On Friday night I was invited a milonga by a real-live Argentinian. He asked asked me if I tango, and while technically the answer is no, I’ve watched Scent of a Woman like fourteen times, so personally, I think this area is a little gray.
I carefully planned my gringa camouflage: I wore my favorite black dress and leather earrings. I threw my purple heels in my purse, and donned my duck boots (because it was pouring, and because practical can be sexy too, when paired with enough Malbec).
When we arrived a quick scan of the room revealed nowhere to hide. Several couples glided gracefully across the dance floor, while a group of women looked me up and down with the intensity of gauchos protecting the herd.
My date held out his hand and nodded towards the music.
“But I’m still in my boots!” I said.
“Leave them on,” he instructed.
“Ah, smart,” I answered as we made our way to the floor. “Plausible deniability.”
But when the music started I could feel his body straighten and then surrender to my hopeless position.
“You need to balance on your feet,” he said sternly.
“Oh man. This is so serious.”
“Please, stop laughing. This is tango. The woman does not smile in the tango.”
“Ah, that’s right. This is the dance of love. Do I look sufficiently irritated?”
“I thought you said you tango.”
“I mean, I tango in the way that I go to the gym, or floss regularly.”
“I do not understand American women.”
“It’s easy: You compliment us on the way we dance, and then, after three dates, we sleep with you.”
“Look what you did.”
“You mean how I just stepped on both your feet, at the same time? I was impressed by that, too.”
“Please, you must respect the dance.”
“I respect it, but I’m in duck boots, and I’m significantly stressed out right now. Maybe we should take a break and just go sit down?”
“No. You can’t stop dancing in the middle of the tanda. You have to finish the set with your partner. No matter what.”
“Oh, I get it. So metaphorically, this is the part of the tango where the dancers are in couples therapy?”
“I do not understand.”
“That was good.”
“What was good?”
“When you stopped thinking about it you let me lead. That was good.”
“You mean I’m dancing tango?”
“Yes, you are dancing tango!”
“Well, you know what they say: It takes two.”
“It takes two to do what?”
“Apparently it takes two to trip over each other, get pissed, and threaten to stop talking, before they look like the effortless couple that everyone wants to be.”
“Ah, I like this expression. Yes. It takes two.”
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. But, I don’t want to give up booze or work out. Should I just wear higher heels to look thinner? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
A Disaster in Training
Dear DIT ,
Thanks for submitting your question. After years of failed gym resolutions, I think I’ve finally nailed this work-out-around. I know how you can drop the gym membership and look like you dropped 15 pounds, and all without skipping a sip.
Follow two simple steps and and I promise, you’ll turn heads wherever you go:
Reader’s note: This post has lots of swears. Because it’s fucking freezing in Chicago, and that’s all we have left.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, Chicago is now covered by thick layer of ice and desperation. The wind chill registers -40F and the nation watches as our temperatures drop and the snow rises.
Chicagoans everywhere are starting to panic. Especially single people who have just realized that there is no food in their fridge, and no takeout delivery while the city is frozen shut.
And somewhere in Lincoln Park this morning, this happened:
Ok! I can do this. I just need to go to the grocery store to get supplies for the week. I’m gonna crockpot the SHIT out of some ingredients.
There must be a grocery store nearby. All I need to do is figure out some walking directions and BOOM! Suck it, you Frozen Mistress.
Hat, scarf, and mittens: CHECK!
GORE-TEX, fur-lined boots: CHECK!
Jacket inside my jacket: CHECK!
Space heater in my long johns and remote battery pack: CHECK!
Whew, man, I’m starting to sweat, let’s do this. Here we go 1…2…3…
Ahhh Winter–you ASSHOLE! My eyes just froze shut. Seriously. I just teared up a little and the tearcicles just froze my eyes completely the fuck shut. I can’t see SHIT.
I’ll just pull my hat down over my face. That will thaw them so I can… GODDAMN IT! Who puts a snow bank in the middle of the sidewalk?
Winter, a little help here? I can’t move my arms in all these layers.
Nothing? Fine. I’ll just roll off of this snow bank like an arctic seal. There. I’m up!
HOLY SHIT, YOU FROST BITCHING MANIAC! You just blew snow up my nose. Your gusts are completely out of control right now. Get your gusts together!
Are you trying to kill me? What’s this all about anyway? Are you mad at me for having too much fun with Summer? Couldn’t stand to see me hanging out half naked under the sun, so now you ice me out?
You know what I think about that, Winter? THIS! You can’t see under my mittens, but I just flipped you off with BOTH hands.
I’m going back inside. Fuck the crockpot. I’ll eat snow.
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I just came across my ex boyfriend on Match and see that he’s using pictures of us on his profile, but he edited me out of every one of them with a big black bar over my face. This only makes me hate him more. Can I sue him?
Sorry this happened to you. Sadly this phenomenon is all too familiar. I didn’t go to law school, but I did watch four full seasons of Ally McBeal, which is almost the same thing. The show taught me all the important fundamentals. Namely:
1) You can spend your days suing a man’s pants off, only to spend your nights desperately trying to get in them. Life is so complex.
2) Even if your HR department encourages co-ed bathroom stalls, avoid at all costs. Nobody needs that.
Given my expertise, I’m happy to provide you sound legal counsel that will hold up in any court.*
First, is it fair to assume that your face was made up in these photos? Your face is a canvas, which when painted, is art. And as we all know, your art is your intellectual property (as is your recipe for string cheese nachos, and your interpretive dance of the Black Swan).
By reproducing and altering your image, your ex is infringing upon your copyright, which is illegal. So yes! We can sue him and can send him away to a place where he too will have to get comfortable with a view behind bars. And also trans fats.
That said, if you forgot to trademark your face, we may have a problem here. Did you? Because if you forgot to trademark your face, than I’m afraid we have only one alternative: Block his profile, take a whole bunch of selfies, and move on.
* Counsel will hold up in all courts with the exception of US Federal, State or District Courts. Or Tax Court. Or the Court of Appeals. Or the People’s Court. Or basically any court except a tennis court. My argument will definitely hold up in a tennis court. Unless you’re playing against a judge.
Today, in an impromptu Internet press conference, Disaster made an unexpected announcement that surprised approximately no one.
DOH: Wow, this is an amazing turnout. I’m so glad you guys got my Evite! So, apologies in advance: That email was not, in fact, from Beyonce. And there will not be a New Years duet today. But I do have another equally exciting scoop for you media hounds…I’m back!
REPORTER 1: Who is she?
DOH: As you know, I’m Disaster on Heels, and I’ve been gone for a while. I’m sure that’s left your hearts with a giant gaping hole, and in turn filled it with questions. So, fire away. First question: You, in the bow tie.
REPORTER 2: Disaster, Tucker Carlson here. It’s been more than 18 months. Who cares? What makes you think you can just walk back onto the Internet?
DOH: Fair question. I guess I decided it’s just something I want to do for me, regardless whether people are listening. And then I decided, no that’s not true, I like it better with people listening. I think there’s a lot of good people out there who share similar life experiences. I mean, we all have those mornings where we wake up spooning a McRib, promising ourselves we’ll stop meeting up this way. But let’s face it: life is hard. I want Disasters everywhere to know that there really is strength in numbers.
REPORTER 3: I don’t know about you, Disaster, but when I hear “Strength In Numbers” I think you’re talking about Obamacare, and we all know what a disaster that is.
DOH: Bill O’Reilly? Is that you?
REPORTER 3: Of course it’s me, don’t be ridiculous. Disaster, we’re not stupid. We’ve all read the tabloids. We’ve seen you on Tinder dates throughout the city. According to one report, you went on 8 dates in 7 days. Are we really supposed to feel bad for you now that you’re single again and slutting it up all over Chicago?
DOH: First off, Bill, I resent the question and the overt accusation. Short answer: I’m not a slut, I’ve simply been conducting research on the authenticity and efficacy of location-based discovery platforms. It’s called science. Next question.
REPORTER 4: Disaster, Greta Van Susteren. A lot has happened since you left Disaster on Heels. I’m talking specifically about the major terrorist attacks in Yemen, Iraq, and Libya, to name a few. I think I speak for all Americans when I ask: How deep are your ties to al-Qaeda?
DOH: Greta, just because I’m single in my 30s does not mean I’m a terrorist. For the record, also not out to destroy hallowed institutions such as marriage, Christmas, or The RomCom. Is there anyone here who’s not from FOX?
REPORTER 5: Over here, Disaster. Barbara Walters. I’ve been following your story for the past couple of years. Disaster on Heels meets Disaster in Wingtips, and it’s the perfect love story: They travel, they meet each other’s families, they make plans for the future. Then, after a year and a half, Disaster in Wingtips leaves her to move to LA, and never looks back. It must be so painful to come back to the Internet after having been so close to the finish line. So tell me: What’s next for Disaster on Heels?
DOH: I’m um… Well… I … ahem, excuse me. You took me a little off guard there, Barbara… God you are good at this.
I think first thing is first: Marriage is not, nor will it ever be “The Finish Line.” I’ll always be a Disaster on Heels, despite my marital status. As for 2014, I’m not sure, but I’m excited to tell stories again, and to focus on the “Dear Disaster” series. To that end, I’d like to use this opportunity to ask that if anyone out there has received offensive, illiterate, or otherwise absurd emails from online suitors, please send them to me at email@example.com. I would love nothing more than to respond on your behalf like I did with the Nice Lady in Denver, Cap’n Orgy, and the Happy Humper.
REPORTER 6: Disaster, one more question, here in back.
DOH: Oh! Hi Peter Alexander. I like your tie. It looks really good. Not that you don’t always look good. I’m just saying, you look good wearing shapes… I’m sorry, what’s your question?
REPORTER 6: Are you aware that you have spinach in your teeth?
DOH: Ok. Well, looks like that’s all the time I have today. Thanks for coming. If you have additional questions feel free to Tweet them to me at @disasteronheels. I want to hear from you!
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First I just wanted to say “wassup girl!” It was soooo good to see you this weekend at The Second City. I thought we might get to hang out after your reading but I totally get you’re busy. That’s why I thought I’d just wait outside the theater until the end of the show to see where you went. I even waited until the security guard locked the building. It’s too bad, Rach, because I made a handshake for us, and you’re totally going to love it. It ends with us making faces like Debbie Downer!
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again for signing my copy of your new book. I know you tried to write “Enjoy the book!” but I think I made you nervous, because sometimes when I get excited I forget to blink. Maybe that’s why it looks like you wrote “Crazy the look!” No worries though–I totally know what you meant.
And it goes without saying that your book is like, totally awesome. My favorite part is the way it smells. Did you have to request that special? So smart! I threw out my Febreze–now, when I put on my shirt from the day before, I just rub the book under my pits and I’m good to go. I call it “La Livre de Raquel.”
Needless to say, this book has like totally changed my life. I’d like to think I made that clear during the Q/A session. Thanks again for answering fourteen of my questions. Except, I still don’t know why you wouldn’t answer me when I asked for your mailing address. I took like a million photos of you during the reading, and I already turned them into a kick-ass scrapbook for us. Thanks to Photoshop we’re in Mexico in all of them drinking Skinny Girl Margaritas, and instead of reading reading Girl Walks into a Bar, we’re reading US Weekly and counting Matthew McConaughey’s abs. Honestly, Rachie, it’s so us!
Anyway, you can just message me your address when you accept my Facebook friend request, and I’ll send it to you when I send you your half of our Best Friends necklace.
Hugs from your Number 1 Fan!
Yesterday the best thing happened. My Mac broke, which meant I had a legitimate excuse to go trolling for Geniuses. I put on my favorite red lipstick, packed my nerd-bait, and sauntered into the Apple store.
Me: Hello. I’m here to speak with a Genius.
Genius: Sure. I can help.
Me: Yes, but are you a Genius?
Genius: Yep. Why else would I have this walkie-talkie in my belt holster?
Me: Excellent point. Ok, great: I’ll have a dirty martini, extra olives.
Genius: Um, we don’t serve alcohol here.
Me: You mean this is a dry Genius Bar?
Genius: Yep, repairs only.
Me: Well I’m an Average Intellect but I’ve never known anything a little alcohol couldn’t fix…if you know what I mean.
Genius: What’s wrong with your eye?
Me: Nothing. Never mind.
Genius: Well, what seems to be the problem with your laptop today?
Me: I was told by a Genius this morning that I needed to come back for a new fan and have it installed.
Genius: A fan?
Me: Yes, I know. It makes like, NO sense. How the hell would you fit a fan in a MacBook Air? Duh.
Genius: Let me just go take a look and I’ll be right back.
Me: Sure. No problem. I’ll just read my book: The Dungeon Master’s Guide. By the way, you probably hear this all the time, but you look really good in blue.
**Twenty five minutes later.**
Genius: So good news and bad news.
Me: They are making another Star Wars.
Genius: What? No. We fixed your computer.
Me: Excellent! So what’s the bad news?
Genius: Well it’s not so bad, really. It’s just that it was never really broken.
Me: What do you mean?
Genius: Well, apparently you had it repaired here a couple of months ago, and when we did that repair, we just actually… well, we never plugged the fan back in.
Me: What? I’ve made two trips to the Apple Store today because you forgot to plug the fan back in? You know what I think? I think a real Genius never would have let that happen. Somewhere in the middle of playing Settlers of Catan, he would have put down his Mountain Dew and thought, “You know what? I’M GLAD I PLUGGED IN THAT FAN.”
Did you even go to math camp? I’m sorry. I don’t think this is going to work between us.
Now that I’m newly single, I’ve thrust myself back into the abyss of online possibility. Line up the suitors: this Little Disaster has gone to market. Fortunately, it’s taken no time at all to start receiving love letters from near and far.
My most recent came from OKCupid:
hey-wow, you sure are beautiful and seem strong and confident . i am looking for an open minded girl as friend and cuddle buddy and try new experiences which are comfortable . pls don’t be offended , but got to ask, do you have a dominating side or want to try it , or like your armpits admired ? i am not for hookups or a serious relation . are you interested ?
To which I wasted no time replying:
Let me start by saying I admire your simplicity of language– so sparse, yet so descriptive. I also think it takes a strong, confident man to ignore capitalization altogether. Away with it, I say! Love knows no limits. Or grammar.
As per your inquiry about my dominating side, I am left-handed. This often takes people by surprise, they say, “Really? You’re left handed?” And I have to say, “Yes! Didn’t you see me try to use your carrot peeler? It was a disaster!”
Regarding your interest in my armpits, I’m flattered. I always thought I had fat armpits. (What can I say? Seventh grade was the worst.) But if you’d like to admire them, my underarms would like nothing more than your affection. Just keep it casual–don’t say things you don’t mean, especially if you don’t intend a serious relation. My armpits are very skittish. They’ve been through a lot: the last guy that tried to adore them turned out to be gay.
Looking forward to hearing from you again, my little Scribe.
It’s Tax Day today, and if you’re anything like me it means you put this off to the last possible minute. After unsuccessfully trolling for accountants on OKCupid last night, I eventually turned to TurboTax. Much like my grandma who always asks me why I didn’t bring someone home for Christmas, TurboTax also manages to rub my relationship status in my face, year after year:
Ultimately it wasn’t that bad. I even got money back because as we know, I’m very big into charity. Even though I stopped I supporting my child in the Dominican Republic last year, I did donate two garbage bags of dresses and accessories to the The Brown Elephant, which is kind of the same thing.
And you can only imagine my surge of patriotism when while e-filing I learned that Uncle Sam considers being a Disaster a tax write-off. Why else would those wrinkled, champagne-stained chiffon dresses and extra strength support girdles be tax deductible?
Thanks to my 2011 tax refund, I’m in the money, and some Disasterella is going to give my dresses a second chance. In their former life they were worn to bed by a passed-out bridesmaid with Cheetos-stained fingers. But not this year. This year they will be worn with heels without orthopedic inserts and will wind up on the floor at the end of the night thanks to a grabby groomsman.
And that, Dear Disasters, is a tax write-off that warms the heart.
Here’s to 2012!
One Saturday in November I got my hair done for the first time at the Kelly Cardenas salon. This would have been like any other day in November except it happened to be the day after I had gone on the most amazing first date ever. He was charming, he listened intently, he paid for everything, and by the end of the night we’d planned dates two and three.
Now I should have had my eye out for red flags, but how could I see straight? I was temporarily blinded by fireworks. I was still floating when I introduced myself to Nicole, the stylist who would later become my hairapist. It was while under the influence of romance that I decided to do something dramatic to my hair.
“Give me a new cut and color,” I said. “Something fun, and fresh–for the new me.”
“What do you mean ‘new you’?”
“Oh Nicole, honey. I met a guy. And let’s just say: there were fireworks.”
But by February, things weren’t looking so good. I needed hairapy in a bad, bad way. Not only was my hair fading, but I could feel my relationship washing out too. I went in to see Nicole in the hopes she could help me bring back that spark.
“How are things going with the suitor?” she asked.
“They’re good. I mean, I don’t know where he is right now–he travels a lot–but he’s going to call me when he’s back in town and we’re for sure going to hang out then. Things are really great when he’s in Chicago.”
“Uh-hum.” She said with the raised eyebrow of a woman who has heard it all. But I wasn’t listening.
“Make me look like Rihanna,” I said. “No, make me look like Rihanna’s older sister. No no, make me look like Rihanna’s accountant. Something edgy, yet practical.”
But even my spunky red highlights weren’t enough to keep this relationship from splitting at the ends. Last week I went back to the salon for the third time:
“Can you please just do something about this red, it turned all brassy in the sun, and now that it’s growing out I’m starting to look like the actual Rihanna… And can you just bring that wine bottle over here, so I don’t have to keep asking that poor assistant to fill this up?”
“Uh oh. What’s going on?” she asked, tying the hair smock around my neck.
“I broke up with my suitor,” I said through my tumbler of Chardonnay.
“Remember how I told you it was fireworks?”
“I was wrong. It wasn’t fireworks, it was a sparkler. They kinda look the same, but one fizzles out and burns you if you hold on too long.”
“I’m sorry,” my hairapist said, examining my mismatched hair. “What should we do about this?”
“Take me back to the old me,” I said, looking in the mirror.
And with that I began the slow and tedious return to the brunette I hadn’t seen in months. And while I waited patiently in foils, I ordered myself a large pizza and had it delivered to my chair.
It feels good to get back to my roots.
Sorry I’ve been so M.I.A. Disasters. I can’t tell you how glad I am to be back.
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