Saturday, September 27, 2008

How I Met My Husband Part 2

It was November (or almost) when Abe said the guy from San Francisco, the one in the hideous Hawaiian shirt called him.

"He's going to Brazil in December and he's got a long layover in Miami. Called to ask me if Gabriella wanted him to take any Christmas gifts to her family for her. I said, ain't that thoughtful," Abe said.

"Did you ask him about me?"

"He was asking about you. He wanted to know if you had a boyfriend. I said I thought she was dating that lawyer. God damn is that guy an asshole, I said."

"NO!! I'm not dating him! I don't have a boyfriend!"

"Oh," said Abe, "I thought ya did."

"NO!! Tell him to come back!"

Abe was already planning his boat parade party, since at the time he lived in a three story, peach-icecream colored mansion on the main Intracoastal waterway, right along the parade route. He doesn't live there anymore.

"All right. I'll try to remember next time he calls. I told him call Gabriella closer to the date he'll be here and ask her again about the Christmas presents."

I was about ready to give up. I was also very busy. At the time I was busy with school and busy volunteering in both my school's garden and at a wildlife rescue facility where I cooked dinner for bunnies, squirrels, vultures and pelicans. One day I'll write about that experience.

Everyone was still bugging me to "GET OUT THERE." Finally after Thanksgiving I decided, what the hell, I'd go back on Jdate.

I ended up meeting a guy named Ethan who was profoundly good looking and liked Radiohead. We had long conversations where he told me all about his job as a graphic artist and finally we decided to get some thai food one night. I went out and bought a new shirt which I later was realized was extremely ugly and had quite a loud pattern. I don't know what I was thinking, except that it showed my boobs.

Ethan drove up in his mom's station wagon. I mean this literally. It had his mom's dirty travel mug with her work's logo on it, in the cup holder and her Celine Dion and Basia cds on the floor.

"I don't have a car," he said, "And since I'm living with my mom and all she says I can borrow her car on the weekends."

"So how do you get to work?"

"Oh, yeah. Umm, I don't work."

"You said you were a graphic artist."

"I used to be a graphic artist."

Readers, how many red flags can we count here? OK, so how many red flags did I count here? None. Because he was hot and liked Radiohead. No really, he was tall and had black hair and green eyes. So I decided to overlook the station wagon and the fact that he somehow convinced me that I had in fact asked him out and therefore was responsible for paying for the thai food. Yes, but he was hot. And wow the goodnight kiss. After that I almost asked him if he wanted me to take him out for some ice cream too and then maybe take him shopping for a new car. Shoot, I almost offered to give him MY car.

That same week I got myself heavily involved in planning a big Christmas party for a bunch of underprivileged children. There would be a Santa Claus, crafts, candy, games, caroling and a Christmas dinner. Then each child would get a real, wrapped present to open under a tree. I was beyond excited about the event and spent lots and lots of time wrapping and decorating and preparing for the party. Then Station Wagon called and asked for a second date and I decided that my life was finally complete.

For the second date he decided that we would have dinner and then drive around and look at Christmas lights. An hour after he was supposed to pick me up he called and said he was late because he was helping a friend move. I said that was fine and he said he'd still go out as long as he could take a shower at my house. I said that was fine too.

This was especially fine because I got to see him in nothing but a towel. To my surprise his whole back was covered in one big tattoo of a sunflower garden. I found this intriguing. It kind of made up for the station wagon and Basia cds and I began to call him Sunflower.

Sunflower couldn't decide where to go for dinner so we went to God damned Subway which I hate and I wouldn't eat anything (ughh the smell of Subway turns my stomach). Then we did actually drive around looking at Christmas lights, but we had nothing to talk about and he asked me if I wanted to get high and I declined. We had nothing to talk about so I invited him back to my room and we made out. I found him surprisingly gentleman-like and reserved in the making out department.

Then Sunflower tortured me by not calling for several days. Just when I thought I'd never hear from him again, he called. Then he did the same thing. Men, please understand that this is actually a form of torture. Don't do this to us.

One night I was driving around at night listening to Jeff Buckley and feeling the weight of the world. Sometimes I get really sad at Christmas and do this. I drove to the first house my parents ever owned together and looked at that. Then I drove to the house where Evil Ex grew up and I thought about how he was going to have Christmas with his wife and baby and I was going to have nothing. This was so unfair. Evil Ex lied and cheated and stole from me. He shouldn't be rewarded with everything I wanted while I had nothing but some idiot who drove his mom's car and wouldn't pay for my pad see ew. Maybe, I thought, maybe I would never have anyone. Maybe every Christmas I would be alone. Jeff Buckley was not helping, and a word to the wise here. When you're sad do not listen to Jeff Buckley. It only makes it worse.

Finally, the Christmas party for the kids came and was a huge success, which made me really happy, again proving my theory that when you're depressed doing something for someone else or something greater than yourself will make you feel a lot better. The Christmas party for the kids was the Wednesday before the boat parade. Each year the Christmas Boat Parade is two weekends before Christmas and always on a Saturday night. It's huge around here and everyone has big parties. It's really the event of the season for us.

When I got home from the kids' party, all tired and covered in frosting and sprinkles, Abe was hanging out with my parents.

"I got good news for you!" he said, "San Francisco's coming this weekend for the party!"

"He is?"

"Yeah, he'll be here Friday. He leaves Sunday and heads off to Brazil Monday. He's going to Brazil for a month."

"Really!!!!! He's really coming?" I asked. I was so excited.

Abe picked him up at the airport Friday night and brought him to Casa Azul. From there the plan was to go to a Christmas party that my parents' friends were having at a local restaurant. I decided to drive on my own for two reasons. If it sucked I could leave and if I wanted to be with SF alone we could go do something on our own. Because I knew I was going to want to be alone with him. Because he was my soulmate. I just knew it. And everything was going to work out and everything was going to be perfect.

The guy Abe showed up with was not the guy I remembered. He had been replaced with some kind of uber-dork doppelganger. As soon as I looked at him I knew I was in serious trouble and was about to be stuck for an entire weekend with some doofus guy that I would have no interest whatsoever in and who would certainly get on my nerves. San Francisco was not wearing a Hawaiian shirt this time, but he would have done better if he had. He was wearing a plaid shirt, tucked in, a brown belt, black shoes, white socks, strange black sneakers, ill fitting blue Dockers and the Buddy Holly glasses. All he needed was a pocket protector. I'm not kidding you. And his hair which had previously been kind of hipster tousled, was oddly parted on the side and slicked over with cowlicks preventing it from lying flat. His hairdo looked a bit like my uncle's (Bella's dad who is no bastion of style let me tell you). I was deeply troubled by this turn of events.

Once in my car alone with me, SF started rocking out to Jane's Addiction. I was embarassed for him.

"I love Mountain Song!" he said, "I used to listen to this when I went snowboarding."

For the life of me I couldn't imagine this dork snowboarding. Seriously, I thought snowboarders were cool.

Once we got to the restaurant I went in the bathroom and called Sunflower and begged him to be my date to the Boat Parade party the next night. This was my backup plan. This would also make the San Francisco dork see that I was not interested. Sunflower said he'd think about it.

But you know, he had opened the car door for me. He was really quite sweet, I thought. I should do my best to be his friend because, as I said before, it's good to have friends in cool cities. But then again he was putting his hand on my back as we walked through the restaurant and that was not ok. I didn't want people to think we were together or something.

I really hated the restaurant. You don't even know. Local readers will instantly know where I'm talking about. It's a Greek place where everyone dances on the tables, drinks Ouzo, screams and yells to bad Greek techno music and throws piles and piles of paper napkins. It is the most obnoxious tourist trap I've ever seen.

And then who was there of course but Free Food Larry and his new girlfriend. This wasn't that random as I got Larry jobs with several of my parents' friends who were all criminals in some way or another. The friend had invited Free Food Larry, I guess. More than likely he had recognized the potential for more free food and had invited himself. We decided to sit at a different table, and I was visibly disturbed. I hate seeing exes, even those that I dumped. I especially hate seeing them with 19 year old, 85 pound, anorexic, half-naked Puerto Rican hoochies. The girl looked like a hooker. Not a classy one you order from a website, but a real streetwalker.

As we picked at some moussaka Larry, because he was an arrogant asshole, came over to our table.

"How do you like my new girlfriend?" he asked us.

We all looked at him and blinked.

"How fucking hot is she? Oh my God, the body on her. And you know what, she eats like a horse and doesn't work out. She was born with a perfect body. Ad her tits are real. 32 Ds. Like a little Spanish goddess. Look at her."

We all couldn't help but look at her. She was dancing on a table in five inch, clear platforms and licking her lips at several of the waiters.

"Larry," my mother said, "You are the biggest fucking asshole I have ever met. How dare you bring this whore when you knew we would be here? What disrespect after all the free food we gave you and after how you treated my daughter. Have you no class or tact whatsover? I mean really. You know what I think of her. I think she's a fucking prostitute and that's exactly what you deserve."

And with that my mother stood up, grabbed a handful of ice out of my Sprite and busted Free Food Larry square in the face with it, giving him a bloody nose. It really was one of the finer moments of my life. It really was. We should all have a mother who would do something like this.

Right then Larry's girlfriend saw that he was in distress and clamored down from the table top and stormed over to our table. She assumed that I, being the ex-girlfriend, was the one who had injured her lover. She got right up in my face. The five inch heels helped. Without shoes she would have had to have stood on a chair to get in my face.


Oh my Lord the girl sounded exactly like Rosie Perez. This is not a good thing. A translation of what she said was:

"Excuse me please, but do you have a problem with my boyfriend, female dog?"

Very calmly I replied:

"No. I do not have a problem with your boyfriend bitch. You are the one going out with him. You have the problem now. I dumped him."

And then she decided to kick my ass right there in the restaurant, but before she could take a swing (and oh was she about to) San Francisco who remained silent up to this point, likely due to shock, grabbed me and ran out of the restaurant with me. Somehow in the melee he managed to get my car keys, so he gave them to the valet, with money and asked the valet to bring the car immediately.

Personally, I think I could have taken her on. I think I could have actually kicked her ass pretty good and my mom would have had my back. I've never been in a fight, but I've imagined a lot of them and I really think I could have done it. But dammit, San Francisco had to go and carry me out of the restaurant and now we'll never know what could have happened.

Once in the car my adrenaline subsided enough for me to realize that I should be truly mortified. This poor guy flew all the way to South Florida from San Francisco to see a girl he thought was interested in him only to witness this same girl, after less than an hour, nearly get into a public brawl. And the language. And her mother busting some idiot in the face with ice. It was like the Jerry Springer show. He must have thought we were total, absolute white trash. I felt guilty. This guy had paid a lot of money to come, so I thought I should make it up to him. I decided to take him to dinner. And I apologized 785 times along the way.

"I swear I'm not a redneck, really," I said.

"I hardly ever get in public fights like that," I said.

"I do volunteer work! I listen to NPR!" I said.

I took him to a restaurant that I love. Even though I don't drink, I needed a drink and this place has award winning prickly pear margaritas.

The hostess sat us in a booth and San Francisco did something in this booth that horrified me to my very core. He sat on the same side as me. I scanned the crowded restaurant to make sure no one I knew was there. I didn't want anyone to see me with this guy. As if he weren't dorky enough he was a same-sider to boot. A same-sider. It was unspeakable. I had spent years making fun of cheezy couples who were same-siders in restaurants. No one had ever same-sided with me until that moment. I was deeply self conscious about it and I didn't want him to get the wrong idea. We were not on a date. I repeat. We were not on a date. I was showing a tourist a local hot spot. That's it. NOT. A. DATE.

Except we were kind of having a really good time. Perhaps it was the margaritas, but this guy was really sweet and really funny. He refused to let me pay. Then he drove us home in my car because I had a drink and was smaller than him. He also smelled good. And wow, he was so nice. That meant that he would definitely let me crash at his place if I ever wanted to go to San Francisco. And we would probably be good friends.

I invited him inside because he was staying at Abe's house down the street and the door was locked because Abe was still out. We sat in my bed for a while talking and listening to music and he was pleasant and easy to talk to. Canela jumped up beside us and began to ferociously head butt him. He picked her up and kissed her. Did I melt right there? No I did not. I thought to myself: "I can't believe this dork is kissing my cat like this."

By then I had layed down and stretched out. It was late. I was exhausted. He took this as a signal to lay down beside me and spoon me.

Oh Jesus H. Christ, I thought. This dork is spooning me. How do I get out of this? This is awful. Except it's not that bad and he's not really making moves on me. Oh God. His hand is accidentally on my right boob. I don't think he realizes it. Does he know his hand is on my boob? I wonder if he means to be doing that? I don't think he does. How can I get out of this? Do I want to get out of this? I think I do. But it's a tiny bit nice.

Luckily my parents came home, noisily and I had an excuse to jump up and greet them. San Francisco jumped up too and before I could do anything he grabbed my face and tried to kiss me, although I quickly averted this by turning my head so that he kissed me on the cheek. I acted like this hadn't happened and opened the door.

We found out that Free Food Larry and his girlfriend had been escorted out of the restaurant by security for threatening people and causing a scene. My mother, inexplicably was left alone. I think this is because everyone, even the waiters, knew that Larry needed to be busted in the face with ice. He was just that big of an asshole.

San Francisco went back home with Abe. I looked at my phone and had three missed calls from Sunflower. I decided to call him in the morning and take Sunflower to Abe's party as my date so San Francisco would know I wasn't interested. I went to bed, plan firmly in mind.

To be continued again...


Fancy Schmancy said...

Your mother is the bomb. And I would have loved to see you take on Rosie Perez. Altho, she looks pretty scrappy. I bet she wouldn't have fought fair. Please don't make us wait long for part 3.

feefifoto said...

I. Love. Adore. Worship. your mother.

MoxieMamaKC said...

psst...hey, can I borrow your mom to replace mine sometime. She sounds infinitely cooler! What an incredible soap operatic story. I'm hooked. Hurry up with part 3!

Mattie said...

I'm too old to be adopted, but if your mother ever needs a BFF, I'm here for her.

I can't wait for more...

Anonymous said...

SO looking forward to your next instalment.

I was fully expecting fireworks and you falling madly deeply in love once you set eyes on him again. Who knew, this is even better!! On the edge of my seat..

P.S do you have a picture of what u described of him at the airport. I just can't picture it. Can't be that bad right?
I wish I had a mom like yours.

Dayna said...

Where do you find all these colorful characters who pass through your life? But hey I bet they are fun.
Everyone I know is boring and lame.

Anonymous said...

Busting that piece of shit in the face with sharp ice was a moment I will never forget. To be truthful I was shocked to see the blood fly from his face the way it did. I thought I had ripped his eye in half. Although after cutting his face I grabbed him by the throat wanting to rip out his jugler vein, I stopped short as he turned green. I figured I had made my point. I told the body guard to remove him instanly before I killed him and boy did they, along with that thing he had with him. That skinny little bitch cursed me and threatened to whip my butt. I looked her right in the face and said excuse me? You wanna come a little closer so I can hear you a little better? She screamed out that she was headed to beat the hell out of daughter when I said, YOU touch her and YOU are dead. YOU think you can whip me you little whore? She ran to get daughter and I was right behind her in trail. When she saw me headed toward her she took an ubrupt turn and ran in the other direction. That was the only smart moment in her young life. I truly was ready to street fight. I can barely believe I am saying this but there are times when decent women have to protect and defend and when your child is on the line you become a lioness. Believe me when I say this, I have never had a public display of this sort. I mean not since I was 19, I had a few at that age but calmed down after that. As Jerry Springer as this even sounds It was needed at that very moment. I have never seen him since that day but I bet if I did he would run like the coward he is. Looking back it really is quite funny!!

TK said...

Mom, you ROCK!!! :D

foxymoron said...


the Bag Lady said...

This is great! Your mom sounds wonderful.
(I especially love her comment!)

Looking forward to part 3!

Heather said...

The smell of Subway turns my stomach too! You're the first person I've ever known who has that same reaction. People look at me like I'm crazy when I say that I can't walk past Subway because the smell makes me gag.

Architect Critic said...

Great story. My wife thought I was a dork when we first met. Well, maybe I still am, but she married me anyway

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