R-E-S-P-E-C-T

My friend and I were out for late drinks. The bar was crowded. This woman came up to us. She was fairly inebriated.

Me: What was the metal band? What was the metal band that was playing?

Woman: What?

Me: What was this scandinavian metal band? What was the name of it?

Woman: Oh, Children of Bodom.

Me: Children of Bodom.

Woman: No, no, no. Whatever you asked me is not right. I love Children OF BODOM!

[laughter]

Friend: I don’t know them.

Woman: They’re the BEST FUCKING METAL ROCK BAND EVER.

Me: Wow—I didn’t even know. I didn’t know this.

Woman: They’re SCANDINAVIAN.

Friend: Are you Scandinavian?

Woman: No.

Friend: I’m not either.

Woman: I’m Irish.

Friend: I’m French. Are you Scandinavian?

Me: Um, half-Norwegian, so like the garbage right–

Woman: By the way, I’m married and my husband sucks ass . . . And my best friends were gay and he made me get rid of ’em. And I hate my life.

[laughter]

Friend: Children of Bodom?

Woman: Yes.

Friend: I got to write that shit down. Children of . . .

Woman: God, my life sucks ass.

Friend: What life sucks ass?

Me: What’s wrong with your husband?

Woman: My husband’s a fucker. My husband’s a fucking fucker. He made me get rid of my gay boyfriends. God, I hate him.

Me: Why did he—he didn’t like gays? What was it?

Woman: Apparently not.

Me: So how did it work? You just like call them up and said like we’re not friends anymore or what?

Woman: No, it wasn’t like that. He just said if you’re going to marry me . . .

Friend: No more boyfriends? Just like that.

[I order drinks]

Woman: Mafioso. Join the mafia. Ah, Capicio.

Me: Sorry, I missed that part.

Friend: She said join the mafia.

Me: Join the mafia.

Woman: Ah, Capicio.

Me: You joined the mafia when you got married?

Woman: See, my husband is a part of the mafia.

Me: Woah.

Friend: He must be Italian then.

Woman: Fuck, no. He’s Scandinavian.

[laughter]

Friend: The mafia.

Me: The new mafia.

Woman: No. The mafia is the new mafia which is a part of the fucking United States Government.

Me: Wow.

#   #   #

Woman: See, I like men the other way.

Me: Which way?

Woman: I love gay men.

Me: You love the gay men.

Woman: Yep.

Me: But not the straight men.

Woman: Because I tell my mother and my mother said, she said to my dad: you fucking die before me, you die be, be-fore me, Robert, I’m marrying a gay man and goddamnit, fuck you. And my mother and I used to tease each other, and we’d, you know—he’s going to clean the house. And I’d say, mom, you can’t make the gay man do it all.

[background noise]

Woman: Goddamnit my husband’s dead. I am separated and pissed off. My husband’s a USA offic—veteran. Who worked on C130s, F16s and Tomcats. In England.

#   #   #

Me: So how long you been apart from the husband?

Woman: Too long.

Me: Too long?

Woman: Yeah.

Me: Sorry to hear that.

Woman: I just met up with him last night and we almost fucked, but we didn’t quite get there.

Me: Yeah.

Woman: I was hoping we’d, you know, get it on . . . He’s cool with gay men.

Me: But I thought he made you get rid of all your gay friends?

Woman: You know what’s nice? Is that, he came full turn in 13 years.

Me: Oh wow . . . So he said, he said, when you got 13 years, 13 years ago he said, no gay friends—

Woman: Correct.

Me: —now he’s okay with gay friends.

Woman: Yes, yes.

Me: A lot of things have changed in 13 years.

Woman: You know what I taught him, was called R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Friend: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Woman: It’s called, hey, you know what? You don’t write it that way. Your prerogative is not everyone’s prerogative.

Me: Right.

Friend: Amen.

Woman: And so just fucking because it’s not, those goddamn people deserve the fucking right to file their fucking taxes the same fucking way the rest of us do.

Me: I’ll cheer to that.

Woman: Fuck yeah.

Friend: Amen.

Woman: Because you know what? They are we.

Me: It’s true.

Woman: Yeah, no shit.

# # #