June 27, 2012

Envy & the Blonde Behind the Bar. ~ Anne Clendening

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I was prowling around some downtown bars in L.A. the night I first saw the blonde chick behind the bar. That was the night my life changed.

I was 19 or 20-years-old, hardly enough time to even need a change, but I needed something. We never spoke. In a weird way, if it weren’t for her, I don’t know how I would’ve turned out. Or what I would’ve missed.

The blonde was a bartender at a fantastically trashy watering hole that used to be next to the Wiltern Theatre. She was the all-time coolest chick I had ever seen, and I wanted to look like her, be like her, have that kind of life. Just like when I met Farrah Fawcett when I was 12.

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I made a decision to grow my hair, dye it blonde and start tending bar. It’s possible I was a little too liquored up that night…But years later, I did become a blonde, and I ended up working behind the same exact bar, and a lot of other bars.

Is anything ever as good as you think it’s going to be once you get it? Like slinging cocktails for a living. I’m sure there are people who would love to go to a job making hundreds of cash dollars in just a few hours, eat out at some greasy all night diner, then go home and fall asleep at sun-up without having to set the alarm clock. Ever. Guess what: it doesn’t suck.

Envy. It’ll eat you alive, like a college kid on bath salts. On the list of Seven Deadly Sins, this one ranks pretty low (and we can all agree it’s nowhere near as much fun as Lust). But, according to Catholic dogma, you don’t get to run around coveting your neighbor’s hot ass wife without consequences. According to theologians who have speculated on the punishments for sinning, the envious will be put in a vat of freezing water in Hell for all eternity. Exactly how is this a bad thing? It’s awfully hot down there.

That’s a lot better than in Dante’s Purgatorio:

“The envious are purged by having their eyes sewn shut and wearing clothing that makes the soul indistinguishable from the ground. This is akin to a falconer’s sewing the eyes of a falcon shut in order to train it. God is the falconer and is training the souls not to envy others and to direct their love towards Him.”

Seriously? All that fuss because I want my friends’ red pony hair Jimmy Choo boots? Calm down, they’re not even my size.

I find myself being a little jealous over a lot of stuff: My best friend’s naturally long, healthy hair. Performers who get to perform for a living, especially in the circus. That girl over there who’s skinnier than me. Supermodels. Heiresses. My other best friend’s curly hair. People with super cool jobs, and people who don’t have to work.

I could go on and on. There’s always going to be something or someone in this life who has it better, or makes it look easy, or makes us burn with want. They say this is a sign you think God made a mistake. I say, go for it. If I didn’t ever work in a bar, I never would have met half the guys I’ve dated, including my boyfriend.

Jealousy. I know all about it. I’m a Scorpio, bitches.

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And I always wanted a cool name. Mine is just so damn plain. I longed to be an Annabelle, or a Carmen, or even a Rhiannon. My parents almost named me Cherry—I have mixed feelings about that one. They could have named me after someone fancy, like maybe Tallulah Bankhead. That would have been just fine.

I wonder what that blonde girl’s name was. Probably something cooler than mine. And I wonder what she’s doing with her life now. Making martinis? Doubt it. She’s probably one of those people who graduated from college, got a real job, and chopped off her hair into a smart bob.

But I sure wanted what that girl had. And I got it. Now I can’t help thinking of the movie “Se7en.” You know how it ends. John Doe has the upper hand.I envy your normal life. It seems that envy is my sin.” Yeah, well, it’s Brad Pitt. We’re all jealous.

“Do not envy a sinner; you don’t know what disaster awaits him.” ~The Bible


Editor: Kate Bartolotta


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