Squawk Radio

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Connie Brockway asks you to "Recognize Me When I Look Better"

Despite the doubtful expression on Lisa’s face (yes, Lisa, I can even see it up here in Minnesota) , I clean up tolerably well. So, why is that the only times I have ever been recognized by a stranger (granted, it hasn’t happened that often, but still...) I have looked like utter crap?

The first time it happened set the tone for all subsequent encounters. My husband and I had just been watching Doodah’s third grade summer softball league game. It was ninety-two in the shade, a hot bleached sort of afternoon. So there I am, ragged tee shirt, baggy shorts, my skin coated with sweat and dust, and with hair that looked like I had dipped it in Canola oil. Repeatedly.

After the game, we were all exhausted and hungry and, as Christina will quickly jump in to avow, nothing, no sense of pride, no appreciation for the public aesthetic sensibilities, nothing stands between me and food when the hunger pangs strike. So, off we went to the local restaurant (“Why not fast food, Connie? That way you could stay in the car.” “Because, Dear Reader, I am a Good Mother and my Darling Doodah needed her veggies. Besides which, the Drive-In doesn’t serve chocolate cake.”). We arrive, the rest of the clientele picks up their tables and moves them as far away from ours as possible (I mentioned the sweat, right?) and order.

Thirty minutes later we have been served and eaten. Including a round of chocolate cake for the table. Chocolate is good for young bodies, did you know that? Now dinner time proper was arriving and the place was filling up fast and our poor waitress was rushing around trying desperately to keep up with the demands of the various diners. So for the sake of expediency (and, okay, I was starting to feel a little self-conscious now that my tummy was filled) , when she brought us the bill I just handed her my credit card. Now, I spent every summer of high school and college waitressing and I know how a sudden rush of people can slow things down. We sat there five minutes, ten. The Doodah was getting restless, David was getting annoyed and I, in an admittedly uncharacteristic bid to maintain an upbeat atmosphere, decided to entertain the troops with my one sure-fire party trick: hanging a spoon on my nose.

I excel at this. I mean, I hang a spoon on my nose and it stays hung. I can stand up, sit down, hold an hour long conversation and by some happy configuration of nasal physiognomy, that spoons stays on my nose like it was glued there. So, there I am, spoon ala nase, and I hear our waitress’s voice behind me. It’s breathy, even a little thrilled.

“You’re Connie Brockway!” she says. “You’re my absolute favorite author ever!”

Of course, in the glory of My Big Celebrity Moment I turn around and prepare to graciously accept the accolades of this wonderful, perceptive young woman. Her gaze takes in the hair, the dust, the sweat... She blinks. “ You've got a spoon on your face!”

So much celebrity.

So, tell me, have you ever been caught about to pull a diva only to get a big, self-generated smackdown? Any embarrassing moments you want the rest of the world to know? Come on, you know you do!
Connie Brockway, 9:17 AM