So, I have this friend. We aren’t up each other’s asses or anything, but we stay in pretty close contact. Randy and I have a standing Friday night skype chat with Mountain Girl and her husband, the Bass Player. It’s Friday night Youth Group.
She is who I called after attending a writing conference last weekend. I pretty much just let loose with a 700 word sentence that sounded like “Alan Zwiebel, Lord and Lady Douchebag, Cathy Kinney, The Bloggess, Wendy Liebman, Oh my god I did stand up, agents, pitchapalooza, Wendy Liebman (again), I wish you could have met all the women because you would have loved them, cake.”
I abbreviated a little just now. I was more descriptive when I spoke with Mountain Girl.
This is one thing I love about her: even though she heard the whole conference story, when I talk to her on Friday night, she’s going to hear it again and she will hang on every word. She knows that I am still too keyed up to be finished talking about it.
Mountain Girl tells me the most fascinating stories. Holy shit, I can spend hours hearing her history. No matter what, though, I’m going to hang on her every word as well, and not just the quirky stories. This is what we do. We know when the other person needs to be heard, even when we’ve heard it before. I feel pretty smug about our friendship.
Anyway, Mountain Girl has known me for a handful of years now and she knows that I struggle with being around people. She knew that as excited as I was about attending the Erma Bombeck conference that I was also freaking out about how many other humans would be there.
The day my conference started, I got a package in the mail. Mountain Girl sent me a tube of red Chanel lipstick. She said we all need a tube of fabulous lipstick to wear. Some red “fuck you” fabulous lipstick.
I kept her close the entire weekend. I don’t usually wear red lipstick, but I did last weekend. I wore it light because I don’t usually wear a lot of color, but I did wear it. My lipstick was my mask. It reminded me that even when I’m scared, I have people who prop me up and understand me.
Randy came to watch me perform stand up and I left my bag with him. 10 minutes before the show, I was running through my four minute set in my head.
Nick and Nora
Three out of four
Then I remembered. My lipstick. No way I could get on stage without my lipstick.
I scooted in between tables in the dark banquet room to where Randy was sitting. I dug my red Chanel lipstick out of my bag and put some on without the benefit of a mirror. One of my new friends, who was sitting with Randy, checked my teeth for me and I was on my way.
I’m not saying my red lipstick got me through my stand up, but it sure as fuck didn’t hurt.