Archive for August, 2011

August 31, 2011

Not For Me

I’m not sure why it is, but I tend to find the boys that are damaged. Damaged or oblivious. Hopeless. Helpless. I’m not sure why I’ve always had them in my life. But  I have, for as long as I can remember.

Not damaged or hopeless in bad ways, mind you … just … sad ones.

These men are examples, but there are so, so many more, stretching so far back.

The friend who proposes to the girl who pushes him into it. Who reaches out to others to know if she was as good as he could expect. Who then marries the girl he’s not sure he loves because he feels obligated. All the while longing for the one who made him feel alive. Knowing that all he had to do was say “stay with me” … and she would have been there. But he chooses the “respectable” thing over his heart.

The friend who blushes when, while in his room, I pick up a quote tag for a “diamond ring”. Who, when asked what that was all about, says “Well, it’s something I’ll get around to next year when she graduates, I guess.” Who then hides the tag and spends the next few weeks complaining about the girlfriend. Who, on more than one occasion, as referred to the girlfriend (a sweet enough, if very young, very rough, and very naive girl) as “the best I can expect to do.” Who regularly tells me that it’s a good thing my best friend and I are both committed, as otherwise he’d be put off by us … that we are both “way out of [his] league.”

The friend, facing down thirty, who has never been in a real relationship … at least not one that lasted. Who finds someone who appeals to everything he is, and then pursues her less-perfect friend, for the fear of rejection. Who has multitudes of female friends, who don’t bother to look at him, preferring the comfort looking through him has brought. Who, on a long walk, looks at me and asks what he’s doing wrong, that he is still alone.

The friend who, after a bad breakup, comes over just to spend time. Who halfway through a movie is overcome with loneliness and needs to hold onto someone. Who, when I fall asleep near the end of the movie, leads me to my bed, tucks me in, kisses me on the forehead, and lets himself out, only to sit in his truck and cry. Who cries for the memory and emotion simple innocent contact can trigger, and for the fact that he doesn’t know if he’ll ever have it again.

The friend, not yet out of college, who begins dating the girl who pays attention to him only when his roommate (otherwise attached) is around. Who sees he is being used, but goes along with it. Who forms an attachment, as she was his first, and lets the game of together-when-convenient continue every few months for three years. Who proposes to the girl a month into their latest together-moment … because he can’t imagine being without, not her, but the feeling of being loved, even falsely. Who misses, or ignores, all the signs that say she is already cheating, and has no intention of stopping.

I’ve always worried about these guys. At times, it’s felt more like a job than my actual JOBS did. Being there, being the strong one, worrying for them when they don’t have the knowledge or sense to worry for themselves.

It’s exhausting. Both emotionally and physically.

And after some serious thought … I’m not going to continue. Of course, I still care for my friends, and will be there when they need me. Support and loyalty are non-negotiable. But the worrying and worrying and worrying until I’m utterly heartsick for them? It’s not healthy, and it’s not helpful for me, or for them.

So how do I stop? It’s been a part of my nature for so long that I don’t even know where to begin. How do I switch from all-consuming worry to simply wishing them well, truly hoping everything works out, and being there to celebrate when it does, and pick up the pieces when it doesn’t?

It makes me feel like a terrible person. To say that I can’t be what I’ve always been for my friends-in-need. But at the same time, I can’t shake the feeling that this is what I need to do. But where does that leave me?

It feels like I’m fighting against my very nature. Because try as I might, there is nothing so heart wrenching to me as the sight of a single tooth-brush in the home of a man who has absolutely no business being alone.

But if I keep up, I’m going to end up breaking my own heart.

 

* All photos taken along the waterfront in Astoria, just before Irene cleared out. The rain had stopped, the wind was still fierce, and the clouds were magnificent. The water level was nearly 3 feet higher than it had been 24 hours prior. The still turmoil of the photos is a good representation of what’s going on in my head, right about now.

 

 

August 30, 2011

I Was There, I Swear!!

So … Hurricane Irene. That happened. Cut me off from the world for a few days, leading to a severe lack in blog posts. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.

Today … vain thoughts on Yay New York!

1. Dude, you people are HAWT.

2. And you can seriously dance.

3. I must have Confetti Systems pinatas at every party from now on. MUST.

4. Zan makes a mean emergency dinner.

5. Rachel‘s last minute shopping skills are BEYOND AMAZING.

6. I think I may have to stalk Lauren and Ang.

7. The popsicles were DELICIOUS. But, of course, I would end up with one of the handful of avocado ones … me being allergic and all. Phooey!

8. WHY AM I NOT FULLY IN ANY OF THE PHOTOS??????

*HANDS

*BACK

*HAIR

*TOES

What gives?!

Serious thoughts coming later this week, when I have time to process and type.

** ALL PHOTOS VIA  APW

August 24, 2011

Scaredy Cats

Here’s the thing, I grew up in Southern California. Earthquake central. In fact, I was just a few short miles from the big bad nasty San Andreas Fault line. See?

That blue dot? That’s my childhood home. Earthquakes were no joke growing up.

Landers, 1992 – 7.2 – This was crazy. Just crazy. It was just before 5 am … NOT a fun wake up call. Shaking lasted 3 minutes.

Big Bear, 1992 – 6.5 – All of three hours after Landers. These two are what you would call a “regional earthquake sequence.” *

Northridge, 1994 – 6.7 – I was far enough out that we didn’t get the worst of the shaking, but it was bad, even by us. Worst damage I’ve ever seen in person. ::shakes head::

Hector Mine, 1999 – 7.1 – Middle of the night earthquakes are the worst. Especially when you have a little sister sleeping on a bunk above your head. I don’t think I’ve EVER gotten out of bed that quickly!

And those are only the ones I REMEMBER, that are over 6.0. Yesterday, though in an unexpected place … 5.8. The different between a 5.8 and 6.0 is HUGE. Exponential growth.  It’s to the point that I could very easily say “5.8? Oh, that’s nothing.”

But I won’t. An earthquake IS a scary thing. ESPECIALLY when you’re not expecting it, or have never experienced one before. And long shakes (like yesterday’s 55 seconds) can be terrifying. I won’t diminish that. But some of the reactions? GOOD LORD:

– The Federal Government sent all workers in the DC region home for the day, less than an hour after the quake.  This created gridlock that lasted for 3 hours.  

– Schools are closed today.

– People fled their respective buildings (something you should NEVER do in an earthquake!) and REFUSED to come back in. ** Several of my tenants demanded that a city engineer come check out the building. Um, thanks, our building engineer can do that just fine.

That street, for reference, is 6 lanes wide, with a park right next to it – which was also full.

– People screamed and cried and wailed, and told me off. I’m sorry, I’m trying to reassure you, don’t bitch me out. My “favorites” were the woman who told me “I’m from California [she later mentioned she hadn’t been in California since she was 8 years old], that wasn’t even a 5.0. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” ***, the woman who screamed “It’s not an earthquake, it’s a BOMB!” in all seriousness, and the woman who, when I told her it was an earthquake****, and not to be worried snapped at me “How would YOU know?” I patiently explained to her that I’d grown up in SoCal and had been through many earthquakes, plus had already checked the building systems, and the USGS site. She responded “Well buildings here aren’t MADE to withstand earthquakes like your precious California. So SHUT UP.” and stopped off.

::blinks::

Alright, first off, any building built in the last 15 years is going to have to meet codes that will allow it to withstand an earthquake. While we may not have “rolling” and other foundations that meet the strict earthquake-zone codes, we’re not just building buildings that will come crashing down the first time they shake. Be smarter than this, people.

THAT shot was from the newspaper this morning. SERIOUSLY?

It’s all just ludicrous to me. I mean, really. YES, it was frightening, but grow up and get over it. The world is not ending, you are not traumatized, you can act like an adult. Educate yourselves, and maybe we can move on.

DC is a city that over-reacts to everything. OH GOD, 2 INCHES OF SNOW! CLOSE THE SCHOOLS AND BUY ALL THE TOILET PAPER!!! And really, I’m just sick of it.

Though the bars that did offer $5.80 happy hour specials are GENIUS.

 

* And now you know! Fancy learning stuff.

** The only exception here, for me, is the Pentagon. I have friends who work there, who have co-workers that were there on 9/11. Apparently the earthquake felt JUST LIKE the attack. I would have run, too. Not blaming them for a SECOND.

*** I saw her in the lobby later and said “Oh, by the way? They’re saying it was a 5.9.” (It wasn’t until later that it was downgraded to a 5.8.) Her eyes got huge, and she said “Wow, you’re good!” I’d pegged it at a 6.0 or slightly under.

**** The sheer number of times I had to answer the question “What was that?!” was hilarious. By 3 minutes after I was having to hold in my laughter. Basically, I’m a bitch. ::winks::

August 23, 2011

WAH

My body has decided to rebel against me. Today’s lovely issue … teeth.

Funny, considering I was JUST talking with Becky and Christy yesterday about needing to get to a dentist. Well, now I don’t really have a choice.

Last night during dinner I took a bite of dessert (soft foods) and WHAM, serious pain, up the left side of my face. Nothing hard to bite, so I don’t think I cracked anything, but HOLY CRAP IT HURTS. Overnight the pain localized (and kept me awake, rawr) and got even worse, if that’s possible. Well, worse at some points, almost non-existent at others. Stupid comes-in-waves-pain.

I spent the morning calling straight down the list of “in-network” providers within the area. THANKFULLY one can get me in at 7am tomorrow. Thank God.

Let’s all hope it’s just a previously missed cavity that got deep, and needs filling. That’d be free. But if I need a root canal … well, let’s just say the car payment (and my sanity) is going to suffer.

Oh, and right … have I mentioned that I hate dentists?

::sighs::

I’m gonna go curl up and weep now. Talk amongst yourselves.

August 22, 2011

Memory Lane

In the ongoing saga of my 10 year reunion, things are moving forward. A coordinator has been fired, another has stepped up, the price has been dropped to $60/person, and a new venue has been secured.

That venue is Dave & Busters, and the $60 includes a $15 game card and “Italian buffet”, but whatever. Apparently reunions are for pretending you are still in high school.

What, I got that wrong? Oh well, moving on.

One unexpected side effect to this nonsense came in the form of new Facebook notifications. One of my classmates had uploaded 250 photos from our 4 years. * I began to flip through the album, with a growing dread … I’d been friends with this girl in high school, and therefore was probably IN some of these photos. Uh oh.

My fears came true, and there I was. And now, you get to benefit. I took the worst one out (a photo I had no idea existed, and does not deserve to see the light of day), but here you go…

Homecoming (horrible themes come free), my sophomore … no wait, 1999 was my junior year. So, yes, I was 15 here. That’s Chris. He was the “safe” date after a really horrific summer. So safe, in fact, that there were many jokes made at his expense. I ended our psuedo-dating 2 weeks later (so, it lasted a total of a month) when I realized that the boy LITERALLY couldn’t disagree with anything I said. ** It was aggravating, to say the least.

Can I just mention … I wish I still had that dress. It had a deep back and was sexy as hell on a girl with no curves. Imagine would it would look like now, 12 years later. Hmm, time to call my mom and see if it’s hiding in her closet.

King’s Ball, junior year. This was our version of Sadie Hawkins, and the tradition held that you dressed in matching shirts. That’s Travis, a friend from church. Probably the best date I ever had at a dance … we weren’t trying to impress each other all night (not having the slightest interest in each other) and could just have fun. He also danced with one of my friends, who’d been stood up. GOOD GUY.

I also happen to think my hair ROCKED here.

King’s Ball,  senior year. No, that’s not my date. But she and her boyfriend carpooled with me and mine, so when it came time to take pictures we jumped in one together. No idea why the girl scanning had this one, not the couple shots, but whatever! Pretty girl, hmm? Too bad she went a bit psycho in the years following.

Also … the red hair? Totally natural. I’d been spending a LOT of time outside (the dance was in February … but I grew up in So Cal, remember?) and that’s what it tends to do.

Then there was this one. Senior year, I’m assuming just before graduation. I’m also assuming I was wearing a sweater of some kind OVER the leotard+high-waisted jeans combo. (What? I TOLD you I danced!) Why I took it off when photos were happening, I don’t know.

Clearly, this was staged. And clearly, I was cracking up. Less clearly, but you’ll have to take my word for it, I do NOT hold my fists like that when even PRETENDING to punch someone. In any case, that’s Jerry, Joe, and Joy. (Why didn’t I have a J name?) Joe (in the back with the greaser hair) and I had known each other since elementary school. We’d started out as mortal enemies but had become friends somewhere along the line. *** Not that we didn’t still torment each other constantly. He was dating Joy, a good friend of mine, who had a similar relationship with Jerry. At some point (I think it was Joe), the phrase “Jerry : Joy :: Joe : Sarah” was born. **** It’s written in my yearbook from that year. We had GOOD times together. =)

As an added bonus … here’s a shot of my favorite teacher. That’s Tim (we were all of 7 years apart in age, and at my sister’s graduation, I was informed I was NOT to refer to him as Mr. anymore.). He taught sophomore science, and AP Bio, and so, including the year I aided for him, I had his class for three years. No, despite the fact that he was 24 and adorable, I did not have a crush on him, I just respected him quite a bit. The man wrote my college reference letters (and was surprisingly on-the-nose regarding my home situation, though I never discussed it with him), backed me with the school administration when a vicious friend of an ex (see Chris, in the first photo) threatened me, and got me to pass the AP Bio test with a super high grade. Best. Teacher. EVER.

Didn’t I tell you he was adorable?

 

* Someone else uploaded current photos of our classmates. Is it just me, or is it weird to see current photos of groups that all STILL hang out together, doing the same things they did in HS, with the same people?

** A friend suggested I tell poor Chris that my hair was on fire, to see if he’d clue in. So I did. His response? “You’re so right.” It ended right there.

*** Ok, crying alert … consider that fair warning:

I’m not sure why Joe and I hated each other on sight, but we did. That was second grade. Enter 6 years of teachers knowing to keep us seated on opposite sides of the classroom (which threw off the alphabetical-by-last-name seating, but was better than all out war, I suppose). My 8th grade dance was a low point. All the boys danced with all the girls … and when Joe got to me he refused. Throughout high school we learned to tolerate each other, and eventually became good friends. At our graduation (where we were seated next to each other … that alphabetical seating again … and glad for it) he gave me a big hug (his mother got a photo of it and we sent it to our 2nd grade teacher) and said “I still owe you a dance, I was a brat when we were kids. I’ll dance with you at your wedding, ok?”

Joe passed away when we were 20. At my wedding, I saved him a dance.

**** If you understood the mathematics of that you’re a better person than me. I had to look up the dang symbols!