Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Leave Your Drunk Girlfriends in Public Bathrooms

A lesson about community service.

Liquor is a prominent theme in my life on this blog. It’s even in the title. As much as I talk about going to happy hour and appreciating the wonder that is Jack Daniels single barrel whiskey, you probably think I am drunk more often than not. That is simply not the case. I have a job that I don’t talk about that I do very well and go to everyday. I am a productive member of society. That just isn’t as fun to discuss.

But it’s important to note that despite a proclivity for trying to outdrink my guy friends, I’ve never been kicked out of a club for being too drunk. Or carried out or passed out or unceremoniously laid out on a couch in the VIP section with my dress riding dangerously high up my thighs. That’s just not me. No shade if that’s your thing but just… wear pretty panties.

If not to save yourself from embarrassment, then to save me from having to peel your drunk ass off the floor.

I think maybe I have become Patron Saint of Drunk Girls in Public. I haven’t done anything to have this honor bestowed upon me besides be able to drink my weight in Grey Goose and still make it home safely. But now that I look back on my drinking history, all the signs were there.

There was the girl at the house party my freshman year who was half-conscious and being carried upstairs by a group of dudes. It went like this;

La sees group of random dudes carrying drunk girl upstairs
La: (to the girl) Girl, do you know these dudes?
Drunk Girl: *drunken mumbles*
La: (to man) Say, bruh, do you know her?
Man: *stutters out some manner of lie*
La: Put her down.
Man: She’s fine. I’m just gonna take her upstairs and let her lie down-
La: *elbows Man directly in the kidney with unnaturally pointy elbows* I SAID PUT HER THE FUCK DOWN.

There was the white girl in Adams Morgan who fell asleep on the sidewalk a block down from a DCPD patrol car, whom I effectively hid down a side street until they passed so she wouldn’t be arrested for public intoxication. And of course countless friends, but I don’t think they count as I consider it my duty to get whomever I went out drinking with home safely.

And then there are girls like the girl I encountered at one of my favorite hotel bars.

It is well documented that I don’t really subscribe to Girl Code, but I do believe one rule above all else; you don’t leave your girl drunk and alone at the bar. Not just because all manner of awful things could befall her. But also, because she is an embarrassment to us ALL.


I find this girl curled up on the floor in the bathroom, crying and talking to herself, after excusing myself from my date to make sure my martini hadn’t made my red lipstick bleed. She has all the hallmarks of Had too Much-osis; flushed face, unintelligible emo rambling, unfocused eyes, zero concept of appropriate behavior for the setting. I look around, sure that one of her girlfriends just left her there while she went into a stall to sit on the toilet to rest her feet from walking in heelspee. Except we are alone. And she is VERY upset that some guy named Dan is getting married in the morning.

It is at this point that I realize that my Patron Sainthood has been activated. SONOFABITCH.

I start by sitting her up and trying to talk calmly to her until she can coherently answer my questions. Luckily she weighs exactly 97 pounds, so changing her position isn’t so hard. Getting her to stop muttering to herself like an extra from Girl, Interrupted, however? Not quite as easy.

Trying to talk to her doesn’t work. Shaking her gently doesn’t work. Raising my voice doesn’t work. So I do the only logical thing left to do…

I slap the everlasting shit out of her.

Once I have her attention, she tells me her name, and that she’s there with three girlfriends who took her out to get her mind off the fact that her ex-fiancé is marrying someone else tomorrow. Except somehow, 1 friend left for a booty call, 1 friend met a guy, and the other is flirting shamelessly with the cute bartender with the amazing rack. (I don’t blame this friend A BIT.) Over the course of their rounds of drinks, Shelly* stumbled her way to the bathroom, slid down the wall and had herself a good drunken cry. I get it. We’ve all been there. Though I am a cry in the closet kinda girl myself.

I get her to her feet, splash some water on her face and steady her with one hand while I pull her dress down from inappropriate heights with the other. More coherent now and infinitely more sad, she looks at me with big puppy eyes like the animals in that damn ASPCA commercial with the Sarah McLachlan, her eyes welling up with fresh tears.

“Can I please go home now?”

Oh, poor boo.

I brace her tiny body against my hip, and walk us out in what I hope looks like two girlfriends leaving the bathroom in a friendly embrace and NOT a stranger dragging a drunk girl by her waist to the curb. Especially because I’m 98% sure that if the hotel staff gets involved, this will be an even bigger mess.

My date sees me as we were come out of the bathroom, his facing filling with panic and what the fuck?! slipping from his lips before he can catch himself. He rushes over to us, trying to play it cool.

“Did you pick her up in the bathroom?”

I give him a brief synopsis of what has happened and he goes to pay our tab. I decide to start for the door. Halfway there, she steps in front of my outstretched leg, tripping us both. We both fall face first on the floor.

You see what thanks patron saints get?

I, being of sound mind and sober body, have the wherewithal to catch myself. Shelly, heartbroken and drunker than all the frat boys in all the land, lands flat on her face and busts her lip. Because she is intoxicated and unreasonable, what is really just a small split down her lower lip freaks her the entire fuck out. Jesus.

I gather her up and shush her before one of the two big security guys about 10 feet away turn around and all but drag her out to the cab line, trying my best to hold her up while avoiding her bleeding lip because saint or not, this girl is a stranger.

The sweet guy at the valet gives me a knowing smile and helps get her into a waiting cab. After I figure out she lives a few blocks away and make sure the driver knows how to get there, I put a $20 in his hand and close the door behind Shelly, who is sleeping soundly in the backseat. The cab pulls away just as my date comes outside.

“Did you know her?”
“No. I just found her on the floor when I went to the bathroom.”
“She came alone?”
“No, she was with some friends but they left her.”
“They left her like that?”
“Seems that way.”
“I saw you guys fall. Are you ok?” He thinks I don’t seem him holding in a laugh.

I take stock of myself quickly. Nothing seems ripped or torn or bruised. But I do have a pretty nasty carpet burn on my knee that I show him.

“Just a little carpet burn. Not even gotten in a fun way.” He laughs at me.
“I’ll make it up to you one day,” he says, grabbing my hand and leading me towards his car that’s just been pulled around by the valet. “You know,” he tells me, leaning on the open door above me, “you probably just kept her night from being even worse.”
“I know. I just wish these drunk girls didn’t keep finding me everywhere I go!”
“Maybe it’s you. Maybe when you drink you give off some kinda pheromones like, ‘Find me! I’ll make sure you get home safe!’”
“Ha! Well, clearly no good deed goes unpunished,” I say, gesturing to my knee.
“Maybe not,” he replies as he closes my door, walks around and gets in. “But maybe this can count as community service for any future infraction you commit?”

That could very well be the case. And while I do so appreciate you guys keeping me paying it forward by leaving your drunk ass girlfriends on the floor in public restrooms, maybe next time you can keep them to yourselves.

*names changed to protect the drunken

Friday, August 26, 2011

Broken Arrow

I have been breaking things. I don’t mean that metaphorically.

It started with a tiny plate, one of those little dainty things that you rest a hot tea cup on. What the hell are those called?

Unknown nomenclature aside, it started with that. I pulled it out of the cabinet and the thought rang through my head as clear as a bell; I should drop this on the floor.

So, I did.

I watch it fall and shatter into four big pieces and countless little shards on the hardwood in complete silence. I stared at it on the ground, feeling intrigued, but still fairly detached. Once the echoes of the shatter stopped reverberating through the quiet kitchen, I swept it up, threw it away, and went about my day.

Then it was a binder at work that was being thrown away. I’d found myself unconsciously opening and closing the three rings, finding strange comfort in the clickclickclick. When I realized what I was doing, I looked at the binder curiously wondering, could I break those rings?

So, I tried.

With a ring braced in each hand, I pulled the ends away from each other, far past the allowed for opening until I heard a faint snap, and each of the rings hung loosely out of their assigned spaces. I took a moment to look over my handiwork, then swept is all in the trash, and then turned back to the project I was trying to finish before end of business.

After that it was a shot glass. I have a large collection of shot glasses (predictably) from all the places I’ve visited, so many in fact that friends have taken to bringing them back to me from the places they visit, too. I have about half a dozen from Atlanta, it seeming fitting that my hometown be represented in more numbers than any other city. There was one in particular I bought years ago, the painted script enscribing Atlanta, Georgia having long since worn off, with a pronounced chip in the top where I once dropped it on a granite counter after doing a Patron body shot off a friend’s stomach. I was cleaning it off when the thought came to me; I should throw this against the wall.

So, I did.

I tossed it up and caught it in my palm a few times, like a pitcher debating on what kind of pitch to send over the mound. Then I threw it clear across the room, watching it burst into a million crystalline pieces, each tinkling like pennies in a jar as they hit the floor. I stood there for a minute, confused at myself, but feeling mildly exhilarated. Then, I cleaned up the shards and went to bed.

I have been breaking things. But I’m not entirely sure why.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Body Count Politics

Once, I asked my ex about her body count. She steadfastly refused to tell me. Like, would not even entertain my question, and actually got upset that I asked. At the time, I was irritated as hell because I thought this was just the latest example of her bullheaded insistence on keeping to herself anything her loved ones might judge, disapprove of or misunderstand, which lead to a lot of strife with us. As I got a bit of distance from her and the situation, I realized what was ACTUALLY bothering me; the perception that this might be the sort of thing I would condemn.

As longtime readers know, I was raised in a fairly religious and conservative southern household. There were tons of things that I SWORE I would never do; premarital sex, oral sex (giving or receiving), sex without a condom, girls, anal sex, threesomes, doggy style, on my period, with someone watching, anywhere other than the bed. There are a number of those things I haven’t done, but as for a majority of them… welp.

The point is, I was taught to assign a meaning to those behaviors, and it was that meaning that I thought I would be avoiding if I didn’t engage. No one could call me a whore if I didn’t have oral sex or sex with multiple partners. Except, you know, of course they could. And they did. Because that is the way you attack a woman; you insult her reputation and you call her a whore. That’s the thing about being judged by your sexual history; it doesn’t have to be true, or even tawdry. It just has to be seen through the filters of the connotations other people have been taught to assign to it.

Over the last few days for some reason, there has been TONS of talk of body count across the internet. And I have been steadfastly avoiding said conversation because it makes me furious. The politicizing of any one’s sex life, but especially something as trivial as the number of partners they’ve had, is quite possibly the dumbest thing you people believe in. And though I usually include myself in the human behavior we all display, I am completely comfortable divorcing myself from this phenomenon. It is completely on y’all.

Sexual behavior, and by extension, the definition of deviance, is subjective. What is a lot of numbers to post on my personal sexual scoreboard might not be a lot for someone else. What I find absolutely amazing in the bedroom (and beyond), might be degrading and uncomfortable to someone else. It’s important we recognize that not only is everyone different, but that we must respect their ability to define for themselves who they are and what they are, especially when it comes to sex.

But perhaps even more imperative is that we MUST stop assuming the character of a person based on unfounded judgment about what the number of partners they’ve had must mean.

I think what bothers me the most though, is not that there are so many men so willing to judge a woman for what they deem an inappropriately high body count while ignoring their own numbers, but that FAR too many women are buying into this nonsense.

I see you. Bragging on your “low numbers” and how you don’t want to share your intimate forest with just anyone, or whatever enchanted, magical language you use. And my overall problem isn’t even this sort of sexual choice, it is the inherent undertone often found in statements like that; that somehow you are “better than” the next woman. That this MUST put you ahead of the women you are “competing” against in this imaginary race to happily ever after every media outlet tells you we are all wholly dedicated to. THAT bothers me. Because the second that ONE of us buys into the idea that it is ok to be judged for what we’ve done, who we’ve slept with and how as a defining aspect of our character, we all lose.

That isn’t to say that every woman thinks what she does or doesn’t do in the bedroom makes her better than. Or that every man will decide if you are “worthy” (ugh.) strictly because of the number of people you’ve slept with. But the fact of the matter is, that point of view is out there. And prevalent. But if you don’t buy into it, it will die.

But we don’t do that, do we? Because to dare stand in defiance of any bullshit, sexist judgment of our sex lives would mean we won’t get “chose” right? And lord knows that can’t be allowed to happen. Because then how will we know what we are worth as women, if not for having a man to complete us? /end sarcasm

It’s difficult. I won’t deny that. I’ve found myself attracted to men whom I instinctually knew would judge me for my sexual openness. And I won’t lie and pretend it isn’t awful to have to snuff out growing attachment to someone because you refuse to compromise yourself. Because if, like me, it is rare to find someone who makes you feel anything other than general apathy, there is always that fear that it might be forever until you find someone who accepts you as you are. And sometimes, the temptation is strong to pretend or, it’s not-so-distant cousin, downplay, what you enjoy, especially when it comes to sex. But what good is being with someone if you end up miserable and repressed?

My point is this. Have 1 partner or 100. Have sex inside, outside, upside down, inside out. Do it with people watching or with your eyes closed or on camera or on top of the Old Testament for all I care. Those are YOUR choices. But be empowered to make your own choices. Make them based on what works for YOU, not because of what some man told you he will think of you if you don’t choose in a manner appropriate to him.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

About Being a Daughter

An anecdote so that you may come to understand how ridiculous my mother is…

A couple years ago, she threw her then boyfriend a dinner party for his birthday. She’d gathered a large table of his friends, and was playing the role of doting girlfriend at a tucked away hipster restaurant known for its impressive wine selection. I showed up fashionably late, first because I recognized that no one would miss me and foremost because the night before I’d tried (and failed) to drink my weight in Grey Goose, stumbled home around 3am and then stumbled to work at 8am still very intoxicated. By the time the dinner party rolled around that night around 7pm, I had sobered up considerably, but was still deeply entrenched in the vow that comes with being hung over; I will never drink that much again. That vow, much like every other time I had muttered it to the heavens, only lasted 24 hours. But those sacred, detoxing 24 hours fell during his birthday, where we were celebrating at a wine bar. I chose water.

As I slid into my seat at the table, lucid but weary like a stripper that pulled a double, my mom noticed my insistence to the waiter that I only wanted water. I would have preferred, I dunno, Gatorade and the magical ambrosia of baby cherubs to make even my skin stop hurting, but my choices were Biblical; wine or water. After the 3rd time or so that I turned down an offer of Sauvingon Blanc, my mom turned to me with a mix of befuddlement and concern on her face that I have come to realize is going to result in nothing good for me. She leaned her face towards mine, motioning me to come closer.

“Why aren’t you drinking?”
“I just don’t wanna drink.” She stared at me with her perfectly shaped eyebrows lifted. Because, well, my mom knows me. She knows there are few times in life I DON’T want to drink. Particularly because she shares the same trait. We are, in fact, the apple and the tree.
“YOU don’t wanna drink?”
“Why don’t you want to drink? What kind of medication are you on?”

Now, because I was still experiencing vodka- impaired response times, I stared at her blankly for a second, not entirely sure of what she was asking me, but knowing to be appropriately offended by it.

And then it hit me.

“I’m still hung over, mama. Not taking antibiotics. I have a headache, not an STD.”

And with that she turned her attention back to the dinner party.

My mom is ridiculous.

It is interesting being someone’s daughter, but especially a daughter to a mother. That particular relationship is stereotypically wrought with tension and my mom and I hit all the expected notes; the post-divorce(s) tug of war, the puberty boundary pushing, the college age pulling away. Ironically, as I have gotten older, are relationship sometimes seems to regress rather than progress, probably due completely to the fact that we live in the same city. She wants me to check in; I blank stare her as I think about all the nights I survived in D.C. out and about and generally doing hoodrat stuff with my friends and she was none the wiser. I figure if I can make it through my naïve post high school years in a fairly dangerous city without causing myself any kinda physical harm (emotional harm is another story) I should be able to manage to go to work and back without reenacting selected scenes from Final Destination on the highway.

The thing is, like many moms, mine is prone to worry. More so than many, but still less than some. But not only am I her daughter, a particularly precarious relationship to begin with, but I am her only child. This ups the ante considerably.

I say often that I must not have been the easiest child to raise. Especially not for a mom like mine, who desires more than anything to feel necessary and needed. I was (and still am) a willful child. I am stubborn, and fiercely independent. I am happiest when striking out on my own and figuring things out for myself. I hate instructions. My last ex frequently told me I had issues with authority. As you can imagine, a parent wanting to feel needed and a child hell bent on needing others as little as possible made for an interesting ride up to this point.

Today, my mom is still ridiculous. And I am still willful. She still assumes the worst in every situation, and I am still determined to break things down and fix them all on my own. These are fundamental traits of who we are; they don’t make us bad people or good people, they just make us people. The difference is that as I begrudgingly become more adult, we seem to slowly but surely be coming to a sort of stalemate, a peace about who the other is and what that means for our relationship. Don’t get me wrong, we still fight. The smallest thing between us can go from 0 to 100 in under 10 seconds flat. Because we are mother and daughter. Being a mother is hard. Being a daughter is hard. And if you have never seen a mother/daughter fight, then you are missing a better matchup than any UFC fight.

We still have tons of things to work through, years of issues and resentments and growing of our own separately. Our relationship will likely change and morph into something absolutely foreign as we both keep living. But the thing about being a daughter is, you’ll never not be one. No matter where you live, how you live, who you are or whether or not your parent is living, you will always be someone’s daughter.

I will always be my mother’s daughter.

At least until the next time she insinuates that I have an STD in public.

Monday, August 1, 2011

You Know How I Know You're Gay?

Full disclosure: One of my high school boyfriends is now gay. My first college boyfriend was gay. I’d say about 40% of the men in my life are gay. I was born and raised in the gayest city in the Confederacy; I have one of the gayest degrees you can have from a very gay friendly school in one of the gayest cities in the country. In short, I know gay.

I say all that to say that if you wanna know where a gay club is in your city? I know. You need a lube recommendation? I am all over that. And if you aren’t entirely sure if that dude you met at Pottery Barn is gay or just has great taste in housewares, I am your girl.

It’s important you remember this.

An associate of mine was telling me about her new suitor via gchat, all giddy and excited as us girls tend to be when we find someone we really like. You know how it goes. All breathless recounting every single detail of every single conversation/date/text message. Copious amounts of smiley faces and lol’s. And, of course, various incarnations of “I’ve never felt this way before…”

I tolerating her despite how annoying this new phase of a crush can be because, in truth, I just love when people find each other. It helps my little Grinch heart grow a little bigger so that one day it might break that measuring device. So I am indulging her, smiling to myself about how ridiculous she is when she sends me a picture of the two of them on their latest date…

*cue record scratch*

Dude… has a quality. To the untrained gay spotting eye, he probably looks like any other well dressed, immaculately groomed guy. But there is a… something. And the unfortunate thing about once you reach black card level fag hag is you can’t turn off your gaydar. Not even if your friend really, really likes this guy.

So I ask a few questions to my oblivious girlfriend, still swimming the shallow waters of an early crush. Nothing raises many red flags, and just as I am about to relax and maybe send my gaydar in for a tune up she says, “I even get along with his roommate.”

“Oh, yeah. His friend from college lives with him. Omg, La, maybe you guys should meet. His name is Chris.”

*blank stare*

Never mind the fact that this grown ass, thirty-two year old man has a roommate but the roommate is MALE?!?!

I have dated about all the homos I intend to date on this side of creation, so I gently tell her I am good on the hookup.

At this point, I am trying very hard not to jump to conclusions, but I am concerned. A lot. I ask whether the roommate has fallen on some hard times or something. Nope. Both have stable, long term, well-paying jobs. I ask if they have just always lived together and just never bothered to move out. No again. They just moved in with each other last year.

Two strikes.

Eventually I get his last name from her and do what any woman should be doing before she or a friend goes out with some stranger dude; I Face.Booked him.

Now if you ever need to do gay recon (or relationship recon for that matter- we’ll discuss that at a later date) don’t waste your time going through their wall or info. All the good stuff is in their messages anyway. Go straight for the pictures.

Which is what I did.

It seemed all innocent at first until I got to pics of him with his friends at a cookout for the 4th. I will freely admit it was all circumstantial at best; the big pony polo that was just a little too tight. The cargo shorts that were just a big too snug on his ass. One picture where he is leaning much too far away from a girl with an amazing ass. But still, all of that means nothing. So I kept clicking.

The next picture is a picture of him and his “roommate.” The roommate is sitting on a bench, facing the camera. My friend’s dude has his back to the camera, but has turned around so that HIS CHIN IS HOOKED ON OLD BOY’S SHOULDER.


Really? Resting your head on dude’s shoulder? I’ll be late for that.

“Girl, you realize this man is as gay as pride weekend in San Francisco, right?”
“What?! He is not. La, you think EVERYONE is gay.”
“No, I don’t. Just the ones that are gay. Like this dude.”
“He is not! He is just well dressed.”
“It’s not about him being well dressed, though he wears his shirts so tight, y’all could share tank tops. But I am about 98% sure he is a homo.”
“How do you even know he’s gay?”
“I just know.”

It is hard to explain to people who are not fluent in gay, how you’ve come to know so much about The Gay. And as she doesn’t have my pedigree, she doesn’t know any better. But since I do, I feel like I have to say something. I spend the next 10 minutes trying to explain to her that while he might be a top, he is most certainly gay.

Naturally, it goes nowhere.

Because she don’t know from gay. Because she really likes this guy. Because this so called “man shortage” got these women out here straight shook and she like many other women, are concerned that every guy they have chemistry with might be their last.

“La, you are so ruining this for me!”
“I’m sorry. I am. But I’m right.”
“Ok just let me say one more thing. And then I will drop it.”
“Ok, what?”
“He’s gay. He’s shops the Barney’s sale gay. He’s wears leather bracelets gay. He’s man-purse gay. He’s going to the ballet for the men in tights gay. He is a Beyonce dancing, pink feather boa draping, Rock and Republic jeans rocking, Cosmopolitans at the bar sipping, white Prada shades wearing, crotch watching at the gym, glitter, stars and rainbows homo.”

And then she logged off.

In her defense, I coulda been nicer about it. But it’s Monday. And he’s gay.

I hope he comes outta the closet soon though. I have a friend I would LOVE to set him up with.