Friday, July 15, 2011

A Walk on the Styled Side

So, I'm walking into work this morning.  Mind you, the walk from the guard shack -- yes, we have guards, ("screws," I think they call them in prison) and barbed wire.  I used to think they were for keeping derelicts out; now I know the derelicts are on the inside.  Anyway, the walk from my vehicle to our office is no small march -- probably a quarter mile, give or take.  So, I just clear the guard shack, when lo, from the opposite end of the walkway I hear (in a feigned Yiddish voice),


I immediately think, "Lord, no.  Can it be?"  Then, upon considering myself too vain, dismiss it, and continue my early morning stroll.

Now, the usual walk goes like this:

You have your occasional encounter in which the approaching person makes eye contact, cheerfully wishes you a good day, or good night.  The greeting is immaterial, as we have a twenty-four hour building, continuous and overlapping shifts, crazy sleep patterns, and no one truly knows if it's anyone else's day or night.  In fact, my mother used to get a little perturbed when I'd come home from work at 8:30 in the morning, and crack open a beer.  Her 8:30 AM was my 5:30 PM.  She never got it.  But, I digress.

So, other encounters with folks exiting the building range from reunions (particularly around the holidays, when everyone is working extra hours and we're so fatigued we'd all be better off not driving home, and we see people we haven't seen since last Christmas!) to someone pushing someone else right into your walk path, nearly crippling you both, to someone (perhaps from England) walking on the wrong side of the walkway, blabbing profusely on their phone and refusing to move from your path, to someone spitting at your feet just as you pass.

This morning's encounter was like no other.  As I approached these two women, one chirps a very cheery "hello," almost making me think I've been remiss in recognizing a long lost cellmate or something. 

"Good morning," I chirp back.  Her friend immediately starts to giggle.  Now I'm looking over my shoulder at the two of them, as we're stopped dead in our tracks.

The speaker confesses, "You look like Barbra Streisand!  I love it!"

"I've heard that since I was 'this' high," I say disgustedly, holding my palm down about my knees.

"You do!" she says.  "It's great!"  As if I'm going for that look.

No offense to Ms. Streisand, but I've never taken that to be a compliment.  After all, when you're 8 and your friend's father tells you at a party, that you look like someone almost 25 years older than you, someone who sing "old lady music" (as opposed to the Partridge Family, I suppose) you want to crawl in a hole.  Besides, it is one of my most obvious features that creates the illusion of similarity -- my nose.  Yep, me and Babs -- big schnozzles.

However, I've been doing some research on line.  Ya know Barbra Streisand circa 1968 was incredibly talented and absolutely adorable.  And in 1976 she was one hot tamale!  No wonder my parents refused to let me see "A Star is Born."  I still can't bring myself to pull it up on Netflix without feeling like I'm surfing internet porn.  My parents left an impression, let me tell you!  Even at close-to-seventy, Streisand is still going strong.  Maybe being compared to a multi-talented, award-winning, fabulously stylish, rich woman isn't so bad. 

I'm not sure I have the lips for it, though.  Maybe collagen?  Hmmm...

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