Monday, November 5, 2007

An Ode to Dan, and Water-Based Solvent


Some girls dream of growing up and getting married, white weddings and white fences, three kids and four karats. Not me. I always thought I'd die young in a long, silk nightgown at the Château Marmont with only my loyal agent (a grey-haired man with mafia connections) to mourn my death, since I'd long ago been abandoned by my many lovers and my pet monkey, Sebastian, who could no longer bear to watch me waste my talent in a haze of debilitating, yet glamorous drug addiction.

Well, things don't always work out as you plan.

My agent dropped me after my forgettable turn as Kiki, the Martian secretary. No matter, his style was more Sigma Epsilon that Cosa Nostra, anyway. And slowly my childhood dream of living in a hotel died, too. But still, my nesting gene failed to take hold. Perhaps it was because I hadn't lived in one place longer than a year since I was thirteen. With one exception: I lived in an awesome apartment in LA for 18 months. At the one year mark, I planned to move. When my mom asked why, I responded, "This place is dirty." She said, "Clean it." That was a eureka moment for me. And my carpet. (Ew.) Nevertheless, you can't keep a good woman down, so six months later, I packed up.

Flash forward several years: I don't, as I once dreamed, have oodles of money and no real friends. I am not the maladjusted actress I'd once hoped. Instead I became a maladjusted writer. And then I met Dan. He was smart, and sweet, and funny, and disarmingly attractive. The kind of guy who makes a girl want to stay still. And I knew my dad was right when he said, "Don't fuck this up, Brooke." And I haven't.

So we move in together. Into a real home. Now instead of beer, batteries, and a pack of smokes, my fridge is full of food. Real food. The kind that has to go into an oven. And I find myself having conversations about the merits of the color taupe. And the necessity of pans. (Who knew?) And just as I began to think I'd done it, I'd duped 'ol Dan, pulled the wool over his eyes, I realized the jokes on me: I've been domesticated.

As evidence, a few weeks ago, we went to HOME DEPOT (!!!). Sure, I moped and whined and sat on the floor and refused to buy different doorknobs when the apartment came with perfectly good doorknobs. [Ed. Note: The doorknobs really were fine . . . in 1972.] But eventually, I got on board. Wooed as I was by the many, many colors of paint. And the shiny brass shower rods. But mostly the paint. We were going to paint! Like in a romantic comedy. I already had my painting outfit picked out: overalls (natch), hair in a bandana, and an adorable smudge of paint on my cheek. It was going to be awesome.

And after many backbreaking hours and with much help from our design guru neighbor [Ed note: Shout out to Kim “the Cutter” Upstairs Neighbor, because I don’t know your real last name], we finally finished. The lovely bedroom color is like a sage/moss hybrid if Hazelnut Coffee Mate had been poured in, making it lighter and creamy. (For the men: It's green.) It makes me happy.

The office, on the other hand, didn't go quite as smoothly. We painted it what I thought was a pale yellow. As soon as we finished, I knew I hated it. Dan said it would look different when it dried. But the hideous color taunted me. That night I had a terrible nightmare that I was being chased by angry circus clowns wearing neon yellow tracksuits. (I'd inhaled a lot of paint.) I awoke in a cold sweat and went into the office. Dan was right – it looked different. It was BRIGHT YELLOW. It looked like the Moulin Rouge had thrown up. I couldn't live like that.

Brooke: “Dan, wake up. It's important.”
Dan: (confused) “What's wrong? Are you ok?”
Brooke: “It's making me angry.”
Dan: “Who?”
Brooke: “The yellow. I feel angry. We have to paint tomorrow.”
Dan: “No. Absolutely not.”

So the next day, we painted the office again. This time Algonquin Forest*, a warm, rich brown. It makes me very happy.

And as I look around my new home, with no plans of leaving anytime soon, I realize that maybe it's not so bad being fenced in as long as it's with someone you love – and birth control. Tons of birth control. Cause I'm not going to let some filthy brat mess up our new place.

* [Ed. Note: While in bed that night, we wondered if we could get jobs naming paints. So we made a list of possible colors. Some of my favorites were Curried Peach Schnapps, Robot Arm, Milkweed, Burnt Face, Light Black, Androgynous Water and Hairy Pony. I could do this for hours.]


Blogger fort knocks said...

A couple other "colors:" cockscomb, broken toe, farragut, minced mint, alligator-back, and rabid ally.

My closet is the most charming shade of rabid ally.

Congratulation on your domestication. Or condolences, maybe.

November 5, 2007 at 2:34:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Lauren L said...

i'd like a gallon of robot arm, asap

November 5, 2007 at 3:11:00 PM EST  
Blogger sleeptalker said...

I'm printing out your first two paragraphs and thumbtacking them to my office wall (my idea of decorating). I had similar dreams as a child, but love changed things. A white wedding and nine years later and I sometimes wonder how I got here ... domestication isn't bliss for some of us, which is why the wild must come out. I mean, just because I have pans doesn't mean I use them. Or that I clean them when I do. Take that, domestication.

November 5, 2007 at 3:23:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Dana said...

Sometimes I think all women share a brain where romantic comedies are concerned, and I'm one of 'em. Ridiculous. But completely charming.



You two are freakin' adorable.

November 5, 2007 at 3:24:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yellow is probably the most difficult color to paint with. It has such a bad attitude, I'm not surprised it made you angry.

November 5, 2007 at 4:35:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mo said...

I'm planning to paint next weekend and I knew in my heart of hearts that yellow would be a bad choice. It never ends well.

November 5, 2007 at 5:03:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Why'd you change the image?

November 5, 2007 at 6:10:00 PM EST  
Blogger A Lil' Irish Lass said...

What does it mean when your fantasy plans for your life go in reverse or, rather, in loop? I started off wanting the life of a promiscuous and friendless writer when I was seventeen. Then, I wanted to be Donna Reed. Now, all I want is some lithium and an evening gown.

Also, I love when you post here Brooke. It makes me happy. Algonquin-Forest-happy.

November 5, 2007 at 6:42:00 PM EST  
Blogger Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Wait, Dan's lady-friend posts on his blog? Jeez, that's serious. That's a big step. That's a dangerous trend, because would if something goes horribly wrong, she gets mad at him, and posts all kinds of nasty stuff about him - like he has a small wiener (which I'm sure isn't true). I don't like it, but then again, I commit to women like the two of you commit to the color of your walls, so what the hell do I know.

November 5, 2007 at 7:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Steven said...

"I've been domesticated."

Don't worry. There's a pill you can take for that.

November 5, 2007 at 9:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger Meg said...

More colors: Negroni, French 75, Mango Daquiri?
I repainted my living room twice because the color wasn't right. And... The filthy little midgets do ungratefully leave their fingerprints on the paint job. Also, I lived in a hotel for a while. There are definite perks, but it's not as glamorous as it's cracked up to be.

November 5, 2007 at 9:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger kismetic said...

Man, and it's not even like the domestication is ruining Dan's blog. Though I do find it hard to believe that a writer doesn't know where the apostrophe goes in "ol'". But that's just the jealousy talking.

November 5, 2007 at 9:45:00 PM EST  
Blogger Girl Gone Green said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 5, 2007 at 11:35:00 PM EST  
Blogger Girl Gone Green said...

Omigod, I nearly pissed my pants. Brooke, you are fabulous. I've been lurking for awhile on this blog, and it's quickly become one of my favorites - but this post - hi-laaaar-ious.

I laughed out loud. Like. Lots. And it's not because I'm on my 4th glass of wine for the night. You guys are too much!

Husband and I agree - the best color is light black :)

November 5, 2007 at 11:38:00 PM EST  
Blogger Ysabel said...


I'd just like to say that I've been a faithful reader (ok ok, lurker...) on your man's blog for a while now, and am a big fan of your guest posts. I especially approve of your lack of "My boyfriend is soooo dreamy!" and "We just got engaged! Here's a picture of my ring! Squeee!" posts. I bitter much? Nah.

November 5, 2007 at 11:59:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your father actually gave you that advice?

My father only advised me not to buy cigarettes from convenience stores because they're always stale and not to buy sicilian pizza after ten o'clock because it is sure to be burnt on the bottom.

This post showed a vulnerability not seen in your "earlier work" and an alarming introspection. What a voice! Can we see more?

You write splendidly and oh yes...I love you and would kill an army of small men for you (I don't mean an army of little people)

Don't mess with this girl

November 6, 2007 at 4:22:00 AM EST  
Blogger [mother] said...

I knew you two were perfect for each other when you both kept calm as we decended upon you for a Sunday brunch. Brooke, you are just wonderful in every way.

Dan, Don't fuck this up.

November 6, 2007 at 8:40:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jenni said...

Yellow paint is tricky. Tricky as in never turning out the way you want it to turn out tricky.

I once wanted to paint my bedroom walls a pale yellow, like the crumbling walls in Tuscany...Only it came out looking like baby diarrhea...Which just so happens to be another reason for birth control.

November 6, 2007 at 9:56:00 AM EST  
Anonymous You can call me, 'Sir' said...

This is awesome, Brooke.

Dan. You're done. Let Brooke have the blog.

November 6, 2007 at 10:21:00 AM EST  
Blogger Lea said...

hrm. Do you think Hairy Pony is a bad color for my nursery? I thought it would be a charming gender-neutral brown, but maybe it's actually just creepy.

November 20, 2007 at 11:33:00 PM EST  

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