She Was Someone’s Somebody, Even Though She Was Drunk

I sat down in the aisle seat, anticipating that my youngest would need to be whisked out at a moment’s notice for creating a scene that only a 3-yr-old knows how to make. Regardless of the fact that this was a grade school performance of The Jungle Book, parents would not appreciate their child’s 0.2 seconds of fame being diminished by a snot-nosed, belligerent little man who smelled suspiciously like a men’s room urinal and in desperate need of a haircut.

That’s when I met her.2717399328_a772fd34fa

Saying that I met her is actually stretching the truth. She stumbled to edge of the row where I was sitting and slurred “MOVE DOWN” – indicating the open seats beyond me.

I smiled apologetically and explained that the seats were saved. Not by me, of course, but by the owner of the white sweater, green scarf, and Trader Joe’s bag that were strewn across the top. The theater equivalent of the American Flag on the moon.

I’m not entirely sure she understood my rambling explanation, but she moved along and I breathed a sigh of relief – and a clean breath of fresh air. I could taste the alcohol that had wafted from her lips.

Instinctively I thought, “What kind of person comes to a children’s theater completely plastered in short shorts and a cropped sweatshirt bedazzled with Hello Kitty?”

My compassionate side countered, “Someone’s mother, or aunt, or grandma.”

I imagined the child that sat backstage who hoped not for her family to come, but for her family NOT to come. Or who worried that his mother might stand up in the middle of the performance and shriek, “That’s my boy!”

The woman I met was someone’s somebody – and she showed up. She was drunk, disheveled, and wildly inappropriate – but she showed up.

In that moment I stopped thinking about what a horrible person she might have been, and started thinking about how wonderful that child was that this woman was trying to show up for, despite all the obstacles of the obvious addictions and hardships she faced.

If I knew the child that belonged to the heart of that woman,  I would simply like to tell them that this was not an embarrassment, this was an act of love.

Who are you again?

I am horrible at remembering names. If there were a competition, I would lose by calling the host Mike instead of Ryan Seacrest.

I avoid using names at any cost, even when I am fairly certain that I know it for sure.

Case in point: I was out front chatting with my neighbors when I attempted to introduce them.

“Dan, have you met Christian from across the street?”

“Matt, but nice to meet you Dan.”

“Oh my god, I’m sorry, your name is Matt.” (??? I could have sworn his name was Christian.  But wait – he is the kid that chose public school over a private Christian academy.  How did that information get so crossed??)

I have tried every trick in the book. Clever rhymes (Sarah, Sarah, dressed in… Farah?), repeating names immediately (Nice to meet you Farah – I mean Sarah!), and using their names at least 3 times in conversation (Farah, how did you keep that red bathing suit from rising up in the back?). Nothing works.

I recognize the signs of a name memorizer when I meet people, and I try to pop quiz them later. Just for fun.

I have finally come up with a foolproof strategy for greeting people who may, or may not be, someone I have met before.

I start with a large, wow-it’s-really-you, you-are-my-best-friend smile, followed by a cleverly extenuated, “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”

I spend the next few minutes figuring out if I have, in fact, met you before, and if so, where from.

“How are things in your world?”

“What exciting things have you been up to?”

If I am lucky and actually recognize your face, and even where I know you from, I may find an excuse to get your email address since most people use some version of their name.  Although, I had one person reply, “Oh, it’s just my name @ gmail.” Assumptive little narcissist.

I just keep smiling and offering inane responses to your pointed questions, because clearly you have figured out that I don’t have a clue what your name is.  I would rather have you believe that I am idiot of vast proportions, than know for sure that I have no idea who you are.

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