Friday, December 17, 2010

8:43 PM

Slightly Sketchy Habits

Hiya Ladies and Gents,

I'm so angry right now. Like ridiculously angry. I spent all night on Monday writing this amazingly wonderful blog post. Like seriously: it was fab. You would have loved it. And you know what blogger did? It fucking deleted it! DELETED IT.

I'm so angry, I can't even calm down enough to finish painting my nails.

That's big for me. I don't do fucked up nails.

This situation is a bit ironic because this week's story was all about perspective (in my opinion, you may feel it's about something completely different). So, in an attempt to demonstrate my own understanding of perspective, I'm going to stop whining now, and move onward to (re)telling my story.

Slightly Sketchy Habits

I am a big fan of rituals. I love them. I find something very calming about doing something the same way every day, day after day after day after day. Most of my rituals are really boring, like washing the dishes. Every day, I stand at my sink and concentrate only on soap and getting the dishes as close to sparkling as I can. I don't think about when I'm going to be able to afford to move to Atlanta or when I'll feel I'm ready to have babies or all the things I need to get done at work. I just kind of hone in on the dishes. My mom says it's a form of meditation.

If you really concentrate, you can make most things into a form of meditation or ritual. Like walking to work every day or lotioning after you get out of the shower. Most of rituals are super normal, but I have one that my friends find a bit controversial.

Intervention.

Have you seen it? It's easily my favorite show on television besides Law and Order:SVU and South Park. It comes on A&E every Monday night. If you haven't seen Intervention, it is a show where you spend forty-five minutes watching the most fucked up moments of someone's life. Then you see their friends and family throw them an intervention. 

The show's subjects are addicted to crystal meth, xanax, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, computer duster, and video games (apparently, I missed that episode). Having never had an addiction, I find this show fascinating. How long has Jenny been sleeping with that guy she met on craigslist in order to get oxycoton? What happened to Ryan in his childhood to make him so insecure in himself? What will happen when Rachel swallows a fifth of vodka on the way to her sister's wedding?

These are all questions that need answers.

Watching Intervention is totally normal. Everyone does it. It's won Emmy awards! What makes my watching of the show so unorthodox is that I drink while I watch it. Sometimes it's a glass of red wine, other times I find a pint of imported German ale, and --occasionally--I'll have honey whiskey on the rocks. Whatever the week's poison, I pour my drink, snuggle into my couch, and prepare for an hour of the best television in the world.

Observers of my habit have called it "sick," "wrong," and "simply disturbing."  I even had a roommate who used to lock herself into her room while I was watching Intervention. What these people don't understand is that I watch Intervention because it's cathartic, as I suspect most people do--whether or not they fess up to it.

If you've ever seen Intervention, you know that someone always cries. They can't help it. The 'cast' and audience literally watch some unfortunate person yo-yo to the edge, within moments of their last breath, over and over throughout the episode. Usually, the tears begin with the subject's mother. Then their kids start crying. And finally, the addicted person breaks into heaving sobs.

Of course, by this point in the show, I'm drunk and crying too. The show always ends by showing the subject of the episode in rehab and letting them tell you about how they feel. They are always thankful they went. This is easily one of the best parts of the show, because--finally--they are so hopeful! They are happy and smiling and they look like real people instead of coked-out junkies.

Then text flashes on the screen to tell you how the subject did post-rehab; this is where you find out if they relapsed.

I cry no matter what. If Bill goes to rehab and stays sober for 3 years and counting, I cry because it's so beautiful. If Nancy drops out of rehab and ends up living in a sandbox, I breakdown because it's such a waste. If it's really bad, I call my sister to calm me down. She knows that Monday nights are my Intervention evenings and she is always ready to talk me back into a world that makes sense. Once, there was a man--an alcoholic--who fought rehab tooth and nail. They had to threaten him with forced psychiatric hospitalization to make him go. He finished treatment and returned to his family, only to die unexpectedly three weeks later. His wife and children gave interviews talking about how happy they were to have him back for those three weeks. I was on the phone for hours.


My best friend compares it to that shtick in Fight Club where Edward Norton attends support groups for the terminally ill so he can let go of his emotions and find peace. While I'm not interacting with people face-to-face, I use Intervention to throw myself into the lives of strangers so I can encounter something more intense than my daily grind, in hopes that it will be just enough to release my emotions and cleanse all of the bad thoughts I spend all week holding in.

fin

So. What do you think: Is my habit repulsive? Is it even unusual? Do you do it too; with Intervention or some other quirky tradition? Tell me what you think and explain to me the point.

Update!
In a strange turn of events, I woke up hungover today (Christmas) and my family made me watch 2 hours of Intervention. I did cry. Then my dad handed me a beer.

I love my life.

The Point: It's good to clear out your emotions on a regular basis. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

7:09 PM

No Time to Say Hello, Goodbye! I'm Late, I'm Late, I'm Late

 Relax homies.

My post is coming!

I might have big news soon...I might not. I'm up to something, and scheming takes time. But I haven't forgotten you. Check this out if you want a good giggle until I return: GO! Look at this now and giggle!

Story of my life.

Luvs ya!

-Abernathy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2:44 PM

This Shit is Bananas

Friends,

We have an EMERGENCY! It's Wednesday afternoon and I am writing you a new post and putting my previously written and beautifully drafted post on the back-burner just so we can talk about what's going on in the world today. I read the news, I know what's up. There's a very serious epidemic going around. Do you know what I'm talking about?

I'm referring to the banning of Four Loko: the bigger, stronger, cooler, bad boy big brother of Sparks and Joose. I hope you've seen Four Loko before. Either in the hand of an obnoxiously drunk person, on the news, or as you were purchasing it at your local Kroger. If you've never had the pleasure, Four Loko comes in a giant camo-print can. The camo is either pink, purple, yellow, green, or blue depending on the flavor. Check it out:

Yuuuuuuuuuummmy! And apparently, super dangerous. Each can contains 11% alcohol by volume and enough energy to power you through a mini-marathon. All over the US, people are freaking out because college kids are drinking multiple cans of Four Loko and then passing out, going to the emergency room, or - in the worst cases - dying.

I have drank Four Loko on three occasions - each one more magical than the last - and have since stopped drinking that shit. It's not because I don't like it - I LOVE IT! In fact, I love it entirely too much. And because I know what's good for my reputation, I've stopped. I now can only have a Four Loko on special occasions. And it has to be my ONLY drink of the night. (In all seriousness, you only need one. This particular combo of caffeine and alcohol is potent.)

But apparently college kids have no clue what's good for them. NO CLUE! And because of this, they are going to cause it to be outlawed for everyone.

So, because I love this opportunity to keep up with current events (and because my shame tolerance is relatively high), I'm going to tell you a story about me and the Loko.

This Shit is Bananas

The first time I ever saw a Four Loko, I was at my friend Sharon's house. We were hanging out, getting ready for what were were hoping would be big house party when Sharon's roommate, Lisel, approached me with a Four Loko in hand. Someone had left a few camo-print cans in her beer drawer after her last party and she refused to drink the stuff. "However," she said, "I know I can count on you to drink it Abernathy. You drink anything."

Truer words have never been spoken.

While my friend, Jade, inspected the can and began raving on about how stupid it was to drink alcoholic energy drinks with this much alcohol (she's studying to be a nurse), I played a quick round of eenie meenie miney mo to choose which can I'd go for first: blue raspberry or fruit punch.

Blue raspberry won out and so it began. I will tell you all that the first sip of Four Loko was fucking disgusting. I mean, so sweet and sugary, I thought I'd lose all of my teeth. However, I'm not one to turn down a free drink, so I powered through and about halfway through the can, it didn't seem to taste so bad. That's also around the time I started to feel it's effects.

At the time this story takes place, you should know that I was working on spicing up my exercise routine. I had been using dumbells at home, but I was bored. I tried running, but I'm not a big fan of moving that fast unless someone's chasing me. I tried going to the gym, but I was always beat there by old faculty members who wanted to listen to Simon and Garfunkel while we worked out (SIMON & GARFUNKEL!!!). Finally, I settled on Carmen Electra's Strip Tease DVDs. Unfortunately, the only one the local thrift store had was installment four: The Lap Dance.

So half a Four Loko in, I decided to show my girl friends all of the moves Carmen had taught me. To help you picture the scene, I'm in the living room with 5 or 6 girls while all of our guy friends are out on the porch. Luckily, the back porch has a sliding glass door, so the boys can see everything going on inside.

I asked Sharon to put on "something slinky" (which I think ended up being Britney Spears, but that's neither her nor there), I grabbed a kitchen chair, and got to work. At first, everyone looked a bit scandalized. I mean I was standing up, lying down, straddling the chair- generally acting like a drunk with an embarrassing idea. But by the second run through, I began noticing that people seemed a bit more attentive to my antics.

This is when Jade intervened. She walked over to the chair and said, "Hey. I want to learn to do that." So I slowed the dance down and began telling her how to shake her hips. We ran through the dance a few times, but she refused to do the move that required she swing her leg over the chair back so she could straddle the chair. I didn't push: Carmen says that everyone gets comfortable in their own time.

After we got tired of that, I decided to go outside and see the boys. I would say at this point, there was maybe a quarter of my drink left. It wasn't until I walked outside that I realized they had witnessed my every move. One high-fived me, but another decided to comment on the speed of my dance, saying it was too slow and not fluid enough.

SERIOUSLY???? What guy complains about witnessing two girls shimmy around for 20 minutes? I mean, I'm not a pro at boys, but from the amount of times I've been hit on by them in the clubs, I think it's safe to say that - in general - boys love watching girls gyrate around.

So, drunk as I was, I got angry. Who was he to think he could insult me? Especially, drunk arrogant energized me? I said, "Fine, you want to see a lap dance? I'd show you one, but I don't want to tease you with one when you know you can't have me."

My friend said, "Hey baby, it's whatever. I'm not going to stop you and you might come over to my team someday."

Uligh...nastay.

Lisel spoke up before I could say anything in response. "You could give me a lap dance." Of course I could. Lisel's living room is very quickly taking on the reputation of lap dance central. I've recieved, witnessed, taught, and given lap dances in her living room. I don't know why, but her living room is where the crazy goes down. (Do you hear me Lisel? Sharon? Lap Dance Central in there.)

Driven by my need to defend my marvelous lap dancing skills, I grabbed Lisel and marched her into the living room. Jade just shook her head, "You are not going to do this." She said it like she was watching a freight train barrel towards my reputation, but she could not hit the brakes fast enough to save me.

"Oh yes she is!" Lisel bellowed. "Sharon, put on the music!" The music came on and I began to work my magic. I'll admit, I was a little too into it (it's a risk you take when you're working with the Loko) and within 4 bars of the song, Lisel was shoving me off of her lap.

As I caught my footing I heard a beeping noise, which sounded suspiciously like a camera. I turned quickly and found Jade in the corner with her digital camera in hand. "Oh no," I breathed, shaking my head. You don't have to be sober to know that drunk photos typically aren't for sharing. However, you do need to be sober to figure out how to deal with them. I opted for chugging the remainder of my drink.

Ten minutes later, Jade was no longer taking pictures: she was videotaping my rap-tacular skillz as I performed Afro Man's "Colt 45." And at this point, though I knew I didn't really want to be taped, I was too drunk to even ask her to put it away. Oddly enough, the boys were all over this. I earned mad respect once they realized that I knew- and was prepared to sing- every. single. word. It was amazing.

Soon after, the boys left and Jade passed out. Sharon approached me with the second can of Four Loko and insisted I drink it. I may have been drunk, but I was not stupid. I told her no and she suggested that we then share the can. I agreed, although I had no intention of drinking anything more than a sip.

We stayed up talking for a while and I stuck to my guns- I barely even tasted that can of Four Loko. Everyone went to sleep while Sharon and I were chatting. Then Sharon fell asleep an hour or so later. Here's where the caffeine side of Four Loko comes in; it keeps you up. I was awake with only Netflix to keep me company until 5am. At which point I realized I was sober enough to drive and dirty enough to need a shower.

Fin

Alright kids, I think we can all agree after seeing my first run-in with the Loko that it's okay to drink it if you know your limits. This is where THE COLLEGE KIDS ARE DOING IT WRONG.

Is that The Point: "Know your limits"???
I can think of at least two other points. What do you think?

Update!
The Points:
1. Thou shall know thy's limits with regard to alcohol. Seriously.
2. It pays to have the confidence to tell your friends "no" when pressured.
3. You know you picked a good friend when she promises not to post your drunk lap-dance photos all over the interweb--and then follows through on that promise. Thank you, Jade.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

3:23 PM

Oblivious Abroad

Hey,

so I came up with a new plan for the blog. I'm always thinking of new plans for this thing. My new plan is to post my stories on Thursday evenings. And when I post, no points or morals or big picture ideas will be provided. And then you can give me point ideas through the weekend. On Monday, I'll weigh in. You know, this might make this feel a bit like a discussion and that could be totally cool.

What are your thoughts? Will you play along? I know one little lady who will; my friend over at PostCollegiate! She's a sweetie and you should visit her blog to say hi.

Oblivious Abroad

When I got to Denmark, I told myself that I was on a great adventure and the only goal was to "find myself." Five girls from my college went with me to Hamlet's homeland, but I told them after week one that I didn't want to spend much time hanging out with them; if I latched onto people I was comfortable with nothing abroad would be able to force me to grow up.

I look back on this and think about how much of a badass I am. Seriously, there I was in a country where I didn't speak the language, I didn't know my way around, my parents were a nine hour flight and layover in London away, and I was pushing away the only people I knew.  Sometimes, I'm super impressed by my crazy ideas. 

Anyways, in week one, I accompanied some of the Americans in my apartment complex to this wonderful bar in the center of Copenhagen, The Scottish Pub (so creative!). 



Everyone loved this bar because they served this huge tube, which looked like a bong of beer. You paid $20 or 100kr for it and you and your friends would be able to drink for a few hours (if you were American) or 45 minutes (if you were Danish). I wish I could show you this amazing contraption, but it's not even on the pub's website!

So there I am, week one in Copenhagen, surrounded by hoardes of American kids who are just as lost in this city as I am. A boy from my crash course in dansk (Danish), decides to meet a bunch of new kids through our shared alcoholism, and purchases the beer tube, announcing that he'll share it with the first six kids to show up at his table.

Obviously, within two-point-five seconds, I'm sitting at a fully occupied table. Kids start moaning as they realize the table is full, but the six of us with seats happily push them away. We all stare around the table with giant toothy grins; we know we're about to get drunk on someone else's dime and it can't be anything but wonderful. As we start drinking, it becomes apparent that we don't know anything about each other so we begin to chit-chat: this is what program I'm in. Here are my lofty dreams for my European semester. How are all of the people here so beautiful? (And they are beautiful. Fucking gorgeous.)

About halfway through the beer tube, our conversation took a telling turn. Fun fact: at the time we were in Copenhagen, the city boasted a multilevel sex museum, Museum Erotica:

Unfortunately, it closed in summer 2009. Luckily, this story is set in late winter 2008, and for seven American kids from seven small liberal arts colleges, this museum in the middle of the shopping street was so interesting. What was in there? How much would we have to pay to go in? Is it appropriate for teens? Would we see porn if we went in?

We considered walking over to the museum (which is literally five minutes walk from the town center), but decided it wasn't worth the sacrifice of our beer. Instead, we continued to discuss the attitudes towards sex in Europe (crash course: no one cares about what you do, who you do it with, and - as long as your 16 or so - how old you are when you're doing it). One boy was talking about how his host mother told him he was welcome to have his girlfriends or boyfriends over whenever he liked. He responded by saying, "Thanks for the hospitality, but I have a girlfriend in the States...and I'm straight."

His mother just nodded, "I know, you've told me. But when you decide to have others over - girl or boy - it's okay."

I was about to snicker, when a few of the other kids at the table shouted out terms of agreement; they'd gotten the same greeting upon entering their host families' homes. One's host father had even asked him how he planned to stay in Europe for four months without sleeping with anyone if the girlfriend was all the way in America.

The only girl at the table, other than myself, spoke up. She said her host sister had explained that no one would expect any Dane at our age to commit to being with only one person. Also, they thought we were kind of young to decide we'd only ever be with this gender or that gender. In Danish terms: we were sexually oppressing ourselves.

We all took a minute a good dose of beer to think this through. Playing with her long red hair, the girl spoke up again. "I think it's kind of a neat thing, you know?"

"Yeah," this one guy said, pausing. "We should sexually liberate ourselves this semester."

"Here ye, here ye!" The boy from my Danish class shouted. We all toasted each other.

"Alright," someone shouted, "all around the table: what are you going to do to liberate yourself?"

"Visit the sex museum!"

"Cheers!" We shouted and drank.

"Go to the naked party in my kollegium (Danish dorm): no clothes, no drink!"

"Cheers!"

"Enroll in that new sexuality class that's posted on the bulletin board at school!"

"Cheers!"

"Find a gay bar and compare it to this one."

"Ch-"

"STOP!" The read head girl yelled.

"What?" We all asked.

"You." She pointed at me. Crap. The gay bar had totally been my plan for sexual liberation.

"What?" I asked, annoyed to be called out before my idea could be cheered.

"If you don't want to go alone, I'll go with you. Gay bar, gay club, just call and I'm in."

I shrugged, "Okay."

"No, seriously." She grabbed my phone off of the table and plugged in her number. "My name is Rachel."

"Okay." I shrugged again. "Thanks."

"Seriously." She said. She was looking at me really funny- her eyes wouldn't look away from my face and I didn't really know what to do or say.  I looked around the table, hoping the boys to speak up. They were all staring at us intently. As soon as they caught me looking at them, they began chugging what was left of their beers. I was on my own.

I looked back down to my phone. "Rachel Gay Bar?" I asked, seeing how she'd named herself in my phonebook.

"Yeah," She smiled, "so you don't forget."

"No worries: I won't." I promised her.

But here's the thing: I totally did. It wasn't until three months into my semester (and one month before I was going home), when I was sharing a block of hash with some friends when I decided to check through my phonebook and came across "Rachel Gay Bar." And - after quickly running through that night again in my head- I finally realized she had totally been hitting on me in the Scottish Pub!


Fin

Before you begin making fun of my gaydar epic fail, you have to remember that when I got to Copenhagen, I was thinking that being gay was this thing I might be, but probably wasn't. Like, I knew that might be what was going on in my head, but I doubted it. I guess this is called denial or excessive ignorance of self. All the same, I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever tell you a story where my gaydar works or I have game with the ladies.

Only time will tell.

Now, suggest your points!

The point of today's story is...





Monday, November 1, 2010

8:08 PM

A Whole New World

Hey you guys,

I haven't been here for a while and in a minute I'm going to tell you a story that will kind of explain why. This story isn't like my others in that it's A) not a happy story and B) it's not really about me. However, because it's a someone's story that intersects with my own life, I feel that it's a story we can examine to figure out what the point is because right now, I don't have a clue of it myself.

A Whole New World

I have a mother and she has a sister. We'll call the sister (my aunt) Diana. Diana has a husband. His name is Row (and he's my uncle). Everybody following me so far?

Good.

So last Sunday, my mom calls me and says, "Hey baby, your Uncle Row is going to have open heart surgery tomorrow. His arteries are clogged. But don't worry; I've got a feeling he'll be okay."

I could have told you in that second that Row would be fine. My mom has the best intuition I've ever encountered. In fact, I sometimes wonder if she's psychic...but that's a story for another day.

Row went in for his surgery on Monday at 6am and I waited all day to hear how he was. I left work at 6:00pm and still had heard nothing. I began to wonder, could my mom's intuition actually be wrong? I called, frantic for news, but my mom just said, "There's no word. I keep calling but Diane won't call back. Now I'm worried; it's been over 12 hours. Maybe something went wrong. I'll call as soon as I hear anything." Then she hung up.

Later that night, I still hadn't heard anything, so I shoved worry aside and went to the bar with my friends for a  few beers. Halfway through my first round, my mom called. She sounded really happy. "It turns out Uncle Row is fine." She breathed deeply and I interrupted- "I knew it. You sound happy." Silence. When my mom spoke again, her voice was a whole octave lower and a tissue box of tears sadder. "Well baby, I do have some bad news. Diana wasn't feeling well this afternoon. So your cousin took her in to the hospital to get checked out. When they pulled into the parking lot, Diana was unresponsive. The doctors rushed her into the hospital and they had to put a tube down her throat. She's having a blood stroke." I had walked outside of the bar to take this call and immediately, I thought I'd faint. My whole stomach dropped and I felt completely weightless. I was sure that in any second I'd be lying on the cold concrete.

I forced myself to pull it together-this was my mother's fucking sister. I asked my mom if she was okay. Obviously anything I was feeling was minute compared to what she must be feeling. My mother is the youngest of eight children and because she grew up in the not-so-well-off section of an urban city, her mother and father had to work multiple jobs to keep food on the table. Diana had a substantial hand in raising my mom and I could tell from the time I was a child that my mom idolized her big sister. She said she was fine and that she would update me in a while as to what was going on, but she wanted to get off of the phone and keep her line clear.

I went back into the bar and handed my beer over to my friend. There was a good chance I'd be leaving town in the next two hours. Sure enough, my mom called me back twenty minutes later. She didn't think Diana was going to wake up. She was leaving her house to get to Diana. My mother lives 4 hours away from her sister and, leaving at 11pm, she wasn't going to reach her until at least 3am. I asked her if she'd rather wait until the morning to leave, but she said she just needed to be near her sister.

I left the bar pretty immediately after that and had barely walked through my front door when my dad called and told me not to even think of driving to see Diana. I can't tell you why, but his saying that really unnerved me and I didn't sleep well at all.

I didn't hear anything on Tuesday. I texted family members all day with no response. Finally, around 8:30pm, my mom called. "Diana didn't make it." She didn't sound sad or happy and that's when I knew she was in shock. 

My mom called again later that night and I have never heard her sound quite as hopeless as she did then. She told me that Row had just woken up from surgery and was asking for Diana. The doctors told my family that they couldn't tell Row about Diana because of his heart; it wasn't healed from surgery yet. "I lied to him," my mom told me, sounding defeated. "I told him she wasn't feeling well."

I finally made it to the hospital (which is also four hours from my apartment) on Wednesday. When I got there, my whole family was in the room and they had just told Row that his wife was gone. I asked them how he took it: 
   
     His daughter said, "Dad, you know mom wasn't feeling well. Well we lost her."
     Row just smiled, "Lost her where?"
     His daughter shook her head, "She had a stroke, Dad. She's gone."
     And then he cried.

So now it's Monday night. Row is at home with his daughters and his family. I talked to him today and all he can say is, "I'm holding on." 

fin

So that's today's story. I warned you that it wouldn't be a happy one. 

My uncle went to sleep for a few hours and when he woke up, he was in a whole new world without his life partner by his side. Aside from taking suggestions on the point of this story is, I also want to know if this thing of one spouse going in for surgery or some other procedure while the other one passes away has happened to anyone you know, because I've never heard of such a thing before.

Today's Point: To Be Determined


Thursday, October 14, 2010

6:48 PM

Snot

You guys,

This is gross.




Snot

When I was in middle school, I was super religious. Seriously, I went to church every week and hung out in my church's youth center (which was a redesigned BARN complete with a loft...it was ah-mazing!) and I knew at least half of my friends through church. I was all up in the church thing. 

So it should come as no surprise that during the first few days of my eighth grade year, I decided to join the Christian kids on campus for a few minutes of worship every Wednesday morning. Obvs,  because of that huge divide between church and state (yes, the divide that is somehow still halting my ability to get married in all 50 states) we weren't allowed to actually hold our meetings on campus. But luckily we lived in Texas, so there was a church across the street (and next door, and down the road, and catty corner, and behind...) our school.

The group I joined was called something completely unoriginal like "Christian Fellowship for Young Adults" or "Fellowship of Christian Athletes." I don't really remember specifics, but it totally involved the words "fellowship" and "Christian."

And before you ask, no, I was not a campus athlete.

But it didn't matter, because I was Christian and I was willing to get to school early to trek across the street and hang out with J.C. and friends. That's all the kids cared about.

So. One specific Wednesday, I got to church and I was in such a good mood! It'd been a few weeks so I knew most of the kids pretty well and I liked the church even though no one else was a Catholic like me and also, we were given free juice boxes and Krispy Kremes. It was a beautiful morning to be in 8th grade.

Everyone got into the pews and before we began reading scripture, the adult hosts asked if they could have two volunteers: a young man and a young lady. I was more than happy to volunteer. I guess you could see the excitement on my face because adults chose me to be one lucky volunteer and then they chose a tall lanky boy, a basketball player or something, to be the other.

The two of us are asked to go into the lobby until we were called back in. We went outside and talked about the metal crosses hanging from the walls and stained glass and our love for J.C. and yadda yadda. After about five minutes we were called back in.

On the alter were two grey trashcans. In the trashcans were cheerios. We were told - with no explanation - to eat the cheerios as fast as we can; it was a food race!

I don't remember who won.

I don't remember what the point was.

What I do remember is the look on everyone's face afterwords: pure disgust. I couldn't figure out what was up, because for the rest of the morning, everyone looked at me and the basketball player really funny. But soon, our 45 minutes of J.C. time was up and everyone walked back across the street and went about our usual middle school lives.

It was second period when the loudspeaker crackled in math class and the principal's voice came through, asking if Miss Abernathy Q- could "make her way to the principal's office."

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

In Texas, there's a big belief in corporal punishment: if you behave badly, the principal has the authority to beat you with a paddle. No lie. So every time anyone got asked to visit his office, all they could think about was what had they done wrong and how much would their spanking would hurt. Even if you weren't in trouble, you still thought about it.


Unfortunately, I was not receiving a spanking. Instead, I got to the office and found the room crowded with my parents, the basketball player and his parents, and the balding yet terrifyingly strong principal. What had I done wrong?

All of the parents were yelling and the principal was blushing and trying to take control of the room. I stood in the door awkwardly for about five minutes as blame and the words "disgusting," "sue," and "school board," were fired back and forth between the principal and the parents.


Finally, I realized something major had happened and I was out of the loop. "What happened?" I shouted.

Everyone stopped yelling and looked at me. It was nauseatingly silent in that office. I wished I hadn't asked.

"Sit down," the principal motioned to an empty chair by my parents.

"You didn't tell her?" My dad asked. He. Was. Pissed.

The basketball player looked up. "Yeah, my friends told me about it in class."

"WHAT?!" I asked. Honestly, I hate hold outs.

"The cheerios you ate this morning? They were covered in snot."

I cocked my head. Exactly how would this happen? Can you guess, dear reader, how this happened? I couldn't. But luckily, the basketball player explained it for me:

While we had been chatting it up in the lobby, two more volunteers were chosen. These two kids were asked to stick cheerios up their noses and then shoot them out into the trashcans. Five minutes later, we were asked to digest said cheerios.

FUCKING DISGUSTING.

I said as much and - for once in my life - was not at all chided for my crass vocabulary. The principal turned about as scarlet as a pomegranete seed upon hearing my opinion. He suggested that I wait outside with my parents while he talked to the basketball player.

When the kid and his parents finally left the office ten minutes later, the kid told me he didn't think it was that big of a deal. As long as we didn't get sick, he didn't care. He hoped he saw me in church next week.

Was that a joke???

I let my parents go into the office without me. They screamed a helluva lot, but we didn't end up suing.

And in the end, I don't know how they resolved the matter.

But I never went to any Christian fellowship meetings ever again.

fin

Today's point: Sometimes there will be people (maybe older than you) who seem pure and wonderful and trustworthy and who declare they want nothing more than to help you get further on your life/spiritual journey. And though they may have never given you cause not to, I advise that question these bitches. Their motives may be legit, but if they believe that snot covered cheerios can teach you a lesson about God, you probably don't want to learn a whole lot from them.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

8:29 AM

Hey, Guess What? We Play for the Same Team!

Ohmigosh guys!

I'm posting TWICE IN ONE WEEK. What the fuck, right?!

This is my gift to you for being patient.

I have another coming out story to tell you. Only in this one I actually do come out of the closet, so weeeee! for that small success. I love this story so much that I'm not even going to give you an introduction to it, I'm just going to jump in.

Hey, Guess What? We Play for the Same Team!

My senior year of college, I had my own room in this wonderful dorm that had high ceilings and hardwood floors. My lesbi-bestie, Arla, lived across the hall and neither of us had a single class before 10:40 in the morning. Life was wonderful.

Part of the reason that Arla and I work so well as besties is that we are both hardcore party girls. We've tested ourselves, and learned we can party for fifteen days straight before we breakdown. That's pretty impressive isn't it? It's okay if you also find that a bit disgusting. No one needs to drink tequila every day for fifteen days, but that's a story for another day.

Luckily, we've developed a few rules and habits to keep us healthy and breathing on nights when the parties get a little too intense. Our senior year we introduced carbs into our recovery plan, and we always wound up sitting on my floor and eating copious amounts of Tostitos and queso sauce. Eating of course led to talking and nine times out of ten, we'd forget about the food in minutes and wind up sprawled out on the floor having wonderful heart to hearts. We are the girliest gays you know.

One random Saturday night, we lay curled up, facing each other and telling secrets on the floor when I announced, "Arla, I think I like girls."

"Really?" She asked.

"Yeah," I smiled, "Yeah, I think I do."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah." (Don't you love drunk conversation?)

"Well, I knew that." Arla said very seriously.

I sat up, shocked. "How?!"

"I just did," Arla claimed. "You seem really gay." I made a face, but Arla continued, "Like I even remember thinking that you were gay when I met you first year."

"What?"

"Yeah," she reasoned, "You were really weird. But in a gay way." She thought for a moment. "But I don't know what I am."

"What?!" I exclaimed, "You've only dated a girl for the last three years."

"That doesn't mean anything." Arla rolled back to a seated position and attacked the queso. "Like, what makes you think you know?"

I shrugged, "I don't know. Um...I just think I know."

"No, you're right," Arla said. "You're gay...but what am I?"

"Gay." I said.

"So now we're both gay?" Arla asked.

I rolled back onto the floor and stared at the ceiling. "Yeah," I murmured.

"Yeah." she said.

We sat in silence for a moment. "We're gay." Arla announced. We both broke into giggles.

Fin

The Point of Today's Story: 
Never assume you know everything about the people around you. You'll always be surprised by the new things you'll figure out if you keep paying attention.

Monday, September 27, 2010

9:09 AM

Are These Girls Hitting On Us???

I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

Hey hos,

I am back with another fabulous story. Are you excited? Were you worried this day would never come? It's okay, so was I. But we made it. You and I, together forever. I promise.

So, we're going to resume our relationship with a story from my time in Denmark. Somewhere around two years ago, I spent four months of my junior year living in the capitol city of Copenhagen and picking up all sorts of fabulous Danish customs which I had to un-learn upon moving back to the states (the hardest one to lose: drinking in class and in the town square as a way of celebrating a good day). This is by far one of my favorite Danish memories and I hope it elicits a few giggles as you read through.

Enjoy!

Are These Girls Hitting On Us???

In my study abroad school, the students were divided up by academic programs. My group, communications and mass media, consisted of about twenty-six kids from Russia, Canada, China and the US. Throughout the semester, each program goes on two or three field trips through Denmark and greater Europe. For the communications program's first trip, we stopped in a small town in Western Denmark named Ringkøbing. 

For our one night in Ringkøbing, we were invited to stay at a convent which had a strict lights out and lock-in time of 12am. Luckily for me and my fellow communication students, our charter bus rolled into Ringkøbing around 8pm. The twenty-six of us quickly decided that drinks were in order, so after claiming rooms and laying down our luggage, we took to the city and sought out the only legitimate bar in the town.  

Now, I have to be honest: I wasn't all that close to anyone in my program. But if I had to name the two people I liked best, they would be Emery and Ekaterina. Ekaterina was from a small town in Maryland and did everything exactly as she wanted, all of the time. As we wandered off of the bus, she complained about all the girls getting dolled up just to grab a few drinks. Seeing an opportunity to cement my social circle for the evening, I volunteered to wear sweats to the bar with her. All of the other girls in our program balked at the idea and continued coating their lashes in Revlon as Ekaterina and I pulled on our scrungiest, comfiest, warmest sweat pants.

We grabbed Emery on our way into the bar and alerted him that he would be our buddy for the evening. So as the twenty-six members of my program found seating in the bar, I cozied up to a table with my two favsies and settled in for a few drinks.

We started out with shots of Jack Daniels on Emery's tab. The bar was named Shooters (can you believe it?) and Emery had on a Jack Daniels t-shirt, so he christened our table "Team Jack" and promised to cover all shots of Jack for the evening. I should have known then that we were in for a long ride. Ekaterina and I took our shots graciously but quickly forgot Emery and got lost in a conversation between ourselves (basically, ripping on the crazy girls in our program. Can you see why we got along so well?). 

I love you all enough to find this bar on GoogleMaps

About two hours, a few rounds of beers, a two rounds of Jack shots later, the majority of our program left Shooters to head back to the convent. Although it was only 10ish, they worried that they would get too drunk to get back on time (a fair argument as the convent was about half a mile away and were navigating the path in the dark). Instead of leaving with them, Team Jack bought another round and stayed on.

We engaged in completely ridiculous conversation and, for whatever reason, Emery kept the shots coming. At one point he got up to get another tray of shots and two Danish girls came over to the table. Ekaterina and I had seen them earlier in the bathroom. They were slim, blond, and dressed in glittering, skin-tight gold dresses. Their hair was teased into crazy angles that only Danish girls can ever pull off. Both girls were wearing heels despite the brick roads of  Ringkøbing. One girl was amazingly tall and the other was a typical height of 5'4 or so. 

The tall girl pulled up a bar stool beside me, "Hi, I'm Lenja." (Pronounce it Len-YA) She pointed to her shorter friend who was beside Ekaterina, "This is Sacha." Ekaterina and I rolled our eyes at each other. We were used to girls trying to get in with us just so they could hit on Emery; he was gorgeous and though I was figuring out how gay I was at the time, even I couldn't deny Emery's good looks. Tall, brunette, and just dark enough to look exotic without implicating a specific country of origin, Emery was smart, he played soccer, and he was amazingly fit.

"Our friend's name is Emery," Ekaterina said. "No, he's not taken but he is from Canada and is only in town for the night."

Lenja and Sacha looked at each other awkwardly. Sacha finally slid her arm around Ekaterina's shoulder. "I don't care about what your friend's name is. What is your name?" I felt Lenja drop her hand to my thigh and I looked over to Ekaterina, who was clearly just as confused as I was.

We introduced ourselves as it began to dawn on us that maybe, just maybe, we were getting hit on. This is when Emery choose to re-join the table. Emery took one look at these girls and, knowing just how gorgeous he was, began hitting on them with a confidence that only boys who always score can have. Ekaterina and I  continued to stare at each other in shock and mumble incoherent words every now and again. Very quickly, we could see Emery's distress as the girls tried to ignore his advances and continued to touch and look at Ekaterina and I. Finally, Lenja and Sacha couldn't handle it anymore, and they left the table.

Emery inquired about our guests immediately, "Did those girls seem weird to you?"

We burst out laughing. "Oh my God!" We shrieked between shots, "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!"

"We're wearing sweats!" I screamed! "Sweats!"

"I know! I can't believe..." We burst out in more giggles.

"What?" Emery asked, looking at us both cautiously. "What are you two going on about?"

"Hitting on us!" I half whispered to Emery, "those girls! They were trying to pick us up."

Emery shook his head, "You're joking."

Ekaterina, "As I live and breathe! They think we're sexy-"

"In our sweat pants!" I finished. We both burst out in more giggles. 

Emery looked at us both with new found respect. "Whoa. That's kind of hot."

"Oh shut up and take us home," Ekaterina ordered as she and I polished off the last two shots on the table.

The first quarter mile of the walk back to the convent was simple: we filled Emery in on exactly what had happened while he'd been retrieving the final supply of shots. Then Ekaterina and I decided to hold hands and pretend we were actually together since we were obviously super awesome (and so super drunk). It's around this time that we came across the construction site. Ekaterina had to pee and recruited me to go with her. "Girls don't let friends pee alone." She said. 

"Or girlfriends," I corrected. We began giggling all over again and the next thing I remember we were both fully clothed lying on our backs side by side in front of a bulldozer. 

"Oh no." Emery was standing above us looking worried. "Get up, we have fifteen minutes to get back."

"No," Ekaterina shouted, "we're sleeping out here. In the dirt." She grabbed my hand. "It's okay, Abernathy will stay with me."

"No no no no no," Emery shook his head. "We're all going back to the convent."

"I don't think so." Ekaterina taunted.

"If I have to pick you up and carry you back, you're going home. Is that understood?" I looked over at Ekaterina. She had a crush on Emery (like every girl in our program... but me) and I could see the gears turning in her head.

I sat up. "I'll walk home if you carry Ekaterina." 

I am such an awesome friend.

Emery looked at me suspiciously, but he bent down and picked Ekaterina up anyway. She didn't let go of my hand so I stood up as Emery hoisted her over his shoulder.

As we walked through the glass double doors of the convent, we heard the automatic clocks click to lock us in. Looking up at the clock in the corner, we realized we made it home seconds before our deadline.

***

Today's points:

My friend, K, says the point of this story is I make a cute butch lesbian. I disagree (I'm sure I make a cute butch, but that's not The Point). I think that the point of this story everyone is attracted to ladies who are comfortable in their skin. That and people always think you're hottest when you aren't even trying. In sweats or evening gowns, if we're comfy and having a good time without worrying about impressing anyone, those are our magic moments.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

4:35 PM

We Didn't Break Up...We're Just on a Break With No End

You guys.

I suck. I know I do. I'm so sorry.

It's not that I want to let you down and miss my Thursday deadlines. I really don't. It's just life has gotten so busy! First I had mystery fleas in my apt. Then I signed up to take a writing class (which is kicking my ass). And then five crazy women descended on my house for a weekend. Also, at some point in the midst of this, I ended up at a Lady Gaga concert (!!!!), getting fitted for a bridesmaid dress, and watching three love triangles crash and burn. At least you can trust I've collected some good stories!

To the four people out in cyberspace (and down the block) who actually read this: I <3 you! I will make it up to you. I promise! Hold tight. I'll be back as soon as I can.

xo,

Abernathy

Thursday, August 19, 2010

6:22 AM

How Did That Straight Girl Get in My Bed?

Hey crew,

How are you doing this fine Thursday? Can you believe I'm meeting a deadline? This is exciting; I may get the hang of this yet!

It's time for another tale about my post-collegiate existence. This one guest stars my roommate's best friend from high school, Cambria. Cambria is surprisingly attractive (though she is straight) and she is also freakin' hilarious. However, whenever Cambria comes to visit, things have a way of breaking or going ridiculously awry. 

This week's story is my favorite of the Cambria Chronicles. I hope it makes you laugh out loud at your computers! (If it does, you should totally comment and let me know.)

How Did That Straight Girl Get in My Bed? 

On the night this story took place, my roommate, Gemma, invited two of her friends to crash at our place: Jack and Cambria. The four of us went out for dinner and drinks at a local bar. The conversation never dulled and when the restaurant closed, we decided to pick up a few bottles of wine and keep the night going. Between refreshingly honest conversation and a few fixed card games, we lost track of time and partied into the early morning hours. 

Eventually, we ran out of wine and realized that it would probably be in our best interest to go to sleep: Gemma and I had to go to work in a few hours, Jack had an EMT test at 7:30, and Cambria had a first round interview for a very lucrative job in town. Jack ended up on our sleeper sofa, Cambria was going to share Gemma's bed, and I had my room to myself. We all said our goodnights and promptly passed out.

Around 4am, I woke up to weird noises in my room. Unsure of what I'd find, I took a deep breath and poked my head out of my covers, only to see Cambria pacing back and forth beside my bed. Relieved and somewhat confused I said, "Hey Cambria, what's going on?"

She looked at the floor and shook her head, "Don't worry about it. I'm just going to go use the bathroom. I think it's over there." Cambria looked half asleep still, but she was pointing towards the hallway where the bathroom was located, so I figured she'd make it to the right place.

I lay down to go back to sleep while Cambria tried to leave my room, but she couldn't figure out how to get the bedroom door shut (in her defense, the lock is too high so you have to wiggle the door just right). Finally, I crawled out of bed to close it myself. The two of us ended up fighting over the door for a good minute or two. We eventually got it closed, but by then I was wide awake and I needed to pee too. I decided to sit outside of the bathroom and wait. 

And wait.

And wait.

Finally, Cambria came out of the bathroom and pushed past me. In my exhausted half-drunk state, I thought to myself, "Whatever, Abernathy; go pee and deal with her later."  

So I did my thing. But when I got back to my bedroom, Cambria was spread eagle on my bed. 

Now you should know that I have a giant stuffed teddy bear that I sleep with every fucking night. I've had it as long as I can remember and it's not going anywhere: my rule is I can't date a girl who has a problem with my bear being in the bed. And absolutely no one can sleep with my bear but me.

Cambria was laying on top of my bear! I reached over and yanked it out from under her and cried, "Cambria!?" 

The girl didn't even budge.

So I said, "CAMBRIA!" 

But she didn't move. 

I felt bad because I didn't want to wake Jack, but this hooker was in my bed. So eventually, I smacked her back with my teddy bear (maybe this wasn't quite necessary), and kind of shouted, "CAMBRIA!!!"

Quick as a whip, she looked at me and screamed, "I call the wall!" before rolling over to go back to sleep.

So I said, "Fuck it," and climbed into my bed and went to sleep beside her.

When I woke up for work a few hours later, I was in bed alone. Not bothering to question the early morning's odd events, I began to get ready for my day. As I finished cooking breakfast (okay, pouring cereal), I saw Cambria sitting on the couch. She looked really confused. 

I looked at her and she stared back quizzically, but neither of us said anything.  A few minutes into the standoff, Gemma came out of her room and sat next to Cambria. "Dude," she said, "where did you go in the middle of the night?"

Cambria looked at me and cocked her head before asking, "Did I sleep in your bed?"

I nodded and said, "Yeah girl, you called the wall."
Fin

Today's Point: Sometimes your guests will require more hospitality than you originally anticipated (i.e. half of your bed). Give what's reasonable, but know your limits: no one touches your teddy bear.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

8:40 AM

It Means What You Want It To

Hey Homies,

Let's talk about music this week. I love music. I think I love it as much as I love breathing, only I hope there is music after I stop breathing. Like a pandora.com of the afterlife which will have songs to help me adjust to not having a body and sleeping on rainclouds. You know what I mean.

Whatever.

Let's get on with the story.

It Means What You Want It To

My junior year of college, I lived in a suite with three other girls; two girls per room. I lived in one room with my lesbi-bestie, Arla (we were the gay room although we didn't really know it at the time) and our straight besties, Toga and Piper, lived in the other (the straight room). We basically had an open door policy between the two rooms. We also had one or two friends who were permitted to visit whenever they liked. Mae was one of those friends.

You may remember that I went to a woman's college, so by junior year there was a lot of sexuality exploring going on around my campus. At the time of this tale, Mae was basically dating her first girl and I'd also ended up a dark corner or two with a few classmates.

For some reason, that year everyone listened to the Indigo Girls. I don't know why; maybe they're more accessible than Ani Difranco. Either way, the Indigo Girls were the musical artist that gay girls and straight girls alike shared.

One night, Toga, Mae and I were sitting in the suite jamming out to every lesbian's favorite Indigo Girls' song, Closer to Fine. You can hear it here. I was a little bit drunk and curled up on a bed noshing down a hamburger while Toga and Mae sang along with the track. Suddenly, Toga halted and said, "You know, I love this song, but what does it even mean?"

Mae thought for a second. "It means, coming out of the closet."

Toga restarted the song. "You think so?"

Mae sang along for a bar or two before responding. "Yeah. Listen, 'I went to the doctor. I went to the mountains.' You know, it's like going to the doctor because you're gay and he can't fix it. Then you go to God and he doesn't fix it. And you realize the less you worry about it and just be who you are, the more okay you'll be."

Toga nodded, "The Indigo Girls are lesbians, so that would make sense. I'm going to look this up." Toga then proceeded to fire up her laptop and log onto songmeanings.net.

"Yeah," Mae said, scooting closer to the computer. "It just makes sense."

"And you're coming out of the closet right now so you would know," Toga agreed. "Oh look, people on the site are saying it's about how you can't figure out who you are by turning to other people."

Mae pointed, "And the gay thing! There's the gay thing."

I finished my hamburger and looked at my friends. "Hey guys?" They both turned to look at me. "Maybe it's about how we should just live life and not worry about things. You know, because that distracts us from living."

Toga spoke first. "Yeah, I could see that."

"I think that's an easy surface meaning. But deeper it's about coming out." Mae said.

Toga quoted, "'The best thing you ever did for me, was to help me take my life less seriously; it's only life after all.'" We all stopped to think for a minute. "It could go either way," Toga finally decided.

"Yeah I guess," I quipped. "If you want it to be about your coming it out it could be about that."

"Whatever," Mae said, choosing not to argue. "Music can mean different things to different people. You can stick to the obvious meaning. I still say it's about coming out."

I shook my head, "It's kind of a stretch."

"It means whatever you want it to mean!" Mae asserted.

Toga turned up the speakers and began the song over again. "Everyone sing along!" She shouted.

So we did.

Fin

Today's points:
(1) Songs, like art, mean whatever the hell you want them to mean.
(2) If you spend all of your time worrying about life, you won't have time to enjoy it.
(3) The sooner you come out of the closet the closer you'll be to fine.

Friday, August 6, 2010

4:50 AM

I Love It When My Birthday Is A Shit Show

Hey friends, hey!

It's Thursday. I'm giving you a blog post. We should all be (a) impressed because I hate deadlines and (b) super excited about this. I know I am!

And now, a bit of insight before we start this week's story: my life philosophy is fuck new years. It is not really the start of my year, it's just some random day I don't have to work. My years start and end (quite literally) with the best day ever: my fucking birthday. I don't care if I get yelled at, chided, wasted, sick, lost, naked, embarrassed, broke, high, or in a fight on my birthday. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, has ever interfered with my birthday spirit. Luckily for you, dear readers, this means I have many fantastic birthday stories to tell you!

We'll start with the story of my foray into the world of legal alcoholism: my twenty-first.

I Love It When My Birthday Is A Shit Show
When I got to college, I was amazed to discover that I shared my birthday with a slew of other girls. You only need to know two of those girls. The first is Sharon. Sharon's birthday is actually the day before mine, which is kind of fabulous because it gives the two of us a legitimate excuse to plan a forty-eight hour party. The second girl you need to know is Kayden. Kayden and I share an exact birthday. We're basically twins.

Sometimes, like when I need to borrow shoes for my ginormous feet, being Kayden's twin is amazing. Other times, I'm reminded that having a (fake) twin means two times the ridiculous and drunken behavior. Those times, being a twin kind of sucks.

Such a time was our twenty-first birthday. For some reason I can't recall, a lot of my friends who had previously graduated were in town and I was super excited to meet up with them. Because we would turn legal at midnight on Sunday, everyone agreed that the partying would start on Saturday evening. Kayden took charge and invited everyone to a nice dinner out. However, she neglected to invite me to this dinner nor to inform our alumna friends that I wouldn't be attendance. She even invited my lesbi-bestie, Arla.

I was left me to fend for myself at the dorms.

Surprisingly, I wasn't all that upset. I received lots of calls from my alumna friends who felt terrible and promised to visit me later. Besides, Kayden had a fake ID and I didn't, so I wasn't keen on being the underage girl holding the crew back until twelve. So I settled down with a fellow underage friend and prepared for a few hours of quality pre-gaming.

Eleven forty-five eventually rolled around and I bid my underage friend audios and hiked down the street to the bar to meet up with Sharon, who should have been well into her birthday bash by the time I arrived. I was only going to have two hours out to enjoy my birthday and I didn't plan to miss a single moment.

As expected, Sharon was already there and telling you that she was trashed might be putting things lightly. I chugged a few beers and downed a Tom Collins before walking Sharon outside so she could get some fresh air and realize it was time for her to go home. During this break Kayden called to let me know that she would not be joining me nor would she be permitting our alumna friends to leave the bar she'd dragged them to!!!

Kayden explained that she just didn't want to share our birthday any more. It was the single most idiotic thing she's ever said to me. Friends, I wasn't at my best. I called her a ridiculously vulgar name and hung up.

Upon re-entering the bar, I explained that Sharon had moved her leg of the party back to campus and that we were all to pretend that Kayden didn't exist for the next week...And that's when it happened. Love. I looked down and on my table there sat a sparkling blue drink in a cup the size of a fucking fishbowl. It was beautiful.

"Waah?" I asked, speechless by the sight.

"Blue motorcycle," a friend responded. "I bought it for Sharon."

"Well shit," I volunteered, "I'll take care of it for her."

Do you know what's in a blue motorcycle? Look it up. Seriously. Stop reading, open a new tab. Look that shit up. If you want, you can hypothesize how this story will end now.

Arla showed up at my bar, out of breath from rushing over from Kayden's stupid birthday party, only to find me halfway through the blue motorcycle. By that point, I was sitting with my friend, Toga, and I felt fucking fantastic. My world was warm and hazy, and it swayed gently side to side.

Eventually, I stumbled to the bathroom to compose myself and when I came back out, Toga and Arla had hidden my blue motorcycle! To make matters even worse, my alum friends kept inadvertently reminding me they were with Kayden by blowing up my phone with apologies for staying with her. And to top it all off, the bartender was walking around yelling that it was last call.

Remember how I told you that nothing fucks with my birthday? Well, I looked around and saw a half full pitcher of Bud Light at an abandoned table across the bar. I ran over, took it, and I drank from it like it was water and I was Jesus finishing my forty days in the desert.

Lucky for me, I knew one of the waiters rather well and he decided to ignore the fact that I was breaking enough Alcohol Beverage Control laws to cause his bar to lose their liquor liscense. I finished the pitcher completely by myself and set about my return to campus.

First, I lost my responsible sober friends and went to check on Sharon. She had managed to get herself to bed and she still hadn't gotten sick. Gotta love that birthday spirit!

Next, I found my hook-up buddy and we did our thing. Eventually that ended and by the grace of God, I found my way back to my dorm. I had two beds in my room that year and Toga was already drunk and passed out in one. I considered getting into the other one, but decided the floor looked much more comfortable.

I sat still for approximately ten seconds before I realized I was bored and everyone I liked was asleep. Toga woke up five minutes later to see me hugging my trashcan. "Abernathy," she whispered, "are you drunk throwing up or bored and sleepy throwing up?"

Rest assured readers, I've matured in the last few years and this is no longer a legitimate question for my friends to ask.

"Bored," I croaked.

"Okay," she said.

I then proceeded to leave the room, clean out the trashcan and crawl back to my room. This time, Toga sat up in the bed and watched me curl up on the hardwood floor in front of my closet door. "Do you need help getting into bed?" she asked.

"Naw, floor is better," I moaned.

Six hours later, I woke up to Toga stepping over me. I rolled over onto my back and looked up at her. I was still in my dress, my tights were ripped, and it felt like someone was smacking my skull with a ball peen hammer. "Hi," I whispered.

"Happy Birthday!" She shouted.

Fin

Today's Point: As long as your closest circle of friends makes it to your birthday, forgive everyone who doesn't make it. You've got the people you need and those missing the party still love you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

8:44 AM

The Thing About Closets is You Can Always End Up Inside One Again

Holla Amigas,

I want to start off this post with an apology. I realize that I have drastically slowed down my rate of posting on The Point. Friends, I am sorry! I'll make it up to you, I promise. From here on out I'll aim at posting one new entry per week on Thursdays (because I know you need that kick to get you to Friday). I know you'll accept my apology, so let's get started on a new tale from my life of awesomeness.

Today's story is about closets. In case you've never considered this, gays aren't the only kids hiding in them. Lots of people hang out in closets. Obviously, they house a number of lesbians, gay boys and transgendered friends, but they also provide a haven for republicans at liberal arts colleges, mixed race or light skinned ethnic kids who pass as white, feminists who want to grow up and be housewives, and respected public figures who love marijuana.

Lots of people hide who they are or what they love in order to fit in and be accepted by society. Maybe you've even hid in a closet at some point. If you have, you are well aware that you can't come out of the closet one time and be done with it. It's a repetative process. You also know that coming out or staying in the closet is a daily decision. It's like this: your roommate brings over some friends for a dinner party. After a few glasses of wine and friendly conversation, you all begin discussing politics. The controversial issue of same-sex marriage or legalizing marijuana (or whatever makes you part of the closet brigade) comes up. Now, what do you do? Do you share your truth and endure ignorant questions--at best--or hostility--at worst--about who you are and what you feel or do you keep it to yourself?

Guys, it's a daily mindfuck.

The Thing About Closets is You Can Always End Up Inside One Again

I came out to my parents long after I'd come out to my friends, but before coming out to my siblings. It was the summer after graduation and I'd just taken a temporary postion at my alma mater. My car was all packed up and I was preparing to take off for my new home, four hours from my parents. It was a Friday and my siblings were all at school. My dad was at work. It was just my mom and I.

Before I go any futher, I should warn you: this is not the story of coming out to my parents, but you need to know some basics to get to today's story.

Two hours before hopping on the road, I told my mom I was gay. Although she thinks it's a phase, she agreed to tell my dad and let me tell my sisters myself. As I was arriving in my new hometown, my mom called and promptly handed the phone to my father. He was more accepting than she was, but I got the vibe he thought this might be temporary as well.

That weekend I moved into my new house.  My mom called all effing weekend to ask me what being gay meant for me and for her future as a grandmother. Also, she kept saying she didn't know "how this could have happened." 

On Monday I began my job. I never hid anything during my life as a student, so I didn't figure I'd encounter any sexuality-centered problems at work. I was excited and totally nevervous as I entered my new office. On the one hand, my mom didn't have my work number so I was saved from dealing with questions on gay life for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. On the other hand, the job was temporary. I would only work there for three months and then I'd be off on another adventure or forced to move back home and deal with being an out lesbian living in my southern, conservative, Catholic, African-American household.

The workday went by realitvely smoothly. Around 3 o'clock that afternoon, all of the women in my office gathered in our lobby for their daily chit-chat. You should know that every woman in my office has been married to a man at least once and they are all well over 35. Therefore, the conversation quickly turned to men.

Before I knew it, I was fielding advice about how to choose my future husband and being bombarded with questions concerning what kind of man I liked. I was trapped. I had just come out to my parents and had been fielding my mother's ridiculous questions for the last three days straight. I didn't think I could handle dealing with the same thing at work. I choose to wiggle out of answering the questions at work by smiling a lot and acting super shy.

Once the chit-chat subsided, I went back to my desk and replayed the situation in my mind. Should I have come out? I decided that I'd done the right thing. This job was only for three months, I reasoned. It wouldn't hurt anyone if I kept my sexuality out of the workplace for three months. And at my next job, I promised myself, I wouldn't hide. Being out and visible is the best thing the queer community can do in terms of teaching America to accept us. If your mom or sister, dad or brother, son or daughter, neice, mentor, employee, crush, or friend is gay and open about it, you are forced to consider your stance on gay issues because you realize that they affect someone you care about. It is imperitive for the queer community that we be seen.

Well friends, three months came and went. At the end of month three, I was presented with the opportunity of turning my temporary job into a permanent position. With calls still coming in daily from my mother, asking "why [I] choose this lifestyle" I decided to take the offer rather than move back home.

I'm sure you can guess where this is going: I've now been working this job for ten months. Chit-chat still occurs every day at three and I'm still fielding advice on how to date men and choose a husband. Despite the poster of an equality sign on my office door and the fact that I took time off to get to Capitol Pride early, no one's picked up on my homoawesomness.

Last week I went out of town with my boss for three days. For her, it was an opportunity to get to know me better as a person as opposed to as an employee. For me, it was three days of listening to relationship advice and wondering why I was continuing this charade of being straight. I could tell the women in my office about my sexuality now, but then it looks as though I've been lying and hiding who I am for months. However, with my beliefs on the importance of queer visibility, is it ethical for me to keep hiding who I am? Friends, it's a mindfuck.

Fin

Todays Point: It is a struggle to be authentic. To be transparent and true to who you are as a person, you've got to push to be the most sincere and honest you that you can be every effing day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

3:15 PM

Beware of Plastics

Dear Friends,

Remember when I said that one day we'd start Tarantino-ing my life stories? Well today we're only moving forward by a few months. Welcome to my eighth grade year. This story disturbs me because it makes me remember myself at my worst, but at the same time it's a story that I LOVE to tell people. 

So now I'll tell it to you.

Beware of Plastics

My final year of middle school I belonged to a clique that ran itself like it's own mini country of baddassery.  We had an army of boys, a nation of hanger-ons and groupies who followed our orders, and a number of alliances with our fellow cliques. At the time of this tale, I was part of our clique's government.  It was a government constantly in flux due to constant revolution and metaphorical assassination.  At the time, there were three of us heading the clique: Nikki, Pandora, and myself.

I can't tell you why we thought we were so cool because I really don't know.  Maybe it's because we snuck out a lot, but at 13 we were only walking around town in the dark.  Maybe it's because we went roller skating every single Friday night and hung out with high school kids who provided us with CDs sporting parental advisory stickers. Or maybe it's because wore embellished flare jeans and put on makeup every morning as soon as we got to school (we had no choice: our parents didn't permit us to wear anything other than Lip Smackers). Maybe it was all of these reasons. Whatever it was, it obviously isn't a standard for measuring "cool" nine years later. 

Anyways, Nikki, Pandora and I had English class together. The three of us were the only students in the class with assigned seats. Our teacher, Ms. McMillian swore that if we sat together, we would pass notes constantly. On a balmy day in April, Ms. McMillan stood in front of the class and introduced a new girl.  Her name was Jody and she was--in a word--a mess. Jody was taller than anyone else in the class by at least five inches, but her eyes surveyed the room with genuine fear. Her hair was brittle yellow and fashioned into an uneven bowl cut that looked as though she'd used safety scissors to cut it herself. Jody wore a pink plaid shirt that was at least two sizes too large and she had braces.

When Ms. McMillan finished introducing Jody to the class, she told Jody to pick a seat.  Jody's murky brown eyes whirled around the room cautiously. Eventually they landed on the seat next to me.  I smiled, said hi, and scooted my book to the corner of the desk to share it with Jody.  Rule number one of being an "it girl" is to make those below you effing love you. You've got to be kind before you can be cruel, otherwise they'll never stand for your ridiculous behavior.

Class went on without a hitch and afterwards Pandora, Nikki, and I walked to lunch. We had a table outside which everyone understood was our table. As we sat down to eat we saw Jody standing in the pizza line, crying. Because of the laws of  It Girl World, Nikki approached Jody to ask her what was wrong.  Of course, Jody didn't have any friends yet and therefore had no one to eat with. Nikki invited Jody to join our table: since it was her first day we could afford to be nice.

Jody ate with us for the next two weeks. And soon she began following us around all of the time. From English class to our lockers to secret meetings after school, Jody was with us. Her fashion didn't change at all in those two weeks, which was a problem. But even worse, she didn't take advantage of the gift we were offering in letting her hang out with us: Jody never contributed to the conversation. By week three we still didn't know what kinds of boys she liked or what her hobbies were, we didn't know how she got along with her siblings or what kind of music she listened to, she didn't even talk to us about whether or not she got along with her parents. We didn't know much more about her than we did on her first day on campus.

So, we decided to break up with her. All of the eighth graders had PE at the same time; first thing in thing in the morning. We decided that would be the perfect time to let her go.

It went down like this: Pandora, Nikki, and I rolled into PE fifteen minutes late. After getting thoroughly reamed out in front of the whole class for showing up late, we picked a corner spot in the gym and waited for Jody. No less then thirty seconds later, Jody scooted across the room to sit with us. She smiled as she approached. "Hi," she said.

Nikki, Pandora, and I all met eyes. Nikki nodded towards me, "Do it." 

I placed my hand on Jody's calf, in an effort to seem compassionate. Her legs were unshaven and I swallowed to keep from recoiling. "Jody, this really isn't working for us anymore." 

"What isn't working?" Jody's smile started to fall.

"You and us," I said, motioning towards Nikki, Pandora, and myself. "I don't think it's a good idea for you to be our friend anymore."

"What?" Now Jody's eyes were panicked and I thought back to her on her first day of school in Ms. McMillian's class. "Why not?" Jody asked.

Pandora twirled her hair around her finger as she took over the conversation, "Look Jody, it's not that we don't like you, but we don't know anything about you. You never tell us anything. You never talk with us about boys or music or class or anything."

Nikki pretended to look bothered, "I think other friends would suit you better."

By this point, tears rolled down Jody's cheeks. Pandora, Nikki, and I looked at each other, trying to decide what to do next.  Finally Jody spoke up, "I can talk more.  I'll start to tell you things.  I like listening to Britney Spears and my parents are in the military." She took a deep breath, "I know you all. I know that Abernathy doesn't even like the boys you eat lunch with-"

"Yes she does," Pandora interrupted. 

"No," Nikki said, agreeing with Jody, "she doesn't. But that's okay; Abernathy speaks up, she dresses like the rest of us..." Nikki's eyes roamed over Jody's mismatched gym uniform as her words trailed off.

Jody sobbed even harder, "I'll let you give me a makeover. It's okay, we can fix this."

Nikki shook her head, "No Jody, we can't.  It's too late."

Jody looked at all of us pleadingly, "I don't have any other friends."

Pandora shrugged and Nikki and I rose to head to the locker room. "Make some."

***
The next day in English class I did my best not to say anything to Jody. She looked over sadly through most of the class, but I did my best not to return her gaze.

At lunch that day, I was the first to reach our table and was surprised when Jody approached me.  I looked up from my meal to see Jody wearing a green plaid dress. It would never fly with my group of friends, but I could see she was making an effort. "Can I eat with you today?" She asked, "I mean, until I find new friends."

This seemed fair enough to me, but I knew better than to make a decision without first running it by Nikki and Pandora. Rule number two of It Girl World: you cannot make your own decisions.  I told Jody to hold on, then I went and found my friends in the lunch line and explained the situation.  Nikki shook her head, "Absolutely not. We said she's out and I mean that; she's out."

Slowly, I walked back to Jody. I shook my head, "I'm sorry." Jody walked across the courtyard, sat down against a wall and spent the rest of the lunch period sobbing.

***
I never talked to Jody again. She ended up becoming good friends with two girls who didn't care what she wore and didn't judge her for not talking about boys all the time. I always thought she looked genuinely happy with them and I hope that she's just as happy wherever she is today.

That summer (about six months after this story takes place) I received the Jody treatment and was dumped from the clique as well...but I'll save that story for another day. 

Fin

The Points of Today's Story: 
(1) Karma will get your ass. 
(2) Being cool is not necessarily the same as being happy. 
(3) When you do horrible things to nice people, it haunts you and you'll still feel horrible about it nine years later. So just be a nice girl.