Here is where I shall try to relate an experience that has gone down in friendship lore. Who knows if it will come across, but I have to try. Why? Why am I sharing a story of something that happened nigh unto 7 years ago? I'll tell you why. Because last night, as I was standing in the kitchen preparing a little snacky snack, my mind RANDOMLY wandered to a Russian driver, whereupon I giggled. Julie and Jere from the other room asked what was funny. I then proceeded to laugh, uncontrollably, pee my pants, tears streaming down my face, gutteral laugh. I couldn't stop. The images in my head from that fateful trip were just too much. The memory of that car ride into Manhattan, priceless. But more importantly, that laughter was a release like none I have ever had. I truly don't remember the last time I laughed that hard, or that long, or that honestly (if that makes sense). And I can say....I felt lighter, happier when it was all said and done.
Right, so story time. (Holly, don't skim)
About seven years ago, long before Gastric Bypass surgeries and long before our children were even glimmers in our eyes we were pretty free and easy. We have a very dear friend, who at the time practically lived with us. Our relationship was a bit unorthodox, but then again, everything about us is like that. Anyway, Tracie, Jere and I were pretty much ALWAYS together. So, Tracie decided we should go to New York. Who is Jere to pass up anything to do with New York. Plane tickets were bought, hotel booked and show tickets purchased.
Have I mentioned that we were three RATHER hefty people. Like 400 lb. + large. I can ONLY imagine the thoughts running through peoples heads when they saw our thundering threesome coming at them. Good thing we're so damn cool.
Just a couple of pictures for evidence (Jere was actually smaller than his biggest weight here, so was Tracie for that matter)
So, plane rides were never an enjoyable thing. More like a horrific, sweat inducing, nerve fest. I literally prayed over and over to have noone sit next to me, which sometimes worked. Anywhodle, somehow we made it through the flight and landed at La Guardia. We had cleverly booked a car service to pick us up and transport our plus size bootays to the W hotel in Manhattan.
It's raining, we've got luggage galore (Tracie likes 3 outfits a day at least), and we've got US. Up pulls our driver (at which point I'm sure he cried a little). He opens his trunk and there is literally a car seat, a spare tire and various and sundry other items FILLING his trunk. We looked at him like "are you kidding me?" He thought for a moment that he could make it work. Ummmm NO! So, he quickly calls another driver. Over comes our friend Dmitry (what he was Russian, work with me). He looks at us, looks at our stuff and begins calculating in his brain how this is gonna work.
We stuff most of the luggage into the trunk, but there was still one bag left. One of us asked to sit in front, with the bag. "NO, nobody sits in front." At which point we said "have you seen the size of us? And have you seen the size of your backseat?" He didn't care....the backseat for all of us it was.
The doors are open and the space suddenly seems about the size of a postage stamp. Our ample asses and bazooms to boot were gonna fill that space right up. So, in went Tracie, toward the middle, then I got in on one side and Jere shoe horned his way in to the other side. The driver had to literally use brute force and kick/shove the door closed. There may have been grunting involved. Now, IN the back seat we are dying laughing. Tracie is on one butt cheek, sorta "floating" over us. We are so tightly wedged that we are NOT moving anywhere. He took hard turn after hard turn and all that moved was our heads. We were to a point of hysteria, laughing and making fun of ourselves. Because really, WHAT can you do? Three fat, fat fatties are perma wedged in this backseat and frankly, we weren't sure we were ever getting out. Now none of us has any feeling left in our lower extremeties, and the air in the car is certainly getting thin.
Up we pull to the swanky W Hotel. The door literally POPS open and one by one we slowly, and awkwardly and painfully extricate ourselves from the human sardine can. Once again, can hardly imagine the thoughts racing through the doormans head as he witnessed THAT "dismount."
At last, we were out, all in one piece and ready to take Manhattan by storm.
But first, we had to endure a double bed.....seriously, double beds are made for single people. NOT two fat married people. And then we had to endure theatre seats made for skinny people. Which brings me to this next awkward moment.
We had tickets to Hairspray. It was still new and rockin the town. Our seats were center section, down on the floor. GREAT seats. Somehow Jere and Tracie got to them first. And Jere managed to squeeze into his, then Tracie with what can ONLY be described as the magic of fairies and pixie dust jack hammered herself into her seat. No really, imagine the sound of an airtight seal....that would be her, SEALED into her seat. She said "I'm in" (in a super high squeek voice, due to the fact that all ability to breathe, move or function had been taken). So now I come wandering down the aisle, and they both look over at me and slowly shake their heas and mouth "Noooooooo". Guess there was No way one more tubby was getting in that row. So, I had to flag down the house manager and explain our predicament. I'm glad I can laugh about this now, cause it sucked sorta hard at the time. Anyway, he had to find me a folding chair and put it up in the balcony, cause he had nothing else he could do. Nope, that wasn't AWKWARD at all. The only good news here is...I TOTES met Clay Aiken that night, as he was sitting in the audience (across from Jere and Tracie). Yeah, strike THREE for the pudge club.
I give you this gem....and yes, that IS me in all my 400 lb. glory.
Oh wait.....Jere just reminded me of the other "special" theatre moment we shared. We got student tickets to see 42nd Street. Student tickets meant FRONT ROW seats. And let me tell you, this front row was NOT messing around. We were probably a foot from the stage, if that. I called dibs on the aisle (I ALWAYS called dibs on the aisle, because that way I could lop into said aisle) and then Jere and Tracie shimmied their way into their seats. We were quite the site, the three of us Michelin men wedged into our seats. Now, if you know nothing of this show, you have to recognize this iconic moment.....
Remember, we are inches from their faces. We could practically smell their breath. They had up close and personal view of US in all our greased pig glory. People, we couldn't move our arms, hell we could hardly breathe. It was AWESOME! And all we could think was....you KNOW they're all backstage going "Good Lordy, did you see those fatties on the front row?"
Thanks New York. You are the BEST!
And in an unrelated to fat note, this was the same trip in which I stupidly, STUPIDLY passed up seeing Wicked, because what the hell was Wicked? It was in previews, and I hadn't heard of it, didn't know anything about it. So, i passed up the ORIGINAL cast of Kristin Chenowith and Idina Menzel. For what? I freaking chose Little Shop of Horrors over Wicked. GAG! Pretty sure I'll never get over that stupid choice. Or, I'm over it, but still disappointed. Would you believe I've still never seen that freaking show. Phlbbbbt!
Oh, and also, we went and saw Regis and Kelly. Super fun, but SUPER tightly squeezed chair in an itty bitty, teeny tiny studio. Seriously, that place is amazingly small. Needless to say.......SQUISHED, one fat bootray on another. hehehehe
Long live the chub club,