Empty

There’s nothing like a solitary summer night drive to really get your feelings to surface.

But big girls don’t cry, and so I will write.

I spent the last hour coasting up the hillside in my car to the sobering melody of “Me” by the 1975, and thinking too deeply about how I got here. I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.

For starters, I genuinely like the personality I’ve developed. I like that I’m witty and weird. I like that I can talk about almost anything for hours and that I have posters of chemical formulas and DNA helices on my bedroom wall. I like that the people at work know me as a sassy-pants know-it-all who is a little neurotic about cats. I like being the cool girl that lets everything roll off her shoulder. I like the things I say, and the way I think.

I don’t like my body-it doesn’t feel like mine. I don’t like how my body is satisfying to men who have touched it, or thought about doing so, while I can’t even bear to look at it in the mirror sometimes. Or worse-that I can’t stop looking at it sometimes, and allow my thoughts to tear me apart, limb from limb, as I fight back tears of frustration and inadequacy.

I don’t like that I try so hard to be attractive. Even now, nearing the middle of the night, I sit here in a “waist trainer” that closely resembles the rib-crushing corsets that the ladies of the middle ages laced themselves into every day, in a desperate attempt to shrink myself smaller and smaller. I don’t like my freckles, or the fact that I can’t tan.

I don’t like how painfully aware I am of myself in space. I don’t like constantly trying to read others’ minds as they encounter me. I don’t like over-thinking every human interaction I have and anxiously hoping that I haven’t done anything wrong.

I don’t like living my life as though everyone is going to hurt me. I don’t like snapping at anyone who makes a pass at me-I’m practically biting their heads off all the time. I hate that I use previous unresolved trauma as an excuse for not allowing anyone within a five mile radius of me. I really don’t like feeling alone all the time, watching everyone else be, y’know, not alone.

I don’t like being considered an “attractive girl,” because that implies that my physical attributes are the primary cause that allures people in my direction. The “attractive girl” doesn’t seem to get what I want more than anything, which is the security of someone somewhere who understands me in all my flaws and contradictions, has seen me at my ugliest, and wants me to stay.

I don’t like holding myself to standards of perfectionism, and inevitably falling short of it every time-doomed to perpetual disappointment.

I don’t like that I’m still up writing this stupid post that will likely be deleted in the morning.

I don’t like thinking that things will always be this way.

M.

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A Tender Termination

You know what they say, all good things must come to an end. 

Including summer flings. 

I had one, this past summer. I know, ME. Someone voluntarily signed himself up to date my crazy ass for a month or two. 

We started out strong, going on well-planned, well-structured, yet financially conscious dates. That lasted for approximately a fortnight, when he requested that we both begin exclusively only dating one another and nobody else. From that point on through last night, I was somebody’s girlfriend. 

We all know how these things go. Gradually, the structured dates morphed into casual hangouts and late-night lounging on each others’ couches. The closest thing we’d have to a date was a run to 7-11 for a Slurpee. (He funded the Slurpee runs, so I let this continue for a while.)

The casual hangouts tapered down in frequency, as did the communication between boy and me. For a span of another fortnight, we’d hardly even texted at all. I knew this fling had come to a close because I did not miss this young man. Heck, I’d hardly even noticed his absence.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I’d been worrying myself sick trying to script a gentle, yet straight-forward way to terminate our contract of exclusionary courtship. You see, I struggle with confrontation. My preferred method of communication is written, which is exactly what I intended to do. 

My break-up plan was to write boy a letter that gracefully terminated our friendship and also notified him of why my feelings for him had ceased. I would then place said letter on his doorstep along with his damn glasses that he always leaves in my car, and that would be that with that. 

Regardless of my preferred, passive method of ending this fling, we had the dreaded “talk” last evening. 

Boy requested that we go to our “spot” to talk, so I drove (as I always do because boy doesn’t have an automobile) to the capital building, temporarily renamed “our spot,” so we could discuss the future of us. Please note that aforementioned spot is 30+ miles from my home. 

Long story short, boy asked me to practically analyze the current status of our relationship, and based on my analysis, present to him what my thoughts were regarding our future together. It was basically the most emotionless breakup in the history of forever. 

After I expressed how I no longer had feelings for him and that I was fine with us being through, he concurred, and then told me (in not so many words) that it is practically impossible for him to have a deep conversation with me and that he would rather be alone with me. 

After “the talk,” it was my burden to drive boy from our former “spot” back to his apartment. The air was awkward, stifling, and tense the entire 3.4 minute drive back to his place. 

Before emerging from my Camry, he turned to me and said, “You know you’re great, right?” 

To which I responded, “Yes, boy, I do know that I am great. I don’t need yours or anyone’s reassurance.”  AND THEN HE LEFT HIS GLASSES IN MY CAR AGAIN. 

I am relieved to have formally ended this fling with boy, but I am flustered that he would think that I would be so emotionally affected by our parting ways. 

I simply don’t give a profanity. It doesn’t hurt to hear that he’d lost interest in me, when my feelings for him had ceased weeks ago. I promise, i’ll be fine without his presence in my life. And no, my self-esteem has not been tainted with the termination of our little fling. 

Because, you see, not only am I free of worrying about hurting someone’s feelings that i’d lost interest in, but I will save 15% or more on gas by switching to a boy who can drive at least half the time. 

And he can take the bus to my hometown and come pick up his spectacles himself, gosh dang it. 

Someone write a book on how to properly break up with people, cuz clearly young adults as a whole aren’t getting it. 

M. 

Petulance, Intoxication, and Antiphon

Before I dive into this post head-on, I’d like to start with a diminutive disclaimer. 

Here goes: 

I have no problem with peoples’ choices regarding the substances they ingest. I do, however, have an issue with discourtesy and unmannerliness.

Disclaimer over. Let’s get to the good stuff. 

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a Journey concert at my local outdoor amphitheater with the rest of the family. Despite minor altercation from sister to sister, or worse, sister to parent, we were having a splendid evening. 

When we first arrived at the venue, our first objective, naturally, was to find something to eat. Heaven forbid we all agree on the same food truck, so we split up and stood in multiple, seemingly eternal lines with rumbling bellies. 

Once we’d all purchased our dinners, we rendezvoused at a small picnic table with one of those umbrella things puncturing the middle, providing relief from the scorching, July sun. 

There were three other concert spectators sharing our table with us, due to the ratio of tables to concession consumers. One of these was a stout woman, perhaps in her mid-fifties, with glasses and more wrinkles than both of the other table mates combined. While I was scarfing down my absolutely disgusting, and completely overpriced salad, this woman turned to me and inquired whether or not smoking was allowed in our current location. 

“I don’t smoke,” I replied, “I don’t know, I’m sorry.” 

She nodded and we both went back to our own business. She turned to her other table mate, another woman of similar age, who was sandwiched between the smoker and a man of similar age, presumably her husband. The smoker told the woman in the middle that she was going to take a smoke. My mother overheard their conversation and politely asked that the smoker wait until my family had finished eating and had left the table to start smoking. 

The smoker responded, “Why yes, of course, I’m not THAT disrespectful.” She then got up and searched for an authority to receive directions for the designated smoking area. 

After a moment, the other woman stood up and addressed my mother. She said, “Y’know, I don’t think that’s right of you to ask my friend not to smoke. You came and sat with us. We were here first.” She was holding a plastic cup containing approximately four ounces of Budweiser. Unfortunately, she lacked the ability to contain herself. 

She continued babbling pathetically at my mom, saying how disrespectful and wrong it was for her to ask the smoker to wait until we’d gone to light a cigarette. After a few more seconds of her slurring and complaining, my father interjected and informed her that smoking was not allowed at this event. 

She responded that there were no signs prohibiting smoking, to which my dad reminded her that there were signs all throughout the entrances. They argued for a while, my dad getting increasingly more flustered and choleric. 

If we wouldn’t have picked up our stuff and simply walked away from this woman, my dad would probably still be sitting at that table, arguing with her. 

I learned a few things from this experience. First of all, despite signs that indicate that there is no smoking allowed, people will still sneak in drugs and light ’em up at the Journey concert-especially marijuana. Second, don’t order salads from food trucks at concerts. Just be a normal human and get pizza or a burger or something. Third, I may not be able to attribute ALL of my sass to my mother. My daddy’s got a little in him, as well. And fourth, Journey has an Asian lead singer now who sounds practically identical to the original.

Life lessons are everywhere, folks. Even at Rock N’ Roll concerts. 

M.