November 27, 2009

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Drag Queens....

Sometimes my life revolves around a certain theme for a little while. This theme could last for a week, a month or years. Right now, I have an interesting one.... drag queens/female impersonators.

Every which way I turn, I am pulled deeper into this culture. I am not complaining by any means, as it is a fascinating experience. Here are the following ways that these lovely ladies have been put in my life and what I have learned from them...

1) Presentation is everything!

I just finished reading a murder mystery novel called, 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.' You probably have heard of it because it was on the NYTimes bestseller list for four years. If you are like me and lived under a rock for these four years, it takes place in Savannah, GA. Based off of true events, it showcases the Savannah culture and the self-made bubble that the citizens live in. One of the main characters is a black drag queen named Chablis, who performs nightly at a local bar. Chablis taught me that I need to honor my outward appearance more. In fact...true story.... I have painted my fingernails twice now in the last two weeks just because of her. Chablis makes me wish that I was more of a Southern belle. I really need to start walking around in bedazzled evening gowns, purring and calling people, 'Honey Child' and 'Sugar.' And drinking wine. Lots of it.

2) Confidence is key!!

Last weekend the husband and I watched a documentary called, 'Pagent.' It was about the annual Miss Gay America Pageant.  Before the movie, I had no idea that one existed, let alone that it has been around for 35 years. Watching this movie was incredibly inspiring because these ladies showed such confidence. I mean...really....I get down if I think my jeans are too tight. I can't even imagine what I would feel like if I had the body of a linebacker and I had to squeeze into a cocktail dress. But those ladies did it, and did it well. Made me feel like a baby for thinking I have cankles.

3) Have attitude!

Tuesday night, the Husband and I went to a local DC sports bar for drag queen bingo. Um yeah...drag queen, bingo and beer.... We were hooked. The two MC's were fierce ladies and they did not have a filter at all. The bar was packed and you had to elbow your way around the place. Despite the crowds, the moment the Husband and I walked in, they spotted him and called him to the stage/front. They asked him his name, his sexual orientation and then asked him to take off his shirt! The Husband being the great man that he is, laughed with the ladies, but declined to strip for them, much to their disappointment :)

Throughout the rest of the night, they claimed the Husband as their boyfriend, called him to the stage again for a beer chugging contest (which he won), and kept cat-calling him all night. It was a fantastic night and we laughed so hard the whole time. The only downside is that we didn't win the quesadilla maker. The Husband had his eye on it. I am sure he could have sweet talked his way into owning it.

The Ladies at Drag Queen bingo were not afraid to say it like they saw it. I think (actually I know) that I am way too timid and afraid to let me personality show through in social settings, but I need to take a few pointers from the lovely ladies at Nellies and be fierce!

If I run into any more drag queens, I will be sure to let you know and I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday!!

Just so you all know....I bake the most fabulous pecan pie in the entire world. And happily I found out yesterday that I also bake the world's best apple pie. Some people have all the luck :)

November 21, 2009

Airing Your Dirty Laundry...

Somewhere somehow in the last few years I became an adult. One could argue that it was when I went to college, maybe traveled to Africa or moved with my boyfriend across the country to survive on my own. All are very big moments, and could have been a part of it, but honestly... I think that it could have been when I started doing my own laundry.

Now this isn't to say that I didn't do my laundry when I lived under my parent's roof, but there is something inherently different about doing laundry in a public place surrounded by complete strangers. Something oddly personal, embarassing and humbling. For six years, I have washed my clothes pubicly in dorms, apartments or in buckets in Africa. I have not had the pleasure of an in-home washer and dryer for that long. Fingers crossed that within a year I might have the opportunity to sort my whites and darks without creepy men learing at my towels (as long as fingers are crossed...a dishwasher as well).

With six years of public washing under my belt, I have learned quite a bit, and I thought that I would share....

1) If you are freshman in a dorm and you leave your laundry unattended for ten minutes after the washer or dryer has stopped, be prepared for all your undies and bras to go missing. It is a guarantee that a pervert will steal them at least once during your dorm stay. Actually, if you live in an apartment building...this will happen as well.

2) It's totally okay not to sort your darks from your whites. As long as there are no reds, no big deal. Be prepared though for all your whites to slowly turn gray.

3) After not sorting your darks from your whites for years, be crazy for once, buy a little bleach and add a bit to your whites. Your mind will be blown.

4) Be prepared to battle it out for washers or dryers. Throw a pair of pants in quickly in the dryer to claim it before other people can grab it.

5) You will hate people who do #4

6) NEVER got in between a woman and her claimed washer/dryer. It is like getting in-between a bear and her cub.

7) Always check twice for socks sticking to sides of washers or dryers. Yesterday I got over a dozen dress socks and a man's shirt because the guy before me did not check. I am pretty sure I threw away his entire sock collection.

8 ) Be prepared for laundry prices to rise at any time. When I started out doing public laundry six years ago, it was $1.00 for the washer and $1.25 for the dryer. Inflation has now made costs raise to $1.75 each wash and $1.75 for a dry.

9) If you dry your clothes on the highest setting on the dryer, they will shrink. If you don't ... your clothes will be damp. Decide which matters more...too tight of pants, or slightly wet pants all day.

10) If you are traveling somewhere where you are going to be doing laundry out of a bucket with dirty stream water, bring enough pairs of undies for the entire stay. I went to Africa for 3 months and brought 90 pairs of undies. Worth every penny.

11) There will ALWAYS be a creepy man hanging out in the laundry room corner. This is a scientific fact. He will watch you way too closely as you fold clothes.

12) Never buy white towels. You will regret this decision. Somethings are better left unknown.

When I was a kid, I never dreamed that being an adult and maturity would be a result of the above lessons, but here I am at age 23 and as you can see.... I am wise beyond my years due to airing my dirty laundry in public.

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