When a girl from Chicago marries a Norwegian boy from North Dakota, there are bound to be adjustments. Casseroles become Hot Dish. Catholics are the devil. And everything is private. Sharing family information is never appropriate. Neither is eschewing Christmas sweaters emblazoned with Rudolph’s light up nose, annual reunions with people you saw two months ago or arguing that forty-degrees-below-zero is only cold because you know the wind chill.
Color this girl surprised when a happy hour gathering reveals the real nature of the Norwegian people. Let’s just say, something was lost in the trip across the sea.
River Rafter, Goddess Trish, Sweetest G and myself have not gathered since our annual June trek to LA. The trip again featured scaring the locals and searching for FP’s (famous people). While no FP’s were found walking about willy-nilly, we did cocktail ’til the wee hours with a couple of producers, two General Hospital stars and Stu, a crooner in love with Sweetest G, at Nic’s in Beverly Hills. Not impressed?
We also descended on Lisa Vanderpump’s latest offering, PUMP, which is, indeed, spectacular. We invaded the courtyard, taught our bartender a new song and marveled at the outdoor chandeliers dancing through the garden. Ms. Vanderpump is wearing on my nerves as again this year I tweet my eminent arrival and she is a no-show. Goddess Trish, not a Housewives fan, doubts the existence of a fabulous Brit so beautiful, talented and bitchy in all the right ways. She’ll change her tune when Ms. V floats in on a Parisian perfumed cloud and joins us for a hand-crafted fruity something from the bar.
We generally take a small break after June as detox and sleep are essential. This year, however, The Goddess and The Other Norwegian take off for Norway leaving the rest of us to flail aimlessly about until their return. Happy Hour is, indeed, in need and scheduled for Friday evening. As if the stars collude to keep us apart, scheduling problems rear their ugly heads and both Goddess and Sweetest G must move cuts and color to Friday evening just about HH time. No bother, we will move HH to Hairstyle Hottie’s shop and thus is born: Hairstyle Happy Hour.
Hairstyle Hottie, cute as a bug’s ear and twice as nice, welcomes us ready to swill along. Goddess disallows a cut and color under the influence so poor Hairstyle Hottie is sans wine until Goddess’ locks are shiny, trimmed and all one shade. With Goddess swathed in protective cape, we take a gander at her Norway photos.
We are most eager to hear of the trip–the fjords, the sea, the food, the penises. Whaaaa? In Oslo there is a sculpture garden. Quite well known is the sculpture of a small naked boy having a hissy fit. Hmmm. The next shot, a massive stone something resembling something we all recognize. And it doesn’t belong out there in public for all to see. Of course, the sculptor is male. Only a man would think that thing belongs on 14-foot display. How many times do you boys have to be told to keep those things to yourselves? We will tell you when to take them out. Pfft.
And the girls cannot resist. “Well, there’s the secret of Norwegian men.”
“No wonder they have such happy wives.”
Goddess pretends to rise above it all, wishing instead to narrate her own travelogue. Protestations mean nothing as a dribble of wine falls to her protective cape and she knows the conversation is going there. Much like ten-year-old boys when flatulence is involved; ladies, wine and penises create laughter heard throughout Old Town Scottsdale.
A little research opens all sorts of doors. Turns out, the area known as Frogner Park features the Vigeland Sculptures and is pretty famous. Like world famous. Probably a given when you erect 212 statues of naked people in a public setting. The Monolith features 121 intertwined male and female naked bodies crafted into a rock hard granite shaft, pointing skyward. There are multiple interpretations. Some say it represents man’s struggle for existence, a yearning for the spiritual sphere, transcendence of everyday life and the cycle of repetition. Others opine it is man’s desire to become closer to the spiritual and perhaps humans embracing each other as they are carried to salvation. All of this may be true.
To those of us who made the adjustment to the super private Norwegians of the North Dakota variety, this seems counter to the free to be you and me Norwegians frolicking naked in the park. Perhaps they are looking for salvation. Perhaps they are closer to God. Perhaps it is spiritual in nature.
The Norwegian people can label it any way they wish. In America, we have a saying. If it looks like a dick, swims like a dick and quacks like a dick then it’s probably a dick. So much for privacy.