[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.
["part ii?" you say. "part ii of what?!" part ii of this. that's what.]
“julia! get over here, girl!”
"julia! where is that girl?!"
i could no longer hide behind the potted palms and i was too far away from the exit to try and make a break for it.
i had no choice. i begin to walk in the direction i am called.
“what’s up?” i try to ask as nonchalantly as possible.
“here she is! see? isn’t she cute? i told you she was cute. and she ain’t had a date in a long time. a long time. i mean a long…”
“yes, i think we all understand. i haven’t had a date in a while.”
“not a while, baby, a long ass time. you passed ‘a while’ about six months ago.”
standing there in the clutches of my friend with the alleged skirt was one of the bartenders.
and he looked very afraid.
as well he should.
“go on now! talk to her!”
she pushed him toward me, and smacked him squarely on the ass.
“don’t be shy! now i’m goin’ back to the bar.”
as soon as she had turned around, he bolted for the stairs and i stood there looking around to see if the railing on the roof might be loose anywhere so i could throw myself off the top of the building with the least amount of effort.
at that point, my soon-to-be-liberated coworker approached.
“girl. i only got two more of those bitches to tell to fuck off, then i’m ready to get on up outta here.”
she seemed to be leaning a bit to the right.
“you know…that sounds like a great idea.”
“yeah. i think we need to go out and get our dance on.”
yeah. that’s exactly what we need to do. sure, one of us can’t walk in her shoes and one of us is listing worse than the titanic, but, yeah, we definitely need to go get our dance on. for real.
about then, my phone rang. i pulled the phone out of my purse and looked down into the blue glare of the screen.
it was my new boss.
but why would he be calling me when he’s here at the same party? why would…he…
i don’t know how i didn’t notice it before, but a quick look around confirmed what my gut was telling me. he wasn’t here anymore. and no one else was, either. no one but the three drunk hookers and the staff of the consulting firm.
“how are you?”
“i’m fine. how are you?”
this was maddening. just say it already, dammit! say i’m fired! say something! quit making small talk!
“i just wanted to call and wish you good luck this evening.”
“yes. well. thank you.”
“i’m sure you’ll come and see me in the morning.”
as i hung up the phone, i could hear one voice clear as a bell.
“girl! mary j. blige got the same. damn. shoes! that’s how you know they’re bad!”
i spotted my soon-to-be-outta-there coworker propped against a rail. one of the consultants was talking to her with a concerned look on her face. i made my way toward them.
“julia! girl, she was the last one. i’m ready to get the fuck on up outta here.”
i smile at the consultant.
“thanks for the invitation. it was a very nice party.”
she smiled. a forced smile. a smile that screamed “we hate you, we have always hated you, and as i look around and see the catastrophe you have rained down upon us, i am reminded of all the reasons why we have always hated you and why we tried very very hard to get you fired.”
“well, i guess we should probably head out. i’ll just round everyone up…”
“that’s it, baby! open up a bottle of that champagne! yeah!”
“come on now! fill my glass up! don’t be shy!”
“is there a bathroom, by any chance?”
“at the bottom of the stairs there are two guest rooms that are open. we reserved those so you can use those bathrooms.”
“damn! this is some good shit!”
and with that i gather the ladies and wrangle them toward the stairs.
“shit, i can’t walk down these stairs in my shoes.”
“well, just carry them.”
“i can’t. i got my hands full, baby.”
and how i didn’t notice that before, i have no idea. in one hand is her green bag and a champagne flute. and in the other hand is the bottle of champagne.
“okay. well. give me your shoes.”
so, with one soon-to-be-passed-out coworker leaning on one side of me, and the green shoes in the other hand, we make our way down the stairs. one of the guest rooms is immediately in front of us and there’s a chair in the hallway outside the door. the bathroom is occupied, so i deposit the listing coworker in the chair and go into the room to sit down. she of the alleged skirt follows me in.
“this room isn’t all that nice, you know?”
“it’s okay. sort of small. but it’s an older hotel.”
“well, it ain’t all that, that’s all i’m sayin’,” she said, the champagne bottle still in her hand.
“well, they have some nice stuff, though,” i say, getting out of the chair. “this is a really nice umbrella.”
“you want that umbrella, baby?”
“no. i mean, i do need an umbrella, but, you know, you can’t just…”
“gimme that umbrella, baby. that umbrella is yours.”
“but, we can’t just take it, i mean, someone has to pay for it…”
and then i realized: those consultants who hate me very much and tried very hard to get me fired…they will be the ones who pay for it.
“girl, the bathroom’s open. you go on ahead and go. i’m gonna look through the drawers in here. see what else i can find.”
i return to find her putting stationary and pens into her green bag.
“let her go,” she said, motioning to our friend in the hall.
so, i sent her to the bathroom and deposited myself in her chair in the hallway. the elevator doors opened and two men got off of the elevator. they had been at the party earlier and spoke to me as they walked by. i told them that if they needed the restroom the other room was open. one of them went in while the other stood in the hall and waited. after a moment, he spoke to me.
“so, where do you work?”
i had just answered him when i saw something that burned itself into my mind so deeply that i will never forget it. ever. not as long as i live. probably even after i die, i will remember it. i’ll be sitting there, wherever you sit after you die, and i’ll be having a perfectly nice conversation with some other dead person about how much i like a good risotto or about how i like it that you can watch moonlighting and wkrp on television whenever you want to now that you’re dead and then, right in the middle of that, this image will come screaming back to me, ruining what would surely be an otherwise nice afterlife.
“girl, i have to pee so damn bad i have to hold onto my cha cha to hold it in! damn!”
and there she was. standing outside the room in the hallway with her alleged skirt up around her waist. one hand firmly planted on her cha cha and the other hand still clutching the champagne bottle.
and then the elevator door opened. and out stepped a woman and two young boys, one of whom exclaimed almost immediately, “awesome!”
they were quickly scuttled back onto the elevator and you could actually hear their mother repeatedly hitting what i assume was the door close button.
the man in the hallway made some sort of noise. or maybe a comment. honestly, i don’t know. i was sort of not there anymore. i had gone to my happy place. a place where there wasn’t the front of someone else’s butt right there on full display in front of me.
at that moment, the bathroom door mercifully opened.
“girl! smell this!”
few things will strike fear in the heart of me more quickly than someone coming out of a bathroom and telling me to “smell this.”
she walked over to me, paralyzed in my chair there in the hallway, and shoved her hands under my nose.
they smelled lovely. thank god.
“yeah, i noticed that they have molton brown stuff in there. that’s good stuff. i….”
“is it real expensive?”
“well, not horrible. i mean, it’s about thirty bucks or so for a bottle of hand soap that size. i bought some on my trip to london in the fall. i don’t know why, i mean you can buy it here, but, anyway, the stuff i got is not that scent, it’s a different one, more….”
but she wasn’t listening. she had turned around and gone back into the bathroom which was currently occupied by our friend and her cha cha.
i became aware that the man down the hall was explaining to his friend what he had missed while in the restroom. complete with reenactment of the “holding it in” stance. he then headed into the bathroom himself.
about then, my two coworkers emerge from the bathroom. they’re arguing.
“well, you take the soap and i’ll take the lotion.”
“come on, girl.”
“julia, tell her to give me the lotion.”
“um, honestly, she stole it, so it’s technically hers.”
despite the fundamental wrongness of the whole thing, i thought that seemed logical.
“fine. hold this.”
and she hands me the champagne bottle, which i hold in the one hand i have that isn’t holding her shoes, and walks straight into the second guest room’s bathroom. the one with the man in it.
“’scuse me, baby…what? calm down, baby, i ain’t gonna look at it. not like i ain’t seen it all before anyhow. i’m just gonna take this soap and this lotion.”
i can’t quite make out what he’s saying, which is surprising, really, given the volume level at which he’s speaking.
“please. you weren’t gonna wash your hands anyway. i know you weren’t. and if you really do wanna wash your hands, you can just use that soap right there in the shower. damn…that is a nice washcloth. ‘scuse me, baby.”
oh my god oh my god oh my god.
after a moment, she comes out of the room. she’s carrying the following:
- one really large bottle of molton brown hand soap
- one equally large bottle of molton brown lotion
- one umbrella
- one washcloth
“girl. i got me an umbrella too. and now you can keep your damn soap and your damn lotion. i got my own.”
“i want an umbrella.”
“well, that umbrella is julia’s. there’s a nice robe in the bathroom, though.”
oh my god oh my god oh my god.
“well, that’s mine.”
“okay,” i say, standing up. “no. no robe. we are not going to walk through the lobby of this hotel with a robe thrown over your shoulders like you’re fucking james brown live at the apollo. no way.”
“damn, girl. you need to drink something.”
“baby, drink you some of that champagne.”
and, really, that seems like a fine idea. so i raise the bottle to my lips and take a drink.
“see, that’s better, isn’t it? let’s go, baby.”
and so we get onto the elevator. as the doors close, i take another swill out of the champagne bottle in my hand, wondering if i can drink every bit of it before the doors open on the lobby.
“my soap is more full than yours.”
“well, my lotion has more in it.”
“well, i got more shit in my purse you don’t even know about.”
and the doors open and we step out into the lobby. i have the green shoes in one hand, the champagne bottle in the other.
my goal is to get across the lobby as quickly as possible and avoid all eye contact. i’m halfway to my goal, speeding toward the doors. i can still hear bickering behind me and then, my name.
i stop dead in my tracks. i feel sure that everyone in the lobby has stopped what they’re doing and they are now looking at us. how could they not?
i see two employees come out from behind the desk, a look of utter fascination on their faces.
“baby, take your umbrella. this bitch keeps tryin’ to take it from me, and i keep tellin’ her that this one here is yours, and the other one is mine, but you better take it before i have to beat her back with it.”
and she walks over to me, slowly…slower than any person has ever walked, i’m pretty sure, and hangs the umbrella off of my forearm.
“there, baby. now gimme my shoes. i can’t go outside barefoot.”
no. of course not.
and, with that, we make our way across the lobby and out the door. as they pile into the cab ahead of me, i turn and look back.
the entire staff of the hay adams has gathered at the door, watching incredulously.
before i turn to climb in, i raise the champagne bottle in their direction and wave, the umbrella swinging on my arm.
as the door is closing and i begin to settle in, i see a flash of green streak past my face and there is suddenly a leg next to my head, where a leg should not be, stretching toward the cab driver.
“baby, look at my shoes. mary j. blige has these same shoes. these shoes are bad.”
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]