Can you tell I use a tanning salon? (If you have to ask, the answer is yes.)
Sunday, December 21, 2014
My job is a perfect fit for a fiction writer. As a luxury-hotel concierge I speak with hundreds of people each day -- and, from behind my desk, I watch thousands. I spot patterns and trends and behaviors. During slow times, I dream up back-stories about the people I see.
I've come to realize how adept we humans are at the art of self-deception, all in the name of vanity and self-esteem:
*Remember the Comb-over? The guys who would grow their hair very long on one side of the head, then flip it over the shiny, hairless scalp, covering the bald middle and coming to rest on the other side, like a blanket of hair? Well, the new version of this is called the Stand-up. Guys keep the hair cut short then gel it so it stands on end, as if they've been electrified. (Perhaps this is intended to represent virility?) Gentlemen, I regret to inform you that you're actually accentuating your baldness. You may look in the mirror and see a full head of hair, but what the rest of us see is an act of futility.
*And to those who use tanning beds: Ladies, your skin looks orange-caramel, as if you're glowing from within. It does not resemble a natural tan in the least. It does not say "Palm Beach." It says, "Tanning Salon in the Strip Mall by the DSW Shoes."
*My own vain lie: I try to suck my gut in most of the day, but I realize from occasional photographs that I am failing miserably at this. (Can the pulling-my-pants-up-to-my-sternum-to-"hide"-my-gut be far behind?) Ditto with my double chin. I have to wear a tie to work, which constricts the flesh of my neck. When I am looking down at the computer, typing, and I feel the attractive guest looking at me, I think, "Well, I've still got it!" But what she's really thinking is: I hope my husband never lets himself go like that."
Behold the new Hipster trend
Monday, November 17, 2014
Because of its huge creative class -- and an abundance of direct flights to both NYC and LA -- Nashville often sets trends. Many call it America's Third Coast. It had a popular speakeasy bar even before the first one popped up in New York. The cupcake-shop phase hit here 10 years ago and, while popular elsewhere, it has grown stale in this town. Our Entrepreneur Center, which helps train young adults in getting their businesses off the ground, is burning so ferociously that the leaders from Berlin, Germany came to visit, and Google has set up shop in Nashville to help them.
Which brings me to Hipsters: those anti-establishment, bearded and pierced and well-flanneled food snobs. (And the male version of hipster is usually very skinny, even wears skinny jeans. They are the Un-Jocks.)
Until now. Something is happening.
I've seen a trend in the two gyms I frequent here in Music City. And what I'm seeing is a growing number of hipsters on the free-weight floor. (And, yes, some of them work out in their flannel shirts). I'm not sure what this means. Is Hipsterism dying? Is it morphing into something else? And please note the significance of seeing them on the free-weight floor instead of the weight-machine room. The latter is for toning, the former is for getting big.
At any rate, it's intrigued me enough that I'm working it into my book-in-progress.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
My newspaper columnist mother writes about her life with the bravery of a warrior. She sometimes writes about cringe-able moments like "getting my boobs smashed" at her annual mammogram. Once, shortly after she quit smoking decades ago, she publicly shared how her gynocologist, in the middle of giving my mom her pap smear, raised her head and remarked, "Joy! You've quit smoking! When were you going to tell me!" (Evidently, she could tell by the state of my mother's tissue.)
So ... in Hudler fashion, I present you with this report on Viagra.
It's a wonderful drug, a wonderful EXPENSIVE drug, and while I have not found it necessary in my post-50 years I have found it ... umh ... helpful. And since my wife's previous employer's health insurance covered a good chunk of the cost of the prescription, I thought nothing about it.
Then, she retired. And we started using my employer's health insurance, which apparently doesn't cover such elective prescriptions.
"It's, uhm, $219," said the twenty-something young woman behind the counter. (She actually cringed when she said it.)
"What!?" I blurted. "I don't need two hundred of them."
"It's, uhm...that's, uhm, the price for ... six."
"Six. ... Sixty?"
"Uhm...six ... Do you have any questions?"
"Yeah ... how many more years until that patent runs out?"
From my truck, I texted my wife: "Please tell me that we are worth $36.40 a pop."
"I'd pay $50," she answered.
And here they are, in all their splendor, displayed in a manner they so justly deserve:
Inexplicable Dislike #335R2
Sunday, September 28, 2014
'Not sure why, but I've always hated seeing this in my own house (No offense, darlin'... really, I do like you helping around the kitchen, but...)
A wet dish rag resting on the isthmus (look it up here; great word) of the sink. Maybe I don't like it because it reminds me of the doilies grannies used to put on the backs of their sofas. Or is it because Our Nanny From Hell, described in "Househusband," did this every single day?
It's a mystery for sure.
Amazing-but-true Animal Feats! Example #225E5
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Submitted by a reader: These photos of a very-smart bunny engrossed in one of my books.
'Even turns the pages by himself, although he does need a little help holding it up.
(Give that bunny a carrot, Taylor!)
No, it's not your imagination
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
I smell something fishy in the men's hygiene department:
1. Deodorant sticks are being made shorter. (They run out much sooner than they used to.)
2. Bar soap is being formulated to evaporate much more quickly. (Remember when a bar of soap used to last months instead of weeks?)
3. The bristles on Sonicare toothbrushes are wearing down and disintegrating faster than they used to.
4. Toothpaste tubes are not as full as they used to be.
We are witnessing a covert operation of deception: manufacturers of hygiene goods have crossed the line of greed.
I am onto you.
I'm about to go all Michael Moore on your ass!
Ask the Concierge: Question #447A
Saturday, August 30, 2014
What is the most-often-forgotten item that hotel guests fail to pack?