20 June 2008

I believe this scene comes from when I was just entering the bright new world of dog agility.

Do you have a friend, maybe a friend who you like pretty much, but she has a way of saying something that is Just So Wrong and Inappropriate in many situations? And once something like that is blurted out to the world, you maybe want to crawl under the seat or maybe she does and maybe you do not hang out with her so much anymore? Like you feel she expresses herself so much better in an artistic way and should stick to interpretive dance or painting with tiny brushes or whatever it is she does all the time that makes her such a weirdo loner crazysounder when she does go out in public and tries to speak the English language with others? Maybe just stick to talking to the animals, of which she likely has loads of, like a nice doolittler, and sort of just not speak to other humans so as not to cause irritation?

Hi! I am that friend! And actually, I do not go out in public all that much anymore and spend more nights at home watching the new tv channel we got where they just repaint in a neutral color and remove excess furniture and then just watch that house sell and my days running around with dogs and riding around on horses. So I am a lot safer to have as a friend because I am a lot less likely to wrongly open my mouth at the wrong time. But not completely immune friends, so it's ok for you to keep your safe distances as long as you need to.

Usually this personality flaw comes up in contexts such as the Art Opening or the Cocktail Party or the Having Drinks at the Swanky Bar. Sometimes around people that, in my old career as Artist, before I became Former Artist, sort of mattered that you did not say weirdo things to so as not to mess up Relationships and Networking. Or really, just plain old not offending someone. Like if it was the right kind of weirdo thing you just said and you had super cute tattoos with halter top, you were a Character. But if it was the wrong kind of weirdo thing and you can't really wear vintage, you were just a weirdo. So I would usually sort of stand in the corner most of the time stirring a cocktail with the little straw until I decided it was time to bravely come out of the corner and march up to someone to use conversation and then stick my foot straight down my own ugly gullet, wearing something completely inappropriate to boot.

I used to spend quite a lot of time in Los Angeles some years back for non horse work related stuff, and as it happened some of my friends in LA were like people that were kind of glamorous and once dated people that were just in the Whitney Biennial or were in some band or maybe they used to date someone from tv or maybe they just said they used to date them. Or were their agents. Or drove them somewhere. Or got them coffee on a set once. I don't know. That's just how it is down there. Like I didn't know any Vincent Chases. Probably not any Johnny Dramas even. Maybe some Turtles.

So one night I was for some reason I don't even remember sitting in a car with a Friend of a Friend and as it often goes in LA, we had to drive somewhere far to pick up her girlfriend before we drove back up to Hollywood to have drinks with some other friends. It's like just to go get drinks always is this maze of car trips and meeting so and so here and driving around. I was getting dragged around and was likely horribly, wrongly dressed. I had one small dog, Ruby, with me and Friend of Friend had one smaller dog, let's call her Fifi with her. We were going to have drinks at a bar at a hotel where there was bright blue astroturf and weird chairs and it was no big to bring your small purse sized (ha, sorry Ruby) dog to the pool area to have your $15 cocktail in a big and unwieldy glass.

Because I was terribly uncomfortable and fish out of water with this Friend of Friend who had a lot of Important Friends I was doing nervous running off at the mouth about all the celebrities that I knew which is zero actually but included my laundry list of friends who dated nearly famous people. Trying desperately to work it into normal Industry conversation. We finally got to the girlfriend's house, who was a lovely and powerful Hollywood agent type person. And sort of mean looking. Like all Prada wearing, severe haircut looking. She gets in the car and we head to another part of town, off to the swanky bar. So she mentions a famous celebrity name, one of her clients. Not sure why. She just does and I have to rattle off how this other friend of mine, let's call her Paula, used to date her. Which is actually quite true although was sort of a messy, sordid story, which I sort of recall a teensy bit late as I am blabbing on. Am not understanding how the Hollywood lesbian clique works here and is like 1 degree of separation apparently. And behold, freezer cold silence in the car. Like not even a hum from the smooth riding Beemer driving back up towards Hollywood Blvd. Westside to eastside. Uh oh. Mouth has opened to wrong file is what I can tell has just happened in a flash, in a burst, in a no do-overs kind of way. And I am SO not dropping any names anymore so just you forget who are any of these names I am not dropping anymore. Because probably you dated her too or YOUR friend did.

So Girlfriend of Friend of Friend with The Haircut grabs her phone and calls celebrity. Just like that. Because as it turns out, Girlfriend of Friend of Friend not only is the agent or manager or something like that of famous Hollywood lesbian but ALSO used to date her and definitely knows my friend Paula because I do believe that Paula somehow was the monkey wrench that screwed up that whole thing and is maybe very Not Popular with this carload of ladies and Prada wearing lady who is now on the phone. OK. Not that I actually can tell that she is wearing Prada but I just have this feeling that it is Prada. And girlfriend passes me the phone, and tells me that Celebrity Ex-Girlfriend Now Client has a Mac at home and her printer is broken and I need to help her fix it. Now. Because the sinner in the car that just started talking about an elephant in the room is like total Mac geek digital media type and knows about the computer and damned if she isn't going to fix it for free over the phone and do a little squirming. And I'm like, "Hiiiii. Ummmmm. We need to look for some printer drivers I guess. Do you know where your control panels are?" Because that's always easy, helping a celebrity fix her printer over the celphone.

I don't remember if I actually helped her fix it or not. I do know that I was in a car with one Celebrity Ex-Girlfriend who was all stinky eyed at me over bringing up some ugly old dirt, and with a Friend of Friend who is current girlfriend of the Celebrity Ex-Girlfriend who maybe wasn't so amused by this whole soap opera story brought up inside the air conditioned BMW. And then we all had to sit at this really expensive poolside bar and Ruby wanted to attack other dogs and did not sit quietly like all the genuine purse dogs and we sat there a long, long, long time. Like a place with big white walls and columns and uncomfortable chairs and lighting bouncing off the nighttime pool water ripples. And boy did I keep my mouth shut. Maybe a couple times talked about how I am teaching my bad dog to run around the jumps and in the tunnel. Weirdo. Pretending to enjoy scenic water ripples. Until we got back in the car after a long, quiet night for a long quiet drive back to my car and I do believe that was the end of those friends.


Anonymous said...

God, Laura -- was I there at that particular event? With Karl? It is so eerily familiar... I have been to that place of the pool and dogs, and I don't know anyone else with dogs in LA, so who else could it have been? Either that or I have heard this story from you and it was so real to me that it has become a memory...


Elayne said...

I have a midwestern not so glamorous version of that tale. I was having my teeth cleaned and the hygienist asked me where I worked. When I told her she asked me if I knew 'Lydia'. I reply 'Oh yes, of course I do, she's really nice. It's a shame though she's leaving us in several months to have a baby.' The hygienist then explains that her husband, soon the be ex-husband, is leaving her for Lydia. I'm not sure if she knew about the baby or not. Here's a tip folks, do not get in the middle of a sordid love triangle while one of the participants has sharp metal tools and access to your mouth. Most painful dental cleaning ever. Though still probably not as uncomfortable as being stuck at a trendy pool party in L.A. for hours with a pair of pissed off celebrity dating power lesbians.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of much more mundane conversational faux paws, has anyone here noticed that no regular (normal) people really care to hear the details of the Standard run you would have q'd on except that your timing was off on the lead-out pivot, or you pulled your dog off that tricky 270, etc.? That even the people who are actually quite fond of you have started cutting you off mid-first-sentence of such stories? Isn't this odd? What am I doing wrong?

team small dog said...

Right, OK, see Mary? When dog agility is the new black, you will no longer be the Weirdo. Thanks Team Small Dog! But right now, unless you figure this issue out using cunning and maybe good vintage outfits, you are the Weirdo.

Anonymous said...

I like totally understand.
Hey wait a second, what's different about agility? whoops!

Anonymous said...

"Portrait of the Former Artist as a Young Woman"

Anonymous said...

Whew, and I thought Agility Twister was complicated!

Elf said...

Well, in an emergency situation, I can bring up something fascinating like "I killed an orc once, it was great," or the ever-popular "La vache rouge de ma grandmere est sur la table."

Then there was the time that my spouse and I totally managed to alienate Larry Niven (the rich and famous science fiction writer) moments before sitting right next to him in complete silence for a two-hour not-being-silent kind of show.

I think we've all done it somewhere, at least once. Maybe more than once. Just reading your story made me have flashbacks to all kinds of things like that, which I don't even remember, I just remember the feeling. Gee, thanks.


Jeffrey L. New said...

You sound like me when I drink, I always say the wrong things and put people down for no good reason. http://tinyurl.com/4xvkkk