My Work It Out Labor Day Weekend
It’s Friday night and I decide to stay at work late because I have to pick my girl Ruby up from the train station. It has been more than two years since I saw her. The last time I laid eyes on her it was a tearful goodbye in Gainesville as I handed her her extra set of car keys and she sped away to her new life in Atlanta.
Ofcourse we kept in touch through the magic of the internet and her blog but this was different…I was about to see my girl in person and I knew I’d have one helluva weekend.
I found the Amtrak station easily enough and I hung out across the street at the bookstore until an old man decided to follow me around. I quickly ran across the street and sat inside the station on a hard wooden bench trying to keep from nodding off. Twenty minutes later, the station manager announced that her train had arrived.
I stood up in plain view of the exiting passengers a smile already forming on my expectant face. When I feel someone standing too close to me I look up and it’s the old man from the bookstore with a crumpled piece of paper in his hand. He extended his hand to me and I saw that he had written his name on it. “I hope you call me,” he said and grinned. I shook my head and dropped the paper in my bag. Before he could continue the conversation I looked up and there she was.
I couldn’t contain myself. I did a happy dance by clapping my hands and stomping my foot and I hugged my friend and cried. ~smile~ I missed her ugly behind so much!
We both did little twirls so we could assess how much we had both changed. Ruby’s booty was a little smaller but otherwise she looked the same. Her hair was short and curly similar to the style Eva the Diva wears. “I love your hair Ruby!” I told her. She grinned. “It’s my new style. The hairdresser set it on tiny rollers just like you get when you’re getting a curly perm.”
“Where’s Donald?” I asked her, eager to meet the love of her life.
“He’s right there,” she said and my eyes scanned the room for him and rested on this hunk of a tenderoni standing near the baggage claim.
“Is that him?” I asked, my mouth salivating. “He’s fine girl!”
“I know. That’s my man.”
Donald walks over and gives me a big hug. He has this Hawaiian look to him and he’s built like a small football player with wide shoulders and straight hair. I hear he’s part Native American. From the moment he hugged me, I knew we would become friends.
We hop into my car and roll out to dinner at TGI Fridays. Ruby notices her phone is dead and she ‘s a little disturbed that she can’t retrieve her friends numbers from her phone to call them to meet us at Fridays.
“I know,” she says. “Tee, let me use your phone. Maggie called me and left her number on my voicemail so I can call her back and let her call the rest of the girls.”
When we reach Friday’s on Peachtree I am a little perturbed. When did they start valet parking at Fridays? I hand over my keys to the valet and we walk in and are seated outside on the patio within minutes.
We ask for just one extra seat because Ruby is only expecting Maggie to show but when she spots Maggie in the parking lot, a woman calls out her name. Ruby squeals, “Ron!”
Both women make their way to our table and I introduce myself to them. It turns out Ron is a Gator grad too and I recognize her from the millions of pics that Ruby has of the two of them. She sits next to me and smiles. “I’ve read your blog,” she says. I cringe. Oh shit…
As we eat and fellowship I decide I like Ron. She has long dark hair that cascades down her back and a cute personality to match. She’s one of those nice girls who seems to get everything she wants and knows she’s hot. She tells me she’s almost done with grad school and just bought a house. Yes! She’s a winner. I’m sure we’ll be friends. I have to surround myself with upwardly mobile people and the fact that she’s a Gator grad and a 24 year old homeowner, speaks highly of her.
Ruby’s friend Monique shows up too. She wears a huge grin that is a genuine indication of the happiness in her life. I like that. No pretenders here. Monique just closed on her home as well. “It’s just a 3 bedroom 2 bath townhouse. Nothing too big until I get married girl,” she coos and grins. These women are FIRE!
We sit and munch and decide that we will go home and freshen up before we hit the club. Ruby drives us back to my place and I show them their room with the leftover Hello Kitty bedsheets from Tamara’s daughter. They both laugh as they unpack. An hour later we’re ready to go. We head to midtown and this spot called 1150. They tell us it’s $15 to get in and we turn our black asses right around. We march up and down the strip and none of the clubs there satisfy us. A crackhead spots our crew and calls us by celebrity names. Maggie was Rickie Lake and I was Grace Jones. LOL!
We hop back into the car and ride over to a spot called Halo. Once inside I look around and notice that there aren’t too many of ‘us’ there. Ron immediately heads to the bar and orders drinks for all of us. We sit and sip and take pictures but I’m not really feeling the music so I just sit and watch all of the white people stand around and talk.
After a couple of rounds of drinks Ruby is ready to go. We hug goodbye and head out for a bite to eat. Ruby is dissappointed as we drive from spot to spot. All of her favorite restaurants are closed. We finally make it to the Landmark, a 24 hour diner and I order fried fish and grits. Yummy!
By the time we make it home it’s nearly 5am. We all flop into the bed and get some rest.
We wake up the next day and get dressed to go out. We stop by Ruby’s friend Kay’s house in Buckhead to pick her up and I realize that Kay is also a Gator grad, one of the smartest, most sassy chicks I know. She’s working on her PhD and a full time employee of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Ruby takes the wheel and takes us to Chipotle. I still don’t know how to pronounce that word but it doesn’t matter because my fajita wrap is off the heezy and I finish my food first.
Ruby’s next stop is a little shop in Buckhead where she says we will all get our eyebrows threaded. Threaded? What does that mean?
I sit down in the chair and the Asian woman steps up beside me with a piece of string in her hand as if she’s about to strangle me with it. I sit straight up. Hollup!
“Is it gonna hurt?”I ask her.
“A little,” she admits.
“No thanks,” I tell her. “Just wax me. And get my chin too.” I’m so tired of all this damn facial hair.
I feel the warmth of the wax on my forhead and I relax. But soon I feel a pinch. Almost like someone is snapping a rubberband on my eyebrows. I take a peek and see the lady with the thread, going to work on my eyebrows. I sit quietly and allow her to finish. When she’s done I inspect her work. Hmm…pretty nice. How did she do that with some thread?
A quick stop at Target to pick up some hair dye and we’re almost done. I wanted to buy more foundation because I’m all out but I can’t seem to find a spot that sells my brand; Iman- Clay 2.
“Why don’t we all just chill at your house and play some cards tonight,” Ruby suggests. “We can buy some food and I’ll cook and we can drink too. I’ll call my girls and invite them over.”
True! I call Tamara to invite her and her fiance and she says she’s game. When we hang up I say to Ruby, “Now if Tamara invites us to HER house, that would be so much better. Her house is so tight!”
Before I even finish my sentence my cell rings and it’s Tamara. I smile at Ruby and the crew in the backseat. That’s my girl!
“Tee, why don’t you and your friends come to our house tonight instead.”
“What a great idea, Tamara. I should have thought of that!” LOL!
We ride out to Stone Mountain to attend the wedding rehearsal dinner for Tamar, Ruby’s friend. Tamar’s wedding is the reason Ruby’s in town. Tamar is a Gator grad too so I smile warmly and congralulate her on her wedding which is only a day away.
I’m sitting casually in the clubhouse nibbling on some chocolate cake while the men are outside playing basketball. Three men who turn out to be groomsmen walk in wearing shorts and tees and fix themselves plates and chat with me. I’m having a grand ol time flirting when I hear Kay bust through the door and call my name.
“Tee! Girl, we’re all outside. I didn’t want to leave you here by yourself.”
I look at the men that surround me and think, “Girl, get your ass outta here!” But I smile and walk away. Good move. Keep them wanting more.
By 10pm we know we have to get going. Ruby calls all of her friends and invites them to Tamara’s house but no one seems particularly interested. It’s okay. As long as Ruby’s there, I know we’ll have a good time.
We hit the grocery store and then home to change clothes before we ride out once again all the way to Fairburn to go to Tamara’s house.
As soon as we hit the door, I give Tamara’s fiance a hug and we invade the quiet of their home. The tenderoni Byron is there too. We pull out our liquid party and showcase our choices. I had picked up a 12 pack of Heineken because I know Byron likes to drink beer. Ruby had chosen a nice white wine and Ruby’s boyfriend had purchased a bottle of Bacardi.
Tamara’s fiance dissappears and returns with his favorite purple bag of Crown Royal. He pulls out the gallon of liquor and lines up shot glasses on the kitchen table.
“Let’s toast,” he says as we all raise our shot glasses. He had poured Tamara a shot glass filled with Sprite so she could participate although even though she is pregnant.
“I’ll do it!” I squeal and announce, “May the blessings of Christ overtake us all.”
There is an eery silence. No one wants to drink to that.
“Why not?” I ask them all. “We’re not hurting anyone. No one is driving. God wants us to have a good time tonight.”
“Oh, ok,” they all agree reluctantly and we empty our glasses.
“One more!” AJ, Tamara’s fiance announces.
The smell of Ruby’s fried chicken invades our nostrils. “Hurry up and cook!”I tell her.
Before long she brings me a single fried chicken wing. It looks funny but I’m so hungry I eat it anyway.
We all head downstairs to play pool and relax. I hate playing pool so I take a seat and watch them. The music is blasting, we’re all feeling lovely and AJ brings out a playing deck with pornographic pictures on them.
Ruby and Donald sit down to play spades against Tamara and AJ while Byron in a drunken stupor decides to try to molest me in front of everyone. I’m so gone that I can barely fight him off. Instead I calmy remind him in a whisper. “You’re disrespecting me. Chill out Byron. This is not going to happen.”
He gives up and tries again 10 minutes later. He finally gives up and goes upstairs to bed.
Aj goes up to check on him and comes back downstairs laughing. “I think Byron threw up all over the bathroom. There’s throw up on the floor, on the toilet and everywhere!”
Ewww. We all laugh and continue to mingle.
Through the madness I manage to sneak upstairs to the guest room I occupy when I sleep over. I remove my earrings and clothes and snuggle into the big canopy bed.
“WAKE UP!” I awake to a screech. I open my eyes and Ruby and Tamara are standing over me.
“GET YO ASS UP!” they yell at me.
“I’m sleepy,” I whine.
“So!” Tamara says. “If I’m up you have to be up too. Now put your clothes back on and come downstairs.”
I frown and sit up. I hate them.
I head back downstairs and we all sit down on the patio and talk and talk into the night. At some point I remember getting permission from Tamara to go to bed and I fly upstairs back to the coziness of my room.
When I wake up the whole house is quiet. I creep downstairs and start cleaning up. Taysia, Tamara’s 4 year old daughter wakes up and I invite her to keep me company while I clean.
When I’m almost done I run down to the guest bedroom in the basement and wake Ruby and Donald up. “Get up! We have to get going so I can die my hair before we go to the wedding.”
Ruby dresses quickly and passes out again on the leather couches in the living room. “I have a hangover dawg,” she tells me.
“That’s okay,”I tell her. “I’ll drive. I feel fine.”
We drive back to my house and I drop them off. If I’m going to the wedding I need new shoes. I call Tamara to ask her for directions to the mall and I head over there. I see a dress that I fall in love with. It’s a weird pattern of bright colors and I love bright colors.
Damn. Now I need shoes. On to Wild Pair for the perfect pair of gold stiletto’s. Damn. Now I need a purse to match. I call Ruby to ask if she has a purse for me to borrow. She doesn’t. So I pick up a purse and some earrings from Claire to set my outfit off.
I’m eager to hear what Ruby will say about my outfit. She’s the fashionista. I am NOT a shopper. I hate to shop and what’s worse is I feel guilty about buying clothes when I’m supposed to be saving every penny but…it’s been a long time since I bought something for myself so I convince myself it’s okay.
When I get back to my place Ruby and Donald are still sleeping.
“WAKE UP!” I scream and pound on their door. “Get up! Let’s kick it before the wedding.”
They both grumble and I leave the room to die my hair red.
We kick it for a minute and then get dressed for the wedding. Ruby is wearing a black dress with small white polka dots. Her dress looks like it is straight off of an episode of Sex and the City.
When we arrive at the wedding the procession hasnt started yet and we’re glad. It’s an outside wedding at the Vecoma at the Yellow River and the chairs are arranged neatly in rows just like out of a magazine. There are about a hundred people in attendance.
I spy Ms. Suezette Everlasting sitting next to Ron and I give her a big hug. Even though she’s a Gator grad, I had never met her on campus. I didn’t get to meet a lot of people because once I had my kids I pretty much dropped out of the social scene.
I sit next to Kay and she has her cousin sitting next to her.
“I know you!” I squeal at the woman. She smiles faintly.
“That’s my cousin Danielle. She says she knows you from middle school,” Kay says.
I give Danielle a hug and we catch up on the last 13 or so years.
The wedding was amazing. The ceremony was short and to the point. The bridesmaids dresses were the most beautiful I have ever seen. They were a caramel color. Immediately after the ceremony we all walked up to the club house for drinks on the patio and then into the main room for dinner.
The food was off the heezy and the wedding cake was so good I had two pieces. We all drank and laughed and danced. Even the DJ was good! I’ll admit I went to the middle of the floor for the bouquet toss but I wasn’t trying to catch it. And that’s real.
“Tee,” Ruby whispers into my ear. “Suezette got us on the guest list for a club called ONE in midtown. It’s gonna be nice. You’ll love it friend.”
We all ride out to ONE in midtown and ofcourse as is typical in Atlanta, the club has valet parking. We take a look at the long line and Suezette marches right to the front and speaks to the promoter. I have no idea what she’s talking about so I wait patiently. They go back and forth and I hear he words, ‘table’, ‘bottles’ and ‘VIP’.
We walk in a few minutes later and Ruby tells me we bought a table in VIP.
~shaking my thang~
Of all the partying I did in Miami, I have never been in VIP before.
VIP at Club ONE turns out to mean that there is no wait in line and we get to sit down on plush seats while everyone else has to stand.
Our first bottle hits the table and we drink up. Wine bottles start to flow and before I know it I announce, “Now let’s go dance with these down low brothas!”
We hit the dance floor and after only one song the Dj changed his set to…ughhh…reggae. I lowered my head and left the dance floor. Ya’ll know I can’t dance to reggae music.
I spend the rest of the night at the table talking to Suezette and taking short naps. Suezette is just the way I expected her to be, cool as hell. She’s taking pictures all night long in true journalistic fashion. I love it! Ruby says to me, “These pics are gonna be all over facebook by tomorrow.”
I wanna mingle but…I just can’t shake the creeps I am getting about the men here. I have honestly never seen so many gay men in my life. Ok, granted this weekend was gay pride weekend, but they were out in droves and I can’t deny it man…I’m afraid.
At one point Ron, Suezette and I are sitting at the table when Suezette says it is her turn to buy a round of drinks. “Ya’ll want shots of patron?” she asks us.
“Yeah!” We all cheer.
She whispers to the waitress and frowns. “The shots are $14 a piece,” she says sadly. We all frown.
“So?” Ron says. “I don’t want anything else if I can’t have patron.”
Suezette looks at her as if to say, “Bitch you crazy!”
Ron responds quickly in fabulous girl fashion, “Girl, what the hell you mean? BALL OUT BITCH! BALL OUT! That ain’t shit! Buy them drinks!”
Suezette just laughed and waved the waitress away.
I wouldn’t have bought them either. At least not on my current budget. ~smile~
We end the night with all smiles and we head to the Waffle House to fill our bellies before we go home. The clock reads 5:32 am as we pull up to my place.
Ruby and Donald have to be at the train station by 8am. We all lie down for a quick nap. When Ruby wakes me I pull on my slippers and hop into the car. I notice that it’s 8:30 am. Donald is on the phone with the train station asking them to hold the train.
When we get there we rush in and find that the train is late. ~phew~
I wave goodbye to Ruby and head back to my car.
The ride home is quiet as I reflect on my weekend. It’s not over yet. It’s Labor Day and my goal is to get in touch with Yolanda to finally meet her. I call her and leave a message. My voice is almost gone due to the excessive partying that I had been doing but she calls me back anyway and laughs at me.
She extends an invitation to come to her family barbecue and I take a nap before I head over there.
When I get there her 17 year old daughter greets me. Wow. She’s very pretty. I meet her sons and her other daughter and the famous HH greets me shyly. I produce my contribution to the barbecue; a six pack of Corona and everyone looks at me strangely. I laugh.
“This is a non alcholic house,” her witty daughter tells me with a smile.
I thought we would be outside in the heat so I wore my little jean shorts and a tank top but Yolanda says there are too many mosquitoes to be outside. All of a sudden I feel underdressed. LOL!
At this point I realize that I must look like an out of towner with my bright red hair, short shorts and heels. I realized that we show a lot of skin in Miami because it’s so hot and people here dress a lot more conservatively. Oops…I’ll get it together. I hope I didn’t offend anyone.
I grub on turkey burgers that taste like heaven and we all sit down to watch a great movie and half of Chris Rock’s ‘Neva Scared’ comedy show. Tamara calls me and tells me she’s in Decatur and to stop by the house party where she is. I pack up the Corona’s and give Yolanda a hug goodbye.
It turns out that Tamara’s house party is just down the street and I find it easily. I smile as I walk up to the door, beer in hand. Another Black family with a beautiul home. I’m loving Atlanta more and more each day. I say hello to everyone and put my beer on the counter. A quick glance tells me that everyone had been drinking Corona’s as they watched the game. I knew they wouldn’t go to waste.
We all hang out and I watch them play spades until around 9pm. I follow Tamara and AJ back to their house and we sit on the patio and sit wine until about 1 am.
The next day I feel fine and even manage to make it in to work on time.
I’m a soldier. I thought I told ya.
Thanks for your patience guys. I’m back on track with the blogging now… I can’t wait to tell you all the exciting things that have been happening at the magazine.
See Ya Later!