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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

encounters of the first kind

"all in the family" was a seminal 70's television show.

underlying racist humor, an unappealing protagonist and story lines that provoked.

even in 1976, that was right up my alley.

one unremarkable day, i was holed up with my daddy in his man cave. it's leathery, malted scent a cocoon that blissfully enwrapped this 7 year-old girl.

the closing notes of "all in the family's" theme song wafted throughout the room.

i commented. "too bad it's ending"... (i had a bizarre crush on carroll o'connor)...

he countered. "it's not ending...it's just beginning".

the ending credits scrolled up the screen, as the final notes drifted away.

and yet peter ivanans lay down a bet with his 7 year-old daughter.

"20 bucks says it's the beginning of another show".

part of me exhilarated to what i knew to be a no-brainer. and let me remind you. $20 was no small change in 1976. but part of me deflated into the truth.

the show was ending. that was clear. why didn't he know that?

but i took his bet, and reveled in our joyous banter and challenge.

["bring it on, daddy. bring it on"...]

scott padmore. that poor soul. back in 1977 he casually tossed out the words, "what's wrong with your dad?... and to this day, i have never been able to forgive him.

or forget.

i wanted to take him out back on those sanctimonious, private school grounds, and unrelentingly shred him to bits. i was nothing if not protective of my father.

a premonition of my own end of days?

or just pure, unconditional love?

first impressions are unfair; imbalanced.

how can we know a soul's true depth; the ocean it swims, in one brief encounter?

ridiculously inept evaluations. and all of us are guilty.

i was admitted to cedars-sinai medical centre in beverly hills, california on june 7th, 2010.

i lay in the e.r. for over 8 hours.

[we now call him "judgmental jeff, the e.r. nurse". oh, the behavior that primed him for his own SNL sketch..."so, you've had 3 abortions?"...she's no longer my patient".]

talk to the hand. god damn.

ok, then.

maybe jeff was having a bad day.

but it wasn't as bad as mine.

a cycle of increased tolerance, headaches, migraines and rebound headaches had insidiously and reluctantly brought me into a world of repercussions...

fuck you.

and so i encountered my own dance with first impressions.

"i have to talk to my supervisor and see if you need to be placed under a 51-50" (involuntary psychiatric hold).

"a 51-50 allows a qualified officer or clinician to involuntarily confine a person deemed to have a mental disorder that makes them a danger herself and/or others gravely disabled. "
no, no, no, no. this is not me...but, to them it was. on paper, i didn't look so hot.
there is a legitimate duality that lies within first impressions. there's the archetypal, cliched response. "oh, she's shy. she's a nerd. she's awkward. 
rarely to we dive below the surface and examine the dysmorphic situation beneath the waves.
but, there's also infinite layers of truth. impossible to dissect without the partnership of time.
i often wonder how my character would have been stamped, had not my husband frantically pulled aside the e.r.psychiatrist and convinced her i was not insane. 
first impressions. precious imprints that we easily cling to.
wipe away the visage and behold the truth.
f-ing ugly, right?

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