I was watching the latest episode of “Once Upon A Time,” which I follow primarily because Robert Carlyle has a recurring role in it. I like him as an actor and I like both the characters he plays on that show. During this last episode, his character encountered a man who he believes is his long lost son. It was quite a dramatic scene shot in close-up; however, about halfway through I noticed that Carlyle’s lower front teeth are crooked and crowded, and caught myself thinking, “He should have his teeth fixed.” It bothers me when I catch myself being distracted by the less than perfect appearance of an actor. One of the things I like about British actors is that by and large, they look like real people, the kind of people you might meet on the street, as opposed to the tooth-capped, nose-jobbed, toupee-wearing, breast-augmented, hair-extensioned, liposuctioned “perfection” of American actors. Having crooked teeth has no bearing whatever on his acting ability. It’s just I’ve been so brainwashed by the “cult of perfection” and the unrealistic expectations foisted upon us by Hollywood, advertising, the fashion industry, the cosmetic industry, etc., that even though I’m conscious of it and try to fight against it, I seem to be entirely too cognizant of physical appearance and I’ve become so “fat conscious” that I look at women of normal, healthy weight like a young Marilyn Monroe (left) and the first thing I think is “thunder thighs!”
While I’m being put out with myself, I have to own up to something that happened this past week. A couple of days ago, I went to check my cellphone to make sure it was charged as I planned to go out later that evening. I opened it to check how many “bars” were showing, and got a blank screen — no display at all. I immediately assumed that it had completely lost its charge, so I fully recharged it again and thought no more about it. Yesterday, I checked the charge, as I always do when I’m planning to go out, and the screen was blank again. When I tried charging it, the little outside display informed me that it was fully charged, but the larger inside display remained blank. I pressed the green button and the red button and the menu button, and various other buttons several times and nothing happened. That convinced me that the inside display screen had stopped working, and that I would have to buy a new phone. So while I was out and about, I stopped by Radio Shack, where I had gotten the phone to begin with. The clerk looked it over, took the battery out and put it back in, played with it a moment, and the display lit up! I immediately wanted to know what she did — the answer? She’d pressed the red (on/off) button and turned the phone back on! — So embarrassing!
By way of extenuating circumstances, I keep the ringer turned off on the wall phone by my bed, and keep my cell phone under my pillow when it’s not in my pocket. I never turn my cell phone off so if there is a family emergency of some kind, and if my family can’t reach me on my land line, they know I’m either asleep or out and call my cell. Sometimes the cell phone slips down in between the mattress and the headboard, which it had done when I went to use it last, and apparently the edge of the mattress had pressed across it just right and turned it off.
What makes it even more embarrassing is this: My mom is a very intelligent and savvy woman, who is also a classic visual learner. If she has to use printed instructions or read a manual to do something, forget it. She’ll have a great deal of difficulty making heads and tails of them, become totally frustrated, and go get one of us to do it for her. Of course, once somebody shows her how to do it, she picks it up immediately because, according to the standing joke, it’s so simple a trained chimpanzee could do it. Over the years, what with my dad losing his vision, I’ve become the default trained chimpanzee. I decided to go public about my little cell phone “Duh!” moment because as much teasing as my mom has gotten over the years, it’s only fair she get a little of her own back.