After reflecting upon my Valentine’s Day debacle last week, I came to two major conclusions. First, I was in no mental state for dating, especially on major Hallmark holidays. Luckily, the next holiday was President’s Day, a holiday that I would spend entirely focused on toasting whichever President was in office when the Twenty-First Amendment repealed that pesky Eighteenth Amendment that had been responsible for mandating Prohibition. Whoever thought that Prohibition was a good idea should be forced to drink an entire bottle of Jack Daniels through their eye sockets.
Second, I concluded that I needed to schedule an emergency appointment with my shrink. I dialed my dear Dr. Zellner and for once I didn’t get her answering machine.
“Hi Dr. Zellner, it’s Bacchus G. I’m not scheduled to come in until March 31st, but I’m having some…issues. Could you maybe get me in, ummm, today?”
“Bacchus, I haven’t seen you in over a year.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yes. I’m looking at your file right now.” she confirmed.
Oh my God, I really was losing my mind. Of course there had always been tell-tale signs, but I swore I had just seen her two weeks ago. I started to panic. I wasn’t ready for a 10-day observation period in Bellevue and those horrendous sea-foam green gowns did not go with my fair complexion.
“But I just had an appointment a few weeks ago and you’re in my calendar for Tuesday, March 31st at 6:15pm!” I was on the verge of hyperventilation now.
“Bacchus, this is Dr. Abbott.”
“Ohhh. Dr. Abbott.” A long, awkward silence followed.
“Did you get a new doctor then?”
“Yes, yes I did.” I replied with pure discomfiture.
“Good, I’m really glad to hear that.” she genuinely replied before she hung up the phone.
Was I such a head case that my ex-shrink (who I dumped for a better, more-generous-with-prescriptions shrink) was truly glad that I was still under some sort of psychological care, even if it wasn’t with her and her $175 per hour rate? There was only one person I could turn to in this situation. I immediately dialed Mena Prance, my dear friend and the only person I know that is crazier than me.
“Do I ever have a story for you!” she answered the phone.
“Hi Mena. I’m doing well, thank you for asking. Small talk aside, I need you to immediately reassure me that you are more of a lunatic than I am.” I requested.
Mena was not only the craziest person I knew, but also one of the people I respected most. I went to college in Ohio with her and by the end of freshman orientation she had decided that after graduation she would head to New York and never look back. And that was exactly what she did. Ohio was not a place for the Mena Prance’s of the world. Hell, she was more of a New Yorker than Guiliani.
Some of the other reasons I loved Mena so much was that she loved to push the envelope, didn’t care what other people thought, and was willing to take a risk. If she woke up in the morning and needed something new in her life, she would dye her hair red or get a pixie cut. And if it didn’t look good (which rarely happened) she would shrug it off and say “Its just hair. It’ll grow back.” Its unfortunate Britney Spears hadn’t taken such an approach—she could have completely avoided the whole hair plugging-pink wig fiasco.
Mena’s carefree, egocentric attitude bled into her love life as well. She loved a challenge and never had any regrets. I could always count on her to make me feel saner and more virginal than I actually was.
“So even though you ditched me on Valentine’s Day,” Mena began. “I still proceeded with our original plan to go to Mad River and pick up men who were there to prey on sad, sulking, single girls. I ended up meeting this James Franco look-a-like who worked for Morgan Stanley and lived two blocks away on 83rd & Lex. Perfect, right?”
“Couldn’t be more perfect.” I dutifully replied.
“So we ended up back at his place and had a great time. When I woke up in the morning, he had already left for work. And I guess between all of those Irish Car Bombs and Bud Lights, I had forgotten his name. Not that it really mattered anyway.”
“Right. I mean its not like you need to know the identities of your sexual partners or anything.” I sarcastically retorted.
“Exactly!” she agreed. “I think you’re the only one who agrees with me on that.”
“Anyways, I was getting ready to leave and I noticed a stack of birthday cards on his nightstand. So I went to peek through a few of them to find out his name, just in case I would ever need it.” she continued.
“I started opening a few of them and it turned out they weren’t birthday cards—they were @#%$ing engagement cards! Can you believe this bastard?”
“Well yes, Mena, I actually can believe this bastard. I can believe many bastards exist, in fact. Do we need to reflect upon my recent single status?” I asked.
I wanted to keep my question rhetorical due to the fact that my incessant single status reflections had only led me to pranking my ex-psychiatrist, so I quickly asked, “So what did you do after you read all of these engagement cards?”
“I left my underwear at the foot of the bed, tangled in the sheets. His fiancé will find them when she makes the bed—God knows he would never do it.”
“You’re right. The only men I know who make their own beds are gay. At least you were thoughtful enough to leave your underwear. Now this poor girl can find out what kind of guy she’s really dealing with.” I concluded.
“Straight men will never learn.” she sighed.