Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

Archive for the category “off topic”

Festivus follies

You guys know I’m not into the holidays. When I first started seeing John, Christmas was a huge affair with multiple gatherings — his parents, his siblings, his nieces and nephews, etc. For years, I went to these things… and honestly, I hated them. Dreaded them every year. They felt forced, John’s family was never nice to him, there was too much rich food and way too much alcohol, and I always wanted to pass on it all but couldn’t. Cut to the present: his parents have passed, two of his siblings have moved away, the nieces and nephews have grown and moved on to their own lives, and the one remaining sibling in town is a hopeless drunk with a lecherous husband, and John has pretty much fallen out with them. Hallelujah — free at last.

So, these past few years, I’ve done exactly what I wanted to do for the holidays –absolutely nothing. I send cards, I get gifts for John and a few friends, but that’s about it. A few years ago, John, as a joke, made a Festivus pole from a steel pole he’d found, even attached two pieces of wood at the bottom so it would stand. And from then on, it took on a life of its own. Over the years, a tree skirt and pine cones were added, I wrapped the pole with holiday paper, and John added the topper, a knitted duck in a Santa hat (which he christened the Festiduck). I added the gold tinsel and the beads. So now, each holiday, we get into it, putting up the pole, putting cards and presents under it, and John tacks up other odds and ends of Christmas decor throughout his house.

Behold:

Festivus pole with Festiduck
May be an image of indoor
Is this a reindeer, or a bear with antlers?
May be an image of indoor
Mr. Snowman… bring me some snow…
May be an image of indoor
That’s right — John put up mistletoe still in the box.

But wait, there’s more.

Anyone remember the video on Saturday Night Live, about 12 years ago, the Christmas satire called “D*** In A Box,” with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg? If somehow you’ve managed not to see or hear that, Google it. It’s hilarious. Anyway… at one point on Christmas night, John left the room for a minute, then he came back in, holding his phone. Blaring from it, I could hear the opening lines of “D*** In A Box,” the guys crooning “Hey girl, I’ve got somethin’ real important to give you…” I looked over, and damn near died laughing. John had taken a rectangular gift box (with wrapping paper on it), cut holes and threaded a shoelace through it, and tied it around his hips, so the box was directly in front of his crotch. And he was dancing and bobbing around with this ridiculous thing along with the video. Oh. My. God.

And yes, I got a picture.

There is no being a Grinch with this goofball. ♥

So, it was a nice day. I got some fun surprises from friends, and got to be with the most important person in my life, and oh! It even rained. Really couldn’t ask for more.

I hope everyone had a good holiday, whatever you chose to do. As 2021 draws to a close, I have several thoughts about this past year, and what’s ahead, but you know… I just don’t feel like talking about them right now. Too depressing. So I’ll let my hero, the incomparable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speak for me this fine December day.

Happy holidays, y’all.

OT — I Kissed a Far-Right Republican

Yeah, I know. Shocking. But it was a long time ago.

(Just for the record: people think I’m a far-left liberal, but I’m really not. If I had to define myself politically, I’d identify as center left. But yeah… after the past five years, I am strongly anti-right.)

When my dad passed away in 1998, he was living in a high-rise condo complex in West Hollywood. A few of his friends and I spent several days clearing out his unit. One time when we were heading back and forth and were outside my dad’s place, the elevator door opened and a man with a distinctly recognizable face came out. He saw us and approached, asking about my dad. I asked if they were friends, and he said more like building acquaintances, but he’d always liked my father. He was sorry to hear about his passing, expressed his sympathies, and asked if we were having any sort of memorial for him. I said yes, told him where it was, and then we went about our business.

Cut to a month later, at my father’s memorial, a well-attended function with a lot of TV writers and a few well-known faces. I suppose some would say this crowd was the Hollywood liberal elite; so be it. After the speeches and tributes were given and people were milling about, I was making the rounds through the room and saw someone hovering alone in the back of the room. I approached, and saw it was the man from my dad’s building. He seemed kind of hesitant and shy, hanging back there, just quietly observing. I came up to greet him, and asked him if he’d like to get something to eat or drink. He said, “No, thanks… I just wanted to pay my respects to your father.” I took his hand, and impulsively, I leaned in and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you so much,” I said. Shortly after that, he slipped out.

So…. who was the mystery man?

Ben Stein.

If you don’t know who Ben Stein is, Google him. He’s had quite a career, and when I refreshed my memory by reading his Wikipedia article, I cringed more than once. Iconic appearance in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” notwithstanding, he’s pretty awful. And of course, now I know why he was so reticent at my dad’s memorial — he didn’t fit in with that crowd, and he knew it. I mean, come on. Ben Stein wrote speeches for Richard Nixon… and one of the men in attendance had been on Nixon’s “Enemies List.” No lie.

Still… he liked my dad. For a few minutes, that transcended politics.

I think back on that and sigh. How times have changed. If something like this were to happen now, what would I do? Would he have still shown up? What would I say?

Probably nothing different. Probably would have politely thanked him.

But I wouldn’t kiss him.

Life is strange, and strangely sad, sometimes. Have a good weekend, y’all. Be safe. ♥

OT: A Week of Many Feels

This is a week of emotional overload for me. On the happy side, yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the day I met John. He sent me a bouquet of 25 roses. I posted a joyous picture of us on Twitter and got over 100 likes. But on the flip side, I am feeling deep sadness about the Shadow Lodge party at the end of this week, the one we will be missing. John and I decided to celebrate our anniversary this coming weekend, in hopes that it will distract me from thinking about the party and our friends.

But today, on what was his birthday, I’m thinking of my big brother, who passed away in 1972.

For those who have lost someone, you know this: You never forget. Time softens, dulls the pain, settles the anguish into a quiet background sadness that never quite goes away, like a scar.

Some deaths, like the passing of parents, are a rite of passage. You know they’re coming, and they still suck, but they are expected. But the sudden death of a 22-year-old is not. My life was forever changed that day. I saw my parents gutted with grief. They had lost their firstborn, their happy, curious, talented boy with so much promise. And here I was, left to pick up the slack alone. To deal with things I was way too damn young to deal with. I mean, Jesus Christ… for several years after his death, my mother would give me a present on Mother’s Day. She’d always say the same thing: “If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be a mother.” Yeah, that wasn’t heart-wrenching at all.

Memories of Ken are fragmented, blurred over many years. He was a popular kid in high school; his friends were always coming over. Every year on his birthday, he had a massive party. The house exploded with teenagers and music. My mother once cooked beef stroganoff for 65 kids. The living room was packed with bodies, and some of them spilled out the front door and out on the lawn, into the street. But mine wasn’t one of them. I was never allowed in the room. Teenagers don’t want a pesky little girl among them.

I could watch from the staircase. But I couldn’t enter. Which broke my heart, every year. Except the year of his 18th birthday, his last year at home, his final party. At long last, I was allowed to join. I sat quietly off to the side, sipping a soda, in awe of everything going on around me, watching my brother’s band play, my head bursting with noise and sensations. His friends mostly ignored me, but a few of them were nice, commenting about how I got to “hang out with the big kids” tonight.

Never forgot that… I felt included. I felt a part of, that night. And of course, I never had parties like his. I was an isolated loner with eating disorders in my teens.

I remember he gave me the first record album I ever got. What was it? Of course. “Something New” by the Beatles.

I remember him trying to gross me out, telling me that chocolate mousse was actually made from the pancreas of a moose.

I remember hearing him sing “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” and I asked him, “Do what?” He didn’t answer me.

I am an atheist. I don’t believe in heaven or any afterlife — when you die, you’re gone. But… sometimes I wish I could believe that our loved ones are on another plane, reuniting. I have images of my dad, mom and brother together again, a tight unit like they were in the years before I was born, before divorce broke us apart. My dad is clowning with my brother, singing him his song parodies (for example, he’d sing “My Boy Ken” to the tune of “My Boy Bill,” a song from the musical Carousel). Probably telling him dirty jokes too, and yanking my mother’s chain. (“Mommy makes her meatballs, taste like people’s feet balls.”) Yes, he really said that; he had a whole little song about it. And Mom would be saying to Ken, “For God’s sake, get those wings trimmed already.”

Even after all these years, I wonder about what could have been. What kind of man Ken would have turned out to be. Would we have been close? Would I have been an aunt? Would we have talked; would he have given me perspective on our parents? And… every time I hear Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Look At Little Sister,” I think of Ken. What would he have thought of his little sister, and who she grew up to be? Would I have ever shared Erica Scott with him?

So many questions, unanswered.

Tomorrow, I’ll put these memories away, back on their shelf. But for today, they surround me.

Like I said, a week of many feels.

Thanks for reading.

OT: Happy Birthday, Dad

I don’t go off-topic very often. But since today would have been my dad’s birthday, and Father’s Day is on Sunday, he’s been on my mind and I felt like sharing a memory.

My dad and I had a lot of rough years. We got quite a bit closer near the end of his life, but there were still gaps in our communication. There was a lot I didn’t know about him. One thing I did know what that he didn’t really like buying greeting cards. He preferred to write something himself. I seem to recall that on my 30th birthday he wrote me a poem, rhyming “thirty” and “purty,” but I couldn’t find that one.

Last year during the pandemic, I was cleaning out some drawers and came across some correspondence with him that I’d forgotten about, odds and ends of letters. I posted this one on Facebook, but what the hell, it’s going here too. In 1993, this was my dad’s idea of a Christmas card. I liked this, typed on plain white paper and all, better than any of the seasonal treacle I usually received.

I guess you guys can tell where I got my humor. ♥ And damn proud of it.

Have a great weekend, y’all. And Happy Father’s Day to those who celebrate it.

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