Marti's Theory

Archive for October 2014

I actually wrote this in 2005, but it just came up in conversation on Facebook, so I hunted it down on a now defunct blog and copy/pasted it over here.  Didn’t edit; just copied.  I love this goofy man and yes, this happened:

Okay, I’ve got a story – this happened a couple of years ago, in the Kahului Safeway.

I was standing in line to have my groceries checked, sort of biding my time, privately zoning out, when I could sense that the person behind me seemed to want my attention. Know how you can just feel it when someone wants into your space? I could peripherally see that there was a man behind me, looking back and forth between the tabloids and me. He was about three inches farther into the zone that is universally declared as MINE than I cared to have him. Finally, he spoke.

“So…do you think this stuff is true?” He spoke in the halting voice of someone who might be a little slow or at very least undereducated. Normally I’m a very friendly person, but on that day, I just didn’t want to deal with it. Without making eye contact, I politely mumbled something about not believing anything those papers wrote. I glanced at the tabloid, which had a photo of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.

A few seconds passed. I could tell he was still looking at me.

Him: “You know, I used to work for them.”
Me: “Oh, that’s interesting.” Said nicely and warmly but still no eye contact
Him: “Yeah, they had a place on Kauai.”
Me: “Did they?”
Him: “Yeah. I was their gardener!”

He said this with such pride that I was moved to turn around and be warm and decent to this poor person. “Wow, that’s neat,” I said as I turned to smile directly into a pair of very familiar twinkling blue eyes and ornery smirk. (Holy shit, it’s Bill Murray). Without missing a beat, I turned back around and continued to stack my groceries on the conveyor. He helped. No further eye contact on my part while I thought it through.

“Yeah,” said I rather maternally, “you’ve gotta really be careful about believing what you read in those things.”

Gardener Bill: “Really? Isn’t it true?”

Me: “No. They’re really mean to celebrities.” We pause again, each person plotting his next move. Okay, I’ve got it.

Me again: “But you know who they really, really go after?”

Gardener Bill, seriously wondering: “Uh…athletes?”

“No…”

(Question mark hangs in the air)

Me, slowly, after a deliberate pause: “Comedians.”

And the game began.

For the next ten minutes we played a cat and mouse game (not sure who was whom) with Bill trying to make me acknowledge who he was and that I liked him and me absolutely refusing the bait. I rattled off his whole life history practically (not to mention that of his brother Brian – I mean, Bill Murray is my all time favorite twisted brain idol – I LOVE him and know practically all there is to know about him). Yet it was just in matter-of-fact conversation, without me ever looking directly at him again or acknowledging that I had ever heard of Bill Murray. I talked about the first SNL season and said “I’ll tell you who my favorite was–” and he’d cut me off, asking expectantly, “Bill Murray??? Is your favorite Bill Murray??? I really like him!!” And I’d just shake my head like, no…don’t seem remember him. I referenced Second City, bit players from his movies, I even picked up a disposable Gillette from the impulse rack and mumbled something about the Razor’s Edge (ouch). And each time he’d expectantly ask, “Wasn’t BILL MURRAY in that??” It was so much fun.

This continued through the store, out to the parking lot and all the way to my car. For a moment, I thought he was going to actually get in (what fun that would have been). Until finally I had to drive away. My last image of him was standing in the Safeway parking lot, waving goodbye with an exaggerated sad face.

I’m thinking of this because I just watched Lost in Translation for the third time. And each time I see it, I love it more. Why do I absolutely love that movie so much? It also caused me to realize that many of my ‘keeper’ movies have him in it – What About Bob? Groundhog Day, Rushmore, A Life Aquatic…never made the Murray connection before.

I guess some twisted brains age really, really well. And his continues to be my favorite, in fact more so than ever.

o-LOST-IN-TRANSLATION-facebook

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I remember sitting my office at Silverado Resort, when my buddy Gary – referring to how I handled a recent situation – made the comment that I was the poster girl for the “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” sound bite. He meant it as a compliment and I took it as such, referring back to it often.   I mean, that’s a good thing, right?   Make the best of any given situation, right?  So I liked being associated with it.

That is, I liked it until last week. While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed … past the cats, past the political sound bites, past the Instagrams of what people had for dinner last night, I came upon this:

lemon chocolate

What???

I stopped and back-scrolled. “When life gives you lemons, throw it back and ask for chocolate?” Oh, yes. YES!   Hitting the SHARE button, I announced to the world that this is how I am now planning to live the last third of my life. Yes, I’m two-thirds of the way through. I’m not sure when that happened, but I digress…

So now I had a new motto, which I was very happy with.  Until last Wednesday.  It was during my 45 minute drive back from the main campus. Traffic was slow, radio reception was static-ky and my iPod was at home, so my thoughts wandered back to that sound bite. Give back the lemons and ask for chocolate. What a concept.

But what kind of chocolate would I want? Godiva? A chocolate truffle? Wait. What if I only get a Hershey’s bar, like at the checkout counter at Safeway? I mean, nothing against Hershey’s but that’s pretty … ordinary.  Shouldn’t I ask for something better?  I could at least score one of those Cadbury eggs that they only sell around Easter.

The more I thought, the more I realized that – as much as I love chocolate – I knew I could do better. Stuck in traffic, I tried to think of my most favorite taste sensation ever. What has made my taste buds sing beyond all else? As evidenced by my current plus size slacks, I dearly love food. So could I even think of a favorite? Is there an ultimate? Traffic finally began to move, so I put the thought aside.

But then somewhere around Maalaea it hit me: I knew the answer!

When I was about seven years old, my aunt Mary took me to an upscale Pittsburgh department store that had a candy counter brimming with hand made items. Looking into the case, I saw these perfectly shaped tiny little fruits that weren’t really fruit. OMG, they were beautiful!   Lost in these miniature wonders, I thought I heard the crisply uniformed candy clerk calling my name.

“Marti Anne.”

Jumping back in alarm I responded, “What? I’m sorry!”

“Sorry?  Dear, I was just telling you they are marzipan. Those little candies are called marzipan.”

Relieved that I wasn’t being scolded, I stole a side eye glance at my aunt.

“Would you like to try one, honey?” the candy clerk lady asked, while handing me a tiny little apple, formed and colored to perfection, shading and all.   Aunt Mary gave an affirmative nod.

“Yes, thank you,“ I said while reaching for the delicacy. Carefully, slowly, I took a bite. Now I may not be remembering this accurately but I swear – a choir came out of the sky and beautiful harps began to play. Angels floated by and lifted me up onto a cloud.  It was the most heavenly bite I’d ever tasted in my life. Who knew that if you took blanched almonds and smooshed them together with a lot of sugar, it could taste like that?  Oh … my … goodness.

120107 Marzipan Fruit

Coming back to the present, I realized I was passing through Olowalu, and the radio reception would begin to improve. But that was fine because now I had a perfectly tweaked motto for this phase of my life:

If life gives you lemons, give ‘em back and ask for marzipan. And could you dip in it chocolate, please?

MW

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The rest of the story…

This whole blog made me crave marzipan something fierce.  Where, on a little island in the middle of the Pacific could I get some?  I decided to check the R Fields counter of Lahaina’s Foodland Farms, as they’re the closest thing we have to an upscale grocery store.  Yes, I know it’s not really upscale, but still. Anyway, I asked the lady at the counter if she happened to have any marzipan and she nearly demanded, “why are you asking me that??!!”  I tried to explain (thinking I was in trouble yet AGAIN because of this stuff) when she interrupted me to joyfully explain she is from the European town that is known for their superior marzipan and was so happy to be asked that.   European Candy Lady didn’t have any in stock, but within five minutes she had me hooked up with the R Fields counter in the brand new Foodland Farms, which she says “gets all the good stuff now.”  So here’s a picture of me from this past Friday, enjoying imported chocolate covered marzipan.  See?  I told you about this phase…

Marizan and Marti Anne

Marti Anne and Marzipan



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