It’s a small world, after all.

Summer 2007 was an epic summer.  I was house sitting an oceanfront home in Sea Pines on Hilton Head for about 6 months.  Apparently there were cats in the house; I think I saw them once.

Sometime in May, Heather (whose father recently passed away so she took that opportunity to get sleeves tattooed on both arms.  Who knew? She always seemed so stuffy), Teresa (St. Teresa), and myself were on a bike ride and wandered down a road near Teresa’s house and we found a little restaurant with a deck and all they served were sandwiches.  It was right on the water.  So we decided we liked it.  Well, about two weeks later they started serving beer so then we decided we really liked it.

I had a job at an agency on the island where I had just been made sales and marketing director.  When I asked if I could get an increase in my salary, I was told “when pigs fly,” and then I was given a wooden pig with gold wings that you hang from the ceiling.  It’s been in every office I have had since.

At this point in time, Teresa had a dog, and of course I had the Beagle, so we went to the dog park a lot.  One day we saw a girl about our age there putting flowers on the path, so we started talking.  Her name was Jen and her mom had died at the dog park about 4 or 5 months prior.  Apparently some big dogs knocked her down and she hit her head.  She seemed normal and nice, so we invited her to Up The Creek with us that afternoon.

At this point we would spend days at Up The Creek.  It doesn’t hurt that I was sleeping with a guy who worked there.  He would open at 10:00 in the morning so we would get there at 10:00 and start drinking until they closed at 2:00am. His name was Woody.  He was fertile.  At the time he had 3 kids from his ex-wife and he had gotten my friend (acquaintance, I never really liked her) pregnant.  We pretended like nobody knew.  Everybody totally knew what was going on. He has since gotten married (again) and fathered yet another child bringing the grand total of children for Woody (whose last name…I am not sure I ever knew) to 5 from 3 separate women.  My friend now has 2 children from 2 different guys, neither of which she married. I believe this type of lifestyle is called “blended,” or just plain “white trash.” Anyway. I was 22, give me a break.

So Jen becomes part of the pack for the summer.  But she is a little flakey.  I never really gave it too much thought because I was always drunk.

I don’t remember how it came up, but I told her that I wanted to go to Maine and go camping.

Ok, let’s define camping.

Camping for me is driving my very large, very fast Jeep into the woods, walking around, drinking some beer, and then when I am too drunk to be driving, I will drive anyway to the closest Holiday Inn because that is camping.

So she was like “yeah, let’s go!” Thinking the conversation was over, I didn’t give it a second thought.  A few days later she brings it up and tells me that she was going to go to Maine anyway in a couple of weeks if I wanted to go. Being 22 with a large amount of disposable income, I was like “alright!”

I went home and told my dad, who laughed. Then he told my mom and she told me to be careful not to break a nail.

So Jen calls me out of the blue, because she had been MIA for like a week. She calls me and is like “lets go tomorrow.” So, I told my boss I had to go to Maine to get in touch with nature for a week, and he just laughs and tells me to keep my cell phone on and to avoid trying to pet bears.

She shows up at my house and my dad goes out to meet her.  She too drove a jeep, a red one, that like myself, her dad bought for her.  The difference between her Jeep and my Jeep was that she had Red Sox shit everywhere. I have never had any luck with people who like that god awful team. More on this in another post.  Let’s stay focused.

I threw my new, expensive backpack, my 4 new organic cotton Patagonia t-shirts, and my running shoes in the back. FUCK YEAH! Let’s go hiking!

I thought we would alternate driving or like stop or something.  We were making good time, so we would just stop when we felt like it. She tells me that we need to stop in Massachusetts “for some family thing” for a day or whatever, then we would be off to Maine. I was like “okay,” we were already an hour from home, what was I going to say?

As soon as we get on the beltway in DC the sky starts shitting rain.  It didn’t phase her.  It was dark and we were flying through traffic.  At this point, she turns to me and says “oh my god, I forgot my medication.  Its ok though!” I suggested we stop at a Walgreens or something and get a refill. She insisted it was fine, and that bipolar disorder didn’t need medication.

This was before I was diagnosed. I had never met anyone with bipolar before and I didn’t understand it, all I knew is that there was some bitch next to me who is off her meds and driving too fast.

She was telling me about this guy she met in Charleston named Spencer (who worked at Blackbaud) and how they dated and then they broke up but she thought she still had feelings for him.  So around 1am, she calls him. And he answers.  She sobs into the phone about what an idiot she has been and that they should get married.  And he agrees.

That’s when I decided that this was a bad idea.

We drove all night, well she drove, I silently prayed that I would live to see tomorrow.

We arrived at her aunt’s house at like 6am. She promptly went upstairs to crash.  This was Thursday morning. I too, went upstairs to take a nap.  Around 1:00 in the afternoon I woke up and wandered downstairs in search of food.  Her aunt was there and she made me a sandwich.  Then she made me another one because I hadn’t eaten since before we left.

We hung out, watched TV, did whatever.  Then we did whatever some more because by 9:00pm my travel companion was still sleeping. By 10:00 I decided it was time to go to bed for real.

Friday morning, I wake up around 8:00, go back downstairs and her aunt makes me eggs and then we just sort of sit around until noon when Jen decides to wake up. I tell her we ought to be making our way to Maine because I have to go back to work on Tuesday and apparently I just needed to get some fresh air or some bullshit.  She whines, and her aunt tells her we have to go, at least for a day.

So she sucks it up and we go.  Here is a list of things we did in Maine:

  • LL Bean
  • The Burberry Outlet
  • A Micro Brewery

Here is a list of things we did not do in Maine:

  • Visit a National Park
  • Hike
  • Camp

We did, however, stay at a Holiday Inn.  So that is kind of like camping.

We wake up the next morning and she tells me she has a friend in Boston who she wants to see and if I wanted to go.  What am I going to say? Whatever, I said yes.

We are in our hotel room and he shows up.  He looks like a douchebag. I don’t even remember his name, it was like TJ or JT or something.  For the sake of this post, we will refer to him as BJ. He drove a BMW, but like he did stuff to it to make it fast or whatever.  I don’t even know, all I knew is we were driving around Boston at 60 MPH and I was sliding around the backseat.

That’s when they ask me if I have a trust fund. Who asks that?

They decide to be “all up in the club” or some shit.  I don’t do “clubs,” the only “club” I do is a country club. So we go, everyone is dancing and such, except for me. So I go to the bar and order 3 shots of Jack.  I figured if we are going to do this, lets do it right.  Well they don’t like Jack. So I did all 3. The booze was so watered down it had no effect on me.

Da club be closing.  So we left and went back to the hotel.  BJ was too tired to drive home so he crashed.  In Jen’s bed.

I wake up very early naturally, so when I got up around 6am, I silently packed my shit and got in a cab to the airport.  I paid far too much for a ticket from BOS to SAV and I never spoke to her again.

Until today.

I am out getting tacos and she walks in. I didn’t notice her at first, but her outfit was really cute then I saw her face, and I heard her tell the taco man that she was picking up for “Jen.” All of a sudden I got very hot and a little lightheaded.

People are picking up their orders and leaving and I was just hanging out…waiting.  I think she saw me, but how can she recognize me because I was staring at the floor with my sunglasses on?

She wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.  She did send me a wedding invitation, and I didn’t respond because I never wanted to see her again.

It’s a small island.

 

Get in the Hole Guy

I played competitive golf for many, many, many years and I still enjoy watching the game.  I haven’t picked up a club for its native purpose in probably five years, but I still understand the game and the fundamentals of a decent swing (I also used to give lessons).

I am watching the Players Championship with my dad, and if you have ever watched golf, you know that when watching a player putt, there is always some asshole that shouts “GET IN THE HOLE!” to all his fellow viewers and the television viewing audience at home. Nobody watching golf at a bar can hear him because bars don’t understand what closed captioning is. He shouts it with such violence and urgency that one can only assume he practiced it before leaving the house and the entire car ride to the course. I would like to think that he has money on this match, but nobody in their right mind bets on professional golf. Nobody.

I feel like this man never gets laid.  I would think that he would scare off all female golf lovers, not just because he cannot control the volume of his voice, but also because he is the asshole shouting at a golf tournament. Although, I am a little intrigued about what he would be like in bed.  It would be all “what are you doing?  GET IN THE HOLE! GET. IN. THE. HOLE!!!” and then his below average penis would hopefully get to where it was going.

I imagine this man lives by himself in a 2-bedroom apartment.  The master, he sleeps in, and the second bedroom is full of golf memorabilia, a Dell Inspiron computer, and a Casio keyboard.  Screaming “get in the hole” is the highlight of his week, I say week, because I assume he has no job.  He is a “freelance” accountant (read: unemployed) and waits tables at TGI Friday’s on the side just to make rent. He drinks MGD from the can while out with his friends, regaling them with the details of the match he witnessed that day.  His monthly expenses range from $600 for his Topeka, Kansas apartment rent to his $200 a month Kia Optima car payment and the remaining money he is paid goes to online poker and paid-access PGA websites.  He is into weird porn, the kind of porn he can’t afford.  He lost his virginity at 25 and is currently 45 pounds overweight.  He needs to justify his existence by disturbing everyone at an official PGA event. He feels like if he can immortalize himself on the golf channel then he is someone.

Never being an athletic one, golf would push his boundaries too much.  It would require him getting off the couch and getting some fresh air.  He prefers to spend his time between shifts playing Tiger Woods on his PS2. He tries to travel to as many PGA events as possible so that he can spread his love of the sport at all volumes.  I heard the PGA is tracking him and is trying to ban him from events.  He sits in the bleachers at the 18th hole as close to the cameras as possible while he sends his friends (who also find this hilarious) out to refresh his $8 beer.

Well, Get in the Hole guy, I don’t think I am alone in formally requesting that you shut the fuck up.  Golf is not a shouty sport, it’s a whispery sport with polite clapping.  If you want to shout, get tickets to an Eagles game and let your aggression shine.

Worst. “Meeting.” Ever.

Let me tell you a story. The story is about a man named Bill and his two friends.

I cannot accurately tell this story without first referencing what a MARTY is. Here is a down and dirty definition of a MARTY: “a MARTY is half party, half meeting. Complete with door prizes and a backdrop in which you can take pictures of yourself in front of hundreds of smiling LegalShield logos. Upon entering your MARTY, you will be given two drink tickets which you will hold on to for dear life and can be exchanged for beer or wine, both of which are a brand that would never cross the threshold of any respectable house. You will then be forced to talk to ‘entrepreneurs’ and alcoholics alike for the defined time of 120 minutes.”

So I’m at this fucking thing and I look like a gazelle on the plain, I was new, mostly sober, and not talking to anyone. That’s when I met Bill. He cornered me against some barstools where interrogated me about what I did and who I did it for. He proceeds to get a twinkle in his eye that says “sweet, a person who knows ‘computers’ and will probably talk to me.” In an effort to not be rude, I listened to him prattle on about LinkedIn and PowerPoint for about 20 minutes. Trapped against the bar, it’s not like I could excuse myself to freshen my drink so I loudly interrupted him stating that I needed another glass of wine. He then watches me turn around to order my drink and then he waits for me to turn back around to finish our one-sided conversation.

The LegalShield zombies were shutting the MARTY down and ushering everyone to the door because the bar had another party coming in (I am assuming there was no mandatory meeting associated with this party) and we needed to leave.

So Bill invites me to lunch to talk about some “work” he may have for us. Being that we were new in town and trying to get re-established, I agreed to meet him at the Holiday Inn some bullshit restaurant with a view.

The blessed day arrives. I’m wearing some semblance of clothing and I arrive early (of course) and he emails me to tell me that he is bringing a posse and he is running late but rest assured, he will be there. Thank god, because he said he would buy lunch.

I ride up in the elevator and decide to wander around and check out this view. It was nice, but the restaurant was filthy, that should have been my first clue.

Then Bill arrives with his fleet of people. He introduces me to the Smuckers Retard and the Guy Who Does Print.

We are seated. The waitress asks what we will have to drink. Bill responds with, “is tea included in the lunch?” The poor waitress says, “no, I’m sorry, it’s not.” Without consulting the rest of the table, Bill announces we will all be having water today. Without lemon.

The two other men grill me on what I do just like Bill, I’m assuming that’s why they are friends. Being that getting grilled is a hobby of mine, I was fine with it then subtly told them to eat a dick. I was already unamused.

The waitress comes back with our tap water and asks if we would like to see a menu. Bill, our leader, tells her that we will all be having the buffet today for lunch.

I don’t do buffets. If I need to eat something that has to be enclosed to protect it from your snot and saliva in the event that you sneeze, I will pass.

So we make our way to the buffet, which has fried chicken and other stuff that appears to be teeming with grease and cooties. I stick with fresh fruit. Fruit that at one time would be considered fresh.

We all get settled back in and Bill pulls out a stack of papers. It’s copies of a For Dummies book on Internet marketing. He brought copies for all of us. He then proceeds to spend the next 45 minutes reading us these pages and not taking questions.

He breaks to get more “food” and in the time he is gone, Smuckers Retard tells me that he is of the “Smuckers family” (he then recites all the brands associated with Smuckers) and that he is trying to raise money to ride his bike…somewhere. It looks like this dude has never rode a bike in his life. I will donate to a cause for him to ride a bicycle anywhere. Really. He also tells me he is a photographer and that he would like to sign me up for his email list in which he sends pictures of fucking whatever and an “inspirational quote” every “morning.” So, being that I am in a small and confined locale with this man-child and I don’t want to make waves, I agree to give him my email with the intention of unsubscribing immediately.

Bill is back. Father Time interrupts what could possibly be round 2 of Internet Marketing for Dummies: a Dramatic Interpretation, to ask me what my hourly rate is for “print design.” I explain to him that we have a blended rate, however we don’t do a lot of print. And that’s the end of that conversation.

Bill opens his mouth to speak again. I interrupt him, sort of, by telling him that I have to be somewhere (like my house. Alone) and that I should be going. He would have heard this if he hadn’t talked over me about some bullshit LinkedIn thing.

I believe this is what he wanted to do: he wanted to “harness the power of LinkedIn” and mass-mail all his connections or friends or whatever, a PowerPoint presentation. What’s in that presentation? One may never know. Also, if LinkedIn did this, there would be so much spam in the world we would all die. Literally, die. I told him that it could not be done, so he rephrased the question, I told him again, it could not be done automatically. He tried to rephrase the question again, like I’m an idiot and missed the first two questions. That’s when I changed the subject.

So I repeated myself that I had do go while standing up. I graciously thanked him for my mushy fruit and cold tap water and left while he was still talking.

This was two years ago. Up until a few months ago I have been trying to get off Smuckers Retards mailing list. He does some kind of BCC thing from his outlook and mass mails everyone without a unsubscribe link. Being that I am an asshole, and from the Internet, I Googled him. I found his phone number. So I emailed him to see if it was current because he wasn’t responding to all my emails about being removed, so I thought I could call him. The next day I was off his mailing list.

Reverse X-Ray Vision

I never wear my glasses during the day.  It is not because my deficient vision is magically healed with the rays of the sun.  It is because of a very real, and very dangerous reason.

Did anyone that did not play a character in the Little Rascals or Sandlot actually light ants on fire as a kid with a magnifying glass?  There are several issues that I have with this, and they don’t all circumvent around animal cruelty. The main issue is where does one find a magnifying glass in 2014? Also, how do children obtain them? It seems like an awfully large waste of money to buy a kid with kid vision a device to make text larger.

Furthermore, nobody really requires magnifying glasses anymore because everything is on a screen, pinch and zoom, motherfucker.

We are getting off track.

I don’t wear my glasses during the day because I don’t want my retinas turning into the ants that may or may not have been murdered in 1957 by Alfalfa.

Think of it like x-ray vision, but in reverse with a side of irrationality and terror.

I understand that in order to fry my retinas like eggs, and pancakes, and bacon, oh, bacon, I would have to look directly into the sun for a period of time. I have looked directly into the sun for a period of time, right after my mother told me not to, and I was fine.  I was not blinded and disfigured permanently, not even temporarily.  I lived, guys.  So armed with this knowledge, I know that I can look into the sun and my brain will not tell me not to. What if I forget that I am wearing my glasses?  Or what if I am driving and the height of my car is not high enough for the visor to block out the deadening rays of the largest star in our solar system because the sun is at the right angle?

This is real.

What if I have to wear really dark sunglasses after I am blinded so that I don’t scare small children? Or like…what if I have to get Dragon Dictate?

I could get prescription sunglasses, but I went through about 10 pairs of sunglasses in the last year alone. I am too irresponsible to have nice things. I could get Lasik, but the whole lasers going into my eyes thing kind of defeats the purpose. Instead I will wax poetic about how afraid of the sun I am.

Things I Need More of According to Pinterest

  • Glitter
  • Chalkboard Paint
  • Mason Jars of assorted sizes
  • Self-Esteem
  • Crayons
  • Goat Cheese
  • Buttermilk****
  • Cupcakes of any variety
  • To be Gluten Free*
  • To be Married Multiple Times
  • Peonies
  • Daisies
  • Interior Paint**
  • A blog
  • A husband who doesn’t mind me spending all his money on aforementioned products
  • A job that isn’t really a job *****
  • A job in which I can work from home
  • More yoga pants
  • 15 children
  • No tastebuds
  • A 2000 sqft home that consists of one bathroom and one bedroom and the rest is a kitchen
  • Terracotta planters of all sizes
  • Chalk
  • Forgiving neighbors
  • Lots of friends ***
  • Cardigans
  • 1500 pairs of white sandals
  • Anything that has anything to remotely do with zombies
  • The ability to understand the allure of zombies
  • To know exactly what a zombie is
  • Possession of skinny jeans in all shades and colors
  • The ability to not look like a snocone in skinny jeans
  • To know exactly what Paleo is and want to do that as well
  • A steady hand to paint owls, squirrels, stars, hearts, and/or mini portraits of your family on your nails
  • The ability to add extra vowels to words for emphasis (i.e. SOOOOO, WOOOOOW, :)))))) without the slightest bit of irony

* Except for cupcakes.  No knowledge of what it actually means to have celiac disease is necessary

** The paint color needs to be so bright and so heinous for your “pop of color” on your “accent wall” that it will take the people who buy your house 3 coats of primer to cover it up

*** That you will hopefully meet while “pinning”

**** That you will only use 5 tablespoons of and then throw the rest away

***** So that one can spend all day “pinning” and “crafting”

My Friend Emily

All the bad shit in my life that I have done can be traced back to one person. Emily.*

We met in 8th grade. Me, Hannah* (who is dreadfully maladjusted and turned into a redneck somewhere along the way) and Emily. Hannah and I had known each other since 6th grade as she was new in town and was the 3rd oboe player in the band. It was me, Hannah, and Laura. We were not friends with Laura because she liked band just a little too much.

We had weekly Friday night sleepovers where we rotatated whose house we slept at. In 8th grade the only alcohol I had ever had was a sip of scotch (which I hated at the time but grew to love as an adult). So one Friday night we are at Emily’s house. Hannah and Emily decided to go on a diet for the night and only eat carrots. We were wandering around the basement alternating between talking to older men on America Online and fretting over if we should call Dru [sic] Matthews.

Emily grows bored and wanders into the basement fridge where she finds a cache of Red Stripe. She asks us if we want to try it. We look at each other, shrug, and say “sure.” About 45 minutes later we figure out how to open the bottles. There was an entire case of beer in that refrigerator. We drank it all. I was fine all night (because I was a budding alcoholic and I had ingested more than carrots that evening). Emily spent the night vomiting and then crying that she got vomit in her hair and Hannah also threw up and then peed her pants on the floor. Have you ever smelled carrot and Red Stripe vomit?

Vowing to never drink “weird Jamaican beer” ever again (to this day, I have never tried Red Stripe again), we moved on to cigarettes.

There was a boy at school who had an older brother who would buy cigarettes and sell them to 8th grade girls at $10 a pack (yes, you read that right, $10 per pack of cigarettes. That’s $0.50/cigarette.) So we bought a pack of Marlboro lights. Emily’s parents were never home so we decided to “take a walk” around her cul-de-sac around midnight. We each took a cigarette and tried to figure out how to light it. I have never coughed so hard in my life. In fact, I coughed so hard I projectile vomited chicken with mushrooms and cream sauce in the gutter and onto her neighbors lawn. Thinking that was pretty cool and convinced that since my stomach was empty, it was safe to light up again. We smoked an entire pack of cigarettes between us three 8th grade girls in one night.

About two weeks later, we are back at Emily’s. When her parents were home, they were pretty cool. They fed us. A lot. Like when we got off the bus there was always cookies and dinner was always a thing. Then her parents would retire upstairs around 9:00. Thinking they just went to bed early we didn’t give it too much thought.

So the next morning, we are in the house by ourselves sitting in Emily’s room. She asks us if we want to watch TV in her parents room, so we collectively said “sure.” We climbed up on her parents poster bed and turned on the TV.

Well…we had never seen anything quite like it. It was a woman, with a mans (gigantic) penis in her mouth. We all kind of sat there and watched this porn star with longer than healthy yet, perfectly manicured fingernails fellate some dude.

Emily turned off the TV and turned to us. Well…fuck. We either need to rewind the last 20 minutes of whatever the fuck we saw so her parents don’t find out or…
Oh.
My.
God.

What was that?

Emily tells us “there’s more” and to “meet her back in her bedroom.” Dutifully, we complied.

Hannah and I were the queens of talking shit. There was silence. We didn’t even make eye contact.

Emily returns with her arms full of magazines. She states that she found them in her parents bathroom when looking for a tampon (for the mensus that began for the first time in her life last year).

She dumps them on the floor. Penthouse. Playboy. Hustler. At least it was normal, higher end porn.

But wait. There’s more.

She comes back from her parents bedroom with her arms brimming with dildos and vibrators. We had no idea what their purpose was, but they were shaped like dicks.

We didn’t know where to begin. We sat cross legged in a circle with the magazines in the middle.

I read the forum columns in maybe 5 of the penthouse magazines. The pictures weirded me out. It reminded me health class. All I was trying to do was block out the memories of the lovely, G-rated dinners I had with these people and the cookies. Oh, the cookies.

Hannah was grossed out, like to the point she wanted to leave the room. Emily was poring over the images like an 8 year old in November with the JC Penney Christmas catalog. I was fascinated with the writing. Even in Playboy, the writing was outstanding. Yes, to this day, I will buy Playboy or Penthouse just to read the articles.

Once we were satisfied with our new porn collection, there was the issue of the toys. Until that day none of us had ever even seen a penis that belonged to a real person and now we had silicone casts of them. This set an unrealistic expectation for when we did actually see a real, live penis in which I believe we all said “that’s it?”

We were more confused than anything. This was 1998. Before Google was prominent and urban dictionary. Knowing now what I didn’t know then, there is no fucking way that I would touch anything that had gone near a friends moms junk. Or dad, I don’t judge.

We heard the front door open and Emily’s mom yell “I’m home!” Frantically we gathered up all the contraband and stood there like “we can’t run back across the hall and put everything back while she is here” I guess we were under the impression that her mom was some sort of closet pervert who only baked cookies and masturbated all day. So we hid everything under her bed and went downstairs.

Anyway Hannah’s mom picked Hannah and I up and she took me home. We never spoke of it again, but Emily became less and less a part of our trio. I don’t remember why. It was probably something heinous like liking a boy that one of us liked or like showing us her moms dildo collection.

I believe we are friends with her on Facebook. She seems well adjusted, I guess. Probably more well adjusted than Hannah and I combined.

Anyway, that’s how I got drunk for the first time, smoked cigarettes for the first time, and saw a penis for the first time. Thanks Emily.

*Names have been changed to protect…well…everyone.