July 23, 2014

The Punt, or Forgiveness

About six years ago, I was out with some friends at a bar in Silverlake.  It was a normal night like any other. Until some guy picked me up and punted me. 

Let me explain.  As I exited the bar, a friend of a friend asked me if he could pick me up.  Before I could respond, being a tiny person, I was picked up against my will and he promptly tripped, dropped me and accidentally kicked me.  I had been punted.  I fell to the pavement, bewildered that in one moment I was solidly on the ground, then up in the air, then punted.  That was the day that I lost my innocence.

Now, I've been picked up in my day.  I was always the kid who had to climb to the top of the pyramid, be lifted, or be thrown (as the smallest one in my class.)  Trust falls, no problem, lemme at it.  No one ever dropped me.  I was not afraid.  I was invincible. Until that fateful night.

I decided that my long run of trusting people who wanted to pick me up (which was everyone because everyone can) had come to an end.  I would never be picked up again, and thus, never punted again.

Whenever someone started towards me with open arms, I knew what was coming, so I promptly sprinted away before any harm could come to me.  I avoided thinking about the punting incident ever again.

Six years passed.  Then one day at an audition, a guy approached me and said "Hey.  Aren't you the girl I accidentally punted."  I turned and sure enough, it was HIM.  I stared at him in shock, and then he started towards me with arms wide open.  I was too afraid to move.  He was going to punt me again, I just knew it.  And then, he embraced me.  And he said, "I'm really sorry I did that."

It was as if a curse was broken.  I grabbed his face and looked him in the eyes and said "Pick me up."  We stared at each other for a long time, and then he awkwardly picked me up a few inches off the ground and returned me to the floor.  Then I said the most important words anyone can say, "I love you.  I mean.  I didn't mean to say that.  I meant to say.  I forgive you."  And I did forgive him.  I was no longer mad at him for punting me.  I was no longer afraid. 

I guess sometimes you have to get punted.  And when you do, you have to forgive and continue on.  Fearless.  And ready to be punted again if that's what it takes to move forward, unafraid.

July 22, 2014

The Sad Car Show

I went to an old car show alone on a Saturday night.  Which sounds kind of sad.  And it kind of was.  I was feeling pretty good about it and enjoying all of the cool old cars and the mass of people around me.  Until I ran into two ex-boyfriends, one after the other.  They were both with their new girlfriends.  Ex-BF #1 saw me and introduced me to his girlfriend.  I told him I was there with my "boyfriend" and waved to a random guy next to me.  The random guy promptly said "what the F*%&" and walked away.  (NOTE TO SELF: If any sad person pretends that you are their girlfriend, go with it, for some day you may need the same kindness.)  Ex-BF #1's new girlfriend patted me on the back.  I would have punched her, but I appreciated her pity.  I continued on.  Ex-BF #2 came out of nowhere with what appeared to be the most AWESOME GIRL IN THE WORLD.  She looked cool and had on an amazing outfit and her hair was FULL OF SASS! I couldn't handle the shame so I tried to duck behind this old car:
The man who owned it yelled at me and Ex-BF #2 definitely saw me.  I saluted him.  I'm not sure why.  I ran away, wondering whether this was a car show or a carefully staged mockery of my dating past.

Then I got indignant.  Dammit.  It's not sad to be alone at a car show. RIGHT?  RIGHT!!!!!!!  I marched up and down and looked at more cars with pride.  This was MY NIGHT and I owned it.  Forget my Ex-BFs and their actually really pleasant and beautiful looking new girlfriends that I have nothing bad to say about!  I looked at every single car.  My favorite was this dull '67 Mustang.  It was the least shiny out of all of the cars, but it was in perfect condition.  It hadn't been made up or changed from it's original appearance but it had been taken care of.  You could tell that it had been lived fully in.  There's a metaphor there but before I could eloquently think of it, the song Earth Angel came on nearby and I thought of the scene in Back to the Future where Marty McFly is disappearing as his parents dance.  So obviously, I left and I went home to watch Back to the Future.  Which might also be sad, if I didn't feel so happy.

July 20, 2014

L.O.V.E.

I will always believe in love.  No matter how many times I get knocked down, heartbroken, or have to walk away from something that wasn't quite right.  I will always believe in it.  Sometimes I wonder why I have this stubborn belief.  A lot of my solo show (Refried) Bean is about awkward, embarrassing, and terrible encounters as Bean searches for love in this crazy city. I've met a lot of douche bags in my day, and I thank them for the endless amounts of inspiration they have given me.  And of course I've met a lot of great guys too.

It's easy to get cynical about love.  The idea of devoting yourself to another human being for a long period of time can seem unobtainable and exhausting.  I enjoy being single.  My career has always been the number one priority in my mind.  That is what keeps me up at night.  But in the back of my mind I'm always on the look out for that next great "love".  Whether the "love" ends up being another catastrophic dating story to put into my show, or it ends up being THE "love" that makes me want to be a better Bean, I am exhilarated by the fact that you really never know who you're going to meet at any given moment.  I love not knowing what's next.

And so, chance is how I met my friends J & T, an awesome married couple with talent oozing out of their ears and out of their vocal chords (we met at karaoke.)   Living in a city such as Los Angeles, it is rare to form a steady friendship with people you meet at a bar.  Let alone a karaoke bar in the valley. But so we did.  For a girl who doesn't have family in town, I sure feel like a part of theirs whenever I see them.  I attended T's surprise birthday party today at (of course) a karaoke place, a party which J had organized.   True to form, I was awkwardly sitting by myself, as I am wont to do in any given social situation.  Also true to form, J's family noticed this and invited me to sit with them. I did so and was significantly less awkward (which is saying a lot for me), and grateful.  Then J gave a speech about T.  He talked about taking risks as a couple to follow their dreams, and supporting each other every step of the way.  Their respect and admiration for each other is very apparent.  That is true L.O.V.E.

In a city where I see artificial relationships form all of the time, in this moment I thought, thank god I know these people.  Not only can they sing a mean karaoke tune, but they are generally awesome people who have been made more awesome by combining their powers.  And there was a time when they didn't know each other, but somehow they found each other.  And that very thing is why I believe in love.

Not to be outdone, as I was lost in these lovely thoughts on my way to my car after the party, a bird sitting in a tree pooped on me.  So thank you also to the city of Hollywood, for keeping me in check.

July 17, 2014

Movies By Myself

I love seeing movies by myself.  Mostly because I am hypersensitive to the actions of people I go to the movies with.  I hate being whispered to when something is sad, smacked when something is funny, or worst of all, having the plot predicted to me throughout the whole movie.  I find this particularly offensive because everyone has a different experience when watching a given film and telling someone else what you think the outcome will be may entirely alter their viewing experience and destroy their chance to come to their own conclusions or be surprised.  I also don't like holding hands in movies.  This is mostly because I have sweaty hobbit hands and don't want to bring that upon anyone.  And also because I'm not twelve.  When you are twelve, that hand holding in movies is all you've got.

I recently saw the movie Begin Again all by myself and it was glorious.  I stretched out across two seats because it wasn't crowded and enjoyed the movie in peace.  There is something so tranquil and calming about seeing a movie by yourself, surrounded by strangers.  The movie was lovely and very inspiring and starred Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, and Adam Levine's Beard.  Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley were adorable (I love Keira Knightley and I don't care who knows it), but Adam Levine's Beard left something to be desired.   I love when I see a movie that was exactly what I needed in the moment, and this movie was it. That is the power of film and it's just magical and that's corny but, again, I don't care who knows it.

July 16, 2014

The Long Hallway

One of the most awkward things in the world is walking down a long empty hallway with someone else at the other end of it walking toward you.

You can see the other person coming toward you, but you don't want to acknowledge them or make eye contact too quickly because then you have to stare into each other's eyes for a minute until you pass by.  And you can't wave or say hello right away and look away for a while, because then you have to wave again when they get closer.  And you can't avoid them completely by looking around at other things or down at your iPhone because then it is glaringly obvious that you are trying to not make eye contact.  It's a conundrum I often find myself in.

I have yet to find a way to not feel awkward when I get into this situation, no matter how many approaches I try.  I usually wave or say hello too quickly and then I wave every few seconds at the other person until they pass.  At that point I am usually sweating from the stress of the awkward long hallway greeting but the other person doesn't look phased.  Hm.  Maybe it's not the long hallway that is awkward.  Maybe me + long hallway = awkward sweat inducing experience.  But long hallway on its own = just a long hallway.

July 15, 2014

Crutches

One day at a party, one of my uncles asked me if I was seeing anyone.  I wasn't, so I told him the truth, knowing that this would not end well.  He said loudly, "Well now, we gotta get you a man on crutches so he can't run away!"  He then puttered away leaving me hunched over and muttering unwitty comebacks to myself like Gollum.

Not five minutes later, my uncle returned.  WITH A GUY ON CRUTCHES.  He sat the guy next to me without introducing us and then took off with the guy's crutches, cackling madly.  He was too quick for me to stop him.

The guy, who we'll call Crutches, had a broken leg and was stuck with me.  All according to my uncle's plan.

I saw my uncle peeking out at us from behind a plant in the distance.  I wondered if he truly thought this was going to work.  I refused to play into this game so I stared indignantly at Crutches, who stared indignantly back at me.

My aunt walked up with two beers and handed them to me and Crutches and then mouthed "I'm sorry" to me and rolled her eyes and walked away.  My uncle threw his fist in the air from behind his plant in triumph.  He looked so happy that he was solving my life problems by kidnapping an invalid and forcing him to be my husband that I thought I'd humor him.

So, I asked Crutches about himself.  He said, "I'm eighteen."  As yes, I remember the days of being eighteen, when your age was all you needed to say about yourself.  There was no pressure to tell people how much you've accomplished and how you've got big plans for your future.  You say, "I'm eighteen" and people say, "Good for you!"  I tell people my age now and they try to force strangers to marry me.  Crutches asked me my age as well.  I told him and he looked at me like I was old lady time.

I grabbed the beer away from him and stomped over to my uncle.  My uncle hissed "Ask him to marry you!" as I grabbed the crutches out of his hands and left him to hide behind his plant.

I took the crutches back to Crutches and told him with great wisdom and kindness, "Crutches, it will never work out between us."

And sweet Crutches said back, "Ew."

July 13, 2014

The Bouquet Toss

I'm sure most of you have heard of this wedding tradition called the "Bouquet Toss."  I myself like to call it the "Worst."  I believe the tradition was originally created long ago to predict who would be the next single lady to get married.  But, really, who can know the accuracy of the bouquet?  Nowadays, the Bouquet Toss has become either a savage competition or a public shaming for single women.  I dread this moment in weddings not because I don't like being single, but because that little tiny bouquet is flying through the air, laughing in all of our faces, perpetuating the assumption that all of the single women want to catch it and get married next.  Which is something I most likely want to do one day pending the right mate, but not at the whimsy of some asshole bouquet, as I grapple at it wearing heels and an up do.  NOPE.

There are numerous Bouquet Toss photo stills out there of me, cowering away from the bouquet and/or covering my face in horror as it flies at me.

One wedding I went to was attended by three hundred people, and when it came time for the Bouquet Toss, I was one of eight single ladies, most of which were probably young enough to be Justin Bieber fans. And these girls were going for it.  I don't even think they wanted to get married next, I think they just wanted to WIN.  Which was actually awesome.  There was shoving and pushing as the bouquet flew through the air.  So, I did the only thing I could do.  I ran and jumped as high as I could and smacked the bouquet down to the ground in front of all of us and roared a mighty roar.  All of the girls stared at me in shock.  I was exhilarated.  Why does the bouquet have to be caught?  Why must we follow these traditions that no longer apply to women who, dare I say it, just want to win, not wed?

So anyway, I think I might become a wedding crasher.  I will go to weddings and as soon as the Bouquet Toss happens I will leap out like a gazelle and smack the bouquet away and all of the single girls will cheer and be glad that someone distracted the crowd from the antiquated public spectacle that declares their singledom undesirable.  It will be the ultimate photo bomb.

July 12, 2014

Yo and Emoticon

One day I got a text from a guy I had given my number to the night before.  I had hoped that he would ask me out.  Instead, the text I got said "Yo."  Just that.  I wrote back "Hey!  How are you?"  And he responded "Chillin'."  I need not continue to rehash the rest of the conversation because every response I got was one word (either "yah", "yo", "hah", or "chillin'".)  It was a lot of work on my part to suggest a place to hang out for the evening, and to receive consent on a time to meet, with only those words to work with on the other end.  I thought, maybe he doesn't type well.  Maybe he's a man of few words.  We'll call this guy "Yo."

On the date, Yo had a lot of things to say and was completely knowledgeable of other words in the English language.  The texting was forgotten.  I definitely wanted to hang out again.  I got a text the next day saying, yet again, "Yo."  I responded "Hey do you want to hang out?"  I received no response.

Two days later, I got another text from Yo saying, you guessed it, "Yo!!"  I tried to beat him at his own game, so I responded, "Yo!!!!!"  No response from him.  I suppose I used too many exclamation points and scared him off.

I gave up on Yo.

Then there was another guy I met, who texted me a couple of days later, and simply sent an emoticon of a monkey.  What the fuck does that mean?  Seriously, what does that mean?  I didn't respond because I refused to type words in response to an emoticon monkey.  We'll call this guy "Emoticon."  A couple of days later he tried again and texted me an emoticon of Santa Claus.  Mind you, this was during the summer.  You can imagine my confusion.  Does he want to go out on a date?  Or does he just like Santa Claus?  This went on for weeks.  At one point I got a toilet emoticon from him and was beside myself.

I can only draw one conclusion.  Something has shifted.  It seems to me that some (and certainly not all) guys, like Yo and Emoticon, do not want to do the work.  Either for fear of rejection, or downright laziness.  My guess is it's the latter.  They want to throw out a "Yo!" or an emoticon of a deer or a catfish or something weird, and if I bite and do the work, they'll go along with it.  If I don't respond, no harm no foul, because they weren't asking for anything anyway so there was nothing to lose.

I don't like this.  Now I'm all for asking a guy out myself.  But damned if I will ask a guy out on a date via text following a nonsensical emoticon.  Smart phones have made it too easy for us to communicate with each other, to the point where the communication via written (texted) word has gone from sentences, to only one word, to abbreviations, to pictures.  Like in caveman days.  Don't get me wrong, I have an unhealthy love for my smart phone, but there are some moments like these that drive me nuts.

Every once in a while I get a text from Yo.  And I always write back "Yo!!!!!!!!" and never get a response.  I think it will be a running joke between us for years.  Only I don't think Yo knows it's a joke.  And every once in a while I get a text from Emoticon.  I have not seen him since our first meeting.  And I certainly never shall, unless someone creates an emoticon that says, "Will you have dinner with me?"