NYE and the Bumblebee

3 Aug

NYE and the Bumblebee

I told someone once on New Year’s Eve that most men don’t want to sleep with Ann Coulter. Like most of my opinions, even though I had no basis for it, I said it with lots of passion because “No man wants to bonk Ann Coulter!!” sounds a lot more convincing then “I just don’t think that Ann Coulter is attractive.”

My boyfriend Travis and I had been invited to spend New Year’s Eve with a good friend who lived at the time in a pretty swanky high-rise near “the Loop.” Like most trendy areas in Chicago, the nicer the real estate, the further you have to park and then walk several blocks in your ridiculously high heels to visit your friend.  This friend is someone that I’ve known since sophomore year in college, going on 15 years, and we have the kind of friendship that I love but I’ve never understood because we hardly ever talk on the phone. I guess because our relationship is somehow above that?! If we’d met in the 70s or 80s when phoning someone was quite popular, I imagine that we would have opted to write each other anyway, preferring the long lull of silence and time between each correspondence. Prevalent email use came along just in time for our friendship in 1995, because that is the primary way in which we communicate. She’s also a friend that has known me for a long time so she has massive amounts of dirt on me and I on her and so we are good friends both because we love each other and I think also as a necessary life strategy. She’s the reason I can never run for public office.

But back to New Year’s Eve. Then again bear with me because I have another tangent that is relevant.

Three years ago, I became a vegetarian and I don’t know if I’m stupid or crazy or both but I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal-and it kind of was- which I’ll get more into another time. Anyway, when this friend invited me over for NYE, I asked the typical I’m-a-vegetarian-planning-to-attend-a-carnivore’s-party question, “What can I bring? Since I’m a Veggie, blah blah a couple of appetizers.” She responded, “Don’t worry. Don’t bring anything. We’ll have plenty blah blah just bring what you prefer to drink.” I believed her.

The elevator took us up 33 floors and my ears popped as soon as the elevator doors opened and cheerfully went “Zing!” We walked in and kissed each other hello and then I unabashedly plopped a bottle of Turning Leaf (ghetto) on the counter and Travis opened the refrigerator and stuffed a 12 pack of Bud Light (hillbilly) into the refrigerator. I knew that I could get away with bringing cheap wine to her party because when you are friends with someone for so long, you don’t have to put on airs. Heck, she was lucky I decided to splurge and I passed on my usual preference of Barefoot wine.  I began to walk around to survey the food and the first thing I saw was bacon wrapped asparagus.  I shrugged and then poured myself a glass of wine. Travis, wasting no time at all, grabbed the bacon asparagus duet and woofed it down then wiped the grease from the side of his mouth. Awesome.

This was a small party- more of a soiree- and there was only one other couple there besides my friend and her husband and we were making lots of small talk. “My boss this, my sister-in-law that.” Who cares I thought because I just noticed that my friend started making crab stuffed mushrooms. Crap.

The doorbell rang and another couple walked through the door and immediately I knew that this bitch was going to be a problem. She, was a friend of my friend’s husband (grad school colleague) and she had long, stringy, black hair, was pear shaped and she had on- I kid you not, a silk, yellow, halter shirt and a black and brown polka-dotted, taffeta, oversized umbrella skirt with black tights and black pumps. The pear shaped comment by the way is for the sake of visualization not insult. She looked like an idiot. The idiot part is meant as insult not visualization.  A freaking human bumblebee.

Towards the middle of the night, we started talking about Condoleezza Rice. Yeah, you heard me. Bumblebee, let’s call her Bum, brought up the fact that Condi Rice was the keynote speaker at her graduation from Stanford and she made a comment that afterwards Condi was with this female friend-colleague and that she seemed anti-social. I said that I wasn’t surprised. That since Condi is considered a prodigy; most super-intellectual people are not that outgoing from my experience. Eventually, this led to me saying that many prodigies are somewhat asexual. Apparently I’d hit a nerve because everyone started weighing in and giving their real life outgoing Doogie Howser stories. “I knew a guy and he got a perfect score on the MCATs and he was super friendly and outgoing.” I wanted to hand them a dictionary and point to the word “exception.”

I could tell that Bum was getting irritated with me with every opinion. “Einstein was no ladies man!” I rebuked to which she would counter, “Einstein was known to be very quirky and an all around fun guy.” “Yes, maybe, but MOST extremely intelligent people are anti-social or are not super socially active.” “You can’t make generalizations like that!” Bum said. I thought “Yes, I can, you ugly freak” but said instead, “I’m not generalizing.” She shot me a dismissive I’m better than you look and I turned away, grabbed my glass, and I got up to walk over to the counter because I noticed some broccoli was now sitting there in a dish.  I have to admit that this peanut dipping sauce the broccoli came with was some of the most delicious sauce I’ve ever had. I asked who brought it and my friend said it was, let’s call her Jackie and that Jackie also brought the apple pie and homemade ice cream. I love ice cream but I think it’s queer to make your own from scratch. I applauded Jackie for making ice cream from scratch out loud while thinking “somebody’s got a lot of time on their hands…”

So then Ann Coulter came up somehow- I can’t remember- and I said something like, “Well nobody’s trying to bonk Ann Coulter.” Bum looked pissed. Was she related to Coulter??!! No, she wasn’t related to her. She was just having these seizures with her face because she’s a bitch. I made one more comment and Bum lost it and shouted, “I LIKE YOU AND I RESPECT YOU BUT I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH YOU.” Rookie move. This was clearly her first time at this rodeo. You see I am not one to indulge someone in a public confrontation in mixed company and first and foremost she is/was a nobody to me. As in,

no·bod·y  [noh-bod-ee, -buhd-ee, -buh-dee] — pron   1.  no person; no-one  — n  , -bodies  2.  an insignificant person  3.  one who is extremely irrelevant and nothing about them is desirable to VLS

Who states to someone who is a complete and total stranger that they like them and respect them but completely disagree with them? Someone who is a social idiot, that’s who. I looked over at my friend right after Bum made this extremely awkward comment and she gave me no body language that indicated that she was appalled. She more or less just looked surprised. Had our situations been reversed, I would have piped up and said something like, “Well, Bum, now that she knows you like and respect her she can go ahead die now, can’t she?” I am fiercely loyal and if someone that I wasn’t that close to attacked someone who I was very close with, I’d go after them in a heartbeat. My friend did not do this for me and I choose to believe that it’s because after seeing me get into various debates with multiple people over the years, I think she was just like “here we go again.” After she made this comment, I smiled, looked her straight in the eye and took a sip of my wine.

Later when we were leaving, I think her boyfriend realized that she had made a colossal fool of herself because as I was kissing everyone goodbye, I leaned in to kiss him on the cheek and his lips brushed mine. I thought he was handsome and he reminded me of this Jewish guy I hooked up with once in college. It was probably an accident that our lips brushed one another’s that night but in my world, there are no accidents. I choose to believe that it was the universe’s way of saying, “She’s a hideous girl with no charm. Now here’s a kiss from her boyfriend behind her back.”

Several weeks later I met up with my long time friend at this bar called Gilt and NYE with the Bumblebee came up. Gilt? For a bar name? Was Adultree taken?

Anyway, the first thing she said to me at the bar was, “You had a lot of opinions on NYE.” Translation: could you have kept your mouth shut a little.  I defended myself and told her that Bum was completely inappropriate and puerile and only got upset because she was intimidated and was overmatched and p.s. did you see what she had on?! My friend laughed heartily and said, “That outfit was unfortunate and I don’t mind if you trash her because I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that she has a major crush on (her husband). I don’t like the way she flirts with him.”

A bee and a harlot. This is ammunition that might have come in handy on NYE night, long time friend. Oh well, in my head when I replay the night, I actually tell her that her hair had been flat ironed more times than a cheap suit, that her fashion screams “trying too hard,” and that when she was trying to make the case that a lot of geniuses have sex appeal and that they are very outgoing- she wasn’t fooling anyone…that I understood what was going on…that she fancied herself this sexy genius combination so then it must be true. Here’s what I know about this whole genius thing, according to many experts and philosophers, “a true genius will almost always be antisocial as someone in whom intellect predominates over “will” much more than within the average person.” If Bum was a genius or let alone had the intelligence that God gave a Billy goat, she would have been too busy mentally considering the significance of particle theory then to become so incensed over such a silly conversation.

Another friend from college was with us at Gilt that night and when I told her the story she said, “I had a friend who was a genius and he was really outgoi-” I cut her off with a hearty laugh and exclaimed, “Exception!” and she cut me off and said, “DON’T LAUGH, HE ENDED UP KILLING HIMSELF! NOW DON’T YOU FEEL BAD FOR LAUGHING?! Anyway, he was really cool, played sports…” I started tuning her out. I did not feel bad because I wasn’t laughing about his suicide- I couldn’t have known that.  I did feel bad though that I was once again having a heated debate about geniuses. I said sorry.

Maybe Gilt was precisely the bar where I needed to be.



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