David Sedaris is currently reading for five nights at UCLA, and I went on Tuesday night. His evening was entitled Black Box Readings, and he was reading essays from his new book due to his publisher next month.
As he read his funny stories that he made look easy (damn, he’s good), he marked the text with smiley faces. Okay, the smiley faces part is not true. He used check marks. Okay, that’s not true either. He stood behind a podium, and I was several rows back, so I have no idea what he wrote as he read.
David Sedaris also struck me as someone with definite opinions about the clothes he wore. At the reading, he wore brown pants with perfect creases down the front, brown shoes (not too scuffy), a white sporty tie (well-tied), and a blue cotton (maybe a blend, but I doubt it) long sleeve collared shirt with the sleeves carefully rolled up to the elbows.
I wondered if David Sedaris owned any short sleeve shirts. I wondered this because both my mother and significant other are long sleeve shirt wearers. Each has told me on separate occasions that she/he preferred the long sleeve to the short sleeve because of the roll up/roll down option. Sometimes their shirts had an extra button halfway up the sleeve and a strap for keeping the rolled up sleeve in place without fear of it falling back down. Then again, if one rolled up his/her sleeve properly (as my significant other once demonstrated), it would never give into the laws of gravity or motion. Even though I was several rows back, I could tell that David Sedaris rolled up his sleeves properly.
I also wondered if he did his own ironing. Both mother and significant other are serious ironers. Neither would ever consider going out in public in a (gasp!) wrinkled shirt. To me, ironing is pulling clothes out the dryer and shaking them a few times. If they still looked wrinkled, throw a hoodie on over them and no one would know the difference. I do own an iron---a little travel iron that I pull out from time to time when it’s an emergency.
A few months ago, the significant other had to buy a new iron. His old iron had burned out its insides from constant use. As we stood in the iron aisle at Target, I was amazed at how many different irons there were and how expensive some of them got. I also noticed the names of some of the irons like Shark and Steam and Power Duo. Was this a home appliance or a super hero? I never realized irons could be so macho.
Significant other went middle of the road with his iron and showed off its steam function the next time I was at his house.
Hear that, Jen, listen, that’s steam. He said as he pressed a button and the iron hissed and gurgled. Real macho.
As I sat in the MacGowan Little Theatre at the David Sedaris reading, a nightmare suddenly came into my consciousness. I suddenly saw David Sedaris, my mother, and my significant other staging an ironing intervention on me. Nooooooo! And I’m standing there singing like Amy Winehouse. They tried to make get an iron, and I said, no, no, no. Fortunately, the nightmare gave way to laughter as I laughed right along with LA’s culturally elite who wear really cool eye glasses.
I noticed something else about the audience besides the funky eye wear. As we all exited the theatre, I noticed that I was significantly taller than most of my fellow audience members. Now, yes, I am 5’8” and in my black boots with high clunky heels I’m probably around 5’10”. Still, I was under six feet and at least a head taller than most of the people in the theatre. I can only draw one conclusion: Short people like David Sedaris.
Now, you might say: That’s not true! There were tall people there. You just didn’t see them!
To which I would say: No, I didn’t see them, but I think the tall people would stick out in the crowd. And no one gave me the secret tall person sign.
To which you might say: There is no secret tall person sign. You just made that up. Why are you being so mean to short people? Don’t be such a hater.
To which I would probably say: I’m not being mean to short people! Then I would throw up my hands in frustration and walk away.
Okay, I didn’t really walk away because I’m still sitting here writing this piece. I walked away from my contradictory imaginary self who shows me sides of my personality I would rather ignore. Don’t worry, the good side of me is still here writing----or at least I hope it’s the good me.
But getting back to David Sedaris, who is both the title and the subject of this piece, I thought he had some really funny stuff. He seems like a really nice person who dresses really well. If he ever comes to your town, I recommend going to see him. I laughed and laughed---once I got over the ironing.