Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Since I’ve been writing a bit on here, folks have commented on the ditty I wrote comparing bad boys to fast food. Their assumption is that I’m helping myself to more than the occasional hamburger - that I’m helping myself to a big ol’ heaping portion of man meat.

I almost wish this were true. And I would tell you. I’m not shy. The truth is, I don’t. And I wonder why. Upon thinking about it one story from my past emerges, and it shaped me into the coward I am.

When I was a teenager, I went to the movies by myself. There was a very handsome blond guy there, slightly older than myself, sitting a couple of seats ahead of me. We looked at each other, and the next thing I knew, he got up, walked back, and took a seat in the same row, leaving one seat between us. He turned to me and said, “Quisp or Quake?” Quisp and Quake were two delightfully sickening-sweet cereals that were launched together during my childhood. One featured a cartoon character called “Quisp”, the other, “Quake”. It was a choice like “Coke or Pepsi”, but the retro cereal reference was so much more original, it really resonated with me. I had never heard a better line. I was in high school. I didn’t have a library of lines choose from, but I knew a winner when I heard one. I was a goner. The entire movie, all I could hear was the sound of my own hyperventilation.

After the lights came up, I went to leave. Quisp and Quake guy followed me out to the parking lot and asked me if I wanted to go get something to eat. I took a pass, got in my car, and instantly regretted it.

I went home and told my dad the whole story. I had a very, very cool dad. We were very close and talked about everything. I recounted the guy’s brilliant line, how cute the guy was, and his offer in the parking lot. “Dad, I don’t know why I didn’t get his number, or something,” I said with my newfound confidence. He said, “Because you’re a lady.” I was taken aback. I thought he would applaud my joi de vivre. But he admonished it. I was crushed. Leaving both Quisp and Quake soggy under my spoon.

Now that I’m all grown up, you’ll rarely catch me talking like a lady. Yet this annoying “lady” lurks within me. My dad put her there. And maybe he’s looking down on me. Bearing witness to every opportunity I pass on. Be it a disarming age-inappropriate guy, or an unscrupulous man in uniform -– and he probably says, “That’s my girl”. A real lady. Can anyone recommend a good exorcist?


  1. Claudia, I'm very sorry to have break this to you, but it appears you have a conscience.