Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This again

Lucy has been ordered by her doctor to take it easy. Not-on-bed-rest-but-almost-so-watch-yourself easy and I have been a bad, bad friend have haven’t been over to the house to sit on her couch and keep her company.

In my defense, I have been somewhat occupied with relocating and celebrating Thanksgiving. And she totally understands. (But I still feel AWFUL.) (We have plans for Saturday evening.)

I called to check up on my Lucy last night on my way to the gym. I gave her the quick rundown on anything that is everything: work, The Coach, my opinion on the weather and my holiday plans. And then I slipped in something about one of Colin’s friends – who we both thought was the biggest tool in the world – recently getting engaged. I was about to drop the “how can he find someone to marry if I can’t?” line when she butted in with “so, speaking of engagements.”

Colleen.

I saw Colleen at Lucy’s baby shower. I was busy but I was pleasant to her. I thought that she’d email me after the shower, saying something about how it was nice and how it was good to see me, but she didn’t and, oh, I don’t know why I ever expect that she’s going to act any way other than selfishly.

I just can’t quite give up on her. And I just set myself up for disappointment. Over and over and over.

So, Colleen calls Lucy and brings up her wedding*and how she just “can’t imagine” a wedding without me standing up in it.

Which is particularly interesting to me because:
a. she hasn’t called to ask me to be in the wedding
b. we’re not really friends anymore and we haven’t been for quite a long time
c. I’m not even sure they’re actually engaged**

Lucy said that she wanted to warn me that a phone call from Colleen was coming. But I think she was trying to soften me up a little bit, too. I heaved a heavy sigh as she wrapped up the story and Lucy said “Colleen does care about you.” And I know that. I know that her mental illness limits the ways in which she can be a friend, especially a friend in the way that I am a friend (and expect the same high standard of friendship in return).

I will be in that wedding if Colleen wants me to be in that wedding.

I will be in that wedding for the friend Colleen was three years ago. Not for the Colleen of today. I will be in that wedding for Lucy, because I will always stand by her side even if it requires me to wear a bridesmaid dress. I will be in that damn wedding because I believe that mental illness is a horrible thing and I know that part of the reason Colleen cannot be my friend is because of the mental illness. I will be in that wedding even though I believe that her mental illness is a small fraction of the reason Colleen has been a shitty friend.

I will be in that damn wedding if Colleen asks me to be in it.

But, to be perfectly honest: I doubt that she’ll have the balls to pick up the phone.


*supposedly they’ve set a date for sometime next June

**there was definitely no real proposal or no real ring – not to say that it doesn’t mean that they’re not planning on getting married, but sometimes she’s a little delusional and has a hard time distinguishing between what is happening in real life and what is happening in her head***

***for example, after Lucy’s baby shower, she was convinced that she was pregnant (she also imagined the symptoms of pregnancy immediately after Lucy herself got pregnant)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Freak Me Out 102

Passed Freak Me Out 101? Sign up for Freak Me Out 102!

Ask me if I am bipolar.

As if it is:
a. your business
b. not a deeply personal question
c. appropriate to ask a virtual stranger
d. the reason that I refuse to interact with you

Creepy old men. Seriously. "That fine young thing isn't interested in me so clearly she has a MENTAL ILLNESS."

Knowing where I'm going

I find adulthood to be overwhelming. I find it frustrating and confusing.

I am not good at being an adult.

That’s what I tell myself, anyway. That being an adult has not been easy for me and therefore will not be easy for me. Ever.

I tell myself that it will always be like this. That this is just how it is. That my whole life will be this whirlwind of decisions to make and mistakes to fix and tears to cry.

That any belief that the pieces will eventually fall into place – that there will be a time where I feel content and settled – is foolish. That I will always struggle. That I’ll always look at the lives of others – Lucy, who is so effortlessly happy, Liz, who knows what she wants and wrestles it into her clutches, Meg, who dreams big and achieves bigger – with a touch of envy.

I expect that I will always feel as unsettled as I do now. That I’ll always have this uncertainty – in my relationships, in my career, in my finances, in my future, in myself.

It’s a little sad, isn’t it? Pathetic, perhaps. Honest, however. At least I’m being honest.

And while I am being honest, I will admit this: I want to prove myself wrong.

I want to look around one day and observe a life that, while being far from perfect, feels like my own. Not like another transition. Not like a fight that I must win. Not a stage that must be tolerated.

I want to stop looking at the map long enough to pick up my head and appreciate the view.

I want to be content, not flawless.

I want to prove myself wrong.

I want to know where to start.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I try hard (and other randomness)

I've been at Liz's house for a week now. All is well.

It was a hellacious time to be moving. I was overwhelmed by the move itself, coupled with the oh-so-slightly (read: enormously) overblown incident with The Coach, the holiday, coming right off of hosting Lucy's shower -- I'm still a little surprised that I only battled back constant tears and never had a full, hideous, sobbing meltdown.

It was just a constant Suckfest for a few days there, but I got through it. And now I'm past all of the unpleasantries of moving.

Mostly.

Okay, there are still a few boxes in my car.

Okay, it's not even my car, it's my mom's car. My car is still at the body shop from the accident I got in earlier this month.

(November's been a doozy, right?)

Quickest and Most Pointless Recap Ever:
  • Saturday - move

  • Sunday - work and soccer

  • Monday - work (late)

  • Tuesday - work and run 6 miles and socialize with Liz's family

  • Wednesday - work and Pie Night

  • Thursday - run 10k and Thanksgiving

  • Friday - eat my weight in leftovers, run 6 miles at the gym, meet Aviva for coffee, have dinner with Anna and Emma and Meg, go dancing with Anna and Emma and Meg

  • Saturday - work, arrive at home just in time to help Liz put the finishing touches on the cocktail party that she was hosting, socialize at cocktail party, help clean up after cocktail party ends at 2:30 am

  • Today - get up too early (8:00 am), finish the book I was reading, miss noon yoga class because one of Liz's friends has me blocked in the driveway and doesn't get over to move her car until too late, hang out with Meg and Mom, make a Trader Joe's trip, eat soup and watch a bit of TV with Liz


  • I'm looking for a quiet few weeks before getting completely entangled in the holidays. I just want to establish my routine here - get my feet under me - before I start spending every night I'm not at work pacing the mall in search of The Best Gift Ever.

    Which will obviously happen because I have no idea what I'm buying or who I'm buying for or how I am going to pay for any of it.

    And because I'm the worst shopper ever.

    I have not stepped inside the mall, Target or any other fine retail establishment since well before Thanksgiving. I have exactly one Christmas gift purchased - something for my mother - which I did buy on Black Friday. From an Etsy seller. While wearing my pajamas.

    So, the Christmas plan is to mostly not have a Christmas plan because I'd rather have a Real Life plan for a few weeks.

    And then we're halfway through December and The Coach will be home for the holidays, I won't budget enough time for the shipping of online-purchased gifts, I'll get some great idea for a cookie exchange or other time-intensive holiday event that I won't be able to resist, I will wrestle with the idea of buying Christmas gifts for my coworkers, I'll have to stay up all night putting together the photo book and calendar that the grandkids like to get Grandma but I always do all of the work for, Liz will host a Christmas party, I'll fight the desire to bake 88 types of Christmas cookies, I won't know what to buy for my dad (I never do) and I will bitch and moan and whine about how bad I am at the holiday season.

    And that is the damn truth.

    I am bad at Christmas.

    But I try hard.

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Pie Night was a rousing success.



    I might have even worn a tutu during a portion of the night. And teetered on the edge of the tub to get a photo of it.



    I'm pretty sure I set a new 10k personal record, too.



    Plus my cousin, Mara, texted me this photo of her little turkey.



    It was a pretty good day.

    And I hope that yours was, too.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Puttin' on my pie pants

    Today is my favorite day.

    Of the whole year, it is my favorite day.

    Today is a day for tonight. Today is the day that I spend counting down to tonight.

    Tonight is for yoga pants and coffee with Amarula. For 10 hour pop music playlists. For the Flip cam and the DSLR. Tonight is the night we make inside jokes and write on the Facebook walls of our accomplices (while they’re sitting in the same room). Tonight we cover every inch of my mother’s kitchen in flour.

    Tonight is pie night.

    Tonight is my favorite night of the year.

    If you’ve been reading So Midwestern for a while, you know all about Pie Night. If you haven’t, let me sum up what the night before Thanksgiving is all about: pies. My mom, my sister, me and all of my female cousins. We bake pies. An unnecessarily large number of them, as Mom insists that we bake a pie for every two people who will be at Thanksgiving dinner.

    Also because – I suspect – she doesn’t want the night to pass by too quickly.

    Pie Night is a special night. It makes absolutely no sense – cramming 10 females into a single kitchen, singing Britney Spears and drinking wine while somehow managing to follow the recipes, trashing my mom’s kitchen before she hosts Thanksgiving dinner. It is a tradition that is nonsensical, but it is lasting. We had Pie Night four days after Aunt Marie’s funeral. We had Pie Night when Danielle’s bipolar disorder was crazy scary rampant. We have Pie Night because that’s what we do.

    We’re wild and we’re silly and we’re casual. It’s tradition that doesn’t require planning other than much anticipation (there is significant Facebook fodder preceding this event) and a trip to the grocery store. There is no hanging of decorations or special protocol or mandatory attendance. It’s just...well, it’s Pie Night. The best night of the year.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Confession

    Guess what I did last night? Last night, which was my very first night as a tenant at Liz’s lovely house in her lovely, well-manicured neighborhood? I hit a parked car.

    NO, I REALLY DID.

    November sure has been kind to me.

    I dropped by the house after work to pick up my soccer bag. I chatted with Liz and her friend, who were smoking on the front porch (sick) and then I hopped into my car – which is really my mom’s car, as mine is still at the body shop – backed out of the driveway and CRUNCH.

    And that is how I killed a stranger’s tail light.

    I wanted to throw a temper tantrum right there. That’s what I wanted to do. Instead, I marched over to the neighbor’s house (hey! I’m new to the neighborhood and I just broke your guest’s car!) and confessed to my idiocy and got on with it because if I was going to be a loser (and clearly I was), I could at least make it to my soccer game on time. (I did.)

    Liz and her friend were really sweet about it and tried to tell me that it wasn’t my fault, which was kind and appreciated but not true. Obviously I hit the parked car with my car so, yeah. The blame falls to me.

    Sure, there were factors working against me. It was one of those tiny pickup trucks that’s low to the ground and I couldn’t see the bed of it when I was backing up. Liz’s streets are unusually narrow and that was the first time I’d ever parked in the driveway. I’m used to my car, with the fancy beeping that alerts me when I’m about to plow into something. And the jackass did park his car in perfect alignment with the back of the driveway.

    Still my fault.

    Still the stupidest person alive.

    20 days ago, I would have told you that I was a very good driver.

    Time to reassess that belief.

    Time to get my head out of my ass.

    Time to figure out what the universe trying to tell me.

    ...other than to be a better driver.

    But, seriously. It hasn’t even been three weeks from my accident. I don’t even have my car back from my accident. Can I do anything right?

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Um, so, yeah

    I might have been slightly psychotic yesterday. Maybe jumping to a few conclusions that were somewhat cleared up with a bit of investigation (read: F'book stalking) and the enlightenment of rational thinking.

    But I'm still going to lay low for a few days and give us a little bit of distance and see how this feels because, yes, the reason that I freaked out was not foolproof but the feeling is still there. It is this heavy, uneasy feeling that I can't shake and The Coach is basically doing nothing. Nothing to cause the problem. And nothing to make it go away.

    He's home for three weeks in three weeks. I would hate to give up those three weeks with him just because I'm feeling insecure and unsteady. And, at the same time, I would hate to spend three weeks getting reattached to him if, when he goes, we end up where we are right now.

    Where we were in September? Great. Where we were a month ago? Fine. But where we are today? It isn't good. It isn't sustainable.

    Maybe I want more than I can expect for him to give.

    Maybe he can give once I learn how to ask.

    I don't want to give up on him - we're more than halfway through his season. I don't want to prolong the misery of expunging him from my life if that is how this ends.

    Normally, I would proclaim that he's worth the risk. But after this weekend, I'm just not sure. I'm not sure about anything.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Over & Done

    Those godforsaken bobby pins are still on my nightstand.


    The movers will be here in a few hours.

    I'm not quite sure what to do with them.

    Into my pocket, maybe. For safekeeping.

    I think I'll need them. A reminder of my optimism and my hope.

    Both of which The Coach shattered last night.

    We're over. I haven't told him yet. But we're over.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Seven years

    This week marks seven years of blogging here at So Midwestern. I truly cannot believe that blogging has not yet run its course (although, admittedly, it is not the same) and that I am still here, typing away about every random-ass thing that happens to me, happens to interest me or happens to cross my mind.

    Perhaps this blog is just a testament to how shallow I truly am. Seven years and still not bored by my favorite subject: myself.

    One of the many aspects that I truly appreciate about putting seven years into this blog is that I have this neat little record of how I have changed.

    Without my blog as a reference point, I would probably tell you that I haven’t changed much since graduating college. I haven’t experienced radical, significant, benchmark moments: becoming a homeowner, having a baby, moving to a different state, marriage, etc.

    Except that I have. While I don’t have a diamond on my left ring finger and I’m not toting an infant around in balmy California weather, while my hair is still curly and strawberry blonde and I still wear my XO ring every day – I’m different in a lot of ways. A lot of good ways.

    One of the best ways that I have changed, I was realizing just last night, is that I have learned to stand up for myself.

    By nature, I am not an assertive person. I don’t like confrontation. I internalize. I smooth things over.

    But sometime over the last seven years, I learned to stand up for myself. I learned to tell coworkers when they’ve stepped over the line in a way that is tactful, professional and assertive. I found it in myself to bitch out a cab driver in Africa. I learned to tell boys when their behavior is unacceptable. I mouthed off to a soccer referee so venomously that I was yellow carded. I maintained a voice – albeit often shaky and tearful – through last fall’s family drama.

    And instead of always smoothing over problems – as is my first inclination to do – sometimes I’ll stir the pot if the pot needs stirring.

    See: yesterday’s bitchy email from one of my hockey teammates.



    (Basically, the situation was that our scorekeeper had fallen through – as had already happened a few times this season – and nobody was having any luck in finding a replacement. Not a big deal.)

    I read it just after leaving an annoying staff meeting and my first reaction was to ignore her outburst, delete the email and talk shit about her to the rest of my teammates at the game that night.

    But then I was like OH, HELL NO. YOU DO NOT TALK TO ME AND MY TEAMMATES THAT WAY. And I started furiously typing a response. Which I deleted. And proceeded to send a text to my closest friend on the team, begging her to talk me down from responding.

    And then I responded anyway.



    I have no tolerance for people who do not address others with respect. And I am so over keeping my mouth shut just to make the situation go away.

    Seven years ago, I would not have sent that email.

    Yesterday I did.

    Change is good.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Moving week

    I’m ready to be done with this move.

    That’s all this week has been. Emotions and packing.

    The packing is, well, it’s packing. It’s packing and packing and packing and packing and – I swear, you guys, my kitchen is teeny tiny and I cannot explain the boxes upon boxes that have come from that space. And my cupboards? Not even bare yet.

    I dropped things off at Liz’s house yesterday and took a good look at the closet in my room. The closet is going to be a problem: it is half the size of my current closet.

    Panic.

    Panic and the investment in some logical system for storing my clothes by season.

    Panic and the investment in some logical system for storing my clothes by season and also an ingenious way to house all of my handbags.

    But I do still think that this will be a good move for me. When I was at the house last night, Liz’s mom stopped in – just because – and one of Liz’s friends stopped by – again, just because – with her adorable daughter and, gosh, I forgot what being social on a random weeknight for no apparent reason felt like.

    It felt really, really awesome.

    And it felt like the first randomly social night of many. Liz’s house is perfect for sitting on the porch and laughing and drinking a glass of wine. Perfect for crowding around the kitchen table, gossiping and drinking coffee.

    I’m thankful for the unexpected visitors at Liz’s house because it calmed me down. I am just filled with emotions this week and the feeling of calm? Not exactly prevalent.

    My head and my heart are full of feelings and strangely devoid of words. I’ve backed myself into a corner that I can’t write my way out of and it is overwhelming. So many tears. I don’t even know what I’m crying about anymore.

    What I’m not crying about is this move. This move which will be fine. Which will be more than fine. It will be good for me and good for my heart and good for my spirit and good for the mileage on my car. And maybe even good for my handbags, too. If I can find a place for them.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Success!

    Lucy's baby shower is in the books.

    I thought it was nice. Lucy thought it was nice. And I don't care what anyone else thought about it. (But they thought it was nice, too.)



    We made two different types of fondue. We had a salad. Cream puffs with ice cream and hot fudge for dessert.

    Check out those fabulous fondue pots from the '70s! Let me tell you this, friends: wrangling up 8 fondue pots is not an easy task. Between me and my mom and Lucy and my aunts and my grandma, we managed to pull it off.



    Lucy was awkward about presents, as expected. When all of the older ladies crowded around the presents, waiting for them to be opened, I had to announce that she wasn't opening anything because she's socially awkward. But I invited everyone to show off their gift to the group if they did so please and some did and some didn't and that seemed to work out just fine.



    As we were boxing up decorations, I wondered aloud whose shower the decor would next make an appearance at.

    "Hard to say," my mom replied.

    She was probably secretly wishing that it would be mine.

    I sort of was, too.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    And the countdown begins

    When I came in to work this morning, my December schedule was waiting for me.

    My schedule is pretty consistent – Monday through Thursday (two day shifts/two afternoons) – plus two Fridays, two Saturdays and one Sunday per month. When I get my schedule, what I’m really looking at are the weekends that I’m working and how it much it is going to cramp my social life. (Answer: a lot. Every damn month. Working on weekends sucks. End of story.)

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting the December schedule.

    The Coach will be home for three weeks of December – he’ll be back in less than a month! – and clearly I am interested in working as little as possible when he is home.

    Success.

    Of the 20some days that he’s home, I’m scheduled to work just 10. I’m only taking two vacation days. The rest is just, like, magic and luck and the beauty of working in local government and OMG what if we get in a huge fight before he arrives and we’re just unceremoniously over and done with and I’m getting excited about nothing?

    Also: how many articles of clothing am I allowed to purchase prior to his arrival before I am officially labeled as ridiculous and shallow?

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    A broken heart

    I spent this afternoon at Grandma's house. We made the cream puffs for Lucy's baby shower.

    She has a calendar hanging in her kitchen. I always look at it. Mostly because it generally features at least one picture of me.

    This is November.



    The 16th is the day my aunt died.

    I cried on my drive home.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2011

    Nothing that felt like something (for a little while)

    The Coach woke up with a headache on Sunday morning. A headache that lasted the whole day.

    I woke up with a headache on Sunday morning. A headache that lasted the whole day.

    And that’s how we got on the topic of my epic concussion.

    The concussion that I finally told you all about last month. Which I thought I hadn’t told you about because I just forgot but, after Sunday, I realized that the reason that it took me so long to blog about it was because I’m sort of weird about the whole incident.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m sort of weird in general.

    The story spilled out of my mouth before I had a chance to think it through. All of a sudden, I’m telling him about the days of school that I missed and what it was like to feel endlessly hung over before I even knew what a hangover felt like. As I’m telling The Coach the story, my brain started screaming at me “WHY DOES HE NEED TO KNOW THIS?!”

    And the conversation was no big deal. He was the appropriate amount of concerned and interested and engaged in what I was telling him. It was no different than most conversations that we have – be it me bitching about work or him recounting the details of his team’s last game or me gushing on and on and on about how wonderful it will be when he’s home for Christmas. (Which, by the way, is a mere month away.)

    It was no different until the minute that we ended the conversation and my screaming brain continued to scream.

    About how vulnerable I had just made myself.

    About how The Coach would now think of me as nothing more than The Sick Kid.

    About what a huge mistake it was to reveal that piece of my past to him, to illustrate so clearly how imperfect I am.

    I felt weird about it for the rest of the night. I felt weird about it all day on Monday. I felt weird about it until I talked to him that night. And it was just like it always is. Except maybe a little more awesome because it was exactly like it always is. And therefore exactly how it should be.

    Like one silly accident – a silly accident that happened more than 10 years ago – could possibly matter. And matter to a guy, at that.

    Oh, the things that go on in my head.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2011

    Party time

    I might be having weird feelings about babies.

    But I am not having weird feelings about baby showers.

    Current project: the obsessive downloading of songs with baby in the title.

    On tap for the rest of the week:
    • the making of cream puffs with Grandma
    • grating cheese until my arms fall off
    • 93 trips to the grocery store
    • buying all of the baby goodies for our one and only game – a fun little number I like to call Guess How Much All of the Baby Shit in This Basket Costs
    • wrapping up favors
    • appeasing my mother’s every wish because the shower is at her house and she is the boss
    • creating clever signage so that I don’t have to tell 25 people where to put their gifts
    • and, most importantly: choosing a dress to wear so that I am the cutest hostess of all hostesses in the whole world.
    I have Thursday and Friday off of work. Thank you, Veteran’s Day, for falling on such a convenient day. (And thank you, veterans, for serving our great country.)

    I work on Saturday.

    And Sunday is go time.

    Hot damn, I do love me a party.

    Monday, November 07, 2011

    My jealousy is ugly

    My cousin Mara had her baby on Saturday. A little girl she named Claire, who has a head of dark, dark hair. I am excited to meet her.

    You know who else is excited to meet her? My mom. My mom who danced – literally broke out into a bloody jig, I am not even exaggerating a little bit – when she heard the news.

    And who cooed and petted the monitor when the first picture was emailed.

    My mother has never been one to pressure me to get married or to have babies but, holy shit, that dance routine that she broke out in certainly felt like subliminal pressure. Not unlike when she coolly congratulated me on every college acceptance until my UM letter came in the mail – just before Thanksgiving (I was the first of my friends to hear back from my beloved UMich) – it was dinner and hugs and beaming, beaming pride. Mom never said it but it was pretty clear where she wanted me to go to college. Just like I am pretty sure I know what she would like: grandbabies.

    News of Baby Claire’s arrival came on Saturday morning and by noon I was in a horrible, horrible mood. Cancelling prior plans to go out with Meg and my cousin Liz that night. Disinterest in the UM football game. (Watching would have only broken my heart even more.) Halfhearted trips to the mall and to the craft store. To buy supplies. For Lucy’s baby shower. Which is next Sunday.

    How about everybody have a baby at the same time so that I can just jump into this pool of Life Failure rather than settling for dipping in my toes and testing the waters?

    It’s nothing against anyone. Really, it isn’t. If it is time to have a baby: have a baby. I will be overjoyed for you. If not a little (okay, a lot) jealous. This just feels like my many, many turns as a bridesmaid all over again. Except that my ovaries are involved. Fucking ovaries. Ridiculously fucking sensitive ovaries.

    I’ve always felt like I am so far behind my peers. It’s been like this since I was a kid – always the youngest in my class because of my late birthday, I was always waiting and watching as my friends achieved milestones long before I did. From learning my multiplication tables to growing out of kid-sized clothes to having that first legitimate boyfriend to the husband and the house and the babies. It always happens, eventually – and I guess I would like to believe that pattern will continue and I won’t be an old maid librarian and the weird single aunt to Meg’s kids – but I’m always the last.

    I dislike last.

    I dislike this envy.

    I dislike myself for keeping score. For wanting to catch up. For treating life like it is a board game where the right roll of the dice or the right card at the top of the deck will turn things around. For seeing what I don’t have more clearly than I see what I do.

    Friday, November 04, 2011

    I'm a touch sensitive

    I wasn’t in a great place on Wednesday night.

    And then I got an innocuous email from Colleen.

    Hey!

    Just wanted to rsvp for my mom and me.

    Hope all is well!


    And it totally set me off.

    Yes, I was already a wreck. Yes, she meant absolutely nothing by the email. Yes, I’m being overly sensitive.

    But I don’t care. It pissed me off and I’m going to be pissed off about it.*

    Hope all is well? Bite me, Colleen. Darren is dead and if you were the friend who you used to be – the friend who hung out with me and Darren on many, many occasions – I would have called to tell you. Because that’s what you do with your closest friends: call them when you’re upset and when you’re scared and when you’re not quite sure how to feel. And I would have told you about my car accident. And my impending move. And about how hard it was when The Coach left. And all of the quirky things that my hyper new boss does.

    All is not well, Colleen. And I wish that we were still friends so that I could tell you about it.

    And thanks for asking if I needed any help with the shower, too. I really appreciate it.

    *But I’m only allowed to be pissed off about it for the next week. Because the shower is a week from Sunday and I am just going to have to drop the grudge, put a smile on my face and get over myself. Awkward is most definitely not invited to the baby shower.

    Thursday, November 03, 2011

    A daze and a crash

    I felt rubbed raw.

    I dragged myself out of bed and packed up a few things. I drank a cup of tea and turned down the television and I blogged about Darren. And the best way that I can describe how I felt yesterday morning is by saying that I felt like I had been rubbed raw.

    I was slow getting ready for work. I had errands to run before going to the office. And I kept trying and trying and trying to get out of the house and I just couldn't make myself move fast enough. Everything took twice as long as I expected.

    I made mango sticky rice. Without even thinking about it, that's what I made. The same food that I ate for days and days after The Coach left. Comfort.

    I ate it while I drove. I nursed a second cup of tea. My head was all over the place. I had a few bags of donations to drop off at the Salvation Army. And then I wanted to buy new ballet flats. I am forever in need of a new pair of ballet flats.

    I turned left out of the Salvation Army parking lot, even though, unknowingly, I could turn right to get on the expressway, too.

    I turned left and then I got into the left turn lane at the next intersection. There was a big semi-truck that got into the turn lane ahead of me. And I was in a daze. And I must have assumed that, if that big truck was going, that the left turn light had turned green.

    But it had not. And I pulled out in front of a car. And got hit. And it was my fault.

    I got a ticket. I got bailed out of my mess by my father, yet again. He works in the automotive industry (this is Detroit, after all) and he arranged for a tow truck and picked me up at the scene of the accident.

    If I had to get into an accident. If my car had to be undriveable. I guess this was as good as it was going to get. He was on his way to the airport - off to a car show - and we continued on to the airport, where I dropped him off and took his car.

    "You know, I'm really impressed," my father remarked one of the half-dozen times I talked to him on the phone in the 30 minutes between the accident and when he arrived. "Your mother or your sister would have called me crying."

    I didn't cry. I wanted to cry. But I wanted to cry long, long before the crash. I had wanted to cry since getting out of bed that morning. Since learning about Darren the night before.

    I arrived at work only 45 minutes late. Still in a daze. About Darren. About my accident. About the bruise on my knee and how much money this mistake would cost me and, ultimately, how fortunate I was that it was not worse.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2011

    Darren

    My work friend, Darren.

    If you've been reading for a couple of years, you probably remember him.

    We hung out a lot for a year or so. I had a crush on him. And then I didn't. But we were always friends.

    And he got fired. Right around the same time that Ashley and The Coach left their jobs in the same office. But we stayed in touch. For a while. And he moved to another state and our conversations became less and less and less frequent.

    I thought about calling him on his birthday this year - it was his 30th - and I didn't.

    Ashley called yesterday to give me exceptionally horrible news.

    Darren committed suicide.

    And I find myself in one of those places when I detest the limitations of the written word because there isn't a word or a phrase in my vocabulary that I can say to sum up how absolutely awful and sad and heartbroken that I feel.

    I hate mental illness. I hate what it did to Darren. I hate that Darren's family has lost a son. I hate that I didn't work harder to maintain our friendship. I hate that I never told Darren that I thought that - troubles or not - he was a good person and a good friend. I hate that I didn't pick up the damn phone on his birthday.

    I hate that this is real and that I have to write an acknowledgement that it happened.

    I hate it.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2011

    And somehow it is November

    November already.

    Alarming, isn’t it? Although, flipping the page on my calendar today gave me a bit of a rush. I only do that once more until The Coach is home for a few weeks.

    I am putting too much stock into his visit and I know it.

    ***

    I remembered to say - and Tweet - rabbit, rabbit this morning. November is now guaranteed to be a good month. So I've got that going for me.

    ***

    My cousin Anna was in town this weekend. I love when she is around. She – just like her sister, Emma – fits in with my nuclear family seamlessly. She feels like more like my sister than she feels like my cousin.

    She was crying on Friday night. Breaking my heart. Her father is talking marriage and selling the house that he and Aunt Marie owned. He is moving on – quickly, it feels, though Aunt Marie has been dead for nearly two years – and Anna struggles with his pace. And my mom struggles with his pace. And my mom struggles with how Anna and Emma and her mother are struggling. And then I struggle, too. Because it is hard to watch. And because I miss Aunt Marie, too.

    I am so thankful that my sweet cousins have my mother. I am so thankful that I have my mother.

    ***

    I am so thankful that I have Lucy, too. Lucy who I can always count on to answer the phone at just the right time. Lucy who always asks the right questions. Lucy who knows all the background to all of the stories. I called her on my way home from work last night and we talked at a furious pace for my entire drive – about work and family and boys and moving and friends and we could have gone on for hours. I know that things will change when she has the baby but these phone calls? No. We will continue these phone calls. We need these phone calls more than we need dinners out or knitting dates or trips to the dog park.

    On the subject of Lucy: her baby shower is in a little less than two weeks. I’m throwing her the shower. I bought her a gift off of her registry. But I sort of want to get her something else. Something that is maybe a little impractical or a little frivolous but undeniably special.

    ***

    The number of scarves I own is stupid yet I want 29 more. At least.

    ***

    Lately I’ve found myself jotting down every quote that I find poignant. And by jotting down, I mean making a note of it in my phone so that I can scroll through the dozens and dozens of quotes whenever I have the urge.

    I love words. I love words that succinctly say what I feel but cannot voice.
     
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