Maid of honor:
This week my maid of honor duties have involved addressing almost 200 invitations by hand, offering support and advice while the bride tried on various wedding-dress-related foundational undergarments, not really being helpful by ducking into the dressing room next door and buying lots of completely un-wedding-related lingerie for myself, and waking up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to drive to Wichita for a dress fitting. I’m considering wearing my new non-wedding undergarments for the fitting just to liven things up. What, you mean the other bridesmaids aren’t going crotchless? The plus side is we get to hang out with the bride’s grandparents while we’re there, and I fucking love the bride’s grandparents. Her grandfather is named Elmer and talks nonstop about how he doesn’t trust Peter Jennings, and her grandmother wears plaid Keds all the time and will undoubtedly send us home with packages of stale Twinkies and month-old People magazines.
I’m packing a flask, naturally.
Science = Death
I know this might be hard for you to swallow, but I haven’t always been this effortlessly cool and in the know. Back in the day when I was just little fifteen year old Sarah, all Blossom-banged and beaded-necklace-bedecked, I spent most of my time wearing my Converse, making mix tapes, and working hard on compiling cred.
Sometimes cred came easy, because let’s face it, I’m smart and clever and quick on the uptake, but there were other times when cred was so elusive, so slippery, and I chased it so hard, only to fall on my face, usually in front of other, cooler, taller people. Like the time I went to some concert that was just brimming with people with far more cred than I, and I spent the whole time not listening to the music, but taking mental notes on what all these cool people did and said and wore. One really cool-looking guy walked past me wearing a black t-shirt with a huge triangle on it, and underneath was what I thought read “Science = Death.”
This struck me as very cool, despite the fact that I had no idea what it meant, but you know, I was young, and that hadn’t stopped me from finishing The Crying of Lot 49, so I was down with it. Science = Death! Hell yeah it did, man! I wrote this all over my notebooks in black Sharpie marker, triangle and all—especially my chemistry notebook, which I thought was just too rich—and when stupid preppy kids asked me what it meant, I just sort of rolled my eyes and hoped to God they wouldn’t press the issue, because everyone knows the number one secret to cred is casting doubt on other people’s cred.
I forgot all about Science = Death until my freshman year of college, when I noticed a flyer in my dorm for an AIDS Awareness rally. I couldn’t figure out why it looked familiar, until I saw the triangle, and it all suddenly clicked. It wasn’t Science = Death, it was Silence = Death. Which, you know, makes a lot more sense.
I spent 20 minutes scraping my car this morning because last night I couldn’t make it up my icy driveway to park under the covered parking. The weatherman said we’ve got a “wintry mix” headed our way today, which is the stupidest fucking weather term I’ve ever heard. What is that, like snow and sleet and peanuts? Maybe snow and sleet and scorpions. Now that’s the kind of weather I could get behind. Especially in the mood I’m in now. I’ve got my own little wintry mix of sad and frustrated and fuck you.
I’ve experienced two times in my life when bubble baths were no longer enjoyable: being unemployed, and being really sad, because being alone with your thoughts is suddenly not a novelty.
Him (on the phone): What are you doing?
Me: I think I’m watching the Brady Bunch.
Him: Which episode is it?
Me: I don’t know; I just turned it on, and it’s on mute. They’re all really young.
Him: Tell me more. I bet I can guess which one it is.
Me: Um, Marcia is giving a speech—Him (shouting, before I can finish my sentence): Greg and Marcia both run for class president!
Me: Wow. Did you just raise your hand when you yelled that?
All this recent duct tape talk reminds me of my college boyfriend, who was a big believer in duct tape. He had a pair of duct taped-shoes, which may have been punk rock, but they lost their charm after two or three years. He actually called me last night just to rub it in that the rest of the nation was coming around to his duct tape ways. I reminded him of all the times I had to pull him out of parties because when he was drunk, he liked to play Bloody Knuckles with burly strangers. He wasn’t quite as hoity-toity about his little duct tape revolution after that.
Last night I went over to Emily’s house where she took my measurements to send to the seamstress for my bridesmaid dress. She called me at work this morning because we forgot one, and in case any of you were wondering, the space between the bottom of my neck and the tip of my shoulder is roughly the length of a Bic medium round stic pen.
To the end:
I’m kind of questioning my fidelity as a friend, because if one of my good friends died, even the best ones, I still don’t think I’d have their face airbrushed on the back of my jacket.
Hot Weekend Plans:
Last night I went to an art gallery opening where everyone had a lot more product in their hair than I did. Probably because I had zero product in my hair. Also, it made me wish I had cooler glasses.
I have to go now because my date’s mom is totally dropping him off at my apartment right after 5 o’clock mass. Yeah, you heard me right.
Dance Dance Revolution:
Let’s talk about me and dancing, shall we? First of all, that’s kind of like saying “trout” and “bubblegum,” or “Owen Wilson” and “not funny.” Dancing and me are ships passing in the night, and try as we might, it will never work between us. Like former lovers, alcohol is the only thing that brings us together, and, thankfully, parts us before the sun comes up.
I think the main problem is that I technically have no rhythm, or just maybe a different kind of rhythm, like a special kind of rhythm. Not unicorn special, but short-bus special. God knows it’s not genetic, because my parents are the best dancers you’ve ever seen. They’re always the first and last couple on the floor at weddings, and while I can be spun and twirled and dipped, I’m not really doing the footwork myself.
My first brush with dance came at age 3, when my mother enrolled me in ballet and tap lessons. I fucking hated those lessons, but I was really into the shoes, so I stuck it out until the recital. The recital has become an infamous story in my family, and if you ever happen to meet my parents, they will undoubtedly bring it up within the first 15 minutes of speaking to you, and attempt to show you the photographic evidence. In fact, you cannot just say “the recital.” You must say The Recital, written in 48-point cursive, and you must hire the guy who plays the kettle drum in the orchestra from 2001: A Space Odyessy to play in the pause after saying it.
At The Recital, about a dozen three year old girls in blue tutus wandered aimlessly out onto the stage at The Performing Arts Center downtown, which is a huge venue, way too huge for a dozen aimless three year olds, especially since all of them are ignoring the teacher, who is dancing the routine offstage. Some cry, some sit down, and one wanders offstage and comes back with a blanket. But one three year old walks straight out to the very edge of the stage, teetering over the orchestra pit, and if you’re watching the video, you can hear the audience of parents gasp collectively. But then she stops, bends her knees, makes a set of goggles with her hands, and begins combing the room like a sniper. Now you can hear the audience laughing, laughing so hard that you can no longer hear the music, but that doesn’t matter because it’s not like anyone is dancing to it anyway. This screening goes on for a good minute, until, miraculously, she actually spots her parents, and begins jumping up and down and waving, and then finishes it off with her own improvised little dance, which is not so much ballet as endzone. I believe it would techincally be classifed as “shaking one’s tail feathers,” but what would I know? This little routine ended my ballet career, but like any savvy three year old, I’d have rathered to burn out in my prime than fade away.
My next run-in with dance came about in 1986, in the fourth grade talent show, where I found myself inexplicably onstage with three of my friends, wearing stirrup pants and side ponytails and dancing to Madonna’s “True Blue.” I use the term “dancing” very loosely here, because it was more like acting out the lyrics with exaggerated yet precisely choreographed hand motions. Your heart fits me like a glove = cue fists over heart, pantomine pulling on elbow-length gloves. Needless to say, it was a show-stopper. We tried to re-create the magic the following year in the fifth grade talent show, but it was like a Gemini’s Twin skit: two girls were gone, the choreography was off, the sweatshirts were hastily puffy-painted the night before, and the song was Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” A little too meta for my tastes, and it put me off dancing for years to come.
Except for the obligatory sweaty swaying to “Diamonds and Pearls” and “Wonderful Tonight” in a million off-the-shoulder velvet dresses on a million different Holiday Inn parquet floors in high school, I really didn’t dance again until college, when I learned how CRAZY and FUN it was to buy beer by the bucketload and dance in a circle with my three friends to “Melt With You.” Maybe since these evenings usually ended with making out standing up on a slimy dance floor, I was up for it more often than not, but even that got old after a semester or two. Now I can be persuaded to go for the occasional ’80s night at the gay bar, but the majority of my dancing is done either in my shower, or in my bedroom, sliding on my hardwood floors Risky Business-style. In the privacy of my own home, I’m pretty sure I’m a hot dancer, but the minute I’m around other people and sober enough to remember my name, I get really self-conscious about my moves, and start watching other people to see what they do, but then I’m not really clear on the general stance on move-copying. Is that rude? Do they notice? Are they laughing at me? Can I blame them?
I’m going dancing soon, and there will definitely be cute boys there, and I’m a little concerned. I’d prefer it if people didn’t laugh at me, at least not more than they already do. So listen: I’ll try to identify some of my dance antics, and you people tell me what’s acceptable, okay? I mean, you guys are in the know, right? Odds are all of you are better dancers than I am, so please, advise.
- I tend to do a lot of lip-synching and singing along if it’s a song I like. Is that lame?
- I know it’s gay when guys bite their bottom lip while they dance, but I tend to do it without realizing it. Hot or not?
- I’ve always adhered to the Tina Turner hip-movement rule: side to side, not front to back. Is this archaic, or cool?
- What the hell do you do with your hands?
The weekend highlight reel:
- calling people while drunk at 3 am to play my slide whistle over the phone for them
- jumping on a giant trampoline
- preparing to give Steve a black eye and his sober friend Andy getting very concerned and saying, “Sarah, I don’t think you should do that!” while his drunk friend Tony yelled “HIT HIM!”
- seriously, how much do I love that part in Modest Mouse’s “Summer” where he says “damn, who’s pagin’ me now?”
- being told by a 7 year old that I’m pretty with straight hair, only so-so with curly
- deciding my next birthday is going to be a laser tag party
- spending $3 of Brian’s money and getting 18 songs on the jukebox, including “Cradle of Love” and “Devil Went Down to Georgia”
- telling my parents I punched two people in the face Friday night and they just asked me to pass the garlic bread
- this dream I had where I was the only girl in an all-guy band and even though I had to wear these short-shorts onstage, when I started playing the drums these people in the front row said, “Wow, she’s really good!”, only I was playing a cafeteria tray with a knife and fork, but for real, our single was so good that when I woke up I wanted to go download it for a minute
- so it turns out people weren’t trying to break into my back door at 1 am last night
- if I told you the actual best part of my weekend, I’d have to kill you
So Punk Rock:
How many people did I punch in the face last night? Two.
How many people took it like a man, even when I hit their nose more than their eye, and didn’t fall down in the booth wailing like a pussy? One.
How many people have actual black eyes today? None. But there is some significant cheek and nose bruising. It’s all because I am a delicate, delicate flower and my hands are too soft to truly be tuff.
I’m working on that.