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May 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Amber

Happy! Me, Jen and Amber. Doesn't it kind of appear that my
boobs are trying to attack Jennifer?

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I do not like to go south of the ten. (If you don't live in Los Angeles and speak freeway-ese, that means I don't often venture to the Westside and beyond, below the 10 Freeway. See how we do with our road-code here? Crazy, I tell you.) Anyway! Where were we? Oh, yes. Me and my hermitage and "Please, everyone, come to the Valley!"-like ways.

But it was Saturday night, and Amber's birthday party, so I picked up Jennifer and we headed off to this bar/restaurant/impromptu dance place called Niki's in Venice. This is definitely south of the ten.

It didn't occur to me until much later, when I was back home and it was 3 a.m. and I was finally having a glass of wine on my patio (designated driver, ya'll know) that I had not been to a club in like... years. I think the last time I was out at such an establishment was maybe Jennifer's birthday in the year 2005. 2004? I do not know. We used to go out a lot back when I was married, all the time in fact, I'd get the girls together and drag them off to some salsa club or another. But it had been a l-o-n-g time since I'd gone out on the town, and I was nervous. I kind of had to sit myself down prior to the evening and have a come-to-Jesus with myself (not that I am Jesuslike, ya'll know it's just a saying). I never feel really comfortable in these very-Los-Angeles places, where all the women are stick-thin and beautiful and enhanced and dressed in tiny scraps of clothing. In fact, I avoid these scenes as much as possible, I hate scanning the room only to find out that yes, you are indeed the biggest gal in the crowd.

So I sat myself down and had a Margaret Mitchellfest, because it was Amber's birthday and I was GOING to this place, so I might as well shut up and move on and have a decent attitude about the whole thing. I believe in kindergarten this is what we call an "attitude adjustment" and I was in dire need of one. Nothing is more exhausting and icky than going out and feeling bad about it the whole time. It doesn't just ruin your night, it bleeds into others' experiences and they can just feel it radiating off you, like stink waves or something.

I didn't want to have the stink waves of fear and self-loathing.

I pulled on the juicybooty jeans, blowdried my hair, looked at myself as I put on some mascara. So what if I was going to stand in a room full of women whose entire bodies could be eclipsed by my left thigh? If I was going to be standing there, I might as well stand tall. I wore three-inch heels.

We met Gloria there, and Amber and a huge group of Amber's friends, and yeah. I was probably the only more-than-size-eight girl in the whole room, but I actually had fun. Every time I caught myself staring at some impossibly thin girl in a three-inch square of fabric, I just let it go. I even surprised myself, to be honest, I figured I'd have at least one freak-out moment but I didn't ... I had fun. Maybe that's what you do in this life, you just pretend you're OK, tell yourself to stop talking trash in your head, and you do things even though they scare you. Maybe before long, you end up being the comfortable-in-your-skin person you're pretending to be. Hopefully it will happen in the Valley, though, because Lord knows I do not want to keep going south of the ten for enlightenment.

(click for big)

Posted by laurie at May 22, 2006 10:16 AM