I have yet to experience a peaceful Thanksgiving at the Winkelman house. After twenty-some years, I should probably stop hoping for one and just accept the fact that there will be screaming and pan-throwing while I crawl into a bottle of pinot grigio…
…which, in writing, reads terrifyingly like a deleted scene from “Precious.” I assure everyone, it’s not. Think more along the lines of a classically dysfunctional sitcom holiday, and you have my usual Thanksgiving.
This year was even complete with the cliche dinner rolls that were burned on the outside and somehow completely undercooked inside. Apparently that actually happens in real-life now (so if you feel like inviting me to Thanksgiving dinner next year, maybe you should just put me in charge of bringing the wine and keep me far away from the oven).
Backstory: When I’m in New York, I have a long history of scheduling dates immediately upon landing. That may sound like I’m either a) a voracious maneater or b) rather desperate, but I figure that I need to eat anyway/need a cocktail to calm my airplane-shredded nerves so why not use such time to my advantage? In 2008, my date met me at my hotel and noticed my copy of “Lucky” on the nightstand. We’ll just call him “Self-Absorbed Asshole” to protect his identity here.
Self-Absorbed Asshole: Ooh what are you reading?
Me: Oh…just a Jackie Collins novel. Plane reading, you know. (Lies, all lies! But I wasn’t about to tell my date—a self-proclaimed writer—that I had an entire shelf devoted to the works of Ms. Collins in my bedroom. Writers are so touchy about her novels and the people who read them. Personally, I think they’re fabulously entertaining so long as they’re not the only thing one reads, but I digress.)
Self-Absorbed Asshole: Who?
Me: You don’t know who Jackie Collins is? Are you sure you’re a writer? And gay?
Self-Absorbed Asshole: *blink blink*
Me: She’s Joan’s sister.
Self-Absorbed Asshole: *blink blink*
Me: (picking my jaw up off the floor) Joan Collins? “Dynasty?”
Self-Absorbed Asshole: Oh! Isn’t she dead?
That kind of sacrilege is pretty much a deal-breaker for me but I was either a) ridiculously horny or b) a glutton for punishment, so I didn’t feign a headache and escort him to the door, as I probably should have. I ended up having to pay for my own drink at the bar that evening and was even the unwilling recipient of a lecture on the evils of drinking.
There’s a lesson to be learned here, but I’m not 100% on what it is exactly. Let’s just chalk it up to a) “Chivalry is dead” and b) If you want to see me naked, know who the Collins sisters are and shell out the $8.50 for my drink.
On the topic of Camille Grammer using all of her SAT words on last night’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills:
Me: Ugh this wench is using all of my favorite words! First the Big M (Machiavellian), now “petulant.”
Lillie: No! Stop having things in common with that evil bitch!
Me: She’s stealing all of my words!
Yes ladies and gentlemen, I apparently own words now and I don’t like hearing them misused by gold-digging strippers. If she uses “facade” in an upcoming episode, I may be calling Bravo and demanding compensation. Maybe sexytimes with Andy Cohen, I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet.
I wish my dermatologist had a punch-card program. Maybe something along the lines of every 10 visits gets you a free round of Botox. That would certainly provide more incentive for me to grace their offices every 3-4 months. Thoughts?
"If my hypothetical man ever proposed to me while I was wearing polar fleece and sneakers, I’d stop the proposal cold to change into something more glamorous. Or at least get naked because I would still feel better about that look. Thinking about it now, my proposal should take place somewhere romantic like in bed…or at a gorgeous restaurant with a sparkling view of the city. Or Saks Fifth Avenue. Those are all Justin-approved places."
Yes, this was my response to this week’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and Cynthia’s flustered proposal moment (“I have to go put lashes on! It can’t happen like this!”). Gentlemen, take note.
Just because the economy is currently dead on a slab in an ice-cold morgue somewhere does not give us the right to toss etiquette and courtesy out the window. Let’s take a look at the conversation I had with an unnamed employee at an unnamed company just yesterday, shall we?
Me: Hi, Ms. X? This is Justin Winkelman, I’m just returning your call about the possibility of setting up a job interview.
Ms. X: Who?
Me: I’m sorry?
Ms. X: Sigh. WHO IS THIS?
Me: Justin Winkelman. I missed your call about 30 minutes ago.
Ms. X: Sigh. (Shuffling of papers) Sigh. I really don’t know you.
Me: Well…you left a message stating you received my resume and clips…
Ms. X: Sigh.
Me: …and were interested in setting up an interview next week…
Ms. X: Oh. THAT. Sigh. Well, I’ve had time to go over your resume and after reviewing it further, we have decided to withdraw our offer for an interview.
Now, I understand that everyone is busy and we’re all doing 15 different things at once. I also do not expect to chat with Snow White when speaking with potential employers. What I do expect, is a little common courtesy. If anyone needs a refresher course, I suggest flipping the channel to AMC and observing how Joan Holloway-Harris handles herself while on the phone. Here’s a hint: it does not include sighing, eye-rolling, or slamming down the receiver without saying good-bye.
Me: I always used to think I had really good baby names picked out, but I sort of came to the realization that I’d really just be mapping out a pretty rough life for my hypothetical children. I mean, can you imagine going through life with the name Pandora Winkelman?
*Laughter and cringing*
Me: And I mean, this whole having children thing is obviously the worst case scenario. Like if some crazed woman put a gun to my head and screamed “Impregnate me, Godammit!” In which case, I probably wouldn’t have much say over what to name the child…
We can now safely add another chapter to the book “Things That Every Idiot Knows But That Justin Tends to Forget.” When leaving the room for an extended period of time, be careful of leaving the channel on Cinemax. When I left to take a relaxing shower a little after midnight, the channel was safely playing the 1973 cult classic “The Legend of Hell House.” When I returned, I found some overly-muscled man pumping wildly into a woman with, to quote Mary Jo Shively, “life-threatening breasts.” Live and learn.
NaNoWriMo Day One: I wrote a truly terribly hospital scene. Seriously, it’s shit. I’m not even close to happy with it and it will require extensive revisions come December. Highlights include cliche dialogue such as “Out of my way, I’m her mother dammit!” and a dramatic bedside confession.
To be fair, this kind of cliche might just be par for the course when writing a sex and shopping potboiler. We shall see.