Welcome 2010!

Happy New Year! This year I resolve to blog more. Amongst a growing list of resolutions. And while there are a seemingly infinite number of issues and stories I could report on at the moment (really, things are happening for me lately, it's kind of wild), I'd like to begin 2010 with the first really good story of the year. And for my grand entrance back here at saltychelle, I can stay true to the strange oddities and encounters in life that have been the lifeblood of the stories that made this blog famous.

Or, well, not. But those four loyal readers knowwhahmsayn.

Ok, so this story actually takes place on New Year's Eve, 2009. I'm feeling pretty excited - despite a looming sinus thing coming on - for the evening ahead. I get off work early, run a few errands, and am still home by 3:00. Get the dog out to the park, deal with some chores. A beautiful, sunny, productive day.

6:00-something rolls around which is about when I needed to start getting ready. I'm kinda loose about such things as time. But, I realized I had forgotten to get a couple of things for my much-anticipated New Year's Day slow-cooker meatballs. As I'm putting my shoes on to head to the store, my dear friend Nora calls me. I mentioned I'm leaving for the store. She also needs to get some things from the store. "Oh, well maybe I'll see you there," I say, pretending to be an interested potential suitor. "Maybe," she coyly plays back. We laugh, hang up.

I got held up when I had another phone call leaving the house. I figured she'd get there before me, and might even be gone by the time I got there. No big deal, though I do have a good time when I shop with Nora. (Yes, we tend to shop together a lot for some reason.) But, I digress. I am happy to see that she is still there when I enter the parking lot. There's no mistaking the giant silver skull on the rear window of her Xterra. As I walk in the sliding doors, I see her right there at the U-Scan, her back to me.

Ok, so probably an aside worth mentioning here - in addition to the Skullterra (as it's known to it's friends and admirers), there are a LOT of things about Nora that are unmistakable. She is a beautiful, buxom, 6" tall former child-model. She has a veritable mane of luxurious, currently jet-black, impeccably coiffed, long, wavy hair. She dresses kind of, shall we say, noticeably. Other words that come to mind are: loud, sexy, outlandish, Victorian, and always playing up her best feature - curves. She is pretty extraordinary. And wonderful.

So there she is, scanning her box of crackers (which she told me she had forgotten for her NYE party), in her black, mid-calf, heeled boots which I recognize, bright magenta tights, and super-cute, very Victorian, lacy black skirt. She is also wearing her workday standard black, wool, double-breasted coat. I realize this is way more detail than is necessary, but the point - if it wasn't obvious - is that this woman is UNMISTAKABLE. And I spend a LOT of time with her. I recognized her boots and coat. The other stuff maybe I haven't seen before, but this is a woman with a Narnia-wardrobe for a closet; she is constantly bringing out something I've never seen before that she has either made, improved upon, found for $5 at a resale shop, or maybe just forgot she ever owned. Yes, I don't remember seeing those tights or skirt before, but they were exactly the style she whips out at any given moment.

In my NYE excitement, I decide to give her a little surprise. I do this to her a lot. It's fun for me. She's relatively easy to startle and/or frighten, and she's pretty good-natured about it when I fuck with her. So, I quietly walk up behind her and she never spots me, even in her peripheral vision. My chest is nearly touching her back, I get on my tiptoes, place my hand on her left shoulder while simultaneously putting my mouth up to her left ear and saying, louder than a whisper and quite authoritatively, in my deepest, throatiest man-voice, "Ah, excuse me, Ma'am."

She whips her face around so that our noses are about an inch apart and gasps so loudly it kind of finishes with a scream. At which point I emit an equally loud gasp-scream as I realize this woman is NOT Nora.


"Oh my god!" I kind of yell.
"Oh my god, I am SO sorry!"

Luckily, Nora's doppelganger is the kind of woman who can laugh about such situations. And she did. Hysterically, actually. We laughed so hard the tears came, and we each had a palm on the other's arm, supporting one another and connecting in this very weird, hilarious moment. Through the gasping laughter I attempted to explain that she looks just like my best friend, whom I was trying to scare.

"For fun," I sputter, in explanation.

She laughs even harder, which I then do too.

"You're really GOOD at it!" she says.

And as I stood there laughing with this cool lady who looks just like my best friend, I felt oddly proud of myself.

And that maybe it's going to be a great new decade.