I don't know why I hang out with Miss Priss, my obnoxious 40-something uptight gay Hudson friend.
"You should come," he said to me, regarding his summer barbecue, "You might make a new friend. Just be nice, be friendly. In other words, DON'T be yourself!"
"Fuck you," I said, my usual retort. He's so used to it by now, it has no effect. Happy Happy, Up, Up, fuck you.
Miss Priss decided to welcome summer with a barbecue. She's always looking for a boyfriend, and will find ANY excuse to bring any single men into her boudoir.
It was a nice Saturday afternoon. We were in the backyard. Of course, Miss Priss is on the SOUTH side of Warren Street, her house is a fabulously restored Victorian, original moldings, blah, blah, blah.....
She enjoys giving the "house tour" to anyone new. Each renovation project a stop on the tour. The cost of the project. The initial cost of the house, the money she put into it, the value now....kill me...just kill me.
Like the Metropolitan Museum, she might as well just hand out little audio players and headphones. I have the tour memorized by now.
Miss Priss walks up to me at the beginning of the party and says,
"I bought you the turkey burgers you said you wanted."
"What? No, not TURKEY burgers - VEGGIE burgers!"
"Oh," he says, thinking quickly, "well, they didn't have any veggie burgers at Price Chopper, just these."
"That's a lie, they have TONS of veggie burgers at Price Chopper. What the fuck?"
"It's not meat, it's turkey! Can't you just eat the turkey burgers - I already cooked them!"
"No, I can't just eat them! What part of the word 'VEGETARIAN' are you NOT understanding?"
"Well, then what am I going to do with these turkey burgers?"
"Shove them up your ass, is what you can do with them!"
"Fine. There's potato salad and cold slaw. I made it. You can eat that."
"I don't do mayonnaise either."
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU EAT?", he yells at me, for the umpteeth time, "what are you down to fruit and nuts?"
"Nuts", I say, "yes, I like nuts."
I give up on the chances of eating today, and join Miss Priss' friends in the backyard. A young guy comes over to me and asks me if I would like a drink. I recognize him, he's one of the mentally-challenged adults from around town. I tell him I want a Corona.
Miss Priss usually does not have a cocktail waiter at her soirees....hmmm..
When he brings the beer, I ask him,
"So, how's it going today?"
"Do you like waitering?"
"Yeah, it's cool. I'm getting paid."
"Really, that's nice."
"Yeah, $5 an hour."
"Oh." I said, "you know what? I'll be right back..."
I walk over to Miss Priss who's busy grilling the dead animal flesh.
"Excuse me, Prissy, you're paying some guy to be your cocktail waiter?"
"Yes. Isn't that nice? I thought you would like it. Rather philanthropic of me, don't you think?"
"Prissy, you're paying him FIVE DOLLARS an hour! That's not even MINIMUM WAGE!"
"It's OFF THE BOOKS!" he snaps back.
I back slap his arm. "You're taking advantage of the mentally challenged now!?! What the fuck's wrong with you?"
"He's happy with it! Who are you to say anything!"
"Prissy, that's NOT the point! Equal pay for equal work! Just because he's mentally-challenged doesn't mean you pay him less!"
Miss Priss pursed her lips and looked down at me, "Listen, Norma Rae," he said to me, "isn't there a coal mine you should be unionizing somewhere right now?"
I walk over to the waiter and palm him a twenty.
"What's this for?", he asks.
"It's a tip."
"Gee, thanks!" and he smiles. He's a little goofy, but cute.
A cell phone rings, one of the guests answers.
"Hello. Yes.....WHAT? Oh, dear God!"
He stumbles and sits into one of the divan-styled lawn chairs. The other queens gasp and run to his side. Is he having a heart attack?
"AAAAHHHH", he shrieks.
The other queens are fanning him. It's a scene from the antebellum South. He hangs up his cell phone.
"That was my contractor!", he sobs, "The Italian marble tile has been delayed ANOTHER TWO WEEKS! My bathroom will NEVER BE DONE!" He sobs uncontrollably.
The other gay men around him, pat him on the back in sympathy. They all give each other, knowing, solemn glances and nods. They have all felt this pain before.
One of them looks up at me and says to me "Redecorating can be SO STRESSFUL!".
I roll my eyes, turn away and lean against a tree, in my Madonna "Desperately Seeking Susan" pose.
Sigh, I'm back on Long Island, with the bad girls with rubber bracelets and no-finger lace gloves, cutting gym class, giving cold stares to all the Muffy's and Jessica's in their Laura Ashley print dresses.
I'm 37, and I'm back in fucking High School.
I look at this dramatic scene of gay men in front of me, and think, fuck, if THIS is all that's out there, I'm going to be single for long time...
Maybe it's me. Maybe there's something wrong with ME that I can't get that excited over countertops? Maybe that's why at a party, surrounded by gay men, and I'm standing here, by myself, alone.
I can't really think about it too much, I get too upset. It doesn't really matter, anyway...at least I tell myself that.
"Hey", the waiter says, he was standing next to me, on the other side of the tree. "Do you want anything to drink?"
"Do you have any arsenic?" I ask.
"Um, I don't think we have that..."
"It's Ok...are you having a good time today?" I ask him.
"Well, I'm working."
"So, the answer's no, then? Well, what'd you do, last night? Did you do anything fun?"
"I saw this great movie."
"Really? Which one?" I ask.
"Um, don't laugh.....Jackass Number Two...."
"Oh My God! I LOVE JACKASS!!"
He laughed. "Yeah, it was like, really funny....they're really dangerous...but I really like it."
"Oh my God -- did you see Bam? Bam Margera? And when they got him with the snakes?"
He giggled. "Yeah, he really doesn't like snakes...."
For the rest of the evening, we talked about the Jackass guys! Bam Margera, a dick farm branded on this ass, snakes biting your dick, leeches on your eyeballs, guys giving each other paper cuts...it was fun!
Miss Priss' party sucked, but she was right, (dammit!), I did make a new friend.