Saturday, March 14, 2009

i'm never trying something new again

this winter has not been kind to many of us, and a few months ago i found myself feeling lethargic, and ugly, and pasty, and fat. and a little unloved, but i really couldn't blame anyone for that. so i took some tennis lessons with my friend tris. turns out i was better (just barely) than two of the four people in the class, and started feeling a little less icky. so when my friend stephanie asked me to be a substitute one night for her in her basketball leauge of women over forty, i thought hey, why not? i'm only 38. i will kick some old lady ass! i played basketball in eigth grade, and that was only twenty four years ago. i'm okay at tennis, and i remember last summer i was shooting some baskets in my friend's driveway, and i made a few. no problem, bring it on! the team leader, linda, calls me and lets me know the details. show up, she'll give me a shirt, play a little. no big deal, it's all just for fun, no one gets too serious. be there at 6:45. i can do that. wednesday night, 5:00, i think it's a good idea to eat a huge hamburger and salad. delicious. wednesday night, 6:30, huge snowstorm, i wear 18 shirts and a huge coat and boots to the gym. 6:45. i walk in, lots of women playing basketball, more than one game going on. looks kind of serious. plus i don't know ANYONE. starting to feel a little sick. linda finds me, underneath the scarf wrapped around my head, gives me a friendly pat on the shoulder, and hands me my shirt wrapped in plastic and points to the locker room. it takes a while to unwrap myself, and then i get to the shirt. it is 1980's neon green, and is a size XXL. my shorts have a five inch inseam, but the shirt is longer. i now look ready to eat popcorn and watch a movie in bed. (if i were five and wearing my dad's shirt and if he were tall and fat.) the sleeves hang far below my elbows. trudging out to the court, my hamburger reminds me of itself. our neon green team shoots around for five minutes, if you call six women and two balls and myself standing awkwardly near the free throw line touching my face neurotically and rearranging my ponytail shooting around. because i am the new girl, i don't have to start. i watch for a few minutes, doesn't look too hard. then. i run up and down the court a few times, someone passes the ball to me, this is my chance. have i mentioned the other team yet? HUGE WOMEN. MEAN HUGE WOMEN. some of them are wearing a grille. in their mouth. the woman i was gaurding was number 17, and the 1 of the 17 was made out of duct tape. the seven was written in with a sharpie. have you ever played pinball? do you know that sound the silver ball makes when it hits something? those girls made me that silver ball, and i heard that sound. again and again. sixty seconds into my game, i lunged for the pass, came up miles short, and catupaulted into the groin of (well, i don't know who, because at that point my face was purple and i could not breathe and i was gagging uncontrollably). the referee stopped the play and everyone wondered if i would like to go to the hospital. i kind of did want to, but i said no. i did sit down for a bit, and because my team had no other choice, i went back in. my team got the ball, and i was open, and i also could see the girl with the ball looking, looking, looking for someone else to throw it to. nope. had to be me. i caught the ball, and threw it up toward the basket. beautiful. i mean ugly. i am certain that i even grunted. loudly. the ball landed three feet short of the basket and hit someone's foot and careened out of bounds. back to the folding chairs. the game ended and my team lost by about three thousand points, even though they had been previously undefeated. it was my fault, and no one would even look at me, again standing awkwardly near them touching my face and acting a little autistic. by now, i never wanted to see another hamburger. i changed back into my snowmobile suit, and limped out without a goodbye, totally humiliated. the next day, stephanie, who i was originally subbing for, forwarded me a message from linda to stephanie. "thanks for having tina play with us last night, do you think you could get the shirt back from her? um, washed?" you can have your nightgown back, linda, i'm sticking to tennis.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


not one single notable thing has happened in the last week. but don't worry, i am sure to be humiliated or irritated soon. probably both at the same time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

white teeth

as you know, i love shopping. i am fortunate enough to live a mere ten minutes away from the mall of america, and i go there often. most people that live here berate it publicly, pretending that they hate commercialism, and i don't call them on it. more mall of america for me. that place is fantastic. i have a certain routine that i adhere to when i shop there. i always park in the arizona lot, right by nordstrom's. i have found that the high end shops rent near the high end anchors. near nordstrom's is williams-sonoma, abercrombie, puma, j.jill (well okay, it's not a perfect science). near the sears anchor you get glamour shots, lady foot locker, the dollar store, old navy. but no matter where you are, you get the kiosks. gold plated jewelry. viking's bedroom slippers. the guy who will draw you, but uglier than you really are. crocs. high-heeled crocs. perfume vendors and hair straighteners, begging to make eye contact. i like to hurry by these vendors, pretending to be absorbed in my phone although i haven't had an incoming call for at least three days. sorry, perfume guy, too busy for a sample. i feel guilty about it, but not guilty enough. but then. a new kiosk. right outside of nordstrom's, next to the caribou coffee. TEETH WHITENING! i try to avert my eyes, but i am interested. i have always hated my teeth. i have dated (well, slept with) people because of their teeth. celebrities have white teeth. politicians have white teeth. people that other people like have white teeth. i have diet coke guinness smokers teeth. i want people to like me. i don't care if it's just because i have white teeth. good enough. i avoid the teeth whitening kiosk, but i do not forget. i think about the kiosk in the morning when i wake up, i think about it when i am at work and see someone with really nice teeth, i think about it when i watch america's next top model. i think about it a lot. so, last monday, i dropped by the mall. i walked up to the kiosk and asked for some white teeth. there was one girl in a white lab coat working. she had very white teeth, blonde big hair, and long red fingernails. i was smitten. plus she was really really friendly. i knew she liked me right away. in retrospect, it was probably because i had a credit card in my hand, but whatever. i voiced my concern that i was going to look like an idiot just like the somali girl in the chair right next to me, but she assured me that no one ever even looks at us because they all have their own agenda and don't really care. i choose to belive this, and let her fit me with a mouthpiece. let me say at this point that i am a gagger. i have thrown up more times than i can tell you just from brushing my teeth. (this is a testament to being born gay as opposed to choosing it, if i can't handle a toothbrush in my mouth, then god help a penis. i'm just saying.) she squeezes some gel into my mouthpiece, and puts it on my teeth. i gag for a while, in the sexiest way possible, because this girl is really cute. i make a joke, we move on. now my lips are spread up and down as far as possible, i start to feel like jack nicholson in the shining. only 30 more minutes, my new girlfriend tells me with a (bright) smile. the somali girl leaves, and i am the only customer. nicole (that's her name) comes around every few minutes to see how i am doing. i say some hilarious things, like "hey, these magazines are from july, 2008!" and "is it okay if i put my coat over my head?" and (because everything i say sounds like hmphmmhph) "wouldn't it be fun to make out with me?" she says, "doing GREAT! only 20 more minutes!" i take that as a yes. finally, my time is up. the mouthpiece comes out. as i pay my bill, we make some small talk, and i invite nicole to visit me at barbette on some monday night. she replies heartily, "that would be GREAT! my boyfriend and i are always looking for something to do on monday nights!" well, at least my teeth are white.