Verbal laxative

Forgive the title, but after a whole weekend without blogging, there are 40 billion thoughts clamoring to be acknowledged in this entry. Bear with me. Or spare yourself and find someone a little less schizo on your blogroll to ease into the week with!


In what might have been one of my more ambitious endeavors, I decided that it was high time to introduce my mom and grandfather to D.C. I’ve lived here four years with nary a visit, save for two day trips when I brought my mom down here (i.e., to sign my first lease here and to go to a job interview during a Christmas otherwise being spent with them in Pittsburgh), and it has suddenly started bothering me (as much as it bothers them) that no one knows where to find me.

But now, they do. And they know where to get great food and all the other places where I like to hang out. So now they can come to me and I don’t have to do this round-trip odyssey again. Because my ass? Hurts. 😉

Behold, the Batcave

Insert requisite joke that it’s great when no one can locate you. Because, hell, I’ve loved it. I can name exactly three people (Tiff, Nic and Vic) who have my new address. It’s not a slight against anyone else; I just rather like feeling like I’ve somehow escaped my old life — like the bad luck hasn’t *knock on wood* followed me because there’s truly no forwarding address.

Something went wrong when I filed a change of address online — something about the credit card address not matching the forwarding address — so everything’s pretty much just floating out there. This doesn’t bother me, as I’ve already gotten my magazines forwarded and that’s all that counts. 😉

Completely Off-Topic

I got sick a few years ago — appendicitis — and while I was lucky to have a couple of friends to pitch in here and there, I was otherwise on my own. And it had devastated my family that they didn’t know how to get to me. And while I was understanding and maybe even grateful to try to do my healing without having to look at anyone and pretend to be strong for their benefit, there’s no question it took me longer to convalesce than it should have. I’d fought the hospital that wanted to release me without doing the surgery. I’d fought for every meager bit of care I’d received. I had to walk my ass out of the hospital unassisted.

It was lonely, really. I mean, save for a couple of people popping in here and there, I was lying on my back alone for two weeks. I went back to work early because my then-boss couldn’t seem to function without bothering me all the fucking time, even on my deathbed. I found that I heard from her less when I actually dragged my sorry ass back into the office, so that helped. But in any event, I am not the type to ask for assistance or attention from anyone because that seems to give certain people the right to feel that they can throw it up to you for the rest of your life, that “I did you a favor that one time and now you owe me 47 favors in exchange for it.” Hell, it was that way before they did me any favors — now they just finally had something to dangle over my head.

I am deleting all hate mail upon receipt that results from the following section

But I digress. I hate needing help. I will never ask for it. And it has since made me into the flakiest of flaky friends myself — when you get rid of the people who siphoned your goodwill, you don’t want to give anyone else the time of day, lest they do the same to you. I can’t name the last time I voluntarily did someone a favor. I used to be the most reliable person in the world — you could ask me to do anything, no matter how seemingly unreasonable. And I would do it, and do it with my whole heart.

But now, thanks to people abusing you like a fucking rental car and feeling like you still owe THEM for one thing that you are willing to consider them returning a favor — and then they just see it as another reason to hold you hostage to their needs — well, you see why I don’t let anyone get close to me anymore. I just don’t have it in me to give back when I’m always wondering what else is going to be required of me. Once you’ve felt like a human pooper-scooper, hostage negotiator, rescue crew, mediator, babysitter, you name it — you don’t want to give of yourself to anyone.

Don’t get me wrong — there are magnificent people out there who are like I used to be. People who will give of themselves because it’s more fulfilling to make someone’s day and lend support. Not everyone takes joy in siphoning others’ energy so much so that they have nothing left for themselves. I miss being known as dependable — there’s a part of me that thrives on being needed. But that same part will kick into action if needed again, I’m sure of it. I hope, anyway. Just not for those who wore out their welcome.

Pity, Party of One — Going into After-Hours

So here I am in this self-inflicted isolation, which brings me to facing my birthday last week alone, and I think that drove me the hell over the edge. I miss being surrounded by people, even if they only show up for the booze and cake. There was none of that this year, or last year, for that matter. And I guess I need to be OK with that — I need to not complain when I get back exactly the amount of effort I generate in my personal life. I don’t expect anyone to care, honestly. It just bothers me when I do.

Don’t get me wrong — I got flowers and well wishes and those were all nice (and needed), but man, it wasn’t the world’s best day. I wanted so much to be celebrated, and it just went by like any other ordinary day. Feeling alone, underwhelmed, disappointed that nothing is like I expected it would be by now. Maybe there was a little bit of biological clock ticking going on too. Not that I’m thinking *that* far ahead, but it’s still hanging out there.

Cue Meg Ryan’s character in “When Harry Met Sally”: “I’m going to be 40!” Billy Crystal: “When?” Sally: “Someday.” Harry: “In eight years.” Sally: “But it’s there. It’s just sitting there, like some big dead end.”

Anyway, the trip to D.C. meant a lot to my family. They are both extremely sensitive and sentimental, and it drives them bugshit crazy to have no idea where I am calling them from, what my apartment looks like, how the cats are doing, what my office looks like — I swear, Mom had a full agenda of places I’ve talked about that she wanted to see. What’s amazing is that they didn’t care so much about D.C. monuments (and I wasn’t wild about going to any of them during Memorial Day weekend, so hooray). It was all about me. As it should always be. 😉


I’m personally exhausted, and I’m sure they are too. I mean, I went to Pennsylvania twice in the same day, so I’m pretty sore and cranky, and I can only imagine how hard it was on them. I spent the bulk of yesterday lying with my back on the floor, trying to get over a very whirlwind driving odyssey.

And I admit, I am a lot more careful when I have passengers. OK, it stresses me out. When I’m alone, I try to break the sound barrier and set personal records for speeding. But when I actually care about the people in the car, things are very different. And stressful. And I’m not used to anyone talking to me while I drive. I freak the hell out at that. I usually have the sunroof open, the music cranked and the mind going as fast as the car is.

Hence the sorbitol-laced entry today. It’s all over the place, but then again, several hundred miles in a car will do that to your brain.

If you’re looking for a point, sorry, no can do

The one thing I’ve pondered that makes any sense is that I don’t like myself. Well, believe it or not, I like the person I am, on the inside. I hate the outside. It keeps me from speaking up when I need to, it keeps me trying to fade into the background and be as unnoticed as possible, it keeps me on the edge that everyone can see every single thing that’s wrong with me that I try so desperately to conceal or, at least, downplay.

I spend a lot of time wishing for things I don’t have/can never be. But I don’t maximize what I have/can do. Like, bringing the family down here — I guess I could have done that sooner, but I didn’t. And that I finally did it, I’m glad because it was a gift to them that made them so happy. I used to hand out favors willy-nilly to people who didn’t deserve the time of day from me. And here are people who have nothing in their lives that makes them happy, and who do without so much and sacrificed even more when I couldn’t make it on my own not so long ago. What took me this long to do them what they viewed as the greatest favor of all is beyond me. But maybe I’ve grown.

Maybe I’ve learned that it’s not wrong to invest in people — you just need to choose them wisely. As soon as there’s a sense of obligation, it’s all over, you know? When you find yourself wanting to do more and more for people, unasked and unprompted, that’s the best feeling in the world. It’s when they’ve got you on speed-dial and need to be rescued every damn day that you need to change your phone number and leave no forwarding address. Believe me, it helps to not dread picking up the phone.

It’s funny — I used to get a stern talking-to from one such favor-asker because I never picked up the phone or listened to my voice mail. To this day, I have the ringer turned off most of the time and fear the VM box. I have messages right now that I know arrived last month. And while I know it’s nothing bad and I’m sure I’ve even missed some great opportunities, that’s how far I was driven in avoiding certain someones. I was so exhausted when I’d see their name flash across my screen that I would sooner throw the phone into the Potomac River than lose another night of sleep bailing them out of whatever jam du jour would make me resent them even more than before.

I just wish I’d had the balls to say all of this to their face.

In any event, don’t take it personally if I’m an asshole sometimes. It’s my cross to bear from a previous life chapter. But I’m trying to overcome it. I guess I just need to spend some time working on/investing in/loving myself before I can reach out and do the same for others again. The expectation of being disappointed is a hard one to overcome, and nobody else deserves that from me. Least of all, myself. I just look forward to a day when I’m not surprised when someone genuinely does something nice, with no strings whatsoever attached. I guess I’m always waiting to be hanged by those very strings.

So, surprise me if you can. And if you can’t, no big deal — you’re in good company. Just know that I’m watching and possibly even waiting to see what you’re capable of. Maybe you’ll even get to see what I can offer, too. …

One Lonely Response to Verbal laxative

  1. Tiff :

    I remember the appendicitis thing. I figured you were too busy to blog and suddenly you popped up again with a surgery scar. For the record, you’d have had more visitors if you, you know, *told people where you were*. 😉 Sort of like activating the buddy system when there’s NOT a date involved.

    *mwah* I will see you soon.