Friday, June 03, 2005


Life archetypes never end and one of the strongest strains of beeyatch I have ever met was a girl named Ratalie. Ratalie, a vile former colleague, ruined my life for about a year. Those kinds of people take up residence in your soul and are as hard to shake as a mysterious Mexican parasite. Ratalie is attractive, in a way. I was crafty and sent my sister, T, a picture of Ratalie because she was dying to know what she looked like. I kept telling her she was attractive but when I sent the snaps, ingeniously caught via digital camera at a forced birthday "party" meant to quell the heart of the viscous beast, T said, "I thought you said she was attractive." So I guess it's all relative. According to Ratalie, she is man-candy for a starved populace. Men call her up and ask her, randomly, to The Palm restaurant here in DC. T said, "I thought that was a place for old farts." Good point! It is. But for a Bootstrap Sally like our Ratalie, it's the pot de jacques. We'll get in to why restaurants sometimes serve as "class makers" for a certain populace later.

Anyhoo, back to Ratalie. She is a fetching lass, despite T's reservations. Rat has a great body, and really that's all that matters. She's got the stems, the faux orangey Anita Bryant tan (oh GOD, does she maintain that faux tan!), the 36D headlights, streaked hair, a beak, swollen eyes and a nascent double chin. Ooops those last three things just slipped outta the catty bag. Ratalie is a combination of Natalie Wood and a gigantic rat, hence her name. She has a sister who lives in Boca Raton and she is always going to visit her. Boca Raton=Mouth of the Rat. Perfecto.

Ratalie made my life a living hell because she is one of the most mercurial moody bitches who ever lived. I have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome because of her. Sometimes I think I hear her voice and I involuntarily shake. She is best friends with Retro Slut. They are both a coupla tough, street smart chicks who, like a cockroach after a nuclear blast, could survive for a year on the the back of a postage stamp. Cockroach Girls. They dress like 'ho's and the power they wield over men is that they dress provocatively as a challenge, as in "Here are the goods, fetchingly packaged, but you can't have them." It is a popular ploy among young women these days. Hence the ubiquitous spaghetti strap camisoles and the popularity of 'ho divas like JLo and Paris Hilton. Fuck-me magnets who don't deliver.

She and Retro Slut are smart, in that scrappy 'ho with a hearta gold way; they have bartended; first person in the family to go to college; that sort of thing. They also both live in "fringe" neighborhoods that they insist on calling "Adams Morgan," but that are not "Adams Morgan." They are proud that they live in DC and, of course, talk about the suburbs like all proud city dwelling tough trash divas do, in disparaging tones. Rat almost had a heart attack when I told her I was a native Washingtonian. She said, "But they don't exist." I said, "Well you're looking at one." That's when she stopped trying to convince me her shack on 14th Street was in "Adams Morgan."

Ratalie was all about the drama and all about the Ratalie. She talked about herself incessantly and never, not once, asked me a question about myself. She had a rigid script of things she would talk to me about: politics and the Jon Stewart show. She liked The Onion magazine and would try to bond with me over that, but I don't think it's funny, so we couldn't connect there. I think the problem was that she used to be a Republican. And you know what they say, once a Republican always a Republican. She talked a good liberal game, but I know her heart lies with the provincial, nibby-nosed world of the Other Party.

Alas, all good things must come to an end and Ratalie, who was also a painfully transparent liar, finally got a job somewhere else. Someone had an idea to put together a "goodbye book" for her. It was all I could do not to write, "Don't let the screen door hit yer ass on the way out." Instead, I copied this cartoon from the New Yorker with the caption, "What is this endless series of meaningless experiences trying to teach me?" and pasted it in the book. Next to it I wrote, "I hope you find some happiness one day."


Cynicism is another word for reality

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