Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Always Vice Versa

Gemini: Stay on top of a parent's or a higher-up's request. A fog seems to permeate through your creative and dynamic ideas. You feel good and have less of an expectation of others right now and vice versa.

Mom's only request was whether I was coming to visit this week, stated in the typical I-don't-want-to-be-a-bother maternal manner: "I think we were talking about Friday but don't worry if that doesn't work."

Right.

The fog that's been permeating through all of me - not just the creative and dynamic sides - of late is a bad case of early seasonal allergies with a healthy dose of dog hair exposure at Sunday's party.

It was so dire, I washed down Benadryl with the final sips of my champagne last night.

But I did wake up feeling good, so good it must have shown in my walk because it was one of those days when everyone smiled and had something to say to me.

Walking across the street in front of my apartment, I passed a guy who must have recognized me because his first question was how many miles I planned to walk today. He gave me a thumbs up when I said six. "There's nothing old about you, there's nothing young about you. You're just right!" he said, continuing down the street.

As the first person to speak to me today, he delivered the goods.

A woman with short white hair and manicured pink nails standing in front of St. Paul's smiled and pointed a pink finger at my shorts. "Seems kind of optimistic to me," she said about bare legs on a 60 degree day, clearly unaware I was already sweating from climbing to the Capital from the river.

Two men walking toward me on Broad Street, one cis-gendered and the other clad in blue spandex pants and a hot pink turban with a bow in the front, parted like the Red Sea, their arms extended for me to pass through.

"Love the hat, honey!" the turban said. "Work it!" Already am.

Work involved finishing a restaurant review and interviewing a curator before I got to check out the Historical Society's enormous new exhibition, "Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s."

Using period living rooms to evoke the decades when the toys and games were popular, the sheer number of items included was enough to dredge up long-forgotten memories, while informative signs told you things about them that you'd never have known as a kid.

Probably because your parents wouldn't have wanted you to.

I don't know about you, but I had no idea that Twister had been reviled as a sex game when it came out. Seems that using human bodies as playing pieces was considered taboo in the mid-sixties.

Nor had I been aware that when Mr. Potato Head was originally released in the '50s, you had to supply your own potato for the head, which necessarily follows that imaginative tots could have fashioned a Mr. Onion Head or Mr. Eggplant Head, assuming an Eisenhower-era Mom would have allowed such a thing.

There was crazy stuff like Alka-Seltzer-fueled rockets with fail safes for kids who couldn't resist using extra tablets. A '70s-era environmental test kit with tests strips that clearly read, "Contains lead." A chemistry set with radio-active materials involved. Lawn darts called Jarts which were eventually recalled when one pierced a little girl's skull and killed her.

And don't get me started on Baby Brother Tender Love from the '70s, the first anatomically correct baby doll. On the progressive side, it was available in a Black as well as Caucasian version, although there was no word on whether the anatomy size changed with the skin color.

I'm here to tell you it wasn't all sweetness and light at the toy exhibit, but it was a lot of fun.

Each of the period living rooms had a TV and with a push of a button, toy commercials from that era would play, providing a glimpse of cringe-worthy mid-century advertising targeted at America's gullible youth.

With less of an expectation of others right now, a last-minute invitation to a friend's house for wine and conversation provided just the right way to wile away an unplanned evening since he wasn't admitting to expecting anything of me, either.

Which is not to say, all things considered, that a game of Twister wouldn't have been a whole lot of fun. After all, I read somewhere that it was a day for feeling good.

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