Mama Told Me Not to Come

Photo by Emily Hufford”I'm not enjoying myself,” my friend was moaning into my answering machine in a slow, hypnotic sing-song. “I toldyou not to come!” My friend, for a change, was very, very drunk and apparently kept calling my home phone to try to find me at Del Mar. He spoke with my mom, who was babysitting, a few times, too—forgetting each time to try the other number. My mom, naturally, still wants me to marry him. She's so totally like that.

When I've been overserved, my mom reminds me that someday I will no longer look cute on a bar stool. (And that makes me sad.) When my man-friends are shit-faced, my mom thinks they're adorable.

But as I frequently remind my mother: fuck her! I wouldn't just be drunk at Del Mar—I'd be a bloody wreck! I'd heard nasty, terrible stories, and I couldn't freaking wait! So last Wednesday, for the renowned debauch of Del Mar's opening day, I put on my polka dots, my pearls and my battered straw hat. I went to the train station, to do it in style.

And for some reason, I woke up in La Jolla.

* * *

I recall the race track, of course, and the marauding bands of stockbrokers. I recall the line at the bar, as two young misses held it up for 40 minutes, making transactions for any of their friends who wandered by—and that the men who'd offered to buy me a drink magically couldn't find their money once we got to the front, so I had to buy theirs instead. I recall that everyone seemed to be that shiny brand of 23 that really, really likes itself—except for those well-put-together Newport and Anaheim Hills women of a certain age who liked themselves just as much. And nobody really smiled.

Sexing up strangers is a serious business.

My friend was right: it wasn't any fun. The drunkenness was desperate and forced—my sobriety got its own fine sendoff on the train, just after Irvine, as I listened to two men chatting up a gorgeous young woman. The conversation couldn't have been more dull, and I dulled it with four bloody marys in just over an hour. Then there was the geeky 22-year-old St.Regiscar parker who kept telling me how much he liked “older women” after I told him it just wasn't going to happen—but what was newin his life? How washe?—and then growled at me in increasing desperation, “You wouldn't believewhat I could do to you!”

Really? Maybe he could even teachmesomething?

Oh, sweet young pup, don't you know where I've been? Fifty cents (American!) to the reader who can best surmise what there might be that I do not know, at Re*****@Co******************.com, because I'll tell you what: it's got me stumped.Be sure to include your mailing address.

* * *

So Del Mar did kind of suck: sick of having to tell people I'm a kindergarten teacher if I want any kind of play, I went the other way and said I was a cardiologist. So that was funny for a while. And of course I was very, very drunk, so that was funny, too. And unlike at my friends Conleyand Nancy Smith's Miami Spiceparty the following Saturday, I didn't get so drunk I started inadvertently insulting people. (There, I told a beautiful model that she clearly wasn't a bimbo, but actually looked intelligent, and that she should fight my model friend, while her friends looked at one another as if I were an old, balding man who was trying to touch her thigh, and I ranted at some gorgeous Santa Ana pro-redevelopment photographers that all their friends on the City Council were assholes, and then I told the OCBusinessJournal's publisher that for the first time ever, I likedhim! “Because usually I don't, you know?” Apparently, he hadn't, I guess because I usually say it behind his back. But this time? He really was great! Call me! Lunch is on me! Well, it is if we go somewhere cheap.)

But! Although Del Mar was a joyless affair, (apparently on my way to La Jolla) I met a cabby. And like lazy foreign correspondents the world over, I pumped that cabby for man-on-the-street impressions of just about everything, if by just about everything, you mean, “What was a Syrian Catholic Bush-hater like yourself doing trying to join the CIA?”

Well, he wanted to help in the War on Terror! But you couldn't really blame the CIA for turning him down, seeing as how he was so Syrian and hated Bush so very much. Oh, that cabby and I became such good friends! We ganged up on everyone else in the cab as they weakly tried to defend the administration on Plame, Brewster Jennings and the great Karl Rove, and I told an endless story about a cabby I'd met in New York (a truly lovely man) who was Muslim and wished his wife would wear the cover. (At the time, I was wearing a very short skirt.) And then I couldn't remember what the story was about. Oh! That he said it wasn't because he didn't want other men to see her, it was because he wanted to feel passionate looking at just her hand. The Syrian Catholic Bush-hating cabby and I agreed quite loudly that this was very sweet—and utter bullshit.

And that, so far as I know, is the end of the story.

I don't know what I don't know, but I do know this: someday I'll no longer look cute on a bar stool, but I'll always look grand falling off one.

Feed me: Buy some threads at

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