Friday, April 24, 2015

Future, Present and Past Tenses

“OK Penny, see THIS part needs to be filled out by your Spouse”, the nicest (God love him, but chattiest) Notary Public whatever lived hesitated before authenticating my most recent documents as to “Transfer upon Death” titles regarding my miniscule stocks and bonds.
“I don’t have a husband” I shrugged matter-of- factly, palms in the air.
“Why not?  You’re an absolute delight!  Oh...  It’s “us”, isn’t it...” he winced, apparently expressing an all-encompassing apology for the entire male species.  “We’re just awful, aren’t we?!” he searched my face for some sort of confirmation to his oblique justification. 
Here we go...
“No, of course not” I tried to allay the fragile feelings of the ‘common law’ officer who seemed to be rummaging for a topic in common.  “I just haven’t found my ‘Mr. Right!’” I suddenly found myself equally apologizing for all of the picky women in the world who refuse to settle for any man less remotely ridiculously charming as George Clooney.
“Men are pigs, huh?  We don’t deserve women like you!” my Notary puled like a whiney chick.
Was I at a Notary or a therapist?
“You remind me sooo much of this slightly younger actress who comes in here” the Notary continued to ramble on.  “Have you ever heard of (insert unfamiliar name)? She’s like a breath of fresh air; but she kind of smells like a combination of cotton candy and bubble gum.”
Oh dear...
“Um, no” I replied, trying to pleasantly disguise my baffled brow (seriously wishing that I’d opted to wear bangs that day), and continually experiencing the acutely intense weirdness of a waaay too personal conversation.
“Well anyway, she was performing Stand-Up at this club in San Bernardino, and she gave me a free pass!  But sadly, I was the only one who showed up to support her.”
“Aww” I responded kindly.
“Aww!” he mimicked me.  “That’s just exactly what SHE said!” he giggled like a school girl.  “But you don’t smell anything like her” he nodded sagely all the way across the counter top.  “You smell more like citrus.  Let me think for a sec; it’ll come to me” he happily surmised, officiously replacing all of his office supplies in their proper slots before he could ever even begin to process my paperwork.
Awesome:  “Hyperosmia”, i.e. acute olfactory awareness, and OCD to boot.
(Side note:  I’m not entirely sure precisely which fragrance my favorite exotic French ‘Eau de Parfum’ was specifically designed to emanate, but with a spritz or two mixed with my physical chemistry, apparently I’m an apricot.)
“Sooo” I piped up cheerfully.  “If you could just possibly, any time soon, while I’m in a thirty minute parking space, send those two faxes to my Accountant, make copies of these other documents to mail to my sister, and notarize the paperwork of “Transfer upon Death” agreement, I think we’ll be all done here!” I gently urged along the process.  “Forgive me, but a few of these necessities kind of give me the willies” I added perfunctorily so as not to further encourage any additional witty banter.
“”Give me the willies!”” the Notary mimicked me for the second time.  “People don’t use phrases like that anymore!”

Here we go again...
“Well, I sure do” an elderly gentleman war Veteran chimed in behind me in line; waiting ever so patiently as a torrid hurricane of a twenty-something girl blathered relentlessly on her cell phone, who LITERALLY absconded with the pen IN MY HAND (“can I borrow this?; thanks”); unfurled a package and disappeared like a whirlwind tornado from the store whilst continually yapping incessantly on her Android.
Oh my!
“Kids today are what they are” the Vet shrugged complacently.  “But I appreciate your archaic phrasing” the Veteran beamed.  “I don’t think I’ve heard anyone speak like you since World War II.”
(Personally, I’d have married that blue-eyed handsome devil of a Vet on the spot if he wasn’t already sporting a golden wedding ring!  (Well, if he wasn’t apparently approximately ninety years old and if my Notary wasn’t such a total basket case.)
Startled awake by a broken English-speaking “IRS Agent” dubbed “Johnathan Knight Badge #46719” on my land-line, I listened to the message intensely with all due panic.
“During sensitive audit, we find YOU hiding MONEY from US Government!  You call back NOW at this number with debit or credit card or you be ARRESTED!
WTF?  Now I was the basket case, despite confirmation the night before that my bank had already received my tax refunds!
And logging inquisitively onto my poot as to area code 202, I was promptly alerted to a false notorious IRS scam that often occurs this time of year.  (FYI, if you get a phone spam as I did (or an email phish), the IRS has an official link to report your incident if you wish to do so.)  Take THAT, phony “badge #46719” – I gave the IRS your scheming phone number!
Additionally, I got spammed once again, via email, that “your have resume listed with CalJobs as Actor which is set to expire”, from a “Do Not Reply” bogus address presuming to be the Unemployment Department.
Now, I don’t know who these people are or how they sleep at night, but I’m sick and tired of being bullied.
And clicking “reply” to the “Do Not Reply” address (surprise, surprise); I was able to send the following message:  Your might have my resume, but spam me again and I’ll report you to Federal Authorities.”
Sometimes, you just have to be present, diligent and take a stand!

Meanwhile, I’d been presently tensely prepping myself for a Memorial Service to celebrate the life of a gentleman that I knew on my very first television show.
Quite frankly, I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d fare to see so many beloved faces from twenty-four years ago (YIKES!); nor was I remotely certain how emotional the evening might become.  (I’d already packed my purse with tissues just in case I might blubber uncontrollably like my Notary.)
Now I absolutely MUST bestow a monumental “THANK YOU” upon my friend Ellie Mae; who, with BRILLIANT forethought, arrived with a heaping stack of photos as visual reminders - an enormous collection of composite pieces of all of our mutual histories together.
And with three of my most cherished friends, like four chickens in a free range pen, we hen-pecked each other’s brains to remember just who the heck was who.
Faces we knew (kinda); but names?  We barely had a clue!
Yet entering the elegant open air patio overlooking Sunset Blvd. (eyeballing the free food, and seriously wishing I’d brought a bigger purse and some Tupperware); I embraced that which made feel most at ease, i.e. a host of my very first television family, happily comingled with an assorted manner of adopted relations from all of the spin-off shows where I was blessed to be hired as a contributing participant.
And whilst I ought to have fallen asleep a mere few hours later after the Memorial, instead I sat wide awake in the middle of the night; completely consumed yet oddly comforted by ever so many ghosts of the past.
Personally, I trust the fickle Mistress known as Hollywood to help me find my next niche; wherein I shall land somewhere soft and comfortable that offers me a new opportunity to shine and thrive.  (After all, I’m an apricot!)
And with a giant genuine hug and a peck of a kiss to my favorite handsome Producer (who will be thanked profusely when I eventually win my Emmy), I looked forward to the present and the future, sans tense, or pretense.
Final note:  Padding outside last night to gather my snail mail, our beloved friend “Matthew Money” who passed away, apparently still gives with all of his heart from the great beyond!
The return address was of course SAG-AFTRA; but underneath was the ever so tiny printing “Residual Department”, enveloping a check from my first television family amounting to $72.88 after taxes.
Dinner is on me, Matthew!!!
Written with love,