Friday afternoon I got a text from Matilda. Some of you will remember Matilda (she’s the one that showed up drunk to my son’s birthday one year or who stopped by my blog one day when I wrote about the problems with my oldest son to tell me how I just need to deal with it and I am plagued with “made up diseases”) It’s a love hate relationship. I love her, she hates everyone.
Basically, she’s someone whom I used to consider a friend. Someone who I care about immensely but find it is a waste to invest anything emotionally with. If, I had the slightest hint that it mattered to her, I might feel bad about saying what I’m saying, but the truth is….she’s said enough about me when I least expected it for me to really care anymore. Real truth be told, I care about her daughter like I would a niece of my own. I adore her and I care enough about her to occasionally expose myself to her mother’s toxic personality at the hopes of keeping up with her.
About two weeks ago, Matilda called me and asked me if she could interview me for a thing she has to do for school about someone in a profession in which she has an interest in. I agreed only because I convinced her to meet me on my lunch break and I knew 1. there was a set time limit on my lunch and 2. she would be sober. As I’m getting ready to leave, Jen more or less invites herself along to lunch with me which I was sure was going to make the experience with Matilda alot more interesting. Matilda has a way of hating everyone new that she meets and not being so secretive about it.
Lunch went well. Matilda was on her best behavior. Conversation turned at one point to her drinking habits and how much better she was doing and then on to how her brother would playing out Friday night in a battle of the bands. She invited me to go and I said I’d talk to Jer. I had decided I wasn’t going to go unless I could get another friend to go with me because IF Matilda ended up drinking the way she used to, I didn’t want to have wasted an entire night out on the town with “grown ups”.
Friday night arrives and Jody from work and her husband are up for a battle of the bands so we agree to meet there. I walk in and see Matilda’s brother and sister at the bar, sober, and walk up and greet them. I ask about Matilda and her sister points her out across the room. I sneak up behind her and grab her butt and the second she turned around I knew I was in trouble.
First, she looked at me with half opened eyes and turned back around and then she turned back around for a double take, eyes wide open, latches on to me screaming in my ear that she’s sooooo happy I’m there. She reeks. She almost topples both of us over onto the speaker system behind. The next twenty minutes involves her introducing me to people as her “professional friend, Stephanie, who is way better than me” and fumbling through conversations that I cannot follow sober, but which the other drunk patrons don’t seem to be able to follow either. I leave her with her “friends” and make my way over to Jody and her husband.
I step out on the patio with Jody for a smoke and here comes Matilda stumbling through the door. She walks right up to Jody and starts in on her. Asking her if she has a banana clip in her hair – this is meant to be an insult, making up some bizarre story about her children trying to stir her from a druken slumber for work, which she tells us is a joke, that apparently we both didn’t get. Then she, thankfully, turns her attention to two much younger, cutesy girls nearby. A girl named Kristina in an orange dress and orange heels and Jen who was about to have her skills checked in smart ass remarks.
This is the actual conversation, verbatum…
Matilda: Stephanie, this is Kristina with a “K” because she spells it the friendly way and Jen. (she introduced them backwards by the way)
Jen: Hello, nice to meet you
Me: Oh, I’m sure this isn’t going to be as nice as you might think it is.
Matilda: So Kristina (actually Jen) is here because she has a friend in a lame band.
Jen: Oh, you’re assuming. Do you know what happens when you assume?
Matilda: Oh, you think you’re going to tell ME something. You think you know something? You think because someone BLACK told you a little catch assume phrase that you know something? I know black people.
Me: What does the assume breakdown have to do with being black? I know black people I don’t think one of them has ever said the assume thing that Jen is about to say.
Jen: Jen, actually.
Matilda: No, tell me child, what does it mean when I assume?
Jen: It makes an ass out of you, not me.
Matilda: Bitch, I am a rivalaring bitch. Do you know how to spell rivalaring?
Jen: Thats why I’m going to college.
Matilda: You’re going to college to learn how to spell rivalaring? That’s a waste of fuckin money. Don’t use words you can’t spell, sugah.
Jen: I didn’t use it.
Jen: I didn’t use that word, you did, but I can spell it.
Me: Okie dokie. This has been fun. Kristina, Jen, it was very nice meeting you and good luck in college, ladies.
Kristina either really didn’t say much or I might have blocked it out after the third time she used the word “stellar”. I don’t like that word. Nothing personal.
With Jody and I back inside, we ducked into a back booth with our Hubbies and go into stealth mode. Looking at each other with wide eyes. Me issuing lots of apologies and waiting in stunned silence. Then Kristina and Jen come back in. I can’t hear what they are saying from across the room but I can tell by their acted out druken mannerisms and how much they resemble Matilda that they are recanting the patio story.
No sooner do they finish their story, does Matilda stumble in past them walking across the whole room in front of the stage, oblivious to the fact that her pants have slid down past her nonexistent hips revealing the majority of her arse. The whole place is pointing and cackling. Matilda had become “that drunk lady”.
It was absolutely horrible. I walked over to hug Matilda goodbye and made an awkward attempt at trying to pull up her pants which she was thankfully oblivious to. We didn’t stay very long after that. The whole way home I told Jer about the first time I met Matilda and how I had always been enthralled by her “intelligence” and “brutal honesty” and in the middle of that conversation I realized that being loud and opinionated doesn’t make you smart and in fact, as it turns out Matilda is quite ignorant. It was just so striking to me that Matilda used to be the kinda girl that everyone seemed to move out of the way for….
but I guess they still do.