Meet the Nieratkos - Midlife Crises Must Suck
This past weekend was Memorial Day, the day we are supposed to get drunk and remember all of those that have fallen fighting for America (Hey, Japan! I haven’t forgotten shit!). Now this day will serve as a special reminder for me after meeting a terribly tattooed 40-year-old mom at a BBQ on Monday: At the first sign of a midlife crisis, remember to put a bullet in my head.
Somehow I got suckered into going to a non-family function at my brother’s house Monday. I was pitched a small gathering of family-only, what I got was a few dozen strangers who wanted to make small talk. I’m not great at small talk. I make off-color comments about “prom moms” and “homosexual cops” (to police officers) to see if I can cut the conversations short. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I just give up and say, “Hey I need to go take a shit. I’ll be back.” And walk away.
One of the married, 40-year-old ladies in attendance came with two very young children. I’d seen her before but I’d never noticed her HUGE, crappy, Celtic-y-cross-draped-with-flowers tattoo on her shoulder before. I didn’t know if it was new--all I knew was it was bad. As she got progressively drunker that tattoo was all she wanted to talk to anyone about. She was trying to convince everyone at the party that they needed to get a tattoo too as if to justify her uncertainty. At some point she showed me and my sister-in-law her tribal band # 79 tramp stamp just above her butt crack. She slurred at my sister-in-law that she needed one in a way that sounded like her tongue had gotten snagged on one of her molars, “jew nee ta ge uh tattoo, jewlia!” I told her, “My sister-in-law is just fine the way she is and I hope when her midlife crisis sets in she doesn’t respond by getting a bunch of shitty tattoos.”
Rather than that statement being met with anger it was received as an invitation to strike up a conversation with me about tattoos. She thought that in some way we had something in common because we both have tattoos; regardless of hers looking like she blindly threw a dart at the flash wall at a tattoo shop located inside a rest stop bathroom.
She reached for my arm and said, “Hoo duzzz yerrr werk?”
“Lady…” I began, about to meathole her (a term Kimberly Kane taught me for when porn directors mentally abuse a girl with the worst, most personal details until they break and cry on camera) but then I just said, “Have you seen Grover’s tattoo? He loves M & Ms!” I pointed to Grover’s Celtic cross tattoo on his shoulder. There was an "M" in the upper left and lower right, and the center of the cross was hollowed out to make an "O." He said it's meant to spell "MOM." It looked more like a hallowed salute to M & Ms. She spun to look and squealed with joy that they had the same exact tattoo, except totally different. But they’re both crosses and when you’re drunk that’s close enough.
I snuck away. As I did I caught the saddened husband with his head in his hands, filled with embarrassment for his drunken wife.
I walked over to my wife, kissed her, and said, “I love you but if you go bat shit crazy, I’m leaving for milk and never coming back.”