Monthly Archives: February 2010
Some of you may have seen the video I posted on Facebook last week of my cat having a personal relationship with a stuffed, singing chicken. While that’s funny in itself, to me at least, the more interesting part was how we acquired said chicken.
Me. “Please go to the store. The spaghetti sauce needs to simmer for four hours and since we’ve spent the past seven hours watching curling, we are now officially behind and I’ll be serving dinner at 9:30.”
Tony. “Okay. Make me a list.”
I give him a list that reads something along the lines of french bread, extra virgin olive oil, tomato paste, beer. I start what I can of the sauce and hop in the shower. Upon exiting the bathroom, I hear a strange noise and laughter and walk into my kitchen to find this. Please take a moment to view.
I would like to point out that A) this is extremely creepy to walk out of the shower to when you thought you were alone and B) nowhere on my list were the words, “Dancing Poultry that Ramon Will Try to Mate With.” Who the hell finds this at the grocery store? And then decides, “Genius! That’s what we’ve been missing!” Anyone?
Yesterday morning, I was tired. For some reason this week, I don’t want to go to sleep when I need to and instead have been staying up way later than my 9:30 bedtime. Looks like tonight will be another one of those nights as it’s already nearly ten. So when the alarm goes off at 4:45, I’m desperately trying to think of any possible reason I could contrive to go back to sleep. (You know those mornings. The ones where a $300 car repair bill because your transmission exploded and the car won’t start is far preferable to actually going to work.) Coming up empty, I coerce Tony into showering first, doing that math that can only be done early in the morning (“If I get in the shower at 5:15 and am out by 5:18, I can be dressed by 5:21, makeup on by 5:24, lunch made by 5:28 – I’m out the door at 5:30! Yes! Zzzzzzzzz.”) At 5:40, I walk out to the car to realize it fucking snowed AGAIN and it’s super heavy and wet and of course I parked on the street last night so Tony didn’t start my car when he left. At 5:45, I’m swearing, soaking wet, freezing, and late. Yeah, that extra 15 minutes of lying on the couch waiting for the alarm to go off was TOTALLY worth it.
But I don’t realize my real problem until I got to work and started to settle in for the day. Apparently I’m a bit of a creature of habit and shouldn’t really change up my routine. Because in doing so, I forgot to brush my teeth.
I’m sorry, don’t I have a four year college education? Aren’t I 31 years old? I feel like a blip in my morning routine, a mere switch in shower time, should not have impacted my day in such a yucky manner. Why can’t I function like a normal adult? Who FORGETS TO BRUSH THEIR TEETH?
So today, Tony had a good day. He got to climb a big tree and didn’t fall down, the sun was shining, and he has new chainsaw pants. It doesn’t take much to make us happy. He mentioned earlier in the day we should go out to eat and finally try the Tilted Kilt by the mall. We’ve been discussing this ever since the day it opened when we drove by and there was about 30 college aged waitresses in Britney-style Catholic schoolgirl uniforms outside waving at everyone. Needless to say, he was intrigued.
Now, I have no problem with pretty girls serving me food. I am not so self conscious or territorial that I mind being around ladies who have bodies of Playboy centerfolds. I love me some Hooters and have in fact been there on Christmas Eve twice and the day after my wedding. If I had the body for it, you can bet your ass I would’ve been wearing orange hot pants and a tank top instead of my oh so flattering bow tie and vest at Pappaducks during my illustrious waitressing career. If you’ve got it, flaunt it, I say. But even I wasn’t prepared for the amount of flesh and BOOBS at this place. These girls literally wear plaid bras, skirts that start below the hipbones and end about an inch below the crotch, and knee socks. And when I say plaid bras, I am not speaking of the Cross Your Heart 18 hour coverage variety that most of us with a cup size over C tend to require – I’m talking about a push up cut so low I’m still kind of surprised I didn’t see anyone’s nipple.
This is fine. Our waitress is nice, the atmosphere (if you can handle the boobs) is great; big TV’s, big bar, music. The ratio of women to men aside from the waitresses is approximately 90:10, but I’m okay with that. We order a couple of beers and a calamari appetizer which is awesome, so, yay. The food’s good. Rachel comes and takes our order, sitting right down at the table like we’re best friends (guys love this, for some reason) and I order a cheeseburger and ask for onions on it and Rachel upsells me on some garlic/parmesan fries. While we wait for the food, we enjoy our beer and Tony’s head swivels around like Linda Blair’s, kind of like it did that time we went to the bar with the 14 TV’s on opening day of football. When a 6 foot waitress walks by with a tattoo that climbs up her back, I think he might fall out of his chair. For whatever reason, he christens her ”Clarabelle” and we enjoy making up stories about her until the food comes.
I should have realized when they asked, “Who had the onion burger?” that I’d made a mistake, but nope, not yet. All I notice is that they forgot the cheese. I reluctantly send it back (as a former waitress, I am loathe to send anything back, even when it’s totally justified.) She brings my burger back about five minutes later, with cheese and literally covered in onions. I dig in, still not realizing my faux pas. We eat our dinner, enjoying the evening. It’s only after I’m done that I realize, hmm. You have walked into a place wall to wall with college aged, half clothed supermodels in your cotton ribbed TURTLENECK and little makeup and then ordered onions, garlic, and parmesan, which could be considered the worst combination ever if you’re planning on being within ten feet of anyone in the near future. So now not only can I not rest my chin on my boobs, but I stink.
Now, we all know Tony’s awesome and such, so this is really more funny than self depreciating. But still, any female on the universe, no matter how secure, would think twice about this one. I had told my sister we were going there, and the following text conversation ensued.
Me. “At Tilted Kilt. Holy boobs, batman.”
Carly. “You’re hilarious!”
Me. “As if that wasn’t enough of a self esteem hit, I ordered garlic parmesan fries and extra onions.”
Carly. “Way to go. You always know how to make yourself feel comfortable. Flash your tatas!”
Me. “That may possibly be the only thing that could make me more awkward here.”
I did not, in fact, “flash my tatas,” for anyone wondering.
So how was your week?
Everyone has one of these stories. You know, the one thing that went wrong, or the many things that went wrong that either ruined the day or made it “the best story ever.” Whenever I hear them, I’m all like, “Pshh. I’ve got you beat,” even before they start. Groomsman threw up? Bride tripped? Cake had pink roses instead of red? Snowstorm of the century? Squirrel got into the congregation? Power went out? Red wine spilled on your dress? Priest smelled like gin? Yep, I’ve got you beat. I don’t even need to hear it. I win. Whenever someone questions my authority, or the possibility that anything could have been worse than their mother getting drunk and hitting on the DJ or some such ridiculousness, I utter the following sentence. I consider it my gold medal, my free pass, if you will, of horrifying wedding stories.
“Really? Was your fiance handcuffed to a table in a police holding cell three hours before your rehearsal dinner?”
Yeah, I win.
Let’s start from the beginning. We got engaged in July of 2003. It was wonderful. I was one of the lucky girls that was truly, absolutely surprised, as was my whole family. Good times in July of ’03. We set a date for August 21, 2004 – two days before my 26th birthday. Fast forward to May of 2004. I am in the throes of retarded bride syndrome, literally almost coming to tears at work about whether we should have white on red or red on white playing cards as favors.
(Side note — every bride, no matter how relaxed — which I was cause I pretty much let my mom plan everything — will have a complete, utter, insane meltdown about something she swore she’d never care about. Mine was those damn playing cards.)
Then, I lose my job in a blindsiding manner. “Hey, thanks for everything in the last four years, but be out by noon, okay? We’ll send your stuff.” Okaaaay. We’re okay. We have a severance package, we have unemployment. I shall wait to find work until after the wedding. I’m going to enjoy my summer, and plan my gorgeous, happy wedding — that almost didn’t happen.
And I did. I got to enjoy the planning stuff, cause I had nothing else going on. Kelly had just had her first baby and we spent a lovely summer in the sun, making invitations and playing with baby Isabel. It was a glorious summer — the only in my adult life I will probably ever be so carefree. We had money, we were getting married, and I didn’t have a damn thing to do other than have everyone focus on ME and what I wanted. Who wouldn’t love that?
Then, on the day that should have been the best of the year, it all would come to a screeching, crashing halt. It is Friday, the day of my rehearsal dinner. We have lots to do. We have to do laundry, get packed (not working did not help my organization/planning skills even a little) drop Ramon off at Tony’s parents, I needed to get my nails done, and we needed to get a money order for the DJ. And that’s where it all turned around.
We were banking at TCF Bank, conveniently located at the Jewel, which was conveniently located next to my nail salon. Hey, why don’t we go together, I’ll get my nails done, and Tony, you can get the money order, we’ll be home by 2:00, and can get our shit together and head to Elk Grove (40 minutes away.)
I enjoy a blissful pedicure and torturous acrylic fill, which is peppered by text messages and phone calls from Tony, who had never before gotten a money order. He’s in and out of the Jewel on his phone, asking me questions, minding his own business. I patiently explain to my lovely, soon-to-be-husband, what he needs to do and what to ask for. Oh, this is going to be so wonderful! I tell my manicurist how I’m getting married, and the whole place is abuzz with excitement for upcoming nuptials. I bask in all of this attention as I’m seated at the counter, letting my pretty French manicure dry under the lamps.
Seated at said counter, I am looking out over the parking lot of the nail salon and obviously the Jewel next door. As I’m admiring my pretty pedicure, I notice a slight commotion in the salon. I hear the employees chattering at a higher volume in Vietnamese, and don’t pay much attention (as I don’t speak Vietnamese) until I hear the word, “POLICE!”
I look up from my toes to see several police cars, lights flashing, in the parking lot. I see Tony, standing alongside one of the cops, talking. I remark to my fellow patrons, “Hey, that’s my fiance. I wonder what happened?” See, the bad luck hasn’t hit us yet — it’s not yet my first instinct to think, “Oh, fuck, this can’t be good,” whenever something out of the ordinary happens. I assume he’s witnessed a fender bender, and everyone agrees, and we watch on with a passing interest. And then, AND THEN, I see the cop push Tony’s head down on top of the car and slap the handcuffs on him.
Dead silence in V Nails. Until my “AAAAHHHHHHH,” throwing money at my girl and flying out of the place (which I didn’t go back to for three years, due to the panic attacks.) “What the hell is going on??” “Oh, so you’re the lucky girl he’s going to ‘marry,’ huh?” says the Andy Griffith of fucking Hickory Hills. Tony says something about they said he hit their car, which doesn’t make sense cause he wasn’t driving. I can’t tell, because they won’t let me talk to him and one of them said to me, “You want to be in cuffs too?” (Let me please, please take a moment to say, FUCK YOU HICKORY HILLS POLICE DEPARTMENT. Thanks.)
As it turns out, unbeknownst to him, while Tony was walking in and out of the Jewel, asking me about the money order, a crackhead was robbing the Jewel of its razorblade collection. In an amazing coincidence (of which I’ll see more of in the years to come) TCF banks had recently had a string of robberies, prompting them to place an undercover cop near their stores. In another AMAZING COINCIDENCE, the crackhead thief walked right out the in entrance right as Tony came back in for the third time. The cop, noticing this, naturally assumed Tony was in on the robbery, stepping on the sensors to allow crackhead to escape freely.
So, the way it went down was my husband is standing at the counter of TCF, with EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS in cash on the counter, getting our money for our DJ for our wedding TOMORROW. He is grabbed from the back of the head and told, “Don’t fucking move.” Poor guy thought he was getting kidnapped or robbed. Until they slapped the cuffs on him and dragged him out of our neighborhood Jewel. Then he didn’t know what the fuck was happening, other than it was bad.
Fast forward to the parking lot, where the crackhead helpfully told police, “yeah, that guy in the jersey was helping me.” And then to me, with my pretty nails and feet, standing next to the cart corral while a police officer told me, “You know, we really don’t think he was involved, but since that guy pointed to him, we have to take him down to the station. You can follow us.” And then I watched as they shoved him in the back of the police car.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you really, honestly thought you were going to pass out? This was that moment. I literally had to hold onto the bars to keep from falling down. But then, okay, I rallied. I called his mom, who didn’t seem too concerned. It’ll be fine. I mean, he didn’t DO anything wrong, right? I’m mentally figuring this small blip into our plans, okay, we’ll be home in an hour, this’ll be funny.
And then I called my mother.
Who was in her own nail salon with my sister, enjoying getting ready. Predictably, she freaked. (Because really, who doesn’t want to hear from her daughter, hours before her rehearsal dinner, ’Tony got arrested, we might be late.” ) She competely loses her shit, which causes laid back me to say, “Well, Mom, he didn’t DO anything, it’ll be fine! ” “THEY ARREST AND LOCK UP INNOCENT PEOPLE ALL THE TIME, COURTNEY!”
Here, I start to waver. ”But, but, it’s going to be okay, right?” She’s going to call my cousin, a Chicago cop, to see what he can do, if anything. By this time, I’m at the police station. I ask the mean, mean lady at the front what’s happening. In short, she tells me they want to look at the footage from the Jewel. Sweet! That’ll prove his innocence. He’s not a thief, he just doesn’t know how to get a money order! Then she says, “But the VCR isn’t working right now. Not sure when they’ll get it fixed.”
Did you know that if you get arrested, you can be held for 72 hours before they charge you with anything? I didn’t. But please keep in mind that my wedding, which my loving family has paid multiple thousands of dollars for, is in LESS THAN 72 HOURS. In fact, we’re due in Elk Grove in about two hours, and we still have dirty laundry, a cat that needs to be housed, and empty suitcases. And my rehearsal dinner outfit needs to be pressed and ironed.
By this time, I am sitting on the steps of the courthouse, cause the receptionist was mean. My cousin calls me and asks me to explain the whole story to him. I do, and then he asks me to repeat it. When I’m finished, there’s a silence, and then, “I’m just gonna head over there.” And in a thin, needy voice, I say, “Do you think you need to?” “Yeah. I think I do. I’m already on the expressway.”
And here, folks, is where I completely lose my shit. It’s at this moment I realize this is actually happening. I may honestly not get my dream wedding that I’ve so blissfully taken for granted, I may not get my honeymoon ~ most importantly, I may not get my marriage. I talk to Kelly, who offers to come up to wait with Isabel, and I wail, “Noooo! I don’t want Isabel’s first memory of me to,” hiccup,” be,” hiccup,”at a” hiccup, “JAIL!!!!” I’ve talked to my mom and sister again, both nearly in tears, and by the time Keith gets there, I’m practically eating cigarettes whole while sitting on the front steps of the jail and my eyes are nearly swollen shut from hysteria-induced tears. He takes one look at me, while I look pathetically up and say, “Should I come with you?” and says, “No. You stay here.” Poor Keith. My aunt says that when I was around two and he was around ten, he told her, “No one is ever gonna mess with my cousin.” Little did he know how often he would have to fulfill that promise.
He walks in, and five minutes later, he walks out. “It’s fine. He’ll be out in a minute.” That’s it. Tony comes out, the officer shakes his hand, “Sorry, man,” and we’re on our way. A seemingly docile finish for our dramatic afternoon. I find out later that they were, in fact, going to hold him for the weekend but for my cousin’s vouching for him, he’d been handcuffed to the table arguing with the cops “There’s a THOUSAND DOLLARS in there. Why would I steal fucking razorblades???” and the VCR never did start working.
Previous to the whole false arrest before the wedding, I had told Tony in no uncertain terms that there was not to be alcohol consumption the day before our wedding. We got home from JAIL and promptly each slammed two beers. We weren’t packed. We still had our mean ass cat. My dress for the dinner was still crumpled. We showed up at our own rehearsal dinner 15 minutes late, with me in a dress of my sister’s and Tony still with marks on his wrists from the handcuffs. And when we walked up to the altar, Tony standing proudly, (victoriously, FREE) with his hands clasped behind his back, the pastor leaned over and said, “I hear you’ve had some practice standing like that today.”
At the wedding, the most wonderful day of my life, as it was not spent talking to my husband through bulletproof glass, the DJ played “Jailhouse Rock,” at my mother’s request and my new husband hit the floor with his hands behind his back and everyone laughed. The next day, we took the cat to my in laws, packed whatever was sort of clean, and went to Hooters. We laughed and talked about the wedding that almost didn’t happen and every amazing moment, from laughing through the vows to my tears at the end of the night, crying, “I don’t want my party to be over!!!” (Damn right I didn’t. I deserved that party after the traumatic events of the day before. Have I mentioned the Hickory Hills Police can piss off?)
And the next day, on my 26th birthday, we went to fucking Disneyworld. Yes, we absolutely did.
And had the time of our lives.