Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A graphic fantasy

Once in a while something funny enough happens in graphics to be funny to people who have nothing to do with it.
I went to a factory this morning to put up some vinyl on an office window. It's something you see everywhere if you're looking, it makes the window look as if it's etched, and you can cut it into whatever shape you want. In this case, it's a grid-like pattern designed by my long-time friend, an old ski-club chum turned interior designer.
Anyway, I get to the office, which is at the top of a flight of stairs, meaning everyone on that floor walks past those doors going in or out. And when I walk up and look at the glass door, I get the evil eye from the two women sitting just inside. They're both young, hot and blonde, and sitting at desks doing nothing observable.
I stick my head in, and they see all the graphics and tools I've brought, and their icy glares melt.
"Oh, good," says girl A. "You're here to cover up our windows? I'm so sick of having everyone leer in on us all the time."
Sure, darling, I thought. The leering will be through, just as soon as I'm done. However, I, in my capacity as a graphic production artist, am required to just press my face up against the glass here for a few hours...
So I was working on the windows for most of the morning, enjoying the view and also marvelling at the absence of responsibility. They complained a bit about how you have to be 25 to rent a car now. Girl A didn't do anything at all that I could make out. Girl B took a bit of time trying to calculate her salary out loud, and made about three phone calls -- one to her mom.
The whole time I was working, people were passing by. Most of the women stopped and said how grateful the two girls in the front office were going to be. ('I wonder exactly how grateful,' said a small but Satanic voice from my left shoulder.) And a guy, outside the office and out of earshot, said, "Dude, you're blocking the view!"
I wonder, if there are any women reading, if they will want to reprimand me for thinking this is funny, or for assuming that these two girls don't do anything important simply because they are hot, and don't move, talk, or type.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Weddings after 30

Last post, trying to think of what I'd write about in this post, I said I might explain why weddings are no longer fun. Now one of three readers, Lucas, is steamed because he thinks I had a crappy time at his wedding. Bad though that already is, he also thinks it's because I wasn't drunk enough, which is not what I meant. I wasn't drunk enough, but that's my own fault for driving, and it's not what got me thinking about the subject. I guess I need to explain myself, and also mention to Lucas that his is one of five weddings I've got this summer.

First of all, I should have said, "Weddings are less fun," not "Weddings are no longer fun." It's hard not to have a blast at a wedding. The booze is plentiful, sometimes cheap, and occasionally free. There are a million little reunions going on all over the place -- at Lucas's wedding I saw a lot of university friends I haven't spoken to for ten years, and it's hard to think of another occasion that will bring us all together again, until maybe we start in on the funerals. Plus, wearing a suit is fun for those of us who never have to.

What's missing these days, though, is the pickup scene. Cute single girls at weddings used to be as plentiful as fight scenes in Bruckheimer movies. I have an older cousin whose wedding I was there for about 15 years ago. It was the one time I've ever seen two girls fight over me, and I'll tell you, I could really get used to that. Something about the booze, the clothes, and the fairy-tale ending unfolding at the head table made them crazy. I actually went out with the victor a week later, but without the wedding to prop me up, the thrill was gone.

In the intervening years, though, just about everyone has gotten married. At my friend Sandy's wedding two weeks ago there was, so far as I was able to figure out, one other single person there over the age of 18, and it took me until last call to find her. At Lucas's wedding, the one other single person cancelled -- probably had a party to go to or something. Lucas nevertheless gets a special commendation for putting her at my table. But you can't just go out and order more single friends, and really, there are other things for brides and grooms to worry about.

Lucas pointed out in his speech how rare and wonderful it is to have everyone you care about in one room at one time. It's a poignant observation, more profound than anything I'm arguing here. On Saturday I have another cousin getting married, and I've been having a blast just hanging around with all the people in town for the wedding. I'm just saying, weddings used to be like that, plus picking up.