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August 25, 2003

Ya Ya Weekend Wrap Up

This past weekend we had Ya Ya!

For those of you who are new to the World of Suzanna Danna, please read here for a little background. And… thanks for playin.

I was so excited. It is always a fun time and I always feel recharged for the year. I hardly ever see my girlfriends… and never all together outside of the yearly Ya Ya.

Yes, it was a gay movie . Shut up. We planned the first Ya Ya weekend way before they cast Sandra Bullock for goodness sakes.

There was a new element to the proceedings this year. Siska, a fellow single Ya Ya from Houston called me one afternoon to find out all about Mister. She had yet to meet him and decided that the first evening of the Ya Ya weekend would be just perfect for all of my girls to do some grillin.

Previously the only male allowed within 100 feet of the Ya Ya palace was my father and last year he did not even get to stay as a family funeral caused him to leave early that Saturday morning.

The girls held an electronic vote earlier this year and a unanimous Yes! was heard from Houston to Nacogdoches to Chicago. It was settled, I was to invite Mister to venture into the secret society of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.

Bless his heart. I do believe that he was simultaneously excited and scared to death. Not that the Ya Ya weekend is for male bashing of any kind. It is just well known that we throw this weekend as sort of a Holiday from makeup, from hair dos, from children, from men and from responsibility. As a matter of fact, my invite letter reads like this:

“Come one come all…Girlfriends, Sisters, Mothers, Daughters, Wives, Fiancés and of course the ever elusive Single Woman!!!!!!!!! Everyone is Invited! This is a weekend to relax and kick back with friends. Sorry, no men allowed (except my Daddy*smile*). Enjoy a weekend of swimming, boating, skiing, drinking, and sunbathing (did I mention drinking?) at the (kick-a$$) home of Momma & Daddy Danna on beautiful Lake YA YA. Last year we had a blast, so join us this year to partake in the FUN!”

So no male bashing takes place, it is just not a male dominated or even tolerated (ha! Kidding) environment.

Mister bravely accepted the challenge to show up and meet all of my female friends and battle the estrogen-filled wake of questions.

Mister and I got into town on Friday around 5pm. My parents thought Mister was crazy for coming. When we got to my parents house, they had champagne waiting to toast our engagement. That was so cool! We toasted, had a quick sandwich with our champagne… yum! and went to the designated Ya Ya meeting place. The Blue Store!

When we pulled up the five core Ya Ya’s were there; Glo, Brenna, Siska, Sesil and Jennifer. We all squealed and hugged and kissed.

Mister stood his ground while being introduced and gamely accepted the hugs, kisses and scrutinizing looks from my girls. We forked over our money for groceries, got caught up on quick history of who was who for Mister’s benefit and he answered basic questions for those that asked about where he was from, his family and his religion. They assured him the good questions were to be asked when the whole group was together.

We got to see pictures of Brenna’s and Gloria’s children together and hear about Jenn’s practice. Sesil just landed her dream job in Chicago working as a manager for a Scrapbooking company. Siska is looking for a new job, but is tolerating her current one.

Two other Ya Ya’s showed up. Clarice and her friend Becky (a new Ya Ya) showed up. We made our grocery list and sent the Grocery Goddesses on their way. Mister and I went to go get booze and the rest of the girls headed for the Ya Ya palace.

We all got back to the Ya Ya palace at about 9pm. Mister was going to hang out for a little bit and then head back to Dallas, but after we all had a few drinks and asked him everything under the sun, Gloria took a vote and asked him to stay the night, but with an addendum that he be out of the house before the bikinis went on. He accepted and was SO sweet ya'll. He was even touched (not like that ya perv!) when Siska asked him if he knew that I was more precious than any gem or any precious metal and that he was a lucky man for having me. He told her that he knew and agreed and she immediately loved him.

Friday night was a wonderful time. We got caught up, we sang, we danced, we laughed and a few of us even cried. I am happy to admit that I remained dry eyed the whole weekend.

At least one of us has an emotional epiphany during Ya Ya. The first year it was me. I cannot tell you people the emotional weight that I felt lifted from me.

Hence, that is the true reason that I keep Ya Ya going.

Saturday morning Mister hit the road bright and early but not before my Mother and I planned the wedding. For Mister and I, not my Mother and I…. Sheesh.

That morning 3 more Ya Ya’s showed up. That afternoon 4 more Ya Ya’s showed up. Fifteen Ya Ya’s in all. We were missing a few from the previous years, but it was a great time!

Saturday we tried to get Clarice drunk so she’d relax.

It didn’t work.

We do have a few high maintenance ones every year. They are lovingly tolerated but never catered to.

Sunday Jenn and I did our annual synchronized swimming event in honor of someone. The first year it was in honor of Sesil for coming so far to join us. The second year it was in honor of my mother for letting us have Ya Ya at her lovely home. This year, it was supposed to be in honor of my father since he had to leave last year… he wasn’t present at the time so we did it to the oooh’s and aaah’s [read: braying laughter] of our fellow Ya Ya sisters.

For those of you girls who missed Ya Ya weekend... YET AGAIN... know that you were missed and we look forward to seeing you next year!

I think I may make a Ya Ya blog.

Hmmmm.

Until next time… “Keep the Shiny Side Up and Keep the Rubber Side Down!”

April 29, 2004

Just One of the Guys (Part 1)

When I was a little girl I played with bugs and snakes. I caught a toad every summer day. Their names were all Simon. And every breezy Georgia night when my father came home from work we would eat together as a family. After supper, my father would take me out to the bottom step of our porch, him carrying me and me carrying my bug-catcher. The warm Georgia air cooling down from a humid day, smelling of freshly cut grass and earth. Daddy would explain to me in soft words, his strong arms around my tiny back, that I needed to let Simon go so he could go find his family and have dinner with them and sleep in his own bed that night. Every night, I would cry.

My sister had the Barbie Dream House and the baby dolls to play house and play mommy with. I preferred Lincoln Logs and my stuffed animals. I would build shelters for the stuffed animals with the Lincoln Logs and then cause them to mate and complete the circle of life.

My sister would set up shop and rope her sweet friends into playing school. She always had to be the teacher [and is one today]. I preferred to careen around the bonus room on a rope swing my father hung from the rafters, bouncing off of the rough wooden planks lining the A-frame that was above our garage.

When I was old enough to make friends of my own I preferred the boys. Although my mother would say that I would play with whoever rang our doorbell. I guess I wasn't that picky, but I liked Paul. Paul was my best friend. His family moved in across the street from us when I was about five years old. Paul was a year younger than I was but he had no qualms about playing with a girl who could ride a big wheel like a bat out of hell. Mark, Paul and Ricky were my favorite play time pals from kindergarten up through 2nd grade.

When Paul got into the 2nd grade one of his buddies alerted him to the fact that it wasn't cool to be friends with a girl. He decided not to be my best friend anymore... and... I cried. Then I kicked his ass in every race the swim team held until we were 11 and 12 years of age.

As a sweet and gregarious child, I made friends easily with the people that I was exposed to on a regular basis. The nice men at the back of the church who were ushers? Yep, Loved them. I decided that one of them would be my boyfriend. His name was Charlie. Charlie was 67 years old and I was six. It was quite the January / December relationship, but Miss Charlie (Charlie's sweet and cuddly wife) did not seem to mind my adoration of her husband.

When Charlie died, I was 8 years old. I was not allowed to go to his funeral and yes, I cried.

I have always preferred the company of men to women. Boys to girls. Pointers to setters... whatever. Anyway, I have always reveled in my bond with the men in my life. I thought that girls were snotty, petty and could really hurt your feelings. I was mostly correct seeing as how I lived with an older sister and her gaggle of girlfriends. They would poke and prod at me. Teasing and hurting me only to spurn the only thing I ever asked from them. "Can I play too?"

Girls are vicious. I'm not kidding. Go into a middle school and approach a group of thirteen-year old girls. Try and break into their clique, make pleasant conversation, offer a cookie… a gift certificate to Claire's... a blood sacrifice, whatever. It won't work. They will tear you and your measly self esteem to shreds like a pack of rabid hyenas.

I didn’t have trouble with girls.

I just wasn't as comfortable around them as I was with the guys.

I didn't have any sort of affliction, I didn't stutter, I was slim, I was pretty, I wore passable clothes and the girls asked me to hang out… but whenever I trusted one, it was only a matter of time until I knew my feelings would get hurt.

With guys I never worried. I liked the same goofy shit they did. I enjoyed practical jokes, action movies, belching contests, cartoons and the WWF. Ric Flair? One of my best guy friends from high school named his first son after him.

Of course I formed lasting friendships with several girls who have grown into amazing women. But one of those girls, she broke my heart.

When we moved to Texas it was at the beginning of my 6th grade year. I was... the New Girl. Being either gutsy (or stupid) enough to go up and talk to random people was never a problem. I made friends with the guys in my neighborhood. And then she moved in.

Karen.

Karen was a year older than I was, but in the same grade. She hailed from California and seemed so worldly. What I mistook for worldliness, my mother pegged for "tramp!"

I had several circles of friends that spanned school, dance and church. Within short order, Karen had dated most of my guy friends. But in private she mooned over some guy named Diego or some such shit. He was her first*, he was her only love, he one true passion.

*Yes sir ladies and gentlemen, she was 13 and already sexually active.

She knew things I could only imagine. She introduced me to Motley Crue's Shout At The Devil and bootlegged Eddie Murphy tapes.

As I grew older I tried bringing Karen into my church youth group. I invited her on ski trips and to lock ins. I wanted to show her that she didn't have to be sad and depressed.

It just gave her another pool to pull boyfriends from like shooting fish in a barrel.

She wasn't terribly attractive, but she wore black eyeliner and her hair feathered perfectly. It was commonly known that she would go all the way.

I was almost embarrassed. Not by what she did, none of us are perfect, but by her blatant advertising of the things she did.

I remember her stealing the most popular guy from the most popular girl in 8th grade with the promise of "doing it" out by the pipe. The pipe was behind the school. It spanned across a small creek and cut the walk to school for some (of the kids) in half.

I couldn't understand why Karen would do that. I didn't see what was so special about that Hunter guy, and I definitely couldn't see what was so romantic about the patch of bald dirt out behind the school at one end of the pipe.

I remember hearing about it as I came out of Spanish Class. My Spanish teacher, Mrs. Murano had almost caught on fire by walking quickly across the room. The Lycra on her thighs was bound to combust sooner or later. Even when wearing a dress, she had that distinct sound of corduroy coming from her legs as they rubbed together. Zootzootzootzoot.

One of the popular girls ran up to me and all but screeched, "Your best friend, that slut has promised to do it with Hunter after school at the pipe!!!!" And she ran off to tell everyone else.

I just stood there. Not wanting to hear anymore. It was unfathomable to me that Karen would do this. Was it a rumor? Was it a stunt? I saw Karen on the walkway up by our lockers; she had a crowd gathered around her. Boys mostly with a few girls on the outside. The boys were looking at her with what seems like wonder and horror mixed with revulsion and jealousy. The girls looked on in disgust at the attention Karen was receiving.

I found my boyfriend, Terry, and asked him about what I had heard. He confirmed that it was true and that Chad and Scott would try to meet up with me on my way home to let me know what happened. I walked to and from school every day and Chad and Scott both lived in the neighborhood as well.

Terry hugged me when he saw the confusion in my eyes. I asked him, "Why would she do that?" He shrugged and said, "I guess she just wanted to."

That phrase was how Karen lived her life. She did what she wanted to.

That's why a year and a half later, as a freshman, I should not have been surprised at the view I saw at the Collin Creek Mall that day after school.

Terry and I dated for over two years. In high school that is almost an eternity. We started dating shortly before Karen's foray into Nasty. [I didn't see Karen too much after her experience with Hunter, I didn't seem to have anything in common with her.]

Terry was a sweet boyfriend. Kind hearted, sensitive, tall, thin, looked a bit like a young Tommy Lee from Mötley Crüe. He was my first. We waited over a year after we made that decision to actually go through with it. We wanted it to be perfect.

We wanted a lot of things to be perfect.

The day we all went to the mall I had to stay after school to complete a project. I had called my mother to okay it with her that I wouldn't be home right away. Bryan said that he could wait for me and give me a lift. I agreed and told Terry I would meet him at the mall. It was a hot day and the asphalt was burning through the bottom of my high-top Reeboks as I waited for Bryan to come back from the 7-11. He picked me up and we drove over to Collin Creek Mall. Terry said that he would meet up with us outside of the toy store. When Bryan and I walked into the mall and found Terry... I was taken aback to see that Karen had showed up... and she was holding Terry's hand.

She turned to me with a triumphant grin.

He turned to me with the most pitiful expression that seemed to (all at once) say, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you, I'm not sure what I'm doing, and Please don't cry!"

And in fine form I turned to Terry and asked, "What in the fresh hell is this?"

Karen spoke up, "We were going to tell you..."

I am proud to say, I didn't cry. I looked at the two of them and realized that I didn't have anything left to give them. That they deserved each other. Good riddance to bad rubbish... and all that.

I called my mother to come pick me up from the mall, and I didn't speak a word about it.

I figured if someone like Karen could take something so special from me, and pull it off so ... so fucking nonchalantly. Well, say hello to brick number one of this wall around my heart. I wouldn't feel that way about anyone ever again. I wouldn't give my heart and myself away.

I would be just one of the guys.

June 4, 2004

Just One of the Guys Part 2

For the first part, please click here.

The 2nd semester of my 9th grade year I made some new friends; Jimmy, who was affectionately called “Bean” by most who knew him and his best friend and counterpart, Steve.

They were the heart and soul of the offensive guard (and defensive when needed) for the school football team. The coaches at the senior high school (11th and 12th grades) Bean and Steve were to attend in a few years drooled over their stats as they watched the boys plow through score after score of high school rivals.

Their fierce competitiveness and surprising speed on the football field belied the fact that they were two of the nicest guys a girl with a chip on her shoulder could meet.

I actually met Bean and Steve in Mrs. Tilley’s English class one afternoon as I overheard them talking. Bean was telling Steve about seeing this large, bald man break down the door to one of his older brother’s friend’s house. The tale was long and sordid and it actually (and accurately) described (to my dismay and my horror) a tale I already knew because it was my father that broke that door down.

Long story short… My sister was somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be. Daddy drove by, saw her car and got out and rang the doorbell. Silence followed because apparently the whole group thought that my father was retarded and blind and couldn’t see the lights being turned off all over the house and screams of, “Shut UP!... He’ll hear us!” coming from inside. Daddy got mad, broke down the door, grabbed my sister and her best friend and told them to get their asses to the house. Bean just happened to be on the sidewalk on the other side of the street when a stream of high school kids came hauling ass around the side of the house; his brother was in the middle of the departing masses. His brother yelled, “RUN!” and that is where Bean stopped his narrative with Steve.

Steve incredulously asked, “No shit?” Bean responded with, “No shit.”

Steve said, “No way man, I don’t believe you.”

I knew Bean was telling the truth, and for some reason, I decided to get his back. I leaned over and said, “Excuse me guys, I couldn’t help overhearing.” I turned to Steve, “Yanno, he’s telling the truth.” Steve looked dubious and gave me an eyebrow raise. I said, “I know because the man who broke down John B’s front door [look to Bean for confirmation that it was indeed John B’s house… he nodded] was my father.”

The only word from Steve was, “Dude.”

For some reason, I guess owning up to something that strange for a high school kid was seen as bold. Our friendships started and bloomed quickly. They introduced me to their rag tag group of buddies and I was immediately comfortable. These were guys that didn’t feel the need to put on airs around each other and in turn they were real towards me. I loved them all and in a short period of time, there weren’t many places that I went without being sandwiched between Bean and Steve.

The two of them combined probably pushed 450 pounds. Bean is fair with the bluest eyes and reddish hair, his complexion a bit ruddy because of his Irish heritage. Steve is dark and handsome with the brightest smile in Dallas that is even more brilliant because of his a Spanish lineage and darker skin. Both of them are very handsome men with quick wit, fantastic senses of humor and loyal to death.

Being around them, and their group of friends [whose nickname I will not repeat here for fear of Google], I found myself relaxing and enjoying high school. With the suggestion of my best girlfriend Stephanie, and the support of the guys, I actually went out for cheerleader/mascot and got it. With Stephanie and some other friends cheering me on, and the guys’ hearty whooping in the stands, the enthusiasm was infectious and I was excited to be part of the cheerleading squad. I would get to dance/cheer and be on the field with the boys when they played football. Loving the cheerleading uniform and long curly hair and of course, my lipstick… but yeah, just one of the guys.

Over the summer all of our friendships grew. Both Steve and Bean had questionable relationships with their fathers and when they got to know mine they totally loved him. I remember one evening Bean came to pick me up at the house. As usual, my mother, the hostess with the mostess, was trying to force feed Bean a side of beef. My father casually inquired to Bean’s workout schedule. Bean mentioned that he and Steve had been working out in the weight room at the school. My dad asked, “So, how much do you and Steve bench press?” Bean casually responded, “We both broke our goal for 500 pounds a few weeks ago.” My dad, just as casually and with a smile, responded, “Well, big boy, I guess if you and I ever get in a tussle, I’d just have to shoot your ass.”

With my father’s good natured ribbing and the way he showed how much he loved/loves my mother, my sister, myself and all of our friends, Bean realized that getting into a fist fight with his old man was pretty messed up, that his father treated his mother appallingly and that he was going to have to work hard to get out of that house. He was going to have to work extra hard to get the education that he wanted.

Bean and I started spending more and more time together without the group and without Steve, especially after the 10th grade was over and I was separated from both them because I had to go to another school. I hated being without them, and Bean hated being away from me. Something had changed, as much as I didn’t want to admit it.

The guys in Bean and Steve’s group started ribbing Bean openly about his crush on me. I ignored it. I acted as though we were all just friends… just like it used to be. I didn’t want my status to change. I didn’t want to be one of the girlfriends on the outside of the group. I wanted to hold onto my elite status as the only female core member of their group. I was one of them. Just one of the guys.

I fought it for a long time. Even when Bean, Steve and I planned out our two different proms like Pimps R’ Us, I wanted to be one of the guys. For my high school prom, I set up all of Bean and Steve’s friends with girls from my high school, and for their prom, we just reversed it. Bean and I were each other’s dates for both. I have pictures of us. We look so happy, laughing so hard we were crying. Him holding me like a bride in his arms for one picture. Bean so proud of the corsage he brought me. Bean whispering reverently in my ear, “You are so beautiful” many times throughout each night. No biggie right?

The first time I was aware of the change was not from the open ribbing Bean’s buddies were handing him quite often, it happened one summer night between our senior year at high school and our freshman year at college. We were all at Jake’s house. Jake was our groups’ “Joey” from Friends. So. Damn. Cute… yet, So. Damn. Vacant. Great with a joke, a smile and a flirt, I didn’t think much about Jake drunkenly planting a kiss on me when I was coming down the stairs. I look to the bottom of the stairs and there is Bean. His face immediately red and eyes blazing. God, his eyes were SO blue.

Like a bitch, I blew it off.

Steve mentioned it. Apparently out of the three of us, he was the only one with balls. He told me that things were changing. That Bean was very jealous and that maybe… just maybe, I needed to talk to him.

I paid extra attention to Bean the remainder of the summer and of course Bean didn’t mention the Jake Kissgate of 1990. Did I make out with Bean later in the summer? Yep. Did I feel guilty and try to make him feel special? Yep, did he ask me to be his steady girlfriend? (Because it was 1950?.. Lord, I’m a tool.) No, he didn’t. I didn’t push it, he didn’t push it. We tried to leave things as they were. We tried to be nonchalant.

I knew that I was going to a college in east Texas and Bean and Steve would be at the opposite ends of the globe in west Texas (Bean) and in Austin (Steve). I decided to leave things be and just enjoy my remaining time with them. Him really.

I should have talked to him, but I didn’t.

I just wanted to be one of the guys.

During my first semester at college guess who came to see me? Bean and Steve! I was so excited I thought I was gonna pee my pants when they got there. I wanted to introduce them to all of my new (and reacquaint them with my old) friends. I ran downstairs and I don’t think my feet touched the ground for a good 5 minutes with Bean and Steve passing me back and forth in bear hugs. It was SO good to see them. I missed them so much. My heart didn’t feel the same without them around.

We made plans for the night, I took them to a party out in the middle of nowhere and everyone had a blast. The next night was poker and another party on someone’s land. Poker went famously, beer flowed, laugher was abundant and I was perched between my boys on the couch… happy as a clam. We went out to a club and then out to the land party. The land party really just consisted of a bunch of underage punks drinking beer beside a poorly constructed bonfire. Yeah, you know that kind of party.

On the way out to the party, Steve rode with a friend because Bean wanted to talk to me… alone. He was completely honest and bared his soul. I did not know what to do. I had a wall around my heart for so long that it had atrophied. I told him that I thought whatever he was suggesting was a really poor idea. That I totally loved him, I just didn’t want to be his girlfriend.

What a ho.

Yeah. The “You’re so nice, sweet and cute… BUT” song and dance.

I make me sick.

We got to the party and… this is where the suck reigns.

This was my best friend in the whole world.

I had been pulling away from Bean since the Jake Kissgate of 1990 because I got all indignant about it. Who was he (Bean) to determine who I kissed or who I didn’t? Right? RIGHT??? And here he was, in the middle of BFE trying to tell me that he loved me and wanted to be exclusive.

People. I muttered something like, “I can’t do this right now.” And got out of the car.

I GOT. Out. of the Freakin. Car.

Bean came over to me, stood by my side and offered me a beer. I said thank you and looked at him. He was crying.

Beautiful ice blue eyes, red face and a look that broke my heart in two… through the wall I had so carefully constructed around it.

I got mad. I think in my tirade that I even called him a pussy for crying.

The good Lord should have smote my ass.

I swear, all I wanted to be was… Just one of the guys.

August 6, 2004

On the border of Texas and Louisiana: Texas Longhorn Club

Living in East Texas during my late teens and through my early to mid twenties was a formidable challenge. Although I loved the piney woods, the laid back people, the smallness of the town(s) and the good friends I made there, there was always something missing.

I thought I found it when I was 19 or 20 years old.

I was always a big fan of road trips and the mere act of getting in my car, strapping on my seat belt, placing my big white and blue mug (which I threw away during the move, Oh the horrah!) into the seat belt in the passenger seat next to me, putting a fresh pack of smokes between my legs and taking off was a delight to me.

That feeling of freedom was something that I cherished. But I always felt like I was either running away from something, or toward something. I would rope my poor friends into countless road trips over the nine (holy shit, NINE!) years I lived in East Texas.

My group of friends would go to Bullwinkle’s (a country bar that is new defunct) on a Thursday night and at 11:00 pm, after sweating for several hours on the dance floor and having a raucous good time, I would find my girlfriend Stacey (and whomever else wanted to come, Hi Kerry and Stephanie!) and shout in her general direction, “Do you Know WHAT TIME IT IS?!?” She would grin and we would head towards the front door.

When we got to the front door, we would get in my little four-door Oldsmobile, make sure we had smokes and something to drink and we would head southeast for two hours until we hit Orange, Texas.

There was a place right across the river on the border of Texas and Louisiana called the Texas Longhorn Club (geeze I wish that place hadn’t burned down (repeatedly) I would love to show you guys pictures). On Thursday nights it wouldn’t close until 6 am, on Friday nights it wouldn’t close until 4 am and on Saturday nights… 2 am. That place was The Crazy, and it was in Louisiana so we were of drinking age if we were at least 18*, which we were.

*Note: Louisiana’s drinking age was 18 until 1994. Federal funds (road and highway) were withheld from the state until they changed it. Their roads were ass-terrible.

We would walk into that place and almost get lost. It was yooge, the dance floor was bigger than most restaurants, or bars, that I had been too. The ceiling was high over the dance floor so it wasn’t that hot and above the front of the club was a second floor where most of the regulars would go to play pool and drink (or chair-ble dancing… helllooooo Trixie!). The margaritas were cheap and yooge as well. We’d grab a drink and find the guys that we knew and commence to dancing and drinking until all hours of the morning. It was a riot.

More on this later, there are stories upon stories about this place, but that is for another entry… or twelve. Ladies, you know who you are, send me ideas to write about… “Take care! Take caaaaaaaaaaaaaare.” Heh.

My Friday classes suffered, but alas, I did graduate. So nyah.

The road trips weren’t as fulfilling as I thought they would be. When I got out of class on some days I would go and just drive around the Loop (224). Just driving made me relax a little, but I was still restless.

I started driving further and further in concentric circles or just heading a main compass direction. Some days I would head west and go to Lake Nacogdoches, some days I would head east and park at the Carl Monk Scenic Overlook, unknowingly parking less than a mile from where I would eventually live for 5 years. Sometimes I would head north and go into Cushing or out to Henderson, but mostly I would head south into Lufkin.

Lufkin seemed to be a larger city than Nacogdoches. There was more of an industrial feel. I found the Brookshire Bros. Distribution plant, I found a few movie theaters, a mall, a Toys R Us and then I saw it.

On the north loop (287) of Lufkin, on the right hand side (if you’re heading north) was the Ellen Trout Zoo. I love zoos. I love the smell of them, the education programs on animals and I especially loved the Ellen Trout Zoo’s admittance fee. It was by donation only back then and as I was a poor college student, I would meekly stuff a few bucks in the collection box every time I would visit.

I fell in love with the lemurs and the otters (river otters… LOVE!) and especially the big cat enclosure. They had lions and tigers (a few black bears, oh my) but the piece de resistance was the jaguar exhibit.

They had a black male that was glorious and a spotted female for his mate. The large male would find a high perch and lay there in the sun looking at you like, “Go ahead, mere mortal, worship me and my muscular sleekness. Look into my eyes and shiver in your very soul. And gaze upon my gorgeous coat that the sun reflects the pattern of spots and subtle undercurrents of my hotness. By the way, if you didn’t get the memo… I rule.”

So, yeah, I was completely taken with this zoo. It was close, it was small, the keepers were cool and it wasn’t crowded. There would be small groups on field trips, but mainly it was the staff, the animals, and uh… me.

I was there so often that when the jaguar couple (What? I can talk about them like they have been invited to my next cocktail party… hush.) had three cubs on Christmas day of 1991 I got a call.

I was in Plano, home for the holidays and working my ass off at Victoria’s Secret (hee!) or Paulette’s or something. One of the keepers called me and said, “Hey Suz, just wanted to let you know that the cubs came last night, a spotted female, a black female and a black male. The little black male is a little weak, but they seem to be doing fine.”

I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to get back to school so I could go see the babies.

They lost the little male two weeks after he was born to kidney failure, but the two females were doing Ggrrrreat! Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

I went to the zoo several times in that first few weeks of the cubs lives. They weren’t out for the public to see, but at six weeks old they would be, so… I went back. The zoo was practically empty and the female jaguar was back in the enclosure with the male. Where were the babies? A keeper called me over, I can’t remember his name for the like of me but the dude looked suspiciously like Weird All Yankovich. He asked me if I would like to see the little ones.

What do you think I am? High? Of COURSE I want to see them.

He brought them out, for me … TO… PET… And to LOVE ON! I am not kidding you people. His only word of caution was that I should keep a firm grip on the base of their (whichever one I was holding) tail lest they try to get away.

I had a jaguar cub in my lap. I had a jaguar cub on my shoulder. I had a jaguar cub try to eat the lens off of my Photography 201 camera that was the property of Stephen F. Austin State University.

I have pictures of these babies, close up and personal. Actually, I have the negatives, black and white negatives that I developed. The photos are long gone. I should get a few more prints.

I was crying like a little bitch because it was so awesome.

The little black female was more timid than her sister the spotted one. The spotted one went from my lap to my shoulder in a half a second. If I hadn’t been holding the base of her tail (Thanks Weird Al) she would have been up a tree the next second.

I had puncture wounds on my back from her claws, but I didn’t care.

She was chewing on my hair so I grabbed her little muzzles and shook it gently.

I cannot tell you guys the impact that made on me, being that close and personal with a big cat cub. Two of them!

I will never forget Weird Al for the gift he gave to me that day… but apparently I’ll forget the fuck out of his name.

November 5, 2004

Names changed to protect the drunk and disorderly.

When I was in college, full of piss and vinegar, I came home after a few semesters full of ideas and, truth be told… bullshit. I thought I was open minded and educated, smarter than your average bear after courses in political science, sociology, psychology and social psychology I thought I really knew what I was talking about.

After many years of my father’s face turning red in forced silence from watching me give my allowance to the homeless and sending it overseas to help out Sally Struthers, he saw me turn eighteen. He saw me enter the workforce at an even younger age than my peers at fifteen, so he knew I wasn’t a slacker, he just wanted to know if I had exercised my right to vote.

I stammered about the man and how unfair life was.

Unfair. Unfair. Please.

This was coming from a middle class white kid, my tuition was paid for and I had a place to live and never had to worry where my meals were coming from as long as I was in school.

Small Veer: Sure, I had been the subject of reverse discrimination at the hands of the Smithsonian Museum… a few summers before after applying for an internship I received word that because I wasn’t a poor, handicapped kid, or better yet, an ethnic poor, handicapped kid, that they couldn’t accept my internship… and you can bet your sweet ass I still have that letter. End Veer.

So my father asked me what my ideas for making America a better place were… I spouted off about equality and better heath care and giving more back to the poor, your standard Democratic Party platform…

My father did not miss a beat.

“Susan,” he said, “How are your grades this semester?”

I replied, “Well, Daddy-O, I have been working so very hard. I have been taking several labs this semester and it has really been quite a load of work, but I have buckled down and really have applied myself. I’m proud to say that I made the Dean’s List this semester and I have a straight 4.0… All A’s!”

I did a little dance around the ottoman in the living room.

Then he said, “Baby, that really is great, I am so proud of you and your hard work. I know that you really wanted to make the most of your education and I am so glad that you were able to get into this school and that you are doing so well. So tell me, how is Lisa* doing?”

“Well, you know Dad, she really didn’t get to have fun in high school and I guess when she got to college she just went a bit nuts. She hasn’t been going to class that much, she stays out late at night and I think she’s in danger of being put on probation if she’s not careful. Actually, it is pretty much already in the works, her mom is going to kill her.”

“Oh really? Why is that?”

“Well, she missed a final because she got sick from staying out too much and her grades are falling.”

“What are her grades like?”

“Well, if she’s lucky, she’ll squeak by this semester with a 2.0.”

My father then told me, “Susan I am so proud of you for doing so well, and Lisa is your friend right? You love her right?”

I replied, “Yes sir.”

“Here is what I want you to do. I would like for you to give her one of your points.”

I just looked at the man like he had lost his mind.

He continued, “If you give her one of your points you will have a 3.0 and she’ll have a 3.0, everybody will be equal and everybody will be happy, Lisa will get to stay in school, you’ll get to keep your friend and her mom won’t kill her. Eeeeeveryone wins.”

And then he sat back and crossed his arms.

I sat there and looked at this man who gave me life, I have half of his chromosomes, I beat him in a foot race (finally!) at the tender age of 14, he’s fair and loving and funny. I feared that he had lost his mind.

I spoke up in a voice that I fear was a bit on the whiny side, “But Daaaaaaaad, that’s MY 4.0… I earned it!”

He patted me on the knee and said, “Welcome to the Republican party Sweet Pea.”

*Names changed to protect the drunk and disorderly, and after all this is only an anecdote. Somebody asked me (the lovely Kath McCall wrote about it) today why I vote the way I do. This pretty much sums it up.

November 8, 2004

Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina" would act like some sort of homing device for my girlfriends and I.

Very interesting.

Whilst in the staff kitchen this morning fixing my breakfast, our web specialist walked in to mix his normal healthy juggernaut of granola/berries/yogurt and a bamboo hut* or something.

I greeted him and he said, “How was your weekend? Did you stay out of trouble?”

I said, “Of course, I never get into any trouble.”

He responded with, “That is not the rumor that I heard.”

Now, this sort of threw me. There I was, stirring warm water into instant grits of all things. I had just gotten back from a weekend spent at the home of my parents and apparently I have the reputation of being some wild woman?

Hmmm.

Is it because I am fairly young? Is it because I share an office with another fairly young woman? Is it because she is single? Is it because he is just teasing me? Is it because I work with a bunch of accountants and direct eye contact may be seen as wild behavior?

I know, I know… IT guys are sometimes shy and they go to opposite extremes to tease when they just want to make conversation. I know he really didn’t mean anything by it because he does the same thing to my officemate.

It just got me to thinking about how wild my little band of women were in college.

Close your eyes and picture this. Oh wait, if you close your eyes, you can’t read.

Then let me paint a picture for you.

Regardless of the club scene or the week or weekend night in the early 1990’s you would find loud music, smoke, beer and the promise of a connection luring upwards of fourteen of our closest girlfriends out of the dorms and into the clubs. Even after we moved out of the dorms and into apartments we would gather to primp and preen before the mirrors, shouting over the loud music to be heard that this guy or that was on the phone making sure that we were going to be there that night.

The Greek fraternities are just formal groups of the same types of gatherings, just in male formations... with more organization and a residence to throw parties in after the clubs have closed their doors for the evenings.

We always had our plans for the night. Which club to start out at and which dirty spoon to end the evening with, and who was supposed to hook up with whom.

“Let’s walk over to Crossroads, Three’s A Crowd is playing for Happy Hour… then we can go to Bullwinkles' for dancing. The Pikes are having a party, so are the KAs… we can always go out to Jitterbugs… isn’t Sterling City playing? And if we want, isn’t that guy with the mustache having a party too? Let’s meet up with everyone over at the Hot Biscuit after everything closes… Kay? Oh, waiiiiittttt…. Aren’t the Phi Delts throwing some big bash too???...

That wasn’t the best part, no… not by far… for me the best part was the music. Whether it was the sweet seduction of a waltz with an older gentleman in the smoky interior of Cotton Eyed Joe’s, or the upbeat heartbeat pounding jitterbug (normally a very fast and upbeat song) and having my partner toss me so high into the air that my boots knock out ceiling panels over the dance floor at Bullwinkles... or the best, the dance music thrown into the country mix to break it up. Bass shaking the very air and techno rocking the house while a bunch of men in cowboy hats get out on the wooden dance floor. Hee!

If you haven’t ever seen this… it really is a sight to behold. It happens in Texas quite a bit. Country music clubs have the best dance floors, hardwood and usually scattered with sawdust for sliding. Just to break up the sets of country and western music, they play hip-hop and techno every 30 minutes or so. Cowboys get out on the floor and some of them can really get down. Heh.

The first few drumbeats ba-da-dum-dum-da-dum-dum of Tone Loc’s "Funky Cold Medina" would act like some sort of homing device for my girlfriends and I. You would see our heads pop up (not unlike prairie dogs) from whatever conversation we were engrossed in, whomever we were already dancing with, or whatever drink line at the bar we were standing in and we would automatically search for the two tallest members of our group so we could converge on the dance floor en masse.

It was like some sort of primitive ritualistic call to shake our hips, heads, necks and rib cages to the beat.

Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” had the same effect, Technotronic, C&C Music Factory, even Clarence Carter. Our group was a multicultural mix of young women with rhythm and grace; music spoke to all of us, although… Stacey never really heard the call of Country and Western. :: smile::

Most of us never even left the dance floor, spending our nights worked up in a rhythmic frenzy, two-stepping, three-stepping, waltzing, jitterbugging, fast dancing, slow dancing, polka, you name it, we did it often or tried it at least once. It was a beautiful thing. I really wish I could have captured that in a bottle.

Anywhere to dance, it was almost a drug.

We would go to the lake on Monday nights when the bars weren’t open. We’d park our cars and turn our radio stations all to the same stations, leave our windows down and dance in the parking lot. We’d get hot and sticky and more often than not end up in the lake. Sometimes… nekkid. The park ranger would run us off after 10pm only if we were drinking or if the sheriff was patrolling.

We danced in the hallways of our dorms and the parking lots too. We danced in the parking lots of our apartment complexes. We danced in our bedrooms. One of my dear, dear friends (a friend I need to tell you all the story of) D’Wayne taught himself how to dance in his dorm room before venturing out onto the dance floors of the bars. He is one of the smoothest waltzers (is so a word) I know.

I miss dancing so much; it has always been a huge piece of my life. I never thought of myself as a wild child in college, I just liked to dance. I was a virtual never-ending supply of energy where dancing was concerned, and I still love to dance, I just don’t want to brave the bars to do it anymore. They are loud and smoky, the drinks are expensive and I feel fat.

How could anyone mistake me for wild anymore? Hmmm?

*I typed “and a water buffalo” first, because it was funnier, but seriously… it didn’t make any sense, and because he is the web guru, he may be reading this, and in that case, Hi Wayne! Don’t get me fired, kay?

January 10, 2005

Stephanie and I were totally oiled up with a mixture of baby oil and iodine.

July of 1987

Saturday, 9:30 am, Stephanie and I woke up groggy and mush-mouthed. We stayed up most of the night before giggling and talking about boys in our class and our plans for the next week. Kim was going to be coming into town soon and we needed to decide on Six Flags or Wet and Wild for our big excursion.

My mother was prodding us to get up and have some breakfast, “Giiiiiiirrrrrllllls!” She chirped in her high-pitched southern voice, “Get up, get up get uuuuupppppp!!!!” Trilling the last “up” into two sing-songy syllables.

We moved slowly from my tiny bedroom into the kitchen. My mother flitting around us like a small humming bird while Stephanie and I blinked our eyes at the cruel morning sun.

We foraged for food in the kitchen and watched the world with our bleary eyes.

My father came in and asked us if we were ready to go. He got most of the sentence out of his mouth, saw the state of our existence and turned around and went back out into his sanctuary… the garage.

That morning we were going to the lake to water-ski with two boys from my church, Ryan and Carter. Carter’s dad, Gil, had a dual-motor, inboard Viking (with wings) and my father was going with us as our safety net. My dad had taught most of my friends to water-ski so they were comfortable around him and his 1976 Glass Master (hoopty) boat… and Gil had the reputation of being sort of a wild man on the lake.

Stephanie had a small crush on Carter because he was Greek god hot. I pretended not to notice that Carter was hot and Ryan was quite good looking too... because these guys were my buds. I had known them since I was wee. I had even played H2O Tic-Tac-Toe* (on my driveway at one of our pool parties) with them.

*No, you can’t ask. Well, maybe later.

Steph and I moved it into second gear and shuffled into the bathroom. We each took showers and carefully applied makeup complete with waterproof mascara. (Wha? Yeah. Girls are weird sometimes.) And then we made the painfully slow selection of which bathing suit to wear.

“That one?” “No…, wait… Are my boobs showing?” “Sue, you don’t have any boobs.” “Oh, yeah, you’re right…” “Hey, Your hair looks really cute in a ponytail.” “Thanks.” “Can I get away with a binkini?” “Of course you can.” “Oh damn, I’ve started my period.” “One piece for you!”

And then… the time consuming decisions on the bathing suit cover up.

I thought my father would chew his own face off before we left.

“Girls?”...

“Girls….?...

“girls……..????”

”Are they even back there?”

Then. Dun DUN DUUUUNNN! We were ready.

We left at like 11:00 and met Ryan, Carter and his dad at the lake at 11:30 or so.

Stephanie and I were totally oiled up with a mixture of baby oil and iodine. It is a wonder we didn’t slide right out of those vinyl seats and into the water to be churned up by those dual manly turbine engines. Sweet. Oh…and then there’s the skin cancer factor. Did I mention that we are both normally the color of nuclear winter? She’s a breath-takingly, drop dead gorgeous red-head… and I’m… uh... Irish. Because we are smart. S-M-R-T. See? Smart.

And also… slippery.

So, we were gonna show these boys that we are cool. We were not normal girls.

We could snow ski with them. It’s a fact Jack.

Yeeeaaahhhh boooyyyeeeee.

We could water ski with them too, right?. Wait. Who is this Jack character?

Anyway, we headed out onto the lake in the boat. Ryan got out into the water with his one little lonely ski to slalom, shooting up rooster tails of water 15 feet into the air. Strangely reminiscent of when he ‘iced’ me doing the same thing on my first youth snow ski trip with our church two years before. Showing off bastard. He was very good. He’s always been very athletic.. and quite the poet (psst... he wrote me the sweetest poem in 8th grade English. I still have it.).

Then it was Carter’s turn to take a run on the skis. He decided to use some trick skis and a boom to hang out over the side of the boat. The crazy goob dropped both skis and barefooted in a small lagoon that was pretty still and placid. He was amazing and we were all whooping and hollering.

I had seen Cater jump on moving vans. I had seen him do flips on snow skis. I had seen him do incredible things with a half pipe and a pair of roller skates or a skateboard, but that took the cake. He got back in the boat and told us he wanted to be a stunt man when he graduated.

My father lifted an eyebrow.

You could tell that Gil thought his son was the shit.

We all skied over here in a cove and across the lake and there in a cove and across the lake and then Carter suggested that three of us, Ryan, Carter and myself all three ski together. Gil had three different rope lengths and the Viking (with wings) had enough power to pull that many people.

I looked toward my father for his ok and he said to Gil, “That will be fine as long as you make sure you don’t take any sudden turns, keep these kids out of other boats way and try to make it as smooth as possible so they won’t tangle their lines.”

Now I’ve been skiing since I was six or seven, same for Ryan and Carter. But under totally different circumstances. When my sister and I would ski together behind my father’s boat (longest distance, approx. 12 miles) we would be very aware of each other and the dangers of crossing lines, getting in each others’ wake, and general safety. These boys were… well… boys and were probably trying to kill their brothers from the time they exited their mothers’ wombs.

I decided to take the shortest lead so they couldn’t pull me in or anything and I asked for two skis so I would have more control. Ryan and Carter were both slaloming so I thought that they would be wobblier.

Oh, not so my pretty.

We all got into the water and situated with our skis. Tips up. Thumbs up… Gil revved the engine and the Viking (with wings) screamed and pulled us all out of the water with nary a thought. We popped up like little bobbles and flew across the water because Gil (that fucker) was probably doing close to 60.

The Viking was an inboard so there wasn’t much of a wake to contend with so the next thing I knew, Carter and Ryan were pulling up their lines and coming flush with me. And. We. Were. Making. A. Turn.

Great. Rooster tail of water on my left. Water up the nostril, nice. Rooster tail of water on my right. Water up the nostril… nice.

Carter did a sling-shot out to the right to be parallel with the boat while his dad was making a counter clockwise turn in this cove and I saw him let his line out. I thought I was safe.

Ryan let his line out and they were playing chicken behind me while I ducked their lines between them.

Gil decided to make the SAME DAME TURN in the SAME DAME COVE and pulled a hard left.

Hi. Big fucking boat. Two inboard motors. Small Cove. Three skiers being pulled behind it. Equals = BIG WAVES!

My thighs were burning from the work out of being pulled so hard from such a big motor and fighting off the guys and their pull lines. There were three-foot waves in that small cove and I was keeping my tips up and riding them like Sea Biscuit (tm Greg Focker). When Gil pulled that last hard left to complete that last turn to come out of that cove, he crossed over his own wake and created the biggest wave of all for me to compete with.

I lost.

I tried to keep my tips up. My legs were too tired. We were going too fast.

Both ski tips went under and immediately went east and west. I hit the water princess first.

I have never hit the water that hard, that fast with my tender pieces. Not even at a water park on a huge water slide.

I thought my legs fell off.

My skis definitely fell off.

I couldn’t feel my body from the hips down.

Gil made the turn to pick me up and I made the feeble attempt to pick up my floating ski to hold it aloft like a downed skier should. To no avail.

Lake water enema: 1. Suz: 0.

I gingerly felt ‘down there’ and realized that I did still have legs but that they were just numb. How was I going to tell the people on the boat, two of my peers… that happen to be guys that my hoo-ha just got ripped to pieces because Hey Carter? Your fucking dad wouldn’t slow down and I’m not that good of a skier and I thought I was tough!

[Please Note: Remember on my 100 Things About Me list? 91. I was never really afraid of anything growing up. 92. I attribute it to having a lot of guts or… incredible amounts of stupidity. This whole entry is a good example.]

Answer: I didn’t I sucked it up and yanked my little one piece bathing suit out of my ass (it was so far up there, it was incredible) and pulled myself up onto the stern of the boat with my feeble little shaking arms and laughed it off.

We hung out for a good portion of the day on the boat and watched the guys ski and Gil show off with his super duper tough man boat.

That afternoon when we got home, I went to the restroom to tinkle and change. I also needed to shower and put on clean panties and a pad because I had a tampon on all day from being at the lake. Sometimes being a girl is just yucky. I went to take out my tampon and… I couldn’t find it.

“Steph?”

“What?”

“Can, um… can you come in here for a second?”

“Sure… what’s up?”

”I can’t find my tampon.”

“Seriously?”

“Dude. Seriously.”

“Want me to go get your mom?”

So, horror of all horrors, my mother and I (with encouraging words from Stephanie in the hallway) used mirrors, dynamite and the powers of L. Ron Hubbard to deduce that the tampon was not in my young and impressionable princess.

The lake ate it.

February 14, 2005

Knights of the Tiny Round Tables (In Thongs)

I have on blue eyeliner today because I, am a tropical fish, and also... in the seventh grade… in 1985.

I has recently come to my attention that my cat eats Cheerios. They are a healthy snack, no? So now I find great pleasure at pelting my fur-bearing mammal with the little toasty-o's in the head when he decides to sing a seven-minute aria whilst I am fixing dinner. I should probably stop this as he may think I am actually sending him the kitty cat equal of throwing roses onstage when the diva sings.

Ok, enough stalling. I have a little story to tell… I've told you all about the Kerr Krew. And I have told you about how beautiful the women I went to college and high school with were and are. I have told you about how talented and what great dancers they were and are, I told you that they have grown up to be nurses, interior designers, teachers, detectives, mothers and a whole slew of other incredible things but have I ever told you how evil they were? Pure-D evil. Seriously.

Exibit A:
Some random trip home from college. A select few of us headed to Dallas for a weekend at our parents homes and a few parties over the Easter holiday.

Ps. I am sorry Baby Jesus.

One girlfriend (Kerry) had a neighbor (Sandra) who was very European and whose father owned a gentlemen's club, the gentlemen's club was right next to LeBare. (This was before it got moved from Greenville and Lovers, for those of you who care… and yes, I'm old.) LeBare, for those of you who are not European but young, uptight, white, Southern Baptist girls whose biggest sin is mixing pastels… LeBare was like stepping into Caligula.

My Eyes! Bare male chests on stage with spotlights, booze!, "Can I light that for you ma'am?", holy shit!, is that a g-string? Women everywhere squealing and pawing at male flesh. Men dancing to the latest pop music on the main stage with poorly thought out costumes being flung behind them as they disrobed. Thrusting their hips to the beat of the bass. Dollar bills flying, liquor flowing, the maniacal gleam of hope and something else entirely flashing in the eyes of the crowd.

Kerry, Stacey, Stephanie, Sandra and myself all wandered in and looked for a place to sit that would let all of us sit together in a group without getting too close to the stages (um, hi, ball sweat may fling far and wide*) and we didn't want to be trampled by the seemingly millions of bachelorettes (with requisite condom veils on) that were teeming over the bar area.

*Yeah, I typed that. And I'd type it again too, are you getting sassy with me? Hey, we (Steph and I) were scared, it was our first time at a naked man place and we had no idea how absorbent those little g-string things were. Those guys were floppy I tell you… Flah- to the Double P. Or it just seemed like it when they did that hip thrusty thing and their junk would smack their… Oh-kay… enough of that.

We found a suitable booth in the back that allowed us visibility to almost the whole bare, ordered our drinks… er, did I say drinks? I didn't drink at 19, no Siree Bob. I meant ordered our water and Shirley Temples and lit up to further view this testicle spectacle through the cleansing haze of Marlboro Light smoke.

There were men everywhere. Dancing on the bar, on the backs of the booths, on the three stages. You couldn't look anywhere and not see a bare man-chest or a man that had put in some serious time in a tanning bed… or a thong.

That last part was sort of disconcerting to me. I am from hearty farm stock, I was raised to feed people and to work hard… seeing men with better nails than mine and way better eyebrows raised a flag in my subconscious. Seeing as how I thought I was pretty cute before we walked in, in my little black blazer, black leggings (gag, I know… shut it… really, I know… seriously) and my little low-heeled flats…(gah… does it ever end?... no…did you not see my hair during that period of time? [scroll down]… ) I immediately began to hear that "Hot guy, you're not good enough!" siren going off in my head.

How could these women come here night after weekend night and feel that way about themselves? Then I figured out why. I thought, "These men are getting paid to pay attention to these women, and the women are eating it up. This is sort of like retail." It was a very basic principle, but it helped me deal with the squick factor and … why are these women screaming!?!!?

I walked over to give a particularly large specimen of man a tip for being… huge… (shut up, I know he didn't have anything to do with his genetic makeup, but damn, I like big men) and he grunted at me that his name was Conan. Conan? Seriously? He affirmed that I wasn't hearing things and grinned at me while dancing provocatively… and looking me in the eye. [Sidenote: how do they do that with a straight face? I'd be laughing my ass off.]

Then a fast song came on and Conan… apparently the barbarian… ever thankful for the two fucking dollars that I gave him, picked me up.

Did you get that? He picked my ass up… as in off the ground… with one hand, cupped my butt with one arm and pulled my ankles to his other side with his other hand... he could hold both of my ankles in his one hand…(!)… I must have looked like a three year old. He danced around for about seven seconds with me on his hip, and then put me down like he was the carnival's quickest two-dollar ride.

I was so stupid and naive that I shoved him in the chest like, "you big bully" and wandered off to go tell on him to my girlfriends. I had no idea what the protocol of a strip club was. I should have snapped his thong and asked for my $2 bucks back.

Or, thanked him for the dance… whatever. I still am pretty confused on that one.

So, after my lap/hip dance with Conan… (?)… I was over at the table with my girls and the place went dark…

"Ladies, Ladies, Ladies… It's what you have been waiting for allllllll niiiiiiiight, (sound FX of a motorcycle or something).... Please help me Welcome to the Main Stage Of LeBare….. The MAAAAASTER BLAAAASTER!!!!!!"

The spotlights started going crazy and the music ramped up to an earsplitting level and then the lights all came on at once and this guy came out from backstage… he had on a Stetson, boots, and … leather chaps. He started dancing and put all of the others to shame.

Women were going crazy, throwing money, roses, bras and their vaginas on stage and still the Master Blaster danced nimbly on.

He tipped his hat and I said out loud and with much fervor, "Holy shit… I know that man!"

::Scooby Doo wavy noise…. You are going back in time!::

When I was but a wee lass there was a place in Lewisville, TX called The Good Luck Rodeo where I used to go to dance. It was once an old skating rink so the dance floor was sublime, but it was there that I met… Dun Dun DUN!... The Master Blaster… years before. Randy and I used to cut a rug or two around that wooden floor at the Good Luck so it was quite a shock to me to see him on that stage with vaginas being tossed at him willy nilly.

::Scooby Doo wavy noise…. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.::

Heh.

The Master Blaster huh?

I turned to Stephanie, "Hey, isn't that Randy [last name] from Good Luck Rodeo?" She said that he looked familiar, but didn't know for sure.

I was going to find out.

I got up from the table and went to the stage with my little limp dollar bill. I pushed my way tough the throngs of heavy mortar fire and hand-to-hand enemy combat… um, wait… wrong journal entry… I pushed my way through the throngs of women hopped up on estrogen and bad champagne and by the time I got to the stage, he had removed his chaps.

Whoa.

Randy was nekkid.

Or… actually he was In A Pink Thong. I do believe that might have made me even more uncomfortable.

Holy shit, I used to dance with this guy, and apparently he was the hottest thing since Rico Suave. (Shut it, I told you I'm old.) I held out my dollar like he was some porpoise trained to snatch it with his oiled and well-trained muscular thighs… and holy shit... that is exactly what he did. Eeeeeeeee!

Must not look him in the eye, will turn to stone… will… turn to…
Yeah, hi… there dancing sweaty guy, um. No… this isn't uncomfortable at all. Yep, must look natural, like I do this alllll the time. Why are you touching me?
You don't know me at all do you brother? Why don't you take her dollar there buddy? I'm gonna go back to my whoa---- hey there… those are your, wow.
Nice um, boob muscles…. Can you put me down?
Why do all of you want to pick me up? Is it because I'm a husky challenge? IS IT?

And then for some reason I got all "Yeah, everything is fine" and smoked like Robert DeNiro for about 15 minutes after I went back to the table.

After "Master Blaster's" set, he came over and yes, he did remember me, how was I blah, blah, blah… where was I in school… very charming. Anyway, I went to the restroom to pee, reapply lipstick the whole nine and while I was gone, check this out.

Exhibit B:
While I was gone… Kerry gave this man my home phone number. And no, I didn't know about her passing the digits. Not so much in its self an evil, evil thing… except, my parental units are Ward and June Cleaver. Now, yes, in the issue of transparency and to elicit a small shock from my mother's temporal lobe I told her exactly where I was to be going with the girls that very night.

Sweet.

That night we left the club with enough Master Blaster memorabilia to choke a small Beluga whale. Or even a large one. His paper, touting, "It's raining men!" a picture of him and his hairy chest. We had even found out that he was in the process or had just (the memory… she is a-goin) purchased LeBare… to quote, "So please come back anytime and I'll set up a private party for you and your girlfriends." Translation: "I will put you on the guest list, you don't have to pay cover, you get a premium table, a cheap bottle of champagne and a picture with the guys at the end of the night, I will more than make up for it by all the tips and other drinks you buy." Which, in all honesty is not a bad deal… Call him, take him up on it.

We all went back to school after the holidays and things went back to normal. Until… Dun dun DUNNNN!!! Stephanie and I went back to our dorm one day after lunch to hear this message on our answering machine… "Suzanna, this is Randy last name… please call me at ###-###-####. Your mother gave me your number so I hope to hear from you."

Um, What?

Can you guys imagine that telephone call?

”Hello? June? This is Randy the Master Blaster, I am a male stripper for LeBare and I was given your little girl’s phone number at the club the other night. We’ve actually known each other for a while as we’ve danced at Good Luck. May I call her at SFA?”

”Well, hello young man, of course, I heard that you are quite the well oiled machine, why don’t you join us for church on Sunday? And Suzanna’s number in Nac is ###-###-####.”

So… yeah, I called my mom and asked her what transpired to have her give this guy my phone number before I called him. After all, I was slightly scared to death, and a little poor. Long distance call, yanno. I wanted to make sure that I really wanted to call this Randy guy back.

me: Momma?...
Momma: Hi Sue… how are you doing?
me: I’m fine… I just got a message from a guy that said you gave him my number.
Momma: Oh, yes, what a nice fellow. Isn’t he a dancer?
me: ::gulp:: Yep.
Momma: Did he dance with you at the Plano Academy?
me: (under breath) ::snort:: Ohhhh ::ahem:: Oh, um… no ma’am, I think you may be remembering somebody else. This was someone Kerry gave my number to over Easter.
Momma:
me:
Momma: oh, OH… Oh, Dear.
me: Heh.

So I balled up some confidence and actually called him back, it turned out that he and his troop of merry men were coming into town, or were planning on it and wanted to drum up some business. Always the businessman. Smart, that Randy.

Fast forward like 10 years, I’m back in Dallas… Kerry has come to visit from living in California and Stacey and I get a bright idea… we call ol’ Randy and let him know what’s goin down, he actually remembers us (or pretends to for business sake… see?.. smart, that Randy… S-M-R-T) and adds us to the guest list for a little private party thingy.

We walk in, they escort us to our table with champagne and …My EYES!... I still cannot get used to this shit! Can I be any more prude? Holy crap!... Here he comes, thank God he has on clothes! Damn he looks good, what is that in his hand? A magazine?

Randy comes over and kisses each one of us on the mouth (actually bites me on the lip (!)), exclaiming all the while how long it’s been, how good it is to see us… always the showman, and has uh, Garcon open our champagne. This guy is good.

The next thing we know, Randy takes the stage… no kidding. I thought he was like over the hill by this point, um… not so my little pretty. Check this out… the man could be 30 or 50, who would fucking care? And that magazine he was holding? Yeah, it was one of the Playgirls he had been featured in.

I saw his wiener.

The whole reason for this lengthy diatribe is that Stacey called me on Wednesday and was squealing into the phone.

me: Hello?
Stacey: Holy shit, holyshitholyshiiiiit!!!!! EEEeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!
me: Stace?
Stacey: You are Never going to believe who I saw.
me: Shaq? Neil? Kim? Marcus? Jesus?
Stacey: Heeeee! I was at Jason’s Deli over off of MacArthur because I had just picked my parents up from the airport and…[heavy breath]…
me: slow down there Speedy
Stacey: You’re just never going to believe. Ok, so I was sitting there with my parents and out of the corner of my eye I saw this figure that looked so familiar… guess who it was… just guess.
me: Um… Austin Bur--
Stacey: No! …. It was Randy the Master Blaster! Ha HA!!!!
me: Holy Shit!
Stacey: Yeah! Holy shit… and if my dad wasn’t there I would have told my mom who it was, but I didn’t wanna do that with my dad there… because… ewwww. And…
me: Ok, so did you say hi?
Stacey: I don’t think he recognized me… but OHMYGAWD. Check this out HA!
me: What?
Stacey: [daughter] was sitting there dancing in her chair and he saw her doing it and he said to her, “I have some moves too.” AHHHHAAAAAAAHAAHAAAA!!!!!!!
me: Hee..
Stacey: Kinda skeevy…
me: Yeah… like guy?, give her 20 years or so.
Stacey: How about Forty years? Shit!!!!! But he still looks the same.

Postscript: I have to be honest with you guys, I totally searched my house for photos of that first girls night at LeBare. I wanted to scan them and post them with this entry. Alas, denied by my lack of organization skills.

April 8, 2005

It was so beautiful we had to get out and...pee.

I’m listening to techno, Shakira and Prince so… um the country and western music (see last post) is not responsible for the latest rounds of pop-up* memories that are running around my noggin like little dirty kids in a dusty driveway with Kool-Aid mustaches and sticky fingers from their melting ice-cream sandwiches.

*(Sing the jingle for Pop Up Video with me!)

I think the responsible parties would be the black Sebring and the little, black 4-banger Jeep Wrangler I saw driving side by side westbound on Frankford road yesterday afternoon on the way home from school work.

Actually, I know that they were, because at the light Coit and Frankford I snagged a napkin from under the mirror of my sun visor and started furiously scribbling notes.

I know I talk a lot about the college years like they are some lost episodes of fuckin Friends or something. And I know that I talk about my college girlfriends a lot of the time too. But the ones who held truck with me throughout the hazy and crazy after college but before I left Nac for Dallas years really take the cake…

Case In Point:

Sesil and Melanie were holding Girls’ Night at their condo and we were supposed to show up promptly at 6:30, bring either bread or salad to go with their Chicken Spaghetti and then we were going to drink a lot and maybe get into some trouble. Orrrr play cards. Whatever.

Sil and Melanie were expecting 12 women to show up and break bread in their tiny two bedroom condo and I had received a call earlier in the day. A call from Brad asking me what my plans for that evening consisted of.

Brad, Annie and I would get together periodically and hang out at my house (or his or hers) and watch movies, scratch backs, brush hair, do our nails, gossip, drink a lot (do you see a pattern emerging here?) or do other various things. My husband (at the time) worked nights (cop) and Brad’s brother was on the nightshift with my husband. Brad was not gay with the brushing hair, scratching backs and doing nails thing. Brad was smart, very attractive, tall and had that “shucks me?” quality. All of my girlfriends knew of Brad’s propensity to pamper and he slept with most of them… see? Smart that Brad… S-M-R-T.

I told Brad that Annie and I were going to be going to Sesil’s and Melanie’s for Girls’ Night, he asked if they were fixing their famous Chicken Spaghetti… I said, “Oh hell yeah.” Brad asked me to call him later because Greg and “girl” would be coming by his house.

Here is where you would cue an evil glint in my eye.

Greg (not Stacey’s husband… another cop on the night shift) and Sesil used to be an item. A Three Year Item. A living together, closeness with family and stuff item. And it ended poorly. Not on Sil’s side, she is a class act. But in my oh, so humble opinion Greg could have handled it much better. Greg was dating a peach (pit) of a girl that we called … “girl”. We had all been awfully nice, for an awfully long time and she snubbed us every damn time. She made going to any of the police department functions unbearably uncomfortable… scowling at anyone who smiled at her or Greg… ugh. She was rude, snotty and acted like a humorless bitch. She snubbed her nose when anyone tried to be genuinely friendly… ergo we dubbed her “girl”. She did not have the common decency to be courteous to any of us, so we wouldn’t call her by her given name. That cunt. Whoa. Sorry.

During the awesome chicken spaghetti dinner, I revealed to the ladies that Brad (everyone say Awwwwww) had called and that Greg and “girl” would be going over to Brad’s to watch a movie later.

Cue evil glint times eleven.

After we drank some beer and cleaned up, played cards and sang off key to the radio while looking at pictures, Brad called back and said, “The eagle has landed!”

Twelve women piled into three cars (one of them being Sesil’s black Sebring… I drove… ???) and we all headed to Brad’s. I called him to let him know I was on the way. I heard him tell Greg, “Sue is on her way over with some of the girls.” I heard Greg chuckle low and say, “Cool. Tell her to pick up some more beer if she’s bringing more than a few friends.”

Oh we brought beer alright. We brought more than beer.

Ya see, Greg and my husband worked very closely together but not closely enough that Greg knew that I hung out with his ex-girlfriend. My husband knew. Brad knew. And everyone else knew. But not Greg.

We pulled up, and Brad came bounding out of the house like Big Bird while twelve women were piling out of three cars in his driveway. He stopped mid-bound and said “Fuck” and spread it out for like a minute and a half. The smile stopping on his face.

“FuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuCK.”

We all lined up in front of him in three rows and then the fun of the evening dawned on him and his big goofy grin returned with a vengeance.

He didn’t like “girl” either.

We all followed Brad’s example and bounded into the kitchen though the side entrance, putting our beer in the cooler on the way into the living room as we went. Chatting happily and flirting with Brad. He led us into the living room which was not much bigger than a box with a futon, a fluffy chair, a coffee table and the television. Greg and “girl” sat hunched over on one side of the futon. As we filed in, circumventing the room, Greg’s smile, that was large to begin with… slowly faded. As soon as Sesil walked in he gave her a halted wave, “girl” gave him an “I HATE YOU” look and then looked at the floor for the rest of the time.

It wasn’t long before they left Brad’s place.

“Girl” spent months making everyone in that room uncomfortable, we made her uncomfortable just once, and it wasn’t even in public. But it still felt pretty good.

One More Case In Point:

Girls’ Night was usually every Tuesday night for some reason and it mainly consisted of me, Sesil, Siska and Annie (and sometimes Brad, heh).

The venues would never be the same. They could be anything from playing Atari or going bowling to a dollar movie. But mostly they started with the basics…

Stealing my husband’s Jeep from the police department parking lot.

There is just something about a steamy summer night in East Texas with the top off of a little Jeep Wrangler. I drove a Dodge Avenger at the time… it had some umpff, but the Jeep had… no roof. Perfect for howling and playing music loudly and …

And….

And…

Ok, if you’re gonna be a country girl, you have to be a country girl sometimes.

Here’s the story.

One evening after we stole the Jeep from the PD parking lot we got situated. We had our in the little (big) cooler in the back, iced to perfection and overflowing with beer. (What? Drinking and driving in Texas is encouraged… now someone give me a loaded weapon.) We each had a pack or two of our smokes of choice placed in various places in the Jeep for easy retrieval and lighting. We had our koozies so our beer would remain cold after it left the confines of the cooler. And we had our tunes. We were set.

We tooled around town, riding up and down Main Street, North Street, driving the loop. Then we went out to Jitterbugs and drove right past it on the packed sand and blacktop of their pseudo parking lot into a small break in the tree line.

The temperature dropped slightly because the trees were so dense. We followed the little sanded road for about half a mile, twisting a turning, up and down small hills and valleys. We stopped at a clearing that bisected our little westbound road to the north and the south. The pine trees were cut away so neatly and with such precision that it seemed a surgeon cleared them and placed the transformers every 500 yards or so.

It was so beautiful we had to get out and… pee.

We piled back in the Jeep and headed onward. The little path continued for a while then opened up into a sand pit with huge holes and commas and cliffs of sand piled up just aching to be jumped off of… or driven off of. We played in the sand pit for an hour or so until it got too dark and was no longer safe to be in a place where you didn’t know if the bottom of the path you were treading was going to fall out.

We headed back out the little pine tree lined path to get back on Loop 224. It seemed that we were in the trees for an awfully long time and I was getting nervous that we had taken a wrong fork in the trees, as there were several. Annie said she had to pee, and I wanted to get out before it got any darker. We made a compromise that only two half-lit wonderful girlfriends can make.

Me: “Ok, then what we’ll do is… you just hang your ass over the side and pee…”
Annie: “Awesome.”
Me: “Here’s a napkin… and I’ll go slow enough so you won’t fall out.”
Annie: “Rockin. And if I fall out… I swear I’ll kick your ass Sue… HEE!”
Rest of the Jeep: [laughing hysterically]

Annie, of course, doesn’t fall out and we have a story to tell her children.

And then we flashed truckers. The End.

End Note: Yes, I know I didn’t go into detail about stealing a vehicle from a police department. But… maybe next time. And then there’s the fact that I’m painfully cute and we had a scanner too. So, there ya go.

Questions? I’ll answer them.

Go.

May 10, 2005

My mom was more popular than I was. And sadly, this is not a fabrication.

Well put me on a Ritz and call me cheesy but I am so excited I could just spit.

Y’all know how I have been going on and on and on about the Kerr Krew? Ok, one friggin entry… shut up… well, not one. But one and a half… well, ok… several… if you count this one too… because sheesh… Steph and I?... founding members, along with the tall blonde ones. [Editors Note: Stacey is in too many journal entries to link because I? Am Lay. ZEE.] Anyway. Point? We don’t need no stinking points around here.

Ah, yes, the point… heeeere point! Alrighty, the point is, I got all wacked out yesterday evening on Midol and salsa and decided that during an incredible hot flash that I would go shopping in my garage for shit that I know is in there but have no idea where in tarnation it could be found.

Sounded like a plan.

So armed with my lucky Gap sweatshirt I have had since Christmas of 1990 (Thanks Steph!) … (PS: I don’t throw nothing away Bitches!) … (much to Mister’s dismay) and a cramp the size of Wyoming I , (Could I BE anymore parenthetical here?) set out for the garage that has housed many a box but not one fuckin car since June of last year.

And guess what I found?

Aside from three pairs of shoes that I love and have been mourning the loss of since we moved. Love you Nine West leather black slides with stack heel and an open toe, love you dark red sandals with three little strappy things and kicky flower detail, love you wooden slides with bright red other stuff… anyway. Aside from those shoes? Guess what I found? Go ahead… guess.

No. Jimmy Hoffa is in Cheyenne, Wyoming happy, healthy and doing fine as the sole proprietor of the combination scrap metal wholesaler and tanning salon, called the Pull N Fry. Talked to him last week. He said y’all were pretty.

I found a whole box a LARGE (Marge, in Charge) box of my photo albums. My 3 foot long high school senior photo was rolled up in its little tube in that box, and no, I’m not kidding. The damn picture is ginormahuge. I graduated with 1267 kids.

“Hi, my name is Susan and I have no clue who you are. We graduated together? Really? I got nothin. Oh… you know my mom? She was your substitute teacher, really? Awesome.”

And by “awesome”, I meant, “I’d like to die.” My mom was more popular than I was. And sadly, this is not a fabrication.

Moving on.

But also in the Monster Box was this little gem.

(And I am trying something new and if my code is all jacked… please forgive)

Click to make all of these pictures bigger.

I like to call this “For God’s sake… would someone give me a sandwich?”
Good Lord Eat Something

This one is a favorite picture of mine. LuLu and I started out as mortal enemies y’all. Seriously. My daft ass just didn’t know it. Heh. She had to tell me later.
Aren’t we precious?
Susan and LuLu 1993

And the pièce de résistance…
Too Much Cuteness aka Diabetic Coma

I found albums of the trip that my sister and mother and I took to London and Paris in ‘98. I found pictures of me when I was wee in a bee costume for a ballet recital. I found pictures of EVERYTHING. It was awesome. I love memory lane.

And… I love salsa.

May 31, 2005

Just To See You Smile

List of shit I found sitting in my drawer… Apparently I am supposed to write an entry or something.
It reads as such:

“Purple Reign (of Suck)
To add to the suckalicious (Shut it. Is too a word.) week I had with the red light, the falling off of the shoe and consequent twisting of twee lil ankle, breaking of the mirror and the totalitarian eyebrows…
1) I burned my hand in the oven
2) I have been late (7 to 8 minutes late, but late nonetheless) for work at least twice this week.
3) I flung my hair in the car and lost an earring. Talented… No?
4) The Mavericks lost to Phoenix. Shut UP Steve Nash.
PS… Steve Nash, cut your fucking hair.
5) 101 degrees… what?”

Maybe that was a few weeks ago. I’ve lost count of the days and weeks and um…

Look over here… shiny!

I also found another note in my purse that states quite plainly at the top, “Damn you 99.5 the Wolf! Damn you for playing El Cerrito Place by Charlie Robison

That song tears me up.

Or or or… Oh, my God… The Wedding Song… shit… kill me now. His duet with Natalie Maines? (Hi. Um… Neal… yeah, the seven foot tall junkie? Yeah, he used to sing that shit to me. How fucked up am I to fall for and be all “awww” about that huh??? HUH?!)

I can barely handle it when the Wolf plays Fast Cars and Freedom by my boys, Rascal Flatts. (If you want a good one?, download that one gatsby.) It hurdles me back into memory lane so fast… even when I am sitting beside my husband in a Lincoln LS on a Dallas parkway with our windows rolled down on a humid summer evening. I still feel like I am twenty-something and running a big Ford 4x4 down a dirt road with the windows rolled down and the stereo blaring.

Don’t even get me started on when The Wolf decides to get their panties in a twist and get all Tim McGraw on us. I’m not saying anything against the man, don’t take it like that ladies (what a beautiful ass!).

I’m just saying when I hear Just To See You Smile…. I just die a little. Ok. A lot.

Lyrics found within that last link… or if you follow that link, whatever.

A little back story? Ok. If you insist.

I told ya’ll about D’Wayne a bit on my first rant about the Wolf… (link found here)… but I didn’t tell you guys about the years this guys stood by me while I made bad decision after bad decision. He was the kind of man you would tell your girlfriends, “He’s too nice for me.” Strong, not wimpy… he had backbone and could put me in my place. But I was stupid and was drawn to dangerous men. Hello stupid. Hi! And then years later when you (ok when I ) wizened up you’d kick yourself (or I kicked myself) squarely in the ass for being such a fucking idiot for not seeing what was staring you (or me) in the face. Ok, well I did.

You know what I’m trying to say… oh, yes you do. Don’t play coy.

When I walked up to him in the Summer of 1993 with my current boyfriend in tow, he knew what was coming. D’ and I always had that nonverbal communication down pat. So when X* told D’Wayne that he had asked me to marry him, D’Wayne turned to me and said, “And you said?”

It was the perfect out. And he was giving it to me.

Even though he knew I was marrying the wrong man, D’Wayne sung at my wedding… beautifully… God, so beautifully… and then told my best friend (LuLu) that that was the day he fell out of love with me.

Fuck You 99.5 The Wolf. I could just listen to hip hop.

*If you didn’t know that I was married previously and would like to read about the carnage, please see this link.

August 15, 2005

K

When I was looking to move back to Dallas and away from Nacogdoches [read: get the hell out of dodge] I put my resume together and sent it to anyone who would take it. I poured over the newspaper listings and called on old contacts.

I started calling on temp agencies when everything else failed to bear fruit, and they started setting up appointments for me. I asked them to line them up like dominoes so I could drive in from Nacogdoches and knock out the interviews one at a time. I usually had three and four in a day.

The three and a half hour drive was no big deal for me but in the summer sun wearing a cheap black suit, you could tell I was desperate.

A general construction company was looking for an executive secretary for their big boss. They loved me, offered me the job, I counter offered, we negotiated. I won, I left my husband (there is a longer story here… not gonna get into it) and moved (yee haw.) and started the job that Thursday.

The job entailed ass loads of filing (the bane of my existence) and for me to learn the Construction Specification Institute’s (CSI) Division List (link found here) (Dear. God.), for me to take care of Joe’s secretarial duties, make him look good (wasn’t hard… guy’s a genius), to take care of his two brilliant kids on the nights that he was taking his equally brilliant wife to the Stars game… and plan his golf outings with his buddies and get them nice shirts made.

Loved the job, hated the comptroller. But during the interim there I met a girl who worked for one of the contractors for Joe. We’ll call her K. K was young and exuberant. She bounded into the office and immediately demanded that I come out with her and her husband that weekend. Well, that’s not true. It took her a couple of weeks and a few phone calls back and forth for us to decide we liked each other.

Ya see, we were supposed to hate one another.

Joe and her father we locked in a pissing contest over this multimillion dollar job they were working on. And therefore, I was the enemy… because I worked for Joe. And she worked for her dad. Whatever.

She demanded that I come out with her and her husband, I went. And…..a good time was had by all.

Months went by, years went by. K was always there. Always demanding that I come do this, or do that. But she was always there to lend an ear as well. And as you, dear reader, know, I was one angry broad. I had a lot of anger. I was angry at myself… I was angry at X, oh how I was ANGRY… I was angry at Marcus, that little shit… (if you need a link for any of this crap let me know)… I was angry at Neal...I was just angry. But she was angrier. And more negative, and had more drama. It always seemed to be about her. If I was upset I could talk and then she could talk and it would always turn into this thought in my head of, “Well, yeah, K is more fucked up than I am… she needs the time and the spotlight right now, I’ll talk later.” Or whatever.

She took up all of the space in the room. She was negative and charismatic at the same time. How is that possible? I wanted to hang out with her but then I dreaded it.

She was always taking on projects. She had so much love (or control) to give that she would take on injured puppies, stray cats, men… she even took on a foster child… nay, a foster infant that needed an oxygen tube to breathe. She wanted to help or change or fix everyone and everything. (And yes, naysayers, I do feel perfectly comfortable throwing around those blanket statements.)

Her need to change things sometimes veered into the negative. And the negative would be verbalized with a quick jab and then laughed off as if she were delivering a punch line or stony as if she were reading a street sign. Her verbal opinions and objections were never offered with love and respect. Never with an “I feel…” opener.

And one afternoon I had had enough.

I was wearing a red dress. It was a red shift with a cute little jacket that my mother had purchased for me because she was thinking about me. I had spent ten years being separated from my parents with them being in Colorado and me being in redneck country Nacogdoches and my mommy bought me a cute dress. I was proud of it. And K walked in to go to deliver a check to me (This was three and a half to four years and two jobs after we had met, and I was moonlighting for her father organizing his office.) and said, “You really shouldn’t wear that dress… it looks like something your mother would wear.”

::blink::

It really isn’t so much what she said, although it was rude; it is more of the tone and the venom that she spat at me. She actually sneered.

I told her that I liked the dress and I thought it was pretty and that my mother would wear something like this thankyouverymuch. Later that day or that night she demanded that I come over or something and when I said a flat “no.” that led to a discussion about how I thought she should ask and not tell and that I thought she was very rude. She said that she was just honest about her feelings and I said that she hides behind the word HONESTY to be cruel to people. She said, “Well, this is just who I AM. Take it or leave it!” And I said, “I believe I will take the second option and leave it.”

And our friendship was over.

I was in the process of working on my nonexistent boundaries at the time. I was going through therapy and I needed to have healthy relationships and she was just an emotional vampire to my doormat. The relationship was not mutually beneficial and I burned the bridge rather than rebuild it.

Back in January of this year I received an email from K. It was very short and all it said was this…

I was at work the other day and a lady sat down in my chair who could have been your twin. She reminded me of how much I missed our friendship. I hope it's not too late to tell you how sorry I am for being so critical. You never deserved it.

It took me a while… a while a chewing on my own face with indecision. I don’t have to tell you guys that I am one big bucket of crazy, but I did not know if I wanted to step my foot back into that ring. All I could think if was that hurt and confusion and sorrow that was caused when she was in my life. I knew that there were good times, I knew that there were laughs and nights of pizza parties and trips to Hot Springs, AR and pictures of us vogue-ing with wax lips and pool parties… but was I ready to even see where this would lead?

I knew that K had had a little girl, a beautiful little girl and that maybe she had softened around the edges.

I knew that she was no longer working for her daddy, a BIG source of her crazy. That she had gone through cosmetology school so maybe she was getting that need of hers to change to help to fix met in that field, and getting paid for it.

I didn’t know if I could step out of the relationship again if I wanted to. But then I remembered.

I am not the same scared young girl afraid and angry and torn up inside, in need of love and acceptance in any form. I can stand on my own two feet and I can do this if I want to. [little stomp of a tiny foot]

Just to be sure, I talked to my darling acorn, Anne. She said, “Hell, why not? If she turns out to be crazy as a shit house bat, you don’t have to hang out with her. Just tell her, I’m sorry, this was a mistake, and haul ass.” I’m paraphrasing… of course, Anne was definitely much more eloquent. She may have even used thee’s and thou’s.

Heh.

Anyway.

Over the last couple of weeks, K and I have been emailing back and forth. And last night she called me and we talked on the phone for an hour. It turns out that she did enter therapy and that she seems to be a lot softer now. She is calmer, not as manic or hysterical.

I hope that when we get together for lunch or dinner in the near future that it goes well.

Wish me luck!

August 30, 2005

Goodbye Sonny

While in San Antonio I got a call from Gloria. She left a message that said, “We need to chat.” My brain ran through many things, all the possibilities of what Gloria would want to chat about. She did not sound happy, so I knew it wasn’t good news.

Was it Siska? Is she ok? How was her pregnancy going? The last I had heard (last week) Sis was just fine, glowing, radiant and happy as ever. Was D’wayne’s Momma alright? She was always working herself so hard. Did Glo find something in my journal that she didn’t like? I had no idea, but I wanted to be prepared and the possibilities were endless.

I called her back when I got back to my hotel room and tried to keep it light.

Gloria answered immediately and said, “Hey Sue, Troy’s daddy just died. D’Wayne is taking it pretty hard and we are headed up to [small town] tomorrow or as soon as we hear when the viewing and the funeral are. D’ knew that you would want to know.”

She gave me the particulars that she knew.

D’ had talked to Troy’s wife(S) and Troy and S were headed to East Texas to take care of the funeral arrangements. Glo said that D’ would call me as soon as he knew more information. I told her I loved her, to send my love to D’ and that I would talk to her soon.

Whoa.

I immediately called Mister and he said that he wanted to support me and stood behind my decision to go to the funeral and the viewing. I talked to my boss, even though I didn’t know all of the information, and started rounding up the troops to see who could come to the funeral to help support Troy and his family.

Chad was already on the way to another funeral and Trixie’s boys just started school so they couldn’t come. And LuLu has a tee-tiny one and works a frillion jobs, ditto for her husband.

Mister, myself, D’Wayne and Glo were the only ones that could go.

D’Wayne called me Friday morning to give me the details and made sure to tell me that Troy wanted me there.

When I called Troy … ya’ll… it had been almost eight years since I had seen him or talked to him.

I got home from San Antonio late Friday night with blisters on my feet from running in the airport with Poloョ flip-flops on (stupid, I know). Mister and I made the decision to do some laundry that night so that I could sleep in my own bed and that we would leave in the morning and head to East Texas. I also needed to be alone with Mister for a little while. He comforts me and as soon as I got home, the stiff upper lip that I had going shattered like one of those tiny glass horses I used to keep on my windowsill when I was a young girl.

I had heard from D’Wayne that the viewing would be on Saturday from 6-8pm in a small town next to Lake Fork and that the funeral would be on Sunday at 3pm almost to Texarkana, TX.

We would be doing quite a bit of driving.

Saturday morning we packed and hit the road… a little later than I intended, but it was really rough getting started. I almost cried at McDonald’s and I asked Mister to cut my bangs. Damn bangs. He did such a good job, but he declared me a hostile patient.

D’Wayne and Gloria decided to get a hotel room in Sulphur Springs at the Best Western because it was the halfway point, they reserved a room for Mister and I across the hall from them and I was soo excited to see them.

D’ and Glo and I kept calling each other from the road, “Where are you?” “Are you close?” And we decided that regardless of the circumstances that we were so excited to see each other.

Saturday evening at the viewing as soon as I saw Troy’s mother she hugged me soooo hard and thanked me for coming and talked to me about how long it has been since we’ve seen each other and that Sonny (her husband) would be so glad that I had come. I introduced her to Mister, she hugged him too. Then Troy’s oldest sister walked in… and she did the same. She introduced me to her children whom I had not seen since they were wee. Then Troy came in. I almost lost it when he came over to all of us and with a shaky voice said that, under the circumstances, hopefully we will not leave here with such a long time in between seeing each other again.

Since I have seen him, Troy went through seminary and has really become a very solid man. I have been keeping up with him through D’Wayne, but when he performed his father’s graveside service on Sunday…(man… that was rough)… I saw another side of my old friend. And I am so happy for him.

I could talk about how the power almost went out during the viewing and how I would have been sitting in a dark room with a dead person and try to lighten this up a bit, but I just wanted to get the details down on virtual paper so I would remember this for the future. I want to remember how sweet and supportive my husband is and how much I love my friends and how I don’t want to go that long without seeing them again.

I also want to say that along with grieving for Sonny, I am sick over this Katrina business. Ya’ll know how much I love New Orleans. I must stop with the obsessive CNN.com watching. That is all.

October 7, 2005

He lived across the street and I would lock him in my room.

When I was young my days were veritable cornucopias of make believe. The fiction and fantasy sometimes bled into reality as I went about my daily tasks of entertaining myself in the woods of suburban Atlanta.

When I was inside I wanted to watch television, so my mother would hustle me outside and tell me to be sure to be back before dark. We lived in a subdivision called Somerset and the safe streets and wooded lots were a haven to grow up in.

I, being an animal lover, knew every home that housed a dog, a cat, a bird or a reptile of any sort so during my summer vacations or after school I would make my rounds and visit the animals. Kids? Who the hell cared about the kids? I wanted to be there when Mr. Carter gave his black lab, Lady, her treat or threw tennis balls to her. I wanted to hang out at the Dobie’s and pet their little black Scottie dog, at the Martin’s with LeRoy the Wonder Mutt or roaming the neighborhood with the Starr’s HUGE Golden Retriever, Dusty.

I would make up stories about the people in the neighborhood and their pets. These stories would normally revolve around something that I had seen on television.

Roller skating down Somerset Trace with Dusty trotting beside me I would shout into the breeze, “Faster, better, stronger! …Um, just like Wonder Woman.” Dusty would look up at me and snort as if to say, “Moron.” “Oh? That was the Bionic Man? Well, shit. Thanks for the correction.”

I always wanted to be glamorous, with long flowing hair and ruby red lips, sexy legs and high heels.

I always wanted to be somebody else.

When my mother dropped me off for Sunday School one Sunday at Eastside Baptist Church in Marietta, GA when I was wee, one of the teachers led me off to make a nametag while my mother chatted with the other teacher about what time to pick me up when the service was over. I stayed and enjoyed Sunday School while my mother went and sang in the choir and my father did his deacon-ly duties.

After the service my mother came to the door to pick me up and said, “Hi, I am here to pick up Susan [last name] please.” The teacher (who had led me off to make a name tag earlier in the morning) looked a bit confused and said, “I’m sorry but we don’t have a Susan [last name] here with us today.” And she stepped out of the door so my mother could see past her to the plethora of children clamoring about in the room.

My mother spotted me and said, “Yes, there she is.” She pointed me out and the teacher said, “Oh you mean Cindy?”

The teacher retrieved me from no doubt dancing on the tables and brought me to the door. And there pinned on my chest… and emblazoned on a bright yellow name tag 4 inches high was the name “CINDY”. My mother said, “Oh yes… Cindy

Her eyes probably rolled so hard that the tide came in early on the East coast.

I was constantly putting on plays for my family and dance recitals for anyone who would watch, and some who weren’t so willing. My best friend up to the second grade was Paul K.. He lived across the street and I would lock him in my room and make him watch me perform a whole act of the Nutcracker. Without sedative.

One afternoon my mother, my sister and I were meeting up with my grandmother and some of her friends for lunch. My sister was a tornado, and my mother (poor thing) probably did not sit down since Ford was in office, had dressed my sister and I up so very sweetly. We had impeccable manners and we knew when to use them. This was to be one of those times or… we “Would be sorry.” and we would most definitely have to, “Wait until your father gets home!”

So my sister and I hugged and kissed my grandmother when we saw her and went around to introduce ourselves to her friends. My mother introduced herself, my sister introduced herself, and one of the ladies bent down and addressed me and said, “Aren’t you the sweetest little thing? And just what is your name?”

Without missing a beat, I looked up, batted my eyelashes, curtsied and replied loud enough for all of them to hear, “Anastasia.”

I was four.

Quite early to be adapting the name of one of the wicked stepsisters from Sleeping Beauty, no?

By the way… I have made a very crude page for our Cheese Off and will start posting pictures in the next few days or so.

Click for Link to Cheese Off.

November 3, 2005

You should turn yourself around and come on home.

I heard Matchbox Twenty’s song Bright Lights this morning on my way to work. For those of you who have never heard the song or do not know the lyrics… please allow me to direct you to their website to hear the song for yourself… click on this link choose the album More Than You Think You Are – 2nd from the right – and click on the 3rd song from the top.

If you know of the song and just are not all that familiar with the lyrics… I submit:

Bright Lights
Written by Rob Thomas
ゥ 2002 Bidnis, Inc./EMI Blackwood Music (BMI)

She got out of town on the railway, New York bound
Took all except my name
Another alien on Broadway
Well, some things in this world you just can't change
Some things you can't see until it gets too late

[Chorus]

Baby, baby, baby when all your love is gone
Who will save me from all I'm up against out in this world?
And maybe, maybe, maybe
You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come on home

I got a hole in me now
I got a scar I can talk about
She keeps a picture of me in her apartment in the city
But some things in this world
Man, they don't make sense
Some things you don't leave until they leave you
And then the things that you miss, you say

[Chorus]

Baby, baby, baby when all your love is gone
Who will save me from all I'm up against out in this world?
And maybe, maybe, maybe
You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come on home

Let that city take you in (come on home)
Let that city spit you out (come on home)
Let that city take you down, yeah
For god sakes turn around

[Chorus]

Baby, baby, baby when all your love is gone
Who will save me from all I'm up against out in this world?
Yeah well, maybe, maybe, maybe
You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don’t receive you
Well, turn yourself around and come on home

Yeah, come on home
Baby, baby, baby, baby
Come on home
Yeah, come on home
Yeah, come on home
Yeah, come on home
Baby, baby, baby, baby
Come on home

This song a) kills me softly b) kills me with a large cleaver and hides the body c) stirs up waaaaaaaaaaaay too much shit d) opens up a closet with a load of skeletal memories or e) all of the above.

I’m going to go with E, Regis.

Smart choice Pearl.

For some reason this song made me think about my childhood friend Carter. Or really, my teenage friend Carter. I know I have told you guys a little bit about Carter in a previous post. Not much mind you, just that he could water ski barefoot and that he was Greek god hot. Those two things really don’t round him out.

Let me start at the beginning.

Oh Lord, here she goes, I can tell this is going to be a wordy one.
Shut it.

I met Carter when I was in the 6th grade… at church. While sitting in a tiny little chair that was clearly made for a four year old, my long legs and floral Laura Ashley dress clearly did not bode well for a, “lookit me, aren’t I pretty?” type of vibe. The church that we were visiting was growing so rapidly that they had taken over the KiderCare (or whatever) building next door and that is where the youth group held their Sunday School.

Carter was hanging out with several guys and laughing after Sunday School on the way across the muddy concrete placer settings that served as our walkway back to the main building. I was walking behind them when Carter turned, asked me a question and just like that, with the combined laughter of 6th graders ringing off of the brick walls of the sanctuary… I was one of them. I was included in their group.

The main core was Eric (preacher’s son), Brian (my neighbor from two houses down we dubbed one another ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ as time went on), Ryan (lived in my neighborhood), Carter, Mike K. and Michael B. (serious boyfriend (first open mouth kiss and “went out” with him for 10 months) in the 7th grade, stolen from me by Kris C.). These guys did almost everything together. The girls from the youth group would flit in and out depending on their mood and if they liked a certain boy, but the rest of us were constant. We all went to the same middle school, except for Carter, so I got to see them all almost everyday.

Click to enlarge all pictures.

H20 Tic Tac Toe anyone?
Standard view from my mother’s natural perspective. Through the lens of a camera. From Left to Right: Scott (Fitgerald… F. Scott Fitzgerald?... I never asked), Ryan (the sweet one who wrote me poetry in the 8th grade), Carter, Eric, Me and my ‘brother’… Brian.

Our church did a snow skiing trip over Spring Break every year so we would all ride in the big buses to Colorado and hang out for 3 or 4 days on the slopes. Carter was known for his incredible athletic ability. He would own those double black diamond slopes by the first morning that we took the lifts up the mountain.

He was a master on the skateboard and roller skates too. Fearless and a bit reckless, he was always one to awe with his stunts; no matter what medium; or to make you suck in your breath when you thought he was in danger. He always pulled it out at the last millisecond and executed a perfect landing or just went about his motions like it was the most natural thing in the world to lasso a lightening bolt and tame it.

Carter transferred schools in the 10th grade to be with Eric, Brian, Ryan, John B. (new to the group from 8th grade) and I at Clark High School (Mike and Michael went to another school – then they both ended up moving away before 11th and 12th grade). We welcomed Carter’s quick wit and easy way with meeting new people. By the end of his first week I can remember standing at my locker (he shared mine – he felt his was too far away from us – us being the guys I mentioned above, Stephanie and myself) and having no less than five girls all vying for his attention. He just never seemed that interested, and his dismissal just fueled the fires that these girls had in their britches for the new guy.

He was a loner by choice and I can remember many times coming out to my car from school or after a football game to find him laying across the front seats with his feet hanging out the passenger window of my little 1980 Ford Mustang. He wouldn’t give an explanation to whoever asked what he was doing or where he was going. He would just direct your attention to the neat patterns the smoke from his Camel Lights cigarette and say, “Look at the patterns the smoke creates on the glass when you hold the cherry really close to the windshield.”

I remember going to a dance club when we were 16. It was called Monopoly’s and one night a week during the summer (Mondays? Tuesdays? Thursdays? Does anyone remember?) the club would open its’ doors to the teens. John B. would drive us in his mother’s van and the girls would get ready in the back. Normally I left the house in shorts and a tank or a skirt or something equally as bland. But one night in particular I had asked Carter to bring his black Z Cavaricci’s so that I could borrow them. I had on black flats, a black skirt, and a colored tank top with a rib high white tank (from Contempo …. Heh) underneath. When we walked into Monopoly’s I was wearing Carter’s black Z’s, black shoes and my white tiny tank. I felt so daring.

That same night when John dropped Stephanie, Ginger and I off at my house; the girls were going to spend the night; Carter said he would call his dad from my house to come get him. John went to drive away and when he got about 20 feet away, Carter ran and jumped on the van verrrrrry softly as not to alert John to his presence. He climbed up the back ladder and was sitting on the roof waving to us as they turned the corner. John would later tell us that he almost wrecked when he pulled up to a stop sign and Carter leaned down and knocked on his driver side window like some sort of monkey. John let him in and then took him home.

Those kinds of stunts were not few and far between.

He played the drums and would substitute for the drummer in the church band. He looked like Animal from the Muppet Show when he would get going.

When 10th grade was over and we were going to go to Plano Senior High School for 11th and 12th grades Carter sort of disappeared. He was still at church on Sundays, but he started to grow his hair out even longer than it was before.

Our junior year when the skiing trip rolled around we were all excited to go. We loaded up and headed towards Winter Park. Carter had been doing some research and he wanted to ski on the back bowl of the mountain so he could try out some flips and jumps. He wanted to perfect his helicopter move and he had all of the guys worked up about what he wanted to do. We sat at the back of the bus and listened to And Justice For All by Metallica on his portable tape player. And he detailed out the shredding that was going to take place on the back of Mary Jane (the mountain).

Carter took that mountain to task. On the third day of skiing he was over doing jumps in the back bowl (looks like a bear paw). He would side walk to the top and then build up speed and take a jump. He did a flip and landed on his neck. It didn’t phase him. He got up, shook it off and then went back for more. He did the flip and landed it perfectly. On his third attempt he built up an incredible amount of speed, nailed the flip and landed perfectly again. When he went to stop he was going to fast and his uphill ski twirled on him and snapped the ACL in his knee.

I was on the other side of the mountain tree-skiing with Stephanie. I had no clue that anything was wrong until Brian told me that they flew Carter home. The youth group was going to drive home in the busses the next day or the day after, but the leaders felt that Carter needed to get home and be cared for by a doctor his family was familiar with.

A few days later, Carter went into the hospital for surgery. I got home from school and my mother handed me the phone and the number of Plano Medical Hospital. She said that Jan (Carter’s mother) had called and said that Carter was asking for me. Apparently when he was coming out of the anesthesia he started calling for me. I called to let Jan know I was on my way then hauled ass to the hospital. I sat with him until he was coherent. He seemed embarrassed to see me. After all, with the change of schools and him sort of dropping from the radar, I hadn’t seen him outside of a church function in almost a year.

It broke my heart to see him laying there. Tubes coming out of him and his face ashen. He was always tan with golden hair.

Carter a bit more grown up.
Carter in my pool…1988 or something.

Carter was the middle son of three boys, he normally stood out as the man of the house because his older bother was mildly retarded and his father acted like a child. To wit: his father started messing around with a married woman at church. Carter became very angry, angry with his mother, his father, the church family. He drew away even more from his friends who loved him.

The last time I really saw him was the Sunday of our graduation ceremony at church. He was not graduating with us. His mother was convinced that he had a learning disability, I was convinced that he was just not all that into school or doing what he was told by his elders, teachers or anyone.

He moved back in with his mother several years ago and she worries because he stays out all night, sleeps all day and can not hold down a job. Or… won’t. He really doesn’t have to. After his father and mother got a divorce, both he and his younger brother routinely took (and still take) monetary advantage of their mother and her sweet and somewhat enabling nature. She was the breadwinner of the marriage before the divorce… I wonder where the boys learned that kind of predatory behavior?? His dad maybe?... Could it be?

Over the past decade or so, I haven’t seen Carter even once. We routinely have functions at his mother’s house as she is in the group of Empty Nester’s with my parents. Most recently Jan held a wedding shower for Brian and his beautiful new bride. While we were there Carter stayed hidden in his bedroom.

He never greets his mother’s company.

It has been reported that he has physically pushed her more than once.

Not that I don’t want to kick his ass every time I hear another “Carter Story” from my parents. But, I miss my friend and what he used to be. Sweet, caring, funny and respectful to his parents. If he ever finds himself again, I would love to meet the man he has become.

January 17, 2006

Mini Reunion Planned

I just re-read over my post from yesterday and I apologize. The grammar and tense were completely eff’d up. I inserted words that were not necessary into perfectly normal sentences and I deleted some that were obligatory to make any sense whatsoever. I didn’t elaborate on my poor little tummy (which is fine by the way… my ego was just a little bruised at the outward show of stupidity) or on the upcoming trip to Nacogdoches.

Thing the first.

I am fine, my little tummy is a bit blistered and I feel like a complete moron for causing the discomfort in such a retarded way. I knew better ya’ll. I KNEW better. My brain was all, “Uh, you sure this is such a good idea Einstein? Your abs are not the flattest, and any quick movement could cause that boiling water to upset and flee from the confines of the cup. You can barely walk down the hallway with the water not burning at least one of your fingers on your right hand.”

Did I listen? Nope.

What did I listen to you ask? Well “Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm” by C&C Music Factory has been on constant play through the shuffle on Herschel.

So, yeah, there’s that.

Ok, now onto thing the second, the mini reunion. (Psst, Trix, come to Nac.)

Ya’ll have heard me talk about D’Wayne and Troy from college right? The three of us were thick like thieves. Troy’s daddy, Sonny, was the one who passed away back in August.

Is any of this helping or must I link? (Links: on D’Wayne and Troy, on D’Wayne alone, on Troy alone and on Sonny. I am sure there are more, but I can’t find them.)

Anyway, D’Wayne’s beautiful wife Gloria (she’s one of my ya-ya’s) called me a few weeks ago and asked what Mister and I were doing the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of February. I told her that I needed to check and see if the family had plans for my sister’s birthday, but I didn’t think we had any plans yet. She told me she wanted to plan a surprise birthday for D’ and she wanted our whole group from college to meet up back in Nac and go out to Jitterbugs with everyone.

(Hey Trix? Did I invite you to Nac? Yes? Oh, well, then good. Hope you can make it.)

Can I tell you guys how incredibly excited I am? We’re all staying at the same hotel and LuLu is even going to be able to make it. Troy and his wife are planning on being there. Chad is coming down that Saturday evening after a fishing tournament and we’re still trying to talk Debra Jean (Trixie) into coming. One problem. Our holy-rolling, matriarchal, passive aggressive bitch of an ex-mother-in-law. If she finds out Trix is in town, she will cause problems.

This is a link to a pic of me, Chad, LuLu, Trixie and Troy when we were like 12. Scroll down.

I miss my friends ya’ll. We’ve become scattered. Trix is in San Antonio, LuLu and D’ are in Houston, Troy is in OK and Chad and I are in Dallas.

How apropos, after “She’s a Bad MamaJama” from Stevie Wonder… The Corrs’ “Breathless” just played. Ya’ll want to know what Trix sounds like when she sings? Listen to this song.

For all of us to be in the same place some 12 years (in LuLu’s case) after we left is an incredible opportunity to me. We all left, peeled off like the discarded skin of a reptile… that sounds so gross, but I used the onion metaphor yesterday. Little help here?

Anyway, LuLu left first. She left college to go back home and work. We would take any opportunity to travel and see her. When one of our favorite bands was playing in Houston several of us jumped in the car and headed to Houston. We all, and by all I mean all of us who traveled down AND the band, slept on the floor of Lisa’s parent’s house. We all went down for her uncle’s 40th birthday. The pictures of those times are some of the happiest times I remember. (Ok, I’ll see if I can find them… LuLu & Trix, ya’ll look too.)

D’Wayne left next. He went to Austin to work a job. He ended up coming back and staying for several years. And that is when he met Gloria.

Troy left next and went to New Caney (North of Houston) to live and work near his parents.

Several years later when I graduated (Trix was still in school) we ended up marrying brothers.

Chad stayed for a few years too. He ended up marrying another local (who actually dated my then husband a few months before I did).

At D’Wayne and Gloria’s wedding Troy met his future wife Shi. They just moved to Oklahoma from Arkansas.

In 1999 I left X and Nacogdoches to make a home in Dallas. Shortly after Trix left to move to Houston and make a home and start a better life. And a better life she did find… bless her little (filly) heart.

Chad was the last one to leave Nacogdoches. He and his then wife moved to Dallas for the job market. They didn’t last that much longer and she is now back in Nac and remarried.

To have all of us back in the same place; if only for a little while; makes my heart grow three sizes.

Just like the Grinch.

February 1, 2006

I'll just hide in the bathroom. The. Whole. Damn. Time.

Dear Concrete Company that is busting up my cul-de-sac,
Hate you.
That is all.
With venom and daggers from my eyes,
Susan

I took off from work yesterday at 1 pm. I told myself that it was so I could go get some sleep but with the construction going on in front of (and in) my yard, there was not going to be much resting until they stopped their little crunchy/SLAM!/scrape-scrape at 7 pm - again with the hate. Did I mention that they start at 6 o団lock? No? Well, just to make sure that we are not confused here, that is 6 am� like morning time. Can you say crack of Dawn?

You don稚 know Dawn? She痴 a tart, always showing the crack of her ass. A little modesty could go a long way Dawn.

Anyway� So, the real reason I took off? Well, I was super productive up until say, oh noonish and then I hit a wall. An 選 don稚 wanna anymore� wall. Those kinds of barricades don稚 just fall down on their own. You have to come at them with both barrels blazing. Barrels of 鍍ake off early from work� and 杜aybe read some Patricia Cornwell or just watch VH1 with the cat in your lap�.

Ladies and Gents, I have senioritis in a bad way. I am SO looking forward to this weekend with my friends. I am also a bit anxious about going to Nacogdoches. Why you ask? Well, to make a long story very short� if you are new and have not perused the archives� I have history there. History and an ex-husband in law enforcement.

X? No, he wouldn稚 cause any trouble. He wants everyone to like him (it just really didn稚 work that well on me for a long period of time), and his brother is the same way. Just about as docile as lambs (shut it Trix�. Trying to paint a picture here. Eh.).

I am, however, worried about my ex-mother-in-law. She is an unhappy, masochistic, holy-rolling, matriarchal, passive aggressive bitch. And I mean that in the sweetest of ways.

Ok, so no, I don稚. I really can稚 stand the woman.

Her son and I have been divorced since� oh, about five or six years (I left in 1999) and just last year she sent me pictures. In her letter, 泥on稚 forget about meeeeeeee� blah blah blah sourpuss blah.� She sent pictures. Pictures she said that were of my ex-step-daughter.

Y誕ll? There was ONE picture of my ex-step-daughter and about 6 or 7 others of my ex-husband, my ex-father-in-law, my ex-bother-in-law, all of their trucks and motorcycles and anything that she could tout, 鉄ee this? My offspring are manly men.� Gah. If she hears that I am in town the hotel will get a call, which they will thoughtfully patch through and I will hear, 展ell, aren稚 you going to come out and see me?�

Oh, hell no.

There will be a rule. No one answers the damn phone in the hotel room. No one. You need me? Call my cell, or knock on the door.

Oh shit. What if she comes to the hotel and knocks on my door?

Ok. Two rules, no answering the phone and nobody is allowed to answer the door either.

I値l just hide in the bathroom. The. Whole. Damn. Time.

I am also sad because a few of the crew can稚 make it. LuLu and Mr. LuLu are going to be there, D� and Glo are going to go, J.Wo will be there Jay & Brenna will be there (they have no choice, they live in Nac.) and Mister and I are getting to go. But Chad can稚 come, Trix said that she would rather boil in hot cow shit than be in the same town as our ex-mother-in-law (although she said it a lot more colorfully) and I just found out this morning that Troy and his wife Shi will not be able to come.

Which brings to light another issue.

Last week I was in the car with my boss (seriously, this ties in� just give me a moment, or twelve). For some reason we were discussing the churches we grew up attending. He asked me why I don稚 go there anymore and I told him that Dr. Preacher at said church would give a three-point sermon ever damn Sunday. It was so tedious, so easy to predict� and the nail that sealed that coffin shut (ooh, damn, poor choice of words) was the fact that he did a three-point sermon when he was, in fact, supposed to be delivering a heartfelt eulogy for one of my friend痴 mother, yes� at her own funeral.

At the name of the mother my boss said, 添ou mean Betty ____? E痴 ex wife?� And I squealed, 迭 and W痴 mother!� and we both yelped, 添ES!�

Not very excited that we knew a woman who had passed or that Dr. Preacher did a three-point sermon in place of her eulogy, but because we knew some of the same people.

Boss went on to tell me that R and his wife S had just moved back to town and they opened a chiropractor痴 office. R and his wife are both doctors and R痴 dad and his wife were going to be moving back here from the Carolina痴.

Squeal, squeal squeal� so excited to know they are back. Yadda yadda yadda� ya値l get the point.

The next day boss calls me and says, 的 got their information for you. His email is Blah and their phone number is Blah-Dee-Bloo.�

So I have the way to contact R.

R used to write me poetry in the 8th grade (still waters and all that) and send me flowers for no reason. He spent most of his middle and high school years at our house. My dad, when ordering pizza for my group of friends, would order R his own pizza.

There is history there.

He is a stoic marble of stoically silence. Very stoic� you see?

On the way home from work after getting R痴 information I called my dad.
Self: 添o, Pop� guess who moved back to town?�
Daddy: 展ho?�
Self: 迭 and his wife, and they opened their own chiropractic practice.�
Daddy: 徹h wow, that痴 great, yeah I remember you telling me that he was in school to be a doctor.�
Self: 填h, I did?�
Daddy: 添eah, when you saw him at his mother痴 funeral.�
Self: 徹h, well, that was the last time I saw him.�
Daddy: 迭eally? What did he say?�
Self: 填h, I think it went along the lines of, 全usan.� And I said back, 然� and then he introduced me to his wife, she hugged me and was all 前h, I have heard so much about you�. That痴 it.�
Daddy: 展ell, baby, you know that if you want to have any kind of contact with him, you will have to make the first move. He痴 very�.�
Self: 鉄toic?�
Daddy: 添eah.�

So I asked Mister the next day at lunch if he thinks I should contact him. And Mister said, 展ell, you do seem to put a lot of importance on old friendships� more than those whom you had the friendships with. Not that that is a bad thing��

Basically, I get all het up and excited when the prospect of an old friendship presents itself. Mini-reunions, hanging out with the Ya-Ya痴, friends from my childhood. You know, sappy shit. For God痴 sake, I looked up my 5th grade boyfriend. And when that excitement isn稚 reciprocated, I get my little feelings hurt. But, Mister is right, I care about people who have shared a part of my life, no matter how small. (Except my ex-mother-in-law. She痴 just pure evil.) That is why it was always so hard for me to actually burn that bridge and shut the door on friendships/relationships that have run their course.

So my question is this. Email R and be all, 滴ey man, glad to hear you are back in town. I was talking to boss and he mentioned your family. Just wanted to send you a little note to say, I AM NEEDY, PLEASE TALK TO ME!� Ok, maybe not that last part. But I just don稚 know if I should open myself up again.

Lordy-bee, this sounds like a Dear Dairy entry. My apologies.

February 6, 2006

Weekend With Friends in Nac Part I

Victoria Principle in a two-story igloo, it is SO freaking cold in my office. I have on a sweater, a jacket and another jacket draped over my legs with my hands through the arm holes so I can type. The thermometer says 74 degrees, but I normally get down to being hot by 69 degrees so I am going to come out publicly and scorn the temperature gage by calling it a lying whore.

That reminds me.

Note to self: set DVR to record Christopher Titus’s “Norman Rockwell Is Bleeding” on Comedy Central.

Which also reminds me… why did they cancel that show Titus? Stacey Keach was brilliant and I loved the format.

WARNING - Segue-free zone ahead:

I have decided once and furry for all that I should not drink caffeinated beverages.

I could just tell you that they make me jittery and all talky-speaky and leave it at that, but where would the fun in that be? I submit that the fun would be nowhere.

So now, with your permission, I present to you Why I Shouldn’t Drink Four Dr. Peppers in a 24 Hour Time Span by Suzanna Danna. Also, this could be called, I Really Just Want to Tell Y’all About the Weekend but that doesn’t have as much zing in the title.

Question Number One: “Who woke up at 4:21 am last Thursday morning because she was so excited about the upcoming weekend?”
Answer: Um, yeah, that big bag of freak would be me.

So let’s just say that I, Suzanna Danna, being of sound mind (riiiiiiiight) and body was up with Dawn’s ass, and then the construction concrete people started in again at 6 am.

Hate.

The plan for the weekend was simple. Mister and I both took off work on Friday so we could drive to my parents' house in (or just outside of) Tyler (which is 2/3rds the way to Nacogdoches) Thursday night, stay the night, go to lunch with them on Friday and then go on into Nacogdoches on Friday afternoon, meet friends and commence with the partying for the mini-reunion/D’Wayne’s 40th/Brenna’s 35th birthday.

Easy Peasy right?

Mister and I worked all Thursday and then zoomed home to pack (because who packs the day she leaves for a trip? ME! That’s who!). We played Barbie Mister the Fashion Plate and got all of his outfits (‘golfing Mister’, ‘going out to dinner Mister’ and ‘dancing at the club Mister – now 60% hotter with the new birthday shirt!’) in order and I threw 2 pairs of jeans, a few tops and almost every freakin shoe I own into a bag (I still left the ones I wanted to wear Saturday afternoon at the house… Gah!) and we left for my parents' house at… 8 o’clock.

Yes, yes… it did take us two hours to pack and feed the cat and rush around and look for a particular shirt and pack our electronics. Lord, the techies sung Hallelujah when I took a bag that was almost completely full of cords… cell phone chargers (car and outlet), iPod and accoutrement, lap top chargers you name it… We packed it. We had one full suitcase, the charger bag, another bag with our toiletries and my 5 brushes, blow dryer and curling iron, Mister’s laptop case and a large bag with eleventy four pairs of shoes and my pillow that weighs in at over twelve pounds. Oh, and don’t forget the hanging items and a heavy weight coat for each of us… just in case.

I was SO over myself by the time we left that I was thisclose to announcing (or asking) that we could leave for my parents' and then dive onto Nac on Friday. Because, come on already with the packing anxiety, the jewelry for every freaking occasion and the matching socks, the two twin sets and… GAH!

But we left and made good time and got to my parents' house at (how rude of us) 10:30 pm. And yes, of course I called and asked them if we could come on in or if we should wait until morning. “We’ll still be up baby, I’m not sure how long we’ll be up once y’all get here… but yes, go ahead and drive on in.”

So we did. And it was very nice to get to my parents' house, see my folks and then get all situated and bed down in a relaxing environment. I slept in my sister’s room and Mister slept in mine because, well, hi double bed that Mister sleeps diagonally across. I tossed a bit (OK already with the excitement, calm the fuck down) and kept turning the TV on because I couldn’t get to sleep… and then the birds started in (WHAT!? Is it spring? No! And it isn’t even sunrise, SHUT. UP. … I swear, they were in cahoots with the concrete construction guys) and then the thunderstorm started. Sweet. I was all, “Ok, I’m up, I’m up DAMMIT!”

My parents left for an appointment in town. We had plans to meet them at a great Mexican food restaurant at 12:15 or so. I showered and tried to get pretty to see my friends in Nacogdoches. Mister repacked the car. Or should I say re-stuffed? And we headed to meet my folks for lunch.

Did I mention it was raining?

Are you guys aware of the laws of physics I have to overcome to get my hair to be all pretty and smooth? Did I mention that as I was sprinting to the car with my purse, my jacket and one of the eleventy-four frillion bags that we packed, three Monster raindrops decided that they would love to meet their demise, in my scalp. Ew. Wet head. And consequently hair.

Rain meet hair… hair meet ::FWOMP!::… shit.

So, ok. Honkey afro to have lunch with the parents, run errands and to go to Nac with. Fine. Was it too much to want this weekend to be perfect? Yes? Oh, alright.

The chips and hot sauce (salsa) at the place we went for lunch are wonderful. And as I sat there stuffing my face full of the stuff a thought occurred to me.

“Self?” I said, “Since you have not been sleeping very well at all lately and the whole 4:21 am thing yesterday and those damn Nazi birds this morning… and you never know how late you will be staying up tonight… why don’t you break your little ‘no caffeine’ rule and have a Dr. Pepper? It may help keep you alert and awake late into the evening.” And myself answered, “OK.”

So there I was, at noon-thirty, ordering a Dr. Pepper to go with my lunch. And it was divine, Ambrosia of the gods I’d say. “Did you order another one?” you ask? Why yes, yes I did. So that was two LARGE Dr. Peppers within an hour and a half.

After lunch Mister and I left my parents and went to run a few errands in town.
1) Go to AutoZone or Pep Boys and replace shitty ass wiper blades on the car. CHECK!
2) Go to the golf store next door for balls (hee!), a better golf glove and some longer tees. CHECK!
3) Swing by Best Buy and use the gift certificate that my folks gave Mister for his birthday (it is Wednesday) to purchase a 1GB memory card for our new camera (Sony H1, thankyouverymuch) and a case for the camera. CHECK! And last but not least
4) Swing by Drug Emporium (love) and pick up a nail file and some fingernail polish remover… drool over all of the hair products and leave there weeping with longing (not really weeping, more of a whimpering). Checkity Check Check bitches!

And we were off!

We started down the highway and Mister noticed that I was particularly chatty.

Self: Soooooo, are you excited about this weekend? Boy howdy I am. I really enjoyed lunch with Momma and Daddy, I am so thrilled about this memory stick. Aren’t you excited about this weekend?
Mister: Yes, I am.
Self: Ok, so what we’re gonna do is go south on 69 until we hit 79 or 74 or something like that in Jacksonville and then we’re going to turn right past this house where this cops lives onto 204 and then take the 204 into Cushing and we’re going to pass through Reklaw and Lucas… and … Do you know what Reklaw stands for?
Mister: Um, no?
Self: It’s Walker backwards… and Sacul is Lucas backwards… really imaginative, those people… and then we’re going to turn right onto 259 that is really sort of-
Mister: Now, where are we going?
Self: We’re going to stay here on 69, and go south until we get to Jacksonville, and then over the bridge past the Brookshire’s on the Right and what I think used to be a Don King Chevrolet or something, definitely a Taco Bell around there somewhere, we are going to take a left and go to the-
Mister: Are we on 69 right now?
Self: Yes, Broadway is 69, we’re going to go south until we hit Jacksonville. Do you know who Leann Womack is?
Mister: Um. A country singer?
Self: Yes, she hails from Jacksonville. When we get to Jacksonville we are going to go left and then-

Ya’ll we had not even left the city limits and I was already on his last nerve.

I was asking him the same questions over and over and giving him directions like that old guy on the Clear Blue Easy pregnancy test commercial.

“Ya see, you are going to come to a fork in the road and, well it is two forks, four roads…”

Lord.

More later y’all… I have typed almost four pages and I am not even to the Nacogdoches part of the weekend yet.

To be continued.

February 9, 2006

Weekend With Friends in Nac Part II

Best sentence I heard* last night**: “Oh honey please, you are so gay that your amoebas wear feather boas.”

Ok, on to part two of the Nacogdoches weekend story.

When we last left our heroine she was bugging the shit out of her patient, loving and kind husband by talking at speeds in excess of warp two. (“Engage.”)

So, we drove… well… Mister drove and I talked and talked and talked. Did I mention that before we even left the man had a headache? I am surprised I am not trying to make a home for myself in one of the booming metropolises (metropoli?) that we drove through on our way to my old college town.

He could have stopped the car and politely asked me to get out at any moment and looking back, I wouldn’t have blamed the poor man one bit. He could have pulled over in say… Gallatin, TX and said sweetly, “Baby, you are killing me. Now please kindly get the eff out. I will be back through this way sometime Sunday… or maybe not. Not until you shut the hell up.”

But he didn’t and we headed on into Nacogdoches.

The first stop? Continental Liquor on North Street of course. Scotch for Mister (to drown out my strident high pitched voice that interestingly gained a southern accent as soon as we crossed into Cherokee County) and several packs of smokes for me so I could relax and sound like Kathleen Turner by Sunday.

When we left there we went on a little treasure hunt to find a Smoke Barn to get a few cigars for the boys. Sadly, the Smoke Barn was not to be found, but Mister got a small tour of Nac all the same. We went south on University Drive and I asked him to keep going until he hit the loop (Loop 224). I wanted to take him by one of the plants that make up a large portion of the employment percentage for Nac… the Pilgrims Pride plant.

Note: I was trying to find a link to Bo Pilgrim saying, “I won’t sell ya a fat, yeller chicken.” Alas, I could not find said commercial, but please, oh dear Lord, please… click on this link right here and choose “Freshness Takes Flight”… the last little selection on the cartoon TV. Please, do it now. I’ll wait.

The lack of any viable irony kills me.

When I was working at a job in Nac that paid a very poultry paltry sum… the hours were long and tedious, the stress was great and I would answer the phone several times a week to hear the plant’s General Manager say, “What are you wearing?” The only thing that kept me sane (suuuuuuuuuuuure) was this little sticky note that I attached to my computer with the two words, “Chicken Parts”. Because regardless of how bad I thought it was, at least I wasn’t killing, plucking or dividing Pilgrims Pride (or Tyson) chicken into chicken parts on a daily basis.

The smell, the hairnets, the rubber boots… eeesh.

So we circled around the south side (Sout Siiiieeeeeede!) and drove up South Street to our hotel.

This is where it gets fun y’all.

Here is a little back story for you. Gloria, D’Wayne’s captivating bride, called me a few days into January and the following conversation took place:
Self: Hello?
Gloria: What are y’all doing the weekend of the 3rd and the 4th of February?
Self: Hmmm, well, my sister’s birthday is on the 30th… and I have to go to Charlotte the week before…
Gloria: When?
Self: Oh, the 21st through the 25th or something like that. Why? What’s up?
Gloria: D’Wayne’s 40th birthday is on the-
Self: Third… Oh holy shit we are old.
Gloria: Girl, I know it.
Self: So what are you thinking?
Gloria: I want to get everyone together in Nacogdoches and surprise D’Wayne.
Self: Oh My GOD. That would be the bestest idea ever.
Gloria: Would you help me plan it?
Self: Shit, I am so all over that… I’ll call the Fredonia right now. Wait… it’s 7:30 at night, I am sure no one will be working in the sales department.
Gloria: Why the Fredonia?
Self: They have an executive floor that has a commons area and they do happy hour at night and continental breakfast in the mornings and we could all be on one floor together and we could do the SURPRISE! thing in the little sitting area … and… and…
Gloria: Well, that is a good idea… ok, you call who you can and the hotel and I’ll call other people and we’ll talk tomorrow.
Self: Awesome!... I am so excited!
Gloria: Me too… WOOO!

And that is how it all began.

Suffice it to say, the Fredonia is an older hotel. Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas, and the Fredonia isn’t much younger. But… BUT… the staff there is lovely, they have a bar downstairs that I have spent (back in my youth) many a night drinking with friends, the rooms are spacious, they have the nice executive floor with all of the amenities and it is right smack downtown. (Not that it is tough to get anywhere in Nac, it is just nice to be within walking distance of the police department. (The same police department I used to steal my ex-husband’s Jeep from when he was on duty.))

So the next day, after I talked to Glo, I looked online and got the hotel’s weekend getaway package information. The one that I was particularly interested in was the “Stay and Play” weekend. It included a room night and the greens and cart fees to play golf at the Piney Woods Golf Club which is a private course. Gloria thought that the guys could play a round of golf while we set up the surprise.

We worked out the details and the list of people who could come grew to a pretty nice sized group. That is why I was so excited to pull into the hotel on Saturday. When Mister and I pulled up, we were the first ones there. We got situated in our room and then J.Wo called me.
J.Wo: I’m here at Jay and Brenna’s. Are we all going to dinner? Oh, and Glo and D’ got a later start than what they planned.
Self: How late?
J.Wo: Well they should be here around 7 o’clock.
Self: Cool. Ok, where should we go to dinner?
Brenna: [in the background] How about Clear Springs?
J.Wo: She said-
Self: Clear Springs, I heard her… That is a great choice for Mister. His one request was for this not to be a weekend of eating Mexican food.
J.Wo: But we’re in Nacogdoches!
Self: I know honey. You should have seen his face fall as we were driving in and he counted eleventy Mexican restaurants before we even got to the college.
J.Wo: Heh… Ok, so do you want me to call Glo and let her know the plan?
Self: I will..
J.Wo: D’ still doesn’t know ya’ll are coming.
Self: Sweet.

So I called Gloria.
Self: GlooooooooooRia! G-L-O-R-I-A… Gloooo-
Gloria: Oh, hey… how are you?
Self: Doing well, I hear that you guys got a later start than you planned.
Gloria: Oh, we’re doing fine. We are actually on our way to Nacogdoches.
Self: No shit. Ok, ok, I’ll play along so he won’t know we’re here.
Gloria: Yes, it is very exciting.
Self: I Looooooove yooooooouuuuuuuu!
Gloria: We’re going to hang out a Jay and Brenna’s… I think we’re going to do a Bar-B-Que or something.
Self: Heh. Ok, we are planning dinner at Clear Springs for 7 o’clock. Do you think you guys are going to be able to make it?
Gloria: Um, no, I am not sure that Livingston is where…
Self: Ok, ok… how far outside Houston are you? One hour? Two hours? Thirty Minutes? Just say one two or three.
Gloria: Three, and it was really great to talk to you too! Bye!

Oh y’all know she wanted to kick my ass.

We kept skooching the time for dinner back (as Mister was getting hungry and surly) until we decided on 7:45.

They got to the hotel at like 7 o’clock on the nose and while D’ was parking the car and Glo was checking in she called me and said that D’ had to take a shower so give them 20 minutes and then come to the room to surprise him.

We went to their room and knocked. You could hear Glo, “I have to pee!” And the bathroom door slam so D’Wayne would have to answer the door. Mister and I hid on either side of it so D’ couldn’t see us through the peep hole.

He opened the door and I swung around and all casual like said, “Hey man, wanna go to dinner?”

His face was a mixture of pure confusion and, honestly? A little bit of terror. Heh. Glo came out of the bathroom and was singing, “Surprise!” and I hugged him and Mister hugged him and we waited for him to catch up to what was going on.

Gloria was alllll smiles as we went to dinner and D’ kept playfully patting her on the ass and calling her a liar. She had told him that Mister and I wanted to come but that we couldn’t make it after all.

Dinner was fun, it was basically the girls and Mister and D’. A small ya-ya tour. We (the girls) were all being totally inappropriate, eating off of each other’s plates, discussing boobs, putting on lipstick at the table (WHORES!) and calling our waitress Pipi.

We then went to meet Jay at the bar back at the hotel. Jay was just getting off work and we stayed up drinking and smoking at the bar until last call. Um, may I just mention that last call in Nacogdoches on a Friday night is at midnight?

We all hugged and kissed and promised to see each other the next day. Being able to say that was wonderful to me.

The guys were going to be dragging because D’Wayne, Mister and Jay had a tee-time at the country club at 8 o’clock the next morning.

Lord, I am long winded.

To be continued… again.

*myself say
**in my own damn dream

February 13, 2006

Weekend With Friends in Nac Part III

Normal thing my Daddy says:
Self: Hey Daddy-O, how did you sleep last night?
Daddy: Slept fast baby. Slept. Fast.

Which for those of you who do not speak Daddyease means that the night went by very quickly. Sort of how I feel like this past weekend went. But it just doesn’t sound the same…

Random Person: Hey Susan, how was your weekend?
Self: Slept fast… er I mean it was filled completely and felt like it flew by except for those portions of it that were very busy and all I wanted to do was to throw on the breaks, holler ‘Hold up a dayum minute!’ like Yosemite Sam and just take a freakin nap already because Lord!... Ti-yurd. Coincidentally, or not really a coincidence at all, I used to think Yosemite was pronounced Yo-seh-mite as opposed to Yo-seh-meh-tee.

Yeah, hooked on phonics can really screw with a person, no?

And why is it every time I hear a blasted Jack Johnson song I see Ben Stiller’s mug front and center in my noggin? Huh? HUH?! I asked you a Question Missy!

[::snap :: snap::]

Huh? What? Oh.

Yeah, Hi there. I was supposed to be telling y’all about the Nacogdoches weekend correct? Part three? Judas Priest in frilly panties, this thing has gotten out of hand. But, but… I really want to finish because memories are fading and I wanted to keep them forever like a little Coach bag that always seems so new and shiny when I polish it with the moisturizing cream. Uh, I think I’ve gone off topic again.

Nacogdoches.

Yes, Nacogdoches.

Ok, we were going to bed at about midnight or one am on Friday night when I finished up last time.

Saturday morning never seemed like it would get there. I was up all night with the jittery shakes of a junkie coming off of meth. Those damn two Dr. Peppers did a number on me and when I quit it with the talky-speaky and just tried to lay there… in the dark… in a one room hotel room… without lights… and the only sound was the old ass heater/air conditioning unit that sounded like it was all phlegm-y and I should have been calling it Doc Holiday… it was a tough five or six hours.

I could have gotten up and gone into the commons room to read or watch television or something but then I would have had to find clothes and more importantly a bra. And as I mentioned… it was dark n shit. And I refused to wake up my husband from a sound sleep just so I wouldn’t have to leave the room with my girls unfettered.

So lay there, I did. I slept fitfully for a few minutes at a time so I wasn’t totally crazy by the time Mister’s alarm went off at six and he got up and put on three layers of clothes. It was 34 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degree Celsius) Saturday morning and they were going out to play golf. Do I know how to throw a great party or what? Hey guys… golf! And freeze to death, while trying to avoid hitting the deer with the golf carts on the greens. Par-tay!

That morning Brenna and Jay’s oldest child was cheering for a basketball game within a block from where the hotel was so I was planning on joining J.Wo, Brenna and her two children as soon as I woke Gloria up. She had threatened me with death if I called her when the guys left (at Dawn’s ass crack) so I didn’t. I waited until she would have about 15 minutes to get up and get dressed for us to get there on time.

I ate breakfast at the nice little Continental spread they had set up. Yummy fruit, muffins, cereal and juice. And I waited for Glo to wake up. I watched Animal Planet and the Weather Channel and made a list for going to Wal*Mart later.

I finally called her at like 9:20 and asked her if she wanted to go. “If so, get the hell up because we have to be there at 9:45.”

She paused and said, “The game started at 8:45 Sue.” “It did not, oh shit… I’ll call J.Wo to see.”

I called J.Wo and sure enough, the game was over half way through. So we made plans for lunch.

Lisa (LuLu) and her husband (of the grand nostrils) Tim called and asked us to wait for them to get there before we went to lunch. She said that they would be at the hotel at noon. I called Jen and cleared it with them and then called the boys on the golf course and let Mister know:
Self: Hey baby!
Mister: Hey honey.
Self: How is it going out there… are you still freezing your tail off?
Mister: It is going great and no, I warmed up and shed a few layers.
Self: What hole are y’all on? I don’t want to keep you long but I wanted to see if y’all would be able to meet us for lunch so Tim and LuLu can surprise D’.
Mister: We’re on the 9th hole. I am not sure how quick the last 9 holes will go but I’ll call you in a little bit.
Self: Ok, let them know we want to meet for lunch at Chili’s but don’t tell D’ that Tim and LuLu are here… or will be here around noonish.
Mister: Will do. Love you, bye.

So Tim and LuLu pulled into Nacogdoches exactly at noon. J.Wo, Brenna and her two little precious girls and I were waiting in the commons area on the 6th floor when they came in.

Y’all? It was so good to see LuLu. To hug my friend meant so much to me.

We took a few pictures and then headed to Chili’s to meet the guys for lunch. We got a great table outside and the sun was shining and it was 70 F (21.1 C) something degrees and gorgeous. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day… or a more personable waitress… her name was Zee.

Zee got us all situated with drinks and chips and salsa. What did I order to drink you ask? Oh, a Dr. Pepper because Saturday night was slated to be the late night and I hadn’t slept well in oh, say 3 or four nights prior… what was one more?

The boys pulled up and Tim and LuLu went to the bottom part of the patio and when D’Wayne walked in they walked up all casual, “Hey man, want to have lunch?” Heh.

The lunch was a two and a half hour ordeal that was awesome. We took pictures and smoked and laughed and made plans for the evening. We were only expecting one more couple to come in and that was D’Wayne’s best friend and co-worker Ron and his wife Olga. D’Wayne didn’t know that they were coming so we were trying to facilitate a surprise. We made it back to the hotel and Gloria asked D’ to play a song from a cd he purchased for her that morning and while he was messing with the cd, Ron and Olga pulled into the parking lot.

Whew. All surprises met and accounted for.

Then Mister, D’ and Glo headed upstairs to nap and Tim headed up to study for one of his frillion classes. Do y’all remember the Hedley’s from the “Hey Mon!” skit on In Living Color? They were a Jamaican family that held like 14 jobs each. That is who Tim reminds me of, “You got only seven jobs? You lazy pig dog… why you could get another job on the way to your fifth job…” Anyway, Tim has like 3 full time jobs, he is going back to school and he is also teaching a few classes. Lazy bastard. Idle hands are the devil’s playground my man.

So they all went to do that, J.Wo, Jay and Brenna went to go nap or something too and LuLu and I headed to the Wal*Mart.

Ok. Let me give you guys a little back story about this particular Wal*Mart. I’m still emotionally scarred because I spent so much time at this place that I will hardly go into a Wal*Mart now unless you drag me forcibly. It was basically the hub of Nacogdoches’ existence because where else could you get a pallet of sod, your tires changed, seven avocado’s, a flirty little knit top and a pack of 12 men’s tube socks? A virtual one stop shop for the busy East Texan.

[::shudder::]

Anway, I needed the following items: ear plugs (see above comment on air conditioning/heater unit in hotel room with tuberculosis), FeBreeze™ clothing spray (I wanted to be able to pack my suitcase without it smelling like a stale ashtray), AA batteries for Gloria’s camera, lighter fluid for new lighter and maybe some make up to make us feel pretty.

We walked in and I immediately started having a panic attack. The smell was kickin… fertilizer, cedar shavings, tire and eau de desperate (also known as Mac n’ Cheese). I was sweating and extremely nervous and we walked by the announcer lady to hear [click] “Excuse me Wals*Mart shoppers, if you are driving a white Bruick, licence number &63Arra*&?... it will be towed ‘meediately.” (Y’all I tried to spell how she said Buick, but I don’t think they have made keys or characters on my keyboard for that pronunciation yet.)

Regardless, I was starting to worry that I may shit my drawers. One from laughing at the language barrier and two because, Oh Holy shit… y’all… if I was going to run into anyone from my past? I would be at the Wals*Mart.

I was sweating. Did I mention the beautiful day outside? I was not hot inside the hellhole Wal*Mart… but all the same my hair was wet around my hair line. I was breathing all fast and I was convinced that any moment someone was going to pop out from behind an end cap and demand that I return to the double-wide trailer immediately. Or meediately as the announcer lady would have said.

LuLu tried to keep it light, laughing at this and that. Bringing up positive memories, trying to assure me that no one would recognize me. I had my hair up and I was wearing my glasses that I didn’t start wearing until 2002 or 2003. Oh, and I had packed on the extra weight for winter. Fuck, if bears can do it… so can I.

Finally we got out of there and headed to the Sonic for Strawberry Limeades and then we went to visit LuLu’s cousin Greg. Lord, that made me feel old. We pulled up to this house that had about 7 cars in the driveway and an Aztec like shrine of empty beer cases in the living room. It was like 4 or 4:30 pm and they (Greg and his frat brothers and friends) had already started drinking. Yes, they are 21 or so and we are all old ass fogies. But still. All these kids laying around the living room watching “Something About Mary” like a pile of puppies. Everyone smiling at the two old broads that came to check out their cousin’s crib.

Did I just say crib?

Move along.

So we went back and got dressed because we had to leave at like 6:45 to pick up the rest of the crew for dinner reservations at Casa Thomas. Heh, Casa Thomas. This particular place is within stone’s throw from mine and LuLu’s old dorm rooms and Gloria and J.Wo’s old apartments. Quite the fancy restaurant… Heh… sure.

Regardless, I walked in and this waiter was making his way through the thirteen or so of us that met for dinner. And that’s when I came face to face with Chip. Chip… a career waiter in Nacogdoches. He looked right at me and then walked past me with a polite, “Scuse’ me”. I pulled LuLu aside and asked her, “Is that [points] Chip… that old bartender from Blank & Company downtown?” LuLu looked at Chip, nodded and responded with and elegant, “Oh holy sheeeit.”

He didn’t recognize me. Although the only time I have seen him and not been an unforgettable customer was when I was 19 or so and I was working as a hostess at this place downtown (Blank & Co) that had stairs. Stairs. My ass was hard as a rock from running stairs all night. And now? I am 33 and my ass is far from rock hard, and hardly looking like that of a nineteen year olds’ posterior.

We had a wonderful dinner. We were set at a long thin table and the din of noise was so loud and garbled from other tables that I could really hear only those immediate 4 or 5 people around me. Halfway through dinner D’Wayne hollered, “Sue? Can I use your phone?” I nodded and passed it to him… he looked at it and said, “Something is wrong, I must have pushed a wrong button.” I took the phone from him and looked at it. Eight missed calls.

Eight? We’ve only been sitting here for about 25 minutes.

I pushed the key for voicemail and I heard:
Jay: Well, Sue Mamma, I can’t hear you or talk to you during dinner so I am leaving you a message.
Jay: You never call, you never write, I miss you Sue Mamma! Miss youuuuuuuu!
Brenna: Hey Sue Mamma, I just wanted to say hey and that I hope y’all are enjoying your meal at the other end of the table!
Olga: Hi Sue, this is Olga, I am just sitting one person away from you … hope we have fun tonight!
Gloria: Sue, you hot mamma, you know you’re a good looking woman and your nipples get hard when you think of me.
Jay: Dammit Sue, your food is getting cold!
J.Wo: Heee Heee Heee! Blah blah… (it was too loud at this time with all the laughter and I was telling the rest of the table that they were assholes and I couldn’t hear what J.Wo was saying.)
Kim: Hi Susan, you don’t know me, I am on the other end of the restaurant from you and Jay wanted me to call and say hello.

Jay had some random person leave me a message. Gotta love him. Actually the other day I got Googled for “Jay Knott” so I told him he was famous and people were trying to find him on my site. He was all, “Your site??? Can I Google myself and find you?” Sure can babe, sure can.

Y’all? I have got to finish this at another time… This is like six pages and I haven’t even gotten to the Jitterbugs part.

Much love and long reading,
Susan

February 16, 2006

Weekend With Friends in Nac Part IV

Holy Crap! It’s Thursday already?

Well, this time two weeks (and 14 pages) ago I was all anxious about not having packed yet for our little trip into East Texas. And I still haven’t finished the damn recap.

Ok, to bring you up to speed, parts one, two and three are…
Here: Part I
Here: Part II
And
Here: Part III

And my brain is… here. and also stuck looping the song “Secretly” by Skunk Anansie off of the Cruel Intentions soundtrack.

::sigh::

So, where were we? Ah yes, eight messages on my phone during dinner right? Right.

So we ate, drank, smoked and all was merry. Dinner was about two hours so we started rounding up checks and coats and spouses around 9 o’clock or so, to head to the bar.

The bar I speak of is one I have mentioned before.

Once or twice.

Jitterbugs, a place that my little rowdy group of friends practically lived at when their doors were open (from Wednesday to Saturday, College night on Thursday) when we were in college. The owners all knew us by name and the girls in the crew were allowed to go upstairs to the offices to pee as opposed to using the crowded cat-fight bathrooms on the main floor.

Hell, D’Wayne worked the door for two years at least.

It was our bad-bar (tm Weetabix). People got tore up, dancing was mandatory, gallons of sweat were earned on the hardwood floor, friendships were made, relationships were lost, millions of cigarettes were smoked, bottles were broken and used as weapons*, it was the launching place for the midnight riders (usually naked) and a good time was had by all.

The thing that I was looking the most forward to; second to seeing my friends and kissing their faces; was going to Jitterbugs. I wanted to make some new memories there that included Mister and that did not include the phrase, “Happy New Year!!!!...” [look over to see husband (at the time) open mouth kissing another woman… well at least he wasn’t having his way with her right there**.] “Welllllll, fuck.”

I knew that we would all have a great time. I wanted to dance with my friends and Mister and D’Wayne, but I was very concerned about the recognizability factor. And that is so a word… shut it. The recognizability factor greatly increases when person, animal and toile plates; for example; are in their natural setting.

I would notice a cheetah or say a water buffalo quicker on the plains of the Serengeti than say, in an Eddie Bauer store. I would notice a toile plate in my mother’s china cabinet or on a plate stand in her dining room quicker than I would notice one say serving a giant sloppy joe to a hungry OTR traveler at Rip Griffin’s truck stop. Same with me stepping a coquettishly shod boot into the front door of Jitterbugs, someone was bound to notice. It was my preferred natural setting while I lived there. Well, there or at the aptly named Sports Shack on North Street for happy hour… every freaking day.

So I got a bit nervous when Tim and LuLu’s suburban came to a halt and Jay and I quickly stopped with the chitlin jokes*** and we all got out of the truck, made sure we had our IDs and money and lipsticks and cameras ready and started toward the front door.

I let the rest of the pack go ahead and I hung back, hiding behind my very large husband.

We all got our IDs swiped and bought a “membership” to the bar, meaning that Nacogdoches county is partly dry and you have to buy a “membership” or pay a cover to drink hard liquor.

While the tiny little thing in jeans so low I could see her pubis printed out our receipts I felt someone looking at me. I burrowed deeper into Mister’s armpit and stole a glance at the person that was trying to figure out who I was.

Oh, no big deal, it was the son of the ex-sheriff who used to work with my ex-brother in law.

Warning, DANGER, DANGER Will Robinson, DANGER!

Jay told me on the way over to the bar (between chitlin jokes) that his neighbor had invited us over for later. He was having a party and wanted us to come over after we left the bar.

Just a bit of back story so I won’t loose anyone new, my ex-husband (cleverly named X in this here journal) was a police officer in Nacogdoches. Since I left, he’s been promoted to detective. (I wonder if he can detect the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground by now.)

Jay’s neighbor, let’s call him… oh, say, Eric, was having a party and Eric happens to be a cop. Jay told Eric, “Hey man, I have X’s ex-wife in town, I am sure she’s not going to want to come over and hang out with a bunch of cops.” Eric replied, “Shit Jay, have her come on by, none of us like (my X’s last name) anyway.”

I am sure my eyes were HUGE when Jay was telling me this, and Jay loves to pull my chain so I am sure he was really enjoying the reaction.

I had narrowly escaped going to a party that evening after the bar. A house full of cops. But yet I run right into a deputy sheriff (who knows if he still is in that profession or not) as soon as I walk into the door of Jitterbugs.

Sweet.

I got my little wristbandy thing that let people know I was over 21 and could legally drink (HA HA HA HA ha hah heh he… ahem sorry.) and I scuttled into the bar fast. Who knew I could scuttle? I passed Mister and J.Wo and Jay and Glo and I stopped and just turned in a circle looking for a place to hide. Well, hell, Dierks Bentley was in town over at the Expo Center and the bar was deserted. It was only 9 pm and his concert wouldn’t end for a few hours.

I must have been twirling around (fast – like cheetah – so no one will recognize the whirling dervish… see? S-M-R-T.) because Mister walked over and asked if I had brought any of my anxiety medication with me. Negatory big guy. And then he said the words I will always love him for, “Here is your drink, let me light you a smoke.”

Then Jay walked over and said, “Hey Sue Mamma… you’ve been made by (blah dee blah (a local Judge’s son)).” “Fuck. Really?” “Yeah, he said hi.”

I blew that one off because the snitch that I was worried about, the guy at the front door, would have probably already called X on the bat phone and told him I was in town.

Mister suggested that I take off my glasses. I wouldn’t be able to see anyone, so I did and the anxiety over who was there and who was going to spoil my night or bring drama was reduced… GREATLY. In all the pictures I am Squinty McTinyEye but I am smiling like a loon.

We had a great time, everyone danced, I got to dance with D’Wayne (a waltz Trixie, eat your heart out) and things were so relaxed and calm, I forgot where we were for most of the night. It was just a big place with loud ass music and my friends.

Jitterbugs

*Oh Lord, no… not by me. I don’t get into that redneck girl fighting girl thing.
**It is the little things that I’m most thankful for… really. ::snort::
***Yeah, we stopped… for about seven minutes. Jay and I have been beating this dead horse (quick, give me a stick) of a joke for seriously for over fifteen years. It all started at a restaurant in Jasper, TX. I pulled something foreign out of my meal and we dubbed it Sir Chitlin, “Nasty little suckers, but their coats are worth a fortune.” And every movie, book, television show or celebrity since the 1950’s has been subject to a chitlin joke. Leave it to Beaver became Leave it to Chitlin, Sir Mix-a-Lot became Sir Mix-a-Chitlin, St. Elmo’s Fire became St. Elmo’s Chitlin, Sixteen Candles became Sixteen Chitlins… y’all get it. For extra credit let’s see if someone can leave one in the comments section that we haven’t exploited yet.

February 23, 2006

Brian? Shut up and eat.

Hi. How are you today? Really? You slept well and feel rested and content? Well, that is fantastic.

Here... let me share my hot chocolate with you. I know, I KNOW. This damp chilly weather shit is for the birds. If the said bird in question happens to be a penguin of course.

Yanno, I was thinking about you yesterday and into last night. I was hoping that you are doing well. I hope that things in your life are totally rocking along smoothly. That your job or job prospects are fulfilling and that someone out there is at least telling you, "Thank you" on a pretty constant basis for your contribution to the company or for just making their lives a little easier. I hope that you are fed well and that your body is feeling nourished and loved.

Yeah, I know... I need to exercise. We all need to move. I just want to dance but shaking my ass at company functions is sort of frowned upon. I will though, I will... I'll start getting some motion and exercise in the next few months and continue forever because dayum... have you seen the size of my ass?

Well, that is not all I have been thinking about.

No, no... it isn't anything bad or twisted. Or even snarky.

I've been thinking about my mother. Yeah, she is sweet. And I have been thinking about an old friend of mine, Brian.

While my mother was living in Dallas (before they moved to Denver in '92) she used to set up the ironing board in the kitchen, right outside the door to the laundry room. The kitchen had a built in china cabinet with glass doors on the top, a shelf in the middle and wooden doors on the bottom to hide stuff like her platters, her fondue pot and all of the paper napkins she hoarded.

On the little shelf in between the top and the bottom of the cabinet my mother had a tiny black and white TV and almost sixty framed photographs.

She called this her Spray and Pray corner. She would set up the ironing board and iron the clothes of her family while praying for the people in the photographs... friends, family and the like. My mother is beautiful, old fashioned and has a degree in Home Economics. She irons pillow cases, handkerchiefs and my father's undershirts. So she had plenty of time to pray for those she loved while ironing.

I had a friend, Brian that lived one door down from me while we were growing up. He was a very intelligent and well mannered boy. We met a few days after our family moved in, he came to the house and introduced himself and we became instant friends. We were always together and started calling each other Bro and Sis by the time we were in the seventh grade. We would walk home from school, go to his house and have green beans and popcorn and settle in to watch the Thunder Cats with both of us sitting in the same chair.

Click to make all pictures bigger. Thank you.

Brian and Susan 1985
Yes, yes... I was wearing leg warmers and my thighs are the size of a pencil. But, aren't we cute otherwise? I am sure my mother was asking us to throw snow for an action shot. She normally asks people to run at her for full dramatic effect. "Run at me! Run at me!"

We went to the same church so it was very comfortable to see one another just about every single day.

When his parents were working late, he would have dinner at our house and being a very gregarious young man he would talk, and talk, and talk. Sometime during most of these dinners my father would turn to Brian and say in the most loving way, "Brian? Shut up and eat."

One day Brian asked my mother what all those pictures were for and she explained to him about the concept behind her spray and pray corner.

The next day, after school Brian asked for me to go on to my house and he would be down in just a bit. When Brian got to the house he handed my mother a tiny little inch and a half high picture frame with his photo inside and said, "Would you add this to your spray and pray corner? I need all the help I can get."

Brian and Susan 1986
Brian's mom took this picture when we went to a Baylor football game one weekend. Their mascot, a bear, drinks Dr. Pepper. "Thanks for that totally random fact Sue." My pleasure.

Looking so much alike the two of us were usually mistaken for true siblings ... and? We acted like it. He fostered my love for all things Steve Martin and the movies Airplane, Kentucky Fried Movie and even Bob and Doug McKenzie in Strange Brew. We were in choir together from sixth grade until we graduated high school in 1990.

Brian and Susan 1990
This is the last day of school in 1990, we were graduating. This picture was taken in the choir room.

He went on to Baylor University and grew into a very intelligent and well mannered man. He ran a radio show that spotlighted his love for Classic Rock and his beautiful deep bass voice and the talking? This time he got paid for it.

Brian and Susan 1991
Brian came to my college one weekend to take me to a dance. Awwwwwww.

When our family went to Destin (we go every other year and have since I was wee) in 1992 I asked if Brian could come. My dad replied, "Will he ever shut up?" I replied, "Probably not, but can he come anyway?" Heh. I drove to Dallas from Nacogdoches and Brian came in from Waco and we all piled into my sister's car and headed for Destin. By the time we hit Lafayette my sister was chewing a hole in her face from trying not to scream, "Shut it college boy!" at Brian. He and I talked the whole way to Destin and had a blast.

We even had more fun when we got there, as it was my 21st birthday (he had turned 21 in January) so he and I spent most of our time at a great bar down off of 95 called Fish Heads. We would drink and dance and he would protect me from creepy bikers and I would protect him from creepy bikers. Heh.

Brian, Susan and Reb 1992
That is my sister next to me. Brian and I looked so much alike, hair color... eye color. Neither one of us could shut our mouths.

Fish Heads was later closed due to a shooting. Ahem.

After he graduated he moved to Tyler and produced a new show for one of the large networks. The network moved him around from Tyler to Austin, Austin to Phoenix, OklahomaCity and recently to Austin. He is close enough that he can come see his parents (who still live in the same house) and go cheer on the Baylor basketball teams.

Brian married a beautiful woman named Jessica in September 2002. They met while teaching a Sunday School Class in Austin.

It was at his wedding that I realized that I was lonely and a month later (actually, not even three weeks) I met Mister.

So, I've been thinking about my mother and her spray and pray corner. And Brian and his praying with and marrying the woman of his dreams and that got me to thinking. This little page is sort of like my spray and pray corner. I don't iron anything but I do conquer the mighty white page and blinking cursor to post information. And I think about each one of you who come by, even if you don't say anything in the comments, notes or email. I think about you and I go to your pages (if the information is left) and I read about your lives and your talent and your everyday deals and I hope you are doing well. I thank God for those friends I have made through this little piece of web space, and I thank all of you for inviting me to share a part of your lives.

I hope your Thursday is smooth and without trials. I hope your February has been and will continue to be a milestone month for happiness and self reflection and I pray that your 2006 will continue to bring you health, grace and peace.

March 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Punkin!!!!

Have you guys ever just wanted to flick someone in the nipple for no apparent reason? Like maybe… a person in your office? Say that this person hypothetically is going on and on about oh, I don’t know… a video of a cat meowing in a weirdly anthropomorphic way? A video that they allegedly sent you via email and then rushed over to see if you received it a mere millisecond after they pushed the send button?

No?

Me either.

Alrighty… down to business. First thing’s first. Today is LuLu’s birthday. She is sixty-seven and we are very excited that she still has all of her own teeth. Actually I believe she is a mere thirty-two(three?). The reason I am mentioning this here is that she and I have been bestest of girlfriends since the early nineties and neither one of us ever remembers the other’s birthday. Normally I call her sometimes in March and she calls me sometime May and we say, “Hey, you know I love you but I can’t remember when your fucking birthday is… so… uh, yeah, Happy Birth-, uh…month

So Happy Birthday LuLu! For today is the actual day. (A soothsayer told me.)

And because it is her birthday I will commence to tell you a story about her. Heh. Well, a story with her in it. Or something.

Lessee…

Ok, ya’ll know my love for the big mens right? Okay, there was this big ol’ boy named Ira that LuLu introduced me to and I went home with him when my blazer, my jeans, my shirt and my hair all smelled like one big caramelized onion…

Oh, wait. That would be a story about me.

Let’s just talk about her Okay?

The first night we met? She haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated me. H-A-T-E-D. Hated me. It’s not like I wasn’t sociable. Actually, I was totally friendly. And I am sure that that friendliness is what cemented her complete and utter loathing of my cheerful disposition.

Oh, and the fact that I was dancing with Troy.

Let’s go back shall we?

When LuLu was a wee lass she had a thing for two types of men. Type the first: Men who could dance their asses clean off and Type the second: Bass players. If they could dance and play the bass? A smitten kitten was she.

LuLu met Troy one evening at VC. VC (Virginia City) was a country and western dance bar in Houston that was pretty popular in the early nineties. (If you Google ‘Virginia City dance club’ now? You get many sites for gay bars. Sorry ya’ll.) You had to be 18 to enter and 21 to drink at VC. It was a drive and a half to get there from her house, but went she did and dance she did, because if there is anything that LuLu can do, it is dance. So she met Troy and he innocently swept her off of her boots and she decided that she was going to be wherever this man was.

He was going to school at Stephen F. Austin in the fall, or on break over the summer when they met and LuLu had yet to make up her mind about where she wanted to gain her college education. She had friends going everywhere to school and she had her choice of where she could go but I think that she figured if they grew them like Troy out at SFA then she was as good as there.

Correct me if I am wrong in any of this LuLu (and Mr. LuLu).

So that Fall she packed up her little GMC Jimmy (Chevy Blazer?... shit I am old.) and headed for the piney woods. She was living in a dorm called Kerr Hall. Funny enough I used to live there too. Troy and D’Wayne (and Jason, this guy that ate like he had a flip top head) were living out on the north side of town in this precious little yellow house and I had an apartment on the North Loop.

We (several people [read: cowboys] and myself) started a Rodeo Club…..

What? Shut up.

Ok, I’ll just pause here until you stop laughing.

I’ll explain about that later… yes, yes, very Hee Haw of us. No, I don’t barrel race. I’ll explain later I said. This is supposed to be about LuLu.

So we had this Rodeo Club meeting once a week on Wednesday (or Thursday?) nights and when it was over we would all head to the club (Bullwinkle’s – Lord, what an unintelligent name for a bar.) to dance and have a few beers. I have belabored the point many many times about the amount of drinking and dancing we did while we were supposed to be learning and earning our degrees, so I am sure you guys were not surprised when I said, “… headed to the bar.. blah dee blah.”

This one night in particular I was on the dance floor being lead by Troy and I felt these eyes on me. They weren’t appraising eyes. Ladies, you know how those feel; some of you men do as well. That feeling that you are being categorized and undressed? That wasn’t the gaze I felt. The sensation that someone was wishing I was dead and boiled in a copper kettle filled with tar, only after being sheared of my hair and having my upper lip pulled over my left knee cap was more along the lines of what I was feeling.

During a spin in a corner of the dance floor, I snuck a peak to see who was wishing that I would fall over dead. At the edge of the floor was this striking red head with the most beautiful neon green eyes I have ever seen. She had her arms crossed over her chest and was trying to bore a hole in my head with the look of DIE! DIE! DIE!

I whispered to Troy, “Who is that pretty redhead that wants me to keel over?” He took a look and answered, “Oh, that’s Lisa, I know her from VC.”

The song ended, Troy twirled me and led me off the floor. As soon as I was off the dance floor I headed in her direction. She saw me coming and put her hands on her hips. I walked up to her and said (very chirpily I might add - I knew she could have kicked my ass if she wanted to), “Hi! I’m Susan. You must be Lisa.” She reluctantly shook my hand. I held onto her and pulled her over to our group. Troy and I introduced her around and from then on (well, when she realized that I didn’t have designs on Troy) she and I have been best friends.

Troy left town and LuLu (Lisa) fell for a bass player named Mark. He was eleven years her senior and truly adored her and her wonderful sense of humor but he knew that he wouldn’t be settling down anytime soon and LuLu is that type of girl. She was definitely a monogamous serial dater. She didn’t mess around. She fell for one man and that was it. Mark and LuLu never even dated. They spent countless hours together and he even took care of her during a very trying time, they even shared his bed but he was gentlemanly enough to remain above the covers. Since she never kissed her prince I dubbed her “Punkin” (as in turning into a pumpkin at midnight because she didn’t receive her kiss) that night.

She left East Texas to go back to Houston and go to school and work. She and I traveled back and forth quite regularly and her parent’s house was a place of solace for me as my parents were a thousand miles away in Colorado.

One weekend the boys that were in the band that Mark played in came to Houston. I had piled several of our friends into my car and we all went to hear them play. LuLu’s parents said that we could all stay in their house after the band finished playing and the band ended up sleeping on their floor. There were many weekends when LuLu and her parents opened up their home to a rag-tag group of college kids and musicians.

In 1995 or 1996 I got a call that I didn’t expect. LuLu had been working so very hard as a manager of a company, hardly going out at all and not giving a second thought to men in general so when she said she said she had met a very handsome and gentlemanly guy while at the dance club one night and that she really liked him I was so excited for her. He was a fire fighter and they had been out on several dates. Her father even liked him!

In May of 1997 Mr. LuLu took my friend to have and to hold from that day forward and has been a wonderful husband, friend and now a father to their first born child, a beautiful little girl (18 months old) who has her mother’s stunning red hair, a mixture of the neon green eyes from her mother and the bright blue from her father’s eyes and the best parts of both of their personalities.

And I will just tell ya’ll this for free. If you ever see the little one in a club in oh, I’d say about seventeen years and she has her hands on her hips and is looking at you like she wishes you would just go to hell and die? I would approach carefully, hold out your hand and be sincerely happy to make her acquaintance.

After all, I have heard stories of her mother setting firecrackers off in the bed of a truck that was parked in a barn once … Once.


Old ass picture, but I still love it. Ain’t she pretty?

May 4, 2006

It was so cliché... a cheerleader dating a football jock.

We met in high school. It was the summer before my sophomore year and I had just gotten back from cheerleading* camp.

Julia the “new girl” had a party at her house to basically introduce herself to the rest of the kids at school. Julia had started the spring of our freshman year just before tryouts. Being an excellent gymnast and about 3 feet tall (and blonde with big hooters) meant that she was a shoe in for the squad.

She asked us during camp if we would come to her party and invite our friends. She had sent out an invitation to the football teams, JV and Varsity to attend as well. She promised it would be a great time and we were all curious about the tiny little hyper girl so we agreed to go. Also, the Clark football players were hot.

At Julia’s party a friend walked over to me and said, “There is someone who wants to meet you.”

Being all knees and elbows and not quite comfortable with my gawky-ness I walked (loped? cantered?) over with her to talk to a small gathering of guys that were hanging out in Julia’s kitchen. One of them was a friend of a friend. His name was Brent and he was hanging out with one of my best buddies, CC. There was one other guy standing with CC and Brent and this is who my girlfriend introduced me to.

“Susan, this is Tim… Tim, this is Susan.”

I was told my whole life that I was photogenic and that my smile was my best feature, hyper-aware of that fact (I felt like my hair was frizzy, my feet were too big and my legs were too long – giving me a stork-like appearance) I turned looked at Tim and flashed him a winning (hopefully photogenic) smile. Tim smiled back, I noted his gorgeous teeth, dimples, the tiny little curls at the base of his neck where his blonde hair met his collar, and that he was taller than me.

I held out my hand to introduce myself properly, “Hi. It is very nice to meet you,” I said. “Yeah, me too,” he said with a warm hand covering my own. His green eyes sparkled with mischief and I immediately found myself responding to his charm.

CC told me that Tim was a JV football player and that they knew each other from FFA (Future Farmers of America – shut up) and Ag (-riculture)… and from our previous middle school. Since I had known CC since I was twelve (or so); we met in the sixth or seventh grade; I was surprised that I had not met Tim before. Tim told me that his mother was a teacher; I knew her… she was my Algebra teacher the year before. And Tim knew my mother because she substitute taught all over the school district.

“Small world huh?” Tim offered with a wry smile.

By the end of the party that evening he had pulled me into his lap while he was sitting on the couch and opposed to jumping up and worrying about my weight, (“I am too fat to sit on this guy. What if I crush him!? Good Lord, please do not pick me up, it is very awkward to get out of your arms without putting my full weight on you and you’ll know how much I weigh!”) I stayed there. All the neurosis and over thinking that I did before were toned down that night.

He laughed easily and openly and I found myself laughing along. Relaxed.

Within weeks we were dating steadily.

We started dating the summer of 1987 and it was so cliché’ a cheerleader dating a football jock, but we made such a handsome couple.

We went to the movies and to dinner. We spent holidays with both of our families, going from one house to the other on special days. We laughed and shared friends. And during the freeze in the early spring of 1988 he and I were the only ones (well, it felt like we were the only ones) out and about because of his four-wheel drive flat-bed Ford.

We were lovers.

One day in late fall Tim and I had a date planned. He asked me to get ready early because he had a surprise. I got ready early and he picked me up. We left and drove north; he turned off of the main road and pulled into a dirt drive. We drove for a while and then almost out of nowhere this huge field of yellow flowers came into view. The flowers were about hip high and the yellow was so bright it almost hurt to look at it. We turned the radio up, left the windows down, got out of the truck and danced on the flatbed trailer of his truck.

He had brought a picnic for us to share, we ate during the sunset and then danced some more. The dancing turned into making love out under the stars.

That is what I remember most about the two (more than two?) years we dated. We made love like there was not going to be a tomorrow.

Our courtship was so fast paced and almost urgent that when the relationship ended I was surprised that neither one of us fought to keep it going. We hardly ever fought or had harsh words, it was just understood that I wouldn’t be number two and because of what happened with Terry (Terry cheated on me with a friend of mine – she wasn’t a friend after that) Tim knew that I would not hang around if he wanted to be with another and I knew that he and I had something that was special. We were friends and lovers and we were secure in our relationship. We hung out with our own friends and did not have to be attached at the hip every second.

One of the only fights I can remember was over Prom. I went to several my senior year. Because Tim didn’t ask me I planned the whole group outing with my friend Bean and his buddies. I was a free agent and quite ruthless about the whole thing.

I was an unattached girl/woman for most of my senior year and when I went to leave for college. I knew that Tim wouldn’t remain single for long, with him being such a catch and planning on going to Texas Tech he was on the top of most single women’s lists.

He would call me at college and we kept in touch for a while. I heard about him through friends and friends of friends. We lost touch after a year or so.

He had been dating a girl named Christen when he left for college. His father wanted him to go away to school unattached because he was worried about the hold that Christen had on Tim. His father was right to be worried.

Christen got pregnant during Tim’s sophomore year at Tech. She wanted him at home… with her. Not in college.

Tim became a father at twenty.

In 1999 when I came back to Dallas emotionally battered and bruised I hid for a while, licking my wounds and trying to heal from the divorce and the many years of … well, of just shit. I worked and hid in my apartment and after a year or so of being back on my feet I had the strangest urge. I wanted to find Tim.

I asked Stacey if she or her husband (I’ve known Stacey’s husband since Clark HS too) had seen or heard from Tim. Nope. No one had heard from him. I didn’t know if he was married, had children or even wanted to hear from a blast from the past like me. The only way to find out was to try and track him down.

I scoured the phone books and the internet and found several people with his name and so I started my list at the top one night. “Hi, I am looking for Tim [last name] please. Oh, hi Tim. Did you go to Clark High School? No? Ok, thanks.” And on to the next number.

By the time I had gotten a bit frustrated I decided to make one last phone call. “Hi, I am looking for Tim [last name] please. Oh, hi Tim. Did you go to Clark High School? You did?” And I heard, “Sue?” “Yeah, man… it’s me. How are you?”

A few days later we went to a bar and ordered several drinks and started to catch up.

It was the most bizarre thing. We started right in and it felt like we had just talked the week before, not like ten years had passed. His son was almost ten, he was divorced, Christen was Satan incarnate, the divorce was ugly and he was working hard and wanted to go back to school. I caught him up. I had no children, my divorce could have been uglier and holy shit we are old.

It became very comfortable. We got together for a drink or seven almost every day. He was dating about eleven people and I was just trying to keep my head straight.

I would leave work by 4:30 pm and by 5 my cell phone was ringing. I would answer it and hear a familiar, “Hey, what are you doing?”

I never met any of his girlfriends, I would just hear about them later.

Tim: Yeah, [random chick] spent the night last night.
me: Slut.
Tim: Her?
me: No,… you.
Tim: Am not.
me: [eyebrow raise]

It was so comfortable, our friendship was growing and we were a team again. And Tim made me laugh, Lord, how I would laugh! It was like we were back in high school… just without the sex.

When I met Mister, Tim was one of the first to know. He was happy for me and we still hung out a lot with and without Mister.

The years flew by. Tim’s ex-wife had two more children, both by different men and still made Tim’s life hell. He always had his son on Wednesday’s and his son spent the night with him almost every weekend… so Christen could go out.

Tim finally went back to school and did a great job. He graduated last June and Mister and I went to the ceremony. After that I called him and emailed him periodically and more and more the closer it got to his birthday. No calls were answered or returned. No emails were returned. October came and went and I still hadn’t heard from him. Still, no calls or emails were answered.

In January of this year I sent an email letting him know that my feelings were hurt by the lack of return phone calls or emails. I asked him if there was an issue. I told him I wished him the best. No answer.

Mister knew that my feelings were hurt but that I missed my friend. One evening after work Mister and I were at a Happy Hour and he suggested that we call Tim and invite him to the bar to hang out with us. I shook my head because I didn’t want to leave another message after the email that I had sent, but Mister persisted.

He called and Tim answered on the second or third ring. They spoke and Mister asked if Tim was doing ok because I was worried. Of course I was embarrassed and physically blanched when Mister handed me the phone when he said, “Do you want to talk to her? She’s right here.”

I took the phone and asked Tim if he was ok. “I’m fine,” he said, “I’ve just been busy and I’ve been gone almost every weekend hunting and my cell phone hasn’t been working.” I responded with, “I was just making sure that you weren’t dead.”

What a lame thing to say.

The conversation was short, stilted and ill at ease and I haven’t heard from him again since that night.

I know that the only reason he answered the phone was because he didn’t have Mister’s number programmed into his phone.

Ya’ll know how much I treasure old friendships and people who knew you when. I have got to quit it with this getting my feelings hurt over camaraderie not shared. The problem with this is that I had no idea that the friendship wasn’t shared until he stopped calling, returning phone calls, emailing, ect.. It was just over.

Maybe he went back to Christen and thinks I would disapprove. Who knows?

I know I shouldn’t be surprised. People grow and move on.

I just wish they’d let me in on the secret sometimes.


*Didn’t know I was a cheerleader? (I’ve only mentioned it once in three plus years.) Well, don’t tell anyone. It is a small fact that I keep pretty closely guarded.

September 22, 2006

My Evening with The Mary Kay Lady - And Steph.

Ok. Let’s put aside the fact that I talk about my past a lot. A. LOT. And I get all mushy when certain songs come on the radio or I catch certain scents on the air like a deer testing and tasting the wind for signs of trouble… or a mate.

Um. What the hell was that? A deer. Riiiiight.

Anyway.

Yes, I did liken myself to a deer smelling danger, or sex. Can we move past that? Really, move along. Let it go.

I’ve gotten boring and quite predictable since I reached 30… And, to be honest it is kind of cool. I know that today when I leave the office I will race home to let out the badger before he befouls his linens. (My, how very Victorian of me.)

Sue, it is a dog. (Where’s the ROI?... Heh.)

Right. Right, so before the furry munchkin pees in his bed or has anymore discomfort from being left in his kennel (yes, we kennel train, let the hate emails pour in) for eight hours I race home. I make a stab at something edible for dinner and usually start a load of laundry then I look at the menu from Time Warner Cable to see if anything remotely promising is on tv then I either watch tv, do more laundry or read a book.

As opposed to say, six years ago when I knew I would be at a bar with about eight four beers in my belly and a whole half a pack of smokes in my lungs before 8 o’clock in the p.m., actually contemplating going out with someone who was trying to pick me up with this line, “You have the most beautiful face, you look just like that woman on tv. What is her name? Uhm… Camryn Manheim… And… AND… I used to play for the Mavericks. Wanna go out?”

Confidential to that guy, “Fuck you douche. Just because I am fat doesn’t mean you have to say I look like the only fat actress on tv.”

Let’s look shall we?

Camryn Manheim

Photo by Steve Granitz - ゥ WireImage.com - Image courtesy of WireImage.com

Me

The Photo that you are looking for has been deleted. Yeah. I deleted it. Remember... I bring out the crazy.

Photo by Suzanna Danna and her short ass arms. Also, picture to be removed at my whimsy. (See? I removed it at my whimsy, my whimsy happened to strike at 3:19 on 9/28/06.

Yes, yes… Camryn Manheim is very a pretty lady. But gah. When I was younger and because I have curly hair people used to say I looked like Andie MacDowell. Hello? I do not. And. AND. You did NOT play for the Mavericks, Roderick Hampton, and yes, again, I am going to use his real name. And yes… I did go out with him… Once.

What the hell was my point? Oh, yes, …Music. iPod. Herschel. Bonnie Raitt’s First Night Alone Without You. Dear Lord.

You know what? Forget that. I am not going to get all sentimental about some song. I just got off the phone with Stacey and I am feeling a bit ranty. (Can you tell that I had caffeine today? I’m all Grover-y “Heyyy YOU Guys!!!!! [arms flapping wildly]”) So we are going to go with the following:

My Evening with The Mary Kay Lady… And Steph.

Hi, ya’ll know I love make up… and jewelry and animals and … well, shoes. But make up? It is wonderful… and the products that go with make up… the lotions and serums and gels and balms… mmmm… balms. I get a little product crazy from time to time and I have been accused of being a lay down sale. This past weekend I had a good half hour conversation with a woman hosting a wonderful dinner about the best products in each price range.

So. So, a few weeks ago when I went out with the girls Kerry let it slip that, “Oh, and ya’ll? I signed you up for a pampering treatment with one of the ladies in my networking group.” And we all replied, “Yeah, ok, uh… sure.”

A few weeks (or maybe a few days) go by and I totally forget all about it, until (dum Dum DUM!) I get this long very high energy voicemail from this lady we will call JD. “Susan? Hi, it is JD. I got your number from Kerry and I wanted to call and schedule your pampering appointment. Just let me know what time is good for you and I’ll do the same and we’ll get together! Won’ it be fun!?” She went on for a while about…well, I don’t remember… but the point was, she called, she is Kerry’s friend/business associate so basically I was bound by law to call her back.

So, I did.

I called her back while I was on my way home from work. Her outgoing message was so excitable, like on the upswing if you are bipolar excitable, and at the end of the 75 second ramble it was all, “You can do anything you put your heart into…. GoooooooOOOOO Jesus! YAY!” Of course I am paraphrasing.

I’m all for a Jesus cheer now and again, so I left her my information and my number and hung up.

She called back while I was taking the dog out, fixing dinner, doing laundry, massaging your grandmother… something, so I didn’t hear the phone. When I checked the message it was another Declaration of Independence preamble of incredible length and I finally just pushed the delete button before she was through. Oh, sure… I felt bad about it. But Lord. Queen of short attention span over here. Snappy, people, snappy. Message = 1) name 2) phone number 3) maybe a reason… a SHORT reason why you called and 4) repeat of name & phone number.

No throwing stones in this glass house missy, I know I ramble on and on… paragraph after paragraph… but it is in written form. Therefore my logic is impenetrable.

Um.

Oh, yeah… GoooooooOOO! Jesus!

So JD and I finally reconnect after playing phone tag like four times and having to listen to her two minutes outgoing message each time. And NO pressing 1. That just restarts the damn thing. “HIII this is JD with Mary Kay, you can do anything… blah blah blah….. GOOOOOOOOOOOO JESUS!”

We decided on last night as the night of the pampering. Wednesday night, 7:30 p.m. Got it. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that she was going to do a facial or something with Mary Kay products. I’m good with that. Mary Kay makes an amazing oil free eye make up remover that is never far from my person. I’m down with MK. So when I saw an email message from Steph saying that she would be there Wednesday night as well, I was all “rock on.”

Stacey was more in the “Hell to the no, I ain’t going” party but, BUT… Kerry was supposedly coming to the little pampering make over appointment with Steph and I.

I showed up at 7:15 as I am like that. Steph showed up at 7:20… JD showed up… well, late. She ushered us into this strip mall office thing and put on some music. She told us when she scheduled the meeting on the phone and in emails (2) to remind us; that we didn’t have to worry about eating because she would have snacks available for us. I thought that was pretty nice of her.

She asked us what we would like to drink while holding a plastic pitcher with tea bags in it. I asked for water, as I am a water drinking girl and Steph said, “Ooh, yeah, water sounds good to me too. I’ll have water as well.” JD scrunched up her face and said, “REALLY?!” Like we were the craziest (and most freckled) girls she has ever encountered.

I said, “Oh, um… then I guess I’ll take some of that tea.” Knowing full well that I don’t do caffeine and that I would be vibrating like a washer out of balance before 10 p.m.. Steph agreed and said, “Sure, tea sounds fine.” And JD trotted off, calling over her shoulder, “Great, it is cold brew. It will only take a few minutes.”

When she got back she took a bowl of salad, two small containers and a bag out of the fridge, she opened the salad bowl and the containers saying, “This one is the dressing and there are some croutons as well. Stephanie, why don’t you heat up these bread sticks in the microwave?” Steph obediently did as she was told.

(Picking up from yesterday as it is now Friday… GOOOOOOOOOO Friday! Ahem, sorry. Remind me to tell ya’ll about the most uncomfortable dermatology appointment ever. I just got back to the office and let’s just put it this way. It was so disturbing… that I wrote a letter.)

I picked up three plates and JD said, “Oh, I won’t be joining you.” So I put one of the plastic plates down and asked Steph if I could serve her. She said sure so I turned to look at the salad. JD piped up, “It’s from Olive Garden.” I love Olive Garden (shut up) salad. Really. I could live off of their salad and breadsticks alone. So when I looked in the bowl of salad and noticed that most of the lettuce was turning brown around the edges I wondered if she had this shipped in from Oregon or if the Olive Garden just around the corner was trying to save it’s bottom line with using week-old lettuce.

I served Steph and I and sat down as Steph was bringing the breadsticks out of the microwave.

JD perkily announced that, “We had Olive Garden Monday, so I thought I would just save that salad and breadsticks for you ladies and serve it tonight!”

I paused, fork halfway to my face, flicked my eyes to Steph who was all, “O…kay.”

Ya’ll, seriously. Poor little withered salad. I am sure that it was old enough to still have some EColi riddled spinach in it. Whatever, I ate a few bites (it didn’t hurt me the last time) and made all the appropriate, “mmmmm” noises. A’la Friends Thanksgiving show, “It tastes like feet.” Thanks for the visual, Ross.

So with the music in the background; “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” – Billy Ocean, “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge and the like… stuff to really get us pumped up to be part of the little MK family… JD asked us to follow her to the bathroom to do the Satin Hands and Satin Lips treatments.

With that done we came back into the training room and sat down at our little fold up mirrors and Styrofoam plates. There was a cotton ball. A. Cotton. Ball. On each of our little Styrofoam plates that would definitely come into play later. And JD gave Steph and I each a damp mauve washcloth.

She put a dollop of cleanser into each of our plates then instructed us on how to best remove our make up, “Just your faces, leave your eye make up on.” So Steph and I washed our pink little faces and then JD asked us to rinse with the washcloths. I picked mine up and that is when the smell hit me. Mildew. So there I am, soapy shit all over my sensitive skin and nothing but a mildewy washcloth to wash it off.

Yes, I used the washcloth. And no, I didn’t make any rude comments. I save that for you guys, because I love… and I like to give. I am a giver.

So there I was face first in a mildewy washcloth, peering at Steph over the edge of it. I have it sort of pinched in my fingers because, Hi. I don’t want my hands, that I know I am about to rub all over my porcelain skin, to smell like mildewy sneakers worn without socks. Eau de boys locker-room. Mmmmm sexxay!

But, I did it.

After the cleanser and the washcloth came the moisturizer and the … well, the other stuff… I was sort of distracted (MILDEW!) by the, “How long have you had rosacea?” comment. My reply? “Um, it’s not rosacea. I drank a lot in college.” So I don’t remember everything she put on our faces… but I DO remember that she said, “If we just had a product to SUCK OUT THE FAT….” like six times. I don’t have a problem with being large lady, do you? (::Ahem:: Also read as: Yes, I do, stop bringing it up.)

She gave us each a dollop of makeup to cover our faces with after the moisturizing MILDEW! cream. She put Steph and I in the same color. Steph. Red head, fabulous green eyes, beautiful skin… cute as a button with her freckles, but she can tan. And me. So white I am blue. With… uh, rosacea or something. Same color of makeup.

We both obligingly put it on then used our ONE cotton ball to put the pressed power (from a flap of paper) on our skin. We looked positively… well, the word cakey comes to mind. Then DJ used a brush and commented on my chipmunk cheeks. “To make ourselves look thinner we need to create shadows.” And she put some bronzer under my cheekbones. And gave Steph bright Barbie Doll Pink blush. Heh. Now, granted, Steph could wear blue eye shadow and red lipstick and pull it off. She is that gorgeous. But pink cheeks on a redhead. She worked it, but I would have given her more of an earthen tone, not something found only in post-it notes and Barbie Dream Houses™.

May I just tell ya’ll that Kerry never showed up and JD kept us in her tentacles loving embrace for two hours. And. AND? I had a migraine. Sitting in a fluorescent lighted room with a migraine and a chirpy Mary Kay saleslady for TWO HOURS.

Two hours.

Two.

Seriously. Two hours. I could have been watching Harry Potter and eating non-EColi wilted salad… also known as Dove Chocolate.

Stacey called me yesterday, which is when I got all ranty, because she was laughing her ass off at the retelling of my story from the night before. Laughing… and laughing HARD. She was all, “HA HA HA HA!! Oh, my God… HAAAAA! I am soooo sorry, but this is funny as shit. AH ha… HA HA HA!” And then she would laugh some more. I think her favorite parts were the salad, the mildew, Kerry not showing up and did I mention TWO Fucking Hours!?

Lord. Seriously. I would totally sell Mary Kay for a living if I needed a part time job to supplement my income or work really hard at it and have my husband retire in three years like JD has (that part? Rocks) but, come on. Two hours. Yes, Mary Kay has good product and they sell fine and well, free cars. But I still can not see taking two hours out of women’s busy lives and calling it a pampering session.

Up next? Mr. Scratchy Pants.

December 27, 2006

It was the bestest day ever.

Guess what I got for Christmas? A sweet husband who listens to me and wants to help me break out of my comfort zone with my garanimals outfits.

What’s with the blank stare? We’ve discussed this. And my boss has threatened to call Stacey and Clinton on me. My normal work week is a hodgepodge of beautiful pants… all in an array of black. Slap on a twin set and I am done.

The following is a list and the corresponding links to the awesomeness that is my husband. Oh, and a little shout out that has to go to Weet for the link to Igigi that was my husband’s angel (angle? Obtuse?) of goodness and shopping karma.

This dress which I can not wait to wear because the fit is amazing.

This top which is sort of Stevie Nicks-ish… but apparently my husband is into black lace and cleavage. Who knew?

This top (with which I am having a very torrid affair) that I have on today.

This top that is very, very naughty. And also, awesome.

This jacket which again? Stevie Nicks-ish, but my mother was in love with it and the things it did to my figure when I wore it Christmas Eve.

And last but not least… this little fur jacket. The moment I put it on I channeled Marilyn Monroe and sung “Happy Birthday Mister Presidennnttt…” and then had sex with JFK.

I think I am missing something.

Either way.

Then? I went shopping for a frillion hours yesterday and used some money that Santa gave me for various sundry items such as two pairs of jeans, a black belt and a brown belt, two pairs of boots (snazzy, black and brown as well – Liz Claiborne Flex… if you must know), a few camis to wear underneath the boob bearing tops my husband bought for me in cream, white and black, a watch (from Fossil) and about eleventeen pairs of trouser socks so I could stop pilfering my husband’s socks from his drawers. (The heel would sit at my calf giving me that oh so sexy calf goiter look.) He wears a 13 or something large and yeti-like, but surprisingly has very pretty feet for a man.

Am I babbling?

By the way. I totally went shopping at the Lane Bryant Outlet mall… and guess what? I paid more for my jeans there than I would have online. BLAST! Those rat bastards. I was all duped about the, “Oh, tis an outlet mall… the bargains, they will be inexhaustible!” I really didn’t sound like that much of an asshole. I just thought, well, it IS an outlet store. The belts were like a Hamilton each. (Oh, I am ALLLL about the Hamiltons, baby.) And my camis? Very affordable. I know I shouldn’t be all in a tizzy that they charged me more for my jeans at an outlet. Because ya’ll know what an awesome shopper I am.

Ahem.

Anyway.

The best part of the holiday was last Thursday.

This was what was on the agenda. At noon, pick up Steph and her sister Jen… meet Kerry at Mi Cocina… Drink. At six pm call Stacey and see if she and her work cohorts were going to have Happy Hour anywhere. If so? Drink. Oh, and smoke. Get home at a reasonable hour, let the puppy out, let puppy back in, get in bed, read, fall asleep and then not wake up at a reasonable hour… because why? I had Friday off, bitches.

This is what happened.

Called Steph and Jen at 11:30, “We just got back in from our run, we’ll be ready at noon.” I was thinking, “Run? Where to? And was someone chasing you?” But what I said was, “Rockin.” And hung up to go finish getting ready. Got a call from Kerry, “Are you at Mi Cocina?” “No.” “Good, because I am going to be about 15 minutes late.” “Cool, I’m picking up Steph and Jen at noon and we’ll be there as soon as possible.”

I picked the twosome up, loved on Joe (the cat) and their mother for a minute and we were out the door. We got an awesome parking place (by the way, it was like 70 degrees outside, perfect weather) and met Kerry inside. We ate, drank, told old stories, gossiped and laughed until 3. PM. THREE in the afternoon.

Kerry had to go to work. (BOO, but… Yay! Go Kerry’s Business! I should totally link to her… Ok, if you guys ever need an interior designer (she travels too) please call Kerry, as she is the bomb.) Ok, and as soon as Jen’s site gets up and running I will post that too, as she is an incredible artist. And her sister worked on brains before becoming a full time stay at home mother. Shit, if those aren’t a pair of brilliant sisters… then I don’t know two who are. (As always, eloquent with my compliments.)

So after we left Kerry we decided to go to the house, let the puppy out for a moment then went… and… got mani/pedis. Drinking and pampering. How awesome of a day was that? Oh, and mix in Mexican food and Mojito’s… I was in heaven. While we were sitting there getting our toes done my phone rang, it was Stacey (who just called a second ago, she is headed out to San Diego to see her sister and their baby girl who was born on Christmas Eve… awwwwww!) she was already at the bar. It was like 3:45 in the afternoon and she and her gang were already at the bar. I told her I would be there as soon as I could and then just relaxed.

My toes and fingers all pretty… (oh, and I bought myself some beautiful earrings from Gina for myself for Christmas and I had those on, I looked totally cute) my cute earrings on, my cute little boots and a pack of smokes and I dropped the girls off at their parent’s house (they had another shindig to get to) and then headed to the bar to meet Stacey.

It was the bestest day ever.

So, what did ya’ll do over the holidays?

Oh, and I am totally going to this…
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December 29, 2006

We decided to dress Chad up as apparently the world's tallest and hairiest woman.

Christmas was awesome for other reasons other than the drinking and multiple happy hours and my husband’s taste in clothes. I got to spend time with my family, friends and loved ones for more than a few hours.

The food that my sister prepared was incredible and I have a tee-tiny movie of my niece hugging my daddy and in this tiny little voice going “Awwwwww” like she was comforting him, like “Awww, there ya go. It’s all better now.” That? Right there? So damn cute.

Also, Friday night? Mister and I got to spend time with Chad and his high school and current sweetheart Nicki. Do ya’ll remember Chad? I think I have spoken about him more than once. Ah, yes. In this entry right here and in this one too … and in these pictures.

Please click to enlarge all pictures.

At the Zoo 1992 - From Above

From LuLu (in black) at 12 o’clock and clockwise… LuLu, Chad, Trixie, Matt, Me and Troy. Lookit Chad’s long ass legs.
Lookin Saucy at the Zoo 1992

From left to right Troy, Chad, Trixie, LuLu and her hair and me. We were trying to be saucy.

Okay. Now that we are caught up with who is who… I just want to say that those three or four hours with Mister, Chad and Nicki were absolutely awesome. We didn’t just stroll down memory lane… We stomped down that son of a bitch. And, and… I thought my memory was watertight ya’ll. Foolproof.

Ha ha ha…

Um, no.

Apparently Chad has been telling Nicki this story of the “pseudo hand job” for about oh, twelve years and I did not remember a bit about it.

No, no… it isn’t as slutty as it seems at first. But when she busted out with that description of it. In front of my husband. I am sure may face read and my voice said something to this effect: “Ha. Ahem, oh, shit. Uh, I did what now?”

(sidetrack: Totally listening to Yaz’s “Midnight” off of the Upstairs at Eric’s album right now.)

Apparently one Halloween after we all graduated we were going to Jitterbugs (Hi, still burned to the ground. Insurance scam much?) for a costume party and we decided to dress Chad up as apparently the world’s tallest and hairiest woman. He was sporting a fu-manchu/handlebar mustache at the time and insisted that if he was going to embarrass himself dressing like a woman, he wanted to have massive hooters.

So, we (seriously ya’ll… this is allllll hearsay. I do not remember a THING.) put Chad in one of his fiancé’s dresses, put one of her impressive bras on him and stuffed that sucker full of socks and tissue. He had full make up on, his boots and a hat. Sexy right? 6’4” or something. Stick thin and um, not very womanly. Unless you prefer your women to have mustaches that look like this.

He proceeded to get tore up at Jitterbugs and was leaning on the bar ordering a beer and looked over at this woman standing next to him. She looked him up and down and he did the same and then told her, “My tits are bigger.” She (from what I hear) grabbed him (inappropriately) and was all up in his dress wearing business. She got a bit frisky with him I walked over (seriously… HEARSAY) to “save” him (these are HIS words ya’ll) from this rowdy woman. And maybe a bit from himself as his fiancé was a scrappy, nasty, nasty girl. She’d just as soon kick your ass as… well. She’d just like to kick your ass.

Klassy. Yes, with a capital K.

So I took hold of Chad and his beer and pulled him away from Grabby McSlutterson and then set about righting his costume. Hat? Straight. Boots with knee socks? Fairly strange looking sticking out of the bottom of a dress. Fake hooters? A little lopsided, oh well. Then apparently I looked at him and said, “You have a something on the front of your dress.” And I started wiping at him like he was four and I wanted to get the schmutz off of his outfit. (HIS WORDS!) I kept wiping until I realized that I was trying to brush his quite attached package completely off of his person. Then I turned scarlet and said something along the lines of, “Oh, that’s… you.” Annnnnnnnnnd then I ran away.

Nice.

Trix? Do you have pictures of this? Can you confirm or deny? LuLu? Anyone? (Chad you stay out of this… I’m trying to clear my good name... AH hahahahahahahaa… ahem.)

I don’t think I actually have pictures of this alleged situation. (I do have one of Derrick mooning me. Don’t tempt me. I’ll post it. And then he’ll be the p0rn star of the journal world.) What I do have are pictures of the puppy outside in the snow. Yes, ya’ll… it snowed on 11/30/06 in Dallas. I? Was in Houston.

Well, I was about to post the picture of Galen in the snow and one of my Christmas Tree. But alas, I have run out of room. [::ding::] I just had an idea. Let me see if I can host the photo’s on Blogger, and then I’ll link them. Brilliant. Hell, I’m not using Blogger for anything else, and I never chose a winner of the Cheese Off. I suck. Hi.

For pictures, please CLICK HERE. Also? What kind of dog is that? Seriously. I have no idea.

April 13, 2007

I would have offered him a testicle if he needed it.

Oh Holy ripped-abs Christ in a birch bark canoe.

I was one of those people yesterday. You know. One of those people? And I am a wee bit ashamed. I work in a cube farm and today (like most days) I talked loudly and with much long-windedness into a phone. Cell phone/work phone, it didn’t matter bitches because I had some findin’ out to do.

Sorry cube neighbors, and sorry boss man. My boss was mortified as I said “Testicle” and “Cancer” several times, out loud. Did I mention that I was loud. And also a bit on the anxious side? Which makes ME TALK EVEN LOUDER!?

I got an email yesterday morning from my mother.

No, no, she wasn’t getting onto my about being fat. She just wanted to pass on that she had heard it through the grapevine that one of my high school buds was battling testicular cancer while his father was battling pancreatic cancer.

The fuck?

Okay. To give you a little background. Check out these entries right here.

Or not.

Here’s the brief version. There was a girl, she clicked with two boys/men… they stuck together through thick and thin all through high school, senior high and college. These boys/men had a group of friends that were awesome enough to accept the newest member and the only female into their click… and? They would laugh at the girl’s jokes. How awesome were they? So fucking awesome.

Then tragedy struck, the girl (me) had her head up her ass and ended up marrying a redneck local in the town she went to college in. The end.

I still think of them as my boys. I still think of them almost everyday, well, I still think of Bean and Steve almost everyday. Fleeting thoughts of the others come and go. They came and went like a brush fire in West Texas the weekend of the Kerr Krew gathering because there were pictures of the boys and their crew sprinkled throughout the photo albums that were shared… and some of the Kerr Krew went to Senior High with the group of my boys while Stephanie and I went to another school. Woe was me.

Woe. I tell you.

So years have come and gone. It will be 17 years this June since we all graduated high school. It will be 15 years since Bean made his way back to Dallas from West Texas. It will be 13 years since he married a girl I knew from church. It will be three years this June that his daddy passed. Steve and I are both on our second marriages; Shawn is still in his first, Mickey… has three kids. Jake? Jake has twin girls and has since divorced. Brandon finally got married and I think Bean lost a $20 bet on that one.

The last time I saw all of them (except Mickey) was almost five years ago.

There was a joint 30th birthday party for two of the Hawgs and it was awesome. Why haven’t we kept in touch? Life I guess but yesterday?

Yesterday.

Yesterday I got an email that was forwarded to my mother from one of my sister’s ya-ya’s from high school/college. Said friend (Ann) forwarded the email to my mother because she remembered that I used to hang out with that particular group of boys. One of the boys and his father are battling cancer.

Cancer.

I got a bit (heh, yeah, a bit) anxious and started calling all the numbers I had from the group. I called the home numbers, I called Ann to see if she had a number or an email to the matriarch of the family. I emailed the last known email from the Shawn and his wife Stef. The email bounced back. I started calling work numbers, ex-wives. I just needed to call and offer… I don’t know, food? Babysitting services? Errands run? I just needed to… well, to be honest, I needed to reconnect with my boys. I needed to offer support. I needed to hear their voices. I selfishly needed some reassurance.

No phones were answered. No calls connected. No voice mails returned.

Except one.

At about three o’clock yesterday afternoon my cell phone rang. I answered it and heard a familiar voice, “Hey Sue.” I breathed. I took another breath and said, “Bean, how are you sweetie? I just heard about Shawn. Please tell me what is happening.” Bean related the news and surprisingly, it was pretty good news. I will save the details for someone else to tell. Or maybe I will tell you when I get even better news from Shawn on the tests he had yesterday.

Bean and I talked for an hour. We went over how he was doing, his family, his newest baby, a little boy that he says looks just like him and his job. We talked about his momma, his career track, his brother and how his daddy passed. I apologized for not being there for the funeral. I apologized for being such an asshole when we were younger. I apologized for bringing Marcus (Dear Lord.) to a dinner we had with a part of the group and their wives at a Mexican place back in like 2001 or 2002. I kept apologizing to this man that I grew up with. He kept telling me that everything was fine, that he has always loved me and will continue to do so, that I am like family. He slipped into his old habit of calling me babe. And yet? I still apologized.

He told me about his daddy getting sick and giving up liquor and how their relationship healed.

He told me that his father died loving his mother.

Oh y’all. You don’t have the slightest clue how hard it was for me to hear that and keep my composure.

I told him all about Mister and that I knew marriage was supposed to be like this but I never thought I was worth it. I told him about my job and my momma and daddy and the rest of my family. He said, “Susan, you know, your father is the only man I have ever been afraid of?” When he said that I thought to the times when his father drank. Bean was in high school and the two of them would get into yelling matches and sooner or later it would end up with punches thrown. I remember one of them throwing the other through a wall. I can’t tell you to this day which was which, but I know that booze was his father’s identity stealer and Bean escaped to my house.

Sometimes I think that he mixed up fear for respect. He respected my father. I don’t know if he ever respected his daddy until he got sick and got off the booze.

We would go driving some nights just to get out. We would end up at a park or going to a skating rink, bowling, to the movies.

I think that Jacob’s Ladder is still one of my favorite movies because Bean took me to that show at the dollar theater. He had already been once but he didn’t get it. I think he really did, he just wanted me to feel smart. So we sat there and talked about the plot in hushed tones and his eyes would sparkle when he would make an act of getting something, “OH, so… that’s… okay….”.

Normally we would just drive.

We would drive from one side of our town to the other remarking on the changes in landscape and everything that had been built or torn down since we met. We talked about life in college and how different we would be. We talked about our futures a lot. Neither one of us could wait to grow up.

It was so cathartic to talk to him and for him to give me an hour of his time to just chat was one of the greatest gifts I have received.

At the end of the phone call I asked for Shawn’s number so I could call and check up on him and when Bean and I hung up I felt so elated and so sad that we had let so much time lapse between speaking with one another.

I called Shawn and when he answered I introduced myself as “Susan Maiden Name”. Shawn was so awesome, he is going through this battle but took the time to say, “Hi sweetie how are you?” I told him that I had heard through (grapevine diagram here) about what was going on with his father and with him and that I just got off the phone with Bean. Shawn caught me up and we discussed how he was and the tests that he just went through that morning.

I offered food, babysitting services, errands run. I would have offered him a testicle if he needed it. I love these men, they have always been so incredible to me and I never want to lose that connection again. Shawn said that they would take me up on the babysitting because things have been crazy and he and his wife have not had a moment to themselves in ages.

We talked about the past and some old friends and we laughed about promising to be one another’s back ups when we were younger. “Okay if we are not married by 40 (or was it 30?) we are totally getting married. Deal?” “Deal.”

I just hope that we all stay in touch. I don’t want to lose a one of them. I want to know their children and their wives and their new families. These men were my rock when I was young. They made me laugh during some of the saddest times in my life and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

June 13, 2007

J.Ho called Steve to ask if she could bring two more to the party.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday’s suck.

Who said that?

I did. And I’ll say it again, Wednesday’s suck.

And why, pray tell, do they suck?

It’s the middle of the week. It’s called hump day when I am sure that no one is getting humped while at work in the middle of the week, unless you work on the set of, “Oh, Cum All Ye Horny”.

Did you just make up a title to a Christmas porn movie?

Yes.

Dude. You are so going to hell.

Moving on. So, let me tell y’all about the weekend in Houston.

Wait! First, to Lulu, Mr. LuLu and their precious gem. Yes, I suck. I am sorry I did not call you while Mister and I were in town. Accept my apologies? Please?

When J.Ho called Steve to ask if she could bring two more to the party, he was all, “Sure, who is it?” Jen: “Sue Momma and Mister.” Steve: “Woo hoo!!!!!!” Jen: “Don’t tell anyone. It is a total surprise!” Steve: “Okay, I promise.”

Five minutes later, on the phone with D’, Steve: “Dude, Susan and Mister are coming with Dave and J.Wo... whoops, I wasn’t supposed to say anything. Act surprised!” D’: “Whatever.”

Five seconds later D’: “Hey Glo, Sue and Mister are coming to Steve’s party. Don’t tell anyone. And... act like it is no big deal that they are there.” Glo: “Huh? Oh, alright.” D’: “And don’t tell anyone.”

Point five seconds later: Glo (on the phone with Brenna): “Sue’s coming to the party tomorrow! WOO HOO!! Oh, and don’t tell Jay.” Brenna (shouting though the house): “Hey Jay-bird!... Sue-Momma is coming to the party this weekend! Oh, but act surprised!”

So, Friday at about 3:15 I headed out the door. Already booking over 50 hours for the week before the day even started was a bonus. I drove over to drop Samantha* off over at Mister’s office and then packed the remaining stuff in the Tahoe and waited for Mister to come downstairs. We started off at about 3:30 and hit a nice little traffic jam on the way out of Dallas.

Who knew?

*My prized, dear little sassy Chevy Equinox. She was treated poorly while we were gone. Something that left poop the size of a chimichanga on my driver-side window was the tell tale sign of, oh... I’m guessing a turkey buzzard using my beloved car as its perch for its morning constitution on Sunday. Bastard.

So we made it to J.Ho & Dave’s house at approximately 8 or so. Great directions, by the way. And then we went to this teeny little bar in the Heights for food and booze. No booze for J.Ho as she is the pregnant. We talked a bunch and then headed back to their perfect home for a little napping (and from me: a lot of snoring**).

**More on this later.

A bit about their home. When I was wee and I couldn’t make up my mind between being a trucker or a ballerina when I was older, I imagined myself living in Manhattan in a brownstone walk up or a loft apartment. Their house? Was sort of what I always dreamed of with the hardwood floors, the awesome brushed nickel doorknobs, the fantastic accent lighting, the gorgeous marble counter tops, and the amazing toilet paper dispensers. And if you think that a toilet paper dispenser can’t be awesome? Well, then, you just haven’t been to their house now have you? HAVE YOU? I didn’t think so.

So we slept in, Dave made breakfast because he loves us and cherishes us and really appreciated the WINE I brought for a housewarming gift. WINE that his wife can’t drink because she is the pregnant and allergic to grapes.

Yes, we’ve been over this. I suck. Moving along.

So we all got dressed in our finest hanging outside in Houston when it is 111 degrees in the shade and has about 98% humidity wear. Wanna know what that looks like? Put on a pair of jean shorts (or jorts as my brother in law calls them) a tank of some sort, flip flops and sunglasses that are so scratched up that even if your vision wasn’t like that compared to some subterranean shrew you wouldn’t be able to see out of them. Perfect!

After we got dressed we went to a store to get a bathing suit for Mister and some more booze.

You can never have too much booze.

And then, we sweated a lot and got to Steve’s House.

They had changed the menu from Crawfish to Barbeque as to be more kid friendly and also because crawfish can stink like a bitch if the trash is not immediately disposed of. And spicy. And also, it was hot outside. So yes. Barbeque.

Did I tell y’all that I have started drinking beer again? I figured that it would be too hot and humid and also very pansy-like and a total pain in the ass if I would have gone for my normal liquid imbibement. (Is so a word.) “Dear sir, I say, would you mind terribly making me my sixtieth gin (BOODLES!) and tonic with limes for the day?” And then whoever the “sir” was would have punched me in the neck and that can call for a bad Saturday all around. No? Yes... yes, it would.

So, I thought to myself, “Self, what would Stacey drink?” And myself answered, “Michelob Ultra.” So I got myself a twelver of Michelob Ultra and commenced to drinkin.

Also, I got sunburned from walking from the truck to the back of Steve & Laura’s house. It was a hot sumbitch.

I am also translucent, pretty much, so white I am blue. So there you go.

Nobody was surprised when we walked in. Wonder why?

I went and changed into my swim suit and then applied the Neutrogena spray on cooling sun block in SPF 45 which was deemed by Dave as, “That smells like douche.” Lovely! So, I had everyone smelling me and my douche-ness all day. All the women, “Dave, you are so smoking crack, that does not smell a thing like a douche.” And all the dudes, “Yeah, you smell like a douche.” Then the lesbians chimed in. “Dave, she does NOT smell like a douche.” So it was considered a win/win. Lesbians smelling me and my spray on sun block and NOT smelling like a douche.

There were like eighty-four kids in the pool, seventeen families and about twelve sets of couples. It was a big shindig. There was an old fat dog, a couple of old (cute) fat men and babies everywhere.

We all swam and played toss the kid and then at sundown the adults called, “ADULT SWIM! All munchkins out of the pool!” And they played water volleyball and my handsome (and tall) husband, along with Jay and Dave wiped the other team out 5-2. So while they were all being “Oooh-rah!” and spiking the ball, the women were up on the porch, smoking, drinking, talking and visiting with one another. It was an awesome day that I wish could have lasted at least another 48 hours.

The hostess had made some lovely desserts in the form of Jell-O™ shots with rum (for the first round) and with chocolate liquor for the second round. I had twelve (okay five... six?). There were also buttery nipple shots which I thought was something that you only do if you are really getting shit faced. Well it turns out that I only had two beers in the cooler when we left at midnight, so. Well, you do the math.

After we left we went to the 59 Diner and I made inappropriate exclamations over the sprinkles on my vanilla shake and then brought up tea-bagging and mimed a donkey punch again, after apparently hitting on our waitress.

You cant take me anywhere.

Sunday was for sleeping in, packing up and getting everyone together for lunch at Star Pizza. Which was awesome. Everyone left from there for home and I already miss them.

Thanks guys!

Oh, and Mr. Lulu... D’ said, “Tim said your diary was like crack.” That’s a compliment, right? Or were you talking plumbers? Hairy and unsightly.

Remind me to tell you guys what I did yesterday. It involved my nostrils, and I know that everyone is always up for a good nostril entry. Right... RIGHT?

November 12, 2007

ALMOST FAMOUS

Okay, okay. Simmer down. Now, I know I promised to tell you about a boy named Dan and a brown dress. Or something to that effect, but that? Yeah, that can totally wait. This is much better.

Thursday at 3:49 pm I got a call from one of my favorite people on the planet. No, scratch that... in the freaking universe.

My brother. Not by blood, but by choice. [Image of me throwing a gang sign goes here. ... If I had an image of me doing such, but I don’t. You’re creative people. Use your imaginations!]

For a little bit of background on my brother, you may want to take a gander at the entry titled, “Brian, Shut Up and Eat.” There are pictures and everything. I fixed the formatting and the linkage. All for you guys. Because I love you, I am a lover. Or... OR... you could just take my word for it that he’s a stand up sort of guy. A creative and random guy with strange quirks and ass loads of talent, but a stand up guy nonetheless.

So Brian calls at 3:49... and I totally remember that time because he said, “Hey Sue, it’s Brian. I am slammed with sweeps week and I needed something to break up the monotony. I figured, hey... it’s 3:49 on a Thursday, that’s random enough, I’ll call Sue.”

See? With the randomness and the wit and quirks and shit? Told you, nyah.

But he called to get something from me. I had mentioned a few oh... months ago that [rummaging through inbox to cut and paste... also see... AM LAZY] ah, yes... here it is. I said, “I love seeing what you and your partner have going on. It is fun to look at that site. :) I have a site I'd like for you to see as well... but to get the address, we have to talk on the phone and I get to extract an absolute promise from you about sharing said page with family members and or barnyard animals and kittens... and your wife... the government... Eric [last name]... anyone who would tell my family the REAL things in my head... and maybe a dollar.”

So, the man was bored at work and wanted to look at... I don’t know. Porn maybe? Who could be his hook up for that? His old pal Sue. Not really, I had just piqued his interest with the extracting an absolute promise thing. Because he would totally give me a dollar if I asked nicely. [See “stand up guy” thing above.]

We talked, we laughed, we chased random tangents all over the place for a bit then I finally gave him the website. He was emailing me with corrections in about two hours. Several things (if they matter to you)... it was NOT Brian who told me about Carter’s skiing accident. And he is not responsible for what happened to Summer. Not sure what that means, maybe it was the streaking incident in her neighborhood that we were all involved in... not sure. Please explain my dear sweet brotha! And, he wants me to tell you guys that he “has mad numchuck* skills”.

*Spellcheck wanted me to substitute this with upchuck. Just saying is all.

I’m also saying that he almost brained me with said numchucks... nunchucks(?) as well, we’ll save that story for later.

What I did want to share with you fine, upstanding and sitdowning people was this. My wonderful, handsome and extremely funny brother has already written a guest entry.

And with that? I give you Brian. Applause please, he’s a total attention whore. Oh, and I only took the name of his lovely bride out so you sickos wouldn’t stalk them. (Psst... I’ll post his site if he’s cool with it and you can stalk him there.)

(I'm inspired... so I'm writing YOU** an article)

ALMOST FAMOUS

"Still go down to George's and drink my beer, drink my beer." - Pat Green

I have a wall of fame in my home. It marks all my brushes with greatness... and that's about it. I guess it has a "gee whiz" factor. But, I'm not really sure what it does for my self esteem.

(tape rewind sfx here)

Lemme explain. I've got mad skills... OK, in MY mind, I've got mad skills. I can rip some metal on the guitar... kinda. I'm a skilled voice over talent... as long as I don't charge for it. I'm good looking... if I'd loose 15 pounds. And I'm smart... albeit what I know is generally categorized as "useless information / good for Trivial Pursuit". I work in TV... but I'm not "on" TV. I'm almost famous.

So, maybe this wall is a testimony to THEIR brushes with "almost" greatness. Right? (OK, maybe not)

Anywhoo, it's quite a collection of various talents (but mostly music) that I gladly post over my slightly dusty Zakk Wylde signature Les Paul. There's the Nolan Ryan autographed baseball. There's the vintage Willie and Family album the Red-Headed Stranger signed for me for some work I did on a TV spot for him. The pick I snapped up out of the air from Kirk Hammett at the Metallica concert. There's the cocktail napkin that Vinnie Paul from Pantera signed to me and my lovely bride reminding us to "Eat More Pussy". There are the signed CD jackets from The Rev. Horton Heat and Gov't Mule (The Mule wanted me to "hang" with them backstage at their show... but I didn't. "The Rev" flirted openly with (Brian’s bride)). There's the crunched up ticket stub from the Misfits show that Jerry Only signed. Oh, Geoff Tate and the guys from Queensryche were glad to hang out and talk with me, sign anything and let me play their guitars. I've got the pictures to prove it.

But my favorite? It's got to be the shaddow box that holds various bits of yellow and black stuff. Among them the signatures of all the members of Stryper... plus, the picture of me, Marlon, Nathan and Tim outside the show. Timeless. Classic.

Oh, there are more. My job affords me meeting all kinds of folks. Plus, there's just the wierdness of life in general. But, I think some of the best ones aren't on the wall... the ones without the autographs that are the best... the ones with just stories. There was hanging out with Kenny Olsen of Twisted Brown Trucker (Kid Rock's band) and shooting the shit. There was catching John Bush of Anthrax off a stage dive when everyone else backed up... "Dude, you OK?", he asked. I asked, "Are you?" We both nodded, I put him on his feet and the show went on.

I had fun drinking beers with John McEnroe... and that bald guy from CSI: Miami.
There was the backstage pass at the Gibson Guitars showcase when I found myself standing in a circle that included Skunk Baxter of The Doobie Bros., Pat Green, Kenny Olsen (see above) and others (Eric Johnson was loading in behind us) and they were all asking ME what they should play. Don't ask me why they asked me.

I did pass Jada Pinkett Smith in the hall at work one day... she said, "hi".
Of course, what stroll down "almost" memory lane would be complete without mentioning "singing" with Trouble at their Nashville show. (I have the recording to prove it)

What does it all mean? Why do I keep it all? Inspiration? Aspiration? Assimilation? Is it just a chance to display some great stories visually... I do love telling stories. Sometimes I think it's to remind me of what I think I should have been. Sometimes I think it's to remind me to be thankful for what I have... and that their burdens aren't mine. And when I come to my most profound brush with fame, I think it's more the latter.

Ask me about my night with Steve-O sometime. You'll understand.

all love to you...
-B

**Yes, it’s mine. But I am sharing. Because I like to give. I’m a giver. Now show the man some love in the comments people, and if we’re lucky, he’ll write for us again.

December 27, 2007

Everything goes except the brown sundress.

Oh. You know what? I haven’t ever lived up to my end of the bargain to tell you guys about the little brown dress and Danny. I mentioned it back during this entry (@ the bottom) from the end of October.

Why not? It’s like two months later... totally relevant. Right?

In college I was everyone’s friend and almost nobody’s girlfriend (except for that brief stint in insanity that was Mike Gibson). I wanted to just be free to dance with whom I wanted, go to dinner with whomever I wanted, share my bed (WHORE!) with whom I wanted and just leave the messes of relationships alone.

That did not mean that I was asexual or even everyone’s little or big sister. I was a shameless flirt and quite the little hussy, if I may be so bold as to say so.

I tried juggle dating one time. ONCE. I was dating like six or seven guys (okay, like five) at a time and not sleeping with any of them. It was awful. I couldn’t keep them straight, but they all knew that I was not exclusive and at the slightest mention of jealousy I would hit the road or just walk away from “dating” them. It was odd.

Not sure if I was trying to prove something to myself or to them, that I could be all guyish if I wanted to. I could date and not form emotional attachments to these men. Sure, they could feed me and enjoy my company (how incredibly conceited) but anything beyond that? I didn’t want to hear it. It was like I was a pro-dater. A mini-escort service... with no sex.

I am rolling my eyes so hard at myself right now that they almost got stuck.

There was one chink (okay... two) in my tough exterior armor though. I was fiercely protective of my friends and I was a sucker for a good dancer*.

*Still. ::swoon:: Shut it... No judging.

So we had this little merry band of friends that would spend almost every evening together. Sometimes we would be at a bar, dancing the night away. Sometimes we would be at the bowling alley playing CHALLENGE**! Watching movies (8 Seconds Gah!), hanging out at the lake or in this tiny little alcove down by the river between Sam Rayburn Reservoir and Lake Kurth just south of town.

**Yell this with a French accent.

At the river we’d bring coolers of beer, keep the windows open on the trucks so we could hear the radio, light a fire and just hang out.

One evening a friend named Travis brought his high school buddy from Fort Worth to the bar. We all got along famously as the new guy, Danny, was quick with a laugh or smile and boy howdy, that man could dance. Like buttah. The girls of the group vied for Danny’s attention all night and somehow, in the end of the evening at the bar Doug Supernaw had signed the inside of my felt hat (at Danny’s request).

Danny was as good as in.

We had to make it to the liquor/beer/wine store before they closed so we all said we’d meet up at the Hot Biscuit to have a little breakfast then make our way to the river’s edge. Now, the “river” was nothing more than a damp spot in the woods. Too wide to jump across but too narrow to be any kind of recreational watering hole, but it was perfect for a little campfire and a little howling at the moon.

We met up at the river and all of us took turns trying to find sticks and logs that weren’t too wet to light. We turned up the radios and sat astride or perched on the older, thicker logs that we had arranged around the fire pit. We smoked, laughed, sang along to the music and told stories and jokes on one another and drank Lone Star beer. It was an almost perfect night. It was a bit humid and by the time the sun was coming up there was a dense fog along the river and the fire had burned out. The group was down to about five or six people and we all hugged and promised to see one another the next night.

The next night it was about the same as the first. And over the course of a few months Danny would come to town, we’d all vie for his attention, especially on the dance floor and then he would leave with his big city manners and his polite ways and we would beg him to come back our way again.

One weekend I was supposed to go hang out with my sister in Dallas and Travis said he was going that way because he was going to be visiting Danny at SMU. Somehow we decided to switch cars and my sister went out of town and it was decided that Travis and I would jut meet up at Danny’s, go dancing with him that evening and then I’d just go to my sister’s apartment and hang out for the weekend.

How it really happened:

Travis and I were speeding along the I-30 and I-45/I-75 interchange and I was driving his Camero. Firebird... ? Whatever, it was some souped up, revved up, black, two door monster machine. He? Was driving my 4 door, red, Olds, Cutlass Calais.

Heh.

He was leading the way, and like today... that stretch of road is constantly under construction. He was two cars in front of me and he whipped onto the exit road. I saw him, almost too late and whipped his car in between two other vehicles and punched the accelerator to straighten out so I wouldn’t hit those yellow barrels or the guard rail. Not sure how I managed to pull that one out of my ass, but I did.

Sometimes I am not sure how I made it out of my twenties.

We sped along up the access road to Walnut Hill and found Danny’s apartment. I had packed hastily because maybe it was a last minute thing for me... maybe that is why my sister was going out of town? Or I thought it was Orthodox Easter (more on this later) and just got the dates wrong. Whatever it was... I was packed for basically a relaxing weekend by my sister’s pool (cut offs, bikini, lace less Keds®, faded t-shirt), for travel home on Sunday (jean shorts and a t-shirt), for going out one night (boots, jeans, shirt) and toiletries.

We got to Danny’s and he had a really nice apartment, a loft/condo deal. He offered me the guest room and guest bathroom to freshen up and change for dancing and I did just that. When I emerged, Danny handed me a beer and we hung out on his porch with some of his friends that had shown up. Danny led the way and we all drove under I-75 to a bar and took up residence by the dance floor. We all had a blast, dancing all night and when it came time for me to get home Danny insisted on following me back to my sister’s apartment to make sure I got home safe.

He drove behind me the whole way and when we got there I asked him to come inside. It was late and I told him if he wanted to stay he could. He took me up on the offer but remained, ever the gentleman, fully clothed and on top of the covers.

In the morning when he was rustling around to get ready to leave, I played possum because I didn’t know what to say (yes, because I am yella... so what?) and when the front door shut I finally opened my eyes to find a sweet note there on the pillow next to me saying something like, “Susan, I had such a great time last night. Please call me around 1:30, I have something to ask you. My number is ---*---*----. Yours, Danny”

Something to ask me? What? Why couldn’t he have asked me then and there? Oh, yeah. It was because I am a big yella chicken and was playing possum... no doubt sucking in my stomach and trying to look extra skinny and alluring at the same time while “asleep”. And remember, I was quite a porker in college. Here’s a picture to remind you how hot LuLu (L) and I (R) were.

LuLu%20and%20S%201993.JPG

Ah, the eyeroll... there it is again.

Anyway, so I went to my sister’s pool for the morning, laid out (got burned I am sure) and then went back to the apartment after lunch and called Danny. He was very polite and seemed genuinely pleased that I would call him at the time he asked me too. He said that he had just gotten back from Ft. Worth, having lunch with his parents, that they as a family were going to see Fiddler on the Roof tomorrow and would I like to join them?

The fuck?

In my head: “He smells so good. To meet his parents!? Fiddler? I love Fiddler! I have nothing to wear. I would be mortified to show up in anything that I packed. Oh shit, he’s old oil money or something. Nope, nope, nope, definitely not, Uh oh, fifteen minutes to Judge Wapner.”

What I said: “Danny, you are so sweet to ask. And really, I would love to go...” “But?” he asked. “But,” I replied, “I didn’t come packed for an evening at the theater. I am so sorry, but I have nothing to wear. Please, thank your parents for me, it is a lovely invitation and I would really enjoy meeting them, I am just not prepared.”

He replied, “We’ll take care of that. Would you still like to go?”

WARNING: Danger, Danger, Unfamiliar territory, do not proceed, DO NOT PROCEED!

I had no idea how to continue. I didn’t know what “We’ll take care of that.” In Rich-Boy-ese meant. He had been so nice to me, and had never tried anything untoward. I really wanted to go, but I was unfamiliar with this whole thing. I needed some ground rules. I was begging for control and found myself slipping. In my head thoughts were whirling around, “If he is talking about what I think he is talking about, does this in some way make you some sort of indentured servant?” I was SO small minded y’all.

I decided to be honest. I was in untried waters and had pride as big as Texas. I even had trouble with boys buying my drinks. I normally was an, “Okay, you got that one? I get the next round.” type of girl. Very prideful.

I asked him, “Danny, I am not sure what you are proposing here, and I am really unsure how to proceed or answer. Can you give me a little bit more information?” He chuckled low, to make sure I knew he wasn’t making fun of me and then he said, “Susan, you are a breath of fresh air. I know you don’t want to take anything from anyone and that in itself if very admirable, but if you would allow me to do so, I would like to help you find an outfit and wear it as my date to meet my parents for Fiddler on the Roof tomorrow.”

I am sure I was the picture of grace and beauty with my gaping maw hanging open.

He continued, “You don’t need to worry about anything, we’ll take care of it all, it will be my pleasure and we can go before we head over to the theater tomorrow. I will pick you up at one, we are going to the 5 pm showing and I look forward to having you on my arm. Is that okay with you?”

I stammered out an eloquent, “H’okay.” And we hung up.

That evening I went and got take out and ate it in front of my sister’s television. I was very nervous about the upcoming day as I had no idea about what to expect. I took a long shower, washed my hair and shaved my legs and when I got out I slathered lotion on my skin and blew my hair dry. I knew I wanted to curl my hair with my sister’s rollers in the morning before Danny picked me up and I had to scrounge around to find make up as I had not brought hardly any with me. I slept fitfully and dreamt that I was in some awful outfit and that my stockings had run and that Danny was mortified that I was his date... embarrassed to bring this East Texas college girl to a family function.

When I got up the next morning, I curled my hair and dressed in my shorts and t-shirt with my lace less Keds® and waited for Danny to show up. He showed up at five minutes until one and he looked incredible and effortless in a lightweight grey suit with a nice white French cuff shirt with braces, cuff-links and a perfect tie. I felt like an ass going anywhere with this perfectly turned out gentleman with me in my shorts and lace less Keds®.

He drove me down to Northpark Mall and we walked in. I had never been to this particular mall as it was in the University Park/Highland Park area. I was unsure of where to start and I was aware of two things. 1) I sweat when shopping. It is an anxious ordeal for me. I am more of a buyer, I know what I want, I go in and get it. I do not shop well. And 2) we were on a time constraint. Ut oh, more pressure. If I got any more anxious my hair that I had worked so hard on was just going to just fro up. Anxiety = my head gets hot. Not a good look for me.

But Danny knew exactly what to do. He walked me through the stores to one of the anchor department stores and then back to the dress section. He picked a simple brown sundress (size 8) with a square neckline, a wide brown alligator belt with a gold buckle and a slit up the left thigh that was held together by matching alligator buttons in brown. He asked me to pick up hosiery and he handed me over to the lady at the dressing room and asked her to help me.

I tried on the dress, it fit perfectly and because I was tan it gave me a golden color. The belt accentuated my teeny waist and cinched up nice. I put on the hose and they fit as well. The dressing room lady asked if I was comfortable and I nodded. She said, “Good, because you are supposed to wear this out of here.” She neatly folded my garments and put them in a bag, took the tags from the dress and went to ring them up. I stepped out of the dressing room and Danny looked me over and said, “I know just the thing to set off your outfit.” He paid and we walked back through the mall and stopped at Charles David. He picked out a beautiful brown pump the same alligator material as the belt and buttons on the dress and I slipped them on, perfect.

I was starting to get a whole Julia Robert’s feel about the situation. Thank goodness this was before I had the normally nagging question in my head where any man that had a semblance of taste was concerned, “Gay or Not?”

So there we were, he in his perfect lightweight grey suit, handsome as the dickens... and I in my perfect little brown sundress with the awesome shoes and the silky hosiery. We walked out to his truck and he drove us over to the theater. We walked in, I was introduced to his parents and the evening was sublime. I really enjoyed them and their company and Danny, as always was the consummate gentleman.

I realized something that weekend. That someone could do something nice for you and you weren’t obligated to them. A simple thank you and honest pleasure in the gift is all they are after. I’ll try to find the dress and take a picture.

Every time I think about cleaning out my closet I think... okay, everything goes except the brown sundress.

Thank you Danny, wherever you are, you are thought of often and with fondness.

August 8, 2008

Chairble Dancing 101

The year was 1993, it was spring. The pine trees were shedding pollen like a wet dog shaking off water and the days were warm with crisp and foggy mornings and perfect breezy evenings. The double blooming dogwood tree behind Kerr dorm was in flower and people were just getting back into the swing of school.

There were two of them… a blonde and a brunette. The mission was simple, on Friday drive to Lake Charles, Louisiana and be there before the rodeo event the next afternoon at McNeese State University.

As supporters of the Rodeo Club they helped raise money for trips like this one and they made sure the cowboys were taken care of at events.

These two ladies were NOT buckle bunnies flocking to the likes of Tuff Hedeman or Ty Murray just for a quick shot at being on the arm of the famous bull riders. If truth be told, one of them was more drawn to ropers and the other liked the bigger stockier build and larger framed bulldoggers.

Both ladies were appalled at the attitude, the stature (wee) and complete arrogance of Donnie Gay whenever they crossed his path and saw the flocks of faculty and sponsors kissing his tiny little peanut ass.

Except for the politics (see above, RE: Don Gay) they really liked being a part of this small club. They felt like little warriors that were supporting their school team that was never hailed or praised with the financial backing and press coverage that the football team, the basketball team or even the forestry majors enjoyed.

And the blonde and the brunette liked the cowboys. Cowboys said “ma’am” and took off their hats to ask you to dance. Cowboys had manners and treated their mothers like queens. Furthermore they smelled nice, weren’t afraid of an honest day’s labor and normally liked biscuits and gravy. Biscuits and gravy are easy to make if you have flour, water, pepper and some bacon or sausage drippings… perfect for any poor college kid to make.

The drive wasn’t a long one from their school in East Texas. They were barely going over the Texas state boarder. It was about three and a half hours, down TX Hwy 69 towards Beaumont and onto I-10 East.

They packed with military like precision, each borrowing outfits from dorm mates, friends, acquaintances and various sundry people from all over the campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. They were going to support the Rodeo Club, yes… but they were going to be within a stone’s throw of one of their favorite honky tonks, The Texas Longhorn Club.

After they had packed up the brunette’s four-door family mobile they made a few stops before leaving town. First stop was the liquor store where they purchased two things; a liter of Southern Comfort and a 2 liter bottle of Dr. Pepper. They had found that by mixing the two with the awesome crunchy ice from Sonic (or Whataburger) that the mixture tasted not unlike a Coca-Cola slurpee from 7-11. They had two massive 32 ounce cups so they stopped and bought a few cups of ice from the Sonic, swung by the Chevron on the south side of town, filled up the family mobile and bought several packs of smokes and headed out of town.

They laughed, joked, sang, smoked and gossiped the whole way down to Lake Charles. The whole rodeo team and the rodeo club were staying at a hotel just off of the main highway so the blonde and the brunette were asked to meet everyone there before 8 pm. They had taken off around 3 p.m., just after class let out and made it to Lake Charles in about three hours and change.

With all the talking, gossiping, smoking and laughing that the blonde and the brunette did during the drive, they did not realize that they had killed a bottle of Southern Comfort… nor had they stopped to pee.

They pulled the family mobile up in back of the hotel and saw everyone mingling about going from room to room to get ready for the evening.

That evening everyone was heading to the Longhorn Club.

After the ladies parked, their friends surrounded the car and everyone was helping unload the bags of clothes, hair dryers, curling irons, hat boxes and tons of makeup… the blonde and brunette got out of the car. Standing for the first time in 3 hours and a liter of Southern Comfort later they realized that they were quite drunk.

They were all sharing rooms at the hotel and the blonde and the brunette picked to bunk with a couple of girlfriends in one of the first floor double rooms. Most of the rooms had the interlocking doors and throughout most of the first floor, the doors were open to let the crew run from one room to the next. All the girls were showing what they brought with them for the night out and putting outfits together as others curled, styled and teased their hair to incredible proportions and heights.

The boys were on the back side of the hotel where the family mobile had been parked. The blonde and brunette went around to the back side to say hello to the boys in their immediate circle of friends. All of the boys had their front doors to their rooms open and they were walking from room to room slowly and methodically checking to see who had brought the best beer/whiskey/bourbon with them.

The room with the Jack Daniels black label and Coca Cola won out and trips were made into every room to snatch cups, glasses and to make the announcement that the beer bathtub would be in Brian’s room. Brian and his roommates would shower next door.

One and all pitched in and each grabbed an ice bucket and started an assembly line from the ice maker to Brian’s bathroom to fill the tub with ice and beer for the after party. The blonde and the brunette each had a drink in the Jack and Coke room and when one of the girls started jumping on one of the double beds the other pulled her out of the room and said that it was time to get dressed for the night out.

Everyone showered and primped and prissed and applied lipstick just so (for the girls) and shined their belt buckles just so (for the boys) and then it was time to hit the club.

The family mobile was a preferred mode of transportation because with a bunch of skinny college kids in a four door sedan six would fit easy, and that is if nobody is sitting in anyone’s lap. The brunette was aware that the car’s personal best was to hold at least nine people. With all of those cowboys around there were trucks of every size and shape, but most of them only fit three across the cab.

When everyone left the hotel it looked like a caravan and many “Wooo Hooos” were heard throughout Lake Charles, through Vidor and up to the Toomey Starks exit that night.

With it being a Friday night, the club would only be open until 3 am.

Only. Three. A.M..

Most of the kids on the trip had not partied in Louisiana before and were used to the strict Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (boooooooo) rules and the jacked up legislation and zoning in Texas. Most clubs in Texas were closed by midnight. Hard liquor sales had to be padlocked or the stores had to be closed at 9 p.m. and you couldn’t buy alcohol until after noon on Sunday in most parts. Some places were dry counties that only sold beer and wine and most clubs you had to purchase a membership to drink. So a bar that let in kids that were 18 and up, served them liquor AND let them stay and play until 3 o’clock in the a.m. was pretty novel.

The blonde and the brunette let one of the cowboys drive the family mobile. They piled about eleventy people into it and headed to the bar. They all got in at the door and immediately bellied up to the bar. Drinks were purchased, smokes were lit, rounds were made around the bar and the dance floor to check out the scene and the level of excitement notched up a little.

The girls were all made up and had on their cutest/hottest (depending on the girl) outfit and the boys had even brushed the felt on their hats. Everyone was stoked for a good time.

The blonde and the brunette had on their skin tight Rocky Mountain jeans, their boots (lace ups and ropers), belts with dainty belt buckles, tops that were convertible (tanks under cute jackets for when they got hot) and enough liquor in them to render them bullet proof. It was customary to carry four things into a bar when the blonde and brunette went out. 1) A pack of smokes. 2) ID, that conveniently slid into the front cellophane of the smokes wrapper. 3) Money. And 4) lipstick. One of them carried the lipstick, normally whoever’s pants fit a little looser.

It was well known that the cowboys, even the ones who did not smoke, carried lighters and matches to light the ladies’ smokes.

The blonde and the brunette got a drink each and budgeted their remaining money for the rest of the time they would be in Lake Charles, for food and for fuel to get home. They walked away from the bar and a roaming pack of young men followed. The girls noticed and then pretended not to. They rounded the dance floor, gave a head nod to their best guy friends (to assure the boys that they were alright) and then settled at the left of the DJ booth.

The pack of men approached and one of them stepped up and asked the blonde to dance. She accepted, handing off her drink to the brunette in a silent, “Be right back, please watch my drink.” move that women are automatically born with. It is well known that if two women are together, one has to stay with the drinks/purses/smokes or other items while the other is dancing. The blonde and brunette had yet to decide if they wanted to include this pack of random boys into their safety group of friends so they kept them to the side for a few dances. When the blonde came back, she smiled at the brunette to let her know that the boy she danced with was not psychotic and potentially a good dancer. When another man from the group asked the brunette to dance, she accepted, handing off her drink in the same manner as the blonde did a song or two earlier.

The blonde and the brunette kept the boys with them until they had danced with almost each one in turn and then they made their apologies and a break for the ladies room so they could reapply lipstick and then come out and go the other direction as to avoid the roaming pack of boys they had just left.

When they came out of the ladies room their pack of cowboys and other friends called them over. They all danced with one another and the brunette always reserved the waltz for the tall skinny one of their group. Once the waltz was out of the way and a jitterbug or two had winded the brunette they decided to up their game and get a couple of margaritas.

The margaritas at the Longhorn were stout, salty, came in huge glasses and were on the rocks. Have you ever tried Club premixed Margaritas? Yes? Kick up the salt and the alcohol content and you have yourself a margarita from the Longhorn. It was like sucking on a lime encased salt lick… with tequila.

Tequila. Tequila had an odd effect on the blonde and the brunette that evening. After their first margarita they went to make another round of the bar to see who else was there? The ladies stopped under a fan amidst the tables at the south end of the bar and a gentleman approached, his friend lagging behind, clearly interested, but shy. The gentleman asked the brunette her name, she looked up at him. He said, “Well, if you won’t tell me your name, will you dance with me?” She looked up at him and in an uncharacteristic move said, “Maybe, but my friend (points to blonde) here and I are a bit thirsty. Would you mind buying us each a margarita?” He smiled, looked at his friend and asked the ladies to stay put, he’d be right back with their drinks. “Keep the ladies company,” he told his friend.

The ladies looked to the friend; the friend turned purple and looked at his shoes. The margarita guy returned with the beverages and the ladies clinked their plastic glasses together triumphantly as this was the first time that the brunette had asked a man to buy her…much less her and her friend… a drink.

They stood there in companionable silence drinking and making small talk as the margarita guy’s friend got more and more uncomfortable. The brunette and the blonde decided to take their leave as the margarita guy had yet to ask either one of them onto the dance floor.

As they walked away from the gentlemen the brunette (often distracted by shiny things) looked up and saw a staircase that seemed to lead to the second floor. It was lined along the wall with neon signs proclaiming COORS! and Texas Bud Light! She had been to the Longhorn previously (a few TOO many times) and had never really paid attention to the upper floor as the dance floor was what normally held her attention.

She pointed with her chin to the stairs and asked the blonde if she was game for a little look-see. The blonde agreed and they headed up the stairs. The noise was getting louder with each step they climbed and the smoke was pouring out of the open doorway along with a string of people walking in and out. They reached the top of the stairs to find another bar and a full fledged pool hall. The hall had its own music coming from the jukebox leaned up against the wall and the level of sound was astonishing.

The blonde and brunette found a large bar table close to the action and started watching guys and girls alike play pool. There were bets being thrown, people making out in the corner and the whole vibe was completely different than the dance hall downstairs. The blonde said, “Hold the table, I’m going to tell the boys” and she rushed out of the upstairs room, down the staircase and along the west wall of the club to find their friends. They all agreed to come upstairs and when the party started getting loud everything was great. Friends dancing, friends playing pool, friends buying drinks, friends lighting smokes and everyone talking smack.

Somehow the tequila shots showed up on the table and the brunette and the blonde gamely took one a piece. Or was it twelve a piece? A young man in their immediate circle gathered up dollars from everyone at the (now three) tables that their group occupied and he went to the jukebox to set up a playlist that would suit them all just fine. He included rock and roll, country and western, a few blues tunes and some dirty dancing music.

People were all over the little pool hall above the dance club. The ones that weren’t buying drinks were dancing close to the jukebox and trying to stay out of reach of the pool cues in play nearby. Everyone was drinking, smoking, laughing and talking it was a good night. The blonde and the brunette were absolutely certain of their hotness and invincibility. Several things were for sure that evening, “Hoo DEE HOO!” was yelled often and with much conviction, the blonde and the brunette were drunk, they were also a bit warm up in the smaller room. The girls’ jackets came off and that brought with it hoots and hollers for taking off other items, and then money was offered to do so, then somehow… I’m not sure as this is complete hearsay… but the blonde and the brunette decided that it would be a fabulous idea to give these boys and girls a show.

The brunette and the blonde sure-footedly stepped onto their chairs and then looked at one another, the brunette nodded and they both put one boot clad foot onto the table. The table listed strongly to port. So on this day of great drunken moments in history they danced with one foot on the chair and one foot on the table. Hence, chairble dancing was born.

Around 3:20 am when the club was shutting down, everyone filed out into the shell covered parking lot to locate their vehicles. The brunette had already given up her keys to a friend to drive over to the club so she gamely crawled into the back seat with a few others and asked that the window be rolled down for the drive back to the hotel. The blonde sat in front and navigated.

About 15 minutes into their drive the brunette began to feel a bit woozy. She didn’t eat dinner, she had a split a bottle of SoCo with her friend on the way down to Lake Charles, she had a jack and coke, several margaritas and who knows how many tequila shots and or beers. (Did she drink beer that night? The answer is still unclear.) She asked the driver politely, “Excuse me please, excuse me, but would you mind terribly… excuse me, pardon me… yes, excuse me, but would you please pull over? Yes, please do. Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me… yes, please pull over. Anywhere is fine really, just no ant hills or the middle median of the highway*. Yes, this is fine. No, I’m fine with it being a trailer park. May I get out? Excuse me, pardon, yes… thank you. Ooh… look, concrete stairs. Perfect. Excuse me.”

The brunette politely got out of the back seat of her car; she walked tightly over to the concrete stairs of an abandoned trailer in a trailer park, sat down and politely vomited.

Politely.

The blonde may have pointed and laughed, (the answer is still unclear there as well) or maybe she just passed smooth out. But it is a well known fact that… well, let’s be honest the rest of that trip is a blur. There are no well known facts except what you have read above.

I am not sure if any of the rodeo club supporters got up in the morning to help out with the rodeo or to cheer on their team or even how the blonde and the brunette got home.

Mysteries of the universe.

They all start somewhere near Vidor, Texas. I’m sure of it.

*Take care… TAKE CARE! <-- This? is for Stacey.

January 2, 2009

Jay Bird and Sue Momma have a chat. (LANGUAGE)


I’ve never told you guys about the night in Houston with a bunch of friends from Nacogdoches did I? It was some random weekend in March when we were all in town for something. My memory, she is going. Well, that and I am too lazy to go search my archives. So if I have already told you this one, my apologies. I’m pretty sure I have referred to this, but I don’t believe I have gone into detail.

When I say “we” in this story it is in reference to the following people: me, Mister, Glo, D’, Jay, Brenna, Lisa and Tim. Lisa and Tim have since gotten a divorce so I will just refer to him from now on as Fucker.

Gloria and D’Wayne live approximately ten feet from where Lisa and Fucker’s house is (he no longer lives there… Fucker). So when Mister and I went to visit we stayed with Glo and D’.

Lisa and Fucker had the evening away from their precious child, Glo and D’ had the evening away from theirs’ and Jay and Brenna left their beautiful children to roam the wilds of East Texas… or you know, to be lovingly cared for at Grandma’s house.

We ended up going to a bar called Mo’s (which I have referenced a million and two times as I basically grew up there). We found tables next to the restrooms* and an amazing waitress showed up. She got our drink orders and to make a long story extremely short somehow the topic of conversation between Jay and I turned racy.

I know. I was shocked too.

Jay was asking if I had seen the movie Borat (which I had not… and still have yet to, and have no desire to see it) and he went on to describe how… okay, I’ll just give you the commentary.

Jay: Okay, so they are in a hotel room and Borat and some large hairy guy are wrestling around naked…
Susan: … Alright…
Jay: And somehow the fat guy teabags Borat…
Susan: Wait… what?
Jay: … He teabags Borat…
Susan: No, wait… I heard that part. Um, so… what rating does Borat have?
Jay: Rating?
Susan: You know, R, X, NC-17?
Jay: Oh, R…
Susan: And… there’s teabagging?
Jay: Well, they blur it out…
Susan: But… there is actual teabagging?
Jay: Yeah, why do you find that so hard to believe?
Susan: ::blink::
Jay: …it’s just some guy laying his junk across the other guys face.

Jay makes his hand into the international “bird” sign and puts his palm on his forehead so that the middle “bird” finger is pointing down along the bridge of his nose. His knuckles are almost in his eyes.

Susan: What the fuck is that? A Roman Soldier?
Jay: No… teabagging.
Susan: Seriously?
Jay: Seriously.
Susan: No. That? Is not teabagging.
Jay: Alright, then what is?

I tilt my head back and make the international sign for dipping balls into my open maw.

Susan: See? [dipping imaginary balls] Teabagging.
Jay: That is totally NOT teabagging…. Think about when you are at a spa, what do they put on your eyes to reduce puffiness.
Susan: Cucumbers.
Jay: NO! Tea. See?

He does the motion again. Wiggling his knuckles to make me see the tea part.

Susan: Um, no.
Jay: Fine, let’s take a vote.

And y’all? We polled the bar.

Consensus says that women all believe how I do and men, most of them believe what Jay does. And Mister? Was turning purple and trying to crawl under the table and be invisible at the same time as he was embarrassed to be married to the lady polling the bar about teabagging.

Jay: So, what else do you know that I don’t?
Susan: Oh, we do NOT want to go there.
Jay: Why?
Susan: Brenna?
Brenna: Yes?
Susan: Is this embarrassing you?
Brenna: Oh, honey, no… we’ve been married for over ten years. I do not embarrass anymore.
Susan: Well, Mister is positively purple.
Mister: I’m fine.
Susan: You sure?
Jay: Suck it up Sue Momma, c’mon… let’s do this.
Susan: Fine.
Jay: Throw some terms at me.
Susan: Um… Now you have to realize that the reason I even know half of this shit is because I was stupid enough to Google something I didn’t know the definition for at work one day about eight years ago and came upon a website designated to jacked-up sexual terms and urban lore…
Jay: Stop stalling…
Susan: Fine. Rodeo Fuck.
Jay: Know it.
Susan: New York Chili Dog.
Jay: What?
Susan: Too gross, later.
Jay: Gimme another.
Susan: Donkey Punch.
Jay: What?

Meanwhile the rest of the table has turned to watch the debate and they are quietly asking themselves #1) why do they hang out with us and #2) what in the hell were we talking about?

Susan: Don-Key PUNCH.
Jay: Not familiar.
Susan: Rock on, that’s my favorite.
Jay: So, what is it?
Susan: [I pantomime as I am describing the term.] Well, say you are fucking some chick from behind right?
Jay: Right.
Susan: Then out of nowhere you just punch her in the back of the head. [I am humping the air and then I take a round house swing at an imaginary girl’s head.]

Jay is laughing so hard he starts to choke. Mister simply asks, “Why? Why would anyone do any of these things?” I answered him, “No, my love, I just think that they are terms, not actual acts. Just jacked up stuff for people to ponder over, ect.”

A few weeks later I am chatting with Mike and I am telling him this story and all of the sudden he goes, “My grandfather had a donkey. His name was Mordachai. I used to ride him when I was little.” I was laughing so hard that was asked to quiet down and then I had to go wash my face because I was crying with laughter and my mascara had run. So from then on, Mike and I have greeted each other with the term of endearment, “DONKEY PUNCH!”

It get’s better.

Cut to the Halloween in Chicago trip. Mike and I are telling Sasha, Heather and Fergal the Donkey Punch story and Fergal says to his lady love.

Fergal: Darling, shall we show them the Dirty Pirate?
Sasha: Of course.

Fergal mimed coming in Sasha’s eye, she slapped a hand over the “injured eye” then he mimed kicking her in the shin. She yelled out in mock pain and with her hand over her eye hopping on one leg, she chased Fergal around the pool table screaming, “ARRRGGGH!”

Heh.

And it get’s better.

Jay and Brenna are coming to stay over at our house tonight, they went to the Cotton Bowl today, and we are meeting up for Happy Hour this evening.

I get to show him the Dirty Pirate.

May 2009 be better than 2008. Happy New Year y’all.

*A story for another time.

May 4, 2009

“If you passed out and left me for dead I will keel you.”

Alright babies, I have completely been neglecting you like some gorgeous oil painting hanging in the bowels of the Louvre. You ARE gorgeous and I DO indeed love you, but I have been a little preoccupied. No excuses. Okay, a few excuses. My previous years have had a slight pattern that I could sort of count on. This year, that pattern went out the freaking window and I thought that I would have ALL of April to be all lovey dovey with you, but no (NO! I SAY!) it has not worked out that way.

Well, that and I have been avoiding you so I won’t get all talky speaky with you and give away all of my secrets (psssst, I know where Atlantis is).

So, there’s that then.

Let’s talk about how insanely addictive crack … er, I mean FaceBook is. Shall we? Holy shit y’all. Let me give you a for instance. A few weeks ago I was merrily working away (at work… redundant much?) and I got this email from FaceBook that said Dre’ would like to add you as a friend. To be honest, it actually said Andre, but I call him Dre’ because we are like this*, yo. (*finger gesture) (No, perv, not THAT finger gesture.)

I got all hyper and shit because I have been Google stalking him for eons and there he was… and the real kick in the ass was that we live not three miles from one another and have for years. So I accepted the proffered friend request and BAM! It was like it hadn’t been twenty-one years since we had spoken, but more like twenty-one minutes. Which is just about the time now between our texts, emails and phone calls. We started chatting and adding one another to our BlackBerry messengers and damn, it was like I found a missing piece.

Now we are all finishing one another sentences and comparing notes on life, work, love and happiness. It is amazing that one little program can give back so much.

A few weeks ago we all met up on a Saturday for a “cheer up Joey**” Happy Hour. And yet, it was a Saturday and not even after work and WAY more than an hour. But fuck it, that’s how we roll.

**More on you later Joey.

So Stacey puts this whole thing together, kind of last minute and we were all up for an excuse to get out anyway… so she says to meet at the bar at 7 o’clock. She had been tailgating at the Jimmy Buffet concert all day so I get a message around sixish that she is muddy and on her way, will be a few minutes late. Another message from Dre’ he is out with his wife doing the mani/pedi thing and they are taking forever… so HE’s gonna be a few minutes late. No clue what time Joey and K are supposed to get there but I figure, what the hell. And I head over to the club around 7:30.

7:45 and no one has shown up. My waitress is precious and because they don’t allow smoking indoors at ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE ANYMORE! I was “holding a table” on the patio. That shit was empty. So there I was, lookin cute as shit with a little black twinset (surprise!), dark wash jeans and my Jones of NY snakeskin, berry colored, strappy, 3-inch-high cork wedged sandals. Yes, ass, this part IS important. I was looking forward to seeing Dre’ for the first time in over twenty-one years, Stacey and I were gonna get to chat, and Joey and K were coming. This was going to be awesome! I even brought a bag of four photo albums because I am a complete dork. (But you all love me anyway.)

My waitress sits down and looks at a picture of Dre’ in his awesome glam rock acid wash outfit from the last day of eighth grade. She and I strike up a conversation and we start drinking together. Shut up. She totally loved me. So around 8:30 when Dre’ and his buddy “I only date strippers” Brad show up I am one (or two doubles) and a shot in.

When Dre' hugged me it was like we had just seen each other yesterday. So awesome.

8:45 message from Stacey: “Hold me a chair!”

9:00 message from me to Stacey: “If you passed out and left me for dead I will keel you.”

9:20 Stacey shows up and then Joey and K follow shortly after… and after that “I only date strippers” Brad’s friend the “professional trainer” Charlotte shows up. She was totally a stripper… and a complete doll. She talked a million miles a minute and was a low talker.

me : [notice Charlotte’s mouth is moving rapidly, we all lean forward to hear what she is saying… look at Stacey and Dre’ for confirmation that she is speaking, they nod… strain to hear]
Charlotte : [sounds only dogs can hear with extremely animated hand gestures]
me : Honey, speak LOUDER, we are OLD and cannot hear you.
Charlotte : [sounds only dogs can hear with extremely animated hand gestures]
me : LOUDER!
Charlotte : [sounds only dogs can hear with extremely animated hand gestures]
me : I give up. [lots of nods, smiles and “uh huh!”s ]

Joey starts buying shots. I start buying shots. Somehow a picture is taken of me doing lewd things to the waitress… for every shot we get, she gets one too. I went straight past the beer when I got there and was drinking vodka and whatever else was put in front of me. We are telling stories and it is so great to have all these old and new friends together it was a bit heady.

Dre’ and I are laughing over old things that I should totally remember and stories are being doled out by the bushel. (PS… am such a whore.) Stacey is laughing so hard she is crying. It was wonderful.

And yes, we were all supplementing our alcohol intake with water.

K and I decided to go to the ladies’ room. We finish washing our hands and stand over by the Vortex hand dryers and are speaking low and pretty intensely about some private business when … (TA DA!) In walks Tami. And NO, we did not know her from Adam. She walks directly over to us and says, “How do you get an asshole out of a bar!?... Leave your husband at home!” and she laughs uproariously. She is the funniest shit she has ever heard. K and I do the polite giggle with a head nod and she grabs us and says, “Gotta lighten the mood ladies!” She physically pulls us over to the mirror, puts some lip liner one K and I, then lipstick (WAS SILVER… God.) and then puts lotion on our hands and tells us to rub it into our necks. We were so stunned (and polite… and kind of afraid of her) that we did exactly as she said. The lotion smelled like porn and… vanilla… and a stripper’s dressing room. Or something. We disentangle ourselves from Tami and walk/laugh/stumble back to the table on the patio. On the way out to the table I tell K, “We smell like sex.” We both have our hands shoved into our own faces (with matching silver lipstick, that Tami swears, “Oh GIRLS, MEN love that shit!”) laughing at our sex hands***.

***Completely different than jazz hands, I assure you.

Back at the table we are shoving our hands into peoples’ faces, “What does that smell like!?” Mixed bag on the answers… we were yelling, “SEX! Our hands smell like sex!... And strippers!” Brad looked a bit interested… Charlotte mumbled something that sounded like, “Let me smell.” We thrust our hands under her nose.

I squatted beside Dre’ to reach under the table for something. Number one. What have I told you about squatting? Not attractive. And Number two. With my ass I should have known what was coming. One second I was squatting, the next, on my ass looking up at the couple behind me laughing hysterically, “Oh honey, let us help you up!” Hi. Embarrassed much?

I finally got up, put my shoes back on. I freaking fell off my shoes. (See? I told you that the details of what I was wearing was important.) So I got my shoes back on and my ass in the chair and the silver lipstick off of K and I and then Tami showed up at the table, dragging her mortified brother behind her. The lights came on, last call was yelled and our precious waitress showed up with our tabs.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

Hi, two hundred and thirty-nine dollar tab, how YOU doin?

Joey and K threw money at me Stacey threw money at me, I had to have help with the bill because Math is my Waterloo, I wanted to make sure that the waitress was properly (overly) tipped and the whole time the only thing running through my head was, “I am in SO much Trouble!”

Indeed, I was in trouble.

But, to sum up, you will be hearing a lot more about Dre’, Joey and K in more posts to come.

Thank you for giving me my friend back FaceBook. For this one, I owe you.

June 1, 2009

...feathers flying, lotsa yelling


I have so much to tell you guys and the most incredible wall of writer’s block that my brain feels constipated.

I think the last thing I wrote was about all of the stuff we had planned for the week of my birthday and that I had to put on pants. (Woe.) So I am going to start there with a quote from that week from my darling cousin, Andrew. And No, he does not know about this site and I will personally skin you alive and wear your flesh if you show this page (or anything from my site to him). So, Andrew came into town and my sister and I (please, for the love of God, do not tell the authorities or my mother.) played a wonderful game called “Getting Andrew Served”. It was a lot of fun and, to be honest with you, she and I (and my father) are much better at the game than my brother in law and Mister.

The trick is (and yes, I know I haven’t even said the quote from Andrew, but I will come back to that in due time) to just order, “I’ll have a Belvedere Citrus and Seven,” then point to him and say, “Want the same?” he nods, the waitress or waiter brings two… easy peasy. Do NOT do like Mister did. “I will have a Blue Moon, what do you want Andrew?” My father also seems very competent at getting booze for minors. “I’ll have two glasses of red wine.” Delivered, he hands one to Andrew under the nose of the wait staff.

The quote…

When Andrew got to the house I showed him around, “Here is the kitchen, this is the living room, most of the technology works from this remote…. Follow me…. This is your bedroom, here are your towels, your washcloths… there are extras in this closet here… and this is your bathroom. THIS… (handing him a container) is your Oust. You are a boy, this is YOUR Oust.” After he relaxed enough to have a few drinks with us, at a bar one night he said, “I am so glad you gave me that Oust. I AM a guy and one time I didn’t close the door to my bathroom and consequently my room and one of my roommates asked me if I had shit in the hallway.”

Heh.

When he left, we packed it in his luggage to take home.

I thought about that on Friday and sent him a text telling him I had just thought about what he said and that it made me laugh. I got this text back, “I’m sorry, I just got a new phone and don’t recognize the number, who is this?” I was like, “Dude, it is your cousin, SUSAN. How many people in the DFW Metroplex do you know who would actually say that to you?”

So, suffice it to say, we had a good time. My favorite was the last night he was here. It was Wednesday the 13th. I got home around 6ish and we had a bite to eat and then went to a local hangout… the NORM! bar… if you remember. They served us. (woo!) And we started chatting. He would say more to me in private than when the rest of the family was around because I had already opened that “no judgment here” door a few weeks earlier on a Monday at like 2:30 am on FaceBook… don’t ask.

We were chatting, my sister called and said that we were losers because we wouldn’t go over to her house, and she couldn’t come to where we were, having children and all. And we looked at our full beers, our smokes and were like, “Dude, you’re calling US losers!?!” Then another call came in. From Dre’, “Sue, man… I’m here with Doug at (random bar in Irving) y’all come out here.” I replied, “Nope, we’re getting served at the NORM! bar and we aren’t leaving.” His old college roommate (whom I graduated high school with) grabbed the phone, “Susan! You Whore! I have an expense account and I am not afraid to use it! Bring your fucking cousin and meet us in Addison!” “Wow, Doug. Even if that were an even remotely attractive offer, all bets were off as soon as you called me a whore. So, um, no…. fuck you, put Dre’ back on the phone.” Dre got back on the phone. “Dude, what the hell is up with Doug? He’s already trashed isn’t he?” “Yeah, sorry about the whole whore thing. You can call him names all night to his face, meet us at… I dunno…” I hopped in, “We’ll meet you at Cape…” “Dude, that is MORE than half way!” “Dude. I didn’t call YOU.” “Okay, fine.” “And he’s buying right!?” I looked to Andrew who was nodding with a big grin on his face. “Yes, Doug is buying,” Dre confirmed. I conceded… “Fine, but our goal is to put Andrew on the plane completely hung over in the morning.” “Deal.”

Andrew and I paid our wee tab and went out to the car.

We drove, and it is pretty close and Dre and Doug were more than 15 miles away, we were like seven, and they called us in five minutes. “We’re out on the patio!!!” “How fast were y’all going to get there in five minutes from Irving?” “Over a hundred on the tollway.”

You see… these boys (men, they are totally men now, and it freaks me the fuck out.) went to college at OU and used to come to Dallas for weekend trips, racing each other the whole way. So there is history there.

A few weeks ago I went from not seeing Dre in twenty one years to seeing him like every other day/week/whatever and definitely BlackBerry messaging almost every day. Now me, Dre’, Mister and Dre’s bride MKP hang out a bunch. We did this past weekend and the one before. It is so great to have another couple to do stuff with, that (this sounds awful, but whatever) don’t have kids and can just go do stuff at the drop of a hat. I love it.

Andrew and I got to the bar and went right through the DO NOT ENTER gate to bypass the ID checker girl and found Doug and Dre holding a table. Doug, dude, he is a total man now. I need to bust out the yearbook to even remember what he looked like as a kid. And of course, Dre was as handsome and gentlemanly as ever. I hugged Doug and called him a whore and then introduced both of them to Andrew. We all said our hellos and then out of the bar walked the waitress from the BIG BAR tab. The night of “Oh SHIT I am in SO much trouble!” Falling off my shoes night.

“Jenny!” “YAY!” “I have been under strict orders from home to never start a bar tab on the credit card again.” “Yes ma’am. So, what are y’all drinkin?” “Citrus Vodka and Seven, double tall, bourbon and coke, double tall as well for Andrew and boys (I gesture to Dre and Doug), will you be drinking Scotch?” “Separate or one tab?” We all looked at Doug, “I’m buyin.” Heh.

We started telling stories and I had already told Andrew on the way over, “Whatever they say about me isn’t true.” “::Snort:: Sure, Sue, whatever you say.” “What!?... Gah!” I was like, “Okay, look… fine… maybe some of the stuff is true.”

Doug and Dre started talking about old times, interjecting new stuff, “Guess what someone has a picture of your cousin doing to our waitress?” “Shut up Dre’.” “….So while Doug was in his room with some girl we threw in a whole box of geese…” “No shit, we were sleeping and, “HONK!”… What the fuck? Baby, what was that? “HONK!” (click <- a light) “Holy shit GEESE!... What the fuck are geese doing in here?” “They shit everywhere. We finally rounded them up, put them in the elevator, hit LOBBY and then ran back to our rooms.”*

Andrew, being in college, asked me, “Why didn’t you tell me this shit when I was fifteen?” “Oh HELL no.” You could see him taking metal notes for pranks with his frat brothers when he got back to school. Dre and Doug gave him some pretty good material.

We closed the place down, drove home and on the way Andrew was asking me about the X, how I met Mister… he asked me about a lot of things, and we promised not to lose touch. He said he wanted to come back next summer when he was a viable 21 year old and I promised to fly him back out if he could get to Atlanta-West (Birmingham). We promised to not turn into our cousins in North Carolina who are closer in proximity but don’t really take or have the time to spend with family. We promised to keep tabs on one another and when we got home, we went out on the back porch and had a smoke.

He asked me about my ex-step daughter (they were both in my first wedding (to X)) and as we talked about her and I told him about her parents and the things she learned at an early age and etcetera he took this huge deep breath in and then blew it out saying, “Oh man, I SO love my parents right now.” I told him, “They are the best Andrew, and just wait… in a few years, when you guys cross that parent/child boundary and you can truly become friends with your parents it is the most amazing gift ever.”

I gave him a bottle of water and three Advil and we went to bed around 2:30 or three am and his flight was at seven. We had planned on leaving at 5:30 am from the house, but I woke up at 5:30, looked at the clock and bolted out of bed, “Shit Andrew, wake up, wake up!” We threw all of his stuff in his suitcase and flew out the door. We laughed, bleary eyed and tired (still reeking of cigar and cigarette smoke) all the way to the airport.

I dropped him off and I can’t wait until he comes back next summer!

*Clarification from Dre’ on the geese… from BB messenger like 5 minutes ago. And I quote, “Geese was indeed Doug. In his room while he was in bed with a chick naked with the lights out. We tossed the ducks, slammed the door and listened quietly through the door… “Did you hear something?... I think someone or something is in the room with us… WTF was that?!?... (We see the lights flick on from under the closed door and ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.) Quacking, feathers flying, lotsa yelling and screaming, shit everywhere! Afterward we set the ducks on the dorm elevator, pressed L for Lobby and sent them down. A minute later… faint screams from below. Heh heh!”

July 21, 2009

Pure Nacho

A quote from the Galactic Cowboys song “If I Were A Killer”: "This is just a hypothetical story... 'bout someone - let's just say it's me." Yes, boys and girls it is time for another one of those “Fiction, or Is It?” stories. And by the way, you are welcome.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with an old friend, let’s call him Nacho, and we were discussing some of life’s amazing little coincidences and follies.

Let me tell you a little bit about Nacho. Nacho is a beautifully handsome man. He is perfectly tall. Not too tall that your neck aches when you reach to kiss him but tall enough that you feel safe with his well muscled arms wrapped around you. He gives the perfect hug, strong and laughing so you can hear his voice rumble through his chest. He is broad through the shoulders and narrow at the hip with marvelously white teeth and green eyes that are a color only found in nature, the color of pine trees and of the depth of the ocean. He is kind and gentle and most of my memories include him. His deep and soothing voice still invades my thoughts because growing up we shared a common sense of humor as well as curiosity for life and all the wonders it offered.

Nacho has not always been as self assured and relaxed within himself as he is now. Now that he is a man, the voice fits, the height fits, the broad shoulders and beautiful smile fit. But when he was a much younger man, he was a little insecure and very much willing to try to blend into the background when it was almost impossible. His charm, wit and gentle heart could never be overlooked. So he made jokes.

That was his M.O. Humor. And it worked on almost everyone.

With razor sharp wit and a quick sense of humor he could turn almost any situation into an amusing one.

All except one.

We were very young and very close and one day after school the subject of kissing came up. Nacho had never kissed a girl, and always being happy to oblige and help a brother out, I offered to teach him. Oh, sure, very Mother Teresa of me, … yes it was a selfless act of mercy. No you idiots, he was still very cute back then but he just had no clue. We stood in an alley (because we were hoodlums*) and he asked me, “So, what do I do?”

*Please.

I, being the expert (*see above) told him to put his hands around my waist, he obediently did as he was told. I asked him to pull me a bit closer as I slid my arms around his neck. He did so, and then I told him to keep his mouth soft, turn his head a little to the right and to follow my lead. I pressed my lips against his and he did the same, I pulled back a little and told him to part his lips a little and that I was going to lick his lips. He opened his eyes and looked at me, briefly shook his head then assumed the position again, this time with his mouth partly opened. I licked his lips softly then asked him to do the same to me. He licked my lips hesitantly then I told him that I was going to French kiss him and he could use a little more pressure or to do as he felt but to be careful as he was wearing braces. He pressed his lips against mine and parted them with his tongue, I licked over the tip of his tongue and he pulled me closer into him and really kissed me. He moved his arms around my back so one was around my waist and the other was between my shoulder blades, he deepened the kiss to almost maximum make out level. Whoo-boy! To this day I think he totally knew how to kiss… because he didn’t need any direction at all.

Sneaky, that Nacho.

When it came time for us to graduate we sadly went to separate schools, he to his parents alma mater and me to… well, y’all know where I went. I called him one day a few weeks into my fall semester of my junior year to ask him if he would come see me. I had a formal to go to and I knew that he would be the perfect date. We didn’t get to see one another that often and I knew that we would have a blast that weekend. I could introduce him to my friends (the ones he didn’t already know and love) and he would be perfect arm candy with a side dish of awesomeness all in one handsome package. We could catch up, we could laugh and watch movies or just go around to different parties and hang out. The formal was an excuse, but it was a good one.

He came up that weekend and we started off that Friday night at a party with some of my friends. I introduced him to all of the single women I knew. He was a big hit being tall, handsome, in a fraternity and gregarious. He drew people to him and in short time they were sitting around him like he was a bon fire, listening to him tell stories of his college and our days of growing up with one another.

That evening, back at my apartment we got into our standard college pj’s (gym shorts or boxers and a t-shirt). We brushed our teeth at the same sink, lounged around on the bed talking about what had been happening lately, who had seen whom, what was going on with so and so, the success of the evening. We also discussed what we were going to do the next day and the particulars of the formal. We would go to dinner with a small group then head over to the formal. Our parents had made sure to make us promise to take pictures to send to them.

He jumped up and hung his suit coat, pants and tie near my little formal dress then walked over, laid down and snuggled in beside me on my little twin sized bed. We had always been comfortable around one another. There had never been any tension or weirdness that sometimes happens between boys and girls. While growing up we would normally share a chair rather than sit next to one another on the floor or couch. Our parents thought we were adorable. So sharing a teeny bed with him was not out of my comfort zone.

Nacho started kissing my neck. The back of my neck.

Damn you, Nacho!

He slid an arm under my neck, and wrapped arm around my waist and pulled me in his strong embrace (he wanted me to mention the massive bulging manhood here… so). I could feel his massive bulging manhood pressing against my bottom, almost pushing me out of the bed **Nacho note: seriously? SERIOUSLY??? Don’t believe it, folks.** **Susan Note… Oh Nacho totally wanted me to talk about his huge prowess and that I was all scared and shit… Having it push me physically from the bed was about as far as I would go… and it painted a picture, no? YES.. Yes, it did.** I quietly giggled, swatting his hands away and said, “Quit it Nacho.” He said, “Oh, alright.” We went to sleep and the rest of the weekend went exactly how we planned it.

The story in itself is not atypical.

But sixteen years later as we were chatting via BlackBerry Messenger he mentioned the time he came to visit me at school. We talked a bit about it and then he dropped a massive bombshell.

Nacho: I tried to offer you my virginity that weekend.
me: Wait, what?
Nacho: I said… I tried to offer you my virginity that weekend.
me: You. Did. Not.
Nacho: Yes, truly I did. Don’t you remember?
me: Oh God.
Nacho: What?
me: What did I do?
Nacho: I got a little handsy and you swatted at me and said ‘Quit it.’
me: Was I mean?
Nacho: No.
me: Oh, how awful… this is … (complete meltdown, worried that I had hurt his feelings ect.)
Nacho: (lots of text missing but basically him making me feel better about the whole scenario)
me: So, that was it and you were okay with all of it.
Nacho: Sure, I figure that we were too good of friends to make a big deal out of it.
me: But that is a once in a lifetime thing man.
Nacho: I know, but …
me: There was a reason for it I am sure.
Nacho: There’s always a bigger picture that we don’t see.
me: You’re awesome.

We still see each other, but most often it is texts, emails and phone calls at completely random times. Normally ending with, “Like a BOSS.” He’s still in my heart, he is still one of my closest friends, he is still hysterical as shit and he is still the same Nacho I know and love. He is still as gorgeous as ever, he has an elegant wife and a beautiful child so yeah, there is always a bigger picture that we don’t always see.

About Old Friends

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Suzanna Danna in the Old Friends category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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