Friday, May 18, 2007

J. Day Countdown, Day 7: Intermission in Carmichael's Honor

Today's Birthday-Related Quote:

"A very merry un-birthday to me."
"To who?"
"To me."
"Oh, you."
- from Alice in Wonderland

And now today's message:

My dear readers -

I'm going to take a break from my customary self-indulgence today to send the happiest of birthday wishes to my dear friend and fellow extrovert, Lee Carmichael.

It would be boring for me to go on and on about how many great times Lee and I have shared and how unbelievably cool she is. So, rather than do that, I'm simply going to compile a list of ten fun facts about her. You may get a laugh or two, but I promise you, this won't even begin to capture the essence of the one who is Carmichael.

  1. During the very first conversation Lee and I and ever had, she very casually cocked her leg up and let one rip. I have to admit I was kind of shocked, seeing as how most girls take YEARS to get that comfortable with someone. I asked her very plainly, "Did you just fart?" To which she replied, equally plainly, "Well yeah. I mean, I'm not gonna hold it in. That would be stupid."
  2. One night in college, while heading out to dinner with Lee and some other friends, I asked the girls if any of them would be willing to indulge me in a parking lot shouting match. (Anyone who's ever been in a college relationship knows the beauty of the parking lot shouting match.) Without hesitating or waiting for any of the other girls to respond, Lee turned to me and started screaming: "What do you WANT, J.? What do you WANT?! It's KILLING me! Do you hear me? It's KILLING ME!!"
  3. In perhaps the most dangerous moment I've ever shared with Lee Carmichael, she once picked up my cell phone and started scanning through my list of contacts. When she came to Avery's name, she asked who Avery was, and I told her that Avery is a friend of mine from Long Beach who's reknown for her bad temper. "Really?" Lee asked. "Let's see." She then proceeded to call Avery and say, "Yeah, I just found your name in my boyfriend's phone. And, like, I don't know why you're calling him, but you need to stop, bitch!" Naturally, Avery lost it. But instead of saying she was only kidding, Lee argued right back at her until she finally decided to hang up. "Wow!" she said. "She's really mad!" To this day, Avery has never let me live that down.
  4. When auditions were held for the first performance of "Do Not Collect $200" Lee and Kelly (Kelly Barry, whom I also have boundless affection for) decided it might be fun for them to come along with me, dressed in sexy black outfits. This of course led several people in Oxford's theater community to believe I had a small entourage of attractive, devoted lady-friends -- an image which was enhanced when Lee and Kelly came to the play's performance wearing even sexier black outfits. :)
  5. I can remember playing racquetball with Lee at the Turner Center and suggesting that we yell obscenities every time we smacked the ball against the wall. Lee, of course, was totally game for the idea, which left the people on the next court wondering why our every move was followed by "Fuck!" or "Damn!"
  6. The last time I saw Lee - about a year ago in Dallas - we had an interesting conversation about the way introverts and extroverts are drawn to one another. Both of us, after all - in spite of our considerable extroversion - are inexplicably drawn to quieter, less aggressive people in our relationships. My theory is that extroverts can only work together when they're able to take one another in small doses. (In our most consistent moments, for example, Lee and I only hung out once or twice a week.) Otherwise, they just end up wearing one another out or competing with one another for attention. Lee made it a lot simpler by saying, "Yeah, that's true. But really, I just don't want to date anyone who's more interesting than I am. And plus, if you date a quiet person, there's less chance that they'll be talking to a lot of people and meet someone else." :)
  7. Lee does the best Jerri Blank impression I've ever seen anyone do. Of course, she's also one of the few people I know who actually knows who Jerri Blank is. So that's cool too. (I consider Lee sort of my own personal Amy Sedaris.)
  8. When Lee and I saw The Notorious Bettie Page together, she became one of only a handful of people who've seen me at my most primal. That movie is 90 minutes worth of black hair, high heels, and physical restraint - Lee spent about 30 of those minutes asking me very sincerely, "Are you okay?" *guilty grin* "It takes all kinds to make a world."
  9. One of the first times I can remember Kelly Barry becoming annoyed with me was during a dinner party she threw at her apartment in college. Lee was there, and she and I took it upon ourselves to become the "parents" at the table, making everyone else "the kids" whom we would yell at for putting their elbows on the table or trying to take seconds without eating what they already had on their plates. Eventually, poor Kelly fell completely silent before sighing and saying, "Y'all, I'm too tired for this."
  10. The only time I can remember seeing Lee Carmichael quiet was during one of our weekly trips to China Palace in Oxford. I was working at As Seen On TV at the time, and there was a developmentally-disabled guy who would come in almost every day to rent porn. This guy just happened to be outside China Palace that day and he was anxious to talk to Lee and shake her hand. Once he'd gone on his way, I told her, "Hey, you know, that guy comes into the video store almost every day and all he rents is porn." Suddenly Lee got this really panic-stricken look on her face and started staring down at her hands as if they were completely contaminated. Like a bolt of lightning, she took off for the restroom and didn't come back for about 5 minutes. Then, all through lunch she was uncharacteristically quiet, except for the 5 or 6 times she looked at me with pleading eyes and said, "Are you serious? That guy only watches porn?" I laughed at her then like I like about it now. :)

So there you have it. Ten snapshots of my good friend Lee. I took time out of my own birthday countdown to celebrate hers...That should tell you how special she is. (Aaaaawwwwwww!)

Thanks for everything, Lee.

Only one week 'til J.Day, everyone.


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