In keeping with my reputation as a Mature Individual (oh, you didn’t
know? I am. Shut up.), this weekend I attended one Classy Party
with Cheeses, hung some Lovely Original Artwork in my home, and
attended...the Ballet. That’s right. The Fucking Ballet.
I didn’t really mean to attend the Ballet. I was told, by El Dukay (who
sometimes lies) that we were going to the Indigo Girls Project
featuring the Atlanta Ballet. As in, there will be Ballet-ing, but only as
a side dish to the main course of Not-Ballet provided by the Indigo
Girls. And it was supposed to be this very hip, cool thing to do, and
also all cultural, and also the tickets were free, so I agreed.
Let me give you some background about the day leading up to the
Fucking Ballet. On the day of the show, which was Sunday, El Dukay
and I sort of got off to a rocky start by sleeping through the alarm we
had set the night before, which may or may not have been a direct
result of the copious (Copious!) amounts of wine we consumed at the
Classy Party with Cheeses, which was actually in Athens, which is
actually a totally different town than the one we were supposed to be
in on that particular morning. So poor Dukay woke up to this:
Miss Doxie: Ng. Brr. Wh...? SHIT. SHITSHITGETUPSHIT.
Which is not a nice way to wake up. It is especially not a nice way to
wake up if the next thing you experience is someone throwing your
pants at your head.
We then drove like bats out of hell to Atlanta, where my parents were
patiently waiting for me to let them into my house so they could
provide the day’s worth of labor they had so kindly promised and
which I had so idiotically slept through half of.
Turns out, a night of Classy Party with Cheeses means you are not in
top form to perform feats of putting things together, or for hanging
Lovely Original Artwork on your walls. El Dukay figured this out
early. “Hey!” He offered. “How ‘bout if I go get everyone some
lunch?” He then disappeared off of the face of the earth for two
hours. Mean. Smart, but mean.
Meanwhile, my mother and I were busy tackling the Lovely Original Art
project. And let me tell you something right now. If any more Lovely
Original Art is going to appear in my home, the fucking Original Artists
are going to have to come over and paint it directly onto the fucking
WALLS, because I am never hanging another picture again for as
long as I live. Apparently, I have no sense of “straight.” Or, “level.”
Perhaps it was the gallon of wine still coursing happily through my
veins, but I’d hang something and be all, “Voila!” And then everyone
else would be like, “Nice! Completely fucking sideways, but nice.”
I had this very avant garde idea for my dining room (“avant garde” in
this instance meaning “a major unseen pain in my ass”) involving
covering an entire wall with framed black and white photography. So
I gathered my photography collection together. And I measured the
wall. Then I made a template (A TEMPLATE, PEOPLE) on the floor,
and arranged about thirty large pictures of varying degrees of
largeness and shape onto the template. And there was much
measuring and marking of things with pencils. And then, when my
Girl Scout instincts indicated that there was nothing more in the world
I could possibly do to ensure that the pictures would line up perfectly,
I began drilling and hanging.
Obviously, this was a disaster. I finished with what was supposed to
be half of the wall, and found that actually, the picture that was
supposed to be in the dead middle? Waaaaaaaay the fuck over to
the left. So, wrong.
I took everything down and started again. This time, dead-middle-
picture was positioned about sixteen inches from the ceiling. No.
Around now, I think, is when I started yelling at the people and things
within the photographs themselves, as if they were purposefully
screwing with my measurements. As in, “OOHHHH, Mister Guitar
Player! You think you want to be closer to Bathrobe Girl, don’t you,
you STRING PICKING PERVERT. Well I’m totally putting you over
here next to the framed picture of a VOLKSWAGEN, you DIRTY,
DIRTY MAN, and I totally CAN, because I am the BOSS of YOU
FOREVER.” Around this time is also when my mother started saying
silent prayers of thanks that I have my own health insurance, so she
will never be saddled with the burden of paying for me to finally be
committed, which is certainly only a short time away for someone who
is accusing photographs of collusion. And also as evidence of my
Crazy, my Dad and El Dukay spent the whole day hanging new
curtains, which I claimed to love, before changing my mind and buying
all new curtains the following evening. Which my dad and El Dukay
will have to hang this weekend. Please don’t tell them. I am hoping
that they don’t notice that they are hanging the curtains for the
second time. And that they are completely different and not the same
color curtains at all. Anyway.
And then...wait. Where was I going with all of this? Oh. Ballet.
So I’m hanging this shit and basically freaking out, and the wall looks
like “Swiss cheese” (according to my mother) from all of the holes I
have wrongly drilled, when darling El Dukay announces that we are
supposed to be meeting our friends to go to the Fucking Ballet in Fif.
Panic ensues. At the time of this announcement, I smelled very, very
bad. I had literally tied my hair into a knot on the top of my head to
keep it out of my face. This would not do. So we raced to shower
and dress, and I am very ashamed to admit that on the way to meet
our friends, El Dukay rolled down all the windows and opened the
sunroof and drove unreasonably fast on residential streets in the
desperate hope that the wind would dry our hair. And I, doing my
makeup without the benefit of a mirror or light, accidentally used a
black eye pencil to line my lips. Pretty.
Anyway. Ballet : Point. We got to the theater, and immediately
surmised that guess what? The blessed Fabulous Fox Theater sells
wine! And martinis! Bless you, Fox Theater! You truly are fabulous!
At least that is what we were saying until we got ourselves some of
the wine and martinis, which come in little plastic cups so small that it
would take approximately seventy helpings to intoxicate a three-
month old infant, and even then she would only be slightly tipsy. And
also, that each of these drinks was about ten dollars. Then we were
finding the Fox to be less fabulous. But still acceptable. You know.
Anyway, we gulped down our wine. And I do mean that in a literal
sense. As soon as I got one glass, I would immediately get in line for
a second one. And once I reached the front, the first wine would be
gone. Gulp. And this was not a long line, y’all. Like, inches. We
were all shooting wine like tequila.
Now, the Sort-Of-Fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta has come up with
an interesting idea at the concession stand, which is to sell Zapp’s
potato chips. I love me some Zapp’s potato chips, as does El Dukay
and every other good Southerner. And considering the copious
(Copious!) amounts of thimbles of wine we were tossing back at $10
per shot, we decided that the prudent and mature thing to do would
be to buy a few bags to enjoy during the show. So we did.
The lights blinked, and we quickly obtained refills on wine and hurried
to our seats. And it turns out, we had some really good seats,
located in the first twenty rows, and surrounded by all of these old
Ballet people who like the Ballet very, VERY MUCH and think that it is
a VERY IMPORTANT CULTURAL THING and they all had blue hair
and MANY SEQUINS on their old lady garments. We smiled sweetly
at them and tried to look nonthreatening, and settled in with our wine
Crisis number one: Nothing has happened yet and we are already
out of wine. Damn! El Dukay and our friend Dig get up, step over all
of the old ladies and their blue hair, and dart back to the bar for
refills. They return at the exact time that the show starts, which
means they again must climb over these tiny, old women to return to
their seats. There is much old lady hatred and clucking directed
Crisis number two: What...what the fuck is THIS? This is...this is
not the Indigo Girls. This is the Fucking Ballet. The four of us sit in
stunned, openmouthed, horrified silence as men in tights and women
in swirly ugly dresses and very uncomfortable looking shoes start
fake-running across the stage, their arms above their heads like little
pink, floaty baskets. Have you ever been to the Fucking Ballet? I can
tell you what happens. I can tell you everything that happens. It’s like
1. The ladies fake-run across the stage on their toes.
2. The guys wear very tight tights and walk slower.
3. One of the ladies lifts her leg up super high behind her while a
guy holds her waist.
4. Then she puts her leg down.
6. One of the guys picks up one of the ladies.
7. Then he puts her down.
8. They hop.
9. The men don’t so much hop as scissor-kick.
10. Someone picks up a lady again.
11. Then he puts her down.
12. Everyone fake-runs across the stage again.
13. The men grab the ladies’ waists. They all lift their legs up behind
14. And put them down.
15. Jazz fingers!
Aaaaaaaand repeat. And REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT FOR
NINE HUNDRED HOURS.
The old ladies around us are enthralled. We are bored. Fatally. We
have long since finished our wine, but since El Dukay cannot go and
get us more without being whopped on the head with someone’s
cane, we have to sit there and be miserable. This is when El Dukay
remembers the chips. Yay! Chips!
Crisis number three: Know what is loud? Opening chips is loud.
This did not stop El Dukay. Sure, he tried to open them quietly. But,
you know. They’re chips. It isn’t going to happen. At the moment of
rippage, approximately seventy-five blue heads whipped around and
glared geriatric daggers at my poor boyfriend. This cracked us all up,
so now on top of the crinkle crinkle of the chip bag, we were also
making the hmmmph hmmmmph of trying not to laugh out loud, and of
course the shuffle smush shuffle of all of us descending on El Dukay
at once and grabbing the chips in a desperate attempt to escape
either sleep or death, whichever came first.
Crisis number four: It is bad when eating chips is entertainment.
But not so bad as shoving a handful of chips into your mouth, and
only then realizing that YOU CANNOT CHEW THEM. No. To chew is
loud. All four of us came to this realization at exactly the same
moment. So we all sat there, silently, praying for the soft-making-
powers of spit to take hold and remove the offensive crunchiness
from the chips so that we could then tongue them into small pieces
suitable for actual swallowing. Pleasant. Very, very pleasant.
REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT! REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT
I was amazed at how bored I was. I am cultured, I kept telling myself.
I’ve got culture coming out of my motherfucking ass. I should like
this! But as I waited for the potato chips to soggify in my mouth,
breathing through my nose and trying not to move too much, I had to
admit that the Fucking Ballet? Is just not the thing for me. Sorry.
But it turns out that there is a God, because the Fucking Ballet finally
ended, and as the room filled with thundering applause, all four of us
began the most loud and offensive power-chewing you have possibly
And then it was time for the Modern Dance!
Turns out, modern dance is way cooler than the ballet, and I can’t
even begin to describe it to you, but it was very fucking awesome and
the guy on the stage was very fucking cut and he did not have a shirt
on, which was very excellent planning. And when we looked in the
program to find out who he was so that I could start stalking him
immediately, it was established that he only has one name. Like
Madonna or Cher. So fucking cool.
And then, it was intermission! Which means more wine! And a
cigarette! Thank you, Jesus.
We returned to our seats and carefully navigated our way through the
old biddies, being careful not to smush any hats or break any hips on
the way. And then the Indigo Girls got started, and...y’all? This is
the kind of ballet I can get into. The kind that is all about sex. Yes. I
will completely accept that. I will take two.
Because as the Indigo Girls sang from the corner of the stage, the
dancers were GETTING IT ON on the other side. I mean, it was full-
blown soft core pornography, only without the nudity. There were
gasps-a-plenty coming from the geriatric section, and I actually heard
a little shriek and a thump! when two of the male dancers started
making out in the background. Bye, granny!
So, obviously, we loved it, and it finished and we gave the whole thing
a standing ovation, which was easy for us to do because at some
point after the man-on-man action, all of the old people in the crowd
had cleared the hell out, leaving us with plenty of room to stretch and
clap and whoop in a very uncultured-fashion.
So maybe I am not so cultured. Maybe the traditional Fucking Ballet
is not exactly my cup of tea. Maybe I suck at hanging Lovely Original
Artwork, and end up very unclassily hungover after a Classy Party
But give me a whole bunch of writhing, grinding dancing, and fourteen
glasses of wine?
Well, that’s all that. It’s all that, and a bag of chips. A loud one.