Monday, June 16, 2014

Loring Park Episode #40: Mothers and Daughters

It has been so long, dear readers! I don't even have an excuse why this episode took two months to post. Some of it was kind of painful, so we'll go with that.

Chapter 1: Easter


Okay, not really.

But I'm struggling with my body.

When I'm naked, I have a flat somach.

When I put clothes on, this happens.

Yes, I *do* need to exercise more and tone things up, but I don't have a gut until I get dressed. Then a magic muffin top appears. I'm 5'7" with a crazy short torso, and I'm constantly standing next to people with great bodies. This is Robin, and he has abs you could grate cheese on.

Why did I bring up cheese? Now I just want some mozzarella sticks.

Anyway, this picture was taken on Easter Sunday, and was a lot of fun! I went with Jared, and we sat with some co-workers and Chuck. When I walked inside, Chuck's brother's roommate -- who is handsome and hetero -- was there with his girlfriend. I asked them if they would be willing to play a game with me. Let me tell you, this random 6'2" blonde dude played his part perfectly.

We went back to the patio where my friends were sitting, when the dude came up to me and said the line I gave him. "Jakey," he said. "You ... You didn't call me."
My female co-worker looked shocked.
"Well, I've been really busy," I said. "You look good."
"Thanks," he said. "I'm ... uh .... here with my girlfriend."
"Oh!" I cried, doing my best Emmy acting. "Hi. Nice to meet you."

They walked back inside and my co-worker was beside herself. "What was that?!" she cried. I love acting.

My mother soon picked us up to bring us to our grandparents' house for Easter. Jared had maybe one too many mimosas, and I was worried about him appearing too drunk for a religious holiday. Unfortunately, I was the one who came across as hammered when my Grandma Shirley opened the door.

"Where did the bathroom go?" were my first words. In my defense, they just moved to the townhouse and I had forgotten!

The dinner was delicious, and I felt grateful that my definition of family has been broadened. I was moving in with Jared soon, and while I describe him as my nonsexual life partner in a joking kind of way, he really is that, just in the way that Erin is my platonic soulmate and Joey is my adopted son. I fell asleep on my grandparents' bed, Jared fell asleep on the living room, and we were still more fun than my brother would have been. (I kid!)

On the way back to LUSH, I was freaking out because I thought I had left my keys in the car. Turns out I hadn't just left them in the car, I had left them in the ignition. I do not know how I survive, either. I am the reason my mother takes Lipitor.


Chapter 2: Sunday, Funday Sundays

In a delightful random reunion, I got to run into these two before they moved to Los Angeles! Michael played "Randy" in They Shoot 25-Year-Old Gay Men, Don't They?, and his partner Mitchell saw every single performance! The only way this moment would have been better would be if I had hair and not a muffin top.

I got to go LUSH again the following Sunday! How cute is Angel? He is a gay mechanic.

We were there with the usual suspects. Liam drank too much and was acting ratchet, and then everybody else wanted to go to The Brass Rail. I wanted to take a nap, so I told my friend Louis that I would give him a ride home. Louis is a corporate gay and we all think he is attractive, to the point that saying you have a crush on him only earns you an eye roll. I had long heard that Louis has a nice apartment, so I wanted to go see it.

He has a washer-and-dryer in the bathroom. I was astonished. I also enjoyed his coffee table book about downtown skylines.

Anything else I enjoyed would just be gossip.

And, no, I do not think I am special. In our group, saying you had a dalliance with Louis is met with the same level of surprise and enthusiasm as saying you put French dressing on your salad at lunch today.


Chapter Three: Mommy

I am financially destitute. My mother and I had a major Come-to-Jesus talk about not just money, but everything. We had a rocky relationship throughout all of my teenage years, highlighted by the fact that I wasn't allowed to get my driver's license -- a sticking point that shaped my life in ways she won't ever understand. (At my new apartment, I have to attempt parallel parking, and nothing will drive up my repressed Mommy Issues like anything driving-related).

"I knew you were angry," she said. "I just thought you were angry in general. I didn't know you were just mad at me."
"I probably wouldn't have stayed at Stout, anyway," I explained half a decade later. "But I felt it was a decision that wasn't made for me. And when I found out I was moving to New York, I would have liked if you would have tried to have a come-to-Jesus talk with me. Instead, you said ten words to me that summer, not counting the time that you told me that I was being such an asshole that you didn't even want to go to look at apartments with me, and the only reason you did was because Erin had already bought her plane ticket."
"My mother was dying," she said. Her mother lived a life of undiagnosed mental illness, chaos and poverty, and died of a brain tumor while I was in Brooklyn. I was the only one of her many grandchildren to not attend her funeral. "I couldn't fight that and you. If you were so depressed, you should have stayed on meds."
"Remember when I tried bringing that up?" I asked. At 17 years old, I could masturbate but not reach the promised land, while my brother and his friends would engage in Seinfeld-like bets with each other. Yes, I know that is some realness, but we were going there. "I told you I wanted to stop and your reply was, 'Oh, so you can jack off?' and that kind of ended that conversation."

We get along swimmingly now. If it wasn't for her, I would have filed Chapter 11 a year ago. In some ways I wonder if it's her way of apologizing. I wish that both of us could have communicated better. I also learned that parenting doesn't come with a handbook, and when you are the product of unequipped parents, you try your best and tend to raise your children the opposite (her lack of a childhood meant my lack of independence would be as prolonged as possible, consciously or not).

She is a nurse and is therefore very compassionate. And yet with me, ever since I was 13, she has never been warm and fuzzy. And I think that's okay. It's why my friends love her so much (Jared refers to her cutting remarks as "Loretta realness"). Maybe it's even why I became a fake comedian.


Chapter Four: Comedy Adventures

Speaking of being a comedian, the weekend I moved in with Jared (which we'll get to), I was surprisingly asked to perform with The Turkeys. They are a very talented and funny group of men, and while backstage at the green room trying to mind my P's and Q's, Gus Lynch asked if I would open for him the next day at Gearheads, a NASCAR-themed restaurant in the middle of a strip mall in White Bear Lake.

On the way to The Saloon after the Friday show, I walked by Dollface Killer. He was walking a beagle and looked despondent.

"Hey," I said as if I was confident.
He took a while to realize who I was. By the time he said "Hey" back, I was already on 15th.

We'll get to him later, too.

The only drawback of getting the Gearheads gig meant that my time was cut short at my cousin Ryan's grad party! I drove up there with my mom, and we enjoyed Mariah Carey's new album. It bombed, apparently, and I joke that I bought all 55,000 copies of its opening weekend. I know I'm the most biased person ever, but it's sooooooo good. Track #13 is a cover of George Michael's "One More Try" and my mom and I had a moment.

I am on the end because I had just spilled on myself, and my keys are around my neck so I don't lose them, even though we had to turn around because I had left my cell phone inside. Every person in this picture could cut you down with one remark, and I think it's why I love them so much.

At Gearheads, the show started an hour late and there were only four people there. But I still got paid. One of the four people was the aunt of this inspirational figure. To be that smart and put-together at 18 ... I can't even fathom it. I met him last night and I am sure I scared the crap out of him because I was two sheets into the wind and I talked 800 miles an hour and was all, "OhmygodIdidstandupcomedyinfrontoffourpeopleandoneofthemwasyourauntCarrie", but he was very kind and gracious about it. I was in San Diego when he was expressing sadness and doubt on Facebook, and thank God I wasn't in Minnesota, because my drunk ass wanted to form a gay justice league and save him from his sadness. I would have reserved a room at a fancy Minneapolis restaurant that I couldn't afford, and me and Gay Oprah and Kevin "Kaoz" Moore (who I drunkenly Grindr'd last week) and Jason Matheson and Esera Tuaolo would have all done some super lame "It Gets Better" dinner and we would have saved Ryan (who didn't really need it, after all) and saved the world.

 Another one of the four people was friends with Gus and got drunk and heckled him, and then he called her the C-word, and this lady that was there said she didn't like the C-word, and oof. Comedy is hard, kids.

The next night The Turkeys had a show at The Seville and didn't tell me until I got there that they re-wrote the show and they didn't need me anymore. I could have stayed at LUSH! I wasn't that upset because whenever in my life will I be at The Seville? And that place is nice. It made me wish I were wealthy and heterosexual. I enjoyed Organic Prairie Vodka on special and talking to the lady bartender. Since I practically live at The Saloon these days, it had been a long time since I had a nice, flirtatious lady bartender. There's something about them, y'know?

Comedy also led me to The Pourhouse, where Jared and I found ourselves in a torrential downpour after the show! We ran into Dennis and a 20-year-old friend who were inexplicably outside of Augie's. We cabbed to The Saloon together, and I spent the entire time gossiping with Dennis when a man from Las Vegas who claimed he could book me (but had no business card) kept trying to get my attention.


Chapter Five: Fake Journalism

I also branched out into journalism! Kind of.

I met up with Todd O'Dowd and Maggie Lamaack at Muddy Waters, where I totally stiffed them on Diet Cokes. They hired me to start writing for anyway! My first assignment was to cover the Mariah Carey Country Butterfly Jamboree at Honey. Flip Phone does a different diva event every month, and they were FINALLY doing Mariah Carey!!!

I got way too drunk.

If it was not for notes, Erin being such an enthusiastic Lois Lane, and Jared's Snapchats, I probably would not have remembered a damn thing. Except that they played "Breakdown". That was amazing.

There was a man there whom we will only call Celebrity. He is at the clubs a lot. On a scale of 1 to 10, I am a solid 6 and he is a 27. The Lord spent time making that man. I don't know how anybody could still be an atheist after looking at him.

Anyway, because he is a celebrity in our world (no guessing!), the dynamic is always peculiar when he's in a room. And it's not his fault, really. People stare. They giggle. They point. He's often strategically placed in the middle if he's in a group.

I've never talked to him.

I've brushed up against him five times, on accident. He works out.

Also, it's weird because in my head he has magnified into a real person. Let me try to explain this.

Remember once upon a time when I was in love, and I was really emo about it? I know, it was so long ago. I tend to emo Tweet, especially late at night. Because of being a comedian and bar star, it's not uncommon for people to friend me on Facebook or Twitter and then meet me. It's not a weird thing to me, and I'm only perturbed by it when people from rural Wisconsin add me and then tell me I'm really cute at 3 in the morning (okay, that only happened once. I am disgusting).

So, during the height of all that, someone whom I had known from Twitter was talking to me at the bar. "I think I know who your sad late-night Tweets are about," he smirked.

I was waiting for him to say "the really butch guy you're always with who always wears a hoodie" or "the straight-looking dude" or various other ways people who knew me tangentially would describe Wesley.

So when he said, "It's [Celebrity], isn't it?" I turned redder than a fire hydrant, chiefly because I could not imagine in what world would someone who looks like me and has the career path as me would ever be in the same league as someone like that. He had done the impossible, which had made me speechless, and therefore I could neither confirm or deny his assumption. I don't think anybody truly believes it, but for a while when Celebrity would walk into the room, I would pretend I was really mad at him.

"Now, watch, he's gonna walk right by me and act like he doesn't know me," I would tell people. And then he would walk right by me and act like he didn't know me, because he doesn't, and we would all laugh.

So now, cut to me, four drinks in, singing the words to every single Mariah Carey song that was played (they even did "All I Want for Christmas Is You"), and I am at the bar, about to close my tab, and I am right next to this guy.

The bartender served him first (well, duh! Why wouldn't you? The man looks like the cover of a romance novel!), and he gestured that I was there first.

"Thank you," I said. "That is very nice of you." However, it came out like "Thaliiifvvvuuuu."

I cannot have nice things.


Chapter Seven: Motherhood Is Hard

This leads us into what is the hardest to write about.

I always joke that Joey is the closest thing I will get to motherhood, which I recognize is totally creepy. I'm a Cancer. We're maternal that way.

We got in a fight that was ostensibly about one thing but really wasn't about anything.

Chuck was driving us home from The Saloon and stopped in front of Joey's apartment, while Jared was going to stay in our new place and I was going to stay in my old place (my lease there wasn't done until the end of May).

"Dollface lives there!" I pointed, and I accidentally smacked Joey in the face.
"You don't deserve him," he said.

Chuck dropped us off and Joey and I screamed at each other on the sidewalk like a bunch of Real Housewives.
"Go home, Jared!" I yelled. "Grown-ups are talking!"
"Y'know, you think you're so great," Joey said. "You take two hours to get to The Saloon..."
"I WAS DOING A COMEDY SHOW, JOEY," I said, making the open mike showcase I was at sound like a paid gig. I remembered when our friend Tony got drunk and nasty with me once, and I decided to just nod my head and say "Okay" and let Joey yell at me. Then he went inside, and I was sad about it for all of Friday.

That Saturday, I was still sad about it! I alleviated my feelings by bringing Jared to Bingo at Big Louie's.

My Grandma Shirley and Grandpa Larry were there! None of us won, but they enjoyed getting to meet Jared in a more sober setting.
"I love your Grandma Shirley," Jared told me. "She always looks like she has a secret, and she's not going to tell you."
I told my mom about the fight with Joey. "Can you imagine?!" I cried. "My own child being so mean to me!"
"Um, yes, I can imagine it," said my mother. #Lorettarealness

We went to The Saloon after bingo, and Joey was there with his friend Eddie (who is very sweet and looks like the boyfriend on an MTV show). We were cordial, and the timing wasn't right to rehash everything.

We waited until Sunday night. First of all, awkwarrrddd. We accidentally ended up next to each other at the bar, and Lloyd was behind us. Lloyd once spread all these vicious rumors about Joey, and then he came up to us trying to be all nice. Despite the fact that I was still mad at Joey, my ethics were at a crossroads. I decided I loved him more than I was mad at him, and then I threw more shade at Lloyd than an oak tree. I finally got Joey into a hallway, and he wanted to talk to me about as much as 17-year-old me wanted to tell my mother I wanted to quit Paxil so I could do this solo activity all my friends were doing.

"I'm not sorry for anything," he said.
"Oh," I said. "Okay."
"You're not a good friend."
"I'm not going to do the 'I'm-sorry-you-feel-that-way' apology because that's not real, so I would like to think I have been a good friend, and I am sorry that I have not, and I am sorry that my actions have not reflected how I feel about you."

Joey started talking and I kept saying "Okay."

"No, stop it," he said. "You're not listening. When you nod and say 'okay' you're not really listening. You're tuning me out. I took a class on this once."
"Why are you implying that I don't care about you?!" I asked. "I was mean to Lloyd because of what he had said to you!"
"Yeah, Lloyd and I are actually fine now," Joey said.
"You never told me that," I said.
"Yes, I did," I said. "It was back when I worked with you and I was trying to tell you about it and you were like 'Oh-my-god-I-have-to-run-to-Holiday-I-gotta-go-bye."

And while I had no recollection of this moment, his cadence and mannerisms were so dead-on that I knew he had to be telling the truth.

It didn't even matter why I was upset anymore. But for the record, when Joey said "You don't deserve Dollface", he didn't mean what I thought he meant, which was that it was a looks/out-of-your-league comment. He thought it was mean that I said Dollface isn't very smart. Dollface is smart, he's just not smart in the way that if you make a sarcastic comment, he can lob it back to you like verbal tennis, and that's what I liked so much about Kevin and Wesley. And I also learned that Joey was mad about other stuff that had nothing to do with me, and that's why he had been acting so standoffish over the past few weeks. I also had to realize that someone's personality will dictate their communication style. I am a loudmouthed, liberal extrovert, and when I have feelings, everyone and their goldfish knows about them. Joey is a Wisconsin Irish Catholic, and he comes from people who do not wear their feelings on their sleeves, but instead put them away and save them for special occasions.

Dollface has a girlfriend now, anyway.


Chapter Eight: Boys, Boys, Boys

One night at The Saloon, there were too many boys! Del (my attractive older neighbor) was there. Kevin was there! He has grown out a beard and long hair and kind of looks like James Franco circa Pineapple Express. I think Football Guy may have been there. Celebrity was there. I ran into Paul Ryan on the patio. He was wearing a goddamned sportcoat. He was there with his bodyguard. I am not even joking. His bodyguard's name was Wesley and then I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

"Jakey," Paul Ryan purred. "I want to bring you home with me tonight. C'mon. I have my driver and my bodyguard."

Kevin and I went back inside and Kevin told me he got offered a lucrative job in Florida and that he was going to take it.

I was too closed for business for Paul Ryan, so Kevin and I went to the dance floor. He licked my face a lot. We went to his house and he held me like his life depended on it. I fell asleep smiling.

The next day he told me he wasn't going to take the Florida job. Feeling tricked, I stole three Mountain Dews.

It's probably for the best, because I need to use his house next week because I only have three hours between my retail job and a gig at the House of Comedy. Paul Ryan texted me saying I need to work out more, and then sent me a picture of his hot, buff boyfriend. I am moving to outer space and not coming back until I can be a lesbian.

I think I am over Kevin, and then last week at the bar, someone said "I know you." I was arrogant and thought he would talk about some bar he told me tell jokes at. "You were dating Kevin Thomsen." Well, sheee-ittt. I wish I would have known we were dating. He is in another life for me.

He was Summer 2012, Wesley was Summer 2013, and in Summer 2014 I am just going to be a ho. Or a spinster.

And write more! I miss doing this every week and I miss you all, so much that I'm even saving some juice for next time. Sweet crap, that sounded dirty.

Here we go!
Coming up:
*Jakey and Jared officially move in together! How long before their first screaming fight?
*Will Jakey go work out with Paul Ryan like he said he would?
*Will Kevin buy an elliptical like he said he would?
*Will Celebrity's lawyers call Jakey?
*Will Jakey ever do his 30-day ab challenge for more than two days in a row?
*Pride Weekend!

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