Ugliness [ 2005-03-05, 12:13 p.m. ]

So I had kind of a bad night last night. Like, really, really, please-donít-ever-let-my-mother-find-out-how-I-acted, BAD. And I thought for a while last night that maybe posting an entry about it would be a) funny or b) cathartic, but now I am not so sure. I am not a famous uber-blogger with thousands of readers, but the readers that I do have Ė you dear, dear people! Ė make me happy. Yes, you really do!! I like having readers and I frankly, I am afraid that if I tell you about my night last night, you will all run screaming from your computers or turn to your co-workers or roommates or significant others and say, Damn that is one crazy bitch. Or that you will send me viscous hate e-mail. And at one time, I could have convinced myself that hate e-mail was like, totally punk rock, and that I didnít give a shit about what some commenter posted or said, that if I post it, itís fair game, and that itís a pretty anonymous medium Iím working in anyway, so how bad can a bad e-mail be, etc. Oh, and that getting hate e-mail was a sign of getting famous. Well, then I got a nasty, nasty comment a few months ago, and as much as I wanted to view it as a badge of honor, it pretty much made me cry. Where was I going with all of this? Oh rightÖmy fear of the hatred that will be generated if I tell you what REALLY happened last night. Because it was BAD.

Do you think you can handle it? Will you respect me in the morning? Is your curiosity at least piqued? Yes? Yes, you say? Well then dear readers, read onÖ

First, some exposition: My husband is in business school. Before going back to school, he worked at a hedge fund. This is all just data, but what I want to point out is that in the three years he worked at the hedge fund and the one year he has been in school, I have been invited to exactly ZERO social events. Itís a sore spot with me, because I want to be included and it hurts my feelings that he doesnít want me to meet any of his work (now school) colleagues and friends. I met a few of his work friends who came to our wedding, but he was freakishly private about his work life, and didnít want me to come up to his office or meet his bosses or anything like that. His old office held one big social event a year Ė an all-day summer picnic in the Hamptons Ė which I could never attend because it would entail taking off work on a Wednesday for me. Kentís explanation is that he want to keep his private life private. Whatever. There is not much I can do to make him think otherwise, but the fact is that I have long been asking him to meet his work friends. Since starting business school, he has not introduced me to any of his friends. We had a party in December and I wanted to invite his school chums, but that somehow crossed the ďprivate life privateĒ line and we didnít invite them. I have suggested getting together for drinks on a Friday night with Kent and his school friends, but itís never happened. You get the pictureÖ

Susan, a study-group-mate of Kentís invited people over for cocktails last night. Kent told me about it over a week ago, and I was looking forward to it all week. I have been wanting to meet his friends for months. I debated over what to wear. I brought makeup to work with me for extra primping. I was looking forward to meeting everyone. (ĎEveryoneí being the seven or eight other study-group-mates of Kentís and their spouses. Baby steps.) After work I walked through Chelsea and bought a bottle of wine, headed east and eventually met Kent in front of Susanís building in lower Manhattan. We went upstairs and as her roommate opened the door and greeted us, we both saw the first sign of our own little Friday Night Apocalypse:

WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF GUESTS
WOULD PLEASE REMOVE THEIR SHOES!
the sign read.

I am not going to try and defend myself and get all, ďbut, but BUTÖĒ so let me just walk you through what happened next. But, but BUT first let me say that I have been to many apartments with the shoes-off rule. I hate it, whether itís for cultural reasons of for new-wood-floor reasons, but I have taken my shoes off in many apartments. I have gone to Open Houses looking at apartments and removed them grudgingly for real estate agents, even when my socks didnít match. My friend S and her husband have a shoes-off apartment, and I always take them off. But, but BUT, I think it is courteous to let guests know AHEAD OF TIME that they will be asked to remove their shoes. Because most guests consider shoes to be pivotal parts of their outfits, and removing shoes throws MANY MANY GLITCHES into the outfit plan. We all saw that episode of Sex and the City, right? Where Carrie shows up to a baby shower and has to take off the Blahniks. And the Blahniks get stolen. With a minimum of Ďbut, but BUTĒ self-defense, can I just implore all people to LET YOUR GUESTS KNOW IF THEY WILL HAVE TO TAKE THEIR SHOES OFF AT YOUR PARTY. Because some of the guests may have worn special super-cute pointy flats, without socks, even though it was 25 degrees outside, and those guests may have worn the flats all day at work, and then walked a long, long way in cold, blistered, un-socked feet and itís possible that those guests feet were stinky and sweaty and had not had a pedicure in months, and also that maybe there were errant toe hairs which would MORTIFY the guest if seen. Itís possible.

I spent all week looking forward to meeting Kentís friends and spent three days picking an outfit, and wore SPECIAL cute shoes, even though it meant my feet froze, and then was asked to take them off by an anonymous roommate before making it past the front door. And the idea of meeting Kentís friend in bare feet Ė bare STINKY, UGLY feet Ė was more than I could handle. I panicked. I handed the bottle of wine I had bought to Kent and said, ďNo, I do mind, I canít take off my shoes. You stay, but I wonít take off my shoes, Iím leaving.Ē

And I did. I was mortified by the thought of baring my feet and wanted to get the hell out of there before causing a scene, Kent stood there frozen (NOT offering to come with me or talk to me in the hall for a minute or anything, which INFURIATED me), and the anonymous roommate looked befuddled and offered apologies. I told Kent to stay and have fun but that I was not staying and taking off my shoes, I rounded the corner and stood by a neighbor who heard everything, and I heard voices saying that I could leave my shoes on if I wanted tooÖ

But the elevator came and my heart was pounding with adrenaline and embarrassment and I dashed in it and apologized again to the neighbor, who told me, Itís an Asian thing. I know, I said, I donít mind taking my shoes off, itís that Iím embarrassed to do it without a pedicureÖI swear Iím not a bigot or a bitch, I wanted to say.
Outside the building I took a deep breath and realized that I really, really didnít want to go home while my husband stayed at a party, and that it really, really pissed me off that he just let me leave. I called him. And got his voice mail.

I pulled on my hat and gloves and buttoned my coat and stood outside the building, and called again. And again. And for the next hour I called and shivered and quivered with both spite and cold. I was furious. Furious and COLD. Did I act like a spoiled brat by leaving? Probably, but I was EMBARASSED and I did not want to meet Kentís friends in BARE FEET. Because bare feet are kind of gross, especially at a cocktail party. If I had ONLY KNOWN ABOUT THE FUCKING NO-SHOES RULE I would have worn something different or brought cute socks with me or worn fishnets with my flats. ANYTHING. But bare feet = ICK. I know I am harping on the bare feet thing, but ICK, I DO NOT WANT TO EAT CHEESE WITH FEET AROUND ME.

But the furious partÖthat was all directed at Kent. And sort of at Susan, the hostess. But mostly at Kent, who always complains that I forget to turn on my cell phone. I was calling and calling and CALLING the motherfucker and his phone was ringing and ringing and RINGING and going to voice mail which meant that his wife bolted from a party and he went in and took off his coat and left his phone in it and didnít think that, Hey, my wife just BOLTED and maybe I should go after her or at least call to make sure everything is okay, NO I WILL JUST TAKE OFF MY SHOES AND HAVE SOME WINE AND CHEESE. You all might think me a monster for my behavior, but I swear to you that typing this part makes my eyes tear and my heart squeeze and my stomach drop because I was so, so hurt and mad that Kent didnít even think abut me and my well being, that he stayed at the party, that he didnít even try to talk to me (yes, I know I ditched him and ran for the elevator) or run after me or just tell the hosts that, Hey, just give us a minuteÖno, he stood there paralyzed and said NOTHING and let me leave, and then took off his coat and didnít once consider calling me or keeping his phone handy in case I needed him.

What I lack in generosity and decency I make up for in stubbornness and pride, so I decided to wait him out. I stationed myself outside the building and figured, He canít stay THAT long, because why would he? He canít stay THAT long, because his wife just left in a huffÖhe canít stay THAT longÖsooner or later he will come out, or call me. He will.

He didnít.

And I would have waited and waited and waited the whole fucking night on that street, but it was COLD. And I was not wearing socks, and I was shaking and my hands were killing me with the cold and my stupid, stupid feet were freezing. So after about an hour outside (He canít stay THAT long, any minute heíll come out or call meÖ) I went back up.

This is where it gets bad. Yes, it gets worse. You thought I was bad before, but it getís SO, SO MUCH WORSE. If you still kinda like me but are wondering whether or not I am a decent person, then just stop reading this right now and go check out what bloggers might have gotten pregnant in the last 5 minutes because the whole damn Internet is having babies.

Now for the bad part:

I went back up to the apartment, which when Kent and I arrived earlier, had been open. Now the door was locked and I could hear voices inside. I knocked on the door and waited. Nothing happened, no one came. I knocked again. Nothing. I POUNDED on the door, and I hear someone laugh and say, Oh that must be Shannon. The door opened and someone I had never seen before greeted me. Can you get Kent, please, I asked. She looked at me and then said, Oh, you must be MollyÖ

Yeah, can you get Kent? Then he came around the corner, laughing and holding a glass of red wine and in stupid SOCKS, and that is when I lost my shit. I lost it. Seriously, I saw red, I saw white, I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT, and I threw a fit right there, in the hallway of some random apartment building, with Kentís schoolmates in the next room.

CAN YOU JUST GET YOUR SHOES SO WE CAN LEAVE IíVE BEEN OUTSIDE CALLING YOU AND FREEZING MY ASS OFF FOR AN HOUR AND I CANíT BELIEVE YOU LET ME LEAVE AND YOU DIDNíT CALL AND IíVE BEEN OUTSIDE FOR AN HOUR WAITING FOR YOU.

And deep down inside I am scared that Kent doesnít really know me or understand me or have any idea how to talk to me or handle me, because he just stood there and didnít know what to say or do. What I wanted was for him to say, Hey Sweetie, Iím so glad youíre here, letís leave. What I REALLY wanted was for him to have come after me when I left and told me the shoe rule was dumb and that he was going to go back up and apologize for me and then take me to dinner. But that didnít happen, and then he walked around the corner with a glass of wine and his stupid socks on, and he didnít look happy to see me, he looked scared of what he thought I might do. He looked embarrassed of me. And I was cold and tired and hurt and mad and hungry and I freaked out, and what makes me the most upset is that even now, with things more or less fixed, I am still scared that he doesnít know how to handle me, and that he instinct is to panic and bolt and try to get me off stage, that he doesnít know what I wanted to hear and was more concerned with what his friends thought that what I felt, and that he canít handle a challenging social situation. But, but BUT, it was my fault. Yes. But, but BUT, I want a husband who will defend me and stand up for me and stay with me.

Sweetie can we talk about this in the hall come on come into the hall sweetie stop yelling just come into the hall

NO WE CAN TALK ABOUT THIS WHEREVER I WANT I DONíT CARE ABOUT THESE FUCKING PEOPLE AND WHAT THEY THINK YOU LET ME LEAVE AND YOU DIDNíT COME AFTER ME AND YOU DIDNíT CALL AND IíVE BEEN FREEZING

Iím sorry Iím sorry Iím sorry please be quiet Iím sorry stop yelling okay okay please be quiet

Heaving, sobbingÖ

HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME HOW COULD YOU DO THAT I CANíT BELIEVE YOU DID THAT TO ME, I CANíT BELIEVE IT I DONíT CARE WHAT THOSE FUCKIN PEOPLE THINK DONíT YOU DARE APOLOGIZE TO THEM FOR ME DONíT YOU DARE

Okay okay okay let me get my shoes okay, itís okay just be quiet

Kent went back to the apartment to get his shoes. The door was locked and he knocked on it.

YOU HAVE TO POUND, THEY DONíT COME OTHERWISE

I pounded on the door. Some asshole brought Kentís jacket to him. I wanted to punch him in the face.

Iím sorry guys, Iíve got to goÖ

DONíT APOLOGIZE TO THEM FOR ME, DONíT APOLOGIZE FOR ME, GET YOUR FUCKING SHOES FROM THESE FUCKING PEOPLE I CANíT BELIEVE YOU LEFT ME OUTSIDE FOR AN HOUR

Okay okay okay letís just go

Heaving, sobbing. Yelling. Taxi home, more yelling. Horrible, horrible yelling. Him, furious with me for embarrassing me in front of his friends, me furious at him for choosing some fucking acquaintances over his wife. Fury. Pain. More yelling.

So Iím some kind of bitch, right?

My glamorous fucking New York life. Welcome to it.

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