Okay, I am much more rested today, so I will tell you how Saturday night went. Katie ended up having a friend in the state, and they really wanted to get to hang out so her friend went with us last night.
On the drive to the first gig I got to hear all about a fellow friend of theirs who has been a Bridezilla for the past two years. Katie is on the outs with her. You MUST real all about this part. So interesting! She has been making this friend of Katie's miserable for 2 years. She got the "honor" of being the maid of honor, but before accepting she wanted this other friend to understand that she knew nothing about wedding or wedding tradition/etiquette. The only weddings she'd experienced were justice of the peace, and a ceremony in a relative's backyard. She had never experienced a Jewish (which she is) traditional wedding, let alone a German/Italian or whatever, Catholic wedding. So she told her, before I say yes, you have to agree to TELL me everything you want me to do, because I don't KNOW. Just TELL me what you want and I will DO it! And this other friend agreed "Of Course!". Yeah total lies. She has put this friend of Katie's through hades. Don't cut your hair...for 2 years. And N didn't! N is the friend we hung out with yesterday. N doesn't have experience or the money to throw a Bridal Shower so the Bridezilla said it was fine, her future MIL would throw it. N didn't have to do ANYTHING. Then N gets sick right before the shower, so sick that her doctor tells her if she goes to CT, she will infect everyone she is in contact with. So she lets Bridezilla know she can't make it, and then finds out 'Zilla had told her future MIL that N would be in charge of all the games!! Which N was never told! So N got to feel guilty and stuff. I told her, if N HAD been in charge of the games, the MIL should have been checking with her to make sure she had them ready weeks before the shower! N was like "THANK YOU!", apparently she has been brow-beaten about this all. N thinks Katie would have been the Maid of Honor, but 'Zilla has chosen to be mad at Katie for the last 2 years so N got stuck with the job. She has wanted everything to do with the wedding to be ALL about her. Her day? NO. Everything had to be about her. Picking all the dresses, the flowers, everything had to be centered around her.
'Zilla is now married, N got to go to the private ceremony that only the family and wedding party attended, in the Virgin Islands. Which was just as miserble for N. 'Zilla ends up telling everyone to get whatever hair style they want...N had only trimmed her hair for TWO years! Then after the ceremony "Zilla didn't want her bridesmaid, her SISTER, to go to the dinner after. She has chosen to dislike her sister because of decisions she has made which resulted in her sister's 2 year old. And 'Zilla did not want people paying attention to the cute little girl. N tried to tell her not to do that. To have the sister at least be there for the appetizers and drinks, but 'Zilla would have none of it. And 24 hours after Bridezilla and her jerk husband had been on their honeymoon, 'Zilla wanted N to hang out! She was like NO, I have plans, sorry. And you would think (and I have only told some highlights of what I heard) that N must be so relieved, it has been over for like a month and a half now....Nope. See 'Zilla is having a reception in 2 weeks. And it just keeps getting better. She decided to change her Islands wedding colors to Fall colors for the reception. So she wants N to go buy another dress, and it has to look like an elegant gown. N cannot afford this! She had to shell out for the first dress, getting to the Islands, gifts for the shower, the bachelorette party, etc. And now she has to get a new dress and a WEDDING gift again! 'Zilla expects people to give her money, at least as much as she spent per person (I don't believe in this tradition, I did not ask you to spend 100 bucks a person, so I am so not giving you a $100 or more!) and she wants it mostly in money. So I told N and my sister who was invited to THIS part, to go get a GIFT. 'Zilla can't pretend she knows how much a gift was. Plus she is such a snob, someone made her an afghan by hand for her Bridal Shower and she was like (insert snotty voice that it so not sincere now) "Oh. Wow. This must have taken such a long time...thanks." And later she said to someone, "what the crap am I supposed to do with this?! When I am cold, I turn UP the heat!" Ugh. What a witch. So N is still not off the hook. That is why N is here in CT this weekend, more wedding reception stuff! And she is having such a hard time with anxiety, and it isn't HER wedding. Z will lie to her and tell her one thing, then go to someone else and complain about N. And all N wants is for her to tell N what she wants!! N is on the verge people. Of going nuts! Z (I am shortening 'Zilla) just keeps on making up things, lying, then talking it back. She told N her parents paid for at least 4K of the reception and now claims they owed her that money, she paid their mortgage for a few months. We do not think so. Z claims her family OWES her these extravagant weddings, even though she lived rent free after high school in their house for 8 years, and they paid for all her schooling the first time before she dropped out, and then when she decided she wanted to be a massage therapist. She HAD to go to the school is Westport (hello richy rich area), so that was over 35K a year or semester, can't remember which. And now she is claiming that they owe HER money. Whatever! She changes her story constantly according to N, who now feels she can't trust anything Z tells her. And then they were discussing the Father-Daughter dance. Z picked out Brown Eyed Girl, but her Dad wanted something sentimental, some country song about I Loved You First. And N had Z convinced after much talking to give this to her father. And when Z tells jerk hubby? He says NO, it is too late the DJ is all set. Z is like no it's not too late. And then he looks her in the eye and says "No. Z...it's too late", giving her a lie to tell her father, and she goes right along with it, which N has to see. Apparently though as far as we all have seen, Z's family is just fine, but Z no longer wants them to be family, she prefers Jerk's family. They suit her more. She lets jerk rag about her family. He calls her Dad fat and stuff, when not only is Jerk's Dad fat also apparently, but Jerk is NO thin, dashing guy himself. He likes to egg on Z's anger and drama. Z seems to always need someone to hate, which is Katie right now, and Jerk will encourage her to stay angry and dis Katie all the time. Which Kate so didn't do anything to deserve it!! They are so nasty. We hope they are miserable together forever. The only reason Katie is going to the reception? She wants a front row to witness the expected drama. She plans on enjoying herself. So luckily N will have Kate there for support. N needs the last 2 years of planning this fiasco over with. Poor N!!
Okay enough of the witch and her now husband. So, we get to Katie's first gig which is a Wedding. We have these drunk young Arabic men falling over themselves to help Katie find her contact and a room to use to do final prep work. Kate looks gorgeous as usual. And she goes on. They are swarmed around he, she barely has room to dance and has to take her wings off, because they are all that close. Now this IS Kate's kind of crowd, they are into it and dancing with her, having fun, so that makes her dance even better. But what I found surprising...and cheap? They only gave her a total of $11 in tips. You expect that from like people who don't know any better, but these were Arabics and Lebanese, etc people so they know ALL about bellydance and tipping, etc. This one drunk middle aged guy kept on dancing with her and people kept pulling him away, saying stay away from the dancer, yeah THAT drunk. I mean dude could dance but he was way too in her face all the time. Then he took her veil and wrapped it around himself like a belt. When N tried to get it back he rudely told her he would give it to Katie himself! Then they stopped her music 2 songs early. They said it was time to cut the cake so let's give Katie a break. Which Katie hadn't agreed to. We had another gig to get to. So she figured, okay I am done I guess.
But there is someone in the room we used and the drunken men return and pound on it. When we find out someone is in there breast-pumping, Katie is like Oh No it is fine, I can wait. But this one guy, like maybe 25, named Johnny is so upset and drunk, he wants them out. I took Kate to the bathroom while N stayed with Johnny, so she could tell us when the room was free. Katie was sweating so much so we were drying her off since she couldn't have her towel yet. And she is just starting to dry when we hear her MUSIC!! So se goes BACK ON! And even goes over her time, they play their music but she stay an extra 7 minutes and dances with the crowd. Then she finally leaves to dry off. She can't change yet because we are late for her next gig at a houkah bar called Sky Houkah. But she needed her veil which I had to get, and I DID get it and it was sweaty and wrinkled, yuck. Then oh man the DJ never gave us the music I get it. Then Oh we haven't been paid, That was the hardest job. It was either get the bride or the groom. I chose groom, but they were jumping up and down to "jump around, jump up, jump up and get down" and songs like that, in the middle of a crowd. So it took like 20 minutes, And then guests had to help me. And he looks at me and is like "oh. *sighs* Right". And then there is Johnny again. I admit it was nice to be lumped in with the likes of Kate and N, he wanted us to go out and party with him. Then, because N pitied him while she waited with him so he knew she was from NY, he was "No let's get together, you 3 and I, and we will party in NY, I can get week off and we party" and more like this. And it was like sorry we have to go. But he was so adamant it was finally like, we left some of Kate's cards on the table, you can call okay? And he was like what's your name? Her name is Katie. What? Katie. No you can't go, you think I kid, we party in NY. I finally slapped one of her cards against him and we all said, see you have her number NOW! What's her name? KATIE, IT'S ON THE CARD!!! Wow, it was so weird. Some younger female guests were watching by this point laughing, and he was like, ignore them, but we were starting to laughing too. Sorry Johnny we HAVE to go....what's your name again? Aggghhhh! We finally got away from him and made our way to Sky Houkah.
This was a houkah I had never been to, Katie has been here plenty now and is friendly-ish with the owner Jimmy. You see Kat really gets their customs. So if you let them get too friendly, if they don't understand that Americans hug as friendship, they think you are loose, and act accordingly. So Katie can be friends, but she also keeps a distance. Middle Eastern women have explained to Kate what is acceptable to them as far as her dancing with their men is, which is go ahead and dance but there should never be touching. So the Middle Eastern women like Katie. One of Katie's fellow dancers is a flirt and gets close and strokes cheeks, and is all mortified when they try and kiss her and get aggressive, but Kate has warned her. And the women NEVER forget. If they see you do something they don't like, you will never be hired by them or any of their friends again. SO Kate does the respectful thing. There are one or two she will hug because she has known them for years now, people who hire her, but she doesn't do it where anyone who would question her morality because of a hug is around. People who have been here a long time, get Americans hug, but even some who have been here a long time, are so set in their ways, that they still think that dancer is a slut because she touched that boy on his shoulder. So yay for my sister knowing the proper customs and doing them so that she is respected by everyone she dances for. She did give an old man a kiss on the cheek at the wedding, but she was told to dance for him and that he had paid for the wedding, and the crowd loved it and videotaped it. She made sure she even told him why, she whispered something to him before she danced away. He kind of looked like it had made his day. LOL. So just a little lesson in customs. The only time Katie touches any guy at a place where Middle Easterns are, is if they are dancing back to back and their shoulders touch, it is a form of the dance. Her touching women is fine, so she will help the inexperienced by helping them move their hips or what not, but she is always conscious of who she is touching and who her crowd is. I mean, if she does a show for a white American couple, will she help the 60 year old birthday "boy" shake his hips right? Yeah, as long as they are okay with it. Of course you get prudes, comes with the territory.
Anyway Katie did two 15 minute shows for Jimmy's place. The second time N and I pulled out the cake, Katie danced with it to an Arabic Happy Birthday song, it was Jimmy's birthday on Monday so he was pleased. And when they like you, this is a good thing. They keep hiring the same bellydancer if they like you and Katie gets the dance world politics. Smart girl. Finally we were done. This houkah bar has like NO ventilationso I was having so much smoke blown on me, and it was so gross. I washed EVERYTHING I wore! The three of us went to a diner and hung out there for almost two hours. More talk on Bridezilla, our own Bridezilla stories (different girls), and just movies and N's new boyfriend, etc. It was a really fun time. It took another 30 minutes to get to N's mom's place, 20 of which N fell asleep, LOL. And then we were finally home! Seriously I have no idea how Katie does it. I was exhausted physically and all I did was be the assisteant and stand bodyguard. I don't trust anyone anymore, I have seen gross people grab her in not okay ways. So the one time I left to get her business cards, I left N in charge of protecting her. She did a good job! And that was the end really of the evening, I went home, showered off houkah smell, and vegged out! What a Saturday!!