Updated: September 8, 2022 … this is what it’s like being autistic, not diagnosed yet, and focused SO MUCH on hair that you don’t see what is LITERALLY in front of your face. 🙂
I learned about a new style of surprise party this past weekend …
It’s called a “SURPRISE MEMORIAL!”
I know this, because I …
… attended one.
I had a series of people (one of whom I was close to) pass away recently. I chose not to attend the memorial for her due to the overwhelming texts, calls, and “drop bys” left in her wake.
On Saturday, I went over to our friend’s house (with the same group of friends that also knew her) thinking we were attending a belated “Friendsgiving.” Little did any of us know that the host invited a Peruvian Shaman who does sound bath healings.
Fortunately, I knew, but click here if you want to learn more.
Two songs into our oohms and ahhs, she surprised us by mentioning our friend by name and said that “sometimes when people die suddenly they don’t know that they are dead and we can help them by inviting them to go ‘home’ through song.”
Already in a vulnerable state and clearly at the “anger” stage of my grief, I opened my mouth and involuntarily burst into tears … baby-sea-lion-crying on my friend’s designer shirt.
Have you heard a baby sea lion cry?
It’s not pretty.
Still a sea lion and post song/ ceremony, I looked down at my phone and noticed a text from my own shaman (aka The Modern Day Shaman):
Is cheating on your Shaman a thing? If so, I might have done it.
Like I said, I feel a lot better, I just prefer to have advance notice of a hide and seek style ceremony that forces my emotions to “come out come out wherever they are.”
Either way, speaking of someone who is also dead ….
I shared this story with everyone and quickly realized I hadn’t ever written about it.
Picture it. Los Angeles. 2004.
I lived in an apartment that cost $400 per month, with four roommates (who all had live in boyfriends). I was 19 and had just moved to LA without knowing a single soul. My very first friend was my actual roommate, J. She and I shared a bathroom and a bedroom with our two tiny twin beds.
Either way, we couldn’t help but become close quickly …
… and a few months into our friendship, she got a new job over at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills working at the pool. (She was the one I crashed the Spiderman 2 Premier with, btw.)
“Who are your favorite celebrities?” she asked one day after her training.
“I don’t know,” I said recognizing that a ton of celebrities have stayed there.
Let me rephrase, is there anyone you’d want to meet if given the opportunity?
YES!, I said without thought, and his name is Enrique Iglesias.
J the tree-hugging hippie from Colorado sans any sort of aspiration in entertainment, looked confused.
Do you not know who that is, I asked?
I then powered up my Dell desktop computer …
… and five minutes later opened up the internet explorer …
… and another five minutes later began typing in the name “Enrique Iglesias.”
OOHHH, she said. I don’t speak Spanish.
I immediately corrected her.
“His music isn’t just in Spanish, he’s part of the Latin pop culture fusion that began five years ago with Livin-La-Vida-Loca. The man can DANCE, and if he can move like that vertically, imagine what can happen horizontally.”
Do you know how many times I masturbated to this video as a teenager?
I recorded Bailamos every time it was on TRL in an attempt to view the LONGEST POSSIBLE VERSION available. I had over two hours of ONE SINGLE VIDEO and STILL didn’t have the full version because TRL notoriously cut them short.
You had ONE JOB MTV!!!
I love Latin men. Always have, always will and Enrique wasn’t just another pretty face, I learned Spanish because of him.
Well, technically speaking, I switched languages to Spanish in high school because I had already learned enough French to qualify for the France trip, and now I had my eyes set on Spain next (which I did qualify for).
I didn’t just listen to his songs in English, I was equally obsessed with how the words sounded in Spanish. I can very confidently say “No Apagues La Luz” just because I listened to this song on repeat on my CD player …
So we’re clear, if we’re ever stuck in a Spanish speaking country and need to tell someone “don’t turn off the lights” – I’ll have our backs.
Either way, J filed my crush away and months later I had all but forgotten about it.
Sometime later I received a telephone call on my Motorola t720 …
::ring ring:: sang my fancy ring tone that I paid extra for (because that’s what we had to do way back then).
“Hello,” I said to my friend whose phone number I recognized as I saw it populated on the display.
(Hello is the standard greeting when answering a phone call to someone you know or don’t know, btw.)
“He’s here,” she said.
“Who,” I asked?
“Enrique. He just checked into the pool. Come over and meet him.”
Enrique and the word come in the same sentence …
Mind you, everything J was doing was considered a HUGE no no to the hotel. They fiercely protect their guests, and as J saw first hand at the SpiderMan 2 Premier – I am not only very good at talking my way into and out of things, but I’m never an asshole in the process.
J was opening a HUGE door for me (literally) to meet the man of my masturbation dreams. This wasn’t just big, this was EVERYTHING to 19 year old Jen.
Just kidding we didn’t have hashtags back then.
I then headed over to Beverly Hills with the top down in my 2000 Chevy Cavalier Convertible (hoping that my own top would be down later).
This was my actual car.
I began blasting Limp Bizkit’s Significant Other from my CD player that I could only play in the car if I had the attached cassette port.
Blasting “Nookie” I thought about my game plan.
See, I’ve always been considered smart in terms of academic intelligence and (more importantly) how quickly I process information … but emotional intelligence and having ANY sort of clue how to even TALK to a guy at that age was kindergarten or pre-school level at best.
“Just be yourself,” I kept saying.
“What does that even mean,” I answered back to myself?
“Get out of the car,” I said back realizing I had not only arrived at the hotel but it was weird having a full blown conversation with yourself when people were looking.
I then asked where the elevator was remembering that J had given me the details from there.
“Just walk in,” she said.
It was already dark and the pool was almost empty.
She continued, “I’m the only guard at the door and I’ll just walk away to do something else.”
“Done,” I said confident to protect her employment status as much as I could.
I then walked off the elevator and into the pool area sans any sort of guard or checkin (like she promised).
When you’re crashing something, all you have to do is look like you have a deliberate purpose. I couldn’t just walk in and ask “WHERE IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE?” I had to play it cool, and first act like I belonged there.
I walked over to the lounge chairs by the pool and sat next to the only two other people there.
“Hello,” I said in an immediate attempt to make friends. “Come here often?” (I actually said this.)
“Yes,” said the mild mannered and very hair man.
“Me too,” I said with slight arrogance.
I then made five minutes of small talk with the couple who looked like they were on vacation from North Dakota. The woman didn’t say anything, but the man and I had a lovely chat. As we were speaking, I couldn’t help but stare down at his chest; it was so hairy … which I oddly found appealing.
Focus off the follicles, Friel, I thought to myself.
You came here for one thing …
… and he can run … he can hide … BUT HE CAN’T ESCAPE MY LOVE!
That’s an actual quote from this song …
I then walked over to the gym where I saw a man exposing the sexiest back I had ever seen.
In an almost hypnotic trans, I began walking over to the lat machine.
Five swaggered steps later, the man turned around and I first hand saw the face of my masturbatory dreams … mere FEET away.
Now, if you thought my 19 year old self walked up to him confessing my UNDYING, TRUE LOVE and the fact that I wanted to have all of his babies … you would be wrong.
If you thought my 19 year old self walked up to him and told him that I was a huge fan, had a big crush on him and wanted to have sex with him … you would also be wrong.
If you thought my 19 year old self completely froze like a deer in headlights at the sight of such beauty, and immediately bolted the property … you would be …
I ran out of that pool and gym area like my FEET WERE ON FIRE.
He was so hot, I didn’t know what to do with it!!!
… and yes photoshop was around back then.
I felt a tap on my shoulder as I hit the elevator button (satisfied about literally going down since there would be no other type of going down that night).
“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU TALKED TO HIM!!!” J said in a loud whisper.
Confused, I confessed, “I didn’t talk to him. I was too scared.”
“Oh yeah,” she said, “I saw you fail in front of Enrique, I’m more impressed with how you kept your cool in front of Robin Williams.”
“I MET ROBIN WILLIAMS?” I screamed loudly in shock.
“Yeah, that’s who was sitting by the pool. They left right after you got up.”
I couldn’t find the exact date on this photo, but this is what Robin and his then wife producer Marsha Garces looked like in 2004 …
I was so captivated by his hair that I didn’t pay close enough attention to his face. OF COURSE, I want to tell myself I’d recognize Robin Williams, but in that moment I COULDN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T!!!!
Alrite, alrite 33 year old Jen admits 19 year old Jen’s utterly horrific mistake …
… but one thing I’m not … is a loser.
::whispers:: and neither are you.