How I ended up in the worst neighborhood in Orlando

It had been a busy week of anxiety and blog conference nonsense. Work was stressing me out to the max. I was in the middle of a month of travel (15 out of 26 days, to be exact), having returned from Vegas two days prior to my Orlando departure, and the exhaustion was starting to wear on me. But I was finally having a magical night thanks to some friends and a fabulous twinkle skirt. We were closing down the BlogHer dance party, and some of those friends got together at the end of the evening and said, “You know what, gang? This just isn’t doing it for us. Let’s get outta here and do something crazy!”

I believe it was Mary who suggested we hit up a local private-room karaoke bar that she had googled. It was only a 5-minute Uber from the hotel we were staying at. I hemmed and hawed something about needing to wake up for an early morning press trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but in the end, I decided that I needed a “Yes!” moment. And so I said yes. I went up to change out of my now sweaty AF skirt and finish packing for my flight the next day.

We met down in the lobby a half hour later, and I hailed the car that would take Mary, Kristen, Lea, Brea, and me on quite the adventure.

We had been driving for about 7 minutes when I looked at the map on my Uber app. “Hey uhh, guys…I don’t think this is quite as close as we think it is. We’re still about 35 minutes out…”

It was at this point that we thought it might be best to ask the driver about our destination, an address on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando.

“Is the area we’re going to an okay part of the city?”

The driver gave a vague answer, at best, but he was hinting that it wasn’t really the best area for a group of women set to arrive just before 11 pm. We kept probing, spending the next half hour debating whether to turn around and find a different bar to spend the evening. By the time we arrived at Q Karaoke, we noticed the area was definitely the type of place we wouldn’t want to find ourselves stranded on a rainy night. Very desolate, few businesses open, and the ones that were closed were barred up. The bar itself was in the middle of an empty-looking strip mall with the neon lights of an exotic clothing store at the helm. The driver offered to take us back to our hotel, but we persevered.

one-way street sign

We decided to scope the place out. A few of us went inside, asked about prices and took note of the surroundings. It seemed innocuous enough, and so we opted to stay…until 1:30 in the morning. As shady as it seemed, we had A BLAST. Our little gang of singers had an unbelievable time busting out some of the most ridiculous and amazing karaoke tunes that we could muster. If you’ve never tried private-room karaoke, I highly recommend it. The lights flashing and the room jiving was everything. If my twinkle skirt didn’t make me feel alive this adventure sure did.

As we called our next Uber for the ride home, we were flying high on adrenaline and friendship. A night that surely wouldn’t be forgotten. When our driver arrived to pick us up, he seemed surprised to be collecting 5 30-something-year-old women, and we, of course, asked him about our location. He pointed out a few things that we had missed on our way in (a woman who was likely a prostitute, different establishments, etc) and told us that they called this stretch of road the OBT, known for the violence and crime rates. He even mentioned a recent murder that had occurred.

Welp. We survived that one, guys. 

We made our way safely back to the Hilton and hugged goodbye to each other until our next adventure. I proceeded to ask my next two Uber drivers about the OBT, and both were as surprised as anyone that we were hanging out down there. My driver on the way to the airport just shook his head and smirked like I was crazy.

I love saying yes to adventure.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: Sometimes I’m a Hot Mess. Sometime’s I’m Not.

Let me start by saying this: Anxiety Disorder is a fickle bitch. For me, it’s like I’m a complete contradiction of myself. Take that one time I met Jenny Lawson, for example.

Within two hours of freaking the fuck out when I met Jenny Lawson (Shaking hands, heart racing, rambling uncontrollably about nothing, and basically making a complete fool of myself, when all I wanted to do was impress her with my clever wit and overall adorable-ness…neither of which I was able to showcase), I went out to the bar where I proceeded to stand up in front of an entire bar full of people, and sing a song about masturbation without a second thought. (I’m kind of a karaoke nerd. For the record, I was singing the Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself,” loudly. Proudly, even.)

Why?

No, seriously. It doesn’t make any sense! I can make a fool of myself (ON PURPOSE) in front of a hundred strangers…but meeting one famous person sends me into a pile of incoherent goo. IN THE SAME NIGHT.

Karaoke Queen Karaoke Queen

Do you have any crazy quirks that make you question your sanity? Tell me, Blog Friends!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wordless Wednesday: I’m Going to be Skinny Again This Year

Skinny this year

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

My Favorite Piece of Hate Mail

I’ve always been something of a flirt, but for me, it’s often harmless. Occasionally, some guy with a girlfriend would come along and strike a friendship with me based on drinking beer, hanging out at a bar, and laughing hysterically. Some call that flirting. I call that having fun.

Even if I were flirting with someone, in no way would it have meant that I intended to sleep with that person. Or try to break their relationship up. Flirting does not equal desire. (This is not to say that I have never partaken of the Dirty Mistresses Club; it merely means that I was not looking to steal every girl’s boyfriend.)

Yes, I used to dress pretty provocatively. Yes, I wore clothing that accentuated my assets, but I never looked trashy. God provided me with an ample amount of upper body, and though it may have seemed like I was showing the world my goodies–much like an iceberg, I was mostly hidden below.

When I was 24, I spent a lot of time at Flaherty’s. We sing karaoke and had a really great time. Large groups of people would come to hang out, and I always had a blast. One particular group of people would frequent the karaoke shows. I would duet with Matt, and drink with all of his people. He was an incredibly flirtatious guy, so when we would chat, it seemed like we were interested in each other. Not. The. Case. He was a little too much like me for me to ever want to date him.

I prefer guys who bring something different to the table. I don’t want to be in constant competition to be funnier, sassier, or louder. It would be obnoxious. I think that was the case for him as well. His very sweet girlfriend was quiet and reserved. I thought she was a pretty nice girl.

Apparently, she didn’t think the same of me. I received the following MySpace message from her cousin, Anne:

“Oct 27, 2007
 
Anne says:
 
I have a little problem with the way you are disrespecting Lisa.
Why are you always hitting on Matt and may I add in front of Lisa, you know, Matt’s girlfriend? I thought you liked Lisa. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but Lisa gets a little upset when your around. Matt is a friendly guy, likes everyone, talks with everyone, and maybe (or obviously) he’s a “boob man”. But it’s getting pretty old seeing your boobs hanging out ALL the time. It’s not just me, it’s other people too. You know there are better ways of showing off your assets.
I really wish you would RESPECT Lisa and quit hitting on Matt. I’m not trying to be a bitch, I always thought you were a nice girl and just letting you know there are more appropriate blouses out there to be wearing. I’m not saying you have to be like me and cover up. I know you like to wear flirty outfits and all, I’m just saying they don’t have to come down to just above your nipples.
I really hope you do take all of this into consideration. I don’t want to put you down, I want you to be aware that you can still look classy while dressing flirty. You’re a cute girl and I’m sure you’re fun, you can get a boyfriend of your own, stop hitting on other woman’s boyfriends. Thanks for reading.”

 

Let’s just say I had a hard time not wanting to write back and correct her grammar. I was pissed. This message has stuck with me for almost five years. Not because I was hurt by it. Not because it was true. And definitely not because I learned something from it. But because it rang a bell that I had yet to hear. Some people just don’t get it.

Anne was a cute girl, definitely a little bit on the prude side, but like Lisa, I liked her. She exaggerated a lot to try making her point, but all I really got out of it was jealousy and stupidity. Yep, I said it:

People are stupid.

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!