An American reporter in Japan

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Ball for the Bumpkin

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, (6,000 miles from Detroit)there lived a highly intelligent, sometimes funny, mostly honest reporter who worked all the time. She loved being a reporter even though it meant she wouldn’t be captivating or glamorous like other women. Heck, most of the time she wasn’t even clean -- digging up dirt kept soil under her nails and there was always muck on her feet from racking it up.
Her hands were crafted for scrubbing floors, not for shopping. She also ate placenta once. In short, she wasn’t cover girl material.
But one day, a good-looking Navy man invited her to a ball. “A ball?” she said. “Aren’t those weird misogynistic rituals copyrighted by Disney or Hans Christian Andersen?”
“No,” he explained. Every year, the Navy celebrates its birthday with a ball. This year, the Navy would be 231 years old. It would take six people to carry in the birthday cake and 300 people to sing "Anchors Aweigh.".
So, ever curious (the reporter liked to poke dead things with sticks), she accepted.
And so, the transformation began. It would require patience, stamina and the help of about 10 people to make her into ball material. There was the kind-Mother and Redheaded fashion friend who helped find a dress (though the stubborn reporter insisted on puffy while her mother liked straight skirts.).
Then there was jewelry. Then there were shoes -- and the painstaking, stress-making mysteries of life: “to wear hose or not to wear hose? To put hair up or down? What the hell does “tea-length” mean? How do you put on eyeliner without puncturing an eyeball? Is it physically possible to apply mascara with your mouth closed? Is there ever such thing as too much glitter? Is it normal for smoke to rise from the curling iron? Where does girdle fat go? And on and on…it took three lovely surrogate sisters to answer and assist the rube of a reporter, even while they experienced crisis of their own, like the freedom-fighting fake boobs, crooked hems, the dress that never was mailed, the dress that wouldn’t stay up and the zipper that wouldn’t close.
The first date arrived an hour early -- he was promptly sent away. The carriages’ of two other dates turned to pumpkins and the girls had to pick them up at the shipyard. But the reporter’s date arrived on time, a dozen roses in hand.
Well, the ball ended up being a wild time – even though the reporter couldn’t entirely get away from work. Everyone danced and made the most of the cocktail bar. And, at the stroke of 3 a.m., everyone withered with pounding heads and tired, high-heel shod feet.
And even though there were hangovers, they all had a ball and lived happily ever after.
The End.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Beautiful Lengths

So I have been growing out my hair for about three years (and I am not very patient with my hair, so that is some kind of miracle). Anyway, I am going to get it cut for this organization called Beautiful Lengths sponsored by Pantene. They make wigs for women who have lost their hair to cancer treatment (Locks of Love makes wigs for children who have lost their hair to cancer treatment). It seems only fitting since I am a cancer survivor & so many women I know have lost their hair to chemo--which can be very traumatic for some. Here's the cool thing--my friend, Ramona, has hair that is past her waist. When I told her I was growing my hair for this cause she said she would get some of her hair cut for it, too. So we are going for our haircuts on Tuesday--she is getting 20 inches cut and I only have a measly 8 inches--but I think it is cool. And we are going to lunch to celebrate our new haircuts.