The following is a guest post by comedian and songstress Lahna Turner, who has just released the first ever comedy music and visual album. Titled LIMEADE, it’s available now on Amazon, YouTube and iTunes. For more info check out, lahnaturner.com.
When I was just 23 and straight out of college, I had the opportunity to travel through India with my Israeli boyfriend Gil who I had met that summer working on a kibbutz. We saw a lot of sad people during our travels in India but there was one woman we came across, a beggar, who didn’t have a nose. Every day for a week we would walk past her and I would whisper, “Gil, she doesn’t have a nose. There’s just two holes.” And Gil would go, “No, no, no, she has a nose. There’s a place that’s the nose.” Admittedly, there was a bit of a language barrier between Gil and I but he was really cute so it worked out.
I’ve thought of the woman without a nose a lot recently as I contend with the implosion and demise of my 10-year marriage. On the days when I don’t want to get out of bed, and there are plenty, I think, ‘Everything that I thought my life was going to be like is gone and I have no idea what I’m going to do.’ And then I remind myself, ‘But I have a nose and I will never not have a nose.’ So in spite of the multi-act shitshow that I’ve found myself starring in, I feel really lucky. I’ve even discovered some silver linings.
Before we go further, if you’re reading this looking for life-changing diet tips, I can’t help you. The 500 pounds I refer to in the title of this article is my ex-husband, standup comic Ralphie May, who you may know from Last Comic Standing or his many comedy specials like Unruly and Too Big To Ignore.
At first when I met Ralphie we started out as friends and eventually it turned into something more. I never thought I would date a comic, let alone a man that big, but I always thought Ralphie was very handsome and I loved him with all my heart.
Over the 4th of July weekend in 2006, we got married in Las Vegas by three Elvis impersonators. Why three? I have no idea. Maybe because it’s a magic number. Ralphie wore the biggest tux we could find and I wore a simple, chic wedding dress that a friend of a friend made for me at the last minute. It was a really fun wedding.
Two years after we got married, Ralphie and I had a daughter and two years after that, a son.
Then six years ago, Ralphie was hospitalized with pulmonary embolisms, which are blockages in the blood vessels of the lungs. The doctors saved his life by seconds. I really believe that I had actually watched him die but he pulled through. He came back to us and even managed to get back to doing shows. But he was never quite the same.
By this point you’re probably thinking, ‘Aren’t you a supposed to be a comedian? This is a fucking bummer! How’d you lose the..you know..500 lbs?’ Hang on, here we go…
On the Friday before Memorial Day 2015, I got served with divorce papers. I had no idea it was coming. I had just been on the phone with Ralphie about an hour before and I thought it was a productive call. I hung up and it was like ding-dong divorce papers.
And then I lost it. I really did. I was barely able to function.
I’m really not a spiritual or religious person. Ever since that trip to India where I saw so much suffering, I’ve believed that it would be really narcissistic to assume there’s something out there that’s keeping me okay. But something’s keeping me okay. I’ve had so many blessings come my way, like with my new music comedy album and visual album Limeade. My friend Joey G hooked us up with Full Sail University in Florida where we were able to shoot the videos with incredible production values. And I got to completely destroy that wedding dress while shooting Limeade. Even the sex shop where we bought dildos for the “Masturbate,” video gave us a free giant black dildo. The clerk said it was too damaged to sell but I didn’t see any flaws. As the old saying goes, “When life gives you limes get a dildo…”
For years, I was trying to force a man who didn’t want to get well to get well and juggling all these plates that were constantly crashing down. Now I feel like if I just work really hard and do the right things, work on myself and take care of my children, it’s going to be okay.
So that’s how I lost 500 pounds. As health regimens go, I don’t recommend it. For a long time, I thought my life was over. But as the days went by, the clouds slowly lifted and I’ve realized that maybe the bad things that happen to us are actually really good things. I’ve got my kids. I’ve got my health. I’ve got my songs and my audiences and friends who went above and beyond to help me bring Limeade to sick and twisted life. That’s a lot.
And I’ve got a nose.