My husband often compares me to Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. I think it’s partly because I tend to spill food on myself and partly because I don’t pay careful attention to those little personal details, like whether I’ve fully dried the back of my hair. (I can’t see it, so as far as I know, it’s dry, right?) He himself shares more than a few traits with Jack Donaghy, including an appreciation for a nice suit and a glass of Scotch.
But like any self respecting woman, I usually deny to him that I’m anything like Liz Lemon. Who wants to be like the woman who once said she ate a Three Musketeers bar for breakfast and had a bra held together with tape? Tina Fey, yes. Liz Lemon, no.
And then, today, I went and did the most Lemon thing ever.
You need to know the backstory before you judge me. There are three important facts:
- One: It’s ridonkulously cold in Minneapolis right now. Single-digit, swaddle-yourself-in-goose-down-or-better-yet-don’t-leave-the-house cold.
- Two: We have a vizsla who’s been cooped up inside for the last three days because of said cold and was ready to tear our house apart.
- Three: I was scheduled to give blood today for the first time ever as a favor to my dear friend Ann. It’s not something I would ever do on my own because I hate seeing needles in my arm and I get light-headed if I’m hungry, never mind if I give up a pint of blood.
Our plan for the day was this: take our dog to the park to burn his energy off and then go give blood at noon. I left for the park, unshowered and wearing a down coat, thermal shirt, old t-shirt, dirty jeans and my thickest fur-trimmed boots. I looked like I should be doing yard work or hauling manure. But I figured I’d have time to get pretty before we left for the blood drive.
I shouldn’t figure.
Our vizsla played hard and we were so grateful to see the devil energy run right out of him that we lost track of time. When we left the park, we had just enough time to run the dog home and run to our blood donation appointment.
I gave blood. I got a little woozy. They gave me some juice and a purple bandage and we went on our way. That part was easy.
Since we were hungry, we decided to go to a casual restaurant we like in the Galleria, a swanky mall in the swanky suburb of Edina. It’s the kind of place where Pottery Barn is the down market store. I paused, looking at my manure-hauling outfit and disastrous hair. Then I figured, what the hell? Who was I trying to impress?
I shouldn’t figure.
We went, we ate and then we wandered into a couple stores. And then, standing in the Restoration Hardware talking with a nice man about a nice leather couch, the room began to spin.
I murmured something to my husband and wandered out of the store, looking for a place to sit down. I found an atrium full of tables and chairs, next to the Louis Vuitton and the Tiffany’s. Dizzy and near blacking out, I pressed my head flat to the cool, fake marble tabletop and drooled. The blood drive had brought me down, but none of these people could see my bandage of honor. Oh my God, I thought, I’m wearing a thermal shirt, dirty jeans and nasty snow boots, my hair is plastered to my head and I’m sprawled in front of Louis Vuitton looking like a I need a hit. These Edina people are going to think I’m on drugs. I look like Kid Rock’s younger sister the morning after a kegger. Why didn’t I wash my hair??
I was pouring sweat. I cursed the massive snow boots. Why was I wearing fur-trimmed boots rated for minus 20 degrees inside a mall? I thought about ripping off my thermal shirt in the middle of the atrium. I peeled my face off the tabletop and saw a little girl staring open-mouthed at me. As I lurched toward the bathroom, grabbing onto my husband’s collar to stay upright, I prayed I wouldn’t vomit in front of Tiffany’s. Papyrus, fine, but not Tiffany’s. I could feel people staring and wondering. What do you think she’s on? I’m surprised they let her in here.
“What do you need? Should I call 911? Are you still awake?” my poor husband asked, handing me a bottle of water while I sat with my head between my knees.
“Blurg,” I said.
I ended well. I recovered enough to make it to the parking garage elevator. When the couple inside stared at my dirty clothes, sweaty face and pale lips, my Jack Donaghy husband gave them a charming smile, put his arm around me and said, “Rough first time giving blood, huh, honey?”
If I’m going to be Liz Lemon, at least I’m lucky enough to have my Jack Donaghy.