Tag Archives: Holidays

Dining Alone

Catherine: Hey guys. I meant to write this post over the holidays, because that’s when this story takes place but guess what – I didn’t.

So – here it is now.

When I was about 8 or 9, I got a bright pink matching long-sleeved Barbie shirt and Barbie pants from a friend for my birthday. They were pajamas, but I didn’t understand that – I thought it was an outfit. My birthday was in March, but I so revered this outfit that I SAVED IT UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DECEMBER – Christmas Eve, to be exact. I wanted to debut the shit out of this because it was FIERCE.

Growing up, I didn’t have my own bedroom, I shared a room with my brothers that had no door, so I would have to change in the bathroom. On this particular Christmas Eve, once my entire family had arrived for dinner, I went into the bathroom to make my move. For the first time in my life, I also locked the door – I thought this was suuuuuper grown up. I put on my Barbie ensemble and was ready to greet the family, expecting nothing if not an obscene amount of praise. But. I couldn’t unlock the door.

The lock, you see, was a weird turnkey thingy, and I couldn’t get it to work. It wasn’t until people started to need to use the (only) bathroom that I had to sort of explain, um… I can’t open the door… It was horrifying. I thought I was going to be in there FOREVER. My family was coaching me, trying to explain, “Just turn it to the left, and lift it a little.” Nothing. I was crying. I was going to die, alone, in a bathroom, in my Barbie outfit that I now HATED. Finally, after probably 45 minutes, I was free, having unlocked the door successfully moments before my dad was going to unscrew the doorknob. But I was also humiliated. I had since changed out of my Barbie outfit, so I emerged in what I had been wearing before. I got a plate of food, and too embarassed to talk to anyone, I took it into the bathroom where I shut the door (I didn’t lock it, of course) and ate alone. I remember looking at the discarded pink ensemble with SO MUCH HATE and no, I never wore it again.

This was the first in a string of being locked in bathrooms moment in my life – another memorable one was locking myself in a bathroom in Lithuania and giving myself a full-blown panic attack. So. Now I always test a lock before I lock it to see how it works. Like, I still do that. Y’all, I got problems.

Jana: Oh lil Cath. Poor lil Cath.

I wish you still had the Barbie outfit. Did it have Barbie’s face on it? Or was it a million little Barbies in a pattern that covered all the cloth? I just wish I knew, for some reason. Either way, I’m delighted to picture you sitting on a toilet, face over your plate of food, refusing to leave the bathroom. And I’m happy to report that, just a few miles away, I was probably doing something similar right at that very moment, unaware that parallel me (you) existed.

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Happy Birthday To Me: I Wasn’t Cool in Middle School

Catherine: It’s my birthday! Happy birthday to me, specifically. Before I get going, may I suggest liking our facebook page as a special birthday gift to yours truly? Or perhaps, if you wanted to get craycray, putting us in your status? Think about it.

In middle school, I was cast as the lead in “Guys in Dolls.” This may have been pre-type casting, because there was a scene where my character gets  drunk and sings weird shit like “if I were a salad, I KNOW I’d be splashing my dressing” and “boy, if I were a duck I’d quack!” I’ve probably said those things under the influence before.

Well, I thought getting the lead in the school musical would make me cool, because that’s what I wanted – you wanted it too, even if you won’t admit it. It uh, it didn’t make that wish come true.

I will forever remember this event:

It was tech day of our show, a weekend day, and it was my birthday. I had left the auditorium, and as I headed back, three popular boys who were doing lights or stage crew were hanging by the entrance. One of them, Greg (real name, I ain’t protectin’ his sorry ass), said, “Hey, it’s your bithday, right?” To which I was like, “Yeah!” (Inner dialogue: “Greg is talking to me – I’VE MADE IT!”) Greg then goes on to say, “Happy Birthday!” (Pause) “To a LOSER.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

THIS SHIT HAPPENS. And it RUINED my whole birthday, and I STILL think of that moment in my life with regret. I wasn’t cool enough to have a comeback. But I am going to take that chance now.

Here goes.

Me: “I’m a loser? I know you are… BUT WHAT AM I?” (Inner dialogue: “Nailed it!”)

Greg: “No, you are a loser. I am not a loser. You are, and I specified that.”

Me: “… oh.”

So. That is an amended version of what could have happened on that fateful day, as I walked into the auditorium fighting back tears.

Greg, wherever you are, I hope you aren’t still a total asshole. And also that you grew out the Mario Lopez haircut.

Jana: This story hurts my heart, especially because I can actually picture it, entirely. All I can say is that, had I been there, I’m sure I would have been crying for one reason or another (I QUITE often cried during weekend rehearsals for musicals), and maybe we both would have been sitting alone, you mentally repeating the Greg incident and me crying either because the love of my life didn’t love me back, or because I hadn’t gotten into college (both things that I openly cried about during Saturday rehearsals). Maybe we would have decided to sit in the hallway together and, each taking an earbud, listen to the “Dashboard Confessional” CD playing in my discman. Maybe it would have brought us comfort.

I retro-actively offer you that solace as my birthday gift. Welcome to 26! It’s mostly just as devastating as 16.

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