Happy Thanksgiving! Now, if you’re like me, you’ve been tasked with bringing something to Thanksgiving dinner. Usually I get assigned things like “wine” or “Diet Coke.” Well, not this year. I can’t tell you just how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to meet Cheryl Nookie Jackson –the ultimate Disaster mentor. And now, thanks to Nookie, I’m going to make the best chitterlings Maine has ever seen (and coincidentally the only ones, but that is neither here, nor is it there).
Happy Hump Day y’all!
As an early Christmas gift my sister gave me a haircut and color–a makeover, a perfect primping– and I looked forward to it for weeks.
On Friday I polled the office, and we decided red highlights were the answer. On Saturday I had convinced myself to go purple, and by Sunday I was so confused I just put together a look-book for the stylist to advise:
Frankly, as a Latina stuck in a gringa’s body, I could really see all three. But when I arrived at the salon I suddenly lost all confidence. The stylist flipped through hair swatches with me, and with each new tint, my knuckles tightened on the chair.
“So, just to clarify, if we dye my hair, it’s permanent, right?”
“Yes, but it will grow out.”
“So you’re saying there’s no undoing it, if it doesn’t work out?”
“No, but I’ve done this lots of times and I think it will look great.”
Now, I knew she wasn’t lying. I’m sure people think it’s going to be great all the time, but those are also the same people who believe in perms. I was starting to sweat.
“Look,” she continued, “If you don’t like it, you can always dye it back.”
Ah-ha! With that what had started as a gentle bad-decision wind chime was now a full-blown-fiasco fog horn. I could hear the desperation of this dye-dealer, and I knew: once I started there was going to be no turning back. I would soon descend into long cycle of follicle-damaging behavior that would ultimately drain my finances, ruin my relationships with fellow brunettes everywhere, and leave me ashamed of my roots. And I couldn’t, in good conscience, drag my family into this.
“So, my sister—she like, paid for this already?”
“Ok so, I think I have a plan. I think what I’ll do is dye my hair the exact same color. Can you match this brown? I think this will get me warmed up, you know comfortable with the process… And then you know, we can take it from there.”
“So you want me to dye your hair the same color.”
“Yes. And if there is any way we could you know, make it rinse out that would be great.”
“You mean a semi-permanent?”
Now, I’d never even heard of “semi-permanent” but I liked the sound of it. It’s like “partially pregnant,” “slightly sober,” or “a little bit married.” In other words: perfect.
“YES! Semi-permanent! Same color, no cut…Let’s DO this!”
And who says I have trouble committing?
Now, I wasn’t raised religious. In fact, I wasn’t even baptized. Well, not in the way that counts, anyway. Family legend has it that shortly after I was born my parents invited my grandmother to babysit, and their car wasn’t even out of the driveway before Grandma plopped me in the kitchen sink. As a baby I had no idea that I was only a bubble bath away from a seat in God’s Great Kingdom. By the time my parents had ordered appetizers, my grandmother had already cleaned my ears, given me a shampoo, and officiated my baptism. Or so she claimed.
True or not, this story was enough to keep me in line. Refuse to rub her bunions and BAM! This woman could turn me in. She went to church four times a week, and I knew she was on much better authority with anyone in heaven than I would ever be. She could easily undo what she’d already done and revoke my black-market salvation. And she might do it, too. I’d once seen her chase a kitten around in her backyard with a garden hose. Anything was possible.
As a result, I’ve spent the last three decades proceeding with caution. I don’t call myself religious, but I’m certainly not going to call out anyone who is. I’m hedging my bets. So you can only imagine my angst last night, when the Holy Wars broke out in my building.
It started around 3 am. It was loud, but I still couldn’t make out all the words: “Jesus loves you…. Wash away your sins…..19.95 a month.” This went on for about twenty five minutes until I heard a window open upstairs.
“MUTHAH FUCKAH! TURN THAT TELEVISION OFF!”
“YOU HEARD ME, MUTHAH FUCKAH! I SAID TURN THAT TELEVISION OFF OR I’M GONNA BUST IT FOR YOU!”
Suddenly, TV Jesus got louder.
“CAN I GET ANOTHER AMEN? THAT’S RIGHT I SAID AMEN!”
I put my pillow over my head and did some quick hail Mary’s. Having been raised without religion or football, this was particularly hard for me. I just pictured a nun catching a football, and put it on mental instant replay.
Then finally, just as abruptly as this war had broken out, it was over. A weary peace at last.
I don’t expect more Holy Wars tonight, but if there’s an attack, I’m ready. Not only did my Grandma teach me about religion, she also taught me about tuning out anything you don’t want to hear:
- No Related Disasters...yet
Last night I broke up with Benefit of the Doubt. It was ugly. We’ve been together for so long, it’s just so hard to let go. I mean we have so many memories together–like that time I found those girls’ numbers in his phone, and the time he forgot his credit card at dinner… and that time that he couldn’t come to my cousin’s wedding due to elbow pain.
But last night was just too much. Finally, after a week of emails, my OKCupid suitor and I decided to meet up at a new place in Wicker Park. I sent the final note: “I’ve really wanted to try bangers and lace–you up for it?” (What I forgot to do is actually link to it. So in retrospect, perhaps it wasn’t just me who was disappointed.)
Over the course of dinner I could feel a growing distance between me and Benefit of the Doubt. I began to realize that when one of a guy’s profile pictures is him going down a child’s slide at a water park and another is him holding cotton candy, it’s not because he’s “carefree”– it’s because his mom still cooks him dinner. And I suddenly understood that if every email you exchange has to do with bacon, it doesn’t mean he’s a foodie–it means he’s bad at conversation. Or obsessed with bacon. And if he asks to meet you at a bar near his place, it’s not because he’s concerned about his environmental impact– it’s because too cheap to take a cab, and he will make you pay for dinner. These are all things I could have known, had I not been blinded by BOTD’s stunning good looks.
So today I erased Benefit of the Doubt from my phone, deleted his emails, blocked him from Facebook, and started over. No more second dates with guys who call me by their ex-girlfriend’s names. No more first dates with guys who went to circus camp. Nope. I’m done.
Anyway, I may be giving up on Benefit of the Doubt, but I’m not giving up. You get knocked down enough times, eventually you get knocked up. And with that, I leave you with this, my dating life in a video, and the ultimate inspiration:
(Suggestion: turn your volume up)
Sound the Disaster Alarm. My mom comes to town tomorrow, and has insisted on staying with me. Needless to say, I have some major work to do. In preparation, last night I spent $125 at Trader Joe’s for what I can only imagine will be an epic fake out. I will host her in my apartment where she will be completely impressed with just how put-together I have become. It will go like this:
Sooo this is it! Sorry about the smell in the hall—the woman next door has so many parakeets!
What’s that? It’s chilly in here? Oh sorry. I don’t usually turn the heat on until December. You know, keeps your circulation pumping, which is great for your skin. If you’re cold though, I can light some candles, no problem. Just say the word!
Yep! That sure IS a cornucopia on my coffee table. Isn’t it great? It makes me wonder… Mom? Are we part Pilgrim? It’s the only thing I can think of to explain how much I love decorating for Thanksgiving. And don’t even get me started on gourds. I love gourds even more than I love cornucopias! Just look at my dining room table: green gourds, orange gourds, yellow gourds. Gourds gourds gourds gourds!
Would you like a snack? How about some brie? Hang tight, I’ll make us a cheese plate. Hmm… I know the cheese is in the fridge here somewhere, but all these organic greens are in the way! And these apples–they take up so much room. I really just need to make this pie before they go bad. Maybe I’ll do that with my Little Sister this weekend. Oh, that reminds me– did I mention I volunteer for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program? I planned to volunteer on Sunday morning really early. So you should probably stay over at BamBam’s house Saturday night–that way I won’t wake you up while I’m making pies with my Little Sister. I’d reschedule, but she really values the consistency–you understand.
Found the cheese! Excellent… Mom? What are you doing? Are you going through my recycling? Yes, those are vodka bottles. I’m making LAMPS mother! It’s taken me more than three years to collect all those…I just keep them in there so I won’t forget about the lamp project!
Here. Eat this brie. You can put it on these Tostitos. It will be delicious.
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- RT @jgolden3: Sometimes I love the people I work with... other times I hate them. Now is the latter... http://t.co/gxf60mC7 #, 2012/05/03
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