[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
two girls, a sharpie and a bathroom wall
not too long after my divorce, one of my oldest and dearest friends, c, went through a devastating break-up of her own. and, as misery does love company, we decided that we should get together and drown our sorrows in as much alcohol as we could afford to buy. and, once that was accomplished, we would set out to convince others to buy yet more alcohol for us so our drowning could continue.
using our keen powers of logic, we opted to visit an establishment which would enable us to recognize a maximum return on our investment. in other words, the cheapest watering hole we could find. once we established that as our primary criterion, we both knew there was only one answer: the cantina.
the cantina is the dive bar to end all dive bars. i mean, this place is, quite frankly, disgusting. they had the world’s oldest red naugahyde booths that had the occasional strips of duct tape holding together gouges from, one could safely assume, years of knife fights. the place was so dark you could barely see your hand right in front of your own face, which eliminated the need to do any sort of housekeeping or maintenance. and there was only one waitress: sally. although we called her surly…but not to her face, ‘cause she’d cut ya. seriously.
anyway, the cantina had the cheapest drink specials in the tri-state region. plus, it wasn’t a meat market. chances were slim that c and i would have to deal with any serious suitors, which is important when your primary goal is to go out with your best friend and spew bitter venom about men. the cantina also offered a host of seedy regulars who would be happy to buy us drinks once our funds ran out without expecting us to be nice to them. this factor alone was enough to convince us that the cantina was the perfect place to spend our evening.
c and i settled into a booth and commenced with the drowning. our dialogue began as consoling and supportive. but, eventually, we devolved into the sort of drunken ranting that only two broken hearts in perfect miserable harmony can generate.
j: you know, he’s a jackass. i mean, he never appreciated you. he doesn’t deserve you! he totally doesn’t deserve you!
c: i love you.
j: and i love you. i mean, if i was a guy, i would date you. you know that, right? i mean, i would be all over you. you couldn’t get me off of you. especially not for some trashy little salad bar tramp.
c: i know. and i love you for that. and, if i was a guy, i wouldn’t leave you for a bus driver.
j: thank you. i really appreciate that.
c: i love you.
j: and i love you. you know what his problem was? he was overwhelmed by your beauty.
c: you think?
j: absolutely. felt totally inadequate. undeserving of someone of your beauty. and your intellect. overwhelmed by your beauty and your intellect. it was all too much. too threatening for a small little man like him. he had to find someone…less, you know. she is less.
c: they both are less. they are all four of them less.
j: i love you.
c: i love you.
j: i hate him so much. he’s a complete and utter jackass.
c: you know i never liked him. i tried to tell you.
j: oh, yeah, well you obviously have a depth of insight into the character of men that i am sorely lacking.
c: i love you.
i should probably explain two things here:
1. we were drunk. not that that wasn’t obvious from the excerpt above, but i just want to be clear on that point.
2. in case you hadn’t guessed, we were both thrown over for other chicks. my ex-husband left me for his best friend’s wife, who was a bus driver with giant-bleach-blonde-permed-in-the-back-but-not-in-the-front hair. c’s longtime boyfriend threw her over for some two-bit-ponderosa-salad-bar attendant with way too much eye makeup.
i should probably clarify three things here:
a. item 1 should probably read “his former best friend’s wife.” i mean…with hindsight and all.
b. the bus driver’s hair was truly, horribly big. and overprocessed.
c. the salad bar girl’s eye makeup was truly, horribly disgusting. i’m not just being mean.
d. neither c nor i would normally sit in judgment of someone simply because of their jobs; in this case, bus driver and salad bar attendant. i mean, hell, c and i met while we were waiting tables. plus, c is this total-hippie-socialist. she’s actually a member of the green party. it’s not like we’re two uptight republican yuppies who are looking down our noses at these chicks because they work in the service industry. but, you know…you’re drunk. and hurt. and…well, that’s a couple of easy targets right there, i mean a bus driver and a salad bar attendant. it’s not like the girl even cut up the vegetables. she just dumped the already-cut-up-vegetables into the bowl, for god’s sake. how can you not mock that when you’re in the depths of despair?
so, we go on to extol our own virtues for several hours while eviscerating our exes. a great female tradition if ever there was one. eventually, we firmly establish that:
1. we are goddesses and our exes are wholly unworthy of us.
2. those trollops they’ve taken up with are...well...trollops.
3. the guy at the bar has an artificial leg.
4. there should be some sort of legal limit as to how many consecutive lynrd skynrd songs someone can play on a jukebox in a public establishment.
5. the waitress has killed at least two people. probably for knowing her true identity. because she is on the run from the law.
6. that is one big-ass roach on that table over there.
we realize that this is an evening of monumental proportions. of great epiphanies. an evening truly worthy of our beauty and our intellect, and, as such, it should be preserved for all posterity. but how?
c: we should write something on the bathroom wall.
j: that’s fucking brilliant.
c: we need a magic marker. do you have one?
j: what, you mean like on my person at all times or something? no, i do not have a magic marker.
believe it or not, our waitress complies with our request for a marker without asking a single question. and so we stagger off to the bathroom. it’s just a one-facility kind of a place, no stalls or anything. the walls are some sort of an industrial blue-green color, although it's tough to tell because of the overwhelming amount of graffiti on the them.
apparently, we are not the first to have the brilliant idea that our searing insights should be preserved on the bathroom wall.
we decide on a spot. right between “cami luvs gary 4-ever!!!!” and “missy r. sux cox!!!!!”
of course, we have not discussed which of our insights we’ll be sharing with the bathroom-going masses. but, after about ten minutes of debating, we decide which pearl of wisdom will best preserve this moment. i hand the marker to c to do the honors.
c: there. what do you think? god...this is so great.
and there, on the wall, is our legacy:
"beware, women of intellect, for you shall be upsurped by a blue-collar tramp."
j: dude, does that say ‘upsurped’? ‘upsurped’ is not a word.
c: fuck. me.
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