Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bachelorette Breakdown

**Editor's Note: Finding pictures of Bachelorette parties that wouldn't completely embarrass myself or my friends was challenging for this post.

One of the quirks/frustrations of working on Saturday night is that by the time I get off work and want to hang out, my friends are either already at home and headed to bed or they've already been out for several hours and well on their way to making bad decisions.

There is no in between.

Trying to play "catch up" with a bunch of people who have been fully engrossed in partying is not ideal, but it is a risk every "weekend warrior" must take, or else I could go months and never see anyone outside of work.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I took a chance on my friends and went to Midtown to meet them out after they'd been at a pool party that started in the early evening.

As I made my way in that direction, I crossed the street and saw a cute, young, belligerently drunk girl wearing a short, tight dress and high-heeled shoes. She had a bachelorette sash across her body and a shiny, silver tiara on her head. Her getup reminded me of the last bachelorette party I attended and I sighed; I've reached the age where these over-the-top celebrations are happening less and less frequently. Sad.

As I started crossing the street towards her, I could see that she was crying and screaming at someone through her cell phone.

Angry drunk girl screaming on her phone? Oh how very cliche.

And then the bachelorette screamed, loud enough that everyone on the block turned to look, "I DON'T WANT TO MARRY YOU ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Whoa.

A group of guys walking past me right at that moment burst out laughing while giving each other the "That's a crazy bitch," look.

I looked away when I first heard the words come out of her mouth, embarrassed for her and for myself and for the guy on the other end of the phone. But as quickly as I looked away, something compelled me to turn back and once I did, I was unable to turn away from the train wreck. I almost tripped walking across the street, hanging on her every word and chuckling to myself. Mean, maybe, but what else is there to do but laugh at drunk people? Specifically a drunk, crying bachelorette who may be calling off her wedding after a night out with her friends?

Having planned and attended a plethora of Bachelorette Parties in my day, I scanned my memory bank to recall if I'd ever witness a similar outburst by one of my own bride friends. These weekend-long extravaganzas have had no shortage of drama, and have certainly included massive amounts of drinking for which I am not necessarily proud. But our drama has been more of the dancing on stage, pack 21 people into a mini-van cab playing disco music, and then fall through a screened-in door variety. Never a wasted, tearful, game-changing phone call.

In fact, aren't calls to the husband-to-be forbidden at bachelorette parties?

A bridesmaid 12 times now, I truly thought I'd seen it all when it came to wedding festivities. I had to pause and acknowledge that this was something I'd never seen before.

Many thoughts ran through my head:

Someone take her phone. (If this conversation needs to happen, it shouldn't happen like this.)

What did the guy on the other end of the phone do/not do to spark such a visceral, hateful reaction from his fiance? (I hope it involves strippers.)

I'd really like that dress if it wasn't so tight and short (In times of crisis, focus on the positive.)

I judged this girl immediately for airing her drama for all of Midtown to see and hear. What kind of a classless person does that? If the guy on the other end of the phone could see what a disaster she is he probably wouldn't have wanted to marry her either. What a nightmare.

Yet, there was a part of me that wanted to help her pull her skirt down so that it was covering her who-ha and then take her in my arms and remind her that bachelorette parties are more fun with karaoke, less fun with crying.

"Stop embarrassing yourself dear, that's just the tequila talking."

Despite the internal conflict I was having, I was certain about one thing: I couldn't wait to tell my friends. And I did immediately when I arrived.

"You. Are. Never. Going. To. Believe. What. I. Just. Saw."

My audience, of course, ate it up and we continued to laugh about it several times throughout the night.

The next day, however, I couldn't stop thinking and wondering about the girl and her fiance and what would become of them. Despite continuing to tell the story at least a dozen more times, I started to feel bad. I also started hypothesizing about what was really going on with them.

Maybe, I thought, the bachelorette is a drama queen Bridezilla and a couple of drinks only exacerbates her unreasonable behavior. Her groom is used to it and it doesn't bother him. He thinks her drama keeps the relationship spicy. They've already made up and the wedding is still on.

Or maybe the relationship was already on the brink of disaster and all it took was a wild night out with her friends for everything to click. In which case, her timing and delivery could use some work, but I'm happy that she came to this realization while she was still wearing that cheap tiara and not after she'd already walked down the aisle.

Regardless, I had to feel for her and what I can only imagine was the worst physical and emotional hangover she's ever had.

My mom was wrong when she said "Nothing good ever happens after midnight." Sometimes that's when it gets really interesting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Put Your Mind to It, Break a Sweat


Last Friday Mario Lopez (aka A.C. Slater from Saved by the Bell) came to the gym at my office to participate in two exercise classes.

I know what you're thinking:

Say what?

How?

Why?

I could bore you with all of those details, but what's the point? When it comes to anything that has to do with Saved by the Bell, you shouldn't think too much about it, you just go with it. I obviously jumped at the chance and signed up immediately if for no other reason, then it would at least give me something to write about.

After plenty of email conversation about what I should wear (A thong? My birthday suit? Acid washed pleated jeans and a hot pink wife beater?) or what I should say to him should an opportunity for conversation arise (How did it feel to always be in Zach Morris' shadow? Are your dimples surgically enhanced?, Do you really think "there's no hope with dope?"), I arrived at the class ready to get fit with Mario Lopez.

There was an adequate amount of fanfare, the amount you might expect for a child star turned entertainment journalist turned reality star's appearance at a corporate health club, complete with security standing by in case anyone got out of hand.

I checked in for the class, grabbed my weights and found a spot on the floor, chuckling to myself at the palpable sense of excitement permeating the class. Why were we so excited about exercising with a B-level celebrity? I was seeking material to write about, but what was in it for everyone else? Does Mario Lopez have this much of a following?

I glanced at a girl standing to my left one row back from the front and noticed she was wearing a "Bayside Tigers" wife beater in honor of Slater's visit.

I smiled at her and her attempt to be clever, but then turned instantly cynical and downright mean inside my head.

How dare she use this shameless technique to get Mario's attention?! I pictured her buying the shirt on eBay and setting it aside, keeping it special for this very day. What did she think was going to happen? That he'd see the shirt and the two of them would be instant best friends?

I was embarrassed for her, and embarrassed that the rest of us had to be associated with her and that silly little shirt.

Her stunt reminded me of woman at Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up act a few years ago who slid a black and white cookie inside a plastic container onto the stage at the Fox Theatre. She stood there waiting for him to notice, pointing wildly at the cookie and acting like a complete idiot.

When Seinfeld couldn't ignore her anymore, he picked up the cookie and said, with his impeccable timing, "Ahh, yes, a black and white cookie. I was there when they wrote that joke."

Perfection.

I'd hoped Mario might react the same way to this girl and her Bayside shirt, but he didn't seem to notice her, her shirt, or anyone in the class for that matter. In fact, he said nothing from the time he entered the room until the end of class, when he reluctantly waited to take pictures with his adoring fans, and those of us who were just looking to something to blog about.

And that was it. Hardly the exceptional workout experience that was advertised, but it's nice that I will be able to live the rest of my life knowing that I worked out with A.C. Slater.

Be-Bu-Be-Bu-Bu-Bu-Beat, Go Bayside!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Conflicted

I am conflicted about what to do with this blog.

My mother always says, "If you don't know what to do, then don't do anything." I think this is her way of keeping me from making any hasty decisions like quitting my job after having a bad day or ending a friendship over a simple misunderstanding.

Maybe I'm older and wiser (I am 30, after all), but I'm starting to think my mom actually does know what she's talking about. So, for the last several months, I have done just that. Nothing.

I mean, don't get me wrong, my life didn't stop once I turned 30. It couldn't, really, because I had to continue writing about being 29 well into my thirties. But aside from all of that, I've still been living.

Living large, indeed.

Trying new things. Visiting new places. Meeting new friends.

And (happily) NOT writing about any of it.

I'm ashamed, and kind of surprised, at how easily I gave up writing. After doing it every single day for a year (give or take a few weeks), I hit "publish" on Day 365, burst into tears (the way I imagine mothers do when they put their kids on the school bus for the first time), and then I just stopped writing.

I'm sure if we wanted to psychoanalyze my reasons for quickly abandoning the only thing in my life I could lose track of time while doing, we'd probably find that I'm seriously screwed up (and I'm absolutely certain that I am), but really the reason that I just stopped was because I was tired. Physically tired, yes, but mostly just tired of myself. Personal reflection is important, and it's something I hope I will always do for the rest of my life. But it is exhausting.

So, I've been sleeping late, working out, reading books and enjoying repeating the same day over and over. Yep, it's like Groundhog Day over here in Stephanie land. So much so, in fact, I've been causing drama and picking fights with people just to jazz things up.

Ok, not really. But I have missed writing tremendously. I miss the blogging community of which I'd become apart. The conversation that happens when you share your life with others - I miss that connection with people. I think, shamefully, I also miss people telling me that I'm funny.

Over the year, I developed an identity as the wacky gal that tries new things and writes about them. Since losing the stress of having to write everyday, I have felt a bit lost.

Without a gimmick, though, without trying something new every single day, I'm not really sure I have anything to say that will matter to anyone else. Most bloggers that I like take beautiful pictures and bake delicious things (like my girl Olivia, who I met in person back in May. She is, no surprise, as lovely as her blog). They write about their health goals or about their families or their gorgeous stationery.

I'm just me. Without any real goal other than to live. Big.

So again, I'm conflicted.

I have stories to tell and ideas about things, but will anyone care?

My friend and fellow writer Julie is thinking about getting back into blogging again too after completing her Julie vs. Vegetables blog. She and I have become writing buddies, bouncing ideas off each other and berating each other to stop being lazy and start writing again already.

"We were so structured before with our other blogs, why don't we try and keep it loose this time around?," she suggested when I was whining about wanting to write but not having anything to write about.

I prefer guidelines and parameters. I don't always follow the rules, but I at least like to know what they are. But maybe this old dog can learn new tricks?

Maybe I can, as Julie suggested, keep it loose?

Someone said a good blog should be short and timely (the exact opposite of my old blog) and should have lots of pictures. Considering I'm still long-winded and I've managed to lose or destroy 6 cameras in the last two years, these are lofty goals.

But I'm happy to include other people's pictures, like this one of me "owling" at work. Apparently owling is the new planking, and it was definitely something I'd never done before. I thought this was a pretty funny picture until my hairdresser Moses asked me if I was trying to go to the bathroom on the floor.

(Note to self: Must get new profile picture)

So I'm back. With absolutely no plan except to write. I don't know how often I plan on writing, or what I'm even going to talk about. But I did just buy my own web domain: www.stephaniegallman.com -- so I think it's high-time I put that sucker to use.

Oh, and in case you care, here is what I have been up to since I turned 30:

(Inhale)

I personally thanked everyone on Facebook for their happy birthday messages, I went to ESPN's Gameday and then saw South Carolina beat Alabama, I played in my company's golf tournament (and wasn't the worst player!), I went to the UGA/Auburn game and (unfortunately) saw the now diseased trees at Toomer's corner get rolled; my family started a new oyster roast tradition for Thanksgiving, I snuck into the SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome, I bought a new television and a new computer, I received one of the most special gifts - an antique typewriter - that sparked a trip to an antique mall so that I could find a table to put it on, I worked/lived in New York for a month, I met with a book agent (!); I went skiing in Telluride, biking in California wine country, clam-baking in Newport, Rhode Island; I fractured my foot at a party when someone stepped on me and just weeks later sprained my wrist when I fell off a bike; someone recently compared me to Lucille Ball (perhaps it has something to do with the fractured foot and sprained wrist) and I realized that's exactly who I want to be; I saw Prince, the National, Band of Horses in concert, Phish several times, and this past weekend - Steely Dan - with my entire family.

(Now Exhale)

I'm back.

For how long, I don't know. But for now, it feels good. Almost as good as dancing in Washington Square feels.

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