I got invited to some PR event this weekend in LA.

PR companies seem to have my address wrong – I get invited to stuff in NYC and LA, under the assumption that I actually live in either of those places and not stuck smack-dab in Chicago, the middle of the country. Perhaps PR companies assume that no one would ever consider living outside of the coasts, and to those PR companies, I would like to offer myself as evidence that people do, in fact, live in the Midwest.

Either way, I’m getting the itch to take a trip (yes, I’m still planning on the Epic Road Trip) and for upwards of an entire minute considered going to this event, just to get the hell out of here.

I can lock the kids in the basement with a litterbox and a fresh bowl of bowl of food and water, right? What do you mean, “kids don’t watch themselves?” That’s bullshit!

I have serious reservations about tripping it out to LA. LA is a great city, of course, if you’re a model or an actress, which is where I lose out. I’m neither. I’m a writer.

When I first posted a picture of myself on my blog, I had people say, “Wow, you’re prettier than I’d have expected.” Which is one of those weird underhanded compliments I never know how to respond to. Do I write ugly? Do you think I’d be ugly because I’m a writer?

I don’t know.

But I do know that LA is land of the beautiful and Illinois is the land of crooked government officials.

So I always feel a wee bit insecure whenever I travel there. Maybe I’m pretty for a blogger, but I’m not shampoo-model pretty and I am okay with that.

The last time I was in LA was a year and a half ago, in the middle of a cold-ass January. I happened to be freshly out of makeup when I arrived, so I made a bee-line for the MAC store, where I required the assistance of a man who probably modeled for Prada when he was not matching skin tones at the MAC store.

When I told him that I needed some powder and that stuff you put under your eyes to remove black circles, he took one look at me and tisked before flouncing into the backroom.

Minutes pass.

Finally, he emerges, breathless, and tells me that he had to go hunting for this particular shade. I looked quizzically at him as he applied it.

“Well, you’re just so…pale!” he sputtered out, then immediately reddened underneath his own makeup.

“We Midwesterners prefer the term, “sluggish,” to “pale,” I replied.

He laughed.

“Besides, how would YOU look if you didn’t see the sun for nine months of the year?”

He laughed harder.

Then he invited me over for dinner at his partner’s house.

I didn’t accept, of course, because I’m from Chicago and I know that “being invited over to dinner” means you’re going to be dismembered and stored in an upright freezer.


45 thoughts on “I’m Slug-a-Licious.

  1. I also get the invites to events that are thousands of miles away. Even the ones that are maybe 200 miles away are a bit annoying, but I appreciate knowing that maybe I could, possibly, one day go. Maybe I can convince the wife that we can run away from the children….

  2. Having lived in California for three years after 20 years growing up in “upstate” New York, I finally realized that I had one advantage over Californians that would never fade. I suspect you, as a member of the Great Chicago Multitude, have the same capability.

    A non-Californian will act (think, speak, etc) faster than a Californian can think.

    So, don’t worry about the fact that you do not look like a bleached out anorexic slave to Charlie Sheen. You could vaporize the entire state before they noticed what the hell was going on.

  3. Aunt Becky, Just stumbled across your Blog and you are hilarious!! Will be an ongoing reader for sure!! Thanks for the chuckles!!


  4. As someone who spent her formative (butt ugly puberty) years growing up in Cali, I feel your pale face pain except somehow I managed to resemble fish bellies year round despite having 365 access to the sun and surf. Just remind yourself that behind every shampoo model is an eating disorder, a daddy complex or, at the very least, morning halitosis. Plus, you’ll come back to the Midwest as a golden goddess from any sun exposure whatsoever.

  5. Seriously you can’t make me laugh that hard when the baby is napping.

    Did you ever read what Anna Wintour said about Minnesota when she came here? If I remember right she referred to the people as “little houses on the prairie” … feel the love.

    And by the way — you are a writer, absolutely — don’t fear failure — fear success because once you put your mind to those books — it will find you.



  6. I’m totally slug-a-licious, too, then! And I will be until I am a shade or two less slug-a-licious by the end of july.

    I was just in southern CA this winter and it. is. beautiful. I don’t think I was meant to be born in Michigan. (Oh, yea! There’s another example of someone actually LIVING in the midwest)!

    I will be traveling to lovely southern CA again in August for BlogHer. Please tell me that you’ll be there!! So we can be all midwestern and slug-a-licious together!!

  7. So wait… you could be spending Mother’s Day weekend in LA? And you’re turning it down? Go and take me with you!!!!! I’ll be your personal assistant for the weekend.

  8. Ah yes, we Canadians are fully in sync with the whole pale thing. In fact, we are pegged for tourists the second we hit the beach pretty much anywhere else because we have neon-white skin. However, I prefer my sluggish complexion to the orange oompa-loompa look currently circulating in California.

  9. OMG I love love love MAC, going into the shops is like having a tea party to me. That guy sounds fab and frankly I would have wanted to go, damn the freezer!

  10. Don’t be too shy for Cali, the only truly beautiful people are the ones who don’t give a shit how they look. You feel good = you look good.

    You may commence the gagging over my new age psychobabble. But I speak the truth, woman. It’s better here. I swear.

  11. Most conventions are held in NY or LA because people assume you want to come to the convention, but stay to do some touristy crap. That, and THEY have a bottomless expense account, so you should too.

    When I was in the Pet Food industry, there were 3 major conventions each year. One in Vegas, one in Chicago, one in Florida. Most pet mfr’s are based in plains states like Missouri, so all 3 destinations are inconvenient in one way or another. But, then again, who want to go to Meta, MO to have a shindig?

  12. One year our company had it’s annual awards banquet, and special “reward vacation” at the Iowa State Fair. It happened long before I worked here, but it is still spoken of often.

    Usually they go to Las Vegas, Califoria, this year it was Hawaii.

    Imagine working your tail off all year long, to get to go to the Iowa State Fair.

    I live here, and I can only imagine how annoyed I would have been.

  13. Woman, please! I live in New England, and when they say ‘blue-blood’ they really mean ‘blue skin!’ So put on some bronzer and go have fun (you can pretend you’re a celeb simply by hiding under a floppy hat and a big pair of sunglasses…)

  14. Just think of all the melanoma and pollution you are avoiding in Chicago.

    Plus I’m a native Californian and I won’t live there anymore.

    Ok, not a SOUTHERN Californian, because, well, they don’t let people with cellulite live for long there and I’d have never made it to HELL, I mean Georgia, but um, yeah…

  15. Dear Auntie Becky,

    You’re glamorous enough to be a writer with a public profile without the need of a makeover. Not everyone who writes can pull that off. I’m always surprised when I read the back of a book’s flapjacket and see that the author is attractive. You’re somewhat in a minority. There’s something about having a face for anonymous writing that brings out both the angst and the humor needed to produce readable prose. You’ve managed to accomplish it without “the look.”

    I wish you could taka the LA offer up so that you could hang out on Venice Beach and meet up with the bizarre forms of humanity that frequent the place. One of the Beach Boys – I think it was the craziest Wilson brother, whichever that one was, used to hang out there regularly and possibly still does.

    Your facetious reference to leaving your kids in a basement with food, water, and kitty litter is the sort of parenting or in loco parentis care that one of my weirdest sets of aunts and uncles who no longer claim me actually employ. They don’t technically lock their kids in the house because they’re worrieed about manslaughter charges in the event of a fire, but they keep them inside under threat of death by dismemberment with barely enough food to sustain the same number of gerbils as chiildren they have. My parents left me in their care when I had multiple fractures and a kidney infection for a week for a large sum of cash (they’re very short on funds even though the uncle is an MD because they use whatever form of birth control the Duggars use) before my parents knew how demented they are. I won’t go into details to spare the squeamish, but they very nearly killed me. In the Child Protective Services investigation that resulted, they lost temporary custody of all their childten except the one who’s in England on a mission for the church. They have yet to regain custody of their two youngest kids. It’s all my fault, of course, because I dragged myself out of the house and out to the curb in my nightgown to wait until help arrived when the house filled with smoke while I was left alone.

    Enjoy Chicago if you don’t go to LA. Chicago is far more exciting than my home city, which is not terribly far from where the Joads from THE GRAPES OF WRATH made their home when they migrated westward during the dustbowl. I can attest that not all of California is exciting. There are worse places to be than in Chicago.

    Your faithful niece and reader,

    P. S. My mom is coming to my treatment facility this weekend to pick me up and take me to buy a prom dress and shoes. The prom will be on May 14. I can only find dresses that fit in the junior bridesmaid departments of bridal stores. My fervent wish is that Santa Claus or the tooth fairy will bring me boobs on one of their next visits.

    P.P.S. Auntie Maria in Sweden, how the hell are you doing?

  16. I’ve seen you IRL – you are hawt stuff. And don’t worry about feeling unpretty in LA. You’ll be just fine!

    Come visit! Heather and I will keep ya company!

  17. Becky, I don’t follow non-hot people. Not a one.

    That said, I’ve been to LA twice in my adult life, and I always wonder where they keep the ugly people. It’s a huge city, even if the percentages are all out of whack, and 99% of the population looks like they are the byproduct of a George Clooney/Bette Davis pairing, that’s still a lot of people to explain away. Is there a camp outside of LA that everyone who doesn’t score 10/10 on the Wayne & Garth boner scale are forced into?

  18. OMG!!!! You so have to go!!!! I totally feel you on the model/actress thing. Yes, there is nothing but skinny bitches and pretty men, but who gives a flying flip!!! And the first thing you need to do when you get there is go straight to MAC again…not saying you need it cuz YOU DON’T!!!, just to give you a little pep in your step. Besides, what girl doesn’t love getting her makeup done?!?! I moved from the big city to the sticks and everytime I go to the city the first thing I do is go to MAC and then go get a mani and pedi!!! And living in the sticks we certainly don’t have shmancy restaurants and good shopping. So I say gooooooo…and live it up!!!! And rock your shtuff!!!

  19. There is no pale like Vermont pale. We OWN pale. When people come to visit us in May they think the whole state has succumbed to the zombie apocalypse because surely living humans could not possibly look like this.

  20. Midwestern paleness just means we all have less wrinkles and better skin because its not subjected to the sun. It’s not our fault that we don’t get sun. Or that we are afraid to go back to some guy’s house because we live in the land of John Wayne Gacy.

  21. You said:
    When I first posted a picture of myself on my blog, I had people say, “Wow, you’re prettier than I’d have expected.” Which is one of those weird underhanded compliments I never know how to respond to. Do I write ugly? Do you think I’d be ugly because I’m a writer?

    I’ve been thinking about this because I was surprised when I saw your picture for the first time, too. It’s not that you are more or less pretty than I thought–as you say, you don’t write ugly. But you do write strong and you look very delicate. Your picture doesn’t look like the source of the powerful voice that you have.

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