Radical Inclusion

I’m going to write this story once so that I don’t hold on to it longer than necessary.

I was at a bar having a great time when a gentleman sat down next to me.

He was Middle Eastern and since my dad is Middle Eastern I wanted to talk to him about where he was from.

So I politely asked him where he was from.

Oakland.

Oh, I see. I only asked because my father is from Lebanon and I thought you might be too.

Well, it turns out he WAS from Lebanon.

Beirut actually, just like my father.

So we chatted about the old country and farms and Burning Man.

He asked me what my favorite Burning Man principle was.

I replied that it was definitely RADICAL INCLUSION.

I can come off as awkward from time to time so I like a principle that encourages people to embrace me despite my weirdness.

He agreed with me.

We were having such a good time talking, we barely noticed the bartender who was hanging around us, muttering under his breath.

But suddenly, we both VERY CLEARLY heard a racial slur come from his direction.

One I don’t care to repeat, but which was so troubling to me that I froze out of fear.

Of course, I look Scandinavian, not Middle Eastern, so the man’s comments were directed to my new friend, but for a brief second, I felt was it was like to be disliked because of something as insubstantial as heritage.

And it was frightening.

By now, all we could hear was the sound of this man’s voice, very clearly continuing on this path of racial discrimination.

My new friend gave me a hug, and left the bar after sharing a few words with the bartender.

I sat there in silence for a while, thinking about the Radical Inclusion principle which should have protected my friend from racism.

But didn’t.

Denied!

So there’s this hunky guy I was interested in.

I went to the bar he was at, grabbed a seat, and intended to do my best at flirting, which was awfully brave of me given that only three days earlier someone told me I SUCKED AT FLIRTING.

Per my usual, I fell back on chatting with another man, making casual conversation while I tried to work up the guts to do something flirtatious.

My evil plan was to wait until the end of the night and see if he’d bring me home with him.

Inelegant, overly subtle as it may be, that was my plan.

Not long after I sat down we were joined by another woman.

Pretty soon it dawned on me that she was there for the same reason I was.

To hook up with the hunky guy.

“Well, this is AWKWARD,” I thought to myself.

Just then a friend came up to me at the bar.

“Is he chasing you?” she asked.

“No. . .” I replied.

“Then let’s go. I’ll help you meet someone,” she offered.

I was stubborn, though.

My ever present optimism was shining through.

The evening progressed.

I started to feel crappy, like I was throwing myself after someone who totally lacked all knowledge of my value.

Ad that was when I got up off my bar stool make my goodbyes, and left the bar.

My pride was a little bit in tatters, my optimism was flagging, and my ego was a little bruised.

Nevertheless, I managed to leave.

Michelle – 1, Hunky Guy – 0.

Tahoe Trip: The Bar Chronicles

I took a little mini break to Reno/Tahoe this past weekend to see Sting and Peter Gabriel in concert in Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Getting there was a HUGE hassle.

My Thursday evening flight was cancelled.

And I did all my nervous flyer prep – 2 Ativan, 1 Makers on the rocks, 2 beers, and a downloaded movie (Avatar) to distract myself.

So when the young lady at the counter suggested I use a credit from Alaska Air to DRIVE to Reno, I was in no condition to drive.

Fast forward to Friday morning.

I’m finally on a plane heading to Reno/Tahoe airport.

There was a whirlwind of activity when I arrived:

  • Breakfast with my sister
  • Packing for the overnight in Tahoe
  • Buying food in case we get the munchies after the concert
  • The short drive to Tahoe, which I scored the music for
  • And finally, checking in to our hotel – Harvey’s

And so it was, at 1 pm, that we commenced with the drinking.

I think I had, over the course of 6 hours, 5 gin and tonics (they were small), one mojito, and one VERY POORLY MADE SAZERAC.

sazeracNEVER ORDER A COCKTAIL IF THE BARTENDER ASKS YOU HOW TO MAKE IT!

I got rye whiskey on the rocks with a splash of simple syrup and a dash of Angostura bitters.

Garnished with a lemon wedge.

No absinthe wash, no Peychaud’s bitters, and IT WAS SERVED ON ICE.

Ok, enough with the rant.

My sister and I drank so much that we opted to just drink water at the concert.

This, I think, saved us both from hangovers the next day.

And, unlike our Elton John debacle, we actually remember the WHOLE CONCERT!

Love is in the air

loveLove is in the air.

I can just SMELL it.

Today I got an invitation to a Cupid Crawl – a costumed progressive through the bars of downtown Mountain View.

Seriously?

What could be better than getting decked out like Cupid and spreading love everywhere I go?!

I imagine I’ll spread more love as the evening progresses. LOL

Some years, I am TURNED OFF to Valentine’s Day. I literally HATE the holiday and the onslaught of love that hits me full frontal in the face on Facebook.

Like in 2015 when I wrote Just Another Way to Bleed.

Yeah, I was a little bitter that year.

But this year is different and I have no good reason for being cheery about this fucking holiday other than the fact that I just got laid yesterday and so I am in a good mood.

Truth.

This year I plan to do something nice for my sons and my mom – like take them out to a restaurant and feed them from a bucket of seafood.

Because nothing says “I love you” like a bucket a chum, a vat of melted butter, and a wet wipe.