Monday, April 09, 2012

Speak Up for the sake of Burlesque, Pie, and Women Everywhere!

The following happened during a fun night on the town when me and my girls hit H street to see Epic Win Burlesque. It's burlesque so it's all sexy and fun, but then it's nerdy burlesque so it doesn't make us seem too cool--though there is never much danger of that.

You're probably wondering what makes something nerdy burlesque. Basically the costumes the ladies wear (and then remove) are pop culture/fantasy/sci-fi/video-game themed. So I am delighted to tell you that I have seen Seven of Nine, Lara Croft, the Joker, and a Honey Badger remove their clothing in a sexy manner. One lady also came out dressed as Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King's IT, but please believe me when I tell you it was very much on the scary spectrum rather than sexy.

After the show we wandered down to Dangerously Delicious Pies because 1) that's what you do on H street in DC and 2) watching ladies take off their clothes makes my friends want pie. Rachel and I decided to wait outside the shop since we had already had our pie and we didn't want to wait in the long line.

(enter drunk college assholes, stage left).

Drunk College Asshole 1: OMG, I am so drunk and I want pie.

Drunk College Assholes 2 and 3: YEAH PIE DUDE I LOVE PIE!

Drunk College Asshole 1: Hey, look! There's a giant bell over next to where that ginger girl is harmlessly texting and chatting to her friend!

(Drunk College Asshole 1 staggers over to the bell and begins ringing it loudly, and then manages to elbow ginger girl (me) in the head)


Drunk College Asshole 1: Oh, sorry the bell is so loud!

Rachel: I think it was less the bell ringing and more the fact that you ELBOWED HER IN THE HEAD.

Me: Yeah!

Drunk College Asshole 1: Oh, I'm sorry!

(Drunk College Assholes 2 and 3 see the commotion and teeter on over)

Drunk College Asshole 2: You hit her in the head, you should say you're sorry!

Drunk College Asshole 3: Give her a kiss to say you are sorry!

(Drunk College Asshole 1 moves to take Me's arm...and I don't know, try to kiss me? Pat me? Whatever. At this point Me remembers reading a most excellent blog post from years ago by Sarah Bunting about how women are trained to keep quiet and not raise a fuss, which usually works against them in situations where men feel they can paw/grope/assault/rape and otherwise take advantage of them. So Me decides in that second that NO WAY IN HELL is something like that happening in this circumstance. BTW, isn't it amazing how much information your brain can process in less than a second?)

Me: Do. Not. Touch. Me.

Drunk College Asshole 1: I just wanted to say that I was sor...


Drunk College Asshole 2 and 3: We just....


(Drunk College Assholes run away down the street, the pie forgotten).

And scene.

I think I did pretty well with no exaggerating that exchange there, though Rachel will have to be the objective judge.

Now let's be clear: I wasn't afraid these guys were going to actively hurt me. We were standing on a crowded street with lots of people walking by and my friends standing about 5 feet away. And they were clearly just drunken college assholes who were in command of maybe 33% of their mental facilities. But you know what? These guys did not have the right to hit me in the head, try to grab my arm, or otherwise hassle me and my friend. And sometimes you need to just speak up. People who know me would probably say that I never had trouble speaking up, but I think it's true that most of the time people (and by people I mean women and by women I mean me) don't want to make a fuss or a scene. Nothing was probably going to happen and the probably would have just wandered away on their own after a few more awkward attempts at conversation.

But that doesn't really matter. Because I don't need to put up with that and neither do you. Don't ever be afraid to speak up.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Throw Momma from the casino.

I travel a lot, but I usually travel with friends. Sometimes I will take my Mom somewhere or go with her to visit my brother in LA, but I don't think I ever gone anywhere with my friends AND my Mom.

There's a first time for everything.

It all started when Chris and I were having a gchat conversation about how we needed to go to Atlantic City. We go about once a year for a weekend of slots and relaxation. Our casino of choice is Harrah's on the Marina, home of the large indoor pool with luxe cabanas available for rental. For a reasonable fee (that includes all your food and alcohol (!!!)), you can lounge poolside with a personal television, iPod doc, and servers at your beck and call. Now that's the way to live.

I was hanging out with my Mom on a typical Wednesday evening (before having dinner at my Dad's), and I mentioned that we had planned an Atlantic City trip for the end of April. Mom crossed her arms, got that wistful look in her eyes, and I knew a story was coming. Turns out her mom used to the kids to the Maryland shore on the weekends where they could slip some coins into the slots. Apparently the casino didn't enforce the age restrictions in the good old days. Mom waxed poetic about how she used to love the slots as a kid...and before I knew it, she was coming up to Atlantic City with me, Chris, and Kent for an early birthday weekend!

I wasn't really concerned about it--I know that Chris and Kent adore my Mom and she loves them just as much...but still. We are silly and crazy and I wasn't sure if Mom would appreciate our brand of humor or find it all a little much to handle. Turns out, she thought we were hilarious (and also silly and crazy) but pretty much rolled with the punches. I think it helps that we're not exactly party animal and were in bed by 10:00 each night so it's not like we tired her out.

Pauly D (I think from MTV's Jersey Shore *gag*) was performing at the late night pool club the first evening we arrived, so the casino was packed to the gills with trashy Jersey types and their gold chains, hooka heels, and vast amounts of hair gel. An ill-timed thrown match probably could have sent the whole place up. But we certainly got a lot of comedic mileage out of mocking them. Sometimes behind their backs, but most often to their face.

I don't think Mom was particularly impressed with the new type of slots. Apparently most of the draw for her was putting in the coins and then pulling the handle--and you can't do that anymore. It's all automated and the machines only take bills. Plus, the casinos still allow smoking in most of the areas, and she's pretty sensitive to that. But we still played our $10 and had a good time. We didn't hit the big payout, but playing for almost an hour on $10 is nothing to scoff at! Well, fine you can scoff at our cheapness but whatever.

I think the most fun was the cabana rental, nothing makes you feel more posh than lounging poolside with a cocktail in your hand. Chris and I were determined to make the most of our drink credit, and were both drunk by 11 in the morning on Sunday. To her credit, Mom didn't judge at all and seemed to enjoy how I staggered off to the restroom. And we got sucked into successive bad movies on TNT (after Law and Order ended of course) to keep us busy.

What? We were on a mini-break!

As the end of the day approached we still had some money left on our bar credit, so we enlisted the aid of our server to find deserving people around the pool to treat to drinks anonymously. We thought of ourselves as benevolent gods looking down from high and blessing the plebeians with free alcohol. We got two honeymooning couples (whom we could see by peeking through the curtains around the cabana were thrilled to get the drinks) and an older couple who also seemed excited. Our server, Lauren, also got into it and scoured the pool deck for people who seemed nice. No Jersey douchebags were getting our charity!

It was a fun two and a half days and I think a nice change of pace for Mom. Sometimes you just need to get away to a change of scenery, you know? And it certainly made me appreciative to get back to Virginia, a land where most people know how to properly apply make-up, button their shirts, and not overly tease their hair.