Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Loring Park Episode #25: The Past Will Never Stay There

Previously on Loring Park: Jakey encountered perfection and of course had to make it awkward.  An emotional affair ostensibly ended while a real-life relationship finally hit the skids.

I celebrated the end of February with a mini-vacation to Winona State University. I was there to visit my friend Nick, who is from Germany. We met a few years ago in Las Vegas at a convention for forum members on WrestlingObserver.com. It is as nerdy as it sounds. I am far too old to be cavorting with the college kids, but life is short.

This is the horrible picture he used on Facebook to announce my arrival.

This is the third time I have visited Winona, and I always go through an existential crisis about my status of three-time college dropout and my usually forgotten Mommy Issues. But other than that, it was a hell of a time. We did all the things college kids should do: Attended a crappy basement party, ate Little Caesar's at 3 in the morning, and made a bro fort with Nick's Swedish friend Jesper. I felt very international. Also, Nick doesn't live in the dorms anymore, and that was great because it meant I was able to take a dump and a shower (I feel a strange need to clarify that these were not done at the same time). If I ever write a memoir, Chapter 9 will be called Vodka Shits in Winona.

I didn't plan my weekend very well, because that Sunday was my 11th Annual Oscar Party! Every year, I host an Oscar party, and even in years when I wasn't living in Minnesota, I still conducted a pool amongst friends. But because I had spent too long at the casino (I was all id that weekend, really), I was late for my own party! Mercifully, Erin and my father took care of the food, and my uncle Ander and his girlfriend were already there! I lived with Ander for a year, and in some aspects we could not be more different. I refer to him as a "hyperVirgo" -- always organized, always on time, always on it. My friend Sten is a Virgo, too, and he does not believe in rounding numbers up. "I will see you in seven minutes," he will say if he is on the way over. Because he has timed it, you see. He knows these things.

I couldn't relax until the show started, but I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout! My friend Julie, her boyfriend and their co-worker came, as well as people who I only see at Oscar time. Sina was supposed to be the Vanna White, tallying the statistics of the betting, but halfway through she transferred her duties to Chuck. Joey arrived and made it a close one, but in the end he lost to Sten by one category. (I finished fourth out of 13, which I will find respectable, and I was the only one to get Documentary Short and Art Direction, SO THERE).

It was a glorious night, and I felt happy to have the wonderful friends and family that I do. My mother wasn't there because she was in Costa Rica. I am proud of her in a way. I know we have had her ups and downs, but I also feel that, once she turned 50, she finally started to live for herself.

It was the last night I would see Chuck, at least for a while. We got in a spat, and at first it was ridiculously junior high -- he got mad that I reneged on going out because I had to work late, and when I offered to go to lunch on Monday, he scoffed that I would just stand him up again (and maybe he was right, because I ended up switching work shifts that week anyway) -- but I have become closer to Peter (not that way) since their break-up, and I think he blames me for certain transgressions that have happened since then. I have many positive memories of our friendship last year, and I will choose to focus on those. He is a caring and intelligent person, and I wish him all the best. I'm not going to run away from him when I see him at the club, unless he tries to make out with Star Quarterback just to get a rise out of me. I just read on Twitter that a Cancer knows exactly what to do and say to get under someone's skin. We are both born under this sign, and I will just say that no one who deletes me on Facebook and then wants to smooth things over is going to be on my Christmas card list.


I ventured to LUSH a week later, and was excited to catch up with Quinn and Joey. They're moving to my street in May! Oh, HOORAY! I was also happy to talk to Dennis, an acquaintance of mine whom I feel is on his own show. Like, we're both on Bravo, but his is the more grown-up show. Like, I am a ridiculous trashy show like Shahs of Sunset and he is Million Dollar Decorators. Dennis is very well-educated and is on a different socioeconomic level than I am, but he is never a snob about it, and we were discussing reality shows when his buff, muscled friend of mixed race joined our conversation. Then I found out the buff friend was a drag queen. Then the buff drag queen was spilling the tea (to borrow a phrase) about local drag queens, and it was a combination of two of my favorite things: Biceps and gossip! I was surprisingly quiet for most of the conversation, as I wanted to fit in. But finally, the Grey Goose seeped out of my pores and I had to say something.

"There are so many muscle bro-skis here tonight," I chimed in.
"Yeah," Buff Drag Queen said. "And they're all bottoms."
"How can you tell?!" I asked, because I have the sexual naivete of a home-schooled evangelical tenth-grader. Then Dennis and the Buff Drag Queen lamented about how everyone thinks they are bottoms but they are not, and I knew this was a conversation I would never again be having.

Dennis and I both love the Real Housewives franchise, and he fancies himself as a Gone with the wind Fabulous Kenya Moore. We both agreed that I am Mama Elsa. "Mama Elsa is very weird," Dennis said, "But everyone loves her anyway." I will accept that.