Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's Time For Another Installment of Where Do You Meet These People?!

It's too bad that I have standards, because that's how I've lost a few friends. Although I have myself to blame, too. I give too many people way too many chances, partially out of loneliness. But I have to honestly say I'm better off without these people in my life. I don't make friends easily, and I hang on to people for too long, because I know the process of making friends (especially good ones) is difficult, especially for me. And since I meet wacky people, the prospect of running into nutjobs increases. So, here's another installment.

Subject: female
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
How We Met: college
Length of relationship/friendship several years

I met this person in one of my college classes. She seemed friendly enough, and super-talkative. We hit it off and we stayed friends throughout college.

However, since I changed my major, my classmates were graduating, while I was still expecting another couple years. I became increasingly isolated, because my classmates were younger than I was, and it seemed like everyone I knew left. Then, I graduated and found my first real job out of college, and the ass-grinding schedule meant I had little social life between age 25 and 28. It was probably the first time I worked nearly two weeks in a row before I had a day off. And I was salaried, so I was working between 40-60 hours a week (depending on the season) for what amounted to $5.05 after taxes, by the time I quit.

So anyway, I'd lose contact with this person, then we'd run into each other at the store. I can't remember the last time I'd seen this person, but she showed up in my life again shortly before my mother died. On the day of my mother's funeral, we came over to my brother's house for a while, but I really didn't want to be there. So my friend and I went to the movies. She and I talked for quite a bit after that. I was unemployed, and she was unemployed, and mom left me some money, so it wasn't like I was going to starve or be homeless. We hung out, and why not?

Fast-forward to 2006. My friend, who was on disability, was planning to get a retro disability check for a few thousand dollars. For the year and a half since my mother died, my friend would hang out with me, and I ended up paying her way for everything--dinner out at mid-range restaurants, movies (with concessions) shopping trips, all without any sort of hint of payback. I enjoyed her company, and figured when she got some cash, she'd send it my way. She kept going on and on about the money she was going to get and how we'd take a trip when she got it. I wasn't holding my breath. Maybe she'd get the money, and maybe she wouldn't.

So the summer comes along, and finally, she gets her check. It was $9,600. Not bad. It was almost the end of July and hot, so she checked herself into a hotel, leaving her husband and her dog in an unairconditioned cabin in the woods. I went to visit her, and she'd blown through $800 of her money in just one day. She gave $500 of it to her son, to put towards a car, and spent $300 at Fashion Bug. We agreed to get together on the weekend to discuss where we would go (I'd quit my job by then, in another one of my fits of impatience and restlessness) on our trip. Our trip, which she'd been talking about for the last year and a half.

My friend hasn't had the most wonderful life.She was molested by an uncle and she was divorced from her first husband, her daughter didn't want anything to do wit her, and she was on her second marriage, which had survived an affair she had with a bus driver. She would talk about this guy as if she were some sort of schoolgirl: "Guess who I saw today?" I saw you know who yesterday." I always thought it was disgusting, her having an affair with this guy. She couldn't have been easy to live with. She had this saint of a husband who really cared for her, and she was sleeping around on him. I always thought looks had everything to do with whether or not one had a boyfriend or girlfriend. I have to say this is totally not true. She was probably the least feminine and one of the most unattractive women I've ever known. She had bad teeth and extremely foul breath, and so there had to have been something else. What that is, I'll never know.

The weekend came. I was out of town on Friday and again on Saturday, and I try not to call people after 9:30 p.m. I knew my friend was early to bed, early to rise, so I decided I'd call her on Sunday. I got ahold of her around 1 p.m., figuring we could do a late lunch, or an early supper, and decide where we were going to go.

She blurted out--"I couldn't wait any longer--I'm leaving tomorrow and I'm taking Nancy with me." I'd felt like I'd been punched in the gut. The last year and a half I'm paying her way for everything we do (except for groceries; she had food stamps by that time) and she keeps talking about this trip, and then she gets the money, and less than a week later, she makes plans to go with someone else. I'm furious. So furious, that I end the phone call and ring up my next door neighbor. I need to vent and there's no one I can vent to, so I ask if I can come over because I needed to talk to someone. Mercifully, she says to come on over.

And I tell her the story, and I ask her if I'm justified in being furious with her. "Absolutely," she says. It's things like this that happen, seemingly happen, over and over again that makes me wonder if I'm losing my mind. A mutual friend makes the observation that "her mind doesn't work like everyone else's." Well, I KNEW that, but does that give her the right to bait me for months and months and months and talk about this trip, and then when the money comes, make instant plans with someone else? I don't think so, but then, what do I know, right?

I think she felt guilty though. That week on my caller id, I see a phone number for a Michigan hotel. I see it over and over again. And that Christmas, I get a handwritten letter from her as well as a card. The letter explained the sudden departure on the trip she'd talked about for over a year and why she left. Why DID she leave? Well, the uncle who molested her died. Instead of feeling relief (he was in prison; it's not like he could harm the general populace anymore) she freaked out and had to leave. Never mind that he was at least a couple hours away from her, in prison. She freaked out when she heard he died and took off. With someone else.

At least I had an explanation. But I'd had enough. I'd had enough of her automatically expecting me to take her out to dinner, to buy her fresh soda.

Maybe I'm too hard on people. I saw her only one other time, at a mutual friend's party. I didn't talk to her too much. And I didn't want to initiate contact again. I feel sorry for her sometimes. But I'm kind of tired of people telling me they are going to go on trips with me, then when the time comes, they go with someone else. In the years since that little incident, her parents have died, her husband died, and her son died. I think she also tried to commit suicide. Interestingly enough, some of the people who have screwed me over have gone through some tough times.

So don't screw me over. Because karma is a bitch. And so am I.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Feeling Pretty Good

Despite the weather and the constant worry about finances, I'm feeling a bit better about things in general. We'll see how long that lasts, but I'm optimistic about the juice fast, and I'm starting to miss it, and it hasn't been a week since I've been back on solid food.

I'm making plans to start grad school next fall. Taking tiny steps. Getting transcripts, now I need to write a letter, and hoping to get a letter of recommendation from a former college professor. He's the only one from the English department at St. Francis College who is still alive. I was able to find him on Facebook.

And I found out that the English department at IPFW doesn't care about math scores, which is a damn good thing. I'll prepare for the English portions and not worry about the math.

And I hope to fit into my little black dress by March. So I've got plans.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Juicing Seems to be Working

So far, I've lost 15 pounds while juice fasting. This last time, I allowed myself hot chocolate, chocolate milk and chewing gum. I lost a little over two pounds in a weeks' time, so I'm okay with it. I lost 10 pounds the first week I fasted.

This seems to be working for me. Maybe it's just water weight, but my legs feel lighter and the pants are feeling looser. I know I can't do this permanently, but the scale numbers are going in the right direction. I'm also upping the exercising a bit. I want to look good this summer. Maybe I will.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Another Juice Fast

So I'm on another juice fast. I've decided to allow myself hot chocolate and chocolate milk during this fast. Somehow, those taste really good, especially when I've given up solid chocolate for a whole week. I've lost twelve pounds so far, and I haven't gained them back. So here's hoping I lose at least seven or eight pounds on this fast.

I've had concerned friends tell me juice fasting is not healthy; that it's going to be hard on my heart. Who said that I was going to drink juice and NOTHING BUT JUICE the rest of my life? No one, not even me. But if this is helping me lose weight, when nothing else seems to be working, what's the problem? I'm not throwing up my food, nor am I downing huge amounts of laxatives. I'm LOSING WEIGHT, for the first time in a long time.

I'm tired of being fat. And I want to start meeting people who like to do the same things that I like to do, like skiing, and going to Cedar Point. Nobody I know likes to do those things. And if I can't be pretty, I would like to be in shape. Healthy.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One Last Bit of Fun Before School Starts

I went skiing last Thursday at Bittersweet, in Otsego, Michigan. I had an absolutely great time skiing. I skied the best I've ever skied. The weather was perfect, and I stayed long enough to enjoy some night skiing.

Then, I stopped at the gas station on the way back. After putting gas in, I turned the key and heard a POP! I saw the hood pop up a bit. Worried that the car was majorly fucked up, I had to find a place to stay, and make some calls in the morning.

Long story short, a friend drove me home, I worked, and I got the call that the car was going to be okay. Another friend brought me back to Otsego, and I picked up the car today. Since I'd planned on stopping off at Firekeepers the other night after skiing and couldn't, I stopped off tonight. I lost four dollars and that was that. The way back was okay too.

But boy, I really love skiing.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Janice Dickinson is Changing My Life

I'm in the process of reading another of Janice Dickinson's books. This one is called Everything About Me Is Fake ... and I'm Perfect! It's a great read so far. But what's really holding my attention is what Janice is saying about men. Despite being married and divorced three times, she still goes out on dates, but comes forward and says that men are pigs. But, she also says not to to give up on them. She feels they should be treated like pets--if they screw up, put them in the doghouse, and not call them.

I've been treated like shit by men, but Janice's father was a fucking pedophile. My dad was great to me, for the most part, but my brother sucked. Then, the boys at school made fun of me. I came across some old pictures of me, and I WAS a mess. I feel like I'm still in my awkward stage, for fuck's sake. But why did I allow guys to make ME feel inferior? Why? I'm accomplished (college degree, self-published a couple of books) nice, helpful, and I've never been arrested. I'm not a druggie, a drunk or a whore.

Yet I feel slighted when huge, blubbery guys don't think I'm attractive. I could jog circles around them, ski around them, and I'm letting THEM get ME down? Fuck that! And thanks to Janice, I'm starting to realize I need to worry about me for a change. I'm eating better, I'm exercising, and while I've not lost a lot of weight, I'm making progress. I'm cutting back on the crap and cutting back on food in general. And if I can get my body looking better, I'll feel better. I can own clothes that are a bit more fashionable, and start looking good even if I'm going to the grocery store. Because I didn't make the rules, I'm going to have to woman up and work on my body and looks. Men will never give a shit about my college degree, my intelligence, my curiosity about the world, my travel and my enthusiasm for roller coasters and skiing. However, if I'm rocking a great bod, THAT might get their attention. And one of my favorite fantasies is looking as good as I possibly can, then basically hook men and humiliate them. I'd love to be wearing my little black dress and the heels I can walk in and go to a bar and have some Fort Wayner dude in a sweatshirt and jeans come up and talk to me and basically say to him, "you are not dressed well enough to talk to me. Go home and put on a dress shirt, slacks and tie, and then come back and talk to me. If you don't want to do that, get the fuck away from me."

I've read I don't know how many self-help books, but Janice's books are really resonating with me. Even if I never go out on another date again, even if I never meet a guy who is available who really revs my engine, if I can be the best ME that I can be, and get the degree that will get me a better job and feel good about myself, that will be worth it.

Thanks Janice, for showing me the way.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Janice Dickinson's Check Please!

I returned a couple of books to the library today. One of them was a GRE prep book for the math portion; the other one was Check Please! by Janice Dickinson. I have a soft spot for Janice, because she got into modeling when everyone and their grandmother in the industry was blonde. Janice, a brunette who has huge lips and who looked Asian, emerged from a horrible childhood to move to New York City with the mother of one of her high school classmates, and kept pounding the pavements until she made it. Janice played hard, worked hard and lived hard. For all the chemical abuse she put herself through, she didn't let it completely destroy her, and now in her late fifties, looks damn good.

No Lifeguard on Duty is an excellent book, and you're rooting for Janice through her childhood and early modeling days and beyond. Check Please! is also a fun read. I agree with Janice's dating philosophy (don't fool around with married men, don't steal boyfriends, the guy should pay, the guy should be good at giving great gifts, don't go to a movie on the first date), but it's obvious that she lives in a world that the average woman won't ever know about, or even come close to.

Janice seems to be able to pick up men everywhere she goes. I'd love to meet her and tell her about my lack of relationships. Her confidence is brimming from page one. She says there are men EVERYWHERE, and the possibilities are endless. Well, perhaps if you're Janice Dickinson. It's a cruel fact of life that if you are exceptionally good-looking, and live in an exciting part of the country (i.e a big city) you will have a better pick of men than someone who lives in the middle of nowhere. Janice's "you deserve the best" attitude resonates with me, because I'd rather be alone than be with a jerk, but again, if she knew of my experience with men, she'd tell me that something was terribly, terribly wrong. She acknowledges men can be jerks, but not to swear them off completely.

Perhaps if I looked like Janice, I could forge ahead with a devil-may-care-I'm-so-fucking-fabulous attitude, but I don't look like her. When reading this book, I realized that I have the same attitude when it comes to men, but holding out for "the best" means I've spent a lot of time alone. Even when I had a boyfriend, it wasn't quite what I was expecting--and at times, it was disappointing and sometimes heartbreaking.

Janice is a smart woman. She has to know that not every woman has the same chance of getting a man that she does. She probably doesn't care, but I would like to meet with her and tell her that I admire her and I'm happy for her success, and to be thankful. Yes, her dad was a shit, but instead of ending up a stripper hopelessly addicted to heroin, she became world-famous and looked up to, because she was a brunette who took on the blondes--and won.

I do recommend this book. Those who are able to twist men around their finger will probably nod in agreement; my fellow wallflowers will probably be saying, "yeah, that's the way it SHOULD be, but..." Janice is outrageous, funny, and never boring.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Waiting For The Snow

As I write this, supposedly a huge snowstorm is on its way. If it's anything less than the Blizzard of '78, I will be disappointed. Now THAT was a snowstorm. It happened a long time ago, and I can't remember if anything bad was predicted. The only things I can remember is I think my dad was on a business trip, and was due to return, and my mother had a week of vacation coming. Plus, my Lhasa Apso dog, Fluffy, was about to have puppies. We kept all four of the surviving dogs and named them Melissa, Ginger, Roddy and Jones (after Caldwell Jones). They were mutts personified; I don't know if anyone else in the world had Pekingese/Poodle/Beagle/Lhasa Apso puppies, but they were great.

This is Ginger. She resembled her dad, Ruffles, the most.

Melissa. Originally her name was Chewy, short for Chewbacca.

From left: Roddy, Jones (Jonesy) Melissa (Chewy) and Ginger on our picnic table.

The blizzard was something to behold. There was a drift that bisected our back yard, and it was taller than the clothesline. My brother dug a tunnel not quite the length of it, and I remembered playing in it for quite a while. That winter, I was homeschooled for health reasons, like everyone else, I got a week's worth of vacation. I remember my mother's fury when my brother, who went to the grocery store, returned without cigarettes. She went out into the snow to get them. You do not want to be in the house with someone going through a nicotine fit.

Everyone seemed like they were home. I know my mother had vacation, but I can't remember if my dad did. I wish I had more pictures of the blizzard. I know I had to have taken a few, but I don't know where they are right now.

So when snowstorms are predicted nowadays, I pretty much yawn. Tons of drama, and rumors abound. I heard we were going to get six inches of snow. Well, I heard eight to twelve inches. No, I heard two feet! We usually end up with two inches, and four days later, the temperature zooms up to 40 degrees, the sun comes out and it all melts, leaving the landscape a soggy, muddy mess.

I lived through the Blizzard of '78. Unless the snow they are predicting is equal to or worse than that, I won't be impressed. I'll go into work tomorrow, and I don't have to work the rest of the week, so if "Snopocolypse 2014" happens Sunday night, I'll sit back and watch, and read comments on Facebook.

But as I think back to the Blizzard of '78, I have to admit, I'm misting up a bit. I'm sad. Back then, the house had people in it and something always seemed to be going on. We had the television going on, and I remember some of the local news personalities were broadcasting for hours on end. I think WFFT started running a slew of movies during that time; they were broadcasting 24 hours a day. Our little neighborhood was covered in tons of snow, and to a child's eyes, it was the storm you'd always prayed for. Talk about snow days!

The fact that the blizzard happened nearly 36 years ago is sobering. It doesn't seem possible that I'm middle aged, and the parents I loved so much are gone, and I'm still in the same house. And I've got to end this post, because right now I'm crying.