this is kinda about my upper body, but really i can’t find a pithy title. bear with me.

The other day I learned about two words I didn’t know could go together.


I’ve been wearing hoodies since the seventh grade, back when you could only get them at sporting goods stores. Just about every day I was in a blue hoodie, and then one day they started making them in other colors. And then they started carrying them in more stores. And then they made them smaller, like for girls. And then they were everywhere. And then there were neighborhoodies. And then… cashmere. Hoodie.

I don’t own any cashmere. I should say that up front. It’s very expensive. I talked stee into one cashmere purchase. I think he’s worried the cashmere sweater would say he’s the kind of guy who wears cashmere sweaters, but it really looks nice on him. He’s never worn it. I think he keeps it in a special drawer, one that cannot be opened. I’d swipe it, but it’d be too big on me. And if I’m going to wear something in cashmere, it might as well fit.

Anyway, I found out how much a cashmere hoodie costs at work the other day. $350. I went, “Oh, no! I can’t have a cashmere hoodie.”

“Why? I have three of them.”

“I have like five.”

I’m trying to tell you the difference between me and the people I work with. They’re the kind of classy women who get to own multiple cashmere sweaters. I literally had to bite my lip to keep from shouting, “That’s almost how much my wedding dress cost.” If I owned a cashmere hoodie, it’d be the most expensive thing I ever bought myself to wear, outside of that gown. I can’t imagine. (also: I kinda can’t wait to buy myself a cashmere hoodie. I’d wear it over and over until it fell off of me. Or, I’d keep it in my closet, terrified that I’d accidentally spill wine all over it, which is what tends to happen with nice things I own (see: last dress I bought for myself that cost more than one hundred dollars.))

Also, I don’t know if I’m the kind of woman who can pull off a cashmere hoodie. I currently have two bruises on my arms, one on each upper arm, just above my elbow. It looks like someone grabbed me and shook me. I bruise easily, so I have no idea where these bruises came from. Here’s my guess:

One is from the lock on my driver’s side door. I think when I lean my arm out the window, I hit myself on the lock. This is because late at night when we leave, I have to roll down my window to talk to the security guard, who lately will keep me for upwards of ten minutes chatting about my sitcom, and asking if there’s a part for him I could write for him. I’d be much more interested in giving him his big break if he’d let me go home. He’s very nice, and he means well, but his shift just started, while mine is ending in its twelfth to sixteenth hour.

The right side is probably from my office door. It swings shut when I open it, because I think my office is on a slant. It’s big and purple, the bruise, and it’s not going away anytime soon. I have two options: makeup, which I’m horrible at, or wearing it proudly like some punk biker girl.

Today I went for the second option, wearing a grey hoodie (found backstage when I was doing the Anne Heche show, which made it free). But the stage was warm during the run-through, so I took the hoodie off. I was in a tank top.

The script supervisor came over to me at one point and gingerly took my arm. “Um,” she said. “I think you need more vitamin C, honey.”

“I’m sorry. I know. I tried to eat red meat today. My husband told me I was probably lack in iron.”

“Your husband?”

And then she gave me the look a lot of people have been giving me lately. The “who beats you?” look. I’m used to it, as I’ve been bruising easily since I was little. My parents were called into school once because my legs were so bruised. It was due to my Big Wheel, but they weren’t buying it. I once fell down a hill… okay, I was rolling intentionally down a hill and then hurt myself trying to stand up, which means I fell more down the hill and kind of dislocated something in my left arm that has never healed correctly because I wasn’t supposed to be in downtown Houston at the time and I never told anyone and my arm turned all black and yellow. My dance teacher pulled me aside and asked about my home life. I once took a softball to the eye, and everybody thought my boyfriend beat me. You can’t be bruised without everyone thinking you’re battered. Even when you tell them how you really hurt yourself (I fell down a hill, a door hit me, I leaned against something too hard, I tried to catch a softball with my face), it sounds like you’re a huge liar.

So I’m someone who bruises very easily. Tyson used to exploit this throughout high school. He loved nothing more than grabbing my arm and pressing firmly with his thumb, knowing I’d have a bruise there the next day. We went one weird month where he’d bit my wrist every couple of days. I had his dental records on my arm for half a semester. He thought it was hilarious. So hilarious, in fact, that he knew I had been extra careful the days up to my wedding, because I was in something strapless, and on the night before my wedding, he grabbed my upper arm and gave it the Tyson squeeze. I know he was kidding, but he also knew what he was doing. In just about every wedding picture, you can see the tiny bruise on the back of my left arm, where Tyson said, “I’m so happy you’re marrying stee.” I hate it and I love it.

The gym where I work out in the mornings has three televisions in front of me, with three different channels you cannot change. One is CNN. One is ABC. The third is Vh-1. I cannot tell you how weird it’s been to watch one channel showing horrible Katrina devastation, the next one showing Kelly Ripa making a fool out of herself, and the third alternating between Mariah Carey in a bubble bath and the Pussycat Dolls showing me their asses. On the latter two, there’s always a crawl about giving money to the Red Cross, but it’s still a bizarre juxtaposition, one that feels like I’m stuck in A Clockwork Orange. Tears, Morons, and Asses. One, two, three. There is nowhere to look. It just makes me run faster, so I can hurry up and get the mileage done.

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