March 2009


I have this friend. This friend has the potential opportunity to move for a job. She has a million reasons to stay but two somewhat-convincing ones to leave: career and change. That latter reason, hinting all-too-temptingly at an adventure in a city outside her comfort zone, is her main cause of hesitation, and perhaps her main source of fear. That fear might allow other reasons to trump this opportunity; I don’t think the move will happen. You see, my friend, however whimsical, is still essentially a rational and responsible person. Unfortunately. So she will more than likely stay and finish her last year of school (it’s only one year left!) and live in her house (which she loves – it is cute and clean and new and spacious and hers. Much better than renting a cramped, dirty, too-expensive efficiency on the east coast.), and evaluate her options, later, when her ducks are in a row. But oh, how change tempts her.

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When The Brother announced that he was moving to Peru for six weeks to perfect his Spanish-speaking skills, my first thought was –because I am very self-involved and I knew The Brother would be safe and I have strongly encouraged him to do something like this —Vacation! Who can I drag along to visit with me? Vegas, Venezuela, NONE of my trips have worked out this year and without those little escapes, I sink into a depressed winter rut.

BUT NO MORE. The Firefighter has agreed to be my traveling companion. We’ve never traveled together, but I think it will work out really well … as long as he remembers that, as much as I like to try new activities, I do have my limit. His latest idea involves six days of jungle adventure, where he would learn to set-up perimeters to protect us from the wet, dark, bug-ridden, indoor-plumbing-less rainforest under constant threat of wild animal attack.

Six days. Of jungling.

During his jungle-plea, he said, “But Molly E, think of all the totally sweet spiders.”

Spiders. This was his convincing argument. Not brightly colored flowers or magical waterfalls or the beautiful, calming animals –none of which bite or slither.

He tells me spiders. Totally sweet ones. Sign me up!

Neither of us was looking for a beach vacation, so, as I am trying to remain open to ideas, I said my max was three days of jungling but he was in charge of all jungle-related research. And that I would not die. He said that was fair. We’re not even sure which country we’re going to visit –we might skip Peru altogether –so if anyone has been to South/Central America, I would appreciate any and all suggestions. Especially those unrelated to spiders.

“You’re wishing you were in class right now, aren’t you?”

“I’m wishing I had one more pillow behind my back …”

Yeah, this guy doesn’t seem like my type in the least. That ability to respond quickly with asshole-but-smile-worthy remarks? Not attractive. Nope, not at all, I would never go for someone of that variety.

A friend came over to borrow necessary travel items for her impending trip to Rome (Italian phrase book, Euro-acceptable clothes, oversized zippered purse for tourist excursions) as well as items necessary for the black-tie gala where her boyfriend will be accepting an award. When she was looking through my collection of clutch purses, she came across some condoms.

“Molly. What are those doing here?”

They were hiding. An old habit learned from living with my parents for far too long. I didn’t want to admit that they had been there since the last time I had used that purse which was, well, too many months ago. Without listening to my totally rational and justified explanation, she instead gave an impromptu lecture on new-age bullshit.

“Molly, part of the problem is that you’re not thinking proactively. This is practically Feng Sui in nature – we need to right the qi of this environment. Is rummaging through your closet the best way to maintain a mood? You can’t keep sunlight and water away from a seed and expect a plant to grow. Here, let’s put these in your nightstand and grow you a sex life.”

Didn’t mention my doubts on the principle. The handful hidden under the bathroom sink hasn’t given the shower any luck, but hell, what do I know.

While her boyfriend called to reveal his birthday present to me, The Bestest Friend spent the conversation giggling in the background with the occasional slurring of discombobulated clichés such as “Either way, you’ll just know!” and “Seeing, believing!”

The Bestest Friend and I don’t do presents – it’s one of the many things that makes our relationship great, so I protested the gift even before I heard what it was. I protested even more once it was revealed.

Another friend called a few minutes later, drunk and ripe with details significant to only those in the inner circle. I reciprocated with my news.

“Mol, I met a new boy, a great boy, and I just found out that his name is [NAME].”

“Whoa. Crap. Well, [The Bestest Friend]’s boyfriend just bought the three of us plane tickets to [STATE].”

“WHAT. The Hell. You’re not going. Unacceptable. Or I will also go to prevent you from seeing anyone there.”

Without deciding exactly how I felt about The Bestest Friend’s social-science experiment or the other’s forbiddance/disregard for my ability to run my life, I called him to see if it was a situation that even needed analysis –which is how I handle most issues pertaining to him. I don’t play what-ifs or hypotheticals; all emotions are securely locked away, escaping only when absolutely necessary.

He’ll still be in town that week, that’s the week between his last final and graduation; he’s available.

And he would really like to see me.

“And while I agree that asking if I want to ‘bone’ is indeed a romantic proposition –”

“Wait. Did you just say menstruation? Because then no thanks, never mind.”