Johnny Rotten and I met online and he had asked me if I’d like to meet him for realsies.
He lived a couple of hundred miles away–1.6 x a couple of hundred miles if you’re a Metric Molly–and I agreed to dinner and general buddy-debauchery. Who would drive that far, into another country no less, to go out for dinner with someone they hadn’t met? I’m not sure I’d walk to the end of the block for that, personally, because what if it’s all ewwww-y or axe-murderer-y or worse, just plain awkward? We’re not talking about Regular People here, folks. We are talking about Internet People. You guys know.
Anyway, I believe I told him the city I lived in, and to get a hotel room because Internet People do not stay with me, even if they have driven for hours just to go out for dinner which is totally ridiculous and time-wasting, and to call me when he got into town. Then, of course, I thought nothing more about it, because I figured it was one of those situations like when you run into a friend from high school and you discuss going out for a drink, not because either of you want to but because society demands that half-assed plan-making. And then you don’t end up going out, because duh, and then you run into each other six months down the road and you do it all over again.
The appointed day and time came, and the phone rang. Holy cow, it was Johnny Rotten, and the caller id showed that he was calling from a local number, which means that he was actually in my town, which what the hell, Johnny Rotten?? This was not how it was supposed to go. Something was supposed to come up, he was supposed to back out gracefully, I was supposed to act vaguely disappointed, and life would go on. But him being in town? That meant I should probably see him, and that I should probably change out of pj pants and maybe put a bra on. Damn it. Damn it damn it damn it.
My bluff of sure-I’ll-meet-you had been called and raised to triple dog dare status. He had driven 1.6 x a gazillion miles to come see me, so I had to go. My friends, this was the flagpole scene from A Christmas Story. I couldn’t back out. He was on his way over to pick me up for dinner.
I placed Munchkin, who couldn’t roll over yet, in the middle of a queen sized bed, with pillows all around her to keep her wiggly little butt from going anywhere. Better safe than sorry, right? I moved about three feet away, and started to do my makeup quickly so I could trick him into thinking that I don’t actually wander around free of makeup and in pj pants all day. Oh, the lies you tell when putting your best foot forward, huh? No, I ALWAYS look great. I totally do not get pimples. I never yell “five second rule” when my favorite cookie drops on the kitchen floor, snatch it up, dust it off and eat it anyway. Never. Because I’m classy. All lies.
The getting ready part was intense. One coat of mascara, check the baby, eyeliner on one eye– looks great!– other eye– ooh, not matchy. Half cat eye, half Tammy Faye, ew– wipe off, try again, better. Check the baby. Bra. Where the hell is my bra? Why do I have to ask myself these things? Check the baby. Put shirt on. No, not that one, it has spit up on it. Yeah, that one. Looking good! Check the baby. Check the clock. Forget what time it is after five whole seconds and check the clock again. Check the baby. Concealer. Good. Powde–
This is an artist’s rendition of what I looked like when I realized what happened. You can tell it’s me because of the perfectly applied mascara.
And then everything was stopped by the bloodcurdlingest, most indignant shriek I had ever heard. Munchkin, who had never been able to roll over before, decided to be a child prodigy. She some how not only figured out how to roll, but also how to escape the Himalayaesque mountain range of pillows I had used. End result? Plop. Wee child fell off the bed.
Munchkin wasn’t hurt. She was, however, frightened and more pissed off that I had ever seen her before, and was letting the entire world know that she was not impressed by this situation with a pitch perfect High C held long enough to make Maria Callas green with envy.
I picked her up, and tried to soothe her as I contemplated what a Heinous Mothering Crime I had just committed. What’s a reasonable new mom to do? Burst in to tears, of course. Not in a beautiful dramatic actress way, either. I fully mean in the snotty, red faced, blotchy, gross way. She mostly calmed down, but it took me a little longer.
I had her in one arm, and I trudged back to the bathroom to wipe my now-puddly makeup off because it was leaking into my eyes and causing a lot of pain and itching. Mascara with fibers is great when it’s actually on your lashes– ooh, the lengthening! The thickening!– but when it actually gets into your eye, you’re kind of screwed. That shit hurts.Since it’s probably made of tar and fiberglass, this kind of makes sense.
I had gotten one eye done, and there was a knock at the door. Remember how I started this story talking about how Johnny Rotten had asked me out, then inexplicably changed over to a story about the Munchkin? Yes. This is where the stories converge. I was a snotty, red eyed mess, my kid was still semi-squalling, and my first ‘sort of, kind of date’ in years was standing on my doorstep, probably staring at the door and waiting for the vision of beauty that I had pretended to be to greet him. Excellent. Lucky this was a just-friends-date and not a date-date, right?
I quickly invented the acronym “FML”, then answered the door.
Holy Hannah. He was cute. And he smelled good. And he didn’t look like he had been crying. Because I’m shallow and because he was cute, I really wanted this to be a date-date and not a just-friends-date. The Head And Shoulders slogan ran through my head and was kind enough to remind me, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. His first impression was neatly pressed, lightly cologned and clean shaven. My first impression was that of a big smile through snot and tears, of makeup by Courtney Love and ratty pj pants. He wasn’t the unstable, inappropriate Internet Person; I was.
Damn it. FML.