Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Last weekend, my wife and I went to Palm Springs to visit my uncle who was recovering from knee replacement surgery but who is now also recovering from broken wrist surgery. This, as a result of him not listening to his doctors and falling down while attempting to walk without his cane or walker.
We Siegels are a stubborn and often stupid bunch.
After many years of traveling to my uncle's beautiful mid-century home in the historic El Mirador section, it was the first time I noticed that his street, Chia, lacked only one letter from my long time alma mater, Chiat.
My day in Palm Springs bore some other similarities to a typical day at Chiat; there was discomfort, frustration, and laughter, topped by just a smattering more of discomfort and frustration.
As my uncle was immobile, I found myself running around town picking up odds and ends for his long rehabilitation. At this point it should be noted that what Frank Gehry is to architecture, Palm Springs is not. It is a vast desert carved up into thousands of mile long, low slung strip malls.
When Siri has announced that you have arrived at your destination, you have not. Try finding the hardware store at 1450 S. Ramon Drive among the 150 other businesses located at 1450 S. Ramon Drive.
It should also be noted that Palm Springs is almost exclusively populated by old people. And gay people. Or like my uncle, older people who also happen to be gay.
Everywhere I looked there were couples of two men, often wearing a T-shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops. In other words, they looked exactly like me.
Only they were much older than my 44 years.
There I was, a barrel-chested, hirsute single man, sporting muscular calves and thick Tom Selleck-like mustache walking the sun baked streets of Palms Springs alone. Suddenly, I was their Ursine Eye Candy. And couldn't help noticing the lascivious glances thrown my way. I could almost hear them whispering as I walked by.
"I'd like to take that bald Teddy Bear home and…"
After a long day of traversing the strip malls and deflecting the imaginary unwanted attention of Chardonnay-savvy men, I decided to bring some Thai food back to the house. We ordered dinner from one of the local 4 star restaurants along Palm Canyon Drive.
Parking took 20 minutes. Finding the restaurant took 20 minutes. Straightening out my order once inside the restaurant took 20 minutes. Checking the food before leaving the restaurant and discovering it was the wrong order took 20 minutes. Canceling the order and driving to another Thai Restaurant took 20 minutes.
As I noted on my scathing one star Yelp review, I could have retrieved the Thai food faster had I boarded a plane to Bangkok.
I guess it's only fitting that my long Chia Day turned into a longer Chia Night.