So a few weeks ago I had a painfully embarrassing moment, starring me and poor taste.
We were at the local synagogue, volunteering at a charitable event. A man started babbling on and on about this and that and that and this, and he mentioned how his mother had recently died, and that she lived in Florida. He proceeded to ask some questions about my folks, who also live in Florida. And, absentmindedly, I said, “You know, Florida—the land where Jews go to die.”
Anyhow, that was bad. But not the worst …
The year was 1989. Brian Cannamo was having a Christmas party at his house. I was invited, which sorta shocked me, because I wasn’t so in with Brian and his posse. Still, I was thrilled and happy to be included. It was a Secret Santa shindig, so everyone received a name, and you brought a wrapped, untraceable present for that person. I’m pretty sure I was given Melissa Kounine, and I bought a calendar or mug or something.
The party was a party. Everyone hung out, ate, talked, whatever. And, finally, Brian announced that it was time for the gift exchange. Names were called, people walked forward, and I was given a record. This record …
I wasn’t much of a Skid Row fan, but I knew their music. I found out Brian, the host, had actually been the giver, too. So I approached him, thanked him warmly and made some really awkward Skid Row pun about being a down boy. Which didn’t even make sense, because “Down Boys” is a Warrant song. Anyhow, even with that hilarious joke, Brian looked at me with a pained expression and said, “Um, sorry Pearl, but I actually bought that as a gift for Jeff Cascone.” He took it from me, and I stood there, mortified.
I left a few moments later. Everyone had a gift.
Except for me.