I was whimpering into a spoon.
Fails are funny. Most can be, anyway. I got lost on four compass points of the same three highways six times yesterday and went a collective forty miles out of the way trying to find Dodger Stadium just because I refused to stop listening and responding to Aussa Lorens’ Whatsapps while driving. (Shhhh, don’t tell the Exceptionally Tall Man that’s why I was half an hour late to the baseball game.) That’s the 134 W to 5 N back to the 134 E to 2 N back to the 134 W to 5 N back to the 134 E to 2 S.
More than six times, but shush. It was also 102º, and both my near-suffocation and traffic frustrations exist on Aussa’s iCloud for all eternity because no one knows how to permanently delete that shit. Except when you don’t want it deleted: after having several of my three to six-minute messages interrupted mid-sentence and deleted before I was done recording, then attempting to repeat them and having the same thing happen, my last message to Aussa was:
“You have no idea how much I suffer because I’m stupid.”
Somehow, she found that funny. In retrospect it is, but at the time, I was stupid and suffering, living the same loop of words and highways in a Groundhog Day hell of my own — stubborn — making.
You all know I’m actually not stupid. But I sure do some stupid things, so the least I can do is laugh about them. I like to think of it as sacrifice for the sake of your entertainment. And I’m not the only one, which is why there’s a whole book of women screwing up.
In honor of the book, I’ve gathered and reworked some of my favorite fails out of this blog. Here’s the first part:
1. Typhoid Mary’s Sandwich
I didn’t listen to the pleading cries of my germaphobic self while witnessing my coughing Typhoid Mary of a family member handle my food. She was grumpy due to something I’d done – in my family, everything that goes wrong is due to something I’ve done, beginning with my tardiness and ending with the fact that as the wild-spirited, unemployed, unmarried boho (as in, bohemian), I make an excellent scapegoat.
While I masked my horror, she spread food with her hands on a plate for me. It was her idea of an olive branch. Take note, I don’t want you touching my food even if you’ve just bathed in rubbing alcohol and wrapped yourself in plastic wrap. But although I knew better, I accepted the plate from her and ate it all up. You see, as the family fuck-up, it’s my job to shove peace down my throat when it’s offered to me.
A to-the-minute 36-hour incubation period later, the left side of my throat was the color of a roasted beet and the size of a homegrown strawberry (they’re smaller than store-bought ones). I ended up choking several times because swallowing my own saliva was akin to wood chips tossed with cactus thorns traveling down my throat.
By the end of the fourth day, I was whimpering into a spoon while attempting to swallow soup. I finally decided that since I was going/begging to die anyway, it might as well be from antibiotics. It wasn’t a surprise when the pills turned out to be bullet-shaped.
My friend dropped off the pills and I insisted he look at my throat so he could see the battle-wounded mess to feel duly sorry for me. I displayed my unhappy tonsils and uvula – alien-looking parts of the anatomy that ought not be presented under the best of circumstances, much less under a quarantine-worthy one, and he held his breath. He failed to catch the microscopic assholes tearing at my throat because here’s a thought, I took care not to handle his food!
Or maybe, the buggers felt no need to migrate since they already had the ideal host in me with my extreme principles of “live and let live.” I mean, if god is god because he grants life, then wouldn’t I be godlike and munificent to allow a stretch of life to these odious organisms?
I’d have let them party away and run their course if they weren’t intent on bringing tears to my eyes every meal when it felt like I was eating splinters for sustenance.
2. The Red Carpet Audition
Although it was one big bash in my mouth, on the fifth day, I went to an audition. There was no dialogue involved, which was a good thing. If a drowning kitten became human but still half-mewled, it would make that sound coming out of my throat.
The audition called for “the red carpet unrolls itself for her” caliber of dress. While driving to the casting studio, I steered with one hand, and with the other, pulled out lip-gloss from my purse. I was about to apply it on top of the liner I had meticulously drawn a little at a time over five or six red lights. There was a seashell stuck to the tube, one I’d thrown in my purse the week before at the beach while attempting and failing at surfing. I threw back in the shell and proceeded to squeeze out globs of gloss on my lips.
Only once I used the tube for spreading, did I realize that the contents of the seashell had migrated through the cap and I was in fact gluing sand all over my lips.
In the audition waiting room, I kept three feet away from people and held my lips pressed together to keep everyone safe from me. Also, I didn’t handle their food!
I answered the other women with a lot of nods while casually sliding away grains of sand from my lips with my fingertips, which confused them because they interpreted it as a mildly seductive gesture.
I didn’t get the part.
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