I turn on the TV. The actor onscreen is turned away from the camera, so we glimpse the merest flicker of face: the line of a jaw, the edge of nose. Instantly, we both blurt out “Is that The Gersh?”
A) We have a household nickname for Gina Gershon.
B) We can both recognize her in a split second, even when she’s got her back to the camera.
It’s nice we found each other.
The Fella: Your hands are so soft.
Elsa: They’re getting rough. I think I have to buy some fancy-lady lotion.
The Fella: I’ll get you some Zelda Fitzgerald gloves.
Elsa: Did she have crazy*-lady gloves?
Elsa: [way too excited at the prospect] Like, did she have the nervous disorder where she picked at her hands? And she wore gloves to keep from doing it?
The Fella: … no. She had fancy-lady gloves. She drank champagne in them. She smoked cigarettes in them.
Elsa: A lady doesn’t eat, drink, or smoke in gloves, though —despite unschooled suggestions to the contrary — it is perfectly proper to shake hands while wearing gloves. A lady should leave her gloves on rather than delay the handshake.
The Fella: A lady should bang in them.
Elsa: But Zelda mighta drunk champagne in her gloves. Or smoked in ’em.
The Fella: She mighta banged in ’em.
Elsa: Anything one may properly do in gloves, one may properly do in bed. Wait. I mean, I suspect handshake etiquette is the same as banging etiquette. Wait.
The Fella: [waits]
Elsa: [laughing] For example, the senior lady always initiates it with the younger lady! ETIQUETTE JOKE!
The Fella: Uh-huh.
Elsa: And the lady always makes the invitation, not the gentleman, but if he extends it, you’d be rude not to put your hand out for it. ETIQUETTE JOKE!
The Fella: Mm-hmm.
*I’ve been slowing trying to replace casual able-ist slurs in my everyday speech. It isn’t going super-well.
Elsa, apropos of nothing: I sang the Michigan J. Frog song at the bar tonight.
The Fella:That sounds like you.
The Fella: Is the show paused?
Elsa: No. [pushes some buttons, nothing changes] No.
The Fella: [notices sudden silence everywhere.] I think the world is paused.
The Fella and Elsa together: Nooooo!
Elsa: I think the world ended, honey. I’ll check Twitter.
About two hours after we packed up the leftovers of the luscious take-out dinner The Fella brought home, I opened up the topic.
Elsa: [tentatively] I’m thinking about eating the rest of this Indian food.
The Fella: I want you to!
Elsa: Okay then. [solemnly] We’re in agreement.
Elsa: [continuing, as usual] and he was presenting all these supposed benefits to women that are actually by-products of a sexist system that objectifies and marginalizes women while placing undue burdens on men to pursue us as sexual objects!
The Fella: I know.*
Elsa: I asked you out! Y’know why I asked you out?
The Fella: … because you liked me?
Elsa: That’s why I asked you out. You know why I asked?
The Fella: No?
Elsa: BECAUSE FEMINISM IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE!
The Fella: Yeah! It works out okay for me!
And then he went back into the kitchen and finished making pizza, which would have been a gender-prohibited behavior for most husbands a few decades ago, so there’s another example of how feminism is great FOR EVERYONE!
*Note: he did not know**.
**He did know about the sexist system, but not about the conversation.
Elsa: You should know: every time the channel guide shows a movie starring Colin Farrell, I picture Will Ferrell.
The Fella: That would change things.
Elsa: Yup. Though, I’ll tell ya, I don’t think Phone Booth could have been any funnier.