Friday, March 25, 2011

Gladys Wears Liz Taylor

Little Gladys watched the movie intently on the 13” black and white Zenith portable television. She was home sick with the flu and Nurse Meme had moved her brother’s small television close to the bed so she could watch Captain Kangaroo. Gladys liked Captain Kangaroo but she liked the Mid-day Movie Matinee better.

She loved watching the old movies. She didn’t always understand the plots, the sub-plots, the twists, the conflicts or the protagonist and antagonist delineations but she always understood their clothes. She loved that beautiful Grace Kelly would dress down and be ugly with Bing Crosby in The Country Girl then turn right around and dress in haute couture in Rear Window.

Gladys would watch these movies and vow to herself that one day she would dress in just those fashions. She would watch as Elizabeth Taylor paraded around in gorgeous gowns and beautiful dresses with jewels dripping from her ears, fingers and neck. Gladys would wind pieces of wire and string around her fingers and fashion earrings from paper clips. She would make shiny silver chains from gum wrappers and wrap old curtains, blankets or sheets in toga style. She was a fashion maven. She would pile her hair high on her head, slip into an old pair of Nurse Meme’s heels and transform herself into Helen from The Last Time I Saw Paris

or Jean in The Girl Who Had Everything.

Gladys saw it from the door. She knew it had to be hers. She made her way past the faded bell bottom jeans and on past the racks of “Keep On Trucking” tee shirts. She carefully lifted it from the rack and ran the material between her fingers. It was gold and shiny with big dangling ornaments hanging from the belt. It was perfect. She looked around the little vintage clothing store and made eye contact with a beautifully coiffed woman. “Would you like to try it on” the woman asked.

Gladys fingered the cloth and nodded her head. The woman showed her to the dressing room and settled her in. “You know, I have it on good authority that this came from a sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s clothing.” Gladys’ heart stopped. The room dimmed and the dressed gleamed like the Holy Grail. Gladys in fact thought she might have heard angels sing.

She carefully lowered the zipper. She felt the silky lining of the heavy dress. She slid it gently over her head and pulled it into place. She smoothed the gold jacquard over her stomach and thighs and reached around to secure the zipper.

She turned to see herself in the mirror and gasped. It was gorgeous and fit like a glove, well almost. She fastened the belt and wiggled out into the store to see how she looked in the three way mirror. She turned left and then right and imagined herself at a big Hollywood premier standing on the red carpet waving to her adoring fans. She waves and the fans cheer then another limousine pulls to the curb and an embarrassed Liz steps out into the limelight. “Oh GLADYS! I am so sorry I have the same dress on as you. I will go change immediately” Liz humbly effuses. Gladys smiles and puts her arm around poor embarrassed Liz and replies “Oh, Liz! I don’t mind. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.”

Liz puts her hand on Gladys shoulder and says “how does it feel?” Gladys realized it wasn’t Liz but the sales clerk. Gladys blushed “it feels great! Was it really hers? I mean Ms. Taylor’s dress?” The clerk reached around and fastened a hook “that is what I was told when I purchased it. You see I purchase from many of the Hollywood elite. Sometimes I get called by their assistants and I will buy the whole lot for one price. This was a really good lot.”

Gladys turned and glanced at the back of the dress. “Do you think she wore it when she was married to Eddie Fisher?” The clerk reached over on a rack and produced a pair of big gold earrings, “here try these on. I think it would have been more the first Richard Burton era.” Gladys looked in the mirror once again and knew the dress had to be hers. “I’ll take it!” she shouted, then more softly “you do take Discover don’t you?”

The saleslady smiled “of course I do. I’ll meet you at the register.” She started to walk away then turned “you do realize of course I can’t authenticate that it belonged to Ms. Taylor.”

Gladys shook her head in acknowledgment then retreated to the dressing room. She took one more look at the dress in the mirror and then began to put on her regular boring clothes. She carefully hung the dress back on the padded hanger and grabbed her purse and stopped. “What if cost too much. What if she couldn’t afford it? What if her credit card didn’t work?” Panic had set in. She reached for the dress and began searching for a price tag. She checked all the usual places, under the arm and at the neck line. She checked the hem and around the zipper but to no avail. She swallowed hard and walked toward the counter.

“We like to keep our hangers so I’ll package it in a box for you” the sales lady said as she removed the dress and began to wrap it in tissue paper. Then she turned to the big brass cash register and began typing in numbers. Gladys opened her wallet and took out her card. She squeezed it tight and prayed it would cover the cost of the dress.

She watched as the card slid through the machine and waited like a gambler rolling the dice. She held her breath until she heard the machine start rumbling and whirling. The little machine spit out a receipt and the sales clerk tore it off and handed it to Gladys.

Her hand was shaking as she took the paper. She poised her pen over the signature line and slowly looked up the page to the total. She let out her breath and felt a wave of relief wash over her. She grabbed her box and headed out the door feeling a little guilty for her splurge when the sales lady added “you know if your hair were a little darker you would look just like Ms. Taylor in that dress.”

Gladys’ guilt instantly dissipated and she practically floated from the shop knowing that no one else at her 30 year high school reunion would be wearing Liz Taylor.

*Dear Jody over at Couture Allure and all other vintage experts please don't tell me it didn't belong to Ms. Taylor.  Because this is my story and I'm sticking to it."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gladys has Random Things That Make You Ask Why Thoughts

It has been awhile since I’ve done this but the way things have been going I felt it had to be done. I have questions, burning questions. I know they make a salve for that but I want answers. I want others to lament with me. I want to kvetch and moan and beleaguer points that need to be beaten to the point past where the horse has expired. I want to state the obvious to the point of revulsion. In other words I want to just be me.
So go on over to Mrs. 4 at Half Past Kissing Time and join in on the Friday Fragments but not before you read mine.


Why don’t tomatoes taste like tomatoes any more? I remember when I was a kid and eating a tomato was almost as good as eating candy. Now they just taste like paper.


Why is it when you finally pay off the vehicle you paid way too much for in the first place and now must keep even though it gets 2 miles to the gallon in the second place, it starts to break. Oh and it is never things like a wire comes loose or a new air filter. The things that break are the master cylinder that is absolutely necessary for the car to continue to run and not die at stoplights. Or it is the fuel pump that is located inside your gas tank and they can’t just reach their hand in there and unscrew it and put a new one in. OH NO! They must empty the fuel tank and remove it completely off your car, even though you have just put in 30 gallons of $5.25/ gallon fuel. FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD WHY?


Why is it that I always have to stand in line behind someone who is tall enough that my nose hits about their waist?

Why is that when I stand in line behind above mentioned person, they have eaten broccoli, beans and eggs and they feel it necessary to release the resulting methane gas right at my nose level?


Why is it that whatever ride you want to ride at the Amusement Park is exactly the same ride everyone else in the world wants to ride?


Why is it when you are young the rides at amusements parks always seem so big and scarey, but when you go back as an adult they are just another version of rush hour on the 405 freeway and whole lot less exciting.

Now go on and be good to one another and remember thoughts become things, think good ones.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Gladys put her hand to her head and felt the wet sticky ooze coming from the gash. She looked around the smoke filled room and tried not to gasp. She kept low to the ground hoping for a just a sliver of fresh air. She could hear the others in the room but she couldn’t see them. She felt the legs of a man who was perfectly still. She crawled a little further and felt the wall.

Gladys tried to remember what she had learned in her disaster preparedness class. Was it stay away from the windows or was it go to the windows? She felt her way along the wall until she felt the window ledge. She parted the blinds and saw a glimpse of green through the haze. She felt the cool of the window and pressed her face up against it. She could see movement outside.

“HELP US! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!” Gladys screamed as she banged on the window. The rescue worker looked up in horror and rushed off. Gladys again screamed “HELP US! WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE! HELP US!” She pulled herself from the security barred window in hopeless defeat and sat on the floor. That is when she saw the elderly woman. She was hurt and confused. She was walking into walls and falling over furniture. Gladys got up to help her but tripped over something. It was something large and lifeless. She bit back her terror and whimpered “over here! Come over here.” The elderly woman came toward her then starting screeching “Morris? Where is my husband Morris?” Gladys tried again to reach out to the woman she remembered as Jane, but it was too late, she had disappeared into the smoke.

Gladys once again went to the window and tried to peer out. She could see the devastation. The body trapped under the concrete slab. There was smoke and fire everywhere. She could here the rescue team but they were locked up tight in the community center.

The 7.9 earthquake had occurred just as they had all gathered in the center for their quarterly meeting. Gladys had no idea it had been a 7.9 quake only that there had been one. She knew that there was carnage and chaos and she was trapped in the wreckage of the building. She wasn’t sure if Kahuna had made it all the way into the building before the shaking started. She hadn’t seen him but then again there was so much happening. The ceiling falling and the fire in the other room had commanded most of her attention. She was frightened and confused.

She crawled along the wall until she felt another body. She got close and saw her husband lying on his side. She shook him “Kahuna! Are you okay?” He rolled slightly and opened his eyes “are you okay honey” he asked in a raspy voice. He coughed and tried to sit up.

“I’m okay. My head hurts really bad. I saw some rescuers outside but they are taking a really long time getting to us” Gladys replied. She scooted closer to her husband and whispered “I think that guy is dead” as she pointed toward the large man in the naval uniform.

Kahuna coughed another lung racking cough and sputtered “I think this kid on the other side of me is too.”

Gladys crawled back to the window and raised the blinds. She banged on the cracked glass and screamed again “HURRY UP! WE ARE DYING IN HERE! SOMEONE CALL 9*1*1!” Then she heard other voices in the smoke starting to yell. The cries were coming from the kitchen and the meeting room. There were others who were crying out for help but she couldn’t get to them.

The door opened and she saw a little light then heard voices. “You go check the other room, we will sweep this area” came the voices in the dark. Gladys was anxious and afraid. She tried to reach out to the rescuer but they had passed her by. Gladys went into a panic. She bolted for the door but was stopped by a petite woman in a green hard hat. “What’s your name? Where are you from?” the woman spit out. Gladys just wanted outside. She wanted to be free from this cavernous black hole. She sprinted for the door breaking free of her capture. She went toward the light. Just then two men also in green hard hats grabbed her. One man took each elbow and lifted her from her feet. They carried her to a stretcher where another woman in a green hard hat started pinching her finger and dabbing at her head.

“Where is my husband? Where is my dog” Gladys cried. “Stop touching me! I want my husband” she screamed. The lady in the green hard hat patted her on the shoulder and replied “I’m sure your husband and dog are fine. Just lie back and let me look you over.”

Gladys didn’t want to lie back. She wanted to find her husband and her dog. She wanted to walk around and breathe the fresh air. Why were these people making her do things she didn’t want to do? Why were they there? She was cold. She was confused. She wanted to find her dog.

The woman in the green hard hat wrapped something around Gladys’ throbbing head. Then she felt for her pulse “Ma’am you need to slow down your breathing” Ms. Greenhardhat commanded. Gladys looked up at the deranged woman and wondered what in the hell she was talking about. She was just breathing. “Ma’am what is your name” Ms Greenhardhat asked condescendingly.

Gladys didn’t like this woman in the green hard hat and wanted to get away from her as soon as possible. “My name is Gladys. Now where the hell is my dog and my husband” Gladys responded.

Ms. Greenhardhat looked around just as a stretcher with a young girl was placed on the green tarp next to Gladys. “Yes, dear, um Grace did you say? I am sure they are fine. Now just lie here and be still. I will be back to check on you in a few minutes.” Then Ms. Greenhardhat went on to help the poor pale blond girl.

Gladys looked around. She saw Jane sitting on a stretcher on a blue tarp. She was talking to a young man in a green hard hat. He looked like he might know where little Bozley was. Gladys got up and started toward the blue tarp. She was almost there when she was tackled by another woman in a green hard hat. The woman grabbed her and dragged her back to her stretcher. She grabbed her face and looked at her eyes then she pinched her fingernail. “OUCH! I want my DOG!” Gladys cried. The woman in the hard hat shook her head “No ma’am you’ve been through a shock and you have a gash on your head. You need to just lie back and relax. Some one will find your dog for you. What does he look like?”

Gladys took a deep breath “he is a little white fluffy dog. He is really stubborn though and doesn’t come too good when you call him. Oh and he will pee on you if you try to pick him up.” Then she sat up and looked around “have you seen my husband? He is here somewhere. Could you find my husband? His name is Kahuna.” The woman in the hard hat patted Gladys and replied “Of Course.” Then she left.

Gladys sat up on the stretcher again and looked around at the chaos and cried “I want my doggie. I want my husband!” She edged herself off the stretcher and began going from cot to cot “Have you seen my doggie?” She grabbed the young boy’s arm and shook him. She looked down at him and saw the cold dead eyes. “OH MY GAWD HE’S DEAD! HE’S DEAD! THIS BOY IS DEAD!”

Once again a green hard hatt-ed worker grabbed Gladys and dragged her back to her stretcher. Gladys would not go down easy this time. She fought and screamed. “THAT BOY IS DEAD! I WANT MY DOGGIE! WHERE IS MY HUSBAND? OH MY GAWD THERE ARE PEOPLE DYING HERE!”

A young man in a green hard hat came over to her with a clipboard “Ma’am, I’ve gone back in that building 5 times looking for a little white dog and I haven’t seen him. I promise I will keep looking for him if you will just lie back and relax.” Gladys looked at the young man and thought “I am bleeding out my head, my dog and my husband are missing and you want me to relax?” She gave him a half smile and lowered herself back to the stretcher. He smiled back at her and turned to go.

Gladys waited until the green hats weren’t looking and once again she sprang up from her perch. She began making her rounds looking for her dog. Then on the red tarp she spotted Kahuna. She dragged her bad leg over to him and wrapped her arms around him. “HONEY! Oh honey! I am so glad to see you! Have you seen Bozz? Are you okay? You have blood all over you?”

Kahuna looked up at her and smiled “ma’am do I know you?” Then he turned back to the green hatter and replied “I don’t think I’m on any medication except for Aricept or is it Viagra? Maybe it’s Cialas.” Gladys butted in “he isn’t on any of those medications. He is on Benacort for his blood pressure. They should be in his pocket. Now have YOU seen my little dog?” The green hatter looked around and motioned to someone.

Once again Gladys was grabbed up and carted back to her stretcher. This time by a large woman in a green hard hat. She looked at Gladys and put her finger in her face “Ma’am, you need to stay put. You need to lie here and be quiet so we can take care of these other people. Now do as you are told or I will get a rope and tie you to this stretcher.”

Gladys started to rise but then thought better of it and squeaked out “will you find my doggie?” The green hatter snorted and walked off. Gladys did as she was told for a moment but then couldn’t contain her another minute and got up once again. She wondered through the make shift hospital and watched as 3 men worked to free the poor soul from under the huge hunk of concrete. She walked up and asked “have you seen my doggie? He’s white and about this big?” They grunted and groaned as they lifted the large rock with the pry bar. She wondered past the trailer full of supplies and back into the burning community center yelling “here Bozz! Here boy.”

Next thing she knew she was once again being marched back to her stretcher. Jane was chattering on about something over on another cot. “Jane? Are you okay?” Gladys asked. The elderly woman stopped her chattering and looked at Gladys. She coughed and sniffed and said “have you seen Morris? I can’t find Morris.” Gladys looked around the various tarps and replied “nope, but Jane I don’t remember him coming with you. Was Morris with you when you got here?” Jane got up from her seat and came over to Gladys. She stood over Gladys and started yelling “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT! YOU’RE CRAZY!” Then she stormed off in the direction of the center.

The whistle blue and Fire Chief Dan said “FREEZE”. The green hatters, the victims, the dead and the firemen all stopped and looked at Chief Dan. He cleared his throat and announced “THE DRILL IS OVER.” Gladys relaxed and looked over at Jane. The two of them began to laugh. The green hatter next to Gladys snorted “are you a professional actress? If you aren’t you need to go to Hollywood and become one.” Gladys giggled.

Chief Dan looked at Gladys then at the rest of the group “what was the biggest mistake you all made?” The green hard hatt-ed emergency workers looked at one another and shot out a couple of “well we didn’t get the fire out quick enough” and “we forgot to turn the gas off right away” and another yelled out “we left the dummy under the concrete too long”. Chief Dan shook his head then he pointed his finger right at Gladys “No! You spent way too much time with that crazy woman. She was fine. She was walking and talking. You guys were busy looking for her dog and carrying her back to her cot! You should have just stuck a rag in her mouth, tied her to the cot and got on with your jobs!”

Gladys smiled knowing she had done her job well. Chief Dan had asked her to create chaos and chaos she had given him. Now it was time to wash the fake blood and bruises from her face and hair but not before her, Bozz and Kahuna stopped at Dairy Queen for some ice cream.

I participated in this exercise as part of the Community Emergency Response Team. Check your local Fire Department and see how you can become involved.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Me and Charlie Need A 12 Step Program

It has happened. I never thought this would happen, especially not to me. I mean I always said it wouldn’t happen, no way, no how. I used to see people like I am now and be all righteous and pompous. I would say things like “look how ridiculous! They are making a fool of themselves.” Or I would think “they are just addicts. Look at them digging in trash bins and garbage piles just to get a fix.” Yes, I thought it would never happen to me, then…. I found someone named Craig and he ruined my life. I am addicted. I am addicted to junking. I spend hours upon hours with my new friend Craig. I need him like a fish needs water. I am so ashamed and well frankly aghast at myself.

I spend hour upon hour scrolling through the For Sale listings on Mr. Craig’s list. I am always amazed by the title of the postings. I wonder if people ever proof read what they have written. For example here are a few listings that caught my eye recently and yes I was insightful enough to copy and paste them.


What exactly is a couche? Is it like a cootchie and then would it be redundant to say couche and love seat? Hey! $100 bucks same as in town.

Feb 8 - Coffer table for sale

I know what a coffer dam is but a coffer table? Is it a table that holds back water?


Antique dest? What the heck is a dest?


I have no clue. Ask Craig maybe he can answer.

Antique Dresser 150! - $175

Ok is it 150 or a 175?

Feb 28 - @@@ Ejecutive Desk @@@ -

Is that so your boss can eject you out of your seat and onto the street?

Feb 23 - Solid WOod Rolling top desk! –

How do you write if your desktop keeps rolling? If you get 3 cherries does it spit out quarters?


Watch out it might be an ejecutive desk and you will get ejected while asleep.

I could go on forever but I can’t because Craig is calling me and I must see what he is trying to tempt me with today.  Besides,

"I have one speed, I have one gear. 'Go!'"
"Dying's for fools."
"The only thing I'm addicted to is winning."

"[A.A.] was written for normal people, people that aren't special. People that don't have tiger blood, you know, Adonis DNA."

"Can't is the cancer of happen."

I think Charlie has been dipping into the Tom Cruise Well of Whacky Water.