Archive | Fail RSS feed for this section

DO NOT GO INTO THE LIGHT.

24 Jun

There was a very large, very loud insect flying around my desk, banging into the windows, the walls, trying desperately to be free from the confines of the library. Adding to its confusion and distress, I’d wager, were the huge windows made of clean, clear, shiny glass and the plants we’ve lined up on their sills. One fluorescent light glaring alone in an otherwise darkened room perhaps seemed to it, this frantic creature that terrified me, to be the sun. The sun is good and warm. The sun means outside, means freedom and fresh air, reunion with other big, buzzing, man-eating creatures.

So this poor, misled, disoriented bug flew straight for the false sun with all its might and strength and belief that what it was seeing was good and real- and was immediately zapped silent, sent off to that big scary bug heaven in the sky. I breathed a sigh of relief, but was soon after pricked with a needle of sadness, bitten by empathy. The thing wanted to be free. It wanted to live. Maybe it also wanted to eat me, but that desire was out of its control. In an effort and attempt to live, it went after what it learned meant life, only to be tricked and meet its demise.

The moral of this bug’s life, as I see it, is to give up, to accept the darkness, to embrace the fact that you are trapped, for to attempt to escape could mean your horrible, burning death at the hands of a false sun, because you chose to believe in the lie that is hope.

Or, I don’t know, maybe a bug flew into a light and I need to stop trying so hard to find meaning in the mundane in a desperate attempt to have something to write about so I can finally update this blog.

In which I have a meltdown in the middle of a Red Robin.

19 Dec

YummmaaarRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!! Source

If only I had just eaten the well-done burger.

Let me say this now: whichever one of you finds my body – oh, who am I kidding? When the neighbors complain about the smell and a rep from the condo board (yeah, I finally moved in to my grandpa’s old place, whoopee) has a maintenance man break down my door and finds me a.) naked and dead on the stairs, having fallen to my death because I put off getting a runner; b.) naked and dead in one of the upstairs bathrooms, having slipped to death on one of the many loose tiles that I can’t yet afford to replace; or c.) fully clothed and dead, having finally followed through on something in my miserable life, ending it all by my own hopefully exquisitely manicured hand, please see to it that my tombstone reads as follows:

Ambrosia Prudence Jones

19somethin’somethin’-20somethin’somethin’

“If only I had. . . “

Bury me in something chic, black, and tastefully (think Beyonce tasteful, not Jackie O tasteful) sequined. DO NOT let my mother make any decisions about my hair or makeup. Find a Fabulous Gay to do that. I want flowers, flowers, and more flowers, and completely inappropriate music at my funeral. The women in attendance should be wearing hats and heels, a la American Horror Story: Coven.  Send them away if they aren’t.

Enough about my funeral plans. And look, I get that it’s. . . macabre that I have a rough sketch of funeral plans at my age, but in the four months since we last met, dear reader, life has handed me no bright moment that has led me to plan, even prematurely, anything other than my eventual demise. It is the only thing I can count on happening. There are, as always, no men in my life, and I sadly have yet to discover or develop a taste for women. Though if I did, I’m sure I’d find that things would be just as dismal on the dating front.

Remember that whole thing about my probably not being able to have kids? Um, yeah, so I couldn’t get pregnant if I had sex with Shawty Lo. Or Kevin Federline, who may be more immediately familiar to white some readers. I am at the moment infertile, though I’m not supposed to use the term infertile. I was told in my sort of support group thing that I sometimes attend that we’re not to ever say we’re infertile until the doctors have taken away our uteri. We’re “reproductively  challenged” or some such nonsense. I have a giant fibroid inside my uterus AND a super fun thing called PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Not only can I not find a human male to have sex with me that isn’t homeless and/or over the age of 50, if I did and wanted to have a baby, chances are I wouldn’t ovulate. If I somehow did ovulate, there is no where for the baby egg thingamajig (yay, science) to go because my whole mother oven is blocked. Surgery is extremely risky, with hysterectomy being an unfortunate possible side effect. If the surgery was successful, the surgeons have no way of guaranteeing that I’d be left with enough healthy uterine tissue to successfully carry a pregnancy to term, in the event I were to ever meet a man and then, of course, ovulate. It’s a supremely jacked up Circle of Life. Despair and hope indeed.

For a number of weeks now, I’ve been getting shot up with a drug I won’t name in an effort to maintain one last sliver of privacy since I thought it was a FANTASTIC idea to post selfies (like three; I’m in my thirties and not that particular brand of ridiculous or beautiful) under this nom de plume on fucking tumblr in the hopes that someone, anyone (hopefully with a nice face and penis) would tell me I was beautiful and not a monstrosity of epic proportions. The drug is supposed to make me temporarily menopausal which is in turn supposed to shrink the fibroids and Jesus Christ I bet you’re all wondering what the hell my uterus has to do with Red Robin. I’m getting there, I swear, I’m getting there. This is what happens when I don’t write for four months. Sorry.

I’m not so sure about the menopausal part, considering the fact that I’ve been. . . um. . . bleeding (sorry, I know, so sorry) for almost two months, and the shrinking isn’t happening at a rate that my doctor is pleased with. What I’m certain of is the drug is causing me to feel sadder and angrier and far more emotionally raw than usual AND NOW WE’RE FINALLY GETTING TO THE TITLE OF THE POST I ALWAYS GET THERE WE MIGHT HAVE A LAYOVER IN DALLAS BUT WE ALWAYS GET TO OUR DESTINATION. And I’d like to think it’s because of my general unhappiness compounded by the goddamn holidays and the cold and the knowledge that I may never be able to have children and the ongoing pain and discomfort and blood and mood swings and loneliness and the unshakable feeling that I don’t really matter to anyone at the medical practice because I’m not there for IVF or egg extractions and the feeling that I don’t really matter to anyone at all anywhere and the worry that men can smell my defect on me and that’s why they stay away, between the no babies and the sociopath ex, I am Damaged Goods and now I may have lost my new friends all because of a burger.

We waited 29 minutes for someone to take our order. We watched the people next to us get served their meal, eat their meal, and get their check before one of my friends got up to find out what the heck was going on. They, the people at the next table, even asked us if anyone had come to take our drink order, and they were literally a middle school couple. They could not have been older than 14 years old and they knew things were bad. The hostess was kind enough to take our drink order and serve  us before a shiftless manchild came to take our food order. Here’s where things went downhill: I ordered guacamole bacon burger cooked “a little bit pink”, following Red Robin’s ordering instructions. I got an impeccably dressed hockey puck. I took two bites and decided I couldn’t enjoy the gristly meat husk masquerading as hamburger and waited 10 minutes or so for The Dude to wander back to our section so I could reluctantly send back my meal. He never came, but the on top of it and super apologetic hostess did.

At some point between my waiting to receive the meal I’d ordered in the first place and my eventual meltdown, The Dude appeared and attempted to give us our check. We all sort of looked at him as if he were insane; was he even remotely aware of our kind of shitty experience? Did he think that maybe we wanted that big ass ice cream pie crime against humanity that they serve, because um, yeah, we did? We  kindly mentioned that we wanted to order dessert; “Uhhh, I’m pretty sure we’re like, closed though” he replied. I think it was here that I lost it, but didn’t realize that I’d lost it. Everything happened so fast, like when a perfectly gently boiling pot all of sudden loses its ever loving shit and starts to barf all over the stove. That’s how it was with me. I didn’t even have a chance to turn down the flame or grab a lid or scream at my mom to do something while I played “Candy Crush Saga” in the bathroom.

If the kitchen was closed, what about my burger? I didn’t say this; I didn’t say anything. I just stared at him, at the neon “YUMMM” on the wall, at nothing in particular. My friends went from fierce warriors against dining injustice to sniveling diners worried about being nice to terrible service people. “Oh, you’re closed? Oh my god. We’re so sorry. Never mind. No dessert for us. Just the check.”

“No, wait. Why don’t you check to make sure that the kitchen is in fact closed. You know, since I’m waiting for my dinner and all.” I tried to say it kindly, but I was hungry and tired and annoyed and I hate people speaking and apologizing for me, and that’s what my friends were doing. Simultaneously, my friends said the following: “Oh my god, I feel so bad!” “Now I feel like such an asshole!” and that’s when I saw red. You feel like an asshole because they fucked up my food, made us wait more than 30 minutes before they even took our order, and I’d, no, we’d like to simply order dessert???? Moments later, the hostess came over to assure me that my burger was on its way out and began to loudly apologize. And wouldn’t stop apologizing. She offered dessert. Free dessert. All the dessert. To get her manager. To do my taxes. Find me a husband. Help me unpack. All the while, my friends are turning her down; her efforts are unnecessary because they’re fine. The restaurant is closed or going to close or something. Even though we’re surrounded by full tables. I am fucking fuming. It’s no longer about burgers. It’s about principle and fairness and me having a voice and getting what the hell I asked for for once.

So I snapped.

I took off my glasses (bad sign) and I stopped smiling and doing that stupid “no, it’s not you, it’s me, and it’s fine” bullshit that women feel they’re supposed to do when trying to get a service that they are paying for and it’s going wrong and I said in a voice that scared myself “What I want is the meal I ordered the way I ordered it. It’s not your fault. You’re the hostess. Thank you for trying. It should be the waiter doing all of this. But now my friends care more about the fact that you might be closed than your trying to make this right, so please, just get me my food so I can eat it and they can stop feeling like assholes.”

My friends got mad at me, but said they weren’t. I was mad at them and said I was. One of them wouldn’t speak to or look at me for the rest of the night and while the other made a big show of hugging it out with me afterwards, she stormed off to her car. So, I guess that’s done. A perfectly nice evening was fucked up because I couldn’t just shut up and eat burned meat. But I feel like my entire life is nothing but shutting up and eating burnt meat I didn’t order, a terrible analogy, I know.

Was I out of line? I don’t think so? I don’t even know. Am I just one big hormonal mess, incapable of any healthy, normal human relationships, destined to live and die bitter and alone? I think that’s pretty fucking clear. I wanted it to also be clear that in the four months since I last checked in with ya’ll, the only growth that’s occurred has been in my uterus. 

Gee, has it really been that long?

2 Aug

My last blog post up in this piece was in May. Damn. Sorry, anybody still reading. Well, I’m back. I decided to accept the #31WriteNow blog challenge, which I then promptly forgot about, so of course I’m starting a day late. Story of my life. I have a valid excuse, as I had surgery on July 31st, so there. Feel sorry for me!

A lot has happened in my absence. The Condo of Doom is actually becoming a lovely place. My hair is now blonde. I went to Toronto. I had a spinal tap. I had to go to the emergency room. I had to have something called a blood patch. I had all sorts of procedures involving my hoo-ha. I learned that I probably won’t be able to have children. And I sort of became slightly tumblr famous by writing fan fiction about. . . um. . . ahem. . . Drake.

Yeah, I glossed over lots of ugly bits there in the middle, but I don’t really want to talk about any of that. I’ve had to talk about all that stuff at the one place where I shouldn’t have to utter a single word about my personal life: work. Getting time off requires that we perform a lyrical dance and recite free-form poetry that describes when we need time off and why.

Anyhoodle, you can expect the tales of woe and mirth about my life as an unsexed, lonely, anonymous spinster to return for at the least the next 30 days.

I know you can’t wait.

So, I dated a guy who looked exactly like Drake.

7 May

Well, to be clear, he looked exactly like this version of Drake:

image

Only his hair was slightly worse and he had a gap betwixt his front teeth and was 34 years-old. Yes, I dated a grown-ass man who looked like this.

I had hopes that I would make my Unfortunate Drake fall in love with me and then convince him to cut his hair and change his wardrobe and take a shower and fix his teeth and get contacts and basically become a totally different person. I now realize that this was evil and nasty and horrid of me, but I was, in a fucked up way, trying to help him.

I would show him pictures of Drake and tell him that he favored him in the hopes that one day he’d look at me with tears in his eyes and say “I want to go to there.” I’d know what he’d mean and I’d take his hand and lead him to the shower and then to the mall and then to the orthodontist and then the barber shop and I’d have my very own Drake and be in love and ignore the fact that Unfortunate Drake and I had almost no chemistry and that he was kind of gross.

This did not happen, of course. Instead we went on six awkward dates before he told me that he wasn’t interested in me romantically. BURN.

I mention all of this because this picture of Drake

image

just came to my attention and at first I laughed because he’s just so awkward with his mouth open and his derp eyes and his little elbows. And then I got sad because oh my god, he looks SO MUCH like Unfortunate Drake here and I was reminded that I could not keep the interest of a 34 year-old virgin who was heavily involved in Star Wars cosplay and creative anachronism.

So thanks a lot, Aubrey, for totally ruining my Tuesday afternoon by posing for candid photos with your mouth open and somehow accentuating the fact that your arms seem to be too long for your body which sadly only makes me that much more attracted to you.

Asshole.

For Yomoba.

Oh, hi.

30 Dec
20121230-161812.jpg

My friend dropped his entire glass of water in his lap and that’s why I couldn’t update my blog.

So, I haven’t been around in a bit, and new people have been visiting and reading and commenting and sending me lovely emails and The Geek Squad has my laptop and tumblr is TOTES addictive and Jason 2.0 never wrote back or came in and I’d update the blog from work but there are budget cuts and I don’t want to risk it and super awful and very (literally) close to home stuff happened after my last post and trying to write on an iPhone is tortuous probably because I am old and I’m really skeptical about the effectiveness of natural deodorant.

In other words, I haven’t abandoned you, very gracious reader, or this blog. Shit just got real. Thank you for hanging in there with me. I’ll be back soonish.

What’s so ‘no’ about no?

13 Dec

See? ‘No’ is so easy to say that a group of middle-aged men got together and wrote a song about it and then had pretty teenaged black girls sing it. Source

I fear that when I return to my currently godforsaken place of employment in 14 hours and 22 minutes that I will have the living shit embarrassed out of me. Yes, more than usual. Here’s why:

Over the summer, a handsome man began to appear fairly regularly at the old jobby-job. In my line of work (and no, I’m not going to come out and tell you what it is) I deal with a lot of students so I just assumed he was one. All the women save for one sensible and fabulous young lady lost their minds whenever he came in. They went crazy for good reason. Picture Jason Statham’s younger, taller, balder, hotter, vaguely Puerto Rican looking brother and you’ve got this guy. I tried my best to keep my cool because I hate attractive people that KNOW they’re attractive and try to capitalize on said attractiveness and I judge attractive people with a harshness that sometimes frightens me. But not for long.

See, I figure if you look that good, something has got to be hella wrong with you. I won’t put the fault(s) I ultimately find on blast. Usually. They’re more for my own peace of mind. Since I didn’t find any right away in Jason 2.0, I figured he had to be stupid or a dick or a stupid dick and he’d show his true self eventually. Because most men and especially conventionally attractive men look past, beyond, and/or through me, Jason 2.0 didn’t phase me at first. The giggling, panting, trembling mess that I used to call my staff and coworkers wanted to know his name, so I said “Hey, what’s your name?” complete with the thug’s chin tilt and everything. They wanted to know what he did so I says to him, I says “And whattya do?” He told me while The Mess looked on like a bunch of baby deer. And that was that. Jason 2.0 was just another human male type person with a nice face. And body. Not that I was looking. Ahem.

Then his visits became more and more frequent. He was always smiling and so personable, even with me. He remembered my name. He was friendly. And I could feel my cold, dead heart start to thaw. Based on his line of work he couldn’t be THAT stupid. He had proven to be kind, even when I was a total bitch and wouldn’t give him the 20 binder clips he asked for, afraid that he was trying to pull one over on me with his handsomeness. I gave him 12 and made a big deal about it. He smiled and was polite through the whole thing.

Even though Jason 2.0 was shaving his head to disguise male pattern baldness and appeared to be wearing at least some obviously fake or heavily repaired teeth, he was still beautiful, relatively smart, and kind. I felt like a troll in his presence and made myself scarce when he came around, answering in one syllable grunts when forced into conversation with him. He had proven to be a damn near flawless attractive person which made me feel all the more ugly by comparison.

Eventually, the tide started to turn when I noticed an ever present goofiness about his personality. I’ve always been drawn to men who are basically floppy puppies in human form and he seemed to be a very eager Golden Retriever, with his big smile and enthusiasm and loud, excited talking. And maybe did I notice him looking at me, like he actually saw me as a woman and not some angry blob keeping him from the binder clips? I started to come out of my shell and actually smile at Jason 2.0 and stay in the room when he entered it. I started to think that maybe he was a safe person to like who might possibly like me back.

So I did what any girl would do to show interest in a potentially special person: I eavesdropped and I lied. While busy with other tasks I listened as he shared his Thanksgiving plans with a coworker, noting his ever present excitement over his favorite team playing on the holiday. I was unwilling to watch the actual game but made sure to find out if they won. They did, and the next time I saw him made a point of grunt-whispering (my specialty!) “Hey, your team won.”

The look on his face was so. . . bright, I guess, that you’d have thought I’d handed him season tickets. “You remembered!” he gasped. I turned red and farted out a “Yeah.” And you wonder why I’m single.

He then asked me sports-type questions and I felt my eyes start to glaze over. I initially told the truth, sort of, saying that I hadn’t watched the game as I didn’t like either team. He asked me who I did like and I lied and told him who my dad likes, as taste in sports teams seems to be genetically inherited and/or geographically based. He “reminded” me about an upcoming game between his team and “mine” and rattled off facts and figures I tried to listen to. I then shouted out names that I hoped had something to do with the sport and we had a friendly rivalry going. I had something to talk to Jason 2.0 about.

I felt particularly brave after all the fibbing I did about being a sports fan, so I sent him an email telling him how excited I was that my team was going to destroy his and thanked him for the chat. He wrote back the next day, writing that he’d be watching the game with friends who liked my team and like to “talk junk” and could see that junk-talking was right up my alley. He ended his message by stating it was always a pleasure chatting with me.

For a minute I thought that maybe I could become a sports fan. I looked up stats and read about the rivalry between the teams. It didn’t take, but I tried. His team beat “mine” by one point. I couldn’t wait for him to stop in so we could resume our good-natured teasing.

He didn’t and I was a bit disappointed, but it’s a busy time of year in our line of work so I thought I’d be brave and reply to his message. I told him I expected him to come in and brag about his team’s win, but figured he hadn’t since a one point win wasn’t anything to brag about. I then wrote the unthinkable: “Hey, would you like to get a coffee or a drink or something with me?”

And here’s where the title of this post comes in. He hasn’t written back. I haven’t seen him either. He came in looking for me on Monday, telling a coworker he had to talk to me about something and for a chunk of time much larger than I’d like to admit I was excited and hopeful. He was looking for me? He has to talk to me about something? I was ready to pick out flatware until it dawned on me: if his answer was yes, he would have written back something along the lines of “Sure. Where and when?” He’s looking for me to tell me no.

I don’t know what it is that makes ‘no’ such a no for men. Maybe it is for women too but I don’t care about them (In this context. There, is that better?). All of my unanswered messages sent on Match.com. The guy a friend tried to set me up with who wouldn’t write back to my message of “Hello! You sound great! Hope to meet ya?” The dork who took me on six dates and spent hours of valuable phone and email time that he could have spent masturbating to his Star Wars action figure collection. Why couldn’t ANY of them just say ‘no’?

Now this ding dong is gonna come all up in my job tomorrow to tell me how he’s flattered, but oh, he just couldn’t. Hey mastermind; you could have saved us both a heap of trouble and sent this to me in a got dang email three to six days ago. Did it never occur to this nincompoop that I might be getting my hopes along with my BMI up? Why would you wait to dash a bitch’s dreams of caressing your bald head? And why would you do it in person?

I guess I should be touched that he’s doing it at all considering my track record. But I’m not because up until about seven hours ago I was delusional enough to think that he was coming in tomorrow to tell me ‘yes’ until I realized how dumb that would be, waiting a week to deliver good news. There’s a reason motherfuckers never fire workers on Monday. Those sadistic bastards get their rocks off from the wait and the week’s worth of labor. The “nice” ones are simply trying to avoid the inevitable.

I am going to get fired by a handsome-ass man tomorrow. I don’t think he’s going to offer me a severance package.

“But Ambrosia, couldn’t you be wrong? What if he did want to wait and say yes and make plans in person?” you ask. Dear reader, don’t be ridiculous. What in my history would make you think that? Remember, my last surprise was some douchenozzle I called a friend decked out in blackface. Jason 2.0 showing up to my job slathered in shoe polish is more likely than him coming to say ‘yes’ to my coffee or whatever date.

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

It’s now the tomorrow I was so fearful of above. There’s an hour left till I go wait in line to see The Hobbit by myself  am finished with work and there has been no sign of Jason 2.0. Actually, I can’t say that with complete certainty as I made sure to busy myself in a remote area far from my desk during the time that he usually arrives. Yes, I am a chicken.

That still doesn’t change my frustration. I’ve mentioned before ’round these parts how hurtful being ignored is. To not even deem me worthy of a response is maybe the shittiest thing ever, second only to the explosive diarrhea caused by a BK Veggie Burger. Or so says a friend of mine.

The worst part is that based on his profession he is supposed to be at least a little bit skilled in the art of interpersonal interaction. Did I miss the study that found that people respond more favorably to being ignored and possibly avoided than to be simply told “No thanks. I’m not interested/dating someone/married/involved in a plot to castrate Justin Bieber and can’t really focus on dating anyone right now.”?

I don’t know. I don’t have anything else to say that I haven’t already said before. Dating while me SUCKS.

I (think I might) hate Halloween: sayin’ it without swearin’.

4 Nov

It all started with a little movie called “The Last Airbender”. . . Source

I worry that my point about the ills of blackface  – or any type of -face (But not whiteface. Not that it’s “good”. There’s just no comparison. Don’t worry; better people than I will explain why.) – was lost in the profane shrillness of my last post, so I point any of you who is willing to learn things to an awesome website called Racebending.com. In their own words, Racebending.com is

an international grassroots organization of media consumers who support entertainment equality. We advocate for underrepresented groups in entertainment media. Since our formation in 2009, we have been dedicated to furthering equal opportunities in Hollywood and beyond.

They handle the whole “But it’s just a movie!”/”It’s just a Halloween costume!”/”Oh my god, why are you making it such a big deal?” with grace and helpful charts and graphs, a refreshing alternative to my shrieking and crying and swearing approach.

So go there and then look for Academy Awards 2012 : Putting Blackface in Context or if you’re crazy lazy and/or easily confused, click this. Spend some time over there. It’s fascinating. You’ll see why us my-noor-uh-tees are always getting our panties in a bunch and you’ll stop yourself from saying “What about “White Chicks“?” and then I won’t have to fantasize about slapping you and then go eat my feelings. Again.

Okay, I love you. Go learn something.

A big ole’ THANK YOU to Phenderson Djèlí Clark for introducing me to Racebending.com in his terrific post critiquing the film adaptation of “Cloud Atlas”.

I (think I might) hate Halloween.

2 Nov

Yup. Source

If you live in a part of the world that happened to piss off some West Indian chick named Sandy, you may not have even had a chance to hate Halloween this year. I’ve always been quite indifferent to the holiday myself, seeing as how it was off-limits during my formative years and I was too poor and timid as a thin, hot, late-teen-early-twenty-something to indulge in the debauchery, i.e. wear a really slutty costume, that apparently goes along with the day when one is too old to Trick-or-Treat. So when I was invited to a costumes-mandatory Halloween party in mid-October, I was pretty damn excited.

I acquired my first ever store bought costume, – I was a member of ancient Egyptian high society, but I just told people I was Cleopatra because that’s easier – researched the make-up and nail polish (actually, during that time period a nail stain made of henna and red hued berries was used), and even splurged on a wig.  I was really looking forward to a real Halloween experience for a change, filled with booze and laughter and apple-bobbing and making out with a mysterious man dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or something. What can I say, I watch a lot of television.

Those things didn’t happen, of course. I mean, I laughed and drank booze, but I didn’t make out with anyone – SHOCKER – and I spent an awful lot of the night feeling SUPER uncomfortable. Oh, and hurt, confused, embarrassed, angry, disappointed. Lots of feels.

I was one of the last folks to arrive because putting on enough makeup to make it look like I have cheek bones takes a really long time. I started to panic a little because I initially didn’t see a lot of adults in costume and I felt sort of like an idiot because I had gone all out and with four-inch platform sandals on in addition to four inches of makeup, I felt very much like a beautiful reject from RuPaul’s Drag Race who hadn’t quite mastered the tuck.

A close friend had mentioned to me earlier that his particular top-secret costume choice would make me “pee [my] pants”, so I was on the look-out for him. He’s creative and irreverent and smart so I knew I was going to be in for a surprise. In talking to a mutual friend of ours a few hours before the party, we tossed around guesses on what he was going to be. I guessed Jesus or Lord Gaga, Lady Gaga’s long lost and imaginary male counterpart. “You know”, I said, “Part of me wonders if he’s going to come as Bill Cosby ’cause I’ve started calling him Uncle Bill. He just does so many things that scream Heathcliff Huxtable, it wouldn’t surprise me. But no, a convincing Dr. Huxtable/Bill Cosby would require blackface,” I joked. “He’d do a lot of things, but he’d never do that. God, I hope he wouldn’t do that.”

Le sigh.

I teetered along carefully, my robes gathered in my hands as regally as I could muster and scanned the room for anyone over the age of six in a costume, but for my friend in particular. I spotted the hostess decked out in her Disney princess best; a flapper; a gun moll; and a woman in all zebra print holding an umbrella covered in stuffed animals (She was raining cats and dogs. Cute, right?). I breathed a sigh of relief and relished in the compliments my costume and I received. And then I turned my head.

The first thing I saw was his strange, patchy, mud-colored skin. Whatever he’d used was either melting or smearing or just hadn’t been applied very well and made him look filthy rather than of African decent. But then, most people who attempt blackface don’t actually look black. They just look dirty or as if they’re suffering from some unfortunate skin disease and that is just one of the MANY reasons why blackface, REGARDLESS of the intent, is offensive to me, an actual black person whose skin doesn’t look that way. I don’t know any actual black person with skin that looks that way. Ahem. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, his face, neck, and hands were covered in whatever he’d used to darken his skin and he was wearing a dark blue suit and red, white, and blue tie and flag lapel pin. My nerves and shock had delayed my brain function so even though I was taking in all of this data with my kohl-rimmed eyeballs, I simply couldn’t process who or what he was supposed to be. My eyes fell to the sign in his hand that had letters on it that made up a word I would have normally and very quickly recognized under any other circumstances: a capital ‘O’ followed by a capital ‘B’ followed by a capital ‘A’-

Oh no. Oh NO.

I whipped my head around, my shiny synthetic wig hair sticking to my lipstick.  The people not in costume were wearing stickers that read ‘Re-elect Obama’. It was all starting to come together: I had walked into a time warp and had been sucked onto the set of a taping of “In Living Color” written by precogs. I mean, what else would explain what I was seeing? One of my closest, dearest, most racially sensitive friends couldn’t possibly be in motherfucking blackface as the motherfucking president unless he was also circa-1992 Jim Carrey rehearsing an episode that included an ill-conceived, never-to-air skit called “Oh my god, everybody, what if we had a black president with an African name someday? That’d be HELLA crazy, right?”, right? Right?!?

Wrong.

I wasn’t having some sort of flash-back-forward. I didn’t fall down a Time Slide. The Wayans Brothers were in no way responsible for this. My friend thought he picked an awesome Halloween costume. I thought he had lost his ever-loving mind.

“Oh my GOD!” I shrieked. People looked at me and started to nervously chuckle. Of course – OF COURSE –  I was the only black person in attendance. I felt as though all eyes were on me in a “Let’s see how the black person reacts!” moment of awkward silence. I felt my mouth twitch and spasm into what I suppose was a smile. “Hehehehehe. Look at you!” I said, or something like that. Something non-confrontational but that also didn’t give the appearance of my approval. My eyes briefly locked with the hostesses. Mine were screaming “WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?!?!? IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?!?”  but I don’t know if she caught all of that. Eye speech can be very difficult to decipher, especially when one has on tons of mascara.

I tried to avoid my friend without it looking like I was avoiding him all night. I know I spoke to him, but I don’t remember what either of us said. My brain turns to useless fluff during moments of high stress. I can’t remember details and that totally bums me out because I am a person who THRIVES on details.

He was excited and really proud of his costume. He had “researched” President Obama for days, maybe weeks. He did his best to not “break character” all night. I tried not to listen to any of the interactions he had with my friends or other guests while he was “being the president”. I didn’t want to learn that any of the people that I liked were racist, bigoted, birther asshats. Or Republicans. But I also tried to listen without listening so that I could squirrel away any nuggets of ignorance that dropped out of the mouths of people there and shoot them Looks of Doom made even more doomy by my kick-ass Pharaoh eyes. All of that covert non-listening made me sweat which would have made my beautiful make-up run, so I gave that up and just ate a lot, keeping my mouth perpetually full so I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone.

It took me three days to get up the nerve to say anything about my utter discomfort, to say the least, with his costume choice. And I couldn’t even say anything. I sent him a link via text to posts on blackface at Racialicious, a blog about “the intersection of race and pop culture.” I gave him the benefit of the doubt, assuming that he just didn’t know about things like white privilege or cultural appropriation or the harmful, hurtful, painful history of blackface in general.

Wrong. Again.

I was negative and afraid and discouraging his artistic expression. Didn’t I know that he’s an aspiring method actor? He said some other bullshit that floored me, so I gave him a piece of my mind and told him with my fanciest two-dollar words that I thought he was a dick, without ever calling him a dick. But I did tell him that he was ignorant, arrogant, and racially insensitive.

He wore blackface to at least one other Halloween party, and was even more unnaturally darkened and scary looking than before, like he’d rolled around in a coal bin. People, apparently, thought it was awesome and hilarious. They posed with him in pictures and posted them on that social networking site. The pictures of him got ‘likes’ in the double-digits. I deleted my account after I saw that (and for other reasons too, but I’m telling this story right now). I cried. Kind of a lot.

I haven’t talked about this with very many people because. . . like, how the hell do I even have that conversation? “Oh hey, it’s 2012 and one of my BFFs wore blackface and I’m super hurt and he thinks I’m the asshole. So anyway, did you catch last week’s episode of “New Girl”?” This is one of the many reasons why I’m going to be in therapy FOREVER because I have wacky, gut-punching shit happen on the regular and I need to pay a dude in a cardigan sweater to help me make sense of it all.

Other stuff happened related to this. Nothing as big, but certainly hurtful. I was invited out Trick-or-Treating by mutual friends of his but was told with a shrug “He’s gonna do his thing so. . .” So what?  “Suck it up, bitch”? “Get over yourself and 300+ years of fucked-up history”? “You’re our friend, but a ‘hilarious costume’ will always trump your feelings so what time should we pick you up”? Then there were the people who did the whole “OMG, they’re just costumes, why can’t minorities SHUT UP already and let us desecrate their stuff?” in response to respectful Halloween costume PSAs I posted on that social networking site. Oh, and an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in forever referred to her city as “N!ggertown” in conversation with me and when the look of horror I gave her registered said “Oh, no offense; you’re not like that.” Not like what? I’m not like what?

So, I think I might really hate Halloween. There are special experiences one has being black during all the seasons, but it seems that All Hallows’ Eve really brings out the fuckery and foolishness hidden in the hearts of so many well-meaning individuals. I also hate that my friend is, apparently, not as creative or respectful or possibly smart as Miley Cyrus. Case in point:

Hmm. I know she’s supposed to be someone famous but I just. Can’t. Put my fin- She’s Nicki Minaj. And that’s plainly clear without the use of a layer of shoe polish. Source.

I think one of the many things that bothered me about the whole thing that I’m struggling to articulate even though I’ve spent 2,000+ words on it is that President Obama, whom I adore, isn’t mud-coffee-coal colored and to my knowledge, my friend isn’t blind. The beautiful nuance of the complexion of black folk seems to be totally lost on him. Apparently, we all just look dirty or are literally black in his eyes. His natural olive complexion is closer to how the president actually looks than the shit-stain-brown makeup he used. Miley got-dang Cyrus had the brain power to figure that out for her costume and I’m not sure she can even read!

If he did so much “research” for this costume, why didn’t he just lose the jacket, roll up his sleeves, and loosen his tie? Why not wear prosthetic big ears? Work on the voice? Ask for cheeseburgers with spicy brown mustard instead of ketchup? Tuck a cigarette behind his ear? Carry a surf board? Why did he have to blacken his skin to imitate a person who’s skin ISN’T EVEN BLACK? I’ll pretend for a moment that the whole thing wasn’t inherently and deeply offensive and simply focus on the down-right laziness of someone claiming to be an aspiring method actor. You, dear sir, suck major ASS at your chosen craft.

I don’t know what all this means for our friendship and I don’t think this post is going to help matters. Or maybe it will because it has said pretty much everything I couldn’t have without crying. But for reals, I was worried that my dressing as Cleopatra/an ancient Egyptian might be potentially offensive because it is a not altogether accurate cultural costume belonging to others (that are mostly dead) and he never stopped to think that maybe his idea was a bad one? That’s not fair!

Just. . . I’m sad and tired. Maybe my parents had a point in keeping me from Halloween. Whatevs. All I know is I’m going as fat Bruno Mars next year. We have the same face, same complexion, same haircut, and until like two days ago, I thought he was black. And I won’t have to wear heels.

I’m also pretty sure that I already own that jacket. SCORE! Source.

On staying positive when everyone thinks you suck.

7 Sep

I dunno. I typed “online dating makes me want to die” in Google Images and this picture came up. Source

So, I got drunk and signed up for Match.com. Again.

I’ve only been on for a week and I’m already losing hope. I’ve read skimmed a number of self-help books on dating and they all said the same thing about online dating: RUN, BITCH, RUN!

No, all the books said that women will be inundated with emails and messages from potential suitors. However, if their inbox stays empty, it means that they are fat, or ugly, or fat and ugly (or possibly came across as boring, stupid, or crazy in their profile, but we all know that 99% of men aren’t actually reading a word in anyone’s profile). Guess what condition my inbox is in? If you guessed that my inbox is a lot like my other box, you guessed right. I’m pretty sure I just saw a tumbleweed fall out of my underwear. It’s probably on its way to meet up with its cousin from my email account at Match.com. They go there to hang out and laugh at me.

I’ve received exactly one email since joining. I’ve received four ‘winks’, which is a nonsensical method for indecisive weirdos to tell other weirdos that they’re “interested” without actually bothering to write something. Three of those winks were from men who looked to be about my father’s age, though they claimed to be younger. One of the men appeared to have some sort of tooth and gum disease. The fourth man was a lesbian.

Two men liked one of the nine pictures I posted to my profile. One of them didn’t post any pictures and hadn’t bothered to answer any of the questions, including the ones with preset responses, like height and body type. The other guy looked like a murderer. He also hadn’t answered any questions other than claiming to be 6’4 and 41 years old. He posted one shot of himself unsmiling in front of a wall of graffiti. He had on a jacket, tie, and blazer, a ball cap cocked to the side, humungous dark shades, baggy jeans and sneakers. The little I could see of his face was set in an ugly scowl and covered in mysterious scars. The next two pictures he posted were of him in the same outfit, wearing the same menacing expression, but this time dragging a similarly dressed toddler by the hand, seemingly against his will (his AND the toddler’s) down an abandoned street. How fun! An action shot!

I always write a quick but gracious note or send a polite ‘thanks, but no thanks!’ response generated by Match to all the serial killers in training that take the time to contact me. As my adult life has been utterly filled with rejection, I know that it certainly hurts, but that being ignored is far more infuriating. I mean really, how dare you? You can’t even bother to send an email that says “You’re too ugly for me to consider fucking, but good luck out there”? I’m so beneath your time and effort that even acknowledging that I found you and your profile interesting through a three-word email (“Thanks, but no.”) is too much of a strain for your delicate fingers? What, you’ve got women lined up around the block, stacked one on top of the other in your bedroom and you couldn’t get through the throng of admirers tearing off their bras to reach your laptop? Look, dickwad, we all spent a nonrefundable $100.00 because we aren’t getting laid in the real world. No one is checking for us. Unless you’re one of those utter assholes that is so busy and attractive and successful that you “don’t have time” to date and your only hope for screening meeting people is by letting a website do the work for you. If you are or think you are one of these gems of humanity, go fuck yourself, hard, often, and well.

I realize that I sound a tad angry. I am angry. And hurt. And embarrassed. And hopeless. And out one hundred bucks in this shit economy. I’m mostly so upset because those books never say what you’re supposed to do if you’re one of the fat, ugly, boring, stupid, crazy women that no one who wasn’t recently released from prison will write or respond to. They’ll spend a paragraph telling you to lose weight (REALLY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I hadn’t thought of that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for pointing that out!!!!!! ERMAHGERD, it’s a good thing you put your wealth of knowledge on paper!!!!! How would humanity have CONTINUED if you hadn’t pointed out the obvious???????????????), pay to have your picture taken (But my local Glamour Shots is closed!), or have a friend look over your profile and “correct” it for you. Ha. My friends are a bunch of liars who tell me that I’m pretty and not fat in a bad way and smart and funny and that any guy would be lucky to have me. Those con artists have been blowing smoke up my ass for years; there’s no way in hell I’m getting any honest feedback from them. Except for the one who told me to read The Hunger Games. She’s BRUTAL, which is why I don’t ask her anything.

I’m just sad, man! I don’t want to die alone, man! All the chubby chaser websites are scary, man! My immediate solution is to search only for dudes who describe themselves as “heavyset”, Match.com’s kind descriptor for “My tits are bigger than yours”. I kid you not, out of all the non-smoking, social drinking, want-to-have-kids-someday people with penises that live 30 miles away from my zip code, only 16 of them were honest enough to describe themselves as heavyset. I had to add “stocky” and “a few extra pounds” to really get the fatties to come out and play. Hell, I’m on there telling half-truths myself by describing my body as “curvy”. I only picked that because they haven’t yet added “If I sit just so, I can feel my gunt (not a typo) resting ever so gently on my upper thighs, but you’d never know that if you saw me clothed” as an option.

I’m not particularly attracted to or repulsed by fat men. It all depends. No two fats are alike. I have no type. I see what I think I might like and then wait to see what kind of crap comes out of his mouth and then like him more or less if his teeth are nice and his brain seems to function properly. But I figure I might have better luck with the boys who are pre-diabetic, although we as a society lived through 10 years of “The King of Queens” and every romantic comedy starring Kevin James ever which makes your average Tub-O-Lard think he too deserves and can pull a hottie with a tight body who’ll be willing to resuscitate his ass once a fortnight.

Go to hell. Source

Hey, but it’s only been a week. Ariel insisted on writing the first draft of my profile and wrote “I’m cheerful and focused on the bright side of things”. I gave her major side eye and changed it to “I try to stay cheerful and focused on the bright side of things”. I initially thought it was an absurd statement to use to describe me. Cheerful? Bright side? The fact that I haven’t called Match headquarters and demanded a refund (Hey, I’ve done it. Ask eharmony.) and that I’m focusing on guys that “look like” me is proof that I do try. I created this place, this blog, as my sounding board, mostly because the co-pays for weekly therapy sessions really add up, but also because I want to make people laugh, even if it is at my expense. Look at that. Evidence of dormant cheerfulness and bright sided tendencies. Whodda thunk?

I just really want to be loved. And not 20 or 50-lbs. from now. Not when I’ve “learned to love myself”. I’m not dead or 300-lbs. I love myself, okay? I will even settle for a strong like coupled with some trips to the movies and light spanking. I just need some validation that I’m sort of okay looking and interesting and a living, breathing red-blooded woman from a man that won’t kill me or ruin my credit.

I will also settle for everything in the picture of Zach Galifianakis from “The Hangover 2”, but don’t let that get around. I don’t want people thinking I’m easy. Or that they can pay me in watermelon. Because that’s super racist.

Never a bride: the conclusion, or, Ambrosia alienates pretty much everyone.

25 Aug

I hope you’ll allow me to piss and moan for a bit before I get back to the story. Writing about this ridiculous, half-assed “wedding” has made me very angry. I am angry because this shit stain of a memory reminds me of all the times that I’ve said ‘yes’. Yes, I’ll drive an hour so you can get your stuff out of storage. Yes, I’ll watch your pets and/or kids. Yes, I’ll work those hours for you. Yes, I’ll reschedule/sit this one out. Yes, I’ll take the blame. Yes, you can borrow my car. Yes, Ill go with you to a nude resort. And of course, yes, I’ll be in your wedding/go to your bridal/baby shower/bachelorette party. I am a bitter, spiteful, sad, pitiful, possibly ungrateful bitch who will always say ‘yes’ but will always find myself with hurt feelings, alone on a Friday night, or panic-stricken as I try to figure out how the hell I’m going to move my life from one awful place to another without help*, while people like Wanda get to have second weddings. You read that right; Wanda will be getting married for the second time in a few short months.

I am not friends with Wanda anymore, if you couldn’t tell. The end of our “friendship” came when, displaying the reading comprehension of an artichoke, Wanda chose to publicly shame and humiliate me because she was insulted by something I wrote. It was actually a compliment, but like I said, the bitch can’t read. It’s pretty awesome when people accidentally react badly to neutral things because at least then you know where you really stand. I would be a liar if I said it didn’t burn me deep inside my black, hollow soul that “Lisa” from the story along with another friend of mine have chosen to remain loyal to a hateful, classless, pathological liar; they’ll be and have been attending Wanda’s wedding and marriage do-over and associated activities. But it’s not like it’s a fucking surprise. The title of this blog is based on my being shat upon by people I thought were supposed to at least politely tolerate me because of our shared genetics, if not human decency, so of course it is little surprise that some of my oldest friends would continue to hang out with and celebrate a person who’s most redeeming quality is that she can tell you where to get a bad weave for cheap. Anyway. I’m probably not making much sense and I’m digging a hole for myself, so I shall write no more about my roller coaster of emotions. You came here to read a funny story about a totally cracked-out wedding. I’ll keep my feelings of mild betrayal and seething anger where they belong: under a pile of hot wings and blue cheese sauce deep down in my rapidly expanding gut. On with the show!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Her facial expression just about sums it up. Source

So the ceremony was a disaster. When it was finally over, a handsome older gentleman came walking over with a professional camera, shaking his head and rounding us up to take pictures. He was eventually introduced to us as Wanda’s uncle. He cracked jokes to make us laugh so that all of the photos of the wedding weren’t of people who looked as though they had been forced at gunpoint to be there. As he took shot after shot, he said to Wanda “I still don’t understand why you didn’t let me help you! Girl, you know I’m a professional photographer! I have connections! I could have helped you out with this wedding! You let me know about everything so last minute that I can’t even go to the reception ’cause I’ve got another wedding to shoot in an hour. What were you thinking? Girl, call on your family next time! Uh, not that there’s gonna be a next time, of course. Err. . .  uh. . .  Congratulations, baby-girl.” I’m pretty sure we all had the same look of disbelief on our faces when we learned that her uncle was a wedding photographer. In other words, there was no need for us all to have been subjected to the ghetto bullshit that was her wedding. She could have had professional help! Not the kind she truly needed, of course, but the kind that would have at least had her not making a fool of herself and everyone she’d ever met! Noticing our shock at her uncle’s revelation, Wanda rolled her eyes and said “Anyway. He is too expensive and wouldn’t have given me a discount. He’s stingy.” Okay, bitch. Okay.

As we walked to our cars, some kind-hearted soul handed me, Lisa, and the baby warm cans of grape soda. “I know ya’ll are hot in those dresses. It’s not cold but it’s wet!” We were grateful for the first calorie source we’d consumed all day; I’m not sure whatever became of the breakfast we went out for, but it certainly wasn’t eaten by us. Just before we made our way to the VFW for the reception, Carmella, the smart friend of Wanda’s who’d declined to be a bridesmaid, came storming over. She angrily shoved a bouquet at Wanda, red-faced and fuming. “Here’s your f*cking flowers” she growled. Apparently, one of the many calls Wanda received back in the room was from Carmella. She had the bride’s bouquet, which she’d made, and the wedding cake, and no directions to either the wedding site or the VFW. She had been driving around in circles for hours, totally lost. Lisa’s bouquet had gone missing because it had been snatched from her hands and given to Wanda when someone realized that the bride’s bouquet had never arrived. Carmella had called and called, but because Wanda was too distraught to talk, Carmella had threatened to simply go home with the rapidly wilting bouquet and melting wedding cake. Oh, did I fail to mention that this wedding was on one of the hottest days of the year? It was the middle of autumn though, so no one was prepared for the sweltering, 90-plus degree weather. A family member of the bride’s finally snatched the phone, gave Carmella directions to the VFW so she could drop off the cake. . . but it was locked. The back seat of her car was slowly being covered in melted icing. Her hard work was rapidly disintegrating before her very eyes.

We were a sad caravan of idiots making our way to the VFW. The ushers were ready to eat. The guests were ready to drink. I was ready to continue my hunger strike if J.J.’s ass was the only one doing the cooking. There had been no sign of him at the wedding. Kelly shrugged her empty-headed shoulders when asked if she’d heard from him. We pulled into the parking lot of the VFW after the newlyweds and their families and were met with yet another show of ridiculous, yet somewhat understandable, behavior outside. Wanda was in tears again and her older brother was screaming at her like she’d stolen something from him. “I’ll ask you again Wanda: where is the goddamn food for all these people? There is NOTHING inside!! Give me the number to the restaurant you claim is catering this mess, ’cause they ain’t here!” Oh, snap. So Wanda never told her family that the restaurant wasn’t actually providing anything except for maybe a pan of mac and cheese? Her brother was losing his cool by the minute. His wife and mother tried to hold him back from throttling Wanda. It eventually took most of the groom’s ushers to restrain him when Wanda hiccuped out the truth: “J- J-J.J. is doing the cooking a-a-and he’s n-n-not answering his phone! He-he-he has my car and all the f-f-food and I don’t know where he is!” she wailed.

“You. Had. F*cking J.J. cook for this wedding?” her brother screamed. “What the hell is WRONG with you, Wanda? Give me his number and somebody get my car keys, ’cause I’m gonna find that motherf*cker and kick his ass!” The crazy justice of the peace eventually intervened, not with calm rationality, but with even louder screaming. That lady was nuttier than a fruit cake with her self-righteous ranting and raving about how mean everyone was being to poor Wanda on her most special day. I guess it was the ridiculousness of her statements that finally shut Wanda’s brother up, as he shook his head and stormed inside.

We all followed his lead and wandered in after him. The guests, the amount of which had magically doubled, were seated at the cafeteria tables covered in shoddily Scotch-taped lavender plastic table cloths like it was 1963 in Selma, AL. Wanda’s groom, a basically brain dead McDonald’s employee named Petey, was Latino. I haven’t mentioned him till now because his usual contribution to conversations consisted of one of the two following phrases: “Yo, I don’t even know!” and “Yeah, baby love, whatever you want!” Based on the looks on the faces of his family, none of them were too keen on the union or black folks in general as they segregated themselves throughout the entire reception. Sure, fine, whatever. Frankly, I sort of didn’t really blame them.

We all took our places at the bridal party table and just waited for the next absurd thing to take place. People were getting hungry and pissed. Wanda’s aunties, clearly well aware of their niece’s proclivity for utter foolishness, had take it upon themselves to make a few pans of side dishes: macaroni salad, coleslaw, green salad. There wasn’t a piece of cheese or a cracker in the place, so they started dishing out what they’d brought as appetizers. They rounded up little kids to pass out cans of orange soda, Coke, or tap water. Unbeknownst to anyone, Wanda has insisted that the wedding be a dry one. Once the guests discovered this, many of them disappeared to the bar next door. Another of Wanda’s uncles, ever the innovator, had filled the trunk of his classic car with ice and bottles of scotch and whiskey. Suddenly, some of the more frugal guests realized that they had left their car windows down or the wedding gift they’d brought sitting in the backseat. The VFW cleared out like someone had just bombed for roaches.

Wanda started to cry again, upset that most of the guests had peaced out of the reception. I told you, I’m an idiot who likes to help, so I agreed to find out where everybody was when Wanda begged. I went out to the parking lot and saw the impromptu party going on, and suddenly, someone grabbed my arm and pulled me behind the building. It was Wanda’s sister-in-law. She had taken a shine to Lisa and me, amazed that Wanda had friends that weren’t toothless or addicted to methadone. She shoved a plastic glass of amber colored liquid in my hand. “Here. Drink this.” Before I could say “But what is it?”, she’d brought my hand up to my mouth, held on to the the back of my neck and literally forced me to pour the booze down my gullet. That brought the total of things I’d consumed that day to two: half a can of warm grape soda and a glass of equally warm scotch.

I coughed and sputtered and tried to explain that Wanda was inside having yet another meltdown, but sister-in-law was too busy shaking it to the soul music Uncle Whiskey was blasting out of his car. Suddenly, the door to the VFW slammed open and out stormed the justice of the peace. Her hands were on the hips of her plaid mini skirt, her penny loafer clad foot impatiently tapping. She stormed over to the parking lot revelers, her white opaque tights making a soft swishing noise with each stride she took. “How dare you?” she started, and I knew that was my cue to be out. I sneaked past her and back inside the sad, half-empty hall.

Once inside, I shared the news of what was happening with the rest of the bridal party, which was a mistake as I had to then convince them all to stay inside and not go to the bar or to the party that was being broken up outside. Eventually, everyone trickled back in, higher and happier than when they’d left. Moments later, in walked J.J. and Betsy, balancing a number of aluminum foil wrapped trays between them, both still clad in the musty outfits they had on the night before. I gagged a bit at the sight while the rest of the guests cheered at the sight of the food. Lisa and I exchanged a knowing glance and tried to make the most of our coleslaw.

Everything was laid out buffet style, including the salvaged wedding cake, a lemon bundt cake, and neon pink cookies. Lisa and I declined the offers of plates of meatballs, ham, chicken wings, cabbage, rice and beans, and macaroni and cheese, knowing who was behind their creation. “You a vegetarian or something?” one of the ushers asked, a thick hunk of ham dangling from his fork. He bit into the glistening meat, certain it’s sheen came from a layer of sticky glaze, while I was sure it was a fine layer of mucus and armpit sweat that gave the meat it’s special glow. I covered my mouth as I gagged again. “No, not a vegetarian. Just not very hungry” I muttered.

Lisa’s daughter was in the midst of her Terrible Twos and a very picky eater. She managed to get only a couple of forkfuls of salad into the baby when she gave up and let her have dessert. The baby enjoyed the mystery cookies, the bride’s special request, which we later learned got their pink hue from Kool-Aid mix. They tasted like dry balls of flour rolled in cherry-flavored Fun Dip. After trying one of the monstrosities, Lisa asked for slices of the lemon cake, thinking that would be the slightly more nutritious and far less disgusting choice to feed her child.

The lemon cake was a natural shade of yellow and looked very moist. Lisa and I took a bite and looked at each other, puzzled and puckered. “Wow, this cake is really. . . lemony” she said, choking down what was in her mouth. “Yeah, it’s surprisingly strong and. . . bitter or something” I replied, struggling to find the appropriate adjective to describe the cake’s odd flavor. The baby loved it. She ate her slice and mine and Lisa’s. Lisa was just happy that the kid wasn’t going to starve. When the baby asked for a fourth slice, Lisa shrugged her shoulders. “What the heck, it’s a special occasion. I just can’t believe she can handle something so tart!”

As the baby started in on her fourth slice, sister-in-law happened to walk over to our table. She was smiling, about to make pleasant conversation, when she noticed the baby happily shoving a fistful of lemon cake into her mouth. “Oh my god, don’t let her eat that!” she shrieked, snatching the plate away. We looked at her like she was as crazy as the justice of the peace. “What’s wrong?” asked Lisa. “If it’s the sugar you’re worried about-” “No! Didn’t you guys hear me? I’ve been telling everyone about my famous Bacardi Limon cake!” “What?” said Lisa, a look of panic slowly growing on her face. “This is rum cake! I bake a lemon bundt cake and then I soak it over night with simple syrup and an entire bottle of Bacardi Limon! How couldn’t you know?” screamed sister-in-law. “Rum cakes are brown! I’ve never heard of a f*cking lemon rum cake! Oh my god, what do I do?” cried Lisa. We tried to get the baby to drink water, but she wasn’t having it. She was too busy giggling and clapping. She seemed like a pretty normal toddler, so we hoped for the best and kept an eye on her all night.

The baby loved to dance and was making quite the scene on the dance floor. We were still convinced she was fine, until like something from a Bugs Bunny cartoon, the strangest look came over her and she  started to furiously “tap dance”. She kept this up for a while, a stupid grin on her face, and then she started to stagger. She stumbled to her left and laughed. She stumbled to her right and laughed. She stumbled to her left again, let out a squeal of delight, and then her eyes rolled back in her head and she went crashing to the ground, face first.

Miraculously, the baby was fine, but apparently wasted. She was out cold, a smile on her chubby little face as she slept it off. Lisa, mortified and scared, grabbed my car keys and ran through the parking lot, crying hysterically. She locked herself in my car, weeping behind the steering wheel. It was time for the couple’s first dance and Wanda wanted us out on the floor too. The bridal party took turns trying to convince Lisa to come out of the car, but she’d only lift her head from where it lay on the steering wheel, cry out “I’m a bad mother!” and go back to weeping again. We eventually gave up, figuring she needed time to compose herself. She hadn’t had anything to eat nor had she slept, so a mental breakdown seemed appropriate.

The baby had woken up back inside and took turns dancing with everyone from the bridal party as we waited for the DJ to announce Wanda and Petey and put on their song. There was some commotion by the DJ’s table, and finally they motioned for me to come over. Again, why the hell I was the wedding police up in that mess I will never know. “J.J. was supposed to bring their first dance song! He didn’t and I don’t have it! I already told Wanda and she’s crying again. They won’t tell me what to play instead; what should I do?” the DJ asked, frantic. In his defense, he’d never done a wedding before. He was a club DJ and a friend of one of the ushers who’d agreed to do the wedding for cheap. He needed wedding experience and Wanda needed a DJ, so they made a deal.

“Um, um. . ” I said, racking my brain. “Uh, just play “My Girl”! That’s a good love song!” Luckily, the DJ had it and put it on. Wanda wept into Petey’s shoulder as he pathetically danced her around. The bridal party was in a half circle around the couple and suddenly, it just all became too much for me. Hungry and exhausted, I replayed all the awful things that had happened over the last day and a half. Seeing Wanda quietly weep as the The Temptations sang about sunshine on a cloudy day was just so sad. Her wedding was a joke. I felt my lower lip start to quiver and then I just lost it. I started to weep and wail like a professional funeral crier. I couldn’t control myself, but the music was pretty loud and I had my face covered and hoped no one would notice. I wanted the bride and groom to have their moment. The bridal party could see and hear me and they all gathered me into a group hug, taking turns consoling me and asking what was wrong. They had their backs to Wanda and Petey’s dance. They weren’t the focus anymore. I was. I felt even more awful than I already did and started to cry harder. “Leave me alone!” I shouted as I flailed my arms. “Watch Wanda and Petey! Don’t ruin their moment!” As I pushed against the group hug I was stuck in, the song and dance continued. I knew the guests weren’t watching the first dance either, considering the spectacle we were making. Eventually, the song ended. That moment had been ruined, too, thanks to me.

The only things left to do were the cake cutting, garter toss, and bouquet toss. These three things must have gone relatively smoothly as I have no memory of them. The bride and groom also did a dollar dance, which was actually fun and pretty cute. Even the Latino side of the family joined in for that! Lisa came back inside and apologized for her freak out. I laughed and told her not to worry; all the cool kids were having meltdowns, and told her about mine. The wedding cake was served and Wanda proudly told everyone that Carmella had used a recipe that she, Wanda, had picked out. It was a German chocolate cake with a vanilla butter-cream icing. It was Carmella’s first time baking a wedding cake and everyone oohed and aahed over how pretty it came out, even after partially melting.

I took a bite of the cake and immediately reached for a napkin. I spit it out as discreetly as I could. The cake was not sweet, nor did it taste like chocolate. It was both extremely moist yet unbelievably dry. It was what I imagine eating a wet sponge that had been baked in an oven must be like. Wanda’s wedding was cursed. Even the dessert was stank and wrong!

While the guests danced, we hugged and congratulated Wanda on her marriage, i.e., lied to that girl’s face. She was tired and putting money into envelopes to pay. . . honestly, I don’t know. I guess the DJ. If J.J. and Carmella charged for their “services”, they are both going to hell. Wanda let out a sigh and said “Well, it’s over. We made it through. Now we’ve got the honeymoon to look forward to. Oh, by the way: the VFW contract states that we’re responsible for cleaning up, so if you guys want to change out of your dresses, we can get started in a few minutes.”

Lisa and I looked at each other and said “Oh yeah, sure, sure. Just have to get our suitcases out of the car.” We said our good-byes to guests and the other folks in the bridal party. Once we were outside the VFW, we took off running through the parking lot, jumped in the car and sped away. “I’ll call her later and tell her the baby fell asleep” Lisa said. We toasted each other with our value size orange Hi-C drinks that we bought from a McDonald’s drive-thru and laughed as we drove away from the scene of an event that would haunt us for years to come.

*****************************************************************************************************************************************

Epilogue:

Wanda and Petey ended up divorcing about three years after their wedding. He apparently “changed”, started being really mean to Wanda, and got somebody else pregnant. From what I gather, he is living happily ever after and now works at Burger King.

I haven’t seen or smelled J.J. in years. He’s still out there, somewhere. I’m sure of it. Last I heard, he and Betsey either broke up or got married. I can’t remember which. I don’t think either of them ever came to embrace soap, water, or deodorant.

As I mentioned in my angry rant above, Wanda and I are no longer friends. She is getting married this fall to a guy who seems very nice. He also seems to be about 600-lbs. Before the end of our friendship, she hadn’t asked me to be a bridesmaid.

Honestly, I was kind of disappointed.

 

 

*Yes, I know that many of you have offered to help, but because I am neurotic and mildly paranoid, I don’t believe you.