October 14th, 2006

First Person (kind of)

The other day my friend Claudia asked me if I’d ever considered featuring myself in my Orange City News column about interesting people in the charming city of Orange, Calif. After I stopped laughing I had to explain to her just a few of the many, many reasons why no, I’d never considered that. Top of the list was my fun story about putting together my website, a process that dragged on for months while I pondered what the heck was wrong with the copy I’d written. At last it dawned on me: it was in third person.


As this blog evidences, I have somewhat recovered from my fondness for lurking in the background. But I’m definitely not ready to interview myself for my column. (I will, however, add it to my list of possibilities—just in case I’m ever up against a really tight deadline.)


In honor of Claudia’s brilliance, though (I mean, how awesome that she recognizes the fabulousness of me—and believes other people would want to read about same!), I may occasionally toss in a blog entry more about me than about writing. (The thrill is just about overwhelming, isn’t it?)


So here we go.


Last night some friends and I planned to go out. (Claudia backed out at the last minute, and to protect the innocent, I will refer to the others by their “bar names”: Sheila and Alicia. I was Jill. Why, you ask? Well, for many years The Silver Chair was my favorite Chronicle of Narnia because I loved Eustace so much—and Jill was Eustace’s gal pal. Naturally in the fanfic inside my head, they ended up getting married. Naturally in the fanfic in my head, I played the role of Jill. Oh, for the days of fourth grade, when life seemed so simple.)


At home, I thought I looked pretty snappy. Inside King’s Fish House, my opinion did not change. But then Alicia decided there were no men there, so we moseyed over to Acapulco’s. I still looked snappy, but there were no seats available. So Sheila suggested we head over to Foxfire, a sort of club for mature single people (with a hotel conveniently adjacent). Mostly for the entertainment value. But also because there would definitely be men there, which would make Alicia happy.


All the way over, I looked snappy, but once we got inside I definitely had an “Amish girl visiting the big city for the first time” vibe going for me. Which made me think of the last time Sheila dragged me to Foxfire. (“Doesn’t that hair come down? And do those glasses ever come off?” She is such the yenta.)


Sheila is an excellent person to have in your corner in this kind of place. She has no fear of approaching strange men (strange here meaning “previously unknown to her.” She does have standards, after all) and telling them that her friend Alicia thinks they look nice. Which happened more than once last night. She also makes no secret of the fact that we maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay just be jerking the guys around. (“What’s my name again?” she asked after she introduced herself to Dwayne, whose shirt she said Alicia admired.)


But then Sheila had to leave, and Alicia and I rapidly degenerated into people-watching. Which inspired me to come up with the following.



  • Maybe not everyone is as terrified of Rod Stewart as I am, but please, please recognize that his 80s-era hairstyle is not going to win you any points with women who do not have vision impairments. (Nearsightedness doesn’t count. Take my word for it, there is no woman nearsighted enough to accept that hairstyle.)
  • If you don’t know how to flirt, JUST DON’T TRY. Because I’m pretty sure that’s what the guy at the next table was attempting when he leaned over and said to Alicia, “Don’t worry, I’m not staring at you. I’m watching the game.” And just to be extra clear, he then gestured at the TV in the bar behind her.
  • Button your shirt. The 70s were a while ago. And Anaheim Hills is pretty far from the beach. Plus last night it rained, so there was extra no reason for anyone to be wearing a shirt open so low. (Women included. But I’ll get to that later.)
  • Wear a shirt under your sportscoat. (I am SERIOUS.)
  • If you’re going to go to a dance club, you might want to consider practicing some dancing at home beforehand. Look what it did for Napoleon Dynamite.


  • Please, PLEASE, for the love of God, reconsider the tube top. (Why anyone wears one ever is just beyond my comprehension. If you’re a washboard, there’s no point. And if you’re top-heavy, the tube top is really not a flattering look. That being said, I must admit that the particular woman who inspired this observation was asked to dance by the guy who wasn’t staring at Alicia. After the game ended, natch.)
  • If you plan to go out with a gaggle, discuss beforehand who is going to have the biggest hair. Use actual measurements (“I’m going to tease mine so it curls out a good four, four-and-a-half inches from my face. How ‘bout you, Joanie?”). Then everyone reduce their proposed teasing measurements by at least two inches.
  • Buy a mirror. Look in it. From a few different angles. Then change your outfit.
  • Maybe practice a few dance moves in front of the mirror, too. Because I am telling you, the dance floor can be a terrifying place.

Hmmm… It strikes me that this entry is hardly about me at all. But I’ll post it anyway, just in hopes that my observations will help some clubbers out there. After all, who better than an Amish girl to advise desperate singles from a major metropolitan area?