Powder Bad, Broadway Bad

Antiquing.  This can be either: (a) a thing you do when you visit quaint towns on vacation, or (b) what happens when you heavily apply pressed powder to your entire face after the age of 40.

After you hit 40, pressed powder is something that must be lightly dusted onto minimal areas of your face as sparingly as you might sprinkle uranium into your drinking water.  It should be like a tiny lady fruit fly accidentally inhaled some powder and then coughed it onto your face through a tiny fruit fly handkerchief and said in a tiny lady voice, “Oh, I’m ever so sorry, I just can’t seem to shake this fruit fly cold!  Can I trouble you for a tiny teacup of hot water and lemon?”, and then you give it to her despite the fact that she is vermin, because she’s so goddamned adorable.

I mean, don’t let me stop you if antiquing is something you’re into, or if you work part-time as a ghost tour guide in a southern city and it’s your intent to frighten tourists from Canada (like that’s hard).  Or even if you just want someone to mistake you for Paula Deen, then feel free to spackle it on.  It’s not like you can really see her face under the pointy white hood anyway.  Go ahead, give yourself a biscuit face.  What the hell do I care?  I’m not the police!  (Yet.)

Now, if you must know, I am the oiliest person who has ever lived, so this antiquing thing creates a real dilemma for me in the oil-slick-on-the-face department.  Noooobody needs powder more than I do.  As it is, I am probably single-handedly financing the CEO’s yearly bonus at the blotting tissue company.  My face gets so shiny, birds fly into it like it’s one of those all-glass buildings.  If I don’t put any powder on at all, I will be as reflective as C3-PO within 20 minutes of putting on my makeup.  People will look at me and make clever remarks to each other such as, “Shit!”, or “Is it just me or does that tin man have A-cups?”

I’m thinking you’re catching what I’m throwing here.  I’m shiny.

That being said, if I do put powder on, it will gravitate and collect in my fine lines within twenty minutes and look like I have drawn whiskers on my face with white chalk.  Not that I don’t ever draw whiskers on my face with white chalk, but not usually for work, or casual evenings out, or any activities where I’m not in the Broadway revival of Cats.

Semi-related – and just throwing this out here so that I can set the record straight once and for all – I do not enjoy Broadway musicals.  Like, at all.  I’m not sure where things went wrong with regard to my feelings on the subject though, because most people I know wrongly assume that I enjoy Broadway musicals.

I don’t think Broadway musicals are a crime against humanity or anything, they’re just not my scene.  As soon as someone walks out onto a stage and takes that big “theater voice” diaphragm-breath, arms outstretched, with their eyes and smile all wide to really belt out that first note, I mentally go, “NEXT!”  If I could hit a button to make a trap door open under them before they could get the first note out, that’d be ideal.

When my chorus teacher took us to see the traveling Broadway production of Les Miserables in middle school, while everyone else was oohing and ahhing, I was sitting there going, “WHEN IS THIS OVER??”.  Then I bought the Les Miserables t-shirt in the gift shop, because I always have to buy something from the gift shop, because I’ve been told by society that women be shoppin’.

People have really tried to get me to come around on this, too.

“I know you say you don’t like musicals, but wait until you see Avenue Q!”

Hated it.

“I get it, you don’t like musicals.  But this one is different!  You’ll love Wicked!”

Hated it.

I know that even right at this second you’re thinking, “Well, I bet Hamilton would change her mind!”  You would be wrong.  Not because I’ve seen Hamilton and hated it.  I haven’t seen it.  I have no plans to see it.  Because I do not like Broadway musicals.  Because I know that no matter what, there is no way someone doesn’t walk out onto a stage at some point and do that big “theater voice” diaphragm-breath, arms outstretched, with their eyes and smile all wide to really belt out that first note.

This is surely confusing for you given my publicly-proclaimed love of Grease 2, but the only reasons I love that movie are because (a) it was never a Broadway musical, (b) it was a movie starring a movie star, and (c) Michelle Pfeiffer does not have an even passable singing voice, which is a quality I love in a singer more than anything.  Also, if we’re being perfectly honest here, Adrian Zmed makes me uncomfortable in an entirely satisfying way, like when you press your knuckle into your gums just a little too hard and you’re thinking, “Why am I doing this thing that kind of hurts?  Because I can’t not do it, that’s why!”

And, my god, that jacket on Michelle Pfeiffer.  The first time I saw that movie, on that part during my favorite number “Cool Rider”, when she flips that pink satin Pink Ladies jacket inside out and we get to see that it’s black leather on the inside, I thought my 6-year old heart was going to explode out of my chest.  I knew right at that moment, that jacket was a perfect representation of everything I wanted to be in life.

It’s like that episode of Sex and The City where Harry shows Charlotte the photo of the baby they’re adopting from China and she looks at the photo and starts crying and says, “That’s her.  That’s our baby.”  But way more important.  Hello, people?  There are billions of babies in the world!  How many reversible jackets are there out there with pink satin on the outside and black leather on the inside?!

It almost makes a tin man with A-cups believe in miracles.

A Dumpster-Possum in Dick-Pants: We Revisit “Dirty Dancing”

I watched Dirty Dancing last week for, I don’t know, the 580th time in my life?  I’ve written many “hot takes” on it over the years, so I didn’t expect to have any new takes on it this time around, but what do you know?  A new one presented itself, and here it is:

Johnny Castle is the ultimate pick-up artist, and should be killed with a rock.

Now, if you know anything about modern pick-up artistry, it’s that you should be really mean to the girl and she will then go hog-wild for you.  It’s called “negging”, meaning that you say negative and mean things to the girl and bludgeon her self-esteem until she feels like such a lowly loser that she’s willing to lower her standards to sleep with a goddamned lowly loser like you.  It’s a really mature way to conduct your life, and Johnny Castle is apparently an expert at it.

I was nearly halfway through this movie when I realized that Johnny hadn’t said a single kind word to Baby since the moment they met.  Not one!  Also, within moments of their first meeting, he rubs his very adult wiener on her teenage body under the guise of “dancing”.  Without asking.  So there’s that.  Does she walk away from the experience thinking he’s a gross pervert?  Nope!  She stumbles away, drunk on his boundless, vagabond wiener and craving for more, further proving my theory that older men like young women because young women are so stupid.

Thereafter, things that Baby then does to impress Johnny (who is NEVER nice to her) include, but are not limited to:

(a) Lying to her own father so she can borrow an exorbitant amount of money in 1960s dollars to pay for Johnny’s friend Penny’s back-alley abortion.  For this favor, Johnny repays Baby by insulting her, acting like a passive-aggressive dick while swigging a beer and looking in the opposite direction, and then incredulously telling Penny that she should take the money anyway.  He’s a real king of the “no-win situation”, which is a classic narcissist move.  Oh, you wish there were some way to pay for this abortion, but there isn’t one.  Oh, there IS one?  Oh, it’s not in the form of payment I was hoping for, so fuck you, teenage girl who’s only trying to help!  Oh, Penny, why aren’t you taking this money that I just insulted the very notion of?  Bitches be crazy!  (Note, he is the only person who is acting crazy.)

(b) Bails his ass out filling in for Penny by learning how to do a complicated mambo routine on a moment’s notice for the sole purpose of him being able to keep his standing gig at the Sheldrake Hotel performing the mambo once a year.  How much money could this possibly pay to make it worth the hassle?  It’s a 2 minute dance routine that happens once a year!  What is it?  Ten bucks?  While training for this dance routine, Johnny acts like a total dick 100% of the time to Baby.  A total dick.  He rolls his eyes, he huffs, he literally yells at her, day after day.  He only starts kinda-sorta being nice to her while she’s changing in the backseat of the car and he’s trying to spy on her nudeness with the rearview mirror.  And after completing her dance assignment, does he say, “You’re amazing” or “You’re the best”?  Nope!  He says, “You did real good.”  While being a peeping tom.  Oh, be still my heart!  Baby stands to gain zero from volunteering for this mambo assignment by the way, besides the possibility of gaining a super virulent form of herpes.  They should change the name of this movie to Unsanitary Dancing.

(c) Risking her relationship with her father in order to save Penny’s life after the abortion goes wrong (surprise plot device!).  While it appears that Johnny is grateful that Baby went and retrieved her father in the middle of the night to save Penny, he ultimately repays her for the favor by putting his very adult wiener into her teenage body.  Because nothing says, “Thanks for saving my friend’s life, teenage girl!” like making hot, sweet unprotected love to her on a dusty cot.  I don’t care if she made the first move.  She’s a teenager and he’s a grown man for god’s sake!  Later, he gives her a compliment by telling her that her real name “Frances” is a “real grown-up name”.  I know when I am lying in bed in a post-coital state, what I really want to hear are condescending observations about my birth name.  I also assume that by pointing out that her real name is “real grown-up”, this means she’s “aged out” for him.  Bring on the Tiffanys!

(d) Admits to everyone at the hotel that she let Johnny give her the hot beef injection, in order to provide him with an alibi for Mo Pressman’s wallet going missing, thereby wrecking everything for her and her family, but keeping Johnny out of jail (for the time being).  I’m pretty sure jail is an inevitability in life for Johnny, what with all of the uninvited wiener-rubbing on teenage girls combined with his sporadic-at-best employment. Baby has basically just hit the snooze button on his eventual incarceration, at the expense of her relationship with her family.

Then Johnny leaves like, “LATER!”

At the end of the movie, he comes back and says a couple of nice things about her – in public, even!  Then he immediately undoes this kindness by rubbing his wiener on her some more, but this time in front of her mother and father, because what girl doesn’t want her parents to see that?  And I tell you what, the folks LOVE it.  Because every parent wants to see the human equivalent of a dumpster-possum in dick-pants grind all over their intelligent, Seven Sisters college- and Peace Corps-bound teenage daughter.  You name one parent who doesn’t want that.  One!  Go ahead.  I’m waiting.