Sunday, January 11, 2015

All Wallow's Eve

You know how sometimes a night can end up in a completely different place than it started?

Like, one moment you're setting out an array of holiday themed novelty glasses, excitedly anticipating the arrival of your friends and the start of your favorite night of the year, and then the next moment you're wearing footie pajamas, sitting alone on a curb, questioning every decision you've ever made in you're life?

Halloween spiraled a bit...

I'd decided last year that I was going to be Harold & the Purple Crayon this year for Halloween. It was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, and when I saw the idea on Buzzfeed, I knew immediately that's what I wanted to do.

So, yeah, this person is an adorable infant, and I'm an almost thirty year old grown ass man. And, yeah, there's a whole cast of supporting costumes that really ratchet this idea up to the next level, and I'm single as f#%!. And, sure, their social circle is probably full of other parents knowledgeable in children's literature, and I would be spending my night surrounded by drunk twenty-somethings knowledgeable in Taylor Swift lyrics.

Turns out the prospect of having a legitimate reason to purchase footie pajamas was really all I needed though.

Harold and the Purple Crayon it is!

On a side note, how great is it that we live in a time where adult sized footie pajamas are a mere Google search away? I mean, I know the internet is mostly just teenagers being awful to each other via YouTube comment, but it's moments like this that really prove what a powerful tool for good it can be.

So I bought the pj's. I also got a big crayon bank from Toys-R-Us online (so now my Facebook ads assume I'm the mother of a toddler). I then took that big crayon and glittered the shit out of the ends (because I'd almost managed to clean up the glitter from last Halloween). I had a big plan to drill a hole in the top and keep a ball of purple yarn inside to pull out as if it was writing, but I considered just who in the hell I thought I needed to impress and decided against it.

I'd invited a group of friends to meet up at my place for drinks before heading downtown. I wish I could say I invite people over because I like being a host and entertaining guests, but it's mostly because if we're meeting at my place it means I can't be the one who arrives late.

It also means that the first things my guests hear upon opening the door is, "I'm not ready, I'm not wearing pants, and I need you to be okay with that."

The night started off like most of my nights out do. I took a nap after work, polished off two drinks and performed the entirety of the Mama Mia! soundtrack in the shower, spent twenty minutes poking and prodding at my forehead wondering if maybe I'd look better with just a little bit of a face lift, and told my friends apologetically that I just didn't have the time to clean up before they arrived.

 At the first bar of the night it became super clear that even less people were going to understand my costume than the year before, and also that if you bring a giant tube shaped object into a bar, it will be used to pantomime a giant (glittery) penis.

While waiting in line for the bathroom, I had one guy look me up and down and ask, " just, like...wore your pajamas to the bar?"

"No, sir, I didn't just wear my pajamas to the bar. There's a clarifying prop that I didn't bring along because my friends are busy sodomizing each other with it."

We stayed at the first bar just long enough for their drink specials to end and then moved on to the next stop. This is where I lost control of the night a bit. It was at this bar that I immediately ran into an ex-boyfriend.

He was my first boyfriend. We weren't in love with each other, in fact, I'm not even certain that we liked each other all that much. We were young, and I think we both just liked the idea of having a boyfriend.

And I definitely liked being able to borrow sweatshirts with his last name on them.

"Yes, my last name is Roberts, this sweatshirt actually belongs to my boyfriend."

Needless to say, I wasn't super devastated when we broke up. Or, at least, I wasn't super devastated when other people weren't around. I wasn't about to give up any sympathy attention that was due to me.

This wasn't the first time we'd run into each other either. In the years since we broke up, there have been multiple run ins.

Multiple run ins, and (without getting too detailed) a few...relapses.

I never meant for it to happen. We'd run into each other, and there would be a level of comfort and familiarity there. We'd chat for a bit, and I'd remember that all of the awkward "getting to know you stuff" was already taken care of.

No one makes good decisions at 2 am, right?

I spotted him sitting at a table right by the entrance of our second stop on Halloween night. I turned to my friends and said, "So this is happening." before walking up to his table and asking him, "What the f#%! are you doing in Mankato?"

We hugged, and we got the necessary pleasantries out of the way. He explained that he was just in town for the night visiting some friends. I smiled and nodded, pretending I wasn't preoccupied with locating my friend in the Smurf blue body paint who was holding my next drink.

Just as I as telling him that I would be checking back in with him later in the evening, he interrupted me to say, "Oh! Wait just one second, I need to introduce you to my fiance."

Your who now?

He turned to get the attention of a tall, good looking, guy at the bar, giving me just a few seconds to deal with the deluge of thoughts flooding into my brain.

"He's engaged?! But he's younger than me!"
" Be a good person. You need to be happy for him right now. Make a happy face!"
"Am I going to die alone?!"
"That's not a happy face, try again!"
"Maybe I could get a cat, maybe I'm not allergic to them?"
"You're convincing no one with that smile! Less teeth, you fool!"
"Just look at your phone, pretend to get a text."
"Maybe I could pretend that guy is my boyfriend?"
"If he was my boyfriend maybe I wouldn't have to pretend to look at a text. Maybe someone would actually text me."
"Oh god, am I going to die alone?"
"Here they come, be cool, act natural. You're smart, you're charming, you're funny, you''re...oh my god..."

"You're wearing footie pajamas..."

The costume was a mistake.

I wasn't able to handle much conversation after the introductions were over, so I yelled, "I'm coming!" in the general vicinity of the last place I'd spotted a flash of blue body paint and extracted myself from the situation.

Don't get me wrong. I really am happy for the both of them. I'm not pining for my ex. In fact, I think about him very little (as little as I'm sure I cross his mind). There's no part of me that wishes that I was his fiance. The meltdown that ensued was more based on the fact that I'd had shredded cheese poured sloppily in my mouth while hovering over a garbage can for supper three times that week, the last real date I'd been on was more than a year ago (and his roommate came along), and I was pretty sure my parents were screening my calls.

And also I was wearing f#%!ing footie pajamas, you guys!

Life wasn't feeling super on track.

When I was reunited with my friends, they could tell something was wrong.

I explained what had just gone down to the best of my ability between giant gulps of my Stoli soda and whoever else's drink was sitting on the table in front of me. They all tried super hard to cheer me back up. One friend rushed to get me a refill, another complimented my hair, and another took the opportunity to search Facebook for pictures of his former girlfriends that he thought would cheer me up.

"Look at this one, do you see how fat she got?!" he asked.


My ex found his way back to me three or four times to try to catch up, and each time unknowingly digging the knife in deeper.

"Yep, still at Shopko."
"Nope, I'm single."
"The same shitty apartment as last time."
"Yes...I do still have a cardboard cut out of Sarah Michelle Gellar in my bedroom."

The time finally came when we were ready to move along to the next bar, and I couldn't have been more relieved. I was ready to shake off the beginning of the night and start over.

Until I realized that my driver's license was missing.

I searched every pocket, I emptied out my wallet, I searched the ground around where we were standing. It was gone, which meant that we had to return to the previous bar to look.

We got back to the entrance, and I explained to the bouncer that I had just walked out, but needed to go back in and search for my ID. He told me that he couldn't let me in without seeing my ID, and I called into question whether or not he was listening to me when I spoke to him only moments before.

Everyone else went back into the bar to search except one friend who made it his personal mission to convince the bouncer to let me back in. He yelled for five minutes before I finally told him he needed to shut up or risk being kicked out as well.

"Whatever dude," he said to the bouncer as he walked inside, "you better give my friend your coat if he gets cold though."

I sat down on the curb outside the bar, and was contemplating never ever leaving my apartment again when the bouncer cleared his throat and asked, "Uhhh. Do you...need to wear my coat?"

"I'm wearing a fleece blanket..."

And that's the moment when my ex and his fiance walked out of the bar.

They spotted me sitting on alone on a curb, holding a giant glittery crayon, wearing footie pajamas, and bickering with a bouncer. They gave a tentative wave goodbye, and I decided that my night was f#%!ed and went home to make a call to the one person who could provide me solace.