Yes, I am ancient. Geriatric. 32 going on 99.
Would you like to hear about my wild evening? Of course you would. First of all, I was the youngest in our group of six. The friend who invited me along is just a few years older than me, then we had four ladies in their upper forties. One may have been over fifty. Not that this has anything to do with the price of tea in China or what it means to find oneself trapped in skanky karaoke hell, but it just seems like it needs to be pointed out.
I’d offered to be the designated driver, because I’m off ibuprofen, NSAIDs, and alcohol until my surgery. Things wouldn’t have been much different if I was drinking; see my “100 Things” list for details, but “me drinking” means I have one drink… maybe two if I’m feeling wild. And something I didn’t put on my list but I realized last night was this: I never get drunk in public. I rarely get drunk, anyway, but on the few occasions that I have? Either in my home, or the home of someone I trust. I do not understand the allure of making an ass of oneself in front of lots of strangers. I just don’t.
You know how this story goes, right?
The karaoke place is the lounge of a local Asian buffet place. Four of us got there, ordered appetizers, and they ordered scorpion bowls. By the time the additional two friends showed up, my three compadres were already tanked… and it was about 8:30. Shortly thereafter the karaoke started, and all the dregs of society started showing up. It was quite the conundrum, deciding which was worse: the very loud, bad music, or the scary people who were now surrounding us in droves.
First, it goes without saying that we were the oldest people there. Second, it turns out that I was inappropriately attired. I had no idea. Women there wore either black leather or nothing much at all (bonus points for combining the two). Also, our table was short about a dozen piercings.
One of the friends-of-my-friend latched on to me for meaningful conversation. Joy. It went kind of like this:
Her: Mir, I’m so sorry that I sound so drunk.
Me: Don’t worry about it.
Her: But really, I am, and you won’t hold this against me, will you?
Me: Nope, what happens at karaoke stays at karaoke, hon.
Her: *laughs so hard at my not-funny joke that I fear she will wet herself*
Me: So, are you gonna go up there and sing?
Her: Oh no! How embarrassing! I couldn’t!
Me: Oh, you can’t be any worse than any of the rest of these people.
Her: Mir, I have to apologize, I’m so sorry that I sound so drunk!
Me: Ya know, you really don’t sound all that drunk, except for the fact that you keep apologizing for it.
Her: You won’t hold this against me, will you?
Me: Um, I have to go to the bathroom.
Through creative trips to the bathroom (so concerned was the waiter over my drinking only water and diet coke, I somehow ended up with more liquid than anyone else at the table, and did in fact have to visit the facilities multiple times to keep from exploding) and various seating shuffling therein, I managed to work my way over to the two latecomers. They were a really nice lesbian couple (the same woman who kept apologizing for being drunk announced as soon as they were away from our table “Did you know that they’re LESBIANS???” and did I mention one of them was her sister? so nice) who were not getting tanked, so I had a nice time over there with them, for a little bit.
But then the three drunk ones got a little out of control. During one of my trips to the facilities, they apparently made friends with the table behind us through a request for the salt shaker. Table behind us? Big group of smoking, overly-pierced high-school-dropout twenty-somethings doing body shots. And to them I say, good for you! But to our group I wanted to say, For the love of God, you are middle-aged married women who could be their mothers, stop fraternizing!! But I didn’t, of course. The young table found our table terribly amusing, and the boys (men? I suppose they’re men) in particular found the drunken flirting of the “aged” hilarious. This was where I starting thinking about crawling into a hole and dying.
I would’ve left, if I could. But oh yeah, Mother Mir, designated driver! I couldn’t leave, because they wouldn’t leave. So I stayed, and prayed for a power outage.
Two of our group decided to set up one of the guys from the young table to do a song. They spent a good twenty minutes up there perusing the songbooks to pick just the right tune to debase him. And that was a
drunken great idea, except they picked a song no one had ever heard of, so when his name was called and he decided he was game, it was a bust. He didn’t know the song, no one in the place knew it, and the DJ ended up going on to the next person on the list. Wow, they sure got him good. But somewhere in the midst of this master plan, the most senior member of our group was treated to a peek of said young man’s dual nipple rings, and was so drunk astonished that she reached out and petted him. Which he thought was hilarious. Dudes, check it out, I’m being groped by grandma!
By this point, I was checking my watch about every… oh… twelve seconds. (“Mir, I am so sorry that I sound so drunk!”) The Nipple Groper left for the bathroom and didn’t come back. After various permutations of members of our group going to check on her, it was discovered that she was busy puking her guts out. Alrighty then. It’s a party now. Could someone please pass me the blue mascara? And, ohmigod, could you maybe go ask that cutie if he wants to dance with me? Bad flashbacks, man.
So between the sober couple and myself, we’re trying to figure out how manage this, who’s driving whom, etc. The other two were now alternating dancing and coaxing the amused young guys into buying them more drinks. One trip back from checking on Pukefest 2004, two of the young guys stopped me and drew me in close enough to hear them speak.
Guy1: Hey! Are you babysitting tonight?
Me, surveying what the other women are up to, and probably turning crimson: Yep, I guess so. Is it that obvious?
Guy2: Oh yeah. *they both laugh* Good luck getting them outta here.
Me: Uhhhhm yeah. Thanks?
Because I am a logical person with a good head on my shoulders, I chose to focus my remaining energy on hating The Toad (the one who appeared to be a prince, was my first post-split involvement, and promptly turned back into a toad as soon as my divorce was final). It was his fault. All his fault! If he was still around–and not, you know, an asshat–I could’ve either been happily spending the evening with him; or if I was stuck in this situation with him at least he could’ve helped me see the humor. But no, he used me and discarded me and look at me now, here in karaoke hell. All his fault. Yeah.
Assignments were made. The couple would drive the puking Nipple Groper and her friend, I would drive the friend who got me into this in the first place. I was encouraged to go ahead and gather my friend and be on our way; they would wait for the puking to stop and then do the same. Those of us who were sober exchanged pleasantries and goodbyes.
My friend didn’t want to leave. Surprise, surprise. I talked her into it. She tried to get out of her chair and fell on the floor. At this point I decided to just proceed as if everything is hunky dorey, because there is no way in hell that this is actually happening or is a part of my life. Clearly I’m having a very bizarre, embarrassing nightmare and will soon wake up. We were, at this point, the center of attention. And why not? My friend is sprawled on the floor laughing her ass off, I am clearly mortified and trying to pull her up again even though she outweighs me by quite a bit. We were better entertainment than most of the karaoke, to be sure.
I steadied her on the way out to the car, whereupon she nearly got into an altercation with a young lady talking on a cell phone. This girl committed the sin of laughing (at her conversation) as we walked by. My friend was sure she was being laughed at. Oh Lord. I managed to talk her out of that one and get her into the car. She talked a lot on the way home, but I didn’t understand most of it. She thanked me for taking care of her; that much I did get. At one point I asked her to not bother trying to talk to me because I don’t speak Drunkish.
And so, dear friends, I arrived home after midnight. I was tired, I was grumpy, my hair reeked of smoke (can I tell you what I hate more than smelling like smoke? I can’t, because there isn’t anything), and I felt ooooooooold. OLD. What was fun about that evening? Am I actually supposed to enjoy that?
Anyone wanna come over and watch a movie tonight?