Tag: whinery

Happy Happy Joy Joy

 

(Writing from December 1, 2010.)

I don’t have much to say, but need to write something.

I can no longer stand having that whiny, pansy-ass Grumplestiltskin rant up as my last post here.

It makes me guilty when I spread negativity. Anyone else do that?

I feel like the world has enough of that crap without me adding my ever-so-important faux-dramas to the melting pot.

Yes, I would like a wahhhmburger and some French cries with my shake made of tears. Boo-hoo-hoo. Poor me. Sarcasm font.

SO… moving on. Shaking it off. I will be the duck and let the bad stuff roll down my back like so much brackish, filthy water. I will be the duck! The DUCK!

(Be the duck.)

***

I spent last week in and around Sedona, Arizona. I got to spend Thanksgiving with my family for the first time in years, like since I lived in Los Angeles and could drive there.

My husband, my 4-year-old son, and I flew from Tulsa to Phoenix, and drove to Sedona with my parents. Despite one night spent sleeping on the floor of an open recreation room in the Scorpion-filled desert with my husband and child, it was good times.

They have the machines that you stand inside while they whirl around you at the Tulsa airport. You have to put your hands on your head and stand very still. I don’t know if it’s an x-ray or not, just that it makes me feel self-conscious about my potential pit sweat.

I went through the swirly box, and was instructed by a woman wearing latex gloves on the other side to put my feet in the feet spots on the floor. (Yes, “swirly box” and “feet spots” are technical terms.)

She asked me if I wanted to go to a private room. I stuck a twenty dollar bill in her bra and asked for a happy ending.

Okay, not really. I said, “No, that’s alright. You’re just doing your job,” because really, I wasn’t nervous. She rubbed my legs, and I was like, “That’s it? I want my twenty back!”

Okay, not really. Actually she told me my son was cute, because he stood next to me for my pat-down. Then she showed me a picture of her son, who was adorable, and we cooed like mommies do over their offspring. Because that’s how I do. I make friends with people who gently frisk me in public. Don’t judge.

It wasn’t a big deal at all. All of the recent news hype had me worried. But I decided that after being in labor for 35 hours at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, and having no less than 10 medical strangers stick their hands into my vagina to check my cervical dilation, an airport pat-down was like a polite handshake.

(My doctor chose the weekend my water broke to leave town. My son was eventually C-sectioned into the world by her replacement, Dr. Lisa Masterson from that television show, The Doctors. I shit you not. It was in 2006, before her TV stint. L.A. is freaky, you guys.)

After my uneventful, painless TSA pat-down, I had to wonder if all of the fuss is coming from men. Men don’t have to get on a table once a year and spread their legs while someone tells them to scoot closer to the edge so they can insert a cold metal speculum into their junk. Airport pat-down, airport schmat-down, say the women. At least we get to keep our pants on for this examination.

***

I was detained at the DMV on Monday. My driver’s license was expiring in 2 days, so I needed to renew. Airport security pointed this out, or I wouldn’t have noticed.

I didn’t know why I was detained. I waited in line for 30 minutes and my number was called. I went to the open window. The woman took my license and put my information into the computer.

She then asked me if I’ve ever had a last name I’ve never had, and I replied that no, I was born Tawni Leighanne P-word (nunya biznass). My last name is different now because I’m married, but I’d never had the name she told me.

She cryptically said, “I need to go look something up on the computer in back,” and walked away holding my driver’s license.

Oooooooo-kaaaaaay?

I stood there staring at her empty seat for 20 minutes. I watched 3 different sets of people come up to the window next to me and be helped, complete with photos taken. I took pictures of things with my phone. I even got my phone angled and ready to take a furtive picture of the agent when she finally got back to her seat because I wanted to be able to show it to a supervisor when I complained.

This is what I stared at FOREVER.

After her 3rd customer departed, I asked the agent next to mine, “Can you tell me what she is researching about me in the back? She asked if I had a name I’ve never had and walked away. Has my identity been stolen? I’m kind of freaking out.”

She said, “Oh dear, I hope not!” and walked to get the woman.

My agent came back out looking flustered, and sat down in front of me.

I secretly snapped her picture with my phone.

Gotcha! I’m like a spy and shit.

She said, “Okay, I think I figured it out,” without explaining what the fuck “it” was, so I looked down at the paper she’d set down. I don’t think I was supposed to see it, but I’m a fast reader.

Printed on the paper was the name “Tammy Lynn P-word” and I read it out loud.

I said, “I’m not Tammy Lynn, I’m Tawni Leighanne.”

She said, “I know, but there is a Tammy Lynn P-word in Oklahoma, and she has your exact same birthdate.”

Color me blown away.

And things suddenly made sense.

The last time I dealt with the Oklahoma DMV, I was moving here from California and had to get an Oklahoma driver’s license. They acted weird and treated me like I was trying to pull something over on them, but nobody explained why. I felt hassled and discriminated against, to the point that I finally called a manager to complain about my treatment. He had me come to his DMV and got me in a driver’s license that day.

But he also asked me if I’d ever had a different last name… apparently the one, Tammy Lynn P-word had at some point. Fortunately, he was able to recognize that “Tammy Lynn” and “Tawni Leighanne” share the same initials, but are still completely different names, unlike all the other ignorant witch (she was really suspicious and mean to me) I’d encountered before calling him.

So now I know from where the suspicion was coming.

Isn’t that bizarre?

I kind of want to meet Tammy Lynn P-word, if only so we can always go together to the DMV renew our licenses at the same time to avert confusion.

I also wonder what she looks like. I couldn’t find her on Facebook, but the Internet searches claim she lives in this city. I’m sure the DMV lady looked at our pictures on her computer in the back to make sure we were different people. I wish I’d asked her what my birthday and almost-name twin looks like.

DMV Lady was so flustered she sent me to the tag agency for my driver’s license without taking a photo, so I waited in line there, was told this and sent back, got the photo taken, went back to the tag agency to wait in line again to finally get my license. The simple process only took 2 hours. But hey, they had disgusting coffee and old popcorn at the 2nd (and then 4th) DMV I visited in 2 hours, so yee-haw! And also, gross.

(I can’t even do buffets. My inner germaphobe twitches at the thought of all the hands that have rummaged in and/or breathed on the food before me. I am not ashamed–nor do I judge those who aren’t ooged out by this type of thing. Enjoy your stranger-touched food and probably-super-to-mine immune system. I know I’m silly.)

Well, that’s my latest. Back to shitting rainbows now.

Hope you’re having a happy week, friends.

 

xoxo.

Very Superstitious

 

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Whenever I see a tails-side-up penny on a sidewalk, or in a parking lot, I think of her.

Every time she spotted one, she would kick it as hard as she could.

Everybody knows that only a heads-up penny is good luck, so she kicked the tails-up pennies.

I found this to be terribly endearing, like she was kicking out at the Fates. Take that, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.

Or perhaps by kicking a penny into the heads-up position, she selflessly passed on good luck to an unsuspecting stranger. Numismatic altruism.

Whenever I see a penny on the ground now, I think of her.

I think about what a talented songwriter and musician she was.

I think about my ruined credit from using plastic to pay for our band van repairs, gasoline, and groceries. Trying to survive in a rock band full of rich girls was not easy for a poor kid with no parental parachute.

I remember them coming into the Subway where I worked, alcohol buzzed midday and having fun. They had no idea how badly I wanted to be a carefree twenty-something on a day drunk too, but nobody was paying my way.

I think about all of the time I put into our band: the hours I spent on the phone with A&R reps, booking gigs, mailing music, and hanging show posters. How I quit college one semester from a degree to go on tour, only to be kicked out by her after we finally signed a major label record deal. And how they had to hire a manager to do all the promotional work I’d been doing to get us signed because nobody else in the band could ever wake up before noon.

I think about how she organized it so that the whole band and our label rep from New York kicked me out chickenshit-style as a group, rather than having the human decency to do it one-on-one. I was the fourth person she’d fired from the band in two years, so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.

I think about how I missed the chance to play at the private R.E.M. end-of-tour party in Athens, Georgia, even though I had everything to do with Mike Mills noticing our band.

I think about the time we got into such a horrible, drunken fight that we threw full beer cans at each other.

I think about the next day, when she asked me how my bathroom mirror got broken and I sarcastically laughed until I realized she really didn’t remember throwing the beer can at my head and missing. (I ducked. Seven years bad luck.)

I think about her annoying rich-kid-with-nothing-real-to-think-about ramblings. “What is the Absolute Truth?” she often pretentiously wondered aloud. “What are we doing here on the planet?” she would toss into a conversation. But most of us were tired from working a job all day here on the planet and just wanted to relax.

It was irritating to be around, to be constantly slapped in the face with someone’s existential angst. Struggling with unanswerable questions is not how I choose to live my life — that’s why I’m not religious. I don’t care who put us here, why we’re here, or where we go when we die. I’ve got bills to pay.

She had no job and her parents bought everything: her college, rent, brand new car, and musical gear. She could spare the brain space, as she had nothing to do but think about such things. Money can make a person crazy that way.

Sometimes I think about the cat she named Abby, short for Absolute Truth. She later abandoned it when she moved into an apartment that wouldn’t allow animals. I wonder what the Absolute Truth was for that poor creature.

I wonder if she’s doing drugs all of the time, and if she still thinks that when she trips on acid she’s getting in touch with her Native American heritage, as if her great, great, great-grandmother being Cherokee makes her drug-induced hallucinations “visions” instead of drug-induced hallucinations.

I think about her insane rages whenever she’d attempt to drink anything stronger than beer — when she’d become violent, uncontrollable, and even piss herself after shots of whiskey.

I wonder if she’s still ruining the lives of the people around her.

Whenever I see a penny on the ground now, I think of her.

And I kick it.