*To listen on your mobile device, download the MixCloud application on your iPhone or Android device. Then search for “RabbitBox”!
Rabbit Box’s “Internet Connections: Hits and Misses in the World of Digital Dating”
By Melissa Harward
While the world of dating can be hard to navigate, when things go digital, you never quite know what you’re walking into.
Led by the ever-lovely Mary Whitehead, last week’s Rabbit Box’s “Internet Connections: Hits and Misses in the World of Digital Dating” featured stories of creeps, flops, and the realization that loving yourself should always come first.
The first rule of online dating? Meet in a public space. Second rule? Be careful who you give your number to. When one normal-seeming “Arnold” gets ahold of Gretchen Sneegas’ contact info, a slight rejection turns creepy.
Daniel “LadyKiller” Isaac Rodriguez-Granrose knows how to treat the ladies. When an allergy threatens to ruin a great first date, Daniel still manages to seal the deal. That is, until his sense of humor gets in the way.
In those slow, magical moments of getting to know someone new, you’re always looking for a spark. Unfortunately that spark dies out when librarian Tracy Sue Walker gets an unappreciated gift from a potential suitor.
On her first attempt at online dating, drama teacher Lorraine Thompson turns the tables on silly questionnaires, showing us all that the most important aspect of dating is knowing yourself.
Our crackerjack storyteller of the evening was Joe Willey, who learned that the bitterness of heartbreak can eventually be overcome. He knows how to butcher a chicken, drive a big rig, and can appreciate a good cup of coffee.
Rob White (also known as Antonio or Nick) tells a tale of young love, deceit, and moving on. When a cross-country trip to meet the online girl of his dreams falls to pieces, Rob learns to just be himself.
Ruta Abolins finds a seemingly perfect fit online but during a phone conversation becomes aware that compatibility is in the details. Some things are immediate deal-breakers, and that’s probably for the best.
Mel Cochran showed us that people aren’t always who they appear to be. (story not available online)
After an unexpected break-up with her fiancé, former D.C. resident Rachelle Ellis moves to Athens, bringing along with her an important life lesson: Don’t settle.
Stay tuned for even more Rabbit Box greatness coming next month with March 12th’s “Game Day.”
Our lineup for February is complete! Thank you brave storytellers!
But we’re still looking for storytellers for March, Game Day. Do you have a story about playing, watching, tailgating, working during a game day, or just dealing with game day chaos? It doesn’t have to be just about UGA or football either (hello March Madness). Let us know if you have a story idea, we’d love to hear it! Submit it through our website or send an email to email@example.com.
Rabbit Box: May I Help You, Stories from the Service Industry
by Melissa Harward
For someone who has lasted just one shift in the service industry, the patience of our storytellers of Thursday night’s Rabbit Box: May I Help You? Stories from the Service industry was quite impressive.
Alex White, our emcee of the evening, kicked things off with asking each of the storytellers for their best tip. Their answers ranged from reflections on the generosity of strangers to crucial life lessons, as our first storyteller, Ivan Sumner warned: “Watch out for women!”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma, Rabbit Box veteran and road-side sign holding rock star Ivan learned that gratitude in the service industry can take many forms: blessings, beer, and even boobs. When he attempts to return the favor to a fellow sign-holder, Ivan discovers a new dynamic in the world of opposing genders.
A chance encounter with a Taco Mac patron leaves Francophile Emily Barkelew with a strange box. Thankfully, the contents of this box were a little more pleasant than Se7en’s finale. Where’s Brad Pitt when you need him?
The relationship between serviceman (or woman) and customer can sometimes run a fine line between normal interactions and inappropriate behavior. Exchanging pleasantries, requesting and providing, and familiarity all span the realm of a typical encounter. While working at Horton’s Drug Store in downtown Athens, Ophelia Culpepper found out first hand when that line is crossed.
Rabbit Box virgin Debbie From always remembers her servers’ names, and you should too. Find out why in her tale of kitchen floors, rude customers, and last straws. Seriously, start remembering names.
Our crackerjack storyteller of the night was Brittany Barnes, who let us all in on a secret of karma. Finding a giant wad of cash may look like a blessing, but giving it back to its owner may be better for your health.
A common theme of the night emerged as Rachel Eubanks took to the stage. As a server, you can sometimes feel invisible to those you are serving. Rachel knows this all too well, and her patience is tested to its limits one evening serving a catered event at Creature Comforts. Someone grab the broom and dustpan. It might get a little messy.
Christopher Becerra explains that “lifers,” veterans of the restaurant industry, are some of the raunchiest folks out there. As a new server trying to fit in at a new elite restaurant, Christopher takes the crude barter a little too far, right in front of Chef. Laughter ensues.
When a member of his restaurant family is treated poorly, a young Dr. Paul Guillebeau enacts sweet, sweet revenge on a particularly difficult customer known as “The Senator.” Now an entomology professor at the University of Georgia, we catch a glimpse of Dr. Guillebeau’s initial fascination with the world of creepy-crawlers.
Long hours, long drives, and long tables can wear on you, but it’s what many in the service industry face. Turn the tables over quickly. Shoot for a great tip. Smile. Hide your frustration. Repeat. After dealing with a particularly ungrateful group of regulars, Virginia Baumgartner gets the miracle everyone in the industry hopes for one day.
Rabbit Box will continue into 2015 on THURSDAYS! Too tired for Tinder lately? Be sure to join us in February for our next Rabbit Box, Internet Connections: Hits and Misses in the World of Digital Dating. I’m cringing just thinking about it.
Rainbow Box by Melissa Harward
From the LGBTQ Community, Rabbit Box presents the final chapter of 2014: “Rainbow Box.” A special thanks goes to Matthew Epperson and our Master of Ceremonies of the evening, Katherine Edmonds, for working hard to put this amazing night together.
“Athens is not the Deep South,” I overhear from the crowd. Glancing around the Melting Point’s lounge, that much is clear. For those who call Athens home, the South’s connotations of ignorance and cruelty have been replaced by diversity, creativity, and acceptance. Like a separate pocket full of treasured, lucky items, our Classic City is a safe haven for those who think and love differently.
Katherine Edmonds of the famous mattress story was our Master of Ceremonies for this evening of bravery, openness, and great storytelling. The ten stories referenced below span each group of the acronym—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer—cultivating a true sense of community. With moments of both heartbreaking honesty and stomach-clenching hilarity, it wasn’t a night to be missed. Luckily, you can catch the recording and summary of each performance here.
Tara Stuart, our first storyteller and karaoke aficionado, regaled the Rabbit Box audience with the origin of Athens’ first Lesbian Olympic Summer Games. With boob medals on the line, the bikini-clad competition grew fierce (and a little messy). Jealous? You should be.
“Are you sure you’re bi?” It’s a question Elsa Durusau is sick of hearing. For those who identify as bisexual, being “on the fence” isn’t actually a reality. After a night out by herself, and with a little unexpected help, Elsa is able to settle into place where the only choice to make is to be herself.
Noah James Saunders spoke on coming up and out in a community filled with hatred for his identity. As a student, Noah decides to fight for social justice in the face of death threats, abuse, and the turned-heads of administrators. A surprising win emerges from gay-hating Cobb County.
James de Molyneux and Rex Crawford have an anniversary to celebrate this week. Although they were raised without a model on how to be together in their respective Southern communities, they’ve built a life together for 35 years. Congratulations to them both. This is the story of how they met.
Our Crackerjack Surprise storyteller of the evening was Valorie McGovern (a natural, as you’ll see), who provided a glimpse into the dynamics of a loving family who gets it right when reacting to news — sent via a funny e-mail — of their daughter’s coming out. This was Valorie’s first Rabbit Box story, and we hope she returns as an official storyteller soon!
From Rashaun Ellis, we learned that Memphis punk queers don’t put up with much. Rashaun gave us a glimpse of the types of inner conflict found within the LGBTQ community itself, as those who color within the lines of the rainbow sometimes look down on those who dare to define themselves outside of it.
Jay Morris, a rare native of Athens, was “that church kid” growing up until the divide between his identity as a gay black man drove him away from the religious community that raised him. In an effort to be authentic, Jay puts his push and pull to poetry at Athens’ Word of Mouth and finds a new community.
Sometimes there’s a fairytale written between the lines of a tragedy. After years of failed marriages and inner conflict, Rhett Crowe discovers there is only one way to feel comfortable in your own skin: Leave denial behind and embrace who you are.
For someone born in the wrong body, the realization that change is possible can be a powerful driving force. For Riley Kirkpatrick, growing through the inner land mines of puberty, tackling addiction, and learning to embrace the person inside was a laborious journey that lead him home to Athens.
The evening concluded with rolling tears and laughter as Mike Musgrove took to the stage, leading us down a winding trail of self-discovery and self-hate. I won’t give anything away here, but this is one story you don’t want to miss.
Rabbit Box will return next year on the second Thursday of each month. Happy holidays to each of you, and see you on January 8th for “May I Help You?: Stories from the Service Industry.”
Want to explore and shape your own story? Come join us!
When: Saturday, November 15 from 11 – 2:30pm & Sunday, Nov 16 from 4 – 6pm.
Where: Marti’s at Midday (1280 Prince Ave, Athens, GA 30606 – in Normaltown)
On Saturday we will develop and shape our stories based on two related themes: “New Beginnings” and “Second Chances.” On Sunday people will have the opportunity to perform their stories in front of the group.
Lunch on Saturday will be provided by Marti’s at Midday (and is included in the cost of workshop). Workshop attendees will have the option to go out for dinner with the group on Sunday after the performance. (Dinner is optional and not included in the cost.)
The workshop will cost $60 (for a total of 5.5 hours over the weekend) and will be limited to 12 people. Two half-priced scholarship tickets are available. Please contact Marci White at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706.206-0291 for more info. You can register online by following the link below.
You are now able to order your ticket online via Square. You can register and pay for a ticket in full here, or you can register by making a $30 down payment or pay for an approved scholarship pass here.