I’ve had two conversations with the same friend where she said the same thing to me that bothered me in a way that kicked my ass. She’s a friend I have over late into the night and we sit out on my back porch and down wine and talk about all of the things that no one ever gets around to talking about. We talk about family mostly, just because of the absurdity that is our past lives and the characters within. We talk about relationships–my marriage and her dating life—and all the things we hoped it would be and will be and isn’t. We talk about my wonderfully insane children that I deserve, because she takes care of them, and I trust them to her with my life, and she has helped make them the little angry beings they are, but in the best way possible, because she allows them to strive and just be.
One night a year ago she said to me at 3am, after 97 family stores, lots of laughs and a few drunken tears, “I hope you write this all down one day before you forget. Can you imagine if you woke up one day unable to remember and this was all lost?”
And that killed me, because that was the exact feeling I experienced since the day after my father died and I never had the chance to gather all I needed from him and his family to piece together that part of my life, and I never would again.
And I’m full of stories, most worthless but some really good ones, too, and so what if I did forget? What if my mind left me and I never got to writing these out for my kids, god help them, or for the people who just need someone to help prove they’re sane and use me as an example of what they’re not?
And so tonight I was looking for the wedding picture of me and all my siblings to wish my brother and sister a happy wedding anniversary but in doing so, I came across 8 years of pictures I had forgotten about. Surprisingly enough, though, I could feel the moment I was in them, and I could remember the details of almost of all of them. And that is where this is coming from. I want to go through every last picture, like 18000 of them, and write one paragraph or more to explain where I was in life, what the weather was, what the day tasted like, what the weather did to my hair, who I wanted to drink poison in that moment, and just where I was.
And so here is the first installment. Encouragement will keep this project going and I’m so grateful anyone is even willing to play along.
First of all, I only allow for this humiliating picture to be reposted because the choice was random (by the thoughtful Miranda Mulligan, who will pay for this) and it actually has a funny story worth telling. I don’t know why it’s still on my FB because I don’t allow for such hideous pics, but oh well, here we go.
This was July of 2012, and it was the Mr.’s 37th birthday party, but not only his, but my cousin Kyle’s birthday party, as he was here for the Summer of Gays and so obviously me being the thoughtful wife I am, I made a joint birthday party that involved food, adult beverages and wigs. Why not, just what any husband nearing 40 wants in life.
Now in this picture, we had done the cake, celebrations, and moved on to wig wearing, and I can’t tell you why for the life of me, but my friend Sandy had no less than six wigs at our disposal to try on and glamour shot it up for the remainder of the evening. This wasn’t even my favorite of the night, but you couldn’t tell by the drunken excitement exuding from my stupid face.
I would guess this gem of a picture was taken around 9pm, and I know the bbq started around 4pm, and who knows why I’m wearing an Old Navy graphic tee that cost me $7 that no respectable woman should wear after high school. I’m unclear of the details why I’m braless but yes, my sidewinder tits are that nice without a bra (slightly better in this pic than they are now) and god knows why I was wearing gym shorts since I neither succumb to voluntary physical activity and I know the outfit I showed up in was jeans and a bright blue top that matched the lai that someone handed me upon arrival. Who knows where that fucking outfit went.
It’s clear I had consumed at least 7 drinks at this point by the boldness of the sunburn I must have recently acquired and the evidence that I had rubbed off all the makeup I showed up with, and further, at this point I had lost all ability to care about eye contact and my facial muscles were were losing functionality, a sure sign of slowness to come.
I will take a wild guess that my underwear are also not present in this picture but could be found with my pants, my bra, and my dignity on the floor in my friend’s bedroom or on the porch, but currently I can’t recall.
In any case, I know this party moved quickly from adult wig wearing to moving to a club to dance moves that hadn’t been dusted off in a decade, though by the looks of this photo, I’m positive I felt prime time to unleash the sprinkler, shopping cart, or some sort of unsexy Michael Jackson ensemble on a bunch of unsuspecting Germans in the basement of a dirty bar bound to give my shoeless (clearly) feet hepatitis.
I didn’t get that far, though, because before I could stretch or hydrate further properly, I got a call from the house I just left from Bryan and Kyle telling me how inappropriate and rude I was to leave them there to clean up the mess, regardless of the fact that a. it wasn’t my fucking house they were cleaning and b. Cinderella A and B had offered the friend that did rent the house to clean it, probably as payback for drinking all her monkey gin all fucking summer without asking.
So I’m on the phone, borderline slow, hearing an extreme amount of shrieking and anger and swear words that I DO NOT LIKE USED ON ME and I throw up my hands and ignore the glances of my other friends and shout, Oh, I’ll fucking deal with this and be back. And off I stormed in an crooked path around the two blocks back to the house to knock some estrogen out of the two that had just called to verbally assault me and prolong my sweet dance moves.
Upon entering the house I saw them both at the end of the hallway, one holding a swimmer broom contraption and the other a trash bag, both heads snapping in ugly unison to highlight their dislike and discontent but I was there to gun blaze and so I launched in all hot and ready to ruin.
“Don’t you dare call me back from a bar to punish me like you are my mother,” I hissed and glared, hoping the lightning from my eyes struck their pretty and oddly moisturized faces dead.
And that is when I realized I was not dealing with my girlfriends but instead the very emotional and drama charged Dream Team that was now both dead set against me and wanting blood. The looks on their face went from dramatic and feigning hurt to bitch I will cut you and I saw one dart his eyes around for a weapon.
There was a lot of screaming and blaming and insulting going on, death threats and talks of gaining weight and lack of appreciation and people being horrid trolls. I want to focus on that but it was just at the peak of the insulting that one, the smaller, seemingly innocent one, pulled back with the swiffer in his hand and full out tried to whack me with it, straight horizontal, which if executed, would have welted my entire hobbit stature, but my drunken cat like reflexes ruined his ambitious assault and I snatched the swifter mid air and then in a move I like to remember fondly, I launched that mother fucking floor cleaner straight across the room, right past their shocked bodies, and into a bedroom where it clanged heavily and defeated against the wooden floor.
“How fucking date you try to SWIFFER ME???!!” I shrieked the verb as though I’d used it a million times before. I glared and wished holes burning in place of their mostly slightly horrified but proud eyes. I knew my swiffer tossing abilities, clearly nearing the level of Olympic javelin tosser, both shocked and impressed them, and I could tell because it reduced them to apologetic tears and hugs that only a gay but proud man would succumb to if he was impressed, and they were. Otherwise, if I had reacted in the typically awkward manner I usually did, they would have treated me like the frumpy, overweight lesbian they normally treated me like.
Honestly, I don’t know what their thing about lesbians is but that’s a whole other post that I really don’t want much to do with.
And so with one aggressive defense tactic, I regained their trust, their respect, and we hugged and apologized for things no one was probably even mad about in the first place.
Then I walked back to the bar alone in the same crooked like, only to rejoin my dance troop, but not before I yelled over my shoulder back at them for good measure, “You bitches pull his shit again and I’m calling Aunt Chris and putting you both on the next flight back to New Hampshire.”
And that is why I was wearing a platinum wig in July of 2012.