You guys. Remember on Sunday when I was like “OMG TONY STEWART MURDER NASCAR AHHHHHH!!!!!”? Well, after I posted that on here, things got worse. Because you know me and taking obsessions too far.
The problem is that I have some friends who are just as asshole-y as I am, so when I was sitting there thinking, “Who do I know who would appreciate this so we can commiserate together?” my friend Bill immediately came to mind.
Now, Bill was around back in the day when I developed an unfounded obsession with Phil Mickelson and a poker-hot hatred was formed for Payne Stewart simply because he beat him one time when I was paying attention. Bill actually just brought this up when we were visiting him and Jessi last June. So I thought, “Bill will understand this new thing for Tony Stewart.” So I texted him and he totally fired back with a string of texts, encouraging me to paddle away in my douche canoe and making me nearly pee myself with laughter.
“He might be homicidal, so that’s a plus. Not as cool as dying in a plane crash….” Bill replied when I told him that Tony is my new Payne. Bill continued to fuel my fire and I was scream-reading his texts out loud to Henry, whose mustache was writhing in frown-formation.
“He must be hardened by the sad facts of his hero Tony Stewart being a homicidal maniac,” was Bill’s reason for Henry’s non-laughter. So then it was decided that Henry REALLY LIKES Tony Stewart and I was practically bashing my head off the wall out of pure, extreme mania.
Henry left for about an hour to go grocery shopping and I was just sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, trying not to explode with giddiness, when it occurred to me to paint a portrait of Tony for Henry as a surprise gift. And that is what I did Sunday afternoon while Henry was running bitch errands at the grocery store.
Even Chooch was like, “Mommy! Calm the fuck down, OMG. It’s not funny.”
When I texted Bill the picture of the final product, he said, “I can’t see any outcome that doesn’t involve Henry dropping to his knees and sobbing tears of pure joy and appreciation.”
I KNOW RIGHT?!
“Seriously?” he sighed, when I produced the painting from behind my back. This was after I called him and, around outbursts of throaty giggles, asked him to please hurry home. He sounded really scared, and then he LOOKED really scared when he was getting the groceries out of the car. Probably because I was standing at the door with my hands behind my back, smiling.
Sometimes I wonder what it’s like for the people who have to look at me when I get like this. I must look insane. BUT NOT THREATENING AT ALL, I’M SURE.
“This explains why you didn’t call and text me constantly when I was at the store,” he muttered. So really what he was saying is that he was already scared before I even called him to tell him to hurry home.
Later that night, Bill texted me a picture of race car-shaped chicken nuggets and said, “In honor of Tony Stewart, I’m eating these for dinner.” Bill is basically like the drug dealer to my extreme giddiness addiction.
Meanwhile, Henry totally didn’t want to take Tony to work with him, so I took it to my dumb work and now he resides on my desk, where Glenn makes excuses to look at him every day because he just can’t get over how fantastic it is. I told Glenn the whole back story and he was like, “Wait, do you like him because he killed a guy, or do you hate him because he killed a guy?”
GOOD QUESTION. Both? I don’t know. I’ve been really been confused lately. Help.
Then the other day, my boss was walking past and she stopped abruptly.
“Is that….Tony?” she asked hesitantly.
“OMG YES!” I cried, happy that someone recognized him. I quickly recapped the story of how I found out Henry is a secret NASCAR fan (which he is still denying, FYI) and Sue said, “Well, wait…did you paint this before what happened, or….”
“Oh, totally after the incident. That’s why I’m obsessed with him now.”
“OK….” she said slowly, and then shook her head and laughed because Oh Honestly, Erin.
Here’s Tony guarding the blueberry snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich I scored for signing up for community service at work. I actually saved that motherfucker all day (and I worked from 9am-8:30pm that day!) so that I could share it with Henry after work, because on the real, even though Henry was like “*frown frown frown*”, he is the only person I’ve been with who has ever let me just be me. It’s true! I have been thinking about that a lot this week, how painting Tony has made me remember how much I used to love to draw, how I was going to go to the Art Institute (I dropped out after orientation, lol), how I used to fucking write stories nearly every day. And then I stopped for a long time and I was thinking about why, what made that happen, and it’s because all the guys I dated before Henry kept me in the shadows. It was always about them: their band, their music, their writing, their art. And so I just kind of stopped doing everything. Not to get all Norman Rockwell Painting up in this piece, but Henry is kind of the best and he lets me grow instead of keeping me smashed down under his thumb.
So thank you, Henry and your secret Tony Stewart fandom, for making another piece of me fall back into place. Maybe one day I’ll be myself again.
I just asked Glenn if he thinks Tony will be safe on my desk when I’m not here, and he very dryly said, “Yeah. I’m sure no one will take him.”