Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dear Dude from my Corner Bar,

Dear Dude from my Corner Bar,

I guess you didn't recognize me yesterday. When you looked me up and down, fixed your eyes on my right ankle, and made a loud, disgusted noise akin to hawking a loogie, while grunting "Miiiiiichigan, ugh," you must have been too distracted to remember that you've spoken to me before. You still didn't catch on when you stumbled past me, and continued to talk about "all of us getting butterfly tattoos, that'll be cool." Your buddy certainly thought you were hilarious.

I know you from our neighborhood bar. I've never particularly liked you, but where I thought seeing you on the street called for a friendly, casual nod, you went with the more original approach of loudly insulting me. I was just walking the neighborhood, killing time before my exercise class. I guess you were leaving the other neighborhood bar. Maybe you were just drunk.

So you don't like my tattoo? Cool. I know it's not edgy enough for you. It's certainly no full sleeve geisha or coy fish. In no way is it awesome like a mustache on the outside of my index finger. It's just a little 1" by 1" block M. But here's the thing: I didn't get it for you. I've dealt with people like you before. You look at me, in my exercise gear, and make assumptions about me, and why I have this block M forever.

I must really love my sorority sisters from Michigan, and getting wasted before football games. Delta Delta Delta, fo life. I must have driven my parent-provided SUV around campus and tromped through the snow in Hunter boots. That's definitely me.

Except it's not. Obviously my calves are too big for Hunter boots. And more power to any of my fellow alums have the block M just because (because do what you want, and Michigan tradition is fun and intoxicating). But to me, it's a lot more than that. I love my M because it reminds me of the scariest thing I ever did. I moved across the country, away from the friends I had for my entire childhood, to a school where I knew no one and had nothing in common with anyone I met. If you're wondering, I paid for this myself, in scholarships and financial aid. I walked onto the rowing team and won 2 Big Ten championships. I competed in the Grand Finals at National Championships. I figured out how to be me alone.

 I say this not to brag, or pretend that I'm better than you (though I'm sure that's how you'll take this), but to explain to you that something seeming so cliché and generic to you, actually means a lot to me. I left California as an extremely insecure, emotionally unstable person. And my first year there was fucking terrible. I cried every night. I didn't have many friends. But I figured it out, and I came back a different person.

So, when you walked by me and straight up insulted me and something that means a lot to me, I didn't cry or feel bad about myself, like I would have before I did all of this. I looked at you, felt sorry for you and for how negative the insides of your bald head must be, and I laughed. Then, I went and had an amazing work-out, fueled in large part by imagining that with every squat I was resting my sweaty bum on your bald head.

So, Dude, the next time I see you in my bar I'll be sure to be extra nice to you. Maybe I'll even buy you a drink. Maybe if you drink enough, someone can convince you to head down to the tattoo parlor to get a butterfly tattoo on your lower back. Because that'd be ironic enough to be awesome, right dude?


Un-original Biscuit

1 comment:

  1. I'm proud of you little Biscuit....2001-2 was a scary time, but you did it! And you met the turtles, who are in your life forever. xoxoxoxoxoxox