Thursday, April 22, 2010

One Million Dollar Hotel

So, when Baby Daddy Audrey was still living with us, we started talking about the One Million Dollar a Night Hotel (OMDH). It came up because our friend Kerry, who is a Spanish teacher, was teaching her class how to say "the most _____ of all the things" en Espanol, and she looked up all these crazy expensive hotels to use as examples. When she was telling Audrey and me about them, she was all, "and some of them are like a million dollars a night!"

And when she said that, my jaw fell off.

I mean, can you even imagine?!?

So, I'm just going to say this about my darling Kerry: she is prone to exaggeration, which is why we get along. It turns out the most you can drop per night on a hotel room is $65,000 (and for this, you get an armored chamber behind the television in case you get attacked by terrorists. It's the hotel next door to UN headquarters.). But the OMDH captured our imaginations, and so we started discussing the details of our OMDH all the time, and the consensus was always "that's not enough! we need more stuff at the hotel to make it worth One Million Dollars!". So, then I started asking everyone I know, what, for them, would make a $1,000,000/night hotel room worth it.

So, you get 24 hours at this hotel. What do you do?

I've taken a little poll, and will share some of the results with you. Note: the following are only individual details in their personal OMDH; these features in and of themselves do not justify the OMD per night. The identity of my subjects will remain confidential, because I'm a for real and ethical scientist. Here are some of my favorites:
  • The OMDH would have to include an army of servants who would do 3 months of work for me in one day.
  • The OMDH would have to be in Atlantis.
  • The OMDH would have to include an entire closet full of clothes, all of which would fit me perfectly, and I would be able to keep them all.
  • The OMDH would involve being stuck with the person of my choice on a fabulous private island for 24 hours, but that person wouldn't know he/she was being hired out for that purpose (this person might be a someone you wanted to meet, someone you wanted to influence, or Robert Pattinson) .
  • So many spa treatments! All of them.
  • The OMDH would be on a floating island.
So, I'm just curious. What would be in your One Million Dollar Hotel?


So, I've been getting ma'amed a lot lately, and it's giving me a complex. Some of you are not from the South, so let me explain:

Southerners are evidently serious about respect. (I say "evidently" because, although I've spent most of my life in the South, I kinda don't understand all the stuff we do. Maybe I should just say that we're serious about maintaining the appearance of respectfulness. Sorry, Cherokee Nation. So sorry, black people.) One of the ways in which we demonstrate that we respect others is by opening doors for them and letting them pass through ahead of us. Another way is by teaching our children to always, ALWAYS to refer to adults as ma'am and sir, and if they transgress, threaten them with scalping or disembowelment.

So, when I was 9, my family moved to Georgia from California. We had lived in Georgia when I was in kindergarten and first grade, but since then, my dad had been working on a cattle ranch in the mountains outside of Fresno, with a Hare Krishna commune on one side of us and a cult called The Church of Synanon on the other. There was no ma'aming going on in Badger, California, I can assure you.

Anyway, then I started school in Georgia, and think I might have responded to a teacher with a "yeah," the first week. And, you guys...I was sent to the principal's office. I'm not exaggerating. So, I learned to ma'am with the best of them. In fact, I can still dazzle an old lady with a pretty fierce ma'am when occasion demands. And "yes, sir"? Well, I don't like to brag, but one of my yes-sirs could put your eye out.

And so, let me be clear: I am not opposed to ma'm-ing. I appreciate our nutballs Southern conventions, and even embrace many of them in practice. For instance, I routinely address people I don't know very well as "Honey," smile even if I don't feel like it, and acknowledge the utility of applying cheerful passive aggression when people don't act right. That said, I will not teach Odessa to ma'am and sir because I think it's largely unnecessary these days, and sometimes just not at all what an adult wants to hear from a 7 year old.

So, the point:
Lately these 24-year-old grocery store clerks and waitresses have been calling me ma'am. I appreciate that they're trying to be polite and it's way, way better than if they were accidentally calling me sir (honestly, why risk it? It's like asking a lady "when's the baby's due?" when she's actually just fat around the belly area.... So awkward.). But why call ME ma'am all of a sudden? Am I starting to look old and wrinkly? Have I become matronly at the tender age of 32? Here's what I thought: I thought we had a collective cultural understanding that Ma'am and Sir are strictly to be used by little kids to show deference for people who are old enough to defend their country, and for the rest of us to use as a tool for buttering up old people. THAT'S WHAT I WAS LED TO BELIEVE! Have I been wrong? I'm concerned.


Sunday, April 18, 2010


Either this psychic I used to go to in college told me this, or I heard it on TV--I can't remember which--but here is something I think is true. Ready? Ok, here goes:


YOU: Oh, wow--thanks, Jesslyn. That's really helpful.

ME: Would you shut up a second and listen?

So, we all expect something in life. For example, some of us expect everything to be clean, or that we'll be yelled at, or that we'll have a bunch of money, or that everybody will do what we tell them to do, or that we'll be disappointed, or that everyone will like us. And for the most part, what you expect is what you're going to get.

In my case, what I expect is companionship. Like Butch Cassidy and Sundance. Or Ernie and Burt. Or the puppy and the kitten and the other puppy in one of those pet movies where they're trying to get home to their owners, but they've got to walk to like Alaska from Delware or something.

The problem with being someone who expects something, is that while you generally do get what you expect most of the time, you're not going to get it all of the time. And so the people who expect money are sometimes going to have to be poor, and the people who expect cleanliness are sometimes going to have to use a really revolting toilet at a truck stop, and the people who expect disappointment just have to deal with not being disappointed for a minute.

And right now, I'm the person who expects companionship and who is feeling sort of lonesome.

Okay, keep your pants on, kids. (Ma, that means you. And Vicki, would you please chill for a second. It's cool.)

1. I have friends--lots of them, whom I love and value. And the kicker is they all have their own lives and families and buddies. But contrary to popular belief, I'm not 4 and don't need a babysitter (though that has historically been the response to my being by myself: "Jesslyn's going to be alone for 17 hours! Call Oprah! Get the Babysitters Club up in here! Somebody organize a rollerskating party to distract her!") So no need to come rushing over to my house with a casserole. I promise.

2. I technically am living with Odessa. But here's the thing about Odessa: if I were a partner in a cop movie, Odessa's kind of like the Police Chief who yells at me and my buddy cop and tells us that we have to do a better job tracking down the cat burglar or we'll get our beat taken away from us. She's not exactly buddy material yet. I'm holding out until she's 25.

This is what I'm talking about when I talk about Buddy Material:

Bryan was home from the field this weekend, and at one point I left the house without my cell phone, and sitting in the driveway waiting for him to come out of the front door, I though "crap, I left my telephone in the house," and as soon as I thought that, Bryan came walking out of the house with my phone in his hand. It's like he read my mind.

Right now I'm having to read my own mind. Which is more difficult than you'd think.

So Friends, don't pity me. Come stay with me. I have a cot just for you set up in the dining room.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Also, who is Justin Bieber?

So, I've decided to write a blog post because, ya'll, I just watched the most disturbing YouTube video of all time.

So if you can't watch the whole thing I completely understand, but at least fast forward to minute 4 because it's the reason the video is "funny" instead of "horrifying."