It seems as though different rules apply at any Pride. We veer off the path of behavior deemed acceptable and arrive at the intersection of all questionable decisions. We take advantage of free hall passes, we enable each other, and find loopholes to every rule of decency. And the next morning, atop a mascara-smeared pillow, the stench of stale liquor, and a bevy of ladies scattered amongst the room, we pull an Eternal Sunshine and try to recount the details over much-needed coffee (read: hair of the dog) the next day.
So begins our Palm Springs Pride adventure. Like dandelions in the wind, we didn’t know which direction we’d take. No set plan but to brave the desert with a few goals in mind: Don’t get the spinsies. Don’t die. Always set the bar low. You’ll never disappoint yourself.
With the intent of getting to Palm Springs from LA by noon, one must factor in a few things. Stops for food and stops to digest the food. But most importantly, stops for booze: two bottles of vodka, Johnnie Walker Black, Fireball whiskey, Bombay gin, and beer. As we proceeded to the cashier in a town about half way to Palm Springs, a man lurking next to us asked, “Are you guys all sisters?” As he analyzed our purchase he muttered, “You girls gon’ get drunk?” Does the Pope shit in the woods?
All stocked up on the essentials, we’re finally greeted by the sea of windmills that usher us in. I squeal every time I see them. Undoubtedly, the girliest thing I do.
Our first tall order: How do we fit a gaggle of seven lesbians into a room with a maximum occupancy of four? I’m not good at math (not all Asians excel at this, Ms. Presumptuous) but this is simple. Three on one bed. Two on the other. Two on an inflatable mattress, which upon investigation was punctured. Time for extra credit: How many lesbians does it take to fix an inflatable mattress? Seven. One to chew the gum to patch the hole. One to strategically place her ass cheek over the MacGyvered hole the entire night. Five to point and laugh about their misfortune. We make do with what we have, including placing an iPhone in a wine glass to act as a speaker since there was no docking station. (Please take note of this trick. It really does work.)
After hotel room celebratory toasts, we took the trolly from the Riviera Hotel over to Downtown. We knew well enough that we couldn’t drink our dinner so we succumbed to the cries of our growling bellies. We dined at one of my favorite restaurants – Kalura Trattoria – a carboholics dream. With dinner came good conversation, laughs, and my besties – a girl could get drunk on this alone. Note that I said “could” but naturally, we smuggled vodka in a water bottle that was strategically hidden in one of the girl’s purses (this is the only reason why we carry purses, right ladies?). I never claimed we were classy.
With our appetites suppressed, we piggybacked to the Arenas Block Party where we quickly learned we may have been the only lesbians there. As expected, a sea of men and a sprinkle of women. No cover charge to get into the party? Palm Springs, I love you so hard. Just a stop to show our ID’s and we were in. If I were to draw a comparison between PS Pride and LA Pride, it feels like walking down Santa Monica Blvd on a busy Friday night but less raunch and vomit. Seeing that the lines to get into any bar were longer than any of our patience levels, we hailed it back to the Riviera – but of course, not without stopping at the 7-11 for a refill on adult libations and Slim Jims. Are you sensing a recurring theme here? If not, please reread the opening paragraph.We proceeded to the hot tub. You know that proverbial train wreck that you can’t take your eyes off of? This was it but in this case, there was no train. It was the Titanic – a sunken ship. We were approached by the most offensive (understatement) of characters. I’m sure he had a name but we dubbed him “Venice Bitch” as he so eloquently stated where he was from. Our brief encounter with him went like this.
“You guys look like such bitches. I love you.”
He continued with, “Who’s an Asian?! I’m portuguese. Fuck you. Are you Jewish? Fuck you. You’re from Nebraska? I hate people from Nebraska. Such bitches but I love you.”
After about 15 minutes of shut-ups, insults and compliments, Venice Bitch’s light burns out, he bows his head down and proceeds to vomit right into the spa. There was no attempt at being discreet about it. He appeared to be proud of how vile he was being. He almost looked smug about it. If I didn’t have a drink in my hand and a cigarette in the other, I would have slapped him.
“Hey, dick, you just threw up,” someone scolded.
“I didn’t throw up. I spat up!”
After more verbal exchanges, one of the girls ended our brief encounter with VB by saying, “Vai se fuder.” Translation: ”F off,” in Portuguese. He finally got the point but not before trying to bum a smoke.
Since the hot tub was deemed a hazmat zone, we moved the band of lesbians to the fire pit. (Insert burning souls comment here.) Not surprisingly after we situated ourselves around the pit, a group of men asked us the question we hear regularly, “Are you all lesbians? Sisters?” Coming from the only Asian of the group, I could say earnestly, “Yes, but I’m adopted.” As the fire began to dwindle down, we proceeded back to the room. More fire, but in this case, Fireball whiskey. It’s no surprise three sheets came pre-11 PM and we passed out.
The conclusion of Daylight Savings Time that Sunday morning helped us awake at 8 AM to book it to Hamburger Mary’s to get a prime spot to watch the parade. The major difference between LA Pride and Palm Springs Pride is the mellowness of it all. The pace is slow and steady. Or was that just us? It’s LA Pride on Valium, which was the perfect end to an eventful 2012 Pride season. Despite the drunken stupors and the disregard for anything in moderation, we remained mindful of why we were there in the first place. The love for one another oozed from the sidewalk pavement to the streets. A sea of rainbow flags flirted with the wind and reminded me exactly why I look forward to Pride every year. There’s only one rule here – Love yourself and love each other.
No casualties to report. No babies conceived. I can undoubtedly call our weekend a success.
I’ll see you at Dinah, Palm Springs – if not sooner.