Judgey

I am a judgey person. I know it’s wrong. I hate this aspect of myself, and I’m working on it. But it’s hard with my brain and particular sense of humor. I’ll walk out of the house all positive and cheerful and full of brotherly love, and then someone in ill fitting pants cuts me off on the sidewalk and it’s on: “Look at him. Does he really think he has the ass for those pants? And what is that, a manpurse? I think I hate him….”

I am equally rotten to myself, so I like to think that makes up for it somewhat. I’m constantly assessing my face and body with an overly critical eye and am truly depressed every summer that I can’t manage to look decent on the beach. I’m just not one of those beach girls. My hair gets wonky (as opposed to beachy tousled) and my face tans into scary looking blotches. The lines on my forehead deepen almost immediately upon arrival. Swimsuits rebel on my body as soon as we hit the sand, riding up and digging in. I’m just a squinty, liney, blotchy, ill-suited mess and I cringe when someone wants to take a photo. I had a very bad breakup with my ex-husband a million years ago and my replacement in his life was a just-out-of-her-teens blonde who looked flipping amazeballs on the beach. I know this because when he moved from the building we both lived in he left a box of photos of her in a bikini in the hallway, knowing full well that I would not be able to resist going through them. Bastard.

On the upside, I am pretty good at pulling it together for nightlife, which is probably why I was drawn to that world at an early age. When clubs were wonderful in New York I was able to reinvent myself pretty regularly with makeup and clothes. I felt glamorous and free in that atmosphere, I stopped being a bookworm from Michigan and could pretend I was an exotic creature of mystery and mayhem. I can still put on a pair of eyelashes and a decent dress, so that is available to an extent even now, although the rock and roll crowd is decidedly middle aged, so the glamour and excitement has dimmed somewhat.

I found myself in the unique situation of being dosed recently, which as far as I know, is the first time in my many years of going out that it has happened. But who knows? I have certainly had enough crazy nights in my life that anything is possible (“Ouch! Hey, that isn’t coke…oh, it’s heroin? Hmm… okay, I guess that’s alrighturrrrgggggggghhh…”). 
The whole thing was very weird, though, weirder than usual. Zoe and I went to dinner, ate a decent amount of pizza, then went straight to a party. I’m not going to say which club or party because I don’t want to damage anyone, especially as I don’t have any solid facts to back up the theory. We were at the party for maybe an hour, it was 10:30 at night, and I suddenly thought it was 3:30 in the morning and started slurring the desire to go home, that I was too tired. I had had a couple of small glasses of wine at dinner, and probably two vodka/sodas at the bar, but refused a shot that was proffered. Everything blacked out after that, except for a flash of making out with a girlfriend in a bathroom, then being poured in a cab by her and her disturbed looking boyfriend. Drew was at work, so I barely made it into the apartment before passing out in my clothes and makeup.

I hate the feel of makeup when sleeping, and never go to bed without undressing and washing my face, no matter how much I’ve been drinking. And the whole makeout thing was weird and came out of nowhere. It was embarrassing. I woke up, eyes half-glued shut, lipstick smeared all over my face, full of angst and convinced that I must never imbibe alcohol again. I couldn’t remember most of the night, but I did remember that I was a sloppy, disgusting mess in front of a room full of people. Beyond mortifying. I texted a heartfelt, anxiety-ridden apology to Zoe, and the same to the make-out friend. I told her to apologize to her boyfriend, who was clearly and rightfully unhappy with the situation. She told me she drank a similar amount as myself. She couldn’t remember anything either and threw up when she got home. Her boyfriend had to help her to bed. Then Zoe responded to my text that in all our nights of questionable behavior she had never seen me like that, especially so early into the night, and she was positive that I had been dosed. I texted this to the make-out friend and she concurred, it was the only thing that made sense for her as well. 
Whew! I know I should probably have found the information disturbing, but honestly I felt nothing but relief. I’m still embarrassed and confused as to who would have done something like that, but at least I had a reason for my amateur behavior. Although I still felt determined to be very careful with the booze on subsequent evenings out.

So fast forward to a couple nights ago on a boat on the Hudson to see the Detroit Cobras and Manitoba open up for Dick Dale, and I’m dutifully breaking up my glasses of wine with bottles of water. Almost immediately upon arrival Zoe managed to find the one gacked up gay bartender who was willing to pour copious amounts of wine for us for free as long as we threw lots of tip money at him. We would be rich if we could turn this stellar party radar into a phone app. Prior to finding our bartender we arrived late for the launch time and had to run, clicking and teetering in our heels, up a long boardwalk in front of a full, laughing crowd on the deck of the boat, shrieking, “Wait! WAIT!!”. Someone asked Puma Perl where we were and she said, without even knowing this was happening, “Oh, they’re gonna show up late and have to run to catch the boat.” 

We did make it, and then found the kindred bartender, and after some socializing sat down and watched the show. It was a very fun situation, the boat rocking, the bands rocking, everyone in a good mood. I don’t think there was anyone on the yacht under 40 years old, the crowd was pretty ancient, yours truly included, but the enthusiasm and the sets were enjoyable.

Getting back to the whole judgey thing (I should take a moment to tell you I have no idea where this blog is going, I just poured myself a cup of coffee and started typing), this is the conversation that Zoe and I had during Dick Dale:

Zoe: Oh girl. She should not be wearing that dress.
Me:  That is an American tragedy. Did you see it from the front?
Zoe: No. It can’t possibly be worse?
Me: It’s shameful. It’s a crying, desperate shame what she is doing to the front of that dress.
Zoe: And her hair. Just awful.
Me: Horrendous. 
Zoe: Tragic.
Me: But you know, there’s decent raw material there. She just needs better underwear and a curling iron.
Zoe: Spanx. Why haven’t any of her friends told her about Spanx?
Me: I don’t know. You know, we could change that poor woman’s life with the proper underwear.
Zoe: She needs us.
Me: She does. 
Zoe: Do you think we should say something to her?
Me: No. I don’t think she’d take it very well.
Zoe: You’re right, babe. You’re always right.
Me: Well, I’m right about the criminal things she’s doing to that dress right now.
Zoe (sighing): So true…Do you want more wine?
Me: Yes! We’d better go now before that bartender gets fired…

So yeah, I’ve just exposed myself as the most vapid person in the history of people, but that is where my head is at this morning: wondering how it was possible to get dosed so easily, relief that nothing worse happened, and half chagrin/half amusement at my own judgey ways. There is so much going on in the world right now that deserves more discussion: the tragic Colorado shooting, the abysmal state of our political system, the horror I witnessed this week in the form of sweet, beautiful dogs being transported for food in Korea. But it’s summertime and I’m feeling lazy and there are smarter people than myself already talking about these things.

After we finished assessing this poor stranger’s hair and clothing choices, I noticed a girl who couldn’t keep her eyes off of us. She wore a loose floral dress, flip flops and no makeup, just sort of messy backyard kind of dressing, a touch migrant worker in the 40’s but appropriate enough for an old people rock show on a boat. She slouched quite a bit and hung very tightly onto her boyfriend, and kept turning around over his shoulder, away from the direction of the show, to stare at us. Ordinarily this would make me paranoid and cranky, especially after a couple of drinks, but in keeping with my new trying not to be an asshole state of mind, I smiled the next time she turned around and crooked my finger in a come here motion.

She submitted and walked back to us, and I said, “Hi, I’m Raff, and this is Zoe, and we noticed you were looking at us, so we wanted to meet you.” She blushed and said, “Oh, I just really like your tattoos.” I asked her if she was enjoying the show and said it was great to meet her, and she went back to her boyfriend pretty quickly after the exchange. Zoe and I both noticed that she was no longer slouching, but standing much taller, and seemingly more confident in her demeanor. We felt warmed by the exchange.

So in a summer of lazy mayhem, I got a little lesson from that girl, which was simply that if I am nice and polite and extend myself, rather than remain an insular, insecure mean girl, I can sometimes make a connection which enhances my energy and the energy of the other person. I have also learned, perhaps for the millionth time in my life, that water in between drinks is not a bad thing. So there’s that.



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