Tag Archives: friendship

You Want a Social Life, With Friends. (And an apology.)

29 Nov

Hi. Hello. I am here, and I am going to write something.

Before I do, I thought it right for me to apologize for an issue that has been needling me for quite some time now. No, I’m not going to apologize for my six month absence. I might kind of try to explain it though, so hold your horses.

My apology has to do with some things that I’ve written in past posts about fat bodies. In one post, about that terrible wedding I was in, I implied that the kind of awful bride was unattractive because she is fat. I later went on to snidely describe her second husband as “probably weighing 600 lbs”., which again, was my attempt at negating the fact that she found love and marriage for a second time. “Yeah, another person wanted to marry her, but just look at him.” I was saying that without saying it. Probably because I was/am a coward.

In another post, the name and content of which I can’t recall and am both too jittery and lazy to search for, I claimed that proof of my self-love was the fact that I don’t weigh 300 lbs.

I am sorry for writing those things. They are examples of the hatred of fat bodies – including my own – that I’ve internalized from a variety  of sources. I am working at ridding myself of that hate. Tumblr has been a priceless resource in my learning that fat bodies have value, are deserving of love, are beautiful, and can tell us nothing about a person’s health, abilities, or self-esteem.

Surprisingly, no one called me out on the things that I wrote. But maybe someone read my hateful words and was hurt. I couldn’t let that possibility stand without acknowledging how sorry I am, how much I am trying and want to change, and that I am asking for forgiveness. Please forgive me.

I’m leaving those posts up as they are (considering I can’t even find one of them, ugh) and hope that my future pieces will demonstrate my growth and sensitivity since writing them.

Thank you for sticking around as I grow.


 

You Want a Social Life, With Friends

You want a social life, with friends.

A passionate love life and as well

To work hard every day. What’s true

Is of these three you may have two

And two can pay you dividends

But never may have three.

 

There isn’t time enough, my friends-

Though dawn begins, yet midnight ends-

To find the time to have love, work, and friends.

Michelangelo had feeling

For Vittoria and the Ceiling

But did he go to parties at day’s end?

Homer nightly went to banquets

Wrote all day but had no lockets

Bright with pictures of his Girl.

 

I know one who loves and parties

And has done so since his thirties

But writes hardly anything at all.

-by Kenneth Koch

 

I never thought I’d be the type of person to have a favorite poem. I just didn’t think poetry was for me, wasn’t sure that I liked it all that much, the work of Langston Hughes and Shel Silverstein being notable exceptions. And then a few years ago I read Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s 2005 memoir Encyclopedia of An Ordinary Life.

In it she mentions that Kenneth Koch’s You Want a Social life, With Friends is her favorite poem and told a funny story about meeting its author. I read it over and over again, and the next time I was at work, I made a too-dark photocopy and hung it on my fridge.

You Want a Social Life, With Friends resonated with me. I was someone who was chronically lonely, felt confused and like a failure when it came to her career. I was absolutely convinced that “everybody else” had managed to master having fulfilling work, romantic love, and meaningful friendships. I did take solace in Koch’s assertion that “What’s true is of these three you may have two and two can pay you dividends but never may have three.” So, all I had to do – like the Disney villain I am deep in my cold, dark heart – was sit back and wait for my friends and acquaintances to suffer some loss, of a lover, of a job, of friends, because no one can have it all; look, I have proof!

I didn’t really want anyone I knew and liked to lose anything. But I desperately wanted all three for myself, and the poem was a reminder that life is full of sacrifice and compromise and comes without guarantee. Of anything. I remember feeling a chill of foreboding each time I read it after first finding it. I’d find some way to have all three, dammit! I’d beat the odds!

Now, here I am, 35 years old, feeling as lonely as ever; feeling as unfulfilled at work as I hoped to never be.

Part of me believes that there is still hope. That if I can maybe put myself on a writing schedule, something will come of my questionable talent. My current job may even allow me to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in professional writing for cheap or free. The work piece could potentially, someday come together. Maybe.

As far as love and friends? My hope meter is running on empty. Over the summer I did things that made me think “This. This is the moment when the pendulum swung to the other side with such force that I don’t think I’ll be able to move it back.” I let people borrow money, I stopped wearing contacts, and I went on a solo vacation. These events signaled to me that I was barreling towards spinsterhood at a frightening speed.

The money thing was a mistake. I should have known better. I’ve watched enough “Judge Judy” to know that owed money will destroy relationships despite one’s best efforts. Not only have I stopped asking for the money, I’ve stopped communicating with the people who benefited from my foolishness. I don’t think that they’ve noticed. And to be fair, I was – I am – seething under the surface, trying to hide my resentment, my disappointment, how used I feel. I didn’t tell them about my feelings. I didn’t hound them for the cash.

“It’s not fair,” I thought. “They have families and lovers and close friendships and now my money.” I was in communication with them until September, when the people in question suddenly stopped their correspondence. I hoped that I’d hear from them on or around my birthday; they owed me at least that much. I heard nothing. The idea of initiating contact with them makes my heart pound, my gut churn, my hands tremble. The realization that I lent the money with so many invisible strings attached makes me feel ashamed.

How is this a sign of my spinsterhood? I’m like the rich old aunt that never married, who eats store-brand canned soup and has to make it home in time to watch “Jeopardy!”. No one comes around until holiday time, because they know Auntie gives the best gifts, the poor sucker. “I mean, she’s got nobody, hardly any expenses. What does she need all that money for anyway? I’ll send her a card.” The card never comes. I open another can of chicken and rice and set up the TV tray in the living room. Alex Trebek always was a handsome man.

So that’s two friends I’ll never hear from again, or am doomed to have awkward, sporadic contact with when they feel like paying Auntie a pity visit.

The contacts thing and the vacation thing happened simultaneously. I planned a last minute, somewhat haphazardly planned vacation to St. Lucia. I’d never been out of the country alone before and I knew that if I waited until someone could go with me, I’d never travel. I spent five lonely days at a luxury spa. The island was beautiful, the weather lovely, the people damn nice. My tour guide hit on me; it was really uncomfortable, especially considering he did it after telling me that Tyler Perry movies send necessary messages of ‘warning’ to those wacky black women that want to be independent and self-sufficient and in charge.

I met two nice English ladies old enough to be my mother, one also named Ambrosia. We chatted a bit and shared one night of cocktails and a meal together, then spent the rest of the time awkwardly waving to each other across the resort. I was seated at the communal table for other solo travelers on some other night and had an Asian-fusion four course meal with a lady elementary school principal from Canada. It was both better and worse than it sounds.

There was a young, fat, attractive American girl I hoped to befriend. She was alone, was wearing a fatkini, kept her nose in a book. The fact that she made bold fashion choices and liked to read had me sold. She never noticed my smiles, which in all the sunlight and happiness surrounding me may have made it look like I had a bad case of indigestion. I was too chicken to go over and say hello.

On my second day there, I realized that I’d left my contact lens case somewhere in America. I’d recently purchased new, large, bold frames, but have always felt ugly in glasses. I can’t see without either contacts or glasses, so I had no choice. I had to feel ugly for four days in paradise.

I never bothered to renew my lens prescription. I’ve been wearing my trendy glasses full-time since August. On one had, with my nose ring and natural hair, I’m at times convinced that I look okay. Like maybe I know people that live in Brooklyn or smoke weed out of decorative glass pipes or am vegan.

But then other times I’ll catch my reflection in some shiny surface when I’m off guard or try to take a selfie and the person I see looking back at me is a sexless nerd, who read in her hotel room in a foreign, tropical country; who got suckered into lending substantial amounts of money in the hopes that somebody would love her best; who sat and watched other people dance on the last night of her vacation, wearing her ill-fitting glasses while a stray cat took pity on her and kept her company.

I don’t really like that person so much.

She reeks of desperation. Her bug-eyed stare screams “I want a social life, with friends! A passionate love life, and to work hard every day!” I wonder which one of us screams the loudest.

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In which I have a meltdown in the middle of a Red Robin.

19 Dec

YummmaaarRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!! Source

If only I had just eaten the well-done burger.

Let me say this now: whichever one of you finds my body – oh, who am I kidding? When the neighbors complain about the smell and a rep from the condo board (yeah, I finally moved in to my grandpa’s old place, whoopee) has a maintenance man break down my door and finds me a.) naked and dead on the stairs, having fallen to my death because I put off getting a runner; b.) naked and dead in one of the upstairs bathrooms, having slipped to death on one of the many loose tiles that I can’t yet afford to replace; or c.) fully clothed and dead, having finally followed through on something in my miserable life, ending it all by my own hopefully exquisitely manicured hand, please see to it that my tombstone reads as follows:

Ambrosia Prudence Jones

19somethin’somethin’-20somethin’somethin’

“If only I had. . . “

Bury me in something chic, black, and tastefully (think Beyonce tasteful, not Jackie O tasteful) sequined. DO NOT let my mother make any decisions about my hair or makeup. Find a Fabulous Gay to do that. I want flowers, flowers, and more flowers, and completely inappropriate music at my funeral. The women in attendance should be wearing hats and heels, a la American Horror Story: Coven.  Send them away if they aren’t.

Enough about my funeral plans. And look, I get that it’s. . . macabre that I have a rough sketch of funeral plans at my age, but in the four months since we last met, dear reader, life has handed me no bright moment that has led me to plan, even prematurely, anything other than my eventual demise. It is the only thing I can count on happening. There are, as always, no men in my life, and I sadly have yet to discover or develop a taste for women. Though if I did, I’m sure I’d find that things would be just as dismal on the dating front.

Remember that whole thing about my probably not being able to have kids? Um, yeah, so I couldn’t get pregnant if I had sex with Shawty Lo. Or Kevin Federline, who may be more immediately familiar to white some readers. I am at the moment infertile, though I’m not supposed to use the term infertile. I was told in my sort of support group thing that I sometimes attend that we’re not to ever say we’re infertile until the doctors have taken away our uteri. We’re “reproductively  challenged” or some such nonsense. I have a giant fibroid inside my uterus AND a super fun thing called PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Not only can I not find a human male to have sex with me that isn’t homeless and/or over the age of 50, if I did and wanted to have a baby, chances are I wouldn’t ovulate. If I somehow did ovulate, there is no where for the baby egg thingamajig (yay, science) to go because my whole mother oven is blocked. Surgery is extremely risky, with hysterectomy being an unfortunate possible side effect. If the surgery was successful, the surgeons have no way of guaranteeing that I’d be left with enough healthy uterine tissue to successfully carry a pregnancy to term, in the event I were to ever meet a man and then, of course, ovulate. It’s a supremely jacked up Circle of Life. Despair and hope indeed.

For a number of weeks now, I’ve been getting shot up with a drug I won’t name in an effort to maintain one last sliver of privacy since I thought it was a FANTASTIC idea to post selfies (like three; I’m in my thirties and not that particular brand of ridiculous or beautiful) under this nom de plume on fucking tumblr in the hopes that someone, anyone (hopefully with a nice face and penis) would tell me I was beautiful and not a monstrosity of epic proportions. The drug is supposed to make me temporarily menopausal which is in turn supposed to shrink the fibroids and Jesus Christ I bet you’re all wondering what the hell my uterus has to do with Red Robin. I’m getting there, I swear, I’m getting there. This is what happens when I don’t write for four months. Sorry.

I’m not so sure about the menopausal part, considering the fact that I’ve been. . . um. . . bleeding (sorry, I know, so sorry) for almost two months, and the shrinking isn’t happening at a rate that my doctor is pleased with. What I’m certain of is the drug is causing me to feel sadder and angrier and far more emotionally raw than usual AND NOW WE’RE FINALLY GETTING TO THE TITLE OF THE POST I ALWAYS GET THERE WE MIGHT HAVE A LAYOVER IN DALLAS BUT WE ALWAYS GET TO OUR DESTINATION. And I’d like to think it’s because of my general unhappiness compounded by the goddamn holidays and the cold and the knowledge that I may never be able to have children and the ongoing pain and discomfort and blood and mood swings and loneliness and the unshakable feeling that I don’t really matter to anyone at the medical practice because I’m not there for IVF or egg extractions and the feeling that I don’t really matter to anyone at all anywhere and the worry that men can smell my defect on me and that’s why they stay away, between the no babies and the sociopath ex, I am Damaged Goods and now I may have lost my new friends all because of a burger.

We waited 29 minutes for someone to take our order. We watched the people next to us get served their meal, eat their meal, and get their check before one of my friends got up to find out what the heck was going on. They, the people at the next table, even asked us if anyone had come to take our drink order, and they were literally a middle school couple. They could not have been older than 14 years old and they knew things were bad. The hostess was kind enough to take our drink order and serve  us before a shiftless manchild came to take our food order. Here’s where things went downhill: I ordered guacamole bacon burger cooked “a little bit pink”, following Red Robin’s ordering instructions. I got an impeccably dressed hockey puck. I took two bites and decided I couldn’t enjoy the gristly meat husk masquerading as hamburger and waited 10 minutes or so for The Dude to wander back to our section so I could reluctantly send back my meal. He never came, but the on top of it and super apologetic hostess did.

At some point between my waiting to receive the meal I’d ordered in the first place and my eventual meltdown, The Dude appeared and attempted to give us our check. We all sort of looked at him as if he were insane; was he even remotely aware of our kind of shitty experience? Did he think that maybe we wanted that big ass ice cream pie crime against humanity that they serve, because um, yeah, we did? We  kindly mentioned that we wanted to order dessert; “Uhhh, I’m pretty sure we’re like, closed though” he replied. I think it was here that I lost it, but didn’t realize that I’d lost it. Everything happened so fast, like when a perfectly gently boiling pot all of sudden loses its ever loving shit and starts to barf all over the stove. That’s how it was with me. I didn’t even have a chance to turn down the flame or grab a lid or scream at my mom to do something while I played “Candy Crush Saga” in the bathroom.

If the kitchen was closed, what about my burger? I didn’t say this; I didn’t say anything. I just stared at him, at the neon “YUMMM” on the wall, at nothing in particular. My friends went from fierce warriors against dining injustice to sniveling diners worried about being nice to terrible service people. “Oh, you’re closed? Oh my god. We’re so sorry. Never mind. No dessert for us. Just the check.”

“No, wait. Why don’t you check to make sure that the kitchen is in fact closed. You know, since I’m waiting for my dinner and all.” I tried to say it kindly, but I was hungry and tired and annoyed and I hate people speaking and apologizing for me, and that’s what my friends were doing. Simultaneously, my friends said the following: “Oh my god, I feel so bad!” “Now I feel like such an asshole!” and that’s when I saw red. You feel like an asshole because they fucked up my food, made us wait more than 30 minutes before they even took our order, and I’d, no, we’d like to simply order dessert???? Moments later, the hostess came over to assure me that my burger was on its way out and began to loudly apologize. And wouldn’t stop apologizing. She offered dessert. Free dessert. All the dessert. To get her manager. To do my taxes. Find me a husband. Help me unpack. All the while, my friends are turning her down; her efforts are unnecessary because they’re fine. The restaurant is closed or going to close or something. Even though we’re surrounded by full tables. I am fucking fuming. It’s no longer about burgers. It’s about principle and fairness and me having a voice and getting what the hell I asked for for once.

So I snapped.

I took off my glasses (bad sign) and I stopped smiling and doing that stupid “no, it’s not you, it’s me, and it’s fine” bullshit that women feel they’re supposed to do when trying to get a service that they are paying for and it’s going wrong and I said in a voice that scared myself “What I want is the meal I ordered the way I ordered it. It’s not your fault. You’re the hostess. Thank you for trying. It should be the waiter doing all of this. But now my friends care more about the fact that you might be closed than your trying to make this right, so please, just get me my food so I can eat it and they can stop feeling like assholes.”

My friends got mad at me, but said they weren’t. I was mad at them and said I was. One of them wouldn’t speak to or look at me for the rest of the night and while the other made a big show of hugging it out with me afterwards, she stormed off to her car. So, I guess that’s done. A perfectly nice evening was fucked up because I couldn’t just shut up and eat burned meat. But I feel like my entire life is nothing but shutting up and eating burnt meat I didn’t order, a terrible analogy, I know.

Was I out of line? I don’t think so? I don’t even know. Am I just one big hormonal mess, incapable of any healthy, normal human relationships, destined to live and die bitter and alone? I think that’s pretty fucking clear. I wanted it to also be clear that in the four months since I last checked in with ya’ll, the only growth that’s occurred has been in my uterus. 

Just trying to outlive Jesus.

14 Oct
jesus_thumbs_up-s300x220-213409

Totally bummed I didn’t think of the concept of outliving Jesus first, but totally psyched that it was The Onion that beat me to it. Source

It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t a left you. Without a dope post to read to. Read to, read to, read- Eh, it doesn’t really work, but I tried.

Lots of crap has been going on. So much so that it has prevented me from thanking and responding to the handful of new folks who’ve left comments or ‘liked’ past stuff (Thank you so much! I love you!) or writing more than one cuss-filled post during the month of September. I thought I’d start out this post by sharing a list pertaining to the lots of crap in an effort to maybe make you, my dear 6 and 3/4 readers, laugh; feel better about your own life by comparison; and reassure you that this blog and unfortunately I are still alive.

  • After six years filled of wonder and amazement, I moved out of my apartment. The plan was for me to move into the home of my beloved dead grandpa; – For mental health and self-esteem reasons I’m supposed to be calling it my home. That ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. – that plan is on an indefinite hiatus, mostly because it appears as though someone set off a bomb in his two-story, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom condo. A bomb that both destroyed everything and opened a portal to 1975.
  • I have been living out of one suitcase in the home of my parents who have recently retired. I sleep in my childhood bedroom that has become the storage space for the stuff my parents don’t want and/or don’t know what to do with (How fitting!) on an air mattress which I managed to pop just this morning (FINALLY!). I have come to the awful conclusion that I might kinda hate my mall-walking, liquid-vitamin-taking, Dr. Oz-worshiping mother and father. Just a little bit.
  • I am still single.

Anyway. In two days I am going to be 33 years old. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but like most things, I hate my motherfucking birthday. I especially hate all birthdays after the twentieth, because that’s when the expectations attached to age begin. So not only will someone probably die (my 28th, 29th, and 30th birthdays), break up with me (my 26th), give me the swine flu (my 30th), or lock themselves in my car and refuse to participate in the festivities (my 23rd) on my “special day”, you expect me to have accomplished shit too? Oh, here go hell come.

Birthdays have always been just an overflowing bag of sad for me for as long as I can remember. As a kid, birthday parties were contingent upon whether or not I had been “good”. Ma and Pa Jones would typically do the “Do you think you deserve to have a birthday party, Ambrosia?” thing with me and being a highly intelligent and precocious child, I knew that the answer was ‘no’. I mean, if ya have to ask, amiright? It seemed that Ma Jones loved to say the following, as I heard some variation of it each year: “And you think you’re having a birthday party? You? Ha! Little girls who have birthday parties do not roll their eyes at their mothers!” It was all I could do not to demand empirical evidence from her. “What are you basing this data on? Show me the numbers!”

I’m not anybody’s mother, so I don’t know if birthday parties ought to be doled out sparingly or not. Maybe my parents were doing what most parents do. But to a girl who’s an only child, lives in a child-free neighborhood, doesn’t really fit in with the kids at church, doesn’t get to socialize all that much with her school friends, and experiences a nagging sense of unshakable loneliness that follows her throughout her entire life, the birthday party rations really sucked. It was my one chance out of the year to be the center of attention, to demand things (whether or not those demands were fulfilled is another thing entirely), and be surrounded by friends. To have that be dependent on whether or not I’d been a model child was way harsh, considering that, at least in my parents’ eyes, I never quite measured up.

Don’t even get me started on expectations and birthday parties. Good god, how I loathe expectations. And yet, I am full of them. I was quick to write that I blame my life-long love of books, movies, and television for the ridiculous expectations swirling around in my head when I hear the words “birthday”, “Christmas”, “New Year’s Eve”, “wedding”, and “drag ball”, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve witnessed enough magical loveliness in real life happen to people I know that I am comfortable blaming them. The parties my friends and acquaintances have for their children leave me itching to call 9-1-1 to turn in my parents on a 25 year-old charge of neglect. Every kid in the class gets to come! Brand-name goodie bags! Elaborate themes! PG-13 movies! Designer clothes and shoes! Cake with a picture of your face on it!

A girl I knew rented out part of a nightclub to celebrate her 24th birthday. That’s not even a milestone age or anything. It was sort of supposed to be a joint party for me and some other October babies too, but I only told one friend about it because it was in Manhattan and I knew no one else would come. She had signature drinks, and embossed invitations, and her own waiter, and color-coordinated decorations that matched her outfit and makeup and the drinks and invitations. It was super fun, i.e., I got really drunk. I think I totaled my car on my 24th birthday (Not that same night, or year, even. Drunk driving is lame.). Not quite as fun.

Thing is, I don’t even want my own waiter or a cake with my face on it. Designer clothes and shoes would only be ruined in my grubby little accident-prone hands. “Signature drinks” is a stupid concept that I fall for every time I see them on a menu or watch “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera”. You know what kind of party I really like? Remember that one scene in “You’ve Got Mail” when Meg Ryan’s character has people over and Archie Bunker’s wife plays the piano and they sing and laugh and drink wine and everyone’s wearing a sweater and Greg Kinnear is tone deaf? I love that. The only things that party is missing is candlelight, dancing, more food and booze, The Gays, and me.

Don’t get me wrong, someday I want to blow a couple hundred bucks on a night out at Lucky Cheng’s and maybe have a closed-mouth make-out session on a dance floor with a handsome stranger (It’s a cultural thing, and blech!). But I don’t need any of that to have a nice birthday party – if I were still celebrating my birthday. I have vowed to never again attempt to have a party or make any birthday demands (I did tell Lisa she could make me her chicken casserole and bake a lemon cake, but she asked first.) or even mention the dreaded day after last year’s debacle. I haven’t mentioned last year’s debacle in great detail here other than explaining that it is from hence this blog’s name was birthed. Since The Day of Dread is less than 48 hours away, I’ll tell that story now by revising what I wrote and shared on that social networking site.

Actually, upon proofreading said post, I’ve decided to share it in its (hardly) unedited entirety. A quick re-read after a year made me do it:

I told ya so!  I told ya something bad was gonna happen on my birthday!

I do hate to gloat, truly I do, but I want people to understand that I’m not a sad sack of misery just because.  I’ve got history on my side!  Like my Jane has started to say, I’m looking at the facts!

Okay, if I’m going to look at ALL the facts, I ended up having a lot of fun with some truly wonderful friends.  But you didn’t come here to read about fun and wonderfulness.

What had happened was this:  In order to forget about the fact that I was turning another year older, I wanted to eat some food, go dancing and drink some drinks.  Last year, this was a bit of an issue, so I tried to keep things chill.  I figured if people wanted to come, they’d come.  If they wanted to eat, they’d eat.  If they wanted to dance- you get my drift.  I live in a city that I wouldn’t choose to hang out in, so I picked another as the destination because they have more than one of things and classier people and more interesting violence and danger.  What?  They do!

So I make reservations for the night before my actual birthday.  A group of relatives from out of town and their friends essentially invited themselves (this is key) to the gathering as an act of solidarity as they were aware of the History of Bad Birthdays, which I initially appreciated.  A group of friends offered to drive me that night so I could be free to indulge in spirits if I chose.  The group of friends was coming from another gathering that evening and the plan was for them to pick me up at 8:00 so we could make the 8:45 reservation.  Unfortunately, stuff happened, and they didn’t make it to get me until 8:30.  As soon as I learned that my ride was running late (8:05), I sent word to my relatives and friends already on their way to the restaurant.  Additional stuff happened – none of which involved me being late; bitches, I was dressed and ready to go for 8:00pm for once! – and our caravan didn’t hit the road till 8:45.

Yes, this was unfortunate.  But it was a Saturday night.  The group that was already there was “having fun”, or so I was told.  I assumed they’d have some drinks and order some appetizers and chill.  It was a birthday party, not a business meeting.  And I stayed in contact with them every step of the way, apologizing profusely.

We make it to the other city and it’s after 9:00pm.  We park in the first lot we find – which ended up being 6 blocks away from the restaurant.  The seven of us make our way down the street and I’m texting those already there – “We’re 4 blocks away! I’m sorry!”  “We’re 3 blocks away! I’m SO sorry!”  As we pass the Public Library, which is relevant because that meant we were about halfway there, I get a text from my cousin who I didn’t even expect to show up.  Not only did I not expect her, I had been instructed to keep her presence a secret, which is a topic for another note that I’m not going to write because that mess is none of my business.

Anyhoo, the secret cousin I didn’t expect had an early morning event the following day, my actual birthday, and that was one of the not torrid reasons that I didn’t expect her.  So, I think nothing of the fact that the first text I received from her read:

“This is so poorly planned.”

Yeah, I suppose it was.  They had been waiting about an hour.  I get that that can be annoying.  Buuuuuuuuutttttt, they weren’t waiting at a bus stop.  They were waiting in an awesome Japanese restaurant, with people they knew and supposedly like/love and it was my f’ing party; I’ll show up when I want to.  (I don’t really mean that last bit.)  As I am about to respond with a sincere mea culpa, my cousin whom I DIDN’T EXPECT TO SHOW UP AND TECHNICALLY WASN’T INVITED sent me a second text:

“I can see why she’s single.”

OOOOOOHHHHHHH.  So those texts weren’t meant for me after all.  Home girl hit my Achilles heel with that one.  The only other thing she could have written that would have been as devastatingly hurtful would have been “I can see why she’s fat.”  And shut up, I am fat, and the sooner we all acknowledge that fact the faster we can move on.

I closed my phone, put it in the pocket of my jacket and kept walking.  I could feel the tears start to well up, my heart was alternately stopping and pounding out of control and I didn’t know what to do.  We finally make it to the restaurant and I’m sure the look on my face was not a pleasant one.  If anyone noticed, they probably chalked it up to the fact that I had walked 6 blocks in 3 inch heels and was an hour late to my own birthday party.

Both the restaurant and the folks who had already arrived failed to save/ provide enough seating for the entire group, so a lot of awkward standing around commenced as we waited for extra chairs.  I was shaking and my face was on fire.  I had just learned that my cousin was talking shit about me and I assumed she had realized her mistake by then, too.  If she did, she said nothing.  We finally sit down and I knew that if I said nothing, that text and the venom behind it was going to eat me up and ruin an already screwed up night.  So, I lifted up my menu and whispered what had transpired to my friend Dick on my right, begging him to keep it to himself, and then promptly excused myself.  I felt better already that someone else knew about what happened.  I went to the ladies room and Jane followed me in in outrage.  Dick is her husband and told her that I was probably in tears because of the text I wasn’t supposed to see.

I was actually kind of fine!  No tears, just pee pee, and I assured Jane that I was cool.  No need to confront my cousin and her wig (I’m sorry!  I’m entitled to one dig, right?); let’s just eat, drink and be merry.

The night continued and yeah, dinner was kind of awkward, but sake solved that, mostly.  The out of town crew went home right after dinner because of the texting terror’s early morning thing, and I had a ball with my actual friends who make sure that the nasty texts they write about me make it to their intended recipients.  Ha.

I’m gonna skim over a lot of stuff now because I’m SUPER lazy, but the morning of my actual birthday involved me crying hysterically over the text.  Hey, I didn’t let it ruin my night, which for me is a REALLY BIG DEAL, but I needed to grieve over it.  That shit hurt!  I eventually and very gently, and according to my friend, with class, let my cousin know that I got the texts and assumed they weren’t meant for me and hoped that she enjoyed her charity walk.  She wrote back and didn’t acknowledge the texts, but asked me how my night was.  It took me hours to gather the courage and nerve to answer, but when I finally did, I said this:

“you know, despite those texts you sent me, i had a really great time with my friends.  thanks for asking!”

She called, I wouldn’t answer, got yelled at out of love by Jane and Dick, who had taken me out for birthday pancakes, cried some more, and eventually spoke to my cousin about the Birthday Debacle.  On my actual birthday, mind you.  And here, in helpful bullet point form, is what she said:

  • She don’t like waitin’.
  • People need to respect her time.
  • She’s very punctual and expects others to be the same.
  • I should have had a plan B and C.
  • I should have left my friends and driven myself to the restaurant so that she didn’t have to wait so long.
  • She was mad that the restaurant “kicked us out” at 11:30pm because she wanted to take pictures.
  • She didn’t get a chance to go out afterwards because I was late.
  • Oh, and yeah, poor planning can in fact lead to chronic singleness.

If you are observant, you may have noticed that her ass never once uttered the following :

“I’m sorry” or even, “Happy Birthday”.

And in case it matters, my cousin is also single.  She’s in the midst of a nasty divorce, actually, and lives back at home with her mother and shares a room with one of her two children.  So much for planning and punctuality!  But that’s mean of me to say.  I guess.

I didn’t respond to anything she said, other than mentioning that I was hurt by the text, particularly the second one.  After she was finished, I told her I was hanging up and that I’d talk to her some other time.  When I was alone that night, I cried some more.

So, that’s it.  That was this year’s birthday fail.  However, I did have oodles of fun and my friends are super loyal and protective and awesome and really, really mean!  And I love it!

But, yet again, that swift kick to the balls really hurt.  I may not be able to trust my cousin(s).  People – my family members! – seem to be ready, willing and able to take a switchblade to my Achilles without warning.  And I’m another year past 30 and still really, really, REALLY single (and fat).

I may have found an interesting name and concept for a blog, though.  Maybe stay tuned for icanseewhyshessingle.com, hmmmmmmm?  (DO NOT STEAL.)

Gosh. Wasn’t I precious? I sounded so different way back then. I was a mere girl, a child really, just turned 32 and all. That’s what happened and yay, I started a blog and took what was meant for evil and used it for good – shout out to Old Testament Joseph – though the “good” part is questionable. But here’s the thing. I said I had a good time. Whenever I’ve answered the question of “What do you wanna do for your birthday?” with “I don’t do those anymore ’cause of last year” and the person I’m talking to was there, they say “Oh, but you had fun!” I didn’t. I did not have fun. I’m sorry.

What I had was a pretend fun time due to the influence of alcohol. I drank a great deal out of nervousness, worried I’d cry or yell or snatch a wig if I didn’t drown my emotions in booze. Four really lovely friends hung out with me all night. We went to two – TWO! – nightclubs and then to a sketchy diner. They did that for me and I’m grateful. But I didn’t have fun.

I don’t have an inner voice that I can shut up with liquor. That bitch went on and on AND ON all night about how awful I am and how my mean cousin was right. I kept giving her bootleg Dark and Stormies (Why doesn’t any bar stock ginger beer?!?) in the hopes that if she insisted on talking, maybe she’d start to be nice the more I drank. When I went to the restroom and looked in the mirror and saw that the belt to my dress was hanging on by a figurative thread, she let me have it. My cousin’s text had given her ammunition, not that she ever really needs it: “See? She was right. Look at you. So FAT. No one will dance with you, you know. Your friends are pitying you because you are pitiful.”

I went back out there and smiled and drank and laughed and danced. She – my inner voice – was right. No one danced with me. I mean, Eric and Dick took turns dancing with me a little, but that’s not the same. I was the fifth wheel at my own birthday party, grinning madly as I danced with my lovely friends who also happen to be two couples.

I don’t make birthday demands wishes any more. Just let me get through the day and come out unscathed. I’ll cry, I’m sure. I’ve cried every year since probably 4th grade. This year the day will be supremely awkward as I am living staying with my parents who prove each day how little they know about their only child. That might be my fault seeing as how I just grunt and growl in their direction, but I believe, perhaps wrongly, that the people who love you shouldn’t have to be told who you are. They ought to be watching. They ought to already know.

Despite everything, my attitude about my birthday this year is an improvement. There were years I had no intention of seeing, but I guess I got distracted by something, as here I am. The only goal I’ve got for this year is to outlive Jesus. Dude made it to 33; if I can make it to 34 I will have beaten a supreme being at something, even if I’m still living with my parents, fat, at a job where everyone hates me, and of course, single when I do it.

Never a bride: the conclusion, or, Ambrosia alienates pretty much everyone.

25 Aug

I hope you’ll allow me to piss and moan for a bit before I get back to the story. Writing about this ridiculous, half-assed “wedding” has made me very angry. I am angry because this shit stain of a memory reminds me of all the times that I’ve said ‘yes’. Yes, I’ll drive an hour so you can get your stuff out of storage. Yes, I’ll watch your pets and/or kids. Yes, I’ll work those hours for you. Yes, I’ll reschedule/sit this one out. Yes, I’ll take the blame. Yes, you can borrow my car. Yes, Ill go with you to a nude resort. And of course, yes, I’ll be in your wedding/go to your bridal/baby shower/bachelorette party. I am a bitter, spiteful, sad, pitiful, possibly ungrateful bitch who will always say ‘yes’ but will always find myself with hurt feelings, alone on a Friday night, or panic-stricken as I try to figure out how the hell I’m going to move my life from one awful place to another without help*, while people like Wanda get to have second weddings. You read that right; Wanda will be getting married for the second time in a few short months.

I am not friends with Wanda anymore, if you couldn’t tell. The end of our “friendship” came when, displaying the reading comprehension of an artichoke, Wanda chose to publicly shame and humiliate me because she was insulted by something I wrote. It was actually a compliment, but like I said, the bitch can’t read. It’s pretty awesome when people accidentally react badly to neutral things because at least then you know where you really stand. I would be a liar if I said it didn’t burn me deep inside my black, hollow soul that “Lisa” from the story along with another friend of mine have chosen to remain loyal to a hateful, classless, pathological liar; they’ll be and have been attending Wanda’s wedding and marriage do-over and associated activities. But it’s not like it’s a fucking surprise. The title of this blog is based on my being shat upon by people I thought were supposed to at least politely tolerate me because of our shared genetics, if not human decency, so of course it is little surprise that some of my oldest friends would continue to hang out with and celebrate a person who’s most redeeming quality is that she can tell you where to get a bad weave for cheap. Anyway. I’m probably not making much sense and I’m digging a hole for myself, so I shall write no more about my roller coaster of emotions. You came here to read a funny story about a totally cracked-out wedding. I’ll keep my feelings of mild betrayal and seething anger where they belong: under a pile of hot wings and blue cheese sauce deep down in my rapidly expanding gut. On with the show!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Her facial expression just about sums it up. Source

So the ceremony was a disaster. When it was finally over, a handsome older gentleman came walking over with a professional camera, shaking his head and rounding us up to take pictures. He was eventually introduced to us as Wanda’s uncle. He cracked jokes to make us laugh so that all of the photos of the wedding weren’t of people who looked as though they had been forced at gunpoint to be there. As he took shot after shot, he said to Wanda “I still don’t understand why you didn’t let me help you! Girl, you know I’m a professional photographer! I have connections! I could have helped you out with this wedding! You let me know about everything so last minute that I can’t even go to the reception ’cause I’ve got another wedding to shoot in an hour. What were you thinking? Girl, call on your family next time! Uh, not that there’s gonna be a next time, of course. Err. . .  uh. . .  Congratulations, baby-girl.” I’m pretty sure we all had the same look of disbelief on our faces when we learned that her uncle was a wedding photographer. In other words, there was no need for us all to have been subjected to the ghetto bullshit that was her wedding. She could have had professional help! Not the kind she truly needed, of course, but the kind that would have at least had her not making a fool of herself and everyone she’d ever met! Noticing our shock at her uncle’s revelation, Wanda rolled her eyes and said “Anyway. He is too expensive and wouldn’t have given me a discount. He’s stingy.” Okay, bitch. Okay.

As we walked to our cars, some kind-hearted soul handed me, Lisa, and the baby warm cans of grape soda. “I know ya’ll are hot in those dresses. It’s not cold but it’s wet!” We were grateful for the first calorie source we’d consumed all day; I’m not sure whatever became of the breakfast we went out for, but it certainly wasn’t eaten by us. Just before we made our way to the VFW for the reception, Carmella, the smart friend of Wanda’s who’d declined to be a bridesmaid, came storming over. She angrily shoved a bouquet at Wanda, red-faced and fuming. “Here’s your f*cking flowers” she growled. Apparently, one of the many calls Wanda received back in the room was from Carmella. She had the bride’s bouquet, which she’d made, and the wedding cake, and no directions to either the wedding site or the VFW. She had been driving around in circles for hours, totally lost. Lisa’s bouquet had gone missing because it had been snatched from her hands and given to Wanda when someone realized that the bride’s bouquet had never arrived. Carmella had called and called, but because Wanda was too distraught to talk, Carmella had threatened to simply go home with the rapidly wilting bouquet and melting wedding cake. Oh, did I fail to mention that this wedding was on one of the hottest days of the year? It was the middle of autumn though, so no one was prepared for the sweltering, 90-plus degree weather. A family member of the bride’s finally snatched the phone, gave Carmella directions to the VFW so she could drop off the cake. . . but it was locked. The back seat of her car was slowly being covered in melted icing. Her hard work was rapidly disintegrating before her very eyes.

We were a sad caravan of idiots making our way to the VFW. The ushers were ready to eat. The guests were ready to drink. I was ready to continue my hunger strike if J.J.’s ass was the only one doing the cooking. There had been no sign of him at the wedding. Kelly shrugged her empty-headed shoulders when asked if she’d heard from him. We pulled into the parking lot of the VFW after the newlyweds and their families and were met with yet another show of ridiculous, yet somewhat understandable, behavior outside. Wanda was in tears again and her older brother was screaming at her like she’d stolen something from him. “I’ll ask you again Wanda: where is the goddamn food for all these people? There is NOTHING inside!! Give me the number to the restaurant you claim is catering this mess, ’cause they ain’t here!” Oh, snap. So Wanda never told her family that the restaurant wasn’t actually providing anything except for maybe a pan of mac and cheese? Her brother was losing his cool by the minute. His wife and mother tried to hold him back from throttling Wanda. It eventually took most of the groom’s ushers to restrain him when Wanda hiccuped out the truth: “J- J-J.J. is doing the cooking a-a-and he’s n-n-not answering his phone! He-he-he has my car and all the f-f-food and I don’t know where he is!” she wailed.

“You. Had. F*cking J.J. cook for this wedding?” her brother screamed. “What the hell is WRONG with you, Wanda? Give me his number and somebody get my car keys, ’cause I’m gonna find that motherf*cker and kick his ass!” The crazy justice of the peace eventually intervened, not with calm rationality, but with even louder screaming. That lady was nuttier than a fruit cake with her self-righteous ranting and raving about how mean everyone was being to poor Wanda on her most special day. I guess it was the ridiculousness of her statements that finally shut Wanda’s brother up, as he shook his head and stormed inside.

We all followed his lead and wandered in after him. The guests, the amount of which had magically doubled, were seated at the cafeteria tables covered in shoddily Scotch-taped lavender plastic table cloths like it was 1963 in Selma, AL. Wanda’s groom, a basically brain dead McDonald’s employee named Petey, was Latino. I haven’t mentioned him till now because his usual contribution to conversations consisted of one of the two following phrases: “Yo, I don’t even know!” and “Yeah, baby love, whatever you want!” Based on the looks on the faces of his family, none of them were too keen on the union or black folks in general as they segregated themselves throughout the entire reception. Sure, fine, whatever. Frankly, I sort of didn’t really blame them.

We all took our places at the bridal party table and just waited for the next absurd thing to take place. People were getting hungry and pissed. Wanda’s aunties, clearly well aware of their niece’s proclivity for utter foolishness, had take it upon themselves to make a few pans of side dishes: macaroni salad, coleslaw, green salad. There wasn’t a piece of cheese or a cracker in the place, so they started dishing out what they’d brought as appetizers. They rounded up little kids to pass out cans of orange soda, Coke, or tap water. Unbeknownst to anyone, Wanda has insisted that the wedding be a dry one. Once the guests discovered this, many of them disappeared to the bar next door. Another of Wanda’s uncles, ever the innovator, had filled the trunk of his classic car with ice and bottles of scotch and whiskey. Suddenly, some of the more frugal guests realized that they had left their car windows down or the wedding gift they’d brought sitting in the backseat. The VFW cleared out like someone had just bombed for roaches.

Wanda started to cry again, upset that most of the guests had peaced out of the reception. I told you, I’m an idiot who likes to help, so I agreed to find out where everybody was when Wanda begged. I went out to the parking lot and saw the impromptu party going on, and suddenly, someone grabbed my arm and pulled me behind the building. It was Wanda’s sister-in-law. She had taken a shine to Lisa and me, amazed that Wanda had friends that weren’t toothless or addicted to methadone. She shoved a plastic glass of amber colored liquid in my hand. “Here. Drink this.” Before I could say “But what is it?”, she’d brought my hand up to my mouth, held on to the the back of my neck and literally forced me to pour the booze down my gullet. That brought the total of things I’d consumed that day to two: half a can of warm grape soda and a glass of equally warm scotch.

I coughed and sputtered and tried to explain that Wanda was inside having yet another meltdown, but sister-in-law was too busy shaking it to the soul music Uncle Whiskey was blasting out of his car. Suddenly, the door to the VFW slammed open and out stormed the justice of the peace. Her hands were on the hips of her plaid mini skirt, her penny loafer clad foot impatiently tapping. She stormed over to the parking lot revelers, her white opaque tights making a soft swishing noise with each stride she took. “How dare you?” she started, and I knew that was my cue to be out. I sneaked past her and back inside the sad, half-empty hall.

Once inside, I shared the news of what was happening with the rest of the bridal party, which was a mistake as I had to then convince them all to stay inside and not go to the bar or to the party that was being broken up outside. Eventually, everyone trickled back in, higher and happier than when they’d left. Moments later, in walked J.J. and Betsy, balancing a number of aluminum foil wrapped trays between them, both still clad in the musty outfits they had on the night before. I gagged a bit at the sight while the rest of the guests cheered at the sight of the food. Lisa and I exchanged a knowing glance and tried to make the most of our coleslaw.

Everything was laid out buffet style, including the salvaged wedding cake, a lemon bundt cake, and neon pink cookies. Lisa and I declined the offers of plates of meatballs, ham, chicken wings, cabbage, rice and beans, and macaroni and cheese, knowing who was behind their creation. “You a vegetarian or something?” one of the ushers asked, a thick hunk of ham dangling from his fork. He bit into the glistening meat, certain it’s sheen came from a layer of sticky glaze, while I was sure it was a fine layer of mucus and armpit sweat that gave the meat it’s special glow. I covered my mouth as I gagged again. “No, not a vegetarian. Just not very hungry” I muttered.

Lisa’s daughter was in the midst of her Terrible Twos and a very picky eater. She managed to get only a couple of forkfuls of salad into the baby when she gave up and let her have dessert. The baby enjoyed the mystery cookies, the bride’s special request, which we later learned got their pink hue from Kool-Aid mix. They tasted like dry balls of flour rolled in cherry-flavored Fun Dip. After trying one of the monstrosities, Lisa asked for slices of the lemon cake, thinking that would be the slightly more nutritious and far less disgusting choice to feed her child.

The lemon cake was a natural shade of yellow and looked very moist. Lisa and I took a bite and looked at each other, puzzled and puckered. “Wow, this cake is really. . . lemony” she said, choking down what was in her mouth. “Yeah, it’s surprisingly strong and. . . bitter or something” I replied, struggling to find the appropriate adjective to describe the cake’s odd flavor. The baby loved it. She ate her slice and mine and Lisa’s. Lisa was just happy that the kid wasn’t going to starve. When the baby asked for a fourth slice, Lisa shrugged her shoulders. “What the heck, it’s a special occasion. I just can’t believe she can handle something so tart!”

As the baby started in on her fourth slice, sister-in-law happened to walk over to our table. She was smiling, about to make pleasant conversation, when she noticed the baby happily shoving a fistful of lemon cake into her mouth. “Oh my god, don’t let her eat that!” she shrieked, snatching the plate away. We looked at her like she was as crazy as the justice of the peace. “What’s wrong?” asked Lisa. “If it’s the sugar you’re worried about-” “No! Didn’t you guys hear me? I’ve been telling everyone about my famous Bacardi Limon cake!” “What?” said Lisa, a look of panic slowly growing on her face. “This is rum cake! I bake a lemon bundt cake and then I soak it over night with simple syrup and an entire bottle of Bacardi Limon! How couldn’t you know?” screamed sister-in-law. “Rum cakes are brown! I’ve never heard of a f*cking lemon rum cake! Oh my god, what do I do?” cried Lisa. We tried to get the baby to drink water, but she wasn’t having it. She was too busy giggling and clapping. She seemed like a pretty normal toddler, so we hoped for the best and kept an eye on her all night.

The baby loved to dance and was making quite the scene on the dance floor. We were still convinced she was fine, until like something from a Bugs Bunny cartoon, the strangest look came over her and she  started to furiously “tap dance”. She kept this up for a while, a stupid grin on her face, and then she started to stagger. She stumbled to her left and laughed. She stumbled to her right and laughed. She stumbled to her left again, let out a squeal of delight, and then her eyes rolled back in her head and she went crashing to the ground, face first.

Miraculously, the baby was fine, but apparently wasted. She was out cold, a smile on her chubby little face as she slept it off. Lisa, mortified and scared, grabbed my car keys and ran through the parking lot, crying hysterically. She locked herself in my car, weeping behind the steering wheel. It was time for the couple’s first dance and Wanda wanted us out on the floor too. The bridal party took turns trying to convince Lisa to come out of the car, but she’d only lift her head from where it lay on the steering wheel, cry out “I’m a bad mother!” and go back to weeping again. We eventually gave up, figuring she needed time to compose herself. She hadn’t had anything to eat nor had she slept, so a mental breakdown seemed appropriate.

The baby had woken up back inside and took turns dancing with everyone from the bridal party as we waited for the DJ to announce Wanda and Petey and put on their song. There was some commotion by the DJ’s table, and finally they motioned for me to come over. Again, why the hell I was the wedding police up in that mess I will never know. “J.J. was supposed to bring their first dance song! He didn’t and I don’t have it! I already told Wanda and she’s crying again. They won’t tell me what to play instead; what should I do?” the DJ asked, frantic. In his defense, he’d never done a wedding before. He was a club DJ and a friend of one of the ushers who’d agreed to do the wedding for cheap. He needed wedding experience and Wanda needed a DJ, so they made a deal.

“Um, um. . ” I said, racking my brain. “Uh, just play “My Girl”! That’s a good love song!” Luckily, the DJ had it and put it on. Wanda wept into Petey’s shoulder as he pathetically danced her around. The bridal party was in a half circle around the couple and suddenly, it just all became too much for me. Hungry and exhausted, I replayed all the awful things that had happened over the last day and a half. Seeing Wanda quietly weep as the The Temptations sang about sunshine on a cloudy day was just so sad. Her wedding was a joke. I felt my lower lip start to quiver and then I just lost it. I started to weep and wail like a professional funeral crier. I couldn’t control myself, but the music was pretty loud and I had my face covered and hoped no one would notice. I wanted the bride and groom to have their moment. The bridal party could see and hear me and they all gathered me into a group hug, taking turns consoling me and asking what was wrong. They had their backs to Wanda and Petey’s dance. They weren’t the focus anymore. I was. I felt even more awful than I already did and started to cry harder. “Leave me alone!” I shouted as I flailed my arms. “Watch Wanda and Petey! Don’t ruin their moment!” As I pushed against the group hug I was stuck in, the song and dance continued. I knew the guests weren’t watching the first dance either, considering the spectacle we were making. Eventually, the song ended. That moment had been ruined, too, thanks to me.

The only things left to do were the cake cutting, garter toss, and bouquet toss. These three things must have gone relatively smoothly as I have no memory of them. The bride and groom also did a dollar dance, which was actually fun and pretty cute. Even the Latino side of the family joined in for that! Lisa came back inside and apologized for her freak out. I laughed and told her not to worry; all the cool kids were having meltdowns, and told her about mine. The wedding cake was served and Wanda proudly told everyone that Carmella had used a recipe that she, Wanda, had picked out. It was a German chocolate cake with a vanilla butter-cream icing. It was Carmella’s first time baking a wedding cake and everyone oohed and aahed over how pretty it came out, even after partially melting.

I took a bite of the cake and immediately reached for a napkin. I spit it out as discreetly as I could. The cake was not sweet, nor did it taste like chocolate. It was both extremely moist yet unbelievably dry. It was what I imagine eating a wet sponge that had been baked in an oven must be like. Wanda’s wedding was cursed. Even the dessert was stank and wrong!

While the guests danced, we hugged and congratulated Wanda on her marriage, i.e., lied to that girl’s face. She was tired and putting money into envelopes to pay. . . honestly, I don’t know. I guess the DJ. If J.J. and Carmella charged for their “services”, they are both going to hell. Wanda let out a sigh and said “Well, it’s over. We made it through. Now we’ve got the honeymoon to look forward to. Oh, by the way: the VFW contract states that we’re responsible for cleaning up, so if you guys want to change out of your dresses, we can get started in a few minutes.”

Lisa and I looked at each other and said “Oh yeah, sure, sure. Just have to get our suitcases out of the car.” We said our good-byes to guests and the other folks in the bridal party. Once we were outside the VFW, we took off running through the parking lot, jumped in the car and sped away. “I’ll call her later and tell her the baby fell asleep” Lisa said. We toasted each other with our value size orange Hi-C drinks that we bought from a McDonald’s drive-thru and laughed as we drove away from the scene of an event that would haunt us for years to come.

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Epilogue:

Wanda and Petey ended up divorcing about three years after their wedding. He apparently “changed”, started being really mean to Wanda, and got somebody else pregnant. From what I gather, he is living happily ever after and now works at Burger King.

I haven’t seen or smelled J.J. in years. He’s still out there, somewhere. I’m sure of it. Last I heard, he and Betsey either broke up or got married. I can’t remember which. I don’t think either of them ever came to embrace soap, water, or deodorant.

As I mentioned in my angry rant above, Wanda and I are no longer friends. She is getting married this fall to a guy who seems very nice. He also seems to be about 600-lbs. Before the end of our friendship, she hadn’t asked me to be a bridesmaid.

Honestly, I was kind of disappointed.

 

 

*Yes, I know that many of you have offered to help, but because I am neurotic and mildly paranoid, I don’t believe you.

Whatever it is, I’m against it.

16 Aug

“Nope!” Source

Oh, Dick.

He and I have been having quite the time lately. I sense some unspoken tension between us whenever we’re together, so of course I decided to address it in the most mature and healthy way I could think of: blogging about it. I’ll try not to spend this entire post on whatever problems, real or imagined, I’ve been having with my friend, but he has inadvertently inspired me to write. So that’s good, I guess.

Dick loves to call me a hater, a term which I, well, hate. He thinks that I show disdain for most everything, especially things pop culture related, while I would argue that I’m simply voicing an opinion. He’s even given me my own theme song, a silly tune from the Marx Brother’s 1932 film “Horse Feathers”, which is where I got the title for this post.

I unwittingly gave Dick additional evidence for his ever growing case against me by cheering for Bane, the masked villain from “The Dark Knight Rises”. It was my second time seeing the film, my first with Dick, and I was already a fan of Tom Hardy’s, but his portrayal of Bane was just so deliciously evil, I couldn’t help but enjoy everything about it. *SPOILER ALERT* (Seriously though, you haven’t seen it by now?) I wasn’t actually rooting for Bane’s destruction of Gotham City, but for his cocky attitude, kick-ass accent, and shirtlessness. Yes, I’m kind of hot for Bane, judge all you want. But to Dick, I was cheering for the annihilation of a group of people that had been deemed unworthy by a madman, not for how well Tom Hardy carries an extra eleventybillion pounds.

I’m puzzled as to why someone so relishes the belief that I think absolutely everything sucks. What makes the situation even more puzzling and quite ironic is the fact that Dick is a guy who, just to name a few examples, won’t subscribe to cable because it’s beneath him; has a general response to small talk with friends and acquaintances that can be summed up as “BORED!”; finds cheesecake to be disgusting; has said “I’m not doing that” to a great many suggestions; thinks that pretty much everyone I know is terrible; and hated “The Dark Knight Rises”. In fact, he declared the Batman’s swansong to be “99% bullshit.” I. . . I’m trying to forgive him.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of stuff that grinds my gears. The idea of “gluten intolerance”, for example. Rihanna’s singing voice. Food made to look like other things. The recent disappearance of Britney Spears’ eyebrows. Lip piercings. People that always want to be outside all the time. But I think I balance my hates with lots of passion for a random variety of crap, a desire to be spontaneous, and a willingness to do stuff I probably ordinarily wouldn’t because it makes someone I care about super freakin’ happy. I’m not saying that Dick doesn’t do the same. He does! But seriously, I’m the hater because I’d like to rub Bane’s mask all over my lady parts? Get the funk outta here with that bull hooey! (I’m worried that my mom’s going to stumble across this blog and that was my effort at keeping it PG-13.)

I hold out hope that I will meet my very own misunderstood mercenary-for-hire through a friend, even though ever so conveniently, no one I know knows a single solitary unattached, heterosexual, adult male who isn’t totally gross that doesn’t find me totally gross who would be into taking me to P.F. Chang’s. It pains me to know that one of my best friends sees me as a gnarled hag shaking my yellow-nailed crone’s finger at young people I catch in the midst of enjoying things with a lump of coal where my heart ought to be. Who’d want to introduce some poor soul to that? So I can’t have opinions on stuff without being considered a hater? I can’t question the point of going to see “Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D” if one is over the age of 13/has intact hearing and sight? I’ve got to be against whatever it is you’ve got?

I think Dick’s crowning me the Queen of Hateration bugs me so much from the standpoint of a single girl struggling to understand why she’s so single. The few times I’ve had opportunities to date in recent years, I feel that I’ve tried really hard to see the best in rather icky situations. The last two men I “dated” probably deserved my initial hate, but instead I gave them chances. I didn’t stifle myself, but I did make an effort to keep things pleasant and positive, as well as honest. Being constantly called a hater isn’t just annoying and sooo 2003, it’s kind of hurtful. All this time, I thought I’ve been sharing my uncensored opinion on things in the midst of friendly discourse and it’s been going over about as well as a Lewis Black stand-up routine (I realize he has a following; I’m making a point. Or proving Dick’s. I can’t tell anymore.)

Trying to tell someone who thinks you’re a hater that you think is a hater that you’re not a hater goes over about as well as this sentence does. I suppose I ought to approach all of my interactions with the same kind of pleasantries and positivity I hope I bring to my dating experiences, but does that mean I can’t root for the villain and that I have to find something kind to say about Chris Brown? Where does one draw the line between being nice and being awesome?

I guess I should hope that what’s keeping me single is my mouth. If it’s simply a matter of my being “too opinionated”, i.e., a hatin’-ass hater, then I can work on that fairly easily. I wouldn’t have to go to the gym or give up white rice or straighten my hair. Then again, the right guy may like that I don’t like certain things as much as he does. In fact, our love could be in part based on the fact that we hate the same things!

*SPOILER ALERT* (But seriously? Get thee to a movie theater.) That didn’t work out so well in the end for Bane and Talia, but I think it’s ’cause she had some major daddy issues.

A ICSHSS Public Service Announcement.

5 Aug

“I have confidence in me! I think.” Source

As much as I loathe him,  – and not just ’cause of his proclivity for peeing on preteens; I truly think the man is just yucky poo-poo in general; his talent questionable, and his songs sucktastic – I can’t get R.Kelly screeching “This is a radio message!” out of my head since I’ve decided to call this post a public service announcement. Whatever, you’re not in my head; it makes perfect sense to me.

I’m going to write a little something about the idea of confidence as it relates to dating. Or really, as it relates to other people’s perception when it comes to one’s dating success, or lack thereof. In my case, it’s lack thereof. Remember, I called this blog “I Can See Why She’s Single.” for a reason, ya’ll.

This post is going to be one of many that is super awkward, mostly because I will be writing about people that I like an awful lot and spend tons of time with, and I will be calling them on what I think is their total bullshit. I will also be going on and on about the undeniable beauty of another, which though complementary, is still crazy awkward for all involved. I mean, it is for me. And yes, people do go on and on about my supposed beauty, and it always makes me feel like a freak, and not because I am a walking sack of insecurities, which I may very well be – I’ll get to that – but because, dude, it’s weird. More on that probably later, but first, let’s get to the bullshit!

So, I whine to my friends about how no guys like me pretty often. You try not having sex for 13 years and see what kind of mood you’re in. Anyway, I whine a lot, and two of my friends whom I shall forever refer to on this blog as Dick and Jane because they are adorable and always together and would make great subjects for a hilarious series of children’s books, are often on the receiving end of my seemingly never-ending complaints about my banishment to The Barren Valley of Singledom. Dick and Jane try to always be SUPER encouraging about everything, which I attribute to their being raised in a religious cult that if it were to join forces with the Mormons would conquer us all. (They are gonna hate that. The attributing anything positive about them to the religious cult they escaped bit, not the conquering us all bit. When I pointed that out, Jane laughed. I don’t know where Dick was.)

Even though they are beacons of support in the dark, empty cavern that is my dating life, they also make an attempt to keep it real. Part of their attempt at imparting some realness into my sex love-starved brain involves the notion of confidence and self-esteem. Dick and Jane like to constantly remind me that I’d be luckier in lurve if I were confident. I constantly remind them that I am confident, in my own way, but I am also a realist. They disagree, we argue, and then they like to once again tell me the story of Ariel and Eric.

Ariel is our beautiful friend that I have decided to call Ariel because whenever I describe Ariel to people that haven’t met her yet I say “She looks like a mermaid!” She is petite and slim, yet curvy where a girl ought to be, and has raven hair that flows down her back, and porcelain skin sprinkled with freckles, and pouty pink lips, and these blue-green eyes the color of the sea on a glorious summer day. She is also kind, thoughtful, smart, talented, and funny, but nobody cares about that when you’re as stunning as she is. She is perfection.

Ariel met her boyfriend Eric (not his real name, but it is the name of the prince in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, so I thought it was fitting to call him that, and our Eric is handsome the way a prince should be, and also has luxurious hair like Prince Eric in the movie) and decided that she found him desirable and declared “You will be mine” to him in her head and he of course agreed that yes, he would be hers, and now they live happily ever after and will someday have adorable, vaguely Asian looking children with black hair and green eyes. Dick and Jane tell me this story over and over and over again. The real story that hasn’t been edited to protect their identity on a blog that nobody but them reads is really cute and I like hearing it and all, but I say the same thing in response every time:

“Yeah, but it’s Ariel. I mean, look at her.”

Dick and Jane tell me that story because they think the moral is “Confident women get boyfriends by being confident!” where I, being the realist, think the moral of the story is actually “Men like beautiful women.” If Ariel looked more like, say this (I’m sorry Rachel! I love you!), then I would agree that they have a valid argument. But because Ariel looks like this if you’re a heterosexual male with no imagination – ahem – or like this and this if you are an awesome nerd with kick-ass taste in books and movies and a disturbingly vivid fantasy life, of course she’s going to get the guy in the end! Attributing her good fortune in love to her “confidence” is absurd and kind of insulting to my intelligence, especially because when asked, Ariel would describe herself as looking like this, but covered in freckles and with worse hair.

Jane will argue that fact with me to the death, because she is kind and likes me despite my many faults. My personality, which she thinks is pretty rad, has deluded the poor girl into thinking that I am very pretty. She thinks that I am just as pretty as Ariel, but what gets in my way is my belief that I am not. I think Jane is wonderful, and I appreciate her opinion, but sister-girl needs to get her eyes checked.

Here’s the part where I’m going to try to convince you, dear reader, that I am not crippled by low self-esteem despite the fact that everything in this post, heck, everything in and about this blog, points to the contrary. I don’t always think I’m ugly and there are times when I think I look down-right beautiful. I will go out and be surprised that no guys tried to holla, or that only one or two did. I don’t let my plus-size body stop me from wearing short skirts or color or horizontal stripes or skinny jeans. I recently cut my hair short and think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made all year. I have plans to buy a fatkini before summer is over. I had an in-depth conversation with a Frenchman who looked like a fashion model on a rooftop in Brooklyn. Would a girl who wasn’t confident do that? Does any of the preceding sound at all like what a girl who has low self-esteem would do?

The thing is, I know that I’m not anywhere near as pretty or as attractive to the opposite sex as Ariel. That’s me being a realist. If you were to ask the average man who’d they rather with the choices being Megan Fox or Jill Scott, the celebrity I am most often told that I resemble, I believe that nine out of 10 of them will choose Megan, including the black men. It’s like comparing chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream to avocado ice cream. Most people won’t even give avocado ice cream a try, but everybody likes chocolate chip cookie dough. That doesn’t make avocado ice cream awful or gross or stupid for existing. It just means that it’s an acquired taste. I am an acquired taste.

What bugs me the most about the whole thing is that when I remind Dick and Jane that Ariel is very hard on her physical appearance when they tout her confidence, they sort of wave away the idea. “But she carries herself confidently” they’ll say. And I don’t? “Well, we know what you really think of yourself” they’ll say. Yeah, but you’re two of my closest friends. Some guy in a bar won’t have a clue. I’ve put on three coats of mascara; there’s no way that I’m carrying myself in a way that isn’t confident. It bothers Jane that I know believe that I’m not as pretty as Ariel. We’re both her special girlfriends; in her sweet eyes, we’re equally gorgeous. Dick is more frank about the whole thing; he agrees with me in a way that is without tact, but that I still sort of appreciate, if only because it helps to prove my point. But yet he can’t let it go that my real problem is “confidence”.

I think it makes Dick and Jane uncomfortable to say “Yeah, Ariel is better looking than you are. She is more conventionally attractive, yet is also more beautiful than your average woman. Of course she got the guy in the end! We’ll stop telling you that story, because it simply doesn’t apply to you.” They already encourage me to do the things that only ugly women are encouraged to do: be friends first so he can see what a great personality you have, talk to him about the things you have in common with him, hang out with him in a group so he can see how much your friends love you. They did forget to tell me to put a paper bag over my head, though.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not angry at Dick and Jane or at Ariel’s beauty. I get that I’m an acquired taste. If I were still thin, and still wore my hair long and relaxed, I too could declare that someone I liked would be mine and it would be so. It was so during my glory days. What irks me is the notion that my (supposed) lack of confidence is a). a thing b). obvious and c). keeping me single. That the things that I think or share privately (or write about in a blog) about myself are obvious to everyone. They’re not. Unless I’m in big time denial, I know they’re not. My whole life has been about perfecting masks; ain’t no way that this one has slipped. I, with natural, short hair and fat body, (and maybe also with brown skin and black identity; we’ll talk about that some other time) am not going to have an easy time with this dating thing. I haven’t. I’m still the same neurotic jerk whether I’m fat or thin, kinky or straight. I’m just a lot easier to take when I’m wrapped in a prettier package.

So, for the public service announcement. It will need to be catchy and memorable, yet informative. I’m thinking of something like “It’s okay; you can tell me. I can take it.”, a reference to the fact that I get that lots of girls are prettier than me and will have an easier time attracting men. No need to sugar coat it in platitudes about how no one will love you if you don’t love yourself (if you’re a fat and/or average looking girl). I’m also throwing around “It’s alright if you think she’s prettier. I do too, but I’m still confident!” I think either would look great headlining brochures instructing folks on how to talk to their more unfortunate looking single female friends.

Oh, wait. I’ve realized that I’ve left something out. Something that is perhaps critical to the story. Dick and Jane use Ariel as an example because of her “confidence” AND because she approached Eric. I’m not into the whole approaching guys thing. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and/or embarrass myself. I mean, imagine how the counter girl at the ice cream shop must feel trying to get people to taste the avocado flavor. It would suck to hear “Ew, avocado??” all day long, am I right? HAHAHAHA! Right?

Shut up. Dick and Jane do not have a point.

Constant craving.

19 Jul

So, today was pretty great. Via a post on that social networking site, I inadvertently outed myself as a lesbian. Now don’t get excited; I love the ladies, but I don’t love the ladies. But I once had a friendship that was so intense that writing about it now, it reads to the untrained eye as though I am reminiscing about an ex-lover and not a former BFF. I think that says a lot about my friendship with Zora.

I met Zora while she was working the desk at my gym. She was exotic looking and had a great weave and terrific clothes. I was immediately smitten. I’m quite shy and rather insecure – shocker, I know – so making new friends (and reconnecting with old ones) can at times be an anxiety-ridden exercise in futility for me. Especially if those potential friends are black women. I’m more used to being mercilessly teased or shunned by black women than befriending them. It’s a problem dating back to puberty, if not before. I don’t know what it is about me exactly and I don’t plan on using this particular post to try to figure it out, but I’ve never rarely felt truly accepted by other black women. I’m sure many of you couch psychologists are tapping your chin and saying “Hmm. Must be something about her relationship with her mother.” Okay, sure. Parent blaming is easy and fun! Let’s just go with that for now. (Sorry, Mom.)

Anyway, I met Zora and was intrigued by her glasses-wearing, and constantly changing hairstyles, and chic clothing paired with a large, visible tattoo. After being weird for a few months, I eventually approached her and struck up a conversation that was more in-depth than the small talk she graciously initiated with me on a regular basis. My favorite musician of all time (except for maybe right now) had just released his first CD in eight years. I carried it with me everywhere I went, so sure I was that it would evaporate into the ether much like he had so many years ago. The majority of his fans are black women, so I nervously asked her if she was familiar with Maxwell while holding out my copy of the deluxe version of BLACKsummer’snight. Zora screamed and reached out for the CD as if I were presenting her with The Holy Grail and said “Am I familiar with Maxwell?!” and that was it. All of a sudden I had my first black female BFF in a very long time.

Zora and I were immediately inseparable. We spent so much time together that people assumed we were related. I guess I should have been suspicious that a grown woman – Zora was four years older than me – with a child was so willing to spend so much time with me so quickly, but I was excited by the attention and affection and acceptance and pushed any apprehensions I had about our very sudden connection from my mind. Finally, someone wanted to be with me all of the time! We worked out together, went shopping – even grocery shopping – together, ate together, slept together (no scissoring, though). If we weren’t together, she was just a phone call or a text away and she always answered. We were each other’s missing piece. No one understood me like Zora did and no one understood her like I did. I finally got to know what it was like to have a sister! Nothing could keep us apart! Well, not nothing. Zora sure did like the company of men.

During my first go at friendship with Zora, there was a new man around every month. Zora had a hard time getting rid of one before starting up with another, so there was always lots of juggling involved. It was all so exciting for me to watch. At first. I even attempted to set Zora up with an old friend of mine. It went really well, until it suddenly didn’t, and I cried with her and cried to my friend, begging him to call her again. I told him how much his rejection of Zora was hurting me. How could he do this to us? I felt responsible for her heartbreak and she went ahead and let me.

Our relationship was so intimate that we were bound to fight and hurt each other’s feelings. You always hurt the ones you love the most. Right? First, it started with her regularly snapping at me when she was in a bad mood related to yet another issue that had arisen between her and one of her admirers. Then, she’d start saying the most hurtful things to me about my own trouble with dating. And what was I guilty of? Well, I wasn’t expressing myself; Zora could never figure out what I wanted. I was aloof and mean. We’d go back and forth, screaming and crying, making up and buying each other things to show how sincere our apologies were. During an argument at a Maxwell concert sparked by a ridiculous misunderstanding, I challenged her to a fist fight. I saw Zora as every black girl who’d ever pulled my hair, said I was corny, that I wished I was white; as every black woman who made fun of my clothes, the way I spoke, the things I enjoyed and was interested in, and I had had it. It was me against every mean black female I’d ever encountered and Zora was just the unfortunate effigy. We did not come to fisticuffs, but my pre-fight trash talking was pretty bad ass, if I do say so myself. Zora would later tell the story and imply or flat-out admit that I had scared her. Hearing that little old me had scared a tattooed, tough black girl from Brooklyn was all the vindication I needed. The incident brought us even closer together. For a little while.

We broke up the first time after she left me alone with a strange man after a night of clubbing. There’s quite a bit more to the story, but the bottom line was that though nothing happened to me, I was hurt and shocked that my Zora cared so little about my safety and well-being, all so she could get her rocks off with some guy she claimed to not even like. Things got ugly, and I returned every thoughtful gift she’d ever given to me by leaving them all in a paper bag at her front door. She called me heartless and told me to stay away from her. I told her she had nothing to worry about; I never wanted to see her again.

We’d been friends for less than a year, 11 months to be exact. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t make things work with her. It was all my fault. I was too needy and too demanding. Maybe I was even jealous of the terrible men that came in and out of her life; hell, no men were coming in and out of mine. Months went by and it was Christmas time. While doing some holiday shopping, I came across one store that was very creative in their decorating by using peacock feathers. Zora loved peacock feathers. I missed my friend. There wasn’t anyone else like her. We were perfect for each other. She wanted me around. She wanted me. I picked out a blank card adorned with feathers and wrote everything I felt. I told her how sorry I was, mailed it, and waited.

She got in touch with me by text message about a week later. She missed me too. She suggested that we meet at one of our favorite restaurants. I was so nervous; what would Zora think of my natural hair? Would she notice that I’d gained weight? Should I wear one of the outfits she helped me pick out? The dinner went off without a hitch. We started out catching up like old friends, making no mention of the fact that the last time we’d spoken to each other we’d sworn to never do so again. Eventually, things turned emotional. Zora mentioned how hurt she’d been by my rejection of her. She didn’t know what she’d done to make me so angry, but vowed that we’d never let something like that happen again. I had to promise to communicate my feelings and not hold them inside. I don’t remember whether or not I made her promise me anything. Dinner ended and she wondered if I wouldn’t mind doing her a favor. Could I follow her on a 45 mile trip that evening? She had to return her boyfriend’s car to the rental place in some other town, but first had to pick up the boyfriend’s car from another, other town. It’d mean so much to her if I could. That feeling of suspicion and apprehension that I had felt way back when started to creep up, but I told it to STFU, my BFF was back. BFFs do crazy shit for each other in the middle of the night after not speaking to each other for almost a year. And so it began.

Zora wooed me like an expert. We’d take day trips that she’d carefully planned to new cities and states and they were to this day the best dates I’ve been on. She knew my other friends never did that sort of thing and she made sure to remind me. She’d show up with unexpected gifts to let me know that she’d been thinking of me. She introduced me to her boyfriend and his entire family as her best, best friend. She got on me about my weight, so we’d cook healthy meals and exercise together. She was on soul duty, too, taking me to church with her on Sunday. I was practically living at her house and she wanted me to have a key to her place. She wanted me again and I was dizzy with infatuation.

I’m sure you can see where this is going, but I didn’t. Or maybe I didn’t want to. Zora would step out for “15 minutes” to have a talk with her boyfriend and not return for three hours, leaving me alone with her dog, who was an amazing little guy, and bewildered dinner guests. She’d tell me she was coming to pick me up to go on one of our dates, so I’d make myself even more unavailable to my other friends and wait by the phone for calls that never came. She needed to borrow my laptop, my vacuum cleaner, my crock pot, my DVD player, all to cater to her demanding, finicky, and mysterious boyfriend. I was growing more angry and resentful by the day. I was a BFF scorned. And Zora was going to hear about it.

After waiting for her, yet again, having been forgotten about for hours, she called me, giddy about something the boyfriend had done or said, though the last time we spoke, which was during a rare date I was on, she was in tears about his cruel treatment of her. I decided that that was it. This was my time to communicate. I mean, I’d promised her that I would. This was for the sake of our friendship! I got out maybe half a sentence before she hung up on me.

She refused to take my calls, so I left her hysterical, enraged voice mail messages. How dare she ignore me? How dare she leave me waiting for hours, only to tell me about spending time with that guy like nothing had happened at all? Wasn’t I enough for her? We had made promises! I had made promises! I was only doing what she asked! She sent me text messages in response, telling me that I was crazy, that I was angry, that I was nasty and hateful. She couldn’t understand why I hated her so much. I responded by telling her I was done and that I wanted my shit. She threatened to leave my things out on the street. I threatened to tape her key along with her name, address, and bra size to a men’s public bathroom wall. I didn’t really; I was only creative enough to threaten to throw her belongings in the dumpster outside my building. That was about a year ago, and I haven’t seen or heard from Zora since.

I initially decided to title this post “Constant Craving” as a play on the whole being mistaken for a lesbian thing since the song to some is/was the lesbian theme song, sung by the lesbian of lesbians, k.d. lang. Reading and thinking back on my relationship with Zora, I can see why one would think I was involved in a romantic relationship with her. The gifts! The jealousy! The time spent! The feelings! The promises! The only thing we were missing was sex.

I decided to keep the title because I can acknowledge that my relationship with Zora shows that I have, ahem, a constant craving. Not for delectable fish tacos, but for companionship. For a relationship filled with understanding. For a friend that I share cultural/ethnic/racial similarities and comprehension with. For someone to desire my presence a hell of a lot. For someone to make me feel like I might be Number One in their life. For someone to make me feel wanted. For someone to want me. I don’t think my constant craving for those things makes me unusual nor does the fact that I fell so hard and fast for a person that I thought was able to offer me those things in a platonic way. They’ve never been offered to me romantically, not even as a ruse to ultimately get sex. But that’s for another post.

Zora is not to blame for our two failed attempts at friendship. She was right; I was angry a lot of the time. I was aloof and wouldn’t or couldn’t communicate. I think I was jealous, not of the men (I already told you, I’m not a lesbian), but of the fact that she got men so easily, even if at great personal cost. I was probably too demanding, but it’s hard to feel like you’re Number One and be suddenly and repeatedly demoted. But friendship can’t give you everything. Which sort of means I’m screwed if things don’t change for me very fast.

I miss Zora, I truly do. She made me feel special in a way that few other people ever have. She was creative and warm and loving and generous. We went on wonderful adventures together and even when we were just hanging out, we still had a great time. I miss her so much that it hurts. I won’t be sending her any more sparkly peacock cards, though. As much as our friendship brought out the best in each other, it seemed to bring out the worst in us in equal measure. I’m still not entirely sure why. I hope someday that I’ll feel as loved and as cherished as Zora made me feel when times were good. I’d be a lucky girl if I could feel that again in friendship and in romance. Or maybe I need to learn to not crave so much so deeply, so constantly. I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to both admit that I miss my friend and that it’s not a smart thing for us to be together. I’m not even angry at her or about the situation anymore. Not really.

Though if I’m going to be perfectly honest, it does piss me the hell off that bitch still has my crock pot. Damn. Ain’t no song for that.

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?

Somebody That I Used To Know, the ICSWSS Remix.

30 Jun

Let’s say that there was a person you used to know – shout out to Gotye – and hadn’t seen in, oh, 15 years or so. You always found this person to be very attractive, and very tall, and very dangerous, and very interesting, but nothing exciting ever happened between you and this person for reasons that now seem so stupid, like you already having a boyfriend or being scared because you’d heard lots of sexy and wild things about this person or being very concerned about maintaining your reputation as a ‘good girl’. You certainly had your chance with this person, if your memory serves you correctly. (Sometimes you worry if it does, because things like the thing about to be described happened so long ago and don’t really happen anymore, unless you count marriage proposals from homeless and/or elderly men.) The way you remember things, this person expressed their desire for you from a payphone at the Long John Silver’s across the street from your dorm room after the two of you watched Master P’s “I’m Bout It”. This person offered to let you wear their leather jacket because you were chilly and said that you could hang on to it for as long as you liked. This person was hurt when you kindly (you hope) but firmly turned them down because you were loyal to your boyfriend, a boy who would grow up to be a confidence-shattering, lie-telling asshole that you will end up moving to a terrible place for.

After turning down the person that you used to know, you’d run into him every so often, usually when you were with some new and awful boyfriend. This person would make it clear that he still held a torch for you, but you’d just sigh and shake your head, thinking you’d always be thin and hot and have funky asymmetrical haircuts and wear brown matte lipstick. Then a time would come when you didn’t see this person anywhere. It was like this person had dropped off the face of the Earth. That was probably lucky for you, since in the 15 years after you last saw this very attractive, very tall, very dangerous, very interesting person, you managed to gain lots of weight and become super neurotic and discover lip gloss.

You recently became aware of this person’s existence again through social media, but were too embarrassed and proud to request his friendship. Based on the pictures you could see, this person was still very attractive, very tall, very dangerous, very interesting, and now, very married. You continue on your way, showing the world all the reasons why you’re single, until you discover that this person not only is very good friends with your very good friends, but has recently become single again. So, you take a deep breath and muster up your courage and send this person a friendly message. This person responds and sends you a friend request, while you panic about all the pictures that show that you are no longer the slim and trim girl with a sleek page-boy bob that he used to know. The friendly messages continue until they suddenly don’t, and you shrug and think “That was nice while it lasted.” You know that there’s a slim chance you might run into this person at some point since he’s very good friends with your very good friends, but you figure you’ll have plenty of time (and plenty of warning) to pull yourself together before that happens.

Your very good friends are very excited to learn that you know the person that you used to know. They think that this person is a wonderful person and that it’d be awfully cute if you and this person were reunited and a spark was still there. Even if the spark has been long extinguished, they think it’d be a very good idea for you and this person to become friends. You remind your very good friends that you don’t look anything like the girl who this person used to have a boo thang for and they tell you that same old lie that looks aren’t the only thing that matter and anyway, you’re still beautiful. Your very good friends want you to come to the beach where they have weekly family barbeques because who knows, maybe this person will be there! They want you to come this Friday, in fact. You ask repeatedly if this person is going to be there, and you’re repeatedly told that this person will probably not, as he has a child to care for and has never been to the beach barbecue before. They will warn you, say your very good friends, when this person will be making an appearance so you can buy a new dress and go to the gym that day and do something with your hair.

Friday rolls around and you wash your hair, but spend too much time playing “The Hunger Games Adventures” as it dries and it grows into an untamable ball of frizz. Eh, but this person won’t be there, so what’s it matter? You decide against the very pretty dress and high heels and opt for your own personal oxymoron: the baggy skinny jeans. You go to the beach with frizz-ball hair, pants that fit like and are about as flattering as a soggy diaper, and some random shirt you found on the floor because you don’t know how to be casual and this is your best attempt. But, you have not a care in the world, because this is a beach barbecue! You’re going to drink wine! You’re going to eat too much! You’re going to play with little children! You’re going to run right smack into the person that you used to know because he’s sitting on the deck!

Because spontaneous combustion is not an option, you spin around in an awkward circle and throw yourself down onto the nearest seat, somehow believing that if you can just stay there all night, you won’t have to face the person that you used to know while looking like an insulting parody of the awkward sixth grade version of yourself, only much, much larger. You come to your senses and eventually greet him with The World’s Stiffest Hug and proceed to ignore him for the rest of the night whilst simultaneously drawing attention to yourself with your loud squawking and generally bizarre behavior. Eventually, the person that you used to know leaves, giving you another hug on his way out, during which you’re certain you were able to hit him in the face with your shoulder. You spend the rest of the evening reliving the night’s humiliation, being teased by your very good friends, and receiving dating advice from adorable 18-year-olds who are far more experienced than you are.

You head home, listening to the classical music station because all of the songs with words in them manage to remind you of the person that you used to know and how you’re absolutely covered in lame sauce. You tell yourself you won’t log on to the social media site to see if maybe the person that you used to know finally responded to your last message by declaring that he still thinks you’re beautiful and would still let you wear his leather jacket for as long as you liked and wants to know why you were so shy but admits that he found the bits of your loud conversations that he did hear to be hilarious, but you do, and you have no new messages.

So you throw your poopie diaper jeans on the floor in anger, wishing you had bought them a size smaller, and hoping that you can shrink them in the dryer. You go to bed without doing anything with your frizzy hair and are proud of not crying one single tear about how socially inept you are, until you wake up the next day and relay the pitiful tale to a friend all the while salty discharge leaks from your eyeballs. After the crying subsides, you find the one bright spot in yet another murky tale from your life: you now have something to write about for your blog that has already significantly dropped in popularity since its inception only three days ago, which is sort of a good thing, as it practically guarantees that the person that you used to know will never read this entry.

Until you find out he does.