I say all this. I think all this. But the truth is I’m pretty sure Nick stopped liking me, and the scent of French fries is definitely leading to an imminent fall from the health food wagon, a fall from grace. I argue with myself for a solid five minutes while I flip through my apps, wondering if Nick will appear on just one of them—JUST ONE! Has he favorited a tweet? Snapped me a dick pic? Liked my status? Liked an instagram selfie? ANYTHING?! No. No? No. Fries.
I approach the snack bar shaky and uncomfortable, waiting in line behind a 5 year old girl wielding a 5 dollar bill like a samurai sword, her head reaching about as high as my thigh. I’m shuffling around patiently (impatiently) waiting to order when the girl starts flying the 5 dollar bill around like an airplane, which reminds me that I have no fucking clue what’s in my bank account at this moment. Would my card be declined? Having my card declined after watching a 5-year old order crap food at an ice skating rink in my struggle to shove my bloated rejected face with French fries? Rock bottom. Totally rock effing bottom.
“Can I help you?” A bored high school aged student named Tashiana asks me.
“Oh hi!” I say, in a tone just a little too sunny to be genuine. “Just an order of fries please? And um…” I trail off glancing up at the menu pondering whether or not to add chicken nuggets to my shame-feast, but then I remember I may or may not get declined just for the fries, so I decide against it. “Yup nope that’s it. Just fries thankyousomuch.”
Tashiana pushes up her thick-rimmed black glasses with a chubby unpolished finger and yells over her shoulder “ONE ORDER FRIES. NEXTPLEASE.”
I wait for my fries while I watch the Howard Hughes of dollar bill-crafted airplanes chow down on a choco-taco. Bitch. I think. You’re 45 pounds and that choco taco is gonna be metabolized in all of 5 minutes. Fucking oblivious little bitch. She catches me watching her and smiles, revealing two large rabbit-like front teeth with an adorable gap in-between them.
I text my friend Layne, praying she’ll be able to laugh at my misery—this tactic has gotten me through many of my lowest times. *Sidenote: Since my card wasn’t declined this is NOT my lowest moment. My lowest moment is still when I was declined for $2 worth of street parking last January. But still, this is up there.*
Me: I think Nick already lost interest and I wanna go binge drink myself into a stupor.
Me: I could literally cry.
Me: On top of that I’m so gassy and my stomach is distended.
Silence from Layne for another 20 minutes, which became 30, which became never hearing back. So essentially I was feeling like a rockstar. This just in: Rockstar now is synonymous with BIG FUCKING LOSER. BFL. (Patent pending)
Amanda emerges from the rink in her usual splendor—a flurry of equal parts enthusiasm and entitlement. From here we are headed to dress rehearsal for The Magic Flute: ON ICE! As her babysitter, I’m pretty excited. I get to watch adorable little ice skaters chase their dreams on the ice with every axel and failed Salchow, and if I feel like it I can wait in the lobby and watch “Girls” reruns. 3 hours of this and I’m getting paid for each and every one without having to speak to Amanda. In my mind this is an ideal Thursday night. This is a teenage dream.
We arrive at the rink at 5:45, and it is virtually nothing like I imagined. It’s not little girls prancing around in tutus hugging their mothers and basking in their moment of glory… oh no. It’s hoards of prepubescent ice-skaters screaming and crying and whining about WHERE their hard guards are for their skates, WHO has an extra bobby pin, and WHEN is Grandma seeing the show?!
I try to recall if it’s vertical or horizontal cuts that kill you as I ponder my own suicide while pretending to care about Amanda as she barks at me louder and sharper than usual.
“Wait… no.” Her face starts to melt as she gets short of breath in a panic. Fuck.
“No. No. NO!!!!” She exclaims. The dressing room feels more and more like an Ozzfest mosh pit as moms file in flipping their extensions and clutching their daughters’ bejeweled costumes.
“Angelica! Gel! Gellie! Honey! Over here!” a mom clutches her daughter Angelica’s face with pink shimmery acrylic claws and smears clown-red lipstick on her pouting lips. I don’t know which of these two I feel worse for.
“What is it Amanda?” I ask in an indifferent haze.
“My tutu-uh! It’s too loose-uh!!!” She yelps.
“It’ll be okay.”
“NO-uh! It WON’T!”
“Yes. Yes it will.” I dare argue.
“Can you pin this? CanyoupinthisPLEASE?” she asks tapping the toepick of her skate on the floor impatiently.
“Sure.” I grab the pin delicately using all my willpower not to jab it in Amanda’s bony side to teach her a lesson. I pinch the waistband to tighten the tutu, both irritated and jealous that this literally has never been a problem for me. Ever. The day I cry about something being too loose on me will be the day hell freezes over twice as far as I’m concerned. I tighten it just a bit, but apparently not enough, which is made clear when I hear Amanda screech.
“IT’S STILL TOO LOOSE! UGH!”
“Amanda.” I say in a voice that was supposed to sound stern but probably just ended up sounding a little drunk. “Amanda, it will be okay.”
“Stop! Stop saying it will be okay! It WON’T be okay!”
At this point in the night I grab Amanda by her ponytail and slam her on the floor. Suddenly, for no reason in particular James Earl Jones’ voice comes out of my mouth as I say “Don’t EVER speak to me like that again.” She weeps like an amputated kitten and I abandon her at the rink to go get myself some Chipotle.
Kidding. I bite my tongue and look around desperately when suddenly a 15-year old girl holds up the curling iron she’s using to curl a homely chubby girl’s ridiculously long dark hair into ringlets. Sidenote: These curls are so tight I honestly haven’t seen them since 2004 back when they were a thing.
“Who’s crying about a skirt? Who needs an extra safety pin?”
“Me!” Amanda waggles her arm in the air.
I just point at Amanda stupidly in agreement. Yeah, her.
Nice hair stylist girl goes to get a safety pin and another helps Amanda tighten the waist of her tutu some more. I sort of mill around until I get claustrophobic enough to stop feeling guilty for getting the hell out of the dressing room to watch Girls reruns on my new and exciting HBOGo app. I knew Amanda wouldn’t even notice I was gone, and even if she did maybe it would be a sort of reverse Home Alone situation where the child suddenly appreciates me after I go missing.
I set up camp on the floor, using my parka as a cushion. Little kids almost trip on me several times, and I start to wonder what the probability is that I’ll have all my fingers by the end of the night. I was as comfortable as I could be, and I began questioning how I could both kill 3 hours, avoid misery and distract myself from an impending breakup with my non-boyfriend man friend of not even two weeks. LIFE. IS. HARD.
In the three hours I end up accomplishing the following:
- I text 7 people.
- Layne (again. Clearly she hates me.)
- Andi (my benevolent coworker who got fired. Also doesn’t respond. Probably hates me.)
- My two best friends from high school. (They actually respond! There are lots of exclamation points, words of encouragement and friendly emojis! #BLESSED)
- My costume designer friend from college. (She’s too busy to drink with me tonight.)
- My gay friend Joe (Ditching me for a hot guy. Understandable but bothersome.)
- My best friend Maggie: Straight shooter and no-bullshitter extraordinaire.
- Mark (A guy I went on a date with who I haven’t formally rejected yet. Regardless of Nick losing interest, I still owe him an official “No”. He was just too nice not to deserve one)
- I watch one episode of “The Comeback”
- I sometimes wonder if how much I identify with Valerie Cherish is worth worrying about.
- I watch no episodes of “Girls”
- I read exactly 10 pages of “The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides. This is my second attempt at it and I still could not give less of a fuck.
- I try to delve into my Grandfather’s manuscript of his book knowing how badly he wants me to. (By book I mean his entire life story including intimate details such as how his marriage with my Granny ended and what he thought of his dick as a child. I only make it through 5 printer-sized pages.)
“You are beautiful. Never trust Nicks.”