Pumpkin Spice and Voldemort Eyes

Alas, dear readers, if my calculations (and concrete timestamps) are correct, it has been nearly three years since I’ve posted on this blog.

Boy, oh, boy, do we have a lot of lost time to make up for.

Three years of your lives, wasted, without my blog.  I am sure you all noticed it was missing each and every day.

It’s been a hot minute since I was in college (CRINGE) (OLD! OLD! OLD!), and enough time has passed since a certain individual and I have deleted each other off of social media, and the air is starting to change juuuust enough (from like 108 to 106) to remind me of fall, that I’m ready to divulge another story.

 

I don’t really think it’s a big secret here that when it comes to relationships and dating, I’m a nightmare.  I mean, look at this blog.  Look at all of these emotional problems on clear display for the world to see.  There are so many red flags I could be a Six Flags that has WAY more than six flags throughout the park.  But, wait… no, this is not the direction I was intending to go.  I’m here to roast someone besides myself, dammit!  So let me do some damage control…  What I have in flags I make up for in other areas, like being very loyal and having nice butt cheeks.

I really don’t even know how this has already spiraled so far out of the sphere of my intentions.  “When will she come up with a new body part to compliment other than her butt?!”  I’m working on it, people!!  There are only so many functional parts left!  “Get a job!!”  I have one!!  “Get a REAL job!”  NEVER!!!

 

Anyways, taking the reigns back here–one of my biggest nightmare relationship qualities was always saying no to dating EVERYONE.  To a point where I got to be 21, and I was like, wow, this is getting sad, I just need to do it.  The problem with that was that, now that I was 21 and I actually was in a relationship, well, it really needed to be good, huh?, or I had wasted a lot of years on being a prudish knucklehead.

I also had no idea what a relationship should be or look like, or what number I fell on on a 1 to 10 scale.

So I was ride-or-die.

Which meant that a lot of things like this happened:

 

It was the fall of 2015, and I was in my first burgeoning (burgeoning is a loose term here) relationship.  He said funny stuff to me on Facebook, we met at a diner and I liked his cologne (it was probably too strong but my allergies are the kind that need too strong for anything to get through), we messaged 24/7, he gave me a “friends or more: what are we?” ultimatum in the library and I thought he looked like he was going to cry so I said “more” even though it turned out it was just HIS allergies (and/or Voldemort eyes) (never trust a Slytherin…)–it was your typical high school romance, except we were in college.

After fall break, his mom had sent a box full of her famous pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins for he and I to share, but he ate them all in the car or something before I got to have one.  So, in an act of what I then thought was penance, but now realize was just another way to get more muffins, he texted me, romantically, that he wanted to make muffins together to make up for it.  Aw.  How sweet!  I was totally down.  I loved muffins.  That would make up for his transgressions.  We would even use the same recipe for the full experience.  It would be one of my first times venturing into the world of pumpkin spice, and definitely my first time baking with a BOOOoooOOY.  The possibilities for cuteness were endless.  I was so excited that Voldemort was interested in doing such a fun fall activity together!

The grocery store, I think, went well enough.  We had to pick up some pumpkin spice, according to the recipe.  It was a hefty price–around $4, I believe.  He did NOT want to go through with it.  Some partners would be cross about this sort of stinginess, but around this time, I was eating ground beef I left out all night to pinch pennies, so I understood the grope of poor-ness and didn’t mind his complaints.  He had a lot of other important things to spend money on, like Jimmy Johns’ budget-friendly sandwiches, and like I said, it was very important to me that this relationship be good, so I was going to be understanding whether I liked it or not.

We began the baking process, which should have been a lot of playful wiping flour on the tips of each other’s noses and giggling, but did not manifest quite so.  I can’t say for sure if we even got the flour out.  I don’t exactly remember when he left the kitchen and my roommate started helping me make the muffins instead, but I do remember that it was for an important reason–for him to sit on the couch and complain about what was on TV.  You know, you can’t make muffins without that.

I don’t even remember what show it was.  Jimmy Neutron is coming to my mind but there were a lot of Neutron-related memories that fall, so the data is inconclusive.  All I can say is that thank God he was manning that couch so we could get those muffins together.  If he hadn’t, I really don’t know what would’ve happened. I don’t let myself think about it.  It gets too dark.

Anyways, I’m not exactly known for my culinary skills–people are always saying stuff like, “I haven’t eaten an egg since,” after I cook for them and stuff, and none of my friends will ever let go of the time I tried to make frosting with applesauce, so me and my roommate baking together essentially looks like her measuring ingredients, handing them to me, and then carefully supervising as I pour them into a mixing bowl.  I may as well not even be there–dead weight.

So our romantic fall activity as it now stood was Voldemort watching TV on the couch groaning and me standing in the middle of the kitchen watching my roommate stir a bowl of batter by herself.  It was very romantic, as you can imagine.  We had a few scares where Voldy got distracted and almost forgot to stop complaining, but by golly, he really pulled it together in the end, because the timer went off and what do you know–there were muffins.

I thought they were delicious.  My roommate, too, approved.

Wow–it was a lot of ups and downs to get here, but we had really ended up with a nice–

It did not take long before Voldemort started complaining that these muffins did not taste the way his mom made them.  Who could blame him?  But I guess they tasted close enough to momma’s muffins because I’m pretty sure that he ate all of them all over again.

 

We continued dating through Christmas or so of that year.

After that, I tried to get back together with him.  More than once.

 

It’s almost 4am and I’m really tired, so I’m just going to leave y’all with this: the moral of the story?  When a boy really just needs to date his mom, you should probably get your muffins somewhere else?  Keep your friends close and your baked goods closer?  Have some self-esteem for once in your life?  Learn more phrases than “at this point” and “I really can’t say?”  I really can’t say at this point.  All I can say is that there are some things pumpkin spice doesn’t go well with, and one is Voldemort.  

 

Yours in love, jest, and jellyfish tests,

Melanie P. Spunkmeyer

 

 

 

Advertisements

Rock Bottom

Even though I’m now a fifth year senior and in a new relationship navigating mishaps and humiliation left and right, I’ve been neglecting proper blog documentation by watering down the amassing tragedies as being not quite tragic enough to write about yet.  And sorta because I forgot about this blog for about a year…  But mostly the watering down thing.  Mostly the watering down thing, that is, until this past weekend, when a tragedy so pathetic, so utterly lame, occurred, that I could no longer ignore my duty to the web.

If you read my last post, you already have a hint.  But, let’s be honest, you didn’t.  So buckle up.

I’ve spent a lot of time in college trying to evolve myself from a closet YouTuber to a Pro-fessional Videographer gal.  It’s taken some time for me to learn the jargon of my trade (or how to escape conversation fast enough before people find out I haven’t) and to develop my technical skills, but I’m getting there.  One of my latest duties-to-learn has been the glamorous world of location scouting, which actually sucks ass.

So, anyway.  My teammate, Alex (aka “Cobb”), and I had been in talks with a local musician for about two months to make her a music video.  Indoor locations were out because bureaucracy is the devil (hear, hear!), so we decided to find a spot in the mountains surrounding Boonetown.  The plan was to find someplace with a waterfall where we could film without any casualties.  Taking a few suggestions from Alex’s brother, we resolved first and foremost to scope out the “Bertha” of waterfalls: Trash Can Falls.  (Did that joke hit?  It’s supposed to be about having a crappy name.  Oh shoot, I should have gone for trashy!  Something like “Marguerite.”)

Starting the car to leave for the Marguerite of waterfalls went well enough, but not much else.  Due to causes entirely unrelated to our chronic irresponsibility and inadequacy as human beings, we were sort of in a rush because it was sort of the day before the shoot.  Partway there, it began to rain, plus Alex was driving like a blind animal, so we were lucky to even make it to the site alive to begin with.  After that, we got onto the trail and I was forced into keeping guard while he took a leak in the forest, also like a blind animal, which was pleasant.  Raindrops and pee were crashing down all around me, but I still felt hopeful that my dreams for the day wouldn’t.

It was a short path, but a wee bit treacherous.  The rainfall (and urine) did not help the cause, as the trail was already dominated by puddles and muck.  A little ways into the trek, Alex pointed down a steep semi-trail/semi-dropoff toward a huge rocky platform and said, “what about that?”  I looked at it for about two seconds before definitively knowing that it was not going to work.  But I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I tried to say it delicately.  “That is not going to happen, Alex.”  “But–” he began.  “No. We are not f***ing doing that,” I stated politely.

He laughed, probably, or got tensed up and sad (what’s the difference, am I right?!), and abandoned his post to finish the trail.  When we made it to the top, we saw a few collegiate hooligans in swimsuits, hanging around, drinking beers, and then jumping intoxicated off of a 15 foot rock face into murky construction-site-puddle-opaque waters.  For a second, I worried that I was going to have to jump off of it to impress Alex.  I had already gotten out of it the last time I visited by having mother nature pouring out of my uterus into a pad that would have exploded up with water like a giant turd in my pants if I had jumped in.  But this time, there was no such pad.  Every piece of me was saying, “I don’t want to do this,” but, if he was bold enough to do it, I had appearances and my own pride to keep up with, and I was going to have to do it.  He watched them and, to my surprise declared, “that is a horrible idea.”  This meant a) that I was off the hook, and b) that I would have to prove myself in some other way.

We spent a few minutes watching our intoxicated peers climb up the rock, say they didn’t want to do it, and then get peer pressured into doing it by their friends, and somehow not die.  (That’s the thing–at some of these waterfalls, people actually have died.  They really have.  And yet…here we all were.)  I decided I’d get my pride by jumping off of a diving board into a big pool or something later.  It felt great to know that I would never put myself in a situation like that, willingly jumping into a murky waterfall pool in the mountains.  In a lot of ways, I was superior to all of them for being so wise.

Turning back, Alex motioned toward the initial spot once again.  I still knew it was a terrible idea, but since our first scout had been an utter failure up to this point, and because I needed to redeem myself for being a total wiener for being too scared to jump off of Trash Can Falls, I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and explore it.

Phone at the ready to snap some pictures of the spot, professionalism was coursing through my veins.  We climbed down some treacherous tree roots and rocks before we came to a clearing of sorts–a plain, gently sloped, gigantic rock face bordering the stream.  The hardest of the trail was behind us.  Eager to impress and show off my adventurousness, I took the lead and crossed down toward the –WHOOP.

Shit!  Damn it!  Arms flailing, I searched for something to hold on to.  There’s nothing to hold onto!  Ahh!!  I thought.  Then, for the 14th time or so in the past two years that I’ve wondered it, I wondered if I was about to die.  Am I about to die?  This is so embarrassing.  Aaaand yep, that’s the edge.  Wellp, guess this is the–

CLUNK-SPLASH.

And that’s when I hit it.  Rock bottom.  (…How’d that one land?  Eh, a literal rock bottom? Hey-oh!)  (No, but actually, I fell into a gorge.)

ravine

Photo used without permission from Thomas Fore. Edited by Alex Cobb.  [Circle: me, rectangle: phone.]

There were no alligators.  There were no deep river rapids.  I had landed in a shallow section of water less than a foot deep full of rocks, and at its most treacherous, litter and algae.  My bones were not broken, which kinda pissed me off.  I had literally just fallen into a ravine.  I deserved some battle wounds besides a bump on my shin and 5 scratches on my knee.  How else was I supposed to make people give me attention?  Boobs?  I’m too ashamed of my body!  But anyway, despite the intact bones, it actually did hurt and I was a little shaken.  But I still stood back up, much like a firefighter who rises from a pile of rubble after a building collapses around her, and gathered my bearings.  I looked up to Alex, expecting him to ask if I was okay.  “Where’s your phone?!” he yelled.  Dammit, Cobb.

There’s a saying about how what goes up must come down (haven’t heard of it? oh, I’m not surprised, oh ho ho *adjusts glasses pretentiously*), and the terrible truth of that is that if you say the phrase backwards you get to the point that I had fallen down and was going to have to climb back up.  And so, with reluctant nerves, I took off my $5 traction-less cheetah print shoes (a professional location scout staple), threw them back up to Alex, and began my return climb, amidst opposition.

I imagine that I looked something like Bear Grylls accomplishing another great feat of survival, but if I didn’t, I don’t want to know.

When I made it back out, I was feeling pretty happy about being alive.  But once that wore off I was able to go back to my normal hateful self and look at the world with eyes full of darkness because, of all of the things I thought would mess up the scout, slipping down a rock face into a river because I was wearing bad shoes while it was raining and I was on a mossy rock wasn’t one of them.  It was totally unexpected.

My iPhone was lost in the accident.  The location scout was a failure.  I was no longer superior to the trash can jumpers.  I had dirt in my butt.

But at least I had proved myself.

I felt a little better because when we got back to the car, Alex realized that he had forgotten to turn it off and left it running the whole time.  Again.  He laid out a cardboard slab for me to sit on, enjoying it all way too much, and we began our return journey.  I confided in him that the only thing that would make it better was making a funny Facebook status about it.

The status was an abysmal failure, bringing in less than a third of the likes of my post prior about shrimp with lobster sauce.

So here we are.  The blog.  Y’all thought you could get away with not caring.  I will not go without my honor, and a second chance at garnering sympathy and attention.  The writer in me is back, and she is ready to tell her story.  Even when you don’t want to hear it…

One day, I’ll return my cheetah print shoes to Target and use the $5 to boost my post, so that you HAVE to see it!  Then you’ll see!  Then you’ll all see!  And scroll by!  And I will be out of $5 and a nice pair of shoes!  Even though they’re hard to match to clothing anyway!  But, I digress.  The point is:  I’m back.  Stick around, sweet readers.

P.S.  Shoutout to Alex Cobb, for a temporary replacement phone, and to Mr. Darius Hillard, for always encouraging me to keep up the plight with this blog.

 

Another One Bites the Dust

Alright folks, I know it’s been a while but I have an important matter to blow out of proportion so let’s skip the bullshit and get down to business.

I have broken a lot of expensive things in my day. Cameras, phones, laptops–nothing is safe. But each time I do, I try to learn from the past.

When I broke my iPod touch, I learned to stop throwing my iPod touch for comedy. When I broke my iPhone 5c, I learned to keep grocery bags in my book bag to protect devices from rain, and also to stop dropping it in the toilet, and also that I needed to stop choosing pretty over military-grade protection and invest in an otterbox. When I broke my iPhone Se, I learned to stop bringing my phone with me when I fall into ravines (which actually happened this weekend), and that an otter box does not cut it when you lose your phone in the rapids at bottom of said ravine.

So today, when Alex gave me his beautiful, gently used Samsung Galaxy to use until I get a new phone, I decided to just not move. I just wouldn’t move. So I laid down, and I downloaded an app, and I didn’t move.

Except to turn my head for three seconds.

And what happened in those three seconds, I cannot say, but all I know is that there must have been some damn voodoo witchcraft demon floating around the room because when I looked back, there was a crack in the screen. I am not making this up. I had it in my hand, and I looked up, and I looked back down, and there was a crack extending all the way from the left of the screen to the right side of the screen. Did I squeeze it too hard? Did I f***in sneeze out an anvil and not notice?  This is a personal record of destruction, and not in a good way. I owned it for 20 minutes, and the whole sanctity of the device is gone.

God is dead.

At this point, I have learned to let go of the idea that I will ever be able to let myself fall in love with a piece of superficial machinery for more than 8 months. I should have known better than to think that I could change. It’s just a shame that another technological being had to be lost in the crossfire.

I’m going to have a drink.

In Which the Blog Descends Further into Being Terrible: Holidays with the Humbugs

My Readers,

Let it be known that four eggs, sour milk, some old lunch meat, moldy bread, and cheese actually makes for a balanced enough breakfast.  Did I spend more time on the toilet than usual?  Maybe.  But did I get food poisoning?  No.  I don’t think so at least.  And that’s what matters.

(How about that intro?  Am I not charming af?  Thank you, thank you.)  (I know almost all of you are visual people; I am not sure why I keep doing this.)

So, before I kick-start into whatever the fluff today’s post turns out to be, I wanted to say…thanks, y’all.  Thanks for having my back last week when I took my emotional breakdown to the webs.  Lol.  But seriously, wow, what an unanticipated, heartwarming response.  Also, I finally followed some of my own advice, and went and started sayin’ some things to people I should have.  Mixed results.  A few very special emails that warranted screenshots for my “Sweet Things” folder in my documents, (–in conjunction with “Sweet Memes,” these two folders serve as Grade A cyber picker-uppers when I’m feeling down), including one “I felt the same & I was avoiding it too,” a few kind musings from acquaintances and near-strangers that left me feeling rejuvenated, and a few reminders about which cans of beans to leave undisturbed.

 

ANYWAY, the point is…it wasn’t a bad thing at all.  Last week’s post.  I’m glad I shared it.  It made me act, and, more importantly…you guys were really sweet, and I dunno, it made me feel cared about.  I won’t even dodge around it; I really needed to feel cared about.  So, hey…thanks for that.  Thanks for helpin’ a homie out.

A’right so I know what you are thinking: I AM UNCOMFORTABLE SHUT UP and get to the content.  I agree.  On to the content.

EXCEPT THERE IS NO CONTENT TODAY

THIS BLOG IS A SHAM

I AM A SHAM

No, but really, I am going to try to keep the façade of knowing how to write a decent blog up for a while yet.  You may be thinking, “silly Melanie, there are no rules when it comes to writing a blog,” but you’re wrong.  You are dead wrong.  This is more than my playground, it is, as with all things that I take way too seriously, a platform for legacy.

Which brings me to today’s topic: The Holidays with Humbugs.

I love holidays.  I think they are awesome.  If it were morally sound, I would bounce from religion to religion just to be able to partake in all of their festivities.  Maybe it is just because I was a born heathen, but there is something about decorated trees and warm artificial strands of lights and exchanging gifts that just RESONATES WITH MY SOUL MORE THAN THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE EVER COULD.  (No, but side note: eternal life?   Like, this crap just keeps going?  I oft think I would rather disintegrate.)  But anyway, big picture: I love the holidays.  And Christmas is my favorite.

It follows that I love celebrating Christmas.  And I do so with my family.  But here’s the problem.  In holiday cheer at home, I Stand Alone.

My mom, as you might’ve guessed if you read my post on The Too Far Gene, instilled in me from a young age an overzealous passion for holiday decorating.  I’m talkin’, inhumane amounts of fake pumpkin decorations for Halloween, window decals and beanie babies for Valentine’s day, and this big, weird, sparkly, turkey statue thing for Thanksgiving.  But as the years have gone by, her patience and zest for such affairs has waned.  Roughly the same goes for Dad.  And then Billy (my brother), well Lord, Billy will look for any excuse not to help me take things out of the attic, so he’s not on board anymore either.  Pretty much the peak of their holiday spirit nowadays comes in haunting me with this big freaky grim reaper Santa decoration that I hate every year.  Here is a pic; these are real things they do to me.

Fear the reaper

They added the knife.  This pic came two years ago with the caption “Fear the reaper.”  Sans cutlery, is that not one of the worst Santa decorations you have ever seen?  The trim on the coat–the CLOAK–looks like it was coated in the ash of the corpses of dozens of elves.  I hate him.  One year he fell over and his porcelain head cracked and it was one of the happiest times.  Unfortunately my mom mended him and he lives on.

Anyway, so this year, over Thanksgiving break, I allotted myself time to retrieve boxes from the attic and get out the tree and kickstart the process early.  I started by coercing my brother into helping and then had to listen to him complain for like 200 hours about having to catch the boxes I was lowering to him, even though as the lowerer I was the one assailing the future of my lower back, then filled a good chunk of my room up with them.  That way, beyond providing for myself a sound starting point, the family would have easy access to the spoils and would be able to finish decorating when I headed back up to school.

Another thing–I love surprises.  Oh, by gosh, are they fun.  And I like to do nice things in secret for a grand reveal because, I don’t know, the surprise element just makes it better.  (Plus I am also weary of someone being like “ugh, really?” and raining on my parade.  Secret operations are often necessary when you want to do anything remotely messy in this house.)  (I used to rearrange my room in secret when I was little for this reason, and one time I almost got crushed to death by a 45 pound TV as a result lol.)  But yeah, this year in particular, I was feeling very covert ops.  I was on a mission to decorate quietly in the room adjacent to my mom in an all-new spot we hadn’t used for Christmas, like, ever, without peaking her attention before it was ready.  That way when she and the rest of the lot saw it, they would all be pleasantly surprised and impressed and filled with Christmas cheer.

So after cleaning our dining room, which took TIME because it had looked like a foreclosed Goodwill, I started with the tree–one of those fake plastic ones, which was a pain in the arse because we broke the stand on the bottom last year.  (It was basically a four-tier bottom and one of the tiers cracked.)  I figured it would be okay if I leaned the tree up against the wall and I didn’t tell anybody because that’s what I did last year when I broke it, so I did, and as it held and I was finding it harder and harder to contain my excitement, I told my mom to come and look while I got the ornaments out.  But apparently that wasn’t the answer because then when I was in the other room I heard a yell and a small crash because apparently my mom had tried to meddle with the tree skirt or something and the wall fix didn’t hold so the whole thing came toppling down on top of her (classic) and then she got all dramatic and said we had to get rid of it just because it had almost crushed her and was a hazard or whatever.

Instinctually, my reaction was one which predisposed me toward a moment of immature, lose-my-cool temper tantrum.  I had worked really hard to do something nice, and then she went and injured herself with it.  I mean, I want to see my mother get crushed by a tree as much as the next guy, but nobody wants to deal with the repercussions.  And since I was on a tight time budget to go back up to school that night, it was a major setback.  [Side note: Billy just came in here and started freestyling to the tune of Blurred Lines about how my blog sucks then put an ornament of Godzilla riding a motorcycle on my butt.]  I guess I could have been more concerned about her well-being, but you know how it goes.  We are more laugh-at-each-others-pain in this family.  There was no blood.  I regret nothing.

Anyway, so then something monumental happened: she said we’d have to get a new tree.  Let me explain the significance.  Needing a new one meant that we might be able to get a Real Christmas Tree this year.  We almost never got real trees.  In my parents defense, this is largely in part to a time in their younger years when they got a live Christmas tree together unbeknownst to the fact that it had a nest of praying mantises hidden inside and their entire home was infested, and then they had to vacuum them because they were an endangered species and technically you were not supposed to kill them.  Sort of like that time later in life when we were raising ladybugs in a net terrarium and they broke free and died all over the house or the time 100+ bats were living inside of our chimney.  But I digress.  My hope was soon quelled as I understood that we would almost definitely be getting another fake one.

I resolved to stay the night in order to be able to help decorate the replacement tree after it was obtained the next day.  When the actual decorating was finally complete, it looked pretty good.  And it only took minimal begging and trickery to get my family members to each hang at least one ornament each so I could pretend we were a functional family that hangs out with each other sometimes out of more than obligation.  I was content.  Then I laid the stockings out by the fireplace and left the plugs for the lights I’d put up by outlets so that the family could hang them and light them up, respectively, easily after I left.  Of course, when I got home after a MONTH the entire outside of the house was still pitch black, the stockings were in the same place I had left them, and all of the lights I had put up were collecting dust.  And they all continued to refuse to help finish decorating because “well now it’s only five days away” but still have the audacity to sit around and complain that “it doesn’t feel like Christmas” WELL DUH MAYBE BECAUSE THE ONLY THING Y’ALL DID TO PREPARE FOR IT WAS TURN THE NUMBER ON THE CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN BLOCKS (which, I will admit, I was pleasantly surprised by) (unless they only turned it once right before I got home to keep up appearances).

What am I getting at, here?  I don’t know exactly.  This is another in a series of posts where there were rails set for a hint of a narrative and then the train drove off the side of the mountain instead, taking hundreds of lives with it as it went.

I guess I’m saying that I know how it feels to care passionately about things and still get very excited about them even when everyone around you is apathetic.  It is one of my biggest skills other than remembering to brush my teeth more than once daily.  And I think that in a society driven by all of that mess, ruled by complacency, by laziness, by waiting for death, it’s an important skill to hold on to.  Am I also guilty of being complacent, lazy, and waiting for death?  Yes!  Sometimes I think that being alive is just the most grueling, cumbersome thing in the world.  But that is never going to stop me from rejoicing in the little things and working my ass off to make other people remember that they can enjoy those things too.  So I will continue to carry the weight of the holidays on my shoulders even if it means forcing my family at gunpoint to watch the ball drop on New Year’s with me or crushing my own mother with a booby-trapped Christmas tree.  I know they still care somewhere deep down underneath layers of “you’re cleaning that.”

The moral of the story, then: even when it feels like you’re the only one who cares, don’t let the man get you down.  And remember the reasons why a humbug’s acting like a humbug.  A lot of times it just comes from other problems in life and our good ol’ friend, sorrow.  I know that I sound kind of like a Lifetime movie, but hear me out: you have every right to be enthusiastic, and if you’re enthusiastic enough, sometimes it can rub off on other people so much that they start being enthusiastic too, or at least get so irritated with you that they concede to your wants anyway.  And also, keep your eyes peeled for times you’re looking at a situation with tunnel-vision.  Consider here how I completely ignored my mom’s going out of her way to get us nice gifts.  She might rather die than string up a set of lights nowadays, but she still cares.  That old enthusiasm’s still buried in there somewhere.  It’s just a matter of digging it up.  How much validity is in these words?  What gives me a right to say this?  Idk!  Who cares.  This is something I live by that gets me through and makes me happy.

Oh, and before we come to an end, it is time for a grand ol’ interactive feature…SHOUTOUTZ!  How tragic.  Some by request, some unanticipated sneak attacks after last week’s post.  To my awko-taco old friend for the heartwarming text, to my internet pun-master compadre for the continuous support, to my sweet child for making me feel like my blog doesn’t suck, and to a new true pal who might not keep reading but might for sticking around before and maybe continuing to do so: thank you.  Thank you all for being interesting, and for being here.  Idk why you came back, but I’m glad ya did.

Also.  All of you–I want to see your blogs.  ASAP.  Let me explore your brains too.  I was a born parasite, grant me the amnesty of invasion.

And there you have it: half a narrative and some other dumb crap.  My blog is getting worse and worse by the day.  Tune in below for some unrelated but still enjoyable additional media that has no business being here that I put here anyway.

Merry Christmas and/or happy holidays, my dears,

Melanie

 

Unrelated but Still Enjoyable Additional Media that Has No Business Being Here:

Musical Throwback Recommendation of the day:  (Will this be a thing from now on?  Maybe.  Probably not.)  (I guess this really could have been like my favorite Christmas song or something, but it is too late to turn back and edit this post in a fragment of a second now.)

HAHA Actually no.  Meme of the Day:

by Daedra Edwards Linn

Two because of Christmas.

Derek Karnes

Courtesy of Daedra Edwards Linn and Derek Karnes, respectively and without permission, via Useless, Unsuccessful, and/or Unpopular Memes on Facebook, my new favorite place on the internet.

I love Memes.

Hope to see you all again soon.

50 Things I Should Have Said

I wasn’t going to write this, because who cares, but then I remembered that this is my blog and I’m entitled to use it however I see fit.  Ha-ha, universe.  Though it oft seems you are conspiring against me and waiting for me to go off the deep end, this is one aspect of my life you can’t have jurisdiction over.

The semester is almost over–Fall of 2015, part one of three of my senior year, and it has not been easy for me.  I mean class-wise, it was fine, always is for the most part.  But in terms of emotional well-being, well, it was rough.  And certainly there have been times it’s been worse, but it was the first time I’ve really thought so much of it to be just…unfair.  Full of a lot of trying to be a good person, trying to make people happy, and a lot of feeling empty.

[EDIT: I know that when people read this, half of you will understand, and half of you will be impossibly confused, because you know different sides of me.  I hope that you will not read it and find me to be an inherently miserable person, because I really don’t think I am.  But inner demons cannot be denied, and it is something I needed to write.]

Real talk.  Alter-ego writer’s voice I tend to tuck away.  Being a person is…  I oft feel a prisoner in my own skin.  I’ve tried really hard since I was little to get out of it, but inevitably, in certain settings, I am subject to the shackles once again.  I guess it’s the introvert mantra, but I don’t want it.  All I’ve ever wanted is to connect with people.  But I do not.  I sit, silent.  I cower by walls.  I hide in bathrooms (youth groups in high school were a rough time) (shoutout to Sarah Scotchie, she knows).  I think about how much I want to jump and sing and blab, but I cannot part my lips.  Or when I do, something goes horribly wrong or I have an ant in my teeth, and the failure sends me back to silence.  And thus, I recede to the edges.

Let me give you an example.  Yesterday at work, we were all sitting at a table–a group of like seven–rolling silverware, and I had been wanting to just leave but really had been set on making more of an effort with my coworkers, so I forced myself to speak.  I  got up and was like, “we’re about done, right?”  And my student manager was like, “yep!”  And I said, “okay, cool!  I’m gonna clock out.  …just didn’t want to be weird and just like disappear haha.”  and she was like, “Oh, it’s cool!  To be honest, I probably would have just been like “oh, where’s Melanie?” and everyone would have been like, ‘Melanie who?’ Haha!”  And I was like.

fake smile

I have worked here for two years.

TWO YEARS.

I am invisible, and I tell myself it is by my own choice to make myself feel better, but I don’t know if it is.  Lately I’m starting to feel I’m just made of different atoms.  Eh, not even lately.  Pretty much have felt like this forever.  Always think it will change.  Yet to be proven wrong.  Flip flop on how I feel about it.

Some people don’t get it, some people don’t see it, but I live it and it makes me feel very small a lot.

Now, the implications (and really, also, causes) of this are that I hold back a considerable amount of what I have to say.  Which is probably good in a lot of cases; I mean, honestly, my humor is too twisted for a lot of people, my standards are higher than many would care to know, and often I’m just a moron.  But I think some of those things I yell alone at my fridge would be better off spoken.  That is not to say that I don’t indicate, that I don’t try to speak up–I do.  I try to say the things that I need to say.  But, in general, the tendency is to water something down to being as un-serious as possible and throw in 2500 jokes and say it in a particular way that renders all of the original words meaningless not only to the other person but also to myself.

What I’m saying is that, generally speaking, I’m not saying the important things I want to say clearly, and when I shut off into myself, I don’t say the things I should at all.

[By the way, if you’re reading this like “everyone’s like that,” shove an actual brick up your ass.  The fact that other people are like this and deal with it too doesn’t mean I don’t feel it.]

[And also, arrogant turdbag reader, the point of writing is to connect with what other people feel anyway SO YOU SUCK.]

Anyway.  Anger at a figment aside, the big thing that changes this, that makes it fine, that makes me make it feel like I am seen, like I can speak–is relationships.  I have always valued my friendships more than anything in life because I know that people are the most important, that we are all we have.  But this year a lot of people who were very important to me stopped being present in my life without explanation, and in that I experienced a loneliness I have not felt in years.

I also experienced an incredulous gratitude to the few who stuck around, and the new people who were kind to me this year.  It has meant more to me than those individuals can possibly know.  While losing those other figures was still incredibly difficult, their presence really softened the blow.

It is a fundamental weakness or strength depending on your deck, but substantial relationships are the very most important thing one can have in life.  I wondered, over many mullings about what went awry, what the issue was underlying the loss of these friendships.  And the only conclusion I could come to was that I was expecting too much.  Which I think is half baloney, and half true.  But it made me really understand what I need from people and what I am willing to give, reasonable, unreasonable, or other.  Which made me realize…I need to be upfront about that.  I could benefit from being more upfront about a lot of things.  We all could.

So, now, wannabe psychologist ramblings and outbursts in brackets out of the way, we can get to the meat of today’s post.  An ambigous, cooler in concept list born out of emo-ness and “hey, that could be fun.”  It is just the first of many steps in which my blog goes from something kind of cool into the cesspool that is Buzzfeed.  I even have a meme up there.  ↑  It has begun.

But yeah.  Some on the list will be pointed, some will be general.  It was hard to think of fifty, and that made me very happy.  My goal is to chop down this list, and thereby this tendency, substantially in the next few years.

Anyway, here it is: the list, in all of its anticlimactic glory.

 

50 Things I Should Have Said:

  1. I think you have a beautiful heart.
  2. I have no more time for hollow words.
  3. I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove to me by destroying yourself.
  4. Yes.
  5. I appreciate the thought, but this princess towel just isn’t really me, Grandma.
  6. The way you treat people is disgusting.
  7. You’re a hypocrite, and I wish it didn’t matter to me.
  8. No.  (To “do you want a cookie?” at Hardee’s.)
  9. You mean so much to me.  Thank you for forcing your way into my life, and I wish you didn’t leave.
  10. No.  (To “do you want two cookies for a dollar?” at Hardee’s.)
  11. I don’t like it when you talk to me like that.
  12. I want to talk to them.
  13. I owe so many works to your memory.
  14. You don’t deserve this.
  15. The text was confident but I cried the whole way home.
  16. Stop being a flake.
  17. I don’t deserve this.
  18. You broke me with a single glance.  If this is what you want, I’m done trying.
  19. I value our friendship.
  20. I’m down to cuddle if you are.
  21. You weren’t in my dream last night.  (To undo this one time I told someone about a dream I had where they farted on me…trust me, that did not go over well.)
  22. Is it a hobby of yours to make me feel like shit?
  23. I think you are so damn perfect.
  24. I have!  I’ve worked on little video projects of my own since I was in fourth grade.
  25. I am not fat, you asshole.
  26. I am not a bad singer, you asshole.
  27. You are an asshole.
  28. Thank you for caring about what you do.  Thank you for expecting so much from us.
  29. Thank you for making me believe in myself when I didn’t.  At all.
  30. No, thanks.  (To “do you want a large?” at Mcdonald’s.)
  31. I’m not laughing.
  32. All of those songs were about you.
  33. This is bad.  Don’t let people lie to you.  You should not pursue this.
  34. Why do you treat me so nicely and them with disdain?
  35. Your Rachel Dolezal post–that shit is so ignorant.  I can’t believe the hypocritical crap that is coming out of your “open-minded” mouth.
  36. Why are you lying to me?
  37. That suicide blood pact joke got me through that semester.
  38. I was in the wrong, and I’m sorry.
  39. I’m not always going to be the one serving you bread.
  40. I know you think she’s perfect, but have you ever dated a woman with her own poorly-developed motivational sticker business idea?
  41. I love the way you walk, the cadence of your voice, and all the times you fumble.
  42. Singing for you was the scariest performance I’ve ever done.
  43. You shouldn’t say that to me if you have a girlfriend.
  44. Yes.  (To that guy who asked me to prom.)
  45. No.  (To “are y’all ready for dessert?”)
  46. That is so incredibly insulting, and I would never do the same to you.
  47. We should hang out more.
  48. Please change the channel.
  49. I believe in you.
  50. We are going to be more than this someday.

 

 

I’ll probably weasel in and out in the next two days before I’m satisfied with the list.  I always go back and patch things up with people and situations where I can, to a point of “just let it die,” so maybe I’ll work on saying these and cross them off as I go.  Most of them have long-since passed though, so probably not.

What I have already learned–I don’t disclose the extent to which I care about people enough, I don’t disclose the extent of my fury when I see people mistreated, and I make poor fast-food choices.

I guess it can then follow that the moral of the story is to tell people you care more, stand up to people who’re being terrible, and eat some greens.

Also, if you’re a person, I recommend doing this.  It’s good to get it all out and it makes you more aware of who you are and where you’ve been.

Concluding comfortable with yet another unusual non-narrative post,

M

 

P.S.  Here’s one of the most honest songs I’ve ever written.  Also the longest.  From a few weeks ago.  Closely related.

 

 

The “Too Far” Gene

Good evening readers, and welcome back to my cobweb-laden corner of the internet.  Other than two little crappy excuses for posts, it’s been a dern long time since I actually wrote, so tonight I thought I’d crank out another chapter.  I was going to include some catch-up about my current world, but then it was dumb and boring so I nixed it.  Long story short: I was in a play.  Louisville, Kentucky is lacking in the sushi department.  I am still ISO sushi.  Now back to the present.  Blog time.

The subject of the hour is that which I like to call, in scientific terms, the Too Far Gene.

The Too Far Gene accounts for the churlish behavior of those who scream during Monopoly and ruin game night, who spiral into depression after not winning the three-legged race, who put everything and a bag of chips and some bean dip on the line on a whim to have a shot at holding the unofficial title of “best” in any given activity, even if it means crossing 13 lines.  It is a common strand in the DNA of the overcompetitive, the tempered, the fools.  It is a sickness.  It is a huge part of who I am.

Sometimes, we the afflicted encounter individuals just as screwed up and desperate to win as we are.  For me, it was my roommate.  Numerous case studies and field tests regarding our interactions have led me to this conclusion: that when two Too Far Genes come into contact with one another, the resulting outcome is one of a remarkably painful and often borderline lethal nature.

In our youth, my roommate and I didn’t see each other enough for it to do too much damage.  It was a motivator that pushed us both toward improving in various areas of our lives.  But, once we started preparing for college, and our time spent together increased exponentially, the Genes began to feud.

Incident Number One was in the wintertime of our senior years of high school.  My now-roommate, whose name I suppose I could enclose (it’s Sami), invited me to go skiing with her and her family.  They went on ski trips almost every year, and it was a real passion of Sami’s.  Which meant that she was good at it.  Which meant that I had to be good at it.  And that is why I found myself clinging to my ski poles for dear life sliding down a Black Diamond the first time I ever went skiing and then ran over and fractured my own thumb.  Sami may have won that night, but as college began, the tides would turn.

Incident Number Two was during our freshman year at Appalachian State together.  We had been living in the same dorm for a while, and the proximity made our genetic disorders flare up.  I don’t remember how we got there, I just remember that one night we were slapping each other’s hands with a vengeance, while people around us grew increasingly more uncomfortable with and disapproving of our immaturity.  The rule was that whoever called mercy or uncle or whatever first would lose.  So, naturally, neither of us did.  We just kept swinging and slashing and stinging until finally we realized that it would never end, and agreed to a truce.  The next morning, we both had bruises on our hands.  For, you see, one of the integral qualities of the Too Far Gene is that, when active, it can increase one’s pain tolerance up to 45%, provided the cause is stupid and will not result in any actual gains.  And thus we saw an evolution–the Genes had grown in strength from harming only one host at a time to working symbiotically to harming multiple.

Incident Number Three, the last and most despicable of the studies that I will draw upon for today’s post, took place during our sophomore or junior years.  We had decided to go hiking on one of the mountain trails with a few friends.  But, in keeping with the tone of our lives, it rained.  But, also in keeping with the tone of our lives, we went anyway.  The trail in question–Rough Ridge–was already a bit perilous in dry conditions, but, when inundated with water, was all the more dangerous.  Also it was at night.  So it was dark.

Now, for those of you who are not familiar with the trail, allow me to paint a picture with my words.  Rough Ridge is a few miles long and climbs up a mountain.  The trail mostly consists of pockets of mud, roots, and a whole bunch of rocks and boulders that you try to adhere to in order to avoid getting your shoes dirty/falling and dying.  There are a lot of smallish trees branches that lean into the trail from the sides, and sometimes patches of the trail smell like split pea diarrhea, but overall, there is an abundance of color and the pinnacle of the peak and a few clearings on the way up offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range.  At least, when you can see it.  Which we couldn’t.  (In our defense, it was not a completely stupid idea from the get-go, because the rain had stopped and it was only gloomy and stormy and nearing sunset when we got there.)  In any event, the rain picked up again, so we began our descent.

It began quietly.  Whenever there was an opportunity, one of us would get in front of the other to lead the pack.  God forbid someone else from our friend group tried to get up there.  Everyone was using their phones for light, and getting mud on their ankles, and slipping every now and then.  Safety should have been the priority, but the weather, the delirium, the split pea stank–whatever it was–triggered our Genes.  We awakened like Hulks.  I don’t remember who it was, but someone called a race, and we began hop/slip/sprinting down the trail in attempts to be crowned the Ultimate Idiot Who Thinks They Deserve Praise.  Our friends were appalled, concerned, and openly pissed, but we kept going.

So, I mentioned that Rough ridge is composed of mostly boulders and roots that you have to stick to in order to avoid pockets of mud when it’s wet, but I didn’t mention the composition of the first chunk of the trail.  There are few boulders or roots, so somewhere along the way, someone decided to just lay some random logs about the size of a small dinner plate in diameter across the dirt, and decided that was enough.  Friends, I don’t intend to exaggerate, but the conditions of that portion of the trail were so bad that the people who made it went back in and built a staircase sometime in the past year to make it acceptable.  That is truth.  Anyway, so it was preemptively treacherous, but now also dark, wet, and slippery.  And we were sprinting down it by iPhone flashlight.  When I look back on it now away from the heat of the moment, it makes me cringe.  We could have broken our ankles.  If we had hit our heads on the right rock in the right spot, we could have bled out and died.  We could have actually died.  Which would have indeed been Too Far.  But instead, we both survived.  And, most important of all… I won.  It was really pretty epic.  It is a victory I will never let go of.  I was like an agile monkey spy, and Sami failed.  And I won.

I have done a lot of things in my life that I should not be proud of but am anyway.

In any event, analysis and interpretation of the aforementioned incidents (and others off the record) has oft left me wondering, what the fluff is wrong with me?  Why am I so willing to destroy myself for the sake of a petty victory?  Where did the Gene come from?  And the answer is so simple and and perfectly congruent with my concept for this title, that it makes me wonder if you all already know and if my explaining it so dramatically and scientifically is being wasted.  The Gene was passed down to me like any other gene: through artificial genetic testing conducted in secret by classified government agencies and LIZARD PEOPLE.  Jk.  The Gene was passed on to me through my parents.

Now I know what you are thinking “you can’t just blame everything that’s wrong with you on your parents,” but oh contraire, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  I am a victim.  Accountability is for the mature and globally responsible.  (Jk again.  Accountability is actually very important to me, and a great source of irritation when absent in other childish swine, but still…the following examination explains a lot.)

Before I segway into this portion of today’s post, I do believe that a shoutout is in order.  I was digging through some recyclables last week, and my friend took a picture and I thought it was funny so I made it my profile picture.  It was then that Mr. Darius H, my only reader other than sometimes Lauren and Alexi, commented on the pic, asking for an explanation, and the following story came flashing back to the forefront in my mind, thus inspiring this blog post.  What I am getting at is that he is responsible for this horsecrap.

Anyway, getting back on track–my childhood.  In my youth, my parents made it clear that being a good student was of penultimate importance.  And this meant more than having the best elementary school Shel Silverstein hamburger poster ever.  It meant excelling in all areas.  And my mom told me that going above and beyond in everything was the key to excelling.

We had a number of school fundraisers throughout the year that our teachers motivated us to participate in by giving us incentives of pizza parties or ice cream socials for the winning class.  The amount of love I have for pizza parties, ice cream socials, and free anything has not changed since then; I was game.  But there was one person who was even more game than I was: my mother.

The biggest fundraisers at the school were easy: collecting box tops, soup labels, coins, and the like; but one collectable reigns in my memory above all.

Harris Teeter milk caps.

All you had to do to win was to bring in the most, but one family can only consume so much milk.

Our neighborhood’s recycling day was on a Tuesday at the time, if I recall correctly.  Nowadays, we use those big rectangular-ish containers with lids you can fit a whole bunch of crap in, but back then, they were just smallish, square-ish, blue, open-top bins.  Easy pickings.  It was then that I learned what it really means to compete.

It started with my mom telling me to nab a milk cap or two from someone’s bin when I passed it. It ended with her sending me and my brother out on our bikes once a week, with grocery bags, specifically to steal all of the milk caps from recycling bins across, collectively, almost the entirety of the neighborhood.

We usually split ways to cover more ground.

My most distinct memory is hiding behind a garbage bin on one of those excursions when I thought I heard movement in the nearst driveway, trying not to be seen out of both shame and fear. I also remember pretending I was a spy, and the stench of rotting milk. The exact font placement and colors that distinguished Harris Teeter caps from those of other inferior grocery chains will forever be etched in my mind.

Equally etched in my mind is the ghost of feeling like a fugitive. No matter how much my mom and Billy told me it was crap no one wanted–literal garbage, in my heart it still felt like it was stealing. Who knew when these people were going to change their minds and decide they wanted to bring their recyclables back in? Or when they would next walk past their bin and eye the cartons suspiciously before suddenly realizing that they had been struck by a Milk Cap Thief. The high-stress red alert nature of the situation however, did teach me how to be more sneaky and agile (which, now that I think about it is probably exactly what saved my life later when racing down Rough Ridge).

But even though the danger and guilt were palpable, and even though, except for one small, twisted part of me that liked the adrenaline, I hated it, I went anyway. It didn’t occur to me that I didn’t actually have to until months later, when it was too late. For, at some point, my class won one of the fundraisers, likely entirely due to my family’s contribution. (I think that it was such a done deal that my mom traded off each year actively choosing which kid she would let win: me or my brother.) I tasted victory, and I knew what it would take to do it again.

Dignity was no obstacle.

As the years went on, the Too Far Gene became more and more active in my day-to-day life. I recognized that being ratchet was sometimes vital to the success of an overall operation. And, in turn, I became more and more like the person I am today, and more and more like my mother. I had learned to stop at nothing to win.

It’s made me a freak, but better at 85% of the things that I do.

As for Dad’s influence, he’s more of a take jokes Too Far kind of guy.  I’ll let it speak for itself.

The Moral of the Story: good things can come in violent, aggressive, and competitive packages, but your relationships and health are better off when you know how to draw a line.  Also you don’t have to be so afraid of turning into your parents.  Some of it is inevitable.  And, decidedly, not the worst.

Everyone who possesses the Gene has a different origin story. This has been mine.

I’m so freaking tired so I’m not even gonna tie up all the loose ends. Not even going to explain the relevance of the below quote.  Maybe tomorrow.

Thanks for reading chick peas.

Yours in sleep deprivation,

Melanie

“Your last vine made mom so upset that she tried to kill herself via car accident.”

-Billy

Couples Skate with a 50 Year Old Man

Greetings once again friends!  It is time for our semi-annual clandestine gathering on the internet that is basically just me typing into a void and hoping for the best.  I haven’t written in a while because I have actually been busy, but as fate would have it, I finally got sick, and as I was lying here in bed with only my phlegm for company, thinking about how I really want a chicken biscuit but cannot obtain one, I thought, “I should tear down my self-esteem on the internet again.”

But really, life has been awesome lately, and I hope things are well with you all too.  I’ve been getting really involved at school, made some new friends, and rediscovered my passions.  But, as the rediscovering implies, it was not long ago that I was in one of those funks of non-passion and bleakness that we all slip into from time to time as the years go by.  It is always after I’ve climbed out of the rut and looked back that I realize how incredibly stupid the reasons I had fallen into it were, and find myself laughing.  Humanity, right?  Ahh, yes.  We’re all so dumb.  (Don’t argue.  I need the collective support.)  Anyway, one of my most recent funks has become approachable, so I’ve decided to share.

Some backstory–I love skating.  It’s my life, dude.  I just like to get on my board and shred down pipes while my friend films on a DSLR  for vimeo with a dope alternative song edited in and a sunset out of focus in the background.  I have 12 posters of Tony Hawk in my closet, and all of them are funnier than this bit.  (But actually, my skateboarding experience is generally limited to when I was rolling on one on my stomach in second grade.  I was sucking on a Blow Pop.  Then I flopped over sideways onto the driveway and scraped a subsequent circle of skin off my cheek.)  (2 days before picture day.)  But even though boarding is my life, I find that ice/roller skating is something I love even more.  It’s something I have always been inclined towards, and hey, pretty good at.  So if ever the chance comes up, I’m game to go.  But, in college, because of a lack of interest and financial stability, and personal hygiene on my part, it ain’t always easy to find people to skate with.  So, when my friend presented me with the opportunity to go roller skating with her youth group, even though I knew I’d have to keep an eye out for holy water so I didn’t burst into flames, I capitalized on it.  It was the perfect chance to try to sneak into a group picture I could later use to pretend I have a lot of friends.  (And to skate.)  Plus the theme was sk80s night, and I absolutely adore excuses to dress up and look insane.  AND it was a rare occasion to pretend I was Apolo Anton Ohno for like, 3 hours.  So, I went.

After paying $9, or half of my monthly paycheck, to get in, we went over to the skate counter to barter our shoes for skates with decades of history and dead foot cells in their soles to begin our adventure.  It was a nice rink–sort of like an abandoned warehouse that someone was storing old crap in with poor ventilation and no water fountains.  I felt…at home.  Safe.  Like I belonged.  After tying up our skates, we took to the rink, but something was wrong…it didn’t feel as easy as it used to be.  My foot was going places I never wanted it to go.  Had I lost my touch?  I couldn’t have.  After all of my big talk about being a natural?  No…it had to be the skates.  It couldn’t have been me…  And I know what you’re thinking, reader, “ha ha, it was her.  shouldn’t have eaten so many ho-hos.”  But you’re wrong, because I was right, because I am awesome at skating, and upon inspection, the right skate, like everything else in the building, looked like it had been chewed up by rats and was broken.  So I got it fixed and then took to the rink the way I should have from the start–like a graceful flying peacock, and it was awesome.  Things were still going my way.

Now, since we had gone with a youth group, there were a bunch of people there my age.  But I guess that it wasn’t enough, because the Cupid Shuffle still ended up being just me and 6 or 7 children.  I don’t know what it is about getting old that makes people stop loving roller dance numbers.  Perhaps the fear of judgement.  Perhaps the exhaustion.  Perhaps being honest with themselves about how the Cupid Shuffle starts out as a fun activity then turns into a horror show of sweat and pain and denial as you want to escape the repetition and the B.O. of your next-door neighbor but refuse to let yourself because you’re still clinging on to your childhood.  I don’t know.  Any of the options sound like fair game to me.  But even if they didn’t contribute to the dance portion of the night, the good thing about having people around who were my age, even if they were on the outskirts, was that there were plenty of cute fellas to pursue.

So while I was alone in loving the Cupid Shuffle, there was still a chance for flirtation and romance.  I was dressed to the nines in a sweatband and high-waisted shorts–the kind of shorts you see on a girl and think, “oh, she shouldn’t be wearing those shorts.”  It didn’t even matter at the end of the races, which were also pretty much just me and 6 or 7 children, that my 8 inch zipper on the side of the shorts had come completely down without my knowledge.  From the angles that didn’t allow that in view, I was lookin’ pretty fly.  It was only when the couples skates began that I started to feel a void in my soul and wanted to self-waterboard.    Feelings of forever alone and “no ones loves me” coursed through my veins.  But, as per usge, I reacted by making a joke of it.

The combination of flyness, doing something I love, and crippling loneliness meant that I wasn’t really worried about what anybody thought.  I needed a distraction from the dark cloud looming over my heart.  So, in keeping with my nature, I started being obnoxious.  There was a referee of sorts there who was skating around, manning the rink.  He had to have been about 50 years old.  He had a hooked nose, salt-and-pepper hair, and the frame of a thin farmer who could have been on Courage the Cowardly Dog as an innocent who gets eaten.  His job, from what I gathered, was just to keep kids in line so that they didn’t turn the family-fun activity into a coliseum of carnage, as children have a tendency to do.  He was doing a well enough job, it seemed.  Anyway, so when the couples skate came on, partially to entertain my friends, partially to entertain myself, I would wait until he had skated out of view and then hold my hand out longingly after him, allowing my brows to furrow with emotion and heartache.  I did this to others as well–anyone who looked like they didn’t fit the role of me wanting them, except for those under 18, because that would be too wrong even for me.  I was delighted with my game.  It was so blissfully stupid.  Until Mr. Referee skated up to me and held his hand back.

I wouldn’t call myself stunned, but I hadn’t anticipated this.  I knew I couldn’t just deny him.  After all of what I had done, I had brought it upon myself.  I initially went for move play it off, but he looked so nice and well-intentioned that I knew what I had to do.  So, I looked back to my friends, then to him, and then accepted his hand.

And friends, here is where the real problem comes in.  I was so dead inside at this point in my life that as I took his hand, I wondered if maybe there would be a spark.

I WONDERED IF MAYBE THERE WOULD BE A SPARK.

HE WAS 50.

WHYYYYUYUHDNSNSDNA

Do you understand why this is so traumatic?

I WAS 20.

HE WAS 50.

THAT’S OLDER THAN MY DAD.

THAT’S OLD ENOUGH TO BE A GRANDPA.

WHEN DID I BECOME THE WOMAN AKIN TO PARIS HILTON OR SOME OTHER POP CULTURE REFERENCE THAT IS MORE FITTING?

WHO AM I?!!!

Readers, this is a detail previously unreleased to everyone in my life.  I am trusting all 2 of you to appreciate that.  And, y’all, my parents read this blog, so I hope you understand the gravity of the situation when I say that at least one of you needs to think this is funny.  I am putting everything on the line here.

Anyway, normal paragraphs resumed, as I skated along with Mr. Referee, disgusted with myself and wondering if I needed medication, I realized that this was my first couples skate.  And then I remembered my first slow dance.  (See blog post #6.)  I wondered if maybe this was just how my story was supposed to go.  I had rejected so many guys in my life for so many stupid reasons.  Maybe my comeuppance was that no one was left, except for this 50 year old man.  And since, for the record, upon hand-to-hand contact, he could not stir my loins (I’m so sorry, family),  I would eternally be unsatisfied until he died in like 5 years.  I bet he’d hold his hand out to me the same way he did when he asked me to skate before he croaked.  (This is why I can’t be in youth groups.)  Anyway, as we circled around the rink, I knew I deserved it.  It’s what I got for making that holding my hand out joke, and all of these sacrilegious jokes, and for saying “shit” one time on the trampoline when I was eleven.  It was only fair, I concluded.  On the bright side though, every time we skated past her, my friend was dying.  (Edit: Wow, that sentence sounds awful.  For the record, I mean dying in terms of laughter, not literally.  I would never joke about death like that, especially not 6 sentences ago.)  The point is: the time Mr. Referee and I were spending together was really something.

But as with all things, it had to end.  When the couples skate finally came to an close, Mr. Referee thanked me and gave me a very sincere smile, and I realized how much it must have meant to him.  I felt like I was the ghost of a girl he once loved in the the 80s.  It made me feel a little better, and also also like taking ten showers.  When the next couples skate came on, he circled the rink watching me like an unintentionally creepy bird before he went in for the kill.  I declined without regret this time, and went about my evening festivities.

The last hour or so at the rink was a lot of fun, and I skated my heart out partially because it needed to be disposed of and partially because I didn’t want Mr. Referee to catch up with me again.  I was skatin’ away from my problems with a purpose.  And I do mean it.  When I woke up the next morning, I felt like I had the worst hangover of my life.  Or at least, I assume.  I’ve never actually been hungover, I think, but trust me, roller skating makes for as crazy a night as the bottle.  Probably.

But back to the story.  Avoidance techniques were in high gear, and I resolved to preoccupy myself more with the health and building code violations that wreaked the warehouse rather than with the incident of half an hour prior.  I skated with my homie and the other friend, and we held out until somewhere around ten.  When the night ended, we were all greasy, exhausted, and smelled like old socks, but it felt good.  So we returned our foot vessels, hit the road, and prepped to retire for the evening.  On the ride home we fell into silence, each wading through her own individual thoughts.  Mine naturally gravitated toward the couples skate, and the quiet gave me clarity.

Skating with Mr. Referee taught me that people are good.  Even if I was being a scrub about the whole thing, and if I was actually the pervert in the situation (by Jehovah…why), what he did was a nice gesture.  It also taught me that you don’t have to hold hands with someone if you don’t want to.  Just give them your time.

That’s something we all should do for each other more.  Give our time.

So, the moral of the story?  Wellp, it’s all in the last paragraph.  I’m just really used to including this phrase before I figure out what the moral is.  So I guess we can put some other general life advice here to keep the structure alive.  Hmmm.  How about…always look at a sandwich before you eat it.  You never know if it will be moldy, and even if the mold doesn’t make you physically ill, when you finally walk into the other room with some light and see it on the other half of the sandwich, it’s pretty unnerving.

Here’s hoping you never eat mold or an old man’s nether regions out of guilt.

Anyway, as always, thanks for reading my most heartless and risqué post yet.  I swear I’m nicer in real life.

Regardless.  Buenos noches, my loves.

Melanie

127

Asses & Asses

My readers—first of all, let me apologize for being MIA last week, and being late to post this week.  I was just so filled with angst last week that I couldn’t finish it, and then I was busy with school and waiting for a text that never came for 15 days.  But, rest assured, I’m back to my usual self—fly, emotionally stable, and now more desirable than ever.  No texts from any gentlemen this week, but I did rip a hole in my shorts trying to walk through a doorway and stepped in a looge barefoot, so, y’all better get on that because I’m in high demand/moments away from suicide.  Anyway, in an attempt of finally reaching the acceptance part of this incredibly overdramatic DABDA cycle of grief, I’ve decided to finally complete the initial post I wanted to write on the 13th, and grace the internet with my thoughts on one of the biggest pimples of the face of life: the dynamic of Asses and Asses.

Let us begin with the former of the two Asses.  Set the scene—it was one year and two days ago today: a hot autumn afternoon.  I was waiting at the bus stop, tired because I hate school, but comfortable, because I was in short shorts.  It was a particularly victorious occasion because it was the first time I had worn short shorts out and about in about 2 years, because I had been hung up on how my quads weren’t as fabulous as they were at my peak in high school and I misguidedly thought that anyone would give a crap.  It was while I was thinking about how stupid it had been to think that wearing short shorts would change my day in any way that I spotted a kind of shady looking guy working his way through the masses.  At first I thought maybe I was about to fall into the plot of a Bourne Ultimatum movie because he looked very edgy and a little out-of-breath, but I guess he was from a different kind of movie, because when he came up to me, instead of asking if I had witnessed any kidnappings lately, he asked, “are you 21?” (I wasn’t), then “do you smoke weed?” (I don’t), and then “can I give you $40 for a blowjob?” which I promptly did for no pay in front of everyone there.  Because it would have been ridiculous for me to instead grimace, say “NO!” obnoxiously (but fittingly) loudly, and then spend the next 6 hours feeling disgusted and asking myself why, right?  Or wait, yep, that’s what I did.  Why did it happen?  Y’all, it wasn’t even a corner.  And I’m pretty sure I was in a t-shirt.  In the end, I concluded that it was the shorts.  My exposed pale cellulitey thighs were just too sexy for the public eye.  Can we really blame him?  But in truth, the real motive, I suspect, was just that I was there, and was one of many targets.  The point is: some people are giant asses.

But what about the second kind of Asses?  We have no idea where this blatantly obvious train of thought is going, Melanie!  Well allow me to ease your minds.  It is now time to continue with the second half of the phenomenon–the latter of the Asses.  If you’re reading this, assuming you’re not a decapitated head in its last few seconds of life, you’ve got a body.  And chances are your body is different than many of the other bodies you interact with on a daily basis.  You are different colors (for example, pleasantly bronze, warm brown, or a searing red from thinking you’d get pleasantly bronze by not using sunblock at the beach even though you could smell your arm hair burning), have different face shapes (for example, mine is oblong gourd potato), and, most notably for today’s post, build up fat in different ways.  For some people, it sort of piles up like they have a rope tied around their waist and even if it wanted to their fat could not go below that threshold, for the lucky ones, it disperses itself evenly all over, and for still others, it avoids every single place on the body except for the glutes, where it stockpiles and forms actual mountains.  The point is: some people have giant asses.

And for whatever biological or socially constructed reason, the fates of these Asses are intertwined.  For the dynamic of Asses and Asses is that not only do the Asses attract the Asses, but, the Asses attract the Asses.  Or at least that’s what I’ve seen.  For I do not have a perfect body (see lazy eyelid, lovehandles, and acne), but I am possessor of a slightly-larger than average donk, and I have come to realize that my type is, in fact, idiots.  That is not to say that I see a jerk and inherently think “HE’S THE ONE!” because I wouldn’t develop feelings for an insensitive crapbag if I knew he was an insensitive crapbag.  (I’m not bitter.)  It happens as a result of deception.  You see, the thing about the Exhibit A Ass is that whatever he (or she) lacks in having feelings or giving a crap, he (or she) makes up for in the ability to seem like he (or she) has feelings or gives a crap.  It isn’t until after a breakup they convince themselves was their idea that they reveal their true intentions with lines like, “there was one point when I was like ‘oh, the booty…’ and I almost didn’t break up with you.”  (That was real, readers.  That was actually real.)harp

This is a phenomenon that I like to call the Curse of the Booty.  For the booty is currently considered a wonderful thing by society, but it comes with a price—you will live a harsh life, a cursed life, filled with people who, no matter how kind, how smart, or how hardworking you are, will always reduce you to two chunks of ass on a stick (or in my case, a trunk.  Been eatin’ a lot of ho-hos.)

Y’all, I’m going to just go uncensored for a second.  And I hope to peas you won’t judge me, but you probably will.  (Not that there was really any turning back after titling this “Asses & Asses.”)  Alright: I have spent my whole life working really dad gum hard to be good at stuff.  To be a relatively good person, to have some kind of skill sets, to understand philosophy, to recycle, for God’s sake!  Because I don’t operate on the logic that everyone deserves the best.  You need to work hard to make something of yourself if you want to be worth people’s time.  I don’t think that I’m good enough as I am; I don’t think any of us are.  We’ve got to try to be more–trying is what makes the difference.  So, I try.  And I obviously am stupid a lot, and terrible sometimes, but like, I’M MORE THAN AN ASS.  It truly boggles my mind and breaks the space where I should have a heart that this keeps happening, and I know I’m not alone in asking: WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE LOOKED AT AS MORE THAN A BUTT?

How many times am I going to lay on the beach waiting to be hit by a meteor because Mr. Spontaneous, Fun, & Hot turned out to only be looking for a hookup?  How many more times will I post an Instagram video just to make it look like I’m having more fun than you even though I just spent my day in a drive-thru?  HOW MANY MORE ANGSTY SONGS AM I GOING TO WRITE WHILE CRYING INTO THE OCEAN?  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I’M TOO EMO FOR THIS.

Will I regret these paragraphs soon?  Probably.  But for now…for now, it feels right.

Point is, I thought Mr. Spontaneous, Fun, & Hot liked me for my kickass sense of humor and personality, but he had a very different idea of what was going on, and I just don’t know why.  Was it because I was wearing a skirt that was so short that I ripped a hole in it trying to pull it down over the bottom of my buttcheeks?  Usually I wouldn’t deny that the way we dress does influence how people read our intentions to an extent, but in this case, I don’t think it had too much an influence, because while it was short, it also made me look like an eighth grader.  (Case in point: a 15 year old asked for my number when I was walking on the boardwalk that night.)  (Government disclaimer: I did not take it.)

This post is spiraling out of control, but I guess I need to write about it.  Y’all, I just don’t understand what you have to do to deter the users and the assholes.  I write blog posts about stepping barefoot into other people’s nasal fluids.  I am openly sexually awkward.  Do you know when I started saying “bra?”  In college.  IN COLLEGE.  I was a senior in high school still referring to the garment like they do on the Cartoon Network show Kids Next Door as “Battle Ready Armor.”  A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL.  MY PERSONALITY IS ALL I GOT.  And that deters most everyone else, so why not the jerks?

The sad truth is that the implication of the dynamic of Asses & Asses is that it doesn’t matter gender, age, or how weird you are; people will try to take advantage of you.  Superficiality does reign strong.  Just a disappointing thing I’ve been coming to terms with lately.

So where is the part where this stops being such a downer of a post and we grow in some way from it?  I don’t know yet, but it is time for the moral.  The moral of the story is that while it’s valuable and sweet to be modest in terms of how you view yourself, it’s also naïve, and in my experience, living in a mindset of “I’m so ugly” leads to “wow…I can’t believe he’s talking to me” leads to not realizing that it is just a straight up turd trying to get something out of you.  You just can’t stay clueless.  You need to have confidence in yourself, and take things with a grain of salt.

We’re all a little bit of an asshole, so I’m not saying that you should look for someone who’s perfect, because it’s unrealistic.  You’ve just got to decide how much crap you are willing to take from a given asshole.  Hee hee.  Crap and asshole—there it is.  A poop joke is today’s uplifting end ploy.

I know this was a little different from my usual storytelling format since it was basically just a stream of consciousness, uncomfortably-personal venting session, but I hope you’re cool with that.  I thought about leaving out some details in case Mr. Spontaneous, Fun, & Hot read this, but then I realized that I’m not actually sure if he knows how to read (which probably should have been a sign), so I’m not too worried about it.

Righty-o, so last little tidbits…  First, shoutout to my friend Harper for the funny text that warranted a screenshot and posting up above!  It seemed very fitting.  And second, I’m going to start posting every other week now instead of each Thursday on the dot, so…there’s that.  It’s always a fun journey here, beloved readers who know everything about my life now even when I don’t know you’re reading, so I hope you’ll stop by again.

Also!  I know I don’t convey it all the time, but even when it’s bad, life is good.  Thanks for reading, chickpeas.

Yours in tragedy & angst—so much angst,

Melanie