Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir

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Book: Read Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir for Free Online
Authors: Stephanie Klein
Tags: Personal Memoirs, Biography & Autobiography
life.” I felt so lucky. I sang and smiled, and—not at all shocking for me—I even cried a little. “You have such a beautiful voice, Stephanie,” he said. I adored hearing him say my name. I felt loved when it came from his mouth.
     
    Later that night, after the wedding reception, I became ill from too much wine. Gabe stayed up late with me, in the dark of our bathroom, so I wouldn’t have to be sick alone. “I’ll do whatever I can to always take care of you,” he’d whispered. “Stephanie, you’re my girl, and I love everything about you. Even when you make us late to a wedding, no matter how much warning time I give you.” I looked up from the toilet bowl and squinted at him. “Yes, I even love when you make your mean face. And I love how excited you get about stuff, even the stuff I have no interest in, like in the museum the other day.” I had dragged him through the sweltering Museum of Natural History because I wanted to draw some of the animals.

    “Ugh, how can you be telling me all of this when I’m like this, all nasty and on the floor, sick like this?”

    “’Cause we’re family, and I get to see you like this and be this close to you, and I just realized that I’m excited about the fact that I get all of this, all of you, the woman who lets her mail pile up higher than the kitchen table but still complains that I don’t throw out my magazines fast enough. Speaking of mail, you know what I love most?” I shook my head. “I love, and never repeat this because it’s huge, that your e-mail subject lines are historically all better than mine.” This made me laugh because we constantly tried to one-up each other in funny. “I know you’re not going to believe me, but you look so pretty sitting there.” I did believe him.

    We fell asleep watching My Fair Lady until the room stopped spinning, which is exactly what I shared with his friends the following afternoon. Upon hearing me tell them that he’d spent the morning repeating, “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain,” Gabe rolled his eyes, jokingly denied it, and pulled me to him and whispered that he was going to kill me.
     
    I’d kill to have a date like that again for Electra’s wedding. But finding a wedding date is like finding a valentine: if you have to find one, it doesn’t count. Certainly, I’ve heard of wearing a dress on loan, but borrowing, or dare I say, buying a man is so provincial, yet it was still suggested.

    “I saw an ad in the back of a magazine,” my sister half-joked over the phone.

    “Don’t even finish that statement.”

    “I’m just sayin.’ At least you know he specializes in shiatsu in case things get out of hand at the wedding.”

    “Lea, shiatsu is a form of massage, not a martial art.”

    “I know.” No she didn’t.

    “What are you reading that crap for?”

    “Oh come on, everyone reads them. They’re funny as shit. The swinger ads are the best. One actually said they were looking for a hairy nut finder.”

    “What does that even mean?”

    “I don’t know, but that’s funny as shit.” Then she snorted.
     
    I was approaching the maximum spending limit on the AmEx as it was, thanks to the outfits I’d purchased to reclaim the esteem that was ripped from me on the recent litany of bad dates. And since the only feasible option appeared to be paying for a date, I decided to do the ever practical, and oh so dismal: I RSVP’d for one.

    “Are you sure you want to stag it?” Electra asked over the phone days later, “because there really won’t be any single men at my wedding. Well, no one over twelve who you aren’t related to, anyway.”

    “Yeah, I’m sure. Besides, I can spend time with the fam for a change.”

    “Good, because I’m sitting you with Fay and Yiya then. I don’t know who else to put at their table.” Yiya is my eighty-six-year-old Puerto Rican grandmother. Fay is her older sister. Undoubtedly, they’d be wearing muumuus and walkers and

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