Tag Archives: humor

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.

Sid-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!
Sid:
Over-Worked Father: HEY!
Sid:
Over-Worked Father: (gestures) SID!
Sid: (Looks up only because Over-Worked Father waved his arms)
Over-Worked Father: SID WHAT ARE YOU USING THE HEADPHONES FOR!?
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.
Satan: FINE! Well I’M JUST GOING TO WATCH YOUTUBE AND YOU ARE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT!!!!!!!
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.
Me: MAYBE A KIDDIE COCKTAIL!!!
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.
Satan: NO IT ISN’T. A POTATO IS NOT A VEGETABLE.
Over-Worked Father: Yes. It is.
Satan: NO. It ISN’T.
Enabling Mother: It’s a starch.
Satan: SEE DAD? SEE DAD I TOLD YOU A POTATO IS NOT A VEGETABLE.
(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.
SID: YUUUUUUMMMMMMM!!!!!
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: OH MY GOSH CAITLYN AND CAROLYN ARE HERE!
Senior In High School: WOW! WE HAVEN’T SEEN YOU GUYS IN MONTHS!
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!
Angry Me: A LITTLE LATE FOR THAT YOU MANGY BEAST!

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.

 

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.

Would You Rather… ?

1 Mar

Sometimes when I’m bored at work, I like to make up terrifying, disturbing, and/or thoughtful hypothetical scenarios in my mind and ponder which I would rather experience. These are some of the most recent:

Would you rather be life-affectingly afraid of electrical appliances, or be allergic to paper?

Would you rather have hair as long as your arms, or arms as long as your hair?

Would you rather live in today’s time with dinosaurs and no memory of your current life, or live in the dinosaur’s time with today’s memories? (Yeah… I know.)

Would you rather drench yourself in Manwhich meat sauce and battle a pack of ravenous police dogs naked in the middle of times square, or live three months with a baby arm?

Would you rather eat with your feet for the rest of your life, or walk on your hands for the rest of your life?

Would you rather be a muggle in a world where real wizards exist, or live in a magic-free world where Harry Potter was never written? (This literally keeps me up at night.)

Would you rather lose your sense of smell and work at a flower shop, or lose your sense of touch and work at a place with a lot of bubble wrap?

Would you rather be a pirate, or date a pirate?

Would you rather become rich and famous because of something you never actually did, or do something absolutely amazing and have no one ever know about it?

Would you rather have to wear socks forever, or cry tears of pepperoni?

Would you rather run a marathon in a gorilla suit, or be sexually attracted to scissors?

Would you rather be able to see in complete darkness, or breathe underwater?

Would you rather receive a text message every single time someone in this world thinks about you, or never receive text messages from the ones you love ever again?

Would you rather go on a three year tour with Dora the Explorer LIVE! and get your equity card, or be an interactive piece of scenery on Broadway for literally no pay?

Would you rather meet the love of your life and never be able to have children, or marry someone who isn’t completely perfect for you and have kids with them?

Would you rather have your favorite celebrity/mentor/ idol treat you terribly in real life, resulting in you realizing that every good thing you ever thought about them was a lie, or get a paper cut between your toes every day until next Tuesday?

Would you rather be blindfolded while race car driving, or fly an airplane without any prior experience?

Would you rather go on a date with Andrew Garfield, or be force-fed 37 pancakes by Tina Fey? (I KNOW…)

Would you rather have Taylor Swift stuck in your head for six hours, or not eat for twelve hours? (I. KNOOOWWW!!!!)

Feel free to answer any of these questions below.

 

 

 

TurboTax: Created by Baboons, for Baboons.

16 Feb

The longer I am out of college, the more time I’m having to realize that I’m kind of an adult. Like seriously becoming someone who supports themselves financially and makes all of their own decisions. And with this title comes new responsibility.

Now don’t get me wrong. When you’re a kid, you have responsibilities, too. You have to do your chores. You have to feed the cat. You have to get an A+ on your 6th grade spelling test because if you don’t, your mom won’t get you a Furby for Easter. You hear your parents say things like, “Have you SEEN gas prices!?” and “Welp, gotta file my taxes! I wonder if my W2 is in the mail yet…” But you don’t really process any of these statements.

Perhaps, as a child, I thought a W2 was the name of R2D2’s dearest droid friend or something. Now that I am… AN ADULT! (Dun dun DUN!!! cue: lightening and thunder) I’ve realized that I have new responsibilities, and a W2 isn’t the adorable droid friend of R2D2. A W2 is basically the scariest piece of paper in the world.

I mean has anyone ever SEEN any more boxes, numbers, letters, or combinations of the three on one sheet of paper before?!? Not only is it intimidating, but like… this is MY MONEY. The stuff I work hard for all year. If I mess up, accidentally type some wrong number into my TurboTax thing, that could mess up my entire tax return! I WANT MY MONEY, Y’ALL!

So I log on to TurboTax feeling slightly intimidated. I mean other than voting for our president, or paying tolls, I don’t usually have any direct contact with the government, you know? Talk about super duper adult stuff.

So. I have all of my W2’s laying on the table, in neat little organized sections, and I log in.

Me: Okay TurboTax… let’s see what you got!
TurboTax: Welcome to TurboTax! Don’t worry… we make this really easy!
Me: (Thinking) Okay, cool.
TurboTax: First, we have to ask you some personal information!
Me: Okay. Obviously, I understand that.
TurboTax: What is your FIRST name? (Shows a box where you type in your first name with a caption that reads: Type your FIRST name here.)
(I type my first name, and click NEXT.)
TurboTax: GREAT!
Me: (Beaming to myself.) Maybe this won’t be as scary as I think it will be!
TurboTax: OKAY! Next question. What is your LAST name!? (Shows a box where you type in your last name with a caption that reads: Type your LAST name here.)
(I type in my last name, and click NEXT.)
TurboTax: NICE JOB!

TurboTax sure was doing a good job of making me feel awesome. While I did appreciate the constant flow of reassurance, the further along I went with the whole process, the more I started to feel like the programers of TurboTax had programed it for baboons. And not just any baboons. Baboons who had been the test subjects of a mind-altering drug whose side effects make you lose all common sense or reason.

TurboTax: Okay. Are you ready for this next question? Where… do you live? (Shows a box to fill in with your current state.)
Me: (Selects “FLORIDA”)
TurboTax: YES!!! MAN YOU ARE GOOD!!!
Me:
TurboTax: Next, we need your social security number. It is taxes, after all!
Me: (Types in my social security number, clicks NEXT.)
TurboTax: HOLY COW THAT WAS SO AWESOME OF YOU! YOU MEMORIZED ALL OF THOSE NUMBERS?!?!? WOW!!!! HOW LONG DID THAT TAKE YOU???
Me:
TurboTax: Okay! Do you have your W2? Let’s start filling that out!
Me: (picks up the first w2 that I want to file.)
TurboTax: What is the IDENTIFICATION NUMBER of your EMPLOYER? (This is the number that identifies who employed you!)
Me: Yeah… I get that. (I locate the number on the form, and type it into the little box. I press NEXT.)
TurboTax: YOU ARE DOING SUCH AN AMAZING JOB AT THIS TAX FILING SHIT.
Me:
TurboTax: Okay next question. Fill out the corresponding boxes below. If nothing, leave blank.

(I look down and see empty spaces for boxes 1-20.)

BOX 1: Hey girl! I’m the box for your WAGES. Type your WAGES in me! Do you UNDERSTAND!? WAGES GIRL! WAGES!!!!!
Me: (I locate Box 1 on my W2, and type in my wages.)
BOX 1: OH SHOOT GIRL!!!! SOMEBODY GET THIS GIRL A TROPHY!
BOX 2: Wassup!!?!?! I’m the box for FEDERAL INCOME TAX WITHHELD! This is like, all of your money the government has already taken out of your paycheck, chick. YA FEEL ME!?
Me: (I type in the Federal Income Tax Withheld.)
BOX 2: Are you a descendant from Einstein? No, but seriously…. Either that… or BABE RUTH. Because you are honestly just KNOCKING THIS OUT OF THE BALL PARK!!!! WOOO!!!! WAY TO GO CAR-O-LYN!!!!

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. It just felt like I was sooo apprehensive and intimidated about my taxes, and then I finally just went onto TurboTax… and it was a program actually designed for baby crackheads. Which, you know what? Works for me and my life style. That’s okay. As long as I get my money back from The Man, that is just peachy.

A Conversation With My Sister.

16 Feb

Caitlyn: Why don’t you audition for Star Wars Weekends with me? You could stand next to me so they could see our similarities.
Me: Yeah… I mean why not? It’s not like I’d have anything to lose.
Caitlyn: Exactly.
Me: But I couldn’t be Slave Leia.
Caitlyn: Probs not. They’d be like “Well… here’s the bikini from last year. Why don’t you try this on.”
Me: And I’d be all, “And here’s my cellulite from THIS year!” (Big cheesy smile and thumbs-up sign while sticking butt out)
Caitlyn: (Laughter)
Me: No seriously, who else could I possibly play, besides Jabba?
Caitlyn: Um.. Maybe you could be Zam Wesell.
Me: Who in the world is “Zam Wesell?”
Caitlyn: The bounty hunter! She’s the one who wears the sexy purple body suit, remember? She’d also wears that cloth thing that basically covers her entire face…
Me:
Caitlyn:
Me:
Caitlyn:
BOTH: BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!
Me: Can you imagine!?
Caitlyn: Hey! At least it would cover your nose!
Me: (Imitating the audition) “Mm, yes, Caitlyn looking good as always… and… Oh? We see you brought your… sister. Carolyn, is it? Okay, Carolyn if you could… just… Yeah, take your hand… that’s right. Take your hand and just… (Puts hand over bottom half of face.) Right, yes… and now, with the other one…? (Takes the other hand and covers forehead so now all that is showing are my eyes.) Yes… hm… Steph, could we work with that?”
Caitlyn: Oh stop! She’s really sexy, she wears purple!
Me: And her entire face is covered! It’ll cover the Crow Nose!
Caitlyn: HAHAHAHA!!!
Me: Caitlyn if I didn’t get considered for something that covers my entire face I think… I think I’d probably just jump off  our balcony.

Annnnnnd for those of you who don’t know Star Wars, here is a picture of Zam Wesell. The girl I’d want (?) to play:

misc_zam8

And, here is a picture of the character I would most likely play:

Jabba_SWSB

 

105_2294Maybe I’ll just use this picture as my headshot for the audition.

Fantastic Muggles and Where To Find Them

31 Jan

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my witch friend who will now forever be known as “Jade.” Jade, who is a real witch, tells me stories about her days working in Hogsmeade Village. Sometimes I can’t believe what she tells me, but that’s probably because I’m a just a silly muggle…. But that’s just it! Sometimes, I can’t believe the stories she tells me about my fellow muggles! For example…

A few weeks ago, Jade was dealing with the general confusion of dimes, nickles, and dollars (what she calls “the muggle currency”) while working the cash register. She noticed a young boy approaching with a wand. He timidly placed the open wand box on the counter while his elderly father patted him on the back proudly. Feeling a sense of pride for all parties involved, Jade spoke.

Jade: And is this your very first wand, young man?
Young Boy: (Grabbing the wand out of the box very suddenly, and pointing it directly between Jade’s eyes.) AVADA KEDAVRA!!!!!!

Now. For those of you who are not familiar with the literature of Jade’s history, this is the most unforgivable of the three Unforgivable Curses, as it is the “Killing Curse.”

Jade simply did not know what to do. She looked down at the boy, then up to the father, who was standing there looking positively pleased with himself and his murderer son.

Jade: (Face still rather shocked and blank.) Oh… my. You must be a Slytherin.
Young Boy: CRUCIO! AVADA KEDAVRA!!!!

Now, for those of you who don’t know, “Crucio” is another Unforgivable Curse. While it will not kill the attacker’s opponent, it will, however, cause pain so severe that the victim will eventually become mentally incapable of normal interaction with other human beings. So, essentially, this young boy was now attempting to torture Jade into insanity before finishing the job.

Jade: (Becoming very serious, leaning down to get on his level) Do you know what spell that is?
Young Boy: Yeah! VOLDEMORT uses it!
Jade: …Yes. Voldemort, the most evil dark wizard in all of history, even above Grindlewald, used that curse constantly. And do you know why?
Young Boy: (I-just-pooped-a-little-bit-and-don’t-understand-why-any-of-this-is-happening-to-me expression.)
Jade: Because that’s the killing curse. That is the spell used to kill people. (Jade looks expectantly at his muggle father, who is now sadly staring off into space while absentmindedly flicking his credit card between his fingers.)
Young Boy: (Giggling) YEAH! (Points wand at the back of a Mexican child across the room.) AVADA KEDAVRA! Ha ha ha ha! (Young Boy runs off waving the wand like a sword and making light saber sounds effects.)
Jade:
Father:
Jade:
Father:
Jade: Well… your total comes to 34 dollars even.
Father: (Handing over his credit card, defeated.) Here… just, take it.

Jade then proceeded to tell me about a very large muggle man who wanted to purchase his first wand. He entered the shop with his bulging chest puffed out like a randy pigeon, his rebel flag hat worn backwards and his cut-off T-shirt sticking gloriously to underside his beer belly. He was holding a beer. Not a butterbeer, mind you. Just like, a regular beer. He waddled up to the wand wall, scratched his silver-grey stubble, and stared confusedly at the wall of many different colored boxes. Jade, thinking she would be helpful, asked the man if he had any questions.

Entitled Rebel: Well, the wand has to choose ME, don’t it?
Jade: (Very surprised, and mentally telling herself to never judge a book by its cover.) That’s right! Very good, sir. So, do any of these wands seem to speak to you?
Entitled Rebel: Well… maybe if you’d let me listen, maybe I could tell you.
Jade:
(Literal fifteen second pause where Entitled Rebel looks from wand box to wand box. His sweating mate and their antsy offspring are all looking at Entitled Rebel with the utmost respect, waiting on the edge of their metaphorical seats for any sign of communication. Then, quite suddenly-)

Entitled Rebel: (Pointing at the entire wall) THAT ONE.
Jade: (Guessing the general direction of his finger) …This one?
Entitled Rebel: No, down one. (Jade moves down one.) To the left. (She moves her finger one spot to the left.) To the left. (Once more, to the left.) YOUR OTHER LEFT. (…to the right?) Yes, to the left. (Once more to the right.) Keep going. Up one. Another one. THAT ONE. THAT ONE RIGHT THERE.

At this point, Jade pulls the small green box out of the masses. She knows, immediately, that this wand was surely not “speaking” to this large man. For this wand, the wand of Willow, is the smallest, lightest, wispiest wand available. It’s a top seller for little girls dressed as princesses ages 3 to 7.

Jade: (Opening the box cautiously) This! This is a wand… of Willow. Now, this wand is one of our shorter wands, a bit light-
Entitled Rebel: NO!
(Everyone in the room stops and stares.)
Entitled Rebel: No, no NO that is NOT the right wand. That is NOT speaking to me!
Jade: Okay! Okay, I’ll just put this one back, then-
Entitled Rebel: THAT ONE!
Jade: Wha-
Entitled Rebel: THAT ONE. That one over there. No, down. Down further. One more down. Yes. That one.
Jade: (Pulling out the wand, hoping, praying…) This! Oh, this is a very nice wand. One of our more natural models, it’s the wand of Elder, NOT to be confused with THE Elder Wand, however… (Opens the box to reveal a jagged looking wand with a skull on the handle.)

There was a moment of complete still silence. Sweating Mate and Antsy Offspring seemed to be holding their breath, waiting… wishing.. Entitled Rebel rubbed his hands along the body of the wand, and all seemed right… until-

Entitled Rebel: (Almost spilling his beer.) NO! NO THIS ISN’T IT!
Jade: Okay, okay, I’ll just put it back-
Entitled Rebel: (Voice lowering, becoming very still, and serious.) That one. Right there, I know that is the one.
Jade: (pulling the box from the wall) Oh, a very good choice. The Wand of Reed-
Entitled Rebel: (Grabs the box, doesn’t even look inside, and begins to walk away.) This is it.
Sweating Mate: That’s the one?
Entitled Rebel: Yep.
Sweating Mate: Well are you gunna look at it?
Entitled Rebel: C’mon.
(They all exit, never opening the box. While they exit-)
Jade: … Congratulations on the wand choosing you! (They don’t look back.) And, as always, have a magical day, here at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter…