Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Loring Park Episode #37: Broskis Don't Cry

After doing that thing I always do (bring a hot guy home and then sloppily make out and that's it because I'm Jakey and I DON'T DO THAT), I decided to go to the boy version of a gynecologist to get things, um ... y'know ... cleared up for business. My doctor is very handsome and he talks about everything like he's in an action movie about to diffuse a bomb.

"There are two ways to fight constipation," he said, but I wasn't listening because I got lost in his dreamy blue eyes and I could see his chest hair poking out from under his uniform. Also, his nurse's assistant is totally a broski and was like "Weren't you here for this last year, too?"

"Yes," I said. "The first time was two years ago on Valentine's Day and the last time was in April." I remembered that because that was when I got my heart broken and my butt went along for the ride.

My stomach got worse after my visit. I think I have psychosomatic Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

I was gearing up for my trip to San Diego, but I went out to The Saloon with Tan Man on Sunday! He graciously agreed to drive, because I am budgeting, and by "budgeting" I mean that I somehow had literally no dollars to my name. Earlier that day I asked Wesley who we wanted to win the Super Bowl. He said Denver so I decided I was going to root for Seattle.

We ran into Paul Ryan at The Saloon! "Be careful, Jakey," he said, and that was our entire interaction. Dammit! He totally hit it and quit it! Well, it's me, so he, like ... lightly slapped it and quit it? Leave me alone. I was drunk and sad so then I falsely accused Wesley of having sex with somebody that he didn't. I cannot have nice things.

Speaking of not having nice things, the whole point of going out was for Jared's birthday, but he passed out after brunch and no one woke him up and he called me livid at 3 in the morning. "I missed my own birthday!!" he shrieked. "Oh, Rhoda," I said.

Wednesday night, I was gearing up for my trip to San Diego! I was going with my mom, my aunt, and my cousin, who is a 15-year-old girl. We decided she would be my chaperone. I was nervous about the trip for a few reasons. We were going to my cousin's wedding, and the wedding was going to be very very very evangelical and very very very Jesus-y, and I was worried about feeling awkward (I don't read as "evangelical", y'know?). Also, I had nooooooooo money and I was embarrassed about my mom being my ATM for the three days we were there. Not to mention that my stomach was still acting up, to the point that every time I went to the bathroom there was a lot of heavy prayer (even I can get Jesus-y when needed).

My father and I talked about money at 1:30 in the morning. "I love you, son," he said.
"Don't say 'but' after that," I pleaded.
"I won't," he said. "You can't live here."
"Thank you," I said. "I needed to hear that."
"If your mother had it her way, you and your brother would live here for free until the day she died," he said. "But, Christ. You're almost 30. Weren't you going to live with that clown in the suburbs?"
"Kevin?" I said. "No, that wouldn't work. We would have to have a grown-up conversation about if we're ever gonna be in a relationship or not, and then I would always be asking who the slut in our kitchen was."
"I .... okay, then," was my father's response.


Our flight was ridiculously early and I was on about two hours of sleep, and I was still feeling bloated and gross. I stopped at Sunglass Hut to talk to my old boss (I worked there for two seconds!), posted a picture on Instagram, and realized that the truly terrifying things in life are:

a) Jumping spiders
b) Genocide
c) Me without make-up and a too tight shirt at 7 in the morning

I'm not even going to put the picture up. NO. I REFUSE. I Snapchatted my friends of my appearance and Jared said his favorite part was overhearing my mother assuring me that I did not look like a troll.

We landed in Dallas and this happened:

IN DALLAS. I cannot have nice things. Because Dallas does not know what to do when there is ice and snow in the ground, we stayed on the tarmac for one hour and 50 minutes (not two hours, because legally if it's more than two hours, the airline has to give you a voucher for your inconvenience).

We finally boarded the plane. The flight to San Diego was cancelled so we went on stand-by for another one. In the interim, I realized that somewhere between the ATM the night before and my parents' house, I had misplaced my debit card, and I left any credit cards at home because I was trying this "financially responsible" thing (also, I maxed out my Discover card, but let's not talk about that).

I wanted to cry right there on the floor of the airport, and not even my chaperone could help. Also, I was getting annoyed with this girl from Portland who was obviously flirting with this hot guy from Minnesota who was going back to San Diego to visit. She kept hi-fiving him.

After a few hours, we got booked on a nighttime flight to San Diego, and took solace in an airport Chili's.


My mom, aunt and cousin were all really good sports about the shenanigans, and that helped a lot. I think if any of us would have been negative it would have led to sniping, and since I had not put forward one dollar toward this trip, I couldn't complain about anything (I mean, neither did my cousin, but she is 15). We made it to California in one piece and my mom and I took shots of Miralax when we made it to our hotel suite. "You vacation so hard, Jakey," someone said on Facebook.

The wedding was held outside and was just across the street from our hotel. It was absolutely beautiful. It was very Jesus-y, but during the wedding I realized that this was their wedding. When it is your wedding, you can do whatever you want with it. Mine will probably have streamers and strippers, but that depends on how much the budget is, and I don't know how much the mail-order groom is going to be cost. I was touched by the song choices and the pastor complimented my Coach shoes as we walked back to the tent. I know that anecdote seems trivial, but it was a perfect example of being in the moment and not having your walls up. Nobody there was mean to me or acted judgmental towards me, and I had made myself nervous about nothing.

During the reception, it was time for the garter toss, and they asked for all the single men to come to the floor. The only other single boy was my cousin, who is 20 and the brother of the bride. I stood by him and then awkwardly asked if any of the waiters were single. Everyone here was married! Finally, my cousin's friends stood on the floor with about as much enthusiasm as I have for circuit training. I felt a wave of competition, and Valentine's Day was coming up, and even though the only thing I am marrying is a bottle of Ketel One ...

I caught the effing garter. Whoops.

The festivities ended at 9, and then I reunited with DIVA!!!!!!

I know, I'm hella bloated in this picture. I was traveling! Miralax was working its wonders! Anyway, how gorgeous is Diva? Her real name is Jennifer and we have been calling each other "Diva" since fifth grade. She moved to San Diego in 2007 and never looked back. She drove me through the Gaslamp district and knew the name of all the bouncers from every club. We went to Rich's, which I found way overpriced, but I tipped the go-go boys with what little cash I had anyway.

The next night, I was blessed to have yet another reunion!

Stephanie and Kevin lived on my floor during freshman year at UW-Stout. They actually graduated and got degrees and got grown-up jobs and somehow relocated to San Diego! They were incredibly gracious with their time and Kevin has this red car that was all Fast & Furious-like, and we went to a dive bar called Bar Pink that was really fun. Diva met up with me there and we went back to Rich's, but I had more fun at Flick's, which was like a gay divey bar. So much camo!

The next day, my aunt was complaining that my cousin was having a temper tantrum. It is hard to be a 15-year-old girl. Then my mother announced that even though they had promised we were going to go to the pool and hot tub that morning, we were instead going to the beach. Then I had a temper tantrum.

Nevertheless, the beach was probably way more fun than the pool.

No alcohol? No nudity? I could have stayed home.

We got a cab to Coronado and the cabbie was brand new and didn't know how to get to the hotel we were looking for and he almost hit another car on the way. He was from Somalia and it reminded us all of home.

While I was on the beach, Kevin (Loring Park Kevin, not real college Kevin) texted me and asked "How come you don't talk to me anymore? :D"
"You have a phone," I wrote back. "I am in California." I was not going to be mad about a dude when I was on vacation. I was feeling mean, like the aggressive seagulls on the beach who will actually dig in your grocery bags while you abandon them and steal your trail mix. This really happened and my mom thought it was the best thing she had ever seen.

Minnesota is having its worst winter ever. It was hard to leave San Diego.

And I should have stayed.



On Wednesday, Joey and I went to Tan Man's house to play video games! We played Life and nothing will make you feel more unaccomplished than a game that's all about going to college and getting a good job and raising a family and making wise financial decisions. Joey won because Joey wins everything. Still, it was an enjoyable evening free of drama, and proof that I could enjoy myself without alcohol or shenanigans.


My new friend Charlie texted me on Thursday desperately needing a ride to work because his car broke down. Since we both work at the Mall of America, I called my work saying I would be about ten minutes late because I had to pick up Charlie. On the way there, Charlie provided the detail that he needed a ride to his other job, which is in Eden Prairie. I was more than ten minutes late. It wasn't Charlie's fault per se, but the moral of the story is to never do anything nice for anybody.

He needed a ride after work, which I was more than happy to do. It's what friends do, and I often take the "mom" role in my friendships. I was also planning to attend the Heartbreak Ball starring Robyn at Honey that night! Charlie was on the fence about going. Before I left work, Kevin called me and said he didn't work the next day. I decided all three of us could go to Honey! How fun! Besides, this was all a mixed blessing because I had been debating asking Wesley if he was going out, and I was supposed to be doing that whole moving-on-live-and-let-live thing. Charlie and Kevin would be welcome distractions.

This was a snafu. First I picked up Charlie from work. Then I picked up Kevin. Then we all argued about our plans to get to Honey, and nobody was happy with any scenarios. Charlie and I both had to get ready, and I didn't want to get ready at his apartment because then I was going to have to get stuff from there later, and I think he felt the same way.

"Jakey takes forever to get ready," Kevin explained.
"It's bad," I supported.
"Well, what do you have to do?" Charlie asked.
"I have to shave and shower and .... you know," I said.
"It's between him and the Lord," Kevin added.

Charlie thought Kevin was annoying and Kevin thought Charlie was a mooch. We went through a tunnel and I wished to see Wesley because I wasn't having enough stress in my life. Kevin realized he left his phone at his house and was freaking out. Then we couldn't figure out where my phone was. We went through another tunnel and this time instead of having a Wesley-related wish, I wished that my phone would resurface (and we found it in the back seat. Tunnel wishing works!)

We dropped off Charlie so that he could go get ready, and Kevin wanted to have a come-to-Jesus conversation.
"You know, when you responded 'You have a phone,' I was distraught," he said.
"Kevin, last time I made plans with you, you completely forgot about them and went to dinner with other people instead," I explained. "And while I completely understand that doing that is way more fun than having your mooch friend come over to do laundry, it made me feel really stupid. I wasn't gonna put myself out there."
"I'm sorry," he said. "I love and adore you as a friend and that was a mistake on my part."
"Okay," I said.

This song came on the mix CD I had in the car, because my life is all for the awkward moments. A strangely comfortable silence filled the car. It is like there is a code. I do not talk about Wesley and Kevin does not talk about the two-week relationship he had. I don't know how or why it ended. I don't think I need to.

"I thought I was going to be sad forever," I thought out loud. "To the point that I didn't know how else to feel anymore."
Kevin told me a secret that will so be his Emmy clip. I will not share it because even I have decency and scruples. I will say that it was not expected or necessary of him, and I knew he did it purely from goodness of his heart. Holy crap, Kevin Thomson.
"My point is that it won't always be this way," he said, and I said nothing and stared out the windshield because I am a chicken shit.

He played clips of Disney songs on my computer while I got ready. We went back to Charlie's and he kissed me violently on the cheek right before Charlie came downstairs. On the cab ride to Honey, Kevin said that he would be in my comedy act if it would improve my status.

"You're right, Kevin," I said. "The reason my comedy career has not excelled is because Kevin Thomson is not in my act."
"Try not being a bitch," he said.
I gasped as if I were in desperate need of oxygen. "You might as well tell me to not breathe," I said.
"Forgive my wife," Kevin told the cabbie, and I hated that I smiled at that.
 At 11:15, we finally made it to Honey! Hooray!

"Show Me Love" came on and I had a moment! I really enjoyed Honey because all the gays from The Saloon go there from one night. It felt like a high school dance. Not only was bubblegum pop blaring, but I knew half the room. I very briefly ran into my friend Kate, and felt bad that I got there so late. I ran into Dennis and Geoff, who are my age yet somehow I want to be them when I grow up.

"What a surprise," Dennis said when he saw Kevin handing me money to order drinks. "You have a broski on your arm."
"Well, some things never change," I said dryly. After getting our drinks, we went to the couches, where Joey was there with a date! I was happy to see Joey happy.
"Jakey's here with his broski," Dennis told Joey.
"Yes, well," Joey said. "Just be glad he's not here with the other broski." I gulped my drink after that one.
"WE NEED TO LEAVE," Kevin said out of nowhere.
"Why? We just got here," I whined. Five minutes earlier, Kevin was bragging about how he was getting hit on!
"YES BUT NOW I'M SOBER," Kevin said. "LET'S GOOOOO." Then he started putting his hands all over my torso and it was like we were in high school and I was that girl with the douchey boyfriend, and don't think I didn't enjoy it.

We got his coat and left abruptly. I thought about telling Charlie, but he seemed to be sick of Kevin, and I figured he could get his own cab to The Saloon. Of course, we shouldn't assume things, because he would later re-emerge at The Saloon and was rightfully pissed at me. By the time I saw him, I had other things on my mind.

Kevin and I got to The Saloon and didn't have to pay cover because he was chummy with one of the bouncers. I didn't want to overthink it. It was dead, perhaps in part because of the cold, or because everyone was at Honey, or because it was already 1:30 in the morning. I planned to walk to T.J.'s bar like always, and finish the evening with an enjoyable nightcap.

And as I walked my usual route, past Reggie's bar, past the bathrooms, and past Brad's bar into T.J.'s, I paid no attention to the scruffy and sad-looking man in the blue hoodie.

It wasn't him. It looked like him but it wouldn't be him. He doesn't go out anymore. Why would he be out this late?  I've just been thinking about him too much, and maybe that's because of Valentine's Day and San Diego and feelings and me being an idiot, and ...

"...Are you okay, Jakey?" T.J. asked. "Stay calm."
"I'm fine," I said while Kevin spun around next to me.

The boy whom I falsely accused Wesley of sleeping with two weeks prior side-hugged me. "Hey, youuuuu," he cooed. He never talks to me. Something was rotten in Denmark. I began feeling queasy, and not just because I had taken a Claritin-D on an empty stomach.

The boy in the blue hoodie came up to me. Shitttttttttt.

"Hey," he said. "We're heading out but I just wanted to say hi because I'm not an asshole. You remember Todd, right?"
"Hi, Jakey!" Todd smiled. "They're playing Beyonce!" Todd went to the front row of her concert, you know. Todd is actually super nice and super sweet and I almost wish he were awful because then I could hate him. But I can't because I get it.

I introduced everyone to everyone. This was horrible. For almost a year I had fantasized about Wesley and Kevin meeting each other and coming to blows. In reality, Kevin was woefully off his ADHD meds and Wesley was barely conscious.

I didn't even think Wesley could physically attain a scruffy look. Something was wrong. Very wrong. What was wrong I will never know. He left seconds after that.

"Jakey," T.J. said. "Just breathe."
Breathe. Breathe.
"Please don't scream."
"HE LOOKS LIKE SHIT!!!!!!!!!!" I shrieked so loud that dogs in St. Paul began howling. "You know he's not happy."

I downed my Ketel One lemonade like I was dying and it was elixir. Kevin kept spinning around. He wanted to go dance but no one was on the dance floor, and my mind was clearly elsewhere.

I cried all the way to my apartment and then all the way to Kevin's house. Kevin had no idea I was crying and if he did he had no idea what to say. I immediately went to his closet and put on one of his hoodies.

The next morning, I said I wanted toast.
"The toaster's on the counter," he said.
I smiled at him like a canary.
"Oh, fine," he grumbled.

Remember that horrible VH1 show Single Ladies? There was an episode when LisaRaye was getting it with this man who made her toast in the morning. It was like that but nothing at all.

We went to his basement and watched New Girl on Netflix and when his friend called whom I can't stand, I kept kicking him to try to get him to laugh. It felt like fun, coupley shit. Like we skipped five years of all that flirting and wooing crap. I have less hair but he's able to fix my drivers' seat in the car. It's fine now.

We went out again on Sunday night and it was a disaster.

First of all, he had like eight rumchattas. He was excited about going to Vegas in a few days. Then he insisted on dancing and took off his shirt. Then he wanted me to take off my shirt. Neither one of us has bodies that should be shirtless at The Saloon. I realized that I will forever be far too uptight for him. He needs someone who can let loose and dance naked at The Saloon and not worry about how they look or if they have to poop.

Still, I had the nerve to be upset when he left with an impossibly hot couple instead of me. "Fine," I drunk texted from my taxi cab. "Go have a three-way with the hot couple instead of cuddling your asexual friend who was in love with you for a year." It gets worse, people. Because then I went to my apartment and decided I wanted to overdose -- I say this kind of flippantly, because did I really? Maybe I wouldn't have taken pills. I was just upset and wanted to know they were there -- but the only pills I had were allergy pills and laxatives. Then I did the closest thing to suicide, which was to drunk text Wesley. He was very nice about it and wrote back and was sweet, and then I immediately wrote back Kevin "omg just kidding". Kevin called me frantically at 3 AM because he didn't like the party he was at, and he walked back in the cold to my place. We snuggled and I felt a strange sense of victory.

We had lunch together the next day. "You know, I brag that I'm friends with you," he said. "I love you and adore you. Do you think the waiter's gay?"
Wait, whaa???? In other news, I was loudly boasting about the French Fry holder that I had purchased at work and a lady came up to me and said she couldn't help overhearing, and I showed her the picture that I had of it on Instagram!

Joey, Jared and I have been discussing living arrangements for the new year. We flirted with the idea of a 3-bedroom place, but Joey doesn't want to live in a house and I don't want to live in the suburbs. Still, I think the companionship would be good for me.

"Joey and I were talking and we think you're a lot sadder now than you were when we met you," Jared said. You will be shocked to find that this made me sad.

Why was I so sad?

Take your pick:

*Money (or lack thereof)
*Body image
*Kevin not liking me that way in 2012
*Kevin liking me that way in 2013
*Paul Ryan hitting it and quitting it
*My inability to maintain any kind of healthy relationship with a dude if sexual tension is involved
*Uncertainty about life plans
*The feeling of failure
*Depression in general
*My apartment
*The fact that I am always too lazy and tired to actually clean my apartment
*I really fucking hate my apartment
*Wesley drove me crazy
*He is not the symbol of morality, yet it's not entirely his fault, either
*This is so not where I imagined I would be as a teenager

Next week: My worst night at the bar has NOTHING to do with a dude I'm crushing on! Dollface Killer hates me! GAY OPRAH! And the most shocking plot twist yet!

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