Everyone’s stupid sometimes

Hey, all. You ever have one of those weeks that remind you of how stupid you really are? I have for sure had those, including this week.
Let’s start with last Monday. I was getting ready for my show at JR.’s and I stepped into the bathroom to put on my pads. It’s a simple routine: I tuck, put on a pair of tights, stuff my padding into my tights and then put two more pairs of tights over that. It’s exhausting, but it must be done. This week, it was the same routine … only I dropped my second pair of tights into the toilet… and I had not flushed yet. I trashed them — they were looking a little worn anyway — and opened a brand new pair of tights… which I dropped on the floor. I bent over to pick them up, but am too close to the wall and bumped my ass, propelling me forward. I hit my head on the other wall. I felt stupid and embarrassed so I told no one of the huge knot on my dome. Wearing a wig that night was a constant reminder that I am an idiot.
Later in the week, I was super excited to be going to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The theater we go to in Mansfield has recently become one of those assigned-seating theaters, which I love — you can run late but know that your seat will be there and waiting for you (at least if you order your seats online, like we always do). My husband and I have a specific row we like to sit in — the first row behind the rail, in the two middle seats. I ordered four seats and invited our good friends Tyler and Brandon to join us.
The night was lovely. We had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Fish City Grill, and took our time getting to the movie theater.
We get there just as the lights are about to go down but there are these people sitting in our seats. I was about to throw a fit when it was called to my attention that our seats were row A when I had meant to get seats on row E. My face cracked and my heart sank. We went to our horrible seats in the front row, which I bought the day they went on sale to make sure we got to sit where we like. I reclined my seat, looking almost straight up. I couldn’t do it. I was about to just get a refund and leave but we brought friends so I pulled it together and went and exchanged our seats for some a little further back. I felt so stupid. I was literally the first person to buy tickets to that showing, I had our pick of any seat in the theater and my dumb ass somehow chose the front fucking row. Who does that? And who could watch a movie five feet from a giant screen anyway? Why is there even a row there? Where we ended up sitting was not ideal, but we had great company and we loved the movie film so we ended up having a great night. But it could have been better if I wasn’t so stupid.
Thinking about it now, I realize I have had many such stupid moments over the years. When I was in seventh grade, we were supposed to sign up for a club. They had so many fun clubs to join — an A.V. club, a cooking class, astronomy even a wood-working club. My best friend Adam and I both saw the club we wanted to join: pottery. We thought, how fun, we get to work with clay and make stuff. We told his brother and got a couple of other friends to sign up for the same club. It was going to be awesome.
We showed up that Wednesday after lunch but there were no clay or pottery wheels in sight. It was just a normal, boring old classroom, and the teacher was a nerdy, short, well-dressed fella. (Thinking about it now, he was definitely gay. I think his name was Mr. Ward.) Anyway, the teacher was so excited to see that so many people had signed up for his club. I asked, “When do we get to play in the clay and make stuff?” He kind of laughed and said, “This is the poetry club, not pottery. This school doesn’t have a pottery club.”
I don’t know if it was a mass hallucination or if we all only saw what we wanted to see, but Adam and I were blamed for the whole debacle. I was the first to say pottery, though. Because of my fuck up, we had to spend an hour every other Wednesday writing, reading and performing poems. I was pissed off and felt so stupid that I just copied down song lyrics whenever we had to write our own poems.Mr. Ward praised me for my beautiful poem called “I’m Free.” I took a chance that he didn’t listen to much Kenny Loggins and prayed that he didn’t have the Footloose soundtrack. When he asked if he could publish it in our schools paper, I humbly and shyly declined. Yes, I am stupid and a plagiarist, but I didn’t need the world to know it. Until now. Sorry, Mr. Ward.
If you have had really stupid moments, and we all have, I’d love to hear about them. Mostly so I don’t feel so bad. Send me your stupid stories or ask for some advice to AskCassieNova@gmail.com, like these folks below.
Dear Cassie, I’ve been a huge fan of drag shows ever since I saw my first one 40 years ago. After enjoying shows around the country over the years, I can honestly say that you and the entire cast of the Rose Room are the best in biz. How has the art of drag changed from when you first started to the current state of performance now? Any anecdotes from the Donna Day period of the Rose Room back in the ’80s/’90s? Signed, Longtime Fan.
Thanks, LF, I appreciate your kind words. Drag certainly has changed and evolved over the years. I loved how much acceptance we have seen for drag recently, partially because of RuPaul’s Drag Race. When I first started, drag had its fans, but there was still a sense of separation, even from the gay community. It is still there, but more and more people are seeing it for what it is: an art form. One of the bad things to come out of this instant gratification culture we live in is that many young drag queens learn makeup on YouTube and think that being pretty is all it takes to be in show. Many of the prettiest queens on Drag Race are horrible when they are booked in the clubs — not all of them, some of them kill it onstage, of course. I just don’t like these queens with huge egos and little actual talent other than looking cute. Dance, sing, be funny — just do something.
We are lucky here in Texas, especially Dallas. We have had some of the greatest ever who lived and showed their talents here. Coco, Tasha Kohl, Naomi Sims, Whitney Paige and so many more have paved the way for the showgirls of today. The art has changed but masses are still entertained.
I do have a few good Donna Day stories; here is my favorite. For you young’uns, Donna was one of the original Rose Room cast members. She was a big girl, wore false teeth and could be meaner than a viper, but she was also one of the most generous, funny and caring cunts I have ever known. When I was a newbie to the Rose Room cast, at Christmas I gave all of the other girls a set of candles that sat on glass pillars. Donna said she loved it, thanked me and took it home. A few months later on my birthday, I walk into the dressing room and there is a beautifully wrapped gift from Donna sitting at my station. I open it and it is the candles I gave her for Christmas. I said, “You bitch, I gave this to you.” She said, “No I bought that just for you.” I flipped the box over and on the bottom it said “To Donnas from Cassie.” She just laughed and said, “Sorry, girl!” I miss her!
Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.
If you have a question of comment, email it to AskCassieNova@gmail.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 12, 2017.