillips who got all of her fat sucked out having one once as well. Did I miss the day they were evidently just handing these out with bags of Cool Ranch Doritos at Target?

b) Do they still make Cool Ranch Doritos? If they don’t, I’m going to feel really old, because I remember when they first came out with them. I even remember the commercial for some reason, which involved some vacant Southwestern adobe in the moonlight and the “sparkles” of Cool Ranch flavor floating in through the windows.

c) This is sad. This part of my brain could be used for so many other purposes, like which direction do you turn your tires when parking on an incline, or when you use “lie” and when you use “lay.” Instead, I remember tortilla chip commercials from 1986.

d) There are about a million commercials announcing that there are now live bunnies at the photo place, so come get your kids’ Easter portraits with them today!!!!!!!!! I wish that instead, there were live tigers. That’s an Easter portrait I could get behind.

e) I don’t even know when Easter is this year. And I don’t recall ever having an Easter portrait. Does this make me a heathen? I do, however, recall several unfortunate Easter hats my grandmother and mother bought me when I was growing up, only they called them “Easter bonnets,” just to sharpen the humiliation, I guess. Who wears bonnets, besides Little Bo Peep and the Amish? Six year old Sarah Brown, that’s who.

f) They weren’t actual bonnets. They were ugly hats with flowers or ribbons on them. I was the Jackie O of the neighborhood come Easter Sunday. Just wanted to clarify.

g) Oh yeah, TV.

h) There is some show called “The View,” wherein four different shaped, sized and colored but equally awful women grill one poor guest (today, the weird guy who kind of looks like Fonzie from Law & Order Special Victims Unit) while they sit around on big overstuffed couches and drink coffee and hoot and act like they’re all on a fucking estrogen drip. Who lets these people represent my gender? They should be taken out to the alley and beaten senseless with cheesecake and Oprah books in hardcover.

i) What time does Sesame Street come on?

j) Not soon enough.

Weathering on:

We have about 5 inches of icy snow on the ground, which is usual in Oklahoma in March. Typically we’ll get a light early November snow, a few days’ worth in December or January, and then one last blast in March. I love snow, but it’s so much more charming in December than March. March snow is like the boyfriend who cheated on you and then sends you flowers after you’ve already written him off. What, you again? You already had your chance, didn’t you? Now get out so I can get on with it.

Confidential to teri_2@webtv:

I just saw The Count of Monte Cristo, and I’m with you on this James Frain thing.


John: Everyone and their mother is a web designer.
Sarah: I know!
John: I’ve found my perfect job: Lackey.
Sarah: Sweet!
Sarah: I found my perfect job: Baby Namer.
Sarah: Kind of like a Jewish matchmaker.

A little help here:

Can anyone tell me the name of the illustrator whose work always involves Christina Ricci-looking girls, Abraham Lincoln, and KFC? I’ve googled the hell out of that combination, and I’ve got nothing. Also, I think he did the cover of a Michael Jackson album.

UPDATE: Mark Ryden!

I Heart NPR:

Slow-moving dinosaurs! The Hubble telescope! Richard Feynman! Another radio host named Ira! God, do I love Science Fridays.

Quirky! Zany! Flaky!

I sat through Leap of Faith last night on NBC, and aside from it being a second-rate Sex in the City knock-off with a bland heroine and completely wasting Ken Marino from The State, it made me realize how many sitcoms begin with a girl running out on her wedding (Suddenly Susan, Friends, Will & Grace) and into her quirky new life. Why is this supposed to appeal to me? So she’s a spineless neurotic mess who couldn’t decide against a major life decision without meeting another guy first? And now I’m supposed to give a fuck about her?

Maybe I shouldn’t have broken off that last long-term relationship before he proposed. Then I could have run out of the church in a wedding dress, attractively frazzled, into the loving arms of my wacky friends (the Ditzy One, the Married One, the Horny One) and my zany new life, where I, without fail, work for an advertising company.

This is why I watch The Vicar of Dibley instead.

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