Saturday was a day of three tortures.
I felt my last dentist was trying to rip me off – a lot of them are like the mechanics of teeth nowadays, recommending all sorts of expensive and needless procedures to suck that insurance money into their Porsche funds. So I switched over to my girlfriend’s dentist and stopped by in the afternoon for a cleaning.
Instead of the standard medieval weaponry most dentists use to scrape your teeth, this office used a fancy high-pressure water jet apparatus. But as soon as the cleaning began, I began to yearn for sharp metal objects for two reasons:
1. The water shooting out of that thing was fucking cold. After years of brushing too hard, several of my teeth are temperature sensitive and it felt like the guy was stabbing my meaty clumps of nerve endings with ice daggers.
2. The sound of water being forced through a tiny opening at very high speeds is not too different from the sound of a chalkboard being scraped by a tin fork. It was 15 straight minutes of “EEEEEEEE!” Dogs within a three block radius grabbed their masters’ guns and tried to end their own lives before realizing that a cruel God had deprived them of fingers. Man, dogs are just plain silly.
Strangely enough, this was the least painful part of my day.
I have had the best of times at friends’ weddings. But this ceremony was for my dad’s best friend’s son, which qualifies it as a family friend wedding. And as you well know, family friend weddings are a whole different kind of creature for one significant reason: your parents’ friends.
One after the other, they lined up with the same damn question they asked at the past hundred weddings: “When are you getting married?”
Back in the day, when I was polite and respectful, my response would always be to shrug and answer “Some day” with a look of fake earnestness (Kinda lame, but it’s a lot better than replying, “When are you going to die?”) But today, I simply said, “Never.”
“What a horrible thing to say,” they gasped. “Never say never again!” Before I could figure out if that James Bond movie starred Sean Connery or Roger Moore, they then brought up the name of some random daughter of some random friend who also happened to share my pathetic misfortune of being unwed - which of course meant we were perfect for each other.
A familiar-looking old lady hobbled up to me with a cane. I think when we were little, my sister and I referred to her as “Lolly’s mom” - I'm not sure any of her kids were named Lolly. Back to the present, she asked the usual marriage question, but then she followed it up with a different inquiry.
“How much you make now?” she asked.
When I was growing up, my mom seemed to relish updating all her friends on my GPA, awards, test scores, college acceptances, all that model minority crap. So when I unexpectedly chose to pursue a career in advertising instead of medicine or law, it was like that old E-Trade commercial where the high school basketball star tells his dad what he really wants to do is dance.
Overnight I became this colossal disappointment of “Matrix Reloaded” proportions, and my mom’s friends delighted in turning the tables on her with updates of their own, namely their kids’ i-banker/consulting/lawyer salaries.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“How much you make?” she repeated, as chunks of half-chewed crab cake flew out of her mouth. “Seventy-five thousand a year? Eighty thousand?”
“My son, he make forty thousand per month.”
Old Asian ladies talk like they drive. The problem is when they're talking you can't honk or try to run them off the road into a deep ravine.
“That’s awesome,” I replied. “Lolly must be a spectacular human being.”
Sunset, between La Cienega and Crescent Heights, is one big shiny anus. Bumper-to-bumper traffic. Wall-to-wall masses of “Night at the Roxbury” sweaty man cheese climbing all over each other in a desperate attempt to purchase overpriced drinks. $20 parking.
The only reason someone would celebrate his birthday at a Sunset club is to make sure I didn’t show up. It almost worked. But there I was, wearily trying to enjoy myself as Saturday finally started to gasp its dying breaths. I don’t think I ever drank so much Grey Goose in such a short span of time, I was that determined to have a happy ending.
Around 2 am Sunday, we walked down to the Standard to eat something. My girlfriend ordered the banana chips and guacamole. I got another Goose on the rocks. The guac was delicious. Feeling better, I decided to take a drunken amount of candid photos of our table, you know, the kind where nobody’s supposed to be looking at the camera.