Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Elizabeth Taylor Calling
The craziest thing happened at work tonight. I was sitting there, plugged into my phone like a good little triage nurse, waiting for the next crazy person to call, accompanied by my obedient little trainee, when my private line rang. Now, I use the word "private" line loosely, because it's recorded too, which means that my reviewer can hear me griping at the hubby and kids every time they call me, but oh well. Everyone needs a little drama in their life.
First thing I notice is that I don't recognize the area code on the caller id, so I go to the all-knowing Google, and find that it's in Kentucky, whilst I am picking up the line. I'm met with a female voice who informs me of a very personal problem that happened while, shall I say, she was doing Number Two. It sounded like my friend Steph, who is insane, but definitely doesn't live in Kentucky -- though Greenfield, Indiana it does have its similarities. Trying to figure out who it is, I asked "how did you get our number tonight" and was promptly told, "from your husband."
She gave me a few clues, but the definite Kentuckiness of her accent threw me, till she confessed that it was Mel, a friend who was a bridesmaid in our wedding. Mel, who I had misplaced the contact info for after her third wedding, back when Jill was a baby. She said she's on hubby #4 now - "just call me Elizabeth Taylor" she said -- so I think I will.
It was Mel who drug me out on that fateful night that I met Dan -- something that I can alternately thank her for, and curse her for, depending upon the day. Mel, who was working with me in ICU on the night that someone -- maybe her -- found the "kiss me" tattoo in a very intimate part of a comatose motorcycle accident victim's anatomy. OUCH! And speaking of accidents, Mel was the one who got a concussion in my car accident, the day before our wedding. She walked down the aisle with ammonia capsules tucked into her flowers. Yeah, there's a few memories there.
It was always Mel who Dan always worried about, because of his weird idea that all divorced women are nymphomaniacs -- who on the rare night that we both got off from work at the same time, went to dinner with me at the Kapok Tree Inn in Clearwater, and helped me devise the plan that probably embedded in Dan's head forever that divorced women will lead the innocent down the path of unrighteousness, if you turn your back on them for even a second.
Mel and I went out to dinner that night, then came back to Bradenton and drove out to Anna Maria Island. Sat in the bar at, I believe, The Sandbar restaurant -- might've been somewhere else -- and had one single strawberry daiquiri, while we sat and talked. For a long, long time. I don't remember what else we did, but I know that we got home around 11:30 or so, stone cold sober from a night of Cokes and yacking about work and all that rot. I got home to a note on the table saying "call me when you get in. I can't find my keys."
Now, the man was working nights at the time, but how does one get to work without car keys, when work is several miles away, and there is no bus? Now, Mama didn't raise no dumbie. I knew that he just wanted to know 1) what time I got in and 2) what shape I was in when I got there. I found his keys, of course, in the first place I looked. So, me being me, knowing Dan and his lack of subtlety, and with some help from Mel, we devised a plan. We sat and talked till about 3:30a.m., when I called Dan to announce that yes, I was home. Did my best drunken voice. "HONEY! You're drunk" he said. "What did you have to drink?" "Six Singapore Slings," said I, whilst Mel is stifling a chortle from the couch. Dan's response was nothing but an asthmatic wheeze, because he knew that one or two of these was well enough to knock my sorry butt into lala land.
Now remember, I had had only one strawberry daiquiri, almost 8 hours earlier. Nothing else but Coke after that.
Dan was appalled, and a wee bit unforgiving. He said "well, you're going to have to come pick me up at 7, when I get off, cause I got a ride here, but I don't have a ride home." I mumbled back that he had to find his own ride home, cause I was drunk, slammed the phone down, and died laughing with Mel. We trashed the apartment, leaving a lamp by the door askew, clothes lying on the floor in the living room, and generally just making a mess. Mel went home, and I went to bed. Woke up the next morning -- over twelve hours now since my single daiquiri the night before -- to Dan climbing into bed. I rolled over and gave him a big "Hi," with emphasis on the H. "Oh my God, Lisa," he said. "You smell like a distillery."
Apparently, a wild imagination negates any sign of morning breath.
It took several years for Mel and me to tell him the truth about that night, and to this day, I'm sure he still thinks that we were sleazing around, like divorced nymphomaniacs do. It still makes me laugh, just remembering how appalled he was at his floozy wife and her nympho friend, out for a night on the town. And so in memory of that wonderful night out with Elizabeth Taylor, I went looking for the bridesmaid's dress that Mel wore in our wedding, which seems to pop up at every thrift store I visit. Alas, tonight, it eludes me, so I found a reasonable facsimile on ebay, offered by Rainydaycloset. Ammonia capsules not included.