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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Monday, September 24, 2007

Update From The South

Greetings! I'm in Virginia on business. I have been for the past two weeks and frankly it's been a complete whirlwind packed to the gills with adventures. In the past two weeks I've forged relationships and officially shut down others, moved three different people out of their apartments, attended a hairbanger's ball, met the sister I didn’t know existed until I was 18, went to a wedding reception where there was a slip-n-slide, went down said slip-n-slide in my dress, received multiple high fives and a few disapproving looks because of the aforementioned formal slip-n-slide incident of ought 7, waited six hours to see this DJ and danced until 2AM at some club outside of the University of Virginia (it was totally 100% worth the wait), had a number of awkward interactions with boys in glasses (one of whom actually told me, “I went as Google Maps for Halloween last year. I bought a globe and I made this shirt that has layers of maps on it. Like you look at it and you see a huge map of the US, then you pull up one layer and it's just a map of Virginia and another layer and it's a closer map. I went as a viral internet video the year before.” I thought that surely the sprinkler systems would go off from all the verbal hotness in the room.), fell in love with pumpkin steamers from Starbucks despite the fact that they sound like dirty sexual maneuvers, sold all of my dead aunt’s things...it was tremendously sad, saw a tiny Statue of Liberty replica that looks like the kind of thing one would only erect if the original SOL was destroyed in a world war and humanity needed a saddening reminder that we once had a strong nation with reality TV and freedom fries, connected with friends I haven’t seen in years, had seedy TMI-themed conversations with several family members, cried, laughed, screamed, fallen apart, put myself back together, fallen apart again, read some science fiction, and did a lot of healing. It’s been insanely hard and insanely healthy all at the same time. When I said that last line to a friend in Chicago during a long catch-up conversation last night, she replied with “like a vitamin-filled enema?” Life of late has been like a vitamin-filled enema. I think that was the original tagline to Forrest Gump.

Stories from Virginia adventures will have to come later. For the time being, I have limited internet access and a mountain of work on my plate. In the meantime, go have a few adventures yourself internet, write them all down, and fill my inbox with tales of triumphs and tears. As Vin Diesel says in xXx, “I live for this shit.”

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Overheard in Chicago

[Setting: Belmont Red Line Station]

Kid With Awful Emo Hair: "...yeah, but instead of adding water we added KY and it became this weird lubey cheesecake thing."

I don't know who that kid is, but I do know that I want to party with him.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Team Plan B

I take movies very seriously. Not really movies themselves, but the experience of going to see a movie. The previews, the smooshy seats, the smell of air conditioning mixed with stale popcorn - I love all of it from the bottom of my heart. The ex and I used to go to see movies all the time. He was my favorite person in the world to see a movie with because he's perfectly warm and sitting beside him in the dark made me feel invincible. We would see movies all the time in Paris and I remember glancing over at him during Hitchcock matinees and absolutely falling in love with his profile outlined by the flickering screen. If there's one thing I took from Paris, it's the memory of sitting in a tiny, cheap theater, looking over at that profile, and feeling like the safest girl in the entire world.

I think the hardest part of a major break up is losing that sense of security, the realization that your team, the one you had planned on playing on for the rest of your life, really is being divided and its players traded to other teams. I think that when you find yourself without a team, it's crucial to create a Plan B Team, to organize friends and relatives and hobbies to fill up the time you would normally allot to making your former team stronger and to getting laid. For me, coming to Chicago has been a really crucial part of creating that Team Plan B. I was in a relationship for nearly nine years and when that ended, I sincerely thought I would never have another team, at least, not one that would stick with me in spite of my flaws.

The silver lining to what was previously considered an earth-shattering break up is the realization that I do have a team...in fact, I have a Plan B Team that just may be much bigger and stronger than Team Plan A ever was. I have a fantastic team of incredibly selfless people that have been right there while I've gained and lost weight, cried to the point of shaking, gone crazy with retracing all of my steps in the past nine years, moved to a different city, finished the biggest and riskiest work project of my life, called at 3AM routinely because I saw the wrong picture or heard the wrong song, rehashed every shard of my previous relationship, not once but routinely in an effort to try to figure out what the fuck went wrong, and beaten myself into the ground trying to figure out how to make things work again. They've canceled evening plans to run to my house for an emergency cry/girly movie nights. They've hopped on planes to come visit. They've moved me from apartment to apartment, given me a place to stay when my heat and water accidentally got cut off last winter, taken time off work to trounce with me through The Big Apple, made me comfort food when I was sick, hugged me for an inappropriately long amount of time when I just needed someone to hold on to, and listened endlessly, endlessly, endlessly without judgment. One even spent a full month growing a mustache just because it would make me smile (more to come on that later). The upside to losing love is the opportunity to find it elsewhere, in freely offered acts of kindness and novelty facial hair.

After what could quite easily be classified as the worst weekend I've had in nearly a year, my sweet, wonderful Team Plan B was there, listening with the patience of something that has twice the patience of a saint. On Saturday, I spent the evening sitting in the dark with the Chicago-based leg of Team Plan B, watching a movie that involves unicorn battles and airships and gay pirates. Midway through the movie, when I glanced at their silvery profiles, I felt a perfect warmth and more taken care of than I have in my entire life.

Thank you Mom, Steph, Leah, Maura, Steve, Dan, Justin, and David for being the greatest Team Plan B on earth.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Confession

Sometimes on Sundays I like to get all sauced up on green tea and George Orwell, put on a dress, and go to a movie by myself at this vintage theatre where the tickets are $3 and the seats are velvety and uncomfortable at the same time. I don't usually tell people that's what I'm doing because it's hard to explain why going to a movie by yourself feels good and by the time I get home, I kind of feel like I've gotten away with something. On those Sundays, I'm struck by the fact that things are much more pleasurable when you feel like you're not supposed to do them and then a life of crime seems more appealing than ever. Chris Couch: Illegal Exotic Animal Tradesman has a nice ring.

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