Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"the family" funeral, part tres: the chica

"Do you remember
When we first met?
I sure do.
It was sometime, in early (October).

Well, you were lazy about it;
You made me wait around.
I was so crazy about you,
I didn't mind.

So, I was late for class,
I locked my bike to yours,
It wasn't hard to find;
You'd painted flowers on it.

I guess that I was afraid?
That if you rolled away?
You might not roll back my direction,
Really soon ..."

-- "Do You Remember" by Jack Johnson.

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Yes, I know I’m going slightly out of order, and I’m going to again early next week.  In the words of The Champ: “deal with it!”

Of all the members of The Family, I’ll probably miss The Chica the least.  

Which honestly, isn’t fair to her; that’s like saying that between Grey Goose, Polar Ice, and Smirnoff vodkas, I’ll miss Smirnoff the least, when I finally reach the “you must quit or die” moment in life I’m destined to someday face.

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Here, for better or worse, are the eleven most memorable (and in a lot of cases, favorite) moments of The Chica for me.  

Only number 10, was anything but at least semi-pleasurable.

For me anyway …

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The Line(s) In The Overall Theme Song ("Goodbye Yellow Brick Road") That Apply To The Chica (Note: May Have Missed One):

* "I should have stayed on the farm" -- she is a farm girl.  

* "I'm going back to my plough!" -- see previous reasoning.

* "Maybe you'll find a replacement" -- the final posting of this series, will bring this into focus, for all four members of this corpse of a friendship.

* Also, you can argue, being an employee of her, uuh, employer, that the whole "yellow brick road" thing, more than applies.

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11. (The Chica Voice) “So My Mom Found Your Site …”

I had made a point of noting on that trip to Nebraska (Part Uno / Part Dos / Part Tres / Part Quatro) that I was going to eventually post a recap of the trip, that was worthy of how fun, that trip was.  (Hey, smile folks – that was one of the rare times, this site delivers the goods -- all four days, recapped separately, in three days!  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  You're damned right I wrote every word of those posts on the job!  Why?  Why is that surprising?) 

The Chica’s mom had nothing to go on, other than my name, and considering I go to great pains to try to leave last names off of every post that involves any of you (to protect the innocen – oh hell, who am I kidding, it’s to protect the guilty), and considering I have a reasonably obscure spelling of my last name (to say nothing of a rare last name to begin with), you have to search to find this place.

And I was still almost a year away from joining Twitter and tweeting out every post link, so The Chica’s mom had to really invest some time, effort and energy, into finding this site.

If you’re reading this, The Chica’s mom?

I don’t hate your daughter.  Intensely dislike?  Yes.  Because of the next moment to appear, in my remembrance of her.

But hate, no.

She's impossible to hate.

10. (The Chica Voice) “I Want To Talk.  Can I Come Over?”

I will tolerate damned near anything in life.

God knows I have to, coming from the extended family of blood relations and friends, I’m damned proud to call family.  

But there is one thing I really, really, really struggle to choke down.

The night this friendship died in my eyes, Easter Sunday 2013, is moment ten in my remembrances of The Chica.

The quote above, is The Chica’s text message to me, sent about 6pm that Easter Sunday evening.  

So allow me to give you all reading this a free PSA piece of advice.  And it's one you should take very good notes on.

If you are going to invite yourself over to a "friend"'s humble abode, and demand of them on ten minutes notice, what you have refused every request he's made of you for eight months, to do for him?  

That's cool, at least in my world.

But if you're going to use that opportunity to call me a liar, when the only way you could know I lied to you, was if you lied to me first?

Don't be surprised if that "friend", explodes at you, as this one did.

(And I should note, The Champ's thoughts of this encounter, will appear in my favorite memories of him ... because for once in his semi-charmed, semi-baked kind of life?  He got it.)

9. (The Chica Voice) “Bring The Lil’ Scoops!  I Love The Lil’ Scoops!”

I love learning certain personal details about a friend, that you never see coming.

This quote is from setting up the watching party for the Chiefs / Colts game in 2010, when the Chiefs were the last unbeaten team in the NFL … in week five.  (At least we made it to week eleven, last year.  Progress!)

I simply asked what to bring.  Most people, would probably say “bring some beer / bring the chips / bring yourself / bring whatever”.  You rarely get so specific, as “bring the Tostitos Lil’ Scoops!”

Those are the moments in life, that matter to me.

“The Family” had plenty of them.

Whatever else you think of what we’ve become?

Never forget that.

“The Family” had plenty of those little moments, that make life worth living.

Which is why I'm choosing to honor all of it, on my way out the door, of the county morgue the corpse of this friendship currently lies in.

8. (The Chica Voice) “I Haven’t Watched It Yet!  I Waited For You!”

I am abjectly embarrassed to admit this one.

(stevo sighing in disgust and shame at himself …)

I love “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”.

Or at least, I used to, when the loony tunes known as Danielle Staub was constantly fighting with one “real” housewife or another, when dumb-(bleep!) Albie couldn’t make it in the police academy, when Teresa and Joe were living the life of luxury they’re going to spend a decade or so in the federal slammer for.

Summer of 2010, The Family was in a Tuesday night bowling league.  By week two, we had the drill down.  Head over to The Champ’s apartment, watch “RHONJ” while waiting for him to get home, then head off and bowl and enjoy each other’s company for three hours or so.

Good times.  Especially the epic season finale that season.

7. (Stevo Voice) “Wait – You’re a NASCAR Fan?”

Yes, yes she is.  You don’t meet too many members of the opposite sex, who are.  So circle me pleasantly surprised (and happy) in getting to spend a few races at the Speedway, watching it with a girl who actually wanted to be there, as opposed to The Ex, who was only there because the other three of us were.

(And because there was beer.)

But as happy a development as (7) was, (6)?

(mean, angry grizzley bear ready to maul someone voice) GRRRRRRRRRRRR!

6. (Stevo Voice) “Wait – You’re a denver broncos Fan?”

Well, we all have our fatal flaws in life.  Hang on, let me reach for another glass of mine ...

And quite frankly, I think I was quite tolerable at every broncos game we tailgated together.  Especially given that the home team lost three of the four of them, one of them a defeat so horrific, such an epic woodshed beatdown by denver, that I not only wasn’t the most crushed and/or furious fan at the postgame tailgate ...

... for the first time, I ceded control of this site, to someone else, because I couldn't find the words to describe, just how (insert string of obsenities here) awful, that game was.

5. (The Chica Voice) “Now, Since Your Mom Clearly Didn’t Teach You Certain Things …”

This one never fails to make me laugh.  The week after the Cowboys game in 2009 (when it was unbearable cold, drizzly, and miserable for the first Sunday in October), I spent in bed with the worst bout of the flu I’ve ever had.  My body hurt so much, I couldn’t sleep, it hurt to simply breathe. 

I tried that first day, to gut it out.  I showed up at work that Monday, and Lucy (my boss at the time) took one look at me, and ordered me to get out, and don’t come back until you look alive.  Which was a week later. 

The Chiefs were on the road that week – the first win of the Coach Hobo era, at the Redskins, then came home to face the San Diego “Super” Chargers.

That Friday morning before the game, I got an email from The Chica, asking if I had a few minutes to talk.  I said sure, because when a friend asks me to talk?  I talk.

So she sent me this lengthy email in response, opening with the quote above, detailing everything I need to do, to ensure I don’t get sick again (since the forecast was the same as that Dallas game – mid 40s and rain) ... and then urging me to do my part, to "send philip rivers' ass home with a loss!"

(Wow, were 2009 Josh McDaniels led-donkey fans as delusional as I was, last year?  Apparently!)

How can I put this delicately … I almost never wear a coat to a game.  The Monsoon against the Chargers to open the 2010 season?  T-shirt and shorts.  Didn’t get sick.  The Snow Game, the Immaculate Fourfecta Game against the Jaguars to end the 2006 season?  I wore a coat … but took it off as bad things kept happening for the Red and Gold.

If I’d been in town for the real Monsoon Game, the Sunday nighter against the Seahawks back in 1998, I guarantee you I’d have been in either shorts and a t-shirt, or a long sleeve shirt and shorts.  (I stayed in Dallas that weekend to catch the Rangers / Yankees divisional series instead.  That Game Three, which finally broke the string of days over 100 at 68?  Four hour rain delay, because of the mess that hit Kansas City two days later.  My attire at first pitch?  Pair of shorts and sandals.)

Even my parents know better than to caution me on what to wear to a game, because they know I’m sorta, kinda bat sh*t certified crazy, when it comes to the Chiefs, and my superstitions once the season gets underway.  (For example, if the Chiefs win?  I mark the boxers and undershirt, to ensure I wear the same ones, until they lose.  Ditto if socks are involved.  I’m telling you, the case for Two Rivers just keeps getting stronger …)

So for The Chica to give me fashion advice, and how to deal with the weather advice?  You have to admire it.

But in the words of Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Official Color Commentator (Emeritus) Dan Dierdorf: “nice try”.

4. The Last Moment I Believed “The Family” Was Capable of Being Saved, The Chica edition.

Katie and Josh's reception.

I will freely grant you, I have never hated Dustin more in my life, than I did at that reception.  We'll get to that eventually.

But the Chica?  For one final time, I actually believed you still gave a sh*t, about this friendship, about me, about simply for once in these last two years being who you used to be, but sadly haven't been in a very long time.  Either it was the con job of a decade ... or you did genuinely care.  I choose to believe the latter, if only for my own sanity, because it's been so long since you two were who you used to be, I just don't recognize you anymore.  Hence the reason for these posts: (christian shepard in "lost" voice) "to let go, and move on".

Then again, none of us have been who we used to be, in a very long time.

I'm just the only one of the four of us, apparently willing to admit it, and own it, and do something about it.

Well, that's not entirely fair.  

This wasn't the "Battle of the Bulge", that I risked total and utter annihilation and ruin two years earlier than would be expected on, as the Germans did in the Ardennes, seventy years ago this December.

There was one final blown, golden opportunity, where I left the gates, wide, wide open, to salvage something out of this once great friendship.  To forge, as that horrific corporal seventy years ago sought, a "decent, separate peace" from the other combatants ...

3. (Stevie Wonder Voice) “Someday At Christmas …”

To be honest, I would have done for the Lil’ Champ the things I did, even if this feud hadn’t occurred, because it was fun shopping for that guy.  Seeing your reaction (as well as your teammate's) to the "offensive" I launched, was the highlight of my 2013.  (Which I will grant you, is pretty pathetic.  It only took my favorite sitcom leaving the air -- and four months -- to post "The Annual Column", it was that awful.)

My favorite moment was seeing you hold the little bootie Chiefs socks, for what it's worth.  I would like to think, for one final moment, there was a glitter of hope.  

It just wasn't meant to be.

And to those of you reading this who assisted me in trying to make that one last gasp effort -- and you know who you are, and trust me Chica, I leaned on a lot of people to get even a shred of information, about what you guys were having, what you were planning, right down to hearing third hand that one of you was (I believe) a bear theme, and one was the owl theme, and I gambled you were the owl, in putting that candy stuffed animal in the Lil' Champ's sack -- to all of you, thanks for your help.  

All this for a kid, I'll never meet?

That is what you mean to me.

Nobody can denied I tried.

I can only be sorry, I never meant, the same to you, as you do to me.

2. (Stevo Voice) “Oh Come On!  It’s Not Like I Haven’t Ever Seen Them Before!”

Let’s just say, I may have walked in on The Chica getting ready one day by accident*, and ever since, that’s my favorite running gag for her.  I always found it funny.  From day one, she never has.

And my favorite moment with her ...

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(*: we're coming back to this day ... sorta ... in the final part of this series, which will go up no later than Friday, August 15.  The main body of work is written; I'm down to parsing and (semi) editing into the six sections at this point.  Or to put this series in sports terms: it's 18 hours until CBS announces the brackets; we're down to squabbling with seeding, and ensuring BYU is on Thursday / Saturday sites only, at this point in the process.)

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1. The Interview.

It was sometime in early January, 2009.  And I’m guessing it was on a Wednesday.  The beginnings of this, will be addressed when I get to The Champ’s section over the next two weeks.

The company he (at the time) and I (still) work was having one final winter formal, which was known as The Midwinter Blues.  I had asked The Ex to be my date that night, and she said yes.  The Champ finally mustered up the courage to ask The Chica to be his date for the event … and she said maybe.

Because she wanted to learn more about him first.  

Which meant interviewing someone about him.

And go figure – that someone was me.

So allow me to say this:

I have always thought it was beyond cool, and beyond respectable, and beyond admirable, that she was interested enough in him at that point, that she was ready to see beyond the “yeah, we have fun every Wednesday, but …” point the friendship was at, at that point. 

Chica, you had a level of class, I'd never seen in anyone The Champ had dated, or even had a casual encounter with.  And you all know how I feel about The Crush.

That's?  Who you were to me.

You were the only girl I ever saw him with (and I've known way too many of them ... and all the long-term ones), who drug him UP to your level, rather than DOWN to ours.

I must have done something right that night; she told The Champ yes, they were engaged a little over a year later, married a little less than a year after that.

With the precious Lil' Champ, arriving barely three months ago.

If I brought nothing else to the table?  At the end of the day, at least I got the most important thing, right.  

You’re welcome.

There's more funny, memorable, and in one case, frustrating, moments with the affectionately named Chica to come, over the next few posts ... but these were the ones that involved (for the most part) just her and I.  Whatever else, at least in the words of Metallica: "the memory remains" ...

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I guess that's what I'm sorriest you've lost with me, Chica, is that level of respect you once commanded out of me -- and I'd guess, damned near everyone else -- the moment you entered the room.

You were BETTER than all of us ... and didn't have to flaunt it, hype it, or sell it.

We KNEW it.

No one who truly knows of how you've handled the last two years?

Thinks those things now.

They just laugh, at what you claim to stand for, because your actions, no longer honor your words.

The look back at The Ex is up next; I hope to get it up by Friday evening …

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