Saturday, July 16, 2011

Porter/Offili Wedding: Saturday

           I awoke to Serah next to me and the realization that I was officially "Phone-less" was what clouded my mind as we laid in bed for awhile and talked before she excused herself to make breakfast. She realized that she was out of materials so we decided to venture over to Kroger. As I awaited on the sidewalk for her to pull her car out from behind the house, I noted how immaculate the weather was. I looked over to the neighbors house and there was a patch of yellow flowers that grew eagerly so I walked over and plucked one. Either I made it up or had a moment of recall, but sometime during my interaction with Serah, she mentioned the fact that she loved yellow flowers. Thus as I boarded the car from the passenger side, I presented it to her and she gushed sheepishly. It's the little things. Upon our return from Kroger, I sat down to watch TV while she set herself in the kitchen to make a bacon, egg and hash brown delight. According to her, it wasn't her "best effort," but I was hardly at the Ritz  Carlton, with an almost empty pony keg, just to the left of my feet. I brushed her notion aside because in this day and age where many undergraduate women cannot boil water, to have one fuck the shit out of you, then proceed to satisfy your hunger, what more could I want? That's as good as it's likely to get on any campus. We finished our meal because she had to get to work and I had to head home in time for my closing shift at Rite Aid. I quickly retrieved all of my clothes and she drove me over to Hotel Arch, which luckily was open despite the house being empty due to the track meet. Quickly, I secured my backpack and hopped onto my bike to return home. I REALLY did not feel like going to work, but the fact that seemingly everyone I wanted to hangout with was at the wedding, I had no better alternatives, thus I turned my bike on and headed for the highway.

          I made it home with about 30 minutes to spare before I had to head to work. The whole ride down, I was troubled with what I was going to do about my phone. I purchased the phone myself after I was kicked off the family plan so replacing it would rest with me. Even worse, I realized that the following week, I had 3 separate phone interviews for various jobs and positions I had applied for. Rite Aid was pissing me off, because they hired me as full time, manager in training, but since my hiring, I only managed to break more than 30 hours once from January to the end of May! It was truly fed up with them because my head boss, would give me these silly little criticisms about how much more I had to learn but naturally I felt like they were retarded. In my 3 and a half months there I never received any formal "training" from her, thus everything I learned about how to run the store I learned from asking or from the second in command. She was a wonderful woman and she dotted on me and was in my corner, even telling her bosses boss, that I was ready to run the store the day I walked in and that if they did not officially promote me, that they would loose me. So I love her for that and during the following week, it was because of her that I FINALLY received my promotion interview. However by that point I was DONE with Rite Aid as a corporation. I had to discover from a pharmacy tech that what was holding up my promotion was payroll. The store simply could not afford me, yet instead of coming and telling me this, the head manager would try to make it seem like it was my fault because I didn't push boxes hard enough or something, when I was working my ass off. Aside from me and another boy, everyone else at the store were women who were over 55 years old. So if you can imagine, guess who was doing a fair share of the grunt work? Even worse, the head manager would schedule me mornings and evenings with no particular order from week to week so I could not even pick up a second job. So if you can imagine, it's a COLD COLD winter, I'm dealing with this subterfuge at work, my dad is overseas criticizing me for being "having no direction," and being "unmotivated," PLUS I was dealing with her. You add this all up and I was going INSANE, because in my week to week, there was nothing that gave me joy. Yes I was writing "Galfing: A Young Man's Guide" but you have to realize what propelled me through the writing process was hurt feelings, so it was more a chore than actual excitement. I was trapped in this cycle of perpetual greyness and I didn't know how to get out. THAT'S WHY, the 1502 Easter reunion was such a godsend because it reminded of good times. It was almost like awakening out of hibernation because I was like, "Oh Yea! I am Michael O, I do love beautiful things, I'm not unmotivated!" So even if I received the offer from Rite Aid, I was already SOLD on the other two. One I cannot recall the first but the other was an Americorp position. Thus with the two phone interviews and the Rite Aid one the following week, me not having a phone was going to be a nuisance, and it was with this thought that I went into work with.  

          As soon as I arrived, the store grew extremely busy and Rite Aid, being purposely short staffed to save costs, I was the only one up front to deal with the lines of customers. In my time there, I had grown a following with the repeat customers because all of those old ladies at the registers were EXTREMELY slow, so people liked me for my speed. Thus I was trying to speed through the lines as fast as possible, while thinking of what to do about my phone. Shortly after, this young lady approaches with a can of Bud. I ID her because we carded anyone under 30. I forget her actual birthday but I recall saying out loud, "Oh that's young!" The line was about 10 people long so in not wanting to waste anymore time, I quickly rang her up and began servicing the next customer. However 1 second after the young lady steps out of the store, I do the math in my head and realize, "Wait! She was 20 not 21." Fuck! One thing Rite Aid was clear on was teaching about not selling to minors and in that instant I had the thought to run after her but more people had joined the line so I was stuck at the register. I tried to forget about it and quickly rang up the rest of the customers and focused on getting through my shift. About 50 minutes later, when the store was empty, this grey haired white dude walked up to the counter and smiled strangely at me. I thought he was about to ask me out when he said, "Do you remember selling to a minor." FUCK!!! What could I say? I put my head down and shook it solemnly. I looked at him and said, "Yea, I remember, there was a rush and my mind was elsewhere, so I only recall my mistake after she left the store." He flashed his badge and asked me to get the manager. The assistant manager was working in the office and so I went to fetch her and told her about my gaff. I could see the dread wash over her face. She was really excited that she finally got me my promotion interview, so she had foreknowledge of what my blunder meant. We finished up with gray hair and called the head manager and according to official policy, I was "suspended" until further notice to investigate if this was something I did regularly. I returned home thinking, "What more could go wrong?" Plus like I explained to my mother, "Yea I hated Rite Aid, but to leave them I wouldn't purposely commit a crime" because now the State could prosecute me or hit me with an insane fine if they discovered this was something I habitually did. So now I sat at home with no phone, no job and at that point, the wedding was already over. Porter/Offili were married out in Ypsilanti but they chose to have the reception in Livonia(not near) for some odd reason. Livonia is in my backyard so I realized I was now free and I  did not want to sit at home and wallow. I grabbed our house phone, which is a cellphone because we don't have a domestic line(more on this later), and sent Stev a text, after I found his number in an old email. 

          I wanted to go to the reception but officially I wasn't invited, and it was projected to rain. I inquired Stev's opinion and he was just was "wishy washy" with his response. Then in a moment of clarity it struck me. I didn't like how indecisive I had been lately. This was directly against the type of man I'm striving to become so I said, "Fuck it!" If it rained I would simply turn around and go home and at the reception, the worst they would do is not feed me or send me home. They weren't going to shoot me, so I made an executive decision. I rode down to the barber shop and received a haircut ($15 dollars plus tip!!! Remember when those were around $5??? Damn shame!). I returned home, showered, donned my suit and rode over to the reception manor. I made my way through the halls to the correct reception hall and the ladies in front of the tables greeted me by asking my name. I gave it to them and they began to search for my name. When they couldn't find it, one of them replied, "I'm sorry, I couldn't find it." Admittedly, my heart was slightly racing at this point but I figured, "Hey I've come this far." So I looked at the women and said, "What?" Recall, "Offili" is a Nigerian name and I'm Nigerian so I gave my name again, and they continued looking. I started reading names that I did recognize, and continued with, "What do you mean you can't find my name? Joe Strizich, that's almost my best friend and Frank, I damn near raised him since his freshman year!" "And the Academy Award for best actor goes to....Michael O!" At this point, they are terrified saying, "Oh I'm SOO sorry sir, the mistake must be ours. Follow me we have the perfect table for you." One of the ladies, led me into the reception hall and the seat she seats me next to is right next to none other than Stev. I can't make this shit up. Everyone at the table including Dre, Stan, Stev, Anneve, Smilez are like, "Mike O? What are you doing here?" "What is going on here?"(Inside joke). I laugh and respond, "The real question is, "What am I NOT doing here? I need a drink!" I quickly learn from Stev that his night with "Crazy Rachel" ended with a gun, some Ypsilanti thugs, and her pissing on the couch, but trying to blame it on him. If that isn't "crazy," I don't know what is! I laugh and elaborate that my night with Serah was SIGNIFICANTLY better. We then head over to the open bar and the wise cracking Jerry served us our drinks. He was a fun time all night and the reception went swimmingly. I realized that many people I would not have associated with as an undergrad, now that I am an alumni, I have love for the whole Wolverine family. It was great to see many young Wolverines, all trying to pursue great endeavors because I'm trying to do great things. I was not misfit at all, because between Porter and Offilli(I guess officially Porter at that point), many of the people that they knew, I knew as well. We ate, drank, laughed, and were entertained by this CRACK Nigerian dance team, with the drums and matching outfits as well. They killed it! Next there was a video montage of Jeff and Tiffany, and even how he almost bust his ass on ice skates, then recovered to get down on one knee and propose to her there on the rink, it was really cute. Eventually we hit the dance floor and "Stereo Love" was by far the highlight. The Dub Step is this little dance that is huge in Europe and Stan introduced it to us to add to our routine in Mock Rock(a charity talent show for terminally ill children at UofM). The dance is alright enough, but I would have never guessed that a year after learning it, we would still be doing it. When you get three or more people in a line doing it all in unison, I'm telling you, you could be in a cemetery and people will go wild! It's to the point when I go out now and hear Stereo Love, my head is instinctively on a swivel like, "Stev, Stan!" until I realize I'm alone, so it's kind of sad in a way. However, when St., Stev, Stan and I danced to Stereo Love at the wedding, the place went crazy! "What is that dance?" "Teach it to me?" I don't even know the full steps because it wasn't my scene in Mock Rock, but I guess I have to learn it, along with the rest of the Dougie and the "Cat Daddy," which is the hot new craze. The last dance I actually tried to learn was "The Jerk," so I guess it's so many dances so little time. The reception eventually ended and everyone hopped into their cars, and I on my bike to head back to AA. 

          Naturally, we decide to head to Ricks, while another group decides to head to Main St. Inside, we have fun, drink, laugh and dance on stage. A while ago, I said I was off Asian girls, here's why. I danced by myself, in between songs and this Asian girl, walked up to the stage with her friend and rudely asked me to move out of the way. I assumed she simply wanted to get onto the stage so I slid over and let her but then she does or says something rude again and I had to respond. Next thing I know, we're in a verbal spat and I'm asking her, "What is your fucking problem?" However she continues to the point, I look at her friend and say, "You better tell your girl to shut up talking to me, before she gets stepped on!" This chick would NOT shut up. She continued with something like, "Look at you, can't get a girl," or something to the effect. Oh really? Thus for the rest of the night, I make it my point to find girls that are MORE attractive than her and dance right in front of her, as she stood alone, looking salty. Never have I ever, disliked a girl that intently, that quickly! Secondly, she brought back memories of my 2 Asian hookups which were both TERRIBLE! This one chick, had me on the Rick's stage HATING her whole race. I felt like "Chin on a Sunday afternoon, better than a Chin who says yes too soon." Thus I do not know how long my embargo will last, all I know is that they will NOT love me long time. Closing time was called and having not secured any prospects for the evening, I joined the group to head back to Hotel Arch. Now we had a dilemma because there was not enough beds for people to sleep in. Thus Stev goes home with Meg, who lives just down the street. Smilez lends his car to Stann/Anneve so that they could drive back to their hotel room, and Dre, Smilez and I, venture into the basement. There we find a hulk of a girl sprawled out against two couches. We don't know who she is but then two skinny white dudes come down after us and reveal that she is "Ashley" and they are friends of Jack, a resident of Hotel Arch. They try to wake her up, because she is taking so much space on the couch but they can't so I'm not sure who started it, but Dre or Smilez began to call her "Smashly Evans." I had already secured the couch by the stairs so I laid down as I observed the next scene. Smilez laid on the floor thus the 3, not strong people in the room, decide to pick Smashly up and forcefully evict her from the couch. I watched as Dre and the 2 white dudes attempted to pick Smashly up, and just as immediately her head drops with her legs in the air. I laughed saying, "You guys are about to kill that girl." However, she still was not awake, so they return her to the couch and resort to throwing things at her to wake her up. "Smashly get up!" "Smashly, wake your ass up!" I'm dying laughing because, they're throwing remotes, video game controllers, shoes, etc at this chick! Groggily, she eventually wakes up and sits up, and for someone who almost had her neck broken and insults literally and figuratively hurled at her, she was in a great mood. At that moment, someone says my name and I lament about the fact that I would rather be in a bed than a couch, but because I had the house phone, I had no numbers. The five of them pick up on my house phone comment and start laughing. They kept cracking jokes and I didn't know what was so funny about the fact that I had a house phone, that's a cell phone. I didn't know then, and I fail to see the humor now. Anyways, I passed out at around 6 in the morning so with all things considered, what could have been a terrible weekend, turned out to be quite enjoyable. In closing, and returning to the reception, when I eventually ran across Porter, he greeted me and said, "Thank you for coming out. Why weren't you at the wedding?" I looked over at Dre, laughed and shook my head.


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