I got back to the room to shower and change for the banquet. I was already late, but these things never start on time anyway. Acquiring a Red Bull was my top priority at that point, but I refused to buy one from the hotel gift shop. There had to be a Rite Aid within a couple of blocks, right?
Cop: "Drug store? It's a ways away. You may just want to stop in this hotel..."
Bouncer: "You can get a Red Bull right in there."
Me: "In the liquor store?"
Bouncer (like, duh): "Yeah, it's a party store."
I walked in after my table had already gotten food, pouring my Red Bull into the glass in front of me.
Dad: "Planning on a late night?"
Me: "Planning on staying awake through this banquet."
The first order of business on the banquet program was for everyone to be introduced. All 10 people at all 10 of the tables (attendance was down this year). And each table had one representative speak for the table. Even tough my table included a super-high-ranking government official, the family matriarch (my grandmother), and my very popular and outspoken mother (I found it most effective to introduce myself as my mom's son or my grandmother's grandson the whole weekend), I was immediately delegated as speaker of the table. Awesome.
Yes, I've done theater and performed on stage countless times (professionally, at one point... sort of). But what my family doesn't get is that there's a huge difference between rehearsed performance and extemporaneous speech, the latter of which is a specialty of many family members. Did I mention that I didn't know the name of the elderly cousin sitting next to me?
She told it to me. I messed it up.
Then they called for participants in the talent show while they did door prizes. There were no less than 30 door prizes.
The talent show, was comprised solely of children under the age of 10. Mind you, I am obligated to sing at almost every family gathering on both sides, but somehow, I got out of this one with almost no fight. One little girl almost performed in a bunny ballet costume because "I paid $84 for this costume, so we're getting another use out of it!" but her music messed up. One duo rapped "Nice Guys Finish Last" a cappella (keep in mind: all under 10).
One pair of girls (about 8 and 5 years old) danced to Rihanna's "Rude Boy". The very "Rude Boy" where Rihanna demands that he "Get it up", "Take it" and "Give it to me baby like boom, boom, boom!" and to close the talent show: a little girl lip synching to Nikki Minaj's "Super Bass". Gestures, affectations and all.
I was so glad when they cut on the music and opened up the dance floor.
The festivities wrapped up around 11, and no liquor was served, so you know I was ready! Plus our local cousin was supposed to be taking us out! I couldn't wait to make fun of the colorful scenery of a downtown Detroit bar!
Hippy Cuz and I went up to my slightly older cousins' room, but they still had my one cousin's kid and nephew in their care until said cousin's parents got back from the casino (pronounced "casinah"). ETA: an hour.
Cousin (handing me $25): "Here. Get something good."
|image from babesesh.blogspot.com|
When I'd brought up liquor before, the cousin that didn't give me money had mentioned some flavor of Ciroc. This was the same cousin that was into Nuvo, so I knew she liked her liquor sweet. The cousin who had given me money: who knows. So at the liquor sore, I figured Pinnacle vodka (whip cream flavor) and a pre-mixed cosmo would be a pretty safe bet.
Cousin who paid at 12:30: "Damn, you can't send children to the liquor store!"
Same cousin at 1:30: "Damn, I'm mad y'all let me finish this bottle of cosmo mix by myself!"
One of these cousins works on the more educated side of law enforcement. She'd been ragging on the police cars all day, which was valid because it looked like it'd been 10 years since their squad cars' last
oil change paint job.
Me: "Well, you've heard how broke the City of Detroit is!"
Cousin: "And?! Get a federal grant get new squad cars like everybody else does!"
She definitely got a cop to pose next to his broken-down cruiser for a pic with her on the way to the diner.
|poor sap probably thought this was admiration|
It was too late to go out, since the bars close at 2, but the late-night diner scene was entertaining in and of itself. I managed to sneak us in with no wait (thanks to a careful ear and a group ahead of us that suddenly expanded from 4 to 7 people), but we were stuck next to the cash register. My cousins could afford to be much more flirty with the hot manager than I. They really weren't that into him, but it was something to do.
Speaking of flirting, I don't think I noticed a single gay man the whole time I was in Detroit. There were lesbians all over the hotel, though. In fact, I was in the elevator with a young black lesbian in a "Legalize Gay" shirt. Someone got off on a floor before ours, and she leaned out the door. It almost looked like she was getting out, but she grabbed something and jumped back in with a prize from the ash tray in her hand.
Her (grinning): "Fat-ass joint!"
My facial expression: "??!!!!!"
Welcome to Detroit.
After the diner, I walked with my cousins to the casino, but I had to leave them to gamble without me. Did I mention I had about 3 hours til my parents left for the airport? Yeah.
Click here to check out a Fun with Grindr post.