I'm sort of thinking about September as Corb's Debutante Ball at my workplace. That's because there are a few events going on, and I've been invited to take him along.
The first one's taking place...I'm not sure when, later in the month, and we're going to...well, I'm not sure about that, either. I've had it described to me two or three times, and it just goes in one ear and down the poop spout. But my friend Leslie says it'll be fun, and so, I'm going to trust her on this. I guess I'll know what it's all about once I get there.
The second invite came last week. A card placed on my desk, featuring a painting from Degas, and a yellow sticky note written in the distinctively girly handwriting of our admin, Donna. The note said, "Ted, maybe you might want to invite Corb?"
I think Donna's mention of Corb is daring on her part, because it's an acknowledgement of the thorny thicket of the office's collective unconscious finally bubbling to the surface. We've never actually discussed Corb, or who he is. But, of course, she knows all about my life, and I, in turn, know that she knows, and we both know that we know this as a result of side conversations and lunchtime sessions that have nothing to do with her or me, but everything to do with something to do in between bites of a meal or waiting for the copy machine to be free.
Anyway, I thought it was sweet, and I mentioned it to Dave during lunch. "Not that you didn't know all about it," I said.
He smirked, and started to open up a Tupperware canister filled with eye of newt. "Well, it was an invitation to an art exhibit. I mean, we figured, what could be gayer than that? We just had to send the invitation your way."
"Gee, thanks," I replied. "Well, I am going. And taking Corb, too."
"Is anyone else from the company going?"
"Yes. I think Jean is." Jean's a middle-aged lady who's an unholy hybrid between a schoolteacher and Jean Smart.
"And does Jean...know?" David took a fork full of the eye of newt and dangled it over his mouth, then plopped it between his incisors and gobbled it down. It left a slimy green trail across his chin.
"No know." I paused, and stopped this exchange before we found ourselves trapped in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. "Why should she? Why would it matter?"
David opened up a second small Tupperware container, this one containing reindeer gizzards. "Well, she'll be able to tell. People can, you know. Just by the way a couple acts around each other."
I gave him my patented look of irritation. "And what way is that, David?"
"Oh, you know. Holding hands, blowing kisses to each other from across the gallery, smiling at each other knowingly...that sort of thing."
"David, I could rip out every hair in your head, if Nature hadn't already beaten me to the punch," I said, and dipped into my yogurt. "We're not going to do anything like that. Although it is Degas." I stopped eating my yogurt and gazed at the ceiling dreamily. "You know, we do kind of like to French kiss in front of the French Impressionists."
"I hate to think what you do in front of nudes."
"Ah, well. You can only dream." David made retching noises, which I was expecting.
But the whole point of this is, it's nice to have gotten to the point of "who cares?" And it's also quite nice that my work just accepts it as a matter of course.
And now, for other, more important matters: namely, Kelly Clarkson. I hate to admit it, but she actually is a guilty pleasure of mine. Her records are astoundingly good, in my opinion (although her second album finds her desperately in need of medication, just SOMETHING to cheer her up...nothing but death. Nothing but death. Nothing but death and destruction. Bad breath, armpits, terminal acne, nothing but death for me...ooops. Wrong record.)
But her live performances, on the other hand...at least the ones I've seen...are usually just awful. It's been that way ever since she won "American Idol," and she had to sing her first single live. That one I could actually understand, given the emotion, but since then, I have yet to hear her sing totally on pitch live. The other night, I saw her at the MTV Music Awards, singing "Since U Been Gone." The LOOK was hot--Kelly, drenched in rain, screeching out her lyrics. It was almost like an artistic statement or something. But musically? I don't think half the notes, even screeched, were in tune, and the high notes were especially atrocious. In fact, she had to cut them off after two or three beats, because she realized there was no way she was going to sustain them.
Anyway, time to let the dance begin...