[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.
not even a full body shot to the head would deter him
“so, are you dating anyone right now?”
“no, i’m not dating anyone. i mean, i am seeing several women right now, but i wouldn’t say i’m really dating any of them.”
as i took yet another drink, i mumbled into the depths of my it’s-not-really-a-party-unless-you-have-those-red-plastic-cups cup, “yeah, but would they say you’re dating?”
you know how, at the end of every party, there’s a core group left? the hangers-on. the people who just won’t leave. usually it’s your closest friends. sometimes it’s just your drunkest friends. occasionally, there’s some guy you don’t really know that well, but he seems to really enjoy hanging out with everyone so he’s still there. at any rate, we’d been celebrating cw’s birthday since about 4:30 that afternoon. his birthday was now, officially over. it was about 1:00 the next morning.
that’s like spending your entire workday drinking. which, if you can swing it, i highly recommend, by the way.
a handful of us sat scattered around the living room. cw and his wife, n, of course. m and i. cw’s brother, a and c, his wife. there was also a couple whose names i never really caught. or just don’t remember due to the eight-hour drunkfest.
and then, there was rocco. no, his name wasn’t really rocco. but, i think that, if he was on a soap opera, he would play a guy named rocco. so that’s what we’ll be calling him. think of it as one of those name changes to protect the innocent.
i had noticed rocco when he arrived at the party. mostly it was his shirt i had noticed. it was bright blue. and shiny. and see-through, with faces of men silkscreened on it. at any rate, rocco was a pretty good-looking guy. even more so if you were drunk, and it was 1:00 in the morning, and you were sitting on the couch across the room from him, and you sort of squinted a little bit, and if cw turned off the overhead lights in the kitchen. actually, under those circumstances, he had a bit of a brendan fraser look about him. except for his hair. but, i’m getting ahead of myself.
from the couch beside me, c said, “hey, n, what do you think about fixing him up with alexa?” [ed. note: i can’t actually remember the girl’s name, because i was drunk. but, in keeping with the soap opera name thing, let’s call her alexa, shall we?]
turning back to rocco, she continued, “i bet you’d like alexa. she’s really cute. and she’s really tall – you seem really tall. n,, how tall would you say alexa is?”
“i don’t know…she’s pretty tall.”
“yeah, she’s tall…and her family has a really nice vacation home in the bahamas, too, if that helps,” she laughed.
rocco put his feet up and leaned back in his chair. “well, i’m not really into that whole wealth thing.”
since this conversation doesn't actually involve me, i’m absolutely, positively uninterested. instead, i am completely focused on monitoring the level of alcohol in my cup. i’m locked in an internal battle as to whether or not i really want to walk all the way over there to the kitchen to make myself another drink, or whether i want to ask someone else to walk all the way over there to the kitchen to make myself another drink.
meanwhile, rocco is still talking.
“i mean, i’m not really picky about women, you know, not like a lot of guys are. i mean, you know, picky in a superficial way, and stuff like that. all i really need is a picture. i mean, a full body picture. it has to be a full body shot and not just some head shot. you definitely need the full body shot. i mean, that’s why i don’t pick up women in cars, you know? you can only see from here up. you never know what you’re gonna get once that door opens up. that’s why i insist on the full body shot.”
at this point, i am truly torn. part of me thinks that i definitely need to get up and get another drink. that way, i’ll be in the kitchen, and i won’t accidentally open my mouth and say something that will be audible to everyone else, and, therefore, horrifying to them. something along the lines of how i can relate to roccos’s plight, and that i don’t “pick up” guys until i see a full iq test score because you never know what you’re gonna get once that mouth opens up. see: comment about not picking up women in cars.
on the other hand, i fear that drinking more may actually make me more likely to say something that will horrify everyone else in the room.
this is, clearly, a dilemma.
and, still, rocco continues to talk. he is now waxing on further about how he’s not like other guys. how he’s really looking for a deep connection with a woman. as long as she’s not fat.
rocco sighs and reaches for his beer. “you guys just don’t know how hard it is to be a single person out there these days.”
and then it happens.
from the opposite corner of the room, far away from me, so far that i can’t reach her, n says, “well, j is single.”
in that instant, all of the air is sucked out of the room. and, somehow, despite the effort i put into eight solid hours of drinking, i am totally sober for a split second. maybe it’s my fight or flight instinct, but in that moment, i am suddenly aware that rocco is here, in this room, specifically invited here, for me.
i mean, yeah, i’m single. yeah, it’s been a while since i had a date. but, i guess it just didn’t cross my mind. a date. a fix-up. a set-up. oh. my. god. well, thank god i had been drunk all night, or i would have been incredibly self-conscious.
now, everyone is looking at me. no one is saying anything. it’s up to me. ball’s in my court. clock is ticking.
“well, it’s not like i’m the only other single person here! m’s single, too.”
thankfully, everyone laughs. except rocco. he says, with all the seriousness a grown man can muster while tossing his hair, “sorry, but i don’t do men.”
and i’m thinking that his shirt says otherwise, but i figure that comment probably isn’t going to move this process along, so i opt to shut up and stare at my still-dwindling red apple martini.
on the other end of the couch, c still hasn’t given up. “well, alexa is thin. she’s really pretty, too. she has red hair.”
“i don’t do red hair.”
“well, i wouldn’t say red red…maybe more like strawberry blonde. and she’s fair.”
“i don’t really do fair women. i like my women a little darker.”
suddenly, i feel like i’m sitting at the thanksgiving table, listening to my uncle glen rhapsodizing about the glory of dark meat and how much more flavorful it is while i’m getting pissed because i just want him to leave me a drumstick and pass the damn platter, but he never left me a drumstick, that greedy old bastard.
“i prefer olive-skinned women.”
later, in the post mortem, m swears that you could actually hear a whoosh sound as rocco’s head turned in my direction and then a click-click as his eyes locked on me.
i didn’t hear the whoosh. or the click-click. i did hear the crickets, though, as everyone in the room was, again, waiting for me to say something. anything.
“um, well…on behalf of olive-skinned women everywhere in the world, thanks for the support. we, um, appreciate it?”
i’d like to be able to recount for you the full spectrum of horror that ensued from this point forward. but i can’t. either my drunkenness has blocked it out, or i’m repressing it to keep from flashing back in the middle of the night, waking up screaming.
i can recount, however, that when we discussed cw’s recent haircut, rocco chimed in that he likes to keep his hair long. then, with a toss of his locks, he went on to explain his reasoning, and i do quote: “women like to have something to hold on to.”
i also remember that rocco regaled us with a story about how he and a friend took an oven mitt out onto the street to use as a puppet to talk to women, ala triumph the insult comic dog. and how surprised they were that they didn’t get any “action” at all.
"okay," i'm thinking, "maybe he’s trying to be funny." i mean, i did think it was actually sort of funny.
so, despite the fact that he seemed really, genuinely, surprised that they didn’t get any “action,” i decide to roll the dice.
[ed. note: in general, i think oven mitts are pretty funny. like the arby’s mascot, oven mitt: come on, that’s solid gold, people. priceless, i’m telling you. i’d love to meet the marketing genius who came up with that bit. an oven mitt named oven mitt. c-l-a-s-s-i-c.]
i mean, i’m nothing if not forgiving. i’m willing to chalk up the “full body shot” comment, the “i like my women a little darker” comment, even the “i don’t do the whole wealth thing” comment to nerves. the “women like to have something to hold on to” thing is a bit tougher, but, hey, we’re all human, right? it’s pressure, maybe. i mean, maybe rocco really wants to impress me. maybe he’s just trying too hard. maybe there’s more to him than meets the eye. maybe he really does want to connect with a woman on a level beyond the physical. beyond the full body shot.
so, i give him one more chance.
“huh, that’s funny. i mean, i have one of those pets.com sock puppet dogs, and whenever i take it out onto the street to pick up men, i get loads of ass, i mean, i literally have to fight them off.”
“yeah, well, we had an oven mitt, not a real puppet.”
so, let’s recap:
strike one: um, you seem to be a bit shallow.
strike two: you have longer hair than i do. okay, it’s not really the hair. it’s the explanation -- with a totally straight face -- for the hair.
strike three: you don’t laugh at my jokes.
well, i think we’re done here. all bets are off. and off come the gloves. or the oven mitts, as it were.
next up, in what can only be classified as a mistake of monumental proportions, rocco attempts to dazzle me by engaging cw in a battle of pop culture wits.
note my total restraint in not invoking the old “unarmed opponent” joke?
cw posits the notion that bill paxton and bill pullman are, in fact, the same person. as evidence, he throws down the gauntlet that you can’t name a film in which the two actors appear together.
somehow, rocco misunderstands the challenge. yeah, i know, we’re all stunned by that, but, bear with me. he just starts naming movies that starred either paxton or pullman. basically challenging cw to “name that bill.”
he leads off with independence day. immediately, i sense that, if this is the depth of his bill filmography knowledge, our fine feathered – and by feathered, i do mean his hair – friend may have made a grave miscalculation.
rocco continues to toss out titles.
while you were sleeping
there is a momentary uproar when the whole room joins in a debate about which bill was in wyatt earp and which one was in tombstone. maybe it was all the confusion that led rocco to make his final fatal error.
“oh, i got one: dumb and dumber!”
before i can stop my drunk self, it’s out.
“uh, yeah, that’s jeff daniels. but, he sort of looks a little bit like bill pullman if that makes you feel any better.”
evidently, it didn’t, because shortly thereafter, rocco took his leave. but not before his parting shot.
“okay, well, if any of you need to get in touch with me, you know, for anything…or anything…my email address is listed on the evite page.”
[ed. note: before you email me, it’s brain dead, which i have actually seen, by the way. brain dead is the movie that proves that paxton and pullman aren’t the same guy. why do you know these things?]
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]