So I’m sitting at the table this morning bouncing blog ideas off The Husband. “Why do you agonize about this?” he asks, “I could write your blog in about two seconds.”
“Have at it,” I challenge. “Today’s topic is dinner with Charlotte and Jeff last night.”
He goes upstairs to the computer, and I hear a whirlwind of clicking and tapping. Less than five minutes later, he comes back down.
“See? Not as easy as it looks, is it? Do you need my dictionary? I left it on the shelf by—”
“Nope. All done,” he says like a toddler after inhaling Cheerios.
I go upstairs to see what he wrote. This is what I see on the screen:
“We went out to dinner with Jeff and Charlotte. It was fun. The end.”
“Are you kidding me?” I call down the stairs. “That’s all you got? A first-grader could’ve done a better job than that.”
“Do you want help with something?” calls out my first-grade son, Tall.
“Uh, no, Tall … uh, never mind.”
I go back downstairs and grab a cup of coffee. “Sweetheart,” I say to The Husband, “the blog is not just a diary of my life, it’s funny little stories that I have to spin into this web. It’s not just, I did this, I did that. There’s more to it.”
I go back to the computer and sit down to write. Here goes:
So we’re out to dinner with Charlotte and her husband Jeff. I launch into what I think is an amusing anecdote about Short at the museum, and Charlotte cuts me off.
“Escalator. I know. I read your blog.” She takes another bite of her cheese.
Oh. A few minutes later, the table talk has turned to exercise, and I decide this is a good time to tell them about The Husband’s experience running a marathon.
“Hospital,” nods Jeff, “I read your blog, too.”
Charlotte is charming us with a story about their recent flight to Miami and how she saw Julio Iglesias Jr. at the airport and he was mobbed by fans wanting his autograph.
"I thought it was Johnny Depp!" she exclaims. We are all giggling and sipping our wine.
“That reminds me,” I begin, “about this time I was working a flight to Hawaii and—”
“Jeff Bridges,” Charlotte interrupts, “Read it.”
This is getting ridiculous. I can’t even tell my own stories without feeling like I’ve been abducted by aliens and they have already opened up my brain, gobbled up all the information, and spit it back out again.
“Did Jeff tell you? We got a puppy!” squeals Charlotte. “The kids love her. They chase her around the backyard. It’s so cute. And the puppy has this funny habit where she likes to hide behind this one lawn chair and then jump out at you. It’s sort of like stalking. She gets me every single time.”
We all laugh, and then I say cautiously, “Some of my co-workers were talking about their dogs the other day and—”
“Crystal water bowl,” say Jeff and Charlotte in unison. Jeff winks at me. “We don’t need to hear that story again.”
I realize this must be what Tom Cruise feels like when he calls his mom to share some cute anecdote about Suri, and his mom says, “Tom, I already read that in Star.” Or Julia Roberts calls her brother to let him know about her next movie gig and he says, “Oh, please, Jules. I watch Entertainment Tonight. Tell me something I don’t know.”
I sit there silent for most of the meal, watching Charlotte and Jeff and The Husband interact. I’m chewing my chicken cordon bleu when Jeff says, “MOV, are you going to make this into a blog? Because can I choose my own name? I want to be ‘Victor.’ I had a friend in high school named Victor, and he was super-cool. It would be kind of an inside joke.”
“I probably won’t write a blog about dinner tonight,” I confess, “I’m just having a good time relaxing.”
Charlotte looks up from her ravioli. “Come on, MOV, this will be in your blog. Something about dinner tonight, you will write about it. You know you will! Hey, in that case, can I pick my name too? I want to be ‘Michelle.’ That fits.” She grins, happy with her new identity.
“You don’t look like a ‘Michelle,’ Charlotte,” The Husband interjects. “You look like a ‘Nicole.’ Jeff, what do you think?”
Jeff squints his eyes, considering his wife’s new name. “She could be a ‘Nicole’ or a ‘Michelle,” but why don’t you make her be a ‘Norma’ instead?”
“‘Norma?’ Where did you get that?!” asks Charlotte, scrunching up her pretty face. “I am not a ‘Norma.’ People named Norma are, like, about 100 years old!”
“My mother’s name is Norma,” says The Husband quietly.
“Oh, I’m so sorry! I had no idea! It’s a lovely name!”
The Husband is cracking himself up. “Her name’s not really Norma. I’m just messing with you.”
And there’s my blog. We went out to dinner with Jeff and Charlotte. It was fun. The end.
(“Michelle Or Victor”)