Bad Hair Day

If there was just one rule of the hair salon, it should be this: never go with a GBF (gay boyfriend). I know, I know,
you’d think this would be a perfect pairing, but in reality it’s a perfect storm. Trust me on this one.

I should have known better after the disaster with Glenn. But then again, I hadn’t even realized what a train wreck
that was until after the fact. Obviously, that memory had started to fade.

Because here I was on a Saturday morning, almost a year after the Glenncident, meeting Scott for a burger and
a beer a few hours before my cut and color at a new salon.

We texted each other ahead of time, agreeing that we would both be good. Bellied up to the Strip House bar, our resolve crumbled when Abby pulled out the Zing Zang. One Bloody Mary won’t hurt. Just one. It was noon on Saturday after all. Well okay, just one more. We barely had time for food before I had to head out to the salon.

Scott decided he could use a pedicure for his trip to Gay Days Orlando, so off we biked, from one end of the island to the other. A sense of déjà vu was creeping up on me. I never expected to be off to the salon with a GBF again. This time it would be different. I’d stay in control. Yeah.

I was armed with an arsenal of knowledge. I knew how a fun afternoon could turn into a disaster at the salon. Last year, the morning of the Glenncident started out on a similar note. Glenn and I had flexible work schedules, and would meet for breakfast some Fridays.

This became more frequent when it was clear he would be forced to take an unexpected temporary, yet still painfully long trip back to England. Who needed Sunday Funday? We rocked Friday well into sunset.

That Friday morning I warned him I had a hair date that couldn’t be missed under any circumstances. That was
the only obligation on my plate. We started at Schooner Wharf, but breakfast was over.

We had a Bloody Mary (okay, maybe two) while we decided where to go next. Let’s just say that first Bloody Mary was the beginning of the end. I can’t remember all the details of the day, until we ended up back at Glenn’s pool, swimming and drinking champagne until late afternoon when my date rolled around.

I hate cancelling appointments, but especially hair because stylists take their sweet time rescheduling you and my
roots couldn’t afford to wait another day. All I needed to do was sit it a chair for two hours.

Easy enough. The hardest part would be getting there. Glenn decided he’d keep me company, so hand in hand, we stumbled off to the salon. Seriously, how gay is that?

My stylist was running late, and we were offered a glass of wine. Which of course we accepted. You just don’t turn
down free salon wine. Raise the curtain on the final act.

We were the only ones in the waiting area. Glenn’s elderly mum called and he chatted with her on the phone. He said he was at the salon with a hooker. Being in the state of mind I was in, I didn’t pick up on the slang, and worried what this proper British lady I never met was thinking of me. So I took the phone and reassured her that I was not, in fact, a hooker. Again and again, apparently.

My name was called; Glenn sat in the chair next to me, laughing at the foil antennas being formed on my head. Overcome by chemicals, he went outside to smoke a cigarette. I didn’t hear from him again for two days.

Surely I’m not the only person who’s ever shown up or gotten tipsy at the salon, right? I figured after six weeks
all would be forgotten. But the next time I climbed into the chair my stylist said, “You and your friend…you were really having fun the last time you were here.” Hee hee. Yep. Then another stylist chimes in, “yeah, you were yelling to someone on the phone about not being a hooker.”

Wah? Yelling? I’m not one of those jackasses who yells on a cell phone indoors. But oh my god, I was. And that’s when I realized that no matter how much time goes by, every time I would walk into that salon I’d always be the hooker. I’d always be the drunk girl.

I never went back.

Finally I found another stylist I liked, at a salon that did not serve wine. After my third appointment she told me
she was moving to my hooker salon. So not only did I not want to face the stylist whose client list I disappeared from, I couldn’t risk going back and being the drunk girl.

Now here I was with Scott, entering a new salon and vowing to myself that I would not be the hooker here. I mentally willed Scott not to make me the drunk girl. Please. Have strength for the both of us. Because I’m just a girl who can’t say no.

Unfortunately, so is he.

Naturally, as soon as I checked in the receptionist graciously asked if we’d like mimosas while we waited. Three, two one…why yes, yes we would.

They had to call in a specialist for Scott’s toes, so he went to a bar around the corner and thoughtfully picked up a
couple of Coronas and brought them back for us. At this point I let him…no, maybe even encouraged his taking photos of me with foils on my head and posting them to Facebook. As if on cue, Glenn immediately posted a comment: ‘Is this the same hairdressers which we both turned up twisted?’ Ah, those Brits can make anything
sound civilized.

Cut, colored and coiffed, I was out of the chair, the pedicure was underway, and the salon was dry. Scott implored—no, begged—me to go on a Corona run. Now that I was in control you’d think I could have gotten just one beer. Just the one, for Scott, but I was past the point of no return. The bartender offered plastic cups for the beer in case I was walking to Duval and I said no, I’m just going back to the salon around the corner.

She said “Oh right, your husband was just in here.” I just nodded my head in agreement and laughed to myself as I thought of my “husband,” who at that moment was having all the colors of the Gay Pride flag painted on his big toes.

Then it hit me: my most fun, most memorably unmemorable salon days are the ones with GBFs. And from now on, I won’t have it any other way.


By bitchinparadise

Thanks, but I prefer mine shaken

It took more than five years, but last week I was invited to a Key West rite of passage known as the clothing optional party. Actually, it was something like, the Smokin’ Hot Non-Smoking Clothing Optional Graduation Birthday Party. Most of the clothing optional parties I’m told of usually occur at Island House, a local gay resort, or Bourbon Street, a bar with a pool and guestrooms in the back. I’m always off the hook because these events aren’t female-friendly.

But it was time, and I had to face the music. I fancy myself a free and easy kind of gal, but just the thought of this party was making me nervous. I haven’t even begun to try and get into swimsuit shape for the season, and now I’ve got the pressure of potentially getting naked?

Well, actually I knew that wouldn’t happen. What keeps me in check even at my drunkest moments is that certain behavior, and especially photographic evidence of certain behavior, could cause me to lose my day job. Before the job, I had my days of flashing for beads as a Fantasy Fest visitor, and other related shenanigans, so I know I’m not missing out on anything and yet still manage to have a ton of fun. Or so I tell myself.

Really, I have nothing against nakedness. I kind of envy people who publicly throw off their clothes in the blink of an eye. Do I walk around the house in the buff? You bet your birthday suit I do. Hell, when I lived in a fourth-floor condo I didn’t even bother to put up curtains or shades. Even after I discovered the telescope on a neighbor’s balcony.

If I see someone naked, do I turn away in disgust? No. Well, maybe sometimes, like at the Garden of Eden.

But oh, the pressure! The pressure to be one of the cool kids and not look judgy or puritanical when encouraged to take it off. The pressure to confidently strut your stuff in your bathing suit when you are anything but confident. Which is weird because, living on an island, we really don’t wear much of anything nine months out of the year.

To add to my angst, five days before the party I’m informed that all the girls are ordering Gina’s Gems (jeweled pasties) to match their bikini bottoms! Where, god, where does it end? I pray for rain. Back in the day, I was the girl who could devour an entire frozen pizza, top it with a pintof ice cream, slip on a bikini and still not show an ounce of fat.

Not so much anymore. I’m new to this whole workout thing, and it’s a struggle to actually pay attention to what I eat. I took this all for granted and now that I’m in uncharted territory, I’m terrified.

To make matters worse, the weekend before the party I went out of town and stayed at a hotel with the most brutal full-length mirror view I’ve ever experienced in my life. It was almost as if the lighting was designed to penetrate and expand your skin, showing every tiny little fat cell underneath the surface. That was quite a cold hard slap on the ass. And not in a good way.

Then I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and found that six of the 10 TV channels were showing infomercials for diet pills and workout DVDs. I briefly contemplated jumping off the balcony and putting myself out of my misery, but I was on the 10th floor and I’m afraid of heights.

Alas, on my return to Key West, I started going to the gym, but too little, too late, at least for this shindig. Yet four hours before the party, I rallied and did an hour on the elliptical machine . . . and, in an act of self-sabotage, came home and ate all the Chinese leftovers in the fridge.

Finally, it was time. The sun blazed in the afternoon sky and I tried to focus not on nakedness, but on martini mayhem. And boy did I need a martini.

I got on my bike and stopped at KP’s. Leave it to Mr. Burlesque to order a costume change from beach cover-up to bikini and sarong, and then he applied a healthy varnish of gold body glitter (four days later, I’m still cursing him). I put on a brave face and we walked a block to the party. Although I don’t know why I was the one with the brave face; he was wearing a flowy sheer paneled skirt over his bikini brief, topped off with a Samantha Jones-esque black hat to block the sun. From his bare penis, eventually. Surely.

And damn if like, every girl is there in a cute little dress or beach cover-up. Three or four girls were in the pool with their pasties. It was all so goddamn civilized. Where was the drunken debauchery? Where was the wanton nakedness? Where was my martini, damn it? Shaken, not stirred. At least today.

My over-thinking and choreographed cock-blocking were all for naught. Hell, I was so relaxed I didn’t even care when I realized, 10 minutes after the fact, that a guy actually talked condescendingly about the size of my bikini top. Um, so yeah, no one remotely encouraged me to take it all off. Or to take any of it off, for that matter.

It was a little shocking when I realized the naked guy in the pool was the guy I was scheduled to have a massage with the next day. Yes, the visualization did affect my level of relaxation. And I’m pretty sure one friend ended up sporting a black eye. Don’t ask me how she got it or if it’s related to the naked guy in the pool.

There was the couple whodidn’t realize we all knew they were the ones in the shower for 20 minutes in the only bathroom in the house while we all did the pee-pee dance outside the door (hmmm . . . or did they???).

And there was some actual nakedness and photos (with strategic beer can placement) that may or may not be posted on Facebook. Or, um, on my blog.

So the girl who was determined to make an appearance and leave in two hours max left when the sun was long gone. But that wasn’t before I danced on the ceiling and spilled martinis on the floor. Our gracious host Scott is still trying to figure out who broke the toilet seat from its hinges. My money’s on Merryl.

And to the guy who peed in the outdoor bathtub and didn’t have the courtesy to rinse: I’m no medical professional, but I think you need to see a doctor.

By bitchinparadise

What’s in your box?

If you live in Key West  you own at least one giant storage container full of costumes…and we don’t just wait around for Fantasy Fest to bust them out. This was last Saturday night:

Sometimes we dress up,

sometimes we dress down.

It’s always fun,

but it ain’t always pretty!

By bitchinparadise

Just Plane Angry

Have you ever wanted to stab your airplane seatmate in the eye? I’m embarrassed to admit that wasn’t my first inclination on a return flight to Key West last week, when I texted my friend Scott that I wanted to punch a bunch of someones in the face before takeoff. A group of tourists behind me reeked after apparently spending every last minute of their three-hour Atlanta layover in the smoking lounge, and it really pissed me off.

Then I developed a very strong allergic reaction to the girl sitting next to me in the window seat, who gabbed on her phone until we were about to take off. It didn’t help her case that she was trying to give her puppy away. Then she needed to get up so she could stow her stupid fedora. With dramatic flair I sighed, looked at the lady on the other side of the aisle, rolled my eyes, then stood up quickly in a huff to let her out into the aisle and promptly banged my head on the overhead bin. Hard.
I texted Scott that she became top dog on the list of potential punching bags. He suggested I channel my anger that very moment into a column. I replied that I didn’t even have a pen, and he wrote, “to jam in her eye?” And that’s when I realized you should always be prepared for travel emergencies such as this.

Naturally we had to sit on the runway for an extra 30 minutes while they located a bolt for something like the luggage net. Keeping up a hostile attitude can be exhausting, but once it’s established you can’t really let it down, except when you’re politely ordering Bloody Marys from the flight attendant. Or when you hit the kind of turbulence that makes you wonder if the person sitting next to you is the last face you’ll see before you die.

And yep, that’s what happened on our flight. The plane dipped, I heard myself making some weird strangled exclamation that I can’t even put into words, and damn it, I turned to look at her and she looked at me and we were both totally freaked out. We had our little turbulence bonding moment.

Then she made it even better by saying that she’s a flight attendant and this was some pretty scary stuff.

I still wanted to hate her, even though, like me, at the start of the flight she removed her shoes and put on soft fluffy travel socks, and drank from a recycled water bottle instead of overpriced tap water from a plastic bottle that takes up to 1,000 years to disintegrate in a landfill. So after all the turbulence hoopla died down I ordered another Bloody Mary and never looked her way again.

Sitting on a plane and watching people coming up the aisle, hoping this one won’t be your seatmate, or that one will (very very very rare), is like being on the losing end of a lotto ticket. Seated in my row on a flight to New York was a jackass with a Napoleon complex who was desperate to impress the athletic 20-something guy in the middle seat with his new phone. I chimed in something about it and it was as if I said nothing. Whatever.

When the flight attendants instructed us to turn off all electronic devices and prepare for takeoff, he had to prove to his fantasy boyfriend that he was one of the cool kids and started texting away. I told him to turn it off and he told me to mind my own business. I loudly proclaimed for the benefit of everyone seated around me that I wasn’t going to die at takeoff so some jerk could impress the guy next to him with his cell phone technology. Then I hit the flight attendant button, called the guy out, and let me tell you this made for quite the pleasant three hour flight.

On my last early morning flight out of Key West, moms with young children were seated behind me and in the row across the aisle. I decided that listening to their computer storytime thing at full volume was better than listening to the kids fight or cry. And like a scene straight out of a fairytale, when the drink cart finally reached me I was told that friends sitting a few rows ahead had paid for the alcoholic beverage of my choice. Maybe they saw the kids behind me and knew I’d need it. Or maybe they just didn’t want to drink alone at that hour. Whatever the case, thanks guys!

I used to hate the cattle call to board a Southwest Airlines flight, but now I’m hoping those happy days will be coming soon to Key West, because there is no assigned seating and you can choose the lesser of the evils in a seatmate. And there’s always the hope that no one will sit next to you at all. On these flights I take an aisle seat, wad up some tissues and toss them in the seat next to me, and when someone actually looks like they might be interested in sitting there I fake coughing my lungs out. It works like a charm, except on sold out flights.

So if you’re unfortunate enough to be seated next to me on a flight, stay off your phone, keep your arms on your side of the armrest, don’t speak until spoken to, and we’ll get along famously. Or just buy me a Bloody Mary, as I can be easily bribed into a little feigned friendship.

By bitchinparadise