November 2007


Before our Christmas shopping, The Sister and I will brunch –yes, as a verb, watch out, next I will be using summer to describe action –because daytime drinking is acceptable at brunch (yes, that time as a noun). And we need daytime drinking before dealing with the weekend crowds at the mall just a few weekends before Christmas.

My love of Bloody Marys is somewhat fair-weathered (oo, improper metaphor = negative three points.  Gimme a break, it’s the last day of NaBloPoMo.), depending on my mood. But when I am craving one, I need one. At that instant. Preferably spicy and equipped with a veritable mix of nourishment pierced to a toothpick.

Olives, pickles, cubes of cheese (I did go to school in ‘Sconnie), shrimp (whoo) –these tasty little treats are so diverse! A drink and a snack all in one. Although the selection differs, one thing remains constant.

The most important part of a Bloody Mary is … the beer chaser.

Which apparently is a Midwestern thing?

Does the rest of the country not understand the wonder that is 3oz of beer to accompany a Bloody Mary?

I usually abandon the Bloody after half a glass to fully concentrate on the beer. And yes, 3oz refills are available. Especially if one were prone to winking at the bartender.  (Which is not me –totally not something I would do.  Nope, definitely not me.  But other people — I have seen other people do it.  Because I would not find it to be a game and amusing in the least.  No siree.)

But then I worry that preferring a breakfast of beer as opposed to healthful tomato juice makes me an alcoholic.  It’s considered bad form – like ordering a mimosa without the orange juice. Which, dahling, just isn’t done. At least not to those of us who use brunch as a verb.

“Brother, wait, we didn’t buy you any cookies.”

“I don’t need any cookies.”

“Yes, you do.”

“No, I really don’t.”

“But finals are approaching, you need cookies.”

“What?  What does finals have to do with cookies?”

“You’ll be stressed.”

“So?”

“How are you not getting this?  Cookies help with the stress of finals.”

“Molly, I am not a chick.  I don’t eat my emotions.  No cookies.”

“Um, I don’t get it.  That doesn’t make sense.  And you’ve survived college so far?”

“Amazing, is it not?”

“Maybe cookies just in case?  What if you have girls over?”

“No.  And the girls at my apartment aren’t fat and stuffing their face with cookies.”

“Now you’re just being spiteful.”

A friend, who was educated at an esteemed, private university, recently quit his well-paying professional job to become a ski instructor in Lake Tahoe, despite well-intentioned concerns about the ruination of his future.

I am jealous.

Not that I ski. Or want to move to Lake Tahoe. But the idea of it – I wish I had the balls for a life-changing, off-the-beaten-path act.

I hate writing that because it sounds whiny.  Life is comprised of the choices one makes and, therefore, change is within everyone’s prerogative. I could change.  And really, my life is ok –I would even go so far as to say my life is going well. I enjoy writing, having the money to buy cute shoes, and schmoozing with the Wine Bar clientele. My family and friends are healthy and pretty wonderful. Some days, I even convince myself I am happy.

But it’s all so very responsible.

I have always been responsible, straying dangerously close to overachiever. Why graduate high school with honors when high-honors are an option? Why pick one major in college when, with summer school and a few semesters of 18 credits, two degrees can be earned? Even now, I work seventy-five hours a week because what the hell else would I do with my life. Be social? Watch prime-time television? Sleep more than six hours a night? Isn’t that why God invented cell phones, DVR, and coffee (respectively)?

When The Kid and I ended, I vowed to become even more adult and responsible.

I was going to work in an office, play with excel, and earn my 401K; I was going to pay my bills on time, date someone in the same state, refill my gas before the visual reminder of the warning light, keep my receipts, and hell, maybe even get a mortgage. Most people speak very highly of these things. Maybe I would turn into one of them.

I have been trying this responsible adult thing; it bores me.

One of my life’s fears –besides being home alone and loons (yes, the bird, they are scary little fuckers) –is that I will continue to live responsibly without taking another risk.  And then I will die.

My risks are not even that exciting. But the few that I have taken have proved to be the best parts of my life.

But now, I live in the same state where I grew up and hang out with the same people I always have and –even though my job is great and I adore my friends –the monotony stabs a small nerve no matter how much I try to convince myself that my life is going really well.

I just need some type of change. Graduate school and relocations are planned for my future but those plans take time and, meanwhile, I miss having the adventure. Or even the prospect of an adventure.

A friend, who fits into somewhat of an older sister mold, recently returned from backpacking through Europe, and since she didn’t purchase any gifts for friends/family, my souvenir was a handful of currency from Budapest and Prague. Quite practical. Yet, dorkily, still somehow a novelty. Although I am tempted to remove them from the safe-keeping that is the bottom of my purse, I resist the urge when I hear Matt Dillion’s voice in my head:

“Oh cripes. Do you have change for a dollar? All I have is these stupid Nepalese coins.”

And it amuses me. Yes, I know the coins are not from Nepal and yes, I realize the movie is at least ten years old and I should probably updates my pop culture references, but whatever. I find myself amusing enough that it’s totally worth that extra ten minutes to find a quarter.

A few of my Wine Bar Regulars asked (loudly) if I was dating anyone because I “had a glow about me.”

Which made me blush. And therefore seems suspicious. But no, definitely no glow.

Nice that they call me out on it. Maybe I will start to wear a nametag that has “employed since” replaced with “not gotten laid since” just so everyone is updated. My mother would be so proud.

They’re lucky they’re a loveable bunch of drunks.

The Kid is home in Boston this weekend, and as his mother strategically placed photos of us after she was “heartbroken” about our break-up and “everything in this stupid place remind [him] of [me]”, he has been texting. And calling. And IMing.

Um, are you fucking kidding me? I have been trying my DAMNEDEST to be ok and the MOMENT he is away from her, he gives me attention? Fucking ridiculous.  But I won’t deny the attention is … intriguing?

Tuesday, midnight. “I almost called when I landed to tell you my plane didn’t crash.”

My response: “I almost called to ask.”

Wednesday, 2:00am. “Miss me?”

What the hell MISS ME? Does he think this is a GAME? FUCK. My response was “Are you drunk?” because what other reason would there be for a text like that? I called an hour later; I let myself indulge in the conversation because I missed talking to (read: flirting with) him. For almost six years he was my best friend, and that’s the hardest part of letting him go –not often that two people just GET each other. At one point, he confessed that he would live the rest of his life happy if I was sleeping in his nook. I think he has forgotten my tendency to snore. I was not proud of my weakness but asserted a personal resolve to refrain from further participation of his games.

Thursday, 10pm. “I ruined us but I am so thankful that I had you because you are the most amazing person I have ever met.”

Ignored. Fuck him. Shall I count all of the things for which I am thankful this year? No. Shall I pour another glass of wine instead? Yes. Leave the bottle. And actually, that seems a tinge melodramatic –I have many things for which to be thankful but regarding him?  I am still bitter.

Friday, 3am. “marry me”

For five years, this used to be a common text whenever he was really drunk and it always made me smile, even though he was belligerent and I would play coy. This time it made me angry. Because what. the. hell. Remember Kid, that you want me completely out of your life?  Remember your goddamn girlfriend whom you picked instead of me?  Even if you don’t see it as such?  It did make my heart hurt a little though.  From things that could never be.

Saturday, midnight. “You sober?”

Nope. I was out on the town, with my girls and his friends but like hell I was going to give him those details. I didn’t even call once in bed and passing out as I used to. I hope he imagined I was passing out next to someone tall and cute. Who appreciates me.

Sunday, 9pm.  “I am never going to get over what I did to us.”

My response was something appropriately passive aggressive: Excuse my questioning of the sincerity given the circumstances. 

And I know he was trying to make amends and convey his regrets, but I just do not have time for it.  What’s the point?  He has a girlfriend –regardless to his claims of how much she doesn’t matter, she is still there –and the girlfriend was chosen over me.  I know it was the wrong choice, as does he, but that is not my concern.

Those of the happily-married genre will say that when one meets their match, they just know. Which seems like a smug answer for those who have never felt it. But with him, I just knew. Granted, we both put each other through a lot of bullshit for a lot of reasons –we met at eighteen, bullshit and mistakes should be expected –but that doesn’t discount that we just knew.

Which is probably why I give him more slack than I would most … even though the slack backfires to create a noose for me.

Even Sex And The City permitted two great loves (and could there be a more reliable source?) per lifetime. I am waiting for number two, but that doesn’t mean I won’t always harbor number one –though I should maybe rephrase that and call him my first, as the former implies ranking.  And while I am looking for my second, the first still has an undeniable hold over me.

This attention is temporary until he returns to school (and her) tomorrow. And then I am back to being ignored and being told to stay away. (Lovely treatment, no?)  I wish I was stronger, but with him, my defenses crumble. Especially when he returns to the guy I loved, the one who loved me, and is feeling remorse and humility, delayed though it may be. But it’s the holidays, and as long as I don’t convince myself this attention is something it’s not, I think I can excuse it by means of holiday dispensation.

“Hey, so, is that blueberry gum you’re chewing?”

“No. It’s Winterfresh.”

“Oh. Ok. Um, that’s all I got. I think I’m going to go sit back down now.”

“Ok.”

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