The Jello Girls
This is a bit long...but hopefully it won't feel that way. Some stories just have to be told in full length...or they lose something. Hope you enjoy it!
I am not a party animal...
In college, I was the person that nursed one beer the entire night. My dates never had to worry about being driven to the brink of poverty during a night out. At company parties, I was the one consulted the next day on what embarrassing things my co-workers had done and how much it would cost to keep me quiet...
You get the idea.
It's not that I can't have fun...or misbehave to a point that would shock my parents...it just means that I don't require alcohol to do so and I don't do it very often. Most people that know me would use adjectives like...reserved or circumspect. At the last company party, when my boss called me sweet and naïve...my husband nearly choked on his entrée and then gave me a knowing look. I just gave him my most angelic smile and wide innocent eyes.
My mother has this theory about the use of swear words. While she never forbid us their use, she did impart a little bit of motherly advice on the subject to guide us. "Swear words are special," she told us. "If you use them too much...they lose their power. So try to use them only when you are really, really mad. People pay attention...trust me." My mother was not prone to swearing...so I can tell you that when she did, you could hear a pin drop in the ensuing silence.
Well if Mom's advice worked for swear words...perhaps it could come in handy elsewhere. Go wild, go crazy....but don't do it so often that this becomes the definition of who you are.
I have this timeshare in Aruba...
Most of the time, I bring my significant other along to enjoy it with. We snorkel, we run around on ATVs, we dine out and take long romantic walks on the beaches....it's all rather nice. However, this one particular year, I didn't wish to share my timeshare with my significant other...he was a rather lazy sort and thought I was going to buy his ticket and foot the entire bill. I really didn't want to go alone...but just to prove a point, I would if I had to...
This was my preoccupation the morning I walked into work and found a co-worker wiping her eyes and trying to give me a smile. I liked Michelle. She is a smart and sassy woman. But lately, she's been rather depressed because her husband of over ten years suddenly decided he needed some space and told her he didn't love her anymore. The jerk.
I pause on the way to my office and plunk myself at her desk. "It's a beautiful day outside Michelle! Kinda makes you want to run away doesn't it?"
She sniffles and nasally replies, "Uh huh."
"So I'm thinking...perhaps throw the top down on the jeep...keep driving until I hit the beach..."
"I like the beach" she says rather dolefully.
"You doing anything special next month? Cuz I was thinking...you need a vacation...I need company. Wanna come with me to Aruba? It'll be just us girls..."
"Will there be single men?"
"Gobs of them!"
I'm not a natural when it comes to having female friends. When it comes to understanding women, I'm about as clueless as most men. I hate Tupperware parties, avoid baby showers and bridal showers, and I break into hives whenever one of my feminine siblings mentions the dreaded words..."make over." Still, I figured...how bad could this actually be?
This was only my second vacation with somebody of my own gender. The other had been a week at a Club Med Resort when I was in my early twenties. I'm still trying to forget most of it. Luckily that particular female friend became a nun....she's not telling anyone anything.
I knew upon settling into my studio that this was going to be no ordinary vacation.
"So...do you want the pull out couch or the Murphy bed?" I asked her.
"Oh hell," she said,"it's not a big deal to share a bed y'know...we can both have the Murphy bed."
"Okay...if you're cool with it...so am I."
"Uh," she said after a moment's hesitation, "I should warn you though...sometimes I throw off my clothes in my sleep."
I shrugged and replied as nonchalantly as I could, "That's okay...I'm a snuggler."
To my relief, no clothes were discarded...and nobody was inadvertently snuggled. Sorry to disappoint any men reading this hub.
The vacation went smoothly for about a day. After that...we became celebrities....of a sort.
We had found in our nightly travels, the hub of all social activity on the island. If you've been to Aruba, you know the place. If you haven't...I'm not going to tell you because they probably still remember us. Michelle and I were there on "Mexican Fiesta Night." We had made friends with some of the staff, so we were getting a LOT of attention. And a LOT of free tequila...
Occasionally the noise level would erupt and a spotlight would be thrown on a random couple. The bar would deliver to them a pair of jello shots and it was up to them to entertain the entire club with their...uh...talent...in consuming the jello shots.
Michelle was totally plastered. I was trying to keep my drinking at a minimum to keep an eye on her. But I would be lying if I told you I wasn't feeling very relaxed...
Michelle is a tiny thing compared to me. She's all of about 5 feet tall and dresses like Mary Tyler Moore. I can't help but feel protective of her even though I know she can handle herself. Luckily, the staff person that decided to devote all of his attention to her was a sweetheart. He made paper napkin roses and told her she was beautiful as he handed them gallantly to her. Michelle needed this attention after all she'd been through.
My swain was a pig. After trying to maul me, I literally had to push him off and tell him I was already spoken for. He said it didn't matter...he was too, but she was in Venezuela. He didn't seem to grasp the concept of the word "no." Finally I had to outmaneuver him by telling him that I'd be more amenable if I was drunk. My drinks were free the entire night...and each one was delivered with a "are you drunk yet?" I would smile shyly and tell him no.... The truth is, I could never be drunk enough to say yes to this slob.
At some point...one of us got a very, very bad idea. Actually...I think it was me. In desperation to rid myself of the jerk that was badgering me, I crooked my finger and beckoned the emcee of the evening's festivities to our table.
"Y'know," I slurred, "I see all these jello shlots going around. All these men and wimmen...but I haven't seen one...not one jello shlot...being done by two...wimmen. Ith there some kinda problem here with that?"
"Umm...well no...not that I can think of," the poor emcee replied.
"I'll do one with ya!" Michelle yelled from her seat, bouncing up and down at the idea.
"Aww...I love you."
"I love you too..you are my bestest friend in the whole world."
The jello shots arrive and I stick my finger in it, running it around the edge to sorta loosen it up. Mmm...it's cherry. My favorite.
I look at Michelle...."Okay...so should I put it in my mouth and feed it to you or what?"
She shakes her head emphatically...her short dark pageboy hair flying as if she's in some shampoo commercial.
"Uh uh...I wanna do it from your cleavage."
I look down a bit sadly....
"Michelle...I have no cleavage. If I put it there...it will just fall through and splat on the floor."
"But I want to do a cleavage shot...."
"I don't see how..."
And as we are arguing, the spot light centers on us...and the emcee takes my hand and leads me to the bar. I am oblivious as I'm still half turned toward Michelle arguing the merits of a mouth shot versus a cleavage shot.
The applause is what shuts us both up....
"Ladies and gentlemen...these two ladies here are going to perform a very special jello shot for all of you tonight. Let's give a Mexican Fiesta round of applause to Michelle...and....Laurie!"
*clap, clap, clap*
I'm suddenly having Gidget flashbacks. Did she ever go to Aruba?
The emcee guides me to the top of the bar and encourages me to lay flat on my back. With an evil, conspiratorial grin, he upends a jello shot over my chest and I make a face at it strikes my chest with a nasty squishy sound.
Michelle needs no encouragement...she leaps onto the bar and plants herself on all fours above me.
"Are you ready?" she asks with the most evil smile I've ever seen on her face.
"Just...do it. And by the way...do you realize that the table of people from New Jersey can probably see your underwear from their vantage point?"
"Uh uh...I'm wearing a THONG!" she cries jubilantly before she lunges for the jello and plants a big kiss on my lips.
The crowd goes wild folks...go figure.
We are both giggling as we bow...and leave the stage to return to our table. Michelle leans toward me and in a stage whisper says, "Y'know...you dont' kiss half bad!"
"You tell anyone back home about this...and you are dead...you understand?" I whisper to her.
Later that evening as we got ready for bed, I was having second thoughts about our lack of...uh...circumspect behavior.
"Oh...lighten up, Lor..." she scoffed, "it's not like this is a small island."
"Actually, Michelle," I groaned, "you'd be surprised just how small it is."
The next morning dawned beautiful and sunny for our excursion on the Mi Dushi. It's one of my favorite trips to take in Aruba...and I thought Michelle would enjoy it. It's a full day of sailing and snorkeling aboard a schooner...and I was looking forward to seeing the crew again after a year away. That's one thing I love about Aruba. You can stay away for an entire year...but they remember you when you come back. It's like coming home...sort of.
Michelle and I bounced up the ramp, greeting people as we went. When I came to a screeching halt, she bumped into my backside and gave a muffled grunt of surprise. "What the hell, Laurie?"
"Oh my god...Michelle...the New Jersey table is here...."
"How can you tell?"
"I'm from New Jersey...of course I'd recognize them. And besides...see how the men are all smiling and the women look like they want to throw us overboard? It's them...I'm telling ya."
It made for a very interesting trip. Except for the scowling New Jersey housewives, the other women on board that had been at the club last night...and oh yes, there were quite a few...were only too eager to shake our hands and tell us how our joie de vivre had impressed them so much that they'd nearly volunteered to do the same thing. There was an entire family that descended upon us, exclaiming, "Oh won't Patty be so upset she didn't feel up to this outing and decided to stay in the hotel! She is going to just die! I can't wait to tell her we met "The Jello Girls!""
The Jello Girls?????
There was a cop from Boston that came up to us, dragging his future son in law...
"I just wanted to tell yous...that if you are evah in Bahston and find youselves in trouble...yous just ask for me. I'll never forget that one night...yous made me the happiest man..."
"Uh...thank you, sir" I replied.
"I just have one question..."
"What flavor was the jello?"
"I believe it was cherry, sir."
He chortled, slapped the red-faced lad on the back and said, "I knew it! You owes me five bucks!"
Michelle and I were only too happy to escape the boat at the end of the excursion.
"I guess I was wrong about the ‘small island' thing, huh?"
"I'm sure it'll have blown over though by tonight."
Just to be safe...we went to a different club. As we approached the door and saw the line, we sighed with relief that we didn't recognize a single face. Just as we'd settled at the end of the queue, the bouncer crooked his finger and signaled us over. Without a word, he lifted the velvet rope and nodded for us to go in.
I smiled uneasily at Michelle as we walked through the doorway and I made a detour to the ladies room so we could have a chat about this peculiar treatment.
"Oh my god! It's the Jello Girls!!!"
I hadn't even closed the door behind us when we were assaulted by two young ladies in their early twenties that were about to wet themselves in their excitement.
"Um...hi!" If I'd known we were going to be so popular, I would have spent a bit of time rehearsing witty remarks. Caught off guard this way, I'm pretty much at a loss.
When we were finally alone, I glared at Michelle. "It's your fault y'know...we could have just done a regular shot...but noooooo...you had to have cleavage didn't you?"
Michelle just smiled at me...which kinda forced me to smile back. Since I'd dragged her to Aruba to help her forget her husband problems, why start being a hypocrite when I was actually succeeding. I don't think she'd thought about old whats-his-name since the first day here. At the very least, there hadn't been any tears.
We decided to just enjoy our newfound notoriety. But no more jello shots...
Of course, when Michelle tried to tell people about our vacation excitement, nobody believed her. Not me. I'm so sweet, innocent, reserved....anything but fun.