The Dysfunctional Diners

18 May

Sometimes at work, I like to wait on dysfunctional families. And when I say “I like to wait on dysfunctional families” what I mean is “I really hate waiting on dysfunctional families in most circumstances, but when it is literally SO SLOW that I’m lucky to make 35 dollars, I like waiting on dysfunctional families because it gives me a source of entertainment.” Yesterday was one such day.

Outside of the bar area of the steakhouse, there is this little antique phone hanging on the wall above two chairs and a small cocktail table. Most people walk by the phone and don’t even acknowledge its existence. Sometimes people will say “Oh what a cute little phone!” and that’s the end of it. And then sometimes, but ONLY sometimes, will a family of four walk into the bar, only to have the younger of the two sons break away and say, “LOOK AT THAT PHONE MOM! ITS ANCIENT!” and the mom will screech and get out her iPad to take a photo of the kid climbing onto the chairs and putting his shoes on the table just to reach the phone, yank it off of the wall, and take a picture.

Already I knew… this was it. This family was going to be my source of entertainment for the night.

Now in order to fully let you understand what I was dealing with, I need to describe these people.

Over-Worked Father: Dressed in an Ohio State T-shirt with a receding hairline and a forehead that looked like it was made of turtle skin. (Tight, yet very wrinkly and malleable.) He looked like he had been forced to listen to the My Little Pony theme song (the 80’s version, not today’s version) on repeat for six years prior to entering this upscale steakhouse. He looked angry. He looked aggressive. He looked defeated.
Enabling Mother: Wearing a t-shirt covered by what I could only imagine was a jacket made from llama shavings. She had puffy blonde hair, but her inch-and-a-half roots were black and growing out. She was not excited to be in the steakhouse. She reminded me of the mom on American Beauty…. smiling, trying desperately to keep everyone together when everyone would much rather be three states apart in each direction. Seeing her smile actually made me sad.
Satan: Satan is the older of the two brothers. Wearing swim trunks and a gray t shirt, Satan literally did not smile ONCE in the two hours he was seated at this steakhouse. Literally, Not. Once.
Sid: I have named the younger of the brothers Sid because he literally was Sid from Toy Story.


Literally. This face. That voice.

So after Sid climbs onto the cocktail table to violently claim the antique phone, and after Enabling Mother takes the picture, the four of them sit down at a table. Already I can hear the muffled anger coming from their direction. Satan throwing his arms into the air and violently sighing, pushing so much air out of his lungs that Enabling Mother’s fluffy hair actually billows a bit from sitting across from him.

My coworker Lucas looks at the table, then looks at me.

Lucas: Have fun.
Me: Jesus take the wheel.

I grab four beverage napkins, and approach the table. I start to give myself a pep talk… I am smiling! I am happy! Maybe I can help this family stop fighting and make their meal really awesome, so they’ll leave happier than when they came in! I am an amazing employee and I can do this! There is a reason our company calls their employees “Stars!” AND I AM THAT REASON!!!

I inhale to greet them, and-
Enabling Mother: Will you two just SIT DOWN?
Satan: (Speak-yelling at Over-Worked Father in such a disrespectful tone I was surprised that no one physically assaulted him) YOU TOLD ME I COULDN’T BRING MY HEADPHONES TO DINNER AND NOW HE HAS HIS! (motions to Sid)
Sid: (Headphones in, playing a game on his smartphone that is larger and more high tech than my own phone. He is 8. He is not only completely unaware of this conversation, but also of me standing there beside him, beaming.)
Over-Worked Father: What were you going to use them for, anyway? Hm?
Satan: I ALREADY TOLD YOU. I was gonna watch YOUTUBE VIDEOS.
Over-Worked Father: And you? (looks at Sid) Hey!
Over-Worked Father: HEY!
Over-Worked Father: (gestures) SID!
Sid: (Looks up only because Over-Worked Father waved his arms)
Sid: (Takes out one, ONE, of the ear buds. He sighs.) I’m playing a game. DOY!
(Heightened silence while Over-Worked Father seems to be deciding which sound he hates more. Game VS YouTube. Finally he looks at Sid with eyebrows raised.)
Over-Worked Father: Sid? (As if to say… C’mon, Give your brother the headphones.)
Sid: (Already has the earbud back in and is playing his game. He is unaware of everything.)

Keep in mind I am STILL standing at the table, smiling, just watching all of this. Beaming. Smiling like this is the sweetest conversation I have ever heard in my entire life, as if this earbud saga is the most heartwarming tale of selfless love to ever touch my little cocktail waitress heart.

Enabling Mother: (Looks up at me with a huge smile.) Well… We aren’t spoiled, ARE WE? Ha ha ha HAHA! …Ha… um.

Silence. I am still standing there smiling, waiting to see if there will be ay other protests or interruptions before I speak. There are none.

Me: SO! How IS everyone today? Just wonderful? Fantastic! My name is Carolyn and I’ll be serving you today!
Family: Blank stares from everyone except for Sid, who is playing his game and not looking at anyone. Satan is giving me a look of pure evil and hatred.
Enabling mother puts her hands over her eyes. Over-Worked Father stares at a crumb on the floor.
Me: GREAT! May I start you all off with something to drink? Maybe some beer? (I shoot this at Over-Worked Father. He looks at me like I am his only key to salvation.)
Over-Worked Father: I’ll take a Sam Adams.
Enabling Mother: I need wine. A nice, dry red wine.
Me: But of course. And for you sir? (Talking to Satan)
Satan still has his arms crossed and is giving me the look of poison.
Satan: (Jaw drops to reveal uneven bottom teeth.)
Enabling Mother: Just a round of waters for them.
Me: Of course! I’ll be right back!

I can’t handle this. I can’t do it. I have never wanted to punch a child so much in my entire life. If I go back over to that table and Satan is still giving me that look, I will be FORCED to asked if there is ANYTHING I can do to make his dining experience more to his liking… I will ask him why he is so angry, and I WILL do it with a smile, and I WILL do everything in my power to make him stop looking like such a miserable little garbage can.

I deliver the waters, making sure to smile at Satan the entire time.
Me: So, does anyone have any questions about the menu?
Silence. Dead, still, silence. For a moment I wonder if I’m invisible. I wonder if I actually asked the question out loud, or if I just thought I did… Maybe I’M the awkward one here, just showing up to their table not saying anything at all…
Over-Worked Father: (To Satan) NO, actually I am POSITIVE that a potato is a vegetable.
Over-Worked Father: Yes. It is.
Satan: NO. It ISN’T.
Enabling Mother: It’s a starch.
(Over-Worked Father looks at his wife as if she is literally the dumbest person in the world. In just one look, I can tell that he is so disgusted at how his life has played out- that he has actually CHOSEN this woman to be his life partner, that he CHOSE to procreate with her above literally EVERYONE ELSE in the whole world, that his next words erupt from his mouth with such resentment and hatred I’m afraid the next topic of conversation will be custody rights. Custody Rights where both parents fight about who HAS to keep them.)
Over-Worked Father: Just because it is a starch doesn’t mean it isn’t a vegetable.
Me: (Beaming!)
Enabling Mother: Whatever. Either way, you need to eat healthier.
Over-Worked Father: I am on vacation, I will eat however I please.
Enabling Mother: (Finishing a gulp of wine) Oh, you’re on vacation? You’re at a work function. Please.

I actually witness Over-Worked Father picking and choosing his battles. He looks at the menu. And I am still standing there, waiting for someone to answer my question.

Over-Worked Father: Satan? What do you want to eat?
Satan: I already TOLD YOU, I want WINGS.
Over-Worked Father: (Death stare. I suddenly realize where Satan has learned his facial expressions.) They don’t have those here. Get the kids fillet. It’ll be the best thing you ever eat.
Satan: I don’t WANT IT.
Enabling Mother: Okay, you know what? They don’t have wings! Okay, fine, nothing. He will have nothing. I am going to have the french onion soup and the wedge salad.
Me: Very good!
Enabling Mother: Sid?
Sid: (Playing his game)
Me: (Beaming at Sid)
Enabling Mother: (Punches him on the arm.) HEY! Mac n’ cheese?
Sid: (Barely responds. I think I may have heard him say “Mm.”)
Enabling Mother: Mac N’ Cheese for him.
Over-Worked Father: I am going to have the Salmon. GOD I’m at a steakhouse and I’m getting SALMON.
Me: Actually our salmon is phenomenal. You won’t be disappointed.
Enabling Mother: (Ignoring me) Make sure you ask for the lentils on the side. I won’t eat those.
Over-Worked Father: Whatever, they’re big. I’ll move them away, it’s not a big deal.
Me: (Thinking “Our lentils are actually tiny, but I’m not going to say that for fear of getting stabbed.”)
Enabling Mother: (suddenly sweeter than ever) Satan? Honey, are you’re sure you don’t want anything?
Satan: (Stares at her. Pouting. Mutters-) …Ids Illay.
Enabling Mother: What was that!?
Satan: (Yelling) KIDS FILLET.
Me: (Looking directly at Satan himself) And how would you like that prepared, young sir?!?!
Satan: (Pure evil. Poison is leaking from his eyes.)
Enabling Mother: Medium well.
Me: Fantastic! I’ll get that right in for you, and I’ll also bring some fresh bread and butter for the table.
Me: (Wanting desperately to say “Wait- you can hear me! You can SEE me!?” I walk away.)

When I bring the bread to the table, Sid hulks out. He RIPS the earbuds out of his head and lunges for the bread, as if he hasn’t eaten in six weeks. With every inhale it sounds like he’s slurping something- which is quite a miraculous feat because he is ingesting BREAD, and with every exhale there is an audible vocalization of “Mmmm.” It’s a rather disturbing cycle, but no one addresses it. Meanwhile, Satan is sitting in his chair like a frog. The bottoms of his shoes are actually on the seat of the chair, and any time he wants to drink his water, he literally springs up, puts his hands on the table, and bends over to put his mouth on the straw… instead of just picking up the glass and bringing it to his mouth like any other normal person on the planet. No one addresses this either.

When their food finally does come, I watch intently to see what happens. I watch to see if Satan does, indeed, like his KIDS FILLET. He does. Obviously, you’re gonna like the kids fillet, you ungrateful, unwanted, rat-faced collection of disappointments and broken dreams. You’re at one of the best steakhouses in Orlando and you’re eating a 5 oz fillet! And even if it IS prepared medium well, thanks to your insane to the membrane mother, it’s going to be the best thing you eat all week.

So, that’s basically the end of the story. Once the food came everyone kind of shut up and ate, and the only thing that was semi-amusing about them at this point was when Sid grabbed the black dish that held their side item, and screamed, in the EXACT voice of Sid from Toy Story, “IS THIS MADE OUT OF IRON????” Over-Worked Father tipped 20 percent and they all decided to GTFO. I think he was appreciative that I didn’t announce that we had dessert options… instead, I discreetly handed him the dessert menu out of view of his spawn and said, quietly, “In case you’re interested…”

It’s sad, but I’ve come to realize the importance of alcohol mixed with some good food when it comes to dysfunctional families. Usually by the end of the meal I can have people laughing and actually interacting with each other without arguing anymore. And yet, with this family, I was just happy that no one got slapped… by me. I hope the rest of their business trip/vacation(???) fared better than that atrocious meal, but I won’t hold my breath. I bet Sid is still sitting somewhere right now playing his game and slurp-breathing, and Satan is watching YouTube with that disgusted look on his face, Enabling Mother is looking through a magazine at the body and life she’ll never have, and Over-Worked Father is answering emails and wondering where his life went wrong. It’s really sad to think about these families like this once they’re gone, so I try not to. I just bring them their check, and hope for the best. I have to pay my bills, you know.


The Most Jellicle, The Most Live

25 May

When we were young, my sister and I took many lessons of varying activities. I, being the animal lover, went through a horseback riding phase that I admittedly have not completely grown out of. Caitlyn, being a fairy tale princess, took ballet from the moment she could stand in first position. I eventually started to take dance lessons, too, as well as gymnastics, cheerleading, and a sad, pathetic fifth grade attempt at playing basketball.  (I scored four glorious points the entire season- two foul shots, and one basket that I think went into the basket because the ball bounced off of my flailing arm, and my teammates were nice enough to allow me the credit of making said basket.)

When we were about 13 and 15, my sister and I were taking dance lessons at a local dance studio. Now, when I say “taking dance lessons at a local dance studio,” what I mean to say is that sometimes on random Saturdays we would show up to the dance studio and learn sporadic 8 counts of choreography, and not return for a few weeks due to our busy schedules. The problem was, if you wanted to take dance classes with this studio, you had to keep your entire Saturday open. We were enrolled in jazz, lyrical, ballet, pointe, and tap. Five hours of straight dance with hour breaks here and there. If anything else conflicted- family reunions, gymnastics meets, cheerleading competitions, community productions of The Music Man, having a social life- you’d miss all of your classes for that week. It wasn’t like “Oh I can’t make it to jazz on Satruday, but at least I’ll make it to ballet on Monday!” No. If you missed one class, you usually missed them all.

Here’s the thing: I’m not saying that missing class was the right thing to do. It was actually the complete wrong thing to do. Now that I’m older, I can only imagine my instructor’s frustration while trying to choreograph 50+ teenage girls into some sort of physical product that didn’t resemble a chaotic frenzy of developing breasts, hips, and acne. ESPECIALLY when those 50+ girls had other activities to attend, and couldn’t even show up to class. She had made it easy for us- ONE day of the week you get to attend ALL of your classes, and be done with it for the rest of the week. How hard can that be, huh? To just make sure your schedule is clear for ONE day of the week? I mean seriously. How can you choreograph and teach people dances if they’re not in the room? You can’t. AND! Now that I’m older, I realize that my instructor was not only in charge of our dance educations, but she was ALSO in charge of putting on the end of the year recital, in which all of her hard work would be showcased on a stage for all of the people PAYING her to do the impossible task of teaching their absent children how to dance.

So I assume my instructor finally got so fed up with the whole ordeal that she finally just said “Forget you little whores. This year we’re doing it my way.” And at the beginning of that year, the infamous year, she made an announcement:

“Listen. If you’re in class, you’ll be in the recital. If you’re not in class, you won’t be. Each week, whatever we learn- if you’re here to learn it, you’ll perform those 8 counts in the recital. If you’re not here, you won’t be in the 8 counts we learned. If you happen to miss a week where we learn a BIG section of the dance, or if we manage to learn ALL of the dance, you simply won’t be on stage for it. This is how we’re doing it this year.” She then took a big swig from her water bottle. Looking back now, her water bottles were never clear. She always had a plastic jug that she brought from home. I now wonder what she was drinking…Well played, Miss Dance Instructor. Well played.

Well, this sent a shock through us all. She couldn’t do that! Could she? Would this mean that we wouldn’t be able to miss a SINGLE DANCE CLASS if we wanted to be in the whole dance at the end of the year?!?!

Being a virgo, someone who is a naturally organized person, I found my 13 year old self wondering… “So, wait… say someone misses a class. But they were here the week before that class, and the week after… does that mean they’re just going to have to RUN off of the stage while the rest of the group does the part that they missed… and then run BACK on as soon as they know the choreography again? That doesn’t seem very organized…”

And yes. Yes, that is exactly what that meant, and no, it was not organized. At all.

It also didn’t help that this year was the year that my sister and I would be missing the most dance classes of our entire lives. I don’t really remember why we were missing so much class… it really doesn’t matter for the story’s sake… the point is, we missed a shit ton of class. When we would finally show up to early morning Saturday dance, our friends would greet us like we were their long-lost family members from ancient times.

Prepubescent Girl: Do you still take class here? Or are you just visiting?
Other Girls: Wow! Your hair got longer! It’s good to see you! Carolyn, you got taller since the last time I saw you! Etc…

I can only imagine my instructor’s frustration when we finally DID show up for class. Now she had two extra bodies to put into this mess, and those two bodies knew none of the dance at all.

Every year, in community dance studios around the nation, small recitals are put on. Each year, these recitals usually have “themes.” Such as, “God Bless America”; “Five, Six, Seven, GREAT!” ; “Over the Rainbow”; and “STARPOWER.” This year, the infamous year of the changing eights, our theme was THE STARS OF BROADWAY. Each dance was choreographed to old Broadway hits, or songs that talked a lot about New York City. I vaguely remember the “advanced adult tap class” kick ball changing their way through Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” I also remember a beautiful lyrical solo done by a girl in a flowwy white costume to Billy Joel’s “New York State Of Mind.”

The one day that we came to class, we learned that our “advanced jazz class” was opening the entire recital with a tribute to one of Broadway’s longest running musicals, “CATS!” While we joined the group and started to learn the choreography, I started to realize something…

Caitlyn and I would be portraying cats. We would actually embody animals on stage, and people would be watching us, and no one would call us weird or “too old to be acting like an animal.”  I felt like my entire life had been leading me up to this moment. Years of making “nests” behind the couch and filling them with my beanie babies… crawling around on the floor like a psychotic lunatic while carrying aforementioned beanie babies in my mouth… watching The Animal Planet and perfecting my cougar call… all of these activities had led me to this SPECIFIC moment. I WAS a cat. I was a feline, and I was fabulous.

Needless to say, my freak show little self was extremely excited. Caitlyn, on the other hand, was more worried about her costume than the actual portrayal of a believable cat. You see, sometimes in these things, parents and their “talented” offspring are forced to order, buy, and sometimes even MAKE their own costumes. This time was no different. We were told we would need to order body suits and decorate them however we saw fit. During one Saturday, before anyone ordered their body suits, we were forced to write our names down under the colors that we wished to be. This was done in hopes of avoiding 27 black cats and only 3 yellow cats on stage.

I approached the list… I knew what color I wanted to be… I was hoping that there wouldn’t be too many names under that color already… but because I had missed so much class, I knew I wouldn’t be first to write my name down on the paper. My more punctual peers certainly wouldn’t let me have first cat color choice privileges. I had to wait my turn…. patiently…

With every girl that approached the list and wrote her name down, I knew I would have to settle for something STUPID like… brown. Or gray. I kept my fingers crossed, and prayed that there would be at least one space left for my name…

When I finally did get to see the list, these were the options I saw:
ORANGE:        BLACK:       GRAY:             YELLOW:       BROWN:


What. No, seriously… what!?

No where, not anywhere, was the “Siamese” option. Who were these people? What the hell were they thinking? You can’t have a production of CATS without proper cat colors!

I was so disappointed, I didn’t even care where my name went anymore. I saw that there weren’t many orange cats, so I scribbled my name down and went back to my place on the floor.

A month later, we received a package in the mail. At this point, I think all three of us- my mother, my sister, and I- had forgotten that we had ordered anything. When we finally opened the package and looked inside, my mom pulled out a brown body suit and an orange body suit.

Mom: Oh. Here are your cat costumes, girls.
Caitlyn: Oh yeah! We’re doing CATS. I almost forgot.
Me: (Holding up the limp carcass of my orange body suit) This is the literally the color of a construction cone.

My mom promised that she would help me make my costume not look as crazy-orange as it already did. We went to the craft store and bought a few boas for our tails, and, upon my instruction, grabbed a package of black feathers and some glue.

Mom: Carolyn, we should really just use paint to give you stripes.
Me: Paint is going to look two dimensional! I want the stripes to look like FUR. Okay!? That’s why we’re going to glue feathers onto me.
Mom: But honey, if you put glue on a costume that is supposed to stretch-
Me: I WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE FUR FROM OFF STAGE. If I can’t even be a Siamese cat, at least I can look like like I have fur!
Mom: Okay. Whatever.

That night I slaved over my costume, gluing feathers in all the right places to make me look like an orange tabby cat. It took hours of painstakingly accurate applications, but once it was completed, I was satisfied. Everyone else would be using markers for their costumes. Not me! Oh no. I was going to be different.

Finally the night of the recital arrived. Caitlyn and I rushed into the backstage area and started to get ready. The “costumers” (AKA a few selfless and good hearted parent volunteers) had printed out templates of cat makeup from the actual Broadway show that they were letting us go through and choose. Caitlyn and I chose our makeup maps, and proceeded to apply our feline faces.

I looked at my sister. Her eyebrows were drawn in along her nose and back out under her eyes- almost like she had purposely drawn raccoon eyes on herself, but then stopped and changed her mind midway through. She had painted stripes back along her cheeks with different colored lip pencils, and colored in her entire top lip with gray eyeliner. On the left side of her face was a patch of gray makeup, a patch that to us looked like distinctive feline markings, but to anyone else would appear to be physical proof of domestic violence.

I, on the other hand, had colored my eyebrows in the opposite direction- I had made them fan up and back, bleeding back into my hairline. I colored the bottom of my nose with a black eye pencil and drew a very prominent line down my upper lip, which then connected to another colored-in black triangle below my bottom lip. Every other inch of my face was painted white like a geisha.

I looked at Caitlyn. She looked at me. We stared at each other for a moment. There was silence. And then-

Me: You look FANTASTIC.
Caitlyn: Wow. We look great!
Me: Here, let me help you with your collar.

Finally, it was time to put on our body suits. Caitlyn slid into hers like butter melts into a pan. It stretched and clung to her like an athletic body suit should. Mine, on the other hand…

Me: Uh, Caitlyn?
Caitlyn: Yeah?
Me: Mine… mine isn’t stretching.
Caitlyn: What do you mean? It’s a body suit.
Me: Well, where I used the glue to glue on the feathers?
Caitlyn: Yeah?
Me: Well… it’s not stretching. In those places.

We then proceeded to RIP my costume apart and MAKE it fit onto my body. Feathers were flying everywhere. Caitlyn was laughing, I was hyperventilating, and all the while we were hearing the stage manager (Aka another selfless parent volunteer) yell down “TEN MINUTES TILL PLACES!”

Caitlyn: There! It’s on! Just leave it!
Me: But look at the feathers! They’re falling off! COMPLETELY! I look horrible!

Now, at this moment I suspect my sister knew exactly what she was doing… she then says to me…

Caitlyn: Well… we’re supposed to be ally cats, right?
Me: Yeah…
Caitlyn: Well you’ll just look a little more, forlorn.
Me: Huh?!
Caitlyn: Like… LIKE you’re one of those really aggressive cats that doesn’t take any crap from any other cats!
Me: But… that’s not the type of cat I rehearsed! I rehearsed being a very friendly cat, who actually gets along well with other cats, as long as the other cats aren’t trying to mate with me or steal my territory!
Caitlyn: Well… maybe you can just be a different type of cat. Come on, we have to get into places.

And while we climbed the steps to emerge onto the stage and start the preshow section, I was trying desperately to think about how I could possibly change my cat character to justify my haggard appearance. Could my docile original cat character have just gotten into a fight… and lost? NO! My cat character would NEVER lose a fight… Could I have mange? NO! My cat character cleans herself daily! No matter which way I looked at it, it was unavoidable. I was going to have to become… AN AGGRESSIVE CAT.

The lights came up. The music started. I did my usual lick the paw and pat my ear choreography that I had planned, but now I felt stupid- I was in my head, second-guessing everything I was doing…

Angry Me: Now come on. What kind of a cat tries to clean themselves NOW?
Nervous Me: I can’t help it! My costume fell apart!

I stretched my arms out in a child’s pose and arched my back.

Angry Me: OH so we just woke up from a nap now, huh!? IS THE KITTY CAT TIRED!?!?!
Nervous Me: I’m just doing the choreography… the way we rehearsed…
Angry Me: Your stretching is CRAP. This entire production is CRAP, so long as YOU’RE in it! Do you even KNOW the dance?!?!

And I think it was at that moment that I realized… I really didn’t know any of the dance. I mean I knew where I was supposed to be on the stage. I knew, vaguely, where I was supposed to enter and exit. But other than that? I was screwed. I realized, in that heightened moment of self loathing and hyperventilation, that I had been relying solely on the mirrors in our studio to watch and follow the other girls. And now that we were actually on the stage without any mirrors, I literally had no idea which 8 count came where, and where I was supposed to be.

It was every performer’s nightmare. Being onstage with a costume that is falling apart, only to realize you don’t know your part. I quickly looked over at Caitlyn. Surprisingly, she was already looking right back at me. And get this- she had the EXACT same, petrified, “Oh-My-Gosh-I-Literally-Have-No-Idea-What-Comes-Next” look on her face that I did.

And I believe it was at that moment where the term “Doing it live” comes from. Most people think it’s from the internet sensation of Bill O’Riley going nuts and screaming “WE’LL DO IT LIVE” at the news crew for having a faulty teleprompter. But no. No, friends, see… “Do it live” actually started with two teenage sisters attempting to dance in a small studio’s tribute to the award winning Broadway musical “CATS.”

So there we were. On a stage. Running around, trying not to bump into anyone else, mouthing the words, but we didn’t really know the words…

Yes we’re Jellicle cats
as Jellicle, do…?
Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats!
Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats!
I’m a cat, And I’m Jellicle too?…

Kicking! Running! Leaping! Pivoting! Pirouetting! All a half second behind everyone else on the stage. We looked like two genuine ass holes up there. At one point I even considered just jazz running off stage and staying there until the whole thing was over… Which, now that I think about it, I SHOULD have been doing during the parts that I didn’t know… I just didn’t know when to exit and when to come back on.

The only silver lining was that Caitlyn and I had been strategically placed in the back of every formation, so that even if we messed up, we’d be mostly hidden by the other girls on stage who had attended more dance classes than we.

Now this continued on for what felt like a century. But then! Lo and behold, at one point Caitlyn and I finally realized that the part of the dance happening was the ONE part that we had been in class to learn! Suddenly we weren’t following anyone because we actually knew the choreography! And let me tell you what… those four eight counts were the most on point, committed, and memorable eight counts of the entire CATS production. Why, you ask? Well, because for those four eight counts, every dancer on the stage was doing the same movements at the exact same time. I could just see our dance instructor in the audience, beaming with pride… sure, we were a little shaky to start. But we’ve got it now! WE’VE GOT THIS!

And then, just as soon as it had started, it ended- The beautiful part of the dance that we knew was now over, and we were back to square one.

Please, I heard myself pleading with God, please let this be over soon, and I swear I’ll never miss a dance class again…

Suddenly everyone in the entire company artistically collapsed down to the floor and rolled, and Caitlyn and I were left, for a split second, staring at the audience point blank. Just standing there. Two casual cats, staring blankly at the audience. We IMMEDIATELY dove down to be on the same level as the other girls… and then, something in my brain clicked, and for one more glorious second, I realized I KNEW THE CHOREOGRAPHY! I KNEW this eight count! I knew, deep in my bones, that on count EIGHT was a move where we shot our feet out in front of us, leaned back on one arm, and stretched our other arm up to display a jazz hand. It was kind of an awkward move, where you’re hitched between your hand and your heels, sort of showing your crotch to the audience… But it didn’t matter. The awkward body suit crotch move came on count eight! AND I KNEW IT!

And so, I did it. Five, six, seven…. EIGHT!

And as my crotch was displayed proudly for the entire audience to enjoy, and my arm shot up to display a perfect, triumphant jazz hand, I realized it wasn’t the only jazz hand! Caitlyn’s triumphant jazz hand shot up, too! The only problem was…

No body else’s hands shot up. Not one other crotch that wasn’t related to mine was being displayed for the audience’s enjoyment.

Later that night after the recital ended, my mother insisted that she grab a picture of Caitlyn and I in our cat costumes. And you know what? I’m glad she did. Because at the time, the LAST thing I wanted to do at the end of my recital was put my cat costume back on. But now that she has, I get to share this photograph with the rest of the world. Enjoy.

Sole Patch, the Aggressive Cat sits proudly next to Jellicle Slutter Baum.

Sole Patch, the Aggressive Cat sits proudly next to Jellicle Slutter Baum.


I think our little an-jellicle faces really just say it all.


Glitter Vs. Glass: One Bartender’s Painful Journey Through Choicy Fashion Choices

5 Jan

There is a Bath and Body Works right next to the pub I work at, and everything is always  “ON SALE FOR ONE DAY ONLY!” there. I never really paid much attention to the store, until recently when my sister surprised me by showing up for the last few moments of my shift. I made her the dirtiest of martinis while she waited for me to be finished. As we made our way to the car, we passed the Bath and Body Works. “Come on,” Caitlyn said, “I wanna go in here for a second.” They have this AMAZEBALLS candle scent, “Fresh Balsam” that I completely DIE for, so I decided to accompany her and pick one up at 50% off before the season was out.

We’re both scanning the shelves, looking at all of the miscellaneous potions and perfumes, when I suddenly find something called “Pink Chaffon Glitter.” It looked like a unicorn had hugged a fairy so hard that they both farted, and someone had managed to capture it in a tube. The tube of body shimmer also came with a tube of body wash. I’m a very girly-girl, so the idea of something that smells good and is pink and shiny all over my body at all possible times makes me feel joy. I needed body wash anyway… I decided I’d buy the pack.

Fast forward a few days. I’m in my bathroom after my shower. I pick up the fairy/unicorn extract and squeeze a little bit into my palms. I rub the mixture over my arms and hands, and make sure everything is thoroughly covered in sparkling wonder. For a moment, I’m not sure if I actually like the effect- I feel like I’m back in 8th grade or something, smearing body glitter that I got at Limited Too all over myself. I decide the effect is subtle enough for a 24 year old, and leave the house.

Work starts out normally enough. Everything is running smoothly. We have three bartenders on and it’s not too busy, so we have time to do some glassware while we’re waiting for more customers. I’m putting dishes away when Allie, one of my favorite coworkers, comes over.

Me: (Proudly) Look at my arms!
Allie: Oooo! Sparkly!
Me: I wasn’t sure if I liked the look at first… you don’t think the actual pieces of glitter are too big, do you? Does it look like 8th grade trash status?
Allie: Absolutely not. I was just going to say it’s subtle enough to look really good.
Me: (feeling completely reassured) Awesome. Thanks!

A few hours go by. I’m feeling fricken fabulous. Every time I reach for a bottle of liquor, the light catches on my skin and I’m reminded that I’m a fairy princess today. I deserve a crown. I deserve a puffy dress. Where is my magical sparkling scepter? If I’m not careful I’m going to sprout wings and fly around the pub, sprinkling the alcoholic patrons with my sheer awesomeness and sparkling glory.

Not only do I look and smell amazing, but EVERY song that is playing is something completely FABULOUS. As in the timeless hit “Come On Over” by Christina Aguilera. “Timber” by Pit Bull and Ke$ha. “Boyfriend” by Ashlee Simpson. I’m living for these songs. I’m living for the guy sitting at barstool 139 who is so nice I can barely look at him without his smile making me feel like I am the most awesome person on the entire planet. AND! I am LIVING for my NEW BODY GLITTER!!!!

I’m jamming out to a song, dancing a little bit, putting away glassware. I’m stacking up glasses to the beat. ONE, two, THREE, four, glassware sucks NOT ANYMORE! FIVE, six, SEVEN, eight, I am sparkly and I smell GREAT!

I go to pick up the last glass and add it to my stack, but I guess the last glass was the only thing keeping the crate of glasses from falling over. Everything happens in slow motion… I lift the final glass, and the crate starts to tip… I try to grab the glasses, but my hand already has a glass in it… I catch the crate with my hip… but the glasses are still falling… The stack of glasses and the glass in my hand come together in an ear-shattering explosion… customers gasp, I let out a muffled shriek… And then, everything is still.

I look down at myself. There are miniscule shards of glass sprinkled over EVERYTHING. ALL over my arms, my hands, my chest, my kilt, my legs. I wait for the blood to come, I wait for the pain… But nothing happens. Someone says, “Are you okay? Did you cut yourself!?”

“I… I don’t think so…” I manage. My other bartenders come to my rescue. They allow me to step away for a moment to go clean myself up.

I can feel tiny pieces of glass all over me. I can feel them in my hands, in my arms… but I can’t see them. And do you want to know WHY I can’t see them?!? Do you? I’ll tell you why… Because MY girly ass decided to wear GLITTER to work behind a BAR.

My high-on-life buzz is completely gone. A trickle of blood is oozing from my middle finger. How fitting. I’m trying desperately to pick the pieces of glass out of my skin, but it’s useless. I can feel the pain, the tiny little shards all over me… but I can’t see them to pick them out.

Suddenly, a group of about ten people walk up to the bar, and the tickets from the servers who need drinks start pouring through the machine. There is no time for bleeding. There is no time for pain. I must clean up the glass, I must make drinks, and I mustn’t get blood all over everyone. The song on the radio changes to something stupid. And suddenly? I’m not a fairy princess. I’m not the queen of all things sparkly. I didn’t ride a unicorn to work, and I’ll never catch a falling star and put it in my pocket. I’m just a bartender. Not only that, but I’m a clumsy bartender who is stupid and covered in glass. The attractive guy is all like “ARE YOU OKAY?” and I’m just like, “…I hate myself.”

The end.


True Life: I Let A Man Pay Me 100 Dollars To See My Foot

23 Sep

I was paid 100 dollars to show my foot to a stranger.

There. I said it. Finally. And I actually feel an intensely confusing sense of pride and shame from finally typing that sentence and releasing it into the interweb. But it’s true. Some dude paid me 100 dollars. For my foot. I wish I could just tell you the story starting from the point where the guy said, “How much would I have to pay you to show me your foot?” But I want you to get the full effect of the story. So, I have to make like Julie Andrews and “Start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”

The day I was paid 100 dollars to show my foot to a stranger started like any other day. Which is to say I woke up to my half-naked sister dancing in my room blasting Will Smith’s “Welcome To Miami.”

You see, we were going to make the four hour trip to Miami the next day, and she wanted me to get up early before work and go shopping with her. I didn’t really need anything, but work had been uncharacteristically lucrative recently, and I wanted to get a new swimsuit. I agreed to go with her.

We stopped at American Apparel first in hopes of finding a baby shirt for Sister to wear. I was flipping through the articles of clothing, scoffing at the ridiculous prices and wondering who on this planet would pay 40 dollars for a piece of cloth that could barely cover a newborn baby, when suddenly I saw them: Thigh high black socks.

I work at a pub, where I am required to wear a kilt and black socks. I had been searching for thigh high black socks for ages, and was finally convinced that they didn’t exist, until this pivotal moment. Now when I say thigh-high black socks, I mean thigh high black SOCKS. Not panty hose. Not fish nets. I don’t want to look like a Scottish street walker while delivering Belhaven Beer Cheese. I just want to look stylish and have warm legs in the coming colder months.

Needless to say, I purchased said socks immediately… in three different colors… and was feeling pretty accomplished. I couldn’t wait to let the socks make their debut that evening at work!

Work started slowly enough, with me getting about 3 tables an hour. (For a waitress, this is EXTREMELY slow.) I hoped the dinner rush would prove to be a bit more exciting. Despite the slow business, I was still feeling pretty good. After all, I was sporting my brand new black thigh-high socks, and they were saying up on my legs without me pulling at them every four minutes. Success.

The dinner rush did prove to be a bit more exciting. As it started to die down, three middle-aged white men approached the rail. I could immediately tell three things about them:

1. They were going to drink a lot of beer.
2. They were going to have a large bill, and quite possibly tip me very well.
3. They were going to make sexual jokes and be generally inappropriate all night, and if I wanted the large tip, I would have to not only endure this embarrassment, but also hold my own.

What I didn’t know, was that one of them had a foot fetish and would, in time, offer to pay me 100 dollars to see my foot. I also did not know that I would find it in myself to agree to this absurd proposition.

They introduced themselves. As a waitress, when a group of men actually take the time to introduce themselves to you, you immediately know that these humans wish to get to know you on a more personal level. Usually, as long as I deliver the alcohol in a timely manner, people don’t care if my name is Carolyn, Coco Chanel, or Captain America. They just don’t. And I can respect that.

I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t remember their names. I’m horrible with names, and if I knew they were going to pay me 100 dollars, I probably would have made more of an effort to remember them. BUT! For the sake of the story, I’m going to rename them.

Don was a large man. Don was also a drunk man. He struck me as the tag-along friend, the one that is never the center of attention, but tags along anyway to see what he can get from the trickle down effect of his more out spoken and better looking friends. He was very handsy, meaning he liked to experience the world through touch. He liked touching my arm, he liked touching his beer glass, he liked touching his own thigh. And as he drank more beer, he realized he very much liked touching my waist. I tried to keep three feet between Don and myself at all times.

Pete was the most normal of the three males. He also seemed to be the most sober. Pete was polite, generous, and generally well behaved. Unlike Don, he never attempted to touch any part of my body at any point in time. He was an averagely built gentleman, with a full head of hair and those little wrinkles around his eyes when he smiled. He was probably in his forties.

Last, but not least, was the Big Spender himself. He was a built gentleman, with big arms and dark spikey hair. He was the type who would look into your eyes when you were speaking to him directly, but then would let his eyes wonder to other parts of you the moment you looked at one of his friends. He seemed to be harmless enough, despite his sexual joking and louder-than-a-gorilla’s-mating-call laughter.

Me: Hey guys! My name’s Carolyn, I’ll be taking care of you today.
Big Spender: Oh WILL you, now?
Don: We want beer!
Pete: (Sheepish look as if to say, “I’m so sorry for what you’re about to experience.”)
Me: (Looking back at Pete as if to say, “Don’t worry, dude. I’ve got this.”) I certainly will be.
Big Spender: (Holding out his hand) I’m Big Spender.
Pete: Pete.
Me: Nice to meet you guys. You look pretty thirsty.
Big Spender: Carolyn! What a beautiful name. Why YES Carolyn, we ARE very thirsty. Are you going to bring us something to wet the whistle?
Me: (Mentally picturing myself stepping in front of a bus, rather than waiting on these people) That is why they pay me the big bucks.
Me: So what can I get you gentleman?
Big Spender: Carolyn, come’ere a sec.
Me: What?
Big Spender: Come here.
(I step a tiny, miniscule, less-than-an-inch closer.)
Big Spender: (Lowering his voice as if he’s revealing an issue of national security.) I hear… that you guys have… beer samplers.
Me: Why, yes we do! It’s actually a great deal.
Big Spender: Explain that to me a little bit, would you?
Me: Well… you get four five ounce samples of beer for a little bit more than five bucks. It’s a good deal because you’re basically getting a pint of beer, but you get to try different kinds.
Big Spender: So… you get five beers?
Me: Uh… no-
Me: Oh, no, you just get four five-ounce samples.
Big Spender: So you don’t get a big pint.
Pete: No. She just said you get four little samples on a sampler.
Don: We want beer. Bring us beer.
Me: We have a lot of beer. What kinds do you guys want?
Big Spender: We want to do the beer sampler.
Me: (Already dreading this because entering in beer samplers into the computer system is HORRIFYING and makes my bartender’s lives difficult and annoying) Okay. You want to do one beer sampler?
Don: NO. We want three of them!
Me: Okay. What kind of beer do you guys want?
Pete: Just surprise us.
Me: Do you guys like lagers? Ales? Stouts?
Don: I like beer.
Big Spender: I like Blue Moon.
Pete: I like stouts. I want to try your Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.
Me: (Mentally thanking Pete for his direct and specific request, mentally shooting Don for being a troll.) Okay! I’ll just surprise you.

I walked away from the three of them feeling like I had just been kicked a few times by a stranger; I felt ashamed and confused and a little angry. But I would prevail! After all, I could tell that they were going to have a pretty large tab, and would probably tip me well, if I could stomach their crap.

I brought them three beer samplers, separated by type. A lager sampler, an IPA sampler, and a stout sampler. They seemed excited and impressed with my knowledge of the different beers.

Me: So! There you go. Do you guys need food menus?
Pete: Why don’t you just come back in a few minutes and we’ll let you know how we’re feeling.
Me: Okay! Sounds great. Thanks!

They continued to drink, order more samplers, and get a few appetizers. Every time they ordered something new, Big Spender would ask me to come closer so he could murmur a question about a desired item, and get my opinion.  I wondered if he actually thought quiet conversations about spring rolls and goat cheese turned me on.

I tried to keep my distance, but check on them enough to make them feel like I cherished their presence. It’s a delicate balance, a precarious walk on a social tight rope, if you will. It’s sometimes important to make men feel like they complete you, especially when those men are the ones paying your utility bills.

After they had finished their beers and appetizers, I decided to check on them again.

Me: You guys still okay?
Don: We want more beer!
Me: Okay, well-
Big Spender: Carolyn! Carolyn. Com’ere.
Me: (Stepping a centimeter closer.) Yes, Big Spender? What is it this time?
Big Spender: I have to ask you something, but I’m afraid of your reaction.
Me: (Thinking: For the love of all things alcoholic, how much longer do I have to put up with this bull shit?) Well, I won’t bite. I can assure you of that.
Big Spender: And you know, I believe in just saying it. You know? Just coming out and saying it!
(At this point, Pete and Don are dying laughing, so I know something ridiculous is going to follow.)
Me: Hit me.
Big Spender: Okay. Well. I…
Me: You…
Big Spender: I have a foot fetish.
Big Spender:
Don: HAH!
Pete: Bluhrderhaha…
Big Spender:
Big Spender:
Me: … Seriously?
Big Spender: Yes.
Me: Haha. Like, an actual fetish? With women’s feet?
Big Spender: Exactly.
Me: (Trying to make my voice sound as accepting as possible.) Okay! Cool.
Big Spender: And we’ve been talking, and we all have voted, and we all agree that you’d probably have really, REALLY nice feet.
Me: Heh heh heh… Oh really!?  (Thinking: What the hell?)
Big Spender: I noticed you have really pretty nails.
Me: Oh, yeah, I just did them, actually. You see I’m going to Miami with my sister and our best friend tomorrow.
Big Spender: You ARE!?
Me: Yeah. I actually just painted my toes too, heh heh…
Big Spender:
Me: Um.. yeah. So. Eerm…
Big Spender: So I was wondering… how much money would I have to pay you to have you let me see your feet?
Me: Haha! … What.
Big Spender: How much would it cost to let me see your feet?

At this point, Don and Pete are laughing so hard I can’t really tell if Big Spender is being serious or not. This could all be a joke, this could be them setting me up, trying to play a joke on me. I feel, for a second, that Ashton Kutcher and the film crew are going to come sprinting out from behind the bar saying “GOTCHA!”

Me: Are you serious?
Big Spender: (Completely serious face) I’m serious.
Pete: He’s actually not lying. It’s been a joke for years that he has this thing with feet.
Me: But… why? Feet are so weird!
Big Spender: I don’t know! It’s just the way God made them, I guess. I just LOVE feet.
Me: Okay…
Big Spender: So how much?
Me: How much is it to see my foot?
Big Spender: Yeah.
Me: Just to see it?
Big Spender: Yeah. Would 40 bucks do?

Now, at this point, I was positively thrilled because I probably would have shown him my foot for five dollars, lesbihonest. But he offered me FORTY dollars. I couldn’t even handle it.

Me: You’re telling me you’re going to pay me forty dollars just to SHOW you my foot?
Big Spender: Yep. See? Here’s the money right here.
(He shows me two twenties, and I suddenly feel like I’m involved in a drug deal… but the drug is the promise of a foot sighting.)
Big Spender: I’ll even pay you right now so you know I’m serious.
Me: You’re really not joking about any of this, are you?
Big Spender: Not at all.
Me: (Already knowing I’m going to show this man my foot.) Okay, well, I have a few other tables to check on. Let me go check on them and I’ll come back, okay?

I check on my other tables, all the while a little voice in my head is saying, “Are you seriously going to let this man pay you to see your foot?” As I’m heading back to the kitchen to drop off some dirty dishes, I run into Don who is coming out of the bathroom. He blunders over to me and throws his arm around my shoulders.

Don: Lishten. Cawolin, lishten.
Me: Woah Don!
Don: If he ashks to tuhch yah faht, ashk to dubble aht.
Me: Double it?
Don: Dubble tha prysh. Ashk fa eighty.
Me: Eighty dollars to touch my foot?
Don: HAHA! Yah!!

I disentangled myself from Don’s clutches and continued on my way to the kitchen, laughing at him like he was crazy. Would Big Spender actually ask to touch my foot? What the heck? If he did, would I have the guts to double the price? Was I actually sitting here, contemplating bartering the price of my friggin’ foot with a patron of my place of employment?

I returned to their table, and Big Spender did indeed ask about the price to touch my foot. Let me reiterate this again: A man that I was serving asked me about the price of my FOOT. I laughed at him like he was crazy, but behind his back Don was waving like a moron mouthing: “DUBBLE AHT!” Just for kicks, I said, “Well, if you wanted to touch my foot I would have to double the price.”

Big Spender: Eighty dollars to touch your foot? Done.
Me: WHAT!? You cannot be serious!
Big Spender: Absolutely serious.
Me: You haven’t even SEEN my foot yet! What if you think it’s gross?
Big Spender: I seriously doubt your foot is gross. So do we have a deal?
Me: (Pretending to be considering this) Uh… look, this is crazy! Haha, I gotta check on my other tables again. I’ll be back, okay?
Big Spender: Okay! I’m serious. Eighty big ones.

I walked away from them, and inside a moral battle was raging. One side of me was screaming “NO! THIS CREEP WITH A FETISH WANTS TO ACTUALLY TOUCH YOUR FOOT FOR MONEY!” The other side of me was saying, “I like money. All of the money.”

Do I seriously let this man pay me eighty dollars to TOUCH my foot? Is this gross? Yes. Is this weird? Yes. Am I a horrible person for even considering this? Probably, yes. How many other people would actually even consider this? No idea. Does this qualify as prostitution? Debatable. Will I be a foot prostitute if I go through with this? Also debatable.

Good Carolyn: I don’t want to be a foot prostitute!
Bad Carolyn: It’s not prostitution! He’s just looking at your FOOT. If you were wearing sandals he’d look at it for free.
Good Carolyn: YEAH, but he’s asking to PAY to touch it. HE IS TRYING TO TOUCH MY FOOT.
Bad Carolyn: It’s not like he’s asking to suck on your toes.
Good Carolyn: EW!
Bad Carolyn: Do you want money to go to Miami?
Good Carolyn: Well, yes, but-
Bad Carolyn: And if you DON’T do this, how much will you have made tonight?
Good Carolyn: … Probably less than 50 bucks.
Bad Carolyn: Exactly. Woo! Fifty dollars, awesome sauce. Now get over there and bear your foot to that man!
Good Carolyn: But… I have on this thigh-high sock! This brand new, black, sock-
Good Carolyn: Oh no- The BRAND NEW SOCK!
Bad Carolyn: You get your butt to the bathroom and clean off your foot NOW!
Good Carolyn: Right away!!!!

You KNOW I rushed my kilted tush to the bathroom, locked myself in a stall, and removed that thigh-high sock faster than you could say “foot whore.” At this point, I wasn’t sure if I was going to let Big Spender touch it, but I knew for forty bucks I’d at least let him see it. And I wouldn’t be caught DEAD with black lint all up over my foot.

Holy. Brand new. Sock lint. I could have probably filled up half of a shot glass with all of the black fibers I removed from my toes, toe nails, and heels. If Big Spender could see me now… As soon as I decided my foot was clean enough to view, I gently, carefully put the sock back on my foot. As I washed my hands in the sink, I looked at myself in the mirror. I saw two green eyes staring back at me, two eyes that seemed to be urging me forward and judging me all at once. It was now, or never.

I left the bathroom and approached the three of them.

Me: Alright.
Big Spender: Alright?
Me: (complete, no-nonsense attitude) Alright, for eighty dollars you can see… and touch… my foot.
MALE HUMANS: (Collective explosion of laughter and general celebration.)
Me: But listen! You can’t be gross about this. You can see it, you can hold it in your hand. THAT’S IT. No rubbing, no caressing. See the foot, touch it, and it goes back in my sock and into my boot. And if I tell you to stop, you stop. Got that?
Big Spender: (Laughing) Aw man, you’re such a good sport. You’re a sweetheart. Alright.

I leaned against a near-by bar stool. As I did all of this, it was like I was watching myself do it. I watched myself take off my combat boot and step out of my sock. I watched myself reveal my (what I consider to be a positively disgusting) foot to Big Spender. I watched myself watch Big Spender examine my foot. There was a moment of heightened silence… for a split second, I was mortified. Not because I was showing this man my foot… but because for a moment, I was afraid he would find my foot to be as disgusting and repulsive as I thought my own foot was… The four of us hovered in that heightened silence for what seemed to be an eternity. Pete covered his mouth to hide his smile. Don drank a sip of beer and looked expectantly at Big Spender. Big Spender gazed at my foot. I stood perfectly still. Finally, someone spoke.

Big Spender: Wow.
Me: …Wow?
Big Spender: You have AMAZING feet.

At this point, Big Spender reached down… and touched my foot. The second his hand came in contact with my foot skin, I thought, “It is finished.” He held my foot in his hand, gently, like he was holding something delicate. Like a baby hummingbird or something. And then, he looked up into my eyes and smiled. And yes, it was sort of creepy. But it was also fascinating, and kind of cute (?) in a weird, what-the-hell-is-happening-to-me-right-now-is-this-real-life sort of way. “Cute” really isn’t the right word… Actually it’s a terrible word, but I don’t know what other word would describe it. To be honest, I didn’t feel grossed out, or threatened, or violated. I just felt indifferent. And I wanted my money.

I removed my foot from his hand and laughed the whole thing off. Don and Pete cheered and hugged me, and all three of them told me how hilarious and easy-going I was. They kept saying “You’re such a good sport!” And then, the moment I had been waiting for happened. Big Spender got out his wallet.

Big Spender: You’re such a good sport! Seriously, you’re great! Here! (He started flipping through his stack of 20 dollar bills) Twenty, fourty, sixty, eighty, one hundred. Here you go. You were awesome. I’d like to give you more, but that’s all the cash I have.
Me: Are you serious!?
Big Spender: Absolutely. You were hysterical and you’ve made our entire trip.
Me: You just gave me one hundred dollars cash because I let you touch my foot.
Big Spender: Yep!
Me: You understand that my friends are NEVER going to let me live this down? Like… ever.
Big Spender: Haha! That’s great!
Me: No, I don’t think you understand. When my grandchildren ask me to tell them a story about when I was younger, I am going to tell them about this night.
Me: I’m not joking.

And that is how it happened. That is how I let a man pay me one hundred dollars to see and touch my foot. After this happened, I ran to the bathroom and took this picture. I sent it to my sister immediately.

The caption read, “It is finished.”


Oh, and I was right about the other thing- about the whole “My friends will never let me live this down” thing. The entire weekend in Miami, my sister would finish anything I said with, “Your opinion doesn’t matter anymore, you sold your foot to a man,” or, “You’re a footstitute.” We would also chant, “Shake, shake, shake yo money-maker!” and I would shake my left foot around and smack it while biting my lower lip.

Now that it’s all said and done, I don’t know if I should feel an immense sense of accomplishment, or an overwhelming feeling of shame. Maybe a little bit of both is healthy. The good news is, I haven’t spent any of the money yet! I’m saving it for something. For what? I don’t know… I kind of just want to frame the five twenty-dollar bills as a memento. But lets be honest- that probably won’t happen.

An Evening With The Muggles: Leaving Hogsmeade With A Bang.

14 Jun



After working at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a solid seven months and making a generous $8.00 an hour, I decided that it was probably better for my lifestyle to find a different job. And so, with a heavy heart and a hidden wand, I expelled myself from Hogwarts. I now work at a restaurant called “The Pub.” More updates on that to come.

I was cleaning out my disgusting old gold purse today, and I came across all of my old snippets of receipt paper with various scribbles on them. These are the gems that brought the magic of the muggles from the wizarding world to the magical realm of my blog and facebook pages. I thought at first I would write a huge blog post, showcasing each one separately, and elaborating on the stories they represent. But I think instead I’ll just type them out here exactly how they appear on the receipt paper. Keep in mind I also used the little slips of paper to brainstorm for stories or future blog posts, and general note-taking. Enjoy.


“Oscar! Phoebe! Linus!” -Mother calling to her young.

“They’ve got straight wands… curvy wands… wands with big butts…” -40-year-old Father to his 4-year-old son.

“How much” owl boy
What is that? (Pointing to post card)
—It’s a post card.

(Reverse Side)
Why I love Barnes & Noble
The Merchandise Woes
How it feels to see your ex happy
Dear Vicky Ross (Woman who bought 2 post cards and had them sent to the front of the park.)
Why Spyro The Dragon was the best game ever
How I’d like to see Geoffery Baratheon killed
The Post Card Games
How I feel about people who ask “How much is this?”
OMG little black boy who keeps molesting the owls JUST. STOP.
Top 5 Ways to be Trapped
1. In a shark cage
2. In a porta potty in June
3. Being held down by a guy dressed as a piece of corn.
4. In an elevator with your dad’s new girlfriend, who is your age.
5. In the back seat of a clown car being driven by (insert certain co-worker’s name.)
This next list is a list of sayings I saw on people’s actual shirts. It was part of a weekly game I liked to call “They Actually Chose To Wear This Today.”

  • How can I think outside the box when they won’t even let me out of it?
  • Lary Legend (Bird is the WORD!)
  • Pinch me, I dare you. (T-Rex pictured.)
  • Bite This (Flat Iron w/ Nike swish)
  • Party Animals (Pictured were a bear, a giraffe, a penguin w/ sunclasses, and a toad grilling hamburgers)
  • I Do It For The $ (Pictured was Han Solo.)


  • Beware of Doom (Pictured was Invader Zim.)
  • College 96 (Worn by a 7 year old.)
  • We are young, wild, free. Leprechaun Class of ’14.
  • Hooters (Worn by an 8 year old.)
  • Keep dreaming… Even if it BREAKS your HEART.
  • I’m just one big fricken ray of sunshine, aren’t I? Worn by a middle aged man with a beer belly and a beard that rivaled Santa’s.

And, my personal favorite:

  • Sectional… And we know it.

Then, this was scribbled at the bottom of that list:

“What is Harry’s owl named?”
“OH YEAH that’s right, now I remember.”

Girl: I’m a SLYTHERIN.
Me: I know! I can see that. Who is your favorite Slytherin?
Girl: PROBABLY Professor SNAKE.
Me: Yes- Professor Snape is a great man.
Girl: Didya know that he DATED Harry’s MOM?
Me: … I, did.
Girl: Well, he LIKED her. That’s why he can talk to snakes!
Me: Who, Snape?
Girl: NO!!! Harry.
Girl: Well, ALL Slytherins can.
(Girl exits.)

Co-Worker Mike: (Bouncing, literally BOUNCING, with a $250 dollar collectible broom wedged between his legs) Is the stamper station pulled in from outside yet???
Me: Yes.
(Mike exits, still bouncing on the broom, leaving behind a very quiet and empty Owl Post, save for me and Attractive Father.)
Attractive Father: (Looks at me, looks down at sleeping baby, looks back up at me, very confused.)
Me: This is my life.

“Professor Dumb… Dumb….Dumble… Dumbledorf.”
“Mom, can I get the snitch?”
“The who?”
“OH LOOK! Are these DRAGONS!?!?!?!” (While holding up a pack of dragons.)
Rant about “We thought that EVERY KID got chosen!”
(Holding up a Tri-Wizard Cup) “No no, the cup has pointy edges, we can’t get that for- IT LIGHTS UP!!!!” (slams it on the counter to pay for it.)
Forces Dad into a student robe, 3 feet too short. Didn’t even take a picture.
Hotel card fiasco.
Me: No using magic in front of muggles!
4 Year Old: Can we practice in the car?

Arianna (Age 5): Mom, can I hahv Hermione’s wand?
Mom: You already HAHV Hermione’s wand, love.
Arianna: (Considers this.) Can I hahv Ronald’s wand, mummy?

“Wouldn’t it be cool to get me one of these here robes?”

“The first thing I would do, I’d take my wand up to the cat and be like BAM you’re a dog, and then I’d take it up to the dog and be like BAM you’re a CAT! HAHAHA!!!!” -14 year old girl. Unacceptable.

“Is this the castle?”

“Don’t you think these robes are a bit much? Like, a bit too much money?” – 7 year old girl.

Bryan: Carolyn, tonight at Grad Bash, when you feel like killing someone-
Me: -Or myself-
Bryan: Yes, or yourself, please refrain.
Me: But Bryan… how?
Bryan: You know Carolyn, I really don’t have an answer for that. Especially when there are kids walking around wearing You Only Live Once t-shirts.

M: Is this the exit for Harry Potter?
Me: Harry Potter… what?
M: The Harry Potter…
Wife: The dragons.
Me: The Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster?
M: Yes, the Harry Potter ride.
Wife: (Entering store) The exit is in here.
Me: Oh, the exit for the Dragon Challenge is actually up the hill a bit.
(They both enter the store.)

Son: I’m gonna ROCK out with my WAND out!
Mom: That… that is so wrong, on so many levels.

Natasha: Can I help you?
Person: Do you sell invisibility cloaks?
N: Why YES. They’re right here! (Points to nothing.)
N: Actually the muggles have come up with something a bit similar.
P: The what?
N: The muggles. I hear they can be quite smart. Apparently it’s called “Camo” and they sell it at Bass Pro Shops.

Monologue of Kid to Dad
Dad, look. I’m exhausted. You ask “what’s wrong?” like you have no ******* clue. Allow me to illuminate you. Change my diaper. Feed me. Let me pass out. It’s not that hard.

Three Asian guests approach me.
Them: So… if we, want to send…? A post card?
Me: Yeah.
Them: Do you send it or do we?
Me: I… you, can send them. Around the corner to the right.
Them: Where?
Me: Around the corner to the right, there is a witch standing at a podium, you’ll mail it from there.
Them: Which corner?
Me: This corner. Go around the little windows.
Them: And they post it?
Me: They can give you the decorative Hogsmeade post mark, for free.
Them: But that’s enough, to send… to China?
Me: No, as I said that is strictly decorative. You’ll need 3 stamps to send to china. We sell them in packs of ten.
Them: So… 3, to China?
Me: Yes. 3 stamps per card.
Them: Okay, we’ll take 3 of them.
Me: No. As I said, we only sell them in packs. Of ten. Do you want to buy a pack of ten?
Them: (Silence, as they turn the pack over and stare at the price tag.) How much?
Me: It should say on the price tag.
Them: So, how much… for three?
Me: For a PACK of TEN it is 14.95.
Them: Oh. Okay. So I want to.. send the card. To China.
Me: …Okay.
Them: (Blank stare)
Me: (Blank stare)
Them: I’ll just buy the card and get the stamp over there at the podium.
Me: So, you’re not going to put it in the mail to China?
Them: Yes. I am.
Me: Okay.
(Ten minutes later.)
Them: (Incredibly cheesy smile) We need stamps!
Me: You DOOOO???
Them: Yes! 3 stamps please, for China.
Me: (Picking up pack) Okay. That will be 14.95 for the three stamps.
Me: TEN. No three. If you want single stamps, you’ll have to go to the front of the park to the Trading Company. We sell single stamps there. But they aren’t Harry Potter.
Them: HARRY POTTER!?!?!?!
Me: Yes. Harry Potter.
Them: (Cheesy smile.)
Me: That will be 14.95.

New Jersey Man: Why can’t you just, ya know, wave that little stick around and make some magic happen?
Me: Muggle hours.

Man: (Holding up a tiny leather suitcase) Is this a map?
Me: No, actually. If you open it up it reveals letters and envelopes! (Opening the suitcase to show him the stationary set.)
Man: (Closes the suitcase and holds it. Studies it.) So… it’s not a map…?

Muggle: Wait! Let’s video it! (“It” referring to them paying for the wand.)
Natalie: (Looks at their phone) Is that one of those little magic muggle boxes?
Me: I hear that they can send each other messages with those little things!
Natalie: Really? How does that work? Are there tiny little invisible owls?
Muggle: (Giggling) Well, there’s an app for that.
Me: What is an app?
Muggle: A, spell. For it.
Me: You have spells for the muggle box?!
Natalie: Oh wow, this is so cool.
Me: This is almost as fascinating as the day they explained how a toaster works.

British child on a monkey leash: THOMAS AND FRIENDSSS!!!
British Dad: No, sweetie, this is Harry Potter Land.
British Brother: We’re BROFERS!
Me: You are?
British Brother: (Holds up the Harry Potter wand he just got) NOW I have the powah of HARRY POTTAAA!Me: Are you going to fight bad guys?
British Brother: YEAH!
British child on a monkey leash: (Indistinguishable screaming babble with a British accent.)

Are these real wands?
Do they light up?
I’m not magical!
Well, I’m only 6.
So… what you’re saying is… when I’m 11… I can come back here and get a wand and practice magic?
Well. Now I’m scared.
Because these wands are REAL and they do magic!

Literal butterbeer sip out of boyfriend’s tongue… I. CAN. NOT.

“Higrid- no, I mean Hogreed, has the book as a pet, and then he gives it to Harry.”
False, muggle. False.



Goodbye for now, magical world. I will never, EVER, forget what you taught me.





My Response to “Michael Roseberry” And His Facebook Invite to Play “Diamond Dash”

11 May

michael roseberry


Alright, Michael. Before this goes any further, I’m going to have to ask you a few questions.

1. Who the “Dash” are you, and why are you inviting me to play anything?

Michael, I am pretty 100% positively sure that we have never actually met in real life. I’m also pretty sure we’ve never actually even met online. So, I guess my first question is… Who are you? How do I “know” you? No, seriously… And, more importantly, why are you inviting me to play a game with you? Do you think that I would personally enjoy “Diamond Dash?” Upon playing your first round of “Diamond Dash,” were you suddenly stricken with the thought, “OH! You know who would just LOVE this game? That one girl I’ve never actually met, ever.” Did you think that after a few weeks of playful banter, I would be able to bring out the most competitive streaks within you, possibly resulting in the most intense round of “Diamond Dash” that this side of the Mississippi has ever seen? Because I have news for you, Mr. Roseberry. I have no intention of playing “Diamond Dash,” or any other soul-consuming, time-digesting, motivation-mangling Facebook game. Ever. I apologize for any inconvenience this may bring you.

2. Are we even friends?

Michael, just hear me out on this one, okay? I don’t EVER remember accepting your friend request, Michael. I really don’t. I’m sorry if I don’t, and I’m sorry if you were counting on me to accept your invitation to play “Diamond Dash.” I’m sorry if my declined invitation meant that you didn’t get a high score for new recruits or something. That must really suck. Especially if “Diamond Dash” gives a portion of some vague money source to a charitable cause for every new recruit that they get within a certain amount of time. I’d hate it if my declined invite meant that somewhere, a puppy didn’t have a blanket or some shit like that. That would really suck.

3. What the hell is “Diamond Dash?”

There are really only three options in my mind:

Option Number One: You are one of the Seven Dwarfs, determined to DASH into the DIAMOND mine and get out more diamonds than the other six dwarfs. Whilst doing this, you are armed with a pic axe that you can use to DASH the other dwarfs’ little brains out. To this, I would ask: Why would you think I would enjoy a virtual game that requires so much virtual labor?

Option Number Two: You are a poorly animated DIAMOND who is training for a 5K. The DIAMONDS then DASH to the finish line, and the first DIAMOND to get across the finish line then becomes the shiniest of all DIAMONDS and basks in eternal luminescent glory. To which I would respond: Why am I an animated diamond running a marathon, and why are you, Michael Roseberry, inviting me to become an animated diamond who trains to run marathons?

Option Number Three: You tell 50 recently engaged women that the ring of their dreams is available to them… But there is only one ring. One ring… to rule them all. Now, ALL OF THE FIANCES MUST DASH TO GET THE DIAMOND!!! To which I would respond by saying… Michael? I’m not engaged. I do not have my husband. (If this concept confuses you, I urge you to read my previous post, “Another Husband-less Trip To Barnes & Noble.” It may help clear some things up.)

In conclusion, Michael Roseberry, I feel like you’re just taking things way too fast. Call me old fashioned, but maybe we should just slow this down a bit. You know? I don’t think we’re at a point to where you can just send me invitations to play games with you, and have them pop up in intimate little notifications on my phone’s home screen out of no where. Talk about feeling used. You could at least buy me dinner first. Or, you know, like… Friend request me.

The 7 Most Frequently Asked Wizarding World Questions, And Their Answers, Respectively.

7 May

1.) What is the line outside of Olivander’s for?

Answer: The line outside of Olivander’s wand shop is for the Olivander’s Wand Experience. It’s a constant live demonstration, showing how a wand can choose a wizard. 20 to 30 people get pulled into the room, and one person of those is chosen to experience what it’s like to have their first wand choose them. It’s a very special room, being the only Ministry-approved room where real magic is allowed to happen in all of Hogsmeade!

Answer I’d Like To Give: The line outside of Olivander’s is for Ihop. Wizards love pancakes.

2.) Where is the castle?

Answer:  (Points to Hogwarts.) That is the castle.

Answer I’d Like To Give: The castle is actually lost right now. Oh, yes. A very unfortunate accident involving a very large shipment of invisibility cloaks. Ministry personnel are currently on the search. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Can I offer you a key chain?

3.) Where is the closest bathroom?

Answer: Right down the path to your right, under the hanging cauldron.

Answer I’d Like To Give: (Points to trees.)

4.) Where is the exit for the Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster?

Answer: The exit is directly up this path. There, you will find a shaded seating area where you can wait for your party.

Answer I’d Like To Give: There is no exit. That is why it’s called the Dragon CHALLENGE. You didn’t want to see your family again anyway, did you?

5.) Do you guys have anything Dobby-related, other than this pin?

Answer: Unfortunately not, I’m so sorry! Everyone always asks that. Dobby’s one of my favorites, too! It’s so sad that we don’t have more merchandise featuring him.

Answer I’d Like To Give: I have an iron at my house, which is an item that I believe Dobby once used to punish himself for disobeying his masters. I don’t use it to punish myself. Much… Just when my boyfriend comes over. (Rubs backside.) Also, I’m wearing socks. Can I help you find anything else?

5.) Where are the Ravenclaw Journals?

Answer: We actually don’t make Ravenclaw journals, which is very silly, considering Ravenclaws are the most studious of the houses! I’m very sorry for the inconvenience.

Answer I’d Like To Give: The Ravenclaw journals are with the Dobby For President T-Shirts, right next to the stuffed animal Dobby’s, and the Dobby Sock Freedom Four Pack. That’s all actually located under the statue of Dobby, inside of the Tribute To Dobby Museum of Dobby.

6.) How much are the wands?

Answer: Wands are 31.92. After Ministry tax, that amounts to an even 34.00 dollars.

Answer I’d Like To Give: The wands are free to anyone who can perform a Patronus Charm. Any charm, for that matter. Do it. I dare you.

7.) (Points up) …Harry Potter?

Answer: I’m sorry? I’m not quite sure what you’re asking.

Answer I’d Like To Give: You know what? No. Just, no. Not today, not now, not ever. People like you make me want to dress up like an owl and hang myself from the rafters of the Owl Post. I don’t even know what you’re asking. I just… I really… Just… GTFO.