Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Thomas Friedman focuses on foundation

At breakfast this morning, my husband Thomas Friedman slapped page A23 down on the table. His column.

I'd been lucky. I'd been spared his columns of late due to dubbing him The Whore of Babbling. He'd moped. He'd cursed. He'd weeped. He 'accidentally' kicked me in bed repeatedly until I "accidentally" grabbed his "thinking orbs."

He whimpered about that for days. Told me I should feel guilty. Me? All I know is my shins look a lot better without bruises.

So there I was, all that time later, wading through "A Choice for the Rogues."

"I didn't embarrass myself," he crowed triumphantly as I finished reading.

"No," I replied, "you didn't embarrass yourself too much. You left out the whole back story but the babbles were kept to a minimum and, for you, the hate speech was practically restrained. And you've ignored what the administration has done to Iraq, of course."

But apparently a day removed from town square laughing stock isn't its own reward because the whole point of writing a column in a way he thought I would approve (I didn't approve), was because he wanted my help picking out foundation garments. My help?

I get ahead of myself.

The need for foundation garments resulted from two things -- the pounds he's packed on and Simon Rosenberg's latest "transformation."

Apparently Simon Rosenberg quickly burned through his Kate Jackson stage. Farrah had probably lasted the longest -- well, she did have the most posters. Then he'd moved on to Cheryl Ladd and then Kate Jackson.

Jaclyn Smith?

Silly me, I didn't grasp that cross dressers shied away from K-Mart fashions. Shelly Hack? Apparently the Charlie fragance isn't classy or feminine enough for bulky men trying to pass as women. Apparently any de classe factor from hawking time shares in Vegas is mitigated by heaving your breasts throughout the schilling which is why Simon Rosenberg is ending out his homage to "Charlie's Angels" by being Tanya Roberts.

Though she's the blink-and-you-miss-her "Charlie's Angel," she's apparently had staying power for Simon Rosenberg. He's got a blonde wig that looks like straw and, once he plops it on, he's heaving and bouncing. All the other members of the "ladies" of the War Paint Council are seeing red over the effects foundation garmets have had on his otherwise pudgy, blobby frame.

So there we were at Nordstrom, and Thomas Friedman found the most "delightful" gaucho pants.

"Look, Betinna," he said excitedly holding the dark pants up, "only $99!"

Only $99? This from the man who regularly made me wear sheets at the start of our marriage and told people they were saris?

"Gauchos?" I asked crinkling my nose. "Are you trying to be Kate Jackson or Marilyn Monroe?"

He frowned but moved on.

I reminded him we were looking for undergarments. Several stores later, we ended up at Daphne's which specialized in "Plus Sizes." But Thomas Friedman wasn't comfortable with the clothes, the street (Amsterdam) or the sales people.

Many, many hours later we ended up in Lynbrook where Thomas Friedman ended up finding what he needed. A Body Briefer in blush, with waist-trimming and tummy-controlling panels. He just barely found fit the largest size, 50. I told him he didn't need a F-cup size but he said Marilyn would. I shuddered picturing all the gym socks I'd be washing. But we were done. We could leave the dressing room.

Once we did and the sales lady came over, I realized why I'd had to accompany him to the stores and to the dressing rooms: I was his beard.

I was his beard.

He was attempting to pretend the foundation garment was for me.

Now I am not a tiny woman, but I'm not a large woman either.

The sales lady wasn't buying it.

"Did it fit, sir?" she asked Thomas Friedman.

"It fit her," Thomas Friedman said pointing to me, "very well."

The woman snickered but rang up the purchase. Thomas Friedman stopped her and decided "she" (meaning me) needs two more in blush and three in white. I think he was just desparate to avoid going through the routine again.

As soon as we paid, Thomas Friedman shoved the sack at me, saying, "I hope you're happy now."

He rolled his eyes at the sales lady who wasn't buying any of it.

As soon as we were out of the store, Thomas Friedman grabbed the sack from me and was all excited, babbling on about, "In your face, Simon Rosenberg!"

I told him that a lady should try to be gracious and he seemed appropriately chastisized.

I tried not to think about the immediate future -- either him modeling them at home or his next column.