Monday, November 28, 2005

Going With The Flow? Shit, I'm Just Drunk

"Are you nervous to meet my parents?" he whispers in my ear, squeezing me tight.

{Gulp} on so many levels. Sometimes he can take my breath away.

"Let's have a cocktail first?" I half ask, half demand.

" are nervous!"

"Me? No. Of course not. But let's start with the martinis before the cab gets here."

So there you are a couple martinis and several Blue Drinks later - blue drinks that left its mark in a Very Blue Kind of Way - on your tongue...(you felt like the kid who got caught sneaking chocolate out of the candy cabinet evident by the Ring Around The Mouth. "What do you mean Grandma? I wasn't in the chocolate." Your chocolate-rimmed mouth says otherwise)....And so your blue tongue is your Mark of We Are All Drunk and the debate of what is in this blue drink. Vodka? Or tequila? You know, your typical First Conversation for Meeting The Parents. So the group of the Blue-Tinged Tongues dance. He twirls me around the dance floor. The family thinks you need saving from your little John Travolta but the Blue Drink masked the Dance Floor Timidness - you are doing your best Ginger to his Fred. And then when you are done at the fancy function the parents drop the kids off at an Irish bar because you need to chase down the blue drink with hops or something....which, you know, is always a good idea.

....Meeting Of The Parents #1: Drunk!

Then the next morning you are stuck in a car driving around DC - trying to get out of DC - but the damn Marine Corp marathon closed off all access to Northern Virginia. You spent the majority of the morning in that car. So the car sickness fueled by that damn Blue Drink. The blue tongue may be gone but the blue drink is in your blood now trying to escape. It's fighting for control of your stomach. It is pounding in your head. It's the midst of a Blue Drink Hangover. Come one, come all! But you finally get to Northern Virginia by way of Pennsylvania or something like that. And so where do you go? Mom and Dad's of course.

....Meeting Of The Parents #2: Hungover!

Then when you have recovered from this a few weeks later, and the two of you have been touring a couple vineyards in the country one beautiful fall Saturday, getting drunk on the road, it is always a good idea to stop by the parent's house and ask them if they want to help you drink all the bottles you picked up. To which they say, "Oh terrific, we have more bottles!" So hours and hours later you end up....crashing at the parent's house!

And so the parent's marched us around the house to show off the bedroom options. Very game show host-like..."and behind door number 1 is...." complete with cue cards telling me when to "ooh" "aahh" and applaud. And when you answer your bedroom choice please frame it as a question. "This one?" "" Because you wonder what is the right answer when you are sleeping over at your brand new boyfriend's parent's house with no overnight bag...

Option #1 is the bedroom with the twin beds and the window with the view of the Potomac. Let me tell you it is spectacular. The view. And apparently the wildlife like the view too. The Outside-Looking-In kind of view. Because that same window is their own personal viewing screen of your naked ass lying in bed. Or could be. So far, I wasn't keen on this option as it would freak me out to awake to a deer staring in the window at me. I mean, I got scared when I first slept over at his house and - not quite sure of my surroundings yet - opened the door in the middle of the night and shrieked at the bust of Augustus Caesar. Yeah, forgot about the life-like bust waiting outside the door. So the deer that wander to the windows...most certainly would Freak Me Out!

Option #2 is the guest suite with the bedroom with the queen bed, the master bath with the big soaking bathtub, the adjoining living area, and the kitchenette stocked with coffee maker, coffee, and two bottles of root beer. A home away from home. Oh, and there are His and Hers pajamas. Clearly set up for guests.

Now this tour is being conducted by his mom and dad, pointing out all the perks of the bedrooms. Whether it is the view or the amenities. I was seriously worried that I might get, "...and then when you turn this switch here, the bed starts a-rocking." Or, "The condoms are in the nightstand, cover up, son." In any case, the parents wouldn't leave until we decided on our resting spot. He wouldn't stand for the "honey you sleep here, I'll sleep in the other room" routine that I was trying to rationalize for the parent's show. In the end, all the wine told me it was OK to sleep in the queen bed of course. I made sure we at least made it look like we slept in the His and Her pajamas the next morning. "Wear this for five minutes and roll around in the bed or something."

....Meeting Of The Parents #3: Drunk! And slutty!

And then one Saturday night his sister has a wine party in which you "taste" 12 glasses of wine by the end of the night and your mission is to match the wine to their appropriate descriptions, thus naming the wine. A drinking game! And we think alike because we matched 8 out of the 12 wines identically. So when we are being all schmoopy about how cute and freaky that is, they announce that I am the actual winner for the evening. And so they gift me with a big fancy bottle of champagne. As if to say, "Girl, you just go get drunk again, okay?" And well, when you have 12 glass of wine plus pre-cocktails and some hard cider to chase some of the wine down well you....crash at the sister's place too! But there were various bodies passed out throughout the house so nobody gives you the Sleeping Arrangement tour. You can duck into your bedroom unnoticed. This time you brought an overnight bag.

....(is it any wonder?) Meeting Of The Parents #4: Drunk!

Until the next morning and you face the music again. Oh, it's not over. The next morning over a breakfast of eggs and Canadian bacon and mimosas - you end up skipping the orange juice at some point in the afternoon and drinking champagne ALL DAY LONG with the mom and sister. Next thing you know it is dinnertime five bottles of champagne later. So you share another meal with them.

....Thus, Meeting Of The Parents #5: Drunk again!

I ask you, will this ever end? With this crowd - no. This is a retired couple who bought a house in New Orleans specifically because they like the atmosphere of Bourbon Street. They are not the usual Traditional Parents of Boys I Usually Date. I am told they like me...they think I am easy-going and they are impressed at how adaptable and flexible I am in all these situations.

"She just goes with the flow."

I am just doing my best to make Mom and Dad like me. One might think that this should be a piece of cake given their Love Of The Party. But I am probably even more nervous around them because it's such a fine line. They still are The Parents! I think I will just keep on sipping that drink that they keep pouring.

Monday, November 14, 2005

My Own Private Turret's, Idaho

I have this little problem. It’s my own little "Private Turrets, Idaho." Population: Me. I don’t have the physical problems that go along with Turret's. I don't have uncontrollable appendages or involuntary spasmatic limbs. So you don't have to worry about me socking you in the face or convulsing into an epileptic scene. My "turret's problem" is more mouth-related because I am prone to blurt out things involuntarily.

Like, I could be walking down the street replaying or planning a conversation in my head. Over and over. I'm a ruer. As I think of new ways to express myself in this conversation in my head (woulda, coulda, shoulda), I get lost in this world. Next thing you know, I may start mouthing the words. Some people call this Talking Out Loud. Whatever - this isn't a real concern for me. Don't we all talk to ourselves occassionally? If you don't, try it. And tell yourself I said "hi."

Or, my problem surfaces while I am sleeping. Some may call this "talking in your sleep." But I think it is related to my sickness of Blurting Out Loud. It's just another degree. But this has gotten me in trouble in the past because one time in college I awoke in the middle of the night and shouted out, “Dave!” Now, I had a serious boyfriend at the time....sleeping right next to me. Oh, and, yeah, his name most certainly was not even remotely anything like Dave. So this screaming-out-loud-of-guy's-name-who-wasn't-my-serious-boyfriend-of-a-year awoke Serious Boyfriend Of A Year too.

"Who is Dave?!?"


"You just blurted out 'Dave'!"

"I did?"

"Yes! Who is Dave?!"

"I don't know."

And then there was an emphatic tug of the covers as he turned his back to me. It took him about a week to get over it (really) and accept that I really didn't know where the Dave reference came from. Seriously, who the fuck was Dave? [Dave was that lead singer of the hardcore band you lusted after. --Devil on my shoulder] Oh.

So people tell me all the time that I talk in my sleep. Mostly it is non-sensical rumblings with the occassional Dave sprinkled in, I'm sure. But herein lies my problem and the root of my fear: Now that I am sharing a bed with My Favorite Guy Ever, I have these fears of my own Private Turret's, Idaho rearing its ugly head. Manifesting in one of three ways.

First, Blurting Out In My Sleep. Especially as he shows up in some of my dreams. In my case, when does the dream become reality and I start talking it out loud?

A few weekends ago I had a series of weird dreams that all took place in his house. There was a dog that opened the front door and let himself in. I am sure it was a Family Guy reference. (Although he would love it if Brian came to dinner and made himself a martini.) Then there was the dream of him sitting on the floor by the foot of the bed while I am laying on my stomach on the bed facing down at him. He reaches up to me and says, “I am falling in love with you.” I say, “What did you say?” He says it again. “I am falling in love with you.” Then I woke up.

Surely I didn't yell out, "I'm falling in love with you." Because how do I explain that? No, honey, really, in my dream you were falling in love with me. Why was I dreaming that? Well, it's not "falling in love" in the literal sense, don't you see? But rather losing control, blah-di-blah...

It gets better. I could start acting it out loud.

This past weekend I had a dream I farted - in front of him. But there was some other noise simultaneous to the fart so - in the dream - I was able to disguise it. I awoke soon thereafter and then got scared that perhaps I acted that part out in real life. Because I heard it. And we all know that there will have to come a time when I fart in front of him.

And fear treads on.

Second, Blurting Out In A Moment Of Passion. This is a true story that happened to a friend of mine. So, not my story. But it could very well happen to me given my neurosis. They were laying in bed, and had been dating only a few months (about the same time we have). He is kissing her and says, “God, you are so beautiful…..all of you.” See where this is going...“all of you”...“olive you”....or, “I love you”. So she blurts out, “I love you too!” Only he confessed that that was not what he said at all. She was mortified but there is a happy ending as they are getting married next October.

What is to stop me from blurting my feelings out during fireworks - or even more tender moments? Because there are plenty of both.

Thirdly, Blurting Out Drunk Thoughts. Lord knows I can get myself into trouble this way.

Last Friday night, we tied one on. Eight cosmopolitans later and who knows how many hours later until I actually came to and I awoke alone in his spare bedroom. I used the bathroom then proceeded to follow the trail of clothes upstairs to his bed where he is sprawled out. As I crawled into his bed, he turned away from me.

He turned away from me?! (He's mad at me? I have no recollection of some of the night.) "Why are you here and I am down there?"

Silence. "Uggh...Don't you remember?"

Panic sets in. (Did I become mean?) "No! What did I say?"

"Uggh..." Then the rest of the sentence is jumbled.

"What?! You've got to tell me. Because I really like you and if I did something while I was drunk well that just doesn't count. Tell me, please!"

"The Germans invaded Poland in 1939. 1939 to be exact." And he passed out.

"Oh, I get it now." Alas, My Guy was still adorably drunk.

As far as I can tell, in recent history, I have not blurted out any of these:

I am falling in love with you.
All of you.
I love you.

Yet. Thank god David is his middle name!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Who Is Afraid Of The Boogeyman?

Once a week I read to a little girl in a reading program at an elementary school in D.C. Today the book she chose to read had a title something like, "The little old lady who was not afraid of anything." The story is about this little old lady who is walking back to her house through the woods after a day of berry-picking. As it gets darker and darker, she keeps encountering articles of clothing that are trying to scare her. It starts with a pair of shoes that "clomped, clomped" behind her and continue all the way up to a pumpkin head that would go "boo boo." They all followed her home. And still, she stoically maintained her I'm-Not-Scared stance. They even knocked on her door late at night, floating as a person, begging to scare her. Alas, she was not to be scared even then. I'm not sure what the moral of the story was - or atleast I did until the ending when all the articles of clothing fashioned themselves into a person and ended up working as a scarecrow. All at the lady's suggestion.

Perhaps face your fears? Or crows will ALWAYS be scared.

I thought, "That is some tough cookie. If only I could be that unphased by Those Things That Scare You." I mean, these pieces of clothing were the spitting image of the....Boogeyman. Yes, that one who hid under your bed or in your closet as a child. For that, I slept with the closet opened. This is the same boogeyman that was in my parent's bathroom as a child - he was always hiding in that bathroom. My sister taught me how to karate chop the shower curtain everytime you entered the bathroom in order to kill said boogeyman.

Is the little old lady telling me I need to look him in the eye and say, "I'm not scared of you."? Is the boogeyman nothing more than a bully? Easier said than done, Old Lady!

Rewind to yesterday. I was walking to my metro station at the end of the work day. Well, it was 4:30 which is a little earlier than I usually end my day - with the exception of Fridays (you know, happy hour) and when there is something better to do - two to three times per week. (I'm working for my weekends and my weeknights!) So, I guess not so early. So I did the DC Urban Yuppie March, which is IPod socked into ears - tuning out the stodgy political climate and Cheney's motorcade which roars, bangs, and whistles up 20th Street when he is in town (and it is not only his Pacemaker) - and instead tuning into hipster cool. Because, yeah, it is not Cheney. It's about the guitar, man. I don't see you, or hear you, and I will cross the street without looking because pedestrians rule (unless I am driving and then I have to remember that I am not playing Grand Theft Auto and can't actually run you over). When you are walking this cool you tend to ignore your surroundings. All your senses are impaired for that awesome song that accompanies your Commutter Strut to the Metro.

Never again will I partake in the DC Urban Yuppie March. It's simple. There is a reason you pay attention to your surroundings. It's the boogeyman. I learned yesterday that he is still out there and it is always YOU he wants.

I know that - not only, but especially - in the city, you need to PAY ATTENTION. Who is around you. Who is passing you by. Who is following you. You make eye contact with the people - and those Big Mean People, especially - you pass by to show that you are AWARE. So yesterday? I may have been neglecting my Big Brave Girl Don’t Fuck With Me Bravado because I was being followed. Apparently. I ignored the signs at first. At 19th and L I was aware of someone behind me - but there were people all around so I dismissed it. Then as we walked toward K Street I noticed a person walking the same speed behind me. Again, I dismissed this as That Annoying Person Who Walks The Same Pace As You or That Annoying Person Who Drives The Same Speed In The Next Lane Over. But at the red light at the intersection of K and 19th my music changed songs and I heard him.

“I am following you. I have been, pretty girl. You can’t run from me. Pretty Girl. You’re mine.”

That was not a joke. [This author is FOR REAL! --Reality Police] I quick shut the music off and turned around and stared the Boogeyman in the eyes but not long enough to actually See Them. I didn't want to See Those Eyes. They were supposed to be behind the shower curtain. He flashed me the creepiest smile and whisperered, “I’m talking to you, pretty girl. You won't get away.”

(What I should have said? "Oh honey, you must be joking. I didn't wash my hair this morning and it is all windblown and snarly from flapping in convertible wind that my Jackie O headband could not control. That is why it is greasy and pulled back in a very messy ponytail. I slept late this morning. And no makeup and I am well aware that these pants make me look fat. So I know you aren't talking to me. Talk to me like that when I actually do look pretty. Which is only Some Days even.")

But those thoughts don't come to you quite at This Moment. Would the Boogeyman even laugh?

All joking aside, I am kind of creeped out. In fact, I am very creeped out. I looked around to see if anyone standing around noticed this Lunatic. I couldn't tell if people were just kind of, "Sorry Charlie, he's YOUR boogeyman not mine" or if they really had NO IDEA. It's the city, people keep to themselves - minding their p's and q's and their own damn self. No, Toto, we are not in the South or the Midwest. This was Rush Hour - similar to "this is your brain on drugs", "this is your brain on rush hour." Yeah, they had their iPods plugged in too. Or the cell phone. And is that Cheney and Posse that just passed me by? Oh, I'm not a business interest.

So finally the light changed and I took off. So did the boogeyman just a pace behind me. I was in Panic Mode. I threw the iPod in the purse to show this guy that I WAS AWARE NOW. (If I had read the book a day earlier I would have confronted him with, "I'm not scared of you!" but I didn't know the little old lady's advice just yet. Remember, this is the past. Circa yesterday.)

I contemplated my choices. Do I cut through the International Square building like I always do? No. In hindsight, there is "security" in there but not the gun-toting kind and frankly I wanted Rambo just about now. Uzis. [The author is all talk, she most certainly would have stuck a flower down the barrell. --Reality Police] I opted to truck up K Street, thinking there would be more people around. I weaved through people with the Boogeyman still in hot pursuit. And I can still hear him laughing and rambling that "...I can’t get away from him. I'm right behind you. Pretty girl. You will never escape me." So I started a really fast walk, almost a jog and so did he. Dignity and Image is out the door at this point. I turn into a full-on run, shouting out, "Help me!" (Caw! Caw!) And I didn't look back until I reached 18th Street and I turned around and saw that he gave up the run for a walk. So he is old. I found the Achilles' heel - he can't keep up. So I continue running down the one block to the metro. And I continued running into and through the station until I safely made it on my train without the Boogeyman. I made sure.

There were no karate chops. No stomping of my foot and an "I'm not scared" declaration. Just fear. Pure fear! I'd like to be brave-hearted. But for now, I will just run as fast as I can. Because, who am I kidding? I'm like those crows who flap away from the the "scarecrow" - I will ALWAYS be afraid of the Boogeyman.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Match Game Isn't So Bad Afterall

This summer my 3 year old niece put on her Dora swimsuit for some fun in the sun, admired herself in the mirror, and then proclaimed to her mommy that she "MUST get a bathing suit just like me. With Dora." Being 3 years old, she was dead serious - they don't know how to be ironic.

I told my sister-in-law, "Honey, please promise you won't be one of Those Mothers." Those Mothers who dress their kids like themselves or vice versa. You know in Laura Ashely or Lily Pullitzer. No worries there, she has no intention of wearing the Dora-kini. But might consider an Ariel suit - va-va-voom!

I've never supported Matching Outfits. Even at the cost of relationships.

I remember my summer in between high school and college. I started dating this boy. I knew him for a very long time - since grade school, but in high school he went away and then he came back. It just so happened that he came beating down my door and he was hot so I answered. He was a sponsored surfer with a very sun-kissed chiseled body. Hot hot hot. Girls went crazy for him. And he liked me. I think it was because of some childhood crush he had on me in the 4th grade when he tried to look down my pink too low-cut Lightning Bolt t-shirt and I would never give him the time of day. You know, he had a callick or something in the hairline that I just couldn't ignore in my 4th Grade naivete. Or his Trapper Keeper wasn't cool enough or something. So I was always the girl he couldn't have. Or the first girl who flashed him a boob. But that summer I buckled.

After going out for a few months, he took me to DisneyWorld for a day trip. In hindsight, I should have known he was turning into a cheeseball when he popped in the Air Supply in the tape deck on the way. When you are 18 A.S. is NOT the music to make me "all out of love" without him. But believe it or not, he sincerely liked A.S. It really wasn't some cheesy move to impress upon the ladies ("Am sensitive man. Momma raised me to 'preciate the ladies with the Ballads."). I am fairly tolerable - but an 18 year old listening to Air Supply AND Richard Marx in the 1980's when we had all the best college radio to listen to (R.I.P. WFIT 89.5). Are you kidding me? All signs are there to step away from the Cheese and The Ball but would you look at that body?! So I was willing to overlook his music selection. So we get to the park, and do you think you would run right to Space Mountain, or maybe you want to go to the Pirates of the Caribbean or the Haunted, my hot boyfriend wants to go to the souvenier shop to buy MATCHING Mickey Mouse sweatshirts. No! Him, "I'm buying!". Me, "No!" Him, "Please!" Still, "No!" So Mr. Air Supply solemnly brought it up ALL DAY LONG. He simply could not believe my aversion to the idea of us walking around this park looking like every other Bobsey with our matching Mickey Mouse sweatshirts. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

(I know what you are thinking.) I should have ended the relationship on the music technicality but instead I waned in his eye because I would never be the girl who would wear Matching Mickey Mouse Sweatshirts. We ended shortly thereafter.

So I suprised myself this weekend when I went to some fancy function with My Favorite Guy Ever. Which ended up being a Meet The Parents event and Meet The Rest Of The Family while we are at it. Wearing that Mickey Mouse sweatshirt at DisneyWorld didn't seem all that bad anymore. But I had to find a frock that would fit the attire of "creative cocktail" and Sensible, Classy to Meet The Parents. It's a fine line. So the stress of How To Dress. Luckily My Favorite Guy Ever takes an interest in my likes and fears and was more than willing to help me choose. So I brought every fancy cocktail dress and accessories in my closet over to his house. In the end he liked them all but we based the final call on what he was wearing. Since he had his outfit planned already - yes, I'm dating a guy who likes his clothes almost as much me - we worked off of that and settled on a simple classy black dress that is flattering yet not too sexy. My creative flair - which, by the way, was his fabulous idea when it should have been mine was....drum roll, accessory of choice.....a feather BOA! And we looked so great we got our picture taken for some DC magazine.

For this guy I would wear the matching Mickey Mouse sweatshirt.

Well, in theory.