Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

All I Wanted to Do Was Go See "Iron Man": Portrait of Sucky Holiday Weekend

I don't care, in any way shape or form about this goddamned Indy hype. Harrison Ford is older than my dad and seeing him swashbuckle in role over 20 years old is not my idea of a good time. ( Shia La Beof is another story, but along with my lust for this guy, I just end up feeling old and lecherous in said lust. I could be their MOMS. That's totally weird, I'm sorry....). I STILL haven't seen "Iron Man" with the most beloved and talented RDJr, and that's what I wanted to do this weekend. I wanted to shop for some summer sale clothes and eat Chinese food and see a really interesting performance illuminate a totally Hollywood Moneyraking Blockbuster. That's what I wanted to do.

What did I end up doing instead? I worked. Like a dog. I had, somehow, forgotten it was a holiday weekend. When I figured that out, I nixed the movie idea ( maybe tomorrow when all those annoying kids are back in school). Then I discovered what working in retail on a holiday weekend in Burbank was really like.

In leiu of regaling you with endless stories of what I, at about 2:30pm ( in an 8:30-5 shift) decided might be a critical mass level of demanding stupidity, annoyance and entitlement ( I hid in the Community Relations Office for a good 1/2 hour -- literally HID from the floor. Luckily my fellow employees totally sympathized and didn't rat me out. I've discovered this hiding thing is not an uncommon practice.) , I'll just quote something suitable.

Every night I come home and watch "Designing Women". I love that show, I've seen every episode several times over. I love the characters, I love the writing, I love that it's feminist and political without being too preachy; I love that it's hilarious and wacky without being lowest-common denominator. Mostof all, I have always related to Julia Sugarbaker, played by the incomparable Dixie Carter with a mix of brassy, ballsy intelligence combined with grace, elegance and wit. She gets the best rants on the show, and when she's not ranting, she's got the best tender strength and compassion in her character. I always think that along with old Hollywood actresses like Bette Davis and Myrna Loy, she's what I'd like to be in real life: mouthy and erudite and yet able to be kind in all the right places.

I try. But I fail often. Still, it's not a bad aspiration.

Anyway, on a recent episode I viewed, Julia had discovered her home was built on top of some historic land, and was therefore eligible to be included in the Register of Historic Homes (the show is set in Atlanta, Georgia, in case you've been living under a rock and have never seen it). Of course, there's a board, and some real social climber types on it, and it's decided that Julia's home will be inlcuded on that year's Tour of Historic Homes. Complete with stupid overwrought period costumes and embellished stories about the place to keep tourists hooked.

Well, as could be expected, this hype-infused trip through Southern history and having the Great Unwashed traipsing through her home finally pushes Julia over the edge. When some rude tourist comments that "This house isn't as large or exciting as the others" and the Junior League type tour guide starts making up less-than flattering-but-titillating stories about the ancestry of it, Julia loses her shit. She says:

Alright!! That's it..... I've had all I'm gonna take of you. You don't care about history, you just want to sell it. You don't even sell it honestly. You just want to sell the myth.........the myth of the Old South. You all know that myth, don't ya? Happy darkies singing in the field while Miss Scarlet primps around throwing hissy fits. Well that's an insult. It isn't the South. It's an insult to all the people who lived and died here not so very long ago. We Southerners have had to endure many things. But one thing we Southerners don't have to endure is a bunch of bored housewives turning historical homes into theme parks, not to mention ill-mannered tourists with their Big Gulps, Mysties, Slurpees, and Frosties, their dirty feet overflowing rubber thongs, and babies who sneeze fudgecicle juice! Out!! Out of my house!! As God is my witness..........I will burn it down myself before I let you in again!!

(Even though it doesn't really translate to my situation, I had to leave in that bit about "happy darkies" et al. It's too irreverent and hilarious. BUT:

I do feel that alot of what passes for "reading material" in our store is really just someone's idea of Being Deep. Another employee and I were discussing the idea that just Reading Books to some people makes them Literary, and that's a fucking myth. If all you're reading is Nora Roberts and Tom Clancy, evaluate you life, people. I'm all for a good trashy novel-- you're talking to the Queen of Teen Lit, here; I read it all the time for sheer escape. But no one cares about Books anymore. They're quite happy to put their coffee cup on it or let their kid chew on the page and leave it behind, and ASIDE FROM ALL OF THIS, apparently common decency and manners have gone out the window. I just kept thinking of her "babies who sneeze fudgesicle juice" commentary all day long. By then I had had ENOUGH. In a highly similar way. At least I didn't have to wear a hoop skirt.)

Around 3:30 I discovered that for working on a holiday I was being paid time and a half. Unfortunately, it was about 6 and half hours too late to inform me of that perk, because I had had enough. I had no decorum or friendlieness left in my system and I'm pretty sure I'll get chewed when I go back to work.

Maybe I'll get some time to eat popcorn in the dark ALONE for 2hrs this week and escape from the insanity. One can only hope. Otherwise I'm going to have a rant myself pretty soon, one not so nicely scripted.