Thursday, October 2, 2014

Brother Against Brother, Cousin Against Cousin

Hey Blog.  So I'm working on putting together a post detailing all the (mis)adventures I've had since February, but in the meantime, let's talk about what's going on in my life today.  The answer: drama, drama, drama!

Mixed results... I'm not the father but also I might be turning into a crab-person.

No, not "Maury" drama... I'm talking classy re-enactment drama.  See, I recently got roped into a civil war re-enactment.  That's the thing about Los Angeles... you are going to be handed a script, and you are going to be asked to put on a hoop skirt, and you are going to act, goddammit.  Our neighbourhood (grandly titled the "Historic West Adams District") has an equally grandly titled "Heritage Society" that puts on soirees, garden parties, and the occasional tour.  This year, the tour of the Angelus-Rosedale cemetary focuses on the Civil War, and each 2-hour tour visits various graves, each of which has an actor in costume who talks about their life and their role in the civil war.

 For example, I played a guy in a bowler shirt and a fedora.  No, but seriously, I'm the one on the left.

I signed up as a volunteer for the tour ("prop and set design" was rather broadly interpreted to mean "understudy) and got assigned to play Mary Davis, cousin of Jefferson Davis and wife of Robert C. Flournoy, Confederate officer.  Along with my frenemy Salina Hall Carlisle (cousin of Abe Lincoln, wife of a Union officer, also born in Kentucky in 1843 and also buried at the cemetery), it was my job to greet people to the tour, tell them some Civil War facts (1/13 men lost one or more limbs; 1/4 men never came home; 135 out of 139 of the students at Old Miss signed up for Company A of the 11th Mississippi, known as the University Greys, and suffered 100% causalities at Pickett's Charge at Gettsyburg), tell them about the sponsors, and send them on their way.  There was about 7 pages worth of dialogue between me and Salina (real name Kate).  It went spectacularly, as evidenced by the fact that after one tour a southern woman informed me that I "done them proud," and multiple people inquired if I was from the south.  (No, but I did see "Gone with the Wind" the night before.  Dark-ass movie, let me tell you.)

I'm pleased that it went so well; I completely held my own among the other actors (some of whom are trying to make a career out of it, like many here in LA), and definitely plan on volunteering next year.  WAHA said they'd be glad to have me!

Speaking of kin-feuds, though, I'm sorry to say there has been some other drama as well, of the more internet-sanctioned variety.  It's no surprise, of course, that it involves Andrew's family.  To keep it short, I've been barred from the wedding of his in-town cousins, Ben and Cara.

They told me I had to pick all the lentils out of the fireplace or something, 
and then said I couldn't come anyway because I was dirty.

See, first they said it was because of my "condition."

Y'know, the crab person thing.

No, wait!  Social anxiety, apparently.  See, they were benevolently barring me from attending!

So when I pointed out I don't actually have social anxiety as like, a medical condition, and mostly only experience it around Andrew's shitty, judgmental family...

Pictured above.

...they switched their story and said that actually, see, their guest list has ballooned and they were paying for it themselves and it was just too expensive.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I do have some major anxiety around people and I've posted about that before.  But it's not a diagnosed medical condition, just a thing I need to get over, and frankly it's not their place to tell me how to "deal with" my "condition."  That's on me.  And barring me from the wedding isn't benevolent in any context.  Even if I had a fucking fear of weddings (nuptiaphobia?), an invitation would still be appreciated.  Unless I had a fear of wedding invitations.

But like I said, they quickly changed their story and said the guest list had gotten too long and so they just didn't want to pay for me.  (Because nothing says "classy" like rescinding invitations.)

Okay, and so the other thing is...

How did their guest list "balloon?"  Did they leave invitations lying around at the YMCA or something?  Shouldn't they know everyone they invited and have already accounted for that?  Is M.C. Hammer planning their wedding?  How did they fuck up their finances so badly that they have to start diagnosing people with social anxiety to get the cost down?

So then Andrew tried to suggest that we just attend the nuptials, you know, to be seen at the ceremony and show our support, and skip the reception.  This saves them the cost of TWO meals and also they don't have to talk to us, besides from a handshake and a "congratulations."  But they still said no.

Then, finally, Andrew called them out on being petty and it turns out the real reason is that they were offended by my behaviour at Rosh Hashanah dinner... over a year ago.  I had a little too much to drink and was basically loud and told a few rather tactless jokes.  People raised eyebrows.  

Actually, though, they didn't.  Everyone was really jolly and I assumed, you know, a 20-something crowd of people from Hollywood were okay with a few risqué jokes.  Apparently not.  I can't believe they've been sitting on this for so long; I also have trouble believing it got me dis-invited from a fucking wedding.  I mean, if I'd been drunk, yelling, and breaking shit, okay, I get that.  But we're talking "being a little too jokey."  I wrote Cara an apology but they still don't want me to come.  Because of, you know.  My condition.

Now, I'm someone who holds little to nothing sacred.  But certain things, like weddings and Christmases and funerals, are things I would never, ever fuck up.  And it really hurts to be accused of being the type of person to do that.

As an exercise, Andrew and I asked ourselves how to best ruin a wedding, if invited.  We think it would look something like this:

RABBI: If anyone can think of a reason why these two should not be wed...

JULIE (coughing loudly): Oh no!  My... WEDDING PNEUMONIA!

[JULIE falls to the ground, coughing blood.  She crawls over to BEN and CARA, coughing blood on CARA'S white wedding dress.  With a gasp, ANDREW runs to where her body lies crumpled at the altar, and falls to his knees by her side.]

ANDREW (holding JULIE'S hand): Julie!  I told you that you weren't well enough!  O cruel fate, to take my beloved from me at this joyous occasion!

JULIE: Andrew... I've always... loved you...

ANDREW: Hush, my darling!  I shall do right by you... here... now... at the end.  RABBI!  Quickly!  There's no time!

RABBI: Do you, Andrew, take Julie to be your lawfully wedded wife?

ANDREW (tearfully): Till death... do us part.

RABBI: I now pronounce you... [lifts Julie's limp wrist, feeling for a pulse] ...dead.

ANDREW (shaking fist at sky):  WHY?!  WHY, DAMN IT ALL!

[He drops his head for several silent seconds as the crowd watches.  Then, slowly, he raises his head with a look of determined strength on his face.] 

Ladies and gentleman... thank you for being here... in my time of loss.  The reception will be held next door.  You're all welcome to join me for drinks and cake.

[The wedding having been thoroughly taken over, the guests shuffle out to the reception.  As they open the ballroom's double doors, they see Julie, alive and well, wearing a wedding gown and visibly drunk.]

JULIE: Welcome, everyone!  [She notices CARA in her blood-stained wedding dress.]   ...Tacky, Cara.  Real tacky.

You guys can just mail me my Oscar.

Joking aside, seriously.  What dicks.  Your wedding shouldn't a place for you to demonstrate your petty grudge against someone you met ONCE.

Of course, the whole family's known for months and been talking about it amongst themselves.  Undoubtedly the whole clan thinks I deserve this.  Except their mother, who unironically told Andrew that it was sad how everyone was also "picking on me."

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Oh, and speaking of pot, get this.  So I've been on this sobriety kick (46 days today, baby!) and I asked everyone to please, you know, be cool around me.  Well, Jack has this roommate (who actually ceased to be a roommate like, a month ago, and is now just a squatter) who is a total stoner who I have literally never seen sober.  So I asked, you know, no drugs around me.  Pretty fucking reasonable request.  I guess you can see where this is going... Jack invited me over with his assurances that he'd totally talked to Eddie and that Eddie was totally going to be cool.  You can guess what happened next.

Jack awkwardly chuckled instead of standing up for me, and I left and vowed never to come back.

So... bummer.  Let me tell you, LA is probably the hardest city in the world to go sober in.  They sell alcohol everywhere.  If you go to a Laundromat and try to buy a single-detergent from one of those coin-operated machines, a tiny bottle of Gallo comes out.

But the important thing is that I'm staying clean and hopefully Jack is learning what happens when you ask all your potential roommates if they're "420 friendly."  You get a bunch of assholes, that's what.  Because everyone here in LA is "420 friendly," but the people who call themselves that are dicks.  This is also known as the Libertarian Principle.

Welp, that's about all for today, Blog.  Tune in next time for a huge photo dump and updates on my ongoing sobriety, no thanks to Andrew's incredibly judgmental and stress-inducing family.  For now, I'll leave you with this: