Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The True Test of Manhood

Do you ever find yourself in a place, where normally it is not acceptable to be, but then you have a genuine reason to be in that place, but everything inside you says you shouldn't be in said place?

Let me explain.

So, I am in a play and have to wear make-up. And for the first time in my life I have had to go to a place that feels so foreign to me, The Make-up Aisle.

I get so self conscious in the make-up aisle, as soon as another human comes walking down the aisle, I bolt like a startled deer. No joke, I have made three separate attempts to buy the required make up and have ended up running to my car in absolute panic, rocking and crying in the back seat.

So yesterday, was the final day I could go to get my make-up before the our dress rehearsal. So I drove to the Walmart, took a deep breath and plunged into the make-up aisle.

I was immediately overwhelmed with the the selections, colors, and different items of make-up for purchase.

Wouldn't you know as soon I walked in the aisle that a friendly Walmart sales person approached and said, "Sir, can I help you with anything?"

Inside  I wanted to say,
"Yes, you can. Can you just look at my skin tone and tell me, am I a Nude complexion or Nude Beige? Cause I want to say I am a Nude Biege.

Also, what is the difference between an eyebrow pencil and eye liner because they look like the same thing. 

If I need a light "blush" what does that mean? 

And can you show me what you have in a more masculine lip stick?"

But being a man, I said, "Nope, I think I got it." Which was a complete fabrication.

So finally, after 2 or 14 hours in the Cover Girl aisle, with various cosmetic products and equipment in hand, I headed to a cashier for a dreaded check out.

So I laid out my sundry of cosmetic items on the conveyor belt and just prayed she would just ring me up without making eye contact...like all Walmart employees do. But no, she looked at me and said, "Are you buying this make-up for your wife?"

Why would she assume it was for my wife?

I wanted to say, "Look Michelle, no it's not for my wife, it's for me, OK. I am in a play and I am playing the role of a 20 year old, and guess what? I am 40, so excuse me for trying to hide my crows feet and the dark circles under my eyes with a little concealer . And another thing, a lot of famous, masculine actors have to wear make up, people like David Bowie (may he rest in peace), Pee-Wee Herman, and RuPaul...OK, maybe these are not the best examples to site. How dare you  make the assumption it was for my wife, madame. I am a man who wears make up and I am not a shame!"

What I really said, was, "Um, yep, it's, a, for my wife."

It takes a big man to stand alone in the Cover Girl aisle, friends, a big man. And I am a big Man!

Maybe I am born with it.
Maybe it's Maybelline!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Blind Date Add On

So the other day my coworker was trying to line me up on a blind date, as all good coworkers do.

She gave me the typical run down about this girl she wanted to set me up with, how we had a lot in common, how tall she is, how she had like two masters degree and knits bandages for Syrian refugees, etc.

And then she added this little caveat which seemed oddly out of place, "Oh, and she is really pretty, but my husband thinks she looks like a witch." 

"OK, Yep,...wait, what was that?"

"Yeah, my husband thinks she looks like a witch. But you are going to love her."

So, I am not an expert on setting up people, but you might not want to lead off with the phrase, "I want to set you up with my friend who looks like a witch." In fact, leave the similarities to her being "witch-like" out of the conversation all together. When you describe your friend as a witch, you are driving a nail into her "blind date" coffin, or driving a stake into her heart, if she is in fact a witch...or is that a vampire, it's hard to say.

Even if this women was the most beautiful women in the world, the men that go on a blind date with her will spend the whole evening trying to figure out why her friend described her as a witch, because men are pigs and are superficial that way.

Any way, I am really excited for our date. I can't want to see if she is a good witch or a bad witch.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Bell Ringer

Do you ever go to Wal-Mart and your entrance and exit strategy is correlated upon the location of the Salvation Army bell ringer?

Now don’t get me wrong friends, I believe in the Salvation Army and all the good they do, but seriously who carries around cash any more to drop into the bucket?

And let’s be honest, it does cause some unnecessary guilt when I don't donate, for which I do not need at this time in my life.

So what do I do? Well like most Americans I simply avoid the cause of pain and discomfort by completing avoiding the Bell Ringer all together.

So as I pulled into to the Wal-Mart I noticed the Bell Ringer was stationed at the east entrance, so naturally I walked the extra hundred yards to the west entrance. And I chuckled to myself, “This is too easy, how cleaver I am?”

After I finished my shopping I was heading for the west exit, when to my shock, guess who was stationed in front of my only escape from the Wal-Mart?

Yes,OK, well yeah…obviously the Wal-Mart greeter was there…who in and of itself is a bit of an obstacle to avoid, but no, the Salvation Army Bell Ringer had moved and was blocking my exit, armed with his little bell and red bucket!

His gaze met mine and his eyes seemed to say, “I know what you did to avoid me and so help me I will beat you down before that ever happens again. Now you shall not pass until you drop in your pennies three.”

So for whatever reason, and I know this sound childish, I hid in the pharmacy until I could sneak out in a large group without making eye contact with the Bell Ringer. 

From behind I felt his gaze burning into my back. And I know that if I didn’t make it to my car in a hurry he would shot lasers out of his eyes and kill me, ala the sphinxes in The Never Ending Story.

But I say, until the Salvation Army puts debit cards on the sides of their buckets I shouldn’t feel guilty.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Awkward Car Pool

So I was out in Elberta, UT, "cow country" for those of you from the city. It is was OUT there friends, we are talking 1 hour and a 1/2 from modern civilization.

After I had finished my work there, a man approached and said that his wife had dropped him off at work that morning, but he was "in charge" of finding a ride home, and wondered if I could give him a lift.

This is awkward for a couple reasons. First, who leaves their spouse to find away home an hour and half away? And who asks a perfect stranger to drive them home? And who in their right mind would consent to drive that perfect stranger home?


Before we proceed with this story I must tell all my gentle readers that I am not a "talker". I am a great listener and am extremely good at making sarcastic quips, but "chatty", I AM NOT.

I have 7 really solid conversation starters, but once I have maxed those seven questions out, I am done. If people like to talk, these questions are great and usually can fill silent space for about 2 hours. After that...it is uncomfortable silence...which I cannot stand or tolerate.

So we start driving and within, oh I don't know, 5 minutes into the drive I have maxed out my 7 conversations starters, and are sitting in absolute silence...loud, uncomfortable silence.

So I start panicking and sweating, because I am not sure what to do. So I just started some rapid fire questions, hoping that something would land and a conversation would ensue.

"What is your family like?"
"Do you like Star Trek or Star Wars?"
"What kind of TV shows do you like?"

To which he responded:

"They're fine."
"I like Dr. Who."
"I don't like to watch TV. I like to read instead."


So now I feel such terrible anxiety about the awkward silence happening in my Corrolla that I have sweat through all my clothes, my heart is racing. I just want to open my car door and roll  onto the freeway, because that actually might feel better then the socially awkward experiment happening in my car.

"Why isn't this man trying to talk to me?"
"Why isn't he asking his 7 conversation starters?"

I was kind of mad at him, nay, I was furious at him.

So I finally dropped my little friend off at a family activity at Thanksgiving Pointe.
After he shut the door he gave me a dollar for gas and said, "Thanks for the ride. I really enjoyed getting to know you."

To which, I responded, "Thanks friend, I had a great time too. If ever you need another ride, please let me know."


I love that in my ability to be polite, I completely set myself for another day of awkward silence. To which I am happy to report happened the following day.

Solid work, Robierto, Solid work.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Long Walk

So, I was asked to give the opening prayer in sacrament meeting on Sunday. A relatively easy assignment that fills me with complete anxiety. The praying isn’t the hard part, but rather the timing of the walk up to the podium fills me with shear anxiety.

That walk up to the podium is tricky because you have to leave at the exact right moment during the last line of the hymn. If you leave too early you are left standing on the podium awkwardly waiting for the last strains of the hymn to come to a close. If you leave too late there is a very loud and awkward silence after the hymn and people start looking at their watches and clearing their throats to indicate that they are not happy that you are wasting their valuable prayer time.

So there I was sitting in my seat, singing the last verse of the opening song, prepping for the long walk to the podium, debating when I should make my move.

OK, the chorister is leading really slow so I could probably wait a couple more seconds, and leave right when we start singing the last three words of the song. Wait, how far back am I sitting? Um, let’s see, if I used my thumb to measure…OK, I am about 100 thumbs back…divided by 12, I am about 25 yards back, I have plenty of time…Wait, what is that breeze? Oh no, I am getting a strong westerly breeze coming in from the foyer. I better leave now…OK I am going”

So I make my move. I am going at a nice clip and I still have two more measures until the hymn wraps up.

I could see in the eyes of my fellow parishioners a look of, “He is making his ascent a little too soon. He is going to make his arrival too early” but I caught the eye of the organist and he seemed to be waving me in.

I excitedly took my place at the podium right when the last chord of the hymn was played and the chorister was sitting down. I am not going to lie to you, it was a great moment. I was doing inward toe touches and cheering in my head.

I did get a lot of strange looks after I came down off the podium. Apparently, the congregation doesn’t love it when you spike the Kleenex box like a football, but whatever. I did good work friends…good work.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The "I Don't Have Time to Do Fun Things, Because I am Doing Amazing Things with My Time" Friend.

So I invited a friend of mine to attend a movie this weekend.

His response, "Oh I wish I could, but I have so many things going on. I am working on my Masters degree, during the day,  home schooling my children in the afternoon, and then our family knits bandages for Bosnian refugees in the evening."

And this is my favorite part..."You are so lucky you have so much free time on your hands that you can go do things, like go to the movies."

Which, if you really think about it, is a back handed way of saying, "The things I am focusing on are so much more important, then what you are focusing on in life."


Obviously, my friend hasn't seen the movie trailer for "Jurassic World" because, friends if he had, he would put down his knitting and realize that the greatest issue that requires our time and attention today, is the issue of genetically enhanced dinosaurs threatening our way of life in the United States...or Isla Nublar...which is part of Costa Rica...which rhymes with Puerto Rico, which is a part of the United States...and that spells Trouble. With a capital "T" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for "PTERODACTYL".

I mean, you talk about issues that need addressing, how about "The Great Dinosaur Infestation of 2015". I don't feel like we can stand idly by, while our dear friend Chris Pratt battles to keep our borders safe from man eating dinosaurs. I can't...I won't.

And besides friend, if the dinosaurs do attack, there won't be many Bosnians left TO bandage, I can tell you that right now.

Man, my friends priorities are so messed up.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Phlebotimist Blind Date Request

So here is something that happened to me last Saturday that has troubled me lo these many days.

I went to go give blood as I am oft to do, because I am an amazing person who gives of himself. As part of the screening process, as you may know, you are required to go into a tiny room, well more like a closet, to go through a very rigorous screening process and answer some very personal questions.

So there I was, sitting literally knee to knee with this phlebotimist, trying to make awkward small talk about things like, oh I don't, how uncomfortable I am with being in tiny spaces with complete strangers, when I let slip that I was "single". Now, I am convinced no one should reveal among those who are married, because when that little nugget of information is out there friends, you know a blind date invitation will soon follow. Am I right?

As predicted, she put down her stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, and said, "Can I ask you a personal question?"

"Sure", I said, knowing what her next question was going to be.

"Can I set you up with my sister?"

Now, let me press pause here friends. Don't you think that is totally weird? I mean this women doesn't even know me. For all she knows, I could be smuggling pandas illegally in the country or have a dangerous addiction to crunchy Cheetos, she doesn't know

I mean, what does this women really know about me? Sure, she may know my sexual history, where I have traveled in the last 3-6 years, if I have been to jail in the last 12 months, had a tattoo or piercing, what medications I am currently taking, and my blood pressure...OK...that is...that is actually some good information to have about someone. Even still...

It is one thing when friends and family members try to set you up, but I will be darned if I will allow my phlebotimist to be one of those people.

Needless to say, I turned her down cold, which resulted in a very painful blood draw. Never make a person with a needle angry. Can you even draw blood through someones forehead? It's hard to say really.

Any way, people are getting pretty sloppy with their set ups.
Let's tighten that up people.
Tighten it up.