You Are Jealous of My Tribal Tattoos

You know I hate to brag, but I have a shit-ton of tribal tattoos.  You’re trying to think of a time when you’ve felt more jealous of a person than you do right at this moment, but you’re coming up blank.  I know it.

The mid-90s were a magical time to be a young person.  People had finally given up on trying to make John Stamos a pop star, the bubble had yet to burst, and a new era in tattoos began.  An era when bored white people with no real ideas could spend hours on-end getting tattooed with a variety of black-stripety pointy-whatevers.

Someone would always ask, “Hey, what does your tattoo mean?” and then you would be able to completely appease their curiosity by simply responding with, “It’s tribal.”  No further explanation required!

Occasionally, you would get some joker who would try to antagonize you by asking what tribe you belonged to, but you could just wave them off and move on with your day listening to Pavement (Letters to Cleo) on your Sony Discman (Circuit City no-name knockoff of Sony Discman), knowing that deep down inside, they were just jealous of how motherfuckin’ badass you looked with your black-stripety pointy-whatever tattoo.  What tribe.  Puh-lease – it’s called the tribe of lookin’ cool?  Oooooooh.

I did always kind of enjoy the irony of someone asking me if my tattoos were tribal, and I would roll my eyes at them like, “Uh yeah?  Duh!  What did you think they were?  Tattoos that actually mean something?”

I can tell you this much, though, my lower back tribal tattoos, in particular, did actually mean something.

In 1995 they meant “Maggie drinks free when she wears a bra top and JNCO jeans to the Goldfinger concert”.

In 1996 they meant “Maggie drinks free when she wears a bra top and 70s bellbottoms to the Superdrag and Nada Surf concert”.

In 1997 they meant “Maggie drinks free when she wears a bra top and bootcut jeans to the Our Lady Peace concert”.

In 1998 they meant “Maggie drinks free when she wears a bra top and lowrider corduroy pants to the G. Love and The Special Sauce concert”.

In 2018 they mean “Maggie drinks free really super late at night only on weeknights in select areas of central Pompano Beach with low-lighting”.

And, honestly, I’m trying to think of something that bores me more than tattoos that “mean something”, but nothing is coming to mind.  It’s not necessarily that the concept itself always bores me, so long as your story is simple, no problem.  It’s having to sit through long-playing version of “the meaning of your tattoo” story, which is approximately as interesting as that dream that you told me about that one time.  You know, the one where you’re you – but you’re not you, and you were at my house – but it wasn’t really my house, and then these people showed up – but you didn’t know any of them, and then we all ate hummus – but it wasn’t really hummus!  What an intriguing dream!  Thanks for sharing it.

“This tattoo symbolizes my connection with the ocean because as a child I would often find myself staring into it and really grasping my place in the world…”  DING DING DING!!!  YOU’VE JUST WON THE PRIZE FOR ‘NOBODY CARES’!

You wanna know why I got tattoos?  Because I thought (and still think) they look cool.  I think they look bad-ass.  I suspect this is why most young people get tattoos, but they couch it in “this tattoo means something” because it is supremely uncool to say that you did something cool just so you could look cool.  The cool thing about tattoos is the air about them that says, “I don’t give a fuck.  I’m a fly-by-night guy/gal.  I plan nothing.  I’m a cowboy.  On a steel horse I ride.”

I couldn’t freaking wait to turn 18 so I could get my first tattoo, and even after years of anticipating the big day, when it finally happened, I walked into the tattoo shop, had no idea of what I actually wanted, and just picked something from one of the posters on the wall.  I like that kind of tattoo, the kind that’s done on a whim and not really thought through all that much.  It feels right to me, like it pays respect to tradition.  We’re talking about paying someone to draw something on your skin with a needle.  You’re not getting a kidney transplant.  You’re basically asking to become a human bathroom wall at a dive bar and handing a Sharpie to a well-paid stranger nearby.  You’re not changing the world, you’re just decorating your part of it.

Anne and I used to wake up on any random Saturday afternoon in the mid-90s with a serious tattoo jones and drive to the tattoo shop with ZERO in mind as to what we were going to get, and then one hour later, bam, we’re both in tattoo chairs getting something permanently drawn onto us.  It was the most fun.  Theeeee most fun.  Now that I’m older, when I look at those tattoos that were picked off the wall and done on a whim, it reminds me of how impulsive and fun Anne and I were when we were young.  What a fantastic time. (Please note we are still impulsive and fun.  It’s in our blood contract.)

Now when I get tattoos, as an old person, it’s a months and months long process of research and design and appointments have to made weeks in advance.  And the Googling.  My god, the Googling.  I worry that the tattoo will look stupid, or that it’s played out, or blah blah blah, which is hilarious because all of my old tattoos look stupid and are played out – yet I wouldn’t change them for the world.  I don’t know, there’s just more at stake when you’re old enough to know better.

And I definitely do not believe in cover-ups, not for me anyway.  If you want to cover up that frog making the peace sign that you got on spring break, that’s fine.  But you’re erasing a part of you that was the most fun, that didn’t give a fuck, and probably had a pretty awesome night when you got it.

I like remembering the mistakes of my youth, because that was usually when the most memorable stuff happened.  Every truly great story begins with, “Remember that time we were sooo stupid?”  I can’t think of any great stories that begin with, “Remember that time we were sooo smart?”

Nobody has an epic story of that time they took the S.A.T. and studied an appropriate amount of time beforehand, or a crazy story about how they waited to “really get to know” the guy who ran the Gravitron at the fair before going back to his trailer with him and the Hot Wisconsin Cheese lady to huff white-out until her boyfriend showed up from running the pirate ship ride and beat Gravitron guy with a turkey drumstick until his glass eye fell out RIGHT INTO YOUR HAND.

That last one is just ridiculous.  As if carnies would have access to white-out.

Por Favor No Molestes a Mi Perro

We were leaving Mellow Mushroom a few weeks ago following a particularly successful happy hour, which means I was filled to the brim with discount meatballs and Crown Royal.  (It’s a fantastic happy hour, by the way.  7 days a week, 3:00 to 7:00.  Get the Meatball Trio.)  As we walked outside, a woman was standing on the sidewalk nearby waiting for a table, with the cutest, roundest little fat sausage of a French Bulldog on a leash.  My heart!

Now, even in a sober moment, I would have been swooning over this stubby little character, but being that I am a drunk of the friendly (slutty) variety, and I have much, much love for dogs, I was all over that dog like a flea dip.

I asked if it was okay to pet Frenchie, because I’m not an asshole, and owner lady said, “Of course!”.  So I began petting Frenchie, while secretly plotting how I was going to push owner lady out into traffic and run away with Frenchie (not really) (yes, really) (noooo, kidding!) (not really kidding).  You should have seen this dog.  Trust me – it would have been a justifiable dognapping.  This dog was totally into it, too.  He dog-smiled at me and I turned into well-accessorized goo.  And nobody else saw it happen, but he totally whispered, “You complete me.”

I started my friendly dog interrogation on her, what’s his name, how old is he, is he some kind of toy variety because he looks so much smaller, etc.  The usual questions.  I’ve had the privilege of caring for cute dogs before (R.I.P. Tallulah Joy, best Boston Terrier in the world), I know it can get tiring to answer the same questions over and over, but that’s just the price you have to pay for having a cute dog.  And I gotta tell you, there are worse things in the world than having a cute dog that people want to hang out with.

Beyond letting me pet Frenchie one time, the owner lady was pretty cold and seemed mostly annoyed by me, eventually turning away and pretending I wasn’t there.  How rude!

As I walked away, feeling lowly and rejected, something horrific happened.  I thought the thoughts.  The worst thoughts of all.  The kind of thoughts that force you to take a good, hard look at who you really are and what kind of screwed up entitlement issues you have.  I honestly hesitate to share them with you, because you will be like, “Ohhhhh snap, RAPIST!”

So here it is.

I thought, “Well, why did you bring this cute dog out if you didn’t want people to love on it?  I mean, have you seen your dog, lady?  How can I be expected to look at your dog and control myself?  You and your cute dog are asking for it.”

I know.  Sound familiar?

It really struck me given how many, I don’t know, dozens (hundreds) of times in my life men felt it was perfectly fine to walk up to me and start groping me and interrogating me about my name, where I’m from, because I was dolled up for the night and they felt entitled to help themselves to my body.  Now I was one of those lecherous men.  I was the one making unwelcome advances towards a stranger.

I was a pervert.  A dog pervert.

I guess at least the difference between me perving on that dog, and dewdz perving on me, is that when I got the cold shoulder from owner lady, I walked away and didn’t call her the c-word or anything, you know, the way dewdz do when they walk away, nor did I spin around and shoot or stab her for rejecting my advances, so I guess I’ve got that going for me.

But, seriously, you should have seen this dog!

I’m still lobbying to be called SwagBag, by the way.

I came up in the time of jailbait.  Of Bobbi Brown in the “Cherry Pie” video.  Of Winger’s “Seventeen”.  Of Kelly Bundy.  I worshipped them in all their studded leather bra top, ass-shorts, thigh-high boot-wearin’ glory.  I thought they looked like a million spacebucks.  They were rock ‘n roll.

I spent the entirety of my teenage years being as close to naked as possible without actually being arrest-able.  If the top weren’t either essentially a bra or an off-the-shoulder half-shirt, and the shorts weren’t skintight and racked up my buttcrack like a doorstop, I bet most people wouldn’t have even recognized me.  Even my black leather motorcycle jacket was cropped.  I couldn’t even commit to a regular length jacket in cold weather, that’s how dedicated I was to my craft.  Every day was like an audition for a Warrant video, and it was awesome.  I wish my classmates would have rightly recognized this awesomeness and called me something totally cool like “DangerGirl” or “SwagBag”, instead of what girls actually called me, which was “I’m Gonna Kick That Slut’s Ass” or what guys called me “You Definitely Don’t Have A Dad At Home.”

And I tell ya, except for all the guys who continuously groped me and tried to drag me off into woods and alleyways against my will, it was a fine time to be alive.  My sexuality felt like the most powerful thing in the room, and I reveled in it.  I had never felt anything even remotely close to power in my entire life, so I was having as much fun with it as possible.  Up to that point I had been a social leper growing up, so I loved turning heads for the first time in my life.  Even if it was for superficial reasons, I still loved it.  Who wouldn’t?

Hell, one time when Anne and I were 16, we were walking into a gas station on a Friday night, and a guy literally crashed his car into the ice machine outside of the building, and when he climbed out of the wreckage, he yelled to the attendant, “Sorry, man!  I was looking at those two girls instead of the road!” Anne and I looked at each other like, “Whoooa.”  (I made a mental note of what I was wearing that night and made sure to repeat it as often as possible:  Black halter-top catsuit, black knee-high boots, whore-red lipstick.  Done.)

(Sidebar, I think a lot of the reason that women are discouraged from wearing things that are “too revealing” is because the power of the female body is too threatening to the existing power structure.  Even I’ve gone back and forth on it several times in my life, it’s that much of a mind-fuck.  As Sheena Easton so correctly sang, “Nations go to war over women like you”, because women’s bodies are powerful as fuck.  If the male body were as powerful as the female body, literally every man would walk this Earth naked and nobody would think any less of them for it.)

As the youngest of three girl children, not only did my mother not try to stop me from leaving the house dressed like an extra from Reform School Girls (because by the third kid they just don’t give a shit anymore), but she encouraged it.  Any time I would come out of a Contempo Casuals dressing room dolled up like a Hollywood hooker, she would literally applaud and exclaim, “Ha ha ha ha!  You look AWESOME!  Strut it, kiddo!  You’re only young once!”.  She thought it was an absolute hoot.  She had a real devil-may-care attitude about it that I really appreciated at the time.

As it turns out, I appreciate it even today, because I have a wardrobe that still consists mostly of jailbait-wear.  It’s not a hard habit to break – it’s a habit I refuse to break.  Even when I try to dress reasonably and put on a t-shirt that merely “fits” and doesn’t appear to be three sizes too small and sprayed onto my body, the first thing I think is, “Frump Town!  Looks like a dewd!” and then change into a half-shirt.  I assume that if I’m not wearing something nakedy, that I immediately transform into Burt Lancaster.  I think slutty-looking clothes just look good.

A few months ago, as I walked around Forever 21 and realized that I was old enough to be the mother of literally every young woman who was shopping there, I started to worry that I had turned into that pathetic older woman.  You know, the one who still shops in the juniors section and wears plastic barrettes and doesn’t hear the whispers behind her back.  The one who desperately clings to her youth as it’s inevitably slipping away.  The one who thinks those high school boys are still checking her out when what they’re really thinking is, “Is that Tyler R’s grandma, or Taylor B’s weird older stepmom?”.  The one who doesn’t realize that people are just being cheeky when they say, “Wow, you’re old enough to drink?!”  A brief moment of fear enveloped me…

…riiiight before I realized that I don’t give a fucking shit.

I am old enough and wise enough to accept that jailbait is who I am.  It’s the tiny, tight, spandex fabric I’m made of.  If anybody has a problem with it, they can feel free to avert their eyes, because you can have my slutty-looking clothes the day you pry them off my dead, slutty-looking body.  Hell, not even then!  Please, by all means, bury me in spandex.  With cut-outs.

Also, it helps that anytime I pass by someone and I hear them say, “Isn’t she a little old for that half-shirt?”, I deliberately mis-hear it as, “Isn’t it a little cold for that half-shirt?” and I think, “How nice of them to be concerned about my comfort!”

tl/dr:  Wear what you want, tell the world to fuck off. – Love, SwagBag

Dewd Night at The Mewvies

I remember the first time I saw Reservoir Dogs.  And The Boondock Saints.  And Fist of the The North Star.  And Perry Farrell’s “The Gift”.  And all those Grateful Dead VHS tapes.  It’s a little fuzzy as to exactly who I was with at the time I saw each of these cinematic masterpieces for the first time, but I can say for sure that I was in the company of a dewd when each of these viewings occurred.

How do I know that?  Because when you are a young woman traversing the stinky waters of dating dewdz, you are routinely subjected to the worst things that ever happened in cinema.  One of the benefits of being a “mature” woman, is that if anyone were to say, “Hey, let’s watch this dewd movie!” I would say no and then speed away in my car to the airport and leave the country immediately because I am not sitting through that shit anymore.

I remember the first dewd who made me sit through Reservoir Dogs (there were many, it was the 90s), and I asked if we could turn it off because the violence was so horrible that I literally thought I was going to throw up.  He told me I was wrong.  About my own feelings.  We finished the movie.  He spent the ensuing hours, days, and weeks telling me that this was the best movie he’d ever seen.  I didn’t argue.  If he thought it was the best movie he’d ever seen, what the hell did I care?

But that wasn’t enough.  He wanted me to admit that it was the best movie I’d ever seen.  He kept explaining various points over and over again, as if I “misunderstood” the movie, because my not understanding the movie was the only possible way he could explain the fact that I did not agree with his expert assessment of the film.  This is a common dewd behavior, by the way.  (All of the ladies reading this are nodding their heads right now.)  You must agree with dewdz at all times, or be accused of not “understanding” what they’re saying.  I don’t know how many times in my young life I uttered the words, “I understand what you are saying completely, I just happen to disagree with you.”  Saying that never worked, by the way.

If you’re a dewd reading this right now, guaranteed you’re thinking, “What’s wrong with Reservoir Dogs?  I love that movie!”  Exactly.  Dewdz love this movie.  I have yet to meet one woman who enjoys it.  Because it’s gross.

Regardless, over the years I sat through Reservoir Dogs again and again at the insistence of various dewdz, even after I said I didn’t like it, even after I openly said that I hated it, because they just could not believe that I didn’t like something that they themselves liked so much.  “Watch it with me, I’ll explain it to you!”  Thanks.  Because obviously I am an idiot who does not understand a basic-ass Tarantino movie.  They’re about as hard to follow as an episode of The Love Boat.  Maybe, juuust maybe, I don’t like the movie.

And don’t even get me started on The Boondock Saints, or as I prefer to call it, “Pasty Dewdz Ejaculating Bullets All Over Each Other In The Gun-Boner Parade”.  What a great time to be heavily-armed, angry young white men seeking “justice” by blowing off the heads of as many people as possible!  Who would have known it would only get better in the following years for heavily-armed, angry young white men seeking “justice” by blowing off the heads of as many people as possible?

And I know how much most women really like the one scene in particular where the “good guy” is antagonizing his new gay coworker who has a tattoo that says “Untouched by Man” by calling her a big, fat, angry lesbian, making a “joke” to her about feminists sucking his cock, and when she responds by rightfully kicking his ass, he punches her right in the face, knocks her out cold, and then delivers a one-liner about how she’ll be “needing to change her tattoo”.  For laughs!  Get it?  It’s funny that she’s a lesbian and he punches her in the face!  IT’S COMEDY.  Because, really, what could be funnier than punching one of those “man-hating lesbians” right in the face?!  Those lesbians have been having a pretty good run of the world for long enough, it’s time for straight white dewdz to finally give them their comeuppance!

Man, if you don’t like that, it’s because political correctness is ruining our country.

And in case that wasn’t enough gay-bashing for you, Willem DaFoe, who plays a gay man in the movie, then calls his gay lover a gay slur for what he perceives to be gay behavior.  For laughs!  I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is a movie that needs some comic relief after all the blood spattering everywhere as people get riddled with bullets, so why not get it at the expense of “the gays”?  OH MY GOD I HATE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH.

As far as the others, unless a woman specifically says, “I like anime, seriously!”, assume she doesn’t want to watch Fist of The North Star.  Same with The Grateful Dead videos.  Unless a woman signs an affidavit stating that she would enjoy watching hours of VHS tapes of live Grateful Dead performances, assume she doesn’t like it.  And unless she is a film student with a 1.2 GPA who also dabbles in horse tranquilizers, assume she will not enjoy Perry Farrell’s “The Gift”, because while junkies are capable of making some pretty decent music, they really tend to miss the mark in the film-making department, what with all the “boring”.

Honorable Dewd Movie Mentions go to:

In the category of “Nerd Shit”:  Brazil, Cherry 2000, Earth Girls Are Easy

In the category of “Tim Roth”:  Four Rooms (or anything with Tim Roth in it for that matter).  What is it with dewdz and Tim Roth?  They LOVE him.  I don’t get it.

In the category of “This Filmmaker Hates Women”:  Sin City (yay – women are either domestic abuse victims, vulnerable kids who turn into hot strippers you eventually bang, or prostitutes who get hit in the mouth – but like it!).

In the category of 1970s White Dewd Wankery:  All Clint Eastwood movies, all Steve McQueen movies, all Charles Bronson movies, and A Clockwork Orange (because that rape scene is HILARIOUS, right?).

Don’t make girls watch these movies unless they, for some reason, are the ones who bring it up first.  Just don’t do it.  And even if they bring it up first, check in on them every five minutes to make sure they haven’t succumbed to a brain hemorrhage, because they are clearly not of sound mind.  If you are a woman being faced with watching one of these movies, just leave.  Walk away and don’t look back.  Run, if need be.

Nobody’s saying anyone has to go watch Steel Magnolias, but how about meeting in the middle?  Frost/Nixon?  Most Denzel Washington movies?  Oceans 11?  Guardians of The Galaxy?  The Constant Gardener?  So I Married An Ax Murderer?  Hell, I’ll even allow The Crow if you really need to get those angsty teenage feelings out.

Actually, no I won’t.  That movie is laughably terrible.  I am sorry if hearing that makes your 15-year old boy-boner cry.

Those Jason Bourne movies are actually kinda okay, despite Matt Damon being the human equivalent of shaved balls, in that while he’s not intrinsically awful as a general concept, you just keep looking at him and going, “Why?”

Raiders of The Lost Ark? National Treasure?  Tomb Raider?

You know what?  Forget it.  Either find someone who has good taste in movies, or just get separate televisions.

I Can’t Eat That

We were driving home from dinner one night last year, and I was pretty sure I was having a heart attack.  Not one of those “OMG I was having a heart attack because of a cute outfit someone had on”.  A “heart attack” heart attack.  I knew it definitely wasn’t a panic attack, because ohhhh man, do I know exactly what those fuckers feel like.  This felt like someone had hit me in the sternum with a sledgehammer and was holding it there for safe-keeping.

As we were driving, I silently contemplated at what point I should ask Bobby to turn around and take me to the emergency room.  I started thinking about all the trite, facing-your-mortality stuff, and reflected back on my life.  A lone tear started to form in the corner of my eye.  My god, I wished I had spent more time watching television.  I looked to the moon, its pearly glow all glowing it up and stuff, as the theme from Three’s Company played through my mind.

Down at our rendezvous.

Three’s company, too.

You’re probably thinking I was an idiot for not just asking him to take me to the emergency room to get checked out “just in case”, but I grew up poor with no insurance and unless you think you are literally, actually, dying and have blood spurting uncontrollably out of your ribcage, you do not go to the emergency room under any circumstances.  Even now that I have insurance, good insurance, that seed is still firmly planted.

I have gone to bed with a broken foot before because I have been so thoroughly trained to not go to the emergency room.  When I was hit by a car when I was 15 and broke half my body, I refused to let anyone call an ambulance and just had my idiot friends load me into their backseat and take me home to my mother instead (who then sped me to the emergency room) because you simply do not go to the emergency room.

Bobby and I got home from dinner and I laid down, and the feeling eventually subsided after a couple of hours.  Man, what was all that about?

Oh, what was that all about?  I’ll tell you exactly what that was about.  I had eaten raw green pepper at dinner.  Old person rookie mistake!  I might as well have just chugged gun powder, or maybe a handful of thumb-tacks.  Raw green pepper.  Why not just crack my chest open and let toddlers play mini-golf inside my stomach lining?

One of the loud, fun things that happens as you age, is you start developing an ever-growing list of things you can no longer eat.  I remember when I was a kid and my grandmother would take us to a restaurant and she would have a huge list of things she couldn’t eat because they didn’t “agree” with her, and I had absolutely no idea what the hell that meant.  I thought she was maybe just super picky, or had too much Jesus in her life to make room for onions.  I’ll tell you this much, though, you’ll know exactly what that shit means by the time you hit 40.

The first time you drink a glass of orange juice and then take a nap and wake up with your thorax in flames is usually a pretty good indicator that you’ve “arrived”.

Eat two slices of French bread and wait for the “So when is your baby due?” questions to start rolling in, followed by people patting your distended belly and saying, “You’re pretty old to be pregnant, huh?  What’s the name of your fertility specialist?”.

Drink a lot of cheap vodka and tell me how that works out for you and your shredded colon the next day.  You will wish you had never been born an alcoholic.

(Green peppers have a special kind of double-fold torturous effect due to two things called Solanine and Flavin.  I will not go further into that, because who gives a shit.)

So anyway, I can’t eat green peppers anymore because they don’t “agree” with me.  I also can’t drink well liquor anymore.  Cheap beer – nope.  I also can’t sleep on my left side or I will wake up clutching my chest in the middle of the night.  Orange juice – out.  Tumbleweed onions – maybe.  Also, bread is public enemy #1 – for any number of reasons, though.

To be fair, I also can’t pull off all the midriff-shirts I buy at Forever 21, but I’ve given up on caring about that in favor of living under the delusion that I can still totally pull it off, but we’ll talk more about that later in the week.

Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw Yourself?

One of the benefits of being a Dusty Old Crusty (D.O.C. y’aaaaaall!), is finally being able to hold my liquor.  As a matter of fact, learning how to drink without humiliating myself is probably the biggest accomplishment I have to-date.  Granted, you can still always count on me to challenge people to a push-up contest after three cocktails, but the up-side of that is a stronger upper body, and who doesn’t want that?  It’s about fitness.

Now, if you know me, you have no doubt heard the upcoming anecdote several times, so you’ll have to humor me for the next paragraph, but I’ll at least give you the shortish version.

When I was 15, I had the moony-eyed, pathetic crush of all crushes.  My own personal Jordan Catalano.  One night when we were hanging out at a house party, I drank somewhere in the area of 3-4 beers.  When I felt that hurling was imminent, I got up from the couch and walked towards the bathroom, only to find a line of people waiting to get in.  I stood in the hallway, drunk and swaying, and totally threw up.  Except that right when this started to happen, my crush just so happened to walk up and start talking to me, so instead of throwing up, I threw…in?  I stood there and held the puke inside my mouth so that he wouldn’t know that I was throwing up inside my own mouth.  He kept talking, I kept nodding and smiling, holding a mouth full of vomit.  He eventually made me laugh, the hurl came streaming out of my nose like a dual-sided volcano, he yelled “Gross!!!” and ran away from me.

To summarize, Jordan Catalano yelled “Gross!!!” at me.  And then ran away.  Like any vomiting out of your nose story, it’s a pretty good one.  /smug

You can repeat this story, changing a few of the details, and this would describe my first 10 years of drinking.  Making out with a Dockers-wearing P.E. coach with a Caesar haircut I had just met at a wedding before excusing myself to throw up for the next 8 hours in a crushed velvet babydoll dress was probably the low point (hello 1995!).  On a related note, it is nearly impossible to get vomit out of crushed velvet.  The only thing that’s worse is trying to get vomit out of faux fur, but thankfully the faux fur trend didn’t come along for a few more years, so I had time to plan ahead.  If you vomit on something with sequins, just throw it out.

I just could never figure out my limit, and then even if I did, I had to figure it out again depending on how empty my stomach was and what kind of alcoholic beverage was being served.  Beer 3, wine 2, mixed drink 2, Zima 3 and subtract one from each if it’s on an empty stomach.  This is also why I hardly ever do shots, because it throws off all of my pre-established metrics.

So!  Young lushes!  Here’s what you need to do:

Eat.  Something.  I don’t just mean eat a granola bar and then head out to an all-night bachelorette party.  If I know I’m going to be engaging in a high-level drinking event, I eat like a goddamned machine before I go.  Pack it in like a lumberjack hamster.  A pudding cup is not going to cut it.  Think eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, biscuits and gravy.  Soooo much gravy.  Then eat mini-muffins on the entire drive there.  Bacon double cheeseburger.  Do it up.

Second, resist the urge to “pre-game” at somebody’s house.  If you’re picking up your friend on the way out for the night, and she says, “Let’s do a couple shots before we go!”, just say no.  If she persists, tell her she reminds you of an 2004-era Lindsay Lohan “in a bad way” and that should nip it in the bud.

If the effects of alcohol tend to sneak up on you like they do on me, alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of club soda.  Most bars won’t even charge you for it, it has zero calories, and this method has saved my ass on numerous occasions.  It will also help to keep you from feeling like you got stomped on by a donkey the next day.  Hydration, people!  It’s a cure-all.  You will never wake up the day after you drank 3 gin and tonics and 3 club sodas and wish you had just had 6 gin and tonics instead.  Trust me.

Lastly, there’s the ol’ Coyote Ugly trick, where if someone surprises you by buying you a shot, you pretend to do it, and then clandestinely spit it out into an empty beer bottle.  This is what I have done with literally every shot of Jagermeister anyone has ever bought me, not because I was afraid of getting too drunk, but because Jagermeister is fucking gross.

Related – I imagine that when Bridget Moynihan was in that Coyote Ugly movie she thought it was a pretty low point in her life, but then years later she married Tom Brady, got impregnated by Tom Brady, and then dumped by Tom Brady for Gisele Bundchen – while still pregnant – yet still has to raise his icky vanilla-demon spawn.

Related – Tom Brady is the literal worst.  The WORST. He is the Tom Paris of football.

And come to think of it, when Bridget Moynihan was in Sex and The City, she married Mr. Big (who insisted she walk down the aisle to a saxophone solo of “When a Man Loves a Woman”), and then got dumped by Mr. Big for Carrie Bradshaw, who was like 10 years older than her and dressed like a literal clown, who also incidentally never had to walk down a wedding aisle to a goddamned saxophone solo.  What does the world have against Bridget Moynihan???

I wonder if that’s the way you test someone’s personal limits and whether you’ll be able to use them as a doormat?  You just say to your soon-to-be bride, “I think you should walk down the aisle to a non-ironic saxophone solo of “When a Man Loves a Woman”.  If she says, “Uhh, okay?” then BINGO.  This woman will let you steamroll her for the rest of your life, because if she says yes to that shit on her wedding day?  Oh man, she will say yes to anything.

Go ahead and move your teenage mistress into the house, she won’t care.  Tell her she could stand to switch to salads for a while.  Tell her to go out and get a second job so she can pay for liposuction on her saddlebags.  Suggest to her that she buy her pants at Lane Bryant and her bras at the “Limited Too” kids clothing store which by the way some assbag actually suggested to me one time.  If at any time she offers resistance to your whims, just start playing “When a Man Loves a Woman” on the saxophone and she will become all Pavlovian-catatonic with PTSD, remember where she stands in the hierarchy of your relationship, and start folding your laundry the right way for a change.  Chicks!

I need a drink.  Happy Friday!

The Fish Boner: A Freeform Analysis

I recently watched that movie where the Quiet Lady totally gets it on with the Fish Man, and I have some thoughts on it.  I can only imagine how “on the edge of your seat” you must be right now.  It’ll be one of the smarter things you’ll read today.

So, Quiet Lady works at the secret government building place, and as a Quiet Lady with minimal dating opportunities, she apparently has a natural interest in fish men. Because all of the human men around are either gay or sadists (true dat!).

Fish Man, being a Fish Man, does the double-blinky thing at her sometimes and also eats hard-boiled eggs that she brings for him.  (As an aside, if you think a Fish Man has some stinky butt-smells already, imagine incorporating hard-boiled eggs into the equation.  I guess as the old saying goes, “Love for a Fish Man is nose-blind.”)

Anyway, Quiet Lady develops a romance with Fish Man by having silent lunch with him a few days a week.  Since he never tries to chew off her fingers, she falls in love with him. Because those are just the kind of standards a single lady has to have at her age.

Quiet Lady finds out Fish Man is going to be dissected, so she helps him escape the lab.  Later on in her apartment, she pulls off all her clothes and she and Fish Man totally do it.  Does Fish Man even know what sex is?  Does he??  How do we even know that Fish Man is a man?  What if he’s a child Fish Man?  What if this is Lolita, but with a fish teenage boy?  What if this is a crime?!  And at what point can a Fish Man even give enthusiastic consent?  Is a fish boner considered consent?

Thankfully we don’t have to wonder whether Fish Man actually gets a fish boner, because when Quiet Lady tells her coworker about it later, she mimes what the fish boner looked like because, thank god, the writer of this movie knows that’s all literally everybody wants to know.

Conversely, I also find it interesting that in the movie “Splash!” with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, he only does it with her when she’s in human form.  There aren’t even any double-entendre jokes about them doing it while she’s in fish form because people would be all EWW GROSS.  She probably used to just have one of those multi-purpose fish holes and was totally happy with it until she got a hold of last month’s Mermaid Cosmopolitan magazine where one of the headlines was, “Ditch That Multi-Purpose Fish Hole Thing – Drive Your Man Wild With a Human Vagina!

You know why?  Because this is yet another sexist bullshit double-standard, only this time women have to be totally cool with a fish boner from their fish men, while the men are like, “Human vagina or GTFO” to their fish women.

Anyway, back to the movie, it turns out Quiet Lady never realized she is actually part fish woman, so she and Fish Man swim off into the sunset together to keep doing it, but since she is still part human, she still has a human vagina, so win-win for Fish Man.

Which reminds me of this discussion we recently had about how the alien men on any Star Trek series are almost always fully alien (except for Spock, so don’t even start with me), and the women are almost always half alien (unless they’re a totally “hot” alien variety like Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine) , which I think is yet another sexist bullshit double standard.

Women are just supposed to be totally cool with getting it on with Neelix on Voyager, who is full Talaxian with actual whiskers and some kind of weird snake eyes and scrotum-head, but when faced with an amorous woman who happens to be full Klingon, dewdz are like, “Uhhhh, too scary?  How about half Klingon?”

And it’s never even half-Klingon and half something else weird for the women, like half-Ferengi.  It’s B’Elanna Torres from Star Trek Voyager:  Beautiful and exotic, half-Klingon and half-human.  The other half is always human.

And as if that’s not bad enough, they make her marry Tom Goddamned Paris.  Tom Paris!  Tom Paris is something you accidentally let fall into you during Spring Break and immediately regret, not something you marry.  Tom Paris?!  Who the hell marries Tom Paris?!!

I liked that fish boner movie, though.

Nobody Cares About Your Boner – Volume One

Thurston Moore is old and ugly.

Wow, that was really, super mean!  What the hell did Thurston Moore do to deserve that?

Oh, I don’t know, what did Kim Gordon do to make 99% of dewdz immediately tell me how old and ugly they think she is anytime the subject of Sonic Youth has ever come up in the past 25 years?

It’s not as if it’s served up like a casual observation, either.  It’s as if the words can’t escape their mouths fast enough.  Like if they don’t tell me their unsolicited opinion on the lack of their boner movement when looking at Kim Gordon, the world will die and fire will rain down on the universe.  I mean, I have to assume the stakes are that high, because it is literally the first thing they say about the band.  The first!

Any time this has ever happened to me in conversation, I like to take a few different approaches with my response to see what sticks, and for general fun-sies, because apparently I enjoy the feeling of my blood pressure shooting up like a bottle rocket.

First I try the mental “ignore” button, which never, ever works.  They just keep blathering on with “I mean, am I right?”, “I don’t think she’s hot”, “I think she’s old”, or “I think she looks like Iggy Pop” – which is deliciously ironic – because these are always the same men who fucking worship Iggy Pop.

Second, I try logic, and tell them that nobody cares about whether someone personally gives them a boner, why is it only the women in bands who get subjected to their comments on physical appearance, and that Kim Gordon is a gorgeous example of humanity in every way, and that they need to shut up because nobody cares about your boner.  This is usually met with being called a “bitch” or some such other nonsense that men say to women when they realize they’re being rightly called out for their shitty behavior, because apparently a lot of men are sensitive and emotional as shit.

Then, finally, I try the “over the top” response, which is when I take it waaaay too far in the direction they’re going, and say that I couldn’t agree more with their assessment about Kim Gordon, and that she should be banned from music, have wood and rocks thrown at her every time she appears in public, get locked into a windowless room the rest of the time so men’s boners don’t have to ever look at her again, and eventually be frozen into carbonite like Han Solo for her inability to inspire shitty dewdz to wank it to her.  It’s only fair.  It’s the only solution that makes sense.  I find that one usually shuts them up, so feel free to use it anytime, btw.

For the record, and it really goes without saying, I think Kim Gordon is fucking awesome.  She is the real artist of that band.  She is the crown jewel of that band.  She is a pioneer for women in music, fashion, and art.  Without her, Sonic Youth would have been about as avant garde and groundbreaking as John Cafferty and the Beaver Fucking Brown Band.  (No offense, John Cafferty, as I am a lifelong fan of Eddie and The Cruisers, but your band ain’t breaking any boundaries there, and I think we both know it.)

And while we’re on the subject of women in bands, let’s shift to the other side of the coin, where dudes are actually okay with how a woman looks (prize!), but if they don’t think her technical skills are on par with some relentless, theory-driven blowbag like Dave Mustaine, she must quit music immediately and go start making sandwiches.

I mean, please, by all means, when I tell you that I like The White Stripes, please immediately volunteer your opinion to me about how shitty a drummer you think Meg White is.  There’s one I certainly haven’t heard before! (I have heard this no less than fifty times in my life.)  I assume your boner is at least okay with her appearance, or else that would be the first thing you would tell me about her, so I guess she dodged a bullet there!

Oh, by the way, you know who else is a shitty drummer?  Most garage band drummers, and no, I’m not providing you with a list of citations.  That’s kind of the appeal of a band that operates under a stripped-down format – the “not-fancy” drumming. Go ahead, drop some super technical player like the drummer from Rush onto any White Stripes album and tell me the songs are better off for it.  You know all that was missing that whole time was a double kick-drum and an extra thirty-five cymbals!  Who doesn’t want to hear rototoms on “The Hardest Button to Button”?!

And since we’re on the subject of musical skill, seeing as that’s your only criteria for kicking Meg White out of The White Stripes, Jack White has a unique voice that is well-suited to his genre, but it may not be the most traditionally skillful singing voice in the world, so he should be replaced with a much more skillful singer.  Don’t you think?  How about that opera guy, Andrea Bocelli?

Introducing Andrea Bocelli and the drummer from Rush!  Ladies and gentlemen – this is The White Stripes!

Now, look at that!  You have created the perfect band.  With that level of skill among the players, nobody’s talent can be called into question, that’s for sure!

You cannot win as a woman in music.  You can.  Not.  You can’t win because they don’t want you to win.  The game is specifically designed so that you do not get to win, no matter how hard you try to play the game.

The game where if you’re pretty enough, then they’re okay with you, but why aren’t you as skilled on your instrument as Yo Yo Ma is on the cello?

The same game where if you’re talented enough, then they’re okay with you, but why aren’t you hotter?

The same game where if you’re pretty enough and talented enough, they call you a whore who slept her way to the top, or a frigid bitch for not sleeping with them, or whatever else they call women who get too big for their britches.

She’s only famous because she’s hot.

She’s only famous because her parents are rich.

She’s only famous because she’s dating some famous guy.

She’s only famous because some producer guy writes all her songs.

She’s only famous because she writes her own songs, but OMG her songs are so shitty, right?!

She’s only famous because girls are never the drummer.

She’s only.

She’s only.

She’s only.

She’s only.

Every “only” is meant to reduce you, until you’ve shrunk so small that you disappear.

There are one million conditions we have to meet as women to “win” in the music business, but here’s a little secret: Even if we met all one million conditions, there would be a million more to meet that we were never even told about.  We’ve been led to believe that if we do exactly the right things in exactly the right order, then they’ll be cool with us, but that’s a lie.  It’s a goddamned lie.

The only way we can win is by not playing their game.  By not caring what they think.  By giving our dollars, our time, our attention, and our energy to women artists.  By lifting each other up.  By making our own game, and telling them to take their game and go shove it.

Vacation All I Never Wanted

Of the approximately one million things I am too old for, agreeing to stay with you at your place when I’m on vacation is pretty near the top of the list.  Near.  I don’t foresee it overtaking “having to endure long conversations with junkies about Jim Morrison” anytime soon.

It’s not just that I’ve become particular in my old age, I have just never enjoyed crashing at someone’s house.  It was different in my 20s when I was so full of hope and optimism, I was willing to give it a chance. Now I’m just too old to hold out any hope that it’s not going to be a living nightmare.  I’ve learned my lesson.

The main problem, as it turns out, is that I am an asshole, or rather, I have asshole expectations.

Expectations that you would mention to me, prior to my agreeing to stay with you, that you don’t actually have any room for me, but that’s okay, because you’re “sure I won’t mind just sleeping on the floor” (although this also falls under a general category of “You forgot to mention that you have no furniture”).

Expectations that include things like having a guest towel.  I don’t mean a towel that is fancy, embroidered, or professionally laundered – far from it.  I’ll take an old beach towel, no problem.  I mean a towel to use on my own body that isn’t the same one that you just used on your own body five minutes ago, and that isn’t covered in mold and poop spores from being stored on the wet bathroom floor curled up against the toilet.

While I am absolutely an animal-lover, I would generally expect that you would have mentioned to me that you had recently taken in a large, vicious, stray dog, and that it will growl and snap and bite at me and try to shred me and my belongings into dead meat the entire time I’m there, oh, and that you will do absolutely nothing to stop it.  You will sit there and pretend it’s not happening. That’s something I would have liked a heads-up on.  What can I say?  I’m an asshole like that.

Aside from expectations, I am also an asshole because I do not enjoy sleeping on someone’s couch only to have them come into the kitchen at 5am and start using an electric coffee grinder five feet away from my head and then when I wake up, look at me quizzically and say, “Wow – you must be a light sleeper!”

I do not enjoy the fact that you never mentioned to me that you were a drug dealer in your spare time, and that you deal out of the living room which is, coincidentally, the same room I am trying to not get shot in.

And even though we’ve known each other for years, I had no idea that you couldn’t sleep unless you had the local classic rock station blasting throughout the entire house all night.

Or that you are some kind of cocaine monster who only exists on two hours of sleep a night, and will never let me actually go to bed.

I also had no idea that your entire family was in town and were also staying with you, but that’s okay because your pervy dad only feels me up when he’s drunk, which is every night.

I realize all of this may sound like “Hey Maggie – take a hint!” and that people just desperately wanted me to NOT stay at their houses and were just trying to blast me out old school style like Noriega, but that’s not the case.  I have never, ever enjoyed staying at people’s places when I’m on vacation, and have only ever done it after the person has literally begged and pleaded with me to stay with them and eventually psychologically wore me down into saying yes.  By the time I very begrudgingly say yes, I have already said no so many times that I should have “No, really, I am much more comfortable in a hotel” tattooed on my forehead just to save my strength.

Yes, my own personal discomfort is the biggest factor in my not staying with you, but besides that, I think I’ve just reached an age where, as friends, I don’t really want to know how fucking weird you are.  The way you conduct yourselves inside your respective homes is weird.  So weird that there’s a reason you never show this side of yourself in public.  I enjoy the mystique of thinking you might not be so fucking weird because, seriously, you are so fucking weird.