The only thing more embarrassing than buying a black sequined tank top especially to dance to 80s music in is changing into it in front of the lady cleaning the airport bathroom, but I did it, and I’m a better person for it. My best friend Tracey picked me up soon after, and we met our friend-since-forever, Erin, and two of her friends in the back garden of Skully’s, which was crowded with every single hip person in Columbus. Ohhhhh, Columbus, sweet Columbus, where there are exactly eight cool places to hang out.
Erin’s friends should’ve been way more into the evening than we were on account of their being gay, but they quickly abandoned us and left us to take pictures of ourselves in between Madonna and Joy Division:
Our friend Jonathan found us in the crowd and began humping us feverishly, as he’s wont to do, and then Tracey and Erin humped him back, although you’d never know it from the entirely serene look on his face here:
I had a good time dancing while chomping on my gum:
but an even better time trying to drop it down Erin’s shirt (what?):
There was an extra-lot of boob-grabbing and arm-biting and me thinking everything was sooo funny, ’cause yeah, while drinks are $15 here in NYC, they’re $2.50 in Columbus:
But Tracey had to be at THE Ohio State University the next day for some women’s studies orienting (yay smart friends who get free grad school!), so we went home when the place closed down, ate a bunch of junk food, watched a bunch of “Top Model”, and fell asleep in her bed even though her fiancée told her I wasn’t allowed to sleep on the new sheets while he was out of town.
The next night, we met our other-best-friend-since-birth, Katie, and her husband, Nick, for karaoke at Otani, which claims to be the best karaoke in Columbus but might very well be the only karaoke in Columbus, although that doesn’t make it any less awesome. The great thing about it is that they give you a huge stage and shine a bunch of lights on you, so you can’t manage to hide out in the crowd with your microphone like you can in NYC. So we sat in a booth off in the back and shuffled back and forth through the song book, trying to find something they’d have the guts to sing. Because look how innocent and Ohio they are!:
We finally settled for the three of us girls doing “All That She Wants” by Ace of Base and sat making faces at each other and the singers while we waited for our turn:
But it turns out that Katie had just been stalling in choosing a song because she knew she and Nick would have to leave at 11 to pick up their newborn baaaaaby and hoped to escape without having to perform. Foiled!
Tracey saw them off by inappropriately sucking on the decorative cattails-that-looked-like-hot-dogs in the corner behind our table:
and making me pose underneath one of many (yes, many) cats in Japanese costume:
When it was our turn, we had the crowd cheering and clapping like the Swedish pop stars we are, and then we quickly made our exit before anyone could ask for autographs. We wanted to go home and lie about but decided we were young and it was Friday night and we were obligated to be out, so we drove back to Skully’s for what was supposed to be an indie mustache dance party but was actually . . . twenty people standing at the bar next to the empty dance floor while some hip-hop remix played. We promptly turned around and left and walked down the street to our favorite (and Columbus’s only?) gay dance club, Axis.
We couldn’t hear any music playing, so I asked the guy at the door what was going on. He said, “It’s Steam night! If you want to see a bunch of half-naked guys showering, you’ve come to the right place!” Tracey and I were pretty offended that we look like the type of girls who care about naked men in bathtubs, but I asked, “Is there dancing?” He said, “Oh, there’s dancing,” so we paid our $5 and went inside.
A drag queen on the stage called out some skinny teenage girl and asked her why she loves gay men (“Because they don’t want to fuck you!”), and then she introduced Rocco, a ballet-dancer-turned-stripper whose alcoholic shenanigans backstage had left him unable to perform some of his leg lifts. Tracey and I were like, “THIS is the dancing?”, and I felt myself getting ready to bolt, but then the lights went off, the disco balls started turning, and the floor was ours for dancing.
Rocco climbed into one of the two makeshift showers set up in the center and immediately twisted the curtains up onto the bar they were hanging from so we could see him from any angle. He got himself nice and soaked and then whipped his long hair around so the water rained down on us. Over and over again. Tracey and I kept saying, “Oh, Rocco!” in our “boys will be boys” voices as we danced all over the place, getting our socks and pants completely drenched with mansweat and shower leakage. It was quite a shift from Ladies 80s, where the point is to act crazy and have fun, to shirtless men grinding on each other on top of tables.
The next day was my cousin Ethan’s wedding to my high school friend Katherine, because no one gets married in Ohio if it’s not to someone he’s known his whole life. My old college roommate Michelle sat behind me during the ceremony and helped me make fun of everything, including my cousin Bethany, who chomped on gum the entire time in her bridesmaid’s dress. The reception was awesome, because while Ethan is from my mom’s side of the family, he’s also close to my dad’s side of the family, so all of my cousins from both sides were there, and we all got our own table away from the adults.
Oh, crap. I just realised that all of my cousins are high school age, and I’m in my mid-20s, which means I’m an adult to them. Gross.
Anyway, my being an adult didn’t in any way dissuade them from being bad, as proven by these pictures of my cousin Callen sticking her finger in a bread butthole:
and pretending to be drunk on grape juice:
The next day, my family and I went to church (ha!) and then took my great-aunt and -uncle out to lunch for their 56th wedding anniversary. Which was not nearly as painful as it sounds, mostly because they vote Democrat:
Not that this photo has anything to do with political parties.
and have weird old people things that my sister and I can play with:
Later that afternoon, I made Tracey go with me to visit our friend Katie’s baby. I thought I was pretty secretive about my complete lack of desire to know the thing until it ages seven or eight years, but Katie called me and said, “I know you think she’s a whining, screaming non-human, but I’d really like for you to meet her.” So out of guilt, I drove the five minutes to their new house.
When Katie and Nick got married, they moved into Nick’s house (yeah, he owned a house at 25, and I probably never will) in the outskirts of Columbus and threw tons of parties, and I thought they were pretty great. But then Katie somehow talked him into moving back to our old hometown a half an hour away from the city so she could be near her parents and they could raise Baby Maria in grass and trees and crap. Lame!
It turned out to be pretty cute:
but Tracey and I totally aren’t fit to parent it, because while it was crying, Tracey was busy posing sexily,
and later, she was caught trying to eat it:
We strapped the thing in and took it down the street to Dairy Queen, where we were heartily enjoying our frozen hot chocolate until the baby decided it needed to expel the contents of its anus. While sitting in Katie’s lap:
We all cackled a little bit, but it wasn’t so funny when Katie lifted Little Maria up and found that the poo had PROPELLED ITSELF UP AND OUT OF THE DIAPER:
And then we took a trip to the bathroom, Tracey holding the baby like this the whole way there:
Which seemed cute. Changing the baby–not so much:
Tracey will kill me for posting this, but it’s hilarious, so she can suck it.
We went back to Katie’s house and ended up spending five hours there in total, watching her breastfeed and talking about how we’d incorporate her breastpumps into our sex lives. And taking lonely photographs of Katie and the baby that I thought I could Photoshop into awesomeness later but totally can’t, so you should for me:
Then we went to The Cheesecake Factory with Erin and Tracey’s fiancée, Dan, where we gossiped about grandparents, ate fried macaroni and cheese balls, and learned that Erin refuses to lick things off fingers, even her own, but will happily pose as if she doesn’t:
The next night, I tried to go to dinner with my ex-boyfriend-who-I-moved-to-NYC-for-but-who-then-moved-back-home-after-a-year, Todd, at the pizza place that only he and I like on the OSU campus, but all of the freshman were moving in and the roads were crazy, and I was cursing them in my mind, but only because I was jealous. So instead we met at Pizza Hut, which is a local fine dining Italian restaurant you’ve likely never heard of. There, he informed me that the Meryl Streep movie I was in will win nothing, while the other movie she did this year may win her some Oscars.
Afterward, we went to our favourite for-real-local ice cream parlor, Graeter’s, and ate coconut ice cream with giant chocolate hunks mixed in it while we sat in his car and listened to 90s music like Joydrop that probably only we ever liked. Oh, I mean, us and Tommy Lee, if the video’s any indication.
Todd gets really upset that I never post any pictures of him, so here’s the placeholder where a picture would go if I liked him.
Even later that night, I drove back to Tracey’s apartment to pick her up for what was supposed to be My Last Crazy Night in Ohio™, but my poor best friend was a bit nervous about her first real day of grad school and didn’t want to do much. So I gave her a hard time, because I am a jerk. And then I ate some cookie dough and went to bed.
The next morning, we woke up super-early, and I went to spend my last moments with my dad on the FARM, which is actually where I spent almost every afternoon of my stay, doing things like:
Riding in a combine, shelling corn, thinking about how little I care about my cellphone or my e-mail or my blog when I’m in the country.
Staring longingly across the open plains, mentally tracking all the places I could dump a body if I ever need to kill someone.
Thinking how cool my dad is for being able to fix things.
Not hating nature.
The best part of the entire trip, by far, was when I called my dad on Friday morning and asked if I could hang out with him. He said, “Sure, I’m going to go pull a calf out of the feed lot.” I thought, Yay! We’re moving a happy, bouncing, baby cow to a new home! But it turned out that the baby cow was DEAD:
Like, really, really dead:
Literally the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.
And with that pleasant image, I’ll take my leave.