Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Reliving the glory days

My sister-in-law sent me an e-mail that talked about all the things girls do when we drink too much. It was pretty funny ... and sadly so true. It reminded me of my young and carefree days when I didn't have to worry about being a role model to my kids or a good wife to my husband, when a giant mortgage and the daily pressures of maintaining a home were in the distant future.

1. WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHERE OUR PURSE IS. I've definitely said a few times in my life: "Where's my purse?" Although I quickly learned that all I needed was my ID, some cash, and a credit card for emergencies (like that last round of drinks) to put in my back pocket. The only issue was where to put my lipstick. Thankfully back in the day I used to wear baggy jeans, so lipstick fit comfortably in my front pocket. Not so much now with my slim-fitting bootcut jeans.

2. WE BELIEVE THAT DANCING WITH OUR ARMS OVERHEAD AND WIGGLING OUR BUTT WHILE YELLING "WOO-HOO!" IS TRULY THE SEXIEST DANCE MOVE AROUND. I can proudly say that I've never danced with my hands above my head. Yes, I've raised my arms to cheer on my favorite cover band at the local bar, but I've never danced like Madonna in the Get into the Groove video. I've seen others do it, which probably seared my eyeballs enough to remember never to do it when I was drinking (or sober).

3. WE'VE SUDDENLY DECIDED THAT WE WANT TO KICK SOMEONE'S ASS AND HONESTLY BELIEVE WE COULD DO IT TOO. I've never been in a fight in my life. I've talked tough a few times, but that's about it. My favorite memory of an almost-all-out brawl didn't involve my belief that I could kick someon's ass, but my best friend's belief. She, like me, had never been in a fight, even though she grew up in the Bronx. I don't know what that means, but I always think of people from the Bronx as being tough. On the night in question, we had been invited to a party. My on-again-off-again boyfriend at the time, D, had invited us as his way of trying to get back together. When we arrived, I saw a girl that he worked with. She took one look at me and headed toward the back of the house. When I got back there, I saw her arm around D, and lipstick on his cheek. He insisted it was nothing, and after a brief discussion, I let it go and started to enjoy myself. Late into the night, I couldn't find D. I remembered seeing the girl walking out the front door several minutes before that, so I decided to go out front to check things out. I saw the girl and her friend, and D and his friend hanging out by her car, illuminated by the streetlight above. I saw her lean in and kiss D. I stormed inside, grabbed my keys and told my friend we were leaving. But I couldn't just leave it at that. I marched over to their cozy little group and started yelling at D. I don't even remember the words now, but I do remember her saying something to the effect of "why would he want you when he could have this?" bringing her arm down across her body like one of Barker's Beauties with a fabulous new car on the Price is Right . In the background, I heard the words, "I want to hit her. I want to hit her." I look over and see my best friend in the whole world talking to the people at the party. The girl looked over at her and said, "Excuse me?!" My friend replied, "YOU ... I WANT ... TO. HIT ... YOU!" They proceeded to circle each other like a pack of wolves (well, I guess just two wolves), with me in the middle. I managed to stop the fight, and my friend and I left, laughing in the car about what would have happened had the girl actually thrown a punch. Good times.

4. IN OUR LAST TRIP TO PEE, WE REALIZE THAT WE NOW LOOK MORE LIKE A HOMELESS HOOKER THAN THE GODDESS WE WERE JUST FOUR HOURS AGO. I've definitely seen my share of bloodshot glassy eyes in the mirro. That usually when I know it's time to go home.

5.WE START CRYING AND TELLING EVERYONE WE SEE THAT WE LOVE THEM SOOOOO MUCH. I've definitely had some emotional times. The ones where you tell your friends how much they mean to you. It's kind of like the old standby of sitting around in the wee hours of the morning talking about how we'll all pitch in and buy a bar so we can stay together forever! On the flip side, the first time I got drunk it was with my best friend in high school. Rather than telling each other how much we loved each other, we cried and said how sorry we were that we got drunk.

6. WE GET EXTREMELY EXCITED AND JUMP UP AND DOWN EVERY TIME A NEW SONG PLAY'S BECAUSE "OH MY GOD! I LOVE THIS SONG!" There's something about a few drinks that makes every song the best song ever. Until the next one comes on, and that becomes the best song ever. I guess that's why karaoke is such a big hit in bars. Karaoke is another thing I miss. I was the karaoke queen in my day. Not that I was the best singer, but that I just loved being on stage. Although, I had too time it just right. A few too many drinks and I went rapidly downhill in my performance ability.

7. WE'VE FOUND A DEEPER/SPIRITUAL SIDE TO THE GEEK SITTING NEXT TO US. This is the worst. The moment when you realize that you've just made out with someone who should only have remained your good male friend, or worse, some guy that you would never have given the time of day in real life. What is it about having a few drinks that makes us so desperate for affection and attention?

8. WE'VE SUDDENLY TAKEN UP SMOKING AND BECOME REALLY GOOD AT IT. Since I was a smoker anyway, I was already good at it. But I can remember countless times of trying to stop, and then bumming "just one cigarette" from every single person in the bar. Although, now that I don't smoke, I do find myself taking up the habit again on our trips to Vegas or when I visit Florida. Just being back in my element brings out all those bad habits.

9. WE YELL AT THE BARTENDER, WHO WE BELIEVE CHEATED US BY GIVING US JUST LEMONADE, BUT THAT'S JUST BECAUSE WE CAN NO LONGER TASTE THE GIN. Since I typically drink beer, this doesn't apply either. Although, I did get mad at a bartender because he tried to cut me off after one beer. I was having a great time with my now husband. We were being goofy as we usually do, chatting with the people at the bar, joking around. The guy thought I was drunk and refused to serve me. I was like, "you obviously don't know me. I usually drink waaaay more than this." We had to call another bartender over who could vouch for me. Bastard.

10. WE THINK WE ARE IN BED, BUT OUR PILLOW FEELS STRANGELY LIKE THE KITCHEN FLOOR (or the mop?) I don't think I've ever slept on the kitchen floor. Couches, living room floors, strange people's beds (just kidding) but never kitchens (or bathrooms for that matter).

11. WE FAIL TO NOTICE THAT THE TOILET LID'S DOWN WHEN WE SIT ON IT. I don't know that I've ever done this. Although I've known people who tried to pee in the trashcan, the dishwasher, and some stranger's dorm room floor in college. I've also heard about a guy who peed on his friend's television.

12. WE TAKE OUR SHOES OFF BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT'S THEIR FAULT THAT WE'RE HAVING PROBLEMS WALKING STRAIGHT. I never had this excuse because I rarely wore high heels. Now I wear them to work and nice occasions, but I'm all about comfort when I'm hanging out. Nevertheless, I've had my share of falls and spills. The worst two occurred within a few days of each other. I was walking home with D, and I tripped on the sidewalk and started to fall down. In his drunken state he tried to catch me, but instead only succeeded in twisting me around and then dropping me so I fell on the back of my head. I had a huge lump about the size of a golf ball, and a pretty bad cut. Being a poor college student, I didn't have insurance so I never got an MRI. I probably should have because I always fear that I did some internal damage (even now, there's a small round bald spot on the back of my head where hair doesn't grow). A few days later, we were walking home from the same bar (you'd think I would have learned, wouldn't you?). A friend of mine who drove a motorcycle jokingly asked whether I needed his helmet for the ride home. "yeah, yeah, yeah," I sarcastically said as I ran down a small hill that ran from the parking lot of the bar to the sidewalk below. I tripped on the edge of the sidewalk and fell splat on the ground. I had HUGE scabs and lumps on both of my knees.

Man, thinking about those times makes me realize that I drank way too much back the (well I already knew that, but this just reminded me again). That I was probably more out of control than I'd like to admit. That I'm a much better person now. Maybe a little more boring than I was back then, but at least I don't look like a homeless hooker anymore.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Baker's dozen ... or more

You know those people who drive around in a car loaded with thousands of stuffed animals crowded in the back window? I've never understood what that meant. I just know that it's annoying driving around behind those many plastic black eyes of puppies, kittens, bunnies and other animal forms made popular by Ty.

But yesterday, I saw a sight even worse than the multitude of stuffed animals in the back window. Bread. That's right, I said bread. As I was turning onto the freeway, I came up behind a small old sedan with its back window filled with bread. To be fair, the bread was still in it's packaging, thank God. I can only imagine the smell of old dried up, moldy bread basking in the warmth of the sun coming through the window.

The bread in question was the kind you buy at Sam's in the twin packs. This woman had two twin-packs of Oroweat wheat bread (four loaves for those of you counting at home), a twin pack of Wonder white bread (you can't miss those colorful red abd yellow circles on the packaging), a package of bagels, and something else that was stuffed on the other side of the Wonderbread. That's nearly 10 loaves of some bakery-type product in the back of this woman's window.

I started thinking that maybe she's one of those kind-hearted souls who bring food to the needy. But really, the backseat is a much better transporter than the back window of a car. Have you ever seen bread that's been on the counter by a kitchen window? The packaging starts sweating from the yeast in the bread. Not pretty. Then I thought, maybe she was going to feed the ducks at the park. But do ducks really need that much bread?

I finally decided that these bread loaves were her version of the Ty collectible bears. It's the only explanation. But it was such a disturbing sight that I'll gladly welcome the sight of those beady plastic eyes staring at me the thousands of puppies, kittens and bunnies in the next back window I see. Well, no I won't. They'll still scare me. But at least I'll know there's something worse out there.