Saturday, November 16, 2002

Last night after seeing "Red Dragon," the first of the Hannibal Lecter trilogy movies and second best to "Silence of the Lambs," Esther and I came home and I made a scary face at her. Basically, I just bug out my eyes and give a maniacal smile. She closed her eyes and refused to look at me. I got upset with her. She said that face I made would give her nightmares. I told her there's no face you make that would give me nightmares. It just opened a part of me I'm sensitive about, and that is my somewhat menacing looks.

I wish I had the ability to post pictures on this web site. I'm sure I could figure it out in time. Then I could take pictures of myself and my various faces and post them. I know that if I tried to become a Hollywood actor, I'd be typecast as the bad guy. With my long face, big eyes, prominent brow and devilish grin I'd make a perfect villain. Nobody but me knows how much my appearance affects my personality. I try to smile a lot to offset the appearance. And think that when I was younger I was singled out by teachers and classmates because of it. In elementary school if some unsolved mischief occurred I was the first one blamed. More because I was a hyperactive child, but also, I believe, because of my looks. Of course, I'm surely overly sensitive about it, but you would be, too, if many people over the course of the years made allusions to you looking like Lurch on the Adams Family, Jaws of James Bond movie fame, or, my favorite, Frankenstein.

And Esther's refusal to look at me hurt. Hurt a lot. Because she's the love of my life, my spouse, my partner, my best friend. Sure, she'd just seen a scary movie, and I was making a scary face on purpose. I understand all that. It still hurts. That I can make a face that sends chills down the spine of my dearest Sisu. And if she's all goodness and light, attractor of small animals and children, and I am her opposite, what does that make me? In a little while we are going to the in-laws to celebrate Trent Larson's birthday. Trent and Beth's daughter, Emily, will be there. She's scared of me. And not because of anything I've done, but because of how I look. And I know looks are superficial. And I know it is easy to move beyond appearances. I have. I do. But to be saddled with a menacing appearance is a burden nonetheless. I was painfully reminded of this last night.

Tonight I get together with Andy and possibly Steve. We're going to check out some live music somewhere in Rockford. It should be fun. That is, if Andy's not a sourpuss. And even if he is, I plan to not let it get to me. Tonight is all about fun. Saturday night. Esther and I need a break from each other. Andy is one of the few friends that doesn't like having her around when we go out. In fact, he's the only friend like this. It is because he is a misogynist (has a deep-seated mistrust and dislike of women). It's an issue of confidence with him. He has none. Or very little. Beer gives him courage, a foolish bravado.

Here in the Locascio household I am in charge of all things food, from purchasing groceries to preparing meals. For the past year we have done our grocery shopping at Woodman's, a humongous supermarket on the far east side of Rockford off Perryville Road. I have been contemplating a different way to shop and employed it today. I started out at Aldi's and bought canned goods, milk, eggs, chicken thigh and leg quarters and frozen Whiting fillets. The line was horrendous, and most of the stuff they sell at Aldi's is pure crap, from the convenient frozen foods to potato chips to all the toys and computers. I remember this from shopping at Aldi's back in college days and in terms of non-food crap items, its gotten worse. The 20 minutes in line went by quick as I talked to this old man, in his sixties, about grocery shopping, going to Europe, household chores, east side v. west side in Rockford, etc. He wore a flannel jacket and a Columbia fleece hat with ear flaps.

Then it was on to the 320 store in downtown Rockford for fresh fruit and vegetables. Great variety, the stock man addressed regular customers by first name. On a wooden beam near the cash register is pinned pictures and notes from local Catholic priests. The veggies look so much fresher than at Woodman's. Last I went to Pinnon's meat market and bought a ham steak, baby back ribs and sirloin steak. It was a bit more expensive, but again, better quality. No foam trays. The lady who served me behind the meat counter saw a regular customer and told her "hold on a minute and I'll come give you a big hug." It reminded me of the meat market I worked at in college, Inboden's, in DeKalb. I helped with customer service there.

Of course, I forgot a bunch of things, but will continue with this system. The 320 store and Pinnon's Meat Market are both locally owned and close to home. Aldi's is cheap and convenient for picking up staple items. This new system will work itself out and result in better, fresher meats, veggies and fruit. Sure, I'll pay a little more, but hope Aldi's cheapness balances out the extra cost. We'll see. Maybe after a year or two the shopkeepers will know me by name. That'd be cool.

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