January 28, 2015

The One that Got Away

I have a One That Got Away list.  And I just added another name to it this evening.

I was at dinner with some friends.  When we were leaving the restaurant, I caught the eye of a handsome yet scruffy guy at a table who was also with some friends.  We locked eyes and I smiled at him and then I ran away, as I am wont to do when I see a cute guy.  Or clowns.  The other option would have been talking to the cute guy and inevitably saying something weird and running away anyway.

My friends were most likely unaware of this inner dialogue/love story that was happening in my head during the few seconds it took to exit the restaurant.  Outside, I said goodbye to my friends and got in my car.  I stayed parked for a moment in order to answer a couple of text messages.  Then I started my car and drove on.  I stopped at a stoplight.

And there he was.  The guy from the restaurant.  He was crossing the street in front of my car.  He did a double take and then we locked eyes again and smiled shyly at each other.  He waved and since there was no one around to honk at me, I got up the nerve to talk to him.  I rolled down my window, we smiled more at each other, and I opened my mouth to say hello.  But instead, I burped.  Really loudly.

I rarely burp in public, or in life really.  It's just not my thing.  But it happened in this moment.  We both stared at each other wordlessly and wide-eyed, and I slowly rolled my window back up as we maintained awkward eye contact.  The window made an EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE sound as it rolled up.

I shifted my eyes forward, pretending like I didn't see him there anymore, and I put my blinker on to turn right.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him slowly back away and then turn and continue to cross the street.

I cursed myself and whoever invented burping.  As I drove on, I glanced back one more time.  At the same time, he glanced over his should at me.  I kept driving.

I will never know who this cute guy was or what our story would have been.   But I do know that today I aggressively burped at at stranger in the street.  And that's something.

To the One That Got Away #10, where ever you may be.

January 24, 2015

Do You Have A Boyfriend?

Every time I go to my doctor, who happens to have an Irish accent, she asks me the same question.  "Do you have a boyfriend?"  

One time I said no and that was followed by a long disapproving look from Irish Doctor, immediately followed by a long look of pity, and then a swift and encouraging pat on the back.  After that experience, I started to say yes, even if I didn't.

As soon I said yes, Irish Doctor always continued with the same follow up question: “Is he a good guy?”  I then frantically made up some imaginary good guy and told her all about him.  I have dated some pretty unbelievable good guys: an astronaut, a politician, a prince.  That one was harder to sell.  But she always seemed to believe me.  

Over time, I started to run out of good guys to describe to her.  I wanted to tell her the truth, but I couldn’t break the chain of imaginary good guys that I had been dating.  What would happen if I told her what I’d really been up to?  “No, I’m not dating any guys right now. I prefer to spend my weekends alone, drinking tea and pretending I'm at Downton Abbey.”  I was certain the world as I knew it would collapse around me if my poor sweet Irish Doctor knew this.  I was keeping the shred of dating sanity I had left together by one tiny lie.  And that was the one I told Irish Doctor.  So, I would keep lying.

One day, I went to see Irish Doctor and she burst into the room like my Fairy Godmother and asked the age old question, “Do you have a boyfriend?”  and then “Is he a good guy?”  But for some reason on this day of days, I couldn't think of a made up good guy to save my life.  I couldn't even remember the last good guy I made up so I could gush about how long we'd been dating.  There was a long silence and I started to panic.  I had to lie.  Think, think.  I looked around the walls desperately, which were plastered with pictures of happy parents and their babies that Irish Doctor delivered.  My eyes landed on a picture of Matthew McConahey and his baby.  He was holding the baby in one hand and making the sign for the Texas Longhorns in the other hand.  This infuriated me as I hate the Longhorns.  My anger for the McConahey, the Longhorns, and the terrible car commericials he’s in, mixed with my confusion of loving him in True Detective made me lose it.  I yelled “I don’t have a boyfriend!!! I don’t have a good guy boyfriend!”  

I closed my eyes waiting for the world to collapse around me.  When I opened them, Irish Doctor was paying no attention and was looking through my chart.  She looked up and said "Hm?  Did you say something dear?"  Perhaps she had never been listening to me to begin with.

I felt proud of myself none the less, for I had told the truth.  I was a dignified, independent lady.  Except for the fact that I was wearing an ass-less gown.

January 20, 2015

A Conversation Between Me and Kevin: Part 801

As some of you know, I have a dear friend and personal hero named Kevin.  Often times when I am too lazy to write a new blog, I simply retype a conversation I had with Kevin, which aggravates him to no end.  If this is your first time reading this segment, it may help you to first click the links here to read previous segments and the words of my BFF Kevin:

A Conversation Between Me and Kevin
Part 2Part 3Part 6Part 7Part 11Part 8Part 25Part 35Part 102Part 306Part 421Part 800

After Part 800, every time we talked or exchanged texts, Kevin took to forbidding me to blog about it.  Then I didn't hear from him for a long time.  It was a dark time.  

And then one glorious day when I thought there was no hope, Kevin sent me this:


Accompanied by this caption:

Kevin
Awful, awful wine

Then I said:

Me
Best wine ever!!!!!!!  Your new favorite wine!

I did not receive a response to that.  But I know this means that Kevin and I are BFF again.  More Conversations Between Me and Kevin to come.  Especially when my weak mind cannot write and I need Kevin's unfaltering encouragement.

January 17, 2015

The Most Obliviously Rude Man

I recently had the following experience whilst travelling. 

I was leaving for a trip.  When I boarded my flight, I sat on an aisle seat toward the back of the plane.  A businessman was already sitting in the window seat and we nodded curtly to one another, with the unspoken understanding that we would not speak to or bother the other person for the duration of the flight.  He placed his briefcase and jacket in the middle seat so as to ward off any unwanted middle companions to our row.  I relaxed knowing that I had picked the right row to sit in.  No awkward conversations, no elbow bumping, just me and my books and magazines.

The plane was boarded and it looked like we would leave the gate early, when a flight attendant exasperatedly announced that we were waiting on one more passenger before we could depart.  Everyone groaned.  Unless the late traveller was Kermit the Frog or some other lovable Muppet, we were all going to hate this person as soon as they boarded.

We heard him walking down the gate before we even saw him.  He was talking loudly and cheerfully and saying "I just barely made it!  Wow can you believe it?  I barely made it! Whew!"  I peeked toward the front of the plane and saw a sweaty man who had obviously been running through the airport emerge into the aisle and start making his way toward the back.  He was wearing the largest backpack I had ever seen.

The businessman and I exchanged glances.  With another curt nod to each other, we silently vowed to not make eye contact with the sweaty man and both stared down at our reading materials.  The business man piled another item onto our middle seat.  There were a ton of middle seats available as the plane was not full, and today would not be the day that the sweaty man chose our aisle.  Not on our watch.

The entire plane held its breath as everyone prayed the sweaty man would not choose their aisle to sit in.  I heard sighs of relief when he passed an aisle.  The sweaty man was humming happily and telling everyone, including the frustrated flight attendant who was trying to make him go down the aisle faster, that he couldn't believe he made the flight.

Then he stopped at our aisle.  I stared resolutely at my copy of Vogue, which was unfortunately open to a lipstick ad that had no words on it, so it was hard to pretend I was reading.  The sweaty man cleared his throat. I flinched and the business man clutched his newspaper as if to warn me to hold strong.  I continued staring at the lip stick ad.  Then the sweaty man said very politely and loudly, "May I sit next to you young lady?"  I looked up as a reflex and made eye contact with the sweaty man.  The business man dropped his head into his hands.  The flight attendant looked at me expectantly, pleading with her eyes to allow the sweaty man to sit down so that she didn't have to deal with him anymore.  Other passengers were looking at me sympathetically, yet with relief that they weren't the chosen ones.

I had no other option.  I cast a last look at the businessman who shook his head vigorously.  Then I said to the sweaty man,  "Of course you can."  I got up and felt respect and pity from the entire plane.  I moved into the aisle to allow the sweaty man room to get to the middle seat.  The businessman was staring daggers at me, our silent promise to each other long forgotten.  The sweaty man turned to thank the flight attendant and his gigantic backpack smacked me so hard I almost fell over.  I backed away further down the aisle to a safe distance and watched him struggle to take the backpack off.  He placed the backpack in my seat and proceeded to take out three sweatshirts, a wad of napkins, and a giant laptop from the early 90s.  The flight attendant helped him stuff the backpack up above and asked him to sit down and stow his laptop and sweatshirts under the seat in front of him.  She walked away quickly.  As the sweaty man struggled to sit down and get his laptop and sweatshirts organized (why did he need sweatshirts when he was so sweaty?) he pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and called someone and told them, you guessed it, that he "Just barely made his flight!  Wow!" 

I sat down next to him as far into the aisle as I possibly could so that his sweat would not drip on me.  The businessman was not as fortunate as he had nowhere to go but out the window.  He was pressed up against the wall of the plane trying to avoid the sweatshirts that were flowing over into his seat.

The flight attendant came back and yelled at the sweaty man to put his cell phone into airplane mode.  He cheerfully put his phone away.  At this point, our flight was running late.  I hoped the message boards at the airport said next to our flight, "DELAYED - due to the most obliviously rude yet cheerful man."

Our plane finally took off.  I hung into the aisle reading the rest of my copy of Vogue.  Five minutes into the flight, after exclaiming about how sweaty he was, the sweaty man took out his pile of napkins and started blotting his face.  He then lifted up his shirt and blotted his armpits.  And then did the same in his pants.  The egregiousness of this act cannot be understated.  The businessman had his eyes closed at this point, muttering to himself.

After the sweat blotting, the sweaty man threw his napkins on the ground and then decided to put a sweatshirt from his pile of sweatshirts on, all the while hacking and coughing.  Oh good, he has a cold too.  When he put his right arm in his sweatshirt, he flailed it out and smacked me right in the face with his hand.  I bent further into the aisle and prayed that my immune system was strong enough to fight off whatever germs were now on my face from his sweaty hand.  He apologized happily and continued to cough into his hand for the duration of the flight.  I wanted to yell at him and tell him to do the vampire (cough into your elbow, fool, it's less germy) but I was afraid to engage into any sort of conversation with the man, lest my flight turn into hearing his life story or, even worse, hearing how he just barely made the flight eight thousand more times. 

Thankfully, it was not a long flight and we finally landed.  When our plane's wheels hit the ground, the businessman and I exchanged another look.  His once curt nod was now full of an annoyance and disgust for the sweaty grossness between us that only he and I could understand.

As soon as the plane stopped at our gate, the sweaty man stood up, with his butt completely in the face of the businessman.  Being as how we were at the back of the plane and had to wait to deboard, this was for a long time.  When it was finally our row's turn to exit, before I could stand up (since I was on the aisle and should exit first), the sweaty man started CLIMBING OVER ME.  We're talking butt in the face, using me as an object to propell him into the aisle.  THAT. WAS. IT.  I was so overwhelmed by my annoyance that I could only muster a few muffled words.  "Sir.  SIR. NO. SIR, NO! BAD! NO!" 

Once he was in the aisle and had successfully climbed over me with his sweatshirts, gross napkins, and old laptop in his arms, he gestured to me, looked at someone else and said "what's wrong with her?"  He laughed heartily as if I was insane and took his giant backpack out of the overhead compartment, which promptly fell on my head.  I hit the sweaty backback away from me and he picked it up and exited the plane with a shrug.  The businessman and I exchanged no words and exited the plane as well, defeated.

As I left the airport I saw the sweaty man again, running to catch a shuttle with his giant backpack on and sweaters streaming behind him.  He was knocking people and luggage over in order to get to the shuttle.  I heard him board the shuttle, cheerfully exclaiming about how he "almost missed the shuttle.  Wow!"  

The shuttle took off.  I watched it until it was out of sight, and thought, there he goes, into the sunset, the most obliviously rude man.  I hope we never meet again.

January 14, 2015

Tumbleweed!

Today a real life tumbleweed rolled in front of my car.  Don't ask me where it came from.  I've never seen a tumbleweed in the city.  But that was definitely what it was.

I think the tumbleweed was mocking me.  It rolled along aimlessly, clearly saying to me "Your life is so empty that I traveled many miles from the desert just to roll by you to make a point."

Because that is the role of tumbleweeds, isn't it?  In movies, a tumbleweed will roll across a deserted town in the Old West, usually after an outlaw has threatened the townspeople, who have boarded up their windows and are peeking out into the road fearfully.  They are waiting for something to happen: for the Sheriff to face down the outlaw, for the heroic cowboy to save the day, for Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman to appear from the heavens.

So, the tumbleweed rolls down the empty street and all of the townspeople watch it.  It's a symbol of emptiness, and a symbol of solitude.  But I think the tumbleweed is trying to tell those townspeople something.  I think the tumbleweed is actually saying, "Hey!  Lazy townspeople!  There's like a hundred of you and one bad guy!  Why don't you put together a plan?  Or make a booby trap?  Or lure him to a hole in the ground and push him in?  Or start a book club.  Or create an app.  Do SOMETHING!  DO ANYTHING! Don't just stand there waiting for someone else to make it happen!"

Then the tumbleweed continues to roll along, exasperated that no one respects or listens to it.

I smiled at the tumbleweed as the light I was at turned green.  I drove forward slowly so that I wouldn't hit the tumbleweed with my car, but the car behind me got impatient, sped around me, and smashed the tumbleweed first with its front wheels and then with the back ones.

Surprisingly, the tumbleweed kept moving along, albeit in a less circular and more sideways motion.  I gave it a nod, and continued on my way.

So I kind of want to start a new thing.  When someone in my life is being complacent, avoiding solving a problem, or stuck in the same old routine, instead of watching them waste away not progressing, I will do continuous somersaults in front of them and yell "TUMBLEWEED!" until they take action.  Or if I catch myself being lazy, I will give myself a good hard look in the mirror and scream "TUMBLEWEED!" and then splash cold water on my face.  And then do a somersault.

This could work, everyone.  I challenge all of you to Tumbleweed someone tomorrow and send me a picture of it.  Perhaps because of this, all of us will start taking more action and stop making excuses. We can encourage one another to be better, more productive people, who achieve their dreams and make a difference in the world.  And please if you see me in the streets, Tumbleweed the hell out of me.  Cause I need it.

January 11, 2015

The Secret Bar

My friend Boobs invites me to a bar one night and says she has two hot guy friends that are dying to meet me.  I immediately question this as no guy is dying to meet me.  Especially if he's already met Boobs.  And especially if he's seen my Facebook profile picture which is currently of me looking like a Muppet in front of the Tardis.  Even so, I allow myself to get my hopes up.  

Boobs talks these guys up all day to me and tells me how wonderful they are and how one of them will be perfect for me.  Their names are Guy and Rory.  

I dress in a really cute skirt and shirt and make my way to the bar where I am supposed to meet Boobs, Guy, and Rory.  Boobs tells me the bar is in a basement and I have to use a secret code to get in, which is “lord”.  I can't tell if the secret code is lord like the Lord and God, or Lorde like the Australian pop singer.  

I enter the bar and no one is in it.  Except the bartender who is wiping down the bar and looking really mysterious.  There are about ten doors in the walls of the bar.  The bartender says “CHOOSE WISELY” and then sinks behind the counter.  

I can hear him breathing from behind the counter but I decide not to ask questions.  I try the first three doors to no avail.  The fourth door opens with a creek.  Behind it is a narrow winding staircase which seems to descend quite a ways down under ground.  So this is how I die.  

I start down the staircase hoping these guys are worth it.  I finally reach the bottom and a really creepy hot girl is sitting on a lounge chair.  We stare at each other for a long time.  I start to speak and she yells “PASSWORD?”  I say…”Lorde.”  She says “Lord like god or Lorde like Lorde?”  I take a wild guess based on the douchery around me.  “Lorde like Lorde?”  “Correct!” She says.  Then her lounge chair starts to move to the left by some sort of witchcraft, revealing a trap door underneath it.  “DESCEND!” She yells.  I am irritated, but scared.  “Alright, alright, jesus.”  

I open the trapdoor and a blast of swing music fills the room.  I look for more stairs, but there is only a fireman’s pole that I’m supposed to descend down.  I curse Boobs for not telling me about this, as I grab the pole and wrap my legs around it.  I’m wearing a skirt, and my ass is hanging out, but there is no other way.  I slide down and everyone stares at me.  

The room is full of cigar smoke and the scent of bourbon.   If I have died, this heaven is okay by me.  I start asking around for Boobs and some guy says she’s in the Backroom.  I make my way to where he pointed and discover a door that says “Backroom.”  Clever.  I hear Boobs laugh behind the door.  

I turn the doorknob, throw open the door, and there Boobs is.  Making out with two guys.   Who I recognize as Guy and Rory.  Boobs says, “They both told me they love me tonight so I’m trying to decide who I want by making out with both of them.  You understand.”  I feel like a fool.  I've been Boob'd yet again.  I say, “Selfish Boobs.  Very, very selfish.”  

She doesn’t hear me as Guy and Rory are already back in her face.   I stomp out of the Backroom and I go back to where I came in and start the long climb back up the fireman’s pole, ass hanging out and all.  This takes a considerable amount of effort.  When I’m halfway up the pole, some guy says, “Hey."  I look down at him.  He's really cute.  I smile.  Then he says, "You don't have to go up the pole.  There’s a door right there.”  He points to a door that is very clearly marked "EXIT" which I could have walked out of without having my ass hanging out.  To maintain my dignity, I ignore him and finish my climb up the fireman’s pole as if it was what I was born to do.

January 8, 2015

iTunes Message

Tonight I was working on a play and had to stop for a moment to reflect on something that just happened.

My writing partner Melissa and I write a new play every year for our high school Alma Mater.  The play gets produced for a couple of months, performed by the high school for elementary school kids.  So today I wrote a short song for a character and had to record it as an example for the actor who will play the part.  Now, anyone who has ever heard me try to sing anything from any musical that doesn't require me to sound like a man knows that I should not be singing.  However, some poor high school student will have to listen to my weird voice over and over again in order to learn his part, and that brings me much joy.  I'm sure he deserves it.  May it be a turning point in his life.

So I recorded the damn thing and saved it to iTunes.  I listened to it once to make sure it was okay, hoping my neighbor wasn't listening and pitying me.  The song stopped in the middle so I hit a button on my keyboard and I kid you not, instead of continuing the song, my iTunes started blasting All By Myself.  The following then transpired:

I laughed heartily and pressed stop.
The song would not stop.
I laughed a little more. And pressed stop with more vigor.
The song would not stop.
I sat and listened to the song, helpless.
"I think of all the friends I've known, but when I dial the telephone, nobody's home."
What the DAMN HELL kind of lyric is that?!
I got angry. iTunes is rude.
I listened to more.
I got sad.
I sang to the chorus a little bit.
I air played to the piano part.
I Bridget Jones'd the ending.  (If you don't get this reference, I don't know what to say.)
The song stopped.  Finally.
I was relieved.
I pressed play again and put the song on repeat and have been listening to it ever since.

Then I wrote this blog.  I'm in some sort of an All By Myself trance/therapy session.  But I love it.  Much like how the high school student will feel when he has to listen to my singing over and over again, only, he will hate it.

January 6, 2015

Worst Dates

I met a guy who was into Raw food and he asked me out on a date.  Presumably, he would take me out to eat at a Raw food restaurant.    He called me on the day of our date and said his car was in the shop so he asked me to drive.  Sure. 

I picked him up, I’m a modern woman after all, and then proceeded to drive to some town I hadn’t heard of on the outskirts of Los Angeles.  This took about four hours, because he didn’t believe in using directions to get somewhere, because it was about the “journey”.  Fine. 

We entered the restaurant and everyone was wearing white or beige.  I was wearing red.  Which the hostess pointed out to me was the color of animal’s blood, which they don’t serve there.  Great.

We ordered an appetizer of raw god knows what.  It came out as a tiny tiny tiny orange mound of food.  We split it and it barely filled my spoon.  That appetizer was $45.  Hm.

We had a meal of tiny food (that was, to be fair, minuscule but delicious.)  I felt like I was eating the food of tiny squirrels.  I’m talking every plate had about a dime shape of food on it.  The bill came after our meal and it was $200.  I politely offered to pitch in.  But, my date said he forgot his wallet and asked if I could pay.  FANTASTIC.

I paid angrily and he looked happy as a clam.  He then asked me if I could take him to get groceries at a Raw food store since he forgot his wallet and didn’t have a car until it was fixed.  I began to question whether this “car” existed.

I took him to get groceries because I’m an absurd person.  And I paid for them, with the promise that he would pay me back.  I drove him home and dropped him off.  I waited for him to go inside his “house” but he just lingered in the yard.

I realized I may have just taken a cute, fancy, penniless homeless man who was really into Raw food on a date.