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Happy Birthday Punkin!!!!

Issue Date: Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2006

Have you guys ever just wanted to flick someone in the nipple for no apparent reason? Like maybe… a person in your office? Say that this person hypothetically is going on and on about oh, I don’t know… a video of a cat meowing in a weirdly anthropomorphic way? A video that they allegedly sent you via email and then rushed over to see if you received it a mere millisecond after they pushed the send button?

No?

Me either.

Alrighty… down to business. First thing’s first. Today is LuLu’s birthday. She is sixty-seven and we are very excited that she still has all of her own teeth. Actually I believe she is a mere thirty-two(three?). The reason I am mentioning this here is that she and I have been bestest of girlfriends since the early nineties and neither one of us ever remembers the other’s birthday. Normally I call her sometimes in March and she calls me sometime May and we say, “Hey, you know I love you but I can’t remember when your fucking birthday is… so… uh, yeah, Happy Birth-, uh…month?”

So Happy Birthday LuLu! For today is the actual day. (A soothsayer told me.)

And because it is her birthday I will commence to tell you a story about her. Heh. Well, a story with her in it. Or something.

Lessee…

Ok, ya’ll know my love for the big mens right? Okay, there was this big ol’ boy named Ira that LuLu introduced me to and I went home with him when my blazer, my jeans, my shirt and my hair all smelled like one big caramelized onion…

Oh, wait. That would be a story about me.

Let’s just talk about her Okay?

The first night we met? She haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated me. H-A-T-E-D. Hated me. It’s not like I wasn’t sociable. Actually, I was totally friendly. And I am sure that that friendliness is what cemented her complete and utter loathing of my cheerful disposition.

Oh, and the fact that I was dancing with Troy.

Let’s go back shall we?

When LuLu was a wee lass she had a thing for two types of men. Type the first: Men who could dance their asses clean off and Type the second: Bass players. If they could dance and play the bass? A smitten kitten was she.

LuLu met Troy one evening at VC. VC (Virginia City) was a country and western dance bar in Houston that was pretty popular in the early nineties. (If you Google ‘Virginia City dance club’ now? You get many sites for gay bars. Sorry ya’ll.) You had to be 18 to enter and 21 to drink at VC. It was a drive and a half to get there from her house, but went she did and dance she did, because if there is anything that LuLu can do, it is dance. So she met Troy and he innocently swept her off of her boots and she decided that she was going to be wherever this man was.

He was going to school at Stephen F. Austin in the fall, or on break over the summer when they met and LuLu had yet to make up her mind about where she wanted to gain her college education. She had friends going everywhere to school and she had her choice of where she could go but I think that she figured if they grew them like Troy out at SFA then she was as good as there.

Correct me if I am wrong in any of this LuLu (and Mr. LuLu).

So that Fall she packed up her little GMC Jimmy (Chevy Blazer?... shit I am old.) and headed for the piney woods. She was living in a dorm called Kerr Hall. Funny enough I used to live there too. Troy and D’Wayne (and Jason, this guy that ate like he had a flip top head) were living out on the north side of town in this precious little yellow house and I had an apartment on the North Loop.

We (several people [read: cowboys] and myself) started a Rodeo Club…..

What? Shut up.

Ok, I’ll just pause here until you stop laughing.

I’ll explain about that later… yes, yes, very Hee Haw of us. No, I don’t barrel race. I’ll explain later I said. This is supposed to be about LuLu.

So we had this Rodeo Club meeting once a week on Wednesday (or Thursday?) nights and when it was over we would all head to the club (Bullwinkle’s – Lord, what an unintelligent name for a bar.) to dance and have a few beers. I have belabored the point many many times about the amount of drinking and dancing we did while we were supposed to be learning and earning our degrees, so I am sure you guys were not surprised when I said, “… headed to the bar.. blah dee blah.”

This one night in particular I was on the dance floor being lead by Troy and I felt these eyes on me. They weren’t appraising eyes. Ladies, you know how those feel; some of you men do as well. That feeling that you are being categorized and undressed? That wasn’t the gaze I felt. The sensation that someone was wishing I was dead and boiled in a copper kettle filled with tar, only after being sheared of my hair and having my upper lip pulled over my left knee cap was more along the lines of what I was feeling.

During a spin in a corner of the dance floor, I snuck a peak to see who was wishing that I would fall over dead. At the edge of the floor was this striking red head with the most beautiful neon green eyes I have ever seen. She had her arms crossed over her chest and was trying to bore a hole in my head with the look of DIE! DIE! DIE!

I whispered to Troy, “Who is that pretty redhead that wants me to keel over?” He took a look and answered, “Oh, that’s Lisa, I know her from VC.”

The song ended, Troy twirled me and led me off the floor. As soon as I was off the dance floor I headed in her direction. She saw me coming and put her hands on her hips. I walked up to her and said (very chirpily I might add - I knew she could have kicked my ass if she wanted to), “Hi! I’m Susan. You must be Lisa.” She reluctantly shook my hand. I held onto her and pulled her over to our group. Troy and I introduced her around and from then on (well, when she realized that I didn’t have designs on Troy) she and I have been best friends.

Troy left town and LuLu (Lisa) fell for a bass player named Mark. He was eleven years her senior and truly adored her and her wonderful sense of humor but he knew that he wouldn’t be settling down anytime soon and LuLu is that type of girl. She was definitely a monogamous serial dater. She didn’t mess around. She fell for one man and that was it. Mark and LuLu never even dated. They spent countless hours together and he even took care of her during a very trying time, they even shared his bed but he was gentlemanly enough to remain above the covers. Since she never kissed her prince I dubbed her “Punkin” (as in turning into a pumpkin at midnight because she didn’t receive her kiss) that night.

She left East Texas to go back to Houston and go to school and work. She and I traveled back and forth quite regularly and her parent’s house was a place of solace for me as my parents were a thousand miles away in Colorado.

One weekend the boys that were in the band that Mark played in came to Houston. I had piled several of our friends into my car and we all went to hear them play. LuLu’s parents said that we could all stay in their house after the band finished playing and the band ended up sleeping on their floor. There were many weekends when LuLu and her parents opened up their home to a rag-tag group of college kids and musicians.

In 1995 or 1996 I got a call that I didn’t expect. LuLu had been working so very hard as a manager of a company, hardly going out at all and not giving a second thought to men in general so when she said she said she had met a very handsome and gentlemanly guy while at the dance club one night and that she really liked him I was so excited for her. He was a fire fighter and they had been out on several dates. Her father even liked him!

In May of 1997 Mr. LuLu took my friend to have and to hold from that day forward and has been a wonderful husband, friend and now a father to their first born child, a beautiful little girl (18 months old) who has her mother’s stunning red hair, a mixture of the neon green eyes from her mother and the bright blue from her father’s eyes and the best parts of both of their personalities.

And I will just tell ya’ll this for free. If you ever see the little one in a club in oh, I’d say about seventeen years and she has her hands on her hips and is looking at you like she wishes you would just go to hell and die? I would approach carefully, hold out your hand and be sincerely happy to make her acquaintance.

After all, I have heard stories of her mother setting firecrackers off in the bed of a truck that was parked in a barn once … Once.


Old ass picture, but I still love it. Ain’t she pretty?

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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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