Tag Archives: fail

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. 

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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.

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.

Just trying to outlive Jesus.

14 Oct
jesus_thumbs_up-s300x220-213409

Totally bummed I didn’t think of the concept of outliving Jesus first, but totally psyched that it was The Onion that beat me to it. Source

It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t a left you. Without a dope post to read to. Read to, read to, read- Eh, it doesn’t really work, but I tried.

Lots of crap has been going on. So much so that it has prevented me from thanking and responding to the handful of new folks who’ve left comments or ‘liked’ past stuff (Thank you so much! I love you!) or writing more than one cuss-filled post during the month of September. I thought I’d start out this post by sharing a list pertaining to the lots of crap in an effort to maybe make you, my dear 6 and 3/4 readers, laugh; feel better about your own life by comparison; and reassure you that this blog and unfortunately I are still alive.

  • After six years filled of wonder and amazement, I moved out of my apartment. The plan was for me to move into the home of my beloved dead grandpa; – For mental health and self-esteem reasons I’m supposed to be calling it my home. That ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. – that plan is on an indefinite hiatus, mostly because it appears as though someone set off a bomb in his two-story, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom condo. A bomb that both destroyed everything and opened a portal to 1975.
  • I have been living out of one suitcase in the home of my parents who have recently retired. I sleep in my childhood bedroom that has become the storage space for the stuff my parents don’t want and/or don’t know what to do with (How fitting!) on an air mattress which I managed to pop just this morning (FINALLY!). I have come to the awful conclusion that I might kinda hate my mall-walking, liquid-vitamin-taking, Dr. Oz-worshiping mother and father. Just a little bit.
  • I am still single.

Anyway. In two days I am going to be 33 years old. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but like most things, I hate my motherfucking birthday. I especially hate all birthdays after the twentieth, because that’s when the expectations attached to age begin. So not only will someone probably die (my 28th, 29th, and 30th birthdays), break up with me (my 26th), give me the swine flu (my 30th), or lock themselves in my car and refuse to participate in the festivities (my 23rd) on my “special day”, you expect me to have accomplished shit too? Oh, here go hell come.

Birthdays have always been just an overflowing bag of sad for me for as long as I can remember. As a kid, birthday parties were contingent upon whether or not I had been “good”. Ma and Pa Jones would typically do the “Do you think you deserve to have a birthday party, Ambrosia?” thing with me and being a highly intelligent and precocious child, I knew that the answer was ‘no’. I mean, if ya have to ask, amiright? It seemed that Ma Jones loved to say the following, as I heard some variation of it each year: “And you think you’re having a birthday party? You? Ha! Little girls who have birthday parties do not roll their eyes at their mothers!” It was all I could do not to demand empirical evidence from her. “What are you basing this data on? Show me the numbers!”

I’m not anybody’s mother, so I don’t know if birthday parties ought to be doled out sparingly or not. Maybe my parents were doing what most parents do. But to a girl who’s an only child, lives in a child-free neighborhood, doesn’t really fit in with the kids at church, doesn’t get to socialize all that much with her school friends, and experiences a nagging sense of unshakable loneliness that follows her throughout her entire life, the birthday party rations really sucked. It was my one chance out of the year to be the center of attention, to demand things (whether or not those demands were fulfilled is another thing entirely), and be surrounded by friends. To have that be dependent on whether or not I’d been a model child was way harsh, considering that, at least in my parents’ eyes, I never quite measured up.

Don’t even get me started on expectations and birthday parties. Good god, how I loathe expectations. And yet, I am full of them. I was quick to write that I blame my life-long love of books, movies, and television for the ridiculous expectations swirling around in my head when I hear the words “birthday”, “Christmas”, “New Year’s Eve”, “wedding”, and “drag ball”, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve witnessed enough magical loveliness in real life happen to people I know that I am comfortable blaming them. The parties my friends and acquaintances have for their children leave me itching to call 9-1-1 to turn in my parents on a 25 year-old charge of neglect. Every kid in the class gets to come! Brand-name goodie bags! Elaborate themes! PG-13 movies! Designer clothes and shoes! Cake with a picture of your face on it!

A girl I knew rented out part of a nightclub to celebrate her 24th birthday. That’s not even a milestone age or anything. It was sort of supposed to be a joint party for me and some other October babies too, but I only told one friend about it because it was in Manhattan and I knew no one else would come. She had signature drinks, and embossed invitations, and her own waiter, and color-coordinated decorations that matched her outfit and makeup and the drinks and invitations. It was super fun, i.e., I got really drunk. I think I totaled my car on my 24th birthday (Not that same night, or year, even. Drunk driving is lame.). Not quite as fun.

Thing is, I don’t even want my own waiter or a cake with my face on it. Designer clothes and shoes would only be ruined in my grubby little accident-prone hands. “Signature drinks” is a stupid concept that I fall for every time I see them on a menu or watch “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera”. You know what kind of party I really like? Remember that one scene in “You’ve Got Mail” when Meg Ryan’s character has people over and Archie Bunker’s wife plays the piano and they sing and laugh and drink wine and everyone’s wearing a sweater and Greg Kinnear is tone deaf? I love that. The only things that party is missing is candlelight, dancing, more food and booze, The Gays, and me.

Don’t get me wrong, someday I want to blow a couple hundred bucks on a night out at Lucky Cheng’s and maybe have a closed-mouth make-out session on a dance floor with a handsome stranger (It’s a cultural thing, and blech!). But I don’t need any of that to have a nice birthday party – if I were still celebrating my birthday. I have vowed to never again attempt to have a party or make any birthday demands (I did tell Lisa she could make me her chicken casserole and bake a lemon cake, but she asked first.) or even mention the dreaded day after last year’s debacle. I haven’t mentioned last year’s debacle in great detail here other than explaining that it is from hence this blog’s name was birthed. Since The Day of Dread is less than 48 hours away, I’ll tell that story now by revising what I wrote and shared on that social networking site.

Actually, upon proofreading said post, I’ve decided to share it in its (hardly) unedited entirety. A quick re-read after a year made me do it:

I told ya so!  I told ya something bad was gonna happen on my birthday!

I do hate to gloat, truly I do, but I want people to understand that I’m not a sad sack of misery just because.  I’ve got history on my side!  Like my Jane has started to say, I’m looking at the facts!

Okay, if I’m going to look at ALL the facts, I ended up having a lot of fun with some truly wonderful friends.  But you didn’t come here to read about fun and wonderfulness.

What had happened was this:  In order to forget about the fact that I was turning another year older, I wanted to eat some food, go dancing and drink some drinks.  Last year, this was a bit of an issue, so I tried to keep things chill.  I figured if people wanted to come, they’d come.  If they wanted to eat, they’d eat.  If they wanted to dance- you get my drift.  I live in a city that I wouldn’t choose to hang out in, so I picked another as the destination because they have more than one of things and classier people and more interesting violence and danger.  What?  They do!

So I make reservations for the night before my actual birthday.  A group of relatives from out of town and their friends essentially invited themselves (this is key) to the gathering as an act of solidarity as they were aware of the History of Bad Birthdays, which I initially appreciated.  A group of friends offered to drive me that night so I could be free to indulge in spirits if I chose.  The group of friends was coming from another gathering that evening and the plan was for them to pick me up at 8:00 so we could make the 8:45 reservation.  Unfortunately, stuff happened, and they didn’t make it to get me until 8:30.  As soon as I learned that my ride was running late (8:05), I sent word to my relatives and friends already on their way to the restaurant.  Additional stuff happened – none of which involved me being late; bitches, I was dressed and ready to go for 8:00pm for once! – and our caravan didn’t hit the road till 8:45.

Yes, this was unfortunate.  But it was a Saturday night.  The group that was already there was “having fun”, or so I was told.  I assumed they’d have some drinks and order some appetizers and chill.  It was a birthday party, not a business meeting.  And I stayed in contact with them every step of the way, apologizing profusely.

We make it to the other city and it’s after 9:00pm.  We park in the first lot we find – which ended up being 6 blocks away from the restaurant.  The seven of us make our way down the street and I’m texting those already there – “We’re 4 blocks away! I’m sorry!”  “We’re 3 blocks away! I’m SO sorry!”  As we pass the Public Library, which is relevant because that meant we were about halfway there, I get a text from my cousin who I didn’t even expect to show up.  Not only did I not expect her, I had been instructed to keep her presence a secret, which is a topic for another note that I’m not going to write because that mess is none of my business.

Anyhoo, the secret cousin I didn’t expect had an early morning event the following day, my actual birthday, and that was one of the not torrid reasons that I didn’t expect her.  So, I think nothing of the fact that the first text I received from her read:

“This is so poorly planned.”

Yeah, I suppose it was.  They had been waiting about an hour.  I get that that can be annoying.  Buuuuuuuuutttttt, they weren’t waiting at a bus stop.  They were waiting in an awesome Japanese restaurant, with people they knew and supposedly like/love and it was my f’ing party; I’ll show up when I want to.  (I don’t really mean that last bit.)  As I am about to respond with a sincere mea culpa, my cousin whom I DIDN’T EXPECT TO SHOW UP AND TECHNICALLY WASN’T INVITED sent me a second text:

“I can see why she’s single.”

OOOOOOHHHHHHH.  So those texts weren’t meant for me after all.  Home girl hit my Achilles heel with that one.  The only other thing she could have written that would have been as devastatingly hurtful would have been “I can see why she’s fat.”  And shut up, I am fat, and the sooner we all acknowledge that fact the faster we can move on.

I closed my phone, put it in the pocket of my jacket and kept walking.  I could feel the tears start to well up, my heart was alternately stopping and pounding out of control and I didn’t know what to do.  We finally make it to the restaurant and I’m sure the look on my face was not a pleasant one.  If anyone noticed, they probably chalked it up to the fact that I had walked 6 blocks in 3 inch heels and was an hour late to my own birthday party.

Both the restaurant and the folks who had already arrived failed to save/ provide enough seating for the entire group, so a lot of awkward standing around commenced as we waited for extra chairs.  I was shaking and my face was on fire.  I had just learned that my cousin was talking shit about me and I assumed she had realized her mistake by then, too.  If she did, she said nothing.  We finally sit down and I knew that if I said nothing, that text and the venom behind it was going to eat me up and ruin an already screwed up night.  So, I lifted up my menu and whispered what had transpired to my friend Dick on my right, begging him to keep it to himself, and then promptly excused myself.  I felt better already that someone else knew about what happened.  I went to the ladies room and Jane followed me in in outrage.  Dick is her husband and told her that I was probably in tears because of the text I wasn’t supposed to see.

I was actually kind of fine!  No tears, just pee pee, and I assured Jane that I was cool.  No need to confront my cousin and her wig (I’m sorry!  I’m entitled to one dig, right?); let’s just eat, drink and be merry.

The night continued and yeah, dinner was kind of awkward, but sake solved that, mostly.  The out of town crew went home right after dinner because of the texting terror’s early morning thing, and I had a ball with my actual friends who make sure that the nasty texts they write about me make it to their intended recipients.  Ha.

I’m gonna skim over a lot of stuff now because I’m SUPER lazy, but the morning of my actual birthday involved me crying hysterically over the text.  Hey, I didn’t let it ruin my night, which for me is a REALLY BIG DEAL, but I needed to grieve over it.  That shit hurt!  I eventually and very gently, and according to my friend, with class, let my cousin know that I got the texts and assumed they weren’t meant for me and hoped that she enjoyed her charity walk.  She wrote back and didn’t acknowledge the texts, but asked me how my night was.  It took me hours to gather the courage and nerve to answer, but when I finally did, I said this:

“you know, despite those texts you sent me, i had a really great time with my friends.  thanks for asking!”

She called, I wouldn’t answer, got yelled at out of love by Jane and Dick, who had taken me out for birthday pancakes, cried some more, and eventually spoke to my cousin about the Birthday Debacle.  On my actual birthday, mind you.  And here, in helpful bullet point form, is what she said:

  • She don’t like waitin’.
  • People need to respect her time.
  • She’s very punctual and expects others to be the same.
  • I should have had a plan B and C.
  • I should have left my friends and driven myself to the restaurant so that she didn’t have to wait so long.
  • She was mad that the restaurant “kicked us out” at 11:30pm because she wanted to take pictures.
  • She didn’t get a chance to go out afterwards because I was late.
  • Oh, and yeah, poor planning can in fact lead to chronic singleness.

If you are observant, you may have noticed that her ass never once uttered the following :

“I’m sorry” or even, “Happy Birthday”.

And in case it matters, my cousin is also single.  She’s in the midst of a nasty divorce, actually, and lives back at home with her mother and shares a room with one of her two children.  So much for planning and punctuality!  But that’s mean of me to say.  I guess.

I didn’t respond to anything she said, other than mentioning that I was hurt by the text, particularly the second one.  After she was finished, I told her I was hanging up and that I’d talk to her some other time.  When I was alone that night, I cried some more.

So, that’s it.  That was this year’s birthday fail.  However, I did have oodles of fun and my friends are super loyal and protective and awesome and really, really mean!  And I love it!

But, yet again, that swift kick to the balls really hurt.  I may not be able to trust my cousin(s).  People – my family members! – seem to be ready, willing and able to take a switchblade to my Achilles without warning.  And I’m another year past 30 and still really, really, REALLY single (and fat).

I may have found an interesting name and concept for a blog, though.  Maybe stay tuned for icanseewhyshessingle.com, hmmmmmmm?  (DO NOT STEAL.)

Gosh. Wasn’t I precious? I sounded so different way back then. I was a mere girl, a child really, just turned 32 and all. That’s what happened and yay, I started a blog and took what was meant for evil and used it for good – shout out to Old Testament Joseph – though the “good” part is questionable. But here’s the thing. I said I had a good time. Whenever I’ve answered the question of “What do you wanna do for your birthday?” with “I don’t do those anymore ’cause of last year” and the person I’m talking to was there, they say “Oh, but you had fun!” I didn’t. I did not have fun. I’m sorry.

What I had was a pretend fun time due to the influence of alcohol. I drank a great deal out of nervousness, worried I’d cry or yell or snatch a wig if I didn’t drown my emotions in booze. Four really lovely friends hung out with me all night. We went to two – TWO! – nightclubs and then to a sketchy diner. They did that for me and I’m grateful. But I didn’t have fun.

I don’t have an inner voice that I can shut up with liquor. That bitch went on and on AND ON all night about how awful I am and how my mean cousin was right. I kept giving her bootleg Dark and Stormies (Why doesn’t any bar stock ginger beer?!?) in the hopes that if she insisted on talking, maybe she’d start to be nice the more I drank. When I went to the restroom and looked in the mirror and saw that the belt to my dress was hanging on by a figurative thread, she let me have it. My cousin’s text had given her ammunition, not that she ever really needs it: “See? She was right. Look at you. So FAT. No one will dance with you, you know. Your friends are pitying you because you are pitiful.”

I went back out there and smiled and drank and laughed and danced. She – my inner voice – was right. No one danced with me. I mean, Eric and Dick took turns dancing with me a little, but that’s not the same. I was the fifth wheel at my own birthday party, grinning madly as I danced with my lovely friends who also happen to be two couples.

I don’t make birthday demands wishes any more. Just let me get through the day and come out unscathed. I’ll cry, I’m sure. I’ve cried every year since probably 4th grade. This year the day will be supremely awkward as I am living staying with my parents who prove each day how little they know about their only child. That might be my fault seeing as how I just grunt and growl in their direction, but I believe, perhaps wrongly, that the people who love you shouldn’t have to be told who you are. They ought to be watching. They ought to already know.

Despite everything, my attitude about my birthday this year is an improvement. There were years I had no intention of seeing, but I guess I got distracted by something, as here I am. The only goal I’ve got for this year is to outlive Jesus. Dude made it to 33; if I can make it to 34 I will have beaten a supreme being at something, even if I’m still living with my parents, fat, at a job where everyone hates me, and of course, single when I do it.

Never a bride: part the second.

22 Aug

I suppose it could have been worse. Source

When I last left you, dear reader, I was inside the piss-soaked room of a scary motor lodge, planning how I’d survive a wedding on no food and no sleep. Wanda had just broken the news that her odorous friend J.J. would be adding his pungency to the food served at the reception as he would be doing all of the cooking. Speak of the devil and he will appear! A knock at the door revealed J.J. and Betsy on the other side. It was about 1:00am and they were there to hang out. Um, shouldn’t J.J. be home applying deodorant prepping and cooking in preparation to serve a wedding of approximately 100 people?

J.J. was tall and large and seemed to take his fashion advice from Wanda. He had on a jersey from a long-defunct hip-hop clothing line that was straining to contain his rotund belly. The sleeves were too short in a way that was comical and we could smell him before he walked in the room. My favorite part about J.J. had to have been his flattop haircut. This was before hipsters and ironic hair and clothes and paying homage to the 90s. J.J. was being very literal with his look. Betsy was no better. She was a sweet girl who didn’t say much. What Wanda had against her I never really understood. Betsy was shaped like a boiled potato and had a goatee. A real-life, honest-to-god goatee. Her teeth were covered in what appeared to be a thin layer of cottage cheese and like J.J., she also ceased her hair grooming habits sometime around 1991. He hair was pulled into a jaunty side ponytail held in place by a jumbo scrunchie. If things weren’t already tragic, they were getting there.

Wanda was getting more irritated by the hour and J.J.’s “last night of being single” jokes weren’t helping. She eventually gave him the boot, but Betsy stayed behind. She curled up next to Kelly on the floor and went to sleep. I don’t. . . I just don’t know. Maybe a cat pee soaked carpet was a step up from what was waiting at home with J.J.? It wouldn’t surprise me if it was.

Eventually, Wanda decided that she had to get her beauty sleep and took her place on the floor. I could not understand why these three idiots chose the floor rather than sleeping on top of a towel on top of the comforter like a normal person spending the night in a motor lodge. I chose a straight back wooden chair, still wearing my jacket and holding my suitcase. Lisa was doing a variation on the towel trick, sitting on top of one on top of the bed while she rocked her baby to keep her asleep. There was nothing on TV other than free, frightening porn, so we just whispered to each other about the surreal experience we were having.

When the pounding on the door to our room started around 4:00am, at first we thought that it was the groom, ushers, and J.J. playing tricks on us. The ushers had decided to go out clubbing the night before the wedding; us bridesmaids and apparently the groom were not allowed per the bride. “It’s got to be the guys being stupid,” I whispered. “They’ll give up eventually.”

“Open this door, motherf*cker! Open this motherf*ckin’ door!” Lisa and I looked at each other in a panic. The Smelly Sisters on the floor began to stir, wondering what all the commotion was.

“I said open this door motherf*cker! Open this motherf*ckin’ door!” The banging was getting louder, as was the voice. It definitely wasn’t one of the guys from the wedding.

“Should we call 911? Oh god, the freaking window is unlocked!” Our whispers were frantic. The phone seemed so far away.We were certain that we were going to be killed. We held our breath, hoping that if us motherf*ckers just stayed quiet, whoever was on the other side of the door would simply lose interest and go away.

Moments later, we heard the door of the room next to ours open with a bang. Lisa and I grabbed hands, eyes wide in panic. Wanda, Kelly, and Betsy buried their faces in the rug, inhaling one last lungful of sweet, sweet pussycat pee before we were all snuffed out.

“Motherf*cker, you got the wrong room! We over here!” yelled the voice from next door. The five of us let out a collective sigh of relief, thankful to have been spared from. . . something.

The girls on the floor drifted back to dreamland while Lisa and I stayed in our respective positions. Around 6:00am, we offered to grab breakfast. Wanda produced a list of things she’d “forgotten” that she wanted us to pick up on the way. Her list included “white pumps” because hers were kind of tight. I couldn’t make this stuff up, I promise you. Lisa and I wandered around, delirious from lack of sleep, hunger, and the thought that we were about to have caps popped in our asses. We drove around in circles, laughing hysterically. We found a Stop & Shop and wandered up and down the aisles, finding absolutely everything amusing. After about 20 minutes of that I had a sudden realization: “Oh my god, the wedding’s in a few hours and we’re still at home! We have to drive all the way to the city for the wedding!” Seeing that all Stop & Shops are virtually identical, we thought we were in our hometown, an hour away. We ran frantically through the grocery store, losing our slippers every few feet. It wasn’t until we hit the parking lot that we realized we weren’t home at all. We lost it, shaking and crying with laughter.

We got back to our room to find everything in disarray. There was no hot water. Wanda’s hair wasn’t doing what she wanted and she’d promised various family members that she wouldn’t wear one of her $5.95 wigs. The M.O.H. had finally emerged, but wasn’t particularly helpful. Wanda’s phone was going crazy; J.J. had a million questions about what exactly he was supposed to cook. Wanda finally told him to just come back to the room, which was about 50 minutes away from the wedding, remember. Lisa and I tried our best to keep things together.

I don’t know in what order the following things happened, but they are so vivid in my mind I feel like they must have happened all at once. J.J. showed up in the clothes he had on the night before. He had a notepad and pencil with him, but before he was able to say a word, he let out five of the wettest, most snot-filled, sneezes deep from the crevices of his nasal passages. He sneezed his mucus and brains and bowels and whatever else was coming out of him into his already filthy hand. He made no effort to excuse or clean himself up; he blinked a few times, looked at Wanda and said “So whatchu want me to cook again?”

As Wanda was attempting to explain the difference between a head of iceberg lettuce and a head of cabbage to J.J. – these are REAL examples, folks – she squeezed her way into her wedding gown. After getting it on, she plopped herself down in front of the mirror and proceeded to do her makeup. One of us screamed out for her to stop or be careful, but it was too late: a glob of foundation the color of dark chocolate had made its way to the bodice of her gown.

Wanda blew a gasket. Finally the M.O.H. made herself useful and was able to contain the mighty force of Wanda’s rage and clean off most of the foundation. J.J. was kicked out again, blamed for distracting Wanda, and told to take Betsy with him. We helped Wanda finish dressing and she looked. . .okay! She was a bit calm and took in the rest of us.

We looked like a band of one eyed, one horned, flying purple people eaters in our ridiculous dresses, but Wanda loved them. Until her eyes landed on Lisa’s. “You didn’t get it altered? You didn’t even get it hemmed?” she screamed. Lisa reminded her that she told Wanda that she wouldn’t be able to afford it. “Ugh! Whatever. You just better find some safety pins or something because you look ridiculous” she spit.

The finishing touch of her look was to slip on her engagement ring. We had asked Wanda the night before why she had her engagement ring and both wedding bands. Wasn’t the best man supposed to have those? What I want to know is why we kept asking questions as if anything about this wedding was even remotely normal, traditional, and not total madness?

“You know I can’t trust Chill Rob with these rings, with his crackhead ass!” Chill Rob’s name is the only one I haven’t changed. I mean, how could I? How perfect is it that the best man’s name was Chill Rob?

Wanda reaches for her rings and finds the box empty. She doesn’t even try to remain calm and rational; this chick hulked out in 10 seconds flat. “Where. Are. My. F*cking. RINGS??? WHY IS EVERYTHING GOING WRONG??” She flipped over suitcases, punched the walls. We did our best to calm her down, emptying every purse, pocket, and pillow case in the search for her gumball machine jewelery.

Suddenly, Wanda’s eyes land on Lisa’s little daughter, the flower girl in her wedding. Her whole face changed. I backed up, afraid of what was going to happen next. “YOU!! YOU stole my rings!! You were playing around in the suitcases!! WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THEM?? Lisa, I TOLD you not to let her PLAY. IN. THE. SUITCASES!!!!!!” Lisa’s daughter was all of two years old. All the bridesmaids, other than the always oblivious Kelly, jumped between Wanda and the baby. The M.O.H. dragged her out of the room, gulping giant ugly tears, and put her in her car.

“Listen. This situation is totally f*cked up. You three stay behind and tear our rooms apart. Find those rings. If you don’t, stop at the Wal*Mart across the street and just get anything to use for the ceremony and we’ll figure it out later. I’ll explain what’s going on and delay the wedding.” This brilliant plan came from the M.O.H. and while we attempted to wrap our brains around it, she and Wanda were gone.

We did as we were told, tearing first our room apart from top to bottom, and then the M.O.H.’s. After pulling the dresser from against the wall, we made a discovery, but not the one we were hoping for. There, on the floor, was a crack pipe. We stood around it and stared at it. We wondered. . . Nah! But Wanda’s friends. . .  No way! It had to have been there before. We were afraid to touch it; crack is whack! We kicked it behind the dresser and moved it back into place, letting the next person to lose a Ring Pop in that room stumble across it as we had.

We were at a total loss. It was getting later and later. We were about to go to Wal*Mart when one of us said to search Wanda’s purse one more time. There, at the bottom, tucked in a velvet bag as if they were actually made of something, were the rings. We grabbed them, and the baby, and ran.

As soon as we got in the car, my cell phone started to ring. First caller? J.J.: “Hey, I’m supposed to bring the stereo for the music for the ceremony and I forgot that there wouldn’t be any plugs since it’s outside, so could ya’ll stop and get some batteries?” We did. Wanda wanted to walk down the aisle to her song and as bridesmaids, we had to help make that happen. J.J. called again and I wanted to know how the hell he got my number and why was I suddenly the wedding coordinator extraordinaire? I barely knew these people! “Hey, it’s me again. I can’t find that N*SYNC CD. Could you guys stop somewhere and buy a copy? I’ll pay ya’ll back.” This ninja had to be out of his mind!

Kelly handled him from there on out as they were friends (she liked smells, I guess), but my phone was by no means quiet. All the ushers from the wedding called, demanding to know where we were. Where we were? “Didn’t the M.O.H. tell everyone what happened?” I screeched. According to eyewitnesses, they pulled up in the M.O.H.’s car, Wanda alternating between hysteria and a state of catatonia. And the M.O.H.? Well, that bitch reverted to her useless ways, getting out of the car, lighting a cigarette, and when asked what the heck was happening, responded with the ever so helpful “F*ck if I know.”

The justice of the freaking peace was the last person to call me, and this lady was out of her damn mind. She was screaming at me like I was her stepchild and would not allow me to speak. I finally just hung up on her. She was completely unreasonable and we were almost there.

Maybe 30 people showed up to the wedding. Wanda hadn’t bothered to provide chairs, so everyone stood around in an awkward circle. Most of the freaks in the wedding party really needed that damn rehearsal, as none of them had, based on their behavior, ever been to a wedding in real life or seen one on TV. Kelly’s simple ass wandered around in a circle and stood behind the best man. Lisa’s baby was tired and screamed hysterically and refused to walk down the aisle. Lisa lost her bouquet in the commotion and had the skirt of her unhemmed dress balled up in her hands so she didn’t trip on it. Wanda was not calmed or comforted by her found rings. The look on her face as she walked down the aisle can only be described as “constipated in a 100-degree room”. She took one look at Lisa hanging on to her dress for dear life and snapped. “Put your dress down, Lisa! You look stupid!” she hissed. Oh, and J.J. and his missing N*SYNC CD didn’t show up to the ceremony and that stinking fool still owes me money for them batteries.

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

I thought I could tell this story in two parts, but there is so much more to it that I’m going to have to keep you guys hanging for part three. Some of the best moments occurred during the reception at the VFW and I will never look at lemon cake in the same way again. Stay tuned. . .

Never a bride.

21 Aug

I wish. Source

It all started around 1983. I was probably four and was asked to be the flower girl in my mom’s friend’s second or third wedding. I remember quite a bit, considering that wedding was almost 30 years ago and I slept through a great portion of it. The adult females in the bridal party got to wear these awesome wide-brimmed hats, including the bride. The maid of honor this time around (my mom was the M.O.H. for one of the previous weddings and it’s probably tacky to repeat) was this down-ass white lady who would alternate between pinching me, blowing cigarette smoke in my face, and carrying me around while threatening to throw me in the duck pond. She was awesome and I loved her. I wore a crown of flowers around a high bun with tendrils of spiral curls dangling in my face. I had on all white everything before Jay-Z and Jeezy. My flower basket was filled with silk flowers; I knew that any respectable flower girl was supposed to throw her petals, but alas, mine were glued to the bottom of my wicker basket. L’horreur! Eh, it was the 80s. The idea of walking down the aisle was absolutely terrifying to me, but somehow I made it through. I think the M.O.H. threatening to burn me with her cigarette if I didn’t may have had something to do with it. The ring bearer and I were dating during the rehearsal and wedding. He was an older man, being in kindergarten or first grade, and told me that he’d be forcing me to drink champagne out of the lit up fountain that I thought was filled with Kool-Aid at the reception. He also repeatedly threatened to kiss me. I found his behavior distasteful, but liked that he thought he could break-dance.

Fast-forward a few thousand years and I was being fitted for a sea-foam green, corset-top monstrosity to be paired with mandatory white silk shoes. I hadn’t known the bride for very long, but found her propensity for eye-rolling and shit-talking endearing. I probably should have taken the fact that she had a revolving door of 19 bridesmaids as a warning, but I like to be helpful and like to be wanted even more. I spent exorbitant amounts of cash on a kick-ass surprise bachelorette party and so-so bridal shower and went to the cake tasting with the bride. I wasn’t even an M.O.H. and this chick had like three or four. Two hours before the rehearsal dinner that I would have been on time for I got a call from the bride telling me that the wedding was off and that she was going to kill herself. She was bluffing; last I heard she’s still alive. Oh, but yeah, the wedding was finito. Turns out little miss pink diamonds had been exchanging dirty emails with a police officer from the town where she worked for months and that they’d been doing the Kristen Stewart (focus specifically on the box-licking in the lower left hand corner) in her Mini-Cooper while her husband played WoW. Yes, I realize I typed “husband”. She demanded that the poor sucker marry her in a civil ceremony years before on some Romeo-and-Juliet-defy-thy-family type bullshit but had to have her church wedding complete with green and purple orchids and stupid-ass lopsided cake with Mickey and Minnie toppers. Le sigh. You don’t have to tell me that I was ignoring some nuclear fallout style alarms blaring in my ears; I know. I saw the husband recently and he’s prematurely gray. Didn’t have the heart to ask about her. I figured his hair and twitchy left eye said it all.

The last wedding I was in was perfectly normal and lovely. The bride was chill; we wore season-appropriate neutrals (navy and silver) in dresses and shoes we got to pick ourselves. We ate cupcakes and drank from the open bar and danced with her hilarious aunties to Prince and Michael Jackson. So why am I calling this post “Never a bride”? Aren’t I missing a third wedding incident to recount before I admit that I am either forever doomed or on a mad dash to make four new BFFs who just so happen to be getting married next year? I’m getting to it, I’m getting to it. And for those of you scoffing at my including a stint as a flower girl, technically I have been asked to be a bridesmaid a total of five times; one wedding was called off due to hoeing as I mentioned above. My other two opportunities to roll my eyes behind a tacky bouquet were revoked because for one wedding I was the wrong shade of brown for the groom’s family and I got into a fight with the bride at what used to be the China Club before the other. Both of those bitches got divorced, so there.

In between the vomit-inducing lavender and seaf0am and tasteful navy and silver, there was Wanda’s wedding. Wanda was at least 275-lbs. with a gap in her front teeth that would make Michael Strahan green with envy. She wore wigs so tacky Lil’ Kim would be tempted to pull her aside and beg her for the name of her stylist. She made Wesley Snipes look high yellow. The first time I met Wanda she had on a three-sizes two small, midriff-bearing Versace knock-off t-shirt emblazoned with what I guess was Donatella and Gianni’s step-cousin’s name – VERSAGE – across her enormous chest in iridescent glitter. Wanda was a damn hot-ass mess. If you think I’m awful for focusing on her unfortunate physical appearance, I welcome your prissy, don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover-ass to have several seats and listen to me describe her wretched personality.

Wanda was a pathological liar. She knowingly set up a twenty-year old friend to date a 16 year-old foster care runaway who’s age she continuously lied about because she thought it was funny. Jealous of maybe our friendship or looks or standing in the world – it was never made clear – she told her friends that a female friend and I were lesbian lovers, knowing her friends were a bunch of homophobic douche bags who would shun us every time we took pity on her and made an appearance at one of her awful parties. During one of those parties, a set of her stellar companions high on heroin tried to pressure us into buying Oxycontin by threatening to lock us in the house unless we agreed to at least try it and flew into a rage when we said we didn’t have time for any Afterschool Special shenanigans and to unlock the got-dang door. One month after her wedding, Wanda caused a scene at my birthday party by throwing her wedding rings across a crowded dance floor and screaming at the top of her lungs at her husband, alternating between threatening him with divorce and charging at him like a rabid hippopotamus because he ordered and consumed a drink. I bet you’re wondering why I agreed to be in this heifer’s wedding. Child, so am I.

I agreed out of pity, I guess, and probably curiosity, and because, at that time at least, despite all the reasons not to, I liked Wanda. Her other friends were awful. She needed someone with at least an ounce of class to help her with her wedding. In hindsight, I should have handed her ass a phone book so she could find one. But I was young and a sucker who genuinely cared about other people.

After bragging about buying her wedding gown for $99 at a discount bargain basement, she tried to get the bridal party to shell out $350 on bridesmaid dresses. All of her bridal party, including yours truly, was living at home with our parents. Most of us were still college students. Nobody had that kind of money! We gently talked her down and she chose a hideous Cinderella’s housecoat looking thing in that god-awful color: lavender. It was a couple of hundred bucks less, but needed major alterations. One bridesmaid couldn’t afford the less-expensive gown either, so Wanda generously bought it for her, but told her she was on her own for alterations. Pretty fair, right? Oh, just wait.

Wanda insisted on doing everything herself, from the decorations, to the bouquets, to the invitations. Quiet as it’s kept, Wanda wasn’t particularly talented at doing any of those things. The invitations to her wedding went out full of misspellings and grammar errors. I heard later that the wedding location information provided wasn’t even accurate. A friend who had had the good sense to drop out of the bridal party was still willing to help behind the scenes. She took on making the wedding cake, bride’s bouquet, and sweets Wanda had never tasted but wanted served at the wedding ’cause they looked-ed good in a magazine.

Her family took the reins for the shower, which was successful and actually quite nice. Lord, how I wish they had stepped in and taken over everything else. Supposedly, they tried and Wanda fought them at every step, so they gave up. Wanda claimed she had it all taken care of; she took us to the soul food restaurant that was going to cater the wedding so we could sample stuff in advance. She had a limo driver, a hairdresser, a make-up artist. She also apparently had access to the Hope Diamond; when she showed us the monstrosity on her left hand, it was all we could do to politely smile. The rock was so big it was obviously fake. Fine; personally, I don’t need a big or even real diamond, considering the cost to the environment and of human life (try not to roll your eyes so hard that they get stuck), but I certainly wouldn’t attempt to pass off  a lemon ice flavored Ring Pop as the real thing, either!

Fast forward to the “rehearsal dinner”. The wedding ceremony was never actually “rehearsed” because no one could make the 5:00pm start time she insisted on on a Friday night. Everyone, including the officiant, was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. It was an outdoor wedding and by the time we got to the site, it was pitch black. We all stood around and looked at it and each other. Wanda shrugged and said “It’ll be fine. We’ll practice in the banquet hall.”

The banquet hall was a local VFW who didn’t seem to be expecting Wanda or her wedding at all. There was a bingo game still going on when we walked in. The place reeked of smoke and despair. We did our best with the decorations she’d bought; none of the table cloths fit the tables, but luckily, someone brought a roll of tape. She put us to work, instructing us to sweep the floor and wipe down tables; she sent us on errands driving around the city picking up cans of soda and ice and favors. A few of us muttered “Wouldn’t the caterer handle the beverages, too?” Wanda wanted to be sure there would be enough.

She ordered pizza and we stood around eating it without plates or napkins before she put us back to work. Eventually, we made the place look as good as it was going to and Wanda called it a night. She told us that she’d booked a suite of hotel rooms and that the hairdresser would be meeting us that night to get started on our hair. “But Wanda, it’s already 11:00pm!”, someone cried. “I told you, I got it under control!” Wanda barked.

We were to follow her in our cars to the hotel. After seeing the VFW, we weren’t sure what to expect. We drove for about 20 minutes before Wanda pulled into the parking lot of a Sheraton Hotel. My car, packed to the brim with various bridesmaids, let out a collective cry of joy at Wanda so unexpectedly coming through for us. As I put the car in park, she ran over, frantically waving her arms. “I just wanted to pull over so I could let you all know we have another 30 minutes or so of driving”, she said, her eyes never quite meeting mine. “Everything in the city is booked up. This is the weekend of the annual small business owner association’s meeting. We’re gonna have to get a room in the next town over.”

We eventually ended up at a motor lodge well outside of the city. Wanda had some sort of arrangement with the manager which fell through despite her haggling and we all – all five of us – had to cough up $60 a piece. Yeah, a room with two twin beds at a motor lodge somehow cost $300. We drove through the parking lot to our room and on that short ride witnessed the following: a man stumbling out of his room and vomiting on the sidewalk; three men fighting in another section of the parking lot; a very large man with two very large pit bulls at the end of two very long chains screaming into his cell phone at someone who was going to get “f*cked up” later that night if he had his way. I pulled over so we could unload our luggage from the car and then parked it when we were done. As I made the treacherous walk from the car to our “suite”, I saw one of the bridesmaids, my friend Lisa, sitting on the steps with her toddler who was to be the flower girl asleep in her arms. “What’s up?” I asked, terrified to hear the answer. “Oh, you’ll see. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you” she cryptically replied.

The first thing I noticed was the window. It was wide open, which is strange for a hotel or motel. They usually don’t open at all. “Huh”, I said under my breath. “It doesn’t lock!” yelled one of the girls. “It doesn’t lock? The window doesn’t lock?” I repeated. “Nope!” I hadn’t even stepped foot inside the room yet and I was seriously considering sleeping in my car. Once I got inside, I didn’t know where I was going to sleep that night, but I knew there was no way in hell it would be in that room of evil and filth.

“Oh god, what is that smell?” I yelled as I tried to simultaneously cover my nose. “Oh that? That’s cat pee.” It was Lisa from the steps. That’s why she was out there with her daughter. Wanda had gone to get the manager. It was like being in a haunted house. You know it’s only going to get worse the further you walk in, but you’re compelled to keep going. The room itself was pretty nondescript other than the non-locking window and stench of feline urine. Then I got to the bathroom. The door was barely hanging on by its hinges. There was a hole that looked like it had been caused by someone’s head being repeatedly slammed into it. “My god, where are we?” I whispered.

Eventually, the manager showed up. Wanda angrily told him to take a deep breath. “Yeah, we get a lot of strays around here” he said without the slightest hint of outrage or disgust or irony or any feeling at all, for that matter. “Are you saying they get into the rooms?” one of us asked, incredulous. He shrugged. “How are you gonna make this right? I’m getting married tomorrow!” Wanda shrieked. He pulled out a can of industrial strength air freshener. “I’m all out of rooms and we have a no refund policy.” Wanda was at her wits end. She was the bride; we’d stay with her because we were her bridesmaids, dammit! Whatever she wanted to do was fine with us. A bunch of fools we were.

“Let’s just stay here. I’m stressed out” she mumbled. “Okay, Wanda, whatever you say. Is your hairdresser still showing up tonight?” I asked, trying to get her mind off of the crisis at hand. I hoped she hadn’t noticed that I hadn’t taken off my coat or set down my suitcase. “She’s not coming. She’s a lying bitch. Her and her husband.” Her husband would have been our “limo driver”. “Wh-what? What about our hair and make-up? What are we supposed to do? Wanda, I didn’t bring much with me because I thought it was going to be taken care of!” came the chorus of outrage from all except for weird Kelly, the lone bridesmaid who didn’t see what the big deal was about the room, was tired, and had made herself comfortable on the pissy-ass floor and was fast asleep. Just remembering the sight gives me the chills.

Wanda had brought a home relaxer kit and hot rollers. I had shampoo and conditioner and a blow dryer (see, part of me knew not to trust lyin’-ass Wanda). We made due. None of us had makeup, except for Wanda, and her color palette wasn’t exactly interchangeable with the various complexions in the room. No tea, no shade, just stating facts! Someone asked about the maid of honor who hadn’t shown up to the “rehearsal dinner”. Did she make it to town yet? “Yeah, she’s here. She’s mad ’cause of the room I got her, so she won’t come out and she’s not speaking to me” said Wanda nonchalantly as she greased her scalp. We were speechless.

Wanda also let it slip that a friend of hers, a very musty weirdo named J.J., would be doing the cooking for the reception. “But what about the soul food restaurant catering?” I asked. “Oh they were too expensive. And besides, I just like their macaroni and cheese, so I only ordered a tray of that.” Wanda was sure that J.J. could handle the cooking for about 100 people. He was a great cook! He was one of her best friends and very reliable. He would be bringing the stereo and CD so she could walk down the aisle to N*SYNC’s “This I promise you”. I wish I was kidding. She gave him lots of duties, actually, since she didn’t want him to be an usher in the wedding, as he would have insisted on his horrid girlfriend Betsy being a bridesmaid, but didn’t want him to feel left out. Having smelled J.J. on more than one occasion, I didn’t care if he cooked like he was the reincarnation of Betty Crocker herself: not only was I not going to be sleeping that night, I sure as hell wouldn’t be eating anything at the wedding the next day.

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

There’s more to the story, of course, but what kind of blogger would I be if I gave it to you all at once? Yeah, you’re right, probably a really good one. Anyway, stay tuned for the second installment of “Never a bride”. Believe me, the best is yet to come. . .

Same boat.

14 Aug

Yeah. . . I wouldn’t want to be in that boat either. Source

Dictionary.com, one of my favorite websites (seriously), defines the idiom “in the same boat” as “in the same circumstances; faced with the same problems: The new recruits were all in the same boat.”

It’s a common phrase that those of us with some mastery of the English language probably throw around a lot. I’ve used it countless times I’m sure, but lately I’ve found its use towards me to be disturbing rather than offering the comfort that I think was intended by the speaker. If I am in the same boat with certain people, somebody pass me a life preserver and I’ll take my chances out at sea.

The first time I had to stop myself from audibly screaming out “You ain’t trapping me in a sinking ship with you!” was several hours after a family gathering. A relative was sharing the news of another’s engagement as we drove her home, and as I do with so many things, I made the conversation about me. I was happy for my family member, but felt like I was being once again left in the dust when it came to the milestones indicating a normal, healthy adulthood. The relative who shared the news with me has never been married. When I expressed my bittersweet feelings on the subject, rather than offering me the usual empty encouragements that a very single girl over 30 is bound to hear, my relative said the following: “You want to get married? I never married. Do I regret it? Well, yes, I suppose, when it comes to things like having to carry heavy packages or eating meals alone, but we’re smart, educated women. You and I are in the same boat. It may never happen for you, but so what? You’ll be just fine.”

I think I gagged a little when she said that. I didn’t want to be in the same boat with her. Her boat was leaky and lonely. She only had one broke-down oar to paddle with. The sails wouldn’t. . . sail (If you haven’t noticed, I know nothing about boats, ships, and/or sailing.).  I wanted her to tell me that I was on a jet ski racing off to the Island of Eligible Bachelors, not that I’d be “just fine” when and if I ended up like her. I’m pretty sure I cried after receiving my relative’s declaration. Those tears must have tasted particularly bitter because so far, my life is most like hers than anyone else in the family. The possibility of my being over 60 and still alone is creeping near; my relative is holding out her hand to me while I stand unsure and scared on the dock, ready to help me sail off into a lonely sunset.

Most recently, an old friend repeatedly mentioned that she and I were in the same boat. My old friend does not date and makes no effort to. In fact, she is contemplating swearing off any attempts at or offers of romantic relationships for the foreseeable future. My old friend isn’t one to talk about s-e-x, but I assume that if she did, she’d mention that she’d be just fine with never having it again. Ever. With anyone. Ever again. Forever. Yikes.

When she told me that she and I were in the same boat, at first I chuckled. Yeah, poor us. So unlucky in love. She’s the only person I know that is my age and knows what it’s like to go more than a decade without knowing the gentle touch of a man. It’s been years since she’s even been on a date. I yukked it up with her. Hell yeah we’re in the same boat! But the more she said it, the less funny it became. Did I really want to be in the same boat with someone who has given up on love? My old friend has plenty of justifiable reasons for her decision to swear off the opposite sex, but still. To not even try? And wait a minute. I’ve been trying. I’ve done online dating, I’ve gone speed dating, I’ve tolerated mediocre dates with men I wish I could forget. I’ve embarrassed myself by asking for sex because TV and well-meaning friends tricked me into thinking I’d get a ‘yes’ if I did. I can’t show my face in my local YMCA because I’ve tried (It’s not what you think, I swear!) so hard!

It’s not fair to be shoved into a boat where the captain (Skipper? Admiral? I don’t know.) has given up. The boat hasn’t even capsized, it’s just aimlessly meandering around and around, like a bathtub toy circling the drain. I understand that my old friend doesn’t want to halfheartedly row her ass to nowhere by herself, but that’s like telling a kid who studied for a test and failed that he’s just like the kid that didn’t even crack open the book. “I don’t know that shit. And you did just as bad as me.”

Maybe to some people I deserve my place in that boat next to my friend. I found myself having yet another bitch fest about my loneliness and frustration with Dick and Jane over dinner and I couldn’t shake the feeling that Dick was annoyed or bored or disgusted with me and what he perceives as my lack of effort. When I told them that a dating guide I’d stumbled across online read that women ought not rule out the bar scene after all, Dick asked me when I was going bar hopping. I stumbled and stuttered as I told him that I was afraid to go alone; I’ve seen way too many episodes of “Law and Order: SVU” to be okay with that. He rolled his eyes and muttered something about my making excuses. He found my outrage at being an unwilling passenger on the SS Pusty Dussy humorous, maybe because to him it’s exactly where I belong.

I like the water, but I’ve always been wary of boat rides, probably because that first one ended so well. I don’t want this post to seem as though I am claiming to be better than my never-married relative or my old friend who has (Temporarily, please let it be temporarily!) given up on love. I’m not. I know that I’m not. But what I do know is that I want to keep trying to swim to shore on my own. I’m not resigned to either fate; neither boat can take me where it is I so badly want to go. I’m going to keep floating alongside lots of different boats, waving at the people on board while I try to keep my goggles from fogging up. Could I try to swim harder? Of course I can. And I probably will.

But be patient with me. Just by being in the water at all I’m bucking a stereotype.

Fame.

14 Jul

It’s only a matter of time before I end up on “Hoarders”.

I was really hoping that my network television debut would be a feature on “Intervention”, but I can barely get a group of people together to go to Red Lobster on my birthday, so I think it’s pretty unlikely that anyone I know would be willing to sit in a hotel ballroom for a week on my behalf, even if it meant that all of their complaints concerns about me would be recorded, analyzed by professionals, and then aired to millions. Not to mention, I’m sure when the A&E producers got in touch with my parents they’d say something along the lines of “Intervention? Didn’t we already do that for her?” I’d love to be a fly on the wall in my parents’ house for that telephone conversation; my mom and dad holding the cordless phone between them as they shout into the mouthpiece, because that’s how you use the speaker phone feature: for optimum connectivity, one must be over the age of 60 and scream as loudly as possible.

When I tearfully told my parents about the incident that gave this blog its name and me my justification for holding a(nother) passive-aggressive grudge, my dad said “Well honey, now you know what people think of you and what changes you need to make.” Wait, what? “Dad. It was my BIRTHDAY. It wasn’t even my fault that I was late!” I cried. “Think of it as a wake up call, Ambrosia. It’s like when loved ones gather around a troubled person and tell them about themselves in an effort to help them,” he said. “You mean like an intervention?” I grumbled. “Exactly! Except this one was accidental!”

Since I have already been there and done that when it comes to being intervened (that’s right, right?), I figure my big break will come from my inability to use a closet or a washing machine or a shelving system or a garbage can. I used to say that I was too busy being smart and important to clean, but I’ve never been very good at lying. I now realize that I just don’t care. I’m not particularly bothered by the fact that I can’t use my stove because for some reason I’ve decided it’s a great place to store my plastic ware. I don’t mind climbing over mountains of laundry to get in and out of my bedroom. I haven’t batted an eyelash at the half-empty bag of hot dog buns that has been inexplicably sitting in my living room for weeks.

This may mean that I may not make a very good subject for “Hoarders”. Those nut jobs typically care about the fact that their home is overrun with rabbits and copies of Time magazine. They want someone to help them shovel their way out from under their classic Pez dispenser collection. They think they might have had a cat at some point; won’t someone help them find Mittens? And the ones that don’t care are so toothless and/or insane and/or irrecoverably damaged by horrific trauma that they will make for great television because they will scream at the intervenors (that I made up) and the cleaning crew; they will get into fist fights with concerned family members who attempt to throw away their jars of rancid mayonnaise; they will cry hysterically when the room full of headless Barbie dolls is finally emptied. “I was SAVING those! I NEED them!”

Now don’t get me wrong, I can make an argument for holding on to some crap. I’m pretty sure that’s an unfortunate genetic predisposition. But my main problem is simply one of maturity and motivation and good decision making skills. If it’s clean my apartment or write a blog post at 5:07am, you better believe I’m writing a blog post at dawn with my contacts fused to my corneas. If it’s fold/hang the clean laundry and put it away or just shove it into an already full hamper and hide it in the dining room, I’m a shovin’ and a hidin’. I will always take the easy way out. And being a slob is one more step towards doing whatever I can to keep people away even though I am desperately, frighteningly lonely. Let’s all pretend we didn’t read that last part.

I am probably making a better case for my being on “Hoarders” than I anticipated, but that’s okay! It was kind of the point! Being featured on that program kills two birds with one stone: get my apartment cleaned and some much deserved airtime. On a television show about lunatics who live in their own filth. Okay, I may need to rethink this.

Well, since that plan has been derailed, I need a new course of action for gaining celebrity while exuding the least amount of effort. I am a clear candidate for the “Basketball Wives” franchise, as I am a woman of color who has never been married to a basketball player, but that show’s not really my speed, mostly because it involves spending a great deal of time with horrible people. Since I like to think of myself as an intellectual, I think I’m best suited for those CNN specials with titles like “Black People Are Doomed, I Tell Ya, DOOMED!” and hosted by Soledad O’Brien, the ultimate undercover Negress. I’m everything they’re looking for: a black woman without kids, a shining example that there are 30% of us not having children out-of-wedlock; a black woman with multiple degrees, so they can place the blame directly on my bourgeoisie when they talk about the many ways that black women alienate black men; a black woman who is overweight and with natural hair, so they can analyze why we won’t exercise and why we’re not scared of diabetes and why on Earth we’d decide to do that to our hair, ’cause you know it’s just another way that we’re purposefully pushing away the brothers; a black woman with a daddy, ’cause remember, we’re just as rare as a white man’s steak; and finally, my favorite and theirs, a black woman who is unmarried with no prospects.

CNN loves to remind my mother that 45% of black women have never been married, compared to 23% of white women. My being featured on their next “You Will Die Alone, But At Least Your Hair Will Look Good” special will give her such hope. Maybe the segment producer will convince me to take out my nose ring! Maybe Don Lemon will ask me out on a date (I don’t think my mother has any idea)! Maybe the CNN hair stylists will convince me to press my hair! She will ring her hands as she watches me on TV, biting her lower lip and hoping that the camera doesn’t really add 10 pounds. She will have an elaborate fantasy involving the very handsome, brown-skinned yet ethnically ambiguous Comcast repair man who came to fix the cable that one time. He will be watching, make the connection that I am her daughter, and call her up to ask for my phone number. He will be a born-again Christian, and he will like me, and I will relax my hair, and have a church wedding, and give her cinnamon-colored grandchildren, and she will finally be able to forgive CNN for not talking Larry King into staying on the air.

However, there is a critical flaw in any of these methods for gaining free cleaning and organization of my things, or attention, or a husband who works for Comcast, or an opportunity to hear Don Lemon say “Gurl, please!” over cocktails. The flaw being that a camera would be involved and personal questions asked and people interviewed. It wouldn’t be just me revealing my failures and idiosyncrasies in what I hope is a charming and quirky way in a blog. My candy apple head and hound dog eyes would be broadcast into homes across the country. My Hilary Banks-esque voice would be heard in kitchens and living rooms from here to Duluth. It wouldn’t be just me telling self-depreciating yet comical mostly true tales about my life behind the safety of a computer screen. I would be vulnerable. I don’t do vulnerable. Unless it’s completely within my control and of my own making.

My greatest fear is obtaining any sort of success that would make me known outside of my immediate circle. There are those that I’d rather not remind of my existence. The last thing I need is He Who Shall Not Be Named being reminded that he dated me and attempting to look me up for old time’s sake. I already regret that The Person That I Used To Know is aware of this version of me, and he’s someone who I kind of like. Imagine the former teachers, people who went to my elementary school, kids I used to babysit crawling out of the woodwork to offer their unsolicited tales of how they knew me when. I find the whole thing distasteful and terrifying. Even more scary is if nobody cared enough to say a thing, even if it was just to offer their surprise or lack thereof at how chubby I’d become over the years. “She always did like to eat!”

Anyway, flaws and all, I think my “Hoarders” idea is one to hang on to, even if it’s just so I can get someone to come and load the dishwasher. Since I can’t “nominate” myself, here’s the casting link. Hang on to that and be ready to use it if you hear that I’ve been showering at the YMCA. According to the many episodes I’ve seen, that’s one of the warning signs. Pictures are required as part of the application package, so I ask that you just give me ample warning before you come by to take them.

It’ll give me a chance to clean up a little around here.