When I was eight, I was fat.
I longed to be a Parisian school girl with the uniform, the accent, and the inherent understanding of culture that all Americans aside from Laurel Holland lacked. Do you know about Laurel Holland? I have a big complex about her. She’s amazing. Kind of. She is so incredibly physically beautiful that she actually has an aura. She is also a little delusional but that’s ok because when you’re a complete cynic like myself, you need a little delusion in your life. Laurel Holland was the original wearer of a bright yellow puffy coat in high school. She had huge blonde hair that was naturally curly, giant tits, and skinny thighs. I loved her.
Laurel Holland could play the piano, sing, swim, and be cute all at once. I could do none of those activities well on their own let alone successfully together. My weird obsession began around the time I was 4 and at the Walla Walla Country Club pool taking swim lessons. I recall finishing a “50” which was actually more like a 21-yard swim and breaching from the water to see a slender modelesque 5 year old girl wandering along the edge with the same shoes from ShopKo, not at all worried that she was five minutes late. From then on, I have been weirdly obsessed with her.
When I moved to New York to find myself in my mid-twenties (I’m not above a cliché) I was unsuccessfully applying for an endless merry-go-round of design jobs in a West Village coffee shop when she called me. Obviously I ignored her call trying to seem somewhat unavailable or “busy”, which was embarrassing when she was standing right behind me a few moments later, still modelesque, on the edge of anorexic looking, and, obviously, still radiating sunshine out of her perfect and probably bleached anus.
“Hey! Do you live here now? It’s so great to see you!” Laurel Holland said.
“Ummm...yes. Sorry I ignored your call...I’ve just been pretty busy applying for jobs and, um, stuff.”
“Oh I totally understand. I’m writing my autobiography of my dad’s biography.”
I was 26. She was 27.
So...that’s cool. Seriously the summer earlier at a mutual friend’s wedding her mom told me that she was in a film at Cannes. I mean, that’s impressive. Her mom also wanted to clarify to me that Laurel and the film writer/director/lead actor weren’t “lovers”, which is something I could stand to never hear ever again from someone’s mom.
The food a Prospect Point Elementary was never enough. Soft tacos filled with horse meat, cheese “zombies”, fish sticks...it was barely a sustainable amount of calories for a child with such athletic thighs. My mom still maintains what my childhood pediatrician told her; that I was “all muscle”. He has since developed early-onset Alzheimers, so I’m not entirely sure that his opinion was valid. The best days at Prospect Point were the ones where you could help out in the cafeteria, thus receiving the leftover food as a sort of helper’s bonus situation. I didn’t figure out this arrangement until the fifth grade, which is sad because up to that point I had literally taken to eating my nails as an additional form of sustenance. I was always a little slow to sign up for the cafeteria helpers, so people like Trista Rogers got to help on the good days with the Zippy Dogs and chicken nuggets. I somehow always ended up helping on the only days left available, the days of fish sticks.
Kids are above fish sticks. At least, in the ‘90s they were. In the 50’s I’m sure that fish sticks were some kind of wonder food, the kind of delicacy the Czar of Russia would have to break up the monotony of cabbage soup. All people in the 50’s ate disgusting foods. Like aspic.
Do you know what that is? My parents tried to bring aspic back to our dining table somewhere around 1998. It was vetoed and has since never made a reappearance. Aspic is a suspicious looking so-called salad of unflavored gelatin made with tomato juice and some celery chunks. It is served with a creamy mayonnaise-esque salad dressing. The combination, which I’m sure began in France where the gelatin is legitimately extracted from pigs hooves and was probably a delicacy during the revolution, is fairly disgusting. This comes from a child willing to eat mounds of leftover school cafeteria fish sticks. As most Americans know, we either ruin or completely revolutionize the world’s best foods. Tell me that our version of Italian food isn’t way better than what you eat in Italy. Admit it. On the other hand, our watered down version of any kind of East-Asian cuisine can go straight in the toilet. School children in France probably love aspic.
I bet Laurel Holland adores aspic.
God. She's so chic.