Getting back into the creative space I was in years back is like learning to walk after you’ve had an accident. You can do it, but each step takes so much more of you then before the trauma.
Looks, ma a new video!!
Friends, The last couple years have sucked. I have my health, my kids are good. Check! But, dang. The drama in my marriage- many sources– had worn me down and robbed me of gusto, self esteem, courage… in short, the Daph Master Flash.
But, with the help of dear friends, white wine and some alone time I woke up the other day with a “hell yeah, let’s do this”. I had don’t have a crew or pay, but gosh dang it I want to express myself!! I miss cooking with a camera on me. So, here is the product of my first attempt at my one woman food network. Enjoy
The age old question, where is the remote? Eventually we all find it, behind a cushion, under the sofa, out back in some mud. But, last week we gave up. This time the remote had had enough of our abuse, dropping, buttery fingers and put a nap sack over it’s shoulders and hit the rails.
We have a 2 story house. One big TV upstairs, one down stairs. The days of my kids watching the same thing are rare. But, not such a big deal because between homework, after school stuff and the random laptop we got by. Until today….
Both kids home sick. Vivien upstairs, Rex downstairs. After I made the jell-o ( Cherry only and non of that sugar free yucky stuff) I got my exercise in as I shuttled the ONE remote up and down. “My show is done, I need the remote Rex” Vivien called.
Up I went, Down I went
“I don’t like this show” Rex said. Up I went, down I went.
Then the mail came. Today’s Daphne thanked Daphne of last week. Because I ordered a replacement remote! It had arrived. Batteries in. Now, I’m just sitting on my tushy till I’m called for the next round of jell-o
it ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And you’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love
Even before marriage I thought this was the most accurate song of a real relationship. I still think so. Today is the 15th anniversary of when I met my husband Mark Peel. My friend Heather was with me. I had just had a lousy stand up set. I was in an area of town I barely knew. Heather knew less having just moved to LA from San Francisco where we met each other working Metro Traffic in 1991. The Tobacco Road of broadcasting.
“We could go to Luna Park or go upscale and go to Campanile.”
“Let’s go upscale” she said.
That changed my life.
It was around 10. Dinner crowd had drained out. We perched ourselves on the dark orange leather square seats. Felix the bartender served us warmly. Great wines, yummy nibbles, we joked to those within earshot. All was good. I made fun of some guy from the kitchen with a funny hat. He looked confused.
Later the manager would introduce that man to me. Chef owner Mark Peel.
He was not my type. Yet I couldn’t stop thinking about what he looked like without those white clothes on.
Cut to now. 2 children, helped raise my stepson and two older stepchildren who have been very important to my life. A step grandson who I adore.
But, we are not good. Details are not for here, but I know I’m not the only one whose great love story does not have “a happily ever after.”
I’ve recently started doing some stand up again. One of my jokes “weddings are ruined for me. I’m sitting there with a slow clap, clap. Good luck. You two against the world. Wait till you have to share a sink everyday and watch your spouse floss, yeah, “at last”!!
There is love, some respect and the intense devotion to our children. I wouldn’t write this if they didn’t know something was rotten in the produce drawer. They do. I’m sorry they do. Most of the time we are “fine”. But, in my belly there is a daily churn. Occasionally, so bad I have to have a Brian Wilson day. ( aka not get out of bed)
I started wanting to do mom blog videos back in 2007 because I knew I wasn’t the only mom who felt isolated by new motherhood. Now, I extend the same message, but with a twist: who here is isolated because your marriage is not quite right and you cannot say it aloud? You don’t want to reveal too much, you don’t want to dog your man, you don’t want to embarass your kids. I have felt alone the last couple of years. But, a few weeks ago it shifted for me. Now, I’m practically stopping strangers on the street. “Did you find everything you needed?” asks the cashier.
“Not the key to conflict resolution, no I did not.”
The isolation and shame of not having my happily ever after has stifled me creatively as well. I’ve barely generated one funny, or sad word here in the last couple of years. I texted to a friend tonight “I’m a shadow of my former self.”
” How did this happen? I never thought this would be me. ” I muse.
You know how when you are young you are full of absolutes. “I would never____” . “If ___ happened, that’s it, I’m gone.” Then you grow up and all those things happen and you do not change course. “you learn to live with the things you cannot rise above.”
I’ve written before about my brother’s suicide. “Why?” People ask. I ask myself.
“Why do you two have problems?” People ask. I ask myself. In both cases, it’s multi layered. Never one clear, “well, he never folded the laundry!” “He hated how I chewed my food.” Now you have the same finances, friends and children. Unlike when you are dating you just can’t grab your toothbrush and favorit pillow and go. I have no answers and no pronouncements. I only know as a friend told me once, “we are lost in the storm.”
I know, without knowing, I’m not the only one in this blizzard.
It wasn’t someone I knew. But, while listening to her vulnerable, shaking voiced testimony this morning an incident came flooding back. One day where I was pinned by a man. I was 13.
I grew up in Los Angeles. It was the Fall of 1979. I went to a progressive public school located on Robertson Blvd next to Hamilton High School. We were a magnet. We had open campus privileges. Now, if I walked as far as Fred’s Bakery to get a cheese bagel for lunch, which we often did, things were fine. But, it was kind of known that if you went further North the street felt more dangerous. But, one day my friend and I wanted to eat something different so we walked to Taco Bell. It did feel less safe than Fred’s Bagels. An uneasy feeling. We looked at the menu and both decided we didn’t want to eat there.
I only half noticed these noisy guys who had come in. I cannot tell you anything about one of the guys. But, the one that is in my head was white, had longish sandy blonde hair, not the clearest skin, but not ugly. Light colored shirt. They were talking loudly. Maybe they were already singing. Like they were high or drunk. My friend and I walked towards the exit. We were passing them. The blonde guy pinned us against the wall. He was singing, then he ambushed us. It happened very fast. His arms were over us, but not touching. his hands on either side of us. He leaned in so close to me I could smell his warm breath. He was singing “Good girls don’t, good girls don’t, but I do.” The Knack song. I had never heard it before then. Now, here is the funny thing about human responses in a crisis. I was a mouthy, wise cracker then ( as now). My friend was quiet, soft. But, in that moment I was frozen. I was terrified and I didn’t know what to do. My gentle friend on the other hand, did. She grabbed my hand and broke hard against his arm and ran dragging me behind her. Once she bolted, I thought, oh, yeah, run. But, had I been alone, I don’t know if and when that would have ever kicked in. That’s why when people say, well, why didn’t so and so do this or that I think STFU, you have no idea how you will react. I want to think I’ll be like the Rock in a movie, but I doubt it.
We ran all the back down Robertson to our campus. When we got there students were hanging out on our tiny patch of asphalt. I remember us telling a few of them, “oh, this creepy guy grabbed us…” But, I don’t recall having “Let’s go tell the teachers. Let’s call the police” thoughts. No one suggested it either. I was shaken and grossed out. I was embarrassed we had gone all the way to Taco Bell. It was our fault we went down there. Which some people did comment on.. “Oh, you can’t go that far down the street”
Life went on. I had been out of touch with that friend, but a few years ago we reconnected. We enjoy going to drink wine or have dinner. I said something about that icky neighborhood we went to school in. “Oh, we bought our house near there.” She said, not thinking it icky at all.
“Oh, I’m sure it has changed” I said, not wanting to insult her neighborhood
One night I said to her, “I really want to thank you for being so brave and grabbing my hand that day in the Taco Bell when they gross guy cornered us. I was frozen with fear.”
She had NO IDEA what I was talking about. She didn’t remember it at all.
Does that mean it didn’t happen? No. But, if that guy who sang the Knack song was up for a Supreme Court Seat and I told my story would I be believed? I know it happened. I also know that when I hear that song ..almost 30 years later, I feel like I’m going to throw up.
right after school is out the future looks so bright…
This weekend I’m in another Food: Fact or Fiction on Cooking Channel. Here is a clip where I tackle the issue of why we love cheese. ( why would we not?) In this clip host Michael Mckean actually says my name! Been a fan for years.. if only we had been in the same room..and got to be funny together. That would be an 11.
How do you get your kid to clean up their room? Tell them they will have a bloody, dangling body part if they do not. I know. It happened to me!
Ever wondered where a Cobb Salad came from? Well, check me out of Cooking Channel’s Food: Fact or Fiction and find out. Airs this weekend. (Jan 14th 7pm PST)
They chyron me as “Home Cook”. Hmm, host of the previously aired Daphne Dishes too long? I’ve taped a few of these and I enjoy doing them. The only bummer is they are all shot in an un airconditioned loft in Downtown LA. We shot most of them in the warm months. Because it is a noisy area we have to shut the hip industrial windows when we we tape and I probably had sweaty pits here.
But I digress…