Monday, January 31, 2011

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad."

In order to tell you what I am about to, I had to make a double Cosmo. Also it's Monday. And I'm PMSing. And, after all, this blog has "martini" in the title. Oh, who am I kidding? I don't need an excuse, I drink every day anyway. But it really does help if I'm going to have to relive Friday night.

I said that I had a bad date. My guy friends all agreed that he was a tool, but seemed a bit incredulous at how much of a tool he really was. When I relayed more of the details to a girlfriend, she said it sounded like something made up, but she knew I wouldn't do that. People, I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

There were several points at which I should have ended the date, but I think I was in shock; I couldn't quite believe what was happening. Besides, I wouldn't have this great story to tell you if I had. What follows are some of the lowlights.

1. Within 30 seconds he insulted me by telling me I'm short. Kind of douchey, but I was nice and chalked it up to nerves.

2. 45 minutes later, he asked if my boobs are real. Seriously. "How about those? Are they real?" I looked at him and said, "Did you really just ask me that? Really?" Total dick move. I still don't know what to say about that.

3. If I talked about a girlfriend, it turned into some kind of sexual innuendo. He actually said "I'm a lesbian." Barf. Gross.

4. He called his kids assholes. I know that dealing with teenagers is difficult. And it's personal. But I don't call my kid a bitch. Even if she's acting like one. Or an asshole. So what kind of parent does that? A bad one.

5. Next, he invited himself to see Empty Space Orchestra with me. I had planned on going with The Wife after drinks, but he decided he also wanted to go. Fine, whatever. Stalker.

6. We went to dinner. He asked what I wanted for an appetizer. I looked at the menu and declared "Tempura!" He looked at me flatly and said, "You know that's fried." "Um, yeah. And?" He did not order the tempura. Apparently there was a fat quota for the evening that I wasn't aware of. And I was too fat, but nobody told me. Asshole.

7. He went on and on about Charlie Sheen. He apparently worships a drug addict. He actually said "Charlie Sheen is living every guy's wet dream." And "I'd snort a briefcase full of coke but I get drug-tested so I can't." He also wishes he could sleep with porn stars. Unbelievable.

8. At this point, The Wife texted to see where I was. I was just about done with The Jerk and told her to meet us at dinner on the way to see ESO. I practically begged her to come meet me. Being a Good Wife, she did. I thought The Jerk was going to jizz in his pants seeing the two of us together. Barf. Gross. Pretty sure he thought he was going to get the two of us. No. No way.

9. Later, like the next day, Wifey told me that he talked about "choking bitches out." I had stopped listening at that point. I also didn't want to encourage him to talk anymore, because he was getting really loud and drawing a lot of attention to himself.

10. We went to Silver Moon. He decided that my hair was really soft and he needed to touch it every five minutes. Ew. Uninvited. He touched my ass, I slapped him. I told him not to be inappropriate. Did I ask you to touch me? No. No I didn't.

11. There was a drunk guy at ESO. What?? Someone got drunk at a concert? In a bar? The Jerk looks at him (I assume, I didn't want to look at either one of them) and says, "Classing up the place, aren't you?" Wtf? Who engages the drunk guy?

12. My favorite local band starts. Wifey and I move to the front. We start dancing. For some reason, The Jerk assumes that my dancing is an invitation to make out with me publicly. Ew. No. I move away. Several times. The very worst part? There is a very cute, very young boy eyeing me. I was cockblocked. Damn it!!!

13. Since he had taken a taxi to meet me, I had to drive him back to his hotel. He tried to entice me with a pull-out bed. Uh, no thanks. Oh, he had a king-size bed? No thank you. His parting words getting out of my car? "You women are all the same. You talk about how much you want dick, but when it comes time to put out you're too scared." What? What the fuck? Did I really hear that? At what point did I express I wanted to have sex with a misogynistic asshole? I must have missed that part of the evening.

The only thing I am thankful for regarding this date is that he took the hint and didn't contact me again. Whew.

The next night The Wife and I went back to The Scene of the Crime and I ordered the tempura and the tempura roll and anything else fried we could find on the menu. It was awesome. And fun. And the exact opposite of the night before.

Yep. Girls rule. Boys drool. I know who has my back.

Bitter, Party of One

Conversation today with a co-worker friend. For real. I make nothing up.

E: well how about this for some suck -- i went out to get in my jeep this morning
and somebody had opened one of those starkist bags of tuna and scattered it all around the inside

Me: bag of tuna?

E: a pouch of tuna, instead of the kind in a can

Me: was the pouch open? like mushy tuna was in your car?

E: yes! the pouch was empty on the floorboard and tuna was splattered everywhere inside my jeep

Me: how did that happen?

E: no idea. some shithead teens in my neighborhood, i guess

Me: yeah, that sucks.
but you're getting married.
so my bad date trumps your tuna car.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why Girls' Night Rocks

I had a date Friday night, my first real date in ages. It doesn't matter who he was, because I won't be seeing him again. It was a reminder of why I don't date, the definition of a Bad Date. This should sum it all up: his role model is Charlie Sheen and he mentioned him at least four times throughout the evening.

While we were having drinks, a group of six or seven girls came and sat at the table next to us. I soon wished I was at their table instead and truly appreciating the time I spend with my girlfriends.

This is why girls' night is better than 98% of the dates we all go on.

1. Makeup isn't required and a ponytail is considered a hairstyle.
2. Pajamas are perfectly appropriate when having girls' night in.
3. We can skip shaving our legs. And elsewhere.
4. Nobody asks if our boobs are real (and a guy who's good will find out on his own, without asking).
5. Women know the difference between a cock and a dick. We only want one of them.
6. There are no lesbian references.
7. There is no inappropriate, unwanted touching.
8. We can talk about sex all night in dirty detail and it's not considered a come-on.
9. Nobody is appalled if we order fried food. We can eat as much as we want. We can have fried dessert and nobody gives a fuck.
10. If we're a bit too loud it's because we're having a good time, and not showing the world how obnoxious we are.
11. We know that we dance for us, not because we want to make out in public.
12. We laugh our asses off more with each other than any guy could ever get us to do.
13. We can get as drunk as we want and not be taken advantage of.
14. Impressions aren't necessary. Our friends already love us.
15. Girls' night is always the perfect way to spend a weekend and makes us so glad that we are women.

Cheers, ladies!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to Create a Crime Scene. Or Avoid One. Whatever.

Fiona and I have made many delicious, tasty noms since she came to live with me. There was the bourbon cake, a dozen loaves of bread, “ocean rolls”, key lime pie, whipped cream, bread bowls, pizza crust and crème brulee. Like all relationships, we were in the honeymoon phase. I even introduced her to my friends. And then, like all relationships, we had our first little tiff. I admit, it was my fault. I got a little overeager, but she let me know quickly, and near-disastrously, to back off.

We were making a red velvet cheesecake. I was smart enough to turn Fiona off when I was adding my liquid ingredients since she wasn’t wearing her pouring shield. I thought I was saving a step by not having one more thing to wash afterward. Shows what I know.

I put in the cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, buttermilk. The recipe called for two bottles of red food coloring, but several of the reviews said that one was plenty. I poured in one bottle, mixed it up, and decided I really needed the second bottle because I wanted a deep, rich red color. I poured in the second bottle. And then I flicked the mixing speed switch too quickly, thinking I’m such a pro now. But I skipped the first two speeds and it went too fast! Fiona spat out most of that second bottle of red food coloring. All over my kitchen counter. My beige kitchen counter. I reached over and turned her off and took half a second to survey the damage. My kitchen looked like a crime scene. “Blood” all over the counter, “blood” spatters all over Fiona and her mixing bowl. (Oh, if only Dexter were there!) It looked like someone had killed a small animal on my kitchen counter. Violently.

After scrubbing up the mess and wiping Fiona down, we resumed our task. I took it slower the second time. The cheesecake? Obviously not as red as I wanted, but still every bit as delicious.

Last night we made up. We got out one of the new attachments and shredded cheese for a quiche in 30 seconds.

Tonight we have a date to make ocean rolls. I think we’re back on track.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Special Kind of Hell

I didn't want to do it. I wouldn't have, especially with the hangover causing waves of nausea in my alcohol-lined stomach. But I needed toilet paper. There was no way around it.

I had to go to Walmart.

I felt like shit, so I wanted to blend in. I did take a shower though. I may shop at Walmart, but I'm not a Person of Walmart. I'm not that gross. Dried my hair. Squeezed into a pair of jeans, not an easy task with booze bloat, threw on a t-shirt, sans bra. Remember the "fitting in" part? Slipped on some tennis shoes and was on my way.

The parking lot alone made me want to turn back and hide in the safety of my house. It's like a really sad carnival. Nobody really knows how to drive, most bodies are shuffling or stumbling around. Walmart zombies.

I walked in the door and was hit with the foulest stench. Seriously. Why the fuck would I smell stale beer? Did someone break a six pack or just throw up? I held my breath until I made it through that vomit-inducing odor.

I needed a shopping cart. Too hungover to actually carry anything. But there was a large Mexican family loitering around the carts. Like twelve of them. Fucking people, just move the fuck out of my way! It's Walmart, have they never been there before? Take a cart and move the fuck along.

I got toilet paper first, without another clusterfuck of loiterers. I needed laundry detergent too, just the next aisle over. Turned the corner and there was a really fat woman in some gold, shiny thing taking up half the aisle. I don't know where you even buy "clothes" like that. It hurt my eyes and offended me as a human being.

Decided that some Gatorade might be nice to have. It was on the way to the check-out stand. And this brought up a question. Does Walmart not know who their customers are? The fattest people in America shop there and yet they have the tiniest aisles. It's almost impossible to pass another cart. These aren't the kind of people I want to be that close to. I have boundaries, assholes.

Normally I go to the self-checkout to avoid any interaction with another person. Not this time. A sad little stringy, gray-haired lady asked if I was ready as I tried to pass by. Oh, what the hell. I was really too tired to all the work. She looked like she needed a purpose in life.

Lesson learned? Don't be close to running out of toilet paper and hungover at the same time.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Moments of Gratitude

Yesterday wasn’t a great day. It started out pretty great, I had coffee and an Ocean Roll with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while and it was just really nice to catch up; she’s one of those people that just makes you feel better being around her. I trotted back to the office in a little happy bubble.

A few hours later, that bubble burst when Reality poked its ugly head into my day. And for such a stupid little thing. But it’s the stupid little things that pile up and overwhelm me. They shouldn’t mean anything, in the grand scheme of Life. Really, what meaning does a cable bill have? Or putting gas in the car? But they’re nagging and immediate and demand to be taken care of. With resources I don’t always have readily available. And some days, like yesterday, it just feels like too much for one person to handle. At least one of me. I found myself wiping away tears at my desk, wanting to go home and crawl under the covers and hide, but knowing that wouldn’t happen because there was more Reality waiting at home for me. Dinner to be made, ballet taxi duties, homework checking and laundry.

I stared blearily at my computer screen until I saw an email pop up. It was from one of my favorite people. It wasn’t a long email; it contained no earth-shattering news of joy or offer of rescue. It just made me smile. It gave me a friendly little connection with something good, at just the right time, and helped me get through the rest of the day. It took just a little feather off of my heavy load, but I felt it and it made a difference.

It’s these little moments of gratitude that my friends give me that make such a difference. They don’t seem like anything that should change my life. Except they really do. And in smaller, bigger, ways, they change me.

My book club has no idea what they’ve meant to me. And, had I met them each individually, in another setting, I don’t know that we would have been friends. At first glance, they’re so different from me. Most days I feel like such a dork. I’m goofy and potty-mouthed. They all seemed so much smarter and I was a bit intimidated in the beginning, watching what I said and choosing my words carefully. Attempting to mirror their sentence structure and Smartness.

Then one night, one book unraveled it all. I found myself emotionally vomiting all over the table after our beautiful dinner. All of these feelings I didn’t want to share with people I hardly knew came spilling out, revealing parts of me I thought would make me as ugly in their eyes as I was in mine. Their simple questions about my thoughts provoked answers that burned like shame.

The next day I received a single email from M that healed it all. My comments, my sharing had meant something significant to someone else. Shame melted into acceptance.

The remaining year of books brought more challenges, frustrations, reflection. And through our dinners, - ham, mushroom sauce, caramel cake, jelly and bread bowls – I’ve learned to trust, accept, and know that I can be myself with people that I really respect. They let me because they are my friends. There are times that I even think I become my Best Self with them, because of our shared love of books. And food.

I love that I have such a variety of friends. Each one gives me something different, teaches me something about myself and about the world.

When I first met C, I thought her goody-two-shoes act was just that. Nobody could be that naïve or that good. Someone once said that rainbows and unicorns follow her around. Maybe they do. Because she really, truly is Good. I didn’t think that kind of person existed anymore, but she does. And because she does, I’m a little less jaded.

From A, I learned to really look below the surface, that people have hidden talents and loves that add more dimensions than you see when you first look. MH has shown me what vibrance looks like.

I know who I can depend on for advice at work. I know who to call when the tears just won’t stop for the hundredth time and she’ll listen with patience and not judgment. I know that with this smorgasbord of friends, I’ll never be hungry.

It might be a simple email or a lazy evening of watching movies. These are my quiet moments of gratitude that keep me going from one day to the next, sometimes even from one step to the next. If I start to tear, there is someone there to fix me. Only they’re not just fixing me. Each time they patch me up, they’re weaving something stronger. Someone stronger.

I’m learning to accept myself because they accept me. For that, I will be eternally grateful. There is no greater gift.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Holiday Highlights

I’ve been meaning to write about my Christmas, but I’m lazy and I wasn’t sure anyone really cared, so I thought I’d just give the highlights. You win a doughnut if you can guess the theme.

Nutcracker weekend -

This went surprisingly smoothly, given the chances of someone being sick, hurt or complaining endlessly. D actually was sick and her toes did hurt, but she kept her complaints to a minimum. I was sober the entire weekend, my dad and his wife visited and I think I only complained about the lack of help we got from D’s dad. That hardly even counts, and when I consider how well I got along with my dad, I just get extra brownie-acting-like-a-grown-up points.

I took Stepmom (it is still really weird to say that after living over 35 years without one) to my cookbook club’s cookie exchange. I had at least one of everything and attempted to get everyone else drunk off of my bourbon balls. The parents helped me get my tree up and we watched the Snowflake/Flower Soloist flit across the stage.

The big news of the weekend was that my dad bought me the coveted Pink Artisan KitchenAid Stand Mixer, which I promptly named Fiona. I. Love. Her. She is going to change my life! She’s already changed my waistline.

Christmas –

Christmas Eve was very low-key, with a feast of breads and cheeses. Fiona and I made basil-beer bread. The leftovers are going to make really good croutons.

Christmas Day was also mellow. D came home and had to open her presents right away. No brownie-acting-like-a-grown-up points for her! She acted like she was four, but whatever. I wanted to make cinnamon rolls with Fiona and even had the perfect-looking, fluffy dough all rolled out when I realized I was out of cinnamon. Because I’m awesome, I used cardamom instead and turned them into “ocean rolls” and they were delicious!!

Wifey came over, we opened more presents, and found out who the best gift-giver is. Since the gifts were given to me, it’s not me. But I’m really good at getting gifts! Go me! We had a fondue feast with Monterey Jack cheese, red pepper and artichoke fondue, shrimp, mushrooms, apples, lemon parsley sauce, lime cilantro sauce and two bottles of wine.

My gifts? leopard-print slippers, Fiona, scarf, Boston Terrier ornament, French Bulldog ornament, the most darling apron, the softest-ever blanket and money that I partially used to buy accessories for Fiona. A stylish girl needs the right accessories.

New Year’s –

Another low-key evening (not the theme, by the way). A few friends and lots of food. I made tortilla soup, queso dip, guacamole, the Best Dressing Ever and “key lime” pie. JM brought flautas and we had margaritas and champagne. We played poker and Loaded Questions, which isn’t as dirty as it sounds but it can be. Mostly we just laughed our faces off and thanked JW for letting us know that the most dangerous animal in the world is a boar. We made it to midnight and wondered why on earth they still put Dick Clark on television.

New Year’s day I was super happy to wake up without a hangover! It was my little present to myself. I enjoyed one last day of laziness reading a book and napping, followed by a movie marathon while eating Chinese food. The Watchmen completely surprised me and I am thinking of nominating the “book” for a book club choice. Dinner for Schmucks was sad, funny and made me want my own little mouse diorama. Of course if it was about me, my mouse would have to have the best pair of shoes and her own tiny, miniature version of Fiona. And a tiny martini glass. I was “forced” to watch Saving Private Ryan when I made the mistake of revealing that I had never seen it. It is a great movie, but shouldn’t have been the last one we watched. It actually gave me nightmares.

All in all, it was exactly what I wanted and more. Fiona and I have also made crème brulee, French baguettes, whipped cream and bread bowls. Some things have been more successful than others, but, you know, we’re still getting to know each other. There is pie crust in our future.
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