Monday, February 28, 2005

History in Heather's Head

For those of you who have heard this story a thousand times, feel free to check back in when the news is refreshed.

My friend the Librarian was in town this weekend. The Librarian rarely lets her hair down, so when she suggested we hit a local pub for a pint, I was a bit taken aback. While out, we run into an old friend (mostly of the Librarian's) who shares some news of shared acquaintances. Turns out "Derrick and Vidalia" (not their real names, duh) are getting married.

And now for the history. Derrick and I had actually dated many years ago. He broke up with me, I stalked him, the rest is for history. A few years later, in what would then be an unrelated story, I met Vidalia. I stalked her, too. (I have a tendency of doing this with women I feel promise in. The need for female friendships in people I can actually relate to is strong. Perhaps, another blog on this topic.) We were friends -- good friends. It came to the point that we were pretty inseparable and most things that we did, we did together. Later, in what would then be an unrelated story, Derrick re-entered my life. We started by hanging out and this somehow turned into us being "umm, friends." (AKA -- friends with options. If you are unfamiliar with both of these terms, I'm sorry.) Vidalia met Derrick for the first time right before we (Derrick and I) turned our friendship into umm, friendship. Frankly, because they were flirting so much, I half-expected that the umm, friendship was because of his flirting with Vidalia. Whatever, I was single, I was bored -- umm, friends it was. He was single, he was bored -- there you go.

A few months go by. If even that long. It started shortly before the disastrous hair color night with my hairdresser Gothgirl and ended (tapered off, really) a few weeks before my 29th birthday. The umm thing hadn't completely ended, but the cards were on the table. Frankly, I was ready to move on, and I will admit he was even readier. I think we were just both waiting for the next best thing to come along.

Little did I know that for Derrick, it would be Vidalia.

A little more background. I loved Vidalia and loved that we were friends. She was completely honest with me, to the point of breaking my heart on a number of different occasions. Frankly, she was a lot more brutal even than I am. But, as much as I feared it, I respected it. Because, she had never really had a female friend, and she picked ME. I felt important, I felt needed. She seemed to trust my judgment and opinions. She was a couple of years older than I was, but I was drawn to her opennness and honesty. I was drawn to her lack of bullshit. So, when she developed an interest in Derrick, this took me by surprise.

Part of it was because she just wasn't honest about it.

Here's what happened, in as short a version as I can muster. A group of us went out for my 29th birthday. They (Derrick and Vidalia) spent a lot of time flirting, as did I -- with other boys at the bar. I was surprised that he came and wasn't upset that he spent a lot of time talking to Vidalia. The next night, he asked me for her phone number "to refer her to a contractor." I didn't think that much of it. The next day, she tells me that SHE asked HIM "out for coffee". She admits that she likes him "as a person." For days, this bugs me. I finally admit to her that I have a problem with them going out, she says she will back off. A little while passes, it comes to light that she has gone on a "big" date with him. I try to be cool about it, but a few more days pass and I realize -- something isn't right, I'm NOT "cool about it." I call her, try to talk about it, and we get into a big confrontation about it. I am told that I have to decide how I feel about it then. I am told I have to "grow some balls and get off the fence" (a line I will never forget, as long as I live) and that's that.

Keys are exchanged, life goes on. Vidalia and I are no longer friends, and she is with Derrick. And now, they are getting married in June.

Here's the thing. I have never "mourned" Derrick. He was a fun, cute guy. I like him. But, I don't love him. I don't wish things had turned out differently. He really wasn't right for me. Yes, we had been "umming" shortly before he and Vidalia had gotten together, but that was on a time line. That was going to end. The thing that I do not understand, have NEVER understood is why, why, WHY did she not just come to me and say that she was capital I interested in him and really wanted to BE with him. Why not just be honest with me? When I say I have a problem with it, it's weird for me -- why sneak behind my back? Why not open an honest discourse?? The fact is that if she had JUST come to me and talked to me, YES, it would have been weird and awkward -- but life would have gone on. We would have still been friends. Why was it so much more important to be with him than to just talk to me about wanting to be with him??

The Librarian says this confirms Vidalia's feelings -- if they are getting married, she took the leap for the man who was The One. I'm sorry, this is crap. Which I said to The Librarian. She countered that didn't I believe Scott was The One? Sure, but then we broke up in December of 2000. You don't KNOW someone is the one that early on, life isn't a movie. Scott thinks I am still hung up on Derrick. This is because Scott doesn't actually listen to anything, like I don't know -- my VOWS! Of course, HP2 agrees with me -- it's all about the fact that Vidalia wouldn't just come to me and have a talk about what was going on. And then, cutting me off completely because we had a "problem."

The fact is it isn't Derrick I have wondered about all these years later, it's Vidalia.

We have not been friends for FAR longer than we ever were friends. And other friends tell me, flat out, that I am a fool for missing her and wondering how she is and whatever. But, I do. I hope I don't sound too arrogant, but I do believe that she missed out for throwing what we had away. Perhaps she has made other, better (?) female friends along the way. But, as for me -- I know that true friends don't come along every day. I know that people make mistakes with their friends that they wish they could take back. I wish I could have tried to ride it out better than I did. But, so much time has passed now, I really think it is a moot point. I don't think we could have the same thing that we did, and I don't think either of us would ever want to.

But, still I wonder.

And even though I should end there, let me add this... How many people are dating or getting married or whatever who actually no longer speak to the person who introduced them in the first place? What do you say when people ask how you met??

Well, there was this chick but we don't talk to her anymore because she was crazy and close-minded...?


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Knowledge is... power?

Tonight is my English Lit class. I really enjoy this class. To the point that I no longer regret dropping my only other class, because that freedom has really allowed me to absorb and appreciate the only class I am taking.

But, truthfully, as with most things in my life, the thing I enjoy the most is the camaraderie. I like many of my classmates and enjoy the discussions that we have as a class. Most nights before class we are all trapped in the hall waiting for the previous class to let out. Generally, the topics of discussion will center around the story we were required to read for that class and what sorts of things we think the teacher will ask on our little quiz. And our basic opinions about the story. My buddy from class, Bill, generally will never like the things I like and will love the things I hate. I have grown used to this dynamic, and we were generally kid around quite a bit about this.

Bill is actually one of the reasons that I signed up for this class on this particular night. Bill was in my 111 class and had experienced the horror that was my "teacher" in that class. I really wanted to take 112 with someone who had gone through this experience, but almost all of my classmates from 111 were so burned by this dreadful "teacher" that they didn't want to take any other English class again for quite some time. But, Bill is going to be an English major, so wanted to keep rolling. I thought Bill was a pretty cool guy, laid back with a similar sardonic sense of humor to my own. This has remained true, but tonight I learned something of the dark side of Bill.

It started innocently enough. The group was outside class as usual, in our various "cliques", and we were just chatting about the stories for the evening. Somehow I brought up Napoleon Dynamite and was expounding on just how much I loved the movie. I told Bill this would be a sure sign that he wouldn't like it. I was explaining about how it was the story of a high school outcast and his various ups and downs. I said that if you were an outcast in high school, Napoleon was so far out there that he would probably make you think you were cool. Bill said this reminded him of this guy Arnold he knew in school, and then he laughingly (!) recounted the story of the time that he and his friends had covered Arnold in duct tape and thrown him in a dumpster.

Thrown him in a dumpster covered in duct tape?!

Another classmate Robert and I were horrified. We seemed to be waiting for Bill to tell us he was kidding and pretending to be Andrew from The Breakfast Club. Maybe this is where they got the idea?? But, Bill was oblivious (at first) to our horror. Said it was hilarious. Particularly because Arnold was so hairy.

Particularly because Arnold was so hairy?!

Robert and I asked about Arnold. This was awful, we said. Was he okay? Bill didn't know what happened to Arnold. But, it was funny -- you had to be there, he said. Did Arnold think it was funny? we asked. Bill (never the quickest draw in the west) is starting to realize how horrified we are. He says he was only 15 -- does this somehow make up for that?! If you're 15, it is then okay to tape someone with duct tape and throw them in a dumpster?

I wish I didn't know this about Bill. I don't like knowing it. This knowledge changes everything. Bill hasn't been on my top ten list in a while, but I didn't really hate him.

But, now I think I hate Bill. I think I want to cover him in duct tape and throw him in a dumpster.

I sit behind him in class, I can verify that he's pretty hairy. Maybe then he would understand how Arnold felt.

I was no Arnold or Napoleon, but I certainly wasn't cool and people definitely thought I was a little odd. (Not that they still don't, but as you know this is much different when you are an adult. Now, I'm just quirky.)

I wish I knew what happened to Arnold. I'm worried about him. Do you wonder how much he thinks about that? Do you wonder how something like that changed his life? To always suspect that people think you're a little weird is one thing, to have them affirm it by covering you in duct tape and throwing you in a dumpster. Well, that's just something else, isn't it?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Full Frontal Heather

Someone said of me the other day "what would a day be like without Heather?" I was forced to comment, you know -- sometimes I'd like to know. I'm all Heather, all the time -- it's more ever-present than CNN.

I hope I don't sound overly arrogant when I say that I am aware that I am amusing. My odd, non sequitur thoughts are original to people, and they never fail to comment how much they appreciate my left-field sense of humor. What they don't realize is that not everyone gets me. I am quite often alone in groups. I can't relate to a lot of people and they can't really relate to me. Here YOU are, reading the thoughts inside my head. Maybe you think this gives you a clue what it's like. But, it doesn't. It's a strange place up there. The randomest things people say remind me of things even more random -- and unlike most "normal" people I seem to lack the filter to stop saying them.

Ever heard of that lead balloon?

Yeah. That's how it is most of the time. I've always been a little odd. When I started public school in the fourth grade, I couldn't have stood out more if I had been lacking opposable thumbs. My clothes weren't quite right, I was forever just missing the latest fad. I had THIS personality when I was 15. To be perky yet sarcastic in a teenager's body? I didn't quite fit in with the misfits and I didn't fit in the in crowd. I was just me.


So, what would a day be like without Heather? Who knows? I don't think I would want to be anyone else, because I kind of like the view from here. So, don't get me wrong -- I'm not downing who I am. But, sometimes it would be interesting to see things from some other vantage point. To figure out how and why people do see things the way they do. How having Heather in their day really does impact it...

I'd like to know that. Wouldn't we all like to have a George Bailey day?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hearts & Flowers & Crap

I hate Valentine's Day. I know now that I'm married I'm supposed to revel in the day that celebrates love, but who are we trying to kid? I think what the day is really about is separating the single people from the couples and then trying to further divide the couples into who is REALLY loved and who isn't.

Remember when you were single? (For some of you dealing with expiration dates, this isn't much of a stretch. For others, you may pull something trying to remember.) Remember the stages you went through with THE day? Anger, frustration, sadness, and then just resignation. It came, it went, you were mostly unscathed. Then you had 10+ months of freedom until the process started over again with Christmas. It seemed as though the entire world was geared towards couples, and if you were a singleton -- well, fuck you.

I'm sorry, but I think that sucks. Being single is hard enough, why have a whole day celebrating couples? And people in love? And people pretending to be in love because a day on the calendars says it is so.

"Awww, it's Valentine's Day -- time to get the flowers and the heart shaped cards and the fuzzy wuzzy bears and the big boxes of chocolates and crap. Why can't you just lighten up, Heather?"

Because, I think it sucks. I mean, sure -- I'm a hypocrite (and I admit it, do you get that from the other bloggers out there?), we're doing lovey stuff. We're getting massages and going to a nice dinner and someone's probably going to get lucky. But, I feel almost wrong for doing it. Because the fact is that I don't really like all the hype that goes into the day, all the emphasis that is placed on its importance. And how if nothing happens -- that means even more!

Ladies, do you really think that your normally lackadaisical man is suddenly going to step up and do all kinds of crazy romantic stuff just because a day on the calendar SAYS he should?? And if he does, so what? A day on the calendar SAID he should. Yes, I'm materialistic -- I want jewelry and flowers and heart shaped cards and shit, but I don't want that because you feel the need to give me some guilty evidence of your love for me. I would really much rather have you show me that you love me every day in little ways that mean something to me (and won't take up space on my counter or in my jewelry box) than buy me flowers because a day on the calendar SAYS you should. I don't get it. What does that mean to me? You bought me stuff one day, but make me carry out the trash the other 364?

Anyways -- this is my rant. I'm not saying don't go out and do the lovey stuff, but do it the rest of the year too. And be kind to your single friends on Valentine's Day -- if they're anything like me, they feel like they have a big giant "S" on the foreheads for the whole day. (Okay, poor analogy because Superman had that too, but you see where I'm going...)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Time to say Goodbye, Girls

All I can is all good things must come to an end... I mean, we'll see each other. We still have a regular appointment every week. But, it's not like the visits we've BEEN having. But, at least my husband will be happy that my time with the Girls has come to an almost screeching halt compared to where it was.

You see, I've been dating the Gilmore Girls pretty regularly for the last few weeks. I've spent most of the last few weekends with them. I've heard such good things about the show for so long that I decided to start tivo-ing (when is this going to officially become a verb?) the reruns on ABC's Family channel. (Weekdays at 5pm.) From what I can gather from the GG website (which is here), I didn't get heavily involved until the middle of season three. Which means I've watched about a season and a half of the "old" episodes and started about halfway through the new season. It's been a little confusing, but the ride's worth.

Tonight, I hit the last episode of season four, and then the reruns cycled back to the beginning. I thought this would be kind of cool because then I could experience the show from beginning to where I am now... But, I think I may be done.

I'm not clearing them off the Tivo yet, mind you. But, the older ones don't have quite the verve that the newer ones do. I know how things turn out, it feels weird to be doing all that getting to know you stuff so late in the game. (It's one of the reasons I pretend to advocate waiting to sleep with someone until you've dated them for a while if you think you're really going to want to DATE them.) The characters are in the early stages (obviously), and I'm not sure I want to know that side of them. If I had met them that way, I'm sure I would have all the more appreciation for how much they wound up growing and filling out. But, as it is -- they just seem off. Lorelai's not QUITE as silly as she becomes, Rory's wit isn't quite as subtle, what is UP with Sookie being SO clumsy, and Emily's hair? Richard falling asleep at dinner? Luke doesn't want Rory to be like Lorelai?? Are you kidding me?!

So. I think I might have to settle in to just one episode a week. The new episode. Just the new ones. Or the newest ones. I could probably stand to see the first half of season three... But, that's before Rory goes to college, which are becoming some of my favorites...

Okay, I'm obsessing again. It's not too late for you, gentle reader. You can start and meet them from the beginning, weekdays at 5pm on the ABC Family channel. Check your local listings and set your Tivo -- you'll be happy you met the Girls. I know I have been.

My husband, on the other hand, well -- that's another blog...
What a Week I'm having... (5 points: what movie is this from?)

I don't even remember the order of some of these events...

One day I'm getting dressed for work and as I'm struggling into one of my favorite pairs of jeans (favorite meaning "pair that still fits") they EXPLODED off of me. Not just ripped, explosed. They were barely hanging by a thread by the time they were done. Nothing like a debilitating experience to start your day with. While I recognize that on some levels this probably happened because the jeans weren't of THE highest quality, I have no choice but to acknowledge that the real reason this probably happened is because of my repeated cramming of my cellulite into the jeans -- despite their protests to stop. After I changed clothes and got to work, I managed to dribble coffee all over the front of white sweater.

And inauspicious beginning to anyone's day.

Later on in the week, I got into a heated discussion with a customer about his bill. I tried to explain his billing to him, and how he hadn't even made a payment on the item he was claiming to have been overcharged for. When I explained this to him, he said he understood what I was saying but still didn't believe me. Asked to speak to my manager, who had already been listening to the call. He then proceeded to tell my manager that I had called the man a cracker. That's right -- a cracker. Apparently, the fact that I am also a "cracker" had somehow escaped his notice. Perhaps he was just trying to come up with a slur and redneck slipped his mind. Not sure. But, that was definitely one of the funniest things to happen to me in a long time...

Also, this week I managed to somehow get involved in 45 minutes of beratement from a woman who would make Leona Helmsley look like Mother Theresa. Every word out of her mouth was condescending and insulting -- not only to the company that I work for but also to me. Forty-five minutes of my life that I will never get back. And while at the end of the day, I managed to satisfy her requests and even get her to calm down sufficiently, she never apologized for her attitude (as many irate customers are often wont to do) -- which led me to believe that was her attitude all the time.

I've also been repeatedly dealing with Mr Krazy. Mr Krazy has a very high-pitched way of getting upset about things -- which is kind of funny in its frustration. Every time I have to give him yet another condition of issue for his policy, he will start freaking out before he even hears the "but" part. I've tried to figure out how to deliver the but part before the if part -- but haven't quite narrowed that down.

In other news, I got to meddling in people's lives again and managed to set up two of my co-workers. And the mad drama that ensued for the first 12 hours of this was something straight out of 90210. I swear I haven't been witness to this much drama since I was in high school passing artfully folded notes. He can't like me, he likes you. Why did I even come out here? Why didn't you just say you liked him and he liked you? OH, he does like me? When is going to call/write/email/carrier pigeon a note? Oy to the vey -- calm down. It's like I tried to tell the dear girl -- this is the part that is fun. It's the delicious agony of knowing that you're both interested and enjoying the flirting. The sooner you try to get to the next chapter, the sooner you settle into... well, being settled. I'm not really trying to down being settled, but once you get there you always look back fondly on the early flirty days.

... Our narrator flashes back... When Scott and I FIRST started dating, he stopped by my house unexpectedly one night while I was studying for my licensing exam. We hadn't even had our first "official" date yet. I was literally tickled pink. It's those little surprises that are so much more common at the beginning of the dating that make the whole thing SO much fun and make all the bs with other bad dating experiences worth it....

Anyways, Friday night we went out for nice dinner and then saw Seinfeld. He was SO funny. I mean, who didn't know that he wouldn't be? But even funnier than that. I really thought I was going to blow a blood vessel in my brain from laughing so hard.

Saturday? Why, that was the sex toy party in the trailer park with my friend and Scott's co-worker whom I barely know and the two lesbians presenting the items. That was pretty bizarre. I mean, I had fun -- who doesn't have fun shopping for sex toys? -- but it was still pretty awkward. I felt bad for Scott's co-worker hosting the party, since she clearly invited a lot more people who decided not to show. Which I can't imagine why not, frankly. I'm not really incredibly kinky, though I like to pretend I am, but I'm all about trying new stuff. Aren't you?

And that's it. You're all caught up. We can now go back to our somewhat shorter blogging tales...


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