I'm not a person, I'm a big red button that says Do Not Press.
Raj was only trying to help, as usual. He thought wow, stuck at home all day? She must be lonely. She must need to have a ton of people around all the time. Because I’m so social like that. So what does he do? He started bringing the party to me. Barbecues. Baby showers. Engagement showers. Any kind of party, we had to have it here, at our house, where I couldn’t leave.
He wasn’t trying to make things hard for me. Far from it. He would get his sister's housekeeper to set up and clean up and do all that boring stuff. So it’s not like he was giving me a bunch extra work to do, or a bunch of extra stress. I always told you, Raj never tried to do anything to hurt me. He always trying to help. He just didn’t know what I needed. Or maybe I was the one with the problem. So that summer we became party central. God, there were so many parties.
They don’t make clothes to hide what I had. There’s not an Anthropologie ankle bracelet hiding line. Someone should do that, get rich off of us convicts. Shorts and rompers were obviously a no, it was way too hot out to wear jeans, so it was maxi dresses and flats. I had a whole closet full of maxi dresses, thanks to Raj. I don't think I ever wore the same one twice.
It wasn’t too bad. Sometimes I enjoyed the company. But man, let me tell you this. You'll get a kick out of this. One day, we were all chilling in my fern garden I'd set up. It was hot as balls out, but since we were in the shade it felt really good. I'd gotten pretty good at hiding this thing. I had to make sure I didn't cross my legs wrong. I had to be careful. So we were out there, chilling, and Bellandrea toddled over to me, wanting me to get her a drink. I got up to go get it for her, but she decided she wanted to be funny, right? So she grabbed my leg, and usually when she'd do that I'd just shake her off, but this time she caught me off balance and I ended up tripping over her. And when I fell, I fell so hard that whoosh! my long dress went up, and you could see everything. Not my hoo-ha--it didn't go up quite that far--but you could see that ball and chain they had attached to me. You could see all of that. I wish it would've gone up higher. Maybe if they all saw my hoo-ha, they would've been so distracted they wouldn't have noticed everything else.
Everybody was looking. They heard me fall, and of course they’re concerned, right? They weren't trying to be assholes, they were like “oh no, we gotta help you!” So they were looking over there thinking to help me, and they saw everything. It’s not like it could be anything else. It’s not like people wear ankle bracelets just for the looks. So, I panicked. I got myself up and ran inside the house. And Raj should have let me go, just let me chill by myself for a while, right? But he didn’t. Oh no, he had to go inside the house after me, and make it way more dramatic than it had to be. I kept telling him go back outside. Let me alone. And he wouldn't. He wanted me to come back out. Like I was really going to enjoy the party after that. How the hell was I supposed to go back outside after that? He kept saying they didn’t see, but anybody with eyes could see. Everybody saw it.
I would have rather had them be assholes to be honest with you. If they were assholes, I could’ve said well, fuck you too. I would’ve way rather had that. Kicked over the table, thrown the chairs around. Instead, I had to have people concerned about me. People who worried about me. People who wanted the best for me. That’s what I had to have. They would’ve said, “oh yeah, my cousin went through some stuff like that, and he’s doing great now, so I know you can do it too,” and all of that. And what was I supposed to say to that? Looks like your cousin's a lot stronger than me. Braver. Just an all-around better person. Someone always tells me, I know what you’ve been through, I know someone, or hell I’ve been through it myself, and I know you can get through it, and become like a normal person and everything. So many people, hundreds dozens thousands of these people. All those junkie celebrities. All those people who stand up in meetings and say I used to be homeless, I used to be a crack whore. All those people who had it way worse than me, end up coming out of it way better than me. How does that work? How come I got a sister, grew up in the same house as me, maybe even had things worse, and now she’s a freaking police officer? How the hell does that happen? How come she’s normal and I’m not?
Raj didn’t understand. I kept telling him to let me be by myself for a while. Let me cry it out, let me put on some NIN and be a little drama queen here by myself. That’s what I needed. I didn't need to go back out there and talk to those people. But he wouldn’t let me be. He kept trying to help me, trying to comfort me. How come he didn’t know that while he was in here with me, everybody outside was talking about us? Why couldn’t he understand that? Why couldn’t he go back outside, change the subject, and get them to forget about me? But he didn’t.
I tried to go to the only other place I was allowed to go: my mother-in-law's house. Three blocks down. I was totally allowed to be there. We had a transmitter there and everything. It’s not like I wanted to hang out with them or anything, it’s just that I wanted to get away from the party and it was the only other place I was allowed to go. I wasn’t supposed to drive. I was supposed to like, get a ride from someone, or walk I guess. But I figured, it's right down the street, so what’s the harm, right? What's going to happen to me driving three blocks?
Well, I didn't even get that far. That's right, good old Stephanie couldn't even make it three blocks.
Because one of Raj's doctor, engineer, pharmacist genius friends decided that oh no, I'm not gonna park in the driveway, and I'm not gonna park on the street. I'm gonna park across the bottom of the driveway, because I am a dumbass. It really wasn't my fault. There's this little curve right at the end of the driveway, and it's hard to see, and nobody expects somebody to park their goddamn car right there, I mean who does that? It was like they wanted to get hit. Why would you block people into their own driveway anyway? What if we had an emergency or something, like if Bellandrea got sick? What were we supposed to do, wait for Dr. Dumbass to move his Mom Porsche? Yeah, that's right, his. I thought it would be one of the women because that is such a Mom car, right? But no, Dr. Dumbass was a guy.
I didn't even hit it that hard. I saw it and I tried to stop, but at that point the driveway was too steep and I couldn't stop in time...but it's not like I hit it going 100 miles an hour. By the time I hit it, it was barely nothing. Barely a tap. But as soon as I touched it, wee-wee-wee-wee-wee-whoooooooooop! Whooooooooooop! Eeeeh eeeh eeeh eeh! All those geniuses came pouring out from around the back of the house, and they were looking at me like they were seeing an alien invasion. Like they'd never seen a fender-bender before.
If I thought I was embarrassed before, now? I wanted to die in that car. I wanted them to bury me in it. When Raj opened the door to see if I was okay, I told him I couldn't get out, and he automatically assumed that I'd like, broken my neck or something. So he called 911, and then he called Cindy. Because he didn't want me to get in trouble for going out of my area—even though I was going to the hospital. That's Raj. Always thinking ahead. Always playing 3d chess.
As soon as we got there they were like...yeah, you're fine. It all ended up working out, because I thought for sure we were gonna have to pay for Dr. Dumbass's stupid car, but he felt so sorry for me and all of my problems, that he just said fuck it and didn't try and get us to pay anything. So that was good at least.
I don't think we did any more parties after that. Did Raj finally realize how much he was embarrassing me? Or did I finally go and embarrass him for a change?
© 2022 Stephanie Johnson