Friday, May 30, 2008

I Have No Idea Why I’m Telling This Story

Seriously, I have no idea why I’m going to tell you this. Call it a peace offering since I haven’t been writing much lately; still…ah fuck it, I must be bored. Anyway, here’s a really long and not necessarily funny Drunk Redhead story:

So a few years ago one of my best friends, Kim, got married. She’d started dating the guy (her fianc√©) in college, they BOTH moved in with her parents after graduation (shudder), and shortly after moving into their own apartment in NYC, they got engaged. I was happy for them; mainly because Kim was happy. But having said that, the pairing was (and is) a little…odd.

An explanation: Kim is, for lack of a better word, fucking gorgeous (if I had dollar for every time someone told her she looks like a young Brooke Shields…), she’s also nice (weird nice – like why is she friends with me nice), and really, really smart. Kim’s fianc√© (now husband) on the other hand is…fat. Yes, I know there’s more to a person than that, but let me explain. I’m talking borderline morbidly obese here. He was big when they met in college, bigger when they got married, and HUGE now. A former football player, he stopped exercising when he stopped playing, but man did he not change his eating habits. From here on out let’s call him F-man.

Now having said all that, F-man is a perfectly nice guy – not too interesting but not too annoying. He’s smart (a little lazy, but smart), he comes from a good family, and we all have a very similar upbringing in common, ie. privileged east coast lifestyle. Like I said, boring.

Anyway, onto the story. Background: Northern New Jersey. Time: The night before the wedding. Setting: The rehearsal dinner. Being a bridesmaid I was obviously present. Since my family is also very close with the bride’s family, they were all present and accounted for as well. Number of people at the dinner in total: Maybe 30. Number of bridesmaids and groomsmen: 4 of each.

OK, so there I was chatting with my family when I caught site of one of F-man’s groomsmen. Me and every other woman in the room. This dude was very nice to look at – tall, dark, blah, blah, blah – and the women were looking. After one or two questions I found out that he was an old Exeter buddy of the F-man, and that he was now living in California. Feeling a little bit of good old-fashioned lust roll through me, I continued to look but decided not to interact. I mean fuck, my entire family was there; I wasn’t THAT hard up. Or…um…wait, we’ll get there.

So let’s skip to the next afternoon, aka The Day of the Wedding. After getting my hair done (shut up, all the bridesmaids were expected to do it), I slipped on my bridesmaid’s dress and turned towards the mirror.

Oh holy fuck.

Somehow during my one and only fitting with the dressmaker I hadn’t taken the time (nor had Kim) to actually LOOK at myself in my dress. Now, with my hair up in kind of a messy bun thing, one fact became VERY apparent. That garish pink dress (hello, RED hair) was seriously low cut. Like, ‘what the fuck was Kim thinking when she chose these for her church wedding?’ low cut. Oh right, she was thinking that all her other bridesmaids were flat chested.

Long story short, the strapless bra I’d been planning to wear wasn’t going to work out, so I was going with…well, nothing. And my being unrestricted in that dress was not a good idea; unfortunately, it was the only option at that point. My mother summed it up perfectly when she looked at me and said, “You look like a porn star.” My father was standing right next to her when she said it; he did not disagree.

Kim’s first look at me confirmed my suspicions – I was going to look like a whore all day. And it was all her fault…bygones.

On the plus side all the other bridesmaids thought I looked hilarious, and in an effort to loosen me up for the humiliation to come we proceeded to start drinking. The actual ceremony itself was a blur, but the pictures and drinking after were surprisingly fun. By the time the party began I was already pretty well drunk, and I was also pretty certain I had caught Hunky Groomsman’s attention (along with every other man’s – I had 60 year olds ogling me). Getting waylaid while at the bar by Hunky (who was looking very fine in his tux), I proceeded to flirt my ass off. Fuck it, I looked like a whore – might as well act like one. I teased, I went in for the fleeting touch, I laughed at his stupid comments, and I generally just gave him my full attention.

At some point my sister-in-law pulled me aside to a) congratulate me on snagging Hunky’s attention, b) warn me not to get too drunk (too late), and c) tell that if I needed her to cover for me (hello, my ENTIRE family was there) she would. I thanked her, told her I was just flirting, and chatted for a few more minutes. Finally I went off to dance with another guy that I think I went to high school with.

Oh, good side note: There were people at this wedding that I hadn’t seen since high school. People that I hadn’t kept in touch with for a reason. And the first glimpse they had of me after all those years, I just happened to look like a hooker in an ugly bridesmaid’s dress. Good times.

After my dance I was again tugged aside by Hunky. As I stood there, listening to him tell me a story of how he once talked himself out of a drunk driving ticket, I couldn’t help but think ‘This guy is kind of a jackass. How could he think that telling me he had not only driven drunk, but that he was PROUD to have gotten away with it, is going to help his case? Am I supposed to be impressed here? I could NEVER date this guy…but I would sleep with him.’

Yes people, I was in that perfect place where I was still lucid enough to know what the sober me would think, but just drunk enough to make a bad decision anyway.

Somehow we ended up walking outside the hotel for some ‘fresh air,’ I found his tongue in my mouth, I found my hand in his hair, and eventually I even found him pressing my other hand to the front of his pants while saying, and I quote, “Want to help me out with this?”

Ugh, that was the best he could do? Shit.

Unfortunately at that point the dam had broken – after dragging Hunky back inside he proceeded to try to kiss/touch me every chance he got. He even grabbed and kissed me (rather unexpectedly I might add) right in front of the mother of the bride, a woman who comes to my family’s house for Thanksgiving for Christ’s sake!

Still, I was drunk and he was hot. When my sister-in-law came and told me my family was leaving, I turned (I will admit reluctantly) to bid Hunky goodbye, and at that moment Kim walked up and said, “Hey, F-man and I are continuing the party back in our room after this ends. Why don’t you stay? I’m sure we can find someone who will let you crash with them after.”

Hunky’s face lit up (guess who also had a room at the hotel and was more than willing to let me ‘crash’ with him?). At that my sister-in-law started laughing, and I saw the writing on the wall – if fate was going to make it that easy for me, who was I to fight it?

So off my sister-in-law went to tell the parental units that I was remaining at the hotel for the night, and after some brief goodbyes (all my mother said was “Call me when you want me to come pick you up” – 1) there isn’t a chance in hell my mother didn’t know what I was doing, and 2) I felt like SUCH a dirty teenager in that moment I can’t even tell you), I was left alone with Kim and Hunky. I instantly sent Hunky away and turned to Kim.

Redhead: What’s his deal?
Kim: What do you mean?
Redhead: I mean what do you know about him?
Kim: F-man loves him, he’s known him forever and apparently he likes him enough to have made him a groomsman. I don’t know him personally though since he lives in San Diego.
Redhead: Will F-man be freaked out if anything happens between Hunky and me?
Kim: I doubt it.
Redhead: Good enough.

Yes, I am one classy chick. About an hour later – after leaving the ballroom and hitting the hotel bar – Hunky and I found ourselves in the bridal suite drinking beers with Kim, F-man, and about 20 other people.

Note: I still don’t know how I feel about the whole Kim and F-man continuing to party with us – hell, hosting us in their room – after the reception thing. Part of me is a sappy romantic who thinks there are better ways to be spending your wedding night. The other part of me recognizes that you have all your friends together – some of whom live far away and you rarely see, PLUS you’ve got the rest of your life to sex it up with your spouse – so why the fuck not? But I digress…

Turns out Hunky was such a good friend of F-man’s that he had the adjoining suite to them. That translated into everyone also chilling out in Hunky’s room. At some point I ended up sitting on Hunky’s lap, in his room, alternately making out with him and chatting up some guy I went to grade school with. One exchange that took place:

Guy from Grade School: So how long have you two been together?
(An honest question since I was sitting on Hunky’s lap nibbling his lower lip.)
Redhead: I don’t know, how long have we known each other? 12 hours?
Hunky: We met yesterday.
Redhead: We didn’t talk yesterday though.
Hunky: I said hi to you. But yeah, I’d say about 12 hours.
Guy from Grade School: (Has no idea what to say, hence silence.)

And so the evening went until I – at that point VERY drunk – simply leaned over and whispered to Hunky, “I’m ready for bed now.” Without missing a beat Hunky yelled “Everybody out!” I might have only been marginally embarrassed by this if the fucking bride and groom hadn’t been in the room at the time! They were spending their wedding night hanging out with us, and WE threw THEM out to have sex?

You uh, probably know what happened after that. His performance was…uninspired. I mumbled “I’m too tired” the next morning when he reached for me again (hint to all the men out there: when a woman’s saying that after only your first night together, you didn’t impress the shit out of her), and when my mother called at 9 to ask if I was ready for her to pick me up, I said yes.

Only the really weird part of this story (at least to me) was that as I was getting dressed Hunky rolled over and asked me for my number. I must have looked stunned (didn’t he know the rules – we were never supposed to speak again, that’s the whole POINT of a one night stand) because he instantly said, “You don’t have to give it to me if you don’t want.”

“No, that’s fine,” I said, still probably looking confused, before shrugging my shoulders and…well, giving him my number. What were the odds he was going to call anyway? He lived across the country after all. I figured he was just being polite.

So after a quick peck on the lips, I left that rumpled cutie on the bed and proceeded to do the ultimate in the walk of shame. Yes, there are few things more humbling that walking through a hotel lobby at 9:30am on a Sunday in a rumpled bridesmaid’s dress. Well, unless you factor in that you’re walking through that lobby to get to your MOTHER’S car that is.

And…that’s it. A kind of boring and WAY too revealing Drunk Redhead story. The weirdest thing about it though is that Hunky actually did call me like 2 days later. And a few times after that too. Huh.

So yeah, there you go. I make great decisions when I’m drunk. But the true moral to this story is: I have no one to blame for my love life but myself.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I MAY Be an Asshole

I’m going to write something more tomorrow (on a totally different topic I’m sure), but in the meantime some thoughts:

-I’ve managed to argue my landlord down $250 a month for next year's rent – just to be clear, that’s $250 down from a $500 a month increase, so now we’re talking about me paying $250 more a month next year. Get it? Yeah, I’m so annoyed at this point that I think I’m just going to say ‘Fuck it’ and take the deal. Who wants a savings anyway?

-At this point my job has turned into roughly 10% me actually editing and evaluating books, and 90% me negotiating deals and fighting with people. Now that’s fine in theory – hey, I like to fight – but everyone that I’m dealing with is taking it so fucking personally! This is business people – I’m not here to do you any favors. Unfortunately I’m getting the impression my predecessor wasn’t aware of this fact, and he gave everyone we work with a false sense of security; it’s now my job to yank that safety blanket away and burn it before their eyes. I call this my Breaking Them In Period. I’ve got to tell you though, it’s exhausting being this much of a bitch THIS MUCH of the time. Yes people, there is a limit. Who knew?

-I went away with Fancy Pants last weekend. Yeah, it went about as well as you’d expect. (The only reason he lived through Memorial Day was I’m too shitty a driver to have made it back to the city in one piece without him.) I’m thinking tonight is a good night to end things. Wish me luck! (And yes, I realize this is waayyyy overdue.)

-I have the maturity of a 12 year old sometimes – case in point, my eating/drinking habits. Not to get too into it, but I have about 2-3 energy drinks a day, roughly 2 coffees, and I really only eat pretzels and granola bars while at work (which is from around 8:15-6:30, 5 days a week). At what age are you supposed to be capable to taking better care of yourself that…well, than a prepubescent who (generally) still lives with her parents? Wait, don’t answer that – I prefer ignorance.

OK party people – more tomorrow. I’ve missed you (woops, there I go lying again) and I’m going to make it up to you (possibly)!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Hate Everyone

Let’s recount my last week, shall we? On Friday I was taking a shower and a pipe burst in my bathroom; I had a head of hair full of shampoo and no water coming from the showerhead (it was coming from the walls however). Yup, sucked to be me. But I’m a trooper, so after speaking with my super and rinsing my hair out in the kitchen sink, I surveyed the damage to my bathroom, shrugged my shoulders and went off to work. After that it was a fairly uneventful day.

Let’s move on to Saturday.

I started the day on Saturday by going out with Christine for manicure/pedicures, and after that we got some coffee and just wandered around. I ended things early before we got into an (inevitable) fight, and went home to find…honestly it can only be described as complete fucking chaos. My bookshelves – the same ones I’ve described in the past as ‘overflowing with books’ and ‘looking like a damn library’ had, of course, collapsed. Books EVERYWHERE. Shelves everywhere. Broken pictures/picture frames…everywhere. All my pretty porcelain thingamabobs – broken fucking everywhere!

Oh, and my cat was scared shitless – I hadn’t been home when it happened and I can only imagine the noise it made. But more importantly…what if she had been hurt?! She’s little and light, and my bookshelves are big and VERY heavy. (Honestly, that’s the point of the story that freaks me out the most.) Anyway, so after gathering up all the shelves, collecting the broken pieces of some of my favorite things (throwing most of them away), and stacking all my books so that they covered the entire floor of my kitchen and living room, I was ready to trudge off to Crate & Barrel.

Only OOPS, the downtown trains weren’t running – so I got to hoof it. Awesome.

Long story short, $500 dollars later I had my ‘easy to put together’ new bookcases being delivered between 6 and 9pm (they showed up at 8), and I got to cancel my dinner plans in order to wait home with my tool kit in hand. (Oh, and if you’re wondering if Fancy Pants decided to come over and keep me company/help, then you’re fucking high. He didn’t understand a) why I had gotten something that wasn’t already put together – one word: cheaper, and b) why I wasn’t paying someone else to put it together for me – five words: I’m not a lazy incompetent. So FP ended up going out with his boys while I stayed home with my screwdriver and built shit.)

I finished at 2am (shut up, I have no sense of humor about this) with one broken toe (fucking shelves slipped), two (okay, probably more than two) very graphic death threats aimed at the jackass who wrote the Crate & Barrel assembly instructions (fucking masochist), and three new interconnecting bookcases (which look fucking beautiful, thank you very much).

I am a rock star.

Sunday was Mother’s Day – I hung with my parents and tried to drink away the pain in my foot.

Monday I was sick – goddammit – and stayed home and slept all day.

But the real topper was yesterday. It started out like any other ‘morning after I was out sick’ day – in other words, I had about a hundred emails waiting for me that were all time-sensitive. As the day progressed, and my headache got worse, I managed to get into a fight with one of my vendors; short version is she said I'd ordered something I hadn’t, I said ‘um, no,’ she said she had email proof of this, I said ‘okay, send it on over,’ she said ‘okay,’ and then never sent it (because it doesn’t fucking exist). She then went to my boss and complained about me; my boss – already having been apprised of the situation by me – told her she was wrong and she knew it. She admitted this. To my boss. To me she never said anything (of course).

Douchebag.

So after all that I went home kind of needing a drink, only I made the (in retrospect) poor choice of picking up my mail before going into my apartment (I should have put that off as long as possible). Why? Well dear readers, let me tell you: My lease for next year – for my apartment – had just arrived. And it was a doozy. Just how much is my rent being raised? (It’s always being raised, no matter how bad the economy is.) Go on, guess – what would seem like a fair hike off of $1600 a month?

If you guessed $2100 a month you’re right! The prize is you can kiss my ass! I am fucking done! $500…mother…fucking…MORE…dollars…a…month.

(Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Deep fucking breaths…)

Goddammit this isn’t working. So now I’m trying to figure out where the hell I’m going to move, how I’m going to find the place, how freaking expensive moving is, how unbelievably depressing looking at apartments in NY is, and how I DO NOT want to deal with this right now.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a bad week. And contrary to popular opinion around here, I’m not actually a bad person – so this fucking bad karma is really starting to piss me off. I don’t deserve it. I’m one more bad day away from moving in with Fancy Pants here. (Note: I’m fucking kidding, calm down.) But still, if anything good could possibly happen right now, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Let’s Use Our Brains for Once

Here’s a question for you guys (and be flattered I’m asking you this, it means I think you may have something intelligent and worthwhile to say): What are the 5 books every child should read?

Some background info – my mother is an English teacher with a Doctorate in Education and Reading; I have been working in and around children’s books for the last 6 years and am considered somewhat of an expert on the subject. So when my mother called me last night and told me she had been asked to answer this question, I started laughing. That might be the fucking HARDEST question a person could ask either of us. It also sparked a long and intensely engaging conversation. I mean, which angle do you take when answering this? Is there an age limit? Are we talking just elementary school or K-12? Are we including pre-school books on the list? And what the hell – ONLY 5?!

In the end I chose books that either kicked my ass (both emotionally and intellectually) or were so important they couldn’t be left off the list. But the best part about this was that my mother had a completely different list, and the reasons for her choices were just as valid as my own. And you know what, THAT got my juices flowing (yes, at the end of the day I’m a dork who loves talking about books).

My Top 5 list is (and no mcbias, The Phantom Tollbooth is nowhere to be found):

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Nope, no Shakespeare on the list (and I am a devoted Shakespeare fanatic). No, I kept the list narrowed down to books that I couldn’t bear to NOT have there. These are all books that I thought about for days, weeks – hell, I still feel something when I think about them – after finishing them. I cried like a baby over every one. (Note: I realize I made Harry Potter 1 choice even though there’s technically 7 books – I don’t care. I’m not going to pick a favorite since I think they’re all shockingly good, should be read together, and actually mature in writing and story along with their characters. These books had to make my list, not just because they’re a tour de force by J.K. Rowling, but also because they’re legitimately significant historically and socially.)

Now I’m not going to go into my argument here about how I truly believe the best books ever written are all ‘children’s’ books (you people don’t need me to preach here and I don’t have the time to do the argument justice right now), but suffice it to say the list above and the list to come have my favorite books of all time on them. Do I read good ‘adult’ books? Yes, shockingly I do read more than romance novels. However the ones that really blow me away, for whatever reasons (and I have my theories), have always been the ones in the children’s section of the bookstore.

But enough explanation. Some other children’s books that I absolutely loved and would suggest you read even if you are technically adults – in no particular order:

Gathering Blue and The Messenger by Lois Lowry (these two go with The Giver – possibly my #1 book)
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon
Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (I hated that fucking kid, but still…)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Dr. Seuss (everything he ever wrote – the man was a genius)
William Shakespeare (again, he was a genius and his complete works should be read by every intelligent human being - King Lear is my personal favorite)

Oh, and Catcher in the Rye isn’t on my list – on purpose. You may now proceed to think whatever you want about me, but I never liked that book. Everyone else I know did, but I thought it was crap. So there you go.

Anyway guys, what would be on your lists? Did I miss anything on mine? (These were all off the top of my head, I’m sure I forgot something.) Hate my choices? For once I’m asking what you think and I actually care – blow me away.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm Unfocused

I made it through last week – it’s a miracle! And I just want to say that the drinking I did this weekend was in direct proportion to the amount of stress I felt last week, so…I plead the fifth on any behavior I may have exhibited on Saturday night (sorry Fancy Pants, you were a surprisingly good sport about everything though – in retrospect, the blowjob probably helped). Wow…overshare.

So I went to a podiatrist this morning to get some feedback on my current gimpy state (aka – strained Achilles in BOTH feet/ankles). My father was not pleased when I told him; apparently he has something against podiatrists and wanted me to go to an orthopedic surgeon instead. Didn’t happen. Anyway I’m in no way cured, but the doctor doesn’t seem too concerned about me – I’m already doing a little better, so I guess she’s right that I just need to take it easy for now.

Anywho…what up with you guys? Wait, don’t answer that – I don’t care. Work has eased up tremendously after last week so you’ll probably be hearing more from me in the next few months (before things explode again), but in the meantime…I don’t know, let’s just throw out some random shit and see what happens:

-I’m not really a fruity drink person (hence my fondness for scotch and the occasional dirty martini), but Grey Goose pear vodka with a splash of cranberry is an OUTSTANDING spring drink. FYI.

-What happened at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday is exactly why I can’t watch horse racing. I feel like crying just thinking about it (I’m such a pussy). Moving on…

-It was my assistant’s birthday last week, and being the awesome boss that I am I brought in homemade cookies for her (shut up – I can be domestic). Anyway, so after I drop off the cookies at her desk I go back to my office to do some work. She comes in a few minutes later, sneaks up behind me, and lays a big hug on me while saying ‘Thanks for the cookies.’ Needless to say I stiffened up (I’m not really a hugger). Her reaction – she burst out laughing and said ‘I KNEW that would freak you out, and that meant I had to do it.’ Two thoughts, a) my assistant isn’t scared of me at all, and b) she knows me too well.

-Christine totally redeemed herself when I took her to a Yanks game last week. She bought all the beer (again), surprised me with a big bag of Swedish fish (score), and BARELY made fun of me when I couldn’t walk and was forced to hobble around.

-Fancy Pants bought me a necklace. He gave it to me over the weekend – it’s from Tiffany. I’m…well, I’m a little freaked out by the gift because a) it’s not my birthday or anything and he didn’t seem to have a reason for giving it to me, b) I’m not sure if I should accept it (even though I sort of already did – I was in shock, don’t judge me), and c) while it’s pretty, I’m not going to wear it – something Fancy Pants would know if he…you know, knew me at all!

OK, this may not be totally his fault, but I actually see this necklace thing as a prime example of what’s wrong with our ‘relationship.’ Let me explain – I already have a necklace. One I wear EVERY DAY. It’s an ‘I never take it off’ kind of thing – something that it doesn’t take the most observant person in the world to notice. Only I’m pretty sure Fancy Pants hasn’t noticed – actually that’s not totally true, he MAY have noticed and (being Fancy Pants) decided I needed a little variety when it came to my jewelry. God forbid he actually ask me about the damn thing – like if maybe it has any significance to me perhaps. (FYI, it does – it was my grandmother’s.) But no, our relationship is not based on closeness and meaningful conversation, so…

OK, now I’m just being mean – it was nice of him to get me a gift. It freaks me out and I don’t know what to make of it, but it was nice. (Note to self: Stop being such a bitch.)

- Help me – my addiction to romance novels has recently gotten out of control. Not that I’m embarrassed about it or anything but…OK, I’m a little embarrassed about it.

-So I was going through some stuff this weekend, and I came across an old picture of Stud – an all-time favorite of mine. And I can honestly say, after all these years and all the humiliation I’ve endured because of this guy, I would STILL make a fool of myself if I saw him again and was given half a chance. What is WRONG with me?

Ah fuck – back to work for me. Later in the week, my opinions on all sorts of shit!