Two things.  First, I’m at Raoul’s, at dinner, where we’ve just finished 2 bottles of Pinot Noir, and my date is in the bathroom.  It’s the first chance I’ve had to look around, ’cause you can’t look around during a date or it’s construed as disinterest–otherwise A.D.D. comes up–and now, as I’m looking around, I see, behind where his head would be if he weren’t in the bathroom, a painting of a bare-chested woman clutching a strand of pearls.  I’m fixated on her nipples, which look perfect, as if the artist used a compass to create concentric circles. 

Gauguin_1 My parents had drinking glasses when I was younger with Gauguin’s Tahitian Beauties on them. They were actually embarrasing as I got older, but when I was in 5th grade, I’d invite my friends over to look at them.  "Shhhh." I’d say, as I looked over my shoulder, climbing above the stove to open the hard-to-reach cubbards.  Then I’d hand one of the glasses to a friend.  And we’d just stare at them. 

Like the paintings on the drinking glasses, the painting on the wall of Raoul’s, depicts a tan woman, wearing hoops in her ears, looking beyond the artist, as if she’s stuck in a thought.  And at that moment, in this fall month, looking at an orange painting, I’m wishing I could wear hoop earrings without worrying that I look Puerto Rican, and I’m wishing, most of all, that I could tan, and be on vacation someplace warm, with a scarf in my hair and hoops pulled through my ears.  When I was younger, my mother wouldn’t let me wear hoop earrings, and it had nothing to do with fear of a loeb tear.  "You look Puerto Rican," she would whisper as if she were talking about bare-chested Tahitian ladies.

And to add insult to injury, below the orange painting of the Tahitian Beauty is a black and white photograph of two lip-locked women, embraced in a tongue kiss, heads tilted in gesture, as they pose for a camera.  I’m not envious because anything one has to pose for isn’t real… that’s why I like to stay behind the lens.  But now I have to stop writing because now I’m posed, writing on index cards, before my date, who is now back from the bathroom, with a crinkled brow, and a smile.

Second, he brought me cookies.. a lot them… ’cause he read somewhere I was craving them.



  1. I always think big hoop earrings make me look like a gypsy– the kind that reads Tarot cards in the square in New Orleans. Or says "cross my palm with gold"…. or remember Jodi Watley in the late 80s? She always wore great big hoops. I like them, but they have to be thin ones. Too thick & I feel kind of like a Realtor, with a structured suit with big gold buttons on it and a big lipsticked smile as I try to hide the house's foundation cracks.

  2. what's wrong with looking puerto rican? i'm afraid to wear pearls because i may look like a white girl.

  3. Areacode…that's funny, I like it.
    Stephanie…how could you ever look Puerto Rican? Looking at your pictures…you are 180-degrees from a Latina.

    Methinks your mom was just making an excuse. A bit racist, though…but still–that's how our "old school" parents thought.

  4. I am 1/4 Puerto Rican. My grandmother is from Puerto Rico, and my mother was always very self-conscious of her heritage growing up. She passed it on to me… despite my not looking a lick of it. And the best part is, when an ex of mine and I fought, he tried to use it against me, to yank on an assumed insecurity, "Shut up you stupid fucking spic." That's what he said to me. And I shrugged it off, making excuses for him. Acting like it didn't matter because he'd say it out of frustration… he'd say it 'cause he couldn't "win" a fight with me based on merit. Okay, thanks, now I'm depressed.

  5. Sorry I depressed you…
    I just don't see how being/looking PR is a negative. You ex was pretty rotten to say shite like that.

  6. My mom also used to tell me that I looked Puerto Rican when I wore hoops. I usually disagreed.

  7. I like Puerto Ricans. I like the Puerto Rican look. I think Puerto Ricans are hot.

  8. i think whoever reads your blog and dates you has an "unfair advantage" cause he knows how you think and stuff before you actually get to know him…. unless he has a blog that you can read about him FIRST! wow. lotsa people comment here!

  9. Funny how strong women put up with such crap from their significant others…can you imagine the advice you'd give a friend if she told you that her man was saying stuff like that to her?? I look back on the things my ex said to me and just wonder what the hell I was thinking. I remember I even thought I deserved it half the time!

    Sounds like the date was good at least :)

  10. Your ex is an asshole. When two people argue, you should always fight fair. That means no name calling. Fighting comes down to being honest and upfront…you never bring up past fights, you never bring up things that aren't part of the argument, and you never call names.

    As far as hedgie's comment goes, I think the guy who reads this will actually understand everything that she is about, which is not an advantage. By advantage, you make it sound like this is a game. It is not a game and from what I have read, Steph does not play games. I think if some guy comes along and does read this, he will know exactly what he is getting into. He will not play games. He will know where he stands and he will be sensitive to all her needs. If he can't handle it, he would also know upfront just by reading everything she says and won't waste her time. If a guy reads this and tries to prey on her weaknesses, then he is a complete asshole too and he will certainly get his.

  11. It's embarrassing that I put this much thought into a total stranger's life, but since it occured to me, I'll ask. Didn't the "chicken-shit" dude say that he'd see you Wednesday, and then you had a date Wednesday, so….does that mean he's back in the good graces?

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