Sunday, November 23, 2008

classy bachelorette parties

When you grow up in a big city like San Francisco, you have so many options to celebrating each and every occasion you can think of. Wedding? Funeral? Boyfriend broke up with you? Didn't go home with that guy last night for once? There is a venue and/or a party for all of them. Hell, even a few weeks ago when Yelp put on a big event at the Contemporary Jewish Museum for a fashion show showing Andy Warhol's exhibit, my friend A says "This is my first birthday party. It starts tonight."

There is something for everyone in this fair city, but some people don't have it so lucky. These poor souls who grow up in small towns tend to not see the fine line between what's okay and just plain shameful behavior. I'm not trying to knock growing up in a small town, but I lived in the middle of bumfuck nowhere New Mexico (Roswell) for four years and to be honest, I just can't understand the appeal other than a nice place to settle down when you want to die (aka retirement).

Not many parties are thrown here. In fact, I don't think we even have a bar other than ones in the chain restaurants; Farley's, Applebees, Chilis...yeah. Most parties were thrown in hotel rooms by the military school's students, and on more than one occasion they would be broken up by police and reported to the school. There was one time a few people went in on a storage unit and had a fully stocked bar, or that one bubble party where you wear clothes you don't care about and everyone is dancing and covered in bath bubbles...but those sucked.

I know. Crazy. Would it not shock you to find that 70% of middle schoolers there had gonorrehea? Or that a significant number of high school students had kids? Yeah.

Believe you me, I went on a lot of "dates" when I went to school, but they really weren't considered that and besides, it was never with anyone outside of the school. I had standards (okay, not really. My first boyfriend was from Roswell but he went to military school so that evens out, right?).

However, the most embarrassing moment that the intense amount of therapy has let me to remember was when I was having dinner with my dad. Not a date (I'm not FROM the south, just went to school there).

The summer in between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college was awful. Having graduated from a military school I forced myself to go to based on the fact that I needed to improve my grades, I was finally free, in California, and wanted to stay. My dad on the other hand wanted me to go to junior college there as well. Let me tell you that the entire summer I kicked, screamed, and threw tantrums about not going back. Nothing would work. My dad promised to buy me a car, a new flat screen computer moniter, whatever else I wanted, and a large piece of jewelry that he bought when I was born.

To be honest? I went back so he would shut the fuck up. I got a call during the summer from my commander asking me to come back because the person they had promoted in my place originally wasn't going to be attending any longer. Thanks assholes! I'm glad I'm the second choice. No wait--third. Fourth? I hate you.

On the plane ride over, something just wasn't right. My throat was a bit scratchy, and when we landed and got Dairy Queen as a snack, it hurt even more. About 12 hours later, my throat was full blown inflammed and I could hardly put any food down without feeling like someone was stabbing me in the jugular. Maybe this was fate? Maybe it was God's way of saying, "This physical pain is only the beginning. Imagine how fucked up emotionally you're going to get too! Good job on selling yourself out to please your parents." Whatever it was, I wasn't focused because I was too busy dying.

My dad stayed in town for about two weeks to make sure I got better, and I stayed in the hotel room for the first week until they forced me to stay in the barracks at night. During that first week, he decided it would be nice to take me out to dinner somewhere close so I wouldn't have to travel in pain--and that place, was Applebees.

We sat down and my eyes hung open like I had just come off a heroin binge. I was in so much agony that each swallow caused tears to well up and my body would start shaking uncontrollably to get my mind off of it. Tonight, I was going to have water and soup, and holding my spoon halfway through dinner started becoming increasingly more difficult and I would have to stop to take breaks.

You would think that this dinner was already unbearable--to be in the middle of a packed restaurant, shaking, crying, moaning in pain and arguing with my dad about going back to school (even though we were already there). Well no, apparently it wasn't enough.

I look over and there is a Bachelorette party at the table next to us.

Does Britney Spears live here? What are they doing having a bachelorette party at an Applebees? Do they not know that Juarez is only a 2 1/2 hour drive from here, and they can do whatever they want there? Am I the only one who is crazy enough to see that this doesn't look right!? One of these things does not belong: father and daughter having dinner, Applebees, food, bachelorette party.

Soon they were yelling, hooting, hollering, and generally helping the bride-to-be spend her last free night trying to find someone to have sex with and it wouldn't be considered cheating. And honestly, what better way to do this than opening up gifts at the table!

Do you know what goes into bachelorette party gifts? I was 17, I had no idea. I'm from California, where people don't get married unless they truly have to, and all my friends were gay anyways so back then they couldn't get married (and not anymore, either. sigh), and we didn't call those "bachelorette parties" we called them "sneaking into the strip club where this would be acceptable behavior" Wednesday nights.

So here I am, trying to build up the last amount of energy and courage I had to finish my food when a bunch of rowdy drunk bitches start waving around giant dildos at their table and wacking each other with them. Let's all forget that there are kids here too, ladies. Have fun using your presents when you stop putting out for your husband and he starts "working late" and wearing lipstick for the "fun of it". I'm going to go stab myself now.

No, Dad I don't want dessert.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

strawberries and chocolate, hold the awkward.

Food and Chaime go together like ice cream and mustard- most people will recoil and cringe, but chances are you're going to meet someone who enjoys it just as much as you do and you'll both live happily ever after in fairy tale land. Until then, however, I particularly enjoy dates that do not involve food because it lessens my chances to embarrass myself through a combination of food choices and eating habits.

Almost a year ago I went on a date with someone we'll nickname "Tall Guy" (or TG for short, because he was 6'5''), and from the very beginning it was doomed. When we met, he had to practically carry my inebriated self down to the BART station and make sure I didn't throw up or fall asleep, or miss my train. The second date we went to a nice Moroccan restaurant my friend Kiki had taken me to before, and one of the waiters came up and made conspicuous winks, thumbs up-ed our dinner and told us he was going to dim the lights to "set the mood." The second date, we went to a crappy bar in the Mission and an amazing mexican place for a late night soak-up-the-alcohol snack. It was during this excursion that, with my mouth open, I exclaimed how delicious the burrito was and food kept falling out of my mouth. I am so classy.

The icing on the cake, though, would have to be the time we went to a very high end restaurant called Top of the Mark in Nob Hill. A beautiful hotel with a gorgeous view overlooking the city on a clear night is the perfect way to set the tone for the rest of the evening. Well, that's what it's intended to do.

The night started, as all bad dates do, on a terrible note. My boss' boss called me at 5:45 to tell me that the printers in every other office in the Bay Area have all simultaneously broken down, and we had a major conference the next day and needed to print things out. Of course, I was also the only one left in the office, and there were two reports I had to print out (10 and 12 pages apiece, respectively), 250 copies of one, 350 of another. For the next two hours I tirelessly ran around the office trying to speed the process up; one printer even kept breaking down. "Maybe we should plan this for another night...", he said. "NO! I it's okay, I'm looking forward to it. I just want to make sure my company knows that I'm dedicated to my job so that I don't get fired randomly."

Somehow I caught a ride to the BART station with one of my coworkers who always stays late, and frantically ran up the stairs, bought my ticket, and nearly killed myself running down the stairs as well. I can't remember, but I think I missed that train, too. Once arriving at the Powell Street Station, I could tell that the one day I forgot to wear deodorant was a bad idea. Also, there are about a million exits, I couldn't navigate myself out of a box if my life depended on it, and total time traveling and working I ended up being 3 1/2 hours late to my date.

Forgiveness aside, we catch a cab to the hotel and take the long flight up the elevator to the top. Upon arrival I see that the general manager of Top of the Mark is an old boss of mine, whom I developed a lovely aquantianceship with during my short tenure at my ex place of business. When we sat down at a table with a gorgeous view, we ordered our drinks (on the house, courtesy of my wonderful ex boss) and got started with the evening.

Not changing the subject, but during this particular period in my life, I was under heavy amounts of stress and thus stopped eating as a result. I lost 15 pounds and would drink myself under the table, frequently passing out in bar bathrooms and vomiting all over the place. I'm not going to lie when I say I'm a tad ashamed at my behavior, but when you let your exboyfriend take the car that you paid for, was in your name, out of the goodness of your heart because he threatened to hurt himself everytime you tried taking it away from him, as long as the deal remained that he would drive you to and from work everyday, then chances are you're going to develop some kind of unhealthy addiction. Mine was alcoholism combined with accidental anorexia. It's not that I wouldn't eat, it's that I couldn't-big difference, but anorexia nonetheless.
So in my state of mind, if I ever got hungry I would immediately order something, anything, it didn't matter because I had food in my stomach. The item on the menu I wanted was (you guessed it), strawberries dipped in chocolate.

Do you eat these on a regular basis? Does anyone know the reason why they pick steroid, beefed up strawberries? Does trying to bite into it, with chocolate dropping onto your plate and constant napkin use sound like a sexy food item to you? Because it isn't. It's like going to a sushi restaurant and ordering a roll that requires two bites to get down--it's the oddest thing you'll have to do--eat a roll in two bites when the second bite is just picking up the pieces that have strewn all over your plate. This is not the intention of the roll. You don't eat a roll in two bites. You eat it in one. How many times in the paragraph do I have to illustrate this? Do I need to include a picture?

This goes for strawberries, too. Not fun. The purpose is to delicately place a small, chocolate dipped strawberry into the mouth of your loved one, and eat. Not trying to cup your hand under their chin to make sure everything that falls off doesn't go straight to either the table or the floor. Suddenly the two of you aren't laughing, but sort of forcing yourselves to make some kind of noise as to not make the other think that this is just the worst date you've been on, ever.

Also, to Top of the Mark; the lack of lighting is great to set the mood, but please turn on just a small amount of light, and your plates to not feel like the table. Because when we got up to go swing dancing (which I lied about being able to do, when turns out he's an amazing swing dancer), you realize that your entire forearm is covered in chocolate, and spend the next 5 minutes trying to wipe off hard, dried chocolate and accidentally knocking silverware and plates off the table.

Monday, November 10, 2008

we need some febreeze, STAT

At work, I am the office bitch. I take care of all the menial tasks that no one else wants to deal with; answering phones, fixing the copiers, cleaning the broken wine glass from the bottom of the dishwasher because some stupid asshole doesn't know how to load them even though they're married and over the age of 30...those kind of things. Don't get me wrong I love my coworkers, but sometimes I want to rip their heads off.

In doing all these lowly tasks, one of them involves signing off on the various UPS/FedEx shipments we get. The two FedEx guys are awesome: one is my homeboy (and a raging conspiracy theorist), and the other is an adorable, flirtatious womanizer who winks at me and always puts a smile on my face. I look forward to seeing both of them throughout the day. However, the UPS guy changes almost every trip.

Despite the switching back and forth between delivery guys, there is one thing that remains consistent--they all smell terrible. They do. I'm sorry, but that mixture of cardboard and hard work just does NOT cut it with my nostrils. There is the occasional guy who wears too much cologne to mask the scent, but ultimately there is a big FAIL stamp that goes to these guys (if I can smell sneezes, which are gross, then this scent is debilitating to me).

I know this all sounds mean, but ever since I went to military school I have been keenly aware of these things. You want to look for a breed of terrible, awful stench? Look no further than an acceptence rate of 85% male and 15% female at military school.

My first year I was the one who could not braid her hair (a requirement for recruits if you wanted to keep your long tresses), so I would have it braided and then leave it in for over a week at a time. This is disgusting, and believe it or not, smells gross. I tried washing it through the braids, but I couldn't! In the end I cut my hair and stopped being the smelly kid. But there were girls who were worse than me; Dirty Sanchez, for example (great nickname, eh?). She would leave her used tampons and pads on her desk, throw all her dirty clothes into her closet, and never, ever, wash them--just rotate them. During inspections people would have to run out for a breath of fresh air, run back in and spray a lethal amount of Lysol. I felt bad for the girl's roommate, because this was embarrassing.

We had quite a few of these people. When I became a First Sergeant, I had two boys living together that smelled so badly my eyes would water and I would start dry heaving off the balcony. Thankfully they were men so they could put up with the fiery insults I would curse in between gags. I love them both but GAH.

After going through all of this, I have no tolerance for smelly people. Deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, and a shower with soap are not expensive and if you do it correctly, can take under 10 minutes to do everyday. If you can afford an apartment, chances are you can afford some laundry detergent and the occasional trip to the laundromat, too. Maybe go crazy and get everything dry cleaned! I don't know, just stop smelling bad. Same goes for people who cake on the cologne like it's going out of style (MY BROTHER), please stop.

Even though I can say something now, I would feel bad saying to a friend back in the day. Sure, my cadets I could verbally accost but not my friends. Especially ones that are doing me favors, like going to Taco Bell with me during lunch off post out of the blue because the food in the messhall was inedible (there wasn't a stray population in the town I went to military school in. Coincidence? I don't think so).

No one else wanted to go with me, and I was craving something I could put in my stomach that didn't resemble either a) what I had last week or b) cat food. The only person that would go with me was Ron*- he was a new friend with an oily face and bad acne, but hey! I don't judge.

We climb into my little two door turquoise pontiac sunfire and drive off down Main Street. My A/C is blowing because I forgot to turn it off the last time I got out of the car, and my windows are also rolled down slightly. It's cold, but I'm wearing a jacket so I don't pause to think about turning this off until we pull up at the drive-thru.

Me: "What is this doing on? Haha, it's cold isn't it!"
*continues conversation of whatever we were talking about*

Suddenly, about 2 minutes after I turned this off, my nostrils start to twitch. Whatever is lingering in my car is penetrating my nose and forcing itself through the pores. My immediate reaction of blaming the town (which is like a combination of inhaling cow dung and feet) dies down as I turn my head over to the passenger side and notice the smell is eminating from the guy sitting next to me.

Oh. My. God.

"I'm uh...feeling a little hot. I'm just going to roll down this window."

NO! It won't leave! I can't get this out of my short-term memory! My eyes start to water slightly and as we order at the drive-thru and what feels like forever to get the food, I realize they messed up my order horribly. By this time, I just wanted to get the fuck out of the car and get back to my room. "Do you want to share this soda?", he politely offered. "No, no it's...okay", I answered, unable to wrap my mind around sharing anything with someone whose scent made me want to throw myself out of the car, at 60mph.

The moment I got back to my room, I felt sick. Not because I felt bad for having such horrible thoughts about someone, but because that was truly disgusting. I ended up losing my appetite.

The next day I talked to another (nonsmelly) friend about this, and apparently I'm not the only one to notice this. On top of not showering, he also doesn't do his laundry, wacks off into his clothes and doesn't change them, and probably a plethora of other things I'd rather not remember being told. While this wasn't a date, I do know that I later found out he had a thing for me, and that just made it all the more awkward when I would see him around campus.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Please stop saying I have herpes.

Men are odd creatures. For the most part, they are indecisive and want what they want at the exact moment they want it. Then it's over. Kind of like sex with most the guys I've been with. IRRITATING.

Notwithstanding, I have noticed that men can be incredibly clever. Despite their faults, they have a great way of manuvering things to go their direction. My brother, for example, is wonderfully witty. He uses more words than most scholars I know, and uses them correctly. But what is more amazing about his quick wit is that he can be the biggest asshole but you still can't help but laugh because it's funny. For example, when I was talking to my mom about Ana and Ria (my two personalities. Yes, I am crazy), my brother interrupts and says, "Are you talking about your GON-Ana-Ria?" Get it? Gonorrhea? I don't have it, but it's still funny. Also, you had to be there (I tell a lot of those on dates).

Now, sometimes being the victim of a witty remark is not only funny, but extremely embarrassing and awkward. Take...last weekend for example.

I am in a weird limbo with someone. Apparently I'm a step above "friends" and a step below "girlfriend". I don't know what this means (or I do, and I don't like to be considered a notch on a bedpost), but I do know that when we're together, we act like we're together. Playtime is nice until someone gets territorial.

When he called me to come over to a bar, I said yes and drove over. The company I was surrounded by before leaving were enjoyable, but falling asleep next to someone you care about is much better than waking up next to someone else thinking "WHY. WHY. WHY." Therapist has cautiously advised I avoid these situations. Sitting at the bar and ordering a beer, he promptly starts up talking to someone sitting on his right side, a chef at a nice french restaurant in town. AKA, I'm being completely ignored for a good 15 minutes. I'll give him a slight benefit of the doubt because he had his hand on me the whole time, making sure I knew that just because he had his back turned, wasn't involving me in the conversation, and not once paused to introduce me, that he had not forgotten about me.

I'm going out to have a cigarette, because I don't like being ignored. It felt like middle school again, where the popular kids would invite you over to the table but totally forget you're there. Outside, I start chatting with a guy who is over here on vacation with his brother from South Hampton, England. They drove up and down the coast, saw Yosemite and have just been enjoying themselves. I'm asking him questions like how he liked San Francisco, where did he stay, favorite places to go in Europe--just general questions.

As we move inside because it's cold, we're talking next to my bar seat and still entertaining ourselves when I hear The Certain Someone (TCS) interrupt us, point to me and exclaim, "She has herpes".

Flustered, between shooting infuriated looks back at TCS and apologetic ones to the nice boy from England, I barely manage to stammer out, "I...don't...I don't have herpes. He's a liar. I don't have them. So what was your favorite part about Spain?" This poor boy, my God. He had no idea what to do. He was looking at TCS like "Is he serious?", and then to me thinking "Does she really?". Finally, his brother came over and we finished up the conversation, I stole TCS's seat and started talking to the chef for the rest of the night with my back turned to TCS (of course, I'm short so this does not work so well).

The next morning I asked, "WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THAT SHIT".

"Well, I don't know. I thought it was funny. You were laughing! You should have seen the look on your guy's faces. It was hilarious. But I don't know...I was just kind of marking my territory."


If you're going to lie about my health, can you mark your territory with something a little more curable next time? Thanks.