Just stay with me on this.
One of the less fortunate permutations of blogs and the Internet in general is the insufferable lists. "100 Things About Me," or "21 Things I Want To Accomplish Before I Turn 21" (I had done one thing 21 times by the time I reached my 21st birthday) or "25 Reasons I'd Marry Her All Over Again" (Not only is that guy lying before he finished typing number 1, he'd be telling the true story if he titled the list, "25 Excuses I've Told My Wife When I Was Doing the 25 Year Old.")
Who could stand it?
I thought, okay, the list is a bad idea. A tired writing prompt that bored graduate students have been offering to their overeager freshman creative writing students for too long. Could I turn it on it's ear and project it through the Erin lens?
Things started out promisingly enough. "Thirteen things I want to do in my car," would be my title. And so it began:
1. Have sex with Bob Woodruff*
2. Listen to Vincent D'Onofrio* tell me that I have élan and verve and éclat as he looks at me with rapt fascination.
3. Listen to ANYBODY** tell me I have élan and verve and éclat, rapt fascination notwithstanding.
*Woodruff and Donofrio are both short listed.
**Photo compliments of Born to Flock.
Then it occurred to me that the three items would be attractive to me no matter where they occurred and, admittedly, my chances with Bob Woodruff might be zero, but they are a slightly better if we were someplace that features alcohol, flattering light, privacy, vast comfortable spots that accommodate two prone bodies and more alcohol. The reader will note that none of these features are available within the enclaves of a Mini Cooper.
So then, what do I really love to do in the Mini? The predictable vapid answers follow. Drive along snaking roads. Listen to Richard Thompson. Talk to my kid.
What's that I hear? The sound of my readers jumping from bridges? I don't blame you.
So what about the "100 Things About Me" idea?
They would have to be 100 really good things, nothing predictable or mundane. Then my face blooms with illumination and I type:
1. I have never slept with a woman.
I am so pleased with myself over this, I sit up straight and grin from ear to ear. Now that I think, is something to tell about yourself. That reveals something. That is interesting. That is a substantial statement. Get 100 babies that good and they'll be swooning in the aisles.
Unfortunately, as is so often the case, my self-satisfaction is short lived.
What exactly does that statement say about me? There is nothing remarkable about it. I am 40 years old and have been married for 13 of those years. Before that, I happily dated men. My heterosexual history is nothing if not vanilla (well, okay, a lot of vanilla).
I deflate, looking at my sad little number one thing about me. Who cares?
Therein lies the intrigue. Simply making such an assertion not-so-indirectly implies that the otherwise innocuous word "curious" might justifiably be used in certain descriptions of me.
So what of it? I'm mature. I have confidence in myself. And I have always believed all of us fall somewhere in between 100 percent homosexual and 100 percent heterosexual. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It's not as though I'm different from countless other women who have, wondered.
But still, this is scary territory for me. I have to buffer this realization somehow. Preprocess it.
"Honey," I say. "I have something to tell you."
My darling other half peers at me for a moment over the paper before resubmerging. "Yes?"
"It's sort of an addition to the short list," I say.
"Tell me it's not Gene Shalit," he says.
"It's not Gene Shalit," I say. "It's Ann Curry.
He folds the paper down and peers over at me. "The Today show Ann Curry?"
"The Today show Ann Curry," I say. "I thought about Robin Meade, but I'd be afraid of messing up her make up. Some chicks are very funny about their make up. And believe me, she's one of them. Plus she's too damn perky."
My spouse peers at me silently.
"You get a girl like Curry," I say, "and now you're talking. First off, she's a newscaster. She's intelligent. And, of course, she's network."
"So, what you're telling me is that you want to have sex with Ann Curry."
"No, not exactly."
"This is going to be good," he says.
"I just want to wash her hair."
My dearly beloved clears his throat, calmly folds the paper and sets it on the couch. "You want to wash Ann Curry's hair," he says.
"But you complain about washing your own hair," he says.
"My hair is different from Ann Curry's hair."
"And why is that?" he asks.
"For starters," I say, "it's not on my head."
To this, he nods. "And where will this blessed event occur? In a bathtub or shower?"
"That question exposes any number of variables," I say. "At first blush, I want to say shower, but if she's much taller than my willowy five feet, my arms might get tired.
"Furthermore," I say. implication of the short list is that my prospective conquest comes here and wants to have sex. Which is sort of troubling, because there ain't no bathroom on these premises suitable for the washing of Ann Curry's hair.
"However," I continue, "given the choice of a shower in my bathtub or one in your shower stall, the space confinement of the shower stall is certainly interesting."
We fall silent for a handful of beats.
"I've been very tolerant of the short list," he says.
"And far be it from me to edit the list," he says. "But the addition of a woman is quite a bit of a stretch, even though we're only at the hair washing stage. Wouldn't you agree?"
"Hence," he says, "I am ready to accept Ann Curry on the short list provided you wash her hair in the bathtub shower."
"Why?" I ask.
"Back to your space confinement issue," he says. "Because if you're going to wash Ann Curry's hair, I am going to apply the hot oil treatment. And although my shower stall might snugly accommodate you and Ann, there would be no room for me."
I consider this for a moment. "Fair enough," I say, nodding.
Both satisfied, my husband picks the paper back up and I reach for the remote.
If I ever get to number two on the "100 Things About Me" list, dear readers, I'll let you know.