At long last, I got my Bonnaroo tickets today via Fedex. When I first saw the uniformed man through the peep-hole in my front door, I momentarily panicked, fearing the police, a summons, or even some bureaucrat coming to take my $1800 away. Nope. Just my passport to four days of music and debauchery in Manchester, TN. I've never been to the South. My sole experiences below the Mason-Dixon line are confined to changing planes in Dallas and Atlanta. Luckily I'll have Mr. and . Mrs. Spaceman to guide me through the land of Waffle Houses, Sweet Tea, and cicadas.
Should I pack bug spray? We don't get enough out here to worry about such things.
It was a good poker day. Ryan and I made twin sixth place finishes in MTTs this afternoon, he in the Poker Stars $50+5, me in the Full Tilt $6K Guaranteed. I had a nice-sized stack at the final table and felt I was headed for a top three finish had my KK not been cracked by 33. Speaking of Ryan, please do your poker game a favor and check out his recent posts The Suicide Pact, Part I and Part II as well as No Good Deed. I've played a lot with Ryan and I've been sweated by him even more. He's wicked smart, a helluva player and I can't say enough about the good things he's done for my game.
Angelina got called back for Rent. The casting directors also wanted to see her on Thursday for Wicked. She stopped by our place for a celebratory smoke with Showcase and I before heading to Burbank for an audition for a tampon commercial. Showcase is hopelessly smitten with her. She's hot and her boyfriend's sort of a loser. I don't blame him.
* * * * *
Mercifully, I have avoided having to attend a wedding for a whole 16 months. Almost all of my high school girlfriends have married off in the last four years, at an average cost to me of about $1000/wedding including transportation, hotel stays, awful dresses I'll never wear again, and gift after gift after gift. Bridal shower gifts. Bachelorette spa crap and limos and dinners. Shit off the Williams-Sonoma registry for the actual wedding present. And, of course, my own drug and bar tab for getting through the weekend in a relatively festive mood.
Let's put aside for the moment my own personal disgust with the fact that these girls get rewarded with fancy shit simply for making a loose legal promise that she'll only fuck this one guy for the rest of her life. Finding a guy who will make an attractive, educated girl of upper-middle class West Los Angeles breeding that loose legal promise is really not that difficult. And yet our society rewards such a milestone with $399 Kitchen Aid mixers and Krups cappucino makers. But here's the thing. I probably wouldn't be thinking about all this shit if I was even good friends with these girls anymore! Because generosity and celebration of life's great milestones with people I truly care about shouldn't even require a second thought.
Somehow, even though I speak to this group of girls I spent age 5-17 with perhaps twice a year these days, I'm still on all the wedding lists. So of course I got invited to Claudia's wedding since I went to the last five or so. And of course it's in fucking BRAZIL during the WSOP. Why on earth should they make it easy on the guests? So clearly, I'm not going. I believe there's no shame or stigma, really in turning down an invitation that requires international travel unless you're exceptionally close to the bride or groom. That, and if I'm gonna spend all that coin go to Brazil, it's not going to be with a bunch of West L.A. country club girls that are slowly turning into their mothers.
But there's still the matter of the bachelorette party, which thankfully does not require roundtrip air travel and a Saturday night stay. It also does not include drinking, drugging, gambling, strip clubbing, or anything else fun. I'll let the invitation speak for itself.
To make this event as memorable and personal as possible, we are asking everyone to:
--bring one special flower to make Claudia a flower crown or a favorite bead to make her a necklace
--a special photo, object or poem that reminds you of Claudia to make a celebratory altar to share during our circle...Your memories and sweet self are more than enough too!
--and your favorite dish or drink to share (when you RSVP, let us know!)
We can't wait to see you there!
And of course, we will open presents too!
Flowers? Beads? A goddamn celebratory altar? Oh, and don't forget a tastefully wrapped belgian waffle maker! There really aren't enough pills on this earth to sedate me enough to get through this thing with a straight face. I can't even imagine what story I could tell in the "circle" that doesn't involve Claudia and I being eleven years old and at recess and so innocent we couldn't find trouble if it slapped us upside our goody-goody heads.
That was a long time ago. More than half a lifetime. They're all schoolteachers and lawyers and mothers and are almost all coupled off. I just can't relate anymore. But no matter how much I try to cut the cord from my past, we still end up hanging on to each other a little. They see my life and get a window into a path of uncertainty they could never choose for themselves but perhaps wanted, or even still long for. And I get a window to my past. The sprawling Holmby Hills properties I played on as a child. The brunches and lunches and country club birthday parties. The Sunday masses where our parents fake-smiled at each other while gossiping out of the sides of their mouths.
There's a certain nostalgia to it. But given the choice? I'll still pick my life every single time. It's a small victory over the Kitchen Aid mixers.
But a victory nonetheless.