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Fame.

14 Jul

It’s only a matter of time before I end up on “Hoarders”.

I was really hoping that my network television debut would be a feature on “Intervention”, but I can barely get a group of people together to go to Red Lobster on my birthday, so I think it’s pretty unlikely that anyone I know would be willing to sit in a hotel ballroom for a week on my behalf, even if it meant that all of their complaints concerns about me would be recorded, analyzed by professionals, and then aired to millions. Not to mention, I’m sure when the A&E producers got in touch with my parents they’d say something along the lines of “Intervention? Didn’t we already do that for her?” I’d love to be a fly on the wall in my parents’ house for that telephone conversation; my mom and dad holding the cordless phone between them as they shout into the mouthpiece, because that’s how you use the speaker phone feature: for optimum connectivity, one must be over the age of 60 and scream as loudly as possible.

When I tearfully told my parents about the incident that gave this blog its name and me my justification for holding a(nother) passive-aggressive grudge, my dad said “Well honey, now you know what people think of you and what changes you need to make.” Wait, what? “Dad. It was my BIRTHDAY. It wasn’t even my fault that I was late!” I cried. “Think of it as a wake up call, Ambrosia. It’s like when loved ones gather around a troubled person and tell them about themselves in an effort to help them,” he said. “You mean like an intervention?” I grumbled. “Exactly! Except this one was accidental!”

Since I have already been there and done that when it comes to being intervened (that’s right, right?), I figure my big break will come from my inability to use a closet or a washing machine or a shelving system or a garbage can. I used to say that I was too busy being smart and important to clean, but I’ve never been very good at lying. I now realize that I just don’t care. I’m not particularly bothered by the fact that I can’t use my stove because for some reason I’ve decided it’s a great place to store my plastic ware. I don’t mind climbing over mountains of laundry to get in and out of my bedroom. I haven’t batted an eyelash at the half-empty bag of hot dog buns that has been inexplicably sitting in my living room for weeks.

This may mean that I may not make a very good subject for “Hoarders”. Those nut jobs typically care about the fact that their home is overrun with rabbits and copies of Time magazine. They want someone to help them shovel their way out from under their classic Pez dispenser collection. They think they might have had a cat at some point; won’t someone help them find Mittens? And the ones that don’t care are so toothless and/or insane and/or irrecoverably damaged by horrific trauma that they will make for great television because they will scream at the intervenors (that I made up) and the cleaning crew; they will get into fist fights with concerned family members who attempt to throw away their jars of rancid mayonnaise; they will cry hysterically when the room full of headless Barbie dolls is finally emptied. “I was SAVING those! I NEED them!”

Now don’t get me wrong, I can make an argument for holding on to some crap. I’m pretty sure that’s an unfortunate genetic predisposition. But my main problem is simply one of maturity and motivation and good decision making skills. If it’s clean my apartment or write a blog post at 5:07am, you better believe I’m writing a blog post at dawn with my contacts fused to my corneas. If it’s fold/hang the clean laundry and put it away or just shove it into an already full hamper and hide it in the dining room, I’m a shovin’ and a hidin’. I will always take the easy way out. And being a slob is one more step towards doing whatever I can to keep people away even though I am desperately, frighteningly lonely. Let’s all pretend we didn’t read that last part.

I am probably making a better case for my being on “Hoarders” than I anticipated, but that’s okay! It was kind of the point! Being featured on that program kills two birds with one stone: get my apartment cleaned and some much deserved airtime. On a television show about lunatics who live in their own filth. Okay, I may need to rethink this.

Well, since that plan has been derailed, I need a new course of action for gaining celebrity while exuding the least amount of effort. I am a clear candidate for the “Basketball Wives” franchise, as I am a woman of color who has never been married to a basketball player, but that show’s not really my speed, mostly because it involves spending a great deal of time with horrible people. Since I like to think of myself as an intellectual, I think I’m best suited for those CNN specials with titles like “Black People Are Doomed, I Tell Ya, DOOMED!” and hosted by Soledad O’Brien, the ultimate undercover Negress. I’m everything they’re looking for: a black woman without kids, a shining example that there are 30% of us not having children out-of-wedlock; a black woman with multiple degrees, so they can place the blame directly on my bourgeoisie when they talk about the many ways that black women alienate black men; a black woman who is overweight and with natural hair, so they can analyze why we won’t exercise and why we’re not scared of diabetes and why on Earth we’d decide to do that to our hair, ’cause you know it’s just another way that we’re purposefully pushing away the brothers; a black woman with a daddy, ’cause remember, we’re just as rare as a white man’s steak; and finally, my favorite and theirs, a black woman who is unmarried with no prospects.

CNN loves to remind my mother that 45% of black women have never been married, compared to 23% of white women. My being featured on their next “You Will Die Alone, But At Least Your Hair Will Look Good” special will give her such hope. Maybe the segment producer will convince me to take out my nose ring! Maybe Don Lemon will ask me out on a date (I don’t think my mother has any idea)! Maybe the CNN hair stylists will convince me to press my hair! She will ring her hands as she watches me on TV, biting her lower lip and hoping that the camera doesn’t really add 10 pounds. She will have an elaborate fantasy involving the very handsome, brown-skinned yet ethnically ambiguous Comcast repair man who came to fix the cable that one time. He will be watching, make the connection that I am her daughter, and call her up to ask for my phone number. He will be a born-again Christian, and he will like me, and I will relax my hair, and have a church wedding, and give her cinnamon-colored grandchildren, and she will finally be able to forgive CNN for not talking Larry King into staying on the air.

However, there is a critical flaw in any of these methods for gaining free cleaning and organization of my things, or attention, or a husband who works for Comcast, or an opportunity to hear Don Lemon say “Gurl, please!” over cocktails. The flaw being that a camera would be involved and personal questions asked and people interviewed. It wouldn’t be just me revealing my failures and idiosyncrasies in what I hope is a charming and quirky way in a blog. My candy apple head and hound dog eyes would be broadcast into homes across the country. My Hilary Banks-esque voice would be heard in kitchens and living rooms from here to Duluth. It wouldn’t be just me telling self-depreciating yet comical mostly true tales about my life behind the safety of a computer screen. I would be vulnerable. I don’t do vulnerable. Unless it’s completely within my control and of my own making.

My greatest fear is obtaining any sort of success that would make me known outside of my immediate circle. There are those that I’d rather not remind of my existence. The last thing I need is He Who Shall Not Be Named being reminded that he dated me and attempting to look me up for old time’s sake. I already regret that The Person That I Used To Know is aware of this version of me, and he’s someone who I kind of like. Imagine the former teachers, people who went to my elementary school, kids I used to babysit crawling out of the woodwork to offer their unsolicited tales of how they knew me when. I find the whole thing distasteful and terrifying. Even more scary is if nobody cared enough to say a thing, even if it was just to offer their surprise or lack thereof at how chubby I’d become over the years. “She always did like to eat!”

Anyway, flaws and all, I think my “Hoarders” idea is one to hang on to, even if it’s just so I can get someone to come and load the dishwasher. Since I can’t “nominate” myself, here’s the casting link. Hang on to that and be ready to use it if you hear that I’ve been showering at the YMCA. According to the many episodes I’ve seen, that’s one of the warning signs. Pictures are required as part of the application package, so I ask that you just give me ample warning before you come by to take them.

It’ll give me a chance to clean up a little around here.

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This is what happens when I’m supposed to be cleaning things.

6 Jul

So I was going to write this HI-LARIOUS post about being asked to be a bridesmaid five times, a flower girl once, and actually being in three weddings, with the grand finale being the epic retelling of The Worst Wedding in the History of Weddings, but I am thoroughly distressed because I have just learned that I have to move out of the apartment in which I have spent six mostly miserable years in less than seven weeks when I thought I had more like 14 (I DON’T WANT YOUR HELP OR YOUR PITY, SO DON’T YOU DARE OFFER EITHER!!!!!111!!1!1!), and I am surrounded by unwashed clothes, half-empty takeout containers, and the carcasses of my broken dreams, so instead of doing anything productive or sensible like gathering empty boxes and figuring out where that smell is coming from, I decided that I instead would write an incoherent post about things that boggle my mind about dating and friendship because I am a passive-aggressive procrastinator who can’t express herself outside of a semi-anonymous blog that only people she actually knows reads. But dammit, can I construct one hell of a run-on sentence or what?

I was having a terrible day (of mostly my own creation and imagination) and thought how lovely it would be to have a cold drink and a laugh and a hug and go see a movie with someone I like and/or care about. But I didn’t call anyone and tell them these things and invite them to do them with me. Instead, I made vague proclamations on that social networking site about how unhappy I am, and how stressed out I feel, and waited to see if anyone would come to my rescue. That has only worked for me once – thank you, My Knight in Pastel Armor – but I continue to express myself that way rather than in any way that would actually amount to anything that resembles a positive resolution. Why do I do that, you ask? Because I’ve learned that I hate being vulnerable; I despise the thought of others perceiving me as needy; I loathe having to ask people for help or tell them my needs, wants and desires; and I’d rather die alone surrounded by large print copies of Reader’s Digest and expired canned vegetables than face social rejection of any kind. So yeah, entering into any sort of relationship with me is a barrel of laughs and an absolute breeze.

I realize that my aversion to these things, along with a host of my other special qualities, makes dating a near impossibility. I mean, dating is an impossibility for me, hence the title and content of this blog. The last two men that I “successfully” dated – meaning, I managed to go on dates with these guys, nothing more – were men that I had no real interest in. I dated them both because I figured there was little reason for me not to; they had jobs and cars and places to live and seemingly normal brain function. I manufactured romantic feelings for one of them, primarily because we liked some of the same crap and after a makeover, he would have looked a lot like Drake. The potential Drake, after 5 or 6 dates, declared after my gentle prodding, that he just wasn’t interested in me “in that way” and I was devastated, even though he smelled bad and had the sex appeal of a slug, not because I truly liked him, but because he was supposed to like me. He was supposed to be a “sure thing”. Imagine if I ever had luck with a man who maybe didn’t look so good on paper, who was legitimately sexy and attractive (at least to me), who offered a little bit of “danger” and that “Oh my God, I am so going to get arrested or poop my pants” feeling (You know what feeling I mean, stop frontin’.) and it didn’t work out. My heart would liquify and leak out of my ass and that can’t be a good thing.

My general problems with processing normal human emotions also manage to seep into my friendships. I get into one-sided fights and hold secret grudges. I keep an invisible score card in my brain and people are constantly gaining and losing points and have no idea to what standard they’re being graded against. I am either unreachable or frighteningly clingy. There is very little middle ground. It is a wonder to me that I have any friends at all. And believe me, I will always wonder if I am really your friend. Man, this post is taking a dark turn. Let me try to lighten shit up a bit:

When my mind was being boggled about the differences and similarities between dating and friendship, it mostly had to do with what we deem acceptable in each of these relationships. For instance, it’s not uncommon for any platonic friend of mine to respond to my question of “Wanna hang out?” with something along the lines of “Sure! Come on over. But I haven’t showered in six days and the toilet’s broken so you’ll have to pee in a Ziploc bag. Oh, and when you get here, I’ll probably decide to shave my armpits while we watch a marathon of “Basketball Wives: L.A.” Hey, would you mind bringing over a pint of kumquat-flavored dairy-free frozen dessert? I’m on a special diet/preggers and craving/really high. And about an hour after you get here, I’m going to suddenly get super tired and probably fall asleep with my mouth open. Make sure to lock the door on your way out.” I’d be totally okay with this situation, filled with TMI and far too many bodily functions. In fact, I’d be honored. It’d mean that we’re close! Like siblings! It means you like me, you really like me! But if it’s the beginning of a dating relationship and anything like this mess comes out of a dude’s mouth that I was previously hoping to kiss (with tongues!), I will take serious pause. I will demand that The Council of Friends with Dating Experience convene via online messaging and hushed meetings in Starbucks. I will need to know what it means if a guy I like romantically is “too comfortable too soon”. I’m going over the whole thing like a forensic specialist at a crime scene and everyone I know is giving the poor guy major side-eye.

I have other platonic friends that are a bit more refined in the way they choose to socialize. I kid you not, just last week I found myself sitting on a quilt under a willow tree with a BFF as we read out loud to one another. AS WE READ OUT LOUD TO ONE ANOTHER. That’s a scene right out of a Regency England era porno. Can you imagine if I suddenly reported that I went on a date and my date wanted to read out loud to me (preferably all of Peeta’s really romantic parts from The Hunger Games saga or anything Mr. Darcy says in Pride and Prejudice) while we sat on a blanket under a motherf’ing tree?? WHAT?!? But if I’m going to be perfectly honest, if that happened, I’d assume that he was planning to murder me in the night. You see? If a friend I don’t want to hold hands with suggests that we read out loud to each other, I’m screaming out “Catching Fire or Mockingjay?!?” before they’ve completed the sentence. But if someone I want to bump uglies with asks me on a “Reading Rainbow” date, while he picks out the perfect shady spot in the park, I’m dialing 9-1-1 in my purse.

Operator: “Please state the nature of your emergency.”

Me: “I’m on a date and. . . and he wants us to. . . r-read out loud to each other. While sitting on a blanket. In the park!”

Operator: “Ma’am, stay calm. Is he carrying a picnic basket?”

Me: ‘I don’t know, I don’t know! Oh god! He brought Fifty Shades of Gray! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! What do I do?!?”

Operator: “Ma’am, just take deep breaths and don’t make any sudden movements. Help is on the way. May God have mercy on your soul.”

My favorite dichotomy (Oh, just look it up.) between acceptable friend and date behavior has to be what happens in Da Club. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t been to da club with someone I felt romantical about in years, but I know what I’d put up with in the name of “luv”. There are friends I will not go out with to anything music or dancing related because of their totally inappropriate behavior. They refuse to dance. I mean, they won’t even bop their head to the beat, sing/mouth along to the music. Nothing. I had a friend check her email on her cell phone the entire time we were out at at a club in another state. She just wanted to get out of the house, she said. If you don’t dance, hey, sucks for you, but you’re not ruining my good time anymore. I won’t go out with these people unless I can guarantee at least three other individuals who will dance are in attendance with us. I’ve learned my lesson. Friends have lots of rules for one another regarding acceptable night life behavior. “We came together, we leave together! Use the buddy system when going to the bathroom! Pretend to be my lesbian lover/overbearing male relative if a weirdo tries to hit on me!” However, if I ever get to go on a club date, it’s fine if my date won’t dance. I think it’d be kind of sexy if he sat all night, drink in hand and glowered at me while I attempted to twerk it for him. Dancing with a potential love interest is tricky. If he dances poorly, it’s awful. If he dances too well, you might stop and wonder. There’s so much potential pressure, having a date that refuses to dance would almost be a relief.

I feel like this post is going nowhere and I don’t feel all that bad about it. I warned you it would. I really wanted to use this entry as a way to complain about things I don’t like that happen all too often in friendship, seeing as friendship is the only kind of relationship I’m even sort of good at having. I wanted to mention that some of the stuff that gets passed off as “friendship” would never fly if you wanted me to live with you forever and have your babies. I wanted to write profound and heart-wrenching things about how friendship is the only relationship where unconditional like, love, and acceptance is completely taken for granted; how platonic friends are the only people on Earth expected to be totally okay with being at the bottom of the freaking social totem pole. But, I didn’t. And I won’t.

Next time I’ll be funny and coherent, I promise?