I went out to dinner with my girls last night, and now I can’t fucking sleep, so, thanks to the waitress for dosing me with caffeine instead of giving me the caffeine-free Diet Coke I asked for. Anyway, I woke up at 3 a.m. after only two hours of sleep only to realize that I forgot to move our damn Elf on The Shelf guy (ours is named George – we’re in a Curious George phase at the moment), so I guess maybe I should actually thank the waitress for keeping me up because now my kids won’t be freaking out that the elf didn’t move. God forbid that fucking thing isn’t parasailing from the ceiling fan when those two wake up at 5 a.m. What IS it with kids and waking up at ridiculously unholy hours on weekends and vacations but then needing to be dragged out of bed by their feet on school days?
I have to admit, I dig this whole Elf thing. Whoever came up with this idea: thanks, and also, fuck you. Like I don’t have enough to do without coming up with 30 ways to pose a creepy doll? Still, there’s something really pretty fun about the whole concept, and my kids think it’s as cool as having Santa come every night for a month, so overall, pretty awesome. Now if I could just pay someone to move the damn thing every night or at least come up with new places to put him that don’t require expertise in Scenic Design, that would be freaking fantastic.
But, of course, elves don’t come with instructions, and, much like men, they’re a lot of work for short little bursts of Happy. Worth it, but also kind of a pain in the ass. Case in point, I’m having martinis with the girls a couple weeks ago, and my recently divorced partner in crime, Anna, starts telling some dating horror stories. She’s been back in the single life a little longer than I have, and she’s managed to find time for dating because her kids are only with her half the time. Every story starts the same way, “So, I met this guy…” and then we all wait expectantly, because Anna pretty much never tells us about the fantastic guys who rock her world, just the whack jobs who freak her out.
Anna: “So, I met this guy.”
Us: *Anticipatory hush*
Anna: “And his name is Mark, but all his buddies call him ‘Big Dog’ for some reason.”
Me: “This is not a good sign.”
Anna: “So, first phone conversation, he’s like, ‘You can call me ‘Big Dog’ too, everyone does.”
Me: “Nope. Not a good sign.”
Anna: “Yeah, and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s… fun,’ right? I mean, what kind of idiotic name is that? But you know, everyone’s got some little thing, so whatever.”
Friend A: “That’s not a little thing. That’s a stupid thing.”
Friend B: “Get to the good part.”
Friend C: “Another martini here!”
Anna: “You guys want to hear this shit or not?”
Me: “Proceed with the douche-baggery.”
Anna: “Ok, so we’re like, on the phone. Pre-first-date, ok? And the guy’s like, ‘Ruff ruff, Big Dog needs a bone.’”
Us: *Two beats of complete silence followed by martini-infused guffaws that turn every head within a 20-foot radius.*
Me: “I’m sorry, wait … he …. barked at you?” This is the part that stands out to me, not the lame-ass play on words he created with his nickname because anyone who goes by “Big Dog” probably didn’t come up with that crap himself.
Anna: “Yup. The man barked.”
Friend C: “Oh, fuck. I am so glad I’m married. You two girls are screwed. Where’s my martini?”
Friend B: “So did you give him a bone?”
Anna: “We were on the phone, you lush. No. Wait. It gets better.”
Me: “Not possible.”
Anna: “Shut up. So he’s like, ‘Ruff ruff, Big Dog needs a bone.’ And I have no fucking idea what to say, because there’s now no way I can go out with this moron, and so I say the first thing I think of. I go, ‘Oh, that’s funny. I think I saw that on a Big Dogs tee-shirt at the beach once.’”
Us: *More alcohol-fueled cackling.*
Anna: “And he goes, no lie, ‘Woof.’”
Us: *All laughing hysterically like monkeys on nitrous, smacking the table and wiping mascara off our faces.*
This is the shit I have to look forward to? Men barking at me before the first date? I’d rather stay home and come up with places to put George the Elf every night for a year. Even if George doesn’t come with an instruction manual, at least I’m pretty freaking sure the elf won’t bark at me. I mean, really? What the hell, people? Is this normal now? When the hell did that become ok? Crap. Now I’m going to be thinking about barking men for the next hour while I try to get back to sleep. Whatever. If it gives me nightmares, at least I know I can count on my kids to wake me up early. It’s Sunday.