Monday, December 31, 2012

Loring Park Episode #20B: A Long December

Previously on Loring Park:

Sunday Funday! And let’s not get into it.


I have never liked December. Years of retail have turned me into a Scrooge. I am little and get cold easily. A friend told me this month that I need to live in Miami, but I am so pale that I am worried that if I lived there, friends and neighbors would constantly assume I was deathly ill.

2012 was a year of change, growth, poverty, heartbreak, disappointment, triumph, SO MUCH FLIRTING, new friendships, strengthened older friendships, an appreciation for family, and maybe just a glimmer of hope. Here’s to financial independence, confrontation of fear of intimacy, and improvement of punctuality.


I started working two jobs in December after choosing to go part-time at the one I have had for four years. It is either the smartest or dumbest thing I have ever done. I adore most of my co-workers, but I could not get promoted to save my life, and dealing with certain co-workers plus the nature of the job (December in retail! Hello!) was giving me hemorrhoids. Besides, my ultimate goal in 2013 is to be solely focused on the most stable industry of all: Entertainment. What could go wrong?

This new schedule meant that I could go only out once a week! Horrors! But I strangely enjoyed this, because it meant that instead of showing up at The Saloon at 12:30, you go to places early, leave before bar close, and actually value the time you have to spend with your friends. One night Joey and I even went to LUSH at 10:00 on a Wednesday, and I had to convince myself that it wasn’t a dream. Because I am 13, I had to tell him all about Kevin, as if our table at LUSH was in the middle of a high school cafeteria.

“Well, does it mean anything?!” Joey asked with wide eyes.

“I don’t think so,” I scoffed.

“Didn’t you guys talk about it when it was over?!” he asked again.

“Did we talk about it?” I repeated. “That is the gayest thing I have ever heard.” We danced out our confused emotions, next to Muscle Margaret and Star Quarterback. Muscle Margaret is not to be confused with Muscle Mary, who bartends at The Saloon and is often very cold with me. Muscle Margaret is in his own bubble, where if he thinks you’re worth knowing, he’ll acknowledge you; Muscle Mary sees you, knows you see him, but could give a shit as long as you’re not tipping. Chuck and I went to his bar one fateful night at The Saloon this month, a night that was hampered because I spent all night freaking out about my lost cell phone, only to find that it was in my apartment the entire time. I am the spaciest person EVER, you guys.

I even did a Sunday Funday for the first time ever! I posted a picture last time, but how Sunday Funday works is that you start at LUSH, drinking mimosas and ostensibly acting like a grown-up. Then your mother leaves, and your friends drag you to the Eagle, where good things never happen. You either return to LUSH or to your apartment (for a well-needed nap) before ending your day at The Saloon. It is exhausting and a sport in itself.

I was able to celebrate another Sunday Funday, but before I get into that, I must share  events that happened that had nothing to do with clubbing.


My friend Sina did two fashion shows last month, and I was happy to attend one of them, along with my fabulous co-worker Annette. Sina is beyond talented and requested that I wear my purple velvet blazer. It was a lovely evening, and the only negative side note is that we later went to T.G..I. Friday’s to meet with Jared, and I left half of my sandwich there. I told you I was the spaciest person ever.

As far as comedy went, my only real show was at the Turf club in St. Paul, for Mary Mack’s North Star Comedy & Meat Raffle Show. I was asked to do it less than 24 hours in advance, and I was beyond nervous. Mary Mack and Tim Harmston are a married couple who are both professional comedians (and judges of the ACME Comedy Contest that some shmuck won this summer), and I was flattered and honored and I … didn’t do so well. I didn’t bomb per se, but I didn’t have a routine prepared, I kind of floundered everywhere, and I failed again when trying to explain this to my mother.

“You can kill a sold-out comedy club but you get nervous at the Turf Club?” she asked.

“It was MARY MACK asking me to do it!” I cried. “In the Minneapolis comedy world, that’s like Tony Bennett asking you to be on his duets album.” It was not the only time I would make a fool of myself in front of a big-time comedian this month.

I was at work, in my incredibly flattering outfit (next to Sina, who manages to make her outfit look like Versace made it. She even got her T-shirt pinned so it’s form-fitting), when a bro-ski type and two of his bro-ski friends come up to my counter to buy size 13 Reeboks. He was blonde and cute and looked familiar, but boys in Minnesota tend to always look like that, and not only was I tired but I am not as young and spirited as I once was, and therefore I tend to be quiet when attractive men come to my counter in groups. I will never know why hot guys insist on traveling in packs.

“I know you,” he said.

“Frommmmm?????” I went on. I certainly didn’t know him from booty dancing at The Saloon! Did he know my twin brother? I hate when people think I’m my twin brother, it means I have to shave! Did he go to Stout?”

“You won the ACME contest,” he said. “I was a judge that night. You had a great set.”

Oh, crap, did I just act like a total snob and arrogant prick in front of …


“…I’m Cy,” he smiled, and he shook my hand, and I was a mix of star-struck and boy-crazy. Did I even say thank you?? I don’t even know. I hope I did. Then I asked if he was performing at the House of Comedy this weekend, because when you are an amateur comedian and a professional talks to you, you have this pathological need to “talk shop” and be seen as a peer.

Jenn Schaal is not my peer (like the others mentioned before her, she‘s an established pro), but she’s hilarious and invited me out to the Vegas Lounge. I hoped to spend all of our time discussing comedy, but we spent most of it talking about boys, which means she’s my new best friend.



My mom came over to help me clean my apartment (this was eight days ago, and it is messy again), and then generously took me to LUSH for Sunday Funday. I told the boys I would be there by noon, and we arrived at 1:30. “We said you were running on Jakey Time,” Liam told me. Mom and I got our own table and met Victor, a boy who just had his 21st birthday. Across the bar, a 21-year-old twink was booty-dancing with Roger, to the point that Roger was picking him up and he was wrapping his legs around his waist. I was judging, because a) that is my slut move, and b) it was 2 P.M.!

“On the count of three,” I told Liam and Joey. “Let us roll our eyes and sip our mimosas.” And did we ever!

My mother talked nursing with Chuck before leaving, and Liam and I planned to go to the Eagle, but first we had to spend another awkward hour at LUSH. Roger was mad at Liam about something, but yet they were seated next to each other.


“I want one too,” Liam said.

I gave Liam half my shot anyway, because I was trying to pace myself. Liam later found the 21-year-old passed out in the bathroom. Sunday Funday rookie.

Victor had two ridiculously attractive boys with him, one of whom had a T-shirt on advertising a porn site. I didn’t speak to him at LUSH, but he was in our eyesight at The Eagle, where I overpaid the jukebox to play “We Belong Together”.

“We were friends on Facebook,” Liam was telling the porn star.

“You deleted me,” Porn Guy insisted.

“What? I wouldn’t do that,” Liam balked. “Oh, this is Jakey. He thinks you’re really hot.”

“Wait, what?!” I balked, and then I got lost in his lapis eyes. “I don’t -- I mean, I’m not, like ---Hi, how are you? I’m just -- Mariah.”

“Are you, like, really shy around guys or something?” Porn Guy asked. Then I imagined he was really good at kissing.

Liam and I went to my house for a nap, and then it was onward to The Saloon! Sunday Funday is exhausting! We ran into Victor again, and I told him happy birthday in accelerated speech.

"Are you a methhead?" he asked me.

What the fuck, Victor?? It is all fun and games until someone calls you a methhead. Then he kissed me on the lips, so I guess I can forgive.

I ran into Ryan, whom I haven’t seen since The Incident.

“Hello, Ryan,” I said, staring at the floor, and why wouldn’t it stop spinning? “I haven’t seen you since The Incident.”

“Oh, when I threw up?” he asked.

“No, that Sunday when Liam was making me touch you,” I said.

“Yeah, I threw up after that,” he said. So by the theory of causation, my touch made him vomit. Whatever, Ryan Robertson.


This entry will end on a Thursday. I had no business going out, but Jared was going out, and Chuck and Peter were going out, and work was getting stressful (every retail worker is a Scrooge, they must be), and thus I ended up at The Saloon at 12:45 A.M. It had snowed all night, so roads were slow, I had to stop at my parents’ house because my mother had brought my car in to get the radiator fixed, we had a fight about money, blah blah blah … The last thing I wanted to do was to go out, but I had already agreed to it. That said, I was not going to get pretty. I was going to go to The Saloon in a hoodie, and fuck everybody for judging me.

When I got there, Peter was half in the bag and picked me up. “How do I rock a hoodie!?” I asked my favorite fashionista.

“You pop the collar, make sure your face is showing, and then you just rock the hell out of it,” Peter declared. “That’s what I do with my Rag & Bone hoodie. I just walk around, like, ‘Fuck y’all, I’m in a hoodie’.” Peter was with his friend who looks like an Abercrombie model. He is only into men of the darker persuasion, but he was still friendly. I find it liberating when you know a cute guy is not into your type. It means you can flirt like crazy, be yourself, and not have to worry about a deal being unsealed. You already have no chance, based on nothing you did, so own the fact that he’s talking to you and that you get to look at him for half an hour.

It was also liberating being there in a hoodie and not giving a shit! It was 18+, and gorgeous college students were judging me. So be it! The Pretty Girl Group was in attendance (The Pretty Girl Group has rotating members, but in my mind it consists of Philip, Berkley, J.C. -- who is actually nice -- and Barbie). I really had to pee and make sure that my make-up wasn’t as jacked up as I thought it was, but Berkley and Philip were having an argument in the bathroom and I didn’t want to deal with it.

Later in the night, Chuck and I sat by the fireplace when Ryan Robertson walked by and kicked me in the shoe. Small talk was had, and then my face was as red as a fire hydrant.

“He likes you,” Chuck teased.

“HE DOES NOT,” I cried. Ryan Robertson is like Peter’s friend -- one whom I can enjoy and flirt with because there is a zero percent chance of anything happening. Besides, I haven’t Naired my arms and I am in a hoodie.

I talked to him later at bar close, but not before the bouncer picked me up and we did the same slut move that I was judging the boy at LUSH for doing earlier that month at LUSH. What was wrong with me? Was I doing just this to prove I still had my youth?

“Can I be eight years old for a minute?” I asked him.

“You can be as old as you want to be, Jakey,” he smirked. Child, boo. I was born in the 80’s.

“Can you zip my jacket?” I asked. I have the fine motor skills of an infant. And he did. He zipped the hell out of that jacket. Next time I see him I will ask him to tie my shoes.

Jared and I went to the neighbor girl’s, as I haven’t seen her since Election Day. It was fun until Jared went outside to puke and had my keys with him and I was worried that he got mugged or kidnapped and I wouldn’t have a way to get to work the next day. But before all that, conversation was had with bartenders from the 19, one of whom was mean and called us old! I knew my make-up was jacked-up.

Neighbor Girl and her friend were gossiping about a girl who hangs out with The Pink Ladies (not to be confused with the Pretty Girls. I know, gay cliques are very confusing). “She’s a bar friend,” her friend was saying. “But that’s it.” That was prescient. Ryan Robertson is a bar friend. He is fun to look at and fun to flirt with. He is not someone I will ever call at 3 P.M. to ask what he is doing later, or call at 3 A.M. to ask why I shouldn’t jump off the roof of my building. Liam, Joey, Patrick, and Peter are real friends. Jared is Rhoda to my Mary. It is important to recognize these things.


Thank you to everyone who has been reading this year. May 2013 be your best year yet.


Jakey Tatum Cena Robertson Quarterback

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