Not Funny, Friday Kahlo!
“I have concluded that there is one reason for my odd life and that is to write about it.”
Not Funny, Frida Kahlo!
Comfortably unemployed, it’s not unusual for me to spend most of my day putzing around on Facebook or checking my email between washing dishes, clothes, letting the dogs out, letting the cat in, letting the dogs back out, dropping or picking up kids from school or receiving last minute text messages frantically telling me an eyeliner or chapstick was left behind and, if I don’t take it quickly to the office, the end of the world will certainly begin in the halls between 1st and 2nd period. Yes, I have become Garcia’s latest Coronel, only a much lazier one as I don’t walk to the mailbox.
Yesterday on Facebook, a very good friend posted a Frida Kahlo quote,
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world, but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.” 
Now, I’m not one of those Facebook type people who feel compelled to post posterior, prolific, “feels good, sums it up for me” quotes. Occasionally, I will virtually leave a thumbs up or even share with others. But, this one, this one felt so embodying, so self-descriptive, I felt driven to share it. I wasn’t even just sharing, I was making a personal statement. However, before posting, I needed to make one exception, a clarification by stating that I could do without the feminine reference as I have plenty of those in my life. I’ve spent a life time overdosed on yings, I needed a yang. I hate it when people say, “careful what you wish for.” What an unnecessary rain on people’s parade! Unfortunately, this would be the one time I could have used this overused cliché. Instead, somewhere, deep within Coyoacan soil, Frida Kahlo stirred in indignation for my altercating wishes.
No sooner had I shared the quote that I received a personal message from a guy, who I innocuously friended months ago, simply, because he was a friend of friends of friends. He had requested my friendship and indicated that he would like to meet me and speak Spanish together. I love it when “gringos’ want to “practice” speaking Spanish with other “gringos”. It is so stupid. It is even worse when one of the “gringos”, me, speaks fluent, impeccable Spanish. It is about as awkward as writing with your right hand when you are naturally left handed.
At the time of our initial virtual encounter, I was preoccupied with finding ways to put my life back together by initiating a cross country move to New York City . Occasionally, I would comment on his page and he on mine, but, up until said day, we had only been Facebook acquaintances. However, on this very day, he sent me an “inbox” reply to my post, declaring that he was the “him” in the “her”. He told me that he had wanted to take me out, but since I was moving, it would be pointless. Somewhere in our limited exchanges, his intentions were unrequited by my cluelessness. So with that clarified and my growling stomach, I accepted a lunch invitation with him. I thought, “Who knows? Maybe he’s dreamy?” Hindsight is 20/20, when I failed to proofread his email, “I miss sharing ideas with a woman I trust, and spooning without having sex if that feels right.” How did I miss that black fly in my Chardonnay?
Sitting at the bar of the restaurant, I casually waited. My eyes enjoyed the abundant candy bestowed upon this establishment at mid-day. Having seen a few photos of him, I had an idea of what to look for as I waited for Mr. Right. Suddenly a trade wind of men began to infiltrate through the front entrance. Like Kahn’s Empress Nympho, I found myself saying, “Yes, yes, yes, no, no, no, no, yes, no”, but instead of ending with “Wait a minute…Yesssss”, it was more like “Oh, Jesus”. Clad in dark slacks, a dark V-neck sweater, and SAS black shoes, he topped off the ensemble with a black hoodie. In his left hand, he carried a book and some notebooks. After extending my hand, I asked, “You working?” He explained that if he had to wait for me, he could keep himself busy by reading or writing. It kind of reminded me of the crayons and coloring books you take on a family vacation. While it was slightly nerdy, I reminded myself that I like “nerdy”. I asked him if he was still teaching of which he informed me that since our last conversation he had been fired and then clarified he actually resigned, because of the district’s incompetence and inability to teach. The work he brought was a screenplay about the robotic nature of today’s education and “I” had just met the next Academy Award Winner for Best Screenplay. Despite the horrible job market, I accepted his indignation with the current educational practices in the United States . All of this explanation occurred within the first five minutes of meeting as we waited for a table. Thus began my lunch date.
I am the first to admit that I am quite the talker, so I must reign myself in during conversations so as not to dominate and keep a polite level of reciprocity. However, on this date, there would be no need for that as I quickly became a duck taped hostage to Mr. Motor Mouth. His job history would be the subject of our lunch date; this coming from a man who only an hour before stated in his personal email to me, “…I will be so focused on you that I won't notice where I am.” From disillusioned second grade teacher, he moved on to disillusioned grocery store employee. Over sourdough bread, I would learn about fruit carton crates, the elimination of waste and best practices for inventory counts, not to mention his amazing expertise. After a tedious and exhausting inventory experience, he proceeded to explain to me how he managed to demand a quarter raise. Since he had repeatedly told me he was college educated and a very astute businessman, I assumed he was talking a quarter raise as in twenty-five percent. No, my bad. Mr. Astute businessman had succeeded in negotiating a twenty five cent raise after threatening to leave. It was this very shrewd career move that segued him into his next disappointment, the silk screen industry. If only they had focused on his brilliance and innovated practices and not on his perpetual tardiness, he, he would have been the Steve Jobs of the silk screening industry. But, Mr. Right knew just what to do. Walk out, but not before negotiating the next chessboard move, a fifty cent raise, which he succeeded, because they couldn’t do without him. After that, I wondered if I wasn’t on a lunch date with a 16 year old. No, he was all of 47 years old. I have worked minimum wage jobs in this poor economy, but, seriously, what was a quarter or, better yet, fifty cents going to do? It certainly was not going to boost me from Pall Malls to Marlboro.
As I proceeded to get through my tuna fish melt while observing his decorative fish entrée quickly being taken over by salmonella, he went back to teaching. I guess he missed something or something in the silk screening’s best practices led him back to education. He elaborated more why education in the United States was going to Hell in a hand basket and the answer sat only two feet away from me. Only this time, I got a full discussion on reflective learning. What was wrong with AISD? Clearly, they missed the boat on this one. In dire frustration, Mr. Right decided to write a screenplay about it and guess who would star in it? Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robin Williams. All I could think of as he rambled on was, “What would the Terminator say?”
In forty five minutes, Mr. Asstoot was about the most clueless, arrogant, pompous, narcissistic idiot I had ever met. I kept asking myself, “When is he going to notice my mouth collecting flies, the look of complete shock across my face, my chin slumped on my left hand as I impolitely place my elbow on the table with complete disregard?” Every once in a while when he had reach a point personal accomplishment, he would shrug his shoulders up and down and grin. This hurled me back to the times when I would ask my children, “Why are you so smart, why are you so beautiful?” They would always answer back innocently, “…because I am.” It’s adorable when a five year old says it, but it loses its appeal when they hit about twelve. Apparently, questions or statements such as, “And you don’t mind working so hard for a minimum wage job being as educated as you are? or “You seem to experience a lot of antagonism in your jobs.” did not phase him in the least bit.
After his horrible impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I had to come up for air. I could take it no more. “Excuse me, but I must go to the restroom.” I gathered my keys, cigarettes and wallet. In the bathroom stall, I planned my escape. I contemplated returning and telling him what I thought of him, but it was a nice restaurant and I really did not need to humiliate him in front of many people even though I really wanted to. I could have just told him someone bought my house and that I had to leave, but that just would have opened the door for a rain check. No, it had to be done. Conspicuously, I walked out and noticed that his back was turned to me. I walked as quickly as I could to the front of the restaurant and called for our waitress. She gave me the “what’s wrong look”. I feverishly said, “Look, I need your help like right now. I am with the biggest douche bag date. I have never walked out on a date, but I have to like right now.” She then started laughing along with the hostess. “Oh, you mean Mr. Chest Hair?, no problem. I’ll be back with your check.” That was right, the chest hair. It was almost like an Alpaca was hidden under his sweater. As poor as I am these days, I literally threw my money at her and walked out. Fearing he would soon figure it out quickly, I began running to my car, looking back every other second. As soon as I got in my car, I literally peeled out of the parking lot.
When I got home, I immediately went to my computer and deleted him. I then proceeded to my bed for a much needed nap. Hours later, I found out that I had created somewhat of a “defriending” mayhem as he deleted every friend of his associated with me. A mutual friend, who clued me in on this, indicated that he would become her friend again if she deleted me. All future Facebook friendships would be contingent on friendships with me. I could only laugh at this point. She also told me he had asked her out the previous day. I love the feeling you get from doing a good deed for others. In a way, I felt good that I had spared her the grueling date experience, but, in retrospect, I simply could have done without this particular good deed for the day. As I lay in bed that night, I thought about the insanity of my lunch date. Yes, he was definitely odd, strange, flawed, bizarre, but above all he was NUTS. I closed my eyes and thought, “Frida, if this was your idea of a joke, go Fuck Yourself!”

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