This past weekend confirmed that I no longer have any desire to live in Atlanta. I know that I don't want to live in St. Louis, but I definitely don't want to live in Atlanta either. Going back to visit was kind of like going back to an old friend or boyfriend. You remember all the good things when you're gone, but as soon as you get back together, all the annoying shit that they used to do comes right back in your face.
So my friend B wanted me to come down and kick it for her 21st birthday. We partied together all the time before she was legal, and we always got kicked out of clubs because of it, so I knew I couldn't miss the opportunity to come to the "A" and NOT get thrown out of a bar within less than an hour. I buy my plane ticket in September, work ridiculous amounts of overtime so I'll have enough money to do whatever I want, and make plans to go shopping and get my nails done, as if I'm preparing for MY birthday. As the weeks go by, B tells me that her sisters are coming to Atlanta, as well as her best friend and her best friend's boyfriend. Our other friend, and my former roommate, K, will be in attendance as well since she and B are now roommates.
About a week before it's time for me to fly down there, I get a text from K. She mentions that B wants us to play a prank on her for her birthday and says we have to come up with something good. I think of an idea, but it will only work if K picks me up from the airport by herself. I ask if she will be able to come get me, and she says yes.
Fast forward to a couple days before it's time for me to go out of town. B calls me to tell me how excited she is that I'm coming, and she also mentions that she is upset because she's not going to have as much money as she wanted because she didn't get her refund check from school. I assure her that we'll have fun regardless of low funding, since my spending money will be short as well, due to some unforeseen car troubles. I'm scheduled to get to Atlanta Thursday morning, and B tells me she probably won't see me until Thursday night because she has school in the morning and work later in the afternoon. She mentions that K has class Thursday morning too, and at this point I ask, "Well, who the hell is picking me up from the airport?" B says that K will probably skip class to pick me up, but K has been flaky as hell for the two years that I've known her, so I send her a text Wednesday to tell her my plane touches down in Atlanta around 9:45am and ask (again) if she will be able to get me. She replies that she has class until 12pm.
Here we go.
I text back and mention that I asked her last week if she could pick me up and she said yes. She says that we should have confirmed the time, then adds that she's free after 1pm. Really now? Yes, because sitting at the airport for 3 hours is EXACTLY how I want to spend my morning. She sends one more text saying that I can't be mad at her, but "knowing me," I probably am. My first instinct is to text back that I can be whatever the fuck I want, but K is a sensitive soul, and she's pregnant, so I know that even a small dose of my wrath will likely be too much for her to handle. Besides, I don't want shit to get ugly before I even get there, so I tell her that I'm not mad, and that I need another option besides waiting at the airport until 1. I ask for her address so I can take a cab or MARTA, and that's that. I'm annoyed, because now I have to decide whether I should shell out $30 for a cab or deal with demented homeless men on the train.
I catch my flight the next morning, arrive in Atlanta, and I decide to go with the cab and head outside the airport to the curbside pickup. When I give the cab driver the address, he looks confused as hell and asks me if I know where that is. Again, here we go. One thing I never understood when I lived in Atlanta is why cab drivers always expected ME to help them navigate. I'm not a fucking GPS, and besides, isn't that why I'm paying you? I tell him the apartment is near the Georgia Dome. He doesn't speak English very well, but I'm pretty sure he asks me if it would be okay for him to drop me off in that general area. I give him the deadliest side eye ever, and he consults with another cab driver to find out where the address is. This whole ordeal takes about 10 minutes, then he gets back in the car and proceeds to pull out a GPS. What the hell? Why didn't you just do that in the first place? We finally get to my friends' apartment, and the driver has the nerve to look salty when I give him $3 for a tip. Little does he know, I had contemplated not giving him shit, due to his poor navigation skills AND the fact that it was hot as hell in the car, but I just don't have it in my heart to do that.
K told me the night before that she would leave their key under the mat, so I grab it and let myself in. I look around the apartment, then open one of the bedroom doors and lo and behold......there's K, laying in her bed. Yes, you read that right. She gave me all that drama, I paid $30 for a cab, and this bitch is at home. She claims that she got sick during one of her classes and had to leave early. Then she mentions that B wants snacks for a party that she's throwing on Sunday, so we head to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. When we get there, K tells me she has $200 on her EBT card, then proceeds to walk around the store and put every item imaginable in her damn shopping cart. Since living on my own, I have become a budgeting queen, and even without a physical calculator, I can tell all the shit in this cart is going to be way more than $200. K disagrees, but when we get to the checkout lane, she changes her tune and starts giving items to the cashier to put back. This is another one of my pet peeves, FYI. I can't STAND it when people get more shit than they can afford, then start putting it back. I stand by, gritting my teeth while she completes her transaction, then we head back to the apartment.
B comes home later, and her sister and cousins come over to visit her before we get ready to go to a strip club. Her family decides they don't feel like going anywhere tonight, so B, K, and I end up going. We get there after midnight and show our IDs to the bouncer. She informs B that even though her birthday is today, she won't be allowed to get in until 24 hours AFTER her birthday. Say what? That's the dumbest shit I've ever heard, but it sounds like one of the typical ass-backward Atlanta club policies, so B and I start to leave. However, K is the negotiator of the group, and asks another bouncer to get a manager. The manager comes outside and asks what the problem is. The female bouncer tells him she was told by some higher-ups that she couldn't let people in until the day after their birthday; he gives the okay for us to go in anyway. So we go in to show our IDs again, and this time the bouncer tells us that we "got her in trouble," and now she's going to have to explain herself to her boss. Not our problem bitch. We pay admission, then go to the bar for drinks. The bartender is standing against the wall, and when I ask for a Long Island Iced Tea, she gives me a "look" as if I'm bothering her and hollers, "What?" I repeat myself, then she makes my drink, and if it weren't for the loud music, I'm pretty sure I would be able to hear her sighing heavily. Because of her nasty attitude, I decide not to tip. I know those of you who are bartenders and waitresses are probably cringing, but I feel like this: if you have to live off tips, then you need to act like it. It makes no sense to provide bad customer service then expect to be rewarded for it. I'm not asking anyone to kiss my ass, but if I'm not coming to you in a disrespectful or rude manner, I would appreciate it if you do the same for me.
I sit down, sip on my drink, listen to the DJ talk shit about any guys that aren't throwing ones at the strippers, and watch the dancers who look like they would rather light themselves on fire than be on stage. B comments that I don't seem to be enjoying myself.....which I'm not. Watching nude women dance is not my thing. If I want to see a woman dance naked, I can just look in the mirror, and I don't have to pay $20 for it. But this is what B wanted to do, so I'm not going to make a fuss. She asks if I need another drink, so we head to the bar again. I don't have anymore cash on me so B buys the drinks, and this time the bartender says, and I quote, "The next time y'all come over here for a drink, I'ma need y'all to leave a tip." B apologizes and hands her a couple dollars, then we head back to our seats. Once I sit down, I think, "Wait a minute! Did this bitch just TELL us to give her a tip? After she was rude as hell? Where they do that at?" I must be more tipsy than I thought, because in my sober state of mind I would have been more than happy to tell the bartender what she needed to do if she wanted a tip from me. I guess it wasn't meant to be. Tonight is "Amateur Night" at the strip club, so we watch wannabe strippers shake what their mamas gave them, then we leave.
The next day, B has class until 12. Weeks before I came to Atlanta, we both mentioned that we wanted to get tattoos this weekend, so B says that her sister is going to do her hair, then we'll go to the tattoo shop around 2. 2:00 goes by, then 3, then 4, then 5, then 6. B's sister doesn't show up until around 6:30 to do her hair, and even though I've never had a sew-in, I know that shit takes AT LEAST an hour to finish. B wants to get tattoos, go to a haunted house, and go to a club later, but I have a feeling that's not going to happen. Her hair is done around 8:30, and we go to the haunted house first. There is what appears to be a never-ending line around the building, and we find out the wait is more than an hour. Nobody is trying to wait that long, so we head to the tattoo shop. Although I was under the impression that only B and I would be getting tattoos, I soon realize that her sister, two cousins, and their friend all want tattoos as well. And not just simple tattoos. One of B's cousins announces that she wants three pitbulls tattooed on her thigh, with each of her kids' names on them. That's just to give you an idea of the hoodratted-ness that occurred. It's almost 11pm and there are only three artists in the shop; I know we're going to be here until around 1 in the morning. The excitement I had about getting a tattoo has passed, and I tell B I'm not going to get mine tonight. Instead, I sit and drink and talk shit with B's best friend and her boyfriend, who arrived earlier this afternoon.
After everyone is tatted, we go back to the apartment to get ready for the club. By this time, B announces that she's too drunk to go anywhere so we stay in. We get up the next day and try to figure out if we should still get a rental car. That whole story is too complicated to write about, but to make a long story short, we don't get one. B decides she will just have K drive us around where we need to go and give her gas money. We go shopping at Atlantic Station, then have dinner at the Geisha House. The whole time, I am getting annoyed by B and her best friend, who I will call "BM" since she and B's pet name for each other is "Baby Mama." Ever since BM and her boyfriend came into town, B has been almost exclusively talking to them, as if she doesn't really give a damn that I visited for her birthday. They even left me in H&M to walk to the Geisha House, and B didn't bother to text or call me to let me know where they were. That, on top of the fact that they play with each other's hair and address each other with "Baby Mama" every five seconds, is working my nerves. I'm also picking up on some "diva" vibes from B that I never noticed before. She's upset that her family is refusing to go out with her tonight, because B wants to go to Club Opera, a racially diverse downtown club, and her sister and cousins "don't want to party with white people." Because of that, when B is not caressing her baby mama, she's on the phone telling everyone she knows how upset she is, and asking for confirmation about whether her family is wrong or not. I understand that it's shitty for her family to come to town specifically for her birthday, then back out of partying with her, but I could have told her that would happen and I just met them. They are all in their 30s, and they don't seem interested in the same things as B. Besides, even if they're not participating, I, along with her BFF and her BFF's boyfriend, flew into town and we've done everything she's wanted to do without complaining. As far as I'm concerned, fuck her sister and her cousins. But that's just me.
After dinner, we get ready for Club Opera. We head inside and at first I'm not feeling it, then I get a couple drinks and I'm good. Eventually some guy walks up and starts talking to me. I ask where he's from, and he says Italy. This is funny as hell to me, because my mother will swear on a stack of Bibles that I am going to marry either a Hispanic or Italian man. We start dancing and he's whispering in my ear about how much he loves Black women. Then I notice that everyone I came to the club with decided to move elsewhere. I kiss and hug my Italian boy goodbye and walk around the club to find my friends. I circle the club once but still don't see them; I tell myself to sober up and walk around once more. Still no luck, so I text and call K. I don't get a response, but I just so happen to wander toward the back of the club, where B is dancing around a stripper pole while BM is frantically snapping pictures as if this is a professional photo shoot. K, BM's boyfriend, and B's other friend (we call her the "Shy One") are standing nearby. By now, the alcohol has worn off and my feet are killing me, so I'm ready to call it a night. K goes out to her car, and the Shy One and I go outside moments later. We sit and wait for B and her other friends to come out, while the Shy One vomits outside of the car. I finally hear the DJ announcing that he's playing the last song, and B and her friends walk to the car looking and acting a drunken hot mess. We're subjected to their babbling all the way home, and once we get into the apartment, I get cleaned up, change clothes, and go to bed.
My flight leaves early the next afternoon, so I wake up and start packing. Once I'm done, I ask K if she will drive me to the airport. The Shy One is ready to go home, and asks us if K will be able to give her a ride too. Suddenly K shouts from her room, "I didn't sign up to be a taxi service!" Oh boy. Then she and B get into a brief argument about why K agreed to drive everyone around if she was going to be tight about it. In spite of K's outburst, she drives the Shy One back to her house, then takes me to the airport. On the way, K says she's not upset with me; she's just annoyed because she feels used and unappreciated by B. She mentions that B complained about the groceries she bought, and never thanked her for anything she did this weekend. I tell her I sensed a diva attitude as well, so I can understand where she's coming from. She drops me off and I rush to check in, since this is the second time I have been running late for my flight.
Whew. I told y'all it would be a long one. Looking back, there wasn't as much fuckery as I claimed, but I'm dramatic, and I don't get out much. Don't judge me. The trip was okay, but like I said, I don't think I could see myself moving back to Atlanta, at least not any time soon. Even though I've only been gone for a few months, I'm getting too old for the pettiness, and I have the feeling I would always be right smack in the middle of B and K's drama if I were still there.
Now I have to figure out where to take my next trip.